If it seemed as if every value QB was injured last week, they were. Unfortunately, this leaves us with a lot of huge question marks at the position this week. The remaining value guys are just not reliable enough to lead your DFS lineups here. When this happens, it forces you to spend up at a position that is often flush with value choices. Just know that you will likely have to pinch pennies at another position. For me, that will be WR.
DFS: The Primetime Slate
Green Bay has a second consecutive primetime matchup as they travel west to San Francisco. Aaron Rodgers finished Week 2 with four passing TDs but only 255 yards. I’d imagine he could throw for more yards this week, but I doubt he rolls up to four scores again. I see him finishing with 325-3 as a ceiling, which should put him as QB1 here.
When scouting this slate’s QBs, one of these things is not like the others. That being Jimmy Garoppolo. Yes, Green Bay’s defense has been shoddy so far, but all three of the other QBs are both more appealing and safer simultaneously. I will probably use him in only one or two lineups paired with either Deebo Samuel or George Kittle.
Aaron Jones lambasted the Lions last week. It was night and day compared to his sloth-like Week 1. Three of Jones’ touchdowns came through the air. Detroit produced big receiving lines for both Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift in Week 1 against this defense. Unfortunately, Week 2 produced only so-so stats allowed to anyone not named Jalen Hurts. Still, Jones is the RB1 on this slate without any question. A.J. Dillon has been little more than a mop-up back through the first two weeks. I’d leave him on the bench.
Green Bay has been serviceable against the run, but neither opponent has really challenged them. San Francisco and their wheel of injured backs will not produce enough value to make any of them start-worthy. Elijah Mitchell suffered a shoulder injury, but he is the most likely among last week’s active corps to play this week. Trey Sermon will be spending the near future on the concussion protocol. If he plays, we still have to deal with the invisible hand of Kyle Shanahan who has become as mercurial about RBs as Bill Belichick. Plus, the Niners are auditioning the retread remains of T.J. Yeldon, Lamar Miller, and Duke Johnson. Yuck. I don’t want any part of this fiasco. The only possible play is Mitchell and you will feel sick if he gets knocked out immediately. I suppose you could use Kyle Juszczyk in Showdown lineups.
San Francisco has limited outside receivers to minimal production through two weeks. Quintez Cephus and Tyrell Williams combined for 5-26-1 in Week 1 and in Week 2, Jalen Reagor and DeVonta Freeman were held in check. This should probably temper your excitement for Davante Adams, but he will remain no worse than the WR3 on this slate. The Niners have given up a big play to each of the two slot receivers they have faced so far. Unfortunately, Randall Cobb‘s reunion with Aaron Rodgers hasn’t led to a big play as of yet. He makes a punt WR3 play this week at best. Marquez Valdes-Scantling led the team in targets in Week 1, but he was only targeted four times in Week 2 bringing in zero catches. I feel there are better options to pursue at WR3. Allen Lazard is not one of them. He was wide open on the touchdown pass to Robert Tonyan last week, and Rodgers didn’t look his way then. In fact, Rodgers didn’t look his way at any point Monday night. I wouldn’t even bother with any of the other Packers’ depth receivers.
The Packers have a great CB by the name of Jaire Alexander. He will likely shadow Deebo Samuel. This limits my excitement for Samuel, but he still is in the WR1/WR2 conversation on a slate with limited great options. If Brandon Aiyuk can stay out of Shanahan’s doghouse and play more than 50% of the snaps this week, he may be the safer play. We know he has talent, he just hasn’t shown it yet this year. Trent Sherfield played a third of the snaps last week, but his line was pathetic. As Aiyuk returns to relevancy, Sherfield will fade quickly to the background. I’ll leave him on the bench. Jauan Jennings scored last week, but he only played SIX snaps. That is not enough usage to justify reaching for him or chasing a TD.
Robert Tonyan caught all three of his targets for 52 yards and a score in Week 2. Still, the TD he caught was on a pass that shouldn’t even have been thrown in his direction. I’m scared the TD regression will be a real thing this year for Tonyan, making him no better than my TE3 here. San Francisco is strong enough against the position to keep me disinterested in any of the Green Bay depth TEs.
George Kittle may no longer be the consensus TE3 in the NFL, but he is the consensus TE1 on this slate. Green Bay does not have nearly enough in their secondary to limit the hard-to-tackle tight end. The Packers have been owned by the position the first two weeks, and it won’t be any easier here. I like Kittle to re-establish himself with a 10-135-1 game, making Kittle a gorgeous buy-low candidate in redraft leagues.
The Green Bay defense has been awful in reality, and in fantasy. They couldn’t even take advantage of Jared Goff last week. Yes, Jimmy Garoppolo is the worst QB on this slate, but I’m not reaching for the Pack here. San Francisco has been mediocre in reality, but they have accrued quite a few points for their fantasy owners. I’ll likely use either them or Philly.
Monday night, We get an NFC East battle between the Eagles and Dallas. The Cowboys haven’t faced a running QB this season, but they allowed the fourth-most QB rushing yards last year. This included a 9-69 line posted by Jalen Hurts. Hurts has averaged 72 rushing yards over the first two weeks. Unfortunately, his passing numbers were bad in Week 2 after a solid start to the year. Only one team has allowed more passing yards to start the year, so Hurts will get the chance this week to prove that he is more than just a pair of legs. Combine that with his rushing numbers and Hurts will jockey with Aaron Rodgers as my QB1.
Through two weeks, we have seen both extremes of a game script by the Cowboys. Dak Prescott had a huge Week 1 against a TB defense that you cannot run against. Then in Week 2, Dak faced a Los Angeles Chargers defense that is harder to throw against than run against. This led Prescott to a goose egg. Philadelphia has been the stingiest team against opposing passing attacks over the first two weeks. I don’t think this is a mirage. I’ll have minimal exposure to Prescott as QB3 of this slate, but this just feels like a run-forward game for Dallas.
Miles Sanders sets up as a good/not-great RB2 option here against a Dallas defense that has been solid against opposing RBs on the ground but that has allowed an average of nine RB receptions per game. I also like Kenneth Gainwell as a change-of-pace back. He could be used as a FLEX play this week.
Dallas’ No. 1 running back, Ezekiel Elliott has actually been outperformed by his understudy, Tony Pollard. Both of these backs deserve consideration at RB2 this week. Zeke has been a steady force against the Eagles over his career, averaging 138 combo yards per game and 5.5 receptions per game.
Dallas has allowed the league’s second-worst 242 WR receiving yards per game. This includes allowing multiple WR1-level performances each week. DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor are the de facto WR1 and WR2, respectively, of Philly. One will tangle with Trevon Diggs, limiting their value slightly. Still, either could be deployed as your WR2. I prefer Smith because he has more talent. Quez Watkins might be the wild card here. His size makes him a mismatch out of the slot. He doesn’t get a ton of volume, but he makes up for that with some big catches. If Diggs locks down one of the starters outside, Watkins could peel out a sneaky WR3-worthy role this week.
Amari Cooper is dinged up, and he is facing a defense that has limited Calvin Ridley and Deebo Samuel to a total of 11-144-0. Every other WR to face Philadelphia has combined to post a total of 4-32-1. Even if Cooper plays through his rib injury, I expect him to be used more as a decoy. This means that CeeDee Lamb will get the WR1 rub and be the only safe play in the Cowboys’ passing game. I suppose, if you need to save some money, you could use Cedrick Wilson as a punt WR3, but I believe he is best left for Showdown slates only.
Dallas got Gronk’ed in Week 1, but they held Jared Cook in check last week. I believe that is more due to Los Angeles funneling the ball to just Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen. Zach Ertz has only four targets and three catches through two games. Add to that an early-week visit to the COVID list, and Ertz is nearly unplayable this week. I’m hoping he doesn’t play, because then we can get a full game of Dallas Goedert as the featured TE. Goedert has only seven targets so far, but he could beyond double that this week if Ertz is out. Last year, Goedert was pedestrian against the Cowboys, but in 2019 he posted 13-160-2 over two games. If Ertz is out Goedert is the lock TE2 here and a great double-TE play with Kittle. If both Ertz and Goedert play, I’ll still consider Goedert, but knockdown his numbers slightly.
Choosing between Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin has been tough this year. They have the same number of targets, but Schultz has two more receptions and six more receiving yards. The Eagles have limited both Kyle Pitts and George Kittle over the first two weeks. So, neither is a must-play. I’ll give the slight edge to Schultz because I like his last name. Just know that if Amari Cooper ends up out, both of them will see more targets.
Dallas has been more effective as a fantasy defense through the first two weeks, but they are shorthanded. Meanwhile, Philly has produced very little from their fantasy defense, but their actual defense has been pretty solid. I’m not sold on either of them for this week, but the other game isn’t much better. I’ll probably just choose between San Fran and Philly.
The Main Slate: My recommended DFS lineups
At DK: $7.8k for Lamar Jackson. $8.6k for Derrick Henry. $6.5k for Saquon Barkley. $5k for Rondale Moore. $5.6k for Marquise Brown. $4.9k for Marvin Jones. $3k for Gerald Everett. $4.6k for Cordarrelle Patterson at FLEX. $3.4k for the Las Vegas Raiders defense.
At FD: $8.4k for Jackson. $9.7k for Henry. $6k for Barkley. $7.2k for DK Metcalf. $6.6k for Brown. $4.9k for Van Jefferson. $6.3k for T.J. Hockenson. $5.9k for Patterson at FLEX. $5k for the Denver Broncos defense.
At Fanball (SuperFlex – includes Sun Night): Jackson, Matt Ryan at SF, Henry, Dalvin Cook, Barkley at FLEX, Patterson (at WR), Hollywood, Tyler Conklin, and Noah Fant.
Weekly strategy – Thanks to all of the QB injuries, this docket is loaded with landmines. With this in mind, it may just make your life easier to pay up for one of the studs. Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson have the most upside this week. I also do not mind pivoting to either Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, or Kirk Cousins. I will likely avoid Tom Brady as his matchup concerns me. As usual, FD’s pricing is a tad high for my value options. So I will likely pay up on that site. On DK, I could see taking a chance on Derek Carr (if he isn’t limited), Daniel Jones, Matt Ryan, or Teddy Bridgewater for slight cost savings.
Kyler Murray, Cardinals @ JAX
($8,300 DK, $9,000 FD)
Kyler Murray outperformed my expectations last week. This week’s matchup is easier on paper, but it may be so easy that he gets some pine-time in the second half. Murray will top 25 points without much effort, but he may struggle to reach 3x on FD if Jacksonville can’t keep this game competitive.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens @DET
($7,800 DK, $8,400 FD)
Unlike the Jaguars, we know that Detroit can keep the game competitive throughout. This means that the Ravens will not be able to take their feet off the accelerator. Accelerated feet are what makes Jackson so valuable. It doesn’t matter that he will end up with 240-2 as a passing ceiling. With him, it is all about the 100 yards and at least one score he will net on the ground.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ MIN
($7,600 DK, $8,400 FD)
Minnesota was the defense that Kyler Murray engulfed last week, but they seemed to play better than in Week 1, and they are at home this week. I still believe that Wilson will throw for 300-3 and should hit 3x on both sites. It just isn’t as certain as you might think. If I use him, then I will definitely pair him with DK Metcalf and/or Gerald Everett, since I cannot trust that Tyler Lockett will have three big games in a row.
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs vs. LAC
($8,200 DK, $8,700 FD)
This price seems a little bit low for Mahomes, but the Chargers actually have a pretty solid secondary. Over their last three contests, Mahomes has thrown for only an average of 219 yards and 1.3 TDs. We also know after last week that teams can run through, around, and over Los Angeles. Of course, after the fumble by Clyde Edwards-Helaire last week, it remains to be seen how much trust Andy Reid has in him. Still, the game is at Arrowhead and Patrick Mahomes is Patrick Mahomes, so a floor of 300-2 still sounds about right.
Daniel Jones, Giants vs. ATL
($5,800 DK, $7,400 FD)
This is less about me trusting Jones and more about me laughing at Atlanta’s defense. Jones has aided his value this season thanks to his legs, scoring a rushing TD in each game. Atlanta has already faced one rushing QB in Jalen Hurts, and he posted 62 rushing yards. Jones isn’t Hurts when it comes to designed runs, but he scampers with the best of them. What makes this matchup even juicier is that Atlanta has already allowed eight passing TDs this year. I feel many will stack Jones with Sterling Shepard based on the presumed target volume. This may be the week to pivot and use Kenny Golladay (assuming he plays this week). His numbers weren’t great last week, but he did have eight targets.
Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos vs. NYJ
($5,800 DK, $7,300 FD)
It pains me to give props to Bridgewater here. Still, #Teddy1TD has thrown for two TDs in both games so far. He wasn’t even hindered by the loss of his favorite target last week. The Jets’ passing defense hasn’t really been challenged yet … and frankly, they won’t be this week either. Still, locking in 275-2 at a bargain price on this QB-unfriendly slate looks better than it probably is. If Noah Fant is good to go, he is the stack with Bridgewater. If Fant misses this game, I could even see using Albert Okwuegbunam as a punt-TE in the stack.
Weekly strategy – This feels like the week to blow your budget on top RBs. Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook have ridiculously great matchups. I will do everything possible to build lineups with both of them. That said, keep an eye on Cook’s injury status as he left last week’s game a couple of times. Where I need to save money, I could see pivoting to Austin Ekeler, Saquon Barkley, Chris Carson, or David Montgomery. I see very little opportunity to roster three from that group, so expect that your FLEX will either come from another position or from a punt-RB play. Those possibilities this week include Ty’Son Williams, Chase Edmonds, James Robinson, Kenyan Drake (if Josh Jacobs does not play), either Bronco, or either Falcon.
Derrick Henry, Titans vs IND
($8,600 DK, $9,700 FD)
At halftime of the Titans game last week, I put out a dis tweet in regards to Henry. Apparently, someone showed him my tweet and he went bat guano crazy in the second half. I’ll take the victory lap for lighting a fire under the big galoot. This week, Henry gets to face an Indy defense that he trucked for a total of 294-3 in two contests last year. This year, Henry is seeing more passes (I assume this is a by-product of Jonnu Smith being gone). If he can add 3-35 through the air to his usual 125-1 on the ground Henry is set.
Dalvin Cook, Vikings vs. SEA
($8,400 DK, $9,500 FD)
The team that Derrick Henry woke up against last week was the Seattle Seahawks. Henry finished with 237 total yards, which were impressive enough to suggest that Cook could go off this week. It wasn’t just Henry though, In Week 1, Nyheim Hines and Jonathan Taylor combined for 198 combo yards as well. Cook did exit last week on a couple of occasions, but he returned to finish out the game with 148 total yards. A similar line is in play here as Minnesota plays keep away from the Seattle quick-strike offense.
Austin Ekeler, Chargers @ KC
($7,200 DK, $7,000 FD)
In Week 2, the Chargers remembered that Ekeler was one of their best pass catchers. Kudos to the coaching staff and Justin Herbert for remembering that. The Chiefs have been gouged this year by opposing rushing attacks. Week 1, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for a total of 162-3 and last week the three-headed backfield of Baltimore finished with a combined 158-1. Not even including all of the yardage allowed to Lamar Jackson on the ground. Ekeler’s numbers were stunted in Week 1 when he wasn’t thrown to against a studly WFT front seven. Last week, he averaged 6 YPC to go along with nine receptions against a much worse Dallas defense. That is important to note since KC’s run defense is worse than Dallas’. The bonus with Ekeler is that even if the Chiefs jump out to a big lead, Ekeler will remain in as a pass-catching option.
Saquon Barkley, Giants vs. ATL
($6,500 DK, $6,000 FD)
Barkley finally started looking as if he was ready to carry a heavier workload last week. His snap count raised to 84% and his 15 touches were 3x as many as all of the other New York RBs combined. Atlanta allowed both Kenneth Gainwell and Miles Sanders to produce quality lines in Week 1, and they even allowed the unholy trinity of Tampa Bay rushers to look serviceable last week. As long as Barkley’s knee holds up, this will be the easiest 3x return of any back this week. Plus, this will be the cheapest that Barkley’s salary will be all season.
Kenyan Drake, Raiders vs. MIA
($5,500 DK, $5,700 FD)
Drake has failed to get anything going on the ground this season, even with the injury to Josh Jacobs last week. Of course, he has also faced Baltimore and Pittsburgh — two very solid run defenses. What Drake has done is haul in five passes in each game. Certainly, there is more talent in Drake than there is in the aged corpse of Peyton Barber. So if Jacobs is out again, we should expect a better rushing game from Drake than we have seen to date. Even if Vegas continues to split the touches between Drake and Barber, Miami has allowed two different fantasy-relevant performances by running backs in each of the first two weeks.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Falcons @ NYG
($4,600 DK, $5,900 FD)
Patterson was the talk of the Twitter community this week as season-long leagues debated his position eligibility. Both FD and DK have him RB eligible this week, making him a great sleeper play against a New York defense that was pounded by Denver in Week 1 and that couldn’t stop J.D. McKissic through the air last week. Mike Davis has gotten little respect this season, and his 3.6 YPC isn’t helping his cause. Meanwhile, Patterson is averaging more than a yard more per carry, and he scored twice last week. Davis can be used as well, and he may actually be the better play (especially on FD where his price is cheaper). Both will have the ability to return value, but Patterson will have higher ownership.
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||$3,300||$5,000|
Weekly strategy – DK Metcalf and Justin Jefferson are my favorite pair this week. That said, with the money I am spending at RB and QB, I will be forced to choose just one of them. I also like DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs‘ matchups, but they are both further out of my price range. To save a few bucks, I could use Adam Thielen or Keenan Allen. I could also use one of the Titans. Still, I am likely bargain shopping this week. That means targeting WR2 types at WR1 and WR3 types at WR2. Sterling Shepard and Kenny Golladay (if he plays) for the Giants, Marquise Brown, and Robert Woods could be discount options to use up top. I could also use one of them at WR2 if I can shave some costs elsewhere. More likely, I am using Rondale Moore, Cole Beasley, Zach Pascal, or Marvin Jones at WR2. This implies that I will be bottom-feeding at WR3, looking for a volume play on a bad team (Braxton Berrios or Quintez Cephus) or a depth WR such as KJ Hamler, K.J. Osborn, Olamide Zaccheaus, Van Jefferson, or one of the Browns.
DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals @ JAX
($8,200 DK, $8,500 FD)
Hopkins paid off last week with a TD, but his receptions and yardage were stunted by all of the other weapons for Arizona. Minnesota also schemed well to eliminate the damage that Hopkins could do. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, their secondary is shoddier than Minnesota’s. They have been lit up by the “dynamic offenses” of Houston and Denver so far. I’m a little concerned about Hopkins (ribs) not getting a full game’s worth of snaps here, but he should still approach 3x value before getting some rest in the fourth quarter.
DK Metcalf, Seahawks @ MIN
($7,300 DK, $7,200 FD)
Tyler Lockett managed to go off for a second straight week. Congrats to him. As a prize, his salary gets to shoot up. Here is the brutal truth, Minnesota’s secondary is not good. The other brutal truth is that Tyler Lockett is about as likely to have three “blow-up” games in a row as I am to win the Powerball. So, when Lockett slacks this week, Metcalf will be the primary beneficiary.
Justin Jefferson, Vikings vs. SEA ($7,200 DK, $7,400 FD)
Adam Thielen has Kirk Cousins’ eyes in the red zone, but Justin Jefferson is the stronger bet to score from any spot on the field. Seattle won’t be able to double both of them (especially with the emergence of K.J. Osborn). This suggests that Cousins will find Jefferson at some point, and he will take it to the house. Thielen is cheaper on DK, and I like him there as well, but Jefferson is cheaper on FD, making him the better play there.
Stefon Diggs, Bills vs. WFT
($7,600 DK, $7,700 FD)
Possession receivers such as Sterling Shepard and Keenan Allen have feasted on the WFT so far this year. Diggs has led the team in targets both weeks so far (sharing the lead Week 1). He also got into the end zone last week, something I am counting on again this week. Look for Diggs to finish with about 8-80-1 as he continues to be the primary focal point of the Buffalo offense.
Marquise Brown Ravens @ DET
($5,600 DK, $6,600 FD)
What does Brown have to do to get his salary to rise on these sites? He leads Baltimore in every receiving category. He has scored in both games. He has Lamar Jackson’s full trust, and his only competition right now is Sammy Watkins (who is just about due to turn back into a pumpkin). At this reduced price, you can confidently use Brown as your WR1 stacked with Jackson and help save some of that moolah for RB.
Marvin Jones, Jaguars vs. ARI
($4,900 DK, $6,300 FD)
Jones has quickly identified himself as the alpha dog for the Jaguars. He has scored in both games, and he is averaging 10 targets per game. D.J. Chark may have shaded Jones from the top CB against Denver, but both should have success against this defense. Remember, both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson (plus K.J. Osborn) all scored against the Cardinals last week. We know that Jacksonville will be playing from behind here, so sit back and enjoy some garbage time stats.
Weekly strategy – I cannot afford Travis Kelce or Darren Waller this week. It is too bad as both are strong plays (especially Waller at his price). If I spend here, it will be for T.J. Hockenson, Kyle Pitts, or Noah Fant. I really do not like any of the mid-priced options this week. I guess you could use Tyler Higbee or Austin Hooper, but neither light my fire. If I don’t pay up, expect me to just punt down to Maxx Williams, Gerald Everett, or Tyler Conklin.
Darren Waller, Raiders vs. MIA
($7,400 DK, $7,400 FD)
Miami allowed Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith to combine for 8-73 in Week 1, and they allowed Dawson Knox to score last week. Meanwhile, Waller leads all of the NFL in targets, and he is tied for fifth in receptions. The Raiders are throwing the ball a lot, and most of those throws are in Waller’s general direction. At roughly $1k less than Travis Kelce, Waller has a higher likelihood of hitting 3x. Just make sure that Derek Carr gets a clean bill of health, because no one other than Jon Gruden trusts Nathan Peterman.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. LAC ($8,200 DK, $8,500 FD)
This ranking is purely based on salary. Kelce is still the best TE in football, and he will produce no matter what team he is facing. I don’t need to tell you that playing Kelce is smart, but just know that if you choose him this week, you will have to pay down at RB. Plus, as I mentioned above Patrick Mahomes hasn’t exactly dominated against the Chargers recently.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions vs. BAL
($5,200 DK, $6,300 FD)
If you like the dollar savings going from Travis Kelce down to Darren Waller, you should be ecstatic to drop another $2k on DK and $1k on FD to roster Hockenson. Hockenson leads all TEs in receptions, and he is trailing only Waller for targets and receiving yards. Baltimore should be ready to face an explosive TE seeing as how they have started the year facing Waller and Kelce in back-to-back games. Of course, they failed miserably against both of them, so maybe not.
Kyle Pitts, Falcons @ NYG
($4,900 DK, $6,200 FD)
Speaking of teams forced to face quality TEs every week, New York got Noah Fant in Week 1 and Logan Thomas in Week 2. Both produced solid stat lines but neither scored. A strange quirk was that in both of those games the opponent’s No. 2 TE scored. So, despite the small sample size, Hayden Hurst at $2.8k on DK might be a sneaky play as well.
Maxx Williams, Cardinals @ JAX
($3,200 DK, $4,700 FD)
The Cardinals don’t need another receiving weapon, but they found one last week in Williams. Williams was a great receiving TE in college at Minnesota, but he was generally ignored in Baltimore. With defenses attending to Christian Kirk, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, and Rondale Moore, Williams should be completely uncovered most of the time. It is scary to think that Kyler Murray now realizes this. Williams will obviously be the fourth option, at best, in this passing offense, but one TD and he hits 3x on DK.
Gerald Everett, Seahawks @ MIN
($3,000 DK, $5,000 FD)
The reason Maxx Williams worked his way into this article was due to what he did to Minnesota last week. The Vikings will have their hands full covering Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, and this could allow Everett to produce a similar line to the one authored by Williams last week. The biggest difference between the two is that Everett has at least established himself as a legit TE in the league already. I don’t love the lack of targets he has received this year, but he still has outproduced Will Dissly.