Is there a better way to kick off the weekend than with some DFS on DraftKings? I think not. So instead of wasting your valuable time, let’s just hop right in.
All values are subject to DraftKings’ prices and scoring format. All ownership data is courtesy of Awesemo.
Fire ‘em up
Matt Ryan @ NO, $6,300 (Projected ownership: 3.9 percent)
Field position is lovely for opposing offenses, and the Saints starting Taysom Hill should give the Falcons that. It’s been a while since “Matty Ice” has played with his full set of weapons. But Calvin Ridley has no injury designation, Russell Gage has played his best with a strong supporting cast and Julio Jones is, well, Julio Jones. Ryan is poised for a big upset game against their divisional rival, and that will come through the air when that strong rushing defense stifles Todd Gurley.
Miles Sanders @ CLE, $6,800 (Projected ownership: 8.3 percent)
Cleveland isn’t a scary matchup. It’s a whole lot less scary when you take away their best defensive lineman in Myles Garrett (COVID-19). Sanders is among the league leaders in yards-per-carry (6) and can take full advantage of a weakened defense missing their leader. Giving the ball to Sanders is the best way for the Eagles to win. In desperate search of just that, Sanders will be the only reason the Eagles stay in this game.
D.J. Chark vs. PIT $5,700 (Projected ownership: 1.6 percent)
Call me a skeptic, but this matchup has “trap game” written all over it. On the road, on a nine-game winning streak, the Jaguars face off against a Steelers defense that has allowed the fifth-most touchdowns to wide receivers (12) this season. Regardless of who wins the tilt, the Jaguars will likely be behind for the majority of the game. This means plenty of passes and those passes will go to the No. 1 option in Chark. With Laviska Shenault still out, Chark should have a field day once more.
T.J. Hockenson vs. CAR, $4,200 (Projected ownership: 10.2 percent)
No Kenny Golladay (hip). No Danny Amendola (hip). No D’Andre Swift (concussion).
Someone has to catch passes for Detroit, and it seems like Hockenson is the only man left standing. Carolina has allowed the 10th-most points to the tight end position. Meanwhile Hockenson is finally removed from the injury report entirely after struggling with a toe injury. The stars are aligned for the 2019 first-round pick.
Miami Dolphins @ DEN, $3,400 (Projected ownership: 7.3 percent)
Miami is quietly a playoff team. They’re the perfect example of a well-coached squad, and Brett Rypien or an injured Drew Lock isn’t going to change that. Denver is allowing over 2.5 sacks per game, setting up the Dolphins well for a strong performance. They’re currently scoring 9.2 fantasy points-per-game and while they will likely be higher owned than this projection indicates, they’re well worth the play.
Colder than ice
Justin Herbert @ NYJ, $6,800 (Projected ownership: 9.6 percent)
Maybe it’s the haircut. But the Jets have limited fantasy quarterbacks — likely due to how quickly they lose their games —- allowing just 17.3 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. With a steep price tag and a high projected ownership, there’s no reason to play Herbert in DFS this week.
Giovani Bernard @ WAS, $5,500 (Projected ownership: 10.2 percent)
Bernard is coming off his worst game of the season against the Steelers, who tend to do that to running backs. But the eight carries were concerning, and he faces another tough test in Washington. Additionally, Samaje Perine has been eating into his workload. Bernard will have at least another week as the starter for Cincinnati, but he should stay out of your DFS lineups.
Robby Anderson @ DET, $6,000 (Projected ownership: 14.1 percent)
Consider this a conditional pick. If P.J. Walker is starting for Carolina, you can keep every Panther, sans Mike Davis, out of your DraftKings lineups. Detroit is a bad team and the Panthers just might beat them. But a backup quarterback puts emphasis on the rushing attack while simultaneously limiting the passing attack, capping the ceiling. Without blowup potential, avoid Anderson.
Eric Ebron @ JAX, $4,000 (Projected ownership: 6.5 percent)
Ebron’s best work comes when the rest of the offense is limited. But if no one is limited, Ebron has a reserved role. That should be the cause on Sunday against the Jaguars who have been beaten in every possible way this season. Ebron could certainly have a good game — it’s a favorable matchup for him too — but he’s still fourth in the pecking order of targets and is coming off one of his worst games of the season under similar circumstances: against a defense that could not stop the wide receiver. With so many tight end options this week it’s best to look elsewhere.
Cleveland Browns @ PHI, $3,000 (Projected ownership: 8.3 percent)
Carson Wentz may love to turn the ball over but without the aforementioned Garrett, the Browns may struggle to apply the pressure they need to. Alshon Jeffrey and Dallas Goedert should be more comfortable in their roles several weeks removed from injury, and all signs point to a bounce back game for Philadelphia coming off their embarrassing loss to the Giants in Week 10. Like with Ebron, there are a lot of DST options this week to pick from, so don’t waste your time or budget with Cleveland’s.
Joe Burrow @ WAS, $5,500 (Projected ownership: 7.7 percent)
The shine of Burrow’s fantasy glory feels like it has worn off a bit, but he has a chance to polish it up against Washington on Sunday. It’s a cheap price tag for someone averaging 41 passing attempts per game. Burrow has a huge ceiling and a reliable floor given the volume. He could be due for a new season-high in attempts with Washington’s stout run defense clamping things up for backup Giovani Bernard. It also helps that Washington showed signs of life on offense last week. This will be a fun game to watch, and Burrow will be a big reason why.
Matt Breida @ DEN, $4,000 (Projected ownership: 0.1 percent)
Alright, take two!
I did this last week and Breida missed the game with a hamstring injury. But he’s off the injury report with a rookie quarterback that enjoys a safety valve. Salvon Ahmed is expected to be the starter but he’s a limited pass catcher and Breida thrives in that role. Whether he is finally used is another question, but he’s worth the gamble at the minimum price tag for running backs.
Devin Duvernay vs. TEN, $3,000 (Projected ownership: 1.7 percent)
The breakout game is here. Duvernay saw a season-high in snaps last week (56 percent) and played well in a bad-weather game against the Patriots, catching all three of his targets for 45 yards. The snaps could jump again in a favorable matchup against the Titans, who allow the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. The third-round rookie will take a big step forward on Sunday in a potential shootout with Tennessee.
Austin Hooper vs. PHI, $3,900 (Projected ownership: 7.1 percent)
The Eagles cannot cover the tight end. The windy conditions derailed a potential breakout for Hooper last week, but it won’t be nearly as bad on Sunday. With Odell Beckham Jr. (torn ACL) done for the year the tight ends have stepped up for the Browns. Hooper is finally healthy from his appendix injury. He faces the Eagles who have allowed the most points to the tight end this season. If you want to overthink it and take a shot on Harrison Bryant or David Njoku, go for it. I’ll take Hooper who was paid to be exactly what he will be on Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts vs. GB, $3,100 (Projected ownership: 0.6 percent)
The Colts have been dominant for fantasy and nearly matchup proof, averaging almost 11 fantasy points per game. Because of the tough matchup against a strong Packers offense, it has understandably scared off fantasy owners. But the Colts are strong too and can shut down this offense just like they controlled the Titans last week. The projected ownership is low enough to take a shot on the best defense in fantasy football.