Week 2 is here! It was an exciting Week 1 DFS slate and a lot of good data points came out of it. This should help us add more information to our plate to best navigate through this Week 2 player pool.
If you are new to this article, welcome! This will be a source for you to get all the necessary information that you might not recognize quickly looking through the slate early in the week. The goal of this first look is to help leave no stone unturned before the week kicks off. Being able to project for different potential outcomes of players and games is a crucial trait to have as a DFS player. Here is my first look and deep dive on the Week 2 slate.
Game Script Targets
Falcons +5 (@ DAL)
WRs Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley TE Hayden Hurst(ATL), QB Matt Ryan (Atl))
The upside of the Falcons passing attack when trailing was evident last week. Jones and Ridley ranked first and second among WRs, respectively, in air yards against the Seahawks. This game has the highest total (52.5 implied points) and is a game that can easily be stacked on both sides, but I prefer Matt Ryan and the receiving options.
Hurst led all TEs in routes run (45) and was 8th among TEs in percentage of routes on Ryan’s dropbacks (80%). Ryan had a gaudy 54 passing attempts and the Falcons threw the ball on 73% of their plays. At 5-point underdogs you can expect more of the same. Also, the game environment could not be much better for them to replicate their Week 1 performance against the fast paced Cowboys offense (2nd fastest sec/snap pace Week 1).
Titans -9 (vs. JAX)
RB Derrick Henry (Ten)
Seeing Henry in a positive game script and especially of this high a probability (9-point favorites), immediately makes him a player to have on the radar. In his past three seasons when the Titans have been 5-point favorites or higher, he averages 20.5 FPPG (110 rushing yards, 1.4 TDs avg). Henry’s 34 touches in Week 1 led the NFL and expect him to be in the top 5 this week as well.
Chiefs -8.5 (@ LAC)
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) and WR Keenan Allen (LAC)
This is a game that can be attacked on both sides with Edwards-Helaire and Allen. Edwards-Helaire had an extremely effective performance on the ground in his debut and put his playmaking ability on display with 92 yards after contact (1st among RBs). We know how beneficial it is to be the RB in the Chiefs offense, and the insane 10 red zone carries for Edwards-Helaire is a prime example of that. That is nearly 20% of the 54 red zone carries Christian McCaffrey had last year in just one game. The one negative to his debut was the receiving usage. However, a positive sign — as Graham Barfield mentioned in his Week 2 Stat-Pack — is that Edwards-Helaire still out-snapped Darrel Williams on passing downs (18 to 11).
To attack the other side of the game script, Allen makes a lot of sense here. The Chiefs really struggled to limit him last year, and Allen was extremely efficient on his 22 targets. With those targets, he was able to have 17 catches for 153 yards and 2 TDs. The Chiefs top outside cornerback Charvarius Ward is highly questionable to play with a fractured hand as well this week. Chargers WRs should fare well on the outside, especially if he is ruled out. In comeback mode. there will be added opportunities for Allen to rack up fantasy points.
RB David Montgomery (CHI, vs. NYG)
Montgomery was unimpressive in his rookie campaign but could be another young RB that sees a jump in productivity in his second year. One of the major concerns week to week with him was the game script. However the matchup feels safe here versus the Giants, and the Bears are implied as 5-point favorites currently. Holding him back in Week 1 was only 55% of Chicago’s plays coming in a neutral game script. An area of Montgomery’s game that made him a sought-after talent was his yards after contact ability. The Giants allowed Benny Snell to expose them in that area with 55 yards after contact on Monday night (8th most for RBs Week 1).
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pit, vs. Den)
Ben Roethlisberger is back, and JuJu looks to be back in his comfort zone with a stable offense. He showed he can still be a player with weekly upside, finishing as a WR1 Week 1 on just 6 targets. The Broncos secondary will likely have to shuffle around as their top cornerback A.J. Bouye dislocated his shoulder, with his status in question for this week. The Steelers should look to attack the Broncos’ secondary, as their run defense was formidable against Derrick Henry, limiting him to 3.7 yards per carry.
WR Parris Campbell (Ind, vs. Min)
Campbell was a pleasant surprise in Week 1. The exciting Campbell has insane physical traits, ranking in the 97th percentile in speed score and burst score, and the 100th percentile with his 40-yard dash time (PlayerProfiler). He tied T.Y. Hilton for the lead in targets on the Colts with 9. It is a matchup that Campbell can certainly excel in, as the Vikings allowed the most fantasy points to WRs in Week 1. The Packers were able to get 151 yards from the slot, where Campbell plays the majority of his snaps. The playing time for Campbell was very promising for his future outlook, with 82% of the snaps.
RB Christian McCaffrey (Car, @TB)
McCaffrey is a player who is typically matchup proof. However, there was one matchup that he did struggle with last year, and other running backs typically have as well — the Buccaneers. The numbers against their defense looked more similar to a Trent Richardson game line than anything close to what McCaffrey was doing weekly last year. In the two games against the Bucs, McCaffrey had 110 yards on 44 touches (2.5 yards/touch). That dwarfs in comparison to his 5.9 yards per touch during the whole season. He still carries the premium price tag as the RB1 by a wide margin on DraftKings and FanDuel. Fading him in this spot can be very profitable.
RB Aaron Jones (GB, vs. Det)
The 54% snap share from Week 1 for Jones is a bit alarming considering the price range among RBs he is in. That snap rate was 22nd among RBs and is priced as the RB7 on DraftKings and FanDuel this week. Jones was a player that performed better than his expected points. Per PFF, he had the 4th highest discrepancy in expected fantasy points greater than actual fantasy so regression was expected this year. If the snaps continue to trend in this direction that will only accelerate the regression. It is also worrisome that the Packers were willing to utilize four running backs with Jamaal Williams, Tyler Ervin, and A.J. Dillon all mixing in.
WR A.J. Brown (Ten, vs. Jax)
Similar to Aaron Jones, Brown was another player who was glaring in their fantasy points above their expected fantasy points. He ranked 2nd in fantasy points greater than expected fantasy points among WRs (PFF). His 48 air yards and 19% target share were unappealing Week 1 and does not draw a great game script against the Jaguars to up his usage (9-point favorites).
Pace of Play
Packers (vs Det) – The Lions had the second fastest pace in neutral game script in Week 1 while the Packers had the 8th slowest. The Lions also had an above average pace of play in 2019 (tied for 5th fastest).
Washington Football Team (@ Ari) – The Cardinals continued to play at a fast tempo, with the 3rd-fastest pace and play in no huddle 50% of the time.
Eagles (vs. LAR) – The Rams played at the fastest pace in the NFL last year and should up their tempo against the Eagles due to a tougher time running the ball versus the Eagles strong run defense.
Texans (vs. Bal) — The Ravens had the slowest pace of play and ran the ball the most of any offense in 2019. That continued Week 1 with the second slowest pace in a neutral game script.
Lions (@ GB) – The Packers were bottom-10 in pace of play in 2019 and were the 3rd slowest in Week 1.
Titans (vs. Jax) – The Jaguars were middle of the pack last year in pace of play (15th), but were very slow in what was a neutral game script primarily in Week 1 (3rd-slowest).