Week one in daily fantasy football was an epic fail. If you didn’t have Matthew Stafford, Alex Smith or Sam Bradford, you probably didn’t love what you saw out of the quarterback position. If you used David Johnson or Le’Veon Bell you really didn’t love what you saw amongst running backs.
Antonio Brown was a great stud to chase, but he was ultimately the only chalk wide receiver that paid off on the main slate. Tight end wasn’t great, either, as you needed Austin Hooper or Jesse James to score big.
Most of these guys came off as random plays and went against logic. Our week one daily fantasy football picks weren’t bad on paper. The Texans bombed in the face of Blake Bortles and the Jaguars (0 points!), the aforementioned David Johnson mustered just 10 points before succumbing to a wrist injury, while Kelvin Benjamin, Larry Fitzgerald and Terrelle Pryor combined for fewer than 30 total fantasy points.
Aaron Rodgers was fine, Todd Gurley paid off and Delanie Walker was passable, while both Pryor and Fitz at least posted respectable numbers compared to a truly terrible field. Week one, as it turns out, was a mitigated disaster for just about everyone and we’re best served to dust ourselves off and get back into it.
FanDuel is already pushing out their week two GPPs and I don’t think we should have a horrible knee-jerk reaction to our picks. We endured some bad luck and a rough week in general. Here’s to hoping week two treats us better:
QB: Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons ($8.2k)
When I look at quarterback I want value and upside, but I don’t want them separately. In week one Carson Palmer looked like he could get us both, but it was probably Matthew Stafford who we should have sunk our teeth into.
In week two everyone will be looking at Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. They’re all great tries and have awesome matchups, but Ryan is at home against the Packers and is about $1k cheaper than most of them. Green Bay’s defense gave Russell Wilson fits in week one, but I’m not sold yet that they’ll do the same to Ryan. If I’m right, Ryan could easily hang 300+ yards and 2-3 scores and give us an elite option priced as an intermediate one.
RB: Ty Montgomery – Green Bay Packers ($6.5k)
I want all of the Ty Montgomery shares this week. He wraps up the week 2 main slate in Atlanta, where he gets a Falcons defense that got destroyed by Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen in week one. Those two Bears running backs piled up a staggering 35 fantasy points, while Montgomery looked good en route to a strong 17.3-point fantasy outing against a scarier Seattle defense.
None of this is to say Atlanta can’t stop the run, but Montgomery is going to be in a dome and is part of a strong offense. There is way too much value here to pass up. On top of that, David Johnson’s injury gives us one less elite rusher and several of the top running backs have tough matchups on paper this week.
RB: Marshawn Lynch – Oakland Raiders ($7.2k)
There are not many running backs worth paying up for in week two – at least not any options with obvious matchups. I’ll take some Beast Mode shares, though. The 31-year old banger was surprisingly spry in week one, where he touched the ball 19 times for 90+ yards. The only thing missing was a score and considering he’ll be at home against a Jets defense that got abused my LeSean McCoy in week one, I like his chances to come through for us.
Much like week one, I think paying down at RB could be a good idea. Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell are always worth a shot, but they face the Broncos and Vikings, respectively. If you’re not into Lynch, maybe drop to Mike Gillislee ($6.7k) who is still cheap despite scoring three times in week one and faces a bad Saints defense.
WR: Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals ($6.6k)
I’m going back to the well with Fitz, who was targeted relentlessly (13 targets) in week one and compared to the field wasn’t so bad (10.4 pts). He figures to have another nice matchup in week two, as he faces a bad Indy team that should again be without top corner, Vontae Davis. Role, talent and matchup all check out, while Arizona should take it to the air more than ever with David Johnso (wrist) hitting injured reserve.
I also like John Brown ($5.7k) here, but Fitz is the better red-zone presence and feels a little more stable. We loved him last week and he only costs $200 more, so I see no reason not to roll with him again.
WR: Chris Hogan – New England Patriots ($6.2k)
Brandin Cooks is probably going to have huge ownership – and for good reason – so consider an interesting pivot by using Chris Hogan here, instead. That could open the door to someone like Julio Jones and also let us get an elite quarterback – both of which we may need to take down a big GPP. Hogan is plenty capable of busting the roof off of a bad defense, too, as evidenced by a huge game last year in the playoffs.
The Saints are understandably going to hone in on Cooks, who they know well and won’t want to watch destroy them. Insert Hogan, who has speed that kills and has good chemistry with Tom Brady. Considering his big play ability and the matchup at home, he looks like an elite value play going into week 2.
WR: Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons ($8.8k)
Is Green Bay’s defense as good as it looked in week one? Probably not, but we’re about to find out. The Packers sure did a great job at generating a pass rush and sniffing out the run, but stopping the Falcons in Atlanta seems like a much tougher task than corralling the Seahawks at home.
Few can forget the history Jones has against Green Bay, as he dropped a nasty 9-180-2 line against them in the NFC title game last season and three years ago went nuts to the tune of a 11-259-1 line. Green Bay’s defense is improved, but Jones was quiet in week one and loves playing the Packers. Even if he doesn’t produce one of those ridiculous lines, he should do enough to warrant his hefty week two price tag at FanDuel.
TE: Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks ($6.3k)
A trend is ending this article – I like the Seahawks in week two. My favorite tight end this week is Rob Gronkowski ($8.1k), but he’s super pricey and the Pats looked terrible in week one through the air. I’m sure they figure it out, but I’ll take the discount on Graham, who saw 7 targets last week and actually got mugged on a red-zone play that at worst should have yielded a PI call.
Seattle as a whole isn’t about to continue stinking it up as they head home to battle the 49ers. Graham has specifically had a lot of success against this defense, as he tore them up with the Saints and dropped a fat 6-100-1 line against them last year at home. I love the value and upside we get with Graham, while several other would-be elite TE options have tough matchups on paper.
K: Blair Walsh – Seattle Seahawks ($4.6k)
I am again looking to save at kicker in week two, but I’m probably off of Phil Dawson with David Johnson now out for 2-3 months. I’m fine with trying Kai Forbath ($4.5k) for the minimum, but he’s on the road against a good Steelers team. Instead, I’ll pay $100 more for Walsh, who nailed all three of his field goals in week one (10 fantasy points) against Green Bay.
Walsh is going to be at home in a favorable spot against the Niners, who were just good enough to hold the Panthers to 23 points. Seattle should be able to move the ball and will score a good amount here, whether it’s largely via Walsh’s leg or from touchdowns. He should be busy one way or another in week two and we should be confident after seeing Graham Gano drop 11 fantasy points in this same matchup on Sunday.
DEF: Seattle Seahawks ($5.4k)
Houston really burned us last week, but I’m not afraid to pay up again in week two for what should be a stable defense. Seattle got to Aaron Rodgers a bit last week and almost returned a pick to the house and for three quarters the Packers couldn’t do much of anything. It was really Seattle’s offense that ended up crippling them in the end, but at home against the 49ers, I expect this unit to thrive.
Carolina held Brian Hoyer and co. to just a field goal last week and something similar can be hoped for out of the Seahawks. That defense remains legit, so we could be looking at multiple turnovers, a few sacks, limited points allowed and perhaps even a defensive touchdown.
There are a lot of defenses in good spots this week, but few are better than Seattle. Tampa Bay at home in their season opener ($4.5k) against Mike Glennon and the Bears is tempting, while the Rams, Ravens and Cardinals are all $5k or less. Oakland ($5.3k) could be popular against the Jets, but with a lot of people paying there for an overrated unit based on their matchup, let’s go slightly contrarian with a more stable Seahawks D.