Week 2 of the NFL season is always interesting, especially when it comes to making daily fantasy football (DFS) picks.
Should we believe what we saw in Week 1? Is Mitchell Trubisky about to have a career season? Is Malcolm Brown going to be a top-five fantasy RB this season? Can Darius Slayton be a top-10 receiver this year?
My initial response to each of these is not likely. Although I'm a little more optimistic when it comes to the third. But it's one week of data. Don't ignore what you saw, but don't overreact either.
While you sift through the Week 1 results, here are my Week 2 DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel.
Safe Quarterback Week 2 Pick
Matt Ryan, Falcons at Cowboys (DK $6600, FD $7700)
I'm fairly confident that Ryan fails to exceed 50 pass attempts again this week. I am also as confident that his pass attempts are somewhere in the 40s range this week. The over/under is at 52, the highest of the week. And with Atlanta giving up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks last week, this game screams shootout. Dak Prescott might actually be the more productive player and a better choice on DraftKings, but I will gladly take the $600 savings and spend it elsewhere on FanDuel by using Ryan.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 2 Pick
Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers at Buccaneers (DK $5800, FD $6900)
With Christian McCaffrey the focal point of the Panthers' offense, any quarterback they start comes with a high risk. However, the Buccaneers were one of the stingier run defenses last year. Bridgewater put up a respectable 269 yards last week. And I would double-check the weather to make sure Hurricane Teddy will not influence this game before locking our Teddy into your lineup. But the last time these two teams met they combined for 63 points. With Tom Brady now on the other side, the Panthers will need to counter with their own air attack and Bridgewater should be up to the task.
Safe Running Back Week 2 Pick
Derrick Henry, Titans vs. Jaguars (DK $7900, FD $8300)
I try to avoid being political in weekly DFS picks, but I love the fact that Henry respects and acknowledges both sides of one of the issues dividing our country:
Back to football. Last year's leading rusher picked up where he left off, with (yawn) another 100-yard game last week. That was in Denver and he now returns home to face Jacksonville, a team he historically and comically gashes every time. And this might be one of the weaker Jaguars defenses we've seen in a while. They gave up the most fantasy points to RBs last week and I see them duplicating that dubious achievement again this week.
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 2 Pick
Jonathan Taylor, Colts vs. Vikings (DK $5700, FD $5800)
Marlon Mack is now out. However, Nyheim Hines is still healthy and could possibly take all of the third-down work, if not more of the workload. But Taylor absolutely tore up college football last year by running for more than 2,000 yards with 21 TDs on the ground (and other six through the air). With Mack now out, I don't see the Colts allowing Hines to do the heavy lifting versus a back who outweighs him by 30 pounds. I love Derrick Henry more, but a Henry/Taylor combo this weekend could be lethal.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 2 Pick
Davante Adams, Packers vs. Lions (DK $8100, FD $8600)
The first three things I typically look at when selecting a safe play is a) proven stud b) coming in strong and c) easy matchup. I won't waste your or my time when it comes to Adams. And I think we can agree that 156 yards and two touchdowns last week is coming in strong. And when I tell you that the Lions gave up the fifth-most fantasy points to WRs last week (in loss to the Bears), you'll agree that the matchup is a good one. Let's move on.
High Risk/Reward Receiver Week 2 Pick
Parris Campbell, Colts vs. Vikings (DK $4500, FD $5300)
Campell obviously falls way short on the first criteria above as his rookie year was pretty forgettable. However, he nails both of the other two. He caught six of nine targets last weekend and is taking on the Vikes at home this weekend. Yes, that same Vikings defense that got torched by the Packers and gave up more fantasy points to WRs last week than any other team. They might not be the worst this week, but I don't see them suddenly be the stingiest either.
Safe Tight End Week 2 Pick
Mark Andrews, Ravens at Texans (DK $6300, FD $7500)
Houston was the eighth-most generous team when it came to fantasy points allowed to TEs last year and were the sixth in that respect (vs. Kansas City) last week. Enter Mark Andrews who caught five passes last Sunday, two of them for touchdowns. I'm expecting Andrews to score again this weekend and even if he doesn't, he's the more attractive option over a possibly gimpy George Kittle and with Travis Kelce going up against the Chargers.
High Risk/Reward Tight End Week 2 Pick
Logan Thomas, Washington at Cardinals (DK $3600, FD $4700)
See my feelings on Thomas in my Week 2 Tight End Rankings.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 2 Pick
49ers at Jets (DK $4000, FD $5000)
You could go with Titans (vs. Jaguars) too. But this is simple. The 49ers' defense is good. The Jets' offense, especially with Le'Veon Bell now out, is not.
High Risk/Reward Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 2 Pick
Giants at Bears (DK $2400, FD $3500)
The Mitchell Trubisky dream season comes to a screeching halt.
— 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.