When I’m researching the DraftKings NFL 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 at least one situation that’s relevant for DFS purposes — either positively or negatively. Going through each game in this way can help us figure out how we should be attacking each slate.
Spread: +2.5 vs Carolina | Total: 46.5
Kyler Murray ($5,800) has started off his career the way many people had expected from a production standpoint. It hasn’t always been pretty, but through the first two weeks, he’s averaging over 22 DK Points. That’s been good enough for QB1 finishes in both weeks.
The most encouraging takeaway from Murray’s early-season start is his high passing floor. He only has 17 total rushing yards so far, but we know he possesses untapped rushing potential from his college career at Texas A&M and Oklahoma. If and when he flashes that elite rushing upside, he’ll be a locked-and-loaded top-five quarterback. In the meantime, he’s still an excellent GPP play and can be stacked with any of Arizona’s wide receiver targets.
Spread: +2 @ Indianapolis | Total: 47
RotoViz-favorite Calvin Ridley ($5,300) is too cheap this week. He is the WR11 through two weeks but sits outside the top 20 in DK Salary. Ridley averaged 58.5 air yards per game in his rookie campaign but has averaged over 118 air yards so far this season.
He’s in a plus-matchup in the fifth-highest Vegas total game on the slate. I strongly advise stacking Ridley and QB Matt Ryan ($5,700) in tournaments.
Spread: 7 @ Kansas City | Total: 55
Since taking the reins in Week 11 last year, Lamar Jackson ($7,000) has averaged 23.4 DK Points per game. In those nine contests, he’s finished as a QB1 five times and has never scored fewer than 16 points.
Greg Roman has designed the playbook around Jackson’s strengths. He’s averaging 304.5 passing air yards per game compared to 191.7 in his starts last season. Jackson also demonstrated his rushing upside last week by running for 120 yards on 16 attempts.
Spread: -6 vs Cincinnatti | Total: 44
John Brown ($5,500) is quickly becoming one of Josh Allen’s ($5,900) favorite targets. Brown has amassed a 28% target share in Buffalo’s offense.
Only 16 wide receivers have seen at least eight targets in each of the first two weeks. Brown is being used creatively all over the field.
Now the Bills get to face off against a Cincinnati defense that has given up at least one touchdown to a WR in each game this season. The Bengals allowed the 49ers WRs to score 42.7 PPR Points against them last week.
Spread: -2.5 @ Arizona | Total: 48
The status of Cam Newton’s ($6,000) injured foot is still up in the air at the time of this writing. Regardless of Newton’s Week 3 availability, D.J. Moore ($5,900) is still firmly in play. Moore is one of just eight WRs that have seen double-digit targets in both games.
He hasn’t done a ton with those targets yet, as he has one of the worst FPOE (Fantasy points over expectation) marks of any WR. But based off his current target volume, Moore isn’t far off from a slate-breaking performance.
Spread: +6 @ Buffalo | Total: 44
Tyler Boyd ($6,500) is another pass-catcher who’s seen double-digit targets in both contests this season. He faces a tough test at Buffalo this weekend, but if the spread holds true and the Bengals are forced to play from behind, the volume will still be there. Cincinnati has the second-most pass attempts of any team in the league, per the RotoViz Screener.
With a per-game average of nearly 20 DK Points so far, Boyd is tough to ignore regardless of matchup.
Spread: -21.5 vs Miami | Total: 47.5
The addition of Kellen Moore as the Cowboys’ new offensive coordinator is one of the most transformative coaching changes of 2019 thus far. Dak Prescott ($6,500) is the fourth-most expensive QB on the slate, but he may still be worth rostering even if his salary was up to $500 higher. Per the SOS Streaming App, Dallas has the best QB matchup this week.
The haters will say that his ceiling is capped. “Miami is so bad that the Cowboys will just run it once they get a big lead.” Prescott will most likely have a hand in that big lead though, right? The Dolphins have already given up a QB1 and QB5 performance in games that weren’t remotely close contests.
Spread: +8 @ Green Bay | Total: 42.5
Emmanuel Sanders ($4,800) continues to defy the odds in his return from an Achilles injury last year. He’s now seen 20 targets, which account for one-quarter of Joe Flacco’s ($4,600) total pass attempts.
The Broncos are making a concerted effort to get the ball in Sanders’ hands. A sub-$5,000 price tag is very enticing since Denver is likely to trail throughout its game in Green Bay.
Spread: +6.5 @ Philadelphia | Total: 47
Kenny Golladay ($6,600) has seen 19 targets already this season. His results have been mixed but he turned nine targets last week into an 8-117-1 receiving line at just over 2% ownership.
In 2018, Golladay averaged 98.3 air yards per game. Through his first two games this season, he’s averaging nearly 150 air yards per game.
Green Bay Packers
Spread: -8 vs Denver | Total: 42.5
The new-look Packers offense hasn’t quite found its stride yet. After a brutal Week 1, things turned around a bit for Davante Adams ($7,600) last week.
He broke 20 DK Points for the 11th time in his last 17 games. Over that span, Adams has been a WR1 over 50% of the time and has only fallen out of the top-24 WRs on two occasions.
Spread: +3.5 @ Los Angeles Chargers | Total: 48
Will Fuller’s ($4,900) workload is far too valuable for him to be at this price. Nothing clicked on offense last week for the Texans as they managed just 13 points as a team. The air yards are still there for Fuller which means production is coming.
Stacking Fuller with Deshaun Watson ($6,400) will give your GPP lineups good leverage off of DeAndre Hopkins’ ($7,800) high projected ownership.
Spread: -2 vs Atlanta | Total: 47
The Colts are home favorites for this week’s contest against the Falcons. Marlon Mack ($5,800) is in a great position if he’s able to play. The Colts have had no problem giving Mack work: He ranks first in rush attempts and third in opportunities so far in 2019. Mack also has historically produced much better when the Colts are favored.
If Mack is unable to play Sunday, the backfield is a stay-away for me.
Kansas City Chiefs
Spread: -7 vs Baltimore | Total: 55
The regression monster hasn’t hit Patrick Mahomes ($7,600) in 2019, and he shows no signs of slowing down. In his 18 games since the start of 2018, Mahomes is averaging 29.3 DK Points per game. He’s been a QB1 in 83% of his starts and has only scored less than 20 points twice.
With the exception of rushing yards, Mahomes is in the top 10 in every statistical category for QBs through the first two weeks.
Los Angeles Chargers
Spread: -3.5 vs Houston | Total: 48
I’ve spent a lot of this time in these articles talking about WR targets. Keenan Allen ($7,000) has been targeted heavily in each game this season. He’s seen a whopping 36% of his team’s targets and Philip Rivers ($5,800) is looking for him no matter where he is on the field.
There’s no reason to think that Allen will see any decrease in volume this week. Playing Houston at home could turn into a back-and-forth affair that you’ll want exposure to in GPPs. Allen is also viable as a standalone cash option.
Spread: +21.5 @ Dallas | Total: 47.5
Spread: -8.5 vs Oakland | Total: 43.5
The run hath been established in Minnesota. Dalvin Cook ($7,800) has to be in the top-tier RB conversation if this is going to be the way the Vikings offense runs. He’s no worse than eighth in any RB statistical category, his receiving stats notwithstanding.
While Cook’s low receiving targets may not be ideal in terms of his long-term outlook, his exceptional rushing usage is certainly going to be useful in a home game where Minnesota is favored by 8.5 points.
New England Patriots
Spread: -23 vs New York Jets | Total: 44
Tom Brady ($6,600) is firmly in no man’s land when it comes to QB salary this week. He’s not as expensive as the top two guys but Prescott will be more popular at a $100 discount. Unsurprisingly, Brady has been very efficient. It’s rare for a QB to report the 20th-highest air yards thrown but the sixth-highest air yards completed.
Since returning from his 2016 suspension, Brady has made 46 regular season starts. Over that span, he’s averaged 21 DK Points. Over 90% of those starts have resulted in a QB1 or QB2 finish.
New Orleans Saints
Spread: +4.5 @ Seattle | Total: 44.5
Alvin Kamara ($8,000) has been reliable since the start of last season. In his 17 games over that stretch, he has finished among the top 24 RBs over 80% of the time.
With the absence of Drew Brees, it’s hard to imagine Sean Payton rolling out a pass-heavy game plan. If Kamara sees a full complement of snaps, it’s equally hard to imagine him busting for a second-straight week.
New York Giants
Spread: +6.5 @ Tampa Bay | Total: 48
Saquon Barkley ($9,100) is the most expensive RB on the slate with a rookie QB making his first career start. It’s hard to ignore him because he’s been so good throughout the early stage of career.
He’s ranks seventh in opportunities among RBs and has scored the sixth-most PPR points this season. Barkley has failed to achieve at least an RB2 finish in only one game during his young career.
New York Jets
Spread: +23 @ New England | Total: 44
Le’Veon Bell ($7,000) is the only intriguing Jets option this week. In a blowout loss on Monday Night Football, Bell saw 31 opportunities. He (like the Jets as a whole) was unable to find the end zone, so he only managed 21.9 DK Points.
New York will likely use Bell early and often in an attempt to keep the ball away from the Patriots. Whether or not they’re successful in that effort, however, is another story.
Spread: +8.5 @ Minnesota | Total: 43.5
Much like the Dolphins, I don’t think any Raiders players deserve consideration this week — even as GPP fliers.
Spread: -6.5 vs Detroit | Total: 47
It’s shaping up to be Nelson Agholor ($3,600) chalk week. And rightfully so, considering his low price and the fact that he’s the last man standing in the Eagles WR room. Since the start of 2018, Agholor has nearly doubled his PPR output when Alshon Jeffery has been unable to play.
Spread: +6.5 @ San Francisco | Total: 43
People will be chasing the Mason Rudolph ($4,800)–to-James Washington ($3,500) connection hard this week. Rudolph likely won’t see much — if any — ownership, but Washington will. He’s seen just nine total targets on the season so far, but those targets have been valuable. Washington’s 22.1 aDOT ranks third in the league.
But, we still don’t really know what to expect from this offense without QB Ben Roethlisberger. Washington’s low price-point may suppress ownership for JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,900), who is an intriguing GPP pivot play this week.
San Francisco 49ers
Spread: -6.5 vs Pittsburgh | Total: 43
It’s George Kittle ($5,600) week. Since Week 1 of last season, it’s always been Kittle week, though. Over his last 18 games, he’s had exactly one TE3 finish and 14 TE1 finishes.
Despite a three-target Week 2 performance, he’s still the overall TE13 and finished as a TE1. With very little target competition in San Francisco’s offense, Kittle should be featured this weekend against Pittsburgh.
Spread: -4.5 vs New Orleans | Total: 44.5
The Seahawks insist on establishing the run. At a sub-$6,000 price tag, Chris Carson ($5,900) is a screaming value. Through the first two weeks, he’s the RB7 and has seen the fifth-most Expected Points of any RB. Carson has averaged 21 opportunities in Seattle’s last nine games.
Carson is in a great spot as a home favorite, and his moderate price-point allows some salary flexibility for the rest of your lineup.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread: -6.5 vs New York Giants | Total: 48
There’s nothing quite like going against the Giants secondary to get your passing game back on track.
Mike Evans ($6,600) is actually cheaper than Chris Godwin ($6,900) this week. I prefer Evans, because he may draw lower ownership and he saw a bump in targets last week. You’d hope for more than 13 targets through two games, but his EP last week was back up to his average since the start of last year. If Evans blows up this week, no one would be surprised. Godwin is in play as well, but Evans gives your lineup some extra leverage in GPPs.