Each week in season long and DFS, certain high-end guys either break out for huge games, or completely bust. If you miss on a high-end guy, then your lineup is usually done as you likely didn’t have enough room in your budget to get other big play guys on your squad. That being said, you need to be careful when spending up for some of the higher end running backs and wide receivers when forming the foundation of your lineup. Hopefully this article steers you in the right direction.
Julio Jones vs New Orleans – $8,700 FD/$7,900 DK – Matt Ryan and the Falcons seem to be back on track after an impressive showing against the Carolina Panthers in week 2. This bodes well for Julio Jones. In Julio’s last two games against the Saints, since they drafted Marshon Lattimore, he’s caught 5 for 98 off 11 targets and 7 for 149 off 11 targets. Lattimore is not Julio’s kryptonite and if he can finally bust into the endzone, he will really come through. Jones is expensive for DFS, but you should look to get him in your lineup this week, especially since this game might shoot out.
Michael Thomas @ Atlanta – $9,000 FD/$8,900 DK – Through the first 2 weeks of the 2018 season, Michael Thomas has been targeted 30 times, hauling in 28 of them for 269 and 3 touchdowns. Through the first two weeks of 2017, Thomas was only targeted 18 times and had 10 catches at this point. Against the Falcons last season, Thomas went 4 for 66 and 10 for 117 and a touchdown. Similarly to Julio Jones, you should really make an effort to get Thomas in your lineup as this game is likely to be a shoot out and the Saints are throwing the ball at an incredible rate this year with their defense struggling.
At $7,800 and $7,700 on DK, I am shying away from Vikings wide receivers against the Bills because game script could fade their roles early if the Vikings get out to an early lead similar to the way Keenan Allen was removed in week 2. Regardless of the target share, I am also shying away from Corey Davis against the Jaguars big time, especially with the shaky quarterback situation. For the record, even if Mariota plays, that is still considered a shaky quarterback situation.
Mike Evans vs Pittsburgh – $8,000 FD/$7,800 DK – Monitor the Steelers injury report throughout the week. Teams have been absolutely destroying the Steelers through the air this year, but keep in mind that’s because Artie Burns has been a little banged up and Joe Haden has been out of the lineup. If Joe Haden is out or operating at less than 100%, get Mike Evans into your lineup. If reports out of Pittsburgh are that Haden is 100% and ready to roll, you may want to pull back from Evans a little bit. If Haden is good to go, a lot of people may play him expecting to get a huge return and may be disappointed.
Chris Hogan @ Detroit – $6,200 FD/$6,300 DK – The Patriots lost last week and will be looking to come back with a vengeance against the Lions this week. Hogan has struggled early in the season, minus the 2 touchdowns he hung on the Jaguars last week. Darius Slay was banged up with a concussion last week, so if he doesn’t play, Hogan will have a plus matchup. Moreover, the addition of Josh Gordon will only help Hogan, as he won’t be seeing the opposition’s top corner any longer.
Marquise Goodwin @ Kansas City – $5,800 FD/$5,500 DK – The Chiefs cannot play defense, and given the performance from JuJu Smith-Schuster last week, you should be lining up to target the Chiefs when selecting fantasy wide receivers for DFS. Marquise Goodwin missed week 2 with a quad injury, so people might sleep on him this week if he returns. Moreover, his price is a little suppressed because of his slow start. If Goodwin doesn’t play, consider Dante Pettis in this spot, especially coming off a down week himself. Making this play even more enticing is the fact that the Chiefs offense is about as explosive as they come, meaning the 49ers will need to put points up on the board early and often just to keep up.
Nelson Agholor vs Indianapolis – $6,600 FD/$6,100 DK – Carson Wentz should be back this week and given the otherwise shaky status of the Eagles receiving corps, Agholor is the only solid option they have. Jay Ajayi is banged up, so look for Wentz to put it in the air early and often to both Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor.
Golden Tate vs New England – $6,800 FD/$6,800 DK – The Patriots tend to take away the opposition’s number one weapon, and in Detroit that definitely isn’t the running game. When you look at the three-headed monster the Lions are rolling out there at wide receiver in Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, it seems like Golladay is the most explosive playmaker at the moment. That being said, the Patriots are likely to let Golden Tate do damage given his career yards per catch average which sits at 12 yards per grab, compared to Golladay who is averaging 15.6 yards per catch on the young season. Although Tate’s yards per catch sits at 13.4 at the moment, that is likely to regress a little given his career numbers. Dede Westbrook tore up the Patriots from the slot in week 2, breaking off a long one, and Golden Tate should do similar in week 3.
Jamison Crowder vs Green Bay – $5,700 FD/$4,200 DK – The Green Bay Packers just allowed two receivers, Adam Theilen and Stefon Diggs to go over 100 yards on them. Jamison Crowder has been slow to start the season, but if he can’t get it done against the Packers, he can’t do it against anybody. This is Crowder’s last chance, so roll him out there. He needs to come through.
Tyler Boyd @ Carolina – $4,700 FD/$3,700 DK – Everybody was watching for John Ross to break out in 2018, but little did we know that Tyler Boyd would be the Bengals breakout receiver this year. Quietly, Boyd has been targeted 14 times on the season, hauling in 9 of them for 117 yards and a touchdown. Dalton really likes to hit Boyd on crossing routes and Boyd should enjoy success this week against that Panthers zone.
At the running back position, there have been some serious landmines through the first two weeks with stud backs playing on terrible offenses. We have seen Zeke Elliott appear average playing behind a dinged up Dallas line and David Johnson simply isn’t getting it done for a terrible Cardinals team. That being said, stay away from the high-end guys on struggling teams. Don’t overthink things and play guys because you think their ownership will be down week to week. With certain high-end guys seemingly off the table because of various issues, hopefully some mid to low-end guys can really shine this week and help you win your fantasy matchup.
Alvin Kamara @ Atlanta – $8,700 FD/$9,500 DK – To be clear, Alvin Kamara is not a mid to low-end fantasy running back this week. But out of all the high-end guys, he’s the one I want to get in my lineup. The Falcons give up big numbers to pass catching running backs and that’s compounded with Deion Jones out. Last week Christian McCaffrey had 14 catches for 102 yards against the Falcons, and he isn’t as good as Kamara. Moreover, Drew Brees is better at going through the progressions than Cam Newton, making Kamara even more viable compared to McCaffrey. Everybody expects the world out of Kamara every time he’s in the lineup, and given he underwhelmed in week 2, some may shy away from using him again given his high salary in DFS. Kamara should be the foundation of your DFS lineups.
Kenyan Drake vs Oakland – $6,800 FD/$5,600 DK – Todd Gurley tore up the Raiders in week 1 and Phillip Lindsay ripped them up in week 2. The Dolphins defense will be the weakest unit the Raiders have faced thus far in the 2018 season, meaning they will likely put up some points. Kenyan Drake is the more explosive of the Dolphins running backs and if they need to keep up or play catch up, they are more likely to give more snaps to Drake than Gore, making him even more viable than he’s been so far.
Aaron Jones @ Washington – Jamaal Williams simply isn’t getting it done. Albeit Williams had some difficult matchups in the first two weeks of the season against the Bears and Vikings, he simply didn’t show much explosion. Aaron Jones is more explosive than Williams, and if he’s given an opportunity to play on Sunday, he may provide the Packers running game with a shot in the arm it needs to get rolling.
Dalvin Cook vs Buffalo – $6,500 FD/$7,100 DK – Buffalo is terrible against the run. Moreover, they cannot score points on offense, so teams have been run heavy on them as they close out the game. That being said, Cook was injured last week, so if he can’t go, Latavius Murray is a must play for your DFS lineups. Honestly, this is really an endorsement for any running back going against the Buffalo Bills. No matter who starts for the Vikings this week, they will circle the wagons against Buffalo.
Gio Bernard @ Carolina – $6,400 FD/$5,900 DK – With Mixon on the shelf for 2-4 weeks, Gio is a must play. The Panthers are fairly stout against the run, but Gio will get it done in the passing game. Bernard is not a full-time every down back in the NFL, but he can get it done in a full-time role for a short period of time, which is exactly what the Bengals need from him at the moment. Last year when both Mixon and Hill were out, he had 23 carries for 116 yards against the Lions and added 7 catches for 52 yards. Gio didn’t fare as well against the Ravens or Vikings while handling the full-time role, but he still touched the ball at least 16 times in each of those games.
Corey Clement vs Indianapolis – $5,800 FD/$4,300 DK – The Colts can put points on the board which means the game script can be flipped in a hurry, putting the opposition in passing situations. In week 2, Adrian Peterson was basically phased out of the game as the Redskins tried to catch up to the Colts, and Chris Thompson feasted in the passing game, pulling down 13 catches for 92 yards. With Jay Ajayi banged up, Corey Clement may see an increased role regardless, but given the Colts explosive offense, he’s a really intriguing play this week, especially as a pass catcher.