The recipe for daily fantasy football success comes down to one word: value.
The best lineups often feature several cheap, under-the-radar players who exceed expectations. Putting those guys in your lineup allows you to spend big on sure-fire studs like Antonio Brown, who’s as close to guaranteed points as you can get.
So, which players should you be targeting in Week 2? Below is our “optimal lineup” for DraftKings’ main Sunday slate (early afternoon and late afternoon games), which allots a $50,000 budget for a roster of nine players.
Quarterback: Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland Browns ($5,900)
Taylor had a pretty awful passing day Sunday but still was the sixth-highest-scoring QB in fantasy thanks to his 77 rushing yards and a touchdown. Now, he gets a New Orleans Saints defense that Ryan Fitzpatrick absolutely destroyed in Week 1. If you want a bargain at QB, Taylor is your man.
Running Backs: Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers ($7,000); James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers ($6,700)
McCaffrey caught six passes in his sophomore season debut, and with tight end Greg Olsen now sidelined, the dynamic back should figure even more heavily in Carolina’s passing game. He’s a great high-floor play.
We’re riding the hot hand in Conner, who amassed a whopping 36 touches last weekend in place of Le’Veon Bell. Both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler had big fantasy days against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1, so we feel good about the matchup.
Wide Receivers: Antonio Brown, Steelers ($8,800); Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets ($4,700); Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,600)
Brown is worth splurging on this week. He’s a target monster and should see plenty of volume at home against a Chiefs defense that Keenan Allen exploited for eight catches and 108 yards.
Enunwa was rookie Sam Darnold’s favorite receiver in Week 1, racking up seven more targets (10) than the next-closest Jets pass-catcher (three). If Darnold delivers in New York’s home opener, Enunwa could be the primary benefactor.
With DeSean Jackson in the concussion protocol, Godwin could be Tampa Bay’s clear-cut No. 2 receiver Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. The second-year wideout’s high ceiling just got higher.
Tight End: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers ($3,800)
Kittle was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s most productive receiver against the Minnesota Vikings, and Jimmy G should have a bit smoother sailing at home versus Matt Patricia’s Detroit Lions defense, which has all sorts of issues at the moment.
Flex: Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans ($5,000)
Lewis outplayed and out-touched starter Derrick Henry last Sunday, totaling 21 touches while averaging 4.7 yards per rush. James White found room to operate against the Houston Texans in Week 1, and his former New England Patriots backfield mate is set up to do the same this week.
Defense: Denver Broncos ($3,300)
Denver may not match its six-sack total from Week 1, but this defense is great at home, and Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders’ offense committed three turnovers in their own building Monday.
Thumbnail photo via Philip G. Pavely/USA TODAY Sports Images