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
Justin Fields ($33) vs. Detroit Lions
Fields was easily the top-scoring fantasy QB last week when he ran for the most yards at the position ever in a regular season game. His salary is just $3 more in Yahoo DFS this week when Josh Allen’s status is suddenly up in the air (Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert also aren’t on the DFS slate).
Fields has the fourth-most rushing yards in the NFL over the last month, and the incredibly effective (and fast) runner is on pace to finish with 1,137 rushing yards this season. Fields also added three TD tosses last week when he attempted a season-high 28 passes, and Chase Claypool made an immediate impact.
Fields gets a Lions defense this week allowing the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, including the most rush attempts and second-most rush yards to the position. Fields is a top-three fantasy QB and a strong DFS building block in a matchup with one of the highest totals (48.5 points) this week.
Saquon Barkley ($36) vs. Houston Texans
Barkley is coming off a bye and gets a home game against a Texans defense allowing the most fantasy points to running backs this season. Houston has yielded 5.4 YPC and 12 rushing scores, with the last three lead backs facing them averaging 150+ rushing yards and 2.0 touchdowns. While New York’s record may suggest otherwise, Barkley has dealt with poor game scripts this season, yet he’s third in the league in rushing yards anyway. The Giants are near touchdown home favorites Sunday against a Texans team whose quarterback struggles mightily on the road. Barkley should benefit.
Josh Jacobs ($30) vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Raiders are winless on the road this season but have performed much better at home, where Jacobs has averaged 137.0 yards from scrimmage and scored five of his six touchdowns (in two fewer games). Jacobs didn’t play a single snap on third down last week (Ameer Abdullah took over) but still recorded three catches. Losing the passing down role certainly wouldn’t be great news for Jacobs’ future fantasy value, but it shouldn’t matter too much this week with Las Vegas near TD favorites.
Anything’s possible in the NFL, but the Colts seem to be in an especially tough spot this week having just fired their offensive coordinator and head coach, making Jeff Saturday the first head coach with no prior experience in 60+ years. Saturday was 3-7 during his final year coaching high school, and no one on the Colts’ staff has called plays before. Meanwhile, the Raiders figure to bring something close to their “A” game after blowing their third 17-0 lead of the season last week. Moreover, opponents have the fourth-highest run rate when facing the Colts this season. Expect a favorable game script Sunday for Jacobs, who leads the league in avoided tackle rate.
Star to fade
Cooper Kupp ($39) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Kupp had a 69-yard TD catch last week, marking the longest play against Tampa Bay’s defense this season despite playing through a sprained ankle. He was held to a modest 58 yards otherwise and likely won’t be 100 percent for a bit, but most worrisome is Kupp’s exorbitant salary; he’s the highest-salaried RB/WR in the DFS slate despite a sneaky tough matchup. The Cardinals have been the stingiest opponent against WR1s this season and have been the only team to hold Kupp under 79 receiving yards over his last 29 games — and they’ve done it in three straight. Matthew Stafford has one touchdown pass on the road this season. Play Barkley (or Tyreek Hill) instead.
Allen Lazard ($18) vs. Dallas Cowboys
Lazard was close to scoring last week, has earned a 20%+ target share in four straight games and had the third-most expected fantasy points among receivers last week. He’s now looking at increased targets with Romeo Doubs sidelined and Aaron Jones also dealing with an ankle injury. The Cowboys aren’t an easy opponent but should force volume, and Aaron Rodgers has at least played better at home this season. Lazard has scored 13 touchdowns over his last 20 starts while sharing the field with Davante Adams for most of the time. He's undervalued in DFS this week.
Rondale Moore ($13) @ Los Angeles Rams
Moore has averaged 8+ targets and 15+ PPR fantasy points during four games in which he’s primarily been used in the slot this season, which should be his full-time role moving forward. The Cardinals perform better on the road, and this week they play indoors in LA against a pass-funnel Rams defense (DVOA ranks them #22 versus the pass and #3 against the run). Even in 0.5 PPR, Moore is undervalued with a DFS salary that’s barely of a top-35 WR.
Cole Kmet ($13) vs. Detroit Lions
Kmet was among the leaders at tight end in route involvement, air yardage and target share last week. He’s suddenly seeing action in the red zone, scoring three times over the last two games in a Chicago offense that’s quickly become the most improved in football. Kmet and the Bears got off to a slow start this season, but he could easily produce top-10 fantasy TE fantasy moving forward with Fields emerging. Chicago gets a highly favorable matchup this week against a Detroit defense that’s allowed the most yards per play and the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.