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, for either a positive or negative reason. It informs us of how we should be attacking each slate.
Spread: +5 vs. Seattle | Total: 48
Christian Kirk ($5,100) has seen the third-most targets in the entire league through three weeks and has the sixth most receptions. To be fair, his efficiency (FPOE/Gm) has been awful but there’s no logical reason for why he’s outside of the top 25 in DK salary this week. If he’s going to keep being force-fed targets like this he’ll continue to be a bargain until DraftKings adjusts the pricing.
Spread: -4 vs. Tennessee | Total: 45
Since the middle of last season, Austin Hooper ($4,300) has been a boom-or-bust option. That’s the nature of the position for all but the most elite TEs, though. With Will Dissly ($3,600)1 soaking up the ownership on cheaper TEs and his proximity in price to other popular options, we could get Hooper at a discount here. He’s a TE1 in almost every category and we should be paying attention to Hooper week in and week out.
Spread: -7 vs. Cleveland | Total: 45
Since Week 11 last year, Lamar Jackson ($6,900) has been excellent. Jackson started out as a safe floor play but has blossomed into a threat to be the overall QB1 every single week. He has finished in the top 12 in 50% of his starts over that span. Marquise Brown ($5,800) has been his preferred target through the first three weeks. He’s averaging over 155 air yards per game. Jackson and Brown are stackable every week until further notice.
Spread: +7.5 vs. New England | Total: 42.5
Josh Allen ($5,600) has averaged 24.5 DK points since returning from his elbow injury in Week 12 last season. Over that span, he’s been a QB1 in six games and hasn’t fallen past QB24 in any of his starts. With Buffalo facing off against New England, the assumption would be that there will be plenty of passing opportunities for Allen. Stacking him with John Brown ($5,300) is likely still your best option despite a dip in volume last week.
Spread: +4 @ Houston | Total: 47.5
Last week was the coming-out party for a lot of QBs that haven’t had much of a chance in the league up to this point. One of the more impressive performances was turned in by Kyle Allen ($5,200). He turned in a 25-plus DK-point performance in his second start ever. This might be a trend because he also broke 25 DK points back in December. There may be an overreaction to the lack of D.J. Moore’s ($5,600) targets last week. If ownership seems like it’s going more towards Curtis Samuel ($4,600) and Greg Olsen ($4,200) then I’ll take the discount on Moore.
Spread: -2.5 vs. Minnesota | Total: 38
With the lowest over/under on the slate, people will likely be looking to avoid this game. At his price, Allen Robinson ($5,600) deserves some consideration. He has seen at least seven targets in nine of his last ten games. The Bears offense hasn’t looked terribly impressive so far this year, so I wouldn’t go crazy on Robinson but I think he’s worth a share or two at low ownership.
Spread: +7 @ Baltimore | Total: 45
The Browns have looked awful to start the season. With two RB1 performances in a row, Nick Chubb ($6,400) is flashing the upside that some of us believed he had. It isn’t just the fact that he’s been scoring DK points, but it’s how he’s doing it. He has the third most rushing attempts and 13th most targets of any RB in the league which helps his floor. In regards to our FPOE/gm metric here at RotoViz, he’s 66th. That means positive regression — potentially in the form of some TDs — could be coming soon.
Spread: -3.5 vs Jacksonville | Total: 39
The split in Denver at running back and the fact that Joe Flacco ($4,600) is their quarterback gives this offense, at least from a DFS perspective, almost no bright spots. Maybe there’s an opportunity for an Emmanuel Sanders ($4,900) bounce-back, but I’m pretty much out on this Broncos offense until proven otherwise.
Spread: +6.5 vs Kansas City | Total: 54.5
Kerryon Johnson ($5,400) is shaping up to be one of the most popular RBs on the entire slate. We haven’t seen the Lions in total catch-up mode yet this season but it’s fair to assume that they could be put in that situation despite being at home this weekend. That’s somewhat concerning since Johnson hasn’t seen more than three targets in a game yet in 2019. Long-term I’m buying Kerryon, but if he turns into chalk this week I’m fading.
Spread: -4 vs. Carolina | Total: 47.5
Just another ho-hum nearly 30 DK-point day from Deshaun Watson ($6,400) last week. In the 26 games he’s played in, he’s averaging over 23 DK points, finishing as a QB1 65% of the time. Last year, he averaged 285 passing air yards per game compared to this year’s 320 air yards per game. If he continues to air it out and stays in the top 10 of QB rushing yards, then we’re in for plenty of useful weeks out of Watson.
Spread: -7 vs. Oakland | Total: 45.5
With T.Y. Hilton looking like a game-time decision at best, people will be in search of other Colts pass catchers. But, at pretty low ownership it’s worth kicking the tires on Marlon Mack ($6,100) again this week. We talked about it last week, but it bears repeating … Mack just simply performs better as a favorite. So far, Mack is first in rush attempts and fourth in overall opportunities. He’ll be lower owned than most of the mid-range RBs and makes for a solid play in all formats.
Spread: +3.5 @ Denver | Total: 39
Gardner Minshew ($5,200) is one of the cheapest QBs on the slate this week. He’s performed admirably while filling in for Nick Foles. If you’re looking for a cheap stack, pairing Minshew with Dede Westbrook ($5,500) leaves you with plenty of salary flexibility. Westbrook saw a season-high in targets and EP but only managed to turn it into 10 DK points. As the connection between these two grows, both of their prices will go up.
Kansas City Chiefs
Spread: -6.5 @ Detroit | Total: 54.5
Patrick Mahomes ($7,500) is the most expensive QB on the slate despite the fact that this is his first NFL game in a dome.2 He’s obviously in play every week. Mecole Hardman ($5,100) is still the cheapest KC pass catcher that’s worth rostering. We saw what Hardman can do on one play last week and his usage is going up each week.
Los Angeles Chargers
Spread: -15 @ Miami | Total: 43.5
This is the biggest spread on the main slate this week. The Chargers are favored by more than two touchdowns even though they are going cross country to play on the road against Miami. It’s impossible to talk about this Los Angeles team without bringing up Keenan Allen ($7,600). He’s been nothing short of amazing through the first three weeks of the season. There aren’t enough superlatives to throw Allen’s way for the way he’s playing right now. He’s leading the league in targets and receptions while being 4th in touchdowns. Despite scoring that many TDs, he’s just 25th in FPOE/gm. In theory, that means that his target volume could lead to even more production moving forward. People will argue that his ceiling is capped if the game plays out the way Vegas assumes it will. I’m not buying it.
Los Angeles Rams
Spread: -9 vs. Tampa Bay | Total: 49.5
Cooper Kupp ($6,500) is in a league of his own within the Rams WR corps. He’s seen 31 targets already this year and hasn’t had a game with fewer than nine so far. With the running game looking worse and worse, Kupp has been used in short areas as a quasi-extension of the running game. So far this season, Kupp has only had five targets that have traveled over 10 yards in the air, but that hasn’t affected his DK scoring output, with an average of over 22 points per game.
Spread: +15 vs. Los Angeles | Total: 43.5
I guess Davante Parker ($4,100) deserves some discussion because of his volume relative to his price. He has a modest 20 targets so far this season, but his 430-plus air yards put him in the top five of WRs.
Spread: +2.5 @ Chicago | Total: 38
This game has all the makings of a snooze fest. The only saving grace on the Vikings side, if Mike Zimmer gets his way, is that Dalvin Cook ($8,300) might touch the ball 40 times. There are legitimate concerns about Cook like his potential lack of receiving work. That receiving usage has been ramping up over the past couple of weeks, though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw five or more targets this week.
New England Patriots
Spread: -7.5 @ Buffalo | Total: 42.5
Philip Dorsett ($4,700) is the WR19 in PPR formats right now. Throughout all of the turmoil, Dorsett has shown up and carved out a role. He’s coming off of a season-high seven-target performance last week and is averaging 17 DK points so far this year.
New York Giants
Spread: -2.5 vs Washington | Total: 49
Daniel Jones ($5,300) made his debut last weekend and impressed a lot of folks around the league. There are really only two choices to stack him with – Sterling Shepard ($5,800) and Evan Engram ($5,700). They were the top targets in Jones’ debut. I’m leaning Shepard in GPPs because the Giants dialed up some deep balls to him and because he’ll definitely see less ownership than Engram.
Spread: +7 @ Indianapolis | Total: 45.5
Darren Waller ($5,200) has come out on fire this year. He’s seen the 12th most targets of any player in the league through three games, including a 14-target game last week. The Colts are fresh off allowing multiple TDs to Austin Hooper. The floor seems reasonably safe for Waller considering he’s seeing a league-leading 30% target share.
Spread: -5 @ Arizona | Total: 48
Will Dissly ($3,600) is the TE flavor of the week. He will carry a ton of ownership in cash games and will likely be popular in GPPs, as well. Two things are at play for this ownership to go completely berserk. The first is his usage. Dissly is 12th in TE targets this year despite only seeing two targets in week one. The other factor elevating his ownership is the fact that Arizona’s defense refuses to acknowledge that TEs exist. The problem with eating cheap TE chalk is that it likely winds up with a popular lineup build. There’s a real case to be made for fading him in GPPs at the very least.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread: +9 @ Los Angeles Rams | Total: 49.5
With no other inputs into our DFS Lineup Optimizer, the first optimal lineup spits out both Mike Evans ($7,100) and Chris Godwin ($6,000). Evans is coming off of his best game ever while Godwin is missing another practice due to a hip issue. Godwin’s situation is obviously worth monitoring. The Bucs will likely be trailing throughout this game and Evans is coming off of a 15-target game. In a perceived tough matchup and therefore lower ownership, Evans is worth some exposure.
Spread: +4 @ Atlanta | Total: 46
The Titans have stumbled a bit out of the gates and are now 4-point dogs in Atlanta. When the Titans have been underdogs in Derrick Henry’s ($6,300) career, he has underwhelmed. His snap percentage was the lowest it has been all season last week. Henry did manage to see 19 opportunities anyway, but with just two targets and his EP dropping, there are better options than the Tennessee running back.
Spread: +2.5 @ New York Giants | Total: 49
This game opened at 46.5 and has moved up to 49 at the time of this writing. Washington has shown that they’re willing to throw to Terry McLaurin ($4,500) early and often. He’s seeing 20% of Washington’s targets. McLaurin is in excellent company when you look at what WRs have been able to do in Weeks 1-3 of their rookie year.