FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 2 Monday Night (Vikings at Eagles)
The second game of Monday's NFL doubleheader should be a fun one for fantasy purposes. The Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles are combining for an appealing 50.5 total, and the Eagles are just 2.5-point home favorites.
For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.
Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy, and we have projections for the single-game slate if you select the game from the slate tab. It's worth checking out both of those things before you make your lineups.
According to numberFire's model, there are six players projected for double-digit FanDuel points, and it's this core group where we're most likely to find tonight's MVP.
As is the case on most single-game slates, the two quarterbacks lead the median projections. Quarterbacks tend to be popular MVPs, so keep that in mind, but Jalen Hurts ($16,500) is a clear candidate to score the slate's most FanDuel points after flashing his dual-threat upside in Week 1 with 17 rushes for 90 yards and a touchdown. Hurts is the only player projected for more than 20 FanDuel points.
Kirk Cousins ($15,000) is a solid bet to throw for a couple of scores, but his lack of rushing ability means that he'll probably need to toss at least three to be in the running for MVP. While that's certainly in his range of outcomes, given that he should see a fairly high MVP roster percentage, he's probably better suited for a flex spot if you're making just a handful of lineups.
On the other hand, Cousins' top target, Justin Jefferson ($16,000) should have an easier path toward leading the game in scoring. In Week 1, Jefferson led all players on both teams with 34.9 FanDuel points, soaking up a 35.5% target share and 70.3% air yards share and turning it into 9 receptions for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns. Considering last week's output, he'll probably see a higher MVP roster percentage than we might normally see for a wideout, but it's for good reason.
Cook scored a run-of-the-mill 12.3 FanDuel points last week, but he enjoyed elite usage, per usual, tallying 20 rushes and 5 targets while logging a 77.0% snap rate. Per numberFire's metrics, Philadelphia ranked 31st in adjusted rush defense in Week 1 after allowing the Lions to run all over them. While Cook isn't exactly going to fly under the radar, he could see a lower MVP roster percentage compared to teammates Cousins and Jefferson, making him a fantastic alternative.
Of these six players, Brown could be the best blend of upside and low MVP popularity. Similar to Jefferson, Brown dominated the targets last week, earning himself a 44.8% target share and 72.8% air yards share. I don't see him getting quite as much MVP attention as Hurts, Cousins, Jefferson, and Cook, but the path to a high ceiling is there if he continues to see elite usage.
Finally, we have Sanders, who is just a borderline MVP due to him splitting backfield snaps with Kenneth Gainwell ($8,000) and Boston Scott ($7,500). But if you want to be contrarian, Sanders led the backfield with a 50.0% snap rate and saw a respectable 13 rushes and 2 targets. Of this trio, he also ran the most routes by a wide margin (45.5%) and got the most red-zone rushes (30.0%).
A lot would need to go right for Sanders to outshine everyone on the board, but in a positive game script, there could be a path to a big night.
The aforementioned MVP candidates are naturally the top flex options to build around, and as alluded to, that's probably the preferred route in most lineup builds for Cousins and Sanders specifically.
Completely overshadowed by Jefferson, Thielen recorded just a 12.9% target share last week, but there's no question that he's still the other top option in this passing attack with a 95.1% snap rate and 100.0% route rate. Although Thielen's unlikely to possess huge weekly upside, he figures to still be a frequent target in the red zone after notching double-digit touchdowns in each of the past two seasons.
While Osborn has a shakier floor as the number-three wideout, he saw just as many targets as Thielen in Week 1, and he comes at a far more appealing salary. Osborn played on 67.2% of the snaps and was third on the team in route rate (81.8%). He'll probably need a touchdown to crack the optimal lineup, but that's a distinct possibility if this game turns into a shootout.
Smith is a risky play after logging a 29.5% snap rate in the first game, and that was reportedly due to the game plan. That makes his Week 2 usage difficult to predict, but coach Kevin O'Connell said Smith will have a "major role" this season, so the low salary could make him worth speculating on in case he sees a big bump.
Alexander Mattison ($8,000) deserves a mention, but he's a borderline play after seeing just a 23.0% snap rate and 8 carries last week. That did include a pair of red-zone carries, though, so vulturing a touchdown isn't out of the question.
Smith posted a goose egg on four targets (13.8% share) in Week 1, but he actually led all Philadelphia pass-catchers with a 95.8% snap rate and 97.0% route rate, so better days should be ahead. Goedert saw an identical target share as Smith and posted a promising 91.7% snap rate and 84.8% route rate.
Beyond those two, Eagles running back Gainwell is a fringe play, but he's the next-best back behind Sanders. He saw a 30.6% snap rate in Week 1 while getting 5 carries and 4 targets. He cashed in on one of two red-zone looks to secure a touchdown, which is pretty much all you're hoping for.
Philadelphia wide receiver Quez Watkins ($7,000) didn't see a single target last week, but a 72.7% route rate arguably gives him dart-throw status.
Both kickers and both defenses have salaries below $10,000, so they all have some point-per-dollar value tonight. That being said, with two potent offenses taking the field, we'll probably need some flukey plays for either defense to crack the optimal lineup.