DraftKings NFL Bargain Plays: Week 2
In trying to stay accountable for the research, let’s take a quick look back at the results from the first week of the NFL in this edition of DraftKings NFL Bargain Plays: Week 2 . Cheap quarterbacks did not deliver too well on their value potential. Brock Osweiller put up 17.64 DraftKings points. Dak Prescott and Robert Griffin III both were close to duds, even at minimum salary, with nearly identical 10.28 and 10.3 DKpts.
At running back, the write up from last week looked a bit stronger. Theo Riddick finished the week as RB4 on DraftKings, as he posted 27.8 points. The chalk play of Spencer Ware hit both on the ground and through the air to finish as as RB2 at 35.9 points. Isaiah Crowell and Christine Michael both seemed to have improved opportunity but did not capitalize completely. Crowell put up 15.2 points while Michael was the laggard at 9.1.
Will Fuller was one of the bigger surprises of the week. In the write up, Braxton Miller was listed as the favored play but the Bears defense couldn’t stop Fuller. The rookie put up the eighth highest point total at the position. Marvin Jones helped your roster but didn’t far exceed value putting up 12.5 points. Terrelle Pryor put on a show on one of his catches, but didn’t reach double digit fantasy points as he posted a 9.8.
Eric Ebron was a big hit at his price tag. The big tight end should be a favorite of Matthew Stafford this year and could see multiple double digit points outputs. Jesse James was not nearly as dynamic but did manage 8.1 DraftKings points.
Quarterback – below $6,500
Joe Flacco – BAL at CLE – $6,500
Joe Flacco is coming off a week one performance where he was good enough to secure the win. Against Rex and Rob Ryan’s defense, Flacco went 22/34 for 258 yards and a score. These numbers put him firmly in the bottom half of the quarterback pool on DraftKings but show enough to give confidence moving forward.
This week Flacco gets an improved matchup, which lands him as a potential value play on DraftKings. The Cleveland Browns are clearly a team in disarray and coming off a game where they allowed rookie Carson Wentz to post QB13 numbers. While Flacco is far from elite, this matchup has some definite upside and he could be an intriguing tournament pivot in the price range.
Philip Rivers – SD vs. JAX – $6,400
The San Diego Chargers are coming off a game they let slip away to the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s also a game that saw their top receiver Keenan Allen, again, fall to injury. Rivers faced the Jacksonville Jaguars defense this week. We heard all summer how the Jag’s defense had improved, but didn’t stand up well against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Now they have to travel to the west coast and buckle up for the Chargers.
Last season, the Jaguars ranked 31st in DVOA against the pass according to Footballoutsiders.com. While improvements may have been made, this is a prime opportunity for Rivers to get on track with the rest of his receiving corps.
Marcus Mariota – TEN at DET – $6,000
Marcus Mariota is coming off the ugliest game of week one but still one where he managed 18.74 DraftKings points. We know the Titans may struggle at times on offense but the connection between Mariota and wide receiver Tajae Sharpe seems to be a special one. The Detroit Lions will a bottom half defense against the pass last year and continued that tradition in their first game.
The contest sits at a 47 o/u at time of the publishing of this article. While Mariota isn’t Andrew Luck, this screams of a bounce back week for the entire Titans offense. Hopefully, the Titans focus on getting tight end Delanie Walker more involved this week.
Trevor Siemian – DEN vs IND – $5,200
This is much more about targeting the opposing defense than anything that Trevor Siemian did in week one. It is also fully dependent on Demaryius Thomas being a full go for the Broncos. With all that said, we know that the Colts are absolutely decimated in their secondary and their linebackers are old and slow. In week one, the Indianapolis defense was gashed by Matthew Stafford to the tune of 31/39, 340 yards, and three touchdowns. Add to that a rushing attack that averaged 4.8 yards per carry, we could see big numbers again this week in the Defense vs. position department. If Thomas is healthy, Siemian should make for a fairly comfortable low priced quarterback option.
Josh McCown – CLE vs BAL – $5,000
Back to this well again? Yes, back to this well again. With Robert Griffin III on the shelf for the foreseeable future, we get the second installment of Josh McCown in Cleveland. Fire up your Gary Barnidge shares and go to town. This game should be one the Browns have to throw to stay in so look for McCown to be in line for a nice day. Baltimore was just 25th against the pass via DVOA last year. Though the first game of the season seemed to show a stouter defense, I wouldn’t be surprised to see McCown with a great finish.
Running Back – below $5,000
Ameer Abdullah – DET vs TEN – $4,900
As much as last week was one for Theo Riddick, this game should set up well for Abdullah to be the featured back. While Riddick did run the ball fairly well last week, it is far from his strength. Detroit should be ahead in this one and look to pound the clock in the second half. While I do think Riddick continues to have upside appeal against secondaries that don’t defend the pass well, Abdullah should see the lionshare of carries against a team that ranked 24th against the run last year according to Football Outsiders.
TJ Yeldon – JAX vs SD – $4,700
While TJ Yeldon shouldn’t get you too excited about his prospects for a huge output, he is in line for a heavy workload with Chris Ivory’s situation in flux. San Diego was a bottom five team in 2015 in DVOA and yielded the fourth highest number of rushing touchdowns on the year. This game should live up to if not exceed the over-under and Yeldon should have his fair share of opportunities to get the job done.
Charles Sims – TB at ARI – $4,400
Charles Sims did not see a ton of reps in the run game in week one. He carried the ball four times for just nine yards. What he did well is what Tampa Bay is going to need in chasing Arizona in this contest for week two. Sims was three for three on targets for 32 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. This game currently sits at a 50 o/u with Arizona being favored by almost a touchdown. Tampa Bay can hang here but will have to lean on Sims in the pass game to stay there.
Wide Receiver – Below $5,000
Mike Wallace/Steve Smith Sr/Kamar Aiken – BAL at CLE – $4,700/$4,300/$3,900
This is penance. This is reconciliation. This is an attempt to atone for past mistakes. In all reality, we saw that the Cleveland secondary continues to struggle. They finished last season ranked 27th overall in DVOA and seemed to miss no time reclaiming their spot at the bottom of that statistical category. Carson Wentz took them to task early.
The issue will be choosing the right one to pair with Joe “Elite” Flacco. Steve Smith Sr feels like the one with the best floor on the day. Mike Wallace is the best tournament option as he is a home run threat every time he lines up out wide. Aiken could be in play if Breshad Perriman misses more time this week (he sat out practice on Wednesday). He was mainly used for running and blocking plays in week one. Being injury dependent is a bit of a cop out, but at his price tag it would be tough to find much better value than Aiken.
Travis Benjamin – SD vs JAX – $4,400
Losing Keenan Allen should not be looked upon lightly, but the San Diego Chargers have been here before. Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, and Danny Woodhead should all benefit from the increase in targets this week. The matchup has been touched on a bit on this column so we don’t have to belabor the point, but this game should push the o/u of 47 and remain close, which will mean San Diego won’t pull back on the throttle. While Williams may be the sexier pick coming off of his week one numbers, Benjamin is the one who is best positioned to perform in week two.
Jeremy Kerley – SF at CAR – $3,000
Jeremy Kerley may end up being the wide receiver who benefits most from the Bruce Ellington injury. Playing the slot in the Chip Kelly offense typically yields targets and that just so happens to be where Kerley will play the majority of snaps. On PPR sites, Kerley will be one of my top value plays each week due to the volume of targets he should see. While the lack of touchdowns will cap his upside a bit, you have to enjoy the discounted price tag when constructing your lineups.
Tight End – Below $4,500
Coby Fleener – NO at NYG – $3,900
If Coby Fleener is ever going to announce his presence in this Saints lineup, he will have to show something this week against the New York Giants. The Giants have long struggled against opposing tight ends. Last week against the Cowboys, Jason Witten finished at TE5 with 15.6 DraftKings points. We’ve heard enough about Fleener’s talent level and it should rise to the top in this matchup.
Eric Ebron – DET vs TEN – $3,500
Eric Ebron was one of the featured tight ends in this column last week and didn’t disappoint. This week he gets another plus matchup with the Tennessee Titans who just yielded 10+ DraftKings points to Kyle Rudolph. Ebron will remain one of the top cash game options at the position if his price tag continues to sit under 4K.
Larry Donnell – NYG vs NO – $2,900
Larry Donnell missed half of last season due to injury and gave way, at times, to Will Tye. 2014 showed the upside that Donnell has as a pass catching tight end and he enters this match up with New Orleans in a very good spot. New Orleans and New York finished one and two (or last and second to last depending on how you look at it) in defending the tight end spot in 2015 and it looks like 2016 won’t be much different. If you want to save 1K off of Fleener’s price tag or stack Donnell with Odell Beckham, Jr. and Eli Manning, you may be onto something.
Jacob Tamme – ATL at OAK
Continuing on a similar string, the Oakland Raiders finished fourth worst against tight ends in 2015, according to Junkyard Jake’s Defense versus Position metrics. This is most likely going to be one of the two highest scoring games on this slate and Tamme seems to have finally connected with Matt Ryan in their week one loss to Tampa Bay. If you are looking for an under owned tight end, Tamme may be your best pivot.
Defense/Special Teams – Below $3,300
Patriots D/ST – NE vs MIA
New England currently sits as a -6.5 favorite in a game with just a 41.5 o/u. Miami played well on defense last week but their offense looked lost at times. Arian Foster was listed as out of practice with hamstring soreness on Wednesday. While that may just be a maintenance day for an older running back, you have to see this as positive development for the Patriots.