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Week 3 DraftKings Cash-Game Picks

By Jared Smola | Updated on Fri, 22 Sep 2023 . 9:25 PM EDT

Top Plays for DraftKings Head-to-Head and 50/50 Contests

Here are the guys I’m zeroing in on for DraftKings Week 3 head-to-heads and 50/50s:



Gardner Minshew, Colts ($5,100)

We’re going with a stars-and-scrubs cash build this week.

We start with a scrub – although that’s certainly underselling how good Minshew has been as a real-life and fantasy QB. 

He sports a career 63% completion rate, 7.1 yards per attempt, and 93.4 QB Rating. He’s also averaged 15.4 rushing yards per game.

Minshew looked good in relief of QB Anthony Richardson last week, throwing for 174 yards and one TD on an 83% completion rate and 7.4 yards per attempt.

And that wasn’t a surprise considering Minshew is familiar with this offense. He spent 2021 and 2022 with Colts HC Shane Steichen in Philadelphia. Minshew played four full games for the Eagles across those two seasons, averaging 264 passing yards and 1.8 TDs per game.

The matchup vs. Baltimore isn’t ideal. But the Ravens will again be without CB Marlon Humphrey and S Marcus Williams.

And we don’t need much from Minshew to pay off this price tag.

Also consider: Patrick Mahomes ($8,300), Lamar Jackson ($7,700), Geno Smith ($5,700)


Running Backs

Tony Pollard, Cowboys ($8,000)

Here’s the first reason we’re paying down at QB.

Pollard has racked up 39 carries and 11 targets through 2 weeks, despite getting pulled early in the Week 1 blowout win.

And he’s dominated work near the goal line, handling 80% of Dallas’ carries inside the 10-yard line. His 12 total carries inside the 10 easily lead all RBs.

Pollard’s 51.5 expected PPR points are 10 more than any other RB.

He’s getting elite usage. And he has an elite Week 3 matchup against the Cardinals.

The Cowboys are 12.5-point favorites with a 27.75-point implied total.

Jerome Ford, Browns ($4,800)

What a sick joke.

DraftKings is making us play a RB against the Titans for the third straight week.

In all honesty, Ford is not a must in cash. There are other viable, cheap RBs. 

But Ford is the cheapest – and fits the stars-and-scrubs build I’m using this week.

Yep, the matchup is horrible. But Ford should get good volume. HC Kevin Stefanski called him the team’s “lead back,” even after adding RB Kareem Hunt.

Plus, unlike Jamaal Williams and Joshua Kelley, who failed vs. Tennessee, Ford has the big-play ability to deliver a solid fantasy outing on just a few plays. He ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash at the Combine and broke off a 69-yard run last week.

Also consider: Travis Etienne ($6,900), Miles Sanders ($5,700), Joshua Kelley ($5,400)


Wide Receivers

Reasons No. 2 and 3 we’re paying down at QB and playing Jerome Ford:

Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($9,300)

Tyreek Hill, Dolphins ($9,000)

I don’t really need to make an argument for these two guys. But here are a few quick notes on why I think they’re worth paying up for this week.

Jefferson is at home in a likely shootout vs. the Chargers, who rank dead last in both pass defense DVOA and fantasy points allowed to WRs.

Hill has hogged a massive 43.2% target share on routes without WR Jaylen Waddle on the field since the start of last season. Waddle is unlikely to play vs. Denver on Sunday due to his concussion.

Adam Thielen, Panthers ($3,900)

Is this a fun play? Nope.

But cash plays aren’t supposed to be fun. They’re supposed to be safe.

And Thielen is safe, especially at this price tag.

He’s coming off a 7-54-1 line on nine targets (27.3% share).

Now he gets a Seahawks defense that is most vulnerable over the middle of the field. Thielen has played 68% of his snaps in the slot through two weeks.

QB Andy Dalton could prove to be a short-term upgrade over QB Bryce Young, who’s really struggled so far. Dalton posted a 67% completion rate and 7.6 yards per attempt for the Saints last year.

Tank Dell, Texans ($3,600)

WR Noah Brown’s trip to IR moved Dell into a full-time role last week.

He responded with a 7-72-1 line on 10 targets (21.3% share).

The rookie looked explosive in the preseason and again in Week 2.

QB C.J. Stroud has attempted 91 passes through two games and figures to be chucking it plenty again this weekend, with the Texans 8.5-point underdogs to the Jaguars.

Dell is our top dollars-per-point value at WR.

Also consider: Mike Williams ($6,000), Amari Cooper ($5,700), Elijah Moore ($4,700)


Tight Ends

Zach Ertz, Cardinals ($3,500)

This play is even less fun than Adam Thielen.

But Ertz has drawn a TE-high 18 targets through two weeks and should be busy again this Sunday. 

The Cardinals are huge underdogs to the Cowboys, which should mean elevated pass volume. 

And it’s worth noting that both of Dallas’ opponents so far this season have had a TE lead or tie for the team lead in catches (Darren Waller 3, Tyler Conklin 5).

Also consider: Dalton Kincaid ($3,400), Durham Smythe ($2,900)


Defense/Special Teams

Jets ($2,800)

I’ll keep rolling with this talented defense as long as they’re this cheap.

The Jets DST put up a goose egg last week against the Cowboys. But the matchup is much better this week, at home for New England.

The Patriots have been pass-leaning through two weeks, resulting in QB Mac Jones taking six sacks and throwing two INTs.

This has the look of an ugly, low-scoring game – especially with potential weather issues in New Jersey.

Also consider: Bills ($2,900), Commanders ($2,400)


Watch below for more of our top RB targets this week


Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

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