I think I have finally recovered from an insane Week 1, just in time to do it all again. If you were playing DFS for the first time last week, then congratulations on your new addiction/hobby. A lot of very popular players hit big last week, leading to some very elevated scores. I assure you, things will not always be that easy. Things change fast in the league, just ask people who believed the Ravens defense was unstoppable after dominating the Bills and then getting lit up in the first half against the Bengals.
Try to prioritize the “Why” over the “What” when evaluating your lineups. By that I mean, keep an understanding of the reasons behind a players success. Maybe they had a great matchup against an overmatched defense, maybe the game script kept the pass-catching back more active than the starter, or maybe a guy was able to produce in a new role on his old team. This kind of process-based thinking will ultimately lead to more positive returns than simply plugging in a guy who scored a lot last week.
Draft Kings DFS Targets: Week Two
Well, that’s enough lecturing from me, let’s move on to something more interesting: this week’s targets. Just a reminder, these guys will typically be mid to lower end options meant to supplement lineups with higher priced studs. I wouldn’t recommend putting all these guys together in a single lineup, but they can help fill in the edges of one. All pricing below is for DraftKings contests.
Ryan Tannehill, $5300, @NYJ
Before you leave, let me explain. Tannehill has a chance to put together a very nice day this week against the Jets. First, he should have his full complement of offensive weapons in week 2. Devante Parker was a full participant in practice yesterday after getting a limited session on Wednesday. Combined with Kenny Stills, who looks ready to become a WR1 in fantasy, and Danny Amendola there is plenty of talent and experience in the WR corps. The combo of Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore should effectively move the ball on the ground. Tannehill looked good in his first game since 2016, going 20-28 for 230 yards and 2 TDs, while dealing with two very long weather delays. If he can maintain that level of focus, it will go a long way to fulfilling the potential he’s shown at times.
As for his matchup this week, the Jets are coming off what is likely their best defensive performance of the season. The line for this game favors the Jets by one point at home. An average matchup between two even teams will typically see the home team favored by 3. For as cheap as Tannehill is, he won’t need to do much to greatly outperform his pricing.
Also of note, is Tannehill’s performance from the last time he played in New York when he threw for 351 yards and 3 TDs. He can handle playing there and against this version of the Jets, should have a nice day. Best of all for tournament purposes is that he likely will be one of the lowest owned starting QBs this week, as not many people are talking about him.
Tevin Coleman, $5300, CAR
Coleman is quickly becoming the top play of the week, given his price and opportunity this week. Devonta Freeman has been ruled out for this week, leaving Coleman, rookie Ito Smith, and second-year man Brian Hill as the RBs for the home opener against the Carolina Panthers. Coleman has had success when Freeman is out, averaging 15 points per game in PPR.
If you have concerns about the Panthers defense, keep in mind their home/road splits from last year. On the road, the Panthers gave up an average of 4.3 yards-per-carry, which puts them in the company of the Jaguars, Buccaneers, Chiefs, and Bills and tied for 7th highest average in the league. 4.3 is also the same ypc the Falcons averaged at home, where they rushed for 964 yards in their 8 home games.
The Falcons will want to rush more than the 18 times they did against the Eagles and keep the ball away from Cam Newton and the Panthers. Even if the game script turns in Carolina’s favor (as it might considering the defensive starters Atlanta lost in week 1) Coleman figures to get looks out of the backfield too. He will be the RB1 for the Falcons on Sunday and even last year when the Falcons offense seemed lost, that position finished above the league average.
BONUS: Are feeling bold? Do you believe that Carolina dominates this game? Ito Smith is only $3000 and averaged 457 yards on 44 catches his last three years in college.
Austin Ekeler, $4400, @BUF
The Chargers are the next team up against a Bills squad. Buffalo looked hopelessly overmatched by what looks to be an average offense in Baltimore. The Chargers are MUCH better offensively than the Ravens and should roll against the Bills. Ekeler is coming off a great week 1, compiling 87 yards and a touchdown on five catches. He also ran for an additional 39 yards for a total of 23.6 points. He looks like he will be a real piece of this offense and should have a large role to play this week spelling Melvin Gordon. This tandem should fair even better than the Ravens backfield who scored a total of 32.5 points last week in DraftKings.
Philip Rivers has traditionally had great success integrating two RBs into the offense. He even had two seasons where the RB2 finished above the average RB1.
Devin Funchess, $4700, @ATL
Returning to the Panthers/Falcons game, Funchess is a player that stands out based on his price. Funchess will be the top target against a defense that just lost their best coverage LB, Deion Jones. The Falcons also lost starting S Keanu Neal. The middle of the field is an especially interesting zone for Funchess, as he had a 60% completion rate in targets in the deep middle last year. Compared to the league average of 39 percent, this is significant. The Falcons plan on playing Damontae Kazee, who just converted to safety as a rookie after playing CB in college.
The Panthers suffered their own big loss in week 1 with starting TE Greg Olsen breaking his foot. With Olsen out, more targets will open up for the other receivers on the team. Funchess who physically almost matches Olsen should see the biggest benefit (6-4/225 for Funchess versus 6-5/255 for Olsen). Funchess averaged 13.2 points per game against Atlanta last year. This should be considered the floor for him at this point.
Funchess is cheap, has a great matchup, and the talent to exploit that matchup.
George Kittle, $3800, DET
Kittle is close to becoming the next big fantasy tight end. However, you can use him now before his price catches up to his profile. Kittle had the 4th most targets amongst TEs last week (9). He was able to turn them into 5 catches for 90 yards. A solid day, but it could have been a monster, if not for two dropped passes. One was in the end zone while the other would have been an 80-yard score. Kittle has formed a great connection with Garoppolo, averaging double-digit yards per target the last four games with him.
This week he’ll face a Lions defense in disarray. Detroit surrendered a 116.8 passer rating to rookie Sam Darnold Monday night. If you look at what Lions HC Matt Patricia’s did last year defensively in New England, the talent level was way above what he has currently. All three short zones yielded higher than average reception percentages. Kittle should be able to exploit those areas easily this week.
Climb aboard the hype train for Kittle and beat the pricing experts/algorithm at DraftKings. You will almost never find a top 5 talent at a position for this price, so take advantage.