Welcome to Week 2 in the NFL! There’s nothing like the panic you see after one poor performance (AP) or the crowning of a new Hall of Famer after one great performance (Carson Wentz). In general, I don’t like to make too many assumptions until after Week 4, but there were some glaring performances to come out of last week. I’ve written about some of the more interesting players and situations below. Also you’ll notice the addition of some of the Pro Tools we offer. These will obviously get better with more data, but these tools are unique to DFSOD and are compiled on a weekly basis after all the games have been played.
One week of targets shouldn’t force us to jump to conclusions, but I think there are a few takeaways worth discussing. First of all, look at this list. Look at the different names. Who would have expected to see Jason Witten, Cole Beasley and Tajae Sharpe in the top 10 in targets for Week 1 or ANY week for that matter? This is just another example, that in a weekly game, anything can happen. Consider being more contrarian especially with your WRs who are the most volatile position.
The 15 targets for Allen Robinson is awesome, but only six catches? Believe it or not, that’s A-Rob’s MO. He only hauled in 52% of his targets last season. That was the 4th lowest conversion rate of any pass catcher with 100+ targets last season. 43 players saw that many looks and only T.Y. Hilton, Mike Evans and James Jones caught a lower percentage of passes. Because of this, Robinson to me is really only a GPP play and cannot be trust in cash games for the time being. There will be weeks he hauls in 75% of his targets and other weeks only 25%. That makes for a volatile outcome. For Week 2, Robinson should be in line for a good week against the miserable Chargers defense that allowed Alex Smith to throw for 363 yards last week as they gave away a 17 point 4th quarter lead.
Some of these we expected (Miller and Williams), but how about Ryan Mathews getting 22 carries? Without DeMarco Murray in the mix, he dominated the RB carries, earning 22 compared to four for Kenjon Barner and 5 for Darren Sproles. Both those guys are burners, so Mathews is getting the highly valuable carries near the goal-line. The Eagles ran six plays inside the Browns 10 yard line last week. Of those six plays, five of them were rushing attempts and all five went to Ryan Mathews. If we expand it to redzone plays, the Eagles ran 12, with 7 being runs. Again, all 7 going to Mathews. This should be favorable matchup with Chicago who allowed one of the two 100 yard rushers last week (Lamar Miller).
Week 1 Studs
Is Willie Snead the real deal? Snead hauled in all nine of his targets for a massive 172 yards and a TD, which was good for 35.2 DK points and 27.7 FD points. Through the Sunday games, he was the 6th highest fantasy scorer across all positions. It’s likely that we are about to see an emergence from Snead in this high powered Saints offense, but I am pumping the brakes for this week. His ownership should shoot through the roof, but Snead will only go as far as Drew Brees takes him. As the Saints travel to New York to face the Giants, I feel obligated to remind you of the struggles the Saints (and Brees) have had on the road. That trickled down to Snead last season who only caught 3.6 passes per game on the road last season compared to 5.6 per game at home. All three of his TDs came in the Superdome and he had 11 more receptions and 24 more yards in one less game in New Orleans. Looking ahead in the schedule, it’s very possible Snead lays an egg this week and we can buy back in low in Week 3, when the Saints take on the Falcons at home on Monday Night Football.
Woah, C.J. Anderson looked like the back we all expected him to be last year. After a down season, Anderson was explosive, racking up 92 yards in 20 carries and 47 yards on 4 catches against a tough Carolina defense. He added a touchdown both on the ground and through the air. He passed the eye test with a downhill, one cut carry and an impressive catch and run. The Broncos will have a long week to prepare for a home game against the Colts. Indy allowed the 8th most rushing yards per game last season.
Week 1 Duds
It couldn’t get much worse for Gary Barnidge who is coming off a disastrous Week 1. The 2015 breakout start hauled in 1,043 yards and 9 TDs last season, but was only targeted twice last week. Even worse, he dropped both targets and returned his owners a tidy zero points. However, there is reason to be optimistic this week with Josh McCown ready to take over the starting QB job in Cleveland. In the 8 games that McCown played last season, Barnidge had 43 receptions, 626 yards and six TDs. On a per game basis, that was worth 17.7 DraftKings PPG. To put that into perspective, Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed tied as the #1 fantasy TE last season, averaging 18.0 PPG.
Adrian Peterson looked mortal last week, accumulating only 31 yards on 19 carries and burning his owners. The good news is that he still received 19 carries despite being ineffective and that was the 10th most in the league. I’m really tempted to buy low on AP this week, but I think we can wait one more week. He will take on the Packers this time around who limited Jacksonville to only 48 yards on the ground in Week 1. Also, they have been awesome at bottling up AP recently. In two meetings last season, Peterson carried the ball 32 times against GB for only 112 yards. Peterson has a really tough schedule out of the gate. For fantasy purposes, it might be best case scenario if he struggles the first few weeks and we can buy low for his Monday Night game against the Giants in Week 4.
Monday Night Hero
Depending on the slate you’re on, consider Alshon Jeffery. Here’s a really great tweet from Matt Harmon:
Eagles right CB Nolan Carroll was targeted 6 times on Sunday and let up 3-114. Will see Alshon in Week 2, who lined up at LWR 45% of snaps
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) September 13, 2016
It’s no secret that Alshon Jeffery is the number one target for QB Jay Cutler and he converted 4 of his 6 week 1 targets into 105 yards. The concern was that he laid a goose-egg in the second half, without a single reception. There’s no reason to think that will happen again and Jeffery should be a healthy part of this offense every single week. This is a plus matchup on Monday Night at home against the Eagles.
Spencer Ware was the fantasy darling last week and produced for all his backers. He sees a steep price increase to $6,100 on DraftKings which makes him only $100 more expensive than Arian Foster. That would make Foster the perfect low-owned pivot from Ware. the Dolphins played the Seahawks in what was the ugliest, least fantasy relevant game of Week 1, but there was plenty to like about Arian’s performance. He only had 13 carries, but that led the team and he has no one pushing him or taking any carries away. Foster showed his usefulness in the passing game, hauling in three catch for 62 yards (leading receiver) including breaking off a 50 yarder. Foster is showing no signs of any lingering injuries and will get a much better matchup with New England this week.
There’s a wide range of options in the $5,500 to $6,200 range of WRs on DraftKings. There’s Willie Snead who owners will flock to at $5,800 and Marvin Jones who everyone loves so far at $5,500. If you’re willing to spend a little more to go up to $6,000, I think you’ll be able to acquire Emmanuel Sanders at a lower than usual ownership. Sanders didn’t find the endzone in Week 1, but saw the most targets (8) from his QB Trebor Siemian. He converted on five of those looks for 49 yards. Opposite of Sanders is Demaryius Thomas who is nursing a hip injury, so it’s unkown how effective he will be. If that creates even more opportunity for Sanders, that’s excellent, especially against the Colts defense that was scorched last week for 39 points and 340 passing yards.
James White is doing his best to fill in the “pass catching RB” role for the Patriots. That’s a role previously held by the likes of Shane Vereen and Dion Lewis. With Lewis sidelined, White becomes the biggest beneficiary. He was tied for the team lead in targets (Julian Edelman), with seven Week 1 looks. He converted on five of them for only 40 yards, but the usage is there. At only $4,000 on DraftKings, White is highly likely to catch 5+ passes, making him a nice option to reach value.
Cole Beasley present himself as an interesting name, especially with a full point PPR on DraftKings. Beasley has proven to be a poor man’s Julian Edelman and uses short routes and volume to his advantage. Beasley saw 12 (!!) targets from Dak Prescott in Week 1 while converting on eight of them for 65 yards. Prescott opted for safe routed underneath where Beasley does the majority of his work and it’s reasonable to think that would happen again this week. With big time cornerback, Josh Norman, looking to remove Dez Bryant from the Dallas gameplan, Beasley may find himself as the beneficiary. With that type of volume, he only needs to break one for a big play to be a top value.
To gain access to the Pro Tools and research spreadsheets, check out our package options. Some even have a 7-Day Free Trial!