4 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 2
When playing daily fantasy football, we should be matchup sensitive when rostering players. One star player can go from a great play to a horrible one based on his opponents and the specific individual matchup might play a huge role in that. Since we can play any player we want on a given slate, it makes sense to pick players in the best matchups. This will raise both their floor and their ceiling and should lead to us having some winning lineups.
Week 1's best matchups mostly came through for us, so let's find four more exploitable matchups for this week. We'll have more information on how teams might perform this season and can potentially spot what spots we will want to target for much of this season.
Raiders' Passing Attack vs. the Arizona Cardinals' Secondary
The new-look Las Vegas Raiders got off to a losing start in Week 1. It was nice to see them in action, though, as we got some questions answered that we were wondering about all offseason. This week, we get to see them in a much easier matchup.
The Raiders are hosting the Arizona Cardinals in a game with an implied team total of 28.5 points. That's the highest on the Week 2 main slate. Arizona just got torched by Patrick Mahomes last week, allowing .077 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back -- by far the most of any D in Week 1.
Arizona's secondary is specifically what Las Vegas can attack. Corner Byron Murphy was rated 80th by PFF last season (out of 116 qualifiers). Marco Wilson was even worse, ranking 109th. The Cardinals got away with this by having a suitable pass rush, but now Chandler Jones will be playing against them this week.
This works great for Davante Adams ($8,800), who saw a whopping 17 targets in the opener. Adams and Derek Carr ($7,300) make for a great stack, as Carr is our second-highest projected quarterback this week. Darren Waller ($6,800) also gets a good individual matchup against Jalen Thompson, who was roasted by Travis Kelce last week.
This is definitely a game to get a piece of, and it certainly makes sense to stack the Raiders in the passing game.
Browns' Running Game vs. the Jets' Run D
The Cleveland Browns have established an identity over the past few seasons as a run-heavy team. They did nothing to change that perception in Week 1, as they ran 39 times and were the sixth-most efficient rushing offense, according to numberFire's metrics. They have a perfect opportunity to keep doing that this week.
Cleveland will face the New York Jets as a 6.5-point home favorite. This sets up a run-heavy game script, which is likely what the Browns will want to continue using with Jacoby Brissett under center. Cleveland should have some success with this game plan.
The Jets weren't bad versus the run in Week 1, but last season, they ranked 25th in run D. They have to go up against Cleveland's awesome run-blocking offensive line, which was the top unit in adjusted line yards last season.
Unlike most teams, the Browns actually have two viable options at running back for DFS. Nick Chubb ($8,500) saw 22 carries in Week 1 and went for 141 yards. He caught only one pass and didn't find the end zone, which prevented him from having a huge day. Chubb is one of the best at breaking off long runs, and if he hits on one this week, he could break the slate.
Kareem Hunt ($7,000) was the back who found the end zone in Week 1, and he did so twice. Despite being the number-two back, he had 11 carries and four targets, so his workload is solid. Hunt is best reserved for large-field tournaments, as he has enough upside to be appealing but also carries a low floor.
Jonathan Taylor vs. the Jaguars' Run Defense
We liked Jonathan Taylor ($10,000) last week, and it certainly worked out for those who rostered him. It was a dream matchup, and one the easiest he will see all season. This week's matchup is also one of the better ones he will get this year.
Taylor rushed the ball 31 times and saw seven targets in the Indianapolis Colts tie with the Houston Texans last week. This was a game that the Colts trailed 20-3 at one point, so it's nice to see that Taylor won't see a reduced role in a negative game script. If all goes according to plan this week, the Colts won't be in the same game script in Week 2.
The Colts will travel to play the Jacksonville Jaguars. They are just 3.5-point favorites in this game but definitely have an edge in the run game. Taylor averaged 5.36 yards per carry last year over two contests against Jacksonville and saw 12 total targets.
Indy will definitely have an advantage in the trenches. Their offensive line ranked seventh in adjusted line yards last season, and they will face a Jaguars team that was 23rd in adjusted line yards against. The Jaguars allowed 10 receptions to Washington Commanders' backs in Week 1, and if this is a trend, it would be a great boost to Taylor's outlook this week.
Taylor starts off the season with two division games where he can rack up fantasy points, and he is certainly an exciting option to roster this week.
Ravens' D-Line vs. the Dolphins' O-Line
The Baltimore Ravens weren't themselves last season. They have been known for having a stellar defense and running game. Both of these things were greatly impacted by injuries, but it looks like the defense could be back this season.
Baltimore's D was impressive in the first game of the season. They had three sacks, six quarterback knockdowns and six hurries in Week 1 against the Jets. Justin Houston got one sack and two knockdowns himself, so the once-elite pass rusher showed he still has some juice left in the tank.
The Miami Dolphins had a weakness on the offensive line last year. It didn't seem to improve much in Week 1, as they allowed pressure on 41.7% of drop backs. Now, they will be without right tackle Austin Jackson. They will replace him with backup Greg Little, who will have to try to slow down Houston in pass protection.
The Baltimore D/ST ($4,500) is a sneaky option for tournaments this week. With other D/STs standing out as more obvious plays, the Ravens won't be popular. With the randomness in defensive scoring for fantasy, getting off the popular plays always makes sense -- especially if you can roster one that is very likely to generate pressure on the quarterback, which can lead to sacks and turnovers.
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.