This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite weekly tournament plays. I’m going to be focusing on high-upside, likely low-owned plays and stacks from the main Sunday slate that (hopefully) really can pay off big for you in a large field tournament.
Kyler Murray ($5,400) – David Johnson ($7,100) – Christian Kirk ($4,500) – Mark Andrews ($3,800)
Murray went 20-of-29 for 238 yards in the final quarter and OT period in Week 1. Murray will have a shot at racking up massive passing totals every week in the Cardinals’ spread offense, as the Cards ran passing plays on 60% of their snaps. Baltimore will enter this week’s game without top cover corner Jimmy Smith, meaning either Larry Fitzgerald ($4,600) or Kirk will be seeing Baltimore’s third-string DB. Of the two expect I expect Kirk will be lower-owned in big GPPs. Even though Kirk didn’t produce like Fitzgerald in Week 1, he still received 12 targets and converted a two-point conversion. Johnson also just missed a massive two-TD game in Week 1 but still accumulated 137 yards and 25.7 DKFP while playing 87% of the snaps.
The Ravens’ offensive players likely will be highly coveted in big GPPs — partly why I prefer Murray to Lamar Jackson ($6,700) — but this looks like a great spot for Andrews, who saw eight of the 26 passes Baltimore threw come his way Week 1. Arizona gave up six receptions, 131 yards and a TD to Detroit TE TJ Hockenson, making Andrews a prime followthrough candidate for Week 2.
Just Missed: The Seahawks just allowed Andy Dalton ($5,400) to paste them for 418 yards in Week 1 and now have to defend against Pittsburgh on the road. Ben Roethlisberger ($5,800) – JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,500) – Vance McDonald ($3,900) should be a solid low-sentiment stack to target in this matchup.
Ben Roethlisberger ($5,800)
With sentiment on Pittsburgh extremely low after its Week 1 drubbing by New England, look for Roethlisberger and his receivers to be under-owned in Week 2 GPPs. Roethlisberger always has been a high home/road split QB, posting far better numbers when playing in Pittsburgh over his career. Despite attempting 33 fewer passes in his eight home games last season (vs. road games), Ben finished with four more touchdowns in those home starts. Seattle’s defense features one of the weaker secondaries in the league with the departure of Earl Thomas and gave up an unseemly 418 yards passing to the Bengals in its opener. Big Ben might not have Antonio Brown anymore, but rookie Diontae Johnson ($3,000) and James Washington ($3,600) both have stretch-the-field potential, which could be capitalized on against a weaker Seattle secondary. Ben’s got big-game potential here in his first home start.
Just Missed: The Chiefs gave up the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs last year and allowed the Jacksonville QBs to pass for 350 yards and three scores last week. Derek Carr ($5,100) might end up as a popular choice this week but contains enough upside to consider him regardless. He threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns at home vs. KC last year.
Leonard Fournette ($6,300)
Fournette was a disappointment fantasy-wise Week 1 and now will be playing with sixth-round draft pick Gardner Minshew ($4,800) as his QB, so I’m expecting his sentiment to be low in Week 2. Even if the Jacksonville offense is downgraded a touch due to the QB change, this is still a bullish setup for Uncle Leo against the Texans this week. Fournette received an 86% snap count in Week 1 and received a healthy six targets in the passing game, a number that should remain steady if his snap count stays above 80%. His opponent this week, Houston, gave up 7.6 yards per carry last week to the Saints’ RBs and also allowed nine receptions to opponents out of the backfield. The big game everyone expected from Fournette in Week 1 might just happen here against Houston, which possesses a high-level offense but a defense poor enough to turn any game into a shootout.
Just Missed: The Patriots enter this week with a massive 33-point team total as of writing. Sony Michel ($6,200) could see an increased workload here against a Miami defense that gave up 190 yards rushing to opposing RBs last week. Devin Singletary ($4,200) also makes for an interesting upside play against the Giants as he played 48 snaps Week 1 to Frank Gore’s ($3,500) 20 and saw six targets in the pass game.
Adam Thielen ($7,100)
The Vikings threw the ball only 10 times Week 1, and that low volume means there’s bound to be an overreaction in terms of the DFS ownership percentages attached to the Vikings’ passing game in Week 2. As such, Thielen sets up as a solid low-sentiment play this week, going up against a Packers defense that just allowed Allen Robinson ($6,100) to go for seven catches and 102 yards. Thielen absolutely decimated the Packers last year in two games, going for 20 receptions, 256 yards and two touchdowns, and it’s worth noting that with Stephon Diggs (ankle) still banged up, Thielen should remain in a spot here to get slightly preferential targeting. Even if the Vikes remain a run-first team, their passing volume is sure to increase from their Week 1 output and they could see a considerable boost in volume in Week 2 against the Packers, who held the Bears’ RBs to just 37 rush yards and 3.3 YPC. Thielen’s in a good spot here to produce at expected low ownership in Week 2.
Just Missed: The Saints are terrible at defending against their opponents’ top targets, and the Rams’ Brandin Cooks ($6,300) went for more than 100 yards in two matchups against them last season, he’s a great Week 2 bounce-back candidate as well. Talented rookie Preston Williams ($3,400) caught a TD in Week 1 and could see more targeting in Week 2 with Albert Wilson banged up and the Dolphins sure to be in catch-up mode most of the game.
Vance McDonald ($3,900)
As mentioned previously under my QB section, the Seahawks were abysmal defending the pass last week, and their deficiencies could lead to big bounce-back games for several Steelers. McDonald got off to a slow start in Week 1, catching just two passes on four targets for 40 yards. Still, he played 71% of the snaps last week and was the only player at his position to see a target for Pittsburgh, making him a solid bet for a rebound game or two going forward. The Seahawks set up as a potentially great matchup for McDonald, too, as they just allowed the Bengals’ TEs to catch nine passes on 11 targets last week. With Seattle setting up as a potential “funnel teams to the pass” style of defense, and sentiment low on the Steelers after a rough Week 1, McDonald looks like a nice leverage/upside target for big-field GPPs in Week 2.
Just Missed: We’ll have to see how the injury news on Jordan Reed ($3,400; concussion) shakes out, but either he or Vernon Davis ($3,200) would set up as a nice, cheap GPP target against Dallas this week. The Cowboys got manhandled by Evan Engram ($5,200) in the opener. Mark Andrews ($3,800) saw eight of his team’s 26 passes head his way in Week 1. His matchup against the Cardinals this week is chalk full of upside, too, given their pace of play.
Patriots ($3,700): It might seem too simplistic to just target the Dolphins’ offense going forward, but the DraftKings price of the Patriots DST this week means they likely won’t be that highly owned in large-field GPPs. New England stuffed the Steelers’ rush game last week, allowing just 32 yards on the ground, and that sort of dominance will mean more passes from the erratic Ryan Fitzpatrick, who completed just 48% of his passes Week 1 with one INT. If you can find enough value elsewhere, the Patriots have enough upside to warrant paying up for this week in big GPPs.
Steelers ($2,400): The Steelers enter this week as 4-point home favorites yet remain as the fifth cheapest DST on the slate. Pittsburgh entered the year with a highly touted defensive unit and, despite getting waxed on the road Week 1, it did hold the Patriots to less than 100 yards rushing. Seattle’s run-focused offense might be hard-pressed to move the ball early in this game, giving Pittsburgh more chances for sacks. Russell Wilson ($6,200) isn’t the optimal opposing QB you want for your DST, but at this cheap a price, you can live with a little bit of downside.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.