DraftKings tried to pull a fast one last week by switching the Tiers format, but it’s back to the normal setup. For the record, I prefer this one to last week’s but testing new game modes every once in a while is fine with me. If you are new to Tiers, then read how to play below:
If you aren't familiar with this new game mode on DraftKings called ‘Tiers’, all you have to do is select one player from each basket of players. For the NFL, the first two tiers are filled with just quarterbacks, the next two are just running backs, the next three are receivers, and the last tier is reserved for tight ends.
Typically, they are the highest scoring players, so it's not necessary to know the difference between a low-end TE2 and the Jets' WR3 for example. Instead, the key is to make close decisions on the studs, like choosing between Michael Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins. Just like in the other DraftKings' game modes, you can enter 'Tiers' tournaments, 50/50s, Head-to-Heads, and more. This column will help you build your own lineups for each type of contest.
Expect updates to the rankings until lock, but feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@HaydenWinks) if you have questions about the game mode or about this slate.
The ‘Salary’ is pulled from the DraftKings’ Classic player salaries. The ‘Winks’ rankings come from myself (@HaydenWinks), while the ‘Daugherty’ rankings come from Patrick Daugherty’s (@RotoPat) weekly Rankings column. His rankings aren’t directly built with DraftKings Tiers in mind, but they are a great tool in finding value and eliminating some players from consideration. Lastly, the 'Hribar' comes directly from Rich Hribar's (@LordReebs) weekly Worksheet column.
|Andrew Luck||DAL||23.5||6400||3||QB7||ON THE CUSP|
|Kirk Cousins||MIA||20.5||6200||4||QB10||ON THE CUSP|
|Derek Carr||@CIN||17.0||5400||FADE||QB19||ON THE CUSP|
Jared Goff has the highest DraftKings salary, is Daugherty’s No. 1 quarterback in the tier, and is a “trust” in Hribar’s Worksheet. Let’s not get too cute with the quarterback playing at home -- Goff has major home/road splits -- with a team implied total of 32 points. If building multiple lineups, then Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, and Kirk Cousins make sense as well.
|Mitchell Trubisky||GB||22.5||6000||3||QB14||ON THE CUSP|
|Dak Prescott||@IND||18.9||5500||4||QB8||ON THE CUSP|
|Lamar Jackson||TB||8.2||5900||5||QB18||ON THE CUSP|
|Josh Allen||DET||17.0||5800||FADE||QB20||IF YOU MUST|
|Marcus Mariota||@NYG||15.2||5100||FADE||QB22||ON THE CUSP|
Ben Roethlisberger is oddly priced below Russell Wilson, but Big Ben is ranked ahead of Wilson on almost all rankings, including Daugherty’s (No. 2 to No. 11). Vegas also expects the Steelers to score one more point this week and 80% of the Steelers production has came through the air recently. If building multiple lineups, then Wilson, Dak Prescott (Amari Cooper stack), and Lamar Jackson make sense as well.
|Todd Gurley II||PHI||27.4||9500||1||RB1||TRUST|
|David Johnson||@ATL||15.9||7100||FADE||RB13||ON THE CUSP|
Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, and Ezekiel Elliott are in a tier of their own -- Leonard Fournette and Joe Mixon should also have good weeks in plus matchups -- but I’ll give Gurley the slight edge over Barkley with another gap to Zeke. Everything about Gurley’s matchup is favorable.
|Tarik Cohen||GB||16.4||6300||1||RB17||ON THE CUSP|
|James White||@PIT||18.3||5700||2||RB23||ON THE CUSP|
|Derrick Henry||@NYG||11.3||5000||4||RB24||IF YOU MUST|
|Dion Lewis||@NYG||11.0||4600||FADE||RB35||IF YOU MUST|
|Gus Edwards||TB||7.5||4400||FADE||RB31||IF YOU MUST|
|Jordan Howard||GB||10.0||3900||FADE||RB26||ON THE CUSP|
|Kenneth Dixon||TB||10.2||3500||FADE||RB30||IF YOU MUST|
Tier 4 is brutal with all options having a clear path to five DK points, but Tarik Cohen, James White, Sony Michel, and Derrick Henry are the top options. Cohen is $600 more than the others on DraftKings’ Classic -- that’s a good thing -- and is Daugherty’s No. 1 option in the tier. Henry’s ownership could be way higher than it should coming off that insane TNF game, so he’s not a bad player to fade. White and Brady would be a nice contrarian option.
|Julio Jones||ARI||22.6||8400||4||WR7||ON THE CUSP|
Antonio Brown and Big Ben will be the most stacked duo in Tiers this week, and rightfully so. Adam Thielen is right there with Brown and pivoting to Cousins (Tier 1)/Thielen/Big Ben (Tier 2)/JuJu instead of Big Ben/Antonio could be sharp with ownership in mind. Davante Adams and Julio Jones both have high floors but are both in tough matchups. Brandin Cooks -- and to a lesser extent Robert Woods -- are in play in Jared Goff (Tier 1) lineups. The Patriots could also steal the Chargers game plan of using the slot receiver (Keenan Allen) to match up with linebacks and nickel backs, so Edelman is a distant tournament option.
|JuJu Smith-Schuster||NE||21.1||8000||1||WR9||ON THE CUSP|
|Stefon Diggs||MIA||19.6||7600||2||WR14||ON THE CUSP|
|Amari Cooper||@IND||17.3||7500||3||WR10||ON THE CUSP|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||TEN||20.5||8100||4||WR12||ON THE CUSP|
|T.Y. Hilton||DAL||19.0||6800||5||WR11||ON THE CUSP|
|Josh Gordon||@PIT||12.9||6400||6||WR19||ON THE CUSP|
|Tyler Lockett||@SF||14.5||6200||7||WR21||ON THE CUSP|
Nobody in this tier was listed as a “trust” by Hribar, but both Daugherty and I agree with putting JuJu Smith-Schuster at the top. JuJu would also be the most expensive player in this tier if Odell Beckham (quad) doesn’t play. Pivoting off JuJu to play Stefon Diggs or Amari Cooper is most definitely in play, and both of their quarterbacks are low-owned options as well.
|Tyler Boyd||OAK||16.6||5700||1||WR20||ON THE CUSP|
|Corey Davis||@NYG||12.8||5600||2||WR24||ON THE CUSP|
|Allen Robinson II||GB||12.2||5500||3||WR23||BUST|
|Larry Fitzgerald||@ATL||11.0||4700||5||WR26||ON THE CUSP|
|Josh Reynolds||PHI||4.6||4700||7||WR33||IF YOU MUST|
Tyler Boyd and Corey Davis are slightly ahead of Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Larry Fitzgerald, and Alshon Jeffery, but nobody is comfortable about playing any of them. There also isn’t any stacking options either -- Mitch Trubisky I guess could count. This tier is ultimately pretty random, so I’d keep exposure relatively flat if making a ton of lineups.
|Evan Engram||TEN||9.1||4100||FADE||TE16||ON THE CUSP|
|Vance McDonald||NE||9.6||3900||FADE||TE8||IF YOU MUST|
There is a clear top four -- George Kittle, Eric Ebron, Jared Cook, and Rob Gronkowski -- but DraftKings’ Classic pricing agrees that Kittle is the No. 1 option in Tier 8. That certainly doesn’t mean 100% exposure to Kittle because Ebron, Cook, and Gronk are just barely behind. Stacking Luck/Ebron or Brady/Gronk could be tournament winners since ownership should be low and there is an actual path to finishing No. 1 in their respective tiers.
Cash Game Considerations
There are 9,834,496 different ways to build a Tiers roster this week. These cash game considerations will help you narrow down your options for H2Hs, 50/50s, and Double Ups.
1. Jared Goff (vs. PHI)
2. Tom Brady (@ PIT)
1. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. NE)
2. Russell Wilson (@ SF)
1. Todd Gurley (vs. PHI)
2. Saquon Barkley (vs. TEN)
3. Ezekiel Elliott (@ IND)
1. Tarik Cohen (vs. GB)
2. James White (@ PIT)
3. Sony Michel (@ PIT)
1. Antonio Brown (vs. NE)
2. Adam Thielen (vs. MIA)
3. Davante Adams (@ CHI)
4. Julio Jones (vs. ARI)
1. JuJu Smith-Schuster (vs. NE)
2. Stefon Diggs (vs. MIA)
3. Amari Cooper (@IND)
1. Tyler Boyd (vs. OAK)
2. Corey Davis (@ NYG)
3. Allen Robinson (vs. GB)
1. George Kittle (vs. SEA)
2. Eric Ebron (vs. DAL)
3. Jared Cook (@ CIN)
4. Rob Gronkowski (@ PIT)