Each week I plan to give you what I feel are the best FanDuel plays at each position, as well as the plays that I am staying away from. My DFS methodology is a little different than the typical player. I don’t make separate cash and tournament lineups. I simply make the best possible lineup that I can, period. I feel like it distracts me too much to make different lineups for different contest types. I end up splitting up plays I really like for the sake of qualifying a guy as cash or tourney. Therefore, I put together the best lineup I can with the best plays, and that’s what you will see reflected in this article. Finally, I will mention that I am not a mass entry player. I typically enter 1 to 2 lineups per week across the board.
Week 2 NFL FanDuel Plays
For week 2 I have narrowed down my QB pool to just four guys: Cam Newton ($9,000), Eli Manning ($8,100), Matthew Stafford ($7,800), and Josh McCown ($6,000).
If only we had a glass ball and could see into the future. I’d love to know where the ownership percentages will fall this week; that would probably help me make this decision. I think we can assume Manning will be the highest owned. Based on how heavily I think he will be owned, I would normally cross him off my list, because Stafford could easily outscore him here at a similar price. And Cam Newton; well, he’s still Cam Newton and worth the extra salary. However, Manning’s matchup versus the Saints is just too juicy. This could be the one week I just go with the chalk and differentiate elsewhere.
I expect Newton to have a HUGE week. The problem is, if Manning also has a huge week (which he should), we’re fighting an uphill battle as a large portion of the field will have him and you have $900 less salary for the rest of your positions. If we choose Newton, we need to feel confident that he will outscore Manning by at least 10%.
Okay, enough with those two. Matt Stafford looks like he could have a really solid year. As a diehard Lions fan, I try not to be a homer, but Jim Bob Cooter really has this offense looking much better than years past. Despite losing Calvin Johnson, Stafford has plenty of weapons at his dispersal. He is the perfect pivot off of Manning and should surpass 300 yards and get you two to three touchdowns with the upside for more.
Josh McCown is simply a price play. I am a fan of cheap quarterbacks in DFS. They open up salary for you at other positions, and even when they have a below average game they typically get you somewhere in the 10-15 point range. You definitely won’t find that same consistency when you pay down for a running back or wide receiver. McCown is a veteran and had a huge game against the Ravens last year. While I don’t expect a repeat of that, I think 15 points is a fair prediction for him here. If I think the salary savings makes a bigger difference points wise by upgrading another position, I’m all for it. I’m just not sure that’s the case this week.
At the high-end of the salary spectrum I like C.J. Anderson ($7,800). Denver is committed to giving him the ball, and he looked great against a good Panthers defense in Week 1. His Week 2 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts is much softer. He should have no problem crossing the 100 yard mark and finding his way into the end zone. Anderson is one of the two safest plays of the week. (More on the other later)
It’s no secret that the Giants versus Saints is the game that has the most appealing fantasy options. While the masses will be on the passing attacks of both teams, I love getting exposure with Rashad Jennings ($6,300). The Giants should have no problem moving the ball down the field and Jennings will have his opportunities. I think it is just as likely that Jennings finds the end zone twice as it is for Manning to throw for three to four touchdowns. We can realistically predict 20 touches for him here, which makes him a no brainer due to price and matchup.
Theo Riddick ($5,900)/Danny Woodhead ($6,400) – I’m grouping these two together because they will be similarly used, and I expect both to be heavily involved. Woodhead should run the ball a little more which makes me lean his way among the two, but he will cost us a bit more. He outplayed Melvin Gordon last week, and Keenan Allen going down last week only ensures us he will have ample opportunity.
Riddick picked up right where he left off last year. He is a playmaker, and the Lions showed their commitment to him this past week when they gave him a three-year extension worth nearly $13 million. I think he’s a sneaky player to throw in your Stafford lineups in hopes he catches one of his touchdown passes.
The last player I’m giving a long hard look is LeGarrette Blount ($6,000). I didn’t invent the saying, but as it goes, “this just feels like a Blount game”. He’s their bell cow and he’s going to run the ball. The Patriots showed their commitment to him in Week 1 and they didn’t even blink when he fumbled. If that wasn’t proof enough, the giant smile and bear hug between he and Coach Belichick after the victory shows how much he’s trusted. Blount is a plodder, but with 20-25 carries he only needs three to four yards each carry to find his way into the end zone for you to be happy at this price.
A.J. Green ($8,900) – I love Green this week and am very high on him for the rest of the year. We have seen enough to know that Andy Dalton throws him the ball over and over and over. We’ve also seen enough to know that Green catches those passes over and over and over. He caught 12 of 13 targets in Week 1. While I’m not high on the other skill players in this game for a few reasons (more below), I’m making exceptions for Green. In his last four games against the Steelers, he has seen 54 targets. I won’t be surprised if he is the highest scoring wide receiver in Week 2.
I won’t try to talk you out of Odell Beckham Jr. ($9,400). Just know that he will be very highly owned. His upside is immense, especially in this matchup. For me, the debate is similar to what I mentioned above about Manning. He may be worth playing no matter what. There is merit in fading him, as Manning does have more viable options than in years past. Just know there is no higher upside on the slate than OBJ.
A guy that I think will go under owned this week is Jordan Matthews ($6,900). Carson Wentz wasted no time forcing him the ball in Week 1, as he was targeted 14 times. Matthews is a premier talent and I do not think we’ll get him this cheap for very long. The matchup is there and he’ll be a staple in my lineups.
Will Fuller ($6,200) – If you need a cheaper receiver, Fuller may be your guy. He looked great in his debut and Brock Osweiler threw the ball at him 11 times. DeAndre Hopkins should be shadowed by Marcus Peters, which will leave Fuller with a better matchup. He will get open and we know Osweiler will look his way. I like him the most of everyone else in this price range.
Cole Beasley ($5,000) – Beasley caught 8 balls on 12 targets last week. He has three things working in his favor this week. He’s cheap. Washington will try to limit Dallas’ outside receivers, leaving Beasley open often in the middle. Dak Prescott showed no hesitation in avoiding the outside game, while dinking and dunking his way across the middle. I think Beasley sees similar numbers to last week, but if he can somehow sneak into the end zone this week he gives you huge return on this measly price.
Jesse James $4,500 – We know from years past that Ben Roethlisberger likes throwing the ball to his tight end. While James is no Heath Miller (yet), he wasted no time finding opportunity in the high powered Steelers offense. He was on the field for every offensive play and caught five of seven targets. While I’m not super high on the Steelers offense this week, I like James. Last year Roethlisberger targeted Miller 10+ times in both regular season matchups against the Bengals. Last week the tight end position was abysmal, with the top guys scoring around 15 points. We’re getting a minimum priced TE that has a realistic chance to keep up with the guys priced $2,000 to $3,000 more. I’ll take it.
The other guy I have my eye on is Julius Thomas ($6,400). He should get looks in the red zone. The only worry here is his health, so keep an eye on his status.
It’s Seattle ($5,200) and Carolina ($5,300) for me and that’s about it. If I need to go cheaper, I’ll probably consider New England ($4,500).
Just find a guy who fits your roster salary wise – preferably a favorite. If he’s at home too, even better!
Week 2 Stay Aways
In this section, I’ll give you a few plays that I’m staying away from. These will usually be guys who are going to be popular, but that I am okay fading.
Drew Brees ($9,200) – This price has trap written all over it. I don’t think the Giants defense is that bad, and while I don’t expect them to shut Brees down, I think they can manage to keep him well below what he needs to pay off this price. Brees’ struggles on the road over the past years has been well documented. His TD to INT ratio closes up in a hurry when he leaves New Orleans.
DeAngelo Williams ($7,600)/Antonio Brown ($9,200) – I love both of these guys as players, and I’m fully aware that they can do tons of damage despite the matchup, especially Brown. He’s the most explosive weapon in the league, so there’s big risk in staying away from him. He could easily go off any given week, and that’s no different here. However, coming off of a Monday night game where these two guys looked unstoppable, I think the public is chomping at the bit to roster them. The matchup against Cincinnati is less than ideal. It’s a division rivalry and these two teams are no stranger to each others playing style. Both guys were pretty average last year by their own standards in three contests against Cincy. That’s no fluke, as the Bengals execute well on the defensive side of the ball. Again, let me reiterate, there is risk here, but I feel comfortable looking at different high upside situations.
Spencer Ware ($6,800) – Ware was outstanding in Week 1 and I was all over him. His price has climbed to a level that I’m not comfortable paying until I see more consistency. His snaps were split perfectly even with Charcandrick West, but he outperformed him by a mile. It scares me that he’s not on the field for half his team’s snaps at this price. Throw in the fact that Jamal Charles may be back in action and I’m staying away.
Tyrell Williams ($5,400) – Everyone’s new shiny toy this week is Tyrell Williams. For me, I’m not buying in yet. The kid is talented and is the most likely fit to replace Keenan Allen. However, let me give you a handful of reasons not to go all in on him yet: Danny Woodhead, Travis Benjamin, Antonio Gates, Dontrell Inman, and Hunter Henry. There are still plenty of places for Allen’s targets to go, and we have no history of Phillip Rivers looking Williams’ way in the redzone. No one is winning on FanDuel if he ends up with 5 catches for 60 yards and fails to score. He will be the highest owned cheap receiver this week, and given the unknown, I feel confident looking elsewhere (ie. Cole Beasley).
Good luck this week, and let me know if you have any questions by contacting me on twitter @mrclutchdfs
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