NFL Sunday is upon us, and a ripe 13-game slate awaits on DraftKings. I mainly happen to be a cash game player (roughly the top half of their field gets paid out) versus a tournament player (roughly top 20 percent get paid on a scale), but below I’ve got targets for you at each position for both formats:
Tyrod Taylor at NO ($5,900) — Tyrod is as safe as it gets at the QB position. He managed 24.6 DK points in less than ideal conditions against the Steelers last week. Despite being a 9-point underdog in New Orleans, Taylor should be throwing often, and has the ability to use his legs when he gets stuck. Just look at what Ryan Fitzpatrick did in this spot last week.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. DET ($6,000) — Jimmy G had a really tough matchup at MIN last week that I’m willing to overlook. As a home favorite, he should have a much easier time against a defense that couldn’t contain Sam Darnold in his NFL debut in their own stadium. Garoppolo is underpriced because of his poor game in Week 1, which leaves an edge to be had.
Ben Roesthlisberger vs. KC ($6,900) — Hurt shoulder or not, we can’t ignore the 53.5-projected points here. Philip Rivers shredded the Chiefs defense in KC last week, leaving Big Ben in a home run spot against them in his home debut — Roethlisberger historically plays significantly better in home games.
Patrick Mahomes at PIT ($6,100) — Why not look at a cheaper, lesser known name that comes at a discount compared to the opposing starting QB? We don’t know for sure that Mahomes is the real deal, but he looked it against the Chargers. It’s worth finding out more at this price in Week 2 given the matchup and game script as a road underdog in an implied high scoring game.
James Connor vs. KC ($6,700) — Connor was about 65-70% owned in cash lineups last week, and we learned the Steelers would be plugging him right into the Le”Veon Bell role. While his salary is up $2,200, he should be another $2,000 expensive regardless of salary.
Tevin Coleman vs. CAR ($5,300) — A matchup against there Panthers isn’t ideal, but Coleman is a home favorite nonetheless — a great spot to target RBs. The bigger news here is that Devonta Freeman has already been ruled out with a knee injury, leaving Coleman in line for 20-plus touches at an extreme discount.
Christian McCaffery at ATL ($7,000) — McCaffery let us down in Week 1. Not that his 14.5 DK points were all that bad, but it felt like he left a lot on the field. Regardless, CMC played on 86 percent of the snaps, carried 10 times, and was targeted nine times (catching six). That type of workload is going to result in far more productive games, especially when he reaches the end zone. The Falcons are the worst team in the league in terms of allowing receptions to RBs, playing right into McCaffery’s game.
James White at JAX ($4,500) — Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel are both banged up, carrying questionable tags into Sunday’s game. While White played just 48 percent of the snaps in Week 1, that number likely rises in this game — and when he was on the field, White was either targeted or handed the ball on 14-of-36 plays. With a huge role in the passing game, and some extra carries likely due to necessity, White’s great value that comes somewhat off the radar.
Emmanuel Sanders vs. OAK ($6,200) — Sanders moved into the slot this season, which the numbers suggest was Case Keenum’s favorite play to throw last season in Minnesota. This theory of Sanders having a breakout year in the slot proved to have wheels in Week 1 — posting a 10-135-1 line on 11 targets.
Dante Pettis vs. DET ($4,000) — With Marquise Goodwin already ruled out, Pettis steps into a much larger role at a huge discount. I already wrote about how terrific a bounce-back spot this is for Garoppolo, but he’ll obviously need the help of his receivers to do so. Pettis is extremely cheap, and is line to see his role expand from the five targets he saw in Week 1 — which he turned into 61 yards and a score.
DeAndre Hopkins at TEN ($8,000) — Hopkins makes so much sense, but just isn’t getting talked about enough. Antonio Brown for $800 more makes sense in cash, but I’ll take Hopkins for tournaments. He still saw 11 targets against the Patriots, and this Titans’ secondary just got burned by Kenny Stills for a 4-106-2 line on just five targets. Hopkins has monster game potential here, but is technically listed as questionable. Once we have confirmation he’s in, he’s well worth the shot in GPPs.
Tyreek Hill at PIT ($7,600) — I like Hill for all the same reasons I like Mahomes. We can maybe get lower ownership on him because of a steep salary increase, but the home run potential is insane, and I’ve already discussed the high projected point total here. Hill is your ideal GPP hero, just as he was last week.
Jack Doyle at WAS ($4,000) Doyle essentially lost the Colts the game with his fumble late in Week 1 against the Bengals, but he still managed a solid game with seven catches for 60 yards. The 10 targets were assuring that Andrew Luck will be looking his way plenty this season, so Doyle should be a cash staple until his salary dictates otherwise.
Jared Cook at DEN ($3,600) — Cook’s well known for disappearing after big games, but this is just too perfect a scenario to give into that narrative. He caught a bonkers 9-of-12 targets for 180 yards against the Rams in Week 1, and although that defense dictates throwing to the TE, so does Denvers. Because Cook played Monday, his salary remains much lower than it would if he showed us this performance on Sunday before salaries dropped.
Chargers at BUF ($3,600) — Not too tough to figure this one out. The Ravens just whopped this team 47-3 last week. I’ll be targeting against Buffalo on a weekly basis in this spot until they prove me wrong.
Texans at TEN ($2,600) — Marcus Mariota is banged up with an elbow injury, and the Texans defense just managed eight DK points at New England. If they can do that, they have a ceiling of well over double-digits in this matchup, particularly if Mariota is hurt.
You can feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions on Twitter: @julianedlow