I have a confession to make to all of my readers, and it is something
that quite frankly, I am a bit embarrassed to admit considering
the fact of just how poorly this player has played over the first
two weeks of the NFL season. I am not usually a proponent of late-round
quarterback, and I tend to be an owner who likes to secure one of
the top quarterbacks in the draft, even if it means giving up a
late second or early third round pick.
My plan on taking Rodgers or Brady relatively early in my draft
was foiled by two owners selecting those players even higher than
I anticipated, leaving me no other option but to go with a late
round QB strategy and target a few interchangeable QBís
in the later rounds to plug and play throughout the year.
Now here comes the confession: Andy Dalton was one of my targets
based on the fact that he has loads of skill position talent surrounding
him, including a healthy A.J. Green who was the most dominant
wide receiver in terms of points per game before going down with
a leg injury in 2016. What I didnít anticipate, is the fact
that Dalton would regress to a historically bad level, leading
his team to eight quarters of touchdown-less football over the
first two games of the year.
Perhaps the loss of his two starting tackles has taken away Daltonís
confidence, and he is jumpy in the pocket. Perhaps Dalton isnít
that good, and the few times he has finished as a No.1 quarterback
were really mirages. Regardless of the reason(s) for the early
struggles of the Red Rifle, I was fortuitous in that someone else
took Dalton ahead of me, and I was able to land Jameis Winston
and Philip Rivers.
I didnít share this admission to point out that I was lucky
for the path not taken in my draft, but rather, to highlight once
again one aspect of DFS that trumps season-long fantasy football.
In DFS, if you make a mistake on starting a player like Dalton,
you can wipe the slate clean and start fresh next week. Whereas
in my season-long league, the Dalton owner is now forced to look
for a replacement player in a deep league with few options on
the waiver wire.
Here are a few DFS plays that I am targeting in Week 2 of the
NFL season. Hopefully, none of these players will go the route
of Andy Dalton and drop a goose egg on my DraftKings lineup.
A matchup against the Saints with an over/under
in the 50s makes Brady a strong DFS consideration.
H2H/Cash - Tom
Brady vs. New Orleans ($7,900 on DraftKings)
It may sound crazy to recommend playing the most expensive quarterback
after Brady failed to throw a touchdown in the opening night debacle
against the Chiefs. But there are more than a few factors in play
that make me believe that Brady is destined for a huge game this
week, making him an excellent play in all formats and worthy of
the high cost.
First, the Saints defense looked terrible despite getting ďrevampedĒ
over the offseason, with Sam Bradford posting arguably the best
game of his career against the unit on MNF. With ten days to prepare,
Brady and the Patriots passing offense should have little issue
moving the ball against the Saints in what could be a track meet
in what could be a high-scoring game.
That brings me to my second point, as both teams have potent
offenses and struggling defenses, and both teams will look avoid
starting the season 0-2. Brady is a lock for 276 yards and three
scores this weekend, and stacking him with Gronk could be an unstoppable
(albeit expensive) duo Week 2.
Rivers is an attractive, inexpensive GPP play this week at home
against a Miami secondary that struggled against the pass this
preseason. With a healthy Keenan Allen and a talented collection
of skill position players, Rivers managed to put up three touchdowns
on the road against the vaunted Denver Bronco secondary on Monday
Night Football. If he was able to do that against a much better
defense, I anticipate that Rivers could have a big day against
the Phins on Sunday. The only concern for Rivers is a monster
day on the ground from Melvin Gordon, who could limit the number
of passing touchdowns from the offense.
I may regret this pick as Big Ben has been so much better at
home than on the road over the past four seasons, averaging just
over 10 more fantasy points in front of the home crowd at Heinz
But it doesnít make sense to invest 1200 more on a player
like Roethlisberger over Rivers when the Steelers offense looked
out of sync last week, and the Vikings defense is healthy and
shut down New Orleans. I could be dead wrong on this one, but
there are just too many other good options for the same amount
of money or less than to go with Ben this week.
The Sheldon Richardson-less Jets looked anemic against the Bills
last week, allowing nearly 200 yards rushing to Shady McCoy and
Mike Tolbert (not a typo on Tolbert). In his first game back on
the field since coming out of retirement, Beastmode looked quite
beastly against the Titans and will run wild against the hapless
I donít expect him to get more than 20 carries in this
game, but I do expect him to be efficient with those touches,
and I anticipate him scoring a rushing touchdown in front of the
home crowd. I donít like buying into narratives, but I am
buying into the homecoming narrative for the Oakland native, with
Lynch having a big game on Sunday.
This pick is based on the fact that I anticipate a negative game
script for the Saints, forcing Brees to pass the ball more than
they would like, giving Kamara a chance to catch at between five
and eight passes out of the backfield. It is also based on the
fact that he is an inexpensive player with a high ceiling and
a low floor, who could have a big game in what appears to be a
shootout (The highest over/under this week at 56 combined points).
Murray looked mediocre in what should have been a choice matchup
at home against the Raiders and could struggle on the road against
a Jacksonville defense that laid the wood against Houston last
H2H/Cash - Doug
Baldwin vs. San Francisco ($6,700 on DraftKings)
Baldwin posted 10 catches for 167 yards and a touchdown at home
against the 49ers Week 3 last season. All but one of his big games
last year came at home, and nearly 70% of his 1128 yards from
2016 came at Century Link field. This is a bounce-back game for
Baldwin and QB Russell Wilson, assuming the team can somewhat
address their offensive line woes.
Nelson is my inexpensive play in large tournaments this week
with the Cardinals taking on an Indy defense that made Jared Goff
look like a competent quarterback. Nelson caught five of his six
targets for 43 yards and a score last week against the Lions and
could put up similar numbers against the Colts. The loss of David
Johnson will obviously hurt the Cardinal running game, forcing
Palmer to move the ball more through the air. Look for a low ownership
rate on Nelson, but a high ceiling perfect for GPPs.
I imagine that some owners might get cute and start Dez as a
contrarian play against the Denver secondary, but it is not something
that I will do this week. The Cowboys will run, and run, and run
over the Broncos, while Dez will be blanketed by Talib and Harris.
Paying up for tight end goes against the constitution of many
DFS players, but in the case of Gronk against the Saints, he is
worth it because he will be the nuts Week 2. He should be the
foundation of all cash game lineups, as his floor against New
Orleans is higher than any other tight end and he could have a
Gronkonian monster game in this high-scoring matchup.
Next to Gronk, Bennett might have the highest ceiling of any
tight end play this week, and he is an excellent value at $3,900
on DK. Vegas sharps anticipate the second-highest point total
of the week next to the Patriots/Saints game, and Bennett is a
great way to get double-digit touchdown upside and a share of
Henry was one of my favorite plays entering the season based
on his incredible efficiency last year. But if Week 1 is any indication
of his usage (zero catches), efficiency means nothing if the player
gets no targets. He is a fade until further notice.