NFL DFS Player Pool: Week 2
Welcome to Week 2 of the NFL DFS Player Pool. Each week I will use this column to identify the players I am considering rostering at their respective positions for the upcoming weekends Main-Slate. While I wont be rostering every player listed below come Sunday, these are the players that I am considering at the current moment.
As we get closer to Sunday and more news comes out, I will narrow down my player pool and identify the core group players I think are locks for my cash lineups and which are more suitable for GPPs. Please note, prices and scoring below is relevant to DraftKings but the same plays can be utilized across sites.
Laslty, I am mainly a cash game player and I try to play 80% of my entries in cash formats (50/50s, Double-Ups, H2H, Triple Ups, etc.). I usually play one main cash lineup that I’ll enter into a higher priced single entry tournament with the other 20% of my entries being played in Single Entry or 3 Max Tournaments.
That being said we have a great 13 game main slate ahead of us and I am looking forward to the tighter pricing from sites. My main FanDuel lineup cashed in nearly every cash format with a score of 182.68 while my DraftKings lineup put up 198.28 and barely cashed in half of my cash entries. I believe this was a result of entering my lineups later in the week and relying more on multi-entry double ups contests as opposed to the usual single entry double-up contests I play. For those interested, Adam Levitan went in-depth in his recent Solo Pod for The Daily Fantasy Edge about the importance of game selection when playing cash games and I highly suggest anyone listen if they consider themselves a cash player or just want to become a better informed player. The podcast can be found here.
Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me, lets dig into this slate and my current player.
Week 2 Quarterback Player Pool
Drew Brees (NO): $7.2K @ CLE
Brees comes in at the highest price QB this week at $7.2K on DraftKings following last week’s 34.6 DK point effort. Brees carved up the Bucs woeful pass defense to the tune of 37-45 for 439 yards and 3 TDs. This week he gets an improved Cleveland defense in a game with a projected total of 49.5. That being said, I expect to see a better performance from the Saints defense this week after a putrid game last week which could result in less of a shootout. I still think this game makes sense from a game stack perspective but at the moment I am thinking I will save Brees for strictly GPPs and look to save money at the QB position in cash.
Ben Roethlisberger(PIT): $6.9K @ KC
It never feels good recommending Big Ben as a Cash QB option given his drastic home/road splits but in this case we get Big Ben at home against a Chiefs Defense that just allowed Philip Rivers to throw for 424 yards and 3 TDs last week. This game currently has the highest total at 52.5 with the Steelers favored to win by 5 points. I think this is a big bounce back spot for the Steelers passing offense and this game will be one of the main games I attack in tournaments. Team and Game stacks are very viable. If you go with a Ben-Conner-AB stack run it back with Hill and/or Kelce.
Patrick Mahomes (KC): $6.1K @ PIT
Mahomes exploded onto the scene last week putting up 28.3 DK points on 256 yards passing and 4 TDs. Mahomes was extremely efficient only attempting 17 passes last week in large part due to the Chiefs getting the lead very early on thanks to a Tyreek Hill 91 yard punt return TD. That being said, we shouldn’t expect Mahomes to be that efficient each week but what helps is his ability to scramble which will raise his floor each week. This may be the case this week, as we should expect to see Mahomes run more than the 5 times he did last week as Tyrod Taylor scrambled for 77 yards last week against the Steelers. Furthermore, Vegas is predicting this game to be the highest scoring game with an O/U total of 52.5 and the Chiefs are getting 5+ points which means Mahomes should have to attempt more than 17 passes this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF): $6K vs. DET
Jimmy G very well could be my Cash Game QB by the end of this week. I’m a believer in Jimmy G and I am not going to let one matchup against one of the NFL’s best defenses where the 49ers had to travel across the country and play a 1PM game stop me. The Lions somehow managed to look worse than Matt Patricia who was sporting a new 80 lbs on his frame. Man, being embarrassed by Nick Foles and the Eagles in the Super Bowl must have really taken a toll on him. I’m expecting the 49ers entire offense to bounce back in this spot and that starts with Jmmy G. This game has sneaky shootout appeal with a Vegas Total of 48 and the 49ers having a team total of 27. The Lions just allowed rookie Sam Darnold to throw for nearly 200 yards on them, I’m not afraid to go after them again. I understand if you don’t want to go Jimmy G in cash but I think you should have at least 1 GPP lineup with him and Kittle in it.
Nick Foles (PHI): $5.8K @ TB
Let me preface this by saying that I am a Die Hard Eagles fan, so take this next blurb however you want but I think Foles is cash game viable this week given his price tag and appealing match-up. I’ll probably talk myself out of it and end up finding the $300 extra dollars to get up to Mahomes but I do think Foles is viable in cash and could be a low owned QB option in GPPs. I know Foles looked awful all preseason and didn’t look much better last week against the Falcons where he only scored 6.1 DK points on 19-34 for 117 yards and 1 INT. But it’s hard to overlook the matchup with the Bucs who just allowed Drew brees to throw for 439 yards on them. They lost starting slot CB, Vernon Hargreaves III for the remainder of the year and starting outside CB Brent Grimes is also questionable after sustaining a groin injury.
Other QB’s that are in my player pool:
Tyrod Taylor (CLE): $5.9k – GPP Only and Case Keenum (DEN): $5.8k – Good salary saver but I’ll most likely go elsewhere
Week 2: RB Player Pool
Alvin Kamara (NO): $9.5k @ CLE
Kamara was the chalk last week with Mark Ingram beginning his 4 game suspension and Mike Gilslee being the only other RB on the roster. Kamara exploded for 46.1 DK pts in large part due to game script with the Saints playing from behind which raised Kamara’s involvement in the passing game where he hauled in 9 passes on 12 targets and 112 receiving yards and 1 receiving TD. He only received 8 carries which he turned in 29 rushing yards and 2 rushing TDs. It’s also important to note that Gilslee didn’t receive a single touch after his costly fumble. That said, Kamara is certainly in play again this week in a game where Vegas is projecting a 49.5 total with the Saints favored to win by 10 points. This could mean more running game work and less passing work, but the Browns run D is actually pretty solid despite letting Conner run all over them last week as they ranked 4th in Run DVOA and 2nd in Yards allowed per carry.
Todd Gurley (LAR): $9.2k
If I am going to spend up at RB, I’m very torn on which route to go between Kamara or Gurley. While Kamara made the headlines last week, Gurley had a solid but not great game by his standards. He was able to to put up 26.7 Dk pts on 20 carries, 108 rushing yards while hauling in 3 catches for 39 receiving yards and 1 TD. Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson combined for over 150 rushing yards last week against this Cardinals defense and the Rams are favored to win this game by 13 points which should lead to a positive game script for Gurley.
Melvin Gordon: $7.4K @ BUF
Gordon finished 3rd in RB points last week with 30.6 DK pts on 15 carries for 64 rushing yards and hauling in 9 receptions on 13 targets and 102 receiving yards. Game script also helped Gordon last week as the Chargers were trailing the Chiefs for the entirety of the game. That shouldn’t be the case this week with the Chargers scheduled to face the Bills who just got blown out by the Ravens 47-3. The Chargers are favored by 7.5 points which means Gordon should be more active on the ground as the Chargers control the ball. There is the risk of the Chargers getting ahead and starters being removed but we can’t predict that. What we can predict is that Melvin Gordon has one of the most locked in usage rates of all RBs in football.
Christian McCaffrey (CAR): $7.0k @ ATL
C-Mac was a slight disappointment last week after blowing up this preseason. While not a complete dud, McCaffrey was only able to muster 14.5 DK pts on 10 rushing attempts for 50 rushing yards and 6 receptions for 45 receiving yards on 9 targets. While 16 touches is not the 25-30 that Norv Turner and Ron RIveria suggested, I expect him to be utilized more moving forward. The one positive to take away from this game is that this likely McCafrey’s floor on a given week due to usage in the passing game. The loss of Greg Olsen should only continue inflate his involvement in the passing game masking him an ideal target in cash games due to his high floor. As Scott Barrett noted in his twitter thread, the loss of Dion Jones and Keanu Neal cannot be understated for the Falcons Defense that allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to RBs last year. C-Mac will be in my main cash lineup this week.
James Conner (PIT): $6.7K @ KC
I’m sure there will be plenty of articles fading James Conner this week after his price increased $1.6K and him being one of the heaviest players owned last week in a match-up that favored the running game due to weather. That being said, while there is merit to fading a chalky player coming off of a big game, I believe Conner and the Steelers RBs are the exception to this rule given the usage they give their RBs. According to Rich Hribar, Conner played 91.7% of the Steelers Week 1 snaps and accounted for 100% of the Steelers running back touches. No other running back in the NFL saw 100% of their backfields touches besides James Conner last week. This resulted in Conner scoring 38.2 DK pts on 35 rushing attempts for 135 yards, 2 Rushing TDs and 5 catches for 57 receiving yards on 6 targets. At the moment, Leveon Bell has still not reported to the Steelers’ facilities and Conner has a tasty match-up against the Chiefs D that just allowed Melvin Gordon to score 30.6 pts on them (15 attempts-64 rushing yards and 9 receptions-102 receiving yards). With the highest total on the board at 52.5 and the Steelers favored to win by 5, Conner is looking at another game with a huge projected volume and a positive game script that is hard to ignore.
Dalvin Cook (MIN): $6.5k @ GB
I wasn’t going to write a blurb for Cook and just put list him at the bottom of this section as a RB that I am going to be considering this weekend but I truly think he is a great play that is still not priced correctly or being talked enough. Cook had a mediocre game last week in his first action since he tore his ACL 11 months ago putting up 14.5 DK points on 16 carries and 40 rushing yards with a fumble. Where I am an intrigued though is his involvement in the passing game where he saw 7 targets and was able to secure 6 catches for 55 yards. Furthermore, per Adam Levitan’s Week 1 Usage Report, Cook played 80.3% of the Vikings snaps, handled 66% of the Vikings RB touches and ran 31 pass routes compared to Latavius Murray‘s 2. Dalvin is a workhouse and his price doesn’t reflect that yet. A big game is coming…
TJ Yeldon (JAX): $5.6k @ NE
This recommendation is dependent on the status of Leonard Fournette who is nursing a “minor” hamstring injury that caused him to leave last week’s game against the Lions. In his absence, Yeldon came in had 14 carries for 51 rushing yards while also hauling in 3 passes for 18 receiving yards, 1 TD on 7 targets which was good for 15.9 DK pts.
Other RBs’s that are in my player pool:
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Player Pool
High Priced WRs
Antonio Brown (PIT): $8.8k @ KC
Brown was a lock and load WR for me last week before the news of the weather broke. Heading into this week I am very tempted again to make Brown a Lock and Load play for me in the WR spot in all formats. Even with the weather, Brown saw 16 targets which he turned into 9 catches, 93 yards and a TD which was good for 24.3 DK pts. This week we get a home matchup against a very beatable secondary on dock and I expect a motivated Steelers team after last weeks embarrassing tie to the Browns. As Mike Clay noted in his “Best, worst WR matchups for Week 2” article, Brown has an appealing matchup vs. the Chiefs Steven Nelson and Orlando Scandrick who allowed the Chargers perimeter WR’s 45.9 fantasy points last week. As Clay notes, Brown lined up outside on 80% of his week 1 routes and is primed to deliver big numbers. And as mentioned above this is currently the highest O/U on the board at 52.5. Don’t over think, play AB!
Julio Jones (ATL): $8.4K @ CAR
Despite failing to find the End Zone last week Julio saw 19 targets last week against the Eagles which was good for 10 catches and 169 receiving yards. I still expect the positive TD regression to come to Julio even despite the head scratching play calls from Sark. This week Julio gets a mouth-watering matchup against divisional rival Carolina Panthers. It’ll be interesting to see how the Panthers game plan for Julio as they used James Bradberry to shadow him in their first matchup last year but elected not to shadow him in their week 16 matchup. Per Mike Clay, Julio hauled in 6 catches for 118 yards on 11 targets when Bradyberry shadowed him last year and 7 catches for 149 yards in their week 16 matchup when the Panthers elected not to shadowed him.
Mid Priced WRs
Emmanuel Sanders (DEN): $6.2K @ OAK
I thankfully had Sanders in 100% of contests last week and he didn’t disappoint on his way to 32.5 DK points. Sanders picked apart a washed Seattle defense to the tune of 10 catches, 135 yards and 1 TD on 11 targets. As Adam Levitan noted in his tweet, Sanders ran 51% of his routes from the slot on Sunday compared to last year where he only ran 27% routes there. As was discussed all preseason, Keenum loves targeting his slot WR as evidenced by Adam Thielen‘s breakout year last year. I fully expect Keenum to be the Broncos #1 WR for the remainder of the year and will continue to target him until he is priced appropriately.
Nelson Agholor (PHI): $6.1k @ TB
Agholor tied for a team high 10 targets last week, however, they were very inefficient targets as they only accounted for 33 yards on his 8 receptions. With Jeffrey still out for the forseeable future, we can expect Agholor and Ertz to be very active in the passing game again. Per Mike Clay, the Buc’s allowed the most points to slot WRs last week and primary slot CB and 2017 1st round bust, Vernon Hargreaves III is officially out after hurting his shoulder last week. Mike Clay expects rookie, MJ Stewart to get the nod in the slot which indicates Agholor could be in line for a big day.I will have plenty shares come Sunday.
Corey Davis (TEN): $5.1k @ HOU
This recommendation is only if Marcus Mariota suits up Sunday as he was removed from last week’s game after suffering an injury to his throwing Elbow. Davis received a team high 13 targets last week but was only able to haul in 6 of them for 62 yards doing most of his damage in the first quarter before the game’s first delay took place. Despite some of the targets being uncatchable, it was positive sign to see Davis being the main focus of the offense. This is a trend we can expect to continue now that Delanie Walker is out for the season with a dislocated ankle. The breakout is coming… if he can avoid those hamstring injuries that have plagued his career to start
Low Priced WRs
Chris Godwin (TB): $4.6K @ PHI
This will be another situation to monitor as DeSean Jackson is still in Concussion Protocol after last week’s shootout. If Jackson isn’t able to go, Godwin becomes an attractive sub $5k option. As Evan Silva notes in his tweet, Godwin has done nothing short of ball out when he receives more than 40+ snaps in a game. He should see a lot of Jalen Mills this weekend which could lead to a big game.
Geronimo Allison (GB): $3.8K @ MIN.
Allison was a very popular preseason sleeper entering the year and he did not disappoint week 1 with 17.9 DK points. With a game script that favored the passing game, Allison was able to haul in 5 catches on 8 targets for 69 yards and 1 TD as the Packers came from behind to beat the Bears on SNF. If Rodgers suits up this weekend, Allison could be a good salary saver in a competitive divisional game vs. the Vikings. Davante Adams should see a lot of Xavier Rhodes leaving Allison in the far better matchup on the opposite side.
Other WR’s that are in my player pool:
Michael Thomas (NO): $8.6K, Tyreek Hill (KC): $7.6k, Stefon Diggs (MIN): $6.9k , Amari Cooper (OAK): $6.6k -GPP ONLY, Jarvis Landry (CLE): $6.3k, Josh “Flash”Gordon (CLE): $5.8k -GPP Only but boy will be overweight on him, Quincy Enunwa (NYJ): $4.7k, Courtland Sutton (DEN): $3.5k, Mike Wallace (PHI): $3.9k – GPP Only, Dante Pettis (SF): $4k- Pending the status of Marquise Goodwin
NFL DFS Tight Ends
High Priced Options
Rob Gronkowski (NE) at $7k against the Jags and Travis Kelce (KC) at $5.9k against the Steelers are both viable High-Priced TE options this week but I will be most likely paying down at TE this week. That being said, both can be deployed in any format. I will have plenty of exposure to Kelce in my Steelers/Chiefs stacks after he burned a lot of people last week with his 1.6 DK points.
Zach Ertz (PHI): $6.1k @ TB
Ertz like much of the Eagles offense had a very underwhelming fantasy week last Thursday night. Ertz scored 9.1 DK points on 4 catches for 58 yards while seeing 10 targets. Ertz will probably be the only higher priced TE that I will consider in cash given his reasonable price, matchup, high floor and the state of the Eagles WRs.
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Mid Priced Options
There are no mid priced options that I am considering at the moment besides Jordan Reed (WAS) at $5k facing the Colts. While I am a big Jordan Reed fan he only saw 17% of the Redskins targets last week and I see myself spending down at Tight End this week.
Jack Doyle (IND): $4K @ WAS
Despite Ebron outscoring him last week, Doyle was able to hit value by putting up 12 DK points. Doyle saw a whopping targets last week which resulted in 7 catches for 60 yards. Even more important though is the fact that Doyle played 77-of-82 snaps yesterday, ran 55 pass routes and pass-blocked 0 times as Adam Levitan noted here.
George Kittle (SF): $3.8K @ DET
At the moment, Kittle is locked in as my TE in all formats given his price and projected volume. Kittle was able to put up 14 DK pts last week after hauling in 5 catches for 90 yards on 9 targets. Per Adam Levitan, Kittle ran a route on 33 of Jimmy G’s 38 drop backs. That being said, what wont show up in the stat sheet was the fact that Kittle was set up for a much bigger game. With Marquise Goodwin questionable this week and Darius Slay most likely shadowing Pierre Garcon, Kittle is primed for a big day. I expect the 49ers to rebound after last weeks lackluster start and it starts with Jimmy G and Kittle n Bits!
Other TE’s that are in my player pool:
Rob Gronkowski (NE): $7k, Travis Kelce (KC): $5.9k, and Jared Cook (OAK): $3.6k
NFL DFS Defenses:
I’m really trying to find a Defense besides that high-priced ones at the top but that is proving difficult. I had 100% exposure to the Browns last weekend on both sites as they were priced at the stone cold minimum of $2k. I envision the Chargers bouncing back in a big way after last week and get rookie Josh Allen this week. Last time the Chargers were in Buffalo was last years epic Nathan Peterman 5 int. game. The Eagles are very appealing and I am fully expecting the Bucs to come back down to earth after last week’s performance.
LA Rams: $3.7k
LA Chargers: $3.6k
Philadelphia Eagles: $3.4k
Denver Broncos: $3.3K
Stay tuned to Fantasy CPR for all the latest DFS news and Fantasy Football analysis all season long!