We’re only two weeks into the 2019 campaign, but it’s become pretty clear which teams are going to be good this season and which are going to be, well, not good.
With this in mind, don’t try to overcomplicate things when building your daily fantasy football lineup. There are a quite a few advantageous matchups in Week 3, and you’d be foolish not to take advantage.
Without further ado, here’s our “optimal lineup” for DraftKings’ main Sunday slate (early afternoon and late afternoon games), which allots a $50,000 budget for a roster of nine players.
Quarterback: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills ($5,900)
The second-year quarterback is becoming a touchdown machine. Not only has Allen thrown for a score in each of his first two games, he’s also rushed for a TD in both of the Bills’ season-opening victories. Buffalo’s home opener will feature a favorable matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, whose defense is shaping up to be one of the NFL’s worst this season. All things considered, Allen should stuff the stat sheet Sunday.
Running Backs: David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals ($6,800); Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals ($5,500)
There’s no other way to put it: Johnson was ineffective in Week 2. After racking up 137 total yards in the Cardinals’ season opener, Johnson — though he scored Arizona’s lone touchdown in Week 2 — only accounted for 14 last weekend. Fantasy players shouldn’t put too much stock in the weak performance, though, as playing in Baltimore against a stout Ravens defense is tough on any player. Expect the Cardinals to lean on Johnson in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers, who thus far have done an above-average job at defending the pass.
We’ll admit giving Mixon the nod this week is a risk. The third-year back, quite frankly, has been awful to start the season, amassing 44 total yards through two weeks. Mixon knows he has to step up, and his motivation should be of the highest degree Sunday when the Bengals look to pick up their first win on the campaign. But even if Cincinnati is blown out by Buffalo, Mixon will be a prime candidate for garbage-time points.
Wide Receivers: Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions ($6,600); Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks ($6,200); Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers ($5,000)
If you were sleeping on Golladay heading into the season, you’re probably not anymore. The Lions wideout has found the endzone in each of his first two games, and at 6-foot-4, he’s a matchup nightmare for defensive backs. He’s primed for another big performance in Week 3 against a Philadelphia Eagles secondary that can’t stop a nosebleed.
Lockett is turning into one of those players who just finds a way to make an impact. He only corraled one catch in Week 1, but it was a 44-yard touchdown in a narrow win over the Bengals. The speedster was far more active last week, registering 10 catches for 79 yards in a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Saints’ defense is by no means poor, but as Russell Wilson’s favorite target, Lockett should see his fair share of looks Sunday.
You aren’t going to find many players faster than Goodwin, who’s poised to take the top off a Steelers defense that has struggled mightily against the pass early in the season. These woes theoretically should be alleviated via the addition of safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, but it shouldn’t scare you away from starting Goodwin.
Tight End: Evan Engram, New York Giants ($5,200)
Tight ends are security blankets, and the Giants might turn to theirs early and often Sunday when rookie quarterback Daniel Jones makes his first career start. Engram would have been a solid play even if Eli Manning still were under center, though, as he’s logged 17 catches through two weeks. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense is mediocre at best, so Engram should be in store for a big afternoon.
Flex: Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans ($4,500)
The Los Angeles Chargers’ defense has struggled out of the gate, allowing the fifth-most rushing yards through two weeks. As such, the Texans could frequently turn to their bruising back in Week 3. Ample carries for Hyde will help take the pressure off Deshaun Watson, who will be going up against one of the league’s most vaunted pass-rushing duos in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. You also probably wouldn’t expect it, but Hyde currently ranks fifth in the league in rushing yards.
Defense: Dallas Cowboys ($4,300)
Starting whichever defense is going up against the Miami Dolphins probably will be a foolproof move all season long.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images