Week 1 in the NFL was a bit of a mixed bag for me as many of my "safe" daily fantasy football (DFS) picks bottomed out, but my high risk/high reward picks were quite the reward. Such is DFS! Let's see what I can do with my Week 2 DFS picks!
As a reminder, 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 also will 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 DFS, 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
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcon (DK $6900, FD $8200)
Not a lot of "safe" picks this week honestly. I could see Dak Prescott having a huge day for example, but I could see him struggling to score 15 points too. I'm just not sure what version of the LAC defense is going to show up. And I could probably do that for nearly QB this week, but Brady is the exception this week. If I had to choose one QB who throws a pair of TDs and for at least 225 yards this week, it's Brady.
Atlanta gave up the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last year. They seem to be on a similar track having given up the sixth-most fantasy points to Jalen Hurts last week. Brady's ownership will be too high for GPPs, but he's the obvious cash-game play for me this week.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 2 Pick
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (DK $6100, FD $7700)
There are a lot of ways I can see this game unfolding. New Orleans could go up big and end up just running the ball. Or perhaps the "old Jameis" makes an appearance and throws three INTs. Or this might be one of those NFC South clashes where the scoreboard operator is working harder than the defenses. I honestly can't decide.
But what I am sure of is that Winston will be under-owned. He was the talk of the NFL to start the week, but that quieted down real quick. Perhaps it is because the last time Winston faced Carolina, it was a classic "old Jameis" game, where he threw not just one or two, but FIVE interceptions.
However, realize that Winston has also averaged 278 yards against the Panthers and those defenses were a lot better than the current squad. I think Winston throws no more than two picks and can easily surpass that total for TDs. We might be looking at a huge Alvin Kamara game, but don't be surprised if at least one TD is a screen pass from Winston that gets taken to the house. And don't be surprised when Winston finishes with three touchdowns and more than 300 yards either!
Safe Running Back Week 2 Pick
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears (DK $7000, FD $7800)
If you are playing the whole week slate, I think Aaron Jones actually makes the most sense for your cash games. However, that is the Monday night game. And most of the studs this week feel very overpriced to me. So I started scrolling down and sure enough, there was Mixon at a pretty affordable price.
Will get close to 30 carries like he did last week? No. Will he get 20-25? Yes. It's not sexy, but volume is kind. Grab Mixon and avoid the stress.
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 2 Pick
Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars (DK $4100, FD $5500)
Look who is back in the same spot this week, but nearly the same price!
Williams out-snapped and out-touched Melvin Gordon III in his debut, registering a not-too-shabby for a "supposed RB2" 45 yards. Jacksonville just got steamrolled by Mark Ingram and gave up the third-most fantasy points to RBs. Williams has just too much of an upside with a wonderfully low salary
Safe Wide Receiver Week 2 Pick
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys (DK $7000, FD $7400)
I actually prefer Mike Williams in GPPs, but Allen is just too easy of a play this week in cash games. As we know, I like Justin Herbert this week. And the matchup couldn't be much better. Dallas got smoked last week, giving up more than 50 fantasy points to Tampa Bay WRs. Vegas also has this game as the highest over/under this week.
Throw in the fact that Allen is coming off a game with 13(!) targets, hauling in nine of those for 100 yards and score, he is a must-play for Week 2.
High Risk/Reward Receiver Week 2 Pick
Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (DK $4000, FD $5100)
Couldn't agree with this Tweet more:
And that's just the visual. The stats back it up too:
- 93% snaps, 33% slot usage
- 55 routes run, #2 in NFL
- 7 targets, 5 from the slot
- 3 Deep Targets, #7 in Air Yards
Might be my favorite play of the week.
Safe Tight End Week 2 Pick
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (DK $5200, FD $5500)
Tampa Bay is always one of the more generous teams when it comes to giving up fantasy points to tight ends. Fine, that's a little hyperbolic, Maybe not always. But the selfie-stick wasn't even around the last time we could say that. We have to go all the way back to 2014 to find a year when the Bucs were not in the bottom half of the league in allowing TE fantasy points.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Pitts makes for a great "runback" if you decide to stack Tampa Bay.
High Risk/High Reward Tight End Week 2 Pick
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (DK $3500, FD $5200)
Miami meanwhile was pretty good against TEs last year, but Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry had their way with the 'Fins last week. Knox is a better DFS play in full-PPR formats, but the best thing about him is his low price. If he has eight points again this week, he will easily make us a profit and I think he tops eight this week as Josh Allen and the Bills' offense gets on track.
Safe Defense/Special Teams Week 2 Pick
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars (DK $3800, FD $4600)
This was pretty much a coin flip for me between the Broncos and the Rams. I am only going with the Broncos because they're cheaper. If you want to spend the extra Benjamin or two to grab the Rams, have at it.
But the Urban Meyer experience is already off to a shaky start. They not only lost to a division opponent who many predicted to go winless this season; they also looked bad doing it. The Broncos meanwhile shut down the Giants, who we learned on Thursday might be better than we think they are. Perhaps this Broncos D is better than we thought as well.
High Risk/Reward Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 2 Pick
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots (DK $2200, FD $3400)
I don't see Arizona doing what it did last week, but the Cardinals are way too cheap on DraftKings this week. FanDuel unfortunately has them more fairly priced. So for consistency purposes, we are going for the Hail Mary play on both sites, the J-E-T-S.
Wondering why? Read my QB/TE/DST start/sit for the answers.
— 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.