I am going to do something a little different this season for DFS values. Instead of strictly going through player ranks, I am going to dive into the actual players that I am personally playing in lineups at FanDuel and DraftKings this week that are priced outside of the top shelf at each position.
For our pricing thresholds, we are looking at quarterbacks that are below $7,500at FanDuel and $6,000 or lower on DraftKings. At running back, sub $7,000 at either site. Wide receivers below $7,000 on FanDuel and below $6,000 on DraftKings. Lastly, tight ends that are below $6,000 on FanDuel and $5,000 on DraftKings.
Pick out your own values and add these to your pool if they make sense to you. I will not be highlighting players like Lamar Jackson and Ezekiel Elliott -options that will be the crux our actual weekly core -so find out where these players fit in around the top-shelf ticket items that you want to pay up for.
I do not have enough space to talk about every player in my complete player pool this weekend, so make sure you check out the Week 3 Worksheet to see my full thoughts on every player this week. Also, make sure to cross reference those thoughts with weekly rankings in the Sharp Football rankings hub.
Miles Sanders ($6,400 DraftKings)
It’s another week where there are so many discounted options that are cash-game viable, we do not have to go low at quarterback and can easily get to all of the top-shelf options we want to play in these projected shootouts.
Kicking things off in the value department, Sanders played 78% of the snaps in Week 2, handling 23 of the 30 Philadelphia backfield touches for 131 yards and a touchdown. Even with a lost fumble, there was never a hint of a potential committee. Sanders ran 31 pass routes compared to just eight for Boston Scott.
As a six-point home favorite, Sanders now draws a Cincinnati defense that has allowed 151 total yards to the Chargers’ backfield in Week 1 and 234 yards to the Browns backfield in Week 2 with five touchdowns allowed to backs in those games. He is a core play on FanDuel as well, but does not hit our value threshold there at $7,400.
Jonathan Taylor ($6,700 FanDuel)
DraftKings immediately priced Taylor up after his first week as a full-time player, but FanDuel’s jump in pricing was much softer.
Taylor is a feature back attached to the largest home favorite on the slate. In his first career start, Taylor played 49 snaps (67.1%) and handled 28 touches for 110 yards and a touchdown. After ranking first in the NFL in rushing EPA defensively in 2019, the Jets allowed just 41 yards rushing on 18 carries versus the Buffalo backfield, but then were gashed for 184 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries to San Francisco backs last week at home. There are good odds that this is the final week Taylor will be below $7K on FanDuel.
Kenyan Drake ($6,500/$6,000)
Drake has not exploded to start the season, managing to tally 65 yards and 95 yards to open the season against what looks like could be two of the tougher running back assignments to open the season against San Francisco and Washington. But Drake is still dominating the Arizona backfield, out-touching Chase Edmonds 40-15 through two weeks and finally gets a soft matchup. Detroit is allowing a league-high 6.9 YPC to opposing backfields while also ranking 20th in receiving points allowed to the position facing the Chicago and Green Bay backfields. Detroit has allowed a league-high of 49.2% of rushing attempts to go for five or more yards and 19.0% to go for 10 or more yards through two weeks. League rates outside of them are 34.7% and 11.0%.
Austin Ekeler ($6,800 DraftKings)
Ekeler had just two 20-touch games for his career entering the season. He has 20 touches in each of the first two games this season for 87 and 147 yards from scrimmage. After just one target from Tyrod Taylor in the passing game in Week 1, Justin Herbert targeted Ekeler four times a week ago and Herbert will start again in Week 3. Ekeler also gets the rushing matchup we have been chasing dating back to last season in facing the Panthers as a seven-point home favorite. The emergence of Joshua Kelley has not hurt Ekeler from getting tangible volume and has allowed him to get efficient touches on the ground. Ekeler has faced eight or more defenders in the box on just 2.9% of his carries.
D.K. Metcalf ($6,500 FanDuel)
Metcalf is just way too cheap on FanDuel. Especially factoring in that he is not dependent on receptions and plays into the strength of the scoring there. Picking up where he left off a year ago, Metcalf has had games of 4-95-1 and 4-92-1 to kick off the 2020 season. Dating back to last season, Metcalf has now reached the end zone in five of his past seven games with 97.4 receiving yards per game over his past five games on the field. Dallas has opened the season ranking 23rd in yards per target (9.3) and 25th in points per target (2.1) to opposing wideouts. Tyler Lockett ($6,800) is also a strong option, but Metcalf has a bit more touchdown equity while saving you a touch of salary.
Diontae Johnson ($5,400 DraftKings)
Johnson has led the Steelers in targets and air yards in each of the first two games of the season. He is one of just two players with double-digit targets (Calvin Ridley) in each of the first two weeks of the season and one of just two players with a 30% team target share (Adam Thielen) in the first two weeks. In Week 2, Johnson drew two end zone targets despite his average depth of target (8.7 yards) remaining on the lower end of the spectrum. Houston has started out allowing 7.4 yards per target to opposing wideouts (ninth) but have allowed a 76.5% completion rate on target to receivers (31st) to keep Johnson in play as a high-volume receptions magnet.
CeeDee Lamb ($5,600/$5,400)
Lamb has 11-165-0 on 15 targets to start the season and is coming off his first 100-yard game in Week 2. Lamb has run a pass route on 84.5% of the Dallas dropbacks while running 91% of his routes from the slot. So far through two games, Seattle has allowed games of 12-179-0 and 15-232-0 to opposing wideouts from the slot.
Dallas Goedert ($5,200 FanDuel)
Goedert is priced down near the streaming options at the tight end position on FanDuel, checking in as the TE13 in terms of pricing. He has the same salary hit as Jack Doyle. Over their past nine full games played together, Goedert has a line of 52-525-3 on 70 targets while Zach Ertz has 52-493-4 on 78 targets. The Eagles have targeted their tight ends 37.4% of the time, which is second in the league.
Matthew Stafford ($7,300 FanDuel)
The Lions and Cardinals matchup will be a popular game stack this week, but the majority of gamers are going to look to play Kyler Murray. Stafford is a direct pivot to get unique in stacking this game.
Stafford has struggled to QB21 (16.2 points) and QB19 (16.2 points) finishes through two weeks versus division rivals Chicago and Green Bay. He gets Kenny Golladay back this week to aid unlocking that vertical component that has been missing from the Detroit offense to start the season. Without Golladay through two games this season, Stafford has thrown just 10.2% of his passes 20-plus yards downfield compared to 19.2% in 2019.
Arizona has not been challenged by a passing game through two weeks by a WR-less Jimmy Garoppolo and Dwayne Haskins while Stafford notched 27.6 fantasy points in this matchup a year ago.
Chris Carson ($6,600 DraftKings)
After a fairly even snap split in Week 1 where he played 45% of the team snaps, Carson came back to play 40 snaps (64%) in Week 2, handling 20-of-30 backfield touches for 108 yards and a touchdown. After catching three touchdowns on 79 targets over his first three seasons in the league, Carson already has three touchdown receptions on nine targets to open the season. Those cannot be counted on as a regular occurrence, but Dallas has allowed 159 yards on 39 touches to Rams backs in Week 1 while allowing 109 yards on 33 touches to the Atlanta backfield in Week 2.
The Dallas/Seattle matchup is going to be another widely popular game to stack, but the primary focus will be on the passing games. Carson gets a small piece of that passing pie while also being a direct pivot to those chalky passing pieces should the rushing scores finally come.
Joshua Kelley ($5,800/$5,000)
After 12 touches in his first NFL game, Kelley handled 25 touches for 113 yards in Week 2 while playing 43 snaps to Ekeler’s 47. This is developing into a tandem backfield for a team that inherently wants to play through its running game. The Chargers should have no trouble doing so here as home favorites against the Panthers.
Carolina has already allowed the most points to opposing backfields by a wide margin through two weeks, allowing a league-high six touchdowns to the position after allowing a league-high 30 touchdowns to backfields a year ago. They have now allowed multiple rushing touchdowns in seven consecutive games dating back to last season, the longest streak for a franchise since the 1999-2000 Browns. Kelley has also out-touched Ekeler 5-1 inside of the 10-yard line.
Jerick McKinnon ($4,900 DraftKings)
McKinnon has been eased into things after missing the past two seasons, playing 19 (31%) and 13 (21%) snaps through two weeks. When he has been on the field, however, he has made an impact, touching the ball six times for 44 yards and a score in Week 1 and three times for 77 yards with a score last week.
With both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman out for Week 3, we should not just expect San Francisco to thrust McKinnon into a heavy workload, but with his receiving ability, there is room here for 8-10 carries and at least 4-5 targets. And we have already seen him involved near the goal each week. San Francisco running backs have accounted for 68.4% of the team touches through two weeks, the highest rate in the league. At $4,900, there is potential for McKinnon to get to 20-plus points sharing the backfield with Jeffery Wilson Jr. and rookie JaMycal Hasty, but also an unknown floor to fully count on in cash games.
Michael Gallup ($5,700/$5,500)
It did not work out chasing Gallup last week, but the process once again lines up in Week 3. Why wouldn’t we kick the tires once again? Gallup is out there a lot. He has run a route on 91.7% of the Dallas dropbacks, but has been targeted on just 9.1% of his routes. He was targeted on 21.9% of his routes a year ago. Gallup has not had the opportunities to objectively justify trusting him, but once again he is projected to be one of the lowest-rostered players in the game that will have the highest amount of overall ownership while being a direct pivot in terms of salary to the immensely popular CeeDee Lamb.
DeSean Jackson ($5,500/$5,200)
Jackson has accrued seven (2-46-0) and nine (6-64-0) targets through two weeks. The results have not followed the targets, but Jackson is accounting for 41.1% of the Philadelphia wide receiver targets. The big plays have not yet hit, but his five targets of 20-plus yards are tied for sixth at the position. Now, with Jalen Reagor sidelined, the targets should remain consistent to chase those splash plays.
K.J. Hamler ($4,500/$3,000)
In Hamler’s first game played, he was targeted a team-high seven times from Jeff Driskel, catching three of those passes 48 yards. Hamler ran 32 pass routes, which led all Denver wideouts since Jerry Jeudy exited a portion of the game. He led the team in air yards (117). Jeudy is also a game-time decision with a rib injury. The matchup is not overly endearing for the Denver rookie wideout, but passing volume should exist in a similar capacity to what Carolina had versus Tampa Bay a week ago when they had two 100-yard wide receivers.
Logan Thomas ($4,900/$3,700)
Keeping Thomas in play still adds up even though he did not get there last week. Through two weeks, Thomas is seventh among all tight ends in routes run (67), third in routes per dropback (90.5%), and tied for third in targets (17) with two end zone targets.
The downside is that he has only produced games of 4-37-1 and 4-26-0 because just 8-of-17 targets (47.1%) have been deemed catchable, which is the lowest rate for all tight ends with double-digit targets. The volume is worth chasing here again as Cleveland has already allowed games of 7-61-2 to Baltimore tight ends in Week 1 and 11-87-1 to Cincinnati tight ends in Week 2.