MrTuttle's NFL DFS Picks - Leverage Core: Week 3

If you want to gain leverage on the field, check out this weekly article from Dan “MrTuttle” Gaspar. With numerous live finals to his name, Tuttle knows what it takes to claim first place in large fields. Gain a massive edge in your tournament play here.

Week 3


Patrick Mahomes

Salaries – DraftKings: $7,600 / FanDuel: $9,200

Projected Ownership – DraftKings: 9% / FanDuel: 8%

Could I possibly interest you in the best quarterback in the league, in the highest total (54) game of the week at single-digit ownership? I knew you were sharp.

I want you to think about this a little longer. Seriously. The best QB, in the best offense, in the highest total game of the week, is going to see single-digit ownership. Furthermore, Travis Kelce (11%) is the only one of Mahomes’ pass-catchers that is expected to draw any sort of ownership which makes guys like Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, and Demarcus Robinson (fade that Robinson FanDuel price tag) elite game stack candidates.

Sure, the Ravens are one of the better defensive teams in the league, but they did show some susceptibility against the pass last week as they allowed Kyler Murray to throw for 349-yards. It’s safe to expect better Red Zone efficiency out of the Chiefs offense this week and it’s reasonable to say a 300/3 performance is well within Mahomes range of outcomes.

Running Back

Frank Gore

Salaries – DraftKings: $4,400 / FanDuel: $5,700

Projected Ownership – DraftKings: 5% / FanDuel: 9%

If you made a list of sexy plays Frank Gore would most definitely not be on that list. However, it’s Gore’s lack of sex appeal that is helping drive down his ownership despite being in line for a large workload against one of the worst run defenses in the league.

Cincinnati got absolutely ravaged by the 49ers rushing attack in Week 2 as San Francisco combined for a 42/259/2 rushing line against the Bengals. Gore carried the ball 19 times against the Giants last week and now the Bills will be without Devin Singletary due to a hamstring injury. Backup Bills’ RB T.J. Yeldon will likely be reserved for pass-catching situations with Gore soaking up the vast majority of rushing attempts for a Buffalo offense that has looked solid through two weeks.

I typically don’t like rostering non-pass catching RBs on DraftKings but Gore is cheap enough and has enough touchdown equity where I’m willing to make an exception this week. Gore not only has 100+ yard, 2-touchdown upside but also offers some leverage off Josh Allen and John Brown, the latter currently being projected as one of the highest owned (25%) receivers on FanDuel. As a bonus, forecasted windy conditions could make the Bills rely even more heavily on the run game.

Le’Veon Bell

Salaries – DraftKings: $7,000 / FanDuel: $7,700

Projected Ownership – DraftKings: 9% / FanDuel: 9%

What if I told you there was a player that is averaging 27 touches per game who is projected to be less than 10% owned? As a tournament player, that should make you at least a little excited.

Le’Veon has seen an absolute monster workload through the first two weeks of the season and there haven’t been any signs to indicate that his usage will decrease moving forward. While Bell has been inefficient with his workload, it’s important to highlight that he is averaging 19 carries and 9.5 targets per game. That type of usage allows a player to be a valuable fantasy commodity regardless of efficiency and gives them an absolutely monster ceiling.

It’s not very often that you can gain leverage on the field by simply rostering players against a defense but you can do exactly that this week. Patriots DST is currently projected to be massive chalk which should not only make them an easy tournament fade but also help lower Bell’s ownership.

Wide Receiver

Damiere Byrd

Salaries – DraftKings: $3,000 / FanDuel: $5,000

Projected Ownership – DraftKings: 0.10% / FanDuel: 0.10%

I’ve got to give it to Davis Mattek – he was the first person to consider Damiere Byrd a weekly DFS option prior to Week 1. 14 targets later and I’m finally willing to roster Byrd.

While Kliff Kingsbury has disappointed with his sheepish Red Zone play calling, he’s run the most 4-receiver sets in the league by a wide margin. Through two weeks, Byrd has operated as the Cardinals WR3 as he’s been on the field for 89.6% of Arizona’s offensive snaps. Byrd’s role as WR3 in a high volume offense makes him a better fantasy option than many WR2s in the league. Byrd has yet to have a big game but is seeing solid target volume for his price tag and his speed gives him big-play potential.

In addition to being a strong stand-alone play, Byrd makes for a high leverage play off his heavier owned teammates. Both Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk are currently projected to see double-digit ownership across the industry thanks to accessible price tags and a favorable matchup. While I’m fine playing Fitzgerald and Kirk in tournaments (I actually love Fitz this week), Byrd is arguably the better large-field tournament play due to his low expected ownership. While Byrd won’t be as low-owned as Demarcus Robinson was last week, it is a similar situation as Byrd represents the best way to get low-owned exposure to a chalky offense that is expected to put up a lot of points.

Josh Gordon

Salaries – DraftKings: $5,400 / FanDuel: $6,300

Projected Ownership – DraftKings: — / FanDuel: —

This writeup was initially going to be about Antonio Brown but he was released by the Patriots late Friday afternoon. Brown’s absence means good things for the remaining Patriots receivers, of which Josh Gordon is my favorite option when factoring in price, matchup, and upside.

Gordon hasn’t demanded much of Brady’s attention early this season with just a 14% target share through two weeks but was still able to post a a solid Week 1 fantasy performance when he caught 3-of-4 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown. I fully expect Gordon’s role to expand as the season progresses, especially with AB out of town, and he draws the most favorable matchup against the Jets secondary.

While Julian Edelman has run 68% of his routes out of the slot this season, Gordon has lined up as an outside receiver on 87% of his snaps which will have him lining up against Nate Hairston and Darryl Roberts for the majority of the day. Both Hairston and Roberts are a downgrade from Jets SCB Brian Poole whom Edleman will be squaring off against. Outside receivers have posted massive lines against the Jets in both of the first two weeks, with John Brown hanging a 7/123/1 line in Week 1 and Odell Beckham posting a monster 6/161/1 line in Week 2. To be fair, Odell’s touchdown did come on a play where he was lined up in the slot and the Jets simply decided to not cover him, but the point remains that the Jets secondary has been susceptible to big plays so far this season.

We don’t currently have updated ownership projections that take into account Antonio Brown’s absence and it’s certainly a possibility Gordon sees double-digit ownership this weekend. I’m still fine rostering Gordon if his ownership is expected to stay in the teens but will be less enthused to roster him if he projects for over 20% (I don’t think he will).

Tight End

George Kittle

Salaries – DraftKings: $5,600 / FanDuel: $6,600

Projected Ownership – DraftKings: 10% / FanDuel: 16%

First off, I want to state that I will be surprised if George Kittle’s ownership tops 16% on FanDuel. Early week ownership projections (they will be updated over the weekend) have Kittle projected to be higher owned than Zach Ertz which I don’t think is likely to be the case, and which is why I still think Kittle qualifies as a ‘leverage’ play.

Kittle has had an underwhelming start to the season but simply wasn’t needed in last week’s blowout of the 49ers in which he only saw three targets. Kittle saw a much healthier target 37% target share (10 targets) in Week 1 and our current projections have him for a 25% target share (~ 9 targets) in Week 3 which may be a tad low. If Kittle does see a 25%+ target share he should be in line for a monster game against a Steelers defense that just allowed Will freaking Dissly to hang a 5/50/2 line on them last week.

Ultimately, Kittle’s slow start has led to a price tag we can now look to take advantage of. I have zero usage concerns surrounding Kittle and the matchup gives him 100 yard + multiple score upside.

About the Author

  • Dan Gaspar (MrTuttle05)

  • Since his addition to the RotoGrinders community, MrTuttle has been continually climbing the Grinders leaderboards and is currently ranked in Top 150 overall. He has qualified for countless live finals as well and has proven himself to be one of the best high-stakes DFS players in the industry. You can find him on Twitter @MrTuttle05.


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