The NFL got the 2020 season off to a great start with a fun and exciting Week 1 that included the usual thrills and spills of fantasy football. This week, the season continues and DraftKings is ready to roll with a massive 13-game main slate on Sunday afternoon.
With just one week of results to look through, we still have a very small sample size and limited information. However, we know a lot more than we did last week after actually getting a chance to see every team in action. As you build your roster, you may find yourself in need of some affordable plays with significant upside. Each week, I dive into the bargain bin and give you my favorite cheap plays for the week based on recent form, matchup and expected opportunity.
($6,000 and under)
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $5,900 – Tannehill and the Titans got the final win of Week 1 when they squeaked past the Broncos in Denver. The Titans’ newly-paid franchise QB threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns and was inches from a third score at the end of regulation when he just missed A.J. Brown ($6,100). Tannehill still finished with a solid 19.4 DKFP and didn’t show any significant drop off from his successful run late last season and into the playoffs.
This week, Tannehill and the Titans come home to Nashville for their home opener against the Jaguars. Jacksonville did get a win in Week 1, but they allowed 363 passing yards to Philip Rivers ($5,900), who put up 19.82 DKFP. If you can get around 20 DKFP from a QB under $6K, it allows you the flexibility to pay up for big-name, high-volume options at RB and WR, and I think there’s a very good chance that Tannehill reaches that level this week against Jacksonville.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants, $5,500 – While there is still debate as to Trubisky’s long-term prospects in Chicago, we don’t have to worry for DFS purposes since he should have at least earned the start this week. Trubisky and the Bears rallied to beat the Lions in Detroit in Week 1, with the fourth-year QB throwing for 242 yards and three touchdowns on his way to 24.28 DKFP. He also gained 26 yards on the ground as an added bonus.
While expecting three touchdowns every week from Trubisky is overly optimistic, he does have that kind of ceiling this week in a very favorable matchup against the Giants, who allowed Ben Roethlisberger ($6,300) to throw three scores against them on Monday Night Football. New York is on a short week and has to go on the road to Chicago, where Trubisky and the Bears can move to 2-0 with a win this week. Even if you don’t buy into Trubisky long-term, he is worth a look as a cheap play this week.
Other Options: Teddy Bridgewater ($5,800), Dwayne Haskins Jr. ($5,100)
($5,000 and under)
Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins, $4,800 – The Bills split time fairly even between Moss and Devin Singletary ($5,200) in Week 1. Moss played 45% of the team’s snaps while Singletary was on the field for 59% of snaps. Moss only had 11 yards on his nine carries and 16 yards on his three catches, but he saved his week with a touchdown and finished with 11.7 DKFP against a tough Jets run defense.
This week, he and the Bills’ running game have a much better matchup against Miami, who the Patriots ran all over in Week 1. While New England’s running game is very different than Buffalo’s, I expect both Moss and Singletary to have solid games. Until one breaks out with a big performance, the timeshare should remain pretty even, which gives both backs potential even though the ceiling is limited by him not getting every carry.
James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans, $4,400 – After Leonard Fournette was let go, Ryquell Armstead landed on the reserve/COVID list, and Devine Ozigbo was placed on IR, Robinson was left as the last man standing in the Jaguars’ backfield for Week 1 against the Colts. The undrafted rookie from Illinois State stepped up, though, and ran for 62 yards on 16 carries in addition to a 28-yard reception. He finished with a solid 10.0 DKFP even without finding the end zone. He definitely has touchdown potential as the team’s workhorse back, though, playing 34-of-50 snaps (68%) compared to just 24% for Chris Thompson ($4,000).
Robinson and the Jaguars will face a Titans defense that still appears to be gelling after some major changes this past offseason. Tennessee gave up a touchdown on the ground on Monday night while allowing Melvin Gordon ($5,200) to average 5.2 yards per carry and finish with 16.6 DKFP. Robinson should be able to find room to run and continue to get most of the work until Armstead or Ozigbo is ready to join the backfield timeshare.
Other Options: Joshua Kelley ($4,700), Darrel Williams ($4,000)
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($5,000 and under)
Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers, $4,900 – Jeudy’s NFL debut was a mixed bag on Monday Night Football. On the negative side, he had a couple drops and a fumble, but on the positive side, he had four catches for 56 yards and was targeted eight times, more than any other Broncos’ pass-catcher. He stepped into a larger role with Courtland Sutton ($6,000; shoulder) out but also had to deal with more attention from the defense.
If Sutton returns this week, it may reduce Jeudy’s targets but it will also likely give him more room to work as a secondary target. He gets a very favorable matchup against the Steelers, who let three different receivers catch at least six passes on Monday Night Football and gave up almost 300 passing yards.
Preston Williams, Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills, $4,800 – Against New England, Williams looked healthy in his return from an ACL injury that cut short his rookie season. He played 90.3% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps and led the team with seven targets. His final totals were underwhelming with just two catches for 41 yards, but he still has big-time upside which he flashed before his injury last season.
Williams drew coverage throughout the game from Stephon Gilmore, but things may not get much easier for him this week with Tre’Davious White rolling into Miami. Williams could be in for another big workload, though, especially if DeVante Parker ($5,900) is unable to play after aggravating an existing hamstring injury in Week 1. Whether Parker plays or not, Williams has upside as long as he continues to get so many targets and remains so heavily involved. Miami will likely have to rally from behind on a regular basis this season, and pass-heavy game plans could result in Williams reaching his high ceiling.
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings, $4,500 – Campbell also appears healthy and looked ready to contribute in his second year in Indianapolis. He tied for the team lead in targets with T.Y. Hilton ($5,700) in Week 1 and hauled in six catches for 71 yards, finishing with 14.0 DKFP. The speedy deep threat is definitely building a strong rapport with Philip Rivers ($5,900) and seems poised to make a substantial leap.
This week, Campbell and the Colts take on the Vikings, who gave up more DKFP to WR than any other team in Week 1. Minnesota’s defense is also adjusting to major offseason moves, and, as a result, was shredded by the Packers in Week 1. Campbell played 82% of the Colts’ snaps in Week 1, more than any other WR, so the team is clearly making it a priority to incorporate the young speedster.
Adam Humphries, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $3,400 – Humphries’ first year in Tennessee was cut short by an ankle injury, but he showed a solid connection with Tannehill in Week 1, hauling in 6-of-7 targets for 47 yards. He does most of his work out of the slot on short passes, but he can be a PPR contributor if he keeps getting looks.
Humphries is extremely cheap in a favorable Week 2 matchup against Jacksonville. Last season, he had six catches for 93 yards against Jacksonville in one of his matchups with his division rival, and he makes sense as a cheap punt play this week since the Jaguars’ secondary looked very thin in Week 1.
Other Options: Russell Gage ($4,800), Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($4,600)
($4,000 and under)
Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants, $3,800 – The Bears relied heavily on Graham in Week 1, targeting their offseason acquisition seven times as they rallied to beat the Lions. Graham hauled in three catches for 25 yards and a touchdown and was on the field for 80% of the team’s offensive snaps, by far the most of any of Chicago’s TEs.
Graham had a few down years with the Packers but could return to fantasy relevance this season if he’s going to get so much attention from Trubisky. He has a nice matchup against the Giants and can be a solid value stack with his QB, which would pay off if he finds the end zone for a second straight week.
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals, $3,600 – All offseason, Thomas was getting plenty of hype from the Washington coaching staff as being a big part of their offensive strategy. The hulking converted-QB has gotten offseason buzz in the past but always failed to deliver until Week 1 of this season. He was targeted a team-high eight times by Dwayne Haskins Jr. and hauled in four of those catches for 37 yards, a touchdown and 13.7 DKFP. Thomas didn’t get the start but was much more involved than starter Jeremy Sprinkle ($3,200), who was never even targeted.
Washington was able to play from ahead in Week 1, so they weren’t forced to throw a ton, but that could be a different depending on game script moving forward. Arizona has also been awful at defending TEs in recent years, so Thomas should be in a good matchup to continue his success in Week 2.
Other Options: Dalton Schultz ($3,700), Jack Doyle ($3,600)
($2,800 and under)
Rams DST, Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles, $2,800 – The Eagles’ offense started all right but then struggled badly against Washington in their Week 1 loss, while the Rams’ DST fared pretty well against what should be a high-powered Cowboys offense. Los Angeles had three sacks and allowed just 17 points in their Sunday Night Football win to post 4.0 DKFP. There aren’t a ton of great fantasy DST matchups to target in the value pool this week, but the Rams are a solid unit led by superstars Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.
Cowboys DST, Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons, $2,700 – Dallas’ defense also looked solid on Sunday Night Football, holding the Rams to 20 points and picking up an interception and a sack. Dallas will come home and face the Falcons in Week 2, and they typically play better at home, while Atlanta’s offense sometimes is hit-or-miss on the road. The Falcons’ passing game looked very good Week 1, but I still think the Dallas D can put up solid production in their Week 2 matchup as they continue to come together as an overhauled and upgraded unit.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.