If you didn’t cash out in daily fantasy football in week one, your chances aren’t all gone. You can still make up for a bad Sunday with a Monday Night Football double-header, which offers up the potential for thousands to be made if you pick the perfect lineup at DFS sites like DraftKings.
It’s no secret who the top options are and in a slate with just two games (four teams) there are bound to be countless similar DFS lineups unless you find a way to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. Everyone will be using most of the studs like Todd Gurley, Antonio Brown and one of Kirk Cousins or Ben Roethlisberger, but to win big you may need to switch things up and roster (or fade) players you normally wouldn’t.
For Monday specifically, we’ve picked out some interesting daily fantasy football sleepers you’ll want to think about before finalizing your roster:
Quarterbacks: Case Keenum (Rams) and Blaine Gabbert (49ers)
Everyone will be all over Ben Roethlisberger and Kirk Cousins, so one strategy may be to hope that game is randomly low-scoring and they both are awful. Then you can pivot to Keenum or Gabbert and hope it’s somehow the exact opposite in the 49ers/Rams game.
Case Keenum ready for 1st opening-day start #LAvsSF
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 9, 2016
Logic does not support that, but week one wasn’t high on logic in a lot of spots. You never know, the Niners could focus solely on shutting down Todd Gurley and Keenum could rip them up through the air. Or maybe the Rams stuff Hyde and go up early and Gabbert throws all night and ends with 300 yards and 2-3 scores.
The beauty could also simply be in the value, as both of these guys are over $2k less than Cousins and Big Ben, so if they’re even remotely close to them in terms of production, you’re saving cash at quarterback and spending on explosive skill position players. Again, it’s a tough sell, but to win a GPP it may be what is necessary.
Running Backs: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley (Redskins), Shaun Draughn (49ers) and Fitzgerald Toussaint (Steelers)
Again, we all know the elites here: Todd Gurley and DeAngelo Williams. A lot of people will even use Matt Jones and Carlos Hyde (if they’re healthy enough to play). If those guys randomly are out or limited, though, it’s really going to open things up for guys like Thompson, Kelley and maybe even Draughn. Those guys could randomly produce regardless, but the starter ahead of them going down or being limited would be huge.
Of those three, Thompson is the best play, seeing as he’s Washington’s main passing down back, no matter what. If the Redskins fall behind, he could be a huge play tonight.
Toussaint may be the best pivot of all, as D-Will is set for a monster role in Pittsburgh but obviously will need a breather here and there. If that comes near the goal-line or in a passing situation, Toussaint could be a surprise DFS hero.
Wide Receivers: Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates, Darrius Heyward-Bey (Steelers), Kenny Britt, Brian Quick (Rams) and Jamison Crowder (Redskins)
It’s Antonio Brown or bust tonight, quite literally. DeSean Jackson and a few other big names are worth cursory glances, but the only guy most people care about is Brown and then how you fill in your other two receiver spots could end up being a pretty huge deal.
You can do one of two things:
- Use Brown and he goes nuts and your other receivers also do well
- Fade Brown and hope he sucks and just use three decent WRs
Both are somewhat feasible, but either way, going against the grain with those other two receivers may be smart – largely because the options after Brown are awful, and also obviously because this slate is so small.
Because of that, all the scrubs you see above are in play. Rogers, Coates and DHB all have more upside than everyone else simply because they seem to have a good matchup and their offense is awesome. Individually, they are all terrible plays, but it’s a good bet one of those three Steelers receivers goes nuts. Markus Wheaton is out, after all.
That being said, don’t sleep on Britt and Quick. Tavon Austin is the big name WR in Los Angeles, but he’s pretty erratic and often does absolutely nothing. Britt has scoring upside as a big-bodied receiver and Quick can make big plays down the field.
For the Redskins, Crowder might be worth a glance if you’re not into paying for D-Jax or Pierre Garcon, only to watch them sack you to the moon and back. His role isn’t very clear, but he could surprise.
Tight Ends: Lance Kendricks (Rams), Vance McDonald (49ers) and Vernon Davis (Redskins)
Kendricks and McDonald do not promote much confidence or DFS upside, but let’s face it, pretty much everyone is going for Jordan Reed tonight. If they don’t, and still maybe even if they do, they might also think they’re cute by going for Steelers tight end, Jesse James.
Obviously those two are far and away the top tight end choices, but what if the Steelers focus on shutting Reed down (or maybe he gets hurt) and James just doesn’t do much? Perhaps a new, enhanced role is all cheap options like McDonald or Kendricks could need. They seem to be entrenched in defensive battles, anyways, so it’s logical to think safety net tight ends could be targeted a bit in the second game of the night.
Then there is Vernon Davis, who seems to have fallen off a cliff but remains the #2 tight end in Washington. He is probably the worst dart ever, but on paper he’s still a good athlete and the Steelers probably won’t be looking at him as a threat. That could make him the perfect weapon in week one and he costs virtually nothing.
Team Defense: Washington Redskins
The Rams are easily the top unit on tonight’s slate (and also the most expensive). The Niners aren’t very good, but they have a good matchup at home, while the Steelers stink against the pass and are on the road against a good offense but stop the run and get sacks.
Needless to say, there is an argument for and against all of those three team defenses, so swinging for the fences with the Redskins (the cheapest defense on tonight’s daily fantasy football slate) might not be that crazy. For one, Washington can be pretty good when their aggressive blitzing works. It doesn’t hurt that the Steelers are without two key offensive weapons in Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant and that new stud corner Josh Norman might do a decent job on Antonio Brown.
If that’s all to be true, the ‘Skins tend to be quite good at home and could pressure Big Ben into some sacks and/or bad decisions. The good news is they don’t even need to rock your world or completely stifle the Steelers. They just need to be passable and good enough to the point where they’re not leaps and bounds worse than the other three available defenses. None of this says that will be the case, but there is some logic supporting it’s plausibility and if you want to win big, going super contrarian in numerous spots is a good idea.