DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 2
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Lamar Jackson ($6,700): It doesn't take much convincing to play Lamar Jackson in cash games this week on DraftKings. On the road against a hapless Miami Dolphins team to begin the year, Jackson threw five touchdowns on only 20 pass attempts for 324 yards. On the ground, Jackson ran just a handful of times for six yards. Last week, the Arizona Cardinals' defense allowed 385 passing yards and three touchdowns to Matthew Stafford, who's playing on a Detroit Lions offense that also presumably wants to be run-heavy. As a massive home favorite, Jackson’s dual-threat ability works together to create a terrific combination of both floor and ceiling.
Tom Brady ($6,400): Since 2013, the New England Patriots are 1-5 on the road against Miami. And even though Tom Brady struggled in several of those contests, the current state of the Dolphins suggests that the past simply doesn’t matter. Regardless of Antonio Brown playing or not, Josh Gordon -- who would be underpriced at $5,800 if AB sits -- still gives Brady the upside to be the highest-scoring quarterback on the week. It’s probably best to find the additional $300 for Jackson in cash games, but Brady works great in any format.
Derek Carr ($5,100): If you want to save at quarterback, Derek Carr is somehow only $300 more than Gardner Minshew. Apparently, the DraftKings player pricing algorithm didn't adjust any of the Oakland Raiders for what should be a high-scoring affair at home against the Kansas City Chiefs. Expect to see extremely high ownership on Josh Jacobs ($4,700), Tyrell Williams ($4,400), and Darren Waller ($3,300). All of that savings at other positions means many are going to pay up at quarterback. Playing Carr in a tournament lineup will likely lead to a very different roster construction.
Alvin Kamara ($8,200): Playing Alvin Kamara is the easiest decision to make in cash games this week. New Orleans is on the road as slight underdogs against a Los Angeles Rams defense that had no answers for Christian McCaffrey, who nearly hit the double-bonus on DraftKings. Last week, Kamara was a threat to do the same, nearly totaling 170 yards on 20 touches while recording a whopping 13 Evaded Tackles, according to PlayerProfiler. Kamara has already faced the Rams three times in his career -- twice he's exceeded 80 rushing yards, and twice more Kamara surpassed 95 receiving yards.
Austin Ekeler ($6,100): Another chalk play that’s easy to roll out in cash is Austin Ekeler. In Week 1, Ekeler was one of only nine running backs to see a snap share of 75 percent or higher. Additionally, he scored both as a rusher and as a receiver. In total, Ekeler saw 12 carries to Justin Jackson's six while also doubling his teammate in targets. Ekeler heads to Detroit facing a Lions defense that saw David Johnson run for 82 yards on 18 carries while catching half a dozen balls for an additional 55 yards. Among running backs who cost more than $5,000, Ekeler is easily the top point-per-dollar value based on numberFire's projections.
Damien Williams ($5,800): Let me get this straight: Damien Williams played on 65 percent of the snaps, saw six targets, seven red-zone touches, and scored a touchdown, yet his price on DraftKings dropped by $500? While LeSean McCoy looked like the superior runner the box score, it’s important to note that much of Shady’s production came in the fourth quarter of a blowout victory. As a sizable favorite on the road in Oakland, Williams may not see garbage time carries once again, but he’s very underpriced and likely to go under-owned in tournaments.
Robert Woods ($6,400): With so many cheap options coming from the Raiders, playing more than one of them makes it very easy to pay up at wide receiver in cash games. In addition to Sammy Watkins ($7,200), another strong option to consider is Robert Woods. According to airyards.com, Woods led the Rams in most receiving categories in Week 1, including 13 targets, eight receptions, 70 receiving yards, 98 air yards, and 44 yards after the catch. In two games against the New Orleans Saints last year, Woods didn't find the end zone but saw double-digit touches in each contest, thanks to the carries he sees on occasion as a ball carrier, and led the team in targets both times. For tournaments, the explosive Brandin Cooks ($6,300) pairs nicely with Jared Goff ($5,900) as each are coming off forgettable Week 1 performances.
John Brown ($5,200): The season opener showed exactly why the Buffalo Bills signed John Brown in free agency. On 10 targets, he recorded seven receptions for 123 yards, saw 133 air yards, and scored a critical touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Buffalo remains on the road but doesn't have far to go as they just opened the season in MetLife Stadium. Facing a New York Giants defense that allowed a combined 264 receiving yards to Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup bodes well for Brown as he looks to smoke yet another vulnerable secondary.
Christian Kirk ($4,500): In addition to losing Jimmy Smith (knee) for multiple weeks, the Baltimore Ravens may have other issues at cornerback after resting Marlon Humphrey (back) and Brandon Carr in Wednesday's practice session. Having corners healthy and available is critical this week as the Cardinals used four wide receivers on 45 plays in Week 1 while the rest of the league combined to do so on only 36 plays. Even though Kirk flopped with only four receptions for 32 yards, his 12 targets and 139 air yards are very encouraging signs. At this extremely low price tag, Kirk has plenty of underlying reasons that make him an intriguing tournament option, even in a perceived difficult matchup.
George Kittle ($6,800): Last year, the Cincinnati Bengals' defense allowed a league-high 11 touchdowns to tight ends and were one of only nine units to surrender more than 1,000 receiving yards to the position. Meanwhile, George Kittle is coming off a disappointing opening game in which he saw 10 targets but managed only 54 yards on eight receptions. However, the tilting part was watching not one but two touchdowns be taken off the board due to offensive penalties. Jimmy Garoppolo didn't do much to push the ball down the field, but Kittle did record more than 30 yards after the catch, something he flashed on the regular during last year's historic breakout.
Darren Waller ($3,300): Sometimes preseason hype and coach speak are indeed accurate. That certainly seems to be the case for Darren Waller after catching seven of his team-high eight targets for 70 yards. Oakland has every reason to keep the targets flowing to Waller as they are significant road underdogs and facing a Kansas City defense that allowed more than 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns to opposing tight ends in 2018. Viewers of Hard Knocks know that it's been a difficult road for Waller to capitalize on his physical gifts -- he's above the 80th-percentile in every Workout Metric on PlayerProfiler -- but his time appears to be now.
Houston D/ST ($2,800): In the season opener, J.J. Watt had perhaps of the worst game of his career, and the team recorded just one sack of Drew Brees. Thankfully, Gardner Minshew is not Drew Brees. And while the sixth-round rookie looked fine in relief of Nick Foles (collarbone), the lopsided scoreboard had a lot to do with it. Last year, Houston finished in the middle of the pack when it came to recording sacks and hits on the opposing quarterback while finishing top-10 in interceptions. Playing at home as near double-digit favorites, the Texans figure to see Minshew dropping back often, putting them in prime position to score fantasy points at a nice price tag.
Pittsburgh D/ST ($2,400): Even though Russell Wilson only attempted 427 passes in 2018, his 51 sacks taken were tied for the third-most in the league. And while the Pittsburgh Steelers managed just eight interceptions a year ago, they tied for the league-lead in sacks and were second in quarterback hits. During the season opener, Wilson took four sacks on only 28 dropbacks and is a slight road underdog this week. Priced only $400 above the minimum salary, Pittsburgh looks like the top cheap defensive unit for those looking to open up a lot of salary for other positions.
Eric McClung is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.