Welcome to the weekly tournament plays article for Sunday’s main DraftKings fantasy football slate. I’m going to be focusing purely on high-upside plays and stacks that are likely to be lower-owned in the largest tournaments on the slate. There will be a lot of bust potential found here on most weeks, but big GPPs are generally not won by making the popular moves.
Lamar Jackson ($7,800) – Marquise Brown ($5,600) – TJ Hockenson ($5,200)
With the Ravens set up as -8 road favorites and with a 28.75 implied team total on the week (second biggest on the slate) Lamar Jackson should be a popular target. The QB is coming off one of the best games of his career when he completed 69% of his passes against the Chiefs, threw for 9.2 yards per reception and also added 107 yards rushing. Detroit has allowed opposing QBs to complete over 75% of their passes this week and come in nursing multiple injuries to their secondary. Given Lamar is also rushing more per game this year (14 attempts per game) than he was last season, we could see some epic dual rushing/passing totals.
Stacking Jackson with his WR’s hasn’t always made sense in the past but Marquise Brown is finally starting to gain some traction as a legit WR1 option. So far in 2021, 12 of Jackson’s 37 completions on the year have gone to Brown, which gives him a whopping 37% market share of the Ravens’ passing game. The team is using Brown more this year, as he’s averaging over 8.0 targets a game in 2021, after seeing just 6.25 targets per game last season. Despite two great games, an increased target share and a very appealing price, Brown’s ownership may even be lower than Jackson’s this week making the duo a great high-upside, low-owned stack.
On the flip side, the Lions’ offense has also produced some fantasy goodness in 2021. Detroit is playing at the fourth-fastest pace in the league through two weeks and has thrown the ball 46.5 times per game (second most in the league). This has turned TJ Hockenson into a fantasy stud, as he’s averaged 10 targets per game through two weeks and will take on a Ravens’ defense whose linebacker crew isn’t great at covering TEs. Baltimore has allowed the most receptions to TEs through two weeks, making this a great spot for more garbage time production from Hockenson, who also projects to be under-owned and should help bring down the total ownership on this game stack for Week 3.
Just Missed: Kirk Cousins ($6,300) – Justin Jefferson ($7,200) – DK Metcalf ($7,300)
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns ($5,200)
It’s Justin Fields time for Chicago this week as starter Andy Dalton was officially ruled out with a knee injury. Fields sets up as a +7 underdog in a game where the Bears only have a 19.25 implied team total on the week. Despite the pessimism from Vegas, that shouldn’t scare us off Fields as a DFS play. Through 134 preseason and regular season snaps, Fields has rushed 21 times for 123 yards and a TD, which gives him some of the most elite rushing upside in the game at QB.
There’s also the fact that Fields was an actual gunslinger in college (41 touchdowns and three interceptions as a sophomore) and is already averaging 10 yards per pass attempt in the pros (compared to well under 6.0 for Dalton). The big plays were nearly there for Fields in Week 2, he had a dropped long TD from Allen Robinson and just missed rushing for a TD as well. The Browns may make for a better-than-perceived matchup, as Cleveland has given up the third most points per game to opposing QBs and have already ceded two rushing TDs to QBs. The price is low and the sentiment isn’t high, making this a perfect time to deploy the rookie in DFS this week.
Just Missed: Kyler Murray ($8,300)
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans ($6,700)
Taylor has had a rough start to the year as he comes in averaging just 3.3 yards per carry and has yet to find the end zone for the Colts. Taylor has been the victim of some bad luck and bad play from the Colts, who have suffered injuries on O-Line and from a defense that has put them in negative game-scripts. The good news though, and the reason I like buying in on low sentiment, is that the opportunities for Taylor have been there. The second year back has seen 13 red zone touches through two weeks, while the other RBs on the Colts have zero. Further, Taylor has already seen better usage in the pass game in 2021, and set a career high in targets in Week 1 with seven.
The Titans may set up as a better team to attack through the air, but they’re really just a good team to start opposing skill players against, period. Tennessee, again, is top-12 in pace of play in the league and have ceded the ninth-most yards and third-most points per game in 2021. Expect the Colts to try and get Taylor more touches early, so they can protect their weakness at QB and keep Tennessee’s offense off the field. Considering how poorly the Titans have been on defense, it could lead to a monster fantasy day from the Colts’ lead back and a surprise Colts win.
Just Missed: Austin Ekeler ($7,200)
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks ($7,200)
The Seahawks are coming off an absolute drubbing at the hands of Derrick Henry ($8,600), who grinded his way to 182 yards rushing and three TDs against a supposedly elite rush defense. The inclination for many people in many fantasy circles will be to look to Dalvin Cook (questionable) to put up similar numbers. That could be the case, but Cook will come with high ownership in GPPs and has missed practice this week with an ankle issue. The sneaky play here may be to try and attack Seattle through the air with the suddenly out of favor Justin Jefferson.
Through two games, Jefferson has done no wrong, as he leads the Vikings in targets (19) and grabbed his first TD of the year last week against Arizona. Still, at this kind of price, people expect more, and teammate Adam Thielen (3 TDs in two games) has been the better play to start 2021. Don’t expect that to last as Jefferson remains the elite option (15.9 yards per catch in 2020) and has seen a better average depth of target than Thielen in 2021. The bottom line is leverage, and with the field in on Cook and the Hawks and Vikings total up to 55.5 O/U, using Jefferson as a pivot option makes a world of sense in big GPPs, as any breakout game could put the hurt on lineups who chose to attack this game with chalkier options instead.
Just Missed: AJ Brown ($6,500)
Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs ($3,900)
The Chiefs-Chargers game has one of the highest game totals on the slate this week at a 55.5 O/U, so most of the top-end players from this matchup will be popular for DFS. Finding a way to be unique in this game could give you a big edge in GPPs, and Cook sets up as one of my favorite targets from that perspective. The 34-year-old tight end has played on over 55% of the snaps in the first two games for the Chargers and is a clear third on the team in targets with 13. To that end, Cook hasn’t just been used as a receiver in the middle of the field either, as he’s also got three red zone looks from QB Justin Herbert ($6,500) and actually had a TD called back last week on an offensive penalty on the Chargers O-Line.
The fact that he’s started a little slow means his ownership—even in a game this juicy for fantasy purposes—should stay relatively low and makes him a good target for those hunting for value at TE. Cook may not outscore Travis Kelce ($8,200), but at under 4k, if he even approaches Kelce’s total, he’ll be a huge boon to your lineups given the price.
Just Missed: Evan Engram ($3,600)
Miami Dolphins ($2,700) at Las Vegas Raiders
The Dolphins defense over the past couple of seasons has always been one to consider when they dip well below 3k—regardless of matchup. Miami led the league in turnovers in 2020 and this year they have already accumulated three fumbles and an INT. That kind of production is what kept them from posting negative points last week when they got whipped 35-0 by the Bills. Despite coming off a terrible week, I am still targeting this group, at what should be rock bottom ownership levels.
Miami has an elite coverage group that has ceded just 6.1 yards per pass attempt in 2021 (9th best in the league). They’re not getting as much pressure on the quarterback as we’d like to see, but they’re making up for it with turnovers and face a Vegas group who will likely be forced to attack through the air given their ineptitude on the ground (2.9 yards per carry – last in the NFL). Vegas has started out well, but this is a big bounce-back spot for Miami’s defense, who should be motivated to make some big plays after being embarrassed last week.
Just missed: New York Giants ($3,300)
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