Patrick Mahomes, KC (DK – $7,200/FD – $9,200)
Mahomes was the top QB in Week 2 (37.15 Fantasy points) with high-level of success as well in Week 1 (31.10 – 5th). After two games, he has 821 passing yards with seven TDs and no Ints. His success vs. Oakland came from his second-level WRs, which was a surprise after the Tyreek Hill injury. Over the first two games, Baltimore allowed 539 passing yards with one TD while facing Miami and Arizona. Kyler Murray did expose the Ravens’ secondary with his WRs (20/307/0 on 31 targets). In 2018, Mahomes passed for 377 yards and two TDs at home against Baltimore. The Chiefs have risk on defense, which sets up a battle on the scoreboard. His downside could be a ball-control approach by the Ravens. Playing great with better than expected secondary weapons.
Lamar Jackson, BAL (DK – $7,000/FD – $8,500)
The next generation QB resides in Baltimore. Last he flashed his high value as a runner (147/695/5). Over the first two games, Jackson played great passing the ball (596 yards with seven TDs and no Ints). Over his 41 completions, he gained over 20 yards on 12 plays with three completions gaining more than 40 yards. His great game in Week 1 came against an undermanned Dolphins’ defense. In Week 2, his running value returned (16/120). The Chiefs allowed 548 passing yards vs. the Jaguars and Raiders with four TDs. Last year Jackson finished with 214 combined yards with two vs. Kansas City. His receiver core is better while playing against a defense that will allow plenty of yards. A daily owner just needs to have a piece of this upside pie.
Tom Brady, NE (DK – $6,600/FD – $7,800)
For the second straight matchup, Vegas has the Patriots listed as a huge favorite (23 points). This number suggests another high volume run game while reigning in the passing game. This season New England has 21 possession leading to nine TDs and five field goals, but two of those touchdowns came from their defense. Brady passed for 637 yards and five TDs in two games while gaining 9.8 yards per pass attempt. The Patriots have struggled to run the ball (3.5 yards per carry). The Jets held the Bills and the Browns to 39 points while showing risk vs. WRs (25/424/2 on 45 targets). I fully expect New England to hit the gas in the passing game over the first half leading to 300-plus yards by Brady and a minimum of three TDs. A rookie third-string QB and strength by the Patriots’ defense don’t invite a big fight on the scoreboard. If the Jets can score 20+ points, Brady will be one of the top QBs in the week.
Dak Prescott, DAL (DK – $6,500/FD – $8,400)
Just when the Cowboys’ passing offense was rising, they lost their WR2 (Michel Gallop) for a few games. Prescott looked sharp in both of his first two games (405/4 and 269/3). Last week he added 69 yards in the run game. Even with his success, he only attempted 31 passes per game. The Arrival of the Dolphins invites a blowout game with Ezekiel Elliott running wild. Over the first two games, Miami allowed 643 yards and six TDs plus 391 yards rushing. Tempting for sure based on matchup and the play of the Cowboys’ offense. Most of the daily crowd with run to Elliott, so Prescott could be somewhat against the grain.
DeSean Watson, HOU (DK – $6,400/FD – $8,200)
Watson laid an egg in Week 2 in the passing game (159/0) vs. a Jaguars’ defense that rebounded after a disaster game in Week 1, but he did add a rushing TD. In Week 1, Watson played at a high-level against the Saints (308 combined yards with four TDs). The Chargers allowed only 435 passing yards and four TDs in the first two games with some damage by WRs (27/315/3 on 34 targets). Watson is going to attack in the deep passing game. Will Fuller has a good chance at long TD while Kenny Stills and DeAndre Hopkins make plenty of plays. I don’t expect him to be popular this week while having the talent to post the best game of the week.
Russell Wilson, SEA (DK – $6,300/FD – $7,600)
Wilson ended up being a good play in Week 2 (28.20 Fantasy points – 4th), but the injury to Ben Roethlisberger took away some of his upside. Tyler Lockett turned into the possession receiver (10/79) with plenty of big-play ability. D.K. Metcalf played well for the second straight game (4/89 and 3/61/1). It was also good to see Wilson run (6/22) to help extend drives late in the game. The Saints gave up 9.5 yards per pass attempt in the first two games with disaster covering WRs (24/443/4 on 35 targets). When paired with their risk vs. the run (5.6 yards per rush), the Seahawks should have success moving the ball. The downgrade in QB by New Orleans should lead to a more conservative approach with more runs. I like Wilson’s direction, but I’ll wait for a better spot in the daily games.
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF (DK – $6,200/FD – $7,200)
The return of Garoppolo came last week (297/3) while the 49ers dominated Cincinnati’s defense in all facets of the game (572 combined yards with five TDs). Over the first two games, he completed 67.3 percent of his passes while averaging only 26 passes per game. The Steelers struggled in pass coverage in back-to-back games (373/3 and 300/3) with much of the damage coming via WRs (30/467/4 on 42 targets). Pittsburgh will slow down the run, but they will be playing with a backup QB suggesting a slower battle on the scoreboard.
Aaron Rodgers, GB (DK – $6,100/FD – $7,900)
The Rodgers supports can’t be happy with his start to the year (203/1 and 209/2), but he did play to two defenses (Chicago and Minnesota). His completion rate (62.5) remains below his best seasons in the NFL. Denver shut down the Bears’ passing game (120/0) in Week 1 while being pushed around by the Raiders in Week 1 (259/1). The Packers should improve offensively in their game with Rodgers becoming more relevant. Possible uptick game at home.
Cam Newton, CAR (DK – $6,000/FD – $7,900)
After two games, Newton doesn’t have a TD with fading value as a runner (five rushes for negative two yards). Last week he passed for 333 yards with a low completion rate (49.0), which was self-inflicted by many errant throws. Curtis Samuel had his man beat many times last week. D.J. Moore looks good, and Newton has the services of a top pass-catching RB. Unfortunately, he may not play this week with a lingering foot issue. Arizona struggled to defend the pass in both games (385/3 and 272/2) while getting punished by TEs (7/146/1 and 10/127/2). Many Fantasy owners will look to Kyler Murray in this matchup while Newton may surprise if he ended up playing.
Josh Allen, BUF (DK – $5,900/FD – $7,500)
The Bills started the year with back-to-back games on the road, which led to two wins via the other two New York franchises. Allen continues to be a factor in the run game (17/59/2) while showing growth in his completion rate (64.2). He passed for 507 yards with two TDs and two Ints with six completions over 20 yards. After playing in Week 1, the Bengals’ defense fell on their face last week (572 combined yards allowed) with plenty of failure in the passing game (313/3). Buffalo tends to play better offensively at home, which gives Allen a chance at 30+ Fantasy points thanks to his value in the run game.
Kyler Murray, ARI (DK – $5,800/FD – $7,900)
The sun is starting to rise in Arizona. Murray didn’t blink last week against a top defense. He finished with 359 passing yards with no TDs while beating the Ravens with seven passes gaining over 20 yards. The Cardinals have attempted 94 passes in two games, and they are still waiting to show his value as a runner. Carolina defended the pass well over the first two weeks (186/1 and 208/1) while playing both games as home. Murray has the talent to shine, and he may be a much lower percentage own in this matchup. He’s Katy Bing’s five-star play of the week.
Philip Rivers, LAC (DK – $5,800/FD – $7,500)
The Chargers lost their top TE this week, but Mike Williams ended up not having a major knee injury. Rivers passed for 626 yards and three TDs over the first two games with 11 completions over 20 yards. LA has an upside pass-catching back plus two talented WRs. The Texans have a tough time with the Saints’ passing game in Week 1 (370/2) while having no problems with rookie backup QB last week (213/1). Tough to get excited here, but a big lead by the Texans would force the Chargers to throw. More of a gamble than a targeted play.
Matt Ryan, ATL ($5,700/FD – $7,800)
After two games, Ryan has five TDs and five Ints. He passed for over 300 yards in both starts with a slight uptick at home (320/3). Last week his top two WRs started to shine (Julio Jones – 5/106/2 and Calvin Ridley – 8/105/1). The Colts started the year with two road games. They struggled to defend the pass in Week 1 (333/2) against the Chargers with a big chunk of the damage coming from the RB position (7/100/2). Indy does have eight sacks in two games with success vs. the weak passing attack of the Titans (154/1) last week. Atlanta did allow four sacks as well in Week 1. Ryan tends to be a better play at home.
Carson Wentz, PHI (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,700)
Wentz shined in Week 1 (313/3) when he had his full complement of receivers. In Week 2, the Eagles lost Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Dallas Goedert leading to a subpar game (231/1). Detroit played well against the pass for three quarters in Week 1 before fading late (308/2). They allowed 8.1 yards per pass attempt against the Chargers, which led to 293 yards and no TDs. In both games, WRs gained over 200 yards (21/233/1 and 12/209). I can’t trust his secondary weapons.
Matthew Stafford, DET (DK – $5,500/FD – $6,900)
Last week the Lions attempted 15 fewer passes than Week 1 (45), which led to a much shorter game (245/2). Stafford gained 8.4 yards per pass attempts so far this season with 11 of his 49 completions gaining over 20 yards. His best game came in Week 1 (385/3). The Eagles have plenty of risk in their secondary to WRs (15/225/2 and 17/227/3). After two games, Philly allowed 700 passing yards with six TDs. The Lions have depth in their receiving core, which gives them a favorable matchup in this game.
Jameis Winston, TB (DK – $5,400/FD – $7,300)
The preseason hype on Winston seems like a lost memory after two short games (194/1 and 208/1). His completion rate (59.0) is below par while still looking to find his top WR and lead TE. The Giants struggled vs. the pass in Week 1 (405/4) while allowing 8.4 yards per pass attempt as well in Week 2. WRs already have 32 catches for 550 yards and three TDs on 41 targets against New York. There’s a lot to like here expect the Giants may not push the issue on the scoreboard. Maybe a forgotten man who has two players (Mike Evans and O.J. Howard) due for a big game.
Andy Dalton, CIN (DK – $5,300/FD – $7,100)
The Bengals’ passing game has been exciting over the first two games (729 yards and four TDs). Dalton already has ten completions over 20 yards with three gaining over 40 yards. In both games, the Bengals struggled to run the ball (14/34 and 19/25), which is a sign of offensive line problems. Buffalo held Eli Manning and Sam Darnold to 4.9 yards per pass attempt while picking five sacks in two games. The Bills will play better at home while trying to run the ball. I see a correction game for the Bengals’ passing game. Fade.
Jacoby Brissett, IND (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,800)
Brissett is 1-1 after two games while failing to pass for over 200 yards in each contest. He only has two completions over 20 yards, but he has a 5-to-1 TD to Int ratio. Over the first two games, he attempted only 55 passes with success in his completion rate (69.1). The Falcons fell behind early in Week 1, which led to the Vikings attempting only ten passes. Last week Philly lost multiple receivers leading to a poor game by Carson Wentz (255/1). The boring stats by Brissett will push daily player elsewhere for upside. On the positive side, the Falcons may be able to push the issue on the scoreboard.
Kirk Cousins, MIN (DK – $5,100/FD – $7,200)
The Vikings’ passing game has been a disaster after two games (328 yards and two Ints), which is surprising considering their two top WRs. Cousins has a poor completion rate (52.4), which is out of character when looking at his 2018 season (70.1 percent). The Raiders will come into this game looking to slow down Dalvin Cook. Over the first two games, Oakland allowed 711 passing yards with five TDs with huge damage coming from WRs (31/499/4 on 45 targets). Priced to pay along with his WRs while being overlooked in the Fantasy market. If Oakland can score, Cousins should pass for over 300 yards with three TDs.
Daniel Jones, NYG (DK – $5,000/FD – $6,000)
The Giants will turn to Jones this week, but it’s not going to help the passing game. He played well in the preseason with no pass rush. Tampa has been crowding the line of scrimmage to help stop the run game and attack the QB. WRs will have chances to make plays, but New York doesn’t have the talent at this point of the season to make the Bucs pay. Tampa allows 2.7 yards per rush and 6.4 yards per pass attempt. A top QB will pick them apart, but I don’t believe in Jones in his NFL debut. His best hope is long TD via a screen pass by Saquan Barkley.
Derek Carr, OAK (DK – $5,000/FD – $6,700)
After two games, Carr completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 457 yards and two TDs while gaining 7.1 yards per pass attempt. The Raiders may be without their top RB this week, which is a strike for their overall offense. Minnesota held QBs to 6.4 yards per pass attempts, but game score has led to 80 pass attempts. The Falcons picked up most of their passing yards (304/2) late in the game while Aaron Rodgers (209/2) leaned on the run game after Green Bay opened up a big lead. Wrong kind of play while lacking receiving talent.
Mason Rudolph, PIT (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,600)
The Steelers will turn to Rudolph to save the quarterback position after losing Ben Roethlisberger for the season. Pittsburgh drafted him in the third round in 2018 after flashing upside in 2017 at Oklahoma State (4,904 passing yards with 47 combined TDs and nine Ints). In his first NFL appearance, he completed 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards and two TDs. I thought his ball came out quickly with accuracy and velocity. The 49ers’ defense has seven sacks and four Ints in two games while allowing 505 passing yards with three TDs. May surprise while expecting to chase on the scoreboard.
Teddy Bridgewater, NO (DK – $4,700/FD – $6,800)
It’s been a long time since Bridgewater had a chance to be a starting QB in the NFL. In 2015, he looked the part as game manager for the Vikings leading to 3,231 passing yards with 17 combined TDs. Last week he struggled to make plays (5.5 yards per pass attempts), but he should be better with a full week of practice. Seattle struggled vs. the Bengals’ passing game in Week 1 (418/2) with improvement against a backup QB last week (187/2). The Saints have a top offense. It’s just a matter if Bridgewater can handle the steering wheel and have the keys for the full game.
Joe Flacco, DEN (DK – $4,600/FD – $6,400)
Over two games, Flacco completed 69.1 percent of his passes while still gaining only 6.9 yards per pass attempt. He’s gained 560 yards and two TDs on 40.5 passes per game. Green Bay played great in both games defending QBs (228/0 and 230/1). The Packers allow 5.9 yards per pass attempt. Flacco is a veteran QB who can dink and dunk with the best of them, and he’ll most likely be chasing on the scoreboard. His ticket tends to come in three to four times a season plus Denver has two good WRs and a sneaky option at TE.
Luke Falk, NYJ (DK – $4,600/FD – $6,000)
The Jets will be playing their third-string QB vs. a Patriots’ defense that allowed only three points in two games. So far, QBs passed for 462 yards and no TDs in two games with eight sacks and five Ints. Falk played well over three seasons at Washington State leading to over 12,500 yards with 109 TDs and 32 Ints. His completion rate projects well. Not ideal, but he does have some game with plenty of experience throwing the ball.