What’s up everyone and welcome to Ben’s Building Blocks! If you’ve never read my content before, welcome. To those that have, welcome back. I truly appreciate everyone that reads and supports during NFL season. This article is designed for me to highlight the top plays of the week, and my overall player pool for the main slate. Obviously, things can change rapidly in the NFL with injury news on the weekends, so I would be sure to subscribe to our premium package for access to my Final Thoughts cheat sheet, our premium discord channel and my core plays. Our Core Plays product gives you the ability to tail all of our analysts in your contests each week. We do the work for you, and you simply plug and play with our premium Core Plays. With that being said, let’s hop into the Week 3 slate…
I’m off to a 2-0 start to the NFL season and looking to stay hot in what appears to be a value-barren Week 3 slate. There are three QB’s I’m considering for my main team on DraftKings this week — Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts and Marcus Mariota. I typically don’t spend-down at QB in cash games anymore, but with the lack of value I do think Mariota is in play. I will note that last week. spending down was a fine move due to the amount of good QB’s off the slate. This week, playing Mariota means fading potential big games from guys like Hurts, Allen and Mahomes and that just doesn’t feel like a smart move. I expect Hurts to be the highest-owned option, and rightfully so after his start to the season. He has dominated Washington in his time as a starter. I wasn’t anticipating being as heavy on the Bills/Dolphins game as the field — but things have taken a turn later in the week. Buffalo is going to come into this game extremely banged up on defense. All of Micah Hyde, Jordan Phillips, Ed Oliver and Dane Jackson have been ruled out — in addition to Tre White who is still on IR. Jordan Poyer looks to be in doubt as well. This surely increases the shootout nature of this game, and getting up to Josh Allen could very well be the best move.
I typically play my main team in small-field tournaments which increases the likelihood of me getting onto a Bills stack. For GPP builds, I love this spot for both Mahomes and Burrow. Cousins will definitely be owned, but that is my favorite game on the slate and getting some three-max exposure to him makes sense seeing as Jefferson is my top WR play.
Core: Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota
Pivots: Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, Joe Burrow
Just like in Week 2, the DFS landscape is changing. Gone are the days where we plug in the two most expensive running backs and make it work from there. All the expensive plays look like spend up to be contrarian options for me this week. This leaves a condensed pool of mid-tier RB’s for me to choose from on my main builds. Lenny Fournette and David Montgomery pace the field in ownership projections — and they are both fine plays. I am still concerned about the offensive line and situation as whole in Tampa, so I won’t say that either of these guys are must plays. I think they’re strong cash game options at their ownership, but I don’t think you NEED either of them. Miles Sanders and Dameon Pierce stick out as strong plays — both seeing strong workload projections. Sanders is coming off a 20 touch game against the Vikings, and Pierce took a big step forward over Rex Burkhead in Week 2. Josh Jacobs was one of my favorite options, but he missed practice again on Friday due to an illness and we will need to monitor that situation through the weekend. Overall, I’ll be picking from that group of $5K guys and Fournette for a lot of my teams.
In tournaments, I’ll add in Gibson as a pivot off of Fournette and Michael Carter for value. Gibson is fifth-overall on the slate in weighted opportunity — and the Eagles are typically among the league-leaders in catches allowed out of the backfield. Gibson also has had an elite red-zone role to start the season with five attempts inside the five yard-line. Carter is just behind Gibson in weighted opportunity (7th) and can be used in GPP builds.
It’s important to remember that these guys like Cook and Mixon are going to find the end zone eventually and have big games. While I like the WR’s more on this slate, don’t simply write off these running backs after two games.
Core: Leonard Fournette, David Montgomery, Miles Sanders, Josh Jacobs, Dameon Pierce
Pivots: Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon, Antonio Gibson, D’Andre Swift, Michael Carter, Rhamondre Stevenson
Once again WR is LOADED and getting this position right will dictate your Week 3 success. It’s rather pointless for me to just name every elite receiver — so I’m going to focus on the guys I really like and have conviction on. Stefon Diggs is way underpriced due to salaries releasing before the Monday Night Football games. He’s sixth in football in team Air Yards% and should probably be priced close to $9,000. He will be one of the highest-owned players, but that is warranted. I don’t see any reason to fade him in cash games, and I prefer him to Gabe Davis who seems to be picking up some steam as we head into the weekend. Amon-Ra St. Brown is another guy that will be chalky, but should be due to his salary. This role he’s in is insane, and he’s now caught 8+ balls in eight straight games. Minnesota has one of the slower secondary’s in the NFL and I don’t think they will be able to contain ARSB. See my bold call at the bottom. For cash games, this is where it gets tough with the seemingly little to no value. Brandin Cooks continues to be one of the most consistent WR’s in football, and draws the Bears who have graded out as a bottom-five coverage unit this season. Jakobi Meyers is 11th on the slate in target share, and is coming off a 90 yard game. Baltimore is still banged up in the secondary, and he can be used in all formats. I’ve listed three potential values in my core section — and all can be considered. Hollins is interesting with Hunter Renfrow a Friday DNP and looking unlikely to play. Tennessee doesn’t have a good secondary — and LV has been one of the most pass-heavy teams in the NFL.
For tournaments, I have a lot of conviction around a few players. Justin Jefferson is one of them. Jettas and Amon-Ra is my favorite correlation for my lineups in Week 3. Detroit has a legitimately bad secondary, and Jefferson continues to play the Kupp-role in O’Connell’s offense. He’s number one overall in team Air Yards% at 53% and that comes with over 30% of Cousin’s targets. Matt made a great call in Discord this week — citing that 17 of Jefferson’s 19 career TD’s have come indoors.
Another guy I really like is Tyler Lockett who ranks first in separation and third in team Air Yards%. He’s getting open and down-field looks — and will avoid the AJ Terrell match-up.
There’s other guys to consider, but ultimately what I do with my main team will dictate my GPP builds. If I go with the Bills stack — I’ll have to run it back with one of Waddle or Hill. Stay tuned to my Final Thoughts this weekend for my updated lineup decisions.
Core: Stefon Diggs, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tyreek/Waddle, Brandin Cooks, Jakobi Meyers, Zay Jones, Breshad Perriman, Mack Hollins
Pivots: Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Lockett, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Ben Skowronek
Tight End is once again straightforward for me in Week 3. It’s clear that I will be looking for value on my main team and that likely comes from Irv Smith Jr. It was evident Minnesota took it easy on him in Week 1 when he was out-snapped by Johnny Mundt 41-19. His snap-count almost doubled in Week 2, up to 34 and he was on the field more than Mundt as a whole. He now matches up with Detroit, who has long suffered against the TE position. Given that I’m going to be on ARSB again this week, Smith makes for good correlation in the weeks second-highest O/U.
Outside of Irv, this does seem to be set up as a Kyle Pitts week. He has to have a breakout game at some point, and I believe it could be Week 3 with Tariq Woolen covering Drake London. He will not be low-owned, but I’m buying into the narrative that they will get the ball to Pitts often against the Seahawks.
For tournaments, Travis Kelce in particular stands out on a slate with little value. All of the Chiefs wideouts are cheap — and it seems that anyone stacking Mahomes will forgo Kelce for the cheaper WR’s. Indy is typically a team we like to target with TE’s and over the middle of the field. Lack of value has Kelce catching just a 3% ownership projection despite KC’s 28 point team total.
Core: Kyle Pitts, Irv Smith Jr, Juwan Johnson
Pivot: Travis Kelce, Tyler Higbee
Bold Call of the Week
Amon-Ra St. Brown goes off again and we never see him below $7,500 for the rest of the season.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)