NFL – The Nutz – Week 2
These are the pure best plays on DraftKings, even the chalk, with some pivots at every position. I am not going to waste time deeply explaining plays you already know so the chalk will have a note or two. Each player will have a label for some overarching indication.
With David Johnson out, LeSean McCoy facing a Carolina, and Le’Veon Bell’s workload in question in a bad match up we see a very different slate than last week. Whereas team #jamEmIn was the preferred style across the industry then, this week the voluminous affordable RB options lead us to a lineup build where we will want to pay up at wide receiver. We see two of the higher game totals in recent memory both at 53.5 on the main slate in NE vs NO and GB vs ATL and while both are phenomenal opportunities filled with upside, if forced to choose only one, it would be the latter contest for me.
Matt Ryan – ATL vs GB – $7,500 (GPP)
We know who to stack him with and both of his top receiving options have elite matchups in the secondary with bad safety help. We expect GB to put up points and they are a threatening team so the Falcons won’t be taking their foot off the pedal at all in this one. Atlanta was 10th in offensive pass blocking efficiency at 81 last year so Ryan will have time to hit his receivers who should have no problem getting open. Ryan is my top QB this week and the Falcons are my top stack.
Aaron Rodgers – GB at ATL – $7,400 (GPP)
In 2016 we saw GB have the highest offensive line blocking efficiency of 84.8 where he could sit back and pick apart defenses. After last week’s game in Chicago, we don’t expect Atlanta to bring much pressure from any one particular area, so we should expect the same this week in this shootout.
Drew Brees – NO vs NE – $7,700 (GPP)
Two of the best QBs of all time shooting out in the highest scoring building in NFL history. I’m in.
Tom Brady – NE at NO – $7,900 (GPP)
Philip Rivers – LAC vs MIA – $5,800 (Cash Games)
MIA is a poor defense and River’s is just too cheap. Paying down in cash games has been a successful path for me for a few years and River’s os the flavor of the week.
Melvin Gordon – LAC vs MIA – $7,000 (Cash Games/GPP)
Miami ended up being one of the worst run stopping units in 2016 allowing 142.7 yards per game on the ground. Gordon was 13th in 2016 in PFF’s elusiveness rating and 15th in yards after contact per attempt which helps me believe in his success this year. Also, he is a workhorse, as evidenced by his 18 attempts and six targets last week, which is hard to find in today’s NFL. At $7K he is underpriced.
Playing on a short week tends to affect running backs and defenses most, so I do have concern with that, especially with the volume he handles, but there is a clear path to being the top scoring RB on the slate and he only has one game of wear and tear under his belt.
Jay Ajayi – MIA at SD – $6,400 (GPP)
Miami’s feature back averaged about 20 opportunities per game last year and the Chargers allowed the eighth most fantasy points to the position this past season. The San Diego defense is also playing on a short week coming off of MNF. Miami will be playing fresh with their first game being cancelled. I can see the MIA offensive line and Ajayi coming out energized vs a tired SD defense and shredding them. I would not play Ajayi and Gordon in the same lineup as it is likely only one reaches their touch upside via gamescript.
Leonard Fournette JAX vs TEN – $6,900 (Cash Games/GPP) 29 touches
Fournette got a ton of work last week with 29 touches and his price is still affordable at $6.5K. Tennessee was the 6th worst rushing DVOA defense last year. Even with a supposed negative game flow situation there is upside for Fournette, particularly with the confidence the Jags coaching staff showed with in him in the passing game. With Allen Robinson out for the season with a torn ACL, we can expect Fournette’s role to grow.
Ty Montgomery – GB at ATL – $5,800 (Cash Games/GPP)
Atlanta is bad vs pass catching backs and Montgomery’s role is turning David Johnson-esque. He turned 19 attempts and four targets vs Seattle into 19.3 DK points, what do you think he is going to do to the Falcons? He is a game script independent play that is extremely underpriced.
Mike Gillislee – NE at NO – $5,700 (GPP)
It’s the LeGarrette Blount equation. New England has one of the highest totals on the slate and he is the goal line back. Will NE burn us by giving Dion Lewis or James White all the snaps? Maybe, but the upside is extremely clear in this spot. I can see a fade because if the Patriots fall behind he will certainly not hit his touch ceiling because he does not function in the pass game.
Jordy Nelson – GB at ATL – $7,900 (GPP)
Rodgers will be sitting in the pocket or getting on the move while Jordy gets deep on a nine or a slant he can take to the house due to the offensive line protection as aforementioned. Aaron Rodgers had a 122.4 QBR when targeting Jordy Nelson and an 11.7 adjusted yards per attempt. This connection is gold. Let’s not forget that going into week 2. Nelson will see some Desmond Trufant, but he will be moving around. I also like getting exposure to the Packers passing game with WR Randall Cobb – $5,900 who saw 13 targets last week and Davante Adams – $5,600 as a deeper GPP play.
Larry Fitzgerald – ARZ at IND – $6,500 Cash Games/GPP)
There will be steady volume for Fitzgerald’s with RB David Johnson sidelined for the next couple months. Last week he saw 13 targets and DJ left the game with an injury in the third. In a whole game without DJ I think we can pencil him in for 15 looks. He is a cash game lock and I am coming around on him for GPPs as well. Playing mostly out of the slot he’ll face woefully bad corner P.J. Hairston and already had three red zone targets in his first game of the season.
Brandon Cooks – NE at NO – $8,200 (Chalk GPP) and Chris Hogan – $5,600(Chalk GPP)
While I am not particularly enamored wiht Hogan out of the slot, this makes Cooks my preferred play. HOWEVER, both will get an increase in targets with Danny Amendola out this week.
Julio Jones – ATL vs GB – $9,200 (Cash Games/GPP)
Julio will predominantly see Damarious Randall and also some of Davon House, two of the worse corners in the league last year.
Mohammed Sanu – ATL vs GB – $4,500 (GPP)
We saw Sanu with a ton of targets last week ending the day with nine, possibly due to Vic Fangio shutting down Julio. This season I do expect Sanu to be second in line for in targets and this is the shootout of the week.
Sanu will predominantly face Quentin Rollin’s, PFFs ninth worst 2016 corner in terms of PPR points per route, he tied for sixth in yards per cover snap at 1.63, and Sanu will once again not be the focus of the defense. This is the third best WR-CB advantage this week of 78% per PFF. In 2016 Mohammed Sanu’s WR rating was 10th best in the league at 89.1 and he checked in with the 16th best in yards per route run. I love Sanu this week.
Kelvin Benjamin – CAR vs BUF – $5,600 (Low Owned GPP)
Kelvin Benjamin will see defensive back E.J. Gaines, who was the 2016 fifth worst in yards per cover snap at 1.77 and second worst in cover snaps per reception at 6.8. Having only five targets last week was concerning, but the 49ers didn’t put any scoring pressure on the Panther’s whatsoever, so Carolina could just sit on the ball and run 38 times while Cam Newton only attempted 25 passes. The Buffalo offense should put up more points than the 49ers and even on limited targets Benjamin could put up several touchdowns in this spot. This is a low exposure GPP play.
Michael Thomas – NO vs NE – $7,500 (GPP) and Tedd Ginn – $4,800 (GPP)
Malcom Butler and Stephon Gilmore are both beatable corners for Thomas and Ginn, but we should expect Thomas to get more targets and especially those in the redzone. Thomas has the more difficult safety help WIth Devin McCourty while Patrick Chung offers a lower tackling efficiency of 8.5 for a breakaway play from Ginn. Chung is also bad in coverage fifth worst in yards per coverage snap at .86 among qualifiers at PFF last year. Given this information, while Thomas is the higher volume, more reliable play, I also, love the upside for Ginn with a softer matchup and since it is unlikely that he will be the focus of a Bill Belichick defense which has been known to stop opposing number one options successfully.
Amari Cooper – OAK vs NYJ – $8,100 (GPP) and Michael Crabtree – $7,100 (GPP)
The Jets don’t apply much pressure on QB’s, and they won’t have any success vs the Raider’s second rated line in offensive pass blocking efficiency in 2016. Cooper and Crabtree will square off with Morris Claiborne and Justin Burris who are both plus match ups and I expect them to put up points with ease.
Keenan Allen – SD vs MIA – $5,800 (Cash Games/GPP)
$5.8K is just too cheap. He had 10 targets vs Denver and I expect that total to be greater this week. Allen has a beatable matchup with Bobby McCain and Tyrell Williams has a very difficult matchup seeing a lot of Byron Maxwell allowing .84 yards per cover snap for ninth best in the league last year and he was 15th in coverage snaps per reception at 12.3. That tough cover on Williams could lead to even more targets for Allen.
Martellus Bennett – GB at ATL – $3,900 (GPP)
The guy is fairly priced and saw 6 targets last week in a low scoring game where he had a more difficult matchup. Last year ATL was 7th worst vs the TE, allowed eight TDs to the position. Going contrarian at TE in a high total game is a recipe for success.
Coby Fleener – NO vs NE – $3,100 (Cash Games/GPP)
Coby Fleener received six targets last week which was nice and we can expect him to be safe while Willie Snead is still out. The best part about those six targets is three were in the red zone, and in a high scoring game with touchdown upside at a ridiculous $3.1K price tag, I feel great about Fleener being my highest exposure tight end this week.
Charles Clay – BUF at CAR – $3,000 (Cash Games/GPP)
Carolina is favored by 7.5 points, so we can expect Buffalo to be in comeback to mode to lead Clay to getting targets again after seeing nine last week. The Panthers allowed the second most fantasy points in the league to TEs last year including a whopping 12 touchdowns.
San Diego Chargers vs Miami Dolphins – $2,800 (GPP)
Cutler had in 2015, his last full season, a TD to turnover ratio of 21-16. The Chargers have talented CBs in Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward who can make plays on interceptions vs a loose throwing Cutler who has a knack for giving up pick sixes.
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $2,200 (GPP)
Jameis Winston is coming off of a 28-24 touchdown to turnover ratio and the Bears cornerbacks are decent. Winston can get frazzled and fall apart chucking if he falls behind as his turnovers tend to group together with him having five twice in two separate games last year. The Bears are so cheap, have upside, and allow you to pay up at a lot of spots.