Kevin Walsh | September 14th, 2019
With week one in the books, some situations have settled down into more projectable outcomes, and some still leave us wanting more, or disappointed initially after all the off-season hype. Exploiting these opportunities is a great way to get leverage on the field, as well as making our lineups unique.
All my plays are based on DraftKings pricing. It’s also important to note that when I list a player as a fade, I do not mean I will have 0% of them, but I will be way under the field as far as exposure goes, and likely will not play them on single entry lineups.
We saw what happens when a high-powered offense gets into a slugfest with the New Orleans Saints. Pair that with the idea that the Rams are easing Gurley’s workload, and we have may a big passing day for Goff. With at least two quality options on the Saints to bring this stack back with, they will be piling up stats and pumping your score.
While I like both sides of this game, the Chiefs will put pressure on the Raiders early, and all of these options are cheap in the passing game. Take the added benefit that game script may eliminate mega-chalk Josh Jacobs and we have a cheap, strong stack with tournament leverage. Richard is not a must-include, but also drives home that game-script leverage on Jacobs.
Ben is historically better at home, and now that the starters have actually seen some game-time, I would like to think that they bounce back in a big way against the Seahawks. Seattle is good enough to keep up, so this game could easily push the over of 47.5 points.
Honorable Mentions: KC, SF/CIN, NO, SEA
POSITION BY POSITION
I will refrain from continuing to mention the same players across sections, so these will be more about other players I am interested in outside of big game stacks. I will try to pick a player or two in each pricing tier (high, middle, low).
Patrick Mahomes ($7,500)
On the other side of that Raiders game is the real talent. The Chiefs took the foot off the gas last week against the Jaguars and Mahomes still posted 30.32 DK points. He will be plenty owned, so exercise caution with your ownership around him.
Andy Dalton ($5,400)
It isn’t often that I am touting the Red Rifle, but this is the situation I find myself in this week. His price is ridiculous considering his quality performance last week, and his weapons aren’t breaking the bank on price either. They are at home this week and San Francisco isn’t exactly a scary defense to play against (ignoring the 24 they put up on Jameis Winston last week). The Bengals showed they are for real, and if Joe Mixon is out on Sunday, they will lean on their passing game.
Derek Carr ($5,100)
Carr is another guy that is a bit hard to roster at times, but the Chiefs defense let Gardner Minshew tear them up when he has never seen the field before. Carr is going to keep this game competitive, at least for the first half, and let the ball fly to his talent like he did last week. His options are cheap, too, so it’s a value stack on top of that.
Josh Jacobs ($4,700)
This guy is going to be ridiculously high-owned after the beating he put on the Broncos in primetime last week. My biggest worry is game flow. I can’t list him as a fade, but I will be under the field on him, for sure. I have no issue playing him, though. He’s probably a cash game lock, at least.
Austin Ekeler ($6,100)
I fell on my face on this one last week. Ekeler’s snap share was 75% to Justin Jackson’s 25%, and Ekeler got most of the passing down work. Pair that with Mike Williams being banged up and Hunter Henry out, and that leaves Ekeler as the safety valve all day in the air. His price is still too low for his role and volume, so playing him again this week is hard to ignore.
Alvin Kamara ($8,200)
Some weeks, especially in ones with extreme value in the middle of the pricing, paying up ends up being contrarian. Kamara was heavily involved in their game plan last week against a similarly high-powered offense as their opponent this week. If we can get on the right side of variance here, and avoid some Latavius Murray vultures, we could have a 40-point day.
Sammy Watkins ($7,200)
It feels somewhat strange to be slam-dunking Watkins into my lineups this week, but he showed every inch of potential he was drafted for last week against the Jaguars. Many will note that Tyreek Hill getting hurt contributed to this, but know that he did a lot of damage prior to Tyreek going down. Mahomes seemed to be looking for him last week, and I expect that to continue this week.
Tyrell Williams ($4,400)
Tyrell was a very talented player when he was a Charger, and Carr seems to have an eye for him, so it becomes increasingly harder to ignore him at this laughable price. If you can play only one Raider in your lineup, Tyrell is my guy this week.
JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,500)
If Ben is going to bounce back and go ballistic, you have to think Juju is going to get some work. He played over 70% of his snaps in the slot last week, and these Seattle corners are all pylons compared to Juju’s talent and speed.
My tight end strategy this year is going to be like a military haircut – high and tight. I am keeping my tight end pool to around five or six each week, and almost all of them are going to be expensive. The disparity in workload and talent between the top tight ends and the bottom 20 is only growing, so paying up is always going to be in the cards for me.
Travis Kelce ($7,300)
The best tight end in the league, check. His main competition for targets goes down to injury, check. He had a down game even when they put up 40 points, and is due for a bounceback? He just checks all the boxes this week. He will be in my pool every week, honestly.
Evan Engram ($5,200)
The Giants are falling apart already. Sterling Shepard is stuck in concussion protocol, Golden Tate remains suspended, Cody Latimer is questionable to play, and rookie Darius Slayton is still out. Who does that leave? Well, there is still Barkley, but Engram put on a show last week on his way to a 31.6-point outing. I can’t expect another 30-burger, but his involvement in the offense is obvious.
Darren Waller ($3,300)
I am sick of talking about Raiders players, but Waller is worth every bit of hype from the off-season. He also clearly has the trust of Carr, and that is going to be important going forward. If you need to get cheap at tight end, this is where most of the field is going to go.
I detailed this in my value plays article, but the Texans are just grossly mispriced on DraftKings. Houston is a hell of a lot better than Kansas City and they will put Minshew to the test for much of the game when Houston gets out to a big lead.
The Miami Dolphins are pitiful. Half of them have already asked to be traded. They are already unmotivated to do well. There isn’t much more to say. It could be a cakewalk again for New England this week.
Honorable Mentions – Ravens, Titans, Bears, Cowboys
In this section, I will list my favorite player at each position that is projected to be less than 5% owned. These will sometimes be dart-throws, and some will be more conviction plays and leverage spots. Don’t go slamming all these guys in one lineup and expecting success. They are low-owned for a reason, folks.
QB – Andy Dalton – The quarterback ownership projections are skewed heavily towards the top, so Dalton falls by the wayside here. Cincinnati comes home to a 49ers defense that is devoid of talent and could give up some big plays. Did I mention he is also very cheap?
RB – Dalvin Cook – Though he is hovering around the 5% mark, I know that he is just being way overlooked here. Green Bay is formidable, but it seems clear that Minnesota wants to run the ball, even though they have excellent weapons through the air. It’s hard to get this kind of talent at this ownership.
WR – Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf – Both being very close to the 5% mark is just a testament to how overlooked this game seems to be. If Ben clicks at home as he often does, Seattle is going to have to keep up, and running the ball all day is not the way to do it. If the Bengals can go into Seattle and put up some production, I’m sure Ben can put it together at home.
TE – Vance McDonald – He put up a dud week one, but so did this entire offense. Assuming that the Seahawks keep it close and this game shoots out, McDonald could be the beneficiary of a putrid secondary in Seattle trying to keep Juju in check.
DST – Bears – The price is the limiting factor to this team, especially when all the winning lineups last week had a minimum-priced defense in them. People so quickly forgot all those weeks last year where the Bears posted double-digit scores, including some slate-breakers. They are opportunistic and that makes them dangerous enough to score some defensive touchdowns. Are we really afraid of Joe Flacco here?
TWO MINUTE WARNING
There is one topic I want to tackle here to wrap things up. Why didn’t I write up any Patriots against the miserable Dolphins that got pounded by Baltimore last week? There are several factors to this decision. New England historically struggles against Miami when in Miami. I don’t know if it’s the heat or some other strange reason, but they never seem to kill them down south. We are also monitoring this Antonio Brown situation, whether he plays, doesn’t play, plays 40% of snaps – currently, we have no clue. Pair that with the fact that there are way too many mouths to feed in the passing game, and we have a recipe for several brick lineups. I will likely avoid Patriots in general on my single entry lineups.
I did mention Michel, and here is what I am thinking. Knowing Belichick carefully cultivates his game plan against certain teams weeks in advance, he continued to throw the ball on the Steelers up 20+ last week knowing that he wanted to run the ball this week and get out with an easy win. This sounded like a great play earlier in the week before James White didn’t travel with the team because his wife is having a baby. Michel is no longer under the radar, but it could be a Michel game this week.
Last week didn’t go as planned, but that is often the case in week one. All we can do is trust the process and keep cracking on. Remember to not focus too much on the results as much as the process if you want to be serious about DFS. With good process, good results follow.
If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter. I will answer any questions you have!
Let’s make that money this week!
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