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Week 3 DraftKings NFL DFS Picks (2023): Break The Slate With Kirk Cousins, Tony Pollard, Justin Jefferson, and more

Tony Pollard - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Hi there, RotoBallers, and welcome back to our weekly DraftKings NFL DFS article! I appreciate you joining me in our season-long quest to find the best plays at each position for every DraftKings Main Slate.

After a Week 1 that was fairly underwhelming from a scoring perspective, things picked up in Week 2, with multiple players performing at a high level. At first glance, it feels as though Week 3 might fall somewhere between the first two slates of the season. We have some matchups that project to be plain ol' snoozefests, but also a couple of games that look to be the perfect environments for DFS production.

This week's DraftKings lineup recommendations are based on matchups, projected DK points and ownership, overall upside/talent levels, and opportunity, as well as factors such as Vegas odds, home-field advantage, and more. There are quite a few great plays available on DK for Week 3. Also, be sure to check out our weekly FanDuel DFS lineup picks and lots of other great NFL DFS articles and NFL DFS tools to help you win big! Good luck with your DraftKings DFS lineups -- let's dominate this slate together!


DraftKings Quarterbacks - Week 3 DFS Picks

Lamar Jackson - IND @ BAL ($7,700)

After a sluggish start to the season in new Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken's offense against the Houston Texans, we saw some encouraging signs from Lamar Jackson in Week 2. Jackson was efficient in last week's win over the Bengals, quietly posting 22.9 DraftKings points on 239 passing yards and two TDs, as well as 54 rushing yards.

I expect Jackson to continue to grow a little more comfortable in Monken's offense with each passing week. Baltimore's evolution towards being a more pass-heavy offense should continue in Week 3 due to the combination of their banged-up backfield situation and the matchup against the Colts.

Through the first two weeks of the season, Indy's defense has proven to be a tough unit on the interior defensive line. The Colts are exhibiting the tell-tale signs of being an exploitable pass-funnel unit. While they are holding opposing running backs to a meager 2.8 yards per carry, they've been shredded by opposing QBs. The Colts have relinquished the NFL's second-most passing TDs through the first two weeks of the season. The Ravens will put this game in Lamar's hands and he should flourish against this Indy squad.

Kirk Cousins - LAC @ MIN ($6,900)

I'm circling this Chargers vs. Vikings game with a big fat Sharpie, as it projects as the clear-cut best environment for fantasy production on the Week 3 DraftKings slate. It's a perfect storm for fantasy goodness, as we get a pair of teams in a dome that possess explosive offenses and -- there's really no kind way to put it -- horrible defenses. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to envision a shootout.

I want all the exposure I can get to this matchup and I might even make a rule when building lineups this week that I have at least one Viking or Charger on every roster. It starts with Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins. He's fresh off lighting up the Philadelphia Eagles for 364 yards and four TDs in Week 2, which was his second straight game with at least 44 passing attempts, 344 yards passing, and two TDs.

Cousins and the pass-happy Vikes draw a dreamy matchup against a Chargers unit that's hemorrhaged production to opposing passing attacks. L.A. has allowed an NFL-worst 10.32 yards per attempt to QBs this season. The Chargers were destroyed by Tua Tagovailoa in the season opener, allowing an eye-popping 466 passing yards and three touchdowns. Things didn't get any better for the Bolts in an ugly Week 2 loss to Tennessee in which their secondary was shredded by Ryan freakin' Tannehill.

MORE TOP QB PLAYS: Patrick Mahomes ($8,300); Trevor Lawrence ($6,800); Geno Smith ($5,700)


DraftKings Running Backs - Week 3 DFS Picks

Tony Pollard - DAL @ ARI ($8,000)

The Dallas Cowboys have cruised to a 2-0 record by doing three things: relying on their amazing defense, using Dak Prescott as a game manager, and feeding Tony Pollard. I don't expect them to be forced to stray too far from that formula this week against the Arizona Cardinals.

Many fantasy managers have long dreamt about the day that Tony Pollard would be "freed" from a shared backfield with Ezekiel Elliott. Sometimes, dreams do come true. With both Kellen Moore and Elliott out of "Big D", Pollard has been the unquestioned workhorse for this streamlined Cowboys offense.

Pollard's usage has been elite through the first two weeks of the season. He has logged an NFL-high 16 red zone carries and boasts the second-highest running back target share (18%) in the league. Dallas gave him a career-high 32 touches in last week's blowout of the New York Jets and the 'Boys will continue riding Pollard this week as huge favorites against the Arizona Cardinals.

Travis Etienne - HOU @ JAX ($6,900)

I love the entire Jaguars offense this week, but I'll highlight Travis Etienne. He's a back who's getting elite usage but has been faced with tough matchups across the first two weeks of the season. That changes in Week 3, as Etienne draws a plus matchup against a banged-up Texans defense that's struggled to slow down opposing running backs. Houston has allowed the 10th-most DraftKings points in the NFL to the RB position through Week 2.

All the preseason buzz surrounding Jags rookie RB Tank Bigsby appears to have been nothing but hot air, as the incumbent Etienne has dominated usage to this point. He out-snapped Bigsby 48-12 in Week 2 while garnering a massive 76% snap share and averaging 18.5 touches this season. This profiles as a potential blow-up spot for the explosive Clemson product.

MORE TOP RB PLAYS: Bijan Robinson ($7,800); Jahmyr Gibbs ($6,600); Joshua Kelley ($5,400)


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DraftKings Wide Receivers - Week 3 DFS Picks

Justin Jefferson - LAC @ MIN ($9,300)

There are smash spots and then there are SMASH spots. This is the latter for Justin Jefferson and the Vikings' passing attack. The Chargers have allowed the NFL's most DK points, yards, and TDs to the wide receiver position through the first two weeks of the season.

In Jefferson, we have the league's best receiver. He leads the NFL in receiving yards and comes in averaging 28.0 DraftKings points per game, despite having scored no touchdowns on the year. If you are spending up on this slate, prioritize Justin Jefferson.

Nico Collins - HOU @ JAX ($5,300)

While we can expect some regression from his monstrous seven-catch, 146-yard, one-TD effort against the Colts in Week 2, Nico Collins still strikes me as way too cheap on this slate at $5.3K.

Listen, the Texans are a young offense with a rookie QB, a first-year coaching staff, and an injury-depleted offensive line; so we can expect them to be an unpredictable, boom-or-bust type of offense from week to week. However, Collins' volume has been bankable -- and elite -- through the first two weeks of the season.

Collins has amassed the fourth-most air yards in the NFL to this point, while his average of 3.28 yards per route run ranks sixth in the league and lands him in between Justin Jefferson (3.32) and Puka Nacua (3.13). The matchup against the Jaguars is a middling one, and there are admittedly some paths to failure for this inexperienced Texans offense this week. That said, Collins' combination of talent, opportunity, and price tag puts him near the top of my DFS options on this slate.

MORE TOP WR PLAYS: Calvin Ridley ($7,200); Mike Williams ($6,000); Amari Cooper ($5,700)


DraftKings Tight Ends - Week 3 DFS Picks

Sam LaPorta - ATL @ DET ($4,000)

I've been riding the rookie since Week 1 and there's really no reason to jump off now. While his price has increased yet another $100 up to $4K, LaPorta has already demonstrated a sturdy, volume-driven DFS floor that justifies the salary at the always-difficult TE position.

LaPorta has recorded five receptions in each of his first two games as a pro. His 11 targets are tied for the seventh-most in the NFL among tight ends, while his eye-opening average of 9.3 yards per target leads the league among tight ends with at least 10 targets. Put simply, LaPorta is a baller that the Detroit coaching staff loves and feels comfortable giving tons of snaps to. He'll square off against an Atlanta Falcons unit that's allowing a 76.9% catch rate to the TE position this year.

Zach Ertz - DAL @ ARI ($3,500)

It's fair to wonder how much GPP upside the 32-year-old Ertz brings to the table. At just $3.5K, the veteran is a notable salary-saver who deserves serious consideration in cash-game and single-entry formats this week. Despite coming off an ACL injury that ended his 2022 campaign early and suiting up for a Cardinals team that many feel is blatantly tanking, Ertz has been one of the most reliable tight ends in the NFL through the first two weeks of the season.

The veteran has been Arizona quarterback Joshua Dobbs' most trusted target. Ertz leads the NFL in tight end targets (18) and trails only T.J. Hockenson in receptions (12) at the position. While the Dallas Cowboys defense that he'll face in Week 3 has been spectacular in 2023, the Cowboys have been a bit leaky against the tight end position, allowing 11 receptions and 104 yards to opposing TEs across the first two weeks of the season.

MORE TOP TE PLAYS: Travis Kelce ($7,200); T.J. Hockenson ($6,500); Luke Musgrave ($3,300)

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