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Week 1 is in the books and it’s time to start getting our lineups ready for this week’s huge tournaments and prize pools over on DraftKings. Last week was the biggest in industry history and there are no signs of slowing down. DraftKings will crown some new millionaires again this weekend, courtesy of its $10M Millionaire Maker.
As we covered last week, with tournaments of this size we need to find some uniqueness to help set our lineups apart. The Fade pointed us to several good calls last week and a call or two we’d like to have back. Choosing to fade based on ownership percentage or projected performance carries risk with it. If your fade choices are made based on solid research and reasoning they will balance out over the course of the long season.
This week we have the benefit of some recent performance to assist us in our choices. Last week’s star performers will be some of the most popular choices for the masses. Players facing defenses that were lit up will also be among the highest owned. We also have some players whose prices have been inflated or might be a bit steep based on their potential for this week. Let’s go through each position, starting with the quarterbacks.
Joe Flacco, $6,400
Flacco and the Ravens head to Oakland and he should be a pretty popular choice this week. The Raiders were smoked by the Bengals to the tune of 33-13 last week and look to be defensively challenged. He’s also very reasonably priced at $6,400. So why take a pass on Flacco? Several reasons, starting with the potential for high ownership. The Raiders were smacked around last week and that will generally lead to many DFS players targeting them this week. They may very well be atrocious against the pass all year, but it’s too small of a sample size to pigeonhole them just yet.
The line points us to the Ravens being a solid play as they are a 6 ½ point favorite. That tells us the Ravens should be up and will probably call the dogs off and turn to the running game. Andy Dalton had a fine week against the Raiders last week - throwing for 269 yards and two touchdowns – but didn’t exactly set the world on fire. A similar game script and similar output sounds about right for Flacco this week, which would put him at 18.76 points on DraftKings – less than 3x value. We need a little more from our quarterbacks for tournaments.
Tyrod Taylor, $6,200
Taylor had a solid Week 1 in his first game as starter for the Bills, throwing for 195 yards and a touchdown and chipping in another 41 yards on the ground. Scrambling quarterbacks can be a great play for DFS, especially at such a cheap price. But not this week when the Bills welcome the Patriots to town. The defending Super Bowl champs will have had 10 days to prepare for this game and we can be sure that they will have a scheme in place to contain Taylor. Bill Belichick is a master at making life miserable for inexperienced opposing quarterbacks and this week will be no different. Taylor will have several weeks ahead where he deserves to be on the DFS radar, but for this week he presents too much of a risk.
Adrian Peterson, $7,700
Fading Peterson comes down to price and the Vikings problems along the offensive line which were on full display this past Monday. His ownership percentage could actually be decent as many will be expecting a bounce back. The Vikings as a whole should rebound for their home opener, but the problems along the line are not going away that quickly. They need a few games to adapt and adjust to free Peterson up to do what he does best. Could he still break free and rip off a couple of long runs? Of course, he’s Adrian Peterson. The price would need to be further down south for me to take the chance this week.
Jeremy Hill, $7,400
Hill will have many DFSers in his corner this week coming off of a two touchdown performance. Last week’s top performers quickly become the following week’s top targets for the masses. How many two touchdown performances did Hill have last season? Two. How many times last year did this week’s opponent, the San Diego Chargers, allow multiple touchdowns to running backs last season? Once. Despite being behind for most of the game against the Lions last week, the Chargers held them in check on the ground by allowing only 70 yards and a touchdown. Let’s not forget that Giovani Bernard will have his share of carries as well. Take a pass on Hill and add a little uniqueness to your lineup.
DeAndre Hopkins, $7,400
Hopkins was another solid performer in Week 1, catching nine passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Don’t fall into the trap of expecting it yo happen again. The second touchdown came when the game was well in hand and after the Texans switched quarterbacks. Speaking of quarterbacks, the team will be switching starters for this week’s game. The offense does not inspire confidence and will continue to struggle at least until Arian Foster returns. This week’s foe, the Carolina Panthers, have allowed three touchdowns to wide receivers since Week 13 of last year. They have a solid chance to keep the number at three for another week.
Kendall Wright, $5,000
We can expect Marcus Mariota and Kendall Wright to be a pretty popular stack this week. And why not? Mariota lit the Buccaneers up last week by throwing for four touchdowns and Wright was his top target, catching four balls for 101 yards and a touchdown. But let’s pump the brakes a bit. Mariota remains a rookie and there will be growing pains along the way. Teams will adjust for what they saw last week and keep him in check, starting this week. The Browns have several issues but are actually pretty decent on defense. Last week’s game got out of hand for them but we should see a closer game for their home opener. Add it all up and we can take a pass on a popular target in Wright this week, even at his attractive price.
Greg Olsen, $4,900
Olsen did not produce as expected last week and gets to face a Texans defense that allowed a monster game to Travis Kelce last week. Kelce had six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Time to plug-and-play Olsen and get similar results, right? Not so fast. Let’s take a look at Kelce’s day a little more. His first touchdown came in traffic in the end zone while the second was the result of blown coverage. Kelce was wide open for his 42-yard touchdown and accumulated a large portion of his fantasy points on that one play. We can safely assume that the Texans spent a bunch of time covering that play this week and will not leave themselves that exposed again. Add in the fact that the Panthers have a dearth of talent at wide receiver and we can expect Olsen to receive plenty of attention. He’ll improve on last week’s one catch for 11 yards, but not enough for you to follow along with the crowd.
Tyler Eifert, $4,200
Eifert is another Week 1 darling that will be highly-owned this week. He flew under-the-radar last week, but his nine catches for 104 yards and two touchdown performance against the Raiders will have him on most people’s short lists this week. This week’s game against the Chargers figures to be relatively high scoring with an over/under of 47. The Chargers also allowed a solid game to a tight end last week as Eric Ebron had four receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown. With fading comes tough choices and this is one of them. Eifert should be the number two option in the passing offense for the Bengals going forward and should be productive this week, but his potentially high ownership percentage may offset the benefit of having him on your roster.
Miami Dolphins, $3,300
This comes down to price. The most expensive defense of the week should produce, but will they produce that much that they offset the salary cap dollars spent? Maybe, but we’re better off saving some crucial dollars to help round out our roster. There are several defenses at less than $3,000 that have similar upside this week, save the money and improve your roster elsewhere.
Baltimore Ravens, $2,900
The Ravens are facing what appears to be an offensively challenged team in the Raiders that turned the ball over twice last week. They will be a popular choice this week and for good reason. To gain a little separation that can prove to be very valuable we’ll need to pivot to another choice. Find a defense at a similar price point that’s a little outside the box but could actually pay dividends if everything breaks right.
That’s ten potential fades for Week 2. When constructing your rosters for this weekend, remember to ask yourself whether your choices will appear on a ton of rosters or not. If that’s the case with only a few of your selections you could be on the right track. If you have a roster full of them, dig a little deeper and see which ones you can take a pass on. Best of luck this weekend!