When researching DraftKings, I usually end up with a set of core players that end up running through all of my lineups. Typically, they are consistent fantasy producers in good matchups or have value due to an injury. You will likely see them across the fantasy football blogosphere because, well, they’re core plays for a lot of people. We could probably call them chalk plays too, so there is a good reason to lean toward cash games with these types of players, but even in GPPs, I want consistent and high-upside plays, and sometimes my core players might not be fully in the chalk column. Let’s get to it.
Lamar Jackson ($7,400), Aaron Rodgers ($6,800), Kirk Cousins ($6,700), DeShaun Watson ($6,500), Baker Mayfield ($6,300), Sam Darnold ($6,000), Ryan Fitzpatrick ($6,000), Kyler Murray ($5,800), Ryan Tannehill ($5,800), Derek Carr ($5,000)
I wish I ran hundreds of lineups, because I like all of these quarterbacks and don’t have a strong feeling for just one. This should be an interesting DFS weekend, as there are no over/unders that hit 50 points and no matchups that give you the feeling that a quarterback is going to be asked to throw 40+ times against a poor pass defense.
If Jackson’s price were higher, I might move off of him in a tough road matchup, but at $7,400, he doesn’t need to have his best game, just give us his average, which is 5 DK Points higher than any other quarterback in the league at 29.2. He’s on pace to beat the all time record for fantasy points in a season and has two good fantasy games against the Patriots and 49ers over the last five weeks. If he can’t throw on the Bills, he’ll run for 150 and two touchdowns.
Tannehill has been a Top-6 fantasy quarterback since getting the starter’s job and shown enough consistency to feel good about putting your hard-earned cash on him. He has nowhere near the upside of Lamar Jackson but nobody does at this point and Tannehill’s going to have better weather conditions. The Raiders still have a bad secondary but often put up more of a fight at home, so we could see Tannehill need to throw the ball.
Christian McCaffrey (10,300), Dalvin Cook ($9,500), Derrick Henry ($8,200), Leonard Fournette ($7,800), Alvin Kamara ($7,000), Aaron Jones ($6,700 if Williams is out), Melvin Gordon ($6,400), Mark Ingram ($5,900), James White ($5,500), Devonta Freeman ($5,400), Patrick Laird ($4,100), Bilal Powell ($3,500)
I’m all in on going back to McCaffrey this week. He’s so far above the rest of the running backs in terms of total touches and DK points, that you must play him if you can. He’s owned the Falcons over the last two seasons with 149, 178, and 191 total yards in his last three matchups with them.
Melvin Gordon has averaged 21 touches and topped 90 yards in each of his last four games and gets a great matchup with a Jaguars run defense that has been gashed for big fantasy points this season. I like Leonard Fournette in this same game a lot, but Gordon’s price is appealing, especially if I want to pay up for McCaffrey.
Powell is a late addition to the player pool this week as Le’Veon Bell is out due to an illness. The stars have aligned for Powell, as his price is rock bottom and he faces a bad Dolphins running back defense. He should be able to fall over and get you enough points to justify his price-tag.
Davante Adams ($8,000), DeAndre Hopkins ($7,400), Julian Edelman ($7,100), D.J. Moore ($7,000), Jarvis Landry ($6,500), James Washington ($6,000), Tyler Boyd ($5,900), Zach Pascal ($5,500), Jamison Crowder ($5,300), A.J. Brown ($5,300), Christian Kirk ($5,200), Robby Anderson ($5,100), Tyrell Williams ($5,000)
The addition of Bilal Powell to the running back possibilities opens up some room for the top wide receivers going this week and Adams leads that group. He’s healthy, seeing big targets and coming off a two-touchdown game. Washington comes into Lambeau in a let-down spot after beating the Panthers and will likely be smashed into the frozen tundra. The Packers need every win they can get to gain in playoff seeding and should take no prisoners this week at home.
His price is up there, but it should be, as he’s seen elite target numbers and production of late and I don’t expect that to change against the Falcons. The last time these teams met Moore saw 15 targets. He caught eight for 95 yards in what looks like a down game, but it still got him to 17.5 DK points which is his lowest in his last five weeks. He’s had nine or more targets since Week 6 and I’m willing to pay up for that kind or opportunity in a good matchup.
I don’t love any of the cheaper options out there this week. Robby Anderson iand Tyrell Williams are both strong plays, but Kirk’s robust target numbers keep me looking his way. He also faces a Steelers defense that allows the fourth-most fantasy points to slot receivers on the year. If I could, I’d probably pay up for Jarvis Landry or Tyler Boyd this week, but I have a feeling I’m going to need Kirk’s price-point more.
Austin Hooper ($6,000), George Kittle ($5,900), Darren Waller ($5,800), Jack Doyle ($4,600), Kyle Rudolph ($4,400), Vance McDonald ($4,300), Mike Gesicki ($4,000), Jonnu Smith ($3,100), Ian Thomas ($2,500)
Doyle will be heavily owned, but for good reason. His price is still low due to his old status in a committee with Eric Ebron, he saw 11 targets and put up good numbers in his first game without Ebron and now he faces the second-worst defense at allowing tight end fantasy points.
The Ravens have played great with Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith in the fold and I expect they will make Josh Allen throw the ball more than the Bills want. But getting the Ravens under 3k is guiding my hand to click more than anything.
I am an avid fan and user (my username is cogresha) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.