Whether you've played Daily Fantasy on Yahoo before or are giving it a try for the first time, this weekly column will take an early look at the DFS landscape, revealing whom I like building lineups around, stars to fade, undervalued plays and bargain bin options to help you construct a better team.
Lineup building blocks
Cooper Kupp ($40) @ Baltimore Ravens
Kupp is coming off his first week without a touchdown in a while, but he extended his NFL record with his 11th straight game getting 90+ receiving yards. Sunday he gets a dream matchup against a pass-funnel Ravens defense that’s stingy against the run but has a secondary that’s been so ravaged by injuries they just allowed Joe Burrow to throw for the fourth-most passing yards (525) in a game in NFL history. Baltimore has given up the most yards per play (6.5) at home this season but has a top-five run defense in DVOA. It’s an almost too good to be true setup for Kupp to smash again this week.
Antonio Brown ($28) @ New York Jets
Brown saw a whopping 15 targets during his return last week, running a route on 30 of 34 Tom Brady dropbacks while finishing second in WOPR. The Bucs are already missing Chris Godwin and Mike Evans is likely to miss a second straight game, putting AB in line for another busy day against a Jets defense allowing an NFL-high 8.2 YPA. Brown ranks fifth among WRs in fantasy points per game in PPR leagues this season, behind only Kupp, Davante Adams, Deebo Samuel and Justin Jefferson. And most of that came while fighting for targets with Evans and Godwin.
Ronald Jones ($24) @ New York Jets
Jones dropped a touchdown and watched Ke’Shawn Vaughn run for a long score during a breather last week, but he finished as a top-12 RB anyway. Jones dominated Tampa Bay’s backfield over the first three quarters before ceding work in a blowout, and he gets the most favorable matchup possible this week against a New York defense allowing by far the most fantasy points to running backs this season.
Star to fade
George Kittle ($32) vs. Houston Texans
Kittle has massive weekly upside, but he’s also totaled just nine targets over the last two games. There’s competition for looks with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, and it’s safe to expect San Francisco to become even more run-heavy with rookie Trey Lance now likely taking over at quarterback. That’s too much uncertainty for someone whose salary would be the third-highest wide receiver. Rob Gronkowski ($23) is coming off a disappointing game but remains in a fine spot with Tampa Bay missing both its starting receivers; he’s a better DFS target than Kittle with a salary 28% cheaper.
Trey Lance ($20) vs. Houston Texans
With Jimmy Garoppolo suffering torn thumb ligaments, it sounds like Lance is getting his second start of his career Sunday. Now fully recovered from finger and knee injuries, Lance has reportedly been developing really well behind the scenes while dicing up the 49ers defense in practice. Even if the raw rookie remains shaky passing, his elite rushing ability makes him an immediate top-10 fantasy QB, with upside for more. With Elijah Mitchell questionable but San Francisco’s receivers all healthy against a Texans defense allowing 7.8 YPA, Lance is setup for success.
There’s even shootout potential in this matchup with Davis Mills emerging, so Lance is going to be an extremely popular DFS option available at the minimum.
Devin Singletary ($18) vs. Atlanta Falcons
Singletary continues to emerge as Buffalo’s clear lead back, and he’s been a top-15 RB three straight weeks. After an extremely tough stretch of schedule, the Bills finish the season with two home games against the Falcons and Jets. Sunday the Bills are more than two touchdown home favorites, and it helps playing for Buffalo — he had the second-most red-zone snaps among all backs last week. Singletary’s salary is the No. 25 RB, so he’s a bargain as the feature back on an offense with a QB who looks unstoppable right now.
Dalton Schultz ($14) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Schultz’s salary is at his lowest since Week 4 despite averaging eight catches, 74.5 yards and 1.0 touchdown over the last two games. He’s scored five touchdowns over seven home games, where Dak Prescott has posted a 20:2 TD:INT line this season. Prescott recently said Schultz has moved up his progression read ladder, so his salary looks flat-out mispriced outside the top-15 tight ends. The Cardinals’ defense has been below average (EPA/play) since J.J. Watt went on IR, and this matchup has easily the week’s highest total (51 points).
Zay Jones ($11) @ Indianapolis Colts
Jones quietly ranks top-10 in WOPR over the last two weeks, and Darren Waller is unlikely to be 100% even if he does return. Indoors facing a pass-funnel Colts defense that’s tough to run against but has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to his primary side this season, Sunday could prove a nice matchup for Jones. Moreover, teams have gone off the week after playing Vic Fangio’s Broncos, so expect a nice bounce back from the Raiders’ offense Sunday.