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
Josh Allen ($40) @ Baltimore Ravens
Allen is second only to Lamar Jackson in fantasy scoring this season, so you can choose whichever QB you prefer in this matchup. Allen, however, gets a Baltimore secondary that continues to battle injuries and has allowed Tua Tagovailoa to throw for six touchdowns and Mac Jones to throw for a career-high 321 yards (10.0 YPA without his WR1) over the last two weeks.
This matchup has the highest over/under this week (51.5 points), and passing should be featured on both sides. Buffalo is also dealing with numerous injuries on defense, but the Bills have allowed the second-fewest yards per play (4.1) this season; the Ravens have allowed the second-most (6.5).
Mark Andrews ($28) vs. Buffalo Bills
Given the huge positional advantage, Andrews has an argument as a top-three overall fantasy player. The tight end leads all pass catchers in target share and target-per-route run rate and is third in air yards this season. He’s recorded 116 catches for 1,420 yards and 12 touchdowns over his last 17 games.
His quarterback, Lamar Jackson, leads the NFL by a wide margin in target percentage to tight ends (34%!) over the last five seasons and looks determined to win MVP in a contract year. Andrews’ crazy splits without Marquise Brown have only gotten more extreme in 2022, so he’s a strong DFS building block in a matchup with this week’s highest total against a Buffalo secondary dealing with multiple injuries.
Star to fade
Kyler Murray ($33) @ Carolina Panthers
Volume has helped Murray’s fantasy value stay afloat, but the QB is off to an extremely rough start. In fact, his 5.6 YPA is better than only Mitch Trubisky's (5.5), and Murray has played every game indoors. Put differently, Murray ranks second in pass attempts yet 12th in yards. Volume may not be there Sunday in a matchup with a low total (42.5 points) and featuring an Arizona team that ranks last in Pace in neutral situations. The Cardinals don’t figure to be playing from behind as much this week either, after trailing a combined 31-0 after the first quarter over the first three games.
Murray has also curtailed running after signing a huge offseason contract, averaging 40% fewer carries and 45% fewer rushing yards over the first three games compared to his prior career marks. Now Arizona travels for an early game outdoors against a Carolina defense that’s yielded just 5.9 YPA while allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Expectations should be tempered this week.
Jamaal Williams ($23) vs. Seattle Seahawks
Williams was the No. 3 fantasy back last week thanks to a D’Andre Swift shoulder injury that is set to sideline him Sunday and potentially beyond. With the help of one of the NFL’s best offensive lines, it’s a good situation to be lead back, even if Craig Reynolds will see some work Sunday. Williams was getting the majority of Detroit’s all-important red-zone usage even before Swift went down, ranking first in the NFL both in carries inside the 10 and inside the five-yard line this season.
Williams doesn’t have nearly the same explosion as Swift, but he’s a capable receiver who should also see increased targets this week with Amon-Ra St. Brown battling an ankle injury. Detroit is first in Pace (neutral situations) and faces a Seahawks defense allowing 4.9 YPC and the third-most rushing scores this season. Moreover, the Lions are 4.5-point home favorites with one of the highest implied team point totals of the week. Williams should be treated as a top-five fantasy RB this week, and his DFS salary is outside the top 10.
Amari Cooper ($23) @ Atlanta Falcons
Despite a slow Week 1 with his new team, Cooper ranks top-five in target share and third in air yardage share this season. He now gets to play his first game of the season indoors against a Falcons defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers and the fourth-most EPA/pass.
In a matchup with one of this week’s highest totals, Cooper also presents a nice stacking opportunity with a minimum Jacoby Brissett (more on him below). And you can bring back Drake London ($21), who ranks top-three in target share this season, including a heavy dose of play action (and on first downs, both of which are worth around 20% more than a regular target).
Jacoby Brissett ($20) @ Atlanta Falcons
If you’re looking to punt the position this week, Brissett is your quarterback.
Not that he’s lighting it up, but despite a tough schedule, Brissett has scored more fantasy points this year than Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. He has more rushing attempts and one fewer rush yard than Kyler Murray in a productive Cleveland offense with a dominant line, strong coaching and both Amari Cooper and David Njoku providing nice weapons.
This week Brissett gets to play indoors in a sneaky matchup with one of the slate’s highest over/unders against an Atlanta defense that’s allowed the 10th most fantasy points to QBs (and the third-most passing touchdowns). Brissett is a nice pivot at the stone-minimum salary.