Week 2 - Top DFS Plays & Notable WR vs. CB Matchup Column | 2018 Fantasy Football

by Nick Ercolano September 15, 2018

Week 2 - Top DFS Plays & Notable WR vs. CB Matchup Column | 2018 Fantasy Football

Week 2 of the NFL season is here players, meaning we're diving into DFS, DraftKings, Fanduel, sit/starts all that bullshit... so here we are.

Favorite DraftKings Plays

Quarterbacks

Patrick Mahomes @ PIT ($6,100)

Doesn't look like this hype train is slowing down anytime soon. What I love about Mahomes here at $6,100 is a combination of three things - his rushing upside, the opponent and his defense. Mahomes has 21 rushing yards last week, and I expect that to be a weekly floor on top of his insane passing numbers - he scored 22 rushing TDs throughout his final two szns at Texas Tech. Those will certainly come in time. As I showed you guys in my Thursday Q&A video, per Connor Allen:

The Steelers are ready to put up points against this KC secondary that just allowed over 400 passing yards to Phillip Rivers. Look for the Steelers to rack up the points, allowing Mahomes and Tyreek Hill to swing back in what should turn into a shootout in Pittsburgh. Unlike the Steelers game last week, we can expect 80 degree and sunny weather in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Fire up Mahomes.

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. DET ($6,000)

Jimmy G took his first NFL L as a starter for the 49ers in their opening week, in a brutal matchup on the road against the Vikings, there's arguably no tougher matchup than that. He'll have a much easier task at home against this Lions defense who allowed four offensive touchdowns to the New York Jets and they very likely will be without their best pass rusher in Ziggy Ansah who left Monday's game with a shoulder injury and is questionable at best for Sunday.

The 49ers are 6 point favorites in a game with one of the higher over/under (48) totals of the week. We don't know Marquise Goodwin's status yet, but Dante Pettis came in and looked great in his absence, George Kittle dominated, he's got plenty of weapons to get it going here. Shake off his Week 1 performance, Jimmy G is going to strike back with 300 yards and 2-3 TD strikes this week.

Tyrod Taylor @ NO ($5,900)

Another Week 1 performance to shake off is Tyrod's, after going 15-40 throwing in their miserable tie-game versus the Steelers. Even while completing just 37.5% of his passes, Taylor finished as a top-5 QB in Week 1, thanks to his 77 rushing yards and a score on the ground. He gives you that you that rushing floor every week. Now they travel to the dome in New Orleans where he'll fly around on turf, in great weather conditions, in a game that Vegas suggest the Browns to be in heavy catch up mode (+9.5) in a shootout (49.5 - 2nd highest).

Landry looked great, Josh Gordon will start to ball sooner rather than later with a full slate of snaps, and Njoku should take advantage of the dome environment. It might not be pretty, but as he usually does, Taylor will get it done in fantasy in Week 2.

Case Keenum vs. OAK ($5,800)

Another easy streamer, after lighting up the Seahawks defense to the tune of 329 passing yards and 3 TD strikes on 39 attempts, Keenum gets an equally enticing matchup, at home versus the Raiders. I think they took their best shot in Week 1 at the Rams, and energy levels will be depleted for this defense. After a great Week 1 performance, look for Keenum to carry that over into Week 2 with a fantastic group of weapons in Sanders, DT, Sutton and newly breakout pass-catcher Phillip Lindsay - we saw Keenum's comfort zone in 2017 - as well as Week 1 - throwing to the slot, and throwing to his RBs - they'll likely do it again as 6 point favorites, at home, with a respectable 46 point over/under.

Running Backs

***For Running Backs & Wide Receivers, I'm going to split it up into $7,000+ Pricing (we'll call this the gabagool section), $5,000-$6,999 Pricing (the extra medium), and $4,999 and Below Pricing (the revenue), and choose my favorite two from each section.

The Gabagool ($7,000+)

Alvin Kamara vs. CLV ($9,500)

Even as the single most expensive DFS option this week, you just can't fade Kamara. 140 total yards last week & 3 tuddys - get a Cleveland defense again at home, who just let up 192 total yards and two tuddys to James Conner. Kamara can't be faded as long as Ingram is suspended.

Christian McCaffrey @ ATL ($7,000)

He's going to end up being a chalky play this week because everyone will push the same storyline here for this one, and for good reason - the FALCONS let up a million fantasy points to pass-catching running backs. That's their defensive scheme, they let you catch short passes and use their fast LBs to converge on the ball - perfect for C-Mac - the only issue for Atlanta is, not only are they down their Pro Bowl safety Keanu Neal for the season but now Deoin Jones who is arguably the single best coverage LB in the entire NFL. Two massive blows to this defense. Those are their two primary coverage guys on RBs. 

Atlanta is a team historically who's just literally given away FPs to pass-catching backs. In 2017 they allowed the single most targets and receptions to running backs and were bottom 5 in both receiving yards and TDs allowed to RBs. 

We also take a look at the fact that Greg Olsen being hurt, these are his numbers with and without Olsen in 2017:

Look for C-Mac to catch a ton of passes as he continues to operate as Carolina's featured back.

The Extra Medium ($5,000-$6,999)

James Conner vs. KC ($6,700)

The clear chalk play here - he's still not priced as if he's the featured back in PIT, which he will continue to be as long as Bell doesn't sign his tender. KC allowed about 49 receptions to Gordon and Ekeler, for real those two combined for 292 total yards, this KC defense is going to be something to attack all year, and might actually push Mahomes into a top-5 fantasy QB.

T.J. Yeldon vs. NE ($5,600)

All based upon Fournette's status of course. He didn't practice Wednesday but Doug Marrone said he doesn't need to practice to suit up. If Fournette is out, Yeldon operates as the clear feature back here in Jacksonville.

The Revenue ($4,999 & Below)

James White/Rex Burkhead @JAX ($4,500/$4,400)

So they travel to Jacksonville who we know allows next to nothing to opposing fantasy WRs. Odell was an exception last week going 11-111, but the Pats don't have a player like that, so as Uncle Bill usually does, he bends his gameplan to areas that he can attack - and it's going to be a mix of running the ball and quick passes, mainly to the RBs. 

People may be disappointed with Burkhead in Week 1 because he didn't get in, but the volume was there - his 18 rushing attempts were 7th most in the NFL in Week 1 - he also saw 3 targets, one of which was a wheel route that should have been a 20-yard TD but Brady overthrew him on a throw he normally makes 9-of-10 times. It could have been a much bigger day. Some of this depends on Sony Michel's return. If he suits up, I'll probably take Burk off this list for now.

We know James White, he'll continue to be involved in the Patriots passing game - he was lining up outside, in the slot, in the backfield - he's all over the place and will still be while Edelman is gone. I'm not thrilled with White in my lineup, but since DK is full PPR - it's not the worst play.

Alfred Morris vs. DET ($3,600)

Hear me out - I know this is very contrarian play given it's full PPR, but I think Morris is in for a bounce-backback game. In Week 1, you couldn't have asked for a worse game script as they were on the road versus MIN and it felt like they were in catch-up mode most of the game. Even with that, he out-snaped Breida 34-30. He looked good in the 1st half but had a very costly fumble on the GL. However, that was his first fumble since 2014. His 3 GL rushes tied him for 1st in the NFL during Week 1 (w/ AP), his 5 10Z rushes were top the league.

They play DET at home, like I already eluded too, they are 6 point favorites, against a team that just got absolutely man-handled against the run by the Jets, allowing 176 rushing yards to the Jets RBs, and two scores to Crowell - look for Morris to do his Crowell impression as Breida operates as Crowell. I think they should have plenty of scoring opportunities and I'd be surprised if Morris doesn't come away from this one with a TD, I wouldn't be too mad about that at $3,600.

Wide Receivers

The Gabagool ($7,000+)

Antonio Brown vs. KC ($8,800)

I'll take the top two dogs here, in Brown and Thomas. As far as I'm concerned, Brown's 9-93-1 on 16 targets in bad weather was a down game for Brown. Which means Brown is due for an absolute cheek clapping fest in Week 2 against this awful Chiefs secondary. Last year, Brown went for 140+ yards in 6-of-14 games, I'd be shocked if he didn't hit that mark in Week 2.

Michael Thomas vs. CLV ($8,600)

Thomas seems like another must-start coming off his ridiculous 16-180-1 game against TB in Week 1. He'll be in the dome again - and this is the most important point to be made here - Thomas, when lined up in the slot is the best WR in the NFL. The numbers show it. You don't think of him as a slot WR, but the Saints are using him there a ton - 51.2% of his snaps were out of the slot last week and he was targeted on 50% of the snaps that he ran out of the slot - which accounted for 10 receptions for 96 yards and a score. 

The Saints take on a Browns defense who just allowed a 5-119 performance to the Steeler's slot WR JuJuSS in Week 1 in terrible weather. Thomas will get a heavy dose of Terrance Mitchell, who allowed the 5th most yards/route covered, FPs/route covered and graded out in Week 1 as one of PFF's worst CBs.

Fire up Thomas who should give you an easy 20-25 points in PPR in a game suggested to be a shootout by Vegas' 50 point total for the game.

The Extra Medium ($5,000-$6,999)

Emmanuel Sanders vs. Oak ($6,200)

For the same exact reason we've been hyping Sanders all preseason and him being on this last week, he makes it again in Week 2, in a home matchup versus Oakland.

Continuing his slot dominance carrying over from the preseason, Manny lined up in the slot on 62.2% of his snaps in Week 1, finishing the game with a line of 10-135-1 on a team-high 11 targets, 28% target market share.

Another soft secondary at home should lead the way for Sanders to capitalize, as Cooper Kupp did against them in Week 1. 

Nelson Agholor @ TB ($6,100)

Unless you play in a full PPR league, you were probably disappointed in Agholor's Week 1 performance - finishing with an 8-33 stat line on 10 targets. But, again, I repeat to you guys, that's what the Falcons do. They allow the underneath throws and collapse, it's why both Darren Sproles and Agholor were peppered with targets but couldn't gain yards.

Now, Agholor entrenched as Foles' go-to-guy, gets a much easier task at Tampa Bay, again against a secondary that just got torched by Michael Thomas in the slot. Look for Agholor to ride his target share (29.4% in Week 1) into Week 2, but for those yardage numbers to shoot up, and I think we see that TD ceiling flash like we did in 2017 - he gets into paydirt in Week 2.

The Revenue ($4,999 & Below)

Quincy Enunwa @ MIA ($4,700)

I scooped Enunwa anywhere I could following his 10-target game on MNF. The 10 targets is nothing to underplay, or go nuts about, but when you consider the fact that Sam Darnold only threw 21 passes, that's an eye-opener. That's a 47.6% target market share, the highest number amongst all NFL WRs in Week 1.Quincy Enunwa fantasy

I'm here to say, I don't think Enunwa is a flash-in-the-pan whatsoever. When you look at this guys build and measurables, as you can see on PlayerProfiler, he's built like a prototype WR1.Quincy Enunwa

His best comparable player on PP is Josh Gordon....

It looks like Robby Anderson is being delegated to a deep threat, exclusively, he had just a single target in Week 1. Enunwa basically operated as the Jets' slot WR (65% of snaps) and their TE since they don't have one. He's going to be Darnold's security blanket going forward. Does Jermaine Kearse coming back scare me? No, he'll run on the outside, Enunwa is here to stay. He'll get a matchup with Miami in Week 2, who may actually be an underrated pass defense this year but I still think Enunwa leads the team in targets & receptions in a game they're favored to win. He's a great PPR play in Week 2.

Chris Godwin vs. PHI ($4,600)

With DeSean Jackson battling both a shoulder injury and the NFL concussion protocol, it looks like Godwin is in line for a full-time role in Week 2, finally. He actually far out-snapped Jackson in Week 1, thanks to him coming on and off the field with injuries, 70-30%, and didn't disappoint, catching 3-of-4 targets for 41 yards and a score.

The Bucs will take on Philly, who obviously has a great defense, but if their is an area to exploit, for fantasy purposes, it's the CBs. And if you follow my channel, you've heard some kind of stat along the line of this tweet by Graham BarfieldChris Godwin week 2

The guy balls when given the chance. It looks like that'll be the case in Week 2. Fire me up Gawdwin.

Shadow Coverage Chart

 

Based on this, we can expect A.J. Green to get shadowed by Carr, not sure if JAX will put Ramsey on Hogan, but he's the most likely victim, same goes with NE considering JAX has a big group of weapons, and Lattimore in NO should shadow Josh Gordon - that should be a very entertaining one to watch.

Tight Ends

I'm actually going to fade the top 3 plays - Gronk @JAX, Kelce @PIT, and Ertz @TB. Don't like any of those matchups enough to pay up. This is probably a week I'm going to fade more expensive options, load up on RBs and WRs and head right to to the bottom for TEs, because there are a few I like.

Jared Cook @DEN ($3,600)

Coming off a ridiculous 9-catch, 180-yard Week 1 performance, Cook should be in line for another heavy workload. The reason Cook was so heavily involved in Week 1 was due to the Rams elite CBs, they weren't going to waste their time targeting Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters on the outside. So they opted to funnel the passing game to their TEs and RBs.

I expect the same thing to happen in Week 2, as they face another stiff defense in the Mile High City. Look for Amari Cooper to see a heavy does of Chris Harris Jr., and just like the Seahawks did, somehow, with Will Dissly (3-105-1) in Week 1, the Raiders should again funnel their passing offense through Cook. As TD dogs, the Raiders should see plenty of passing volume in this one.

Ben Watson vs. CLE ($3,400)

I just like Watson a lot. No reason then I think he's a good player. We saw Brees go nuts in Week 1, attacking the depleted TB CBs, dropback after dropback after drop back, so it wasn't Watson's time to shine. He finished with a respectable PPR line, catching 4-of-4 targets for 44 yards, but he'll be a big part of this RZ offense moving forward, and the passing offense overall. For the same reason I like just about every player in this game, shootout potential, lots of Saints points being scored, I like Watson. I think he has a 4-40 floor, with a 6-60-1 upside for dirt cheap.

David Njoku @NO ($3,000)

Njoku clearly didn't light up the box score in Week 1, finishing with just 13 yards on 3 catches, but he did quietly finish second on the team in targets (7) and more importantly, is the full-time TE for the Browns. In 2017, he was in a split timeshare with Seth Devalve, playing on just 47% of snaps. In Week 1, he played on 88% of the team's snaps. 

For the 19th time, the weather was shit - Njoku had two drops and I'm willing to scratch this game off as an outlier due to these things.

This is a great setup in Week 2 for Njoku in the dome, where he can showcase his speed on the turf, and catch plenty of balls in a game where the Browns are heavy underdogs and expect to play catchup in the 2H.

Ricky Seals-Jones @LAR ($2,900)

He's on this list for exactly the same reason Jared Cook is, and the same reason Cook went off in Week 1. They play the Rams, and I expect the Cardinals to have close to 0 success throwing to their wideouts in this one, so look for Fitz and RSJ to account for nearly 98% of the team's targets.

Holding steady with the trend we saw in preszn, RSJ has been in on 95% of the team's offensive snaps, and he did see a 17.5% target share in Week 1. What I will say is that I'm a bit hesitant to play RSJ, because as good as the usage numbers and everything are, it'd be nice to see some actual production at some point. This would be a matchup to do so, if he doesn't then RSJ becomes someone you can't trust.

Other Notable WR/CB Matchups

Larry Fitzgerald vs. Fabian Moreau (WAS)

Lae.

Cooper Kupp vs. Leon Hall (OAK)

Weff.



Nick Ercolano
Nick Ercolano

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