Are you ready for some football? I hope so because it is once again time to dominate the daily fantasy scene. Once again, I will rank all the pertinent players at QB, RB, WR, and TE to help you achieve maximum profit on Draft Kings and Fan Duel. I will also provide my favorite lineup construction for Fantasy Draft and Fanball.
Our Format: Each week we will list the top-four point-producers at each position regardless of their salaries. We will also list two bargain players who will dramatically outperform their salaries. In addition, we will grade every legitimate player at each position based on their expected production in comparison to their price tag. Each player is identified through one of three colors: Red = Negative Value (less than 2X price), Black = Acceptable Value (2X price) and Green = Great Value (best chance to finish greater than 3X price). Since the prices differ between these two sites, often times a player who is a great value on one site isn’t a value on the other. It is very important that you consider the site you are playing at when filling out your roster.
I really cannot justify spending up for any of the higher-priced QBs this week. The only one that I would be willing to spend multiple bullets on is Russell Wilson. That said, he has a depleted receiving corps to work with, stunting his shine slightly. I can appreciate throwing one lineup into the GPPs featuring a Chiefs’ stack, even with the crappy matchup. That said, I’ll gladly fade my favorite team in this format this week. There are three obvious mid-tier guys to roll with: Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz. I also don’t mind Nick Foles, Josh Allen and Matthew Stafford here. There really isn’t a clear punt play here, since all the prices are pretty close. I guess Eli Manning or Jacoby Brissett could fall into that class, but I won’t have excessive exposure to them. Kyler Murray will be a popular play this week. I’d use him in GPP, but remember he will be highly owned. Expect to spend 11% to 13% here.
I just cannot trust Zeke Elliott following his lengthy holdout. I also cannot trust Saquan Barkley, because Dallas has a good run defense, and they will be able to stack the box. I’m not even pumped to use Christian McCaffrey, in what I believe will be a low scoring game. I will use some combination of Chris Carson, Kerryon Johnson, Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette. A two-pack of your choice from that group will cost you $12.5K on DK and $15K on FD. If you save enough elsewhere, you may be able to afford three of that above list. Otherwise, there are several decent punt options here, including: the remaining Buffalo Backs, the Eagles and Matt Breida. One of them will likely fill in my FLEX for $4.2K or less on DK and $6K or less on FD. With the FLEX, expect a 33% cost on either site.
I have no issue with spending up for Odell Beckham, Mike Evans or Julio Jones. If you go that way, you might have to go cheaper at WR3 and TE. I’m leaning more towards a pair from this list: Tyler Lockett, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin and Alshon Jeffery. If I don’t use Golladay, Marvin Jones will be my WR3. Otherwise, I will use one of: DeSean Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald, Sterling Shepard, Dede Westbrook or John Brown. If you do spend up at WR1, it will be easy to punt at WR3 with: Cole Beasley, Trey Quinn, Jaron Brown, Danny Amendola or Willie Snead. All-in, expect to spend no higher than 36% on DK and 33% on FD.
Jacksonville’s shutdown corners could force the Chiefs to filter their offense through Travis Kelce. This would be gorgeous for Kelce. In reality, they will likely have someone spy Kelce too, forcing Pat Mahomes to filter the offense through Sammy Watkins. Of the big three, Zach Ertz has the best chance at approaching 3X value. That said, I still fear the volume of weapons in the Eagles’ pass game. My top two choices are Evan Engram and Hunter Henry. Engram will be highly owned, but deserving so. If you want to be different go with Henry instead. I don’t love the matchup, but I’m excited to see what Austin Hooper does Week 1. His DK price is appealing but it is slightly high on FD. The same could be said for Dallas Goedert and Mark Andrews. With the FD prices being so high, I will either use Henry or Engram or punt down to Vernon Davis or Jesse James. On DK, the prices are low enough that I will likely lean towards Engram or Hunter unless I really overspend elsewhere. Engram will be 10% on DK and just over 10% on FD. Hunter is a little cheaper on DK, and may make my decision easier.
This comes down to a three-team decision: Baltimore, Philly or Dallas. Each comes in right around or just below 8% on either site. I rank them Baltimore, Dallas Philadelphia this week, but any of the three will work. You shouldn’t need to, but if you do, punt with the Colts or Lions.
Here are my recommended lineups.
At DK: $6K at QB for Lamar Jackson. $12.1K or less for two of: Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Kerryon Johnson and Chris Carson, (I’m leaning Johnson and Carson). $6K for Dalvin Cook at FLEX. No more than $12.5K for two of: Kenny Golladay, Tyler Lockett, Chris Godwin or Alshon Jeffery. $4.8K for Marvin Jones (if you don’t use Golladay), otherwise $5K or less for one of: Sterling Shepard, Dede Westbrook, Larry Fitzgerald, DeSean Jackson, or John Brown. $4.8K for Evan Engram. $3.8K for Ravens’ defense.
At FD: $7.4K for Jackson. $21K for Cook, Carson, and Kerryon. $13.8K for Golladay and Lockett. $6K or less for your choice at WR3. $6.4K for Engram. $5K for the Ravens’ defense.
At Fanball: Matthew Stafford, Dalvin Cook, Chris Carson, Kerryon Johnson, Tyler Lockett, Kenny Golladay, Mike Evans, Evan Engram, and the Eagles.
At Fantasy Draft (includes Sun Night): Russell Wilson, Kerryon Johnson, Chris Carson, Tyler Lockett, Marvin Jones, Evan Engram, Nick Chubb, Christian McCaffrey, Eagles’ defense.
Weekly strategy – Give me any of: Lamar Jackson, Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott. All of them will give you a strong return. I also don’t mind punting with Matthew Stafford (probably highly owned) or Nick Foles. A really crazy play would be stacking Jacoby Brissett and the Colts. I will only have a small share of Chiefs’ stack with Pat Mahomes, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Russell Wilson, Seahawks vs. CIN ($6300 DK, $8200 FD)
Cincinnati returns basically the same starting pass defense that allowed a league-worst 276 passing yards per game last season. Wilson will be without his former binkie, Doug Baldwin, but he and Tyler Lockett formed their own comfort zone last year. Plus, there is a chance that D.K. Metcalf will be ready for this one too. Pairing Wilson and Lockett makes for a formidable stack. If you want more variance, pair Wilson with Jaron Brown or Metcalf (if he plays). Anything less than 300 total yards and three scores will be a disappointment.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens @ MIA ($6000 DK, $7400 FD)
Miami cannot stop the run, and Lamar Jackson is arguably the Ravens best running back (he just also happens to be QB-eligible). Arizona was the only team to allow more rushing yards per game last year (and they improved their run defense). Jackson could seriously approach 400 total yards here (and half of that might be on the ground). Miami is clearly tanking in a manner that the NBA is even embarrassed by. The Dolphins’ defense will be so exhausted by the end of this game, they might need to retrofit Laramy Tunsil’s old gas mask bong as an oxygen mask.
Carson Wentz, Eagles vs. WAS ($5700 DK, $7600 FD)
Carson Wentz could finish with the top passing line of the week at QB. The only thing keeping him in third, is that Philly may spend the entire second half just pounding the rock with Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders. Unlike Wilson and Jackson, Wentz doesn’t need to get it done with his legs to have a big day. Expect huge days from Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson and even perhaps J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Pat Mahomes, Chiefs @ JAX ($7200 DK, $8700 FD)
So you have to do at least one Chiefs’ stack because Pat Mahomes could go off at any time. That said, this is not the week to get overly cute with him. Play him sparingly, and then only in GPPs. Jacksonville has a good defense, but they are not unburnable.
Matthew Stafford, Lions @ ARI ($5400 DK, $6600 FD)
Arizona spent the offseason improving their league-worst rushing defense. Unfortunately for them, their secondary is now shorthanded and under-talented. Matthew Stafford gets no respect in fantasy football despite producing over 4000 passing yards in seven of the last eight years. The one exception was last year when the team traded away Golden Tate and saw Marvin Jones suffer an injury. Jones is back healthy and Kenny Golladay is one year older. Either make a nice stack with Stafford this week.
Nick Foles, Jaguars vs. KC ($5300 DK, $6500 FD)
We know that Kansas City can put up points. If they are able to get it going versus the Jacksonville defense, then Nick Foles will have to throw to keep up. Foles is light-years better at the position than Jacksonville’s former QB, Blake Bortles. In a shootout last year, Bortles topped 400 yards against KC. I’m not expecting that high of a scoring game, but the yardage could definitely be juicy.
|Todd Gurley II||$7,900||$7,600|
|Ronald Jones II||$3,900||$5,600|
Weekly strategy – I will do everything possible to nab three of: Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Kerryon Johnson, Leonard Fournette and Chris Carson. When I can’t, I will choose two of them, and pair them with one of the Bills, Eagles or Forty-Niners.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers vs. LAR ($8800 DK, $8900 FD)
Count me among the few who think this game will be lower scoring. That said, with Cam Newton playing through some foot discomfort, expect Christian McCaffrey to not be at risk of losing goal-line looks to the QB. McCaffrey averaged 7.75 targets and 6.7 receptions per game last year. Even if this game isn’t a shootout, Christian should top 20 points.
Saquan Barkley, Giants @ DAL ($9000 DK, $9200 FD)
Saquan Barkley is in a similar situation to McCaffrey. He will be targeted more than enough to top the 20-point threshold. His issue will be that he will face 8-man fronts all game, limiting his rushing numbers. At this price point, I’d rather target someone else. I’m not even sure I’d risk him in a GPP – unless I get crazy and do a Voltron-stack with him, Sterling Shepard, Eli Manning and Evan Engram.
Kerryon Johnson, Lions @ ARI ($5800 DK, $7000 FD)
As I mentioned above, Arizona actually improved its rushing defense this offseason. They had to do something after allowing 666 rushing yards over their final three games. Kerryon Johnson has no more Theo Riddick to steal 3rd down opportunities. He also has no more Ameer Abdullah or Zach Zenner to steal goal-line looks. Don’t be shocked to see him top 20 points and threaten for top-scoring RB option this week.
Nick Chubb, Browns vs. TEN ($6400 DK, $7400 FD)
Tennessee allowed more than 150 rushing yards in four of their last six games last year. Nick Chubb won’t be sharing touches with Duke Johnson or Kareem Hunt this week. Chubb scored eight times in the last ten games of 2018. Look for him to cross the stripe at least once in this one.
Miles Sanders, Eagles vs. WAS ($3900 DK, $6000 FD)
The second half of this game will feature healthy doses of both Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders running out the clock. Last year, Philly ran the ball for 259 yards in their two meetings with Washington. That was with a bunch of crumb bums toting the rock. Sanders and Howard should combine for nearly 200 total yards and at least one score.
Devin Singletary, Bills @ NYJ ($3600 DK, $5300 FD)
We may not get the full Devin Singletary experience this season with Frank Gore still lingering. Fortunately for Singletary, the Jets are bad enough the run to make both legitimate FLEX options. Much like with the Eagles duo, it is hard to know which back will go off for more total points. That said, when given the option, I choose the younger guy in both spots.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||$8,100||$8,200|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||$4,800||$6,100|
|Willie Snead IV||$4,000||$4,800|
|Paul Richardson Jr.||$3,900||$4,900|
Weekly strategy – Tyler Lockett, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin and Alshon Jeffery are my favorite four targets this week. You can easily stack any of them with their QB. I also do not mind spending up for: Mike Evans, Odell Beckham or Adam Thielen. You need to have at least two of the above seven options if you can afford them (and you should be able to). If you don’t have Golladay, you need to have Marvin Jones (and I could see an argument for tacking both of them with Matthew Stafford). WR3 should be: Jones, Sterling Shepard, John Brown, Dede Westbrook, Larry Fitzgerald or DeSean Jackson. If you need to save here, punt with Cole Beasley, Danny Amendola, one of the Redskins, or Jaron Brown.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Mike Evans, Buccaneers vs. SF ($7900 DK, $7900 FD)
Mike Evans posted 6-116 against the Niners back in Week 12 of last year. This was one of eight 100+ yard performances by Evans last year, despite the team playing musical quarterbacks. Chris Godwin’s development as a legit number two option should open up more single-coverage for Evans. That is a scary thought.
Kenny Golladay, Lions @ ARI ($6300 DK, $6900 FD)
Arizona will be starting third and fourth-stringers at cornerback this week. Kenny Golladay will be very popular in all formats, making him perhaps a fade in GPPs. Of course, with this much upside, he will be a tough fade. If you don’t use Golladay, you better have Marvin Jones in your lineup. Heck, even if you do use Golladay, consider using Jones as well. They both will score at least once this week.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks vs. CIN ($6000 DK, $6800 FD)
Cincinnati’s starting defensive backs may actually be worse than the third and fourth-stringers the Arizona Cardinals are starting this week. They have zero chance of staying in a track meet with the speedster, Tyler Lockett. Lockett had ten touchdowns last year, and with everyone else in their passing game in some degree of injury, that number will rise this year. He should also see more targets with Doug Baldwin retired.
Odell Beckham, Browns vs. TEN ($8100 DK, $8200 FD)
I’m a little concerned about his hip injury, but you have to know that Baker Mayfield wants to pimp out his new toy in front of the Dawg Pound. If he plays the entire game, Odell Beckham will finish as the top WR this week.
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals vs. DET ($4900 DK, $5900 FD)
This game will be a shoot out featuring two teams that have mediocre or worse defenses. To keep up with the points that their awful defense will allow, Kyler Murray will have to throw the ball (probably more than fifty times). He has a lot of weapons to work with, but none has the pedigree of Larry Fitzgerald. Christian Kirk will also get in on the fun, but Fitzgerald will be safe for 8-100-1.
Dede Westbrook, Jaguars vs. KC ($4800 DK, $5900 FD)
Dede Westbrook became everyone’s fantasy darling based on his preseason performances. This week, he gets to continue to play the Alshon Jeffery role in the Nick Foles’ passing game. Alshon posted 16-301 over the final three games of 2018 with Foles at the helm. Expect a similar 6-90 line here in a shootout.
|Irv Smith Jr.||$2,700||$4,000|
Weekly strategy – I’ll limit my exposure to Travis Kelce and George Kittle despite decent matchups. Evan Engram is the obvious pick, and arguably the best. He will also be the most-owned. Hunter Henry is the alternate option at that price point. If you don’t pay up for one of them, just save the money and grab Vernon Davis, Jesse James, Dallas Goedert, Mark Andrews or Austin Hooper.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Evan Engram, Giants @ DAL ($4800 DK, $6400 FD)
There is no more Odell Beckham. There is no Golden Tate. Saquan Barkley will face eight-man fronts. The Giants will likely be playing from behind. All of these trends suggest that Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard will be targeted early and often. In the final four games of 2018 (without Odell Beckham), Engram posted 22-320-1. He was targeted nearly as often in 2017 when Beckham was also out. At this price on DK, it will be hard to fade Engram, especially in cash games.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs @ JAX ($7100 DK, $7800 FD)
Jacksonville has the pass defense to funnel the KC offense through the center of the field. Unfortunately for them, the Chiefs’ best pass-catcher lives in the middle of the field. Travis Kelce may get shadowed by one of those cornerbacks, but if he isn’t then he will eat. Last year, Kelce went for 5-100 against this defense. A repeat performance makes him playable, but not 3X at this price.
Zach Ertz, Eagles vs. WAS ($6100 DK, $7100 FD)
Zach Ertz only has one career TD in twelve games against Washington. However, he does average 6-60 against them, and he has topped 80 yards in four of their last five meetings. I cannot guarantee a score here, but another 7-70 looks like a lock.
George Kittle, 49ers @ TB ($6600 DK, $7300 FD)
George Kittle gets to exploit a Tampa Bay defense that allowed the fifth-most yards to the TE position last year. Kittle averaged more than ten targets per game over the last seven games last year. Expect a similar target load and a higher likelihood of a score here.
Hunter Henry, Chargers vs. IND ($3900 DK, $6100 FD)
Hunter Henry is fully healthy and the team bid adieu to red zone threats Antonio Gates and Tyrell Williams. Henry has twelve career TDs in 29 career games. This was despite both Gates and Williams being there for several of those contests. A touchdown is a lock this week, and 6-60 seems like a nice floor. My only concern is if the Chargers need to keep him inline as a blocker with injuries on their O-line.
Vernon Davis, Redskins @ PHI ($2700 DK, $4000 FD)
Someone has to catch passes in this offense. Feel free to throw fliers at guys like Paul Richardson or Trey Quinn. They might hit. Vernon Davis at least has a veteran presence. Philly has been historically good against tight ends, but Case Keenum might not have enough time to throw it to anyone but his backs and tight ends.