2017 Week 2 DFS: TFA Contrary-Ten
Last week was fun, of course, since it was the first real week of NFL DFS for us degenerates. I had some fun calls with LeSean McCoy, Delanie Walker and Week 1 DFS lock Carlos Hyde. There’s always a couple land minds – I’m looking at you Carson Palmer and Julio Jones – but that’s the beauty of GPPs. These plays are designed to give you boom-or-bust equity plays to fit in some of the better ones. This week we have to find ways to fit Ty Montgomery and Julio Jones into our lineups for the late hammer. That means we have to find hidden gems in the “noon” and “afternoon” games. I believe I have done just that this the Week 2 DFS Contrary-Ten:
Ben Roethlisberger (Price: $6700 on Draftkings; $8000 on Fanduel)
Ben Roethlisberger is the seventh-highest priced QB on both Draftkings and Fanduel, but he’s been the best Home-QB in fantasy since 2014…tell me how that makes sense? Last week, we made a stink about the Steelers being on the road because of the splits. Now Big Ben is back at Heinz Field and still no one wants anything to do with him. Guys, this is the time to jump on bandwagon. Especially on Draftkings. He will not be this cheap in a home matchup too many times. Recency bias saw the Vikings shut down Drew Brees, but he, too, was on the road last week and dealing with new weapons. Big Ben’s band is fully healthy and back together. This will actually be the first time since Nov. 1, 2015, that Ben, Bell, Bryant, and Brown will all be on the field in a home game. Ironically, that was the last game that Ben threw for less than two touchdowns in a home game. He comes into this week with a streak of 10-straight games with two or more TDs. I think Ben makes for a phenomenal pivot off of the Week 2 DFS chalk of Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady this week and is possibly even cash viable to have more money for skill positions.
Projected ownership: 0.4 percent on Draftkings; 1.5 percent on Fanduel
Honorable Mention(s): Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith
Ezekiel Elliott (Price: $7800 on Draftkings and $8700 on Fanduel)
With Ty Montgomery being one of the best plays on the slate, we have to make sure the RB2 we pair him with hits. The first guy I thought about initially was Bell, but due to his price at $9800 you can’t play him and stack the primetime game. So let’s drop $2000 down (on Draftkings) and play a guy just as good in Ezekiel Elliott. But Ryan, Draftkings is 1-point PPR and ‘Zeke’ doesn’t catch passes… That’s the kind of thinking I want to exploit this week. The way you beat the Broncos is on the ground. This was the third-ranked overall defense overall in 2016 but was 21st vs. the run according to Fantasy Outsiders Rush DVOA. Every loss last year Denver suffered was because of the running game on the other side. Teams didn’t rush for less than 30 attempts in those wins. Remember – Latavius Murray had 100 yards and three TDs versus this defense a year ago. The icing on the cake is Jared Crick is being placed on IR:
Fellow DFS writer Taylor Canavari even wrote him up this week in cash and I couldn’t agree more. If you’re multi-entering GPPs, you’ll want a minimum of 10 percent exposure to the second best RB on this slate.
Projected ownership: 21.4 percent on Draftkings; 20.1 percent on Fanduel
Leonard Fournette (Price: $6500 on DK, $7600)
Is it just me or is Fournette flying under the radar this week? Not even just among the rookie RBs, but all running backs in general. This guy led the league with 26 rush attempts in Week 1. Granted the Jaguars got off to a phenomenal start versus the Texans and were able to run the ball with a lead. Still, Fournette, as a rookie, came into Houston against a tough defense and had 100 yards and a TD. He faces another tough matchup in Tennesee this week. Tennesee was the third toughest run defense in 2016 from a yardage standpoint, but Houston was the ninth. Tennesee just allowed the Raiders to put up a total of 109 rushing yards last week so there’s definitely merit to playing Fournette on your Week 2 DFS teams. One of my favorite things in DFS is to take talented guys in tough matchups. I think this qualifies as just that. Factor in that Jacksonville put Allen Robinson on the IR and Blake Bortles is still their QB, Fournette should be in-line for 25-30 touches again.
Projected ownership: 4.9 percent on Draftkings; 5 percent on Fanduel
Jonathan Stewart (Price: $4400 on Draftkings; $5900 on Fanduel)
This is a low-key sneaky GPP play. It makes me feel uncomfortable because around him are guys like Jacquizz Rodgers, James White and even a Thomas Rawls who I feel might provide more value. But in GPPs, Stewart will go in the 1-5 percent owned range making him extremely valuable. Cam Newton is still dealing with his shoulder injury and we know from last year that Coach Ron Rivera and Co. want to limit Cam’s rushing, red zone included. Stewart got two carries inside the red zone and even a target which is more than what Christian McCaffery can say. Much like what I said about Zeke vs. Denver, the way you attack the Buffalo defense is on the ground. They were one of the best defenses versus pass-catching RBs but allowed the third most rushing yards and third most rushing TDs to RBs in 2016. He probably makes the most sense on Fanduel where TDs matter a lot more, but I’ll have exposure to him on both Draftkings and Fanduel.
Much like what I said about Zeke vs. Denver, the way you attack the Buffalo defense is on the ground. They were one of the best defenses versus pass-catching RBs but allowed the third most rushing yards and third most rushing TDs to RBs in 2016. He probably makes the most sense on Fanduel where TDs matter a lot more, but I’ll have exposure to him on both sites for Week 2 DFS teams.
Projected ownership: 1.2 percent on Draftkings; 0.4 percent on Fanduel
Honorable Mention(s): Le’Veon Bell, Tevin Coleman, and Jacquizz Rodgers
Martavis Bryant (Price: $5500 on Draftkings, $6200 on Fanduel)
If I’m writing up Ben this week, I have to pair him when with a pass catcher on the team for correlation on my Week 2 DFS teams. With Xavier Rhodes expected to cover Antonio Brown this week, I will try to avoid that situation and go back to the well with Martavis Bryant. My co-host of the DegeNation Podcast Eliot Crist was all over Bryant last week but might have been just a week too early. I think this is a phenomenal play.
Look at his price – perfect to get Julio and a high-priced RB in your lineup. Look at the matchup – Bryant should see Trae Waynes and Terrance Newman in coverage, both who he has a height and speed advantage over. These guys allowed TommyLee (freaking) Lewis to break away for 52 yards on one play. Bryant loves playing in Pittsburgh – he has 11 TDs in 12 games. We know Big Ben loves to take shots and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he found Bryant for two over the top before this game was over. Any teams with Ben, don’t overthink it- play The Alien.
Note: Xavier Rhodes is dealing with a hip injury and popped up on the Vikings injury report as Questionable. He was limited in Thursday and Friday practices.
Projected ownership: 4.9 percent on Draftkings; 4.9 percent on Fanduel
Tyreek Hill (Price: $6200 on Draftkings; $7200 on Fanduel)
I usually despise agreeing with Kevin Steele but when he brought up Hill on the DegeNation Pod I got legit excited. This is the week we remember that Tyreek is Ty-Freak. The Eagles are supposedly going to try their luck with Jalen Mills on him.That’s the sixth best WR-CB according to PFF. Mills gave up six catches for 66 yards to Terrelle Pryor last week. He nearly gave up a TD, too, but Pryor dropped the ball/play was called back for holding. Hill has a receiving or rushing TD in four out of his last six home games. Not to mention he plays on special teams If Alex Smith can channel just 50-75 percent of what he did last week in Foxboro, Hill could be in for a big day. A better play on Draftkings with 1-point PPR for Week 2 DFS, but viable on both. We may see Hill do this (pictured below) once or twice on Sunday.
Projected ownership: 8.8 percent on Draftkings; 13.7 percent on Fanduel
Kelvin Benjamin (Price: $5600 on Draftkings; $6600 on Fanduel)
Similar to Jonathan Stewart, playing Kelvin Benjamin scares me. He does, however, still offer massive upside as the best receiver Carolina can trot out with the others being Devin Funchess, an injured Curtis Samuel, and former Buccaneers Special Teamer Russell Shephard. On Fanduel it makes all the sense in the world because of TDs – like we know – are king. Benjamin is Cam’s favorite target. He’s actually one of the few plays at WR I feel has a legit chance to score two TDs every week. On Fanduel, I will be overweight than the field on Benjamin because of this. Then we think about the projected matchup that Zack Marmer broke down in his Week 2 WR vs CB Matchup article…
E.J. Gaines is expected to be on Benjamin. E.J. Gaines was phenomenal in 2014 for the St. Louis Rams. He missed all of 2015 with an injury and then came back in 2016 as was #bad. I mean, awful. He went from allowing one TD in 2014 to nine in 2016. Mike Cahill of Pro Football Focus highlighted this in an article from the summer. What’s crazy is Benjamin has a six-inch height advantage in this matchup. The Red Zone targets are coming. That trade of Gaines-for-Watkins will have Bills fans questioning Bills management after this game if they aren’t already…
Projected ownership: 3.9 percent on Draftkings; percent on Fanduel
DeSean Jackson (Price: $4900 on Draftkings; $6700 on Fanduel)
DeSean has pissed me off from a fantasy standpoint so many times. I haven’t been able to get his spots right since he left Philly. I think Jameis fixes that this year. If you followed the Buccaneers in Hard Knocks you saw Winston and Jackson connecting on big plays numerous times. This is not a good matchup for Mike Evans versus the Bears as they kept him contained in last year’s matchup. They’ve actually been pretty tough against No. 1 Wide Receivers for some time as I wrote up in last week’s article. DeSean is expected to see Marcus Cooper who had a 45.5 grade from PFF just a year ago – that’s not great, by the way. Jackson has big-play potential and I like him on DK for Week 2 DFS where two big plays could get him over 20 points easy with the three-point bonus for 100 yards.
Projected ownership: 4.9 percent on Draftkings; 2.6 percent on Fanduel
Honorable Mention(s): Amari Cooper, Jeremy Maclin, Eric Decker (FD), Corey Coleman
Cameron Brate (Price: $3000 on Draftkings, $5300 on Fanduel)
So basically this is a straight-forward, “He’s too cheap not to have exposure to play.” Look I get why people want to play Fleener because he’s cheap too (only $3100 on DK) and has great numbers without Willie Snead in the lineup. The problem is he’s going to be chalk and a “chalky Coby Fleener” is just not something I can be privy to. I love Ted Ginn Jr. for the Saints this week, but let’s stay on topic…
Cameron Brate played the Bears last year. He caught all seven of his targets and racked up 84 yards and scored once. That was when the Bears best field general Jerrell Freeman out there. Now we have Jerrell Freeman missing with a concussion and pectoral injury. I don’t see how Brate doesn’t repeat those numbers this week as well. I don’t think I need to remind you what Austin Hooper did to this defense last week on only two catches…The fact Tampa Bay didn’t play in Week 1 I believe will lead people to play Fleener and Brate makes a fine tournament pivot in GPPs in Week 2 DFS tournaments. Matt Dickason had a great write-up in his weekly article, The Gauntlet on the site.
Projected ownership: 1.6 percent on Draftkings; 1.0 percent on Fanduel
Jason Witten (Price: $3400 on Draftkings, $5400 on Fanduel)
If you haven’t caught on to the trend by now, I love targeting players who are in great matchups with historical data to back it up. There are two ways to attack this Denver team: on the ground and through the Tight End position. Last week, the process didn’t play off as Gates was quiet and Henry was basically non-existent. However, the Cowboys don’t have a Keenan Allen to feed out of the slot. We saw Dak lean on Witten with nine targets and Witten had 59 yards and a TD on seven catches. If he could turn-in that kind of week again, you could be sitting pretty in Week 2 DFS tournaments because no one is going to play old-man-Witten. Seriously consider him on Fanduel with his price being $100 higher than Fleener.
Projected ownership: 5.8 percent on Draftkings; 2.3 percent on Fanduel
Honorable Mention(s): Delanie Walker & Julius Thomas
*Projected ownership percentages found on Fantasy Pros*