Week 2 DraftKings Breakdown
By: Nick Zylak (@FFAdvice_1)
Check out our Week 2 DFS Starts and Sits Video!
Cash games and single-entry roster construction:
There are three paths you can take in constructing your cash games this week. Option 1: you pay up at RB, play AB (we’ll get to him), then take the value WR’s. Option 2: you play 2 of the stud WR’s, fit in two strong (not top end) RB’s and then go value everywhere else. Option 3: you play 3 stud WR’s and take the value RB’s.
This decision is going to come down to the injury report. If Burkhead is out then we’re playing James White. I don’t care about the matchup. If Burkhead plays then that takes White out of the cash game discussion and leans much more towards playing two strong RB’s and AB.
We’ve already gotten news that Goodwin is out. Because of that Kittle is the cash game TE. It’s as simple as that. You could play Cook (or both), but Kittle is much safer and realistically needs to post a good game if they don’t want to get embarrassed.
I would strongly recommend staying away from an overly balanced approach this week. Sure Sanders, Landry and Juju are in great spots, and they will probably post good lines. But there are some clear pay up options at WR that don’t cost an egregious amount. If you are paying up for mid range WR’s then you don’t get the upside or the savings from the studs and the value. That’s a tournament construction, but don’t do it in cash or single entries.
With that being said…let’s hop into some player breakdowns!
Tevin Coleman: $5,300
With Freeman out that is going to open up Coleman as a great value play this week. He’s not minimum, and isn’t even sub 5K so it’s not a true “value” play. We only have a 3 game sample over Coleman’s career where Freeman has been out before the game started. This is what Coleman averages:
19 carries 83 rushing yards 1 TD
What’s surprising is his receiving work. He averages a third of a reception for 5 yards. One of these games came in week 15 last year when he posted a dud. Another came in 2015 when he went off on the ground, but had no receiving work. Coleman is going to be a very interesting play this week, and that decision is going to make or break lineups. That’s why I wanted to include him in this week’s section of “The Chalk”.
As we stand right now…Coleman is not in my lineup. This news just broke as I’m writing this article so perhaps with a day to digest that will change. Make sure you are actively checking the chat since that’s where I always post my updates.
The real issue I have is ownership vs expected volume. Over Coleman’s entire career he has NEVER been over 21 touches. This has for the most part been due to Freeman, but has also been due to the coaching staff of the Falcons. They know that Coleman is not the most durable RB in the league. They also know that he wins on big plays. Coleman is at his best when he gets 10-12 touches, not when he gets 20. That’s why they have split carries and receiving work over their careers. Since I only expect him to get around 5-7 more touches, at a much more elevated ownership, and at a price point that doesn’t exactly help you fit in the studs, I can’t justify playing him right now.
Now we look at the matchup. The Panthers are not an easy matchup. They held Zeke to 15 carries for 69 yards, plus just 3 receptions for 17 yards (on 33 receiving snaps…which is a lot for him).
The saving grace for Coleman, and the reason I can’t fully commit to a fade, is what he has done when he’s been given the volume. Since 2015 when Coleman has at least 15 carries he has averaged 19 carries 0.67 TD’s 78 rushing yards. What I keep coming back to is the receptions. In those games he has only averaged a third of a reception for 3 yards. If they give him 18 carries and 6 targets then he’s going to be worth the play. However, if he doesn’t get the receiving work, and doesn’t score, then he’s going to bust, and you won’t be able to stack the stud WR’s that my current build has me leaning towards.
This is a call that you are going to have to make for yourself, just be sure to check back when I update the ownership projections, because I have a feeling he’s going to be around 25%.
Top Cash Game Plays:
High End RB Options:
James Conner: $6,700
Connor is a top 3 RB play this weekend. He was in on an insane 92% of snaps. I’d like to put that into context for you. Here are the snap shares of the stud RB’s around the league in week 1
Todd Gurley - 94%
Zeke - 92%
McCaffrey - 85%
Dalvin Cook – 80%
Saquon Barkley - 77%
Lamar Miller - 77%
Kareem Hunt - 71%
David Johnson – 68%
He’s getting workhorse volume and that is going to continue as long as Bell is out. I know that there is the argument that he isn’t as good as bell, but over the years Bell’s replacements have actually put up very similar number to him when he has missed time. Now Conner gets a matchup against one of the worst defenses in the league, who also give it up in the receiving game to RB’s. Last week the Chiefs got smoaked by Gordon and Ekeler for 14 receptions for 189 yards and a TD. Conner proved that he can catch passes in the preseason and followed that up with 5 receptions for 57 yards last week. This total has been climbing all week and the Steelers are projected to score around 30 points. There will be plenty of TD’s to go around.
Melvin Gordon: $7,400
Speaking of Melvin Gordon…he’s one of the RB’s you need to consider as well. He had over 100 receiving yards last week and now gets to face a Bills defense that is absolutely terrible. The Chargers are expected to score 25 points, but Vegas doesn’t see this game going like it did for the Bills last week. The Chargers should win, but it shouldn’t be a blowout. Gordon played on 76% of snaps and had a 26% target market share. They said in the offseason that they wanted to get him more involved in the passing game. They weren’t kidding.
Christian McCaffrey: $7,000
A theme you might be noticing is the ability to catch passes. That’s massive for a cash game RB. Sure AP and Henry might have some good weeks. But you cash game and single entry lineups need outs. TD’s are unpredictable so you need to take guys what can put up points even if the TD’s don’t go their way. McCaffrey is that to a T. His receiving floor makes him as safe as they come, but also raises his ceiling to that of the other studs. His price went up from last week, but not enough when you consider how few plays that game saw, and how few pass attempts there were. Cam only attempted 25 passes (actual passes, not throw aways), and yet 9 still went to McCaffrey. That’s a 36% target market share if you were wondering. AB’s target market share was 39% last week.
So, what does McCaffrey get this week? Well he gets the absolute dream matchup. If we were to design the matchup ourselves then there is no way we could make it any better. The Falcons have been roasted by pass catching backs over the past few years (they have allowed the most receptions to RB’s 3 consecutive years now), and it’s not going to get any better for them this week. The Eagles opened the season featuring Darren Sproles because they knew that pass catching backs are how you attack the Falcons. Deion Jones also suffered a severe foot injury in that game. He was one of their best linebackers. There is no way that McCaffrey busts this week.
George Kittle: $3,800
Next we move on to Kittle. George saw a crazy 28% target market share and displayed obvious chemistry with Garoppolo. He did this against what I would call an elite Vikings defense. Now the 49ers face one of the words defenses in the league in the Lions. Vegas has already shifted this line 3 points in the 49ers favor, while also increasing the total to a very high 48.5. Goodwin has also been confirmed as OUT this week. Like I said above. If the 49ers don’t want to get embarrassed, then they will feature Kittle In the passing game.
Ricky Seals-Jones: $2,900
Ahh RSJ. Ricky is one of those players that I just like. I’m probably biased towards him so if you don’t like this pick then just play Kittle. I’ll likely be using both Kittle and RSJ though. Having a cheap D/ST, TE and RSJ will open up a lot with the rest of your lineup. Here is my one caveat. Jermaine Gresham needs to be out or very limited. If he’s a full go then I don’t like RJS nearly as much.
On the surface it looks like he has a difficult schedule. However we saw last week that the Rams might be a true TE funnel defense. Their CB’s are so good that QB’s are forced to funnel their targets towards the TE. Jared Cook (a perennial mediocre football player) smoked them for 9/180/0. If Cook put up that sort of line then RSJ can put up twice that! Ok, maybe not. But if Gresham is out then he shouldn’t be $2,900. He saw an 18% target market share and was in on 92% of snaps. You don’t find that for $2,900.
Chris Godwin: $4,600
My boy Chris Godwin found this end zone last week! That was the first of what I hope to be many scores for my sleeper pick. This Godwin call comes with the same caveat that RSJ has. DeSean Jackson needs to be out. The Eagles are by no means a good matchup and although I love Fitzmagic, he’s not Aaron Rodgers. If Jackson is out then Godwin is purely a GPP play. If he’s out though then he is absolutely in play. He had a low target market share, but was in on 70% of snaps last week. There are a few decent plays in this range so it’s by no means a lock. I expect them to be behind in this game and although the Eagles are a good defense, I believe in Godwin’s talent.
James White: $4,500
Maybe I should just name this section the exceptions because we’ve got yet another here with White. White is an absolutely phenomenal play and will be in my lineup…if Burkhead is out. White saw 9 targets in route to a 23% target market share in week 1. And that was on just 48% of snaps with Burkhead playing. If you take out Burkhead then White should be in on around 80% of snaps. It would also mean that the Pats are going to air it out. Sony Michel is questionable, but It would be shocking if they just threw him into any sort of meaningful role. Watch the news closely on Sunday morning. The Pats play at 4:25 so unfortunately we might not know before lock (at least other players lock).
Alfred Morris: $3,600
I’d be lying if I said I was comfortable with this play. Morris was #notgood last week so It’s a little scary putting him into a cash game lineup. Here’s the thing though, he’s $3,600. There is no one even remotely close to him in price at the RB position. Morris was in on 52% of snaps last week, and that would have been higher if he hadn’t fumbled at the goal line. The thing with Morris is that this is such a better situation for him. We know that he’s going to be the guy getting the ball late in games when they are up. They were down a lot of last week so the game script didn’t set up well for him. This week is different though. They face a pathetic Lions defense, at home, and have the 4th highest implied total of the week at over 27 points. He’s not going to catch passes which is a major concern. I mentioned this on today’s YouTube video but I want to bring it up again. He could very well finish with 20 carries for 94 yards. That would be a good week for him from a football sense, just not for fantasy. If he goes over 100 and a score then he’s going to crush his tag and he’s going to be a pivotal part of tournament winning lineups. That’s a risk you need to think about on your own.
As of writing this he is currently in my lineup. The reason is because of all of the WR’s I’ll talk about in the tournament section, and the lock of the week. If Morris and White (assuming no Burk) can each get over 15 then this is going to be a very good week. Plus, a “dud” of lets say 6 points from a $3,600 player is far easier to overcome, especially in cash, than a mediocre performance from a $7,000 player. That’s another thing to consider. You need to be confident in every single person you put into your lineup. I feel good enough about Morris at $3,600 that I’m rolling with him. As of right now that is.
Jimmy G: $6,000
For a second I thought this said Jimmy Graham and I almost had a panic attack thinking I was going to try to sell you a 6K Jimmy Graham. Well this isn’t Jimmy Graham…it’s the goat Jimmy G! Garoppolo is a fantastic young QB and will be facing one of the worst defenses in the league, at home, in a game that features a high total and a not so massive spread. If you are looking for safety then here it is. There are honestly only 2 QB’s you should consider for your main lineup this week. Big Ben and Jimmy G. Ben has a ton more upside, and can be stacked with Conner, Brown, Juju and maybe Vance if he can suit up. Jimmy however is $900 cheaper, which might not seem like a lot, but seems to make a difference so far. He can also be stacked with Kittle and Pettis (or just one). Ideally if I have the salary at the end then I prefer Ben. I’m perfectly confident going down to Jimmy G though if I don’t.
Big Ben: $6,900
If you haven’t heard about the home/road splits then you’ve clearly been living under a rock. I just need to go over them though because it’s amazing.
In split here are all games on the road and out of split are games at home from 2015 until now. Ben averages 327 yards 2.74 TD’s at home and just 266 yards and 1.17 TD’s on the road.
We can also see another one of Ben’s splits. This is his spits with (in split) and without (out of split) Le’Veon Bell over the past few seasons. We again see a massive spike in passing yards and over 2 more ppr points per game. Ben is an absolute smash play this week as long as he is healthy enough to play. He issed some practices during the week, but I’m not concerned about that. If he’s out there then he’s going to crush.
Top Tournament Plays
Tyreek Hill: $7,600
TyFreak will be on this list each and every week until he is $8,500 and 40% owned. He’ll be highly owned this week, but not past 20%. He also fits in perfectly with Steelers stacks. This game is going to feature a lot of points, and Hill is going to get shots deep every single game now with Mahomes at QB. Tyreek Hill was in on just 71% of snaps last week and had just 8 targets. However, like I’ve said a million times before, Tyreek Hill doesn’t need a lot of targets to crush. He turned those 8 targets into 7 receptions for 169 yards and 2 TD’s. Oh and he had a punt return TD as well.
Would you like to know the stat lines Hill has posted in his career when he sees at least 8 targets?
In other words, he’s averaging over 25 PPR points, if you don’t include his rushing yards. His one “dud” was 11.1 points. If we project that over 16 weeks (keeping in mind that just 8 targets is the minimum for this sample) we get 114 receptions 1,703 yards and 19.5 TD’s. According to every single site, Hill is projected to see somewhere around 8-10 targets this week. Sign. Me. Up.
Julio Jones had a 49% target market share last week. There aren’t very many players who have 19 target upside, and Julio is one of them. According to Scott Barret’s expected opportunity article, Julio lead the league in actual opportunity by 10 PPR Points with 37.5. That’s incredible! Plus it came against a tough Eagles defense in a game that went well below the implied point total. The Falcons are projected to score over 25 points as home favorites, and Freeman has already been declared out for the week. Julio has averaged over 108 yards and nearly 20 PPR points per game at home since 2015.
The Freeman news is what makes this interesting. With Freeman out since 2015 Julio has AVERAGED 7 receptions 126 yards .67 TD’s. Over 16 weeks that comes to 117 receptions 2,027 Yards and 11 TD’s.
Want to add another layer to why Julio is going off this week?
These are his stat lines against the Panthers since 2015:
Like TyFreak…the only dud is 4/60…in a game that they won by 17
You can fairly easily make AB/Julio/TyFreak/MT (3 of these players) lineups this week. That’s probably what you should be doing.
Michael Thomas is a stud. Maybe I’m biased because of how much money he won me last week, but the dude is unreal. He made 16 for 180 and 1 TD look easy. Now granted Tampa’s defense is pathetic, but he’s playing the Browns this week…at home. Just to add to his dominance I want to point out something we harped on this offseason. His slot production. Michael Thomas lead all WR’s in yards per route run out of the slot in 2017 (among WR’s with at least 65 slot snaps). A rational human would see this and perhaps play him more from out of the slot. Well, it looks like there are some rational people working for the Saints as he ran 41% of his snaps from the slot in week 1. Guess who the Brown’s slot CB is? Briean Boddy-Calhoun…that’s a real name…I didn’t make it up. This dude gave up the most yards in the league last week and we can expect more of the same this week.
The Saints are going to use Kamara a ton, but more so as a receiver. The really don’t want to line him up and give him 20 carries. Brees is going to go off and so is MT. I don’t expect the same stat line as last week, but I do expect him to go over 100 and a score. The Saints currently have the highest implied total of any team.
I wanted to look up Thomas’s splits with Ingram out. But last week was the only time, so the split is good.
TY Hilton: $6,700
Hilton saw 11 targets last week, but only converted them into 5 receptions for 46 yards. I want to be fully transparent. I’m not playing Hilton. He’s too expensive for the upside that he brings while Luck gets back into his groove. However, he’s going to be about 3% owned this week because of that. If he get’s 11 targets again then there is always a chance he has one of his big weeks. The matchups if fine, but not great. They are projected to score 21 points which isn’t awesome. Again, I’m not playing him. But if you are maxing lineups then you should probably put him in at 5%. It would not shock me if he is in the winning lineup. Especially since Julio chalk week always ends well.
LeSean McCoy: $5,700
The Bills are projected to score 17.75 points in Josh Allen’s first start. They also get a tough Chargers defense. So why would you pay $5,700 for McCoy? Because he’s going to be 1% owned. And it’s LeSean McCoy. And this is the Bills at home. These are McCoy’s home/road splits as a member of the Buffalo Bills. In split is home and out of split is away. As long as they aren’t down by 40 then Marcus Murphy isn’t going to have 23 snaps. The game got out of hand last week which is why he posted such a bad line. I’m not saying that he’s going to be the top scoring RB of the week. But for $5,700, at home, at 1% ownership, you can do a lot words than Shady.
Josh Gordon: $5,800
Josh Gordon was supposed to play 20 snaps last week. He played 69. He’s the clear cut #2 and looks to be over his preseason hamstring injury. Last weeks game was rainy and windy so we really didn’t get a good look at what the Browns can be on offense. As much as I love TyGod, I want Baker to take over very soon. He’s the more talented passer and he’s going to help this team win more games.
That won’t happen yet though so we need to temper our expectations for this offense. They get a tough draw against a Saints defense that is very good, even despite that embarrassing effort they displayed last week. This game has a massive total so if the Browns don’t want to tie again then they are going to have to score points. Gordon isn’t a safe play by any means. But he’s also less than 6K and will come at sub 5% ownership.
Gordon isn’t as good of a play anymore…given that he’s both hurt and getting traded
Rob Gronkowski: $7,000
Gronk, like TyFreak, is a GPP play every time he steps onto the field and this week is no different. There is no way he’s as high owned as last week so you are going to get a very contrarian lineup construction if you decide to roll with him. I’ve played with some Gronk lineups and you can still fit in AB, Melvin and Connor with a Jimmy G stack. It’s definitely something I’ll have to think about using, but I’m also likely only making one lineup this week so it might be tough to pull the trigger. If you are playing multiple (or if I end up playing multiple) then you should go overweight on him. Check back on Saturday to see his projected ownership level, but expect it to be in the single digits. I’m not kidding when I say it will probably be around 5%.
Dante Pettis: $4,000
Pettis is a very interesting play this week. He’s not stone minimum so everyone isn’t going to be jamming him in. I think he will come with some ownership, but not enough to shy away in tournaments. He played on 73% of snaps last week and had a 16% target market share. Those numbers don’t blow you away, but they also came in his first ever game against an elite defense. Now he’s had a week with the 1’s after Goodwin’s injury and he likely gets a matchup with Nevin Lawson and not Slay (hopefully). If Slay ends up on Garcon then Pettis should eat Lawson alive. I’m still going to read up on this matchup before I consider him as a WR 3 in cash. But he’s absolutely worth a play in GPP’s, even if we end up thinking he gets Slay.
I’d stick to these defenses in cash games and tournaments. Typically I go with the cheaper defenses since TD’s are unpredictable, and when a cheap D/ST gets a TD it drastically raises your team’s ceiling.
Andrew Luck: $6,200
I’m not playing Luck this week. It’s not because he’s going to post a bad line. I’m sure he’ll do fine. But he doesn’t come at a discount and there are a few clear options if you want to differentiate from my Big Ben and Garoppolo calls (Brees/Mahomes/Alex Smith). There is no reason to play Luck, so don’t.
Leonard Fournette: $6,800
I’ll keep this brief because I don’t want to take up too much of your time. He’s going to be a GTD with a hamstring injury. If he plays then you don’t want him, if he’s out then you don’t want him. Fantasy is simple sometimes.
Derrick Henry: $5,200
DK is a PPR site. You don’t play Derrick Henry on a PPR site. You also probably shouldn’t play Derrick Henry in general. Henry had a 29% snap share last week. That wasn’t a typo. Dion Lewis was in on 49 snaps and looked like the better RB. Unless Lewis get’s hurt Henry should be 0% owned.
Jimmy Graham: $4,800
No. You may not pay 4.8K for Jimmy Graham this week. That hurts the upside of the rest of your lineup and he really only has the upside to catch multiple TD’s on very few total receptions and yards. His 98% snap share last week turned into a stellar 4 targets. I need to see it first before I’m willing to put my American dollars on Graham.
Lock of the Week:
Antonio Brown: $8,800
AB is a lock button play this week. $8,800 is more than reasonable for a player that could conceivably go for over 200 yards. These are AB’s splits when Bell isn’t in the lineup over the past few seasons. I probably don’t have to tell you that averaging 28 PPR points is fairly impressive. The matchup also couldn’t be better. He faces a pathetic Chiefs defense, at home, in the largest total game of the week. This one is going to be so much fun to watch! If you are looking for a game stack then it’s this one. If you are looking for a one off then its this one. Just promise me that you will get at least one piece from this game.