Philip Rivers – LAC (DK $6700)
Rivers’ price increases only $300 in one week, making him a very affordable target that can still give you top-5 QB performance with this plus matchup. Although we only have one game to go off of, Buffalo gave up the week’s 5th-most points to a QB that happened to be named Flacco. Philip Rivers lives in a whole different world than Joe Flacco and has many more weapons at his disposal. We probably shouldn’t expect to see another 47-point game against the Bills, but this is a great opportunity for Rivers to showcase his offensive weapons, even without Hunter Henry.
Tyrod Taylor – CLE ($5900)
Tyrod Taylor beat last week’s projections and that was in a slow game that brought Cleveland to its best start since 2004 even with inclement weather. Taylor and Newton are just about the only QBs we imagine having a realistic shot at a big game bonus for rush yards and Taylor’s legs give him a high floor appeal for cash games. As well, if a soft Saints defense is indicative of things to come, then Taylor could be in for a great game, though we should temper expectations, as New Orleans was middle of the road in allowing fantasy points to opposing QBs in 2017.
DeShone Kizer – GB ($4500)
Keep an eye on your injury tracker. While a substitution for Rodgers isn’t necessarily even worth the price (looking at you, Hundley), this will be the cheapest you can get Kizer if Rodgers misses extended time and will be worth an automatic plug-in for cost alone.
Todd Gurley – LAR ($9200)
After a productive, if slightly disappointing, Week 1 opener for last season’s fantasy MVP, Todd Gurley is discounted $100 from last week. While it’s important to save money where possible, I like to have a top-5 running back on my DFS lineups, and I think Gurley is the best of that bunch. While I might look toward David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliot as well, Gurley is a total package who will be playing an Arizona defense that got absolutely torched by Washington running backs.
Jordan Howard – CHI ($5900)
Howard’s value is definitely on the rise in all forms of fantasy. Howard finished 2017 with 58.3% of offensive snaps, but last week he saw over 71%. Increased total snap share doesn’t just give him a nice floor, his ceiling also takes a massive bump up with a more trusted receiving role. The narrative that Tarik Cohen is the team’s better receiving back isn’t necessarily dispelled, but at least we can do away with this whole idea that Howard can’t catch. He averaged 5.5 on the ground against the Packers and caught all 5 of his targets. He was a touchdown away from RB1 status.
Nyheim Hines – IND ($4100)
Perhaps filling the role of your flex spot, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins are both excellent plug and plays while Marlon Mack’s injury persists. Even once Mack returns, this backfield is far from established. Hines’ primary appeal, especially for DraftKing’s PPR formats, is his pass-catching ability. Last week he caught 7 of 9 for 33 yards and no scores. It’s not great, but it proves he is getting a lot of looks.
Julio Jones – ATL ($8400)
Julio Jones is always disappointing fans, but his sporadic scoring is something that best ball players and tournament DFS players love. Jones will see a big mismatch drawing primary coverage from Carolina’s Donte Jackson. The 2017 story of Jones starving for the end zone continued into 2018, but he received a whopping 19 looks for 10 catches and 169 yards in his opener. Jones is clearly this team’s best receiver and he’ll be playing a team that gave up the 5th most points to Week 1 WRs against the Dallas Cowboys. If Cowboys receivers can put up numbers on Carolina, so can Jones.
Cooper Kupp – LAR ($5500)
Brandin Cooks’ arrival in Los Angeles doesn’t appear to have put any sort of damper of Kupp’s value as of yet. Although there is a fairly equal share across the top three receivers, Kupp came away from Week 1 with the team’s most targets and catches with an additional two rushing attempts. He didn’t lead in yards, but he did nab a score. This week he’ll draw coverage primarily from Arizona’s Budda Baker. While the Cardinals haven’t given up many points overall to wide receivers, this is a good individual matchup for a price that I don’t think has yet corrected to meet Kupp’s true value.
Benjamin Watson – NO ($3400)
He’s 4 for 4 for 44 so far on the year, and while that’s certainly nothing to look twice at, he’s getting a plus matchup against 2017’s 2nd worse team against the TE. New Orleans will continue to come out firing through the air and their weapons all over the field don’t allow defenses to protect well against any position. With a middle of the road price and coverage by Jabrill Peppers, this is a good opportunity to save money and potentially score.
Ricky Seals-Jones – ARI ($2900)
With a punt price cheaper than most defenses, Ricky Seals-Jones has a prime opportunity to produce in Week 2. Although they came away with the game handily, the Los Angeles Rams proved that they are susceptible to attack from the tight end position as Jared Cook toasted them for 30 DK points. While it’s not reasonable to expect continued defensive play this bad from the Rams, Seals-Jones is essentially free and has both a good team and individual matchup ahead of him.
Defense / Special Teams
Los Angeles Chargers – ($3600)
While the Ravens didn’t have the best D/ST performance against the Buffalo Bills, they performed fairly well given the price. I’m again targeting a team that will be playing against Nathan Peterman (or whoever). Although the QB situation in Buffalo is murky, it’s crystal clear that defenses can go to town. Will the Bill’s QB have another game with negative points? No, but even if it’s close, that’s a huge win for you.
Detroit Lions – ($2300)
While the Lions were a top streaming and DFS option last week that didn’t live up to the hype, I’m on them once again. Each side of the ball affects the other, and when your quarterback throws 4 interceptions, it’s hard for the team to really come together on any part. This week’s Lions and San Francisco matchup features the two individual worst performing teams against fantasy defenses. While the Lions are admittedly terrible and the 49ers are expected to win this game, this is a punt price that I think has the best chance of exceeding expectations.
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