The goal of this weekly DFS tournament picks article is to identify at least one player per week who is in the winning DraftKings Milly Maker lineup at less than 15% ownership. Last week, we nailed the Robby Anderson boom against a porous Las Vegas Raiders secondary. Unfortunately, we failed to predict that the answer to the “Jonathan Taylor or Marlon Mack” dilemma would actually be Nyheim Hines.
And with that, we are on to Week 2. Here are the DFS tournament picks for the Week 2 main slate.
Fantasy managers everywhere are panicking about Austin Ekeler after he imploded as surprising chalk against the Cincinnati Bengals. Ekeler’s calling card is his receiving role, yet he had only one target in Week 1. In 2019, he had fewer than five targets in just three of 16 games.
However, Ekeler’s rushing role appears to have skyrocketed. He had 19 carries against the Bengals, which is more than he had in any single game last season. Ekeler also dominated snaps in the Chargers' backfield:
Chargers RB snap rates and total touches:
– Austin Ekeler: 68%, 20
– Joshua Kelley: 24%, 12
– Justin Jackson: 15%, 2
The demise of Austin Ekeler is being greatly overstated
— Jarad Evans (@PFF_Jarad) September 14, 2020
Ekeler ceded the goal-line work to rookie Joshua Kelley, who punched in one of his two inside-the-five carries for a touchdown. However, it's not as if Ekeler completely disappeared in scoring range — he had three red-zone carries of his own.
The Kansas City Chiefs had one of the NFL’s worst run defenses last season, surrendering 4.9 yards per attempt (fourth-most) and 3.1 yards after contact per attempt (fifth). Week 1 against the Houston Texans looked more of the same, as they let up a hefty 5.4 rushing yards per attempt (second) and made David Johnson look like the superstar of 2016.
Expect the Chargers to force-feed Ekeler carries as they try to keep Patrick Mahomes and company off the field. Additionally, if the Chargers fall behind, there is a chance Ekeler returns to his typical receiving role in catch-up mode.
Ekeler is priced just below the studs who everyone is going to jam into their lineups — Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Take a shot on Ekeler's discount and lower ownership in tournaments. He checks in at RB13 in PFF’s Week 2 rankings.