4 NFL FanDuel Studs to Target in Week 2
Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high-salaried players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.
We’ve got one week under our belts, so we can use some knowledge that we gained to our advantage when building Week 2 lineups.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
FanDuel Salary: $8,200
Projected Points: 21.3
With many of the top quarterbacks off the main slate this week, the position is not stacked with high-salaried options. It's rare that we don't have a plethora of star signal-callers to choose from. Luckily, we can turn to Lamar Jackson, as he stands out as the best quarterback play on this slate.
Jackson got off to a decent start to the season in Week 1. He threw for 213 yards and three touchdowns, good for 21.22 FanDuel points. His performance could have been even bigger if he had rushed more, as he ran for just 17 yards after averaging 63.9 yards on the ground per game last season. The Baltimore Ravens were completely in control against the New York Jets from start to finish, so that could have been a factor in why Lamar didn't have to scramble many times.
This week will be a tougher test against a Miami Dolphins defense that played very well in their season opener. However, that was against Mac Jones and the New England Patriots' offense, which is obviously much different than Baltimore's with Jackson. The Ravens still have a decent implied team total of 24.0 points, so they are expected to have some offensive success in this game.
The big question with Baltimore's offense going into the season was about the wide receivers after the Marquise Brown trade. Jackson had no problems connecting with Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman for touchdowns in Week 1. Mark Andrews still led the team with seven targets, as expected. These three weapons are enough for a quarterback like Lamar, who usually does plenty of damage with his legs.
Jackson tops our projections at quarterback by a decent margin and is projected for 1.4 points more than Kyler Murray, the only quarterback with a higher salary than him. Lamar certainly fits all types of lineups on this slate.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
Projected Points: 17.2
We knew that Jonathan Taylor and Christian McCaffrey would be elite fantasy options this season barring injury. The hierarchy for fantasy backs was somewhat up in the air after that. After his game in Week 1, Saquon Barkley is making the case that he should be right behind the top two running backs.
Barkley finally looked like the 2018 version of himself once again. In that season, he finished as the RB2 in half-PPR scoring. Explosive runs and volume in the passing game were the keys to that big year, and he showed the same things this previous Sunday. He had runs of 68 and 33 yards en route to a total of 164 yards on the ground on just 18 carries. In 2018, he had 7.5 targets per game. In Week 1, he had seven.
The New York Giants were in a bit of disarray on offense besides Saquon, so we can expect them to keep riding him. He had the most adjusted opportunities (carries + 2x targets) he's seen in a game since 2019. He'll be in a good spot for this to continue in Week 2.
The Giants will face the Carolina Panthers at home on Sunday. The Panthers got gashed for more than 200 yards on the ground against the Cleveland Browns and were the fifth-worst in run defense of the week, according to numberFire's metrics. Kareem Hunt also added a touchdown on a reception, so Barkley can definitely hurt the Panthers in this matchup.
New York is a slim 1.5-point favorite in this game, and Barkley should see the ball plenty in any game script. His 17.2-point projection is behind only Taylor and McCaffrey on this slate. He has the upside to once again be the highest-scoring back on the slate.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
FanDuel Salary: $9,700
Projected Points: 18.8
A lot of things changed in the offseason, especially at the wide receiver position. One thing that remained the same was the dominance of Cooper Kupp. He absolutely went off in Week 1, reminding people of just how good he was last season. He'll get another chance to do it this week.
Kupp saw 15 targets on 41 pass attempts last time out -- good for a 36.5% share. With the ineffectiveness of the other players on offense, you would have thought the defense would have been able to key in on Kupp, but that wasn't the case. He hauled in 13 of those targets for 128 yards and a touchdown.
Kupp did this against a Buffalo Bills defense that is pretty stingy overall. This week, the Los Angeles Rams will face the Atlanta Falcons in a home matchup. The Falcons allowed the third-most fantasy points to receivers in Week 1, keeping up a trend from last year, when they conceded the sixth-most per game. Atlanta also likely won't be able to get as much pressure on Matthew Stafford as the Bills did, which should give Stafford enough time to find Kupp early and often.
The Rams have the highest implied team total on this slate (29.0). In Week 1, we saw the offense go through Kupp, even more so than last season. If the Rams are to hit or exceed their team total of 29 points, there's very little chance that Kupp disappoints in lineups. He is a priority at wide receiver this week.
Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
FanDuel Salary: $6,800
Projected Points: 10.4
Once again, the reliable options at the tight end position are few and far between. The optimal strategy might be to use less salary at tight end this week, but that likely will be a popular strategy. If we want to get different and flip the most common lineup build, we can look to roster Darren Waller this week.
Waller was a solid number-two option for the Las Vegas Raiders in his first game with Davante Adams as his teammate. He saw six targets, which trailed only Adams' 17. It's unlikely that Adams can sustain a target share close to 46%, so more targets should go to Waller (and others) in the future.
The Raiders will take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2. This game has the highest total on the main slate by three points, meaning you'll want pieces of it in your lineups. Arizona got torched by Travis Kelce to the tune of 121 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, and Waller could do something similar if the Cards devote too much attention to Adams.
If you are stacking this game, it makes sense to play Waller for a few reasons. It helps knock out the tight end position, a spot that can be tough to fill. Instead of making a random bet on a player in another game, you get a player in potentially the best game environment on the slate. Waller will likely be behind Adams in terms of popularity on the Raiders, and he can be part of Vegas stacks or can be used as a bring-back option if you are stacking Arizona.
Waller is the second-highest projected tight end on this slate, and he has enough upside to justify the $6,800 salary.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.