We are back again for another week of some core plays and values to help you build the best Daily Fantasy Football (DFS) lineups for Week 2. Last week many of my top dollar picks struggled mightily, while a few values and mid-range picks payed off. Such is life in DFS, although I still fared well because I used three lineups. There are some more good matchups in Week 2 to take advantage of too.
I will be focusing more on the cash game strategy, and by default may be intending these posts for the more novice DFS players. I am not a high-stakes tout, nor will I pretend to be and I am not intending for someone to read these posts and enter high entry tournaments expecting a big win.
What I will be doing each week is listing some top plays for the week at each position as well as a few value plays to help you start building your DFS lineup(s) for the upcoming week. More often than not I will not focus on the Thursday night games, although this week’s offering is one filled with fantasy goodness. I will be entering some lineups for those slates as well, but be forewarned this post will not include the Houston-Cincinnati matchup this week.
So, now that my synopsis is out of the way let’s get into my Week 2 DFS Picks shall we? If this is one of your first times playing DFS feel free to check out my "10 Tips to Win at DFS."
As always any questions, arguments, or glowing praise can be sent to me via Twitter @fantsychillpony.
Week 2 Core Plays
These will be my top plays of the week. These are players who I will try to have in as many lineups of mine as possible. If I can, I will use three or all four in one lineup. A reminder that for cash games going with an elite quarterback is typically recommended. If you go value at quarterback he MUST meet value for your loaded lineup to be worth it.
QB: Derek Carr, Oakland vs. New York Jets ($8,300 FanDuel/$7,200 DraftKings)
Carr looked pretty good against the Titans and really exploded late in the game. Carr finished with two touchdowns, 262 yards while completing nearly 70 percent of his passes. This week the Raiders face a decent enough secondary in the Jets, but Carr has plenty of weapons including the new addition of tight end Jared Cook to help spread the ball around. Marshawn Lynch may take away a TD pass or two from Carr, but he throws the ball plenty and this week should be no different.
RB: Devonta Freeman, Atlanta vs. Green Bay ($8,100 FanDuel/$7,300 DraftKings)
I was high on the Seahawks last week to take advantage of a softer defense and to say they didn’t come close is an understatement. However, this was largely because of poor offensive line play and the Packers’ ability to pressure Russell Wilson consistently.
This week the Falcons are at home and feature a much more adept offensive line. They also have weapons for Matt Ryan to keep the Packers on their toes with Freeman being one of the key ones. His ability to break off big plays as a runner or receiver makes him a threat each and every week. Last week he was limited to only 37 yards but he did find the end zone to somewhat salvage his fantasy output. I think this will be a big Freeman week, who may not be as popular a pick following an underwhelming Week 1.
WR: Julio Jones, Atlanta vs. Green Bay ($8,800 FanDuel/$9,200 DraftKings)
Jones was only targeted five times against Chicago, whose secondary is comparable to that Green Bay’s. This seems like an oddity, and his head coach said as much. Back at home, look for Jones to be a focal point of the Falcons’ game plan as they look to take advantage of the Packers’ vulnerable DBs.
In two game against Green Bay last season, Jones didn’t do much in the regular season meeting, but he was a little banged up for that one. The NFC Championship Game was a different story, however, as he exploded for 180 yards and two TDs on nine catches. While he may not match those numbers, expect Jones to fare quite well on Sunday.
WR: Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Miami ($7,100 FanDuel/$5,800 DraftKings)
Allen is back and certainly looked healthy in Week 1. He also received nearly a quarter of the Chargers’ targets against Denver. Miami is making its season debut after its Week 1 game was postponed due to Hurricane Irma, so you can be sure that Philip Rivers will attack the Dolphins by looking Allen’s way early and often. Even though Allen had some issues with completing catches (caught five of 10 vs. Denver), one of them did count for a touchdown and the Broncos’ secondary is considerably better than Miami’s. Nice price, nice matchup, nice upside here.
TE: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota at Pittsburgh ($5,500 FanDuel/$4,200 DraftKings)
Rudolph ended up scoring a late touchdown in what was a fantastic offensive showing for the Vikings Monday night. The Steelers actually appear to be a more favorable matchup for Rudolph compared to the Saints, especially with the possibility that Sam Bradford won’t have as much time to look downfield against Pittsburgh’s pass rush. Look for Rudolph’s target share to increase and he remains one of Bradford’s primary red-zone options, making this a nice spot to use him.
Value Plays of the Week
QB: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville vs. Tennessee ($7,100 FanDuel/$4,400 DraftKings)
With value comes risk and it doesn’t get much more risky than Bortles in DFS. However, at this price, especially on DraftKings, and it’s just too tempting to pass up. If you decide to go with a risk-laden GPP lineup Bortles should be your man at this price tag. He will be throwing eventually as it is hard to see the Jaguars hanging with Marcus Mariota and the Titans. Poor completion percentage or not he is known for garbage-time fantasy heroics. Why not this week? Another 10-point performance is certainly possible, but this week should be more of a struggle for Jacksonville. Derek Carr had a solid (262-2-0) game against Tennessee last week. Bortles certainly isn’t the same caliber of QB as Carr, but sometimes you have to take a chance. Why not play with fire?
RB: Tarik Cohen, Chicago at Tampa Bay ($5,400 FanDuel/$4,100 DraftKings)
Sure, lightning doesn’t strike twice, but we should expect volume for the young speedster again this week after his Week 1 breakthrough. He will likely concede carries to Jordan Howard, but Cohen will still be utilized for sure, and his pass-catching abilities were on full display against Atlanta. In fact he dropped some big ones which would have made his day even better. This price, especially on DraftKings, is more than fair and would allow us to get some big hitters to fill out our lineups this week.
WR: Marqise Lee, Jacksonville vs. Tennessee ($5,900 FanDuel/$3,800 DraftKings)
Allen Robinson’s season-ending injury doesn’t resolve the team’s quarterback concerns, but it certainly leaves a lion share of targets for the taking and many think Lee will get first crack at being the new No. 1 receiver. His performance last week was underwhelming, but some of that falls to Blake Bortles’ accuracy issues. Lee likely won’t put up ginormous numbers, but he can produce as a solid WR3 or dart play this week simply because he is line for WR1/2 opportunities. Leonard Fournette will probably carry the load once again, but at some point the Jaguars will throw, especially if they find themselves trailing.
— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.