Color Codes: Favorable Matchup Neutral Matchup Risk/Against the Grain Tough Matchup with Limited Upside
Unless otherwise stated, pricing is from DraftKings
Tom Brady (DK – $7,900/FD – $9,200): The Patriots struggled in the passing game in Week 1 thanks to Brady completing only 44.4 percent of his passes for 267 yards and no TDs. New England showed the ability to run the ball well in close, but their failure on a couple of short yardage situations hurt their chance to extend drives and limit the upside in scoring. The Saints’ defense enters 2017 with risk in the secondary, which was clear in Week 1. The Vikings drilled New Orleans for 346 passing yards and three TDs with an exceptional completion rate (84.4). With ten days to getting ready for this game, New England should bounce back in a big way offensively plus their defense has a lot to prove out of the gate pointing a high scoring games. Excellent matchup with Tom projected to pass for 372 yards with three TDs by Scout or 30.22 Fantasy points at DraftKings and 27.22 at Fanduel. Brady is a top two option this week in the daily games.
Drew Brees (DK – $7,700/FD – $8.700): As been his history in his career, Drew came out flat on the road in Week 1. He passed for 291 yards and a TD with strength in his completion rate (73.0), but New Orleans had no rhythm in the run game (21/60). The Saints need to come up with a better rotation at RB to help complement the passing game. As bad a New England looked on defense (553 yards allowed), their failure came on three big plays (58, 75, and 78). This accounted for 38.1 percent of the offense. The Patriots have a top coaching staff and they will address their mistakes going forward. Drew is a great player at home so he’s can’t be dismissed in Week 2. Scout has him down for 339 passing yards with two passing TDs based on his matchup. For him to payoff, Brees will need to find a way to pass for three TDs or more. In the mix at the top end while being somewhat against the grain.
Matt Ryan (DK – $7,500/FD – $8,200): One game in 2017, the Falcons looked the same as 2016. Ryan gained completed 70 percent of his passes for 321 yards and a TD while gaining 10.7 yards per attempt. His success was helped by two huge plays by Austin Hooper (88-yard TD and 40-yard catch). Atlanta did struggle to run the ball (23/64/1), which is something that well be corrected on the fast track at home. Last year Matt passed for 288 yards and three TDs vs. the Packers with Julio Jones being a non-factor. The Packers played well defensively in Week 1 (248 combined yards and no TDs allowed), which was helped by a poor offensive line by Seattle. This game should be wide open leading to upside for Ryan. We have him down for 344 passing yards and 2.5 passing TDs, which is the third highest ranking on the week. His downside may be the Falcons’ ability to run the ball in close.
Aaron Rodgers (DK – $7,400/FD – $9,100): The Packers ran a ball controlled offense in Week 1 vs. a tough Seahawks defense. They held the ball for 39:13 minutes, which was the reason that Rodgers attempted 42 passes. He finished with 311 passing yards and a TD. His results could have been higher with better success on the ground (28/84/1). Atlanta wasn’t tested in the passing game last week due to the Bears having weak options at WR and TE. The Bears gained only 5.3 yards per pass attempt leading to 213 passing yards and a TD. This matchup will be a total different animal for the Falcons’ defense. Green Bay won’t score many rushing TDs, which is another positive for Rodgers. In 2016, he passed for 246 yards with four TDs in his game in Atlanta while adding another 60 yards rushing. Three of his TDs went to his secondary wide receivers (Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis, and Jeff Davis). Fair price point at DraftKings with high upside in a game that is expected to be a shootout. Aaron is the top rated QB headed into Week 2. Scout has him projected for 345 passing yards and three TDs with addition 21 yards rushing. Best option at QB in both formats this week.
Derek Carr (DK – $7,200/FD – $8,300): If Amari Cooper could catch the damn ball, Carr would have had a playable game in Week 1. He ended up with 262 passing yards with two TDs. Carr has talent at RB, WR, and TE plus Marshawn Lynch is going to have success running the ball especially in the red zone. The Jets had no answer for the Bills’ run game (42/190/1) last week despite limited threats in the passing game. They allowed 8.0 yards per pass attempt leading to 224 yards and two TDs. There are two factors working against the upside of Derek in Week 2. The Jets has a low-level offense plus the Raiders will score rushing TDs. I like his weapons, but I’m be more inclined to ride Lynch. More steady than explosive with a chance at about 270 passing yards and a TD.
Russell Wilson (DK – $6,800/FD – $8,100): The play of the offensive line was a clear issue for Wilson in Week 1. The Seahawks’ RBs gained only 50 yards on 16 carries while Russell looked to have his bounce back on the ground (2/40). His top two receiving options (Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin) only had seven catches for 71 yards on 11 targets. In 2016, Wilson had 508 combined yards and two TDs in two games vs. the 49ers. His game was limited on the ground (2/7) due to his ankle and knee issues. San Fran held Cam Newton to 171 passing yards and two passing TDs. The Panthers did miss on hitting on a couple of scoring plays due to Cam showing some rust. Favorable matchup, but the 49ers won’t push the issue on the scoreboard.
Ben Roethlisberger (DK – $6,700/FD – $8,000): Other than the Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown combination (11 completions on 11 targets for 182 yards), the Steelers played poorly on the road vs. the Browns. They gained only 35 yards on 17 carries while committing 13 penalties for 144 yards, which is tough to overcome on both sides of the ball. The Vikings’ defense held the Saints to only one TD, but they did allow 7.9 yards per pass attempt. Ben had 20 of his 29 passing TDs at home over six games at home last year while passing for more than 300 yards in three games (300, 380, and 408). This isn’t a great matchup. I do expect Roethlisberger to play well and he has the weapons to shine on any given Sunday at home. More of an against the grain play. Scout has Ben projected for 277 passing yards and two TDs.
Cam Newton (DK – $6,500/FD – $7,800): Game score led to Newton only attempting 25 passes in Week 1 leading to 171 yards and two TDs. He did attempt six rushes, which is a sign that his shoulder is good to go in 2017. The Bills weren’t challenged in the passing game last week vs. the Jets (187 passing yards with no TDs and two Ints). New York has one of the weakest passing attacks in the league. Buffalo has risk in the secondary and Cam should be improved in the deep passing game. Hopefully, he can get his top WR and TE involved never mind the high upside of Christian McCaffrey in the passing game. I sense that the Panthers will regain some of their 2015 swagger on both sides of the ball so Newton could offer more upside than meets the eye. Possible 280+ combined yards with a couple of TDs.
Marcus Mariota (DK – $6,400/FD – $7,900): Mariota struggled to make plays and with his accuracy in Week 1. He finished with 282 combined yards and a rushing TD. In his one full game vs. the Jaguars in 2016, Marcus had 281 combined yards with two passing TDs. Jacksonville was electric on defense in Week 1 (10 sacks, one Int, three fumble recoveries, and a defensive TD). The Jaguars allowed only 164 yards passing with one passing TD. Mariota is a much better QB with a plus rushing attack and strength at the receiving positions. Based on the play of Jacksonville’s defense, I would look elsewhere for my QB in Week 2. On a side note: Corey Davis has the beast look to him so his ticket paired with Marcus will come in at some point in 2017.
Jameis Winston (DK – $6,300/FD – $7,800): Winston has more receiving talent in 2017 with DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard added to the roster. A healthy Charles Sims will give him a threat out of the backfield on passing downs as well. In 2016, Jameis had only three games with over 300 yards passing and four games with three passing TDs or more. The Bears showed plenty of downside risk in coverage in Week 1 where they allowed 10.7 yards per pass attempt leading to 321 passing yards and a TD. Jameis is projected for 254 passing yards and two TDs pointing to a mediocre score in the daily games.
Kirk Cousins (DK – $6,100/FD – $7,700): Week 1 was a down performance for Cousins. He passed for only 257 yards with one TD. He did throw a nice long pace to Terrelle Pryor early in the game that should have been a long TD, but Pryor dropped the pass. Overall, Kirk had step back in his completion rate (57.5) while gaining only 6.0 yards per pass attempts. The Rams owned the Colts’ passing game in Week 1 (179 yards with no TDs, two Ints, and four sacks), but Los Angeles did allow 8.5 yards per pass attempts. This was helped by one 50-yard completion by Jacoby Brissett off the bench. Indy did play with weak backup QB. Cousins is a much better QB with depth in his passing weapons. This game will be against his former offensive coordinator who is now the head coach for the Rams. Interesting matchup for sure. Kirk should throw for close to 300 yards (289) with a pair of TDs. If he hits on the bonus points and finds third TD, he’ll be near the top of the leaderboard at QB in DK scoring this week.
Carson Palmer (DK – $6,000/FD – $7,500): The fun ride of Palmer may have ended when David Johnson suffered a wrist injury in Week 1. Arizona will have a huge drop down at RB leading to defenses having a better chance to defend their WRs. The change in offensive flow should lead to more targets to the WR position and Larry Fitzgerald. The Lions held Carson 269 passing yards on 48 pass attempts with a TD and three Ints. He does draw the Colts’ passing defense who will struggled in Week 1 vs. the Rams (306 passing yards and a TD). Indy will play without top CB Vontae Davis against this week. More of a coin flip with heads being no Johnson and tails being the poor pass defense by Indy. Most will stay away as both teams will try to find their identity on offense. I need to see more before taking this rough ride.
Carson Wentz (DK – $5,900/FD – $7,300) – Wentz did a nice job in Week 1 (307 passing yards with two TDs) helping the Eagles win a big game on the road. Carson had four completions over 20 yards with one going for 40+ yards. This week he’ll take his show on the road to Kansas City. The Chiefs did loss their top safety Eric Berry for the season, which is positive for Zach Ertz. The elite Tom Brady struggled to make completion in Week 1 vs. Kansas City (44.4 percent) with no TDs. The Chiefs have strength at linebacker with talent in the secondary. This isn’t a great matchup plus this game will have plenty of runs. Improving QB who has enough talent to deliver some big games in 2017 with the right matchup. I don’t see this as impactful game for the daily space.
Phillip Rivers (DK – $5,800/FD – $7,000): Rivers is just a warrior at times. Even with a poor offensive line while playing against a top pass defense, Philip found a way to throw three TDs while gaining only 5.8 yards per pass attempt. Miami will rush the QB, but they did have risk defending QBs last year (30th in Fantasy points allowed). Four teams scored over 30 Fantasy points from the QB position. The Dolphins have enough talent to at least keep this game competitive while rushing TDs could be few and far between for the Chargers due to poor run blocking. Rivers looks to be in line for 295 yards with 2.25 TDs, which is real close to being an impact score while having a favorable salary. Nice floor with intriguing upside.
Alex Smith (DK – $5,700/FD – $7,200): Three big plays (58, 75, and 78) helped Smith have one his best games of his NFL career vs. the Patriots (368 passing yards and four TDs). Over his 142 games in his career, Alex only has seven games over 300 yards passing and 14 games with three TDs or more. The Eagles pass defense held Kirk Cousins to 240 yards and a TD. They sacked him four times while allowing only 6.0 yards per pass attempt. Both teams will run the ball while running a ball control offense. Tough playing the best player from the previous week. I’m sure Philly will game plan to slow down Kareem Hunt so Smith may need to throw the ball well to win the game. Tough to trust due to his secondary options in the passing game.
Dak Prescott (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,700): The Cowboys’ offense looked improved in Week 1 even though the Giants’ defense was expected to be improved this year. I like the plays they ran for Terrance Williams, which added another dimension to the passing attack. The Broncos held San Diego to 256 combined yards while allowing three combined TDs. Dallas has a much better offensive line and they will have success running the ball. I expect this game to be played at a slow pace with both teams needing long drives to produce TDs. Dak could have success on the ground plus a rushing TD. Prescott is projected for 251 combined yards with 1.25 TDs. Low percentage play with more risk than reward.
Sam Bradford (DK – $5,500/FD – $7,100): I’ll say this after the first week of the season. The Vikings have the tools on offense and defense to make a deep playoff run in 2017. I had their defense rated second to the Broncos headed into the regular season. The addition of Delvin Cook looks to be the missing link in the offense, which opens up plenty of space in the passing game. I know Bradford had success vs. one of the weaker pass defenses in the league, but he does have talent at WR and TE plus Cook is going to be a threat out of the backfield. The Steelers’ defense played reasonably well in Week 1 (279 combined yards with two TDs) vs. a lower level offense that was helped by some dumb penalties. They sacked Kizer seven times while allowing only eight catches to WRs for 98 yards and a TD on 12 targets. This game could go in multiple direction. Both teams will run the ball and play strong defense so I’m sensing avoid especially after posting a solid game in Week 1.
Jay Cutler (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,900): Cutler may have the best receiving weapons of his career in Miami. Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker could have an impressive season in 2017 with Jay throwing the ball plus Julius Thomas will offer scoring ability at TE. In 2016, the Dolphins had the most success over the second of the season by rushing the ball and limiting the passing attempts by Ryan Tannehill. Cutler will make mistakes, but he does have the arm to make tighter throws while improving the deep passing game. The Chargers do have talent at CB plus a young pass rushing defensive end. LA allowed 219 passing yards with two TDs, but most of the damage came from the TE position (five catches for 98 yards on six targets. Jay is projected by Scout to throw for 260 yards and 1.5 TDs. Need to see more before taking the Cutler plunge.
Tyrod Taylor (DK – $5,300/FD – $7,400): Week 1 was a down week for quarterbacks. Taylor ended up 6th in QB scoring (262 combined yards and two passing TDs). The Bills’ offense looks the same as 2016 where Buffalo needs game score to stay in line to take advantage of their run game. It’s yet to be determined if Zay Jones will be a difference maker at WR while Jordan Matthews was able to turn in a full complement of snaps. The Panthers have strength in their front seven, which led to them controlling the line of scrimmage against an undermanned 49ers’ offense. San Fran struggled to run the ball last week (15/51) plus Brian Hoyer didn’t have time to make plays downfield (5.5 yards per pass attempt). Carolina finished with four sacks and an Int. Tyrod can be sneaky at times, but this game looks to be an unfavorable matchup. His lower salary does require a lower point total to be in play and Taylor can always have success on the ground. I have him down for 296 combined yards with 1.25 TDs, which is more influenced by the poor defensive play by the Panthers in 2016.
Joe Flacco (DK – $5,200/FD – $7,000): The Ravens didn’t need to throw last week to beat the Bengals thanks to a top effort by their defense. Joe completed only nine of 17 passes for 121 yards with a TD and an Int. He really only made one play (46-yard TD to Jeremy Maclin). In two games vs. the Browns in 2016, Flacco passed for 598 yards and five TDs while attempting over 40 passes in both games (45 and 41). Cleveland played well vs. the run in Week 1 (17/35) while struggling to cover Antonio Brown (11/182). I expect the Browns to show more risk on defense on the road. Joe lost his top passing catching back and Baltimore would like to play strong defense while running the ball. His resume in this matchup suggest he’s in play and Flacco does have a couple of WRs with big play and scoring ability. The data says 268 passing yards with two TDs so he’ll need to better than that to be a winning play in Week 2.
DeShone Kizer (DK – $5,100/FD – $6,800): The Steelers had a strong pass rush (seven sacks) leading to Kizer having a short window to make plays in his NFL debut. He finished with a solid completion rate (66.7) leading to 239 combined yards with a passing and rushing TD. He even made four plays of 20 yards or more. Baltimore held Andy Dalton to 5.5 yards per pass attempts while compiling five sacks and four Ints. The Browns do have a much better offense line even with their struggles in pass blocking in Week 1. DeShone has talent and he will come in at some point in 2017. This is his first game on the road vs. a defense that played well the previous week. His salary is low, but I don’t expect an impactful game unless game score gets way out of line early. Both teams will try to run the ball leading to a fast clock. I expect multiple mistakes (three Ints) leading to 267 passing yards and a TD. I have him in the avoid column.
Jared Goff (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,500): Goff looked that part in Week 1. He completed 72.4 percent of his passes for 306 yards and a TDs. Seven of his completions went for 20 yards or more, which was a huge step up from 2016 (12 in 205 pass attempts). The Colts came into the game looking to stop Todd Gurley and the Rams on the ground, which they accomplished (33/63), but they did allow a pair rushing TDs. They wanted Jared to beat them with his arm. The receiving structure is much stronger in LA with addition of Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp. The Redskins have one top CB (Josh Norman) who will try his best to slow down Watkins. Kupp will be a mismatch problem out of the slot. In Week 1, Washington held the top Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery in check (3/38 on seven targets), but Carson Wentz still lit up the Redskins for 307 yards and a pair of TDs. The Redskins struggled to cover the slot WR and TE (Zach Ertz – 8/93 on eight targets and Nelson Agholor – 6/86/1 on eight targets), which is an area the Rams will have a chance to expose in Week 2. Washington will move the ball as well so this game could be played at a fast pace. Goff is projected for 267 combined yards with 1.5 TDs by Scout so he’ll need to produce more TDs to be in play in the daily games. I’d bet on the over on his game so his low salary does offer some upside with better TD production.
Trevor Siemian (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,600): Siemian finished as the fourth highest scoring QB in Week 1. He had 238 combined yards with two passing TDs and a rushing TD. The Chargers have some talent on defense so Trevor’s success should be a good sign for things to come this year. He still has two top WRs while Bennie Fowler may prove to be an asset after playing well in Week 1 (3/21/2). The Cowboys put pressure on Eli Manning forcing him to take short completions (76.3 completion rate for 5.8 yards per pass attempt). I thought Dallas had risk in the secondary headed into 2017. With no Odell Beckham and a short passing window, the Giants never challenged the Cowboys in the deep passing game. CB Orlando Scandrick did suffer a hand injury for the Cowboys, which should cost him this week’s game. Worth a swing based on his salary while pairing him with one of his top two WRs. Scout has him projected for 284 passing yards with 1.5 TDs.
Mike Glennon (DK – $4,600/FD – $6,600): The king of the dink and dunk passed for 213 yards and a TD on 40 pass attempts in Week 1. He gained 5.3 yards per pass attempt. The Bears have weakness up and down their WR core while Tarik Cohen proved to be a mismatch problem for the Falcons. Chicago can’t win games without a solid running game and a mistake free offense. Mike doesn’t have enough talent in the passing game to be trusted from week-to-week in the daily games. Tampa ranked 19th in the NFL defending the QB position in 2016 with two teams scoring over 30 Fantasy points. Glennon will be playing against his former team plus he could be chasing on the scoreboard. He has an extremely low salary at DraftKings so Fantasy owners will be able to add more talent at RB and WR by taking this dance. Possible 255 passing yards with a TD or 12.60 Fantasy points in DK scoring.
Jacoby Brissett (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,400): The Colts are expected to start Brissett in Week 2. In his two career starts in the regular season, Jacoby passed for 308 combined yards with no passing TDs on only 46 pass attempts. He did flash some upside as runner in his matchup vs. Houston in Week 2 in 2016 (8/48/1). In his final 2017 preseason game, Brissett passed for 341 yards with four TDs while also rushing for 29 yards and a TD on four carries. This kid does have talent and the Colts have threats in the passing game. The Cardinals struggled to defend the pass in Week 1 (292 yards and two TDs) while only delivering one sack. Jacoby has only been on Indy’s roster for a couple of weeks so he may not know the book well enough to deliver an impact game. I like his style and he has that gamer feel. His ability to run does raise his floor. His projections are low (264 combined yards with a TD), but I still give him a ride on a team or two just based on his low salary.
Josh McCown (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,400): Josh is now 2-21 over his last 23 starts in the NFL. He completed 66.7 percent of his passes in Week 1, but McCown gained only 4.8 yards per pass attempt with a pair of interceptions. The Raiders held the Titans to 256 yards passing with no TDs on the road in Week 1. This week’s game sets up a ball control game for Oakland. The Raiders should be able to score forcing the Jets to throw. It looks like a chaser game if you trust the upside of New York’s WRs. His salary is low enough not to write him off, but he wouldn’t be my top choice at the backend at QB. My biggest fear would be time of possession for the Jets’ offense. With 274 passing yards and a TD, Josh won’t have enough upside to save his low salary.
Brian Hoyer (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,300): The preseason excitement for the 49ers’ offense ended in Week 1. Hoyer passed for only 193 yards and no TDs. He did complete 68.6 percent of his passed while tossing one ball to the other team. Seattle gave up 311 passing yards to Aaron Rodgers, but he finished with only one TD. San Fran has a lot to prove offensively and this game has minimal upside.
Blake Bortles (DK – $4,400/FD – $7,100): In 2016, Blake played poorly while still finishing seventh in QB scoring. His game looked to be on the uptick in 2015 when Bortles passed for 4,428 yards with 35 passing TDs. He even chipped in with 310 yards rushing and two more TDs. Someone he’s become the worst QB option on the board at DraftKings in Week 2. He did lose his top WR last week, but he still has two solid WRs in Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee plus a TE with scoring ability. The Jaguars didn’t need him to throw in Week 1 (125 yards with a TD) to win so his salary trickled even further down the QB rankings. In 2016, Blake had 691 combined yards and four TDs in two games vs. the Titans. Tennessee allowed 262 passing yards and two TDs to Derek Carr in Week 1. Bortles is mispriced and he has to be in play this week. The Titans will game plan to stop the run game forcing Bortles to throw. This game could be low scoring based on the play the Jaguars’ defense in Week 1 so Blake isn’t an all-in play. Scout has him down for 275 combined yards with 1.5 TDs. With more success in the run game and a second TD, Bortles will score over 20 Fantasy points in DK scoring.