Each week, this article will shine the spotlight on players outside the top-12 at their respective position on DraftKings and Fanduel to help you win your weekly contests in daily fantasy. This advice should help you avoid having a lineup full of players that will be on a lot of other player’s rosters and, therefore, give you a chance to win big each week.
Week 1 produced some major daily fantasy lines like Josh Jacobs (139 total yards, three touchdowns) and Davante Adams (14 catches, 146 yards, and two touchdowns). Unfortunately, Marlon Mack and Boston Scott were hampered by injuries on the first Sunday of the season, but Jamison Crowder came through to win many managers a contest or two. In Week 2, we are dealing with injuries to Michael Thomas, Le’Veon Bell, and James Conner. Injuries produce opportunities that we will gladly take advantage of on any given week.
COVID-19 is going to throw some wrenches into the daily fantasy machine this year. Make sure always to check your lineups before they lock, and feel free to reach out on twitter with questions. Good luck in Week 1.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB – CHI vs. NYG ($5,500 DK, $7,200 FD)
Trubisky deserves to be in more lineups this week. His matchup with the New York Giants is ideal because of their leaky secondary. Last season the Giants ranked 28th in pass defense while allowing 264 yards per game through the air. After watching them on Monday Night Football, it doesn’t look they have improved much in the offseason. They allowed 229 yards and three touchdowns to Ben Roethlisberger, and Trubisky is capable of replicating that. He scored 24.28 DraftKings points versus the Lions to open the season, and also put up 20.92 points versus the Giants last season. It may not always be pretty, but Trubisky is a likely candidate to exceed his value on Sunday.
Philip Rivers, QB – IND vs. MIN ($5,900 DK, $7,100 FD)
Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts have a tremendous early-season matchup versus the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2. Rivers made his Colts debut last week in Jacksonville and went 36-46 with 363 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Still, he is a great value play going up against the Vikings secondary. Last week, they were torn apart by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to the tune of 364 yards and four touchdowns. While it’s doubtful Rivers can reach those heights, he should have a lot of time to throw against the Vikings front that didn’t produce a sack in Week 1. A clean pocket for an immobile quarterback and a porous secondary is a perfect recipe for Rivers to get his first win in a Colts jersey.
Kenyan Drake, RB – ARI vs. WAS ($5,900 DK, $6,600 FD)
It’s tough to find a running back with 20-touch upside outside the top-12 on both sites, but somehow Drake made it under the radar. Drake had 18 touches in Week 1 and converted them into 14.5 DraftKings points. The San Francisco 49ers defense ranked third against running backs last season in fantasy points allowed per game, so it was encouraging to see Drake grab a touchdown to start the year.
This week’s matchup versus the Washington Football Team is a lot easier on paper despite an impressive Week 1 performance by their defense. The Football Team held the Philadelphia Eagles to 57 rushing yards in Week 1, but last season was a different story. Washington’s defense allowed 30.26 points to running backs in DraftKings. With an easier matchup and a high ceiling loaded with touches, Drake should be an easy play for those looking to pivot away from the usual suspects.
Melvin Gordon, RB – DEN @ PIT ($5,200 DK, $6,700 FD)
This week has lined up perfectly for Gordon to have a massive workload versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. His running mate, Phillip Lindsay, is out with a turf toe injury. Gordon had 15 carries for 78 yards and a touchdown on Monday night, and those opportunities should only go up with Lindsay out this week. The Steelers held Saquon Barkley to six yards on 15 carries, but the value on Gordon is too good to pass up. The former Charger is the 26th most-expensive back on the slate in DraftKings.
Parris Campbell, WR – IND vs. MIN ($4,500 DK, $5,300 FD)
Keenan Allen averaged 8.8 and 10 yards for his average depth of target (aDOT) in 2018 and 2019 with Rivers as his quarterback. Campbell had an 11.4 aDOT in Week 1 and sure looked like Rivers’ go-to guy. The sophomore receiver tied for the team lead in targets (nine), air yards (103) and led the Colts with six catches. Once Rivers locks in on a wide receiver, the veteran gunslinger will feed him targets all day. Fantasy managers should buy the overreaction that Campbell is the wide receiver to own in Indianapolis. Campbell goes against an abysmal Minnesota Vikings secondary in Week 2, and he is in line to be the primary beneficiary of his quarterback’s targets versus a swiss-cheese secondary.
Amari Cooper & Russell Gage ($6,300 DK, $7,00 FD | $4,800 DK, $5,400 FD)
It was too hard to choose between these two players, so they are being lumped together this week. The Atlanta Falcons-Dallas Cowboys matchup has the highest over/under on Jazz Sportsbook at 54 points. This game is going to be a shootout, and many receivers should benefit. Cooper caught 10 balls for 81 yards on 14 targets in a tough matchup versus Jalen Ramsey to kick off the season. Now, he will go from battling against a top-tier cornerback to the Atlanta Falcons secondary. The question isn’t if Cooper will have a good day; it’s how big of a day is the No. 1 wide receiver in Dallas going to have?
If the Falcons are going to throw the ball 50 times a game, then Gage belongs on every season-long fantasy football bench out there. For now, though, we will keep him a secret just for us daily players and watch as he collects a ton of targets. Against the Seattle Seahawks, he went off for 114 yards on nine catches and 12 targets. If Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley get 25 targets between them each week, it will still leave 20-25 leftover for Gage to split up between himself, Todd Gurley, and Hayden Hurst. This strategy will likely be up and down throughout the season, but in a game with the over/under sitting at 54, this should be an up week.
Logan Thomas, TE – WAS @ ARI ($3,600 DK, $4,700 FD)
It would be unusual for a tight end to have a breakout season at 29 years old, but it could be happening with Thomas. He led Washington with eight targets last week against the Philadelphia Eagles and converted those targets into four catches for 37 yards and one touchdown. In Week 2, he will take on an Arizona Cardinals unit that allowed tight ends to score 19.9 DraftKings and 16.1 FanDuel points per week last season. They gave up 16 touchdowns in 16 games to the position, six more than second-place Cleveland, and 10 more than third-placed Seattle. It’s hard to believe that the unit has improved that much since last season, and with Thomas’ price this week, he is a worthy flyer to get some higher-priced options on your team.
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