When I’m looking into the DFS slate each week, I like to go game by game and identify players or situations that intrigue me. In every game, on every team, there’s a situation that’s relevant for DFS purposes — either positive or negative — that informs us of how we should be attacking each slate.
Spread: +13 @ Baltimore | Total: 46.5
On paper, rostering someone from Arizona in a road game against the vaunted Baltimore Ravens defense doesn’t seem like a spot we want to target. If your TV broke during the third quarter of the Cardinals game, you may never want to target another player from Arizona ever again. With the news that Jimmy Smith will be out for a couple of weeks, our point of view may change a bit. Christian Kirk ($4,500) should be firmly on peoples’ radars. He definitely missed out on some scoring opportunities, but the volume was there on Sunday. Kirk posted career highs in expected points and air yards in his first week of the Air Raid offense. If the script goes like Vegas believes it will, he will have ample opportunity in Baltimore.
Spread: -13 vs. Arizona | Total: 46.5
Speaking of Baltimore, they look like a wagon after dropping a 59-burger on Miami last week.1 Marquise Brown ($5,000) is priced up after being a paltry $3,800 in his debut. He saw five targets and turned them into 33.7 DK points. Before you ask, no I don’t believe that’s sustainable. If he winds up as the WR5 while seeing the 53rd most targets of any WR it would be quite the anomaly.
Spread: -2 @ New York Giants | Total: 43
For better or worse, Josh Allen ($5,300) seems like he is what he is. He finished the week just a touch shy of 20 DK points. Since returning in Week 12 last season, he’s made seven starts. Over that stretch, he’s averaged 9.1 rushes with just one game under nine attempts. He’s scored an average of 23 points per game during that span. His rushing does give him a bit more of a floor than other options around his price tag. Allen is in cash consideration given the hurting that Dak Prescott put on this defense last week.
Spread: -1.5 @ Denver | Total: 40.5
It feels like the Bears played a month ago at this point. For fans of the team — and fans of watchable football — the game was rather disappointing. One of the only bright spots of the game was Allen Robinson ($6,100). In a game where Chicago scored just three points, Robinson turned 13 targets into seven receptions and 102 yards. Using Michael Dubner’s touchdown regression we would expect 0.76 TDs on that type of volume. Robinson was used on short looks to get Mitchell Trubisky going a bit, but they also connected on a couple of deep throws. Everyone wants to write off Trubisky, but if Robinson could perform with Blake Bortles it’s silly to think that he won’t with Trubisky.
Spread: -1 vs. San Francisco | Total: 45
John Ross ($4,600) has never been this expensive on DraftKings. But we just saw a week of firsts from Ross, so it isn’t too surprising. Heading into last week, Ross had never seen more than seven targets but then he saw 12. He had never caught more than three passes but then he caught seven…you get the point.
Spread: -4.5 @ Washington | Total: 46
It looks like Kellen Moore has been a welcome addition to the Cowboys. Dak Prescott ($6,300) just missed out on a career-high in DK scoring. After showing some signs of life, including a 21 DK-point performance in a season-ending playoff loss to the Rams last year, Michael Gallup ($5,600) seems primed for a breakout. He saw 22% of Prescott’s targets which was good for the second-highest mark of his young career. Moore showed some creativity with how he utilized Gallup. It will be easy to forget about Gallup when teams are keying in on the likes of Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott. Gallup seems like he’s in play until further notice.
Spread: +1.5 vs. Chicago | Total: 40.5
The Broncos have a tough matchup against the Bears. Emmanuel Sanders ($4,700) is relatively cheap and saw valuable targets last week. Of his seven targets, four came in the red zone. Sanders posted a respectable 5/86/1 performance, but that was against Oakland’s woeful secondary. He’ll have a tougher test this weekend.
Spread: +2.5 vs. Los Angeles Chargers | Total: 47
Kenny Golladay ($6,600) seems a bit too expensive this week. In a vacuum, we’d like to get a guy like Golladay into lineups. He saw nine targets last week, after all. Unfortunately, he only turned those targets into 14 DK points thanks to finding the end zone. As a GPP play, he’s fine but he has too many weeks that kill your lineups to be viable in cash. In his career, Golladay has finished as a WR3 or worse in two-thirds of his games. Even if you narrow that down to look at his numbers since the start of 2018, 56% of his games fall in that range.
Green Bay Packers
Spread: -3 vs. Minnesota | Total: 45
Jimmy Graham ($3,700) put up a dozen DK points in Week 1. He scored the Packers only touchdown in a game where the offense looked lost. The score was his only red-zone target of the game. Graham was only on the field for about 54% of Green Bay’s snaps. Since the start of 2018, we’ve seen some usable weeks from Graham. Even at a low price, there are better options this week.
Spread: -8.5 vs. Jacksonville | Total: 44.5
Deshaun Watson ($6,600) put up 31 DK points last week against the Saints. It shouldn’t be a surprise, though. Watson has been excellent when active in the NFL. Over 70% of his starts have wound up as QB1 finishes for the week. Not only that, but Watson has had just two of his 24 (8%) games fall outside the top-24 QB.
Spread: +3 @ Tennessee | Total: 44
T.Y. Hilton ($6,800) dropped 28.7 PPR points in his first start of the post-Andrew Luck era. They put Jacoby Brissett ($5,000) in a position to be successful in a couple of ways. For one, he threw nine of his passes to Hilton.2 Six of those nine targets were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Hilton finished as the WR6 in Week 1. The workload looks like it’ll be there and according to our Streaming App the Titans are a plus matchup.
Spread: +8.5 @ Houston | Total: 44.5
The legend of Gardner Minshew ($4,800) is growing by the hour. Whether it’s the mustache, working out naked, or the fact that his name was almost Beowulf, he’s easily the most interesting QB in the NFL at the moment. He came off the bench after Nick Foles was injured and held his own. Minshew went 22-of-25 for 275 yards and 2 TDs with 1 INT. He was uber-productive in college and was viewed as more of a long term project but it’s Minshew time, ready or not.
Kansas City Chiefs
Spread: -7.5 @ Oakland | Total: 52
Mecole Hardman ($4,800) is being thrust into a big role for the Chiefs thanks to the Tyreek Hill injury. This summer, I touched on Hardman’s ceiling a bit. With Hill’s early exit last week, Hardman still only managed to earn one target and was unable to haul it in. He’s trending to be a bit chalky, though I’m curious to see where his ownership actually shakes out. It’s hard to imagine this putrid Oakland secondary doing much to stop Patrick Mahomes ($7,500).
Los Angeles Chargers
Spread: -2.5 @ Detroit | Total:47
With the injury to Hunter Henry, there’s one less pass catcher for Philip Rivers ($6,100) to target. Even with Henry in the lineup, we saw Keenan Allen ($7,600) go for 123 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. The GLSP app show 56% of the historical matches at 15 or more PPR points and it doesn’t know that Henry is missing time.
Los Angeles Rams
Spread: -3 vs. New Orleans | Total: 54
Jared Goff ($5,900) is developing Breesian3 home-road splits. He averages an 8.7 YPA at home compared to a 7.6 YPA on the road. That number goes up even higher when Cooper Kupp ($6,000) is in the lineup. The connection between those two was a little bit rusty at the outset in Week 1. Kupp saw double-digit targets, though so getting the ball in Kupp’s hands still appears to be a priority for Sean McVay.
Spread: +18.5 vs. New England | Total: 48
I’m sitting here staring at my cursor blinking back at me trying to come up with something positive to say about the Miami Dolphins after they got ran out of the building last week. They’re underdogs by three scores so one would imagine that they’ll throw quite a bit. Devante Parker ($4,100) is sitting down at just above $4,000. We’ve seen this before from Parker. Since being drafted in 2015, he’s had 14 games with over 100 air yards. If he keeps seeing this type of target volume and aDOT, he’ll be an intriguing option. The issue is that even with those valuable targets, Parker only managed to score a shade over 10 PPR points in Week 1.
Spread: +3 @ Green Bay | Total: 45
The Vikings attempted 10 passes. That isn’t a typo. That isn’t a number from a quarter or a series … consider the run established in Minnesota. Dalvin Cook ($7,200) is firmly in play after he saw 23 opportunities last week, including three red zone rush attempts. Over his past seven starts, he has four RB1 finishes and just one game outside of the top-24.
New England Patriots
Spread: -18.5 @ Miami | Total: 48
Everyone will be on this offense after the clinic they put on against Pittsburgh last week. I have no interest in trying to figure out the RB Whack-A-Mole for New England. People will gravitate towards Sony Michel ($6,200) but I think there are safer RB options in that range. This isn’t the spread in range of outcomes that I want from my cash-game RB.
New Orleans Saints
Spread: +3 @ Los Angeles Rams | Total: 54
Alvin Kamara ($8,200) will be very chalky as he comes in at just the fourth most expensive RB on the slate. This defense just got sliced and diced by Christian McCaffrey as he rushed for 128 yards and two scores while adding 10 receptions for 81 yards through the air. Since the start of the 2018 season, Kamara has been better in games that the Saints are underdogs. There isn’t much that can stop Kamara though, considering he’s been an RB1 in 69% of his games since the start of last season.
New York Giants
Spread: +2 vs. Buffalo | Total: 43
By the time you’re reading this, Evan Engram ($5,200) might be the only person running routes for the Giants come Sunday. With suspensions, injuries and concussions rendering guys unavailable left and right, Engram could be in line for another huge workload this week. Engram is a cash lock against Buffalo this weekend. He saw 14 targets last week and it’s not an exaggeration to say that his floor is likely 10-plus targets.
Spread: +7.5 vs. Kansas City | Total: 52
If pricing had come out after Josh Jacobs ($4,700) saw the fifth most opportunities and finished as RB7 for the week, his price may have been a bit higher. It didn’t, though, so we’re looking at a very underpriced running back relative to his workload. He will probably end up as the highest owned RB on the slate, but I don’t think it matters in cash. For GPPs, however, there’s an obvious game theory case to be made against Jacobs.
Spread: -3.5 vs. Seattle | Total: 46.5
It’s easy to overreact to Week 1, but I’m not sure how much you can take from the Steelers first performance of the season. They were down from start to finish and never found a flow on offense. James Conner ($6,800) is in a good spot this week as a home favorite. He also seems to be in no man’s land as far as salary is concerned. After a year-plus of sample size, we know that this is Conner’s floor and better days lie ahead.
San Francisco 49ers
Spread: +1 vs. Cincinnatti | Total: 45
Matt Breida ($5,200) had a tough go in Week 1. With Tevin Coleman set to miss time, it should be the Breida show this week. He saw 16 opportunities on Sunday but only managed to score 3.7 DK points. That’s obviously sub-optimal, but it leaves room for improvement.4 There’s a chance that production doesn’t show up after such an inefficient day last week, but the GLSP App found that 48% of historically similar matchups ended with an RB point output of 15-plus PPR Points.
Spread: +3.5 @ Pittsburgh | Total: 46.5
With Tyler Lockett ($6,200) on the field for 48 of 53 snaps, you’d think he would’ve gotten more than two targets. Lockett sat out of practice on Wednesday which gives some explanation and cause for concern. Russell Wilson ($6,200) had no qualms taking shots to D.K. Metcalf ($4,300) in his debut. He saw the 12th highest aDOT in the league last week and saw over 30% over Wilson’s targets. The Steelers secondary just got torched, too, giving up over 61 PPR Points to the Patriots receivers.
Spread: -3 vs. Indianapolis | Total: 44
A.J. Brown ($4,000) is coming off of a four-target performance last week. He did manage to turn those targets into 100 yards but I’m not overly optimistic. Most of his production came from YAC which we know can be variant week over week. Scoring 16 DK points on just 26 snaps isn’t terribly sustainable. If his role grows he could be in play in the near future. As you can see, the GLSP App isn’t thrilled about Brown’s prospects either.
Spread: -1.5 vs. Dallas | Total: 46
On just 43 snaps, Chris Thompson ($3,900) managed to see 13 opportunities including 10 targets. When healthy, Washington has used Thompson well in the past. The offense as a whole isn’t overly exciting since they spread the ball around so much, but at $3,900 if Thompson accounts for a TD or two, he could pay off nicely.