Go Big With Alvin Kamara And Christian McCaffrey, But Not DJ Moore

If you’re playing a Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints DFS lineup for Sunday in Week 3, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.

The following recommended fantasy football lineup (for tournaments, 50/50, or head-to-head competitions) aims to lock in a relatively high floor while maximizing upside.

Recommended Panthers vs. Saints DFS lineup

Today, we’re playing DraftKings “Showdown Captain Mode,” which includes one player who earns 1.5 times his scoring output, plus five flex players. The following NFL betting recommendations are based on proprietary PFN predictive analytics pulled from decades of NFL historical data.

Using this data, I’ve built dozens of models showing actionable probabilities of better-than-expected and worse-than-expected outcomes. Criteria such as age, durability, shifting personnel, schedule, and other factors help shape these final assessments.

Panthers DFS considerations

The Baker Mayfield era in Carolina is not going particularly well. Last season they started 3-0 with Sam Darnold at the helm, and then lost three nail-biters to the Cowboys, Eagles, and Vikings with Christian McCaffrey on the shelf.

In other words, for all its shortcomings, last year’s Panthers actually looked like a playoff team for at least the first quarter of the season. Also last year, Mayfield had one of the worst completion percentages (60.5%) of full-time QB starters. This year, among QBs starting in Week 3, he’s tied for last with a 53.6% mark. Facing a very tough Saints defense, he realistically could fall under 50%.

So we have to ask ourselves whether any Panthers receiver is worth starting in a DFS tournament or even a 50/50 competition. Can DJ Moore break through against steep odds? Will Robbie Anderson prove 2021’s letdown was a fluke?

It’s fair to wonder if this squad can score more than 10 points on Sunday and if they do, whether the team will only trust McCaffrey near the end zone.

Saints DFS considerations

Between Jameis Winston’s and Alvin Kamara’s injuries, there are many questions surrounding which Saints would be sensible DFS additions. Michael Thomas is back to doing Michael-Thomas-like things. But can we afford to invest in him? And should we double-up with Chris Olave or Jarvis Landry?

Whatever we decide, if this game goes as expected (a relatively low-scoring New Orleans victory), then we might lean into Wil Lutz and the Saints D/ST. Both could snag 10+ points based on this matchup, and this would free us to take three high-priced playmakers with strong 16+ point potential.

Of course, if we don’t trust McCaffrey, then we might want to go cheap with one of Carolina’s secondary options, and then load up on some primary options with the Saints. So much hinges on the health of Winston and Kamara. We’ll need to make a judgment call and hope for the best.

Recommended DFS lineup

When two teams have loads of talent, it can be difficult to narrow down which players to use. Similarly, when two teams have only a small handful of seemingly “automatic” producers, it can be just as difficult.

This is what we’re up against while crafting a Panthers-Saints DFS lineup, which begins with Thomas ($10,000 normally, $15,000 as Captain) in our Captain slot. In only two games, he’s reasserted himself as a weekly fantasy starter and (as long as his price doesn’t pop) a solid DFS value play. I’m grouping him with Kamara ($10,800) and Olave ($6,800).

I believe in the Saints’ defense — not enough to add them to this lineup, but enough to keep Moore and Anderson out of the picture. That leaves us with the volume-friendly McCaffrey ($11,600), along with the ultra-cheap flier, Ian Thomas ($1,000), whom we’re simply hoping finds the end zone (preferably with a football in his hands).

That leaves us with $4,800, which we might spend on the Saints D/ST ($4,800) or Lutz ($4,200). I’m opting for Lutz, assuming he’ll play an outsized role in a relatively low-scoring contest.

If Kamara suffers a pre-game setback, I’d advise replacing him with Mark Ingram, and then swapping out Ian Thomas for the Saints D/ST.

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