DFS: FanDuel Week 2, Elite RBs in Great Matchups
The DFS bar was set high for Week 1 of the NFL season with scores of an excess of 150 points not reaching the money in some GPP tournaments. That number for cashing should lower as the season progresses and the price for constant performers rise. The prices remain relatively low for Week 2, so we need to build lineups full of high performers. The RB position looks to be a particularly good place to start as most of stud RBs are in favorable matchups.
QB Case Keenum (DEN, $6,700 on FanDuel, 6.7% projected ownership on Fantasy Pros) is one of many QBs that could have a big day on Sunday. We landed on Keenum for his value price and the stack with WR Emanuel Sanders. Keenum completed 25 of 39 pass attempts for 329 yards with three TDs and three INTs last week against the Seattle Seahawks. Keenum is home in Denver and faces a Raiders defense that no longer has Khalil Mack. The Silver and Black will likely struggle to put together much of a pass rush without DT Justin Ellis (foot).
RB Todd Gurley (LAR, $8,900, 34.3%) is an elite workhorse that consistently puts up big fantasy points. Gurley had 20 carries for 108 yards last week. He was also targeted five times and had three catches for 39 yards and a TD for 22.2 FanDuel points against the Raiders. This week he faces the Arizona Cardinals defense that comes out of Week 1 as the worst rushing defense. They surrendered 182 rushing yards on 42 attempts for a gaudy 4.9 yards per carry to Redskins RBs.
RB Alvin Kamara (NO, $9,000, 32.4%) consistently performs more like an elite WR. Until proven otherwise, Kamara will be a mainstay in my lineups. His 12 targets were the second most and converted he nine receptions for 112 yards and two TDs to lead all RBs with 38.6 FanDuel points. Kamara faces the Browns who allowed Steelers RB James Conner to score the second highest fantasy RB of the week (31.7).
RB Melvin Gordon (LAC, $8,200, 21.2%) led all RBs with 13 targets against the Kansas City Chiefs. He had nine receptions, tied for fifth most of all players, for 102 yards. He also carried the ball 15 times for an additional 64 yards. Gordon scored 23.1 FanDuel points without scoring a TD. He has an excellent chance to reach the end zone this week. Gordon plays the Buffalo Bills who gave up a league-worst three rushing TDs in their season opener. This ties with the Saints with six total TDs allowed.
RB Christian McCaffrey (CAR, $7,400, 16.7%) is in for a heavy workload against an Atlanta defense that is missing key playmakers.
All DFS players should look to continually improve their game. I’m no different. I believe that my strength is analyzing team matchups which are useful for QBs, RBs and TEs, but know I needed to improve with WRs by better understanding their individual matchups against CBs.
To improve, I’m now including 4 for 4 in my research which does an excellent job breaking down WR and CB matchups with a weekly article written by Mike Woellert who is also an expert at individual defensive players. Mike Tagliere of FantasyPros also does an excellent job in his weekly column The Primer, which breaks down every fantasy player. I used both for selecting WRs this week.
WR Antonio Brown (PIT, $8,900, 45%) was indeed on my radar this week and made into several constructed lineups. Brown should have a great week but did not make my final lineup because there appears to be value in great matchups and opportunity for the three WRs selected. Brown’s cost would have meant going down at RB or taking a flyer on a cheap WR.
WR Emanuel Sanders (DEN, $6,800, 13.8%) has consistently outperformed WR Demaryius Thomas for about a year. Sanders caught 10 of 11 targets for 135 yards and a TD against Seattle. He should remain heavily targeted. Sanders may be in for another big week and stacks with Keenum.
“Now he’ll match-up with soon-to-be 34-year-old Leon Hall in the slot, who has jumped from team-to-team recently,” according to Tagliere. “While he used to be a respectable cornerback, he’s now just a guy. Over the last four years, he’s allowed at least a 95.9 QB Rating when targeted in coverage.
WR Tyreek Hill (KC, $8,100, 8.6%) had a monster game against the Chargers. Hill caught seven of eight targets for 169 yards and two touchdowns while also scoring on a 91-yard punt return for a 38.8 score on FanDuel. The punt return component gives Hill a boost in value because he receives a few more opportunities a game to score.
Hill will face CB Mike Hilton. “Hilton allowed four of his six targets to be caught in Week 1 for an average of 15.8 yards per reception,” according to Tagliere. “Hill is going to burn Hilton for some long plays this week.”
WR Mike Williams (LAC, $5,400, 2.3%) looks poised to break out for a big game. Williams was drafted 7th overall in 2017, but back problems made him almost a non-factor last season. This offseason, ESPN’s Eric Williams, who is one of the best Chargers beat writers, reported several times that Mike Williams would be a red zone threat.
Williams being a red zone target was reiterated on the televised broadcast last week when he played a career-high 44 snaps and caught 5 of 6 targets for 81 yards. QB Philip Rivers appeared to look more towards Williams after WRs Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams missed on what seemed to be easy TDs.
Benjamin (foot) is on the injured list as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bills. This should provide Mike Williams more playing time. It would also not be a shocker if Mike Williams supplanted Tyrell Williams in the starting role.
Williams should have a favorable matchup in the snaps he receives.” This week is going to be a mixture of Tre’Davious White and Phillip Gaines, though Gaines would be the primary defender,” according to Tagliere. “He’s an outcast from the Chiefs, who were CB desperate, which says a lot. The QB Rating he’s allowed in coverage over the last two years? 105.8 and 104.1, then allowed 4/59/1 on six targets in Week 1 against the Ravens.”
WRs Keenan Allen (LAC, $8,000, 13.4%) and Mike Evans (TB, $7,900, 7.8%) look to be a solid play on the high end. WRs Nelson Agholor (PHI, $6.100, 10.2%) and Quincy Enunwa (NYJ, $5,000, 25.6%) are a great value in the mid to low range. You might hit gold with WR Rashard Higgins (CLE, $4,500, no projection for ownership) in a potentially high scoring game.
RB James Conner (PIT, $7,000, $27.8%) was the only RB who accounted for 100% of team RB touches in week 1. He racked up 31 attempts for 135 rushing yards and two TDs, plus six receptions for 57 yards for 31.7 FanDuel points. Conner offers elite RB touches and likely corresponding high production for a bargain price. He will face the Chiefs who allowed the Chargers RBs to rush for 123 yards on 22 carries for a whopping 5.6 yards per carry average. Chargers RBs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler also combined for 14 catches for 189 yards. The Steelers have the highest projected score of 29 points. A high scoring game with Conner getting all of the RB touches again could lead to astronomical production.
TE Jared Cook (OAK, $5,000, 16.1%) led all TEs in targets (12), receptions (nine) and yards (180) in week 1. That performance may end up being his best of the season, but Cook could still offer extreme value this week. However, with QB Derek Carr struggling, he will continue to receive a substantial amount of targets in the foreseeable future. Until Carr finds his grove, Cook should be a safe option. Cook may not hit 180 yards receiving again, but if he gets a TD he a can still have a massive game with a few fewer receptions and yards.
Cook faces the Denver Broncos who last week allowed four receptions for 117 yards (second worst) and a TD to the TE position. In 2017, the Broncos were also dismissal against TEs allowing a third most 943 receiving yards and fifth worst eight TDs.
The Cleveland Browns ($3,000, 0.1%) appear to be a poor choice at defense against the Saints. However, you have to make some tough decisions somewhere. We played the Browns against the Steelers with the logic that they are an above average defense that is not priced according. With help from the rain, the Browns defense scored 16 FanDuel points for the fourth best performance of any defense. They may not repeat that performance in a dome against New Orleans, but they are indeed capable of making value with a few turnovers and sacks.
Dan McLellan’s Sunday Million FanDuel Lineup: Feel free to use many of the same players, but please apply your own research, logic, and strategy and alter this in some way.
Dan McLellan’s Week 2 Lineup: Please use your own strategy to tweak a bit.
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Dan McLellan’s Rankings