Week 1 of the NFL season seemed to leave more questions than answer. That is good news for all daily fantasy players.
In Week 1 of the NFL season, there were some unexpected outcomes and some expected craziness. For fantasy players, that is a double-edge sword. There are still value plays out there due to wild weather or game flow throwing off a player’s value. On the other hand, some players simply looked lost or not what we thought they were. Let’s dive into Week 2 DraftKings rankings and a snap shot of some value plays.
*This article is before injury reports come out. There will be an updated version released on Sunday morning with a more accurate picture of what teams plan on doing with their injured players.*
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. Cleveland Browns – $7200
The veteran signal caller for the New Orleans Saints tops the list this week for DraftKings. Drew Brees threw for a Week 1 high of 439 yards in a shoot out against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He looked as sharp as ever against a weak Bucs secondary completing over 80% of his passes and throwing three touchdowns. The game flow likely had a lot to do with that with New Orleans trailing most of the week.
This week, the Saints will stay home to welcome the Cleveland Browns. In a tie, the Browns defense picked off a struggling Ben Roethlisberger 3 times but did allow the fifth most yards of the week. While Cleveland’s defense looks improved, Brees based on volume alone looks like a solid play. Be careful though because if New Orleans gets out to a lead, they can and will lean on the running game to ride out what is essentially a must-win game.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs – $6900
Speaking of Ben Roesthlisberger, he follows Brees on the rankings. His three interceptions and lost fumble tanked any fantasy value he had a week ago against the Browns. It was a wet and rainy weekend in Cleveland, which likely played a factor. Don’t forget that a season ago, there were early season struggles but Roethlisberger eventually bounced back.
This week, he will face a Chiefs defense that enabled Philip Rivers to throw for 424 yards and three touchdowns. Kansas City should present little challenge for the Pittsburgh passing attack. This game is going to be a shoot out, which is good news for anyone who chooses to roster Roethlisberger.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings – $6800
One of the gutsiest performances of the first week of games came from the former-MVP Aaron Rodgers. He led the Packers to a thrilling comeback on Sunday night after leaving the game with an injury. After the game he came out and said he is going to play next week. Operating under that assumption, it’s going to be tough to put Rodgers in lineups this week as anything other than a contrarian play.
The Vikings are coming to town and that defense looked like the league’s best in shutting down the 49ers a week ago. Minnesota made Jimmy Garropolo look like a rookie picking him off three times and holding him under 300 yards passing. The ferocious pass rush also logged three sacks against the 49ers. Rodgers broke his collarbone a season ago against this defense, and will be looking for revenge. If he plays, it’s a tough matchup for one of the best to ever play the position.
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers @ Buffalo Bills – $6700
Coming off a shoot out loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, there is still optimism for Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles offense. Rivers racked up 424 yards passing and three touchdowns against the soft Chiefs secondary. This week they will travel across the country to play the Buffalo Bills who looked like the worst team in the league in a blow out loss to the Ravens a week ago. Last season the Bills were a defense to avoid for fantasy quarterbacks.
There may have been a regression this season because that was not the case a week ago. Joe Flacco made it look easy en route to three touchdowns and a 121 quarterback rating. This is a game to keep an eye on. Buffalo has a talented secondary and the Chargers could lean more on the run game if they get an early lead. Rivers is a solid play but not the slam dunk the statistics would suggest.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons $6600
A disappointing fantasy performance from the first weekend was Cam Newton and the Panthers offense. Newton did not throw a touchdow pass and failed to top 200 yards passing against the Cowboys defense. The offense never found a rhythm and will now be without safety blanket Greg Olsen for extended time.
This week, the Panthers and Newton travel to Atlanta to play a well-rested but injured Falcons defense. Losing Keanu Neal and Deion Jones for the season is going to hurt the Atlanta defense, but there is still plenty of talent there. Carolina’s offensive line will limit Newton all season but his rushing ability will keep his floor high.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers $6100
The most intriguing quarterback entering the season for fantasy purposes was the Chiefs second year player Patrick Mahomes. With a rifle for an arm and deep threats flanking him, the ceiling was higher than expectations allowed.
Mahomes did not disappoint in Week 1, unleashing deep balls at will against the Chargers on his way to the fourth highest scoring total of the week and four touchdowns. This week he will travel to Pittsburgh to play a Steelers secondary that looked shaky at Cleveland a week ago. It is odd to see Mahomes as the 12th ranked quarterback this week. He is certainly a value play in a game that looks like a shoot out.
Jimmy Garropolo, San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions $6000
Right behind Mahomes entering the season in terms of intrigue was the previously undefeated Jimmy Garropolo. After Week 1 some of the shine may have come off Garropolo. That is in large part due to the Vikings defense.
Garropolo was being attacked in the pocket and never got it going. Now against a Detroit secondary that was just lit up by rookie Sam Darnold, Garropolo can find his groove again. This becomes an even better matchup should the Lions’ best pass rusher, Ezekiel Ansah, miss the game.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Chargers $4600
This is more of a long shot that any player. As of writing this, the Buffalo Bills have not named a starting quarterback. Should rookie Josh Allen get the start, he becomes an intriguing option. The Chargers secondary just got dominated by a big arm young quarterback a week ago. Buffalo will likely be trailing and need to throw.
Joey Bosa looks unlikely to play. Those three factors at least make Josh Allen worth a look as the 33rd ranked quarterback in DraftKings. There is massive risk playing him but there are scenarios where it works.