After an exciting start to the NFL season (unless you’re a Browns fan or drafted Nick Foles for your fantasy football team), we’ve got another great Sunday afternoon lined up with 13 games on the main slate. Week 2 is always a fun one since we have a little bit of data from Week 1, but are still figuring out what are one-week aberrations and what players are at the start of a breakout campaign.
Some of the top offenses in the NFL have seemingly cushy road matchups on Sunday as the Chiefs take on the Raiders and the Patriots visit the Dolphins, but there are some more off-the-radar options that deserve a look as well. To help you in your hunt for value at the lower end of the salary structure, here are my top Week 2 values at each spot:
QUARTERBACK($6,000 and under)
Jared Goff, LAR vs. NO, $5,900 – Goff only managed 186 yards, one touchdown and 10.44 DKFP in the Rams’ opener on the road in Carolina, but I think he’s set up for a good bounce-back performance at home against the Saints. New Orleans is on a short week and traveling cross-country after allowing Deshaun Watson ($6,600) to put up 31.72 DKFP against them on Monday Night Football. While Goff reaching 30-plus DKFP is probably a stretch, he should be able to greatly improve on his Week 1 numbers since he has all his weapons back, including Cooper Kupp ($6,000), and will be involved in what could be a shootout Sunday afternoon. When Goff faced the Rams last season, he threw for 297 yards and a touchdown in the NFC Championship game after lighting them up for 391 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season.
Derek Carr, OAK vs. KC, $5,100 – The reports of the Raiders’ demise after the Antonio Brown saga may have been exaggerated, as they proved with a strong 24-16 win over the Broncos on Monday Night Football. Carr looked good completing 22-of-26 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown on his way to 14.56 DKFP. He showed a strong rapport with Tyrell Williams ($4,400) and Darren Waller ($3,300), who will be further discussed later in this post. Carr and the Raiders will have to try and keep up with the Chiefs on Sunday and last year that led to a 285-yard, three-touchdown performance from Carr at home. Little-known sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew II ($4,800) had success against the Chiefs secondary in Week 1, showing the Kansas City secondary is very much a work in progress, and there should be plenty of high-scoring games on the Chiefs’ schedule this season.
RUNNING BACK($5,000 and under)
Devin Singletary, BUF at NYG, $4,200 – It was a relatively quiet debut for the Bills’ third-round pick out of Florida Atlantic, but there were some very encouraging signs that Singletary is poised for a big game this week against the Giants. He played 70% of Buffalo’s snaps while Frank Gore ($3,500) played 28% and T.J. Yeldon ($3,200) managed just 3%. He also looked good when he did get the ball, piling up 70 rushing yards on just four carries and catching 5-of-6 targets for 28 more yards. The Bills played from behind and threw the ball a lot in the second half, but if they can play from ahead against the Giants, Singletary could be in store for more work and a big game.
Chris Thompson, WAS vs. DAL, $3,900 – With Derrius Guice ($3,900; knee) doubtful after a Week 1 meniscus injury, Thompson could get some extra work in Week 2 against the Cowboys. After battling injuries the past few seasons, Thompson looked healthy and very involved in Week 1, catching 7-of-10 targets for 68 yards and finishing with 14.8 DKFP, even though he didn’t get into the end zone. Thompson’s work as a receiver out of the backfield and big-play potential gives him an extremely high ceiling for a play under $4K.
WIDE RECEIVER($5,000 and under)
John Ross III, CIN vs. SF, $4,600 – Ross was a major disappointment in his first two NFL seasons after the Bengals used a top-10 pick on him in the 2017 NFL Draft. He only had 21 catches for 210 yards in 16 games before breaking out with a monster performance in Week 1 against Seattle. Ross had his first NFL game with over 100 yards and totaled 37.8 DKFP by hauling in 7-of-12 targets for 158 yards and two scores. Ross should continue to get plenty of opportunities while A.J. Green (ankle) remains sidelined. Cincinnati was better than many expected in the opening week and new Bengals coach Zac Taylor’s offense could be strong enough to sustain Ross as a viable option this week against the 49ers.
D.J. Chark, JAX at HOU, $4,500 – Another high pick that has disappointed but stepped up in Week 1, Chark caught all four passes thrown his way and totaled 146 yards for 27.6 DKFP in the Jaguars’ season-opening loss to the Chiefs. He seems to have a good connection with Minshew, who will start for the Jaguars while Foles (collarbone) is sidelined. He’s big-play dependent but has a high ceiling against the Texans, who are on a short week.
Tyrell Williams, OAK vs. KC, $4,400 – Williams definitely benefits from having his monster Monday night game come after salaries for the main slate were already locked in. The former-Charger had a big Oakland debut, catching 6-of-7 targets for 105 yards, a touchdown and 25.5 DKFP. He had six catches for 71 yards when he last faced the Chiefs as a member of the Chargers last season but more importantly seems to be the Raiders’ go-to receiver. The Chiefs let Chark and Chris Conley ($4,200) both go for over 95 receiving yards in Week 1, so Williams should be in a good matchup to return big-time value.
Terry McLaurin, WAS vs. DAL, $3,800 – The NFL version of Scary Terry, McLaurin started his career with a bang, burning the Eagles secondary for 125 yards and a touchdown while hauling in 5-of-7 targets. He almost had another long touchdown late in the game but couldn’t quite haul in the long pass from Case Keenum ($5,000). Keenum doesn’t have a ton of options at WR and the Redskins’ offense is usually fairly pass-heavy. If they’re trying to keep up with the new-look Cowboys offense, McLaurin should be heavily targeted again in this matchup making him a great sub-$4K play.
TIGHT END($4,000 and under)
Darren Waller, OAK vs. KC, $3,300 – Another Raider who was helped by the salary release before his game was Waller, who led the team in targets and caught 7-of-8 for 70 yards and 14 DKFP in the season opener. Waller is a big target with elite athleticism and is definitely going to be involved in the Raiders’ passing game. An affordable Raiders’ mini-stack could pay off big if the Chiefs’ defense struggles again on the road.
T.J. Hockenson, DET vs. LAC, $3,000 – The Lions-Cardinals tie wasn’t the prettiest game to watch on Sunday, but Hockenson still was extremely impressive in his NFL debut. He hauled in 6-of-9 targets for 131 yards, a touchdown and 28.1 DKFP. He set the record for most receiving yards by a TE in his debut since the 1970 merger and looks to be QB Matthew Stafford’s ($5,200) new security blanket. The Chargers’ defense did a good job against the Colts’ TE in Week 1, but I still love Hockenson at this salary.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS($2,800 and under)
Texans vs. JAX, $2,800 – The Texans only had 2.0 DKFP in Week 1, but they get a bit of a pass since they were on the road against Drew Brees ($6,200) and the Saints, who they actually held to just three points in the first half. This week, they have a much more favorable matchup against Minshew and the Jaguars as the rookie makes his first NFL start. Houston will also be at home, which should also be a big boost.
Steelers vs. SEA, $2,400 – The Steelers are also coming home after a rough road showing to start the season. They were crushed by Tom Brady ($6,400) and New England, basically from the opening kickoff, and gave up 465 yards while only managing one sack and no takeaways. They will need to bounce back as they come home and face the Seahawks. The Bengals held Seattle to just 233 total yards, had four sacks and a fumble recovery in Week 1, and the Steelers defense is expected to be a much better unit than Cincinnati’s. Add in Seattle’s travel from the West Coast for an early game, and I think Pittsburgh’s defense is set up to bounce back in Week 2.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.