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I’ll be covering Yahoo! NFL DFS all season in this space. We’ll focus on the main slate, but bonus content may find its way here on occasional as well. You’ll see plenty of screenshots from the NFL Stat Explorer and our Game Splits App as those are two of my primary research tools each week.
Patrick Mahomes ($38) and Lamar Jackson ($36) face off in the game of the week for fantasy purposes. Both are averaging over 29.5 Yahoo! points per game through two weeks. It’s hard to pay up for Mahomes here based on surface-level screening of quarterbacks against the Baltimore defense. However, it’s also difficult to recommend against exposure to Mahomes in any given week that he’s not priced as the QB1. Jackson’s appeal is obviously linked to the likely game-script where Baltimore is trailing and the game goes over 52. However, even if things play out differently, Jackson has scored over 30 fantasy points in two of his past four games when the Ravens have an implied team total under 24. It’s 23.25 this week. Matthew Stafford ($31) is priced as QB12, yet the Eagles have allowed opposing quarterbacks to score at a QB7 clip over their past five contests, surrendering 22.8 fantasy points per game over that stretch. The Eagles have allowed both opposing quarterbacks to throw for at least 320 yards and three touchdowns through two games in 2019. In the bargain bin, Kirk Cousins ($25) is priced at QB18 (if we remove injured players from consideration). Oakland has allowed 711 passing yards in two games to go with five passing touchdowns, getting torched both on the deep ball and by yards after catch (more on this later).
Ezekiel Elliott ($33) is the Yahoo! RB3 by pricing and is available at a $7 discount to Christian McCaffrey ($40). This doesn’t seem right, especially given the relative attractiveness of their matchups. Elliott could easily return value even if he doesn’t play the second half against a Miami defense that’s allowed five touchdowns and over 300 rushing yards to running backs through two games.
Austin Ekeler ($25) should probably be in every Yahoo! lineup this week regardless of the style of contest. RB12 pricing is an astonishing value considering his output thus far in 2019.
I expect his ownership to be high, but I can’t advise fading him at this price. Houston held Leonard Fournette in check last week, but Alvin Kamara torched them for 169 yards from scrimmage in Week 1. Our team has already written volumes on the similarities between Ekeler and the Saints star.
Todd Gurley ($24) goes on the road to face off against a Cleveland defense that’s getting absolutely shredded on the ground. In the Sean McVay era, Gurley is significantly more productive as a rusher (and as a fantasy scorer) when playing outside of Los Angeles. The Rams are favored and we saw them up Gurley’s touch opportunities to 20 in Week 2. I think he goes off. Royce Freeman ($15) saw seven targets and put up over 100 yards from scrimmage against a tough Bears defense in Week 2, clearly outperforming Phillip Lindsay in what amounted to essentially a 50/50 split of backfield opportunities. Dating back to Week 15 of 2018, Green Bay has been one of the friendliest defenses for opposing running backs, never allowing less than 22.6 PPR to the position in any contest and ranking as the third most attractive target defense from a fantasy-points-over-expectation perspective.
As always, DeAndre Hopkins ($37) and Julio Jones ($34) are in play. Moving further down the board …
Sammy Watkins ($25) ranks third in the NFL in targets and is PPR WR2 on the season, but is priced outside the top 10 at the position at Yahoo! this week. His price falls after a bit of a disappointing Week 2, but he still saw 13 targets in that contest. Baltimore has allowed over 90 yards after the catch in two of their past three contests. Demarcus Robinson ($15) and Mecole Hardman ($13) are also worthy of consideration if you’re looking for a cheap WR3.
Marquise Brown ($24) has been the favorite outside target of Lamar Jackson so far and has demonstrated floor and ceiling this year. If you’re playing Jackson, Brown is a package deal. The potential trailing game script could be huge for his output against the Chiefs.
Kenny Golladay ($20) and Marvin Jones ($15) draw the aforementioned porous Eagles defense that’s allowed five receiving touchdowns and over 600 air yards through two weeks. Golladay has touchdowns in both contests this year and went off for 8/112/1 last week against the Chargers.
Stefon Diggs($20) is $4 cheaper than his teammate Adam Thielen and was an egregious penalty call short of a 150/2 line last week. He also saw an uptick to seven targets. The Vikings passing attack hasn’t been fantasy friendly yet, but that’s the only reason we see this depressed pricing for Diggs.
Both Josh Gordon ($20) and Julian Edelman ($21) enjoy discounts thanks to the presumption that Antonio Brown was going to play. Gordon is of particular interest, as the Jets were torched by Odell Beckham Jr. in Week 2, thanks in particular to a slant that was taken to the house. Gordon is capable of the same. Dating back to Week 15 of 2018, the Jets have been the worst defense in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers.
Mark Andrews ($21) is no longer a cheap play after scoring 24 PPR in consecutive weeks, but he’s still $7 cheaper than the TE1. Kansas City has allowed 17 receptions to opposing tight ends through two games. He’s a priority this week.
Vance McDonald ($17) gets a revenge game against the 49ers and is fresh off of a two-touchdown performance and looking like Mason Rudolph’s preferred target.
Greg Olsen ($16) is still a great option against the Cardinals fantasy-friendly TE-haven of a defense, although I’d like it even more if long-time battery mate Cam Newton were under center. I’m less sure about Kyle Allen funneling targets to Olsen here, but at this price a miss won’t bury you if Allen’s eyes lock in elsewhere.
Dallas ($25) is the latest defense to get the Miami bump. At this price, I don’t expect much ownership.
Tampa Bay ($12) is my pay-down pick of the week as they are home against first-time starter Daniel Jones.
GPP Game Selection Notes
Here are my favorite games in the Yahoo! NFL DFS Lobby this week:
The NFL $500K Dollar Baller is an absolute must on Yahoo! this week. $50K top prize. $10 to enter. 150 lineup cap per contestant.
The NFL Yahoo Cup is a free, GPP style league that runs all year. Yahoo is offering a $1M prize to anyone who posts a perfect lineup, and there are weekly and yearly prizes. Definitely play this every week. Again, it’s free.