It’s Thursday, and you know what that means! It’s time, once again, to come aboard the DFS train for NFL week 2. The first week was a raging success for FTA, highlighted by our own KJ taking down a Yahoo GPP for $10,000. I didn’t make that much, but it was still a lot more money than I started out with, so let’s make this an every week occurrence! You can follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Drew Brees, NO ($8800)
Brees is the top ranked QB this week, but he’s really not necessary for cash with other cheaper options on the slate. You are going to want Saints exposure, though, as they hold by far the highest implied total on the slate at a nice robust 30 points. Cleveland ranked 26th in DVOA pass defense last season and they could have a world of problems inside the dome in New Orleans. With Mark Ingram suspended, the Saints’ offensive focus projects as incredibly pass-heavy, and Brees is still amazing.
Other options – Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Cam Newton
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT ($7600)
You can save $1200 for your cash game QB and still get the same upside with Big Ben. The Chiefs ranked 23rd in pass defense DVOA last season and project to be even worse this year (Eric Berry’s absence will not help matters, either). The Steelers face a similar offensive schematic as mentioned with the Saints since LeVeon Bell is not a factor and there will be more onus on the pass (especially in the red zone), and Roethlisberger is notoriously better at home than he is on the road. He’s a fantastic cash play this week.
Other options – Patrick Mahomes, DeShaun Watson, Jimmy Garroppolo, Alex Smith, Matt Ryan
Tyrod Taylor, CLE ($6600)
Tyrod is an incredible GPP play, but should be nowhere near cash. The Saints just make Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Tom Brady, so we know they can be had even though they don’t project that way long term. At the very least, Taylor should have to throw a ton as the 10-point underdog Browns are likely to be playing from behind for most of this game. The risk here is that Tyrod was bad in week one, so Baker Mayfield time could happen at any moment.
Other options – Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, DeShaun Watson, Ryan Tannehill
Alvin Kamara, NO ($9000)
Kamara came through as my cover boy last week with 38.6 FD points, and there is absolutely no reason he won’t continue the onslaught again this week. I was down on Kamara being drafted as highly as he was in the first round this year due to the fact that I think his historic efficiency is unsustainable, but it was on full display in week one (8.3 YPT). His price has risen aggressively around the industry, but Mark Ingram is still suspended, Mike Gillislee stinks, and Cleveland ranked 30th in DVOA pass defense against the RB position last year. Kamara is once again worth every penny in all formats.
Other options – Todd Gurley, David Johnson, Melvin Gordon
Christian McCaffrey, CAR ($7400)
McCaffrey is generally better suited on full PPR sites like DraftKings, but he’s cheap enough that he can be used on FD as well. McCaffrey will face a Falcons squad that ranked 21st in DVOA pass defense last year and allowed the most receptions to RBs. More importantly, the losses of Deion Jones and Keanu Neal will impact Atlanta’s over defensive ability tremendously, and Carolina SHOULD outscore their implied team total of 20 points.
Other options – Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette
James Conner, PIT ($7000)
Conner is once again a building block for cash games, whether you use Roethlisberger or not. His price has not risen nearly enough, and LeVeon Bell isn’t even listed on the depth chart for this one. Conner played 92% of the snaps in week one and handed every single one of the touches in the RB position. The Chiefs got absolutely smoked by the Chargers’ RBs last week, allowing 123 yards on the ground and 189 more yards in the air out of the backfield. Conner is a viable GPP fade with no real body of NFL work, but he’s a cash must.
Other options – LeSean McCoy, Dalvin Cook, Dion Lewis, Bilal Powell, Rex Burkhead, James White
Antonio Brown, PIT ($8900)
Brown and Michael Thomas are easily 1 and 1A this week and you can’t go wrong with either one. It’s my job to pick one though, and if you’re holding a gun to my head I have to go Brown. Even in terrible weather, Brown was peppered with 16 targets last week and caught nine of them for 93 yards. This week he has no weather issues and will face the Chiefs who ranked 23rd in DVOA pass defense and 30th in overall DVOA. With no LeVeon Bell, an even greater market share can be expected for Brown, and that should translate to the red zone as well.
Other options – Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill
Adam Thielen, MIN ($7600)
There was a lot of talk earlier in the preseason that Thielen was going to lag behind Stefon Diggs due to the immediate rapport that seemed to exist between Diggs and Kirk Cousins. However, Thielen was great in week one, garnering 12 of the team’s 36 targets and over 60% of the air yards for the week as well. Thielen will take on a Green Bay team that ranked in the bottom third of the league in both DVOA pass defense and FPPG allowed to the WR position.
Other options – Stefon Diggs, Juju Smith-Schuster, Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, TY Hilton, Golden Tate
Kenny Golladay, DET ($5700)
Golladay’s time has arrived. Technically not the starter, Golladay received 12 targets in week one and turned them into seven catches for 114 yards (only Golden Tate was targeted more). Golladay has come into the league with incredible hype due to being a combined darling, and he scored in the 92nd percentile on the SPARQ test. He’s not nearly priced correctly on FD, and makes spending up on studs pretty easy.
Other options – Jarvis Landry, Corey Davis, Chris Godwin, Nelson Agholor, Marquis Goodwin, Pierre Garcon, Quincy Enunwa
Zack Ertz, PHI ($6500)
This is one of the few weeks where Gronk isn’t my highest projected TE, but as a Giants fan I saw firsthand how mighty that Jacksonville defense is, and it’s reflected in New England’s implied team total of 23 points (very low for what the Patriots usually average). Ertz is a nice high floor play as he is continually the most targeted option on the Eagles whether Wentz or Foles is under center, and Tampa Bay’s sorry pass defense will only get worse with their injured secondary.
Other options – Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Jordan Reed
George Kittle, SF ($5600)
I love Kittle as a cash game play this week, and I don’t think the industry realizes just how valuable an asset he is right now. Kittle played 80% of his team’s snaps in week one (excellent for a TE) and led the team in targets with nine. His average depth of target was 13.1 yards which was second only to…Gronk. The Niners are playing the Lions, who ranked dead last in FPPG allowed to the TE position. He’s a lock to me.
Other options – Jimmy Graham, Jack Doyle, David Njoku, Jared Cook, Jonnu Smith
TOP FIVE DEFENSES FOR CASH
- Los Angeles Rams ($4800)
- Los Angeles Chargers ($4400)
- New Orleans Saints ($4000)
- Washington Redskins ($3700)
- Tennessee Titans ($4000)
NOTE – If Aaron Rodgers is unable to play this week, the Minnesota Vikings ($4400) vault to the top of this list and I would lock them into cash.