Welcome back for Week 2 of the NFL season. Hopefully you finished in the money with your Week 1 lineups.
I wanted to start this week’s article by touching on a popular daily fantasy strategy: the stack. For those not familiar with the term, it’s simple: you choose a “stack” of players from the same team with a great matchup, and “stack” your fantasy team with them.
An example of a successful stack from Week 1 would have been the Saints trio of Brees, Kamara and Thomas. I mean, they’re expensive right? But starting these 3 would have given you 877 straight off the bat. Why? Because the saints got beat down, but they scored a lot of points. By “stacking” the Saints, you would have been able to take advantage of the fact that since the quarterback had a big day, some of his pass-catchers produced in a big way as well.
This week (and for the foreseeable future) the Buffalo Bills will present a stackable matchup – so give me all the Chargers. You’re going to see a few of them in here for this week’s PlayON daily fantasy picks.
Let’s take a look at my favorite plays from across Week 2.
PlayON PICK OF THE WEEK
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints ($15.7M)
Efficiency is defined in the dictionary as:
1. Accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort.
2. Alvin Kamara.
Kamara had only 8 carries in Week 1, plus 9 receptions. 17 total touches. That’s less than Carlos Hyde, Rex Burkhead, Peyton Barber and the same as TJ Yeldon and Phillip Lindsay. I’m not saying those guys aren’t good, but you’re not taking them above Kamara, ever. Alvin still had 83% of the New Orleans backfield touches, which tells me 2 things. Firstly, he’s clearly their main back and secondly, they didn’t run a lot while playing catch up.
That is efficiency. Kamara turned his 17 touches into 141 all-purpose yards and 3 total touchdowns. That’s incredible and was good for 321 PlayON DFS points. He is matchup proof, but fortunately, he gets to play the Cleveland Browns who James Connor was pretty handy against in Week 1. More on that later. In the meantime, Kamara will be a key piece in my lineups.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers ($10.4M)
Jimmy GQ goes from worst to first for me this week. After sitting as my “PlayON Pass of the Week” last week against the Vikings in Minnesota, he heads home as the 49ers play host to a Detroit Lions team that just allowed 48 points to the New York Jets. Sam Darnold rolled in his debut game. After shaking off a pick-6 that was his first NFL pass attempt, the kid went for 198 yards on 76% completion rate with 2 touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Jimmy threw 261 yards on 45% completion rate with just 1 touchdown and 3 picks against the best defence in the NFL. But to be fair, his 1 TD was very nice. It is just one week’s worth of data, but Matt Patricia has a lot of work to do to get the Lions to resemble a professional football team. JGQ could have himself a field day.
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers ($11.9M)
Los Angeles Charger #1 that I’m recommending: Philip Rivers.
Father time has yet to defeat Rivers. He’s 36 but playing like a much younger gunslinger. Yes, the Chiefs gave them a touch-up at home, but that’s not on Phil. He threw 424 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 1 interception as he tried to claw his team back into the game. All up it was a very healthy 310 DFS points.
Enter the Buffalo Bills. They were just embarrassed to the tune of 47 points to the Baltimore Ravens and 217 DFS points to Joe Flacco. Rivers has a great cache of weapons at his disposal and should use them all. He was very close to being my “Pick of the Week” and I’m predicting that he’ll put up a big number.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers ($12.1M) vs. Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs ($10.1M) vs. Steelers
Lamar Miller, Houston Texans ($9.5m)
Miller, just like the 2 other RB’s I’ve mentioned in this piece, is the workhorse for his team. He received 79% of the Texans backfield touches last week, ending up with a total of 21 even though Houston trailed for much of the game and abandoned the run as they tried to catch up. He still racked up 109 yards and 99 DFS points.
This week, the Texans head into Tennessee to take on a Titans team that just lost to Miami and will be led by either a banged-up Marcus Mariota or backup Blaine Gabbert. The Titans also lost starting TE Delanie Walker for the remainder of the season thanks to a gruesome ankle injury. I’ll talk a bit more about all that later, but what it hopefully means is not much field time for the Texans defense, and a lot of Lamar Miller.
James Connor, Pittsburgh Steelers ($8.5m)
Boom. Boom. Boom. That’s me beating the James Connor drum again this week. The kid tore up on debut with 135 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 fumble, 5 catches for 57 receiving yards and 1 truly awful haircut, which equated to 302 DFS points. Huge (he didn’t actually lose points for the haircut). What’s even better is that he got 36 total touches to lead all RB’s in week 1 and 100% of his team’s RB touches. Yes, every single backfield touch for the Steelers, and it doesn’t look like changing any time soon as Pittsburgh just took Bell’s name off the depth chart for week 2.
But does he have the matchup as well? Yes. Yes, he does. Despite the loss, Melvin Gordon shredded the Chiefs defense for 166 total yards last week and 166 DFS points. Until Bell shows up, and while Connor is so cheap, he’s an every week play.
Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers ($12.4M) vs. Bills, Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings ($11.2m) vs. Packers
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers ($11.1m)
Los Angeles Charger #2 that I’m recommending: Keenan Allen.
Allen is a true volume guy. He averaged over 6 receptions and almost 10 targets a game through 2017. In the second half of the season, those numbers jumped to 7.75 catches and 10.75 targets per game. So, as he got going, Rivers looked for him more and more.
It looks like continuing in 2018 as Allen saw 11 targets in week 1, catching 8 for 108 yards. 1 touchdown and 168 DFS points. That’s solid but he will be better this week against the Bills. Buffalo actually have a decent cornerback in Tre’Davious White, but he plays on the other side of the field to where Allen primarily lines up. It is more likely to be Bills rookie Taron Johnson who gets the assignment. Welcome to the big leagues rook.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs ($12.4m)
How’s that for a regression? The man known as the Cheetah laughed off all the experts claims of a down year by posting a stat line of 7 catches, 169 yards, 4 rushing yards, 2 offensive touchdowns and a 3rd TD on a 91 yard punt return. He and Patrick Mahomes were very much in-sync against a Chargers defence that many have tipped to be one of the premier units in 2018.
This week he faces the Pittsburgh defence, that no one is predicting big things from. They just got torched by Jarvis Landry for 7 catches and 106 yards as he led the Cleveland Browns to a huge draw against their divisional rivals. I don’t see anyone on the Steelers roster who can cover Hill all day, so he will get loose at some stage. It’s just up to Mahomes to find him.
Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers ($9.4m) vs. Falcons, Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets ($7.3m) vs. Dolphins
Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals ($5.4m)
Tight end is generally a great spot to find some cheap options and I really like Ricky Seals-Jones against the Rams. They are one of the best defences in the NFL, but Jared Cook had 9 catches and 180 yards (and 180 DFS points) against them a week ago, in a game where the Rams won by 20 points. Derek Carr struggled to move the ball on Monday Night Football, but trusted his big safety net up the middle. With Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters on the outside, the Rams will shut down Wide Recievers but they are susceptible in the middle of the field.
I’d expect Sam Bradford to take the same approach as he tries to rebound from a horrible week 1 performance. RSJ saw 6 targets last week, only catching 2 for 19 yards. All of those numbers should improve in this matchup.
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers ($6m)
I wanted to write about Gronk again, but that’s easy. If you can afford it, play him every week. But I’ve opted to go for San Fran Tight End, George Kittle. He almost matched Gronk in all stats too. Kittle had 5 catches on 9 targets, with 90 yards. His average reception of 18 yards was better than Gronk’s 17.6 per catch too. The main difference was that Gronk got in the endzone, whereas the 49ers were ambushed by a smothering defence.
The other difference between the two is $6.6M. You can get over 2 Kittles for the price of Gronk. Going the much cheaper route allows you to beef up in other area’s if you feel that’s best. And as I mentioned earlier, San Fran hosts the Lions this week.
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans ($5M) vs. Texans, Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins ($7.3m) vs. Colts
Los Angeles Chargers ($6.6m)
Los Angeles Charger #3 that I’m recommending: uhh…. The Los Angeles Chargers.
I wrote this last week about the Bills: “(Nathan Peterman) threw 5 interceptions in the first half of his debut game and then got benched again. He can’t possibly be that bad again”. He came out and said “hold my beer” then threw 5/18 completions for only 24 yards and 2 interceptions before being benched at half time. Well, touché Nathan, touché.
Rookie Josh Allen played the second half and didn’t do a whole lot better. He threw 6/15 and 74 yards. But that was so much better than Peterman played, that he has now been supplanted for the starting QB role by Allen. So now the Chargers get the kid in his starting debut. That’s tasty. There won’t be any Chiefs-type scoring onslaughts this week.
Houston Texans ($4.7m)
If you want a nice cheap defence, look no further than the Houston Texans. Last week they played the high-octane New England Patriots and actually went quite well. They ended the day with 2 sacks, an interception, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries for 80 DFS points. This week it’s the less threatening Tennessee Titans.
I LOVE this matchup. Capital L, capital O-V-E. Either they face Marcus Mariota while he’s nursing an elbow injury or, and perhaps more likely, they face Blaine Gabbert who has thrown 44 career interceptions in just 49 games. He even threw 1 last week despite totaling just 22 pass attempts. Turnover city. The Dolphins forced 3 picks last week, and this is a much better defensive team. LOVE IT.
Washington Redskins ($5.8M) vs. Colts, Denver Broncos ($6.7M) vs. Raiders
PlayON PASS OF THE WEEK
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers ($10.5m)
And probably Randall Cobb. Throw in Geronimo Allison too. Because this isn’t a Bears side that’s going to let a 20 point second half lead slip. It’s the Vikings. And just like Garoppolo was a “pass” against them last week, so is Adams this week.
Adams turned 5 catches, 88 yards and a score into 148 DFS points. Last week, the Vikings only allowed 1 receiver to break the 100 point barrier. It was rookie Dante Pettis with 121, and he only had 2 catches, one for a touchdown. The Vikes d-backs just don’t give up any room. Rodgers is something special, as evidenced by his miracle comeback against the Bears. But that same injury has him questionable for this game, regardless of what he said in his post-game interview. If he plays, Green Bay’s WR’s will fare better than San Fran’s did, but not much. If he doesn’t, they’re toast.
That’s all for this weekend’s picks. Now be sure to get your lineups in and win a share of guaranteed cash prizes playing daily fantasy NFL at PlayON.