DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 2
The daily fantasy football games offered on FanDuel and DraftKings have many similarities, but one distinct difference is that DraftKings uses full PPR scoring. Much like you would in season-long leagues, that means we must evaluate players slightly differently on each site. In this space, we'll help you on the DraftKings side of the equation.
Be sure to pay particular attention to inactives prior to Sunday's games. Similar to late scratches in the NBA, injuries can have a huge impact on playing time, and great values can open up for you at the last minute. At a position like running back, a low-priced backup can suddenly find his way into 15-20 carries in a feature role and crush his value.
Also, be sure to use numberFire's premium tools at your disposal! In particular, the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied team totals, and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's check out the top plays on this week's DraftKings main slate.
Tom Brady ($7,900): You could honestly argue for using any of the seven top-priced quarterbacks on DraftKings, although there is a clear-cut "big four" in Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Aaron Rodgers, all of whom are involved in the two games with over/unders exceeding 53 points. You should still consider paying down in cash game due to the generally low range of quarterback scores compared to other positions, but any one of these guys could go off and help you win a tournament. With the New England Patriots getting the highest implied total on the board (31.25), "Angry" Brady is particularly enticing in the Superdome against the New Orleans Saints, who just made Sam Bradford look like vintage Peyton Manning. Furthermore, since he's both coming off a poor performance and is the most expensive quarterback, he could ultimately have depressed ownership.
Philip Rivers ($5,800): One such option to pay down to is Phillip Rivers, who still managed a solid 18.68 DraftKings points on the road against the Denver Broncos, one of the hardest spots you could ask for as a passer. It gets a whole lot easier this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, where the Los Angeles Chargers are home favorites with a 24.50 implied total. In this same spot last year, Rivers threw for 326 yards, 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions (24.04 points). It isn't always pretty, but Rivers can get you where you want to go. Consider pairing him with Keenan Allen ($5,800), who was back to soaking up targets (10) in Week 1.
Jared Goff ($5,100): Several months ago, I don't think any of us thought we would be talking positively about Jared Goff come Week 2. Yet, he surprised even the most optimistic among us in a dream spot against the Indianapolis Colts, throwing for his first 300-yard passing game of his career. But can we expect a repeat performance? The Los Angeles Rams once again find themselves as home favorites against the Washington Redskins, and while the Redskins aren't the Colts, we saw Carson Wentz carve them up last week, and in 2016, they were 24th against the pass by numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP) metric. Given all the strong quarterbacks in good matchups, it might be tough to take the plunge in cash games, but once again the price and matchup all line up for Goff. We may learn a lot about his rest of season value by how he performs in this one.
Melvin Gordon ($7,000): It's all about volume at running back, and Melvin Gordon is pretty much always near the top of the list, netting 23 touches in Week 1. In 2016, the Miami Dolphins ranked just 29th against the rush by numberFire's metrics, so look for Gordon to get fed early and often. As a true bell cow back who's a home favorite in a good matchup, he checks all the boxes in Week 2.
Ty Montgomery ($5,800): Last week, Zach Ertz was a virtual lock in cash games because he was be far the best value at tight end. In Week 2, that value guy is Ty Montgomery, who probably deserves to be priced in the upper-tier of running backs after the Green Bay Packers gave him massive usage in their first game. Any workload concerns for Montgomery quickly went out the window against the Seattle Seahawks, as he had 23 touches and played 74-of-82 snaps (90%), and it might have been even higher if it weren't for a minor foot injury that forced him out for a few plays. The Packers are road underdogs, but this should be a close, high-scoring affair against the Atlanta Falcons in a matchup that boasts the second-highest over/under on the board (53.5). And as a former wide receiver, we know Montgomery has the catching chops should they fall behind.
Jacquizz Rodgers ($4,400): A lot of cheap running back possibilities emerged from Week 1, whether by injury or surprise usage, in guys like Kerwynn Williams, Tarik Cohen, and Javorius Allen. But the truth is they're all in timeshares, so there's still a lot of uncertainty in these backfields. That isn't the case for Jacquizz Rodgers who should operate as the feature back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while Doug Martin is suspended. In five starts last year, Rodgers had touch totals of 35, 27, 20, 17, and 18. As a home favorite with a 25.50-point implied total against a Chicago Bears defense that ranked dead last in 2016 against the run by our metrics, it's Rodgers who looks like the value back to own this week.
Julio Jones ($9,200): If you're paying up at wide receiver, Julio Jones is arguably the top choice, and you should even be able to squeeze him into cash game lineups. Including the postseason, the last three times the Packers and Falcons have played, they've combined to put up 80, 65, and 65 total points. You're going to want a piece of this fantasy goodness, and Jones should have a field day against a Packers secondary that ranked 23rd against the pass by numberFire's metrics last year, and just released 2016 starting cornerback Ladarius Gunter. Jones curiously only had 5 targets in Week 1 against the Bears, but coach Dan Quinn suggested that was a mistake and added, “Usually when there is a quiet game for him, there’s not too much quiet that follows that.”
Larry Fitzgerald ($6,500): We're going back to the well with Larry Fitzgerald, who may have had an underwhelming 74 yards on 6 catches in Week 1, but the targets were there (13) -- including in the red zone (3) -- and he was a few plays away from a big day. Well, this week the Arizona Cardinals get the the Colts, who just got whipped by Jeff Fisher survivor, Jared Goff, and should still be missing top-corner, Vontae Davis. For all their woes, the Colts did a reasonable job defending the run, so without all-world back David Johnson, the Cardinals could find themselves chucking it early and often with Fitzgerald as the focal point. Oh, and as Mr. Late Round QB pointed out, the dude can still run too. John Brown ($5,000) also got plenty of looks in Week 1 (9 targets), giving him some tournament appeal as well.
Chris Hogan ($5,600): We're all going to want to roster guys like Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Brandin Cooks, but the truth is it's going to be awfully hard to afford all the top Patriots weapons. You're going to want to find exposure to this game somehow, so stepping down to Chris Hogan might be the ticket. Danny Amendola is still not practicing due to a concussion, and if he doesn't play, that means the Patriots will be extremely thin at wide receiver come game time. Hogan would thereby man the slot, and we just saw what Adam Thielen was able to do in that role against the Saints (9 receptions, 157 yards). Hogan may have only had 5 targets in Week 1, but he led all Patriots wide receivers in snaps (73-of-81), and should be heavily involved this week. James White ($4,000) also deserves a quick mention as he too could be a beneficiary if Amendola is out. The New England backfield looks like a headache, but White led all Patriots running backs in Week 1 snaps, and could be needed to do more in the short passing game.
Coby Fleener ($3,100): Similar to Hogan, sometimes the best way to get exposure to a team you like is to go with the cheapest viable option. Like the Patriots, the Saints have all sorts of fantasy potential after we saw what looks like a very vulnerable Pats defense in Week 1. But Brees and Michael Thomas are expensive, so instead you can opt to target someone like Coby Fleener, who once again has the opportunity to soak up the vacated targets of the suspended Willie Snead. Fleener had a solid 2017 debut, catching 5-of-6 targets for 54 yards and a touchdown, and more opportunities could open up if Bill Belichick's game plan concentrates on stopping Thomas.
Charles Clay ($3,000): Often it's as simple as who is getting the most targets on an offense, and for the Buffalo Bills it's Charles Clay. With Sammy Watkins gone, and Jordan Matthews and Zay Jones still getting acclimated to the offense, Clay emerged from Week 1 with 9 targets, which was more than Matthews and Jones combined (7). The Bills have a modest 18-point implied total as a 7.0-point road underdog against the Carolina Panthers, but that means they're probably going to have to throw a lot to stay in it. Look for Clay to get peppered with plenty of targets once again.
Baltimore D/ST ($3,700): The Jacksonville D/ST, Los Angeles Rams D/ST and Baltimore D/ST all smashed in Week 1 -- so much so that if you didn't have one of them, chances are you didn't fare well. While the Jaguars and Rams have to actually face teams with credible quarterbacks this week (sorry, Scott Tolzien and Tom Savage), the Ravens get to host the Cleveland Browns. DeShone Kizer appears to have a bright NFL future, and put up a solid DFS performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers (in fact, he was a recommended Week 1 value play), but this is still a rookie quarterback making his first ever road NFL start. Mistakes will be made. The Browns have a mere 15.50 team total, and the Ravens should be in for another top-notch performance.
Tampa Bay D/ST ($3,200): Naturally, DraftKings has priced up most of the defenses facing poor offenses this week, and we like to avoid paying up at an unpredictable position like defense when possible. But one that hasn't gotten a price hike is Tampa Bay, which faces a Chicago team that's a 7.0-point underdog with one of the lowest implied totals on the board (18.50). Facing Mike Glennon and one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL, Tampa Bay has the talent to do some damage in their first 2017 appearance.