Lineup building blocks and undervalued options to target


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 who I like building lineups around, stars to fade, undervalued plays and bargains. bin options to help you build a better team.

Lineup building blocks

Josh Allen ($41) @ Kansas City Chiefs

The top quarterbacks have been the most consistent DFS building blocks to open the season, and this week two of them go against each other in a matchup with easily the slate’s highest total (54.0 points). Allen was fantasy’s top scoring QB last week if you just counted his first half, and Buffalo isn’t going to let up after halftime versus a Chiefs team that knocked them out of the playoffs. There’s a real chance no punts occur in this game, and KC has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Allen is somehow averaging more rushing yards and is getting 1.5 more yards per pass attempt than last season, and you’re only fading him in this DFS matchup to be contrarian in tournaments.

Rhamondre Stevenson ($26) @ Cleveland Browns

Stevenson led all backs in snap% last week when he handled all 27 RB opportunities after Damien Harris left with a hamstring injury. Other RBs will contribute in Week 6, but Stevenson will be featured again with Harris out no matter who starts at quarterback for New England. The Patriots get a Browns run defense allowing 5.3 YPC, the most EPA/rush (0.17) by a wide margin and the third-most fantasy points to running backs. Cleveland has also averaged the fourth-most combined points during their games this season, and Stevenson is an emerging star.

[Play in Yahoo’s Week 6 $250K Sunday Baller DFS contest]

Marquise Brown ($24) @ Seattle Seahawks

Brown has seen double-digit targets in four straight games, averaging an NFL-high 12.3 over that span (tied with Cooper Kupp). He should be busy again Sunday with DeAndre Hopkins serving the final game of his suspension and facing a Seahawks defense allowing by far an NFL-high 8.6 YPA and the second-most EPA/pass (0.25) this season. This game has the week’s second-highest total at 51.0 points — the next highest is five points lower. Seahawks matchups are essentially tied for the second-most combined points scored in 2022.

Brown’s salary this week remains lower than Jaylen Waddlewho’s seen more than six targets in just one game this season and will likely have Skylar Thompson as his QB this week. Expect one more big fantasy performance from Brown before Hopkins returns.

Arizona Cardinals receiver Marquise Brown has been a target machine for fantasy players this season.  (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizona Cardinals receiver Marquise Brown has been a target machine for fantasy players this season. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Star to fade

James Robinson ($22) @ Indianapolis Colts

Travis Etienne has taken over Jacksonville’s backfield the last two games, and this week the Jaguars face a pass-funnel Colts defense that ranks No. 2 in DVOA against the run. Running backs have averaged 24.0 carries for just 79.2 yards (3.3 YPC) over five games against Indianapolis, including a 23 for 64 performance versus Robinson earlier this season. On the wrong side of an uneven timeshare, struggling during his return from Achilles surgery and on a team with one of this week’s lowest implied totals, Robinson looks like a poor DFS play with a salary sandwiched between Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook.

Undervalued options

Geno Smith ($28) vs. Arizona Cardinals

It’s shocking Smith has been the No. 6 fantasy QB to open the year, but it also hasn’t been fluky. Seattle is throwing at a higher rate than they did with Russell Wilson, and the Seahawks’ schedule hasn’t been easy already facing the Broncos, 49ers and Saints. Smith has been incredibly accurate on deep passesbenefits from two terrific receivers (DK Metcalf looks far healthier than last season) and leads the NFL in CPOE. The Seahawks remarkably rank first in offense in DVOA.

Sunday looks like a good matchup, as Seattle is getting the second-most yards per play while simultaneously allowing the most. The Seahawks are facing a pass-funnel Arizona defense that ranks among the league leaders in EPA/rush yet is toward the bottom of the NFL in EPA/pass (Seattle also just lost its lead back for the season). Smith has become a fantasy starter and looks especially attractive in DFS this week.

Breece Hall ($19) @ Green Bay Packers

Hall was the No. 4 back last week, and he still doesn’t have a top-15 RB salary. The rookie had the most snaps inside the five-yard line among all RBs last week, as Michael Carter‘s snap% continues to decline each game. Hall remarkably ranks top-three among all running backs this season in targets, receiving yards, yards per route run, breakaway run rate, missed tackles/attempts and yards per touch. The Jets have gone run-heavy with Zach Wilson and this week get a Packers run defense that ranks 30th in DVOA.

Jeff Wilson Jr. ($19) @ Atlanta Falcons

Wilson ranks top-five in rush yards above expectation, sandwiched between Saquon Barkley and Nick Chubb. He lost some playing time Tevin Coleman last week, but that mostly came with the game out of hand, and he averaged 17.8 touches over the last four games. The extremely run-heavy 49ers are favored against an Atlanta defense allowing the second-most EPA/rush this season, making Wilson undervalued in DFS.

[Week 6 Fantasy Rankings: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | FLEX | DST | Kickers]

Bargain Bin

Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($11) vs. Buffalo Bills

Valdes-Scantling led Kansas City in routes run and targets last week. JuJu Smith-Schuster looks completely washed, and Michael Hardman is battling a heel injury. MVS is the near DFS minimum despite getting good targets from Patrick Mahomes in a matchup with this week’s highest over/under by a wide margin.

Cade Otton ($10) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Cameron Brate could return against the Steelers, but Otton might’ve passed him on Tampa Bay’s depth chart anyway. Otton ran the most routes among all tight ends last week, with more than a third coming from the coveted slot. Otto also led Tampa Bay in goals, with Chris Godwin sitting out a lot of the second half in a concerning sign he’s not fully healthy. Especially at the weak tight end position, Otton is an obvious option at the DFS minimum.

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