This article is part of our DFS NFL series.
Week 1 might be the most fun to play simply due to the anticipation of the season, but entering Week 2 we have a data point as one of our tools to add to the analysis. It’s important to parse what is and isn’t reasonable at this point, however. I pay attention to role (snaps, routes run, etc.) rather than efficiency after only one game. It’s tempting to dismiss teams like the Seahawks after an abysmal season opener, but we probably wouldn’t have the same reaction if their dud came in Week 7. In other words, recency bias is at a high, so now is the time to make reasonable bets on bounce-back performances. That will be the theme of Week 2.
A lot of the focus of DFS picks is on individual players. Skills certainly matter, but finding game environments that are likely to promote a lot of points scored is a way to narrow the focus of our player pool.
|Over/Under||Road Team||Road Implied Total||Home Team||Home Implied Total|
- The Bills, Bengals and Chiefs have among the highest implied totals of the day, so the sportsbooks don’t seem too deterred by their dismal Week 1 showings. Other standouts include the Lions, 49ers, Chargers, Cowboys and Jaguars, all of whom were more impressive in the opening game.
- The Chiefs-Jaguars game figures to get a lot of attention, especially because most of the other games with higher implied point totals project to be more one-sided.
Pierce was something of a letdown last week after his preseason usage suggested that he would be a three-down back and get work as a receiver. Instead, he had 13 total touches and 47 yards as the Texans’ offense was stifled against the Ravens. The matchup should be better against the Colts, and Houston has doubled down on its commitment to getting Pierce going on the ground. There’s some risk in rostering him due to the poor state of the offense, but the projected volume at his cost still makes him a strong play.
Relative to other quarterbacks, Burrow checks in at a good value. He’s the 10th-most expensive quarterback on the slate and his price dropped by a relatively large mark of $500 after a terrible Week 1 performance. In addition to simply performing closer to expectation, the Ravens will have a beat-up secondary with Marcus Williams (pectoral) and Marlon Humphrey (foot) both out.
Other Value Options
Stacks to Consider
Buffalo Bills vs. Las Vegas Raiders
In our continued theme of bounce-back spots, the Bills look to be in a good spot to produce Sunday in their home opener. Josh Allen ($9,200) should be refocused after a poor opening game and the Raiders corners are plenty exploitable. Even with the offense stuck in neutral, Stefon Diggs ($8,000) put up 21.2 FD points against the Jets. The real choice will come for those who want to use a double stack, with the primary options Gabe Davis ($6,500) and Dalton Kincaid ($5,200). The Bills used a lot of two tight-end sets, as Dawson Knox ($5,400) was on the field and ran nearly the identical amount as Kincaid. Each saw four targets, so there isn’t much to separate them at this point. Those familiar with Davis know he is a boom/bust option and is a good option for tournaments. The prominence of 12 personnel hurts Deonte Harty ($4,200), who was the team’s third receiver but only 13 routes.
Of course, the focus of the stack will be on the Bills, but the Raiders have a narrow range of targets. That helps their appeal. Davante Adams ($7,500) is the obvious choice, but Hunter Renfrow ($5,100) could emerge with Jakobi Meyers (concussion) sidelined.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions
This game combines two great things — a team with a narrow target share and another team that should bounce back from a truly terrible Week 1 effort. Starting in Detroit, Jared Goff ($7,300) doesn’t have much value without context due to a low ceiling, but his low cost makes him more appealing. He’s priced around Jordan Love ($7,200) and Brock Purdy ($7,100), which is reasonable. His pass catchers are the primary appeal to rostering this team. Amon-Ra St. Brown ($8,100) is the obvious top pass catcher and was on the field for all but four snaps in Week 1. Josh Reynolds ($5,900) is the potential value. He ran eight more routes than Marvin Jones ($5,400) and was clearly the more effective player in Week 1. Sam LaPorta ($5,100) is also interesting. He was targeted five times but didn’t make much noise with the opportunity (39 yards). That shouldn’t overshadow the fact that he ran 27 routes in his pro debut.
There’s no way around the fact that Geno Smith ($7,000) looked terrible against the Rams. Given his history in the league, it’s certainly possible that continues, but we don’t know that yet. Don’t be fooled by last week’s stat line, DK Metcalf ($7,700) and Tyler Lockett ($6,500) remain the clear top two pass catchers. Jaxon Smith-Njigba ($5,200) was involved and checks in at a nice discount, but he wasn’t on the field for nearly the same amount of time as either Metcalf or Lockett.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs
We can’t leave the stack section without discussing this game, considering it has the highest game total of the slate. Even more important, the game is projected to be close, the best recipe for a shootout. The issue is the massive unknowns for each team. Travis Kelce ($8,500) is expected to return, but he hasn’t practiced in full and it’s unclear at what capacity he’ll return. The wide receiver situation was a well-publicized mess against the Lions. Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,700) and Skyy Moore ($5,200) were the most involved from a routes-run perspective. Kadarius Toney ($5,300) should see an increased role, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Patrick Mahomes ($9,000) and Andy Reid prioritize getting him involved after his prominent struggles in a nationally televised game. One way to play this is to buy the relative dip on Kelce and hope he returns with a big performance while stacking him with Mahomes. The other is to pair Mahomes with one of his pass catchers (Toney would be my choice) and hope the targets fall in your favor.
The Jaguars continued their pattern of receiver usage from the preseason. That is, Calvin Ridley ($8,300) and Zay Jones ($6,300) are the receivers on the field for two receiver sets, while Christian Kirk ($6,000) primarily entered the field in 11 personnel. There’s no doubt that Ridley is the alpha, but Jones can find the end zone and make big plays. Trevor Lawrence ($7,800) works in a stack and to get exposure to the game, but Burrow and Lamar Jackson ($7,600) are preferable from a point-per-dollar projection standpoint.
Overall, there’s a lot of upside in this game, but lineups can fall flat even in a high-scoring game due to the lack of concentration of production. It’s a risk that can be worth taking, but understand both the upside and downside before locking in lineups.
Derrick Henry vs. Los Angeles Chargers ($8,300)
Henry might be the only player who can keep the Titans’ offensive line afloat, yet the team inexplicably turned away from him in a Week 1 loss to the Saints. The Chargers have historically been a run-funnel defense (notwithstanding the dismantling from the Dolphins through the air last week), which would match with Tennessee’s ideal gameplan. This one is pretty straightforward.
Mike Evans vs. Chicago Bears ($7,100)
Evans delivered a decent performance in Week 1 against what we now have a decent idea is hapless Minnesota defense and secondary. The Bears’ secondary was roughed up by Aaron Jones more so than wide receivers, but the offensive scheme of the Packers and Bucs should differ. As for Evans himself, he was on the field for nearly every offensive snap alongside Chris Godwin and earned 10 targets. With a bit more efficiency, he should improve upon his 15.6 FD-point performance.
The Smash Spot
Mike Williams at TEN ($6,700)
This play builds off Henry, and there’s an interesting case that this game could exceed expectations from a scoring standpoint. As covered, the Titans’ offensive strength matches with the Chargers’ defensive weakness. Similarly, Tennessee’s secondary is poor, which should mean we see Los Angeles attack the Titans with the arm of Justin Herbert and his pass-catching weapons. Keenan Allen is the preferable option on DK, but give me the touchdown and big-play upside of Williams on FD.
Salary Saving Options
QB Baker Mayfield vs. Chicago Bears ($6,800)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo at Buffalo Bills ($6,700)
RB Jahmyr Gibbs vs. SEA ($5,800)
WR Drake London vs. GB ($5,800)
WR Michael Gallup vs. New York Jets ($5,700)
WR Rashod Bateman at Cincinnati Bengals ($5,700)
WR Treylon Burks vs. Los Angeles Chargers ($5,400)
The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it’s possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Dan Marcus plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: marcusd91