DraftKings Week 4 QBs & RBs

At The Fantasy Takeaway, we strive to help our listeners and readers win, and in the spirit of that mission, we've brought on a new member of the team. Brad Moore is a DFS expert, an amazing writer, and a true friend of The Fantasy Takeaway Podcast. Going forward, Brad and I will be providing DraftKings plays to help you in building your lineups each week. Be sure to follow Brad @Bam79x on Twitter for all his DFS tips and awesome curated content. In this installment of this new weekly DFS piece, we'll be running through our quarterback and running back plays by pricing tier with full analysis. Don't miss our wide receivers, tight ends, and DSTs coming later this week.


Top Tier :   

Brad Moore – Matt Ryan vs. Cincinnati Bengals ($6,100)

The Atlanta Falcons have been decimated by injury. Devonta Freeman is out, and they’ve lost arguably their top three defensive players: Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, and Tak Mckinley. How do the Falcons compete?  Matt Ryan. They have little choice but to let ‘Matty Ice’ throw the ball early and often to combat all the injuries, and he’s delivering. Here’s how this matchup looks:

Cincinnati has allowed the 4th most receptions, the 4th most receiving TDs, the 2nd most 1st downs via the pass, and the 7th most receiving yards thus far. Yes, it’s only a 3 game sample size, but those stats were surrendered to:

Andrew Luck: 319 yards, 2 TDs.
Joe Flacco: 376 yards, 2 TDs.
Cam Newton: 150 yards, 2 TDs; 36 yards, and 2 TDs rushing.

Not exactly a ‘murderer’s row’ of passers –  including Luck, who has a league-low ADOT of under 6 yards. Ryan should feast in this matchup that I think will go over the current projected total of 48.5. The outcome of this game will be left up to him, and he has shown that he’s well aware of that, and up to the task.

Joe Pollock – Philip Rivers vs. San Francisco 49ers ($6,500)

Through three weeks, Philip Rivers is seventh in passing yards, eighth in completion percentage, tied for third in touchdowns, and has only thrown one interception; he's currently 2018's number four quarterback in DraftKings scoring. Rivers is an elite play at a slightly less than elite price in Week 4. The Chargers implied total in Vegas is the highest on the Sunday slate at 28.5. The tight pricing coupled with juicy matchups for mid-tier plays like Eli Manning and Andy Dalton should throw Rivers ownership well into the single digits in a slate in which he would otherwise be chalk.

At 25.77 points, the 49ers are allowing the seventh most points per game to the quarterback position, and two of the six teams allowing more play in primetime and thus are left off the main slate for Week 4. Game script could be a concern for Rivers if the Chargers jump out to an early lead, but it's likely rivers hits cash value before the end of the first half.

Mid-Tier :

Brad Moore – Andy Dalton @ Atlanta Falcons ($5,400)

The only QB play I like better than Matt Ryan this week is the guy who’ll be standing on the other side of the field. Dalton is a fantastic play this week, he’s underpriced, and he’s going be under-owned. Early Vegas lines said there were 9 teams with an implied total of 25 or more points; 7 of them are expected to score 27 or more points. The Falcons are one of those latter teams. The Bengals opened at 21.5. I expect this game total to trend upward as the week progresses, but I highly doubt the Cincinnati total will climb high enough to spike interest in the Bengals when there are so many teams with high totals in blow up spots. Aside from the low price and low ownership, why is Dalton a good play?

The Falcons have allowed 85 points through 3 weeks. Here are the teams that have allowed more:  Lions, Niners, Steelers, Bucs, Chiefs, Chargers and Saints… not good company.
They’ve allowed 91 completions, 3rd most in the league, along with a 71% completion rate. They simply can’t defend the pass.

The Bengals will be without Joe Mixon again this week, and will likely be trailing and throwing early and often. AJ Green is expected to play, Tyler Boyd is emerging as a legitimate threat every week, and Gio Bernard, Tyler Eifert, and John Ross will all be looking to get in on the action. I’ll almost certainly have Dalton in my cash and tournament lineups.

Joe Pollock – Eli Manning vs. New Orleans Saints ($5,600)

Brad's pick, Andy Dalton, is my number one quarterback play this week, but there is still more value to be found in the mid-tier options.  Eli Manning is coming off a 297-yard, two-touchdown, 19.78 point performance @ Houston. The Saints have given up 103 points and scored 104; the Giants have scored only 55. Translation: Manning, Beckham, Barkley and the Giants will be playing catch up against what appears to be a very beatable secondary.

The concerns for the Saints defense come not just from how many points they've allowed, but also who's been scoring them. It's more likely than not that two of the three quarterbacks New Orleans has faced (Tyrod Taylor & Ryan Fitzpatrick) wind up a distant second on their respective teams in snaps at the quarterback position this year.

Don't expect a shootout like the one we saw on November 1st, 2015 in the Superdome. Manning won't keep up with Brees in this one. You can, however, expect ample garbage time passing. I'd even consider the triple stack with Manning, Barkley, and Beckham if you can find enough value plays to make them fit. Manning won't be the contrarian play this week by any stretch of the imagination, but he should be an excellent cash play and could easily exceed his tournament value of 22.4 points.

Lower Tier :

Brad Moore – Josh Rosen vs. Seattle Seahawks ($4,500)

I know, I know..”You’re not seriously playing Josh Rosen, are you?” No, probably not, but if I’m looking to jam in Kamara, Michael Thomas, etc, Rosen would be the guy I would play at QB. At $4,500, he has to do very little, at home, against a Seattle defense that isn’t bringing a lot to the table right now. In their two road games, they’ve allowed a combined 529 yards and 5 TDs through the air to Case Keenum and Mitchell Trubisky.

250 passing yards and a single touchdown pass gets him to 3x value. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest he can have that stat line, or better, and if that allows me to pay up at an extra spot, I wouldn’t shy away from it. In tournaments,  you can pair him with Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson, or even Christian Kirk, and you’ll have a very low-owned stack, and can still afford some high-end chalk plays.

Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott

Top Tier ($6k-Max):   

Brad Moore –  Ezekiel Elliott vs. Detroit Lions ($7,700)

Elliott is the 4th highest priced RB on the main slate, and he’s in the best possible matchup. Detroit has the worst run defense in the NFL. They’ve given up 149 rushing yards per game over their first 3 games, at a 5.4 yards per carry clip. It is only 3 games, though, right? Maybe they’ve just faced great rushing attacks, right?  Nah. They’re just awful against the run.

Week 1 vs. Jets:  Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell combined for 162 rushing yards and 2 TDs and averaged 7.4 yards per carry.
Week 2 @ SF:  Matt Breida and Alfred Morris combined for 186 rushing yards and 1 TD, and, again, averaged 7.4 yards per carry.
Last week vs. the Patriots: Sony Michel and James White combined for 97 rushing yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry.

Notice that I haven’t even mentioned receiving stats. Elliott will be heavily involved there, too. The Lions gave up 61 receiving yards to the Jets RBs; 66 yards to SF RBs, and 39 yards and 1 TD to the Pats’ James White.  Zeke will end up being a chalk play, in all likelihood, and it’s chalk I will gladly eat.

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Joe Pollock – Giovani Bernard @ Atlanta Falcons ($6,300)

A game-script proof running back in today's NFL is hard to find. In any given week, the guys you can count on whether their team is blowing out their opponent or being blown out themselves typically won't fill up the digits on a single hand. With the injury to Joe Mixon holding him out at least one more week, Giovani Bernard has been thrust into a game-script proof role.

Last week, in a significantly tougher matchup @ Carolina, Bernard tallied 17 touches for 86 yards and a score including five receptions. 19.6 points would be plenty to hit cash value for Bernard this week, but against an Atlanta defense that just gave up 37 points to Alvin Kamara and is yielding an unworldly 37.4 points per game to the running back position thus far in 2018, he could obliterate that total. The injury-riddled Atlanta defense is allowing 5.2 yards per attempt and has surrendered four rushing touchdowns. Both of those numbers rank second-worst in the NFL.

With projected ownership in the high teens, a contrarian play Bernard is not, but at $6,300 he can provide elite production at pseudo-elite pricing leaving room for bona fide elite players like Michael Thomas & Odell Beckham Jr. elsewhere in your lineups.

Mid-Tier ($5k-$5,900):

Brad –  Kenyan Drake @ New England Patriots ($5,200)

The last time Kenyan Drake played a football game in New England was Week 13 last season. He was good. He was very good.  He carried the ball 25 times for 114 yards, and caught 5 of 6 targets for another 79 yards, finishing the day with 27.3 DraftKings points. That’s a huge day for a guy that didn’t find the end zone. Miami won that game 27-20 because of his efforts, and I have no reason to doubt he won’t be leaned on heavily again this week.

His usage has been down, so his numbers certainly aren’t impressive. That works just fine for me. A $5,200 price tag and low ownership for a guy that I expect to be carrying the load against a bad rush defense in a divisional game that Miami has to have to open up a three-game lead over the Pats after four weeks? Sign me up.

Through three weeks, Drake has only touched the ball 39 times – 30 rushes and  9 receptions on 12 targets. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he sees 25 touches this week. New England hasn’t been able to find an answer to stopping the run game in the first three games of the season, and Drake may be better than any of the three RBs they’ve already faced.

Lamar Miller ran for 98 yards on 20 carries; a 4.9-yard average; TJ Yeldon only had 58 yards, but he did that on just 10 carries, and last week, Kerryon Johnson ended the Lions’ 70 games-without-a-100-yard-rusher drought by racking up 101 yards on the ground on 16 carries. That’s 257 yards at a 5.6 yard per carry clip allowed by the Patriots to teams’ top rushing threats through three weeks.  They’ve also allowed another 149 receiving yards to RBs, on 18 receptions. So, an average of 6 receptions for 50 yards through the air per game, as well.

I will have as much Drake in my DraftKings lineups as I can fit in at this price in this spot, at what is likely to be very low ownership.

Joe Pollock – Lamar Miller @ Indianapolis Colts ($5,000)

The Colts are allowing 29.3 points per game to the running back position thus far in 2018. That number wouldn't be outrageous had the Colts faced elite backfields. Last week, Indianapolis allowed 196 yards from scrimmage and a score to an Eagles stable featuring Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams in the absence of Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles. The week prior, in Washington, Indianapolis yielded 13 receptions and 92 yards to Chris Thompson.

Lamar Miller may not be the prototypical bell-cow, but through three weeks of the 2018 season, he's been on the field for 76.6 percent of Houston's offensive snaps. Only seven backs have a higher snap share to this point. While Miller's production thus far is far from elite, it must be noted that the Patriots, Titans, and Giants rank 21st, 5th, and 9th in points allowed to the running back position respectively. Miller is not a week-in and week-out plug-and-play option, even at his Week 4 price point of $5,000, but this week, he should see adequate opportunity to hit his 20-point 4x value, and his 2.5x cash floor of 12.5 points is all but a foregone conclusion.

Lower Tier (Less than $5k):

Brad Moore –  Austin Ekeler vs. San Francisco 49ers ($4,200)

I always cringe at the thought of playing a guy who doesn’t play many snaps. I cringe harder when he plays less than half as many snaps as the guy who he replaces, and that guy is one of the faces of the franchise. That’s what you get with Austin Ekeler, however, I like him this week based on matchup, first and foremost, and his reasonable price tag. The Chargers are 10.5 point home favorites against a San Francisco team that just lost Jimmy Garoppolo and weren’t exactly lighting it up offensively even with him in the lineup. That’s not even the bad news; the bad news is, their defense is worse.

The Niners are allowing 29.6 points per game. Their schedule hasn’t been easy – Vikings, Lions, Chiefs – but giving up 30 per game is egregious, regardless. Philip Rivers and company should be able to do whatever they want in this game, and it may be long over by half-time. If that’s the case, Ekeler should see increased usage throughout the second half. He’s only seen 64 snaps in three games – 22, 24, and 18 – but I could see his average of almost 22 per game reach close to 30 or more. At his price tag, I won’t ignore that. It must be mentioned that the San Francisco rush defense hasn’t been awful, it’s been decent, but they’ve given up points to pass-catching RBs.

Joe Pollock – Chris Carson @ Arizona Cardinals ($4,600)

Like all plays in the sub $5k range, Chris Carson is a flier. He's the pay-down option that makes pay-up choices like Alvin Kamara, Melvin Gordon, and Saquon Barkley attainable. So what makes Carson a better flier than Marshawn Lynch ($4,800), Sony Michel ($4,500), or Dion Lewis ($4,400)? Volume. There's no guarantee that Rashaad Penny stays in the doghouse as a result of his Week 3 fumble vs. Dallas, but if he does, Carson should see a massive workload.

Last week Carson tallied 34 touches. His efficiency was through the floor, but with a rookie quarterback leading the Arizona Cardinals in his first NFL start, it's relatively safe to assume game-script will favor a run-heavy attack from the Seahawks. Carson may not see 87 percent of the running back touch market share, but even if he gets 60, he'll have an excellent chance to hit value.

Joe Pollock is co-host and of The Fantasy Takeaway Podcast. You can find him on Twitter @HumanStatSheet or contact him by email at Joe@TheFantasyTakewaway.com

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com

Cheap Dates: Week 3 Streamers

This piece is a day late coming out this week, and for that, I apologize. Unfortunately, this means my second option at D/ST has already played (and scored a solid nine points). Don't miss The Fantasy Takeaway Podcast each Thursday for our weekly Cheap Dates segment featuring takes from special guests like Mike Wright of The Fantasy Footballers Podcast, Ronnie Evans of the Dynasty ER Podcast, Xavier ‘Coach X' Warner of Top Shelf Daily Fantasy Football, and many more to come as the 2018 NFL season heats up. You can make sure you don't miss an episode by subscribing on Apple Podcasts here. 


Andy Dalton vs. Carolina Panthers (ESPN: 26.6%, Yahoo!: 32%, NFL: 6.8%)

Dalton is quietly putting together an early season performance reminiscent of the years when the fantasy community referred to him a borderline elite option at the position. His Week 2 four-touchdown performance was just the fourth of his career, and his six touchdowns represent his highest total through two weeks in his seven-year career. Carolina is fresh off allowing a 30+ point performance to Matt Ryan and the Falcons inconsistent Steve Sarkisian run offense. The fact that Dalton had lower fantasy ownership to start this week than Mitch Trubisky on any platform is borderline criminal. Consider Dalton a viable stream-to-start option in all plus matchups going forward.

Blake Bortles vs. Tennessee Titans (ESPN: 21%, Yahoo!: 37%, NFL: 19.6%)

The Bortles play is volatile. If Leonard Fournette suits up and plays a significant role on Sunday, it might be wise to find another streamer. Bortles should have a safe floor, but Fournette's presence in the lineup drastically limits his ceiling; he averages 328 yards per game without Fournette and 210 with him in uniform.  The Titans will provide little resistance on the back end for Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, and that Jaguars receiving corps, but if Bortles throws only 25 passes, his upside might be capped in the 15 point range. If ceiling is what you’re looking for out of your Week 3 quarterback streamer and Fournette logs a full practice on Friday, consider firing up my Cheap Dates honorable mention.

Honorable Mention:

Mitch Trubisky @ Arizona Cardinals (ESPN: 23%, Yahoo!: 15%, NFL: 4.3%)

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Running Backs

Corey Clement vs. Indianapolis Colts (ESPN: 54.5%, Yahoo!: 43%, NFL: 27.9%)

Jay Ajayi (Back) and Darren Sproles (Hamstring) will most likely miss Sunday's contest with the Colts. In Sproles absence, and with Ajayi seeing limited action, Clement tallied 85 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, catching five of six targets. That's 19.5 points in PPR. Not too shabby for a guy drafted outside the top 50 running backs in 2018. Don't expect Clement to maintain a meaningful workload when Ajayi finds his way back to the playing field, but until then, he's a safe floor play with upside that can be found on the waiver wire in nearly half of all fantasy leagues.  

Javorius Allen vs. Denver Broncos (ESPN: 36.4%, Yahoo!: 23%, NFL: 7.8%)

Buck Allen isn't a streamer. He doesn't belong in this article, but you'll find him here every week until his ownership levels creep past the 50 percent mark on all platforms. Allen is the goal line back for Baltimore. It's inexplicable, but it's a fact Alex Collins owners might just have to accept until Collins can prove his worth in pass protection. The Ravens staff apparently doesn't feel comfortable putting Collins on the field in situations that could dictate an audible that would put him in pass protection. Allen is an elite pass blocker. Until Collins can at least become proficient in that regard, Allen has value each and every week.  

Wide Receivers

Calvin Ridley @ New Orleans Saints (ESPN: 39.9%, Yahoo!: 32%, NFL: 11.1%)

Julio Jones (Calf) was on the sidelines again for the Falcons Thursday practice session, and while it doesn't look like he's in danger of missing Sunday vs. New Orleans, more reps for Calvin Ridley with the first team offense can only mean faster progression toward taking over as the number two in that offense. Ridley garnered five targets and hauled in four of them for 64 yards in the Falcons Week 2 win over Carolina. The over/under of 53.5 and implied total just north of 28 suggest ample touchdown opportunity for the Atlanta pass catchers, and Ridley's technical ability is elite for a first-year NFL receiver.

Chris Godwin vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN: 37.2%, Yahoo!: 40%, NFL: 6.0%)

Chris Godwin is developing into a top-flight mid-tier option at the wide receiver position. With Mike Evans in front of him, his ceiling is moderately capped, but his floor gets safer each week. Last week I mentioned Godwin's 13.5 point average when accumulating at least six targets; last week Godwin had six targets, five catches, 56 yards, and a score for a total of 16.6 points. Just like with Ridley, the over/under of 54 in this game suggests ample scoring opportunities for all pass catchers. Unless Ryan Fitzpatrick forgets his big boy pants on Sunday and slides back into his customary poopy ones, Godwin should have a fine day against the Steelers swiss cheese secondary.

Ryan Grant @ Philadelphia Eagles (ESPN: 12.6%, Yahoo!: 5%, NFL: 0.3%)

Grant struggled to get going in Week 2 vs. Washington, but the game script wasn't conducive to a pass-heavy offensive attack from the Colts. This week could be a different story with the return of Carson Wentz for the Eagles. Andrew Luck threw 53 passes in the Colts Week 1 loss to the Bengals. Indianapolis is a 6.5 point dog with a 47.5 point over/under this week in Philadelphia, so the volume should be there for better numbers for the Colts pass catchers in Week 3. Expect scoring much closer to Grant's Week 1 13.9 points than than his pathetic five points in Week 2.

Tight Ends

O.J. Howard vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN: 57.8%, Yahoo!: 80%, NFL: 42%)

This will be the last week O.J. Howard finds himself in a streamers article; with  50+ percent ownership on Yahoo! and ESPN, the fantasy community is catching on. He's an elite physical specimen, and his blocking prowess means he'll be on the field more often than not for the Buccaneers going forward. Howard is a massive breakout candidate with enormous upside in an offense ready to sling it. The implied totals for Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay are astronomical in this game, but Howard is a start regardless of matchup going forward.

Jake Butt @ Baltimore Ravens (ESPN: 2.6%, Yahoo!: 4%, NFL: 0.9%)

The Ravens gave up 14.7 points to the Bengals tight ends in Week 2. With stud linebacker C.J. Mosley likely out, Baltimore is thin at inside linebacker. Butt is an elite talent, but it's taken him until now to start realizing his potential because of a gruesome knee injury suffered during the Orange Bowl his senior year at Michigan. With a target increase from four in Week 1 to six in Week 2, it's evident that Denver wants to get him involved, and considering Baltimore's struggles on the defensive side of the football, especially in the middle of the field, Butt is an excellent emergency option with low single-digit ownership across all platforms.

Jesse James @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ESPN: 28.3%, Yahoo!: 42%, NFL: 24.3%)

Jesse James has the hot hand in Pittsburgh. He may not be as athletic as Vance McDonald, but he's a sure-handed, big-bodied option with a nose for the end zone and solid chemistry with his quarterback. Until McDonald can get things going, you can fire up James with confidence in that high-powered Steelers offense.


Cowboys D/ST @ Seattle Seahawks (ESPN: 30.2%, Yahoo!: 25%, NFL: 12.8%)

In this matchup, you have the number two defense in sacks up against the number one offense in sacks allowed. Need I say more? DeMarcus Lawrence is going to eat. Russell Wilson will be running for his life. The Cowboys have allowed just 29 points through two weeks, and are averaging nine points per game. As long as Sean Lee suits up, Dallas D/ST should be solid.

Browns D/ST vs. New York Jets (ESPN: 30.6%, Yahoo!: 57%, NFL: 16.6%)

The Browns played the Jets on Thursday night and put up nine points, but you already know that. The reason I included them in this piece is that the Browns were one of the defenses mentioned on this week's Thursday episode of The Fantasy Takeaway. Please make sure to tune in every Thursday for more solid streaming picks from Murphy & me, and our guests.

Honorable Mention:

Dolphins D/ST vs. Oakland Raiders (ESPN: 21%, Yahoo!: 21%, NFL: 9.5%)

Joe Pollock is co-host and of The Fantasy Takeaway Podcast. You can find him on Twitter @HumanStatSheet or contact him by email at Joe@TheFantasyTakewaway.com

DraftKings Week 2 Values

Last week's values piece included a Case Keenum (4.93x) & Emmanuel Sanders (6.91x) stack, Kenny Stills (6.3x) and the Ravens DST (4.47x). The pricing is much tighter in Week 2, so the value is hard to come by, but there are a few players still slipping through the cracks. If you're new to daily fantasy or don't have a DraftKings account yet, sign up here for a free contest entry. Full disclosure, we get a kickback from DraftKings if you follow that link and sign up, but it doesn't cost you anything extra, and it's a great way to support The Fantasy Takeaway.

Let's get down to brass tacks. DraftKings Week 2 Values:


Case Keenum vs. Oakland ($5,800)

Last week at $5,100 Keenum vs. Seattle was a great play (4.93x), and considering the situation in Oakland on the defensive side of the football, Keenum at home vs. the Raiders should be an equally good play. His 25.16 point performance was good enough for a QB7 finish in Week 1, and with three interceptions, Keenum hasn't yet shown off his ceiling. The weapons are there in Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, and a solid young tight end stable of Jake Butt & Jeff Heuerman. Add shifty scat back Phillip Lindsay into the mix and this team is stacked with pass-catching playmakers. Keenum is a solid stack with Sanders or Thomas, but if you're looking for a value stack, Sutton's touchdown upside in this game is considerable, and his $3,500 price tag would allow ample room for pay-up options like Antonio Brown & Todd Gurley or even mid-tier options like Christian McCaffrey & James Conner.

Tyrod Taylor @ New Orleans ($5,900)

Taylor's $5,900 price tag this week is tough to steer clear of. The Saints defense allowed a slate-high 45.3 points to Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. Meanwhile, Taylor put up 24.6 in terrible conditions Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh. His volume in the running game alone gives Taylor a safe floor as a cash play, and with a 40 point over/under and +9.5 spread, he should be in a favorable game script for high passing volume. 23.6 points to reach 4x value? Yeah, I'll take that gamble in this matchup any day of the week and twice on Sunday (more like four times on Sunday if I'm being honest).

Running Backs

Jalen Richard @ Denver ($3,400)

This play is all about pricing vs. probable game script. Richard saw just five carries in the Raiders Week 1 blowout loss to the Rams, but he also saw 11 targets and hauled in nine of them. Vegas has Denver -6.5 in this matchup, so it's likely Oakland finds themselves playing catchup again in Week 2. If Denver can jump out to a big lead, Richard could destroy his 4x number of 13.6.

Nyheim Hines @ Washington ($4,100)

The Hines fumbles in the preseason had the fantasy community scrambling. He was the industry darling for PPR formats, but the hype train has slowed considerably. It's tough to call a guy a post-hype sleeper after just one game in the NFL, but Hines fits that bill. His draft position and DFS ownership plummeted after his four preseason fumbles. His usage, on the other hand, has not. Hines was targeted nine times in the Colts Week 1 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Any player capable of receiving nine targets at a $4,100 price tag is a player to consider on DraftKings. I like him as a value cash play better than I like him in GPP this week, but my Hines exposure will be strong across the board.

T.J. Yeldon vs. New England ($5,600)

Not a lot to say here. Leonard Fournette hasn't practiced this week despite the team indicating he'd be out there testing his injured hamstring on Friday. Considering Fournette's extensive injury history, Yeldon looks like an incredible value as the lead back in a run-first offense. Throw in Yeldon's prowess in the passing game, and at $5,600 this one's a no-brainer.

UPDATE: Yeldon was added to the injury report with an ankle injury. Something to keep an eye on. Corey Grant could be huge if Yeldon is limited.

Tevin Coleman vs. Carolina ($5,300)

Just more of the same here. Devonta Freeman has been downgraded to out for Sunday vs. Carolina. If Freeman is out, Coleman is a good play regardless of matchup or game script. This play is about as chalky as it gets, but all things considered, it's one I'll struggle to get away from this week.

Wide Receivers

Josh Doctson vs. Indianapolis ($4,000)

The perennial disappointment that is Josh Doctson is back disappointing people again, but there is room for hope. Shut-down cornerback Patrick Peterson spent his Week 1 Sunday blanketing Doctson in the Redskins route of the Arizona Cardinals. In Week 2, Doctson will see a much more favorable matchup. Peterson is a bona fide stud; the names Nate Hairston, Kenny Moore II, and Quincy Wilson strike fear in the hearts of no one. Doctson saw targets on only 4.3% of his snaps in Week 1; that's not all that surprising with Patrick Peterson shadowing him. What is surprising is Doctson's Week 1 snap percentage of 88.6. He's the true number one in that offense, and nobody has noticed.

Dante Pettis vs. Detroit ($4,000)

Marquise Goodwin has been ruled out for Sunday's game vs. the Lions. In Goodwin's absence Week 1 vs. Minnesota's borderline elite secondary, Pettis garnered five targets, bringing in two for 39 yards and a score. Outside of Darius Slay, the Detroit secondary leaves a lot to be desired. Whether Pettis lines up in the slot or on the edge, he should see a favorable matchup against Quandre Diggs or Nevin Lawson. Pettis should see relatively high ownership in the main slate, but at $4,000 he'll be tough to fade.

Demaryius Thomas vs. Oakland ($5,600)

I mentioned a potential Keenum stack in the quarterbacks section of this piece. Outside of the pay-down-flier option in Courtland Sutton, Demaryius Thomas is my favorite receiver to stack with him this week. Thomas should be lined up most of the game in a highly favorable matchup against Rashaan Melvin. Emmanuel Sanders stole the show in Week 1 with ten catches on 11 targets for 135 yards and a touchdown, but Thomas quietly put up 18.3 points and garnered ten targets of his own. The slate will be on Sanders, but Thomas will be the play this week.

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Tight Ends

Jonnu Smith vs. Houston ($3,100)

After a nasty ankle injury sent Delanie Walker to the IR in Week 1, Jonnu Smith is now the starting tight end for the Tennessee Titans. The Houston Texans have allowed nearly 15 points per game to the tight end position over their last 17 games. I'm not expecting anything close to the 27.3 points Gronk scored on DraftKings in Week 1, but at $3,100 Smith is an excellent pay-down option at the position.

O.J. Howard vs. Philadelphia ($3,200)

Howard's price point in Week 2 would suggest a split-usage situation in Tampa Bay, but Cameron Brate saw the field for just 36.4 percent of the Bucs offensive snaps to Howard's 65.2. The Philly defense is tough against tight ends, but with projected ownership of 1.3% or lower on multiple DFS analytics sites, Howard could be a great contrarian play if he can find the end zone.

George Kittle vs. Detroit ($3,800)

Kittle's price point does not reflect his production. Despite scoring the fifth most points of any tight end in this week's main slate, he's only the tenth highest priced player at the position. Marquise Goodwin is out, and while he does not play an analogous role in San Francisco's offense, that should mean more opportunity for Kittle. The 9ers young tight end posted back-to-back top ten performances to finish his 2017 campaign and scored the sixth most points in Week 1 of 2018. Kittle may be the highest owned tight end in Week 2, but at that price point, he's tough to leave out of cash and GPP lineups alike.


Redskins vs. Indianapolis ($2,700)

The Redskins DST posted 13 points last week in their dominant performance in Arizona, holding the Cardinals to just 213 total yards in total offense and forcing two turnovers while giving up only 14 points. Upon further study of the tape, the Washington front-seven looks incredible. Dominant at the point of attack and fast to the edges. The Redskins player acquisition strategy of adding Alabama players in bulk up front was an interesting one, but it seems to be paying dividends.

Dolphins @ New York Jets ($3,100)

The Lions quarterbacks put the Jets in favorable field position five times via interception Monday night. Linebacker Darron Lee told reporters after the game, “We were calling out their plays as he was getting up to the line. We knew his signals. We knew everything. That’s just preparation as a defense… It just seemed like we were in his head as a defense.” The Lions DST still managed to put up eight points.

Adam Gase & Ryan Tannehill won't be using last year's signals this week in New York, so the field position battle will be much less in favor of Sam Darnold and that weaponless Jets offense. Expect Darnold to struggle even against a Dolphins defense that leaves much to be desired when it comes to talent.

Cheap Dates: Week 2 Streamers

It's Thursday, and that means Week 2 Streamers at The Fantasy Takeaway. Last week's Cheap Dates article included Jared Cook (27 points; TE1), Jared Goff (16.22 points; QB15), Jesse James, (9 points; TE9), and the Browns D/ST (16 points; D/ST5) to name a few. This week I'm including running backs and wide receivers, because while Week 1 wasn't as bad as last year, injuries happen, and it's vital to know where to get production off the waiver wire when guys like Devonta Freeman and Marquise Goodwin wind up in danger of finding themselves on your fantasy team's IR.


Tyrod Taylor @ New Orleans (ESPN: 42.5%, Yahoo!: 27%, NFL: 8%)

The New Orleans Saints gave up 42.3 points to Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 1, and while this was certainly an aberration, that Saints defense did not look like the one we saw carry New Orleans to within seconds of the 2017 NFC Championship Game. Meanwhile, Tyrod Taylor put up 23.6 points vs. the Steelers in awful conditions. Taylor isn't the sexiest of fantasy quarterbacks, but he's effective. With a number eight finish at the position throwing the ball to a hobbled Sammy Watkins and a bunch of absolute nobodies, it's tough to understand why Taylor isn't owned in more than 50 percent of leagues.

Case Keenum vs. Oakland (ESPN: 18.8%, Yahoo!: 35%, NFL: 11.1%)

There will never be any respect in the fantasy community for Case Keenum, and his three interceptions in Week 1 didn't help on that front. Here's the thing, Keenum scored 19.2 points despite those interceptions. Keenum doesn't come with an inherently high ceiling, but against a Raiders defense that just shipped off their most talented player, I'll take my chances with him. Oakland was, in fact, the 20th ranked defense in points allowed to the quarterback with arguably the number one pass rusher in all of football. Imagine how bad they'll be without him.

Running Backs:

Jalen Richard @ Denver (ESPN: 1.9%, Yahoo!: 3%, NFL: 0.4%)

In the transition to the Gruden 2.0 era in Oakland, Jalen Richard's name has gotten lost in the shuffle. Everyone's talking about the geriatric duo of Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin, but Richard quietly amassed 16.9 points last week in a game in which the shifty pass-catching running back failed to find the end zone. Richard was second on the team in targets with 11, trailing only Week 1's top scoring tight end in Jared Cook. An every week play Richard is not, but when the Raiders find themselves trailing, as they likely will this week (Vegas has Denver -6), Richard is an excellent option. He's out there in your league unless you're playing with sharks, so if you're struggling at running back, he's a great grab not just for this week, but as a season-long stash with upside.

T.J. Yeldon vs. New England (ESPN: 38.7%, Yahoo!: 62%, NFL: 18%)

With Leonard Fournette's injury history and Week 1 hamstring strain, it's baffling that T.J. Yeldon's ownership isn't higher than 50 percent in leagues on ESPN or NFL. Not only is Yeldon one of the most valuable handcuffs in all of football, he very well may have standalone value as a situational pass catcher in a Jaguars offense that figures to be playing catch up this week considering their matchup with the high-scoring New England Patriots. Admittedly, there is risk in playing Yeldon. Keep an eye on the practice reports to see if Fournette will is limited leading up to Sunday. If he's is a full go, it might be wise to look elsewhere for off-the-wire production, but if he sees a limited workload as late as Friday, Yeldon should be an excellent fill-in flex.

Nyheim Hines @ Washington (ESPN: 7.5%, Yahoo!: 6%, NFL: 0.5%)

Nyheim Hines fumbled four times in two games during his work in the preseason; that fact had fantasy owners running from Hines like Usain Bolt, but it hasn't deterred Frank Reich and his offensive coaching staff from feeding him the rock. Hines was the Colts highest scoring running back in Week 1 vs. Cincinnati, garnering five rushing attempts and seven receptions on nine targets. If Hines continues to get this level of volume in the passing game, he's going to be a good play more often than not in PPR formats.

Wide Receivers:

Quincy Enunwa vs. Miami (ESPN: 38.5%, Yahoo!: 51%, NFL: 10.3%)

Sam Darnold has deficiencies in his game, but his short and intermediate passing ability isn't one of them. During his last full season in 2016, Quincy Enunwa had an aDOT (Average Depth of Target) of 8.9. Compare that to Robby Anderson's aDOT of 13 in 2017, and it's easy to see why Enunwa is the receiver to target for the Jets. As far as stream-to-start candidates go, there really isn't a better option thus far in 2018 than Quincy Enunwa.

Chris Godwin vs. Philadelphia (ESPN: 33.5%, Yahoo!: 35%, NFL: 2.7%)

Chris Godwin's stock skyrockets if DeSean Jackson (Concussion, Shoulder) misses Week 2 vs. Miami. In the four games in which Godwin garnered at least six targets in 2017, he scored an average of 15.3 points. Should Jackson remain sidelined Sunday, Godwin should have an excellent shot at receiving six or more targets. Just like with T.J. Yeldon, keep an eye on the practice reports, or this stream could blow up in your face.

Mike Williams vs. Buffalo (ESPN: 33.5%, Yahoo!: 59%, NFL: 6.4%)

Post-hype sleeper anyone? After a miserable 2017 marred by a debilitating back injury that nearly required season-ending surgery last offseason, Mike Williams is back in action and appears to be 100 percent. Williams isn't a plug-and-play start, especially in the same division as Denver, but in a juicy matchup with a team in the Buffalo Bills  that gave up 31.7 points to the wide receiver position last week in a matchup with Joe Flacco and the Ravens utterly lackluster receiver corps, I'll take all the Williams I can get.

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Tight Ends:

Jonnu Smith vs. Houston (ESPN: 2.7%, Yahoo!: 16%, NFL: 0.8%)

Delanie Walker dislocated his ankle and will miss the entire 2018 season; Jonnu Smith will take his place. The Titans offense looked atrocious in Week 1 vs. Miami, but I'm giving them a Mulligan. The game did take seven hours and eight minutes to finally conclude after all. The Houston Texans allowed 123 yards and a touchdown to the tight end position in Week 1 (albeit to Rob Gronkowski), and Houston was fourth worst for fantasy at defending the tight end position in 2017. Smith isn't the safe play in Week 2, but he could pay huge dividends if Marcus Mariota and that Titans offense can settle into that Matt LaFleur system.

Antonio Gates vs. Buffalo (ESPN: 23.3%, Yahoo!: 9%, NFL: 3.2%)

The ageless one has returned! Though he only received three targets in the Chargers Week 1 matchup with Kansas City, there is reason to be hopeful that Gates can find the end zone against a Bills team that allowed 47 points to the lowly Baltimore Ravens in Week 1. Gates isn't the dominant red zone target he once was, but if the Chargers offense can come close to the Ravens opening weekend total of six touchdowns, he should be the beneficiary of at least one.

Ricky Seals-Jones @ Los Angeles Rams (ESPN: 8%, Yahoo!: 27%, NFL: 5.1%)

Sam Bradford looked awful in Week 1 vs. Washington; there are no two ways about it. This week it's not getting any easier against a Rams front seven featuring names like Ndomakong Suh and Aaron Donald. That said, Raiders tight end Jared Cook (my number one tight end streamer in this article last week) garnered an astonishing 12 targets and hauled in nine passes for 180 yards vs. this Rams defense. I'm not expecting Seals-Jones to put in a repeat performance in Week 2, but even 40 percent of that production in PPR scoring would be plenty to send Seals-Jones streamers on to Week 3 with a W.


Dolphins D/ST @ New York Jets (ESPN: 4.6%, Yahoo!: 1%, NFL: 4.6%)

I'll be honest, the pool of Week 2 Streamers at D/ST isn't all that attractive. Sam Darnold put in a solid performance (aided by the play of his defense) in Week 1. Nevertheless, the Dolphins are a solid play this week. Darnold is notorious for his poor decision making and looping throwing motion. Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn, Kiko Alonso, and rookie hybrid corner/safety Minkah Fitzpatrick should have ample opportunity to create turnovers against a Jets team that boasts an offensive line Pro Football Focus‘ Michael Renner ranked second worst in the league in his July, 12th article, NFL offensive line rankings: All 32 team's units entering 2018.

Speaking of Pro Football Focus, for a limited time, listeners and readers of Fantasy Takeaway can get $20 off a PFF Elite annual subscription or $5 off a PFF Edge annual subscription. 

Redskins D/ST vs. Indianapolis  (ESPN: 12.1%, Yahoo!: 18%, NFL: 4.9%)

The matchup for Washington isn't fantastic. Andrew Luck appeared to be a more than competent passer in his Week 1 matchup with the Bengals. Be that as it may, Washington's defense looked stout in their opening game @ Arizona. My pick of the Redskins as a streaming defense is more based on what I saw from their front seven against the Cardinals than it is about their opposition this week. Just as Quincy Enunwa is an excellent stream-to-start candidate at wide receiver, the Redskins are an excellent stream-to-start candidate at D/ST.

Bears D/ST vs. Seattle (ESPN: 49.6%, Yahoo!: 76%, NFL: 35.8%)

After the Bears Week 1 performance at Lambeau, it's mind-boggling that they're not owned in a higher percentage of leagues. Do yourself a favor. If you've gotten this far in this article, go check to see if they're available. Khalil Mack. Enough said.    

Draftkings Week 1 Values

If you play fantasy football using PPR scoring, DraftKings is the place to play DFS. They have contests for everyone from beginner to professional, and they even have exclusive games for beginner players so the sharks don't take all your money before you've figured out the strategies that can win you cash. If you're new to daily fantasy, or just don't have a DraftKings account yet, sign up here for a free contest entry. Full disclosure, we get a kickback from DraftKings if you follow that link and sign up, but it doesn't cost you anything extra, and it's a great way to support The Fantasy Takeaway.

The slate is wide open this week. Pricing is loose, so finding good values at lower prices can net you some extra studs in your lineup. Here are my DraftKings Values for Week 1 of 2018.


Andrew Luck vs. Cincinnati Bengals ($6,100)

When DraftKings set prices for the Week 1 slate, Andrew Luck had a lot more question marks than he does as we flip the calendar over to September, and his pricing reflects that. Luck's lowest price point in 2016 was Week 15 @ Minnesota, $6,400. At $6,100 this week, Luck is an absolute steal. 24.4 points to reach 4x value for a quarterback often considered an elite fantasy player is mindblowing. He averaged 22.7 points in DraftKings scoring just two seasons ago. Luck might not be the pay down option this week, but barring a setback with that shoulder, this will be the cheapest you'll see him all year.

Case Keenum vs. Seattle Seahawks ($5,100)

Speaking of pay down options, Case Keenum is a bargain bin gem this week. There are a lot of things to consider regarding Keenum. He's in a new offense with an entirely new set of weapons, but top-to-bottom the Denver receiving corps stacks up favorably to the one Keenum left in Minnesota. One could even argue that the depth is superior for the Broncos.

The Seahawks defense was one of the stingiest in the league in giving up points to the quarterback position in 2017. They ranked 8th best in QB points allowed with 15.02 per game. The Seahawks defense lost Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson, DeShawn Shead, Kam Chancellor, Jeremy Lane, Cliff Avril, and Earl Thomas' status remains uncertain following a tumultuous offseason. I expect Keenum's ownership to be low among those working off of last year's numbers, and his points/$ should be right up there with the big boys this week.

Running Back:

Kareem Hunt @ L.A. Chargers ($6,900)

Kareem hunt averaged 194.5 yards from scrimmage, five receptions, and 1.5 total touchdowns per game against the Chargers in 2017. That's 30.45 points per game in DraftKings scoring. The Chargers gave up 25.33 points per game in 2017. At $6,900, Hunt isn't cheap, but he's an elite level play at a second tier price.

Andy Reid, when discussing Hunt's potential workload with Spencer Ware back in action, said, “We thought we had a decent number of plays for Kareem last year, [but] we probably need to increase the pass part of that a little bit more and expand on his role in the pass game.” The significance of this quote cannot be understated. A target in DraftKings scoring is worth more than 2.5x as much as a carry in terms of fantasy output. With an increased workload in the passing game don't be surprised to see Hunt obliterate his 4x value number of 27.6 points.

Alex Collins vs. Buffalo Bills ($5,600)

The Bills allowed a whopping 28.14 points per game to the running back position in 2017. Alex Collins was Pro Football Focus' number one back regarding rushing grade last year. The Bills are starting one of two terrible options at the quarterback position in Week 1, and The Ravens are favored by a touchdown with a 40.5 point over/under at home. All of these factors suggest a run-heavy approach from a Baltimore team that will likely lead wire-to-wire. Collins could be heavily owned in the main slate, but I can't find a reason to shy away from the chalk on this one.

Carlos Hyde vs. Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,500)

When DraftKings released their pricing for Week 1, the backfield in Cleveland was a three-headed monster. Since then, Nick Chubb has been wholly unimpressive, garnering just one snap with the first team offense in the Browns Preseason Week 3 matchup with the Eagles. At least at the outset, it looks like Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr. will be splitting touches in the Cleveland backfield. Both are a decent value, but Hyde should have a lower ownership percentage based on presumed game script; this is a bit of a false narrative. A total of 10 points decided the last three matchups between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Hyde most definitely is not the sexy play this week, but his ownership and expected opportunity should make him a great play.

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Wide Receiver:

Emmanuel Sanders vs. Seattle Seahawks ($5,000)

Denver's pass catchers have had a rough go of it the last two seasons. Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch are terrible quarterbacks. Case Keenum, while nowhere near elite, is a huge upgrade. If I'm playing Keenum, I'm playing Sanders. This stack costs a total of $10,100. With $39,900, there's plenty of room to pay up for studs like David Johnson vs. Washington or DeAndre Hopkins vs. New England.

With a move to the slot in three-wide sets, Sanders DraftKings (PPR) value should see a massive boost. Larry Fitzgerald and Adam Thielen, while much bigger receivers, saw an enormous increase in target volume when they moved inside. Thielen saw 142 targets in a Case Keenum led offense in 2017. Sanders ran only 27% of his routes in the slot last year. With the addition of standout rookie Courtland Sutton to the Broncos offense, that number jumped to 53% through the 2018 preseason.

Kenny Stills vs. Tennessee Titans ($4,700)

Kenny Stills is my guy for redraft; Kenny stills is my guy for Week 1 DFS. Tennessee gave up the 11th most points to the WR position (34.02 per game) in DraftKings scoring in 2017. The loss of Johnathan Cyprien to an ACL injury will not help that number improve in 2018. With DeVante Parker likely sidelined or hindered by the broken finger he suffered in the preseason, Stills will see a massive target share as the de facto number one for Miami this week. Needing just 11.75 points to reach 2.5x value and 18.8 to reach 4x value against what's sure to be one of the league's bottom half secondaries, I'll have substantial exposure to Stills in Week 1.

Donte Moncrief @ New York Giants ($4,000)

Moncrief wouldn't have made this list had Marquis Lee's Preseason Week 3 knee injury never happened. He also wouldn't be $4,000 in DraftKings pricing considering he led the team in first-team snaps following Lee's injury.

The New York Giants gave up 34.02 points per game to the wide receiver position in 2017. Moncrief has scored a touchdown every 8.44 receptions in his injury-riddled four-year career. For a little perspective, Odell Beckham has scored a touchdown every 8.24 receptions over the same span. Moncrief isn't in Beckham's area code, but as the stand-in number one, he's the guy I'm putting my faith in to meet value in that Jacksonville offense Week 1.

If you want to hedge your bets a bit and grab Keelan Cole at $3,800 instead of Moncrief, I won't blame you. I know I'll have some Cole exposure this week.

Tight End:

Jack Doyle vs. Cincinnati Bengals ($3,600)

Only two starting pass-catchers in Indianapolis have hauled in receptions from Andrew Luck in their respective careers, T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle. Luck may not be 100 percent, but Luck at 80  percent is better than Jacoby Brissett at 110 percent. Doyle ran the bulk of the routes and took the lion's share of the snaps during the 2018 preseason when Luck was on the field. If Doyle can even come close to his 2017 DraftKings average of 11.2 points per game, he should pay huge dividends in cash games and tournaments alike; just don't expect Doyle to be a contrarian play this week. He'll be highly owned in all formats.


Ravens vs. Buffalo Bills ($3800)

What's that you say? The Ravens are the highest priced D/ST on DraftKings this week? Yep… and they're still a value. Most players new to DFS build out their lineups with the D/ST coming as an afterthought only once their RB, WR, TE, and FLEX spots have filled. In my experience, this is a mistake.

Defensive scoring varies wildly. Gaining a positional advantage in points/$ can be tough at positions where the pricing ranges from $3,000 for scrubs to $8,000, $9,000 or even $10,000 for studs. The difference in dollars between the cheapest defenses this week and the Ravens is a mere $1800. Considering the worst defensive performances can net you negative points, and elite performances garner totals upwards of 30, skimping on defense so you can spend an extra $600 to upgrade from David Johnson to Le'Veon Bell doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

The Bills haven't yet announced a Week 1 starter at quarterback. Translation: The Bills don't have a quarterback. For that matter, they don't have any wide receivers worth a damn either. Start Baltimore with confidence. They're an elite play this week.

Joe’s Round-by-Round Update for the 2018 Mockstravaganza

It's time for another fantasy football mock draft, but this time, with a twist. We at The Fantasy Takeaway have brought together an all-star cast of writers and podcasters from all walks of the fantasy football industry to bring you analysis that can help you win your leagues. 

This is a 12-Team PPR Snake Draft with full pick-by-pick analysis through the first five rounds. I drew the twelfth pick. The turn is rough this year at the RB position, so I'm trying my hand at a little Zero RB. Wish me luck.

Check out the Draft Board for Analysis on all the Other Picks! 

Joe's Picks & Analysis for the 2018 Fantasy Football Industry Mockstravaganza

Previous Pick: 1.11 – Kareem Hunt – RB – Kansas City Chiefs

Round 1, Pick 12 – Keenan Allen – WR – Los Angeles Chargers

Keenan Allen

This pick hurt a little. I love Keenan Allen, but watching Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham Jr. fly off the board in the two picks immediately preceding my selection was painful. The last thing I wanted was to be forced into a zero RB strategy considering the state of the running back position in 2018, but here we are.

With running backs like Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Devonta Freeman, Leonard Fournette, and Joe Mixon being the only players at the position in consideration left on the board, I simply couldn't justify passing on the number three and four wide receivers in my 2018 rankings. Allen is a stud. His ACL reinjury risk plummets with every passing day, and to think the lacerated kidney that sidelined him in 2015 is any reason to discount a talent of this caliber is absurd.

Of the 50 receivers profiled in Matt Harmon's Reception Perception exclusively available in The Fantasy Footballers Ultimate Draft Kit, only Antonio Brown, Stefon Diggs, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Crabtree, and (you guessed it) Keenan Allen scored at or above league average in success rate by route on all ten routes charted in 2017. Not Julio Jones, not DeAndre Hopkins, not Michael Thomas nor A.J. Green accomplished the feat last year. With an almost guaranteed target share in excess of 150 and a career catch percentage of 67%, Allen was a slam dunk at this spot.

My only knock on Allen before last year (outside of the obvious injury concerns having missed substantial time in each of the previous two years) was Allen's red zone usage. In eight games played during the 2015 season, Allen saw just seven red zone targets. For reference, Antonio Brown saw 24 red zone targets that year, and Jordy Nelson led the league with 31. On a per-game basis, Allen's usage compared favorably to a guy like Jeremy Maclin who had 15 in that season. Gross.

2017 was a completely different story. No receiver garnered more red zone targets than Allen last year, and only Jarvis Landry was able to match him. His conversion rate wasn't fantastic, but with Hunter Henry out of the picture and only Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams, and Travis Benjamin competing for targets at the wide receiver position, I'm not worried about that number dipping substantially in 2018. With an ADP of 16 and the 6th WR off the board, Keenan Allen is being undervalued in 2018. He's a fringe first-round talent in an incredible situation, and I'm happy to reach on him with the last pick in a 12-Team league.

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Next Pick: 2.01 – Joe Pollock – @HumanStatSheet

Round 2, Pick 1 – Davante Adams – WR – Green Bay Packers

This pick was risky, I'll admit. With wide receivers like Michael Thomas and Julio Jones still sitting there at the 2.01 I'm sure a lot of fantasy players would turn up their nose at someone selecting Adams in this spot. Allow me to explain.

Aaron Rodgers number one wide receiver is a force to be reckoned with. In nine years as a starting quarterback, Rodgers has produced five top-five finishes at the wide receiver position in PPR scoring. With Jordy Nelson out of the picture, Adams should receive a healthy boost in target volume. Nelson received 151 and 152 targets in the last two seasons in which both he and Rodgers played a full slate of games. At Adams' 2016 (his last full season with Rodgers) efficiency levels, 150 targets would translate into 93 receptions, 1,236 yards, and 15 touchdowns. That's 306.6 points in PPR, good enough for third best at the wide receiver position in 2017.

Adams is a touchdown machine. He's the only receiver to score double-digit touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. He's seen 23 red zone targets in each of the previous two seasons as a number two option in the Packers offense. One can only imagine what kind of volume he'll see inside the 20 as the number one.

The pick does not come without some risk. Adams will see attention from the number one corner in a division stacked with cornerback talent. He also missed multiple games due to concussions in 2017. Nobody knows how he'll respond to an expanded role in 2018, but for me, the potential reward of owning the primary target in a Rodgers led offense dramatically exceeds any inherent risk.

Next Pick: 2.02 – Murphy Hamilton – @MurphyFFT

Round 3, Pick 12 – Jerick McKinnon – RB – San Francisco 49ers

This pick was pure upside. McKinnon wasn't the guy I wanted. Drafting behind @MurphyFFT is a nightmare. No Drake, no Collins, and no Freeman left at the 3.12 was the absolute worst possible scenario following the decision to take wide receivers with my first two picks in this draft. Just as I'd feared, McKinnon wasn't a durable running back and tore his ACL in practice before the Week 1 matchup with Minnesota. Wah-wah… At least this was the only McKinnon stock I dook for 2018. Hurray for fake leagues!

Next Pick: 4.01 – Joe Pollock – @HumanStatSheet

Round 4, Pick 1 – Derrick Henry – RB – Tennessee Titans

 play at best unless Dion Lewis goes down with another injury this year. Henry should have some good production in games where the script favors the first and second down back, but if the game script goes negative, watch out. It's going to be Lewis time. I've learned my lesson. One of the first two picks I take when selecting 12th will be a running back from here on out. 

Next Pick: 4.02 – Murphy Hamilton – @MurphyFFT

2018 Fantasy Football Industry Mockstravaganza

With draft week rapidly approaching and mock draft season in full swing, we at the Fantasy Takeaway wanted to bring you a mock draft like no other. We've teamed up with 11 other sites to provide pick-by-pick analysis for a 12-Team PPR Mock Draft. The picks and analysis will be released round-by-round over the coming weeks, so check back often for updates from some of the best fantasy minds around.

The draft order has been set, and the mock is soon to be underway, but first, let's take a moment to introduce these amazing writers and podcasters.

Pick 1: Tim Monk, Host of The Full 10 Yards Podcast

You can find Tim's full team w/ analysis here.

Pick 2: Brian D'Erario, Dynasty Fantasy Football contributor at The Fantasy Football Franchise & IDP Guys. Newsdesk contributor at FantasyPros

You can find Brian's full team w/ analysis here

Pick 3: Sam “Stompy” Lane, contributor for IDP Guys, The Fantasy Authority, & The Fantasy Football Franchise

You can find Stompy's full team w/ analysis here.

Pick 4: Jeff DiMatteo, Contributor for CleatGeeks w/ analysis at The Fantasy Takeaway

You can find Jeff's full team w/ analysis here.

Pick 5: Kacey Kasem, Contributor for Fighting Chance Fantasy & Serial Podcast Guest

You can find Kacey's full team w/ analysis here

Pick 6: Britt Bisson, Co-Host of The Fantasy Football Fignuts Podcast

You can find Britt's full team w/ analysis here.

Pick 7: Dwight Peebles, contributor at Dynasty Happy Hour & The Fantasy Authority

You can find Dwight's full team w/ analysis here

Pick 8: Xavier “Coach X” Warner, Owner at Top Shelf Daily Fantasy Football & Contributor for The Fantasy Football Franchise & IDP Guys

You can find Xavier's full team w/ analysis here.

Pick 9: Steve Toroni, Co-Host of The Hot Take Fantasy Football Podcast & The Fantasy Professor at FantraxHQ

Pick 10: Marc Szymanski, Staff Writer for Top 2 Sports

You can find Marc's full team w/ Analysis here.

Pick 11: Murphy Hamilton, Co-Host of The Fantasy Takeaway Podcast 

You can find Murphy's full team w/ analysis here.

Pick 12: Joe Pollock, Lead Editor, Co-Host & Producer at The Fantasy Takeaway Podcast

You can find my full team with analysis here.

Round 1:

Pick 1.01: RB Todd Gurley LAR – Tim Monk – @Full10Yards

Todd Gurley is as safe as they come in fantasy football this season; High scoring offence, focal point of attack and a mastermind… READ MORE

Pick 1.02: RB David Johnson ARI – Brian D'Erario – @BrianDFF

Following the 2016 season, Johnson had recorded 1,239 yards rushing and added on 879 yards receiving. I know for certain Johnson… READ MORE

Pick 1.03: RB Ezekiel Elliott DAL – Sam “Stompy” Lane – @FFStompy

I wish Johnson had fallen to me as I believe he finishes as the RB1 for 2018 in PPR. However, I can not really complain about… READ MORE

Pick 1.04: RB Le'Veon Bell PIT – Jeff DiMatteo@NFL_DiMatteo

At the 1.04, this selection was a no-brainer. Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, and David Johnson were off the board so Le’Veon was… READ MORE

Pick 1.05: RB Saquon Barkley NYG – Kacey Kasem – @thekaceykasem 

Why go Saquon here?  Well, for starters, I haven’t drafted him anywhere yet.  Never taken him in mocks and never taken him in real… READ MORE

Pick 1.06: RB Alvin Kamara NO – Britt Bisson – @fignutsdfs

When they announced this draft, I had already planned out that I wanted a top 5 pick to guarantee me a… READ MORE

Pick 1.07: WR DeAndre Hopkins HOU – Dwight Peebles – @FFPeeblesChamp

With the seventh pick in the first round of the 2018 Mockstravaganza, DHH selects… DeAndre Hopkins! After six running backs were taken… READ MORE

Pick 1.08: WR Antonio Brown PIT – Xavier “Coach X” Warner@TopShelfDFF

I thought this one was pretty self-explanatory if I’m being honest. The picks before me were all the big six running backs and DeAndre Hopkins… READ MORE

Pick 1.09: RB Melvin Gordon LAC – Steve Toroni – @FFProfessorST3

Pick 1.10: WR Odell Beckham NYG – Marc Szymanski – @FFA_Marc

I love that OBJ is falling this late. I understand the desire to get a stud RB in the first round since the position is so shallow. It explains the… READ MORE

Pick 1.11: RB Kareem Hunt KC – Murphy Hamilton – @MurphyFFT

When I saw Kareem Hunt had fallen to me at pick 11 in this fantasy football mock draft, I wasn’t able to hit the draft button fast… READ MORE

Pick 1.12: WR Keenan Allen LAC – Joe Pollock – @HumanStatSheet

This pick hurt a little. I love Keenan Allen, but watching Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham Jr. fly off the board in the two picks immediately preceding my selection was… READ MORE

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Round 2

Pick 2.01: WR Davante Adams GB – Joe Pollock – @HumanStatSheet

This pick was risky, I'll admit. With wide receivers like Michael Thomas and Julio Jones… READ MORE

Pick 2.02: WR Michael Thomas NO – Murphy Hamilton – @MurphyFFT

I’ve started to enjoy picking later in the draft order. I tend to find the choices easier to make when they’re grouped together. Picking at the turn… READ MORE

Pick 2.03: RB Dalvin Cook MIN – Marc Szymanski – @FFA_Marc

Breath holding was successful. Dalvin Cook is my #5 RB. Yes, I’d rather have him over Alvin Kamara and… READ MORE

Pick 2.04: WR Julio Jones ATL – Steve Toroni – @FFProfessorST3

Pick 2.05: RB Christian McCaffrey CAR – Xavier “Coach X” Warner@TopShelfDFF

If you’ve followed me on twitter for some time or listen to our podcast episodes then you have to know in the early part of the second round… READ MORE

Pick 2.06: RB Devonta Freeman ATL – Dwight Peebles – @FFPeeblesChamp

I routinely see Freeman going mid second round or later and it doesn’t make sense… READ MORE

Pick 2.07: RB Leonard Fournette JAX – Britt Bisson – @fignutsdfs

I was shocked when I saw him fall all the way to overall #19. He is the seventh RB on my board and McCaffery and Gordon both went… READ MORE

Pick 2.08: RB Jordan Howard CHI – Kacey Kasem – @thekaceykasem 

Here I wanted to take a second running back since I like starting off RB – RB. Prior to my pick… READ MORE

Pick 2.09: RB Joe Mixon CIN – Jeff DiMatteo@NFL_DiMatteo

This season the Running Back group is really top-heavy, so grabbing a stud like Bell and an ascending player like Mixon… READ MORE

Pick 2.10: TE Rob Gronkowski NE – Sam “Stompy” Lane – @FFStompy

I have been coming around more and more on drafting a tight end this early. In fact, I plan on trying to grab Gronk in the second in all… READ MORE

Pick 2.11: WR A.J. Green CIN – Brian D'Erario – @BrianDFF

I followed that pick with A.J. Green. After a disappointing season riddled with bad offensive line and quarterback play… READ MORE

Pick 2.12: WR Mike Evans TB – Tim Monk – @Full10Yards

For our first pick of the two, we are going Mike Evans. Other Wide receivers left on the board are Doug Baldwin, Tyreek Hill, Adam Thielen… READ MORE



Pick 3.01: WR Stefon Diggs – Tim Monk@Full10Yards

This may be considered a reach considering injuries history for Diggs and that over his career in the NFL is very much a boom or bust guy… READ MORE

Pick 3.02: WR Larry Fitzgerald – Brian D'Erario@BrianDFF

Fitzgerald, since moving to the slot, has seen three consecutive seasons with 100+ receptions and 1,000+ yards… READ MORE

Pick 3.03: WR Doug Baldwin – Sam “Stompy” Lane@FFStompy

Many owners would be wary of this pick after the news that Baldwin would sit out the entire preseason with a knee injury. However… READ MORE

Pick 3.04: WR Tyreek Hill – Jeff DiMatteo@NFL_DiMatteo

This is a classic “play to win” pick. Hill has the ability to score any time he touches the ball which is why I took… READ MORE

Pick 3.05: TE Travis Kelce – Kacey Kasem@thekaceykasem

Travis Kelce is my favorite tight end to draft in fantasy. I feel like his third round value is just right for him. Kelce had 38 receptions on 123… READ MORE

Pick 3.06: WR Adam Thielen – Britt Bisson@fignutsdfs

I had two players in mind as we approached the turn, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce. They both… READ MORE

Pick 3.07: RB Alex Collins – Dwight Peebles@FFPeeblesChamp

Collins started 12 games for the Ravens in 2017 and if you had him in your starting lineup late season he likely leads you to a title. He rushed for 973… READ MORE

Pick 3.08: WR Amari Cooper – Xavier “Coach X” Warner@TopShelfDFF

Pick 3.09: WR TY Hilton – Steve Toroni@FFProfessorST3

Pick 3.10: RB Royce Freeman – Marc Szymanski@FFA_Marc

When I made this pick, Vance Joseph hadn’t come out with his “Devontae Booker is the starter” news. Thankfully… READ MORE

Pick 3.11: RB Kenyan Drake – Murphy Hamilton@MurphyFFT

One of the most intriguing names in fantasy football mock drafts this offseason has been Kenyan Drake. I’m among those… READ MORE

Pick 3.12: RB Jerick McKinnon – Joe Pollock@HumanStatSheet

This pick was pure upside. McKinnon wasn't the guy I wanted. Drafting behind @MurphyFFT is a nightmare… READ MORE

Round 3

Pick 4.01: RB Derrick Henry – Joe Pollock – @HumanStatSheet

My takeaway from this mock draft: No zero RB from the turn from here on out. My RB2 is a flex… READ MORE

Pick 4.02: WR Demaryius Thomas – Murphy Hamilton – @MurphyFFT

Pick 4.03: WR Jarvis Landry – Marc Szymanski – @FFA_Marc

Pick 4.04: LeSean McCoy – Steve Toroni – @FFProfessorST3

Pick 4.05: Jay Ajayi – Xavier “Coach X” Warner – @TopShelfDFF

Pick 4.06: Allen Robinson – Dwight Peebles – @FFPeeblesChamp

Pick 4.07: Zach Ertz – Britt Bisson – @fignutsdfs

Pick 4.08: Golden Tate – Kacey Kasem – @thekaceykasem

Pick 4.09: Marvin Jones – Jeff DiMatteo – @NFL_DiMatteo

Pick 4.10: Lamar Miller – Sam “Stompy” Lane – @FFStompy

Pick 4.12: JuJu Smith-Schuster – Brian D'Erario – @BrianDFF

Pick 4.12: Mark Ingram – Tim Monk – @Full10Yards