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Bryce McVay

Daily Fantasy Football Picks for Week 3 - DraftKings Edition

DFSR is excited to bring you our newest contributor Bryce McVay. Dude knows his stuff and he'll be bringing you picks specifically for DraftKings with an emphasis on that site's scoring system and value. We are pumped to have a great new voice in the DFS landscape.

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Hit it Bryce:


Before we get started, here are three keys to success on DraftKings and daily leagues in general:

You will consistently see me refer back to the term "value". Determining the value of a player only takes some basic mathematics (some fourth and fifth grade level stuff here, people!) In Draftkings, I always shoot for 3 points per $1,000 spent or in other words if a player costs $6,000 then I need him to get 18 points in order to reach his value. If all players I select reach value then each of my lineups should average 150 points which will guarantee victory in every single double up league and almost guarantee a minimum cash in any GPP multi-entry league. Disclaimer: 3 points per $1,000 is a HIGH value mark. In reality, if you can get 2.5 points per $1,000 then you should safely profit from week to week, but we're not looking for safe profit...we want MASSIVE GAINS!

The best way to know how a player is performing from week to week is by watching the game! I know, thank you captain obvious; but if you plan on putting up more than a couple bucks, I highly suggest watching as much live game action as you can. There are hundreds of sites that post positional rankings based on statistics of previous games and this is fine for your start 'em or sit 'em questions in your yearly "family" league. However, often times stats can be very misleading. Stats don't always recognize a wide receiver that was doubled covered all game or was overthrown by a fingernail on an 50 yard fly route. Stats also don't give you a clear picture of a player's health. NFL players will legitimately play through any injury and they don't care if it's killing their yards after contact, but we do. The general population interprets the word "probable" as "ok, hes perfectly fine and ready to perform." I find this notion far from the truth and if I can see first-hand that a player is hobbled then I won't be playing him next week, regardless of his weekly "probable" status.  You will see that often times I will pick or not pick a guy simply because of what I saw from him the week before; not because of his stat line or current price tag.

This tip is enormous to seeing gains. Football, more than any other sport, drastically changes from week to week. Most commonly with injuries (although criminal charges also seem to be shaping the landscape of a depth chart more now than ever), you never know who is going to see the lion's share of touches at their respective position. It is important to stay on top of the weekly injury updates and recognize who the "next man up" is. It is fine to join leagues throughout the week but when it comes to making lineups I only do this on Sunday morning. Side note, if you plan on using guys from the Thursday night games then of course you must include them in your lineups prior to Sunday, but keep in mind DraftKings allows you to adjust your Thursday league lineups up until the games start on Sunday. Disclaimer: make sure you know how to enter lineups quickly and have a reliable Wi-Fi network. I would hate for you to enter a bunch of leagues and then come Sunday have no way to plug in your lineups! Again, I know this is obvious but sometimes you have a beer or 20 on Saturday night and you will be in no mood to fill out lineups come Sunday morning.



Drew Brees - DK 8900
D-Breezy is finally back at home under the comforts of his home dome. He has thrown for 3 TDs through the first 2 games which averages out to 24 on the season…In what world will this average hold true? Exactly. The Saints will be out for blood this game after falling to 0-2. Minnesota has not allowed much through the air this year, but only because they played Shaun Hill/Austin Davis week 1 and were blown out via the run game against the Patriots in week 2. No Mark Ingram for the next four weeks means more red zone passing for the Saints as well. My only concern is that the Saints blow the AP-less Vikings out of the water in the first half seeing very little action from Brees in the second; but the Saints defense hasn't been all that strong this year either so I am assuming the Vikings will score at least two total touchdowns which means the saints will need to keep their foot on the gas pedal. I see a minimum of three scores from Brees and almost a 100% chance he achieves over 300 passing yards and notches that enormous 3 point DK bonus.

Other Considerations
Tom Brady
Cake matchup at home and relatively cheap at only $6,900

Austin Davis
The closest thing to a punt at a QB position. Only $5,400 and looked very poised in his comeback victory against Tampa Bay week 2. He actually has a lot of options with Quick, Cook, Austin, Pettis, and some Britt. This is the first example of me picking a guy strictly based on what I saw from him and his surrounding receiver corp the week before.


Running Backs

Running Back is where you will find your value this week. So although I love Demarco Murray against the Rams, I am saving my money at this position so I can pick the reliable studs at other positions including the aformentioned Drew Brees.

Khiry RobinsonDK 3900
Mr. Robinson could be my most played guy this week. Not just because he's only $3,900 but because of the enormous upside. They clearly trust him as he was used heavily in last year's playoff. I think he's a better talent than Ingram (who was a top 5 back prior to his broken hand) so I don't see Robinson doing worse. I haven't even mentioned that the Saints are playing at home against a terrible Minnesota run defense, but you already knew that! New Orleans should be ahead in this game and Robinson will benefit. The price is right with the Drew/Khiry stack...get it?

Donald Brown - DK 3500
Brown is by far the most obvious play this week and I expect him to be in at least 40% of lineups regardless of the style. I usually like to bet against these types of play in hopes that he will underperform and everyone will strikeout by playing him. However, Brown is a serviceable back as his career yards per carry (4.3) speaks to this. He rarely gets the chance to be the bell cow but when has he has not disappointed.

Andre Ellington - DK 5400
With the recent development of Johnathan Dwyer's deactivation, Ellie's value and workload should see a noticeable increase. I expect 3-5 more carries including a few chances in the redzone. He was previously ceding all goal line work to Dwyer. You must always monitor him due to his ailing foot but he has looked (I've been watching) better than healthy the first two weeks and has not had any setbacks. Other than actually seeing Ellington's elusiveness in both games I also like taking players that I believe a lot of people will not play. In this case, I believe the general population stays away from players going up against defenses like San Francisco.

Rashad Jennings - DK 5200
I debated not including him on this list as he falls in the same range as aforementioned Ellington and Lamar Miller found below. But he falls into the same bucket as Ellington in that I have watched Jennings in both his games and he is a hard-nosed back that is literally seeing all of the action in the New York backfield. He continues to see additional work in the passing game which any DK player knows is a big plus considering the PPR settings. Either the Giants wake up and actually stay in this game in which Jennings should see 20+ carries or they are again behind in which Jennings should get 4-5 dump off receptions. Either way he is a safe double-up play.

Lamar Miller - DK 5000
No Knowshawn Moreno means Miller will get all the work against a KC defense that has been generally horrible against the run and is dealing with serious injury.

Other Considerations
Johnathan Stewart
Dream matchup against an atrocious Steeler run-D on Sunday night primetime. Punt price at only $4,000 but make sure Deanglo Williams is inactive before you play him.

Chris Ivory
Everything I said about Stewart above except the price. He is $5,000 which isn't entirely a punt price but enormous upside. I will throw him in a few GPP multi-entry leagues for this reason.

Giovani Bernard
I would feel bad if I didn’t include my boy in my inaugural DK picks. I drafted him in round 2 of every yearly league I am in and he has not disappointed. I loved that Jeremy Hill deflated his value leading up to the season and it's still happening. Hill has been impressive but Bernard is still priced at only $7,300 in possibly the best matchup of the week. The Titans have been destroyed on the ground. His upside is not all that appealing because of Hill's presence but considering the first two weeks I don't see how you don't place him in the top three in a PPR setting.


Wide Receivers

Wide Receivers are always the toughest to predict especially when it comes to "the next man up" in injury cases. I think the general population knows this and most people will spend the most money at this position, often times myself included.

Calvin Johnson - DK 8900
I don't need to make a case for the basking shark of the NFL. He glides down the field every week and has no constraints on what or who's on the menu. Unless it's a dreadful matchup (e.g. week 2 @ Carolina) I will always fit a healthy Calvin into my lineup. This is a plus matchup against a suspect Green Bay secondary.

Torrey Smith - DK 4500
Steve Smith Sr. - DK 4500
Surprisingly both of these wideouts are exactly $4,500. Based on the first two weeks target distribution you would think SS,Sr would be pricer than Torrey. I think DK simply doesn’t believe Torrey Smith will continue to perform so poorly thus taking some of the work from the Smith Sr. Regardless, they both seem underpriced to me. I like Torrey better this week because what's that cliche? The squeeky wheel gets the grease. With Flacco driving the wagon, he should force feed his number one option eventually. Torrey is still a special player and Cleveland was roasted week 1 against the Steelers.

Other Considerations
Brandin Cooks
Massive upside and not overpriced by any means at $5,100. It is always tough to predict who gets the touchdowns for the Saints but he continues to get targets including in the redzone.

Golden Tate
Great price at only $5,000 and is the clear cut number two option behind Calvin. I like stacking Tate with CJ for double up leagues. They should get a combined two scores and 200 yards easily.

Justin Hunter
I was big on him last week and he laid a dud. But, he still saw six targets two of which came in the redzone. He is the perfect example of buying low and selling high. I thought he was underpriced at $4,300 and now he's 700 less at $3,600. I can't sell low now and have to believe he has a monster game coming soon. Not a great matchup this week but the Titans will be forced to throw. He should be safe enough to get value at his current price with a possibilty of a big game. It only takes one and his price will be up there with Kendall Wright in the $5,000 range.


Tight Ends

If I can afford him, Jimmy Graham falls in the same category of Calvin Johnson and I only stay away from them unless they have a bad matchup, price does not matter. I will say he is $8,000 this week which is...a lot. I like Calvin and Brees too much not have them and $50,000 only goes so far. Below, are my two cheap TE plays but if you decide to save a lot of money let's say by taking Khiry Robinson and Donald Brown then you can plug Graham in knowing you have an 80% chance of having the number one TE this week.

Larry Donnell - DK 4000
I was all over this guy last week at $3,000 after seeing his gifted skill set and true hands on Monday night against the Lions. He then showed it off again against the Cardinals (temper expectations, ARI is atrocious against TE's). This is a tougher matchup for him but I still expect him to see plenty of targets and fully expect the Giants to be playing catch-up once more. Ultimately, you have to believe what you see and from what I can tell he has a repore with Eli and can beat any linebacker in coverage and most importantly doesn't drop balls. For only $4,000 this week I like the safe floor of this guy and see his stock rising to TE1 status over the next couple weeks.

Travis Kelce - DK 3700
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that this Gronk-esque TE has been completely underutilized by Andy Reid. He has yet to have a breakout performance (4 for 81 last week was close) so he reminds under the radar from a price tag standpoint. I think the Chiefs will have to pass in this game as I believe Miami will be ahead for most of the game. Miami may be getting there best LB back in Koa Misi but I am predicting Kelce finally sees 50% of KC's snaps this week and makes an impact. Historically, Miami has been a plus matchup for TE's.

Other Considerations
Dennis Pitta
He dropped $1,200 from last week and is now a steal at only $4,400. I do not think Owen Daniels has a repeat two touchdown performance and Pitta should see the bulk of the TE targets in this game. Recall just a few days ago Jimmy Graham torched the Browns.



Playing at home against Oakland is the definition of plus matchup. They looked much stronger against MINN in week 2 and should be ahead the whole game.

At home against the Steelers. They proved last week no matter how potent the offense, this defense can stop them. The Steelers give up a ton of sacks which are big in DraftKings and I can't see the Steelers breaking the 21 point threshold.

The Colts will obvisouly be ahead in this game and the Jaguars are closer to a top tier college level football team. The Redskins sacked Henne 10 times last week and it doesn't sound like Bortles is ready to take the helm yet.

At home against the Bears. Sure the Bears have a strong offense but the Jets will definitely win the time of possession in this one by running the ball until CJ.5K and Ivory's feet bleed. Cutler has a serious tendency to throw into double and triple coverage giving way to a possible defensive touchdown. Got to love the MNF aspect of it all too. I think the Jets win this game with the combined over/under somewhere in the range of 30....yes 30.

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