Austin Ekeler had Chargers fans and fantasy owners shouting "Melvin who?" last week
Looking over last week's picks for daily fantasy football (DFS), I had a few misses, but a lot more hits. Many of those misses were injury-related, like my Nick Foles pick. Some of the hits were rather easy like Chris Carson or the Ravens DST. But I was particularly proud of my San Francisco 49ers DST pick. Few picked them and they ended up being the No. 1 fantasy DST last week!
Ignore my picks at your own peril. Similar to Week 1, I'm going to keep things relatively simple. I will go through each position and list one "safe" pick and one "high-risk/high-reward" pick. For those of you familiar with DFS, the first is essentially a cash game play and the second is a GPP play. I will also make sure that said player is priced proportionately about the same across DraftKings, FanDuel, and the other major sites. For those of you unfamiliar with GPS, do yourself a favor and look up cash games vs GPPs. Or hit me up on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg) and I will explain it to you personally.
Whether you are experienced or a beginner, however, let me know what you want this column to be. Should I highlight only guys that seem mispriced? Do you want me to let you know who I am fading? Would you like to see what lineups I am playing? Those questions are just a start. Let me know. In the meantime, I'll let you know some of my favorite safe and high risk/high reward picks this week.
Safe Quarterback Week 2 Pick
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs at Raiders (DK $7500, FD $9000)
I said last week that Mahomes is just not worth the price tag. He still had three TDs and 378 passing yards. Don't be surprised if Mahomes remains in this space the rest of the season.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 2 Pick
Philip Rivers, Chargers at Lions (DK $6100, FD $7700)
Until Detroit convinces me that their defense is any good, I will continue to play my guys against them, and that starts with Rivers. With Rivers, we are always in danger of him having one of his three-INT meltdown games that he has every year once or twice. But I think this goes the other way as Rivers tosses three touchdowns and throws for more than 300 yards. Of course, as I was writing this piece, the following news broke:
Chargers announce Hunter Henry suffered a tibia plateau fracture to his left knee during last Sunday’s game versus the Indianapolis Colts. Per the team, Henry will continue to be evaluated, and the time frame for his return has not yet been determined.— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) September 11, 2019
So Henry will definitely be out this week and maybe up to six weeks. That will only help keep Rivers ownership this week low.
Safe Running Back Week 2 Pick
Austin Ekeler, Chargers vs. Lions (DK $6100, FD $7500)
And if Philip Rivers doesn't grind up the Lions, I expect Ekeler to do so. On a related note, am I the only one who sees what Ekeler does and thinks Melvin Gordon's agent must be more frustrated than Aaron Rodgers' agent on those State Farm commercials?
Even if I am the only one crazy enough to think that, it's a very sane thought to expect Ekeler to have another solid day.
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 2 Pick
Devin Singletary, Bills at Giants (DK $4200, FD $5700)
So here's the risky part:
McDermott says Bills pecking order at RB is: Frank Gore -> Devin Singletary -> TJ Yeldon— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) September 11, 2019
And here's the reward part:
Singletary nearly quadrupled Gore's yardage totals (70 to 20) and he needed just four carries to Gore's 20. He also out-snapped him 48 to 19. Add to that the Cowboys had their way with the Giants last week. Singletary makes for a nice, cheap add in your GPP lineups.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 2 Pick
Tyrell Williams, Raiders vs. Chiefs (DK $4400, FD $5900)
First off, Williams is now the primary WR in the Raiders offense. Secondly, he is coming off a strong six-catch, 105-yard, and a touchdown performance. Third, Kansas City still has question marks in their secondary and I expect this game to become a shootout. Even if game flow doesn't dictate Williams seeing a lot of targets, the seven he saw last week is a fair estimate for this week. Of course, that pick is closely tied to our next one too.
High Risk/Reward Receiver Week 2 Pick
Mecole Hardman, Chiefs at Raiders (DK $3900, FD $4700)
Hardman was non-existent in the Week 1 box score. But that was before Tyreek Hill was declared out of action for a few months. There's a chance DeMarcus Robinson or De'Anthony Thomas fills the void, but I'm banking on Hardman, who has helped this WR corps anointing as the "legion of zoom." The man is fast and should see plenty of action this week.
Safe Tight End Week 2 Pick
Darren Waller, Raiders vs. Chiefs (DK $3300, FD $5400)
The Antonio Brown saga had a ton of surprises, but perhaps the least surprising was the emergence of Waller as a weapon for the Raiders.
High Risk/Reward Tight End Week 2 Pick
Hayden Hurst, Ravens vs. Cardinals (DK $2700, FD $4800)
I have put together a handful of lineups already but admittedly Hurst is not on a single one of them yet. I am definitely paying up at tight end this week. In addition to Waller, I like the top options on the board. I will happily pay for Travis Kelce or George Kittle. But those are pretty "safe" options. So a quick scan of the position and Hurst jumped out at me. His price is pretty low and I think he can improve on last week's three catches for 41 yards. FYI, he out-snapped Mark Andrews in Week 1.
Safe DST Week 2 Pick
New England Patriots at Dolphins (DK $3700, FD $4900)
Is there a more obvious pick this week? But let's assume it's a little too obvious and the Dolphins play the Patriots tough. If that happens, it is not going to be a shootout. The Pats should still give you a couple of sacks, a turnover or two, and an average amount of points given up. And that's the floor. Given the ceiling is a shutout, half a dozen sacks, and maybe five turnovers, the Pats are well worth the price.
High Risk/Reward DST Week 2 Pick
San Francisco at Bengals (DK $2800, FD $3700)
I went with them last week and they rewarded me just fine. If they were playing a fearsome offense I wouldn't do it. But given they are playing the A.J. Green-less Bengals (and Joe Mixon has an ankle injury), I'll go to this well again.
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.