featured Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Football Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Week 2 - 9/17/17

Ah, Week 2 in the NFL: the time where we take everything we saw in Week 1 and completely overreact to it. Week 1 was a equal parts boring and unpredictable with much of the chalk showing up as non-existent and some weird outlier performances that folks will likely put too much weight on. It’s always good to take the first week in the NFL with a relative grain of salt and work to separate the signal from the noise. That can be a difficult proposition. But Week 1 did give us some takeaways that we can apply to the second week for FanDuel and DraftKings. Let’s get into it.

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Aaron RodgersAaron Rodgers FD 9100 DK 7400
Opponent ATL
Proj Points FD - 23.05 DK - 23.56
This list is going to look awfully similar week and week out from our system’s perspective as long as Rodgers’ maintains the same price level and advantageous matchups. Last week saw Rodgers face a stout defensive line in against Seattle and still rack up 311 yards passing on 42 attempts and 21 yards on the ground. He’s the consummate fantasy quarterback with the ability to extend plays, accuracy through the air and an offensive committed to the pass. He’ll get a chance to put up a bigger game this week against the Falcons in what Vegas has as the highest total/ thin spread game (54 o/u ATL -1.5). The Falcons allowed 301 total yards of offense to the Bears in Week 1 and the Packers’ O is degrees better than that group. Rodgers is expensive but I think you realize enough savings at the other positions to warrant it this week.

Russell WilsonRussell Wilson FD 8100 DK 6800
Opponent SF
Proj Points FD - 21.63 DK - 22.39
Wilson is a big time candidate for a bounce back week this time around after struggling against the Packers on Sunday. Seattle was crushed in time of possession (39 min to 21 min) thanks to some struggles on the offensive line, the inability to get the ground game going and playing from behind late in the game. Look for much of that to correct in Week 2 with a fantastic matchup against the 49ers. With the run game still a question mark for this team, Seattle will have to continue relying on Wilson to make things happen the the 49ers remain a below average defense with an offense that has its own issues staying on the field. Look for Seattle to dominate the time of possession and Wilson to see more passing and running opportunities than he saw in Week 1.

Strongly consider Tom Brady - the Pats have the highest total of any team this week, and he's obviously the engine that makes that offense go. The Saints not only play bad defense, they also have a fast paced pass-first offense, which helps them have one of the fastest paces in the league. It's a little weird because it's hard to know where all the production goes alongside Brady, but if Vegas is interested in the Pats - you probably should be too.


Running Back

Ezekiel ElliottEzekiel Elliott FD 8700 DK 7800
Opponent DEN
Proj Points FD - 18.37 DK - 19.31
I don’t love the matchup and there are some cheaper options (see below) who could see heavy ownership this week, but among the upper tier plays I prefer Zeke this week. After having his suspension suspended for Week 1, dude went out and did Zeke-y things against the Giants. Which is to say, he got a ton of volume and was effective considering the Big Blue run defense is one of the best in the league. Elliott went 24/104 along with 5 targets in the passing game. There’s no indication the Cowboys plan on taking the foot off the gas with him. Things don’t get a whole lot easier against the Broncos on the road, though it’s worth noting Denver was much worse against the run last season and didn’t have to do a ton in that respect on Monday with the Chargers playing from behind the whole game. I don’t tend to look at underdog running backs on the road, but am willing to make the exception here because Elliott’s projected volume is nearly unmatched in the NFL.

Ty MontgomeryTy Montgomery FD 6500 DK 5800
Opponent ATL
Proj Points FD - 17.31 DK - 19.17
His Week 1 numbers don’t jump off the page at you, 19/54/1 but there’s a ton to like about Montgomery going into this matchup. He was unrivaled for carries last week with Jamal Williams only seeing 2 touches, he went 4/4 on targets in the passing game and this matchup has that shootout quality we are looking for. His ability to play all three downs should play in a pace-up game for the Packers and the Falcons did allow 125 yards on the ground last week to the Howard/ Cohen combo of the Bears. Cohen also torched them out of the backfield in the passing game. Again, this is as much about price as anything else.

M.GordonM.Gordon FD 7600 DK 7000
Opponent MIA
Proj Points FD - 16.35 DK - 17.95
Gordon had a more-than-serviceable week one considering he was coming back from an injury-shortened 2016 campaign and was an underdog on the road against a stout Denver run defense. Even with all that he combined for 75 yards from scrimmage on 23 touches and got into the end zone on a pass. Not eye-popping numbers, but the usage is what I wanted to see solidified and that very much appeared to be the case with the Chargers’ plan. Now he’ll get a Miami defense that was forced to take the week off because of Hurricane Irma and ranked 22nd in DVOA against the run last season. Mid 20’s touches is completely in play for Gordon and I love his work in the passing game to boost some of the upside. He’s a cash game play for sure in this matchup and the price isn’t forcing you to pay top dollar.

Two quick notes on cheaper guys: I'll get into this more in our RB article later in the week, but caution about overreacting to Tarik Cohen's big game. The production appeared way out of line with the snap count.

Also, it looks like the Cardinals are going to use a RBBC approach to DJ's injury so it's probably a situation I'm going to ignore for fantasy purposes.

Reminder: check out of Running Back feature article later in the week where we take a look at some more of the upside plays for the week.


Wide Receiver

Jordy NelsonJordy Nelson FD 8100 DK 7900
Opponent ATL
Proj Points FD - 16.11 DK - 19.03
If it isn’t abundantly clear at this point, we really like the Packers going into this week. Nelson didn’t lead the team in targets last week (Cobb had 13) but he was still his typically effective self turning in a 7/79/1 performance on 8 looks. Like we said last week, no WR was more consistent on a week-to-week basis than Nelson who sported a .36 coefficient of variation (that’s elite) and not much stands to change this year except the Packers being healthy does give them a ton of weapons. At these prices, I’m fine playing Nelson any week where the matchup is average or better.

Amari CooperAmari Cooper FD 7900 DK 8100
Opponent NYJ
Proj Points FD - 15.11 DK - 18.13
We have Nelson, Thomas and Cooper all tightly grouped going into this week and their prices are all within the same range. I suspect you see Nelson and Cooper as the higher-owned of the three and there’s a lot to like about Cooper going into this matchup. The Jets were horrific against the pass last season and after seeing what the Bills did last week, I don’t think much has changed. Cooper had a crazy-high 13 targets in Week 1 though conversion issues (including three straight drops in the end zone) led to a solid 5/62/1 line. It was very close to being a hell of a lot better. If he’s the clear cut WR1 (it was close in target share last season) then we are getting fantastic value on Cooper here.

Michael ThomasMichael Thomas FD 8000 DK 7500
Opponent NE
Proj Points FD - 15.69 DK - 18.82
Tyreke Hill torched the Patriots in Week 1 and Alex Smith completed 80% of his passes for a 368/4 line. Those aren’t good looks for New England though of course we don’t want to go completely overboard on just one week. This week Thomas will face that same team in a game where they could be coming from behind. The game is at home (NE is a -6.5 favorite but NO has 24.25 implied points going in). Brees has better numbers for his career in New Orleans and Thomas led the team with 8 targets on Monday night. The Saints will still be without Willie Snead and I love that Thomas’ price has barely moved.

Allen HurnsAllen Hurns FD 5600 DK 3900
Opponent TEN
Proj Points FD - 11.8 DK - 14.35
Marqise LeeMarqise Lee FD 5900 DK 3800
Opponent TEN
Proj Points FD - 9.69 DK - 11.8
You’ve got to feel for Allen Robinson. He’s had to play his entire career with Blake Bortles and then, when there might be some light at the end of the tunnel leading into a contract year, he tears his ACL and is out for the season. What a mess. Not the Jags are left with a depleted WR group for Bortles to “target”. These guys are both price plays this week under the assumption that presumably as a duo they’ll eat up some (if not all) of A-Rob’s target share. Both led the team with targets (4, lol) in Week 1 and should see the majority of the snaps in a game where they could be playing catchup to Tennessee (only a -1.5 favorite going in). Remember, they still have Bortles throwing them the ball, but this is a lot of potential opportunity opening up at depressed price points.

Reminder: check out of Wide Receiver feature article later in the week where we take a look at some more of the upside plays for the week.


Tight End

Jimmy GrahamJimmy Graham FD 6300 DK 4900
Opponent SF
Proj Points FD - 11.23 DK - 13.52
Jordan ReedJordan Reed FD 6400 DK 5200
Opponent LAR
Proj Points FD - 10.99 DK - 13.56
At tight end I’m writing up a couple of pairs of guys in the same price ranges who should be in cash game consideration this week. Reed came into Week 1 with some injury concerns on his foot but looked ok out of breaks and did end the game with a 5/36 on 8 targets. It’s the latter number where I’m most encouraged as one would suspect the Redskins to make at least some strides on the offensive end of the ball against the Rams. Reed, when firing on all cylinders, is about as good an offensive tight end in the game and is especially effective in the red zone. He’s somewhat expensive on both sites, but as with QB, because of some potential running back savings you can afford to spend up here.

The same can be said of Jimmy Graham who’ll face a garbage 49ers squad in a game where the Seahawks are heavily favored. He led the team in targets on Sunday with 7 but only accounted for a 3/8 line. Last season he led the team in red zone looks and considering the WR is much the same, I suspect that to be the case again this year. We don’t want to jump out to insane conclusions after one week of football which is why I think targeting Graham after a very down week could lead to huge upside. The matchup is better and it’s hard to imagine his target share diminishing.

Eric EbronEric Ebron FD 5300 DK 3000
Opponent NYG
Proj Points FD - 8.58 DK - 10.51
Charles ClayCharles Clay FD 5200 DK 3000
Opponent CAR
Proj Points FD - 7.67 DK - 9.73
You have to love the cheap upside on both of these guys coming at $3K apiece on DraftKings. With a lot of receiver turn over (like 100%) for the Bills in the offseason, Clay emerged as Tyrod Taylor’s primary outlet in Week 1 finishing with a 4/53/1 line on a team-high 9 targets. What a great sign for the guy and this could represent a leap for him in terms of season long production. It isn’t a fantastic matchup against the 49ers but if the target share is real and they are playing catchup (CAR -7) then we could see another solid week out of Clay.

Meanwhile, Ebron didn’t see anywhere near Clay’s production in Week 1 (2/9 on 3 targets) but could be in line for more this week considering the matchup. He’ll face a Giants’ team that struggles against the tight end (26th in DVOA against the position in 2016 and showed no signs of improvement with Jason Witten doing work against them on Sunday night to the tune of 7/59/1). Comparing the two, I’d say Clay is more of the DraftKings’ cash play considering the volume and Ebron has some separation upside.

Defense/ Special Teams

There are a bunch of teams going into Week 2 with fantastic matchups thanks to some teams in the NFL on different levels of either “completely sucking”, “obviously tanking” or “both”. Without wading too far into the much and the mire here because it’s DST after all, I think some of the higher owned plays this week will include:

Seattle Seahawks
FD 5400 DK 4000
Opponent SF
Proj Points FD - 9.43 DK - 9.43
O/U 43 SEA -14

Oakland Raiders
FD 5300 DK 3500
Opponent NYJ
Proj Points FD - 9.35 DK - 9.35
O/U 43 SEA -14

Carolina Panthers
FD 5100 DK 3600
Opponent BUF
Proj Points FD - 9.33 DK - 9.33
O/U 43 CAR -7.5


Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our NFL optimizer for FanDuel and DraftKings, our MLB Optimizer, and our new Player Lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.

First time with NFL? Be sure to read our free MLB and NFL Ebooks on building lineups, general strategy and more. We've got you completely covered.

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1 Visitor Comment

  1. What? No love for the Ravens against the hapless Browns?

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