Welcome back football fans. After an exciting week one that most definitely didn’t disappoint, we now get ready for week two of the NFL season. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my recap article where I highlight three things I learned from the opening week. Also, don’t forget to get your copy of my DFS NFL Cheatsheet with advanced stats, matchup information, top plays for cash and GPP formats, tams and players to stack, and this week I also added a salary trends tab. Like last week, I will be highlighting my top cash game plays for the 13-game main slate on Sunday. Let’s get started.
Philip Rivers(DK - $6,700 FD - $7,400)
I mentioned Rivers as a top cash game quarterback in week one and will be going right back to the well in week two. He finished third among quarterbacks in fantasy points(33 DK/30 FD) completing 34 of 51 pass attempts for 424 yards and three touchdowns. The Chargers got down early and were forced to throw a ton and like I mentioned in my recap article, their defense could continue to struggle without Joey Bosa and Jason Verrette which could mean a positive game script for Rivers on a weekly basis. While I don’t think the Bills are going to get out to a lead, I feel Rivers can still take advantage of a defense that allowed Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson throw for 260 yards combined in a negative passing game script scenario in a bad weather game. Not only did Rivers get the ball to his top target, Keenan Allen(8/11 for 108 yards), last week he also utilized the running backs in a big way(Gordon-9/13 for 102 yards, Ekeler-5/5 for 87 yards). I like him as my top QB in cash games on both sites but especially on FanDuel where is the 10th most expensive QB on the main slate. Lock and load.
Alex Smith(DK - $6,000 FD - $7,100)
If you want to go the value route in cash games at the quarterback position, consider Alex Smith. It makes a lot of sense as a lot of the running back prices have gone up and fitting two or possibly three high-priced ones may be the way to go in cash this week. Smith looked good in week one despite a tougher matchup against the Cards as he completed 21 of 30 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns hitting value on both sites(2.9x on FD and 3.5 x on DK). He now gets a much better matchup against the Colts secondary that I talked about last week as one of the worst in the league this season. He has a nice core of pass catchers to trust with a healthy Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder in the slot, and pass catching running back Chris Thompson. With is high floor, he should easily hit around 3x value on both sits once again this week.
Also Consider: Case Keenum(DEN)
Running Back Targets
Alvin Kamara(DK - $9,500 FD - $9,000)
I am not at all concerned that Kamara saw his salary go up this week and will be going back to the well in week two in all formats, and especially cash games. He finished first overall in DraftKings scoring(46.1) and third in FanDuel scoring(38.6) in week one and proved that he doesn’t need 20 carries to hit value as he ended up with 12 targets in the passing game, catching nine for 112 yards with a touchdown while also rushing for two more touchdowns. The matchup may look tough as the Browns were a top rushing defense in 2017 but consider that they allowed James Conner(not Lev Bell) rush for 135 yards and two touchdowns in week one. No matter the game script, Kamara will be involved heavily in the offensive gameplan and should easily hit value once again in week two making him my top running back cash play.
Melvin Gordon(DK - $7,400 FD - $8,200)
While I really like what Todd Gurley brings to the table, it is nearly impossible to pay up for him and Kamara so I will take the discount and ride with Melvin Gordon. He had a fantastic start to the season in week one with 15 carries for 64 yards(4.3 per carry) with a touchdown and also was heavily involved in the passing game getting 13 targets and catching nine of them for a whopping 102 yards. The Chargers are -7.5 point favorites on the road in Buffalo which should dictate a nice game script for Gordon and while Alex Collins disappointed against the Bills last week, they combined for 117 yards rushing as a team and each running back(Dixon, Collins, Allen) got into the endzone. I will be pairing Gordon and Kamara in most of my cash lineups but if you wanted to go a little more balanced, Gordon makes an excellent top running back this week.
Also consider: Jordan Howard(CHI), Dion Lewis(TEN)
Wide Receiver Targets
Emmanuel Sanders(DK - $6,200 FD - $6,800)
The Broncos have to be more than thrilled to finally have some stability at the quarterback position with Case Keenum. Even with three interceptions in week one, he still threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns. Both Sanders and Thomas got double-digit targets but Sanders appears to be the safer bet out of the slot(71% of routes in week one) where Keenum favors and it showed in 2017 as Adam Thielen led the Viking with 143 targets. This week the Broncos are at home facing a Raiders defense that gave up the 12th most fantasy points to wideouts in week one and allowed Cooper Kupp in the slot to catch five of his nine targets for 52 yards and a touchdown. From a PTS/$ perspective, I like Sanders as a cash game play in week two at a sub $7K price tag on both sites.
Quincy Enunwa(DK - $4,700 FD - $5,000)
It was clear in week one who rookie Sam Darnold favored in the pass game. Enunwa led the Jets with 10 targets with no other receiver getting more than three. He made the most of those targets, as well, with six catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. The ceiling is somewhat capped in a Jets offense with a rookie quarterback but the PTS/$ value is there at these prices making him a nice target in cash games, especially if loading up at the running back position.
Also Consider: Adam Thielen(MIN), Golden Tate(DET), Randall Cobb(GB)
Tight End Targets
Zach Ertz(DK - $6,100 FD - $6,500)
While Ertz didn’t get the yardage(48) in week one, he did get the opportunity as he tied with Nelson Agholor for the team lead with 10 targets, catching five of those. It was also good news that he out-targeted Dallas Goedert(3), who some(including me) figured would be more involved with no Alshon Jeffery in the lineup. This week the Eagles go on the road to face the Bucs who gave up 432 yards through the air in week one including five catches and 59 yards to Ben Watson and Josh Hill. Jeffery will be out once again this week leaving Ertz and Agholor as the top targets once again and at a pretty big discount from Gronk, he should easily hit value for cash games and he also has upside in GPP formats.
Ricky Seals-Jones(DK - $2,900 FD - $5,200)
If you plan on loading up with three elite running backs(very possible this week), it makes sense to punt the tight end position. I mentioned Seals-Jones last week and while he scored just 4.9 DK/3.4 FD points, he was on the field for 92% of the Cardinals offensive plays and was targeted six times. I will take that opportunity at these prices, especially considering the matchup vs. the Rams that let Jared Cook go off for 180 yards on Monday Night Football.
Also Consider: Jared Cook(OAK)
New York Jets(DK - $2,500 FD - $3,700)
I am going to start with a value defense this week which in turn helps us pay up for a two or three running backs. The Jets failed to record a sack in week one but held the Lions to just 37 rushing yards(2.6 per carry) and ended up forcing five interceptions. If they hold down old man Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake in rush game this week, they will force Tannehill to throw it 30+ times and that is good news as he only threw for 230 yards in week one with two interceptions and had a sub 90 QB rating. At these prices, we do not need a ton from the Jets for them to hit 3x value and they also have upside of 4-5x this week.
Houston Texans(DK - $2,600 FD - $4,500)
My second pick is a much better value on DraftKings in the mid $2K range but is fully in play on both sites. Despite giving up 28 points to the Patriots in week one, the Texans still hit 2x value on FanDuel and 3.6x value on DraftKings thanks to two sacks, an interception, and two forced fumbles. Things get a little easier this week as the Texans will face the TItans and Marcus Mariota who threw two interceptions in week one before getting injured. While he will be back under center on Sunday, he will be without his security blanket, Delanie Walker and will have to throw it up to an unproven wide receiver corps in Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, Tajae Sharpe, and tight end Jonnu Smith. Things set up nicely for the Texans to once again get multiple sacks and possibly more picks and should be able to keep the Titans under 20 points.