Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity — that’s what fantasy football is all about. Each week I aggregate projections from around the internet and find the best DFS values from a dollar-per-opportunity perspective.
With Week 1 in the books let’s take a quick look back to see the results. The chalk hit big so kudos to you if you were able to cash without Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, or James Conner. Last week, my picks went 5-4 as I really whiffed on wide receivers and was a week too early on Andy Dalton (go figure) while getting the RBs (Saquon Barkley and James White) and TEs (Jack Doyle and Rob Gronkowski) correct.
Again, I’m looking to hit 3x value on every pick. Let’s get to the plays!
Cam Newton | 38.8 Opp Score | $6,600 DK
Last week we saw Cam Newton turn into a hybrid QB/RB, and given the Panthers’ lack of weapons on offense I don’t see why that wouldn’t continue. He’s this week’s top-projected quarterback in regard to opportunity score and comes in with the fifth-highest ceiling using our GLSP model. Newton is always in play for GPPs, and this week he’ll face a Falcons defense that just lost arguably its two best defenders for the season.
Tyrod Taylor | 36.8 Opp Score | $5,900 DK
In cash games, I’m going back to the well with Tyrod Taylor for two reasons. First, he was terrible last week in a bad-weather game — he completed 15-of-40 (37.5 percent) of his passes — yet still put up 23.6 fantasy points thanks to 77 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Second, it’s inevitable this week that he’ll be in catch-up mode1 in the dome. So we’re eliminating the elements and changing up the game script to be more pass-friendly … and he’s priced as the QB15, but has the third-highest projected opportunity score. Sign me up.
Christian McCaffrey | 29.4 Opp Score | $7,000 DK
In cash games this week I’m not messing around — I want guaranteed touches while not paying a premium price and that’s exactly what Christian McCaffrey brings to the table. He’s priced as the RB6 and has the fifth-ranked opportunity score, which doesn’t scream value, but his involvement in the passing game gives him Kamara-esque upside at a fraction of the price. Last week, McCaffrey led the team with nine targets in a slow-paced game where the Panthers led the whole way. This week the Panthers are underdogs (+5.5) on the road and face a Falcons defense that gives up a ton of production to opposing running backs in the pass game.
James Conner | 27.8 Opp Score | $6,700 DK
We just saw Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler torch the Chiefs defense in Week 1 so we know the matchup is great, but all you need to know about James Conner is you’re getting a bell-cow running back,2 who’s priced in the mid-tier range, and whose offense has the second-highest implied total of the slate at 29 points.
Royce Freeman | 19.0 Opp Score | $4,300 DK
In GPPs, you can really benefit by finding some value in the lower tiers and I’m starting with Royce Freeman, who gets a soft matchup at home vs. the Raiders. There’s not a lot of data to go with here, and the 50/50 timeshare is definitely concerning. That said, the Broncos should see plenty of positive game script, and if we’re trusting the projections it looks like draft capital3 will edge out. At $4,300 you’re getting a borderline RB2 opportunity projection with modest upside.
Alfred Morris | 15.4 Opp Score | $3,600 DK
If you’re searching at the bottom of the barrel, Alfred Morris is at your service. Vegas predicts a lot of scoring in the Lions-49ers game, and the 49ers are big, home favorites (-6), which should bode well for Morris. You’re not expecting a huge workload, but there’s definitely a chance he finds the end zone more than once. Using Dave Caban’s incredible Weekly Stats Explorer — seriously, if you’re paying for a RotoViz sub and aren’t taking advantage you’re really missing out4 — you can see how the 49ers like to use Morris specifically near the end zone.
Jarvis Landry | 22.5 Opp Score | $6,300 DK
Jarvis Landry and air yards haven’t had a good relationship up until this point. I know it’s only been one week, but that seems to be changing for the better. His upside is covered in this week’s Buy Low Report and GSLP: WR Edition so there’s no need to repeat the reasoning. He’s priced as the WR15 — get him in your lineups.
Devin Funchess | 13.8 Opp Score | $4,700 DK
Devin Funchess is the third Panthers player to make this article, which is due more to how narrow I expect their target distribution to be rather than how talented I think the offense is. Without Greg Olsen, Funchess is in line for a major uptick in usage, as evidenced by his career splits:
Not only do his targets increase by 76 percent, but his touchdown probability increases by 131 percent. I think his projected opportunity score is too low for this matchup and wouldn’t be surprised to see it climb up as projections are refined closer to Sunday.
Quincy Enunwa | 15.6 Opp Score | $4,700 DK
In Week 1, Sam Darnold attempted 21 passes and Quincy Enunwa still saw 10 targets. The Jets obviously had little reason to pass the ball in their blowout win over the Lions, and we should expect Darnold’s pass attempts to hover around 30-35 per game moving forward. Now, I’m not saying to extrapolate Enunwa’s 48 percent target share over 30-35 pass attempts, but what I am saying is what we saw last week was very encouraging and Enunwa could be in for seven targets on the regular. Take advantage now while he’s priced as the WR38.
Jack Doyle | 13.8 Opp Score | $4,000 DK
We know better than to chase touchdowns so I’m not sweating Eric Ebron at the moment. Jack Doyle still saw 10 targets and a WOPR5 of 0.42, both of which ranked second on the team. Doyle is still underpriced as the TE8 and his opportunity score ranks fifth with the ceiling of finishing much higher.
George Kittle | 13.2 Opp Score | $3,800 DK
It’s hard to envision a scenario where George Kittle doesn’t exceed expectations — even at a slightly increased price. He’s still priced as the TE9 and his opportunity score ranks sixth overall. Given that the 49ers may be without Marquis Goodwin, Kittle’s outlook is even brighter in a great matchup vs. a Lions secondary that looked lost in Week 1.