2016 NFL DFS: Week 2 DraftKings and FanDuel Breakdown
Below you’ll find discussions of the players that are “in play” at each position for Week 2 DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel. Players are arbitrarily listed in descending order of FanDuel salary and are not ranked in order of preference given differences between the sites and the varying types of contests you might be playing.
Cam Newton — vs. SF — DK: $7,900 — FD: $9,000
What’s not to like here? If you’ll recall from last week’s post, research done this offseason by 4for4.com’s Chris Raybon shows that home favorites with an implied team total in Vegas of 24 points or more are the best bet at this position. Cam and the Panthers are a massive favorite at home against San Francisco and have the highest implied total of the weekend at 29.25. Cam is an excellent cash play on both sites, but he might be a bit heavily owned for GPPs. But his price on FD might push enough people off to use him in a GPP there.
Eli Manning — vs. NO — DK: $7,600 — FD: $8,100
If you’re not playing Cam in cash, you’re probably playing Eli. The Giants are a home favorite against the Saints and have an implied total of 28.75. The Saints allowed the second most passing yards last year (second only to the Giants), and they allowed the most touchdown passes by a mile. In Week 1 they gave up the most passing yards in the league (419). And that was all when they had one good corner, Delvin Breaux. Breaux broke his leg last week, so starting QBs and WRS against New Orleans is going to continue to be a regular thing. Avoid Eli in GPPs as he’ll likely be the most popular QB of the day.
Carson Palmer — vs. TB — DK: $6,900 — FD: $8,200
The Cards are another home favorite, and they have an implied total of 28.25. With Cam and Eli sucking up a lot of ownership at the position, Palmer should be owned lightly enough for GPP use. As was the case last week, his price is much better on DK than it is on FD, which is also true for his #1 receiver, Larry Fitzgerald. That pair makes for a good GPP stack on DK.
Philip Rivers — vs. JAC — DK: $6,400 — FD: $7,700
Broken record here, but the Chargers are a home favorite with an implied total of 25. Rivers should be fairly lightly owned, making him a cheaper GPP option if that’s what you’re after. Sure, Keenan Allen is out, and there’s no question Rivers was not as productive without Allen last season. But all of Rivers’ second-half downturn shouldn’t be pinned on the absence of Allen.
In the second half Rivers had to face the Chiefs and Broncos twice each. Those teams both ranked top five in fewest fantasy points allowed to QBs last season. In his four second half games not against the Chiefs or Broncos, Rivers averaged 19.5 fantasy points per game. For context, only three QBs averaged more than 19.5 fantasy points per game last season. And to add to the positives, one of Rivers’ four second half games was a 28 fantasy point performance against the same Jags he’ll face this week.
Trevor Siemian — vs. IND — DK: $5,200 — FD: $6,400
Denver is another home favorite and has an implied total of 25.5. Everyone and their dog is going to be on C.J. Anderson here, so Siemian is a zag to everyone else’s zig. If you want to go cheap at QB and load up on stud WRs in a GPP, Siemian is the way to do it.
Behind the paywall you’ll find the rest of our Week 2 NFL DFS breakdown.
C.J. Anderson — vs. IND — DK: $5,200 — FD: $6,400
As mentioned, everyone and their dog is going to be on Anderson this week but with good reason. Running back is mainly about volume, and Anderson ranked fifth in touches in Week 1 with 25. Home favorites also score more fantasy points on average at this position than they do in any other split, and the Broncos are a six-point favorite at home. Anderson is obviously a great cash play, but he should be the most popular back of the weekend. That said, you can get away with one chalk play at RB if you get a little contrarian in the other slot.
Lamar Miller — vs. KC — DK: $7,200 — FD: $7,700
Again, we’re after volume here, and Miller was tied with DeAngelo Williams for the most touches in Week 1 with 32. Don’t expect 30+ again, but he should approach 25 touches. Anderson and Williams figure to be a bit more popular than Miller, so if you want to avoid the chalkiest plays at the position, Miller is a good alternative. His price tag on FD is quite a bit more attractive, but he’s not priced out of use on DK or anything.
DeAngelo Williams — vs. CIN — DK: $7,100 — FD: $7,600
All the things said about Anderson and Miller apply here. Lots of volume to be expected, home favorite, should be a popular play. All three are very similar plays and very similarly priced. Pick your poison. In both cash games and GPPs, one of these guys should be in your lineups but not two. Go cheaper in your second slot.
T.J. Yeldon — @ SD — DK: $4,700 — FD: $6,500
Yeldon was tied for third in touches in Week 1 with Chris Ivory out. Ivory is out again this week, so Yeldon should see a heavy workload once more. Perhaps due to some uncertainty earlier in the week about whether Ivory would return this week, Yeldon’s prices haven’t jumped too significantly this week as opposed to someone like Spencer Ware who was also an under-priced workhorse in Week 1. Using projected touches from ProFootballFocus, Yeldon is one of the best values of the week in terms of dollars per touch.
LeGarrette Blount— vs. MIA — DK: $4,000 — FD: $6,000
Blount joins Yeldon as one of the best values of the week in terms of dollars per touch. Yeldon might give you a little more bang for your buck on FD, but Blount is arguably the best value of the week on DK. Blount received 22 of the 24 carries handed out to New England backs last week, and the Pats are about a touchdown favorite at home this week.
Latavius Murray — vs. ATL — DK: $5,700 — FD: $7,100
How about Murray as a GPP play? Because Jalen Richard got some run last week and because the Oakland passing game is a fairly popular play this week, Murray is likely to be largely overlooked. But Oakland is a home favorite which, again, is a plus for backs, and Oakland has the fourth highest implied total of the weekend. That’s a nice set of circumstances for a back few are likely to own.
Odell Beckham — vs. NO — DK: $9,500 — FD: $9,400
We already covered how bad New Orleans’ pass defense is. And don’t pay any mind to Beckham’s mediocre game against Dallas last week. In his 13 games not against the Cowboys last year he averaged 100 yards and a score. He should be a lock in your cash games whether you start Eli or not, and he should be very seriously considered as your chalk WR play in GPPs.
Julio Jones — @ OAK — DK: $9,200 — FD: $9,300
Julio received the same amount of targets as new teammate Mohamed Sanu last week (8) and was actually outperformed by Sanu. But Sanu has been somewhat limited in practice this week with an ankle injury, which is an injury noticeably detrimental to receivers. Jones should go back to being the most productive receiver on the team this week in a matchup with the Raiders who do not provide any potential tough individual matchups for Julio. The chalkiest plays of the week figure to be Beckham, Antonio Brown, and A.J. Green, so Jones is an option in both cash and GPPs.
A.J. Green — @ PIT — DK: $8,900 — FD: $8,900
Green proved his matchup-proof-ness last week with 12 catches on 13 targets and 180 yards against Darrelle Revis. Pittsburgh doesn’t provide any stay-away individual matchups even if we were worried about that with Green. Green is going to be heavily owned so you can either use him with another stud receiver in cash if you have the funds, or you can use him as your chalk play in GPPs instead of Beckham.
Alshon Jeffery — vs. PHI — DK: N/A — FD: $8,900
Kevin White got one more target than Alshon last week, but Alshon was much more effective with 105 yards on four catches. Alshon should see a lot of rookie Jalen Mills on Monday night, so he’s definitely a home run option on FD. His ownership will be higher than average, but he won’t be a chalk play.
Larry Fitzgerald — vs. TB — DK: $6,400— FD: $7,400
Again, Palmer is a nice GPP option, especially on DK, and he and Fitz would make for an excellent stack. Fitz spends a lot of time in the slot and thus should see a healthy amount of rookie Vernon Hargreaves who struggled in Week 1.
Julian Edelman — vs. MIA — DK: $6,200 — FD: $7,100
If Rob Gronkowksi suits up for this one, Edleman would lose some appeal. But if Gronk sits again, Edelman will be a very reliable source of targets at a reasonable price. He’s especially priced well on DK where the full-PPR scoring helps and where they price stud receivers aggressively but not necessarily mid-tier guys. Miami will not provide a tough individual matchup for Edelman, so give him a long look if Gronk is out again.
Jordan Matthews — @ CHI — DK: N/A — FD: $6,900
Matthews was the second most targeted receiver in Week 1 with 14 targets. PFF has him projected to be the 13th most targeted receiver this week, and he’s only the 22nd most expensive receiver, so that’s good value per expected target. Philly gets him in the slot a lot, so they’ll move him around to find him favorable matchups.
Jarvis Landry — @ NE — DK: $6,400 — FD: $6,500
Landry was targeted 10 times in Week 1 and was sixth in targets last season. All those looks should turn into more production than the 59 yards he racked up in a tough matchup with Seattle last week. This week he gets the Pats who allowed 81 yards and two scores to the aforementioned Fitzgerald who, like Landry, works primarily out of the slot.
Travis Benjamin — vs. JAC — DK: $4,400 — FD: $6,100
With Allen out, there are quite a few options to stack with Rivers if you go that route in a GPP. On DK I’m inclined to use Benjamin who is priced very well there. Benjamin saw eight targets last week and is projected for 7.9 this week by PFF. According to those projections, Benjamin is easily one of the best values in terms of dollars per target this week.
Jeremy Kerley — @ CAR — DK: $3,000 — FD: $4,700
About the only guy who is a better value in terms of dollars per target is Kerley thanks to the Niners playing on Monday night last week. Kerley joined the team the Tuesday prior to that Monday night game and was thus very cheap in Week 1. And because Week 2 salaries come out before Monday games conclude, Kerley remains cheap in Week 2, especially on DK. Being that he got 11 targets in Week 1, he’s a viable punt play despite the tough matchup.
Greg Olsen — vs. SF — DK: $5,600 — FD: $7,600
If you were to end up going with Cam in a GPP, Olsen might be the best stack option. Kelvin Benjmain was the most heavily targeted receiver for Caroina last week with 12, but Olsen saw a healthy nine targets. Tight ends playing for home favorites with an implied total of 24 or more are ideal, and Olsen certainly meets that criteria this week. And don’t worry about being contrarian with Olsen or any other TE. Yes, some tight ends are more popular than others, but, other than Gronk, tight ends don’t often get too far into the double digits in ownership percentage.
Antonio Gates — vs. JAC — DK: $4,500 — FD: $5,900
If you’re going with Rivers in a GPP on FD, Gates may be the best stack option there. Benjamin isn’t priced as well there, but Gates is priced well on FD relative to other options at the position. Gates is also a cash game option on either site with San Diego being a home favorite with an implied total of 25.
Coby Fleener — @ NYG — DK: $3,900 — FD: $5,600
Fleener is a bit of a dubious option given that he was only targeted four times last week with four other Saints being targeted six or more times. But the matchup with the Giants is intriguing given that they allowed the second most fantasy points to tight ends last season and gave up nine receptions on 14 targets to Jason Witten last week. Again, being contrarian at TE isn’t really important, but Fleener doesn’t figure to be a popular option after his dud last week. He’s a contrarian way to get exposure to a game with the highest over/under of the weekend.
Eric Ebron — vs. TEN — DK: $3,500 — FD: $5,500
Jesse James — vs. CIN — DK: $3,400 — FD: $4,500
Given that tight end is a more volatile position than others due to fewer targets and some touchdown dependency for fantasy points, it’s not a bad idea to find the cheapest option you can at the position. A high-priced tight end is more likely to let you down than expensive options at any other position.
Ebron is the best cheap option on DK and James the best cheap option on FD. Both guys play for teams that are home favorites with an implied total over 24 this week. Ebron was targeted five times and scored in Week 1 while James was targeted seven times in Week 1.
All you’re looking for in a kicker is a kicker that plays for a favorite who has an implied total of 24 or more. Preferably the team would be a home favorite, but road favorites are acceptable as well. The cheapest kicker who meets this criteria this week is San Diego’s Josh Lambo for the minimum kicker price on FD. If you have an extra hundred bucks left over after the rest of your roster is filled out, you can upgrade to Detroit’s (-5.5, 26.25 implied total) Matt Prater. And if you have an extra $300-$400 left over for some reason, you could upgrade to Carolina’s (-13, 29.25 implied total) Graham Gano. Gano figures to be the most popular kicker of the week, so avoid him in GPPs. Lambo could also be semi-popular, so if you want to be as contrarian as possible in GPPs but still spend the minimum, go with Dustin Hopkins.
The key with defenses is finding defenses that will face a lot of passing plays. Interceptions and sacks occur exclusively on passing plays, and fumbles actually occur more on passing plays than rushing plays. Defensive touchdowns are difficult to predict, but they’re also more likely to occur on passing plays with 53 pick sixes last year compared to only 33 scoop ‘n scores.
One of the best ways to identify defenses that will face a lot of passing plays is identifying Vegas favorites, preferably home favorites. And obviously the lower the opponent’s implied point total, the better the matchup for the defense. In that respect, Carolina is in the best spot as a 13-point favorite against the Niners who have the lowest implied total at 16.25. They’re chalky for GPPs, but they’re obviously a nice cash play and would make for a nice K-DST stack with Gano in cash.
The other big home favorite facing an opponent with a low implied total is New England against Miami. New England is a six-point favorite, and Miami has an implied total of only 17.5. PFF also has Miami attempting a higher-than-average 35.7 passes, so all the variables are working in New England’s favor. The Pats are also significantly cheaper than the Panthers and thus are perhaps a more appealing option in cash games. But like the Panthers, the Pats should be a popular play.
A “sneakier” stud defense play might be the Broncos. They’re a six-point favorite at home against the Colts who have the fifth lowest implied total of the weekend. Denver is obviously an elite defensive unit, but they won’t be quite as popular this week against Andrew Luck and the Colts. They’re priced quite reasonably on FD and are an attractive GPP option there.
Another GPP option is Arizona. They’re a 6.5-point favorite at home against the Bucs who have a below average implied total. And the Cards rank fourth in Football Outsiders’ DAVE defensive rankings which are still weighted heavily to their preseason projections at this point in the season. So this is a defense expected to be a top unit with favorable Vegas variables going for them, yet they will not be highly owned this weekend.
As for cheap options, Detroit, San Diego and Oakland are all home favorites facing teams with an implied total under 24. All three teams rank 22nd or worse in the FO’s DAVE rankings, so we’re not dealing with elite units here. But San Diego has some appeal simply because they’re dirt cheap if you’re looking for a punt option. Oakland is also interesting given that PFF projects Atlanta for the fourth most pass attempts this week.