I'm not going to list all the ways the USFL and the NFL are different. Or similar. But I always prefer playing NFL DFS in Week 2 than 1. The same is true for the USFL. And therefore I'm actually a little more excited about the USFL Week 2 daily fantasy football (DFS) picks than I was for the Week 1 picks.
The reason for the preference is because we can now level set. No team scored more than 28 points or less than three. Three out of four games were separated by less than a touchdown. Could we see a team top 40 points? Sure. Could there be a couple of blowouts this weekend? Absolutely.
However, it is clear that the talent seems to be pretty well distributed across the eight teams. I would be very surprised to see a couple of 56-3 scores in the USFL this weekend.
Now that I've said that, how likely is that to happen? That's all right, I'll stick to my guns about my prediction. Besides, all it really means is that I'm lowering the ceiling for players that I like. I wouldn't be shocked to see a 400-yard passer or another skill position player produce 200 combined yards from scrimmage. But 500 or 250? It's not happening.
I'll let you decide if that is reflected in the Week 2 picks.
2022 USFL Week 2 DraftKings Picks
Just a reminder that the DraftKings USFL lineups are a little different than their regular NFL lineups. A USFL lineup includes 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR/TE, 2 FLEX, and a DST. Let’s go through each position and break it down.
There was some very ugly QB play last week. All but two starting QBs threw an INT and Jordan Ta'amu ($10,700) was the only one to throw a pair of them. My guess is that leads many to fade Ta'amu and select the more affordable Shea Patterson. Patterson did not throw a pick. He also completed a higher percentage of his passes and threw for more yards than Ta'amu.
But I'm sticking with Ta'amu again this week. Ta'amu helped the Bandits jump out to a 17-0 lead.
That early lead allowed Tampa Bay to grind the clock out. I think we will see Tampa Bay open it up a little more this week on Sunday against New Orleans. I'll call my shot now and say that Ta'amu has at least two touchdown passes in Week 2.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
I know, I know — Rashard Davis had a rather quiet debut last weekend for the Tampa Bay Bandits. He was one of the few misses I had amongst my barrage of correct Week 1 picks. Call me stubborn if you want, but I'm going back to him again. Despite the quiet game, he was still targeted four times. I'm not letting one bad game scare me off Davis.
For my other WR selection, I'm going back to the well again with Victor Bolden ($9,300) of the Birmingham Stallions. His price actually dropped this week, despite being targeted eight times in Week 1. I will remind you again that he was the first wide receiver taken in the position-specific draft and might be the best slot WR in the league. I don't mind paying for Bolden's floor.
Offensive lines are always far more impacted by a lack of preparation than any other position. As the Tampa Bay Bandits' line becomes even more comfortable, expect BJ Emmons ($8,500) to become a regular visitor to the end zone. He already scored this past week on his league-leading 19 rushing attempts. He will hopefully become more efficient, but we all know when it comes to fantasy football, volume is king.
Pay the premium.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
I said last week that I’m not a Jeff Fisher fan. But I was willing to trust him last week on the defensive side of the ball. Sorry, Jeff, that's over. Despite DraftKings having the Michigan Panthers as their top DST this week, I refuse to pay the premium.
I'll instead roll with the Tampa Bay Bandits ($4,900), who had the third most DST fantasy points in Week 1. And unlike the two teams ahead of them, the Bandits did it without the luxury of the always impossible to predict defensive TD. If you haven't figured it out yet, I like the Bandits again this week, and that includes their defense.
Let's start with two cheaper options this week. The first one is a player I had in a few of my lineups but failed to mention this last week. Let's rectify that now. That player is Bug Howard ($3,700) of the Philadelphia Stars. I remember Howard fondly from his limited AAF season. Pro Football Focus had Howard as one of their highest-rated TEs in that league. For those of us familiar with his ability to constantly get open, this hardly surprised us:
For my other option, if I told you that you could get the league's fifth-highest rusher for just $4K, you'd take that, right? If so, grab the New Jersey Generals' Darius Victor.
If you are looking to spend up, it's hard not to like Birmingham Stallions WR Osirus Mitchell ($6,900). Mitchell scored last week as he hauled in five of seven targets for 96 yards, second in the league. If that wasn't enough reason, the Stallions will be taking on the pass-heavy Houston Gamblers, so game flow alone might enable Mitchell to see another big week.
In this very space last week I suggested you roll with the inexpensive T.J. Logan, who plays for the New Orleans Breakers. He responded with one of the better fantasy lines in the league last week. He rumbled for 56 yards and a touchdown, plus caught all four of his targets for 38 yards, as well as a two-point conversion. The one problem is he's no longer inexpensive.
Logan saw his price jump from just $3,300 last week to $6,400. I like him a lot less at that price, but we might still be able to squeeze out a little bit of value. New Orleans will be playing the aforementioned Bandits, so expect them to try and slow Tampa Bay down by running the ball. If Logan can get 15 carries again, he could still be worth rostering again this week.
— 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.