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NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 3 – Running Backs

*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*

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One of the themes of Week 2 was running backs racking up catches for their respective squads. Three of the top four leaders in receptions for Week 2 were runnings backs and all three of them finished with at least 80 receiving yards. There are plenty of great matchups for running backs again in Week 3, so let’s dig into the position to see where you can gain the edge in DFS. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.

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NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 3 - Running Backs

Alvin Kamara vs. Atlanta Falcons
Stadium – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
FanDuel = $8,700
DraftKings = $9,500

Kamara had another fairly quiet performance on the ground in Week 2, rushing 13 times for 46 yards against the Browns. However, he was heavily involved in the passing game, catching all six of his targets for 53 yards. Through the first two games, Kamara already has 15 receptions on 18 targets. He was a monster in the passing game last year, as well, hauling in 81 or 100 targets for 826 yards.

Week 3 brings a great matchup against a Falcons defense that suffered a significant loss when linebacker Deion Jones was placed on IR. Christian McCaffrey took advantage of his absence last week, catching 14 of 15 targets for 102 yards. Kamara may not get a ton of carries again, but his tremendous upside as a receiver makes him one of the best running back options available in DFS.

Saquon Barkley vs. Houston Texans
Stadium – NRG Stadium
FanDuel = $8,000
DraftKings = $7,600

The Giants looked awful offensively Sunday night against the Cowboys. Their offensive line once again had trouble protecting Eli Manning, who has clearly lost a step at this stage of his career. Manning looked to have his head on a swivel in the pocket, often checking down to Barkley to avoid the oncoming pass rush. The end result was Barkley catching 14 of 16 passes thrown his way. He didn’t have a lot of room to run, though, accumulating only 80 receiving yards. He also couldn’t get much going on the ground, carrying 11 times for 28 yards.

The Giants have talented playmakers on offense, but their offensive line and the poor play of Manning might limit some of them from reaching their full potential this year. The one positive for Barkley is that he should receive plenty of targets from Manning as he tries to quickly get the ball out of his hands. Barkley has shown an ability to force missed tackles and he can break off a big play at any moment, which gives him a high floor most weeks.

Jordan Howard vs. Arizona Cardinals
Stadium – State Farm Stadium
FanDuel = $7,400
DraftKings = $6,500

Howard didn’t exactly shine on Monday Night Football against the Seahawks, rushing 14 times for 35 yards. He’s failed to score a touchdown yet this year, but his involvement in the passing game has been promising. He received 32 targets in 2017, but he’s already had nine passes thrown his way across two games, hauling in eight of them for 58 yards. The Bears have another talented pass-catcher out of the backfield in Tarik Cohen, but he’s received only five targets so far.

Week 3 brings a great matchup that could potentially lead to a breakout performance from Howard. The Cardinals offense has looked terrible this year, often putting them in a big hole early. This has resulted in their opponents running the ball a lot late in games. The Cardinals haven’t provided much resistance, allowing 256 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs.

GPP TOURNAMENT OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 3 - Running Backs

Chris Thompson vs. Green Bay Packers
Stadium – FedEx Field
FanDuel = $6,500
DraftKings = $6,300

Thompson may not get a lot of press, but he’s one of the best pass-catching running backs in football. He proved it again in Week 2 against the Colts, catching 13 of 14 targets for 92 yards and a touchdown. He’s quickly developed a strong relationship with Alex Smith, resulting in him receiving 21 targets through the first two weeks. While Adrian Peterson was brought in to help offset the loss of Derrius Guice, Thompson’s significant role with the team remains unquestioned.

Peterson took a step backward from his 96-rushing-yard performance in Week 1, but part of that was because the Redskins were playing catchup against the Colts. Peterson ended up with 15 fewer carriers than he had in the first week. Going up against the high-powered Packers offense could force the Redskins to throw more passes in this game, as well, making Thompson a great option to target for your entry.

Giovani Bernard vs. Carolina Panthers
Stadium – Bank of America Stadium
FanDuel = $6,400
DraftKings = $5,900

Joe Mixon couldn’t make it through Thursday Night Football unscathed and underwent a procedure to remove a small particle from his knee over the weekend. The surgery isn’t expected to sideline Bernard for too long, but he won’t be able to suit up Sunday against the Panthers.

Bernard started two games last season that Mixon also missed due to injury. One of them was a tough matchup against the Vikings where he finished with only 43 total yards, but he did score a touchdown and receive 14 carries to go along with five targets. He accumulated 130 total yards in his other start against the Bears. The Panthers have allowed 4.9 yards per carry across their first two games this season, leaving Bernard with a high ceiling considering his expected role and price in DFS.

Matt Breida vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Stadium – Arrowhead Stadium
FanDuel = $6,200
DraftKings = $5,400

The 49ers were dealt a crushing blow when they lost Jerick McKinnon to a torn ACL before the season even started. In his absence, Breida and Alfred Morris became the lead duo in their backfield. After an unfavorable matchup versus the Vikings in Week 1, Breida rebounded in a big way Sunday against the Lions. He only carried the ball 11 times, but he ran for 138 yards and a score.

Another encouraging sign for Breida in Week 2 is that he received four targets. This could be a high-scoring game against the Chiefs explosive offense, which may force the 49ers to throw more than usual. The Chiefs have given up 261 receiving yards on 21 receptions to running backs so far this year. If he continues to play like he did last week, he could break away from Morris, who has averaged 3.3 yards per carry.

Corey Clement vs. Indianapolis Colts
Stadium – Lincoln Financial Field
FanDuel = $5,800
DraftKings = $4,300

The Eagles could be very thin at running back this week. Darren Sproles missed Week 2 with a hamstring injury and his status for this game against the Colts is still in doubt. Jay Ajayi also briefly left Sunday’s game with a back injury, but there have been reports that he might not be able to play this week. The Eagles already promoted Josh Adams from their practice squad, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for the prospects of Ajayi and Sproles taking the field.

Clement played well in Week 2 with Ajayi limited, finishing with 85 total yards and a touchdown. If Ajayi ultimately does not play in this contest, Clement should see a significant boost in value. If Sproles is also ruled out, the potential value you could receive from Clement at this might be too hard to pass up.

PLAYERS TO AVOID

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 3 - Running Backs

LeSean McCoy vs. Minnesota Vikings
Stadium – U.S. Bank Stadium
FanDuel = $6,500
DraftKings = $5,100

McCoy is really the only significant weapon the Bills have on offense. They have a hard enough time scoring points, to begin with, but now McCoy is dealing with a rib injury heading into Week 3. He’s listed as questionable right now, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s forced to miss at least this contest. Even if he does play, he’ll be at less than 100% against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Stay far, far away from McCoy when crafting your lineup.

Derrick Henry vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – TIAA Bank Field
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $4,400

Henry had the potential to become the lead running back for the Titans after the departure of DeMarco Murray, but the addition of Dion Lewis put a damper on his value. They have basically split the carries through two games with Henry getting 28 rushing attempts compared to 30 for Lewis. Lewis is clearly their preferred option as a pass-catcher, though, as he has nine targets compared to just one for Henry. There’s just not enough upside here with Henry to warrant taking a chance on him against the Jaguars stingy defense.

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 3 – Quarterbacks

*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*

Early bird special! Use code EBIRD15 at checkout to save 15%.

We’re only two weeks into the season, but injuries are piling up across the league. Aaron Rodgers was able to battle through a knee injury Week 2 against the Vikings, but Marcus Mariota was unable to play against the Texans due to an injured elbow. Week 3 brings some good news at quarterback with Carson Wentz set to return for the Eagles. It also brings another opportunity to win some cash in DFS. Let’s examine some quarterbacks to target and avoid as you craft your entry. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.

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NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 3 - Quarterbacks

Patrick Mahomes vs. San Francisco 49ers
Stadium – Arrowhead Stadium
FanDuel = $8,900
DraftKings = $7,000

The Chiefs made the decision to move on from Alex Smith during the offseason and give their promising young quarterback in Mahomes a chance to shine. He’s done just that through the first two weeks, throwing for 582 yards and a staggering 10 touchdowns. There was some concern that he could turnover prone heading into the season, but he’s yet to throw an interception. He’s also completed 69.1% of his passes.

This might be the perfect storm for Mahomes. He has a big arm and a ton of talent around him on offense. The Chiefs are also horrible on the defensive side of the ball, which should force him to throw a lot in high scoring games. Not only has Mahomes dominated in his first two contests, but it shouldn’t be overlooked that both of those performances came on the road. He’ll finally get to play at home against a 49ers defense that allowed Matthew Stafford to throw for 347 yards and three touchdowns in Week 2. Mahomes’ price has jumped significantly, but his ceiling is tremendous.

Kirk Cousins vs. Buffalo Bills
Stadium – U.S. Bank Stadium
FanDuel = $8,600
DraftKings = $6,800

The Vikings came away with a tie against the Packers in Week 2, but Cousins had an impressive performance. After completing just 55.6% of his passes in Week 1, he connected on 72.9% of his attempts against the Packers. He amassed 425 passing yards, marking the fourth time in his career that he has thrown for at least 400 yards in a game. He also chipped in four touchdowns to go along with only one interception.

Cousins had some decent weapons around at times with the Redskins, but nothing like the trio of Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph. He’s primed to have an excellent season. Sunday brings an extremely favorable matchup against a Bills defense that has allowed six touchdown passes and has failed to record an interception through the first two weeks. This game might get out of hand early due to the Bills putrid offense, but Cousins still has a high floor.

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Stadium – Arrowhead Stadium
FanDuel = $7,400
DraftKings = $6,500

Garoppolo understandably struggled in the first game of the season against a tough Vikings defense. He only had to attempt 26 passes in Week 2 against the Lions as the 49ers raced out to an early lead, but he completed 18 of those attempts for 206 yards and two touchdowns. His 69.2% completion percentage was on par with the 67.4% mark that he posted in 2017. It should also be noted that he was missing arguably his best pass-catching option in Marquise Goodwin due to a quad injury.

Going up against the vaunted Chiefs offense, expect Garoppolo to throw a ton in this game. The Chiefs defense was lit up by Ben Roethlisberger last week and has allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks through the first two weeks. It’s still uncertain if Goodwin will be able to return for this game, but Garoppolo is an excellent option even if he’s missing his speedy receiver.

GPP TOURNAMENT OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 3 - Quarterbacks

Deshaun Watson vs. New York Giants
Stadium – NRG Stadium
FanDuel = $7,700
DraftKings = $6,100

Watson looked rusty in Week 1 against the Patriots. He completed only 50% of his passes for 176 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He did chip in 40 rushing yards on eight carries, but it was a disappointing performance based on the lofty expectations that he set for himself last year before going down with a torn ACL. However, he looked more like himself last week against the Titans, completing 68.8% of his passes for 310 yards, two touchdowns and one interception to go along with 44 rushing yards.

Possibly one of the biggest reasons for his disappointing first game was the absence of Will Fuller. For his career, Watson has averaged 35.4 fantasy points per game in the games Fuller has played compared to 17.4 points per game without him. With Fuller’s return for Week 2, Watson thrived. The Giants defense has had plenty of trouble defending mobile quarterbacks this year, allowing Blake Bortles to rush for 35 yards in Week 1 and Dak Prescott to rush for 45 yards last week.  Watson could be in line for a huge performance.

Alex Smith vs. Green Bay Packers
Stadium – FedEx Field
FanDuel = $7,100
DraftKings = $5,800

Smith was set up nicely for a big game last week against a Colts secondary that has plenty of holes. He did complete 71.7% of his passes, but he only finished with 292 yards on 46 attempts. He again didn’t throw an interception, but he failed to throw a touchdown pass, as well.

Smith is going to take care of the football and keep his team in the game most weeks. The problem is, he’s not always a big-play quarterback. He threw 26 touchdown passes all of 2017, but his replacement Mahomes already has 10 through two contests. The good news for Week 3 is that the Redskins are facing a Packers defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks across the first two weeks. They also might be forced to throw a lot to keep up with Rodgers and the Packers offense, making him someone to consider for your entry.

Ryan Tannehill vs. Oakland Raiders
Stadium – Hard Rock Stadium
FanDuel = $6,600
DraftKings = $5,300

Tannehill is back and the Dolphins are 2-0. What more could you ask for, right? Well, before Dolphins fans get too excited, they did beat two mediocre teams in the Jets and Titans. You can only beat who’s on your schedule, though, and Tannehill’s return at least gives them some hope to be more competitive this season. He threw for just 168 yards last week, but only attempted 23 passes in what was a convincing win. He did complete 73.9% of his attempts and record two touchdowns.

It’s encouraging that Tannehill has completed at least 70% of his passes and thrown for at least two touchdowns in both games this season. While not flashy, he has some solid receivers around him in Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola, and Albert Wilson. The Dolphins rushing duo of Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore can cause problems, as well. His upside isn’t as high as that of Watson, but Tannehill could be a low-owned player who provides value at this cheap price.

PLAYERS TO AVOID

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 3 - Quarterbacks

Philip Rivers vs. Los Angeles Rams
Stadium – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
FanDuel = $7,400
DraftKings = $5,800

Rivers is off to a fast start, throwing for 680 yards and six touchdowns over the first two weeks. He’s been one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the league during his career, throwing for between 28 and 33 touchdowns in each of the last five seasons. The problem is that he has to go against the vaunted Rams defense that has allowed an average of 3.9 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks through two weeks. Yes, you read that correctly. There will be plenty of weeks that you want to roll with Rivers for your entry, but Week 3 is not one of them.

Dak Prescott vs. Seattle Seahawks
Stadium – CenturyLink Field
FanDuel = $6,800
DraftKings = $5,100

Prescott got off to a fast start Sunday night against the Giants, throwing a 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin on the third play of the game. That being said, he only threw for 96 yards the rest of the game. He threw for just 170 yards in Week 1, as well, and is clearly hampered by the Cowboys lack of talent at wide receiver. This team is built around Ezekiel Elliott and their rushing attack, which will likely limit Prescott’s opportunities. The Seahawks defense is not nearly as formidable as it has been in recent years, but Prescott doesn’t have enough upside to warrant consideration for your entry.

Contrarian DFS Plays for NFL GPP Contests – Week 2 – 9/14

*Chris Tierney — @cstcst2*

Early bird special! Use code EBIRD15 at checkout to save 15%.

Chris Tierney goes by cstcst in the world of DFS.  He can be followed on twitter @cstcst2.

Week one is in the books.  It was one of straight chalk in the DFS world, as Conner, Kamara, Thomas, Gronk, and Allen all came through with big weeks at high ownership.  If you followed the masses, it was a good start.  The NFL is rarely as straight forward as it was last weekend.  Keep that in mind as we move forward into week two and look at some GPP stacks to consider.

‘The Chalkie Talkie’ – Steelers vs. Chiefs

This game, rightfully so, has the highest total on the board for Sunday.  Neither defense is much to fear, and both teams are stacked with elite playmakers at every level of their offenses.  If you plan to play this game in GPP’s, be sure to mix and match with some of the players who are likely to be less owned than the Conner’s, AB’s and Tyfreak’s.  Less owned options include:

Vance McDonald – The last time we saw Vance in action, he was connecting with Big Ben to single handedly keep the Steelers in the divisional playoff game last January.  He is battling a foot injury so keep an eye on injury news, but he is a great receiving TE who is likely to go under owned.  If he is full tilt, he’s a steal on both sites at their posted prices.  In a week where many will play Jonnu Smith, in an effort to pay up at other positions, McDonald is a far superior play.

Kareem Hunt – Limited to just 16 carries and one target last week by Head Coach Andy Reid, we can safely say that Hunt was a disappointment in a game where the Chiefs had a big lead.  Enter game flow and matchups here, and Hunt looks like a terrific, potentially contrarian play on Sunday.   The Chiefs cannot afford to get into a track meet at Heinz Field; they simply don’t have the defense to match up here.  The Steelers run defense has not been sound since the loss of Ryan Shazier last season.  Vince Williams was sound last week against the Browns, but the Chiefs have a better offensive line.  Feeding Hunt and Kelce to move the chains, keeping Ben and AB on the sideline is the path to victory for Kansas City.  I expect Hunt’s opportunities to increase to 23-25 on Sunday.

Finally, Travis Kelce was only targeted on six of 27 passes last weekend.  That will not continue over the course of the season and this is a good chance to buy low on the most athletic tight end in the game.

Two alternative game stacks are evident after running numbers for Sunday.

Houston at Tennessee – This game has the makings of a shootout.  Houston, with Watson, has the ability to put up a ton of points every time they take the field.  Watson looked rusty against New England last week, but should get Will Fuller back here, which will allow him to stretch the Titans defense.  Hopkins is another great play here and Corey Davis was targeted 13 times last weekend.  Corey could be a household name in fantasy circles by the end of the season.  The only thing giving us some pause here is Mariota’s health.  The Titans have already said that they’ll play two quarterbacks, which is not ideal.  Keep an eye on news as to how the Titans plan to play it as Sunday approaches.

Detroit at San Francisco This one is my personal favorite to potentially unseat Pittsburgh KC as the highest scoring game of the weekend.  The Lions were a complete and total mess on Monday night in New York and the whole world saw it.  Matt Stafford is an experienced quarterback who will quickly forget what transpired last week and this game presents an opportunity for their passing offense in a big way.  The 49ers defensive backfield can be attacked.  Conversely, Jimmy G has also has a great matchup and will look to get Kittle (my number 1 ranked TE this week) and Garcon involved early and often.  Pettis is another interesting contrarian cheap play at WR as he had five targets after Goodwin left last week’s game and nearly had a second TD catch.  Stack this game up.

Pure GPP plays

Wide Receiver

Quincy Enunwa, NY Jets – 10 targets last week, and with no valid threat at TE, should continue to be Darnold’s safety blanket.

Kenny Golladay, Detroit – Role increased last week, talent has always been there for this young WR.

Mike Williams, LAC – Anyone who follows the college game remembers Williams from his days at Clemson.  He had a couple of drops last-weekend but he is a big dynamic athlete who, with good health, will be a top receiver down the road.

Running Back

Chris Thompson, WSH – Thompson returned from injury and picked up right where he left off with seven targets from Alex Smith and five carries.  The Cardinals presented no fight to the Redskins so the game flow worked against him.  Provided the Colts keep this close, Thompson could be in for a big game.

Jalen Richard, OAK – So much attention was paid to the arrival of Doug Martin in Oakland.  Richard stole the show and the usage in the Raiders 33-13 loss to the Rams on Monday night.  The jitter bug back was targeted 11 times and had five carries.  They travel to Denver this weekend and Denver struggles with TE’s and receiving backs.  Game flow could aid Richard again this week.

Tight End

Ben Watson, NO – Watson was only targeted four times last weekend with Kamara and Thomas getting the majority of targets from Drew Brees.  The Browns have an athletic defensive backfield and have the goods to slow down Kamara and Thomas to an extent.  With all of that being said, the Browns have been brutal against the Tight End for the last three seasons.  Watson and Brees have made big plays together in the recent past and a huge game from Watson falls squarely in the range of outcomes on Sunday.

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 – TE/DEF/ST

*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*

Early bird special! Use code EBIRD15 at checkout to save 15%.

There were some excellent performances by tight ends in Week 1, but we also lost two of the most productive players at the position due to injury in Delanie Walker and Greg Olsen. With Walker out for the season and Olsen likely to miss several weeks, an already thin position became that much harder to navigate. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the schedule and examine some players, and defenses/special teams, to target or avoid as you create your DFS entry. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.

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NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - TE/DEF/ST

Zach Ertz vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Stadium – Raymond James Stadium
FanDuel = $6,500
DraftKings = $6,100

Ertz only came away with five catches for 48 yards against the Falcons in Week 1, but the key is that he was targeted 10 times. He has never finished a season with a catch rate below 63.2%, so it was a bit of an aberration to see him haul in only half of the balls thrown his way. The number of targets he received was no surprise, though, as he received at least 106 targets in three consecutive seasons.

Alshon Jeffery is expected to miss Week 2 as well, opening up an even larger role in the offense for Ertz. Nelson Agholor will be his main competition for targets, but the Eagles pass-catching options are fairly limited otherwise. Nick Foles attempted 34 passes against the Falcons with Ertz and Agholor being his targets on 20 of them. Ertz is also their best red zone option, leaving him with a high floor in this contest.

Jordan Reed vs. Indianapolis Colts
Stadium – FedEx Field
FanDuel = $6,200
DraftKings = $5,000

Reed is one of the most talented tight ends in the league. His only problem is finding a way to stay on the field. He’s healthy right now and is coming off a productive first game of the season that saw him catch four of five targets for 48 yards and a touchdown.

Last year was pretty much a lost season for Reed as he played only six games and was limited by injury in many of those contests where he did actually play. In the 24 games that he played across 2015 and 2016, he averaged more than 10 yards per reception and scored 17 total touchdowns. The Colts secondary entered this season ranked last in the NFL by Pro Football Focus and struggled in Week 1, making Reed an excellent target for your entry.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals
Stadium – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
FanDuel = $4,800
DraftKings = $3,700

The Rams had one of the best defenses in the NFL last year and made it even stronger when they added cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Aaron Donald was holding out for a contract extension, but luckily he and the Rams were able to agree to a new deal before the start of the season so he didn’t miss any games. They limited the Raiders to 13 points Monday, recording three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

The Cardinals offense laid an egg Week 1, scoring only six points against the Redskins. Sam Bradford struggled mightily, completing 20 of 34 passes for 153 and an interception. They have two talented weapons in David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, but Bradford doesn’t have much to work with outside of those two. Add in the fact that this game will be at home and the Rams defense could dominate Sunday.

GPP TOURNAMENT OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - TE/DEF/ST

George Kittle vs. Detroit Lions
Stadium – Levi’s Stadium
FanDuel = $5,600
DraftKings = $3,800

Not much went right for the 49ers against the Vikings on Sunday, but Kittle was one of the bright spots for their offense. He finished with five catches on nine targets for 90 yards and could have finished with an even better line had he not dropped what looked to be a potential long touchdown pass.

Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo clearly have developed a good relationship. In the final three games of 2017 with Garoppolo as his starting quarterback, Kittle averaged 64.7 receiving yards per contest. The 49ers may try to avoid cornerback Darius Slay, which could open up even more targets for Kittle. The Lions defense is weak, overall, so look for Kittle to build on his strong opening performance.

Jared Cook vs. Denver Broncos
Stadium – Broncos Stadium at Mile High
FanDuel = $5,000
DraftKings = $3,600

The Raiders were clearly trying to avoid the Rams star cornerbacks in Week 1, which opened up a huge role in the offense for Cook. He finished with nine catches on 12 targets for a staggering 180 yards. He had 83 targets and 688 receiving yards across 16 games in all of 2017.

While his performance was certainly impressive, Cook is going to be hard pressed to get 12 targets again Sunday. He might not need to in order to provide significant value, though, based on the Broncos struggles to defend tight ends. They allowed 1,023 receiving yards and nine touchdowns to the position in 2017 and were torched by Will Dissly for 105 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. At this cheap price, he’s a viable option to consider in tournament play.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Buffalo Bills
Stadium – New Era Field
FanDuel = $4,400
DraftKings = $3,600

The Chargers defense suffered a significant loss when Joey Bosa was unable to play against the Chiefs. They were destroyed by Tyreek Hill, who had 169 receiving yards and three total touchdowns, one of which came on a punt return. Patrick Mahomes also had an impressive performance in the first game of the post-Alex Smith era.

The Chiefs have a lot of weapons on offense. The Chargers will be facing a team on the opposite end of the spectrum in the Bills. They could only muster three points against the Ravens and have already turned over the quarterback job to Josh Allen after Nathan Peterman was awful once again. They have very few playmakers outside of LeSean McCoy and will likely struggle to score again in Week 2.

PLAYERS TO AVOID

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - TE/DEF/ST

Jimmy Graham vs. Minnesota Vikings
Stadium – Lambeau Field
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $4,800

Jimmy Graham was all about touchdowns in 2017. He hauled in 10 scores but also posted just 520 receiving yards on 57 receptions. He only topped 60 receiving yards in a game twice all season and finished with a combined 47 yards across his last four games. A move to the Packers brought much of the same in Week 1 as he finished with two catches on four targets for eight yards.

Graham is one of the more talented tight ends that Aaron Rodgers has played with in his career, but Graham is heavily touchdown dependent at this stage of his career. I’d much rather roll with Reed, Kittle or Cook rather than the all-or-nothing risk that Graham provides.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New England Patriots
Stadium – TIAA Bank Field
FanDuel = $4,300
DraftKings = $2,800

The Jaguars defense started off on the right foot, holding the Giants to 15 points in their season opener. Eli Manning was under pressure throughout the game and eventually threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. That was nothing new for a Jaguars team that had seven defensive touchdowns in 2017.

The Giants have a lot of weapons on offense, but Manning is in the twilight of his career. Tom Brady hasn’t lost a step and opened the season with 277 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Texans. The Patriots are thin at wide receiver with Julian Edelman suspended, but they still have enough talent to cause plenty of problems. It might be wise to avoid this matchup, especially at the Jaguars price on FanDuel.

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 – Wide Receivers

*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*

Early bird special! Use code EBIRD15 at checkout to save 15%.

The first week of the NFL season brought some prolific performances from a few of the top wide receivers around the league. There are plenty of great matchups to take advantage of for Week 2, as well. Let’s dive into the schedule and examine some players to target or avoid as you create your DFS entry. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.

CASH CONTEST OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - Wide Receivers

Antonio Brown vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Stadium – Heinz Field
FanDuel = $8,900
DraftKings = $8,800

The weather conditions were less than ideal for the Steelers passing game in Week 1, but Brown still had an excellent performance. He caught nine of 16 targets for 93 yards and a touchdown. The game did include an entire overtime period, but Brown received at least 10 targets in 11 of the 14 games he played last year, as well.

There are few matchups that don’t lean in Brown’s favor, but this is one that certainly sticks out as an opportunity for him to dominate. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has historically performed better at home, which has given Brown a boost when they play there. In seven games at Heinz Field last year, Brown averaged 119.1 receiving yards and scored six touchdowns. He averaged 99.9 yards and scored three touchdowns across seven games on the road. The Chiefs secondary allowed Philip Rivers to throw for 424 yards last week, leaving Brown with tremendous upside.

Julio Jones vs. Carolina Panthers
Stadium – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
FanDuel = $8,500
DraftKings = $8,400

Jones put on a show against the defending Super Bowl champs in Week 1, catching 10 of 19 targets for 169 yards. He received three targets inside the red zone, but as has been the case in his career, Jones finished yet another game without a score. He scored nine touchdowns over the last two seasons, combined, and has only scored double-digit touchdowns in a year one time in his career.

There is no questioning that Jones is one of the best wide receivers in the league. The only problem has been his inability to reach the end zone. With that being said, he’s a target monster and has no problem racking up yardage. He has received at least 129 targets and recorded at least 1,409 receiving yards in four straight seasons. Even if he doesn’t reach the end zone again Sunday, his role in the offense gives him a high floor that is valuable in cash contests.

Keenan Allen vs. Buffalo Bills
Stadium – New Era Field
FanDuel = $8,000
DraftKings = $7,800

Allen was one of the main beneficiaries of the Chargers having to play catch up with the Chiefs, catching eight of 11 targets for 108 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers have quality depth at wide receiver and brought back Antonio Gates to fill their hole at tight end, but Allen is clearly the focal point of their passing attack. Allen received at least 10 targets in a game nine times last year and finished the season recording at least 100 yards in five of his final seven contests.

The Bills were awful in their blowout loss to the Ravens in Week 1 and while they struggled across the board, they allowed Joe Flacco to throw three touchdown passes after he failed to toss more than two in any game last year. There is a chance the Chargers could storm out to an early lead and run the ball more in the second half, but Allen should still see plenty of passes thrown his way.

GPP TOURNAMENT OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - Wide Receivers

Emmanuel Sanders vs. Oakland Raiders
Stadium – Broncos Stadium at Mile High
FanDuel = $6,800
DraftKings = $6,200

Sanders entered 2017 having received at least 136 targets and posting at least 1,032 yards in three straight seasons. However, he dealt with injuries and poor quarterback play last year, which resulted in him finishing with 555 yards over 12 games. His 51.1% catch rate and 11.8 yards per reception were both his lowest marks since he was still with the Steelers in 2013.

The addition of Case Keenum immediately paid dividends for Sanders in Week 1 as he hauled in 10 of 11 targets for 135 yards and a touchdown. It did come against a Seahawks defense that is a shell of its former self, but he’ll get another favorable matchup Sunday against a Raiders defense that suffered a tough blow when Khalil Mack was traded to the Bears. He might not be able to replicate his performance from last week, but Sanders doesn’t have to in order to still be able to provide value at this price.

Josh Gordon vs. New Orleans Saints
Stadium – Mercedes-Benz Superdome
FanDuel = $6,300
DraftKings = $5,800

Gordon didn’t start Week 1 after missing part of training camp and was supposed to be on a limited snap count. The latter didn’t come to fruition as he was on the field for 69 of the Browns 89 offensive plays. He only caught one of three targets, but it resulted in a 17-yard touchdown.

Gordon is listed as a starter for Week 2 and should be on the field plenty in this game. He has tremendous talent, but off-the-field issues have certainly put a damper on his career. The Browns may be forced to throw a lot to keep up with the Saints high-powered offense, which could lead to a big performance from Gordon.

Nelson Agholor vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Stadium – Raymond James Stadium
FanDuel = $6,100
DraftKings = $6,100

Agholor had a weird first game of the season. He entered Week 1 as the Eagles top wide receiver with Alshon Jeffery out due to injury and certainly saw plenty of passes thrown his way, grabbing eight of 10 targets. However, he finished with just 33 yards.

Jeffery will be sidelined again in Week 2, leaving Agholor to likely get the lion’s share of the targets out of the Eagles wide receiver group. Tight end Zach Ertz will likely be heavily involved, as well, but Agholor still stands out as a great option against a Buccaneers defense that allowed Drew Brees to throw for 429 yards in Week 1.

Kenny Golladay vs. San Francisco 49ers
Stadium – Levi’s Stadium
FanDuel = $5,700
DraftKings = $4,800

The Lions suffered one of the uglier losses of Week 1 on Monday against the Jets. Matthew Stafford had a particularly poor performance, throwing four interceptions compared to just one touchdown. The good news was they were forced to throw a lot because of the lopsided score, which helped Golladay amass seven receptions and 114 yards on 12 targets.

The Lions have an impressive wide receiver trio of Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and Golden Tate. While that might limit their production for some teams, it’s not a big concern for the Lions because they use a lot of three-receiver sets and don’t run the ball a ton. They also don’t really have any quality pass-catching options at tight end after Eric Ebron departed for the Colts. Don’t be surprised if the Lions defense forces their offense to try and play from behind in this game, too, which makes Golladay an intriguing option in tournament play.

PLAYERS TO AVOID

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - Wide Receivers

Amari Cooper vs. Denver Broncos
Stadium – Broncos Stadium at Mile High
FanDuel = $6,900
DraftKings = $6,600

Cooper is one of the more frustrating receivers in fantasy. He has a lot of talent, but drops have limited his production. New head coach Jon Gruden said he wanted Cooper to be heavily involved in their offense this year, but he received just three targets in Week 1. While it did come against a very tough Rams secondary, it wasn’t the type of performance that instills a ton of confidence that this season will be any different for him. The Broncos secondary is formidable as well as they entered the season ranked 10th in the league by Pro Football Focus. There are a lot of great options at wide receiver with bye weeks having yet to start, so Cooper seems like an unnecessary risk to take.

Randall Cobb vs. Minnesota Vikings
Stadium – Lambeau Field
FanDuel = $6,200
DraftKings = $4,600

The injury to Aaron Rodgers last year really hurt Cobb’s numbers. He averaged a career-low 9.9 yards per catch and scored just four touchdowns despite playing in 15 games. He put up a vintage performance with Rodgers back at the helm for Week 1, catching nine of 12 targets for a whopping 142 yards and a touchdown. It was certainly encouraging for Cobb’s outlook for the season, but he’s not someone you want to consider this week with Rodgers battling a knee injury and also having to face the stingy Vikings defense.

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 – Running Backs

*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*

Early bird special! Use code EBIRD15 at checkout to save 15%.

Week 1 wasn’t exactly a banner start for running backs across the NFL with only four players topping 100 rushing yards. Two of them were James Conner, who took advantage of the absence of Le’Veon Bell, and Isaiah Crowell, who was making his debut for the Jets. Let’s dive into the schedule for Week 2 and examine some players to target or avoid as you create your DFS lineup. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.

CASH CONTEST OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - Running Backs

Alvin Kamara vs. Cleveland Browns
Stadium – Mercedes-Benz Superdome
FanDuel = $9,000
DraftKings = $9,500

Kamara only ran the ball eight times Sunday for 29 yards, but he did record two rushing touchdowns. With the Saints involved in a shootout, Kamara’s heaviest usage came in the passing game as he hauled in nine of 12 targets for 112 yards and another touchdown. Both the 12 targets and 112 receiving yards were the highest marks of his career.

It should come as no surprise that Kamara saw such a high usage catching passes out of the backfield considering he had 100 targets last year. He never had more than 12 rushing attempts in 2017, either, so don’t be surprised if he doesn’t see a major increase even with Mark Ingram suspended. That being said, he has a huge role in the Saints offense and gets another favorable matchup at home against a Browns team that allowed 135 rushing yards and two touchdowns to Conner last week.

Todd Gurley II vs. Arizona Cardinals
Stadium – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
FanDuel = $8,900
DraftKings = $9,200

Gurley was one of the four running backs in the NFL to top 100 rushing yards in Week 1, finishing second to Conner with 108 yards on the ground. He was also one of only five running backs to get at least 20 rushing attempts. The Rams have a lot of weapons at wide receiver, but Gurley is clearly the focal point of their offense.

The Cardinals had a hard time stopping the Redskins rushing attack in Week 1, which was led by Adrian Peterson and his 96 yards on 26 carries. Chris Thompson even chipped in 65 rushing yards on just five attempts. The Cardinals run defense was ranked 23rd heading into this season by Pro Football Focus, so their struggles out of the gate were not all that surprising. Gurley has one of the highest floors of any running back taking the field in Week 2.

Melvin Gordon III vs. Buffalo Bills
Stadium – New Era Field
FanDuel = $8,200
DraftKings = $7,400

Gordon didn’t exactly dominate on the ground against the Chiefs, rushing 15 times for 64 yards. With the Chargers playing catch up late in the game, Gordon was actually used extensively in the passing attack, catching nine of 13 targets for 102 yards. He had a total of 83 targets in 2017 and should be a significant weapon catching passes out of the backfield again in 2018.

This could be an entirely different type of game for the Chargers against the Bills and their anemic offense. I expect Gordon to see fewer targets, as a result, but he could also get more carries if the Chargers get up big early. The Bills allowed three rushing touchdowns against the Ravens on Sunday after giving up a league-high 22 touchdowns in the ground in 2017, leaving Gordon with the potential for an extremely valuable performance.

GPP TOURNAMENT OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - Running Backs

Christian McCaffrey vs. Atlanta Falcons
Stadium – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
FanDuel = $7,400
DraftKings = $7,000

McCaffrey was the talk of the preseason after the Panthers coaching staff stated they wanted to get him more touches this year. He didn’t exactly set the league on fire in Week 1 against the Cowboys, rushing 10 times for 50 yards. He also caught six of nine targets for 45 yards. While the overall yardage was a positive sign, McCaffrey again failed to reach the end zone after recording just seven total touchdowns in his rookie season.

This could be the week the stars align for McCaffrey against the Falcons, who allowed the most receptions by opposing running backs (107) in the league last year. They have also lost linebacker Deion Jones to a foot injury. The Panthers will also be without tight end Greg Olsen due to another foot injury of his own, opening up even more targets for McCaffrey.

Adrian Peterson vs. Indianapolis Colts
Stadium – FedEx Field
FanDuel = $6,700
DraftKings = $5,500

Peterson wasn’t overly efficient with his 3.7 yards per carry in Week 1, but it was encouraging to see him rack up 26 carries in the first game of the year. Although he was a late addition to the roster after Derrius Guice was lost for the season with a torn ACL, Peterson is clearly the lead back for the Redskins. Samaje Perine was inactive for the game and Rob Kelley received just three carries.

The Colts secondary might be one of the worst in the league, but their run defense wasn’t much better against the Bengals on Sunday, allowing Joe Mixon to accumulate 95 yards and a touchdown on only 17 carries. Peterson’s volume makes him a very appealing option to consider.

Chris Thompson vs. Indianapolis Colts
Stadium – FedEx Field
FanDuel = $6,200
DraftKings = $5,900

Thompson was limited to 10 games last season due to injury, but he was putting up big numbers catching passes out of the backfield before he went down. He averaged 13.1 yards per catch and scored a career-high four receiving touchdowns. Although he’s known more for his receiving skills, Thompson averaged 4.6 yards per carry and has averaged 5.4 yards per carry for his career, overall.

Thompson showed no signs of rust in his first regular season game since November, catching six of 7 targets for 63 yards and a score in Week 1. Add in his 65 yards on the ground and he and Peterson both topped 120 total yards against the Cardinals. There is certainly room for both of them to be successful again this week.

Phillip Lindsay vs. Oakland Raiders
Stadium – Broncos Stadium at Mile High
FanDuel = $4,900
DraftKings = $4,400

During training camp, Devontae Booker and Royce Freeman were battling it out for the Broncos starting running back job. Freeman entered the season at the top of the depth chart and rushed 15 times for 71 yards against the Seahawks. Booker received only two carries, but he was expected to be more heavily involved in the passing attack. Booker caught both of his targets for 11 yards, but he looks to be behind Lindsay now as well.

Lindsay flashed plenty of potential out of the gate, rushing 15 times for 71 yards and catching two of his three targets for 31 yards. He was on the field for only three fewer snaps than Freeman, but he out-snapped Booker 26 to 19. If you play in season-long fantasy, Lindsay is a hot add off waivers. He’s still very cheap in DFS for Week 2, so it might be a good idea to take advantage of the discount while you still can.

PLAYERS TO AVOID

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - Running Backs

LeSean McCoy vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Stadium – New Era Field
FanDuel = $6,800
DraftKings = $5,700

McCoy was not immune to the disasters of the Bills offense Sunday. In a game that was over early, he had only seven carries for 22 yards. He caught one of his three targets, losing a yard on the lone pass that he hauled in. The Bills quarterback situation is a mess and they don’t have much talent at wide receiver, either, which should allow opposing defenses to focus their efforts on stopping McCoy. With so many other quality options this week, he seems like an unnecessary risk to take.

Jamaal Williams vs. Minnesota Vikings
Stadium – Lambeau Field
FanDuel = $6,100
DraftKings = $5,200

The Packers only ran the ball 18 times Sunday night, 15 of which went to Williams. He didn’t cash in on his opportunities, averaging 3.1 yards per carry. He also failed to catch either of the two passes thrown his way. The Packers had to turn away from the run during their comeback efforts, but their offense is clearly built around Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is dealing with an injury that could at least limit him in this game, but you don’t want to start Williams either way against the stout Vikings defense

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 – Quarterbacks

*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*

Early bird special! Use code EBIRD15 at checkout to save 15%.

The NFL started the season on a high note with a weekend full of wild games. The Browns finally ended their losing streak by forcing a tie against the Steelers, Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Buccaneers to a surprising win against the Saints and the Raiders were beaten soundly in Jon Gruden’s coaching return.

We’re right back at it for Week 2, which is highlighted by the Packers against the Vikings and the Patriots facing the Jaguars. It also brings another opportunity to win some money in DFS. Let’s examine some quarterbacks to target and avoid as you craft your entry. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.

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NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - Quarterbacks

Ben Roethlisberger vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Stadium – Heinz Field
FanDuel = $7,600
DraftKings = $6,900

Coming away with a tie in Cleveland was a disappointing start to the season for the Steelers. There were plenty of concerns about the weather heading into the contest and while it did rain, it was nowhere near the magnitude that was being discussed as a possibility early in the week. Roethlisberger threw for 335 yards but only had a 56.1% completion percentage and one touchdown to go along with three interceptions. He threw more than two interceptions in a game one time in 2017, which was a five-pick performance against the Jaguars.

While his performance wasn’t pretty, Roethlisberger is set up for a nice rebound game in Week 2. He’s been much better at home, averaging 316.6 yards per game there last year compared to 254.4 yards on the road. He also threw 16 touchdown passes across seven home games compared to 12 over eight road contests. The Chiefs secondary leaves a lot to be desired and allowed Philip Rivers to throw for 424 yards and three scores in Week 1. They also have a potent offense, so Roethlisberger and the Steelers might be forced to throw a lot to keep pace.

Philip Rivers vs. Buffalo Bills
Stadium – New Era Field
FanDuel = $7,400
DraftKings = $6,700

The Chargers came away with a tough loss of their own at home against the Chiefs. They played poorly on defense and special teams, which forced Rivers and their offense to try and play catch up after being down 31-12 after three quarters. Not only did Rivers finish with over 400 passing yards and three scores, but he threw just one pick and had a 66.7% completion percentage.

He was set up for a big game based on the Chiefs weak secondary and has another good matchup against the Bills, who were destroyed 47-3 by the Ravens. Joe Flacco finished that game with only 236 passing yards, but he had three touchdown passes and a 73.5% completion percentage. Flacco never threw more than two touchdown passes in any game last year and his yardage total could have been higher, but he wasn’t needed to throw much late with the game in hand. The Bills do get the benefit of playing this game at home, but Rivers is still an excellent target for your entry.

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Detroit Lions
Stadium – Levi’s Stadium
FanDuel = $7,300
DraftKings = $6,000

It’s no surprise that Garoppolo struggled on the road against the Vikings in Week 1. The Vikings allowed the fewest points in the NFL last year. Garoppolo finished the game with only one touchdown, three interceptions, and a 45.5% completion percentage.

Don’t read too much into that performance, there are few defenses in the league that can compare to the Vikings. One of them is certainly not the Lions, who were crushed by the Jets on Monday Night Football. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold wasn’t needed to throw much based on the score, but he completed 16 of 21 passes for 198 yards and two scores. Garoppolo isn’t overly expensive, but he has a high floor in this matchup.

GPP TOURNAMENT OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - Quarterbacks

Alex Smith vs. Indianapolis Colts
Stadium – FedEx Field
FanDuel = $7,100
DraftKings = $6,000

Smith wasted no time getting off to a strong start with his new team in a win against the Cardinals. While Adrian Peterson did have a great game on the ground, Smith was no slouch himself. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns. It’s no surprise he didn’t throw an interception considering he threw five all of 2017. His 70% completion percentage isn’t out of the ordinary, either, since he has finished with a completion percentage of at least 67.1% in both of the last two seasons.

Like the Chiefs, the Colts have a porous secondary. Andy Dalton didn’t throw for a ton of yards against them with 243 in Week 1, but he did throw for two touchdowns and post a 75% completion percentage. Dalton only had a 59.9% completion percentage in 2017. Smith’s upside isn’t off the charts, but his ability to limit turnovers while also potentially providing value with his legs makes him someone to consider in tournament play.

Case Keenum vs. Oakland Raiders
Stadium – Broncos Stadium at Mile High
FanDuel = $6,700
DraftKings = $5,800

It’s wasn’t all rainbows and gumdrops for Keenum in Week 1. He threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns against the Seahawks, but he also had three interceptions after throwing seven all of last season. He did attempt 39 passes, which was more attempts than he had in all but two games last year. His completion percentage was still reasonable, as well, at 64.1%. It was also encouraging to see him have such good chemistry with Emmanuel Sanders so quickly, who caught 10 of 11 targets for 135 yards.

The Raiders defense suffered a tough loss when they traded Khalil Mack to the Bears. His ability to get to the quarterback can cover up a lot of holes in a secondary which entered the season ranked 24th by Pro Football Focus. Keenum has some weapons at wide receiver with Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, and Courtland Sutton, while Philip Lindsay showed he could be an excellent compliment to Royce Freeman in the Broncos backfield. Expect Keenum to cut down on his interceptions in this game while still providing yardage and touchdown upside.

Tyrod Taylor vs. New Orleans Saints
Stadium – Mercedes-Benz Superdome
FanDuel = $6,600
DraftKings = $5,900

Well, at least the Browns didn’t lose for once. They could have come away with a big win to start their season, but they clearly should be an improved team. They’ve been a mess at quarterback in recent years, but they have turned to Taylor to provide some stability at the position. He completed just 37.5% of his passes in Week 1, but he provided plenty of value on the ground with 77 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

The Saints defense may have provided the most unexpected flop of the first week, giving up 48 points to Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers. Don’t count on the Browns matching that point total, but they might be forced to play catchup against the productive Saints offense late in this game. Taylor’s passing contributions can be inconsistent, but when added with his ability to provide rushing yards, he has plenty of upside at this price.

PLAYERS TO AVOID

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 2 - Quarterbacks

Jared Goff vs. Arizona Cardinals
Stadium – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
FanDuel = $7,400
DraftKings = $6,300

Goff didn’t have a great performance against the Raiders, completing only 18 of 33 passes for 233 yards. On a positive note, he did throw for two scores without tossing an interception. The Rams have built him a promising wide receiver trio of Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp, but their offense is still led by Todd Gurley. That was clear last year when Goff’s 477 pass attempts were the fourth-fewest for any quarterback who played at least 15 games. The only players who attempted fewer were DeShone Kizer, Jacoby Brissett, and Marcus Mariota. His ceiling isn’t very high, so it might be best to avoid Goff at this price, even though this isn’t a bad matchup.

Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Stadium – Raymond James Stadium
FanDuel = $6,800
DraftKings = $5,500

Fitzpatrick was likely the biggest surprise of the opening week. Filling in for the suspended Jameis Winston, he torched the Saints for 417 passing yards and four touchdowns. He completed 75% of his passes and didn’t throw a single interception. For good measure, he added 36 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Fitzpatrick is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league, but it’s highly unlikely he comes close to matching this performance since he threw three touchdowns in three starts combined last year. He’ll also be facing a much tougher Eagles defense, so even though he’s cheap, I’d stay away from him in tournament play.

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 – TE/DEF/ST

*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*

Early bird special! Use code EBIRD15 at checkout to save 15%.

The NFL season is finally here! Along with it comes another exciting year of daily fantasy football. We’ll be doing things a little differently as we look to help you fatten your wallet. We’ll be churning out four articles a week, including one each for quarterbacks, runnings backs, wide receivers and a combined piece for tight ends and defenses/special teams.

In each article, we’ll highlight some players to target for cash or GPP contents. We’ll also discuss players to avoid as your craft your lineup. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.

CASH CONTEST OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 - TE/DEF/ST

Rob Gronkowski vs. Houston Texans
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
FanDuel = $7,900
DraftKings = $6,900

Gronkowski was able to stay relatively healthy last year and he put up big numbers as a result. He caught 69 of 105 targets for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. He also received 21 red zone targets, second to only Jimmy Graham (27) among tight ends. In the last four seasons that Gronkowski has played at least 14 games, he has at least 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns in each of them.

While he’s always one of Tom Brady’s top targets, Gronkowski will likely be leaned on even more so with Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games of the season. Outside of Chris Hogan, the Patriots are extremely thin at wide receiver. For a Week 1 schedule that has so many viable cheap options at running back and wide receiver, this might be the time to pay up to get Gronkowski into your lineup.

Delanie Walker vs. Miami Dolphins
Stadium – Hard Rock Stadium
FanDuel = $6,100
DraftKings = $4,900

Walker is as steady as they come at tight end. He’s logged at least 100 targets, 60 receptions and 800 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons. His three touchdowns last year were a bit of a disappointment, but the struggles of quarterback Marcus Mariota led to some down numbers for most of the Titans pass catchers. Mariota threw just 13 touchdowns the entire season.

The Titans still don’t have a ton of great weapons on offense, but they did bring in Dion Lewis to form a solid duo out of the backfield with Derrick Henry. They also should see some improvement from second-year receiver Corey Davis. That might help take some of the attention away from Walker by opposing defenses. Considering Walker received at least five targets in all but one game last year, he has one of the highest floors at the tight end position.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Buffalo Bills
Stadium – M&T Bank Stadium
FanDuel = $4,800
DraftKings = $3,800

This seems like the chalk play of the week. The Bills offense looks simply atrocious outside of LeSean McCoy. Nathan Peterman will be their starting quarterback after he threw one touchdown and five interceptions in two starts last year. They are extremely thin at wide receiver, as well, which doesn’t exactly help Peterman’s cause. The Ravens were excellent at creating turnovers last year with 22 interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries. Don’t overthink this one, play the Ravens.

GPP TOURNAMENT OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 - TE/DEF/ST

Jordan Reed vs. Arizona Cardinals
Stadium – State Farm Stadium
FanDuel = $5,800
DraftKings = $4,000

Reed has never played more than 14 games during a season in his career. In four of his five years in the league, he’s played 12 games or fewer. More injuries ruined his 2017 campaign, resulting in him playing just six games. He wasn’t productive when he was on the field, either, averaging 35.2 yards per contest.

The good news is that Reed looks to be healthy heading into Week 1.  The Redskins managed his workload throughout training camp and during the preseason, but he’s not listed on their injury report for this game. Although he’ll be playing with a new quarterback in Alex Smith, Reed is one of the best pass-catching options on the Redskins roster. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to roster him at such a reduced price, so this might be an opportunity to pounce on.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. New York Giants
Stadium – MetLife Stadium
FanDuel = $4,600
DraftKings = $3,200

Seferian-Jenkins entered the league with a lot of promise after being selected 38th overall in the 2014 draft by the Buccaneers. Off-the-field issues prevented him from fulfilling his potential with the Buccaneers, ultimately leading him to become a member of the Jets. He played a career-high 13 games for the Jets last year, catching 50 of 74 targets for 357 yards and three touchdowns.

The Jaguars badly needed to add talent at tight end, ultimately leading them to take a chance on Seferian-Jenkins. He gets a great matchup right out of the gate against a Giants defense that allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends last year and looks to be soft in the middle of the field again this season. Seferian-Jenkins is dealing with a core injury right now, but if he’s cleared to play, he has an excellent opportunity to outproduce his price point.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Stadium – StubHub Center
FanDuel = $4,300
DraftKings = $2,800

The Chiefs certainly have plenty of talent on offense, led by Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce. They have turned over the reins at quarterback to Patrick Mahomes, their promising first-round pick from 2017. Mahomes has a great arm and could be in store for a productive NFL career, but he gets a tough assignment Week 1 on the road against a Chargers defense that can create pressure with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. They did lose cornerback Jason Verrett due to a torn Achilles, but they still have an extremely talented secondary. Don’t be surprised if the Chargers create a couple of turnovers in this game.

PLAYERS TO AVOID

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 - TE/DEF/ST

Evan Engram vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – MetLife Stadium
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $4,700

The Giants were decimated by injuries at wide receiver last year, which sometimes left Engram as their best pass-catching option. He had a promising rookie campaign, overall, catching 64 of 115 targets for 772 yards and six touchdowns. The Giants are healthy at wide receiver heading into Week 1 and added talented rookie running back Saquon Barkley to their backfield, so Engram might not see a ton of targets come his way. Add in the fact that he is playing the stingy Jaguars defense and he’s risky at this price.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos
Stadium – Broncos Stadium at Mile High
FanDuel = $4,100
DraftKings = $3,100

The “Legion of Boom” era is officially a thing of the past in Seattle. Not only did they lose Richard Sherman this offseason, but Sheldon Richardson and Michael Bennett are also gone from their defensive front. They did receive some encouraging news when Earl Thomas ended his holdout Wednesday, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to play at full capacity considering his last-minute arrival. The Broncos improved significantly at quarterback with Case Keenum and also added promising rookie running back Royce Freeman during the offseason, leaving the Seahawks as a defense to avoid for your entry.

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 – Wide Receivers

*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*

Early bird special! Use code EBIRD15 at checkout to save 15%.

The NFL season is finally here! Along with it comes another exciting year of daily fantasy football. We’ll be doing things a little differently as we look to help you fatten your wallet. We’ll be churning out four articles a week, including one each for quarterbacks, runnings backs, wide receivers and a combined piece for tight ends and defenses/special teams.

In each article, we’ll highlight some players to target for cash or GPP contents. We’ll also discuss some players to avoid as your craft your lineup. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.

CASH CONTEST OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 - Wide Receivers

A.J. Green vs. Indianapolis Colts
Stadium – Lucas Oil Stadium
FanDuel = $8,400
DraftKings = $7,300

Green had a poor season by his standards in 2017. He finished with 1,078 receiving yards and eight touchdowns but caught only 75 of his 143 targets. He averaged just 67.4 yards per game, well below his career average of 80.5 yards per contest. After posting a catch percentage of at least 65.2% in back-to-back seasons, his 52.4% catch rate last year was the lowest mark of his career.

The good news is Green is clearly still the top option in Cincinnati and is going to get a ton of passes thrown his way. He’s never received fewer than 100 targets in a season, including in 2016 when he played just 10 games. The Colts have the worst secondary in the league according to Pro Football Focus, so Green could get off to a monster start in Week 1.

Keenan Allen vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Stadium – StubHub Center
FanDuel = $8,000
DraftKings = $7,500

Allen entered 2017 having played nine games in the last two seasons combined. He has a ton of talent but needed to stay healthy to live up to lofty fantasy expectations. Everything finally came together, resulting in him playing all 16 games. He put up excellent numbers, catching 102 of 159 targets for 1,393 yards and six touchdowns. He led all wide receivers with 24 targets inside the red zone as well.

The Chargers added a promising young receiver in Mike Williams in the draft last year and while he’s healthy after battling his own injury problems in 2017, Allen is still far and away the top option for Philip Rivers. His high volume of targets gives him a high floor and his upside is tremendous for Week 1 against a Chiefs secondary that enters the season ranked 28th by Pro Football Focus.

Chris Hogan vs. Houston Texans
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
FanDuel = $6,700
DraftKings = $6,100

Hogan had a hard time staying on the field for the Patriots last year, ultimately playing in just nine games. He finished with a career-low 57.6% catch percentage, but his 48.8 receiving yards per game was the highest mark of his career. He also finished with five touchdowns after scoring four across 15 games in 2017.

Hogan enters Week 1 as the Patriots clear top option at wide receiver due to the suspension of Julian Edelman. Most of his competition for targets will likely come from Rob Gronkowski and the combination of James White and Rex Burkhead catching passes out of the backfield. Hogan might not have the same upside as Green and Allen, but he still is a high-floor option considering his price on both sites.

GPP TOURNAMENT OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 - Wide Receivers

John Ross vs. Indianapolis Colts
Stadium – Lucas Oil Stadium
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $3,900

With the Bengals searching for another wide receiver to take some of the pressure off of Green, they selected Ross with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 draft. However, Ross missed training camp due to shoulder surgery and battled injuries throughout the season. Amazingly, he’ll enter 2018 in search of his first career reception in the NFL.

Ross is healthy now and showed a lot of promise in the preseason, including a spectacular reception where he faked out a couple of Bills defenders after making a catch on his way into the end zone. He will have to compete with Tyler Boyd for targets and tight end Tyler Eifert is surprisingly healthy heading into Week 1, but Ross still might be worth the risk in tournament play against the Colts porous secondary.

Danny Amendola vs. Tennessee Titans
Stadium – Hard Rock Stadium
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $4,200

Amendola had one of the best seasons of his career last year, catching 61 of 86 targets for 659 yards. Although he’s had some injury issues during his nine seasons in the league, he’s recorded a catch percentage of at least 70% and averaged at least 10 yards per reception in three straight years.

Amendola left the Patriots to sign with the Dolphins during the offseason. They don’t exactly have a bunch of elite receivers in DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Albert Wilson, so Amendola should make an immediate impact. Parker reportedly won’t play in this game due to a finger injury, which should open up even more targets for Amendola. He doesn’t carry much touchdown upside, but Amendola could still provide value.

Cole Beasley vs. Carolina Panthers
Stadium – Bank of American Stadium
FanDuel = $4,800
DraftKings = $3,600

Beasley had a breakout season in 2016, finishing with 75 receptions on 98 targets for 833 yards and five touchdowns. He had a spectacular 76.5% catch percentage in what was Dak Prescott’s first season in the NFL, setting up what appeared to be an excellent quarterback-wide receiver relationship. However, his volume took a major hit last year, resulting in just 36 catches on 63 targets for 314 yards.

The Cowboys have a reworked wide receiver corps, so Beasley may have the best working relationship with Prescott out of the group. That could bode well for him to have a bounce-back season, especially early on while Prescott tries to gain an increased comfort level with the likes of Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup. Don’t be surprised to see Beasley fairly active in this contest.

Keelan Cole vs. New York Giants
Stadium – MetLife Stadium
FanDuel = $4,500
DraftKings = $3,800

The Jaguars have a suffocating defense, but they’ll need their offense to improve this season if they are going to bring home a Super Bowl title. They have already been dealt a tough blow at wide receiver, losing Maqise Lee for the season due to a knee injury. In his absence, Cole, Dede Westbrook, and Donte Moncrief will vie to be Blake Bortles top pass-catching option.

Cole only hauled in 42 of 83 targets last year, but he averaged 17.8 yards per reception. Over three games that Lee was sidelined at the end of the regular season, Cole had a combined 17 receptions on 30 targets for 327 yards. The Giants are thin at cornerback outside of Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple and have been susceptible to giving up big plays in the middle of the field. With Cole likely to see some work out of the slot, he makes for an intriguing option.

PLAYERS TO AVOID

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 - Wide Receivers

Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – MetLife Stadium
FanDuel = $7,800
DraftKings = $7,000

Beckham has had an exceptional start to his NFL career, logging at least 90 catches, 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. However, like many of his teammates, Beckham’s campaign was cut short last year due to injury. He is healthy heading into Week 1 and just signed a huge five-year extension that erased any doubts about his future with the Giants. Big things are likely on the horizon for Beckham this season, but he could get off to a slow start against star cornerback Jalen Ramsey. At this price, he’s too much of a risk for me.

Marquise Goodwin vs. Minnesota Vikings
Stadium – U.S. Bank Stadium
FanDuel = $6,400
DraftKings = $4,600

Goodwin was finally able to put together a healthy season in 2017, finishing with 56 receptions on 105 targets for 962 yards. His full-season pace based on the five games that Jimmy Garoppolo started would have put him at 138 targets, 93 receptions, and 1,229 yards. He’s someone you’ll likely want to have in your lineup more often than not but stay away from him this week against the stingy Vikings defense.

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 – Running Backs

*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*

Early bird special! Use code EBIRD15 at checkout to save 15%.

The NFL season is finally here! Along with it comes another exciting year of daily fantasy football. We’ll be doing things a little differently as we look to help you fatten your wallet. We’ll be churning out four articles a week, including one each for quarterbacks, runnings backs, wide receivers and a combined piece for tight ends and defenses/special teams.

In each article, we’ll highlight some players to target for cash or GPP contents. We’ll also highlight some players to avoid as your craft your lineup. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.

CASH CONTEST OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 - Running Backs

Alvin Kamara vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Stadium – Mercedes-Benz Superdome
FanDuel = $8,700
DraftKings = $8,500

Selected in the third round of the 2017 Draft, there wasn’t a lot of buzz around Kamara heading into last year. The Saints already had the productive Mark Ingram on their roster and had also added Adrian Peterson. However, Kamara wasted no time making a name for himself, ultimately forcing his way into a prominent role. He finished with 728 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns on only 120 carries. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he also hauled in 81 of 100 targets for 826 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

The Saints will be forced to ride Kamara out of the gate with Ingram serving a four-game suspension. They did bring in Mike Gillislee after he was cut by the Patriots, but don’t expect him to get many carries. The Buccaneers could be tough against the run this season, but with Kamara’s heavy workload and ability to contribute in the passing game, he still has a very high floor.

Melvin Gordon vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Stadium – StubHub Center
FanDuel = $8,100
DraftKings = $6,800

Gordon was a workhorse for the Chargers in 2017, rushing 284 times for 1,105 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had his best season in the passing attack, catching 58 of 83 targets for 476 yards and four touchdowns. Although Austin Ekeler showed some promise in the preseason, Gordon is certainly going to get all the carries he can handle again this year.

Gordon draws a great matchup Week 1 against a Chiefs defense that allowed the eighth-most rushing yards in the NFL last year. They were also tied for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns allowed. They likely won’t be much better this season, either, with Pro Football Focus ranking them 31st against the run.

Alex Collins vs. Buffalo Bills
Stadium – M&T Bank Stadium
FanDuel = $6,700
DraftKings = $5,600

Collins wasn’t able to find a role with the Seahawks, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2016. He joined the Ravens after being released and was part of a running backs group that included Terrance West, Danny Woodhead, and Javorius Allen. Injuries and ineffective play quickly vaulted Collins into a prominent role. He didn’t let his opportunity go to waste, finishing the season with 212 carries, 973 rushing yards, and six touchdowns. The one drawback was that he wasn’t overly involved in the passing game, catching 23 of 36 targets for just 187 yards.

The Ravens head into this year with the intent of giving Collins a significant workload once again. Week 1 brings a contest against a Bills team that is starting Nathan Peterman at quarterback and is lacking talent at wide receiver. They may have a hard time putting points on the board, which could lead to plenty of carries for Collins if the Ravens get up big early and try to run out the clock. Don’t count on him to catch many passes out of the backfield, but Collins still has a floor high at this reasonable price.

GPP TOURNAMENT OPTIONS

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 - Running Backs

Royce Freeman vs. Seattle Seahawks
Stadium – Broncos Stadium at Mile High
FanDuel = $6,000
DraftKings = $4,500

The Broncos moved on from C.J. Anderson this offseason, selecting Freeman in the third round of the draft. He was a star at Oregon, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and recording 60 rushing touchdowns over four seasons.

Freeman showed promise during the preseason and enters Week 1 at the top of the Broncos depth chart at running back. Devontae Booker will likely be their preferred option in passing situations, but he’s only averaged 3.6 yards per carry during his NFL carrier. The Seahawks lost both Sheldon Richardson and Michael Bennett during the offseason and enter 2018 with the 24th ranked defense against the run according to Pro Football Focus.

Duke Johnson Jr. vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Stadium – FirstEnergy Stadium
FanDuel = $5,800
DraftKings = $4,700

Johnson doesn’t see much action in the running game, rushing just 82 times for 348 yards in 2017. His value comes from his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. He set career highs last year in targets (93), receptions (74), receiving yards (693) and receiving touchdowns (three).

The Browns underwent a major overhaul during the offseason, adding Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry, Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb to their offense. There are certainly more mouths to feed, but Taylor is also a significant improvement over the quarterbacks Johnson played with last year. Hyde figures to lead the Browns rushing attack, but Johnson should still catch enough passes to warrant consideration for your entry.

James White vs. Houston Texans
Stadium – Gillette Stadium
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $4,000

The Patriots had a lot of depth in their backfield last year with White, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, and Gillislee. White doesn’t normally get many carries as he’s a better weapon catching passes. Even with the crowded bunch, White caught 56 of 72 targets for 429 yards and three touchdowns.

Lewis has moved on to the Titans, but the Patriots drafted Sony Michel in the first round and signed Jeremy Hill to further bolster their running back group. Michel has battled a knee injury during the preseason and while he still may return for Week 1, it would be surprising to see him have a significant role. Burkhead is dealing with a knee injury of his own, but it appears he’ll be ready to go for this game. Even if he does play, expect White to be heavily involved in the passing game with the Patriots lack of depth at wide receiver due to the Julian Edelman suspension.

Jordan Wilkins vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Stadium – Lucas Oil Stadium
FanDuel = $5,100
DraftKings = $3,700

The Colts finished tied for the fifth-worst yards per carry (3.7) in the NFL last year. They were led by Frank Gore, who had 961 rushing yards on 261 carries. With Gore now a member of the Dolphins, the starting running back job is up for grabs in Indianapolis.

One option to possibly start was Robert Turbin, but he’s currently serving a four-game suspension. Another candidate is Marlon Mack, but he might not be able to play Week 1 due to a hamstring injury. If he can’t go, Wilkins will likely get the opportunity to start. He’ll lose some carries to Nyheim Hines and/or Christine Michael, but neither of them is an overly impressive runner. The Bengals will be without key run defender Vontaze Burfict due to another suspension, making Wilkins possibly worth the risk in tournament play at his dirt cheap price.

PLAYERS TO AVOID

NFL Daily Fantasy Football Recommendations for Week 1 - Running Backs

Le’Veon Bell vs. Cleveland Browns
Stadium – FirstEnergy Stadium
FanDuel = $8,900
DraftKings = $9,400

There is no doubt that Le’Veon Bell is one of the elite running backs in the NFL. The problem is his contract dispute with the Steelers. As of the writing of this article, Bell had still not reported to the team. Even if he does report before Sunday, he’s cutting it very close in terms of game preparation. He participated in his first practice the Monday before Week 1 in 2017 and finished with a season-low 10 carries in that game. At this lofty price, Bell is too much of a risk.

Saquon Barkley vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stadium – MetLife Stadium
FanDuel = $7,600
DraftKings = $6,700

The Giants underwent significant organizational changes after a disastrous 2017 campaign riddled with injuries and poor play. They ended up with the second pick in the draft as a result and ultimately decided to select Barkley instead of a successor to Eli Manning. Barkley is an elite talent who projects to have a strong season behind an improved offensive line. He’s dealt with a hamstring injury during the preseason, but he’s declared himself completely healthy heading into this game. However, he has to face a loaded Jaguars defense that enters ranked seventh against the run by Pro Football Focus. There will be plenty of weeks where you want to include Barkley in your entry, but I don’t think this is one of them.