Daily fantasy picks: Who should you start in Week 2 of NFL season?
- Play daily fantasy? There are plenty of intriguing Week 2 matchups that can give you the most bang for your buck.
Need some help choosing your lineup? Andrew Perloff and Michael Beller give their Week 2 daily fantasy picks.
That Eli Manning-Odell Beckham-Brandin Cooks stack you’re dreaming of this week? You’re not the only person thinking about it. And guess what? It still is well worth your time.
The last time the Giants and Saints met, just one year ago, they gave us 101 points and 1,024 yards of offense. That game is at the center of the fantasy world in Week 2, and with good reason. You’re going to want some line of investment into Giants-Saints, no matter what DFS game you’re playing. You can’t simply get every Giant and Saint out there, though, so here are my recommendations for rounding out your DFS lineups.
One quick note before we get going. Starting this week, I’ll include prices for DraftKings and FanDuel, with my lineups for both sites at the end. Because of pricing and lineup difference, some players included in the lineup may not get a full write-up in the column. Understand, however, that the players listed are my top plays of the week. Be sure to also check out Andrew Perloff’s DFS recommendations.
Eli Manning ($7,600 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel) vs. New Orleans
Is there a greater layup in Week 2 than Manning against the Saints? Well, maybe Odell Beckham against the Saints, but we’ll get to that a little later. Manning is going to be widely owned, especially since his price tag on both sites is entirely affordable, and that could make him a bad choice in GPPs. In cash games, however, there’s no better bet this week at the quarterback position. The Saints defense was terrible last year, and looked just as bad against the Raiders in Week 1. Derek Carr had just one touchdown, but that was pure variance rather than the Saints being some bend-but-don’t-break-against-the-pass defense. When Manning saw this defense last year, he threw for 350 yards and six touchdowns. Hoping for the same six scores would be a little aspirational, but Manning is a strong bet to be a top-three quarterback this week.
C.J. Anderson ($6,800 DK, $7,800 FD) vs. Indianapolis
Anderson is the extreme focal point of the Denver offense, which the team made clear in its opening night win over the Panthers last week. He racked up 92 rushing yards, 47 receiving yards and two scores, and now gets a matchup with one of the worst defenses in the league. The Colts linebackers couldn’t slow down the duo of Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick last week. What chance do they stand against Anderson?
Jonathan Stewart ($5,400 DK, $6,700 FD) vs. San Francisco
Stewart might seem a curious choice, given his lower ceiling and San Francisco’s performance against Todd Gurley and the Rams last week. The Panthers and Chip Kelly’s Eagles, however, were two of the fastest-paced teams last season, and that carried over to Week 1 of this year. Kelly’s 49ers ran 77 plays last week, second to only the Seahawks, while the Panthers checked in eighth with 68. Despite a putrid offense, the Rams still managed to run more plays than nine teams last week, thanks largely to San Francisco’s heightened pace. Carolina could run 75-plus plays this week, and do so while nursing a huge lead. That would be great news for Stewart.
T.J. Yeldon ($4,700 DK, $6,500 FD) @ San Diego
Yeldon is our value option, though his price is admittedly a lot more palatable on DraftKings than it is on FanDuel. Still, it appears that Chris Ivory will miss another game because of his illness, setting Yeldon up to dominate the touches in Jacksonville’s backfield again. He had 21 of the 24 carries, all six of the running-back targets, and played 87.5% of the snaps last week. San Diego doesn’t feature nearly the defense Green Bay does. Yeldon got fewer than one yard per carry before contact last week. Meanwhile, Spencer Ware got 3.5 yards per carry before contact against the Chargers. Yeldon is in for a bigger yardage day in Week 2.
Odell Beckham ($9,500 DK, $9,400 FD) vs. New Orleans
Beckham is the absolute chalk play at the position, which is understandable considering he torched largely the same New Orleans defense for eight catches, 130 yards and three touchdowns last year. Chalk isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially in cash games. After all, you need a foundation, and bankability is more important than differentiation in a cash-game format. Amari Cooper racked up six catches for 137 yards against the Saints last week, while Michael Crabtree totaled seven grabs for 87 yards and a score. There’s no receiver more bankable than Beckham in Week 2.
Amari Cooper ($7,600 DK, $7,900 FD) vs. Atlanta
Cooper is a strong play again this week, with the Raiders welcoming the Falcons to town. Desmond Trufant did not shadow Mike Evans last week, and that same tactic would be welcomed news for Cooper. Evans got at the Falcons for five catches, 99 yards and a touchdown, and he would have had another long score had Jameis Winston not missed a wide-open throw. A Trufant shadow could complicate things for Cooper, but he’s still something of a bargain in the $7,000s on both sites. If he avoids Trufant, he’ll make the Falcons regret their decision.
Stefon Diggs ($5,100 DK, $6,500 FD) vs. Green Bay
Diggs was the lone consistent weapon in the Minnesota offense last weekend, hauling in seven of his nine targets for 103 yards. The expected move to Sam Bradford should be a boon for him, with Bradford more capable of capitalizing on Diggs’s ability to beat defensive backs deep down the field. It’s rare that you can get a team’s No. 1 receiver for so modest a price, especially one like Diggs who has flashed in a big way over his first season-plus in the league.
Mike Wallace ($4,700 DK, $6,100 FD) @ Cleveland
Finally, Wallace did last week what he does when he’s at his best. He took the top of Baltimore’s offense for a 66-yard score, finishing the game with three catches for 91 yards and the touchdown. We shouldn’t be surprised he made such a splash in his first game with a big-armed quarterback since waving goodbye to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers after the 2012 season. The Browns defense couldn’t slow down the Carson Wentz-Jordan Matthews connection last week. Joe Flacco should have his way with them, translating to big things for Wallace, and potentially Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken, as well.
Gary Barnidge ($4,000 DK, $6,000 FD) vs. Baltimore
Believe it or not, Barnidge is likely to be one of the most widely owned players this week. We’ve gone over his numbers with Josh McCown last year a few times this week, but in case you missed it here they are. McCown started and finished seven games for the Browns in 2015. In those games, Barnidge caught 43 passes for 603 yards and six touchdowns. That comes out to 13.76 points per game in standard-scoring leagues. To give you an idea of how good that is, Rob Gronkowski has averaged more than that in a full season once in his career. Barnidge is one of my favorite DFS plays, regardless of position, this week.
Wil Lutz ($4,500 FD) @ New York Giants
For those of you playing on FanDuel. As always, he checks every box. He’s tied to a strong offense, playing in what should be a high-scoring game, and he’s at the salary floor.
Jacksonville Jaguars ($2,300 DK, $4,300 FD) @ San Diego Chargers
Jacksonville may have surrendered 27 points to the Packers last week, but it held Aaron Rodgers to 5.85 yards per attempt, limited Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, and mostly kept Eddie Lacy in check. I’m buying this defense in a big way. On tap this week is a Chargers team that needs to figure out life without Keenan Allen. Even though the Jaguars have to fly across the country, I like their chances to stymie the Chargers offense.
QB: Eli Manning
RB1: C.J. Anderson
RB2: Jonathan Stewart
WR1: Odell Beckham
WR2: Stefon Diggs
WR3: Mike Wallace
TE: Gary Barnidge
FLEX: Tevin Coleman
QB: Eli Manning
RB1: Jonathan Stewart
RB2: T.J. Yeldon
WR1: Odell Beckham
WR2: Amari Cooper
WR3: DeSean Jackson
TE: Gary Barnidge
K: Wil Lutz
Week 1 recap: Dak Prescott is dead to me. I landed in the red in DraftKings but not in FanDuel because of the Cowboys rookie quarterback. But I’m going to go back to the NFC East well in Week 2. The Giants and Saints combined for 101 points last season in New Orleans. New York’s defense is better, but the Saints’ isn’t. I’m going heavy on this game and betting the Chargers’ passing game is effective against Jacksonville. But this week’s path to financial gain starts with defense and a dream matchup in Carolina.
Eli Manning ($7,600 DK, $8,100 FD) vs. New Orleans
This is tricky, because after Eli threw six TDs against the Saints last season, you’d figure the defense would spend all offseason thinking about getting revenge. But that doesn’t seem to be the way New Orleans’ D rolls.
Alternates: Cam Newton should have a big bounce-back week against S.F. and I’m trying this same lineup with Cam instead of Eli and DeSean Jackson instead of Larry Fitzgerald at WR to make it work cap-wise. We’ll see which combo works better. And the Falcons’ Matt Ryan faces a Raiders secondary that looked bad against New Orleans last week.
C.J. Anderson ($6,800 DK, $7,800 FD) vs. Indianapolis
Anderson now has the primary role in an offense that can produce huge rushing stats. He ran for 92 yards and a touchdown, and caught four passes for 47 yards and a TD against Carolina. Meanwhile, the Colts’ run defense allowed 116 rushing yards against a Lions team that doesn’t run much.
DeAngelo Williams ($7,100 DK, $7,600 FD) vs. Cincinnati
Last year’s messy playoff game was an aberration. The Bengals can’t stop a fully loaded Steelers offense, and Williams showed last week you can consider it nearly full strength even without Le’Veon Bell (suspended the first three weeks). They don’t price Williams like Bell, but he’s nearly as effective.
Alternates: Bears RB Jeremy Langford and Eagles RB Ryan Mathews are good values and you’d have the chance to keep rooting on Monday night for the Philly-Chicago tilt. Chiefs running back Spencer Ware is still a good value because of his catch-passing ability.
Willie Snead ($5,800 DK, $7,200 FD) @ New York Giants
Week 1 overreaction or consistent points machine? I don’t care, I have the need for Snead. Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins did a nice job on Dez Bryant last week, so hopefully he’ll be chasing around Cooks on Sunday, allowing Snead to be a primary target.
Travis Benjamin ($4,400 DK, $6,100 FD) vs. Jacksonville
This price just seems off. With Allen hurt, Benjamin should be Philip Rivers’s main target. And he’s a very good receiver. Plus, this could be a shootout.
Larry Fitzgerald ($6,400 DK, $7,400 FD) vs. Tampa Bay
When things started falling apart last week against New England, the Cardinals turned to Fitzgerald to keep them in the game. They should be desperate this week and will lean on old reliable.
Alternate: The Panthers say they’re going to have Kelvin Benjamin on the field less, but I doubt they’ll follow through. He’s like a fast-moving tree with hands. If you happen to have a lot of money lying around, this should be a big Odell Beckham week. Marvin Jones looks like a potential No. 1 receiver in Detroit but isn’t priced there yet. And Minnesota’s Diggs is a good bargain—he’ll get targets no matter who the QB is.
Antonio Gates ($4,500 DK, $5,900 FD) vs. Jacksonville
Gates didn’t do much Week 1, but the veteran tight end should join Benjamin as a player who benefits from the Allen injury.
Alternate: You have to like the Lions’ Eric Ebron trying to rack up a few fantasy points and wasting precious time late in their win over the Colts last week.
Dustin Hopkins ($4,500 FD) vs. Dallas
Dustin Hopkins actually scored more points at Florida State than more famous and highly drafted alumni Sebastian Janikowski and Roberto Aguayo. And more importantly for me, he’s in the bargain basement and I’m out of cash.
Alternates: Feels like a big Graham Gano week for Carolina.
Panthers ($3,900 DK, $5,300 FD) vs. San Francisco
The 49ers are on a short week, traveling across the country and have some injury issues on their O-line.
Alternates: The Lions are a steal hosting the offensively inept Titans. And normally the Ravens would be a no-brainer against the Browns, but McCown is a tougher matchup at QB then RGIII and makes me a bit nervous.