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RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 2

Fri Sep 13 1:40pm ET
By MIKE BARNER
Contributing Writer

Josh Allen provides value Week 2


The first week of action across the NFL was a fun one, especially from a DFS perspective with so many teams putting up massing scoring numbers. There were plenty of surprise performances, as well as some studs who came away with monster stat lines. Let’s dive into the action for Week 2 and see which players could help lead you to a profitable entry.

QUARTERBACKS

Top-tier option: Patrick Mahomes, KC at OAK ($7,000): The Chiefs’ offense looked just as potent as last season when they hung 40 points on the Jaguars in Week 1. Mahomes was once again productive, throwing for 378 yards and three touchdowns. While he did suffer an ankle injury, he is expected to play Sunday against the Raiders. Losing Tyreek Hill (collarbone) is significant, but Mahomes still has plenty of weapons around him, making him the most appealing option in cash contests. 

Cheap target: Josh Allen, BUF at NYG ($5,800): While Allen and the Bills were moving the ball well in the early going against the Jets, turnovers resulted in them failing to score in the first half. Allen and the offense stepped up in the fourth quarter, eventually pulling out a one-point win. Allen’s 254 passing yards and one passing touchdown aren’t great, but he once again provided value on the ground with 38 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. This is a favorable matchup against a Giants’ defense that was torched by the Cowboys, leaving Allen as a prime target at this price. 

Player to avoid: Kirk Cousins, MIN at GB ($5,900): Cousins didn’t get to do much in the Vikings’ first game against the Falcons, completing 8-of-10 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. They raced out to a big lead and rode Dalvin Cook to victory. The 10 pass attempts are certainly an anomaly, but the fact that Cook was heavily involved is not. The Vikings want to run the ball more and the Packers showed some promising improvement on defense against the Bears, making Cousins too risky here. I’d much rather save $100 and roll with Allen. 

RUNNING BACKS

Top-tier option: Saquon Barkley, NYG vs. BUF ($8,200): If the Giants are going to have any chance of winning games, it’s going to be on the shoulders of Barkley. That’s why it was surprising that he only received 11 carries against the Cowboys. He certainly made them count, racking up 120 yards. While his 19 receiving yards weren’t great, the six targets that he received is the stat to focus on. Expect him to receive more carries this week and have one of the highest floors at his position.

Cheap target: Matt Breida, SF at CIN ($5,900): Running backs are dropping like flies again on the 49ers. First, Jerick McKinnon (knee) was placed on IR for the second straight season. Then Tevin Coleman sprained his ankle against the Bucs. Even Breida had to leave that contest to get an IV. Breida is fine for this matchup, but Coleman won’t be able to play. With the lion’s share of the workload set to fall to him, Breida could provide tremendous value based on his ability to both rack up rushing yards and catch passes out of the backfield.

Player to avoid: Phillip Lindsay, DEN vs. CHI ($6,500): What we saw from the Broncos in their opener against the Raiders was not great for Lindsay’s prospects moving forward. He was on the field for 53.1 percent of their offense snaps while fellow running back Royce Freeman played 46.9 percent of the snaps. A time share against one of the best defenses in the league is certainly a matchup to stay away from.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Top-tier option: Keenan Allen, LAC at DET ($6,800): Allen was his usual productive self against the Colts, catching eight of 10 targets for 123 yards and a touchdown. While that’s already a lot of targets, he could see even more this week with Hunter Henry (knee) out and Mike Williams (knee) trending in the wrong direction. That leaves Travis Benjamin, Dontrelle Inman and Virgil Green as his main competition for targets. Need I say more?

Cheap target: Cole Beasley, BUF at NYG ($4,000): Beasley and John Brown are two key additions for the Bills and they both played well in Week 1. Although Brown had the juicier overall numbers, Beasley still received nine targets. The Giants’ defense is very soft in the middle of the field, which is where Beasley thrives. His touchdown upside isn’t great, but look for him to accumulate a lot of receptions here.

Player to avoid: Courtland Sutton, DEN vs. CHI ($5,300): I’m basically avoiding everyone on the Broncos. If the Bears could hold Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to 10 points, think about what they could do against Joe Flacco and the Broncos, who were limited to 16 points by the Raiders on Monday. There will be other weeks in which the up-and-coming Sutton warrants consideration, but this isn’t one of them.

TIGHT ENDS

Top-tier option: Travis Kelce, KC at OAK ($6,900): Kelce only caught three of his eight targets against the Jaguars, but he at least converted those receptions into 88 yards. With Hill now sidelined, Kelce is likely going to take on an even larger role within the offense. This is a prime matchup against the Raiders, who he torched for 230 yards and two touchdowns in two games last season.

Cheap target: Darren Waller, OAK vs. KC ($4,500): With Antonio Brown gone, Tyrell Williams takes over as the number one wide receiver for the Raiders. Their other options at the position aren’t great, which means Waller should be heavily involved at tight end. After catching seven of eight targets for 70 yards in Week 1, he has significant upside as the Raiders try to keep pace with the Chiefs’ high-powered offense.

Player to avoid: Eric Ebron, IND at TEN ($5,200): Ebron was one of the biggest surprises in fantasy last year with his 13 touchdown receptions. He started off this season slowly, catching one of three targets for eight yards versus the Chargers. While that’s bad, the really scary stat from a fantasy perspective is that he was only on the field for 39.7 percent of the Colts’ offensive plays compared to 68.3 percent for fellow tight end Jack Doyle. With Doyle now healthy, expect Ebron to continue to have a limited role.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Player Notes
Marquise Brown Sep 29 12:10am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown was incredibly quiet in Monday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, catching two of his six targets and finishing with 13 yards. With Baltimore finishing with under 100 passing yards, Brown's numbers still put him third on the team in receiving yards, if you're looking for a positive to take away from this game. Brown's a high-ceiling and low-floor fantasy receiver who'll have a lot better performances than this one, and he probably won't have any worse ones either.

From RotoBaller

Devin Duvernay Sep 29 12:10am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Devin Duvernay showed off his speed on Monday night, taking a kickoff 93 yards to the house for the first kick return touchdown of the 2020 NFL season. He was less effective as a receiver, catching two passes for seven yards. Duvernay is an intriguing young player who should see his role grow as the year progresses, but who also has his upside capped by the fact that Ravens throw so little. It's too early to add him in redraft leagues, but if you have a chance to get him at a low cost in dynasty, you might want to.

From RotoBaller

Nick Boyle Sep 29 12:10am ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Nick Boyle caught the team's only offensive touchdown in the team's Week 3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, with a five-yard grab on his only target of the game. Boyle has just four receptions through three games and while the touchdown was nice for anyone using him as a punt play in DFS, it didn't really help anyone in season-long leagues, and it shouldn't lead to you rushing out and putting a waiver claim in for a guy who just caught his third career touchdown in his sixth NFL season.

From RotoBaller

Mark Andrews Sep 29 12:00am ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews led the team in targets on Monday against the Chiefs. Unfortunately, he couldn't bring most of them in, finishing with three receptions for 22 yards. Andrews had trouble with his hands all night. Usually a reliable tight end, we can probably chalk this one up to the struggles of the entire Ravens offense. Andrews remains a weekly TE1 play in season-long leagues.

From RotoBaller

Mark Ingram Sep 28 11:50pm ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram II couldn't find any room in Monday night's loss to the Chiefs, rushing seven times for 30 yards and failing to bring in his only target. Not a great showing from the veteran back, but he did have seven of the 12 carries for running backs on the night and remains the lead back. He's a solid RB2/3 option most weeks in a run-centric offense, but does have risk in games like this one where the game script takes the running backs out of the game. Thankfully for Ingram, the Ravens don't play many games like that.

From RotoBaller

J.K. Dobbins Sep 28 11:50pm ET

On a night where the passing game never materialized, it was Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins who led the team in targets and yards, catching four passes for 38 yards. He added six rushing yards on one carry. The takeaways from this one are a bit of a mixed bag for fantasy managers. You like to see the targets, but who viable of an option can Dobbins really be if he's barely getting carries? He's still the highest upside back on this roster, but expect some uneven performances in the short term.

From RotoBaller

Jeff Wilson Sep 28 11:39pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. had a fantastic fantasy game in Week 3 against the New York Giants. Wilson carried the ball 12 times for 15 yards and a touchdown and added three catches on three targets for 54 yards and a touchdown. Wilson saw extended opportunities with both Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee) out. Jerick McKinnonhad two more carries and one more target than Wilson, but both players should see a lot of action for however long both Mostert and Coleman remain out.

From RotoBaller

KJ Hamler Sep 28 11:39pm ET

Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver K.J. Hamler caught three of his five targets for only 30 yards in the 28-10 Week 3 loss to the Buccaneers. Hamler ran the ball once but lost two yards in the process. The speedy youngster has big-play ability, but it'll probably be few and far between that he can take advantage of that with backup quarterback Jeff Driskel leading the team right now with Drew Lock (shoulder) injured. Hamler could do some damage against a poor Jets Defense on Thursday night in Week 4, but he'll be a hail mary in terms of DFS and season-long leagues as long as Driskel remains the starter.

From RotoBaller

Jared Goff Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff and the team's offense couldn't get anything going in the first half against the Buffalo Bills, but they never stopped. They ran up 29 straight points against the Bills, and Goff was a major part of that. He finished the game 22-for-31 for 309 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also added two carries for four yards and a touchdown. Goff has given solid production in back-to-back weeks, and he's beginning to creep into the QB1 conversation with his safe floor on a weekly basis.

From RotoBaller

Darrell Henderson Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson had a big game in Week 2, and he followed it up with another great performance in Week 3. He finished the week against the Buffalo Bills with 20 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown. He also caught one of his three targets for six yards. Henderson is solidifying his role as the lead back for this team, and he has a lot of a fantasy value in that role. If you have Henderson on your roster, he looks poised to give you RB2 production on a weekly basis with the way he's playing right now.

From RotoBaller

Cooper Kupp Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp made the most of his opportunities in Week 3, and he finally cashed in on the draft capital you had invested in him. He caught nine of his 10 targets for 107 yards and a touchdown. After failing to score in Weeks 1 and 2, he got into the end zone in Week 3 to give himself a huge day. Kupp gets a fair amount of targets every week, and you should have him locked into your lineups on the majority of occasions. This is the type of production that I would be expecting from moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Robert Woods Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods had a tough matchup in Week 3 against Buffalo Bills' cornerback Tre'Davious White, but that didn't stop him from turning in a solid performance. He caught four of his five targets for 62 yards and a touchdown. He also added three carries for 30 yards. This was a good bounceback game after a mostly quiet game in Week 2. The production we've seen from Woods in Week 1 and Week 3 is more indicative of what you can expect from him on a weekly basis.

From RotoBaller

Josh Reynolds Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Josh Reynolds is his team's third option at receiver, but he had a solid game in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills. He caught four of his five targets for 60 yards. While this performance was good to see, it's not like he's been doing this on a regular basis. It's unclear if he's going to be able to produce at this level moving forward, and he's nothing more than a desperation option in uber-deep leagues as things stand right now.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Higbee Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee was unable to replicate his tremendous performance from Week 2 in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills. He caught both of his targets for 40 yards and zero touchdowns. In an offense that's loaded with weapons, Higbee is going to have weeks where he's quiet like this. He's still a consistent TE1 option, but you will need him to snag some touchdowns to truly elevate himself into the upper tier of players at the position.

From RotoBaller

Los Angeles Rams Sep 28 11:38pm ET

The Los Angeles Rams Defense got torched in Week 3. The Buffalo Bills' offense ran up 35 points on them en route to their Week 3 win. They were able to get after quarterback Josh Allen a little bit, and they came away with four sacks, a fumble and an interception. They played extremely well through the first two weeks, and they are looking like they might be better than initially expected coming into the season. In the right matchup, they might give you a reasonable streaming option on a week-to-week basis.

From RotoBaller

Sam Sloman Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Los Angeles Rams kicker Samuel Sloman started the day slow, but he was able to turn things on as the game wore on in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills. He went 1-of-2 on field goals while going 3-of-3 on his extra point attempts. This offense looks like it's going to return to their explosive ways that we've seen since head coach Sean McVay arrived, and that's going to give him value on a weekly basis. He might not have the highest ceiling among kickers, but he's a safe option to get you points every week.

From RotoBaller

Russell Wilson Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson continued his quest for his first MVP trophy with an explosive performance in Week 3. He completed 27-of-40 passes for 315 yards and five touchdowns. He also added six carries for 22 yards. His day could have been even better if it weren't for a huge mental mistake by wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. Wilson is on the hottest pace that we've ever seen out of him, and he's going to continue to put up incredible numbers. He will be locked in as a top-five QB on a weekly basis barring extremely unforeseen circumstances.

From RotoBaller

Darren Waller Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller had a tough day against the Patriots, catching just two balls for nine yards on four targets. The Patriots clearly took notes after Waller's performance last week against the Saints. Waller was a non-factor, which is the complete opposite of what he did in Week 2. This performance is going to be more the exception than the rule for Waller going forward. Fantasy owners can chalk it up as an off day and look to next week. Waller remains one of the top tight ends in the league, and he will look to bounce back in Week 4 against the Bills. The Bills have one of the top defenses in the league, but don't expect to see the same performance from Waller.

From RotoBaller

Chris Carson Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson had been an RB1 through the first two weeks of the season, but that pace came to an end in Week 3. He finished with 14 carries for 64 yards to go with three catches for 12 yards. He was unable to get into the end zone despite three short opportunities, and that limited his ceiling against the Dallas Cowboys. Late in the fourth quarter, he sustained a leg injury that caused him to miss the remainder of the game. It will be important to pay attention to the news regarding that injury moving forward. If he were to miss any time, teammate Carlos Hyde would be the immediate beneficiary.

From RotoBaller

D.K. Metcalf Sep 28 11:38pm ET

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf had an exceptional game in Week 3, but it could have been even better. He caught four of his eight targets for 110 yards and a touchdown, but he should have had another. After catching an easy ball at the eight-yard line, he coasted to the one-yard line where he was stripped by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs. Metcalf was nearly uncoverable on the afternoon, and that's going to continue thanks to his supreme size and athleticism. Moving forward, he is a near-lock for your lineups on a weekly basis.

From RotoBaller