I’ll be helping you navigate this user-friendly and competitive way to play DFS every week this season. My advice is based on 6 team standard fast draft formats.
If you’re not familiar with DRAFT I highly encourage you to jump into your App store or Google Play store and download the most user-friendly and fun DFS app out there. You can try DRAFT by taking advantage of our promo code “Top2”-you’ll get a free $3 entry. My takes are a combination of stats, match-up analysis, and what I’ve seen drafting this week: to draft with me next week add me MattHicks15.
1.1st Round Pick Position Means Less
The trend in recent weeks on DRAFT has been to go running back early; and this week is no different. What is different is the amount of viable, first-round, high upside backs there are. Instead of sweating over getting Gurley with your randomized 1st pick; you have the ability to pivot to Barkley, Gordon, Zeke, Kamara, Conner, and Johnson. Here’s a quick breakdown of the perks of each of these options:
- Barkley is facing the Buccaneers, who haveallowed the 9th most points to opposing running backs this season;including the 12th most receiving yard to running backs and 3touchdowns. According to Football Outsiders, Tampa Bay is ranked second worstin DVOA-which measures performance is close game situation (to simply it) andthis should be a close match-up throughout.
- Gordon has been having a very quiet top 5season; with at least 90 yards rushing in his last 4 games (and 5 of his last6). He’s scored at least one touchdown in every game since Week 1; and has atleast 4 targets in every game this season-pulling in a touchdown along with his72 receiving yards last week.
- Zeke is coming off his best game of the season: wrackingup 180 total yards and 2 touchdowns against an Eagles defense that ranks in thetop 5 against the rush this season. Now he faces off against a bottom 5 Atlantadefense; who’s been vulnerable both in the passing and rushing game-allowing 13total touchdowns to opposing running backs.
- Conner proved he was match-up proof when he putup 163 total yards and a touchdown against the Ravens (2nd best rushdefense) in Week 9. Now he pulls Jacksonville; who has otherwise shut downrunning backs this season. Pittsburgh is favored by 5.5 in a total over/underof 46.5—giving the Steelers an implied total of over 3 touchdowns. Conner hasscored at least 1 touchdown in every game since Week 5.
- David Johnson looks like a new man (actually hejust looks like the same man we knew in 2016) in Byron Leftwich’s offense. Heset season highs for himself in rushing yards receiving yards, and receptionsin Week 10. Now he faces a Raiders team that’s allowed the second most rushingyards to running backs this season, and the 4th most fantasy pointsoverall to backs. Johnson’s a huge value at the back end of the first round.
- I’m not going to dig deep into Todd Gurley,because you don’t need me to tell you he’s good. I will point out he’s playingin a game with a total over/under of 63.5, and the Rams have an implied 33points. That is enough to justify him as the first overall pick, if you do endup with it.
2. Michael Thomas is a 2nd Round Steal
A first running back frenzy is likely to leave you the option of drafting Thomas in the 2nd round. DFS players have been pivoting from him after a mid-season drought, but it’s clear the WR3 on the season is back. In the last two weeks (vs LAR and CIN) he has a combined 281 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. He’s playing in the 2nd highest line of the week (Vegas has the game pegged at a total of 56 points-30 of which are implied to the Saints. Also don’t be fooled by their name: the Eagles defense has allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing wideouts this season, including 1,749 yards and 13 touchdowns. I suggest quickly pivoting from running back in the first to Thomas in the 2nd.
3. The 3rd Round is Full of Running Back Grenades
The third round is when things get tricky; there’s a steep drop-off in running backs that can make players panic while navigating through options against the 30 second pick clock. It’s sure to lead players into taking some high upside running backs with bad match-ups-a dangerous blend of big names, recent production, and very bad match-ups. Here’s 3 in particular I suggest avoiding:
- Marlon Mack went on a big run in Weeks 6-8;rushing for over 100 yards twice and compiling 3 touchdowns. Week 10 vs Jacksonvillebrought him back down to earth-he ran for just 29 yards on 12 carries. Now hegets the toughest rushing defense in the league: the Titans, who have allowedjust 3 total touchdowns to running backs all season, and 0 through their air.
- Joe Mixon has an even bigger name than Mack, butan equally tough match-up against the 2nd ranked Ravens rushingdefense. Baltimore is ranked 5th in DVOA and have allowed just 671rushing yards (77 per game) just 5 total touchdowns to opposing running backs.In Week 2 against the Ravens, Mixon rushed for 84 yards on 21 attempts and 0 touchdowns.
- Tevin Coleman is facing the 9thranked Dallas rushing defense, noticing a trend here? Dallas has allowed just659 rushing yards to running backs this season. Coleman hasn’t rushed for 100yards since Week 2 and has combined for over 100 yards just once since Week 2,and just twice all season. Coleman may be a valuable play in other DFS formats,but he’s an expensive mistake on DRAFT.
4. Value isn’t Tight (End) in Round 4
Tight Ends always make your hesitate in DRAFT-they’re often safer players compared to the high ceilings that come with wideouts. Safe isn’t something I advocate for, but safe also isn’t an accurate descriptor for Kelce and Ertz; two players I’ve seen available in multiple 4th rounds this week. Here’s a breakdown of the upside on both guys:
- Kelce is playing in the previously mentioned 63.5-pointtotal game vs the Rams. The Rams have allowed the 5th most fantasypoints to Tight Ends this season, a great combination for the TE1 on theseason. Kelce has at least 7 targets and 5 receptions in 8 of his 10 teams thisseason, including 3 touchdowns since Week 8. He also has 5 games above 95 receivingyards this season.
- Zach Ertz is likely to be tangled in a shootoutagainst the Saints, who are ranked 27 in DVOA. Vegas has this game pegged at 56 points, whichwould be the highest game most weeks this season. Ertz has 4 100-yard gamesthis season, including 2 in the last 3 weeks. He’s found the endzone 5 times inthe last 5 weeks, and I’m thinking he makes it 6 for 6 after Week 11.
5. You Won’t Get Mahomes in the 5th, but You Will Get Value
Mahomes will be well gone by the 5th(you’d be lucky to snag him in the 3rd). Past him, you have a fewoptions that are appealing, but not so good you have to reach into the 4thor earlier to get them.
- Cam Newton draws the Detroit Lions, who haveallowed the 7th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over thelast 4 weeks, in Week 11. Newton has a solid floor: with at least 2 touchdownsin 9 of his 10 games this season and at least 250 combined yards in 7 games. Healso has 3 games over 300 combined yards, and 1 game over 400 totalyards-giving you some nice upside. Newton is coming off a rough Week 10 againstPittsburgh (4th toughest defense vs quarterbacks), which shouldallow you to wait and grab him late.
- Although Dallas has been strong against the passoverall this season, they’ve allowed the 7th most fantasy points toopposing quarterbacks over the last two weeks. That opens the door for MattRyan (the best fantasy QB not named Patrick this season). He’s thrown for atleast 300 yards in his last 4 games, including 3 games with at least 350 yards.Since Week 6, he has 10 touchdowns and just 1 interception. He’s all the safetyyou could ever want and is likely an after thought by fantasy players scared ofan otherwise tough match-up.
- The Eagles have been struggling, but it’s notbecause of Carson Wentz; he has averaged 318 passing yards and 2.3 touchdownsper game against Carolina, Jacksonville, and Dallas since Week 7. The Saintshave allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season,including 2,799 yards and 23 total touchdowns. He’s my favorite late round pickthis week.