Ah, daily fantasy football. The last bastion of fantasy football junkies, who can’t do any significant roster tinkering on a Saturday, so they wander into their daily fantasy football client of choice and make more rosters to tilt all over on Sunday. You get a heady feeling when you’re jamming Alvin Kamara, Patrick Mahomes, and DeAndre Hopkins all into your lineup. “This is going to be great!” you tell yourself, but then disaster hits. You’re out of money. “What do you mean, there’s nobody I can play for $1,200?!” You scroll and scroll. You even briefly consider Mike Davis, of all people. But, you aren’t that desperate. Let’s look at some dumpster dive plays for daily fantasy football week two that you can use to help round out your lineup with superstars.
Daily Fantasy Football QB Pick (Fan Duel):
Derek Carr versus Kansas City, $6,600
One look into those beautifully mascaraed eyes and you know that Derek Carr is your man. He threw for 259 yards (but just one touchdown) in the Raiders-Broncos opening tilt. Carr was the model of efficiency in that game, going for 22/26 without an interception to his name. The Broncos, his week one opponent, are supposedly good on defense. His week two opponent, the Chiefs, are not. They allowed Gardner Minshew II to carve them up, going 22/25 for 275 yards, two scores, and a pick.
Daily Fantasy Football QB Pick (Draft Kings):
Gardner Minshew II at Houston, $4,800
This is the cheapest possible play that you can make for your Draft Kings quarterback. Well, you can go get Ryan Fitzpatrick, but we saw how that worked last week. Minshew is effectively a punt play, as the guys below him in the QB price list aren’t starting. So, the rookie in his first start, it is. As we saw above, he took the Chiefs to the cleaners in relief, and he gets his first start this week. The Texans allowed Drew Brees to turn back the clock on Monday Night Football, going for 370/2/1. The Texans looked a mess, especially on the final drive that let Brees set up the Saints for a game-winning Wil Lutz field goal. They offered little resistance, and unless J.J. Watt can get back to his ways, it’ll be another long day for the Houston defense.
Daily Fantasy Football RB Pick (Fan Duel):
Adrian Peterson versus Dallas, $4,800
It’s not often that someone goes from a healthy scratch to the starter in a week, but that happened with Adrian Peterson. His Fan Duel pricing has everything to do with Derrius Guice going down midweek with yet another lower-body injury (his third since entering the NFL). Peterson showed he still has some juice in the preseason, and his age likely means he’ll lose the thread later in the season. Luckily for us, it’s not later in the season yet.
The Cowboys let Saquon Barkley run all over them last weekend, which isn’t a crime. Letting Saquon Barkley average over ten yards a carry when he should literally be your defensive focus, however, is a crime. That seems to be the weak point in this Dallas defense, and one that Washington can exploit with Adrian Peterson repeatedly bashing into the defense this weekend.
Daily Fantasy Football RB Pick (Draft Kings):
Carlos Hyde at Jacksonville, $3,600
In his Houston Texans debut, Carlos Hyde looked… good? The short-stint journeyman evoked memories of Arian Foster as he juked and deked his way to 8.3 yards per carry against the Saints on Monday Night Football. He had only ten touches—one for every day he had been on Houston at that point—and did just enough for season-long owners to breathe a sigh of relief if they ended up needing to start him. With Duke Johnson Jr. better suited as a receiving back, I expect Hyde to start getting the bulk of first-and-second-down work in Houston.
This week, Hyde gets a Jacksonville squad that limited JAG extraordinaire Damien Williams to 26 yards on 13 carries, but allowed new Chiefs acquisition LeSean McCoy go for 81 yards on ten carries last weekend. The Jacksonville defense looked lost, and either frustrated or disinterested, depending on the player. In short: the Jags defense looks a mess, and that means value plays can hit big against them right now in daily fantasy football.
Daily Fantasy Football WR Pick (Fan Duel):
Mecole Hardman at Oakland, $4,700
Remember back when we thought that Tyreek Hill would miss time with his domestic abuse charges? Remember how we worked ourselves into a lather over Mecole Hardman? Well, those heady May Days are back, baby! Tyreek Hill will miss several weeks with a clavicle injury, and that puts Hardman right back front-and-center. He had more snaps and routes run last week than Demarcus Robinson, so he’s my favorite to take over for Hill this week.
This week, the Chiefs travel to take on the Raiders, who allowed two big games to different Broncos wide receivers last week. Courtland Sutton turned seven catches into 120 yards, and Emmanuel Sanders had 86 yards and a touchdown. That tells me that the Raiders secondary leaves a lot to be desired, and they’ll have fits just keeping Sammy Watkins under wraps. That leaves Mecole Hardman to tear up this Raiders defense deep this week.
Daily Fantasy Football WR Pick (Draft Kings):
James Washington versus Seattle, $3,600
In a true punt play, we’re looking at the fabled air yards metric. While James Washington had just two catches for 51 yards in week one, he had six targets and 169 air yards. Those air yards ranked third last week, just behind John Ross and far, far behind DeAndre Hopkins. While Washington’s six targets aren’t encouraging, Donte Moncrief doing absolutely nothing with his ten targets bodes well for Washington this week. Washington’s 28.2 average depth of target ranked #1 among players with at least five targets last week by a significant margin (five yards higher than DeVante Parker), which means siphoning some targets from Moncrief to Washington could rack up fantasy points in a hurry.
As for his opponent? The once-vaunted Seattle secondary is no more. They were out of position, out of sorts, and out to lunch as John Ross turned 12 targets into 172 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Daily Fantasy Football TE Pick (Fan Duel):
Vernon Davis versus Dallas, $5,100
I hate to put multiple Washington players on this list, but here we are. Davis is the only guy who comes close to qualifying for this list with a top-five matchup. Evan Engram crushed the Cowboys last week, but Vernon Davis is no Evan Engram. Vernon Davis is, however, a great play with Jordan Reed out. He showed no signs of age-related problems last week as he turned seven targets into 59 yards and a score. Unfortunately, Fan Duel seems to move faster than Draft Kings when it comes to tight end pricing. As evidenced below…
Daily Fantasy Football TE Pick (Draft Kings):
T.J. Hockenson versus L.A. Chargers, $3,000
Are you freaking kidding me? He had 28.1 DK points last week, and he’s $100 cheaper than Jack Doyle and Adam Shaheen. Consider this a free space. He’s a beast, and this price makes zero sense.
Daily Fantasy Football DEF Pick (Fan Duel):
San Francisco 49ers, $3,700
At this point, it’s unclear if the 49ers getting two pick-sixes in week one has more to do with Jameis Winston or with the 49ers defense. With a strong defensive line, and Richard Sherman fully recovered from an Achilles tear, and an ego blow, I’m betting on the 49ers this week. They get Andy Dalton and the Bengals, who allowed 12 fantasy points to the Seahawks last week without an interception. Should the 49ers continue their ball-hawking ways in Cincinnati, there should be plenty of fantasy points to go around for the 49ers D/ST.
Daily Fantasy Football DEF Pick (Draft Kings):
Indianapolis Colts, $2,500
With just six teams at a lower price point, the Colts represent a decent punt play for your Draft Kings daily fantasy football lineups. The Titans tore up the Browns last weekend, but in actuality, it was several long, undisciplined plays that did the Browns in. Long plays to A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry won’t happen against a stronger defense this week. The Colts traditionally have Marcus Mariota’s number, as well, with six interceptions and three fumbles to the QB’s name in six career contests against Indy. Mariota’s eight touchdown passes also bode well for this D/ST to return great value for you in your Draft Kings lineups.