Week 2 NFL DFS Guide
Who you should roster in Week 2 daily fantasy action
We never know as much as we think we know after Week 1. Last week, fantasy owners were hitting the panic button over Jameis Winston who, taking into account dropped touchdowns by both Mike Evans and Breshard Perriman in the Thursday night game, would have rebounded from a dreadful season debut with a stat line of 18-25, 253 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Other owners were lamenting taking Sequon Barkley over Christian McCaffrey with the first pick in their drafts before watching Dairy Sanders struggle to post 37 rushing yards and 16 receiving yards against a Tampa Bay defense that appears much stronger under the guidance of Todd Bowles than anyone had anticipated.
What we should take away from Week 1 are largely changes in opportunity or availability. Offseason evaluations based on large bodies of work must not be abandoned over the results of 60 minutes of football. Good or bad performances, which would be dismissed as variance in Week 6, shouldn’t take on added meaning because they happen in the season’s first week.
Week 2 looks to be a really fun slate, as sites were aggressive in pricing players up in changing circumstances. Lamar Jackson, Sammy Watkins and others saw their salaries inflated much higher than they would have in previous seasons, but we still have a lot of chalky value as the Raiders played on Monday night and didn’t see a salary change ahead of what should be a high-scoring showdown with the Chiefs.
With just three afternoon games and fewer obvious game stacks to attack than last week, we should be in for a profitable slate so let’s dive in. Note: DraftKings pricing is displayed.
Tom Brady ($6,400)
The annual fool’s errand of trying to figure out how the Patriots will game plan for a specific team has returned. Tom Brady was fantastic in New England’s Sunday night demolition of the Steelers, throwing for 341 yards and three touchdowns on 36 attempts for 28.6 DK points and now gets to face a Dolphins defense that was utterly helpless to stop the Lamar Jackson show.
This feels like a game where the Patriots can name their score and do so via the air or the ground. With a slate high 33.5 point implied total, it would be utterly insane to fade Mr. Bundchen on the assumption “this is a Michel game.”
Andy Dalton ($5,400)
The Bengals were nearly unrecognizable in Zac Taylor’s scheme, with Andy Dalton leading an aerial assault that got the ball out with rhythm and timing to the tune of 381 air yards in Seattle. Dalton’s in GPP consideration again this week as a two point home favorite against the 49ers.
Josh Allen ($5,300)
For as bad as the Dolphins defense was last week, the Giants pass defense didn’t look much better as they allowed Dak Prescott to carve them up for 405 yards on just 32 pass attempts. This week Josh Allen, the best fantasy quarterback over the stretch run of last season, gets the opportunity to face a Giants defense that primarily plays man coverage, thus turning their backs to the quarterback and inviting him to run. That pushes Allen’s ceiling even higher than if he were only attacking them through the air. Allen’s in play for all formats.
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Sony Michel ($6,200)
After an offseason of chatter about the Patriots transitioning to a run-based offense and letting Tom Brady mature into a game manager in his age 42 season, New England matriculated the ball up and down the field via the pass in their 33-3 shellacking of the Steelers while second year running back Sony Michel was held to a paltry (pathetic) 14 yards on 15 carries for a grand total of 1.4 DK points in week one. Now Michel’s salary has jumped from $5,900 to $6,200 in a game that should have an extremely positive game script with the Miami a 18.5-point underdog and having just been gashed for 265 yards and two rushing touchdowns by the Ravens. Stacking Michel with the Patriots defense is incredibly tempting.
Austin Ekeler ($6100)
Heading into the Chargers’ season-opener, the talk coming out of LA’s camp was to expect an even split of the absence of Melvin Gordan’s workload, presumably with Austin Ekeler taking most of the receiving work and Justin Jackson getting the bulk of the carries. The talk was wrong as Ekeler exploded for 39.5 DK points on 12 carries (to Jackson’s six) and seven targets (to Jackson’s three).
At $6,100, Ekeler’s price hasn’t risen enough for this week’s matchup against a Detroit defense that just surrendered 25.7 DK points to David Johnson. The Lions are an elite rush defense, but simply average defending the pass vs running backs. These teams play at a slow pace and given the strength of the Detroit run defense, this isn’t good a spot as likely ownership suggests. However, Ekeler flashed a high enough ceiling last week to merit GPP exposure.
Chris Thompson ($3900)
Redskins pass catching back Chris Thompson posted 14.8 DK points on 10 targets against the Eagles in week one and always is in the GPP conversation when the Redskins are going to be trailing. With the Redskins sitting at 5.5 point underdogs, and Darius Guice on the shelf, this is an interesting spot and a great way to run back your Cowboy stack.
Keenan Allen ($7,600)
Keenan Allen is one of the most intriguing receivers on the slate. After a fantastic 2018 where he managed to stay on the field for all 16 games for the second consecutive season, Allen had a good Week 1 against the Colts going for 29.3 DK points on ten targets and he should only see those numbers increase as he lines up in the slot against Lions cornerback Justin Coleman who the ageless Larry Fitzgerald torched for 28.3 DK points last week. Add the absence of Hunter Henry and Mike Williams (Melvin Gordon too for that matter) and this is a smash spot for Allen with tempo being the only real concern here as Detroit’s top corner Darius Slay does not travel into the slot. Allen is a top play in all formats.
Antonio Brown ($7,000)
Phillip Dorsett had a monster showing in week one and will be returning to the town where he played his college ball. Stacking Julian Edelman with Tom Brady is never a bad idea and Josh Gordon continues to have an absurd amount of talent, but this could well be the Antonio Brown show as Bony Tony will be playing in front of his hometown crowd and he’s undoubtedly eager to prove he’s still one of the best receivers on the planet despite his well-documented issues off the field. Brown’s expected to garner low ownership and makes for an amazing leverage play in GPPs.
John Ross ($4,600)
Tyler Boyd dominated the targets in AJ Green’s absence last season, but came through with a lower DK points per game average than when Green was on the field. With the new staff in Cincinnati that doesn’t appear to matter as speedy John Ross was the centerpiece of the Bengals game plan. Bordering on the edge of bust-status, Ross exploded for 37.8 DK points on 12 targets in week one and remains priced at just $4,600 on DraftKings. San Francisco’s defensive staff will absolutely be prepared to stop Ross in a way that Seattle’s coaches simply couldn’t have been, but when you consider Ross’s speed, the scheme and volume of targets, it may not matter what the Niners devise. Ross should be in cash game consideration and must be in every player’s GPP pool.
It’s generally a bad idea to use a tight end in your flex spot, but with so many looking like spectacular points-per-play dollars on DraftKings, it might be a good slate to consider that roster construction.
TJ Hockenson ($3,000)
Hyper-talented rookie TJ Hockenson showed why he was a high first round draft pick in Week 1 when he beat the hell out the Cardinals defense for 28.1 DK points on nine targets. While the Chargers are a much tougher defensive challenge for the first year Iowa product, buying nine targets for $3,000 may be too tempting to pass up.
Evan Engram ($5,200)
Fresh off a 31.60 DK point performance on the strength of 14 targets, Evan Engram should see his market share increase as Sterling Sherpard will miss the contest against the Bills due to a concussion. While the matchup is far from ideal (Buffalo allowed an NFL low 7.8 DK points per game to the position group last season) the overwhelming number of targets Engram is in line to command dictates you should have GPP exposure to him.
George Kittle ($6,800)
The Bengals surrendered an NFL-high 16.4 DK points per game to tight ends last season and the only San Francisco skill player we seem assured will be a weekly part of the game plan is Kittle. He scored 13.4 DK points on 10 targets against Tampa Bay last week and has the ceiling to win you a GPP.
The Patriots are 18.5 point favorites and should expect to see a lot of passes from a Miami team (they threw 32 times against 12 rushing attempts last week) that is an overwhelming underdog, has a terrible offensive line, poor quarterback play and questionable talent at the skill positions. The Dolphins surrendered three sacks and three turnovers to Baltimore last week.
The Texans defense has lost a lot over the offseason. The team you think of with JJ Watt screaming off one edge and Jadaveon Clowney racing around the other is a thing of the past, but nevertheless they’ll be facing sixth-round quarterback (and nascent mustached folk hero) Garnder Minshew II, who was pressed into duty last week after Nick Foles broke his collarbone in the game with the Chiefs.