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NFL Week 2 Yahoo! Million Dollar Baller (FREE)

Eric MacPherson

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Greetings Gamers! We have an amazing opportunity on Yahoo! for Week 1 as they are running a $1,000,000 contest, with a $20 entry fee and 50,000 entries.  Best of all – NO MANAGEMENT FEES for this NFL DFS tournament – that should scratch your Fantasy Football itch. Let’s get into some NFL DFS Picks for Week 2, including Alvin Kamara.

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While the $20 price point may be a little spendy, based on prior levels of demand over the last several similar tournaments, we may only see 40-45,000 entries in this contest which would mean there could be another 10-15% “implied” value based on unused entries that we will not be competing against.


Don’t forget to check out the Yahoo Fantasy Show with Alex ‘Awesemo’ Baker and Nolan Kelly


If you haven’t signed up for Yahoo Fantasy DFS, click this link and use the promo code Awesemo  when making your first deposit and you will be eligible for $30 of “free play” which Yahoo! will match through the first $30 of your deposit (this bonus will be received in Yahoo Sports Rewards Points aka YSRP which can be used to enter any paid contest immediately).

Yahoo! DFS Football General Strategy

As with most sites, there are many viable strategies that can be successful in large field tournaments and of course we do need the same amount of favor from Lady Luck as we do elsewhere.

Key things to remember are that this is a “half-PPR” site meaning receptions are worth 0.5 points and the minimum salary is $10, with an average salary per player of $22 and this week Patrick Mahomes is at the top of the pricing list at $39. The full scoring parameters can be found here.

If you are using an optimizer, it is important to remember that you will still need to input the lineups by hand (this lack of automation also helps keep away some of the “mega shark” players). You will also want to closely look at the lineups because the automation will look to use the cheaper quarterbacks and it will also home in on players that may not be “good plays” on other sites and they will not be highlighted in the mainstream analysis that is available to The Masses each week.

Awesemo NFL Rankings

One of the most useful features of the Awesemo.com premium content is the personal player rankings from Alex Baker aka Awesemo for all of the main sports.  The players grade out separately for each DFS site with ratings for both “projected points” and “value” receiving an A through E report card style grade.

Tail Awesemo's Sports Betting Picks Today!

As a sneak preview, for this article I will be sharing the grades with my thoughts as well. Full Rankings (Premium Content)

Quarterback

If you have played football this season on Yahoo or if you played daily fantasy baseball, you know that the strategy is to look for the cheapest quarterback or pitcher that is tolerable so you can look for more secure points and upside elsewhere.  In the recommendations below, I will be highlighting several discount options at the other positions so you can build a framework that will allow lineup construction for a top-shelf quarterback along with his favorite target and still have enough salary cap to “run it back” with the top option on the opposing team.

Over the last two seasons of playing Yahoo! DFS for NFL and MLB, I have noticed that while “stacking” does have its place, the unique pricing structure and 10-entry max tournaments also lend to lineup construction that focuses more on the “best individual plays” and often times those will be the squads with their names in lights.  Please note, this is the first week the Million Dollar Baller has been more than a 10-max tournament – while it is 150 for the limit, everything still must be entered manually (e.g. no CSV uploads).

Lamar Jackson – BAL vs ARZ – $31 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value A 

Never in my wildest dreams did I think 324 yards AND five passing touchdowns were in the realm of outcomes for Week 1.  At least we know now how bad Miami is and that it wasn’t “just the Patriots” who destroyed them after Week 2. Back to Jackson, we should definitely target him once more, even with the $5 price hike.  We still have not seen him take to the ground and we know that the Arizona defense is bad and their offense plays fast.  As an added bonus Patrick Peterson (suspension) and Robert Alford (fractured leg) will be nowhere in sight on Sunday.  The only difficult part is who to pair with Jackson for some added passing game synergy. I do not think we need to pair him with one of his receivers as current trends/favorites are up in the air for now.

Check out today's FREE DFS tool of the day
Player Snaps Trgts Recpt Rec Yds Avg TDs
Marquise Brown 14 5 4 147 36.8 2
Mark Andrews 32 8 8 108 13.5 1
Willie Snead IV 50 3 2 41 20.5 1
Hayden Hurst 43 3 3 41 13.7 0
Nick Boyle 43 3 3 26 8.7 0
Seth Roberts 52 1 1 10 10 0
Miles Boykin 18 1 1 5 5 1
Patrick Ricard 11 1 1 1 1 1
Total 25 23 379 16.5 6

Josh Allen – BUF at NYG – $27 Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value A 

It is a little surprising that the Bills are only two point favorites against the Giants.  Granted they are on the road, but with their defense and the NY ineptitude this seems like a great spot for Buffalo. Josh Allen is part of the quarterback evolution where running ability is nearly as important as passing skills.  The weak Giants defense should not completely confound Allen who is still learning reads and progressions.  As a bonus, we now know that John Brown – $19 Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value D the clear go to target. Cole Beasley – $11 Awesemo Grade: Points E, Value A  is operating in the flat and short seams where a tight end would typically run routes. It is hard to argue against using Allen on a majority of our lineups, well besides the other excellent options listed throughout this article.

Dak Prescott – DAL at WAS – $32 Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value B

Stop me if you have heard this before, but the Fightin’ Dan Snyders are a debacle.  The only thing really getting in Prescott’s way is the chance that Washington may not be able to put points on the board.  Prescott can be used alone or paired with his receivers, particularly Amari Cooper – $23 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value B and Michael Gallup – $17 Awesemo Grade: Points D, Value D in all formats. Cooper will be everyone’s favorite option to pair with Prescott, so do not be shy about using Gallup as well or instead of the former Raider.

Running Back

We want to keep in mind that while running backs are very important, Yahoo! is a “half-PPR” site which will not penalize running backs that are not as active in the passing game.

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Alvin Kamara – NO at LAR – $35 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value D

This game has the potential to be high flying and we will want to look at several options as part of a “game stack” on Sunday.  Kamara is a key cog in the Saints offense and while he will be among the four most popular running backs, his 20-22% projected popularity is not insurmountable.  We know he can literally score from anywhere on the field and is equally adept in both the rushing and passing games. Do not get hung up on the D value rating, there are plenty of ways we can save our salary cap to splurge on luxury plays.

Leonard Fournette – JAX at HOU – $20 Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value A

Yes, he was incredibly disappointing in Week 1, but that kept his price tag in check.  The Jaguars are going to be turning to rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew who hails from Washington State University.  While he is no stranger to passing having been in Mike Leach’s “air raid” offense, he has a lot to learn. That should mean a heavy workload earmarked to Fournette in both the rushing and passing game. A reasonable estimate of 20-25 touches is a steal at his current salary. He will be one of the most popular options this week, but we have plenty of other positions where we can find differentiation.

Chris Carson – SEA at PIT – $21 Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value B

We know that Carson is going to be a key cog in the Seattle passing offense as he saw seven targets for 6/31/1 in addition to his 15 carries for 46 yards and a second score.  Seattle is going to look to keep the clock moving and their defense off the field so here we have another “bell cow” back that is available at a discount.  If he replicates his last game, we will be looking at a price tag closer to $30 next weekend, enjoy the bargain while you can.

Wide Receiver

Once again, some of the best QB/WR pairings are quite expensive on Yahoo! for Week 2.  Fortunately there are plenty of mid-price options at every position so we can look for top-shelf combos.

DeAndre Hopkins – HOU vs JAC – $34 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value D

We are definitely paying a premium for both Hopkins and Deshaun Watson – $36 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C.  Last week this duo was locked in with 13 targets for 8/111/2 in New Orleans.  Jacksonville still has a solid defense, but as long as Watson’s back is healthy, this duo should connect early and often. As long as Watson’s back is good, we can consider Hopkins as a top three option – include Will Fuller V – $15 Awesemo Grade: Points D, Value C as party of a synergistic Texans trio for tournaments.

Mecole Hardman – KC at OAK – $10 Awesemo Grade: Points D, Value A

The rookie saw just one target last weekend, but with Tyreek Hill out of commission, he is a discounted way to gain access to the Kansas City offense.  Including him as part of the package with Patrick Mahomes – $41 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C and Travis Kelce – $30 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C  or Sammy Watkins – $27 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C will help with the average salary.  Hardman will be very popular with his minimum salary in all formats.  Three receptions for 50 yards darn near “pays off” this price point for Hardman.

Keenan Allen – LAC at DET – $24 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value B

With Hunter Henry out for several weeks and Mike Williams dealing with a sore knee, Allen is in line for a solid workload Sunday.  While it will be hard to top the 10 targets for 8/123/1 a similar line can realistically be projected against Detroit.  He should see enough action out of the slot to avoid “shadow” corner Darius Slay and we know that Philip Rivers trusts him implicitly. Roll the former California Golden Bear out with impunity while he is healthy and his counterparts are not.

Tight Ends

Once again we have some enticing options as twenty-eight teams are taking the field on Sunday, so let’s parse through the possibilities.

Travis Kelce – KC at OAK – $30 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value B

With the loss of Tyreek Hill, Kelce’s price has ticked up three dollars for this road matchup.  Do not let that intimidate you because we know from seasons past that he can produce like a WR1 in any situation.  He should be able to flirt with half a dozen receptions and one hundred yards in this matchup against Oakland. For a peek behind the curtain, Awesemo is projecting him to be on 20-25% of all rosters.

George Kittle – SF at CIN – $29 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value D

This is the perfect pivot spot in tournaments as Kittle will likely be about a third as popular as Kelce.  We saw that Dante Pettis (just two snaps) is out of favor and we know that Marquise Goodwin is not a WR1.  Kittle should see 7-10 targets against a mediocre defense in what is a second winnable road game in as many weeks for the ‘Niners. He should be on 6-10% of all rosters which is a leverage play against Kelce in tournaments or play both for a completely unique lineup build.

Darren Waller – OAK vs KC – $13 Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value B

The former Georgia Tech tight end has been on a long and winding road, but now is his time to shine.  Who would have guessed that he would end up as the biggest beneficiary with Antonio Brown leaving town.  He should step nicely into the void left by Jared Cook’s career Pro Bowl season and at this price he is an absolute steal as it could double by mid-season.  The only drawback is that Derek Carr is his quarterback, but we saw how much he leaned on Cook last year… so let’s hope the stars align once more! He will be locked into my lineups unless I am building a stack with another team.

Defense/Special Teams

This week there are options up and down the pricing sheet and we should have no trouble finding a unit within our budget.

Baltimore Ravens vs ARZ – $20  Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value D 

If you have the extra funds, definitely give consideration to the Ravens who are at home in a phenomenal matchup.  Pairing them with Lamar Jackson and/or Mark Ingram is an intriguing strategy.

Buffalo Bills at NYG – $13  Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value C 

Even on the road, this unit should be able to dominate an Eli Manning led offense.  Similar to Darren Waller at tight end, this will be my default play in all my rosters.

Dallas Cowboys at WAS – $13 Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value C 

As much as I enjoy making fun of the Fightin’ Dan Snyders, I am going to slightly lean towards the Bills for the same price point.  The ‘Boys are a distant third in my top three for Week 2.

Hopefully this helps get your lineup construction process jump started and on your way to a big showing in the Yahoo! Million Dollar Baller contest!

As always, you can reach out to me in Awesemo.com Premium Slack or on Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.

Good Luck Gamers! ~ EMac

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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