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RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 2

Fri Sep 18 10:40am ET
Contributing Writer

Ekeler could be busy this week

After a wild first week of the NFL season, we have another exciting slate of games for Week 2. Among the top matchups are the Texans hosting the Ravens and the Eagles taking on the Patriots. On the DFS front, we have plenty of options to wade through, so let’s get right to it and discuss some players to target at various price points, as well as a few to possibly avoid.


Josh Allen, BUF at MIA ($6,400): Allen averaged 28.8 pass attempts per game last season, so it was a surprise to see him attempt 46 passes in Week 1 against the Jets. He made the most of his added attempts, completing 33 of them for 312 yards and two touchdowns. The good news is that he remained busy on the ground, as well, rushing 14 times for 57 yards and another score. Look for him to take advantage of a bad Dolphins defense that allowed 75-rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns to Cam Newton last week.

Tom Brady, TB vs. CAR ($6,000): Brady was faced with a tough matchup in his Buccaneers’ debut, playing the Saints in New Orleans. He wasn’t exactly great, but he wasn’t a total flop, either, with 239 passing yards, three total touchdowns and two interceptions. This is a much easier matchup for him at home against the Panthers, who allowed 34 points against a very average Raiders’ offense in Week 1.

Player to Avoid

Drew Lock, DEN at PIT ($5,900): This is a no-brainer considering Brady can be had for only $100 more. Lock has a much tougher matchup against the Steelers, who had one of the best defenses in the league last year and constantly put pressure on Daniel Jones and the Giants in Week 1. There might be weeks were Lock is a viable DFS target, but this isn’t one of them.

Running Backs

Austin Ekeler, LAC vs. KAN ($7,000): With new quarterback Tyrod Taylor under center, the Chargers offense didn’t look good against the Bengals. Surprisingly, Ekeler only received one target despite totaling 108 targets last season. On the plus side, he did receive 19 carries, which he turned into 84 yards. The Chargers are likely going to have to throw more to keep up with the Chiefs, so look for Ekeler to be much more involved in the passing game in this contest.

Zack Moss, BUF at MIA ($5,100): The Bills’ running back situation isn’t exactly appealing with Moss in a time share with Devin Singletary. They had a close to even split in Week 1 with Singletary on the field for 58.6 percent of the Bills’ offensive snaps and Moss on the field for 44.8 percent of them. However, at this cheap salary, Moss is worth considering in tournament play. The Dolphins were absolutely torched on the ground by the Patriots, who turned 42 carries into 217 yards and three touchdowns.

Player to Avoid

Christian McCaffrey, CAR at TB ($9,200): This might be one of the few weeks to avoid McCaffrey. The Bucs have a good run defense and held the Saints to 82 yards on 34 carries in Week 1. They were one of the few teams that McCaffrey struggled against last season. Across two meetings with them, he finished with only 110 total yards.

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams, GB vs. DET ($8,600): Adams couldn’t have looked any better Week 1. He received a whopping 17 targets, catching 14 of them for 156 yards and two touchdowns. With so little depth behind him at wide receiver, he should continue to be extremely busy moving forward. Don’t be surprised if he goes off again this week considering the Lions, a team that allowed Mitchell Trubisky to throw three touchdown passes against them last week.

Anthony Miller, CHI vs. NYG ($5,700): The Giants’ weakness on defense is their secondary. They did bring in James Bradberry during the offseason, but their overall depth at cornerback is extremely shallow. That could mean another productive performance is on the horizon for Trubisky, who led a shocking comeback against the Lions in Week 1. Miller was productive in that contest, catching four of six targets for 76 yards and a touchdown. He should continue to be one of their top pass-catching options moving forward.

Player to Avoid

Brandin Cooks, HOU vs. BAL ($6,000): The good news for Cooks is that he’s had some time off to rest his ailing quadriceps since the Texans played their first game of the season last Thursday night. The bad news is that he has to face the Ravens, who completely shut down the Browns in Week 1 and have one of the best defenses in the league. I’d much rather roll with Miller, especially since he comes at a cheaper salary.

Tight Ends

Mark Andrews, BAL at HOU ($6,000): With the ease at which the Ravens move the ball on offense, Andrews was able to cash in with 10 touchdown receptions last season. He started off this year with a strong performance in that department with two touchdowns against the Browns. Now he’ll face a Texans team that struggled against the pass last year and allowed a touchdown to tight end Travis Kelce in Week 1.

Jonnu Smith, TEN vs. JAC ($4,700): Smith was expected to take a leap forward in the Titans’ offense this season and he was busy with seven targets last week against the Broncos. He caught four of them, finishing with 36 yards and a touchdown. While the Titans should continue to be a run-heavy team, Smith should receive enough opportunities to provide value at this salary.

Player to Avoid

Mike Gesicki, MIA vs. BUF ($5,000): The Bills allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards per game last year (195.2) and started off well in that department this year by holding the Jets to 202-passing yards in Week 1. Gesicki had a quiet performance against the Patriots last week, catching three of five targets for 30 yards. Points will likely be difficult to come by for the Dolphins here, which should limit Gesicki’s upside.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Player Notes
John Brown Oct 19 9:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown returned after a one game absence, but it looks like he took this game off as well. Brown failed to haul in all of his four targets during the Week 6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterback Josh Allen had a tough time connecting with his receivers in this one. However, both Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley found the end zone. Brown should have WR4 upside against the New York Jets next week.

From RotoBaller

Gabriel Davis Oct 19 9:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis was not able to do much damage against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He finished with one reception on his lone target of the game for seven yards in the loss. Quarterback Josh Allen did not have a good game throwing the ball, so that was part of the problem as well. Davis is likely going to get lost in the shuffle with the Bills receivers healthy at the moment. He might have desperation deep league appeal against the awful New York Jets Defense in Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Cole Beasley Oct 19 9:30pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has been reliable all season long and that continued against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He hauled in four of his seven targets for 45 yards and one touchdown. The Bills weren't able to get the air attack going well in this game. However, that should change next week against the horrendous New York Jets Defense. Beasley continues to be a reliable PPR option and that should be the case next week as well.

From RotoBaller

Stefon Diggs Oct 19 9:20pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs had a fairly quiet game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He hauled in six of his eight targets for 46 yards and one touchdown in the loss. He led the Bills in all receiving categories, but quarterback Josh Allen finished with a total of 122 passing yards in this game. Diggs salvaged his fantasy value with the touchdown, but he should rebound nicely next week. He'll get a favorable matchup against the New York Jets in Week 7. Fantasy owners should be able to lean on him as a WR1 for that game.

From RotoBaller

Mecole Hardman Oct 19 9:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman only received one target on Monday and recorded zero yards against the Buffalo Bills. Hardman is a weekly boom or bust candidate and he had some potential in Week 6 with Sammy Watkins (hamstring) sidelined, but it was Demarcus Robinson who took advantage on Monday. Due to inconsistent performances, Hardman is only WR4/WR5 with upside most weeks. Hardman will look to pick up some stats against the Denver Broncos in a Week 7 matchup.

From RotoBaller

Devin Singletary Oct 19 9:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary was the lead back once again, but failed to do much damage on the ground. He rushed 10 times for 32 yards on the ground in the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Singletary also hauled in one of two targets for 13 yards through the air. Rookie Zack Moss did return in this game, but Singletary still managed to get double digit carries. Fantasy owners should be able to lean on Singletary as a low-end RB2 against the New York Jets next week.

From RotoBaller

Zack Moss Oct 19 9:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss (toe) was able to suit up for the Week 6 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. He missed each of the last three games due to a toe issue, but honestly he could've missed this one too and it wouldn't have changed anything. Moss finished with 10 yards on five carries in the loss to the Chiefs. Devin Singletary remained the lead back and that will probably be the case going forward. Moss should have increased value against the New York Jets next week. He could be worth a stash for that matchup.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Oct 19 9:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen had arguably his worst game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He completed 14 of 27 passing attempts for 122 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the loss. He also added 42 yards on the ground with eight rushing attempts. Allen started off red-hot to begin the season, but hasn't looked the same over the last two weeks. He should be a top tier QB1 for the Week 7 matchup against the New York Jets.

From RotoBaller

Darrel Williams Oct 19 9:00pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams rushed six times for 26 yards and a touchdown on Monday against the Buffalo Bills. Williams also snagged one reception for 15 yards. The Chiefs ran the ball 46 times and part of that could be because of the bad forecast throughout the game. Despite the nice night, Williams is likely to be demoted to the third running back on the roster with the recent addition of LeVeon Bell. Williams should be avoided in all formats and should only have value if Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Bell were to get hurt.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes went 20-for-25 for 217 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills. He also rushed eight times for 38 yards. It wasnt the most impressive game for the former MVP, but with rainy weather, the Chiefs elected to favor the run in this matchup versus the pass. The former MVP still put together a solid performance overall and will look to keep it going against an underrated Denver Broncos Defense in Week 7. Mahomes remains a QB1 every week.

From RotoBaller

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire put together his most dominant performance of the season on Monday versus the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs fed their rookie all night long and CEH responded by rushing for 161 yards on 26 carries. The rookie had his longest run of the season for 31 yards and also chipped in with four catches for eight yards. The rookie has looked strong all season and has become a big threat in the Chiefs powerful offense, but the Chiefs recent signing of LeVeon Bell is expected to put a dent in his workload. Even with Bell in the picture, Edwards-Helaire should be considered a high-end RB2 the rest of the year. The rookie will look to keep the momentum going against the Denver Broncos in Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce made fantasy managers proud on Monday by scoring touchdowns on five receptions for 65 yards. Kelce did have a fumble, but that was his only error for the night. Kelce continues to operate as a top option for quarterback Patrick Mahomes as part of a 1a/1b option alongside wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The tight end is the best at his position and managers have to be happy with their early investment in him. Kelce should be started every week and will be a TE1 versus the Denver Broncos heading into Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Demarcus Robinson Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson put together his best performance of the season on Monday against the Buffalo Bills. Robinson has fallen victim to being on a Chiefs offense with plenty of options, but with Sammy Watkins (hamstring) out, Robinson took advantage by hauling in five catches for 69 yards. Robinson is the model for a boom or bust player and shouldnt be considered more than a WR4/WR5 with upside as long as Watkins is sidelined. Robinson will face the Broncos in Week 7.

From RotoBaller

KJ Hamler Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant (ankle) and wide receiver K.J. Hamler (hamstring) could both potentially return to play in Sundays contest versus Kansas City after missing last Sundays outing due to respective injuries, per head coach Vic Fangio. Fant is the more fantasy relevant of the two, having established a considerable rapport with Drew Lock last season. Fant has hauled in five receptions in three of his four appearances this year, combining for 219 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Hamlers first two contests saw him receive 12 targets, which bodes well for his fantasy upside should he ultimately suit up. Check back throughout the week for updates on both players, whose return would knock Jerry Jeudys appeal down a notch.

From RotoBaller

David Njoku Oct 19 8:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku is hoping to have a new home prior to the NFL Trade Deadline on Nov. 3 after once again reportedly asking to be traded. Njoku has been lightly used in the passing game this season by the Browns, hauling in five receptions for 63 yards and one touchdown. Back in 2018, Njoku was a staple of the passing game, amassing 639 receiving yards while starting 14 contests; this season, the presence of Austin Hooper has knocked Njokus fantasy outlook out of consideration. What could spark that intrigue again would be a new situation, with teams such as the Eagles and Patriots presumably having openings heading into the second half of the season.

From RotoBaller

Tyreek Hill Oct 19 8:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hills five game touchdown streak ended on Monday against the Buffalo Bills. Hill had a rough night overall and was pretty much non-existent in Week 6. The star receiver rushed one time for five yards and caught all three of targets for a season low 20 yards. Hill was outshined by tight end Travis Kelce and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in this matchup, but managers should just chalk this matchup up as a bad game. Hill remains a WR1 and should be treated that way going into a Week 7 matchup versus the Broncos.

From RotoBaller

Sam Darnold Oct 19 8:00pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) is trending toward a third consecutive absence Sunday when his team takes on the Bills, as head coach Adam Gase was not optimistic Monday that his signal caller would clear the necessary stages to get him back on the field. It seems likely that New York will stick with veteran Joe Flacco for the game in the event that Darnold is unavailable, even as the Jets were shut out Sunday by Miami. So long as Flacco is under center, New Yorks offense can be targeted by fantasy managers attempting to nab opposing defenses. Even upon his activation, Darnold will be in a rough spot from a fantasy perspective due to the Jets offensive line woes and general downturn in production from skill position players.

From RotoBaller

Alshon Jeffery Oct 19 7:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (foot) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) were both listed as limited practice participants Monday ahead of Thursdays contest versus the Giants. Both receivers were out of the equation Sunday against Baltimore, with Jackson already expected to suit up come Thursday. As for Jeffery, he would be making his season debut after working his way back from a Lisfranc injury. Having either back in the mix would be a boon for Carson Wentz, who will be without Zach Ertz (ankle) for the foreseeable future. Travis Fulgham has become a breakout fantasy sensation over the past three weeks, and while his stock would take a dip with Jeffery or Jackson back, any of the three are season-long options against a shaky Giants secondary.

From RotoBaller

Darius Slayton Oct 19 7:40pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (foot) was a limited participant in Mondays practice after having sustained a foot injury during Sundays contest versus Washington. Slayton hauled in his first touchdown since Week 1 in the game, but came down awkwardly on his foot after the grab. With little time to recover before Thursdays outing against the Eagles, the fact that he was able to practice in any capacity bodes well for his odds of suiting up. Fantasy managers interested in Slayton will want to keep an eye on Sterling Shepards (toe) status as well, as the latter returning to the mix would zap some of Slaytons intrigue, even if he were fully healthy.

From RotoBaller

Tevin Coleman Oct 19 7:30pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (knee) is not expected to return to the field in time for Sundays game against the Patriots, with a likely return set for Week 8 versus Seattle. Colemans role in the offense took an increased interest Monday with the announcement that Raheem Mostert (ankle) would be headed toward injured reserve, paving the way for Coleman to see an uptick in usage upon his return. Across just 18 carries this season, Coleman is averaging 1.7 yards per rush, which will at least leave the door open for Jerick McKinnon to battle him for a share of starting rusher duties. But Coleman compiled six rushing scores last season for the 49ers and figures to have an opportunity to compete for top back duties at some point. As for the game versus the Patriots, McKinnon should be a RB2/Flex option.

From RotoBaller