Last Updated: September 15th at 7:36am ET
You don’t have to play cash games to understand why it’s important to grasp them. Players we consider for cash are the ones we believe are the most underpriced, have the best floor/ceiling combo and feature a relatively tight range of outcomes. In other words, these are the best plays on the board once price, slate context and positional depth is accounted for. Those sound like pretty good options for GPPs as well.
The optimal GPP lineup will mix some of these cash-type plays with higher-variance options in correlated lineups. In cash games (where roughly 50% of the field gets paid out), we don’t worry about ownership or game stacks or correlation. In large-field tournaments, our ACO (average cumulative ownership) should stay reasonably low.
With all that said, these are our favorite Week 2 DFS plays. They are listed in price descending order (NOT ranked by “best play”). If a player’s salary is only listed for one site, we believe the price to be prohibitive on the unlisted site. This could still mean he is a viable GPP play, we just wouldn’t consider him a very strong option.
Patrick Mahomes ($7500 DK, $9000 FD) – We don’t have a regular-season sample on Patrick Mahomes operating without Tyreek Hill (out, shoulder). But against a Raiders team on a short week without S Johnathan Abram (shoulder) it’s only a small downgrade in projection.
Lamar Jackson ($6700 DK, $8200 FD) – Arizona’s tempo, inefficiency and lack of defensive talent (both starting CBs are out again) is a dream for opposing quarterbacks.
Deshaun Watson ($6600 DK, $8500 FD) – We’re not convinced this Jaguars defense is one to shy away from, especially when confronted with elite talent like Watson. It certainly helps that No. 2 CB AJ Bouye (hip) and DE Yannick Ngakoue (hamstring) are not expected to play.
Ben Roethlisberger ($5800 DK, $7600 FD) – Everyone knows Big Ben’s home/road splits are among the starkest in the league. He now goes from a matchup against the Patriots’ elite defense to a home game against the quietly inept Seahawks secondary.
Josh Allen ($5300 DK, $7500 FD) – One of the most fantasy-friendly QBs out there. Fearless running and will again be among the league-leaders in average depth of target. Giants combination of zero pass rush and mediocre secondary talent is tasty.
Saquon Barkley ($9200 DK, $9200 FD) — Best way to beat this stout Buffalo defense is on the ground. That’s fine by the Giants, who inexcusably gave Barkley just 15 total touches last week and now are missing their top-2 wideouts. Barkley is no bargain but we can project 20-25 touches.
Alvin Kamara ($8200 DK, $8700 FD) – Salaries were released Monday afternoon, meaning Latavius Murray getting less work than Mark Ingram averaged last year was not factored in. Back-and-forth shootout with Rams is ideal for Kamara’s setup.
Dalvin Cook ($7200 DK, $7900 FD) – Price on DK is rising fast, but Cook is still in play given this scheme and philosophy perfectly-suited to his game.
James Conner ($6800 DK, $7700 FD) – Before things got out of hand in Week 1, Conner’s usage was as we expected. He’s a true three-down plus goal-line bellcow and we don’t get those below $7000 on DK very often.
Austin Ekeler ($6100 DK, $7500 FD) – Spot is much tougher this week at Detroit’s solid front, but now Hunter Henry and Mike Williams are hurt. Ekeler projects for WR2 kind of target share on top of all his rushing work.
Gio Bernard IF Joe Mixon is out ($5300 DK, $5700 FD) – It looks like Mixon (ankle) will play. But if he’s a surprise scratch, Gio will project for 16-20 touches. He’ll also get all the pass-down work.
Matt Breida ($5200 DK, $5600 FD) – Tevin Coleman’s injury opens the door for Breida be the lead dog in this backfield. That said, we still expect Raheem Mostert and maybe practice squadder Jeff Wilson to mix in.
Josh Jacobs ($4700 DK, $6500 FD) – Ownership in tournaments likely won’t factor in Jacobs’ floor as someone who could lose pass-down/garbage-time work Jalen Richard. But if the Raiders can keep this game close, Jacobs’ stale salary on DK will look like a joke.
Adrian Peterson ($3400 DK, $4800 FD) – Derrius Guice (knee) is out, leaving Peterson in the early-down pounder role at near-min salary. Note that Adam Levitan said he’d rather lose than use a RB spot on Adrian Peterson.
DeAndre Hopkins ($8100 DK, $9000 FD) – Yes, Jalen Ramsey will shadow Hopkins. But note he’s had at least 100 yards or a TD in four straight games against the Jags.
Michael Thomas ($8000 DK, $8500 FD) – Thomas lit the Rams on fire for 12-211-1 last regular season and then air-balled (4-36-0) against them in the playoffs. Regardless, Thomas will be among the league leaders in both target share and catch rate – he’s always in play but especially in shootouts.
Keenan Allen ($7600 DK, $7700 FD) – Allen relies on volume thanks to his annually low aDOT, but he projects for a massive target share here. Injuries to Mike Williams, Hunter Henry and the offensive line leaves Philip Rivers as a short-area machine.
Juju Smith-Schuster ($7500 DK, $8100 FD) – No-brainer bounce-back spot for Steelers offense and Juju. Toe is not an issue as he got full practices in Thursday and Friday.
Sammy Watkins ($7200 DK, $7400 FD) – Assumes the role of No. 1 wideout in the game’s best offense. Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman and D’Anthony Thomas do not project as load-bearing WRs.
Tyler Lockett ($6700 FD) – The tape will show defense must respect DK Metcalf, leaving Lockett with less cloud coverage. Lockett is more of a tournament play due to the lack of secure volume, but we suspect this SEA/PIT game will be higher scoring than anticipated.
Tyler Boyd ($6500 DK, $6300 FD) – The slot is where we want to attack this San Francisco defense. The Bengals’ offensive line woes coupled with the Niners’ aggressively talented front means Andy Dalton will have to get the ball out quick. Slot CB K’Waun Williams is San Fran’s weakest link.
Mecole Hardman ($4800 DK, $4700 FD) – A far better play on Fanduel, where he’s just $200 over minimum. Has freak speed will likely have at least 2-4 plays schemed for him to get the ball in space.
John Ross ($4600 DK) – The new Zac Taylor scheme was able to capitalize on Ross’ 4.22 speed like the Marvin Lewis regime couldn’t. AJ Green’s (ankle) continued absence locks Ross into an every-down role, this time against slowish 31-year-old Richard Sherman.
Tyrell Williams ($4400 DK, $5900 FD) – Oakland’s no-doubt No. 1 wideout gets a Chiefs secondary which struggled to contain Gardner Minshew, DJ Chark and Chris Conley last week.
Travis Kelce ($7300 DK, $8000 FD) – Box score was disappointing in Week 1, but he was shoestring tackled on what should have been a 75-yard TD and had three targets in the end zone. Now comes a Raiders defense among the league’s worst against tight ends.
George Kittle ($6800 DK, $7100 FD) – Had two TDs called back by irrelevant penalties last week. With wideout group a mess, target share in this potential shootout is very high.
Evan Engram ($5200 DK, $6400 FD) – Sterling Shepard (concussion) joins Golden Tate (suspension) on the sideline this week. Leaves Engram and Saquon Barkley as the only viable targets for Eli Manning.
Delanie Walker ($3500 DK, $5400 FD) — Walker isn’t as sexy as the young/cheap guys, but has an ideal matchup for tight ends against the Colts and remains the apple of Marcus Mariota’s eye. Had a team-leading 25% target share last week.
Darren Waller ($3300 DK, $5400 FD) – Week 1 usage include 55-of-55 snaps, 22 of them slot or wide and a 30% target share. Price couldn’t adjust because Week 2 salaries were released Monday afternoon.
TJ Hockenson ($3000 DK) – Facing Arizona was likely the best spot Hockenson will find all year. But he’s still a featured part of the pass game and has special talent at just $3K on DraftKings. Hock is a tougher sell on Fanduel, where he’s only $400 less than Engram and $600 more than Waller.
Bears ($3900 DK, $4500 FD) – A long week for the Bears to get ready for Joe Flacco’s mismatched offense, who are on a short week.
Ravens ($3800 DK, $5000 FD) – Ravens DL vs. Cardinals OL in Baltimore with an offense learning on the fly.
Patriots ($3700 DK, $4900 FD) – New England typically isn’t a blitz-happy defense, but their talent plus Ryan Fitzpatrick’s turnover-prone style is gold.
Bills ($3400 DK, $4600 FD) – Talented Buffalo unit should be extremely blitz-happy and aggressive without any Giants WRs to threaten them.
Cowboys ($3300 DK, $4700 FD) – Redskins offense fared better than expected, but they’re still starting Case Keenum, a brutal left side of the offensive line and weak weaponry against the star-studded Cowboys.
Texans ($2800 DK, $4800 FD) – Far cheaper on DK. Garnder Minshew will be asked to keep pace with Deshaun Watson in Houston.