DraftKings NFL: Week 2 Picks
DraftKings NFL: Week 2 Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.

Week 2 NFL is the biggest overreaction you will find in fantasy sports. People assume everything that happened in Week 1 will just translate to future weeks and it is not the case. I once heard someone say "No team is as bad as last week or as good as last week." That has always stuck with me in DFS. Recency bias is a real thing and you can capitalize on it. 

This week we get significant salary adjustments on James Conner, Tyreek Hill, Emmanuel Sanders, etc. As I wrote about in the preseason; the baseline salaries plus recent performance/matchup determine the pricing, so you will have 3-4 weeks of good value on some of these players. Also, any players in the Sunday/Monday night games will not have performance priced in, so you can take advantage that way on players like Jared Cook, Quincy Enunwa.

NEW PLAYER TIP

A good rule of thumb in DFS is putting your cash game lineup in at least 1 GPP. It does not need to be anything of large scale. I would actually only look at putting it in something like a 200-500 man single entry. If it happens to come in the top 5 the ROI is great. Even if it comes in the top 20 percent you still cash. It is worth the risk especially if that lineup hits.

RESEARCH PROCESS

Take note of the player pool at each position – which players have bad matchups, which players are on TNF/SNF/MNF, which players are out due to injuries and who do you downgrade? Once you start to figure out which players you do not like, you can focus on the ones you do like.

Here is an example on quarterbacks for this week – a lot of the QBs at the top of the salary pool have a difficult matchup or dealing with an injury like Aaron Rodgers. This leads me to look at spending down at the position, which means I can spend up at another position like running back, a position that is certainly viable this week with Alvin Kamara and Todd Gurley in the $9,000 range.

VEGAS LINE MOVES

These are important because it will help you determine what players on what teams could be highly owned coming into the week.

Saints opened -8, moved to -10, total went from 47.5 to 49.5
Chiefs/Steelers opened 50, now 53.5
Jets opened Pick, now -3
Rams opened -10.5, now -13.5
49ers opened -3, now -6

You can see a lot of overreaction from the Monday night games with the Jets/Lions/Rams.

INJURIES

Last week I faded everyone in the Panthers/Cowboys game because of injuries to both offensive lines. I envisioned a game with very little scoring as both teams would struggle to move the ball. That is exactly what happened with a 16-8 score.

Identifying the impact of injuries whether good or bad is something you must do to gain an edge on the field in DFS.

This week I go back to the Panthers game in which the Falcons are without Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, which means Christian McCaffrey and Devin Funchess could be in line for big games, especially with Greg Olsen out. The Falcons have also been one of the worst teams in allowing receptions to running backs.


QUARTERBACK

Jimmy Garoppolo, SF vs. DET ($6,000): Garoppolo comes in as the fifth-highest owned projected quarterback, putting him in play for tournaments, but also I like him in cash. The 49ers are a solid home favorite with the fourth-highest implied team total (27.0) and third-highest projected game total (48) of the slate. The Lions defense got shredded Monday night by a rookie quarterback and has to turn around and travel west for a non-division game. Garoppolo is in position to throw a ton and hit the 300-passing yard threshold (+3 bonus) and multiple touchdowns. I expect Matthew Stafford to also throw a ton because the 49ers will have a lead and push the pace. At his price point you should hit at least 3.5x as a floor with 4.5x as a ceiling (projected points/salary)*1000.

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. KC ($6,900):
We all know about the home/road splits, but in addition over the last three seasons, Big Ben's top-9 performances have all come at home with a range of 29-37 points. With a possibility of a 5x game or even higher, he is my favorite tournament play this week. The Chiefs secondary is still bad as Philip Rivers showed us last week, and the Steelers are coming off a "loss" to the Browns (yea, I know it was 21-21, but it hurts the Steelers). The only hiccup is the potential elbow injury that might be a blessing because it could drive the ownership down a tad. The Vegas total for the game is already the highest on the board and has shot up 3.5 points since open.

RUNNING BACK

James Conner, PIT vs. KC ($6,700): Conner rewarded everyone who played him last week with a 38.2-point game. His salary has jumped by $2,200, but until he reaches the mid-$8,000 range I think you still have to play him in all cash games and then decide on what percentage in tournaments. His ownership is projected to be 30-40 percent, so you either want to be less than that or much higher (20 percent vs. 80 percent) to gain an edge on the field. I'm leaning toward going underweight this week as I can see a ton of passing.

Christian McCaffrey, CAR at ATL ($7,000):
CMC comes in as a cash game play for me this week because his bankable floor with Greg Olsen out is huge. We also add in the key injuries to the Falcons best defenders Keanu Neal and Deion Jones and the game opens up. The Panthers have their own issues on the offensive line, so dump-off passes to CMC should be the gameplan. I can envision him getting 8-10 receptions with a shot at the 100-yard bonus, along with 8-10 carries and a TD.

Adrian Peterson, WAS vs. IND ($5,500):
Peterson fits a lot of the profile I seek in a flex running back. His price point is sub $6K, home favorite, higher team total and guaranteed workload as we saw last week. Take advantage of AP now because in a few weeks, he could be out of gas. You need some salary relief with a bankable floor, and I'm a proponent of going RB at the flex position because of the more predictive workload versus a wide receiver.

WIDE RECEIVER

Antonio Brown, PIT vs. KC ($8,800): Well, I recommended the QB and RB already, so why not the WR? The crazy thing about Brown this week is the price tag as his average salary the the last three years is $9,000. While it might not seem like a big deal, you have to take into consideration the matchup versus the Chiefs and it all adds up to getting him about $1,000 less than he should be. He will be the highest-owned wide receiver, but with the highly priced running backs on the board, I think Brown's ownership comes in more like 20-25 percent vs. the 30-35 percent we have seen. I will be overweight on the field with Brown this week at least 40-60 percent ownership on my tournament rosters. The floor of 30 points with a ceiling of 35-40 is well within reach.

Quincy Enunwa, NYJ vs. MIA ($4,700):
Enunwa looks to be this week's cheat code because he played on Monday night after salaries were generated. He hit for 3.8x value with 18.3 points. It is hard to find consistent value at wide receiver, so we have to find an angle and take it. While his ownership will be a top-10 wide receiver, I do not see anyone this week who fits his profile and he will be in the majority of my lineups. One of the secrets to finding value at wide receiver is look at targets/salary and try to by production on the cheap.

Emmanuel Sanders, DEN vs. OAK ($6,200):
Targets on the cheap, you say? We got it last week with Sanders' crazy $5,000 price. Now up to $6,200, some of the juice has been squeezed, but thankfully he gets the awful Raiders secondary at home. Sanders had 10 receptions on 11 targets and already looks to be the favored receiver for Case Keenum. While he may not get the same volume as last week, 25 points in within range again.

Dante Pettis SF vs. DET ($4,000):
Note this is only if Marquise Goodwin is ruled out for the 49ers. The challenge this week is figuring out which receiver will be the favored target of Jimmy Garoppolo. While Pettis only had 5 targets last week, he did score a touchdown and fits the profile you want in a tournament player. His big-play potential along with cheap price tag makes the 5x needed achievable on a couple of bombs.

TIGHT END

George Kittle, SF vs. DET ($3,800): The importance of watching game film is seeing how players looked but also potential plays that were missed. In Kittle's case, he had a big drop on a wide open pass from Jimmy G that would have been a 50-yard plus touchdown. While Kittle is already going to be the highest-owned tight end this week, it is not projected to be higher than 15-20 percent. The landscape of tight end took a big hit with Greg Olsen and Delanie Walker going down. Add in the tough matchup for Rob Gronkowski and it is all about value this week at TE.

Jordan Reed, WAS vs. IND ($5,000):
My favorite play on the board last week at $4,000, Reed goes up to $5,000 but I am still on board because at his peak the price tag is in the $6,000-$6,900 range. Alex Smith loved Travis Kelce in Kansas City and already hit Reed for a TD last week. The Colts have been vulnerable to tight ends, finishing 23rd in points allowed in each of the last three season.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

Rams vs. ARI ($3,700): Arizona's offensive line struggled to pass block against the Redskins and now gets the Rams as an almost two-touchdown favorite at home. Sam Bradford looked very old last week and we might get a Josh Rosen appearance in the second half. The Rams are certainly the chalk play of the week, deservedly so.

49ers vs. DET ($2,800):
The Jets said they knew what plays were coming from the Lions on Monday night. If Stafford has to throw the ball 35-40 times to keep the Lions in the game we could see a repeat performance with the 49ers defense a sharp play.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Michael Rathburn plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: burnnotice, DraftKings: burnnotice, Yahoo: burnnotice, Fantasy Aces: burnnotice, FantasyDraft: burnnotice.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Rathburn
Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.
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