I hope your wallet got a little fatter over Week 1. I know mine did. The biggest pivot I made on Sunday was rostering a few shares of Christian McCaffrey. Of course, make sure to follow me at @NewClearHarley on Twitter for weekend updates (not featuring Colin Jost or Michael Che).
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.
If I spend up at QB this week, it will be for Tom Brady or Lamar Jackson. I’ll have a pittance of exposure to Pat Mahomes, but I feel he will be over-owned in GPPs. That said, Tom Terrific will also be highly owned against the Dolphins and Jackson will be highly owned following last week’s coming out party. Perhaps the smartest move might be rolling out just a few lineups anchored with each of them stacked with their top WRs. Then for the big tourneys, I will roll with Ben Roethlisberger, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, or Jimmy Garoppolo. I also could find the courage to do a few lineups stacking Gardner Minshew with D.J. Chark. Paying up will cost me 13.5%, if I go with one of the cheaper options, I’ll still be locked in at 11%.
There are many questions at the top of the RB dollar chart this week. I feel this is the week to spend less here and throw more at QB/WR/TE. I’ll still back my lineup with one of: Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara or Dalvin Cook, but I’ll pair one of them with a cheap choice such as: Josh Jacobs, Duke Johnson, LeSean McCoy, Kerryon Johnson, one of the Redskins or one of the Patriots. If I also choose to pull my FLEX from this position, I will likely go with one of those Skins or Patriots, again assuming that I have not already used them. Without the FLEX, we are sitting at about 29%. With the FLEX expect to spend 37% here.
The top of the WR list is loaded with stinkers. I will probably still choose between: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adam Thielen, or Amari Cooper at WR1. Sammy Watkins, Julian Edelman, and Antonio Brown are not that much cheaper, but with some savings at RB, I can afford two from that list of six. WR3 will come down to: D.J. Chark, D.K. Metcalf, Tyrell Williams, or Terry McLaurin. I may also consider one of them at FLEX. WR1 and WR2 should cost you 30% on DK and 26% on FD. WR3 will run you around 9% on DK and 10% on FD. Expect the same for FLEX if you go that route here.
I love George Kittle and Travis Kelce here. Of course, on DK, it will be hard to not use Mark Andrews at his reduced price. I also will have exposure to both Darren Waller and Trey Burton (if healthy). T.J. Hockenson is half the price on DK, that he is on FD. There is no way that I will use him on FD, but at $3K he is a bargain on DK. Unfortunately, everyone else knows that too. If you spend up here for Kittle or Kelce, you will be tied up for between 13% and 15%. The cheaper options run around 8% on DK and 10% on FD.
I have four favorites at defense this week: Buffalo, Chicago, Baltimore, and New England. Each come in right around or just below 8% on either site. If I need to save, I’ll consider either Houston or Jacksonville against each other.
Here are my recommended lineups.
At DK: $5.8K at QB for Ben Roethlisberger. $13.5K or less for two of: Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Kerryon Johnson, Duke Johnson and Josh Jacobs (leaning Kamara and Jacobs). My FLEX will be from this list: D.K. Metcalf, Chris Thompson, Adrian Peterson, Rex Burkhead, Terry McLaurin and Cole Beasley. None will cost more than $4.5K. No more than $14.5K for two of: Amari Cooper, Juju Smith-Schuster, Sammy Watkins, Adam Thielen, Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman, and Kenny Golladay at WR1 and WR2. $4.5K for D.J. Chark, D.K. Metcalf, or Tyrell Williams at WR3. $3.8K for Mark Andrews. $3.7K for Patriots’ defense.
At FD: $7.8K for Tom Brady. $8.7K for Zeke or Kamara. $6.6K for Kerryon or Jacobs. $5K for FLEX of choice from the list above (leaning Chris Thompson). $15K or less for two of the above-listed WR1 and WR2 (leaning Watkins and Edelman). $6K or less for your choice at WR3 (leaning Tyrell Williams). $7.1K for George Kittle. $3.8K for the Jaguars’ defense.
At Fanball (includes Sunday Night): Ben Roethlisberger, Alvin Kamara, Kerryon Johnson, Juju Smith-Schuster, D.K. Metcalf, D.J. Chark, Travis Kelce, Ezekiel Elliott and the Patriots.
At Fantasy Draft (includes Sun Night): Brady, Kerryon, Kamara, Watkins, Tyrell Williams, Darren Waller, Matt Breida, Austin Ekeler, Patriots’ defense.
|Gardner Minshew II||$4,800||$6,400|
Weekly strategy – I will spend up some on Tom Brady, Pat Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. That said, I know they will each be highly owned. The wiser plays are: Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford, and Derek Carr. Gardner Minshew is the only possible punt play and I recommend doing at least one stack with him.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Pat Mahomes, Chiefs @ OAK ($7500 DK, $9000 FD)
Pat Mahomes picked up right where he left off with another 300+ yard performance and another three-pack of scores. Last year, Mahomes scored six TDs over the two games versus Oakland despite not topping the 300-yard mark. This year, the 300 is torched and the three scores is a lock.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens vs. ARI ($6700 DK, $8200 FD)
So, apparently, Lamar Jackson can throw the ball too. He won’t have nearly as easy a contest this time around since Arizona only allowed three passing TDs in Week 1. All kidding aside, Jackson will have lots of opportunities to throw willy-nilly here against a short-handed secondary. He could also just run the ball since Arizona is still only middle-of-the-road against opposing ground games.
Tom Brady, Patriots @ MIA ($6400 DK, $7800 FD)
Remember what Lamar Jackson did to this collection of ham-and-eggers last week. Now they get to face a much more seasoned QB in Tom Brady. Oh yeah, Brady also gets to add Antonio Brown to his artillery (assuming he isn’t suspended by the league due to some questionable rape allegations). The only thing keeping Brady out of the top slot this week is that he won’t play the full game and the team will run extensively.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. SEA ($5800 DK, $7600 FD)
Ben Roethlisberger is at home. Whenever you see this, start him! Big Ben has 53 more career passing TDs at home than he does on the road. This comes despite him having more career road games played than home games. No team gave up more passing yards Week 1 than Seattle. That was against a bad Cincinnati offense. Big Ben should easily throw for 300-3 making him a great stack with Juju Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Donte Moncrief, and/or Vance McDonald.
Matthew Stafford, Lions vs. LAC ($5200 DK, $7000 FD)
The Chargers are short-handed on both offense and defense. Matthew Stafford should have more than enough time to pick apart this defense and find both Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and great deep-sleeper, Danny Amendola. The offense also used T.J. Hockenson repeatedly last week. On DK, a stack of Stafford and Hockenson will be money.
Derek Carr, Raiders vs. KC ($5100 DK, $6600 FD)
The only offense better than the Chiefs now could very well be whichever team is facing the Chiefs. This team just allowed Gardner Minshew to look like an All-Pro. Derek Carr had a solid Week 1, and his price wasn’t overly adjusted due to his late game status. If you decide to punt QB this week, stack Carr and Tyrell Williams or consider floating Jalen Richard into the mix as well.
|Todd Gurley II||$7,000||$7,000|
|Mark Ingram II||$6,000||$7,500|
|Darrell Henderson Jr.||$3,900||$4,700|
Weekly strategy – I will pair one high-priced option: Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott or Dalvin Cook with one medium-priced option: Kerryon Johnson, Matt Breida, James White, Duke Johnson, Josh Jacobs, LeSean McCoy, or Gio Bernard. I will also consider: Chris Thompson, Adrian Peterson, Rex Burkhead, Jalen Richard or Latavius Murray as a FLEX play.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Alvin Kamara, Saints @ LAR ($8200 DK, $8700 FD)
The Los Angeles Rams were absolutely neutered last week by Christian McCaffrey. C-Mac proved too much to handle both on the ground and through the air. This week, that same defense faces a similar weapon in Alvin Kamara. Anything close to McCaffrey’s line will easily make Kamara the top back this week. Worst case scenario, he splits 200 total yards and a pair of scores with Latavius Murray.
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys @ WAS ($8700 DK, $8500 FD)
Washington will find themselves down fast in this contest leaving the door open for a busy second half for Ezekiel Elliott. In five career meetings, Zeke is averaging nearly 120 total yards per game against Washington, and he has scored at least once in four of those five contests. 120-1 appears to be his floor this week.
Dalvin Cook, Vikings @ GB ($7200 DK, $7900 FD)
The Vikings employed a run-first, run-second, run-third offense last week. Dalvin Cook (and Alexander Mattison) were the beneficiaries. Strangely enough, Cook’s price tag is still reasonable. Green Bay allowed a league-worst 15 receptions and a league second-worst 93 receiving yards to the RB position last week. Cook will see his share of swing passes this week as Mike Zimmer expands his offense beyond strictly handoffs.
James Conner, Steelers vs. SEA ($6800 DK, $7700 FD)
James Conner’s stat line should be inflated thanks to the assumed domination at home by Ben Roethlisberger. Conner scored eight of his 13 TDs last year at home. He won’t need to handle a ton of carries, but I can easily see him hauling in five or six passes and totaling well over 100 yards, plus at least one score.
Giovanni Bernard, Bengals vs. SF ($5300 DK, $5700 FD)
If Joe Mixon is unable to play (and it sounds as if he won’t), Giovanni Bernard steps right into a golden opportunity. Of course, even if Mixon plays and is limited, Bernard will have his usual role as COP and pass-catching back. The 49ers allowed 171 total yards to the RB position in Week 1. Last year, Bernard posted 182-3 over the two games he started in place of Mixon. Another 100 total yards and a score seems safe.
Josh Jacobs, Raiders vs. KC ($4700 DK, $6500 FD)
Josh Jacobs’ price was not bumped too high due to the late game on MNF. If DK and FD had the stats from that game to factor into their equations, his price would be much higher. The Chiefs fared better against the run than the pass Week 1. Unfortunately for them, that is akin to someone saying that getting punched in the gut is better than getting punched in the face. Jacobs posted 85-2 on the ground last week to go along with a long reception as well. Jalen Richard will still steal a lot of the pass-catching work, but another 100 total yards and a score are a lock for Jacobs.
|Allen Robinson II||$6,100||$7,200|
|Will Fuller V||$5,300||$6,100|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||$4,900||$5,700|
|John Ross III||$4,600||$6,400|
|DJ Chark Jr.||$4,500||$5,400|
|Willie Snead IV||$4,500||$5,000|
|Paul Richardson Jr.||$4,000||$4,700|
|Ted Ginn Jr.||$4,000||$5,000|
Weekly strategy – I am planning on splitting WR1 and WR2 between the following players: Juju Smith-Schuster, Sammy Watkins, Amari Cooper, Adam Thielen, Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman and Kenny Golladay. WR3 will come from: D.J. Chark, Will Fuller, Marvin Jones, Randall Cobb, D.K. Metcalf, one of the Redskins, one of the Cowboys or one of the Bills. I could also see looking at that WR3 tier to select a FLEX if I don’t use an RB at that slot.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Juju Smith-Schuster, Steelers vs. SEA ($7500 DK, $8100 FD)
We anticipated that Juju Smith-Schuster would breakout without Antonio Brown in the lineup last week. He had a solid but wholly unspectacular line and failed to score. This week at home, Juju makes a great stack with Big Ben as Seattle was torched for the second-most WR receiving yards last week by a unit featuring the bum John Ross. If Ross can burn this team for 7-158-2, Smith-Schuster may very well top 300 yards.
Sammy Watkins, Chiefs @ OAK ($7200 DK, $7400 FD)
So Jalen Ramsey failed to shut down the top WR for the Chiefs Week 1. Of course, we all thought it would be Tyreek Hill as the top option. Unfortunately, Hill sustained an injury and that vaulted Watkins to the primary option. Courtland Sutton posted 7-120 against this defense last week. That has to be seen as Watkins’ floor. That said, I trust Pat Mahomes a lot more than Joe Flacco. So, Watkins will definitely score this week as well.
DeAndre Hopkins, Texans vs. JAX ($8100 DK, $9000 FD)
DeAndre Hopkins has the assumed tough matchup with Jalen Ramsey (see above) this week. He also was supposed to have a tough matchup last week with Marshon Lattimore. His tough matchup last week netted him 8-111-2. The line won’t be that big this week as Ramsey has more familiarity with him and because Hopkins is battling a rib issue. He will still bring in 6-80-1, but that feels like a down week for him.
Antonio Brown, Patriots @ MIA ($7000 DK, $7800 FD)
You know that Antonio Brown, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will be strategizing to get Brown involved early and often in this game. Miami has given up already after just one week, Brown should score without any effort here despite potentially locking horns with Xavien Howard.
D.J. Chark, Jaguars @ HOU ($4500 DK, $5400 FD)
Nick Foles to Dede Westbrook was supposed to be the sneaky good hookup this year for Jacksonville. No one predicted we would be talking about stacking Gardner Minshew and D.J. Chark in Week 2. Michael Thomas went off for 10-123 against this defense last week, but Chark is not Michael Thomas. I’d still take half of that and a score at this price.
Tyrell Williams, Raiders vs. KC ($4400 DK, $5900 FD)
Who needs Antonio Brown when you have Tyrell Williams? At this point, the Chargers probably wish they hadn’t let the other Williams walk. In his first action as a true number one option, he finished at 6-105-1. That was while spending part of the game going against the very good Chris Harris. The Chiefs looked rotten against the pass while facing Jacksonville, allowing a huge game by D.J. Chark and a solid game by Dede Westbrook. Tyrell could easily repeat his Week 1 output.
Weekly strategy – I’m cool with spending up for Travis Kelce and George Kittle this week in great matchups. That said, it will be hard to pass on T.J. Hockenson or Mark Andrews at DK based on their prices. Darren Waller and Delanie Walker have decent matchups in the mid-price range, and Trey Burton could have the best matchup of all (if he can get on the field). If Burton doesn’t play, Adam Shaheen could be a decent punt play.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Travis Kelce, Chiefs @ OAK ($7300 DK, $8000 FD)
Travis Kelce faces an Oakland defense that he torched for 17-230-2 over their two contests last year. We didn’t see Denver use their TEs much against the Raiders Week 1, but Oakland has been historically weak against the position. With Tyreek Hill for the foreseeable future, expect Pat Mahomes to target Kelce even more. This should mean a stronger final line than his Week 1 3-88.
George Kittle, 49ers @ CIN ($6800 DK, $7100 FD)
We get to watch last years’ breakout tight end face one of the leagues’ worst teams against opposing TEs for most of the past decade. George Kittle led the 49ers in targets in Week 1 with ten, expect more of the same this time around.
Mark Andrews, Ravens vs. ARI ($3800 DK, $6100 FD)
Many prognosticators believe that Mark Andrews will be this years’ George Kittle. Through Week 1, that argument definitely seems defendable. The Cardinals just allowed 7-146-1 to the position (mostly T.J. Hockenson) in their opener, and frankly, they still have too many holes to account for all the Ravens’ weapons. Andrews could easily approach his 8-108-1 line from Week 1.
Darren Waller, Raiders vs. KC ($3300 DK, $5400 FD)
Many prognosticators also believed that Darren Waller would be this years’ Jared Cook. Through Week 1, that also seems likely. Oakland targeted Waller a team high eight times and he hauled in 7-70. That kind of sure hands will endear the tight end to his QB. The Chiefs allowed the unholy duo of James O’Shaughnessy and Geoff Swaim to catch eight passes. That should be Waller’s floor as he joins Tyrell Williams as a great stack with Derek Carr.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions vs. LAC ($3000 DK, $6000 FD)
So, I thought tight ends weren’t supposed to do anything their first year? Matt Patricia used T.J. Hockenson in a role similar to how he deployed Rob Gronkowski with the Patriots. He won’t surprise anyone this week, but at that price on DK, he makes a nice play. Of course, he will also be chalk.
Vernon Davis, Redskins vs. DAL ($3200 DK, $5100 FD)
This comes down to whether Jordan Reed plays. He is trending in the right direction, but he has to pass all legs of the concussion protocol. If Reed cannot go, Vernon Davis gets another shot to produce. Last week, Davis tied for second on the team with seven targets. He also scored a TD. Meanwhile, Dallas allowed the Giants tight ends (mostly Evan Engram) to post 12-124-1 against them.