Week 1 of the NFL regular season just wrapped up, and that means Week 2 is just around the corner. As my readers likely know, DFS is the best version of fantasy football, and since DraftKings and FanDuel have released their Week 2 prices, it’s time to track down the obvious values and best plays.
Here are the plays that jump out to me for Week 2 DFS:
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (VS. CAR)
DraftKings: $7,300 (RB4) | Fanduel: $8,800 (RB3)
Saquon is back! Barkley posted an 83% snap share, an absurd (and team-leading) 33% target share, and 168 rushing yards on 18 carries (9.1 YPC) in his first contest of the 2022 season. But Barkley’s hyper-efficiency wasn’t just a result of his impressive skill; it appears new HC Brian Daboll is putting Barkley in an excellent position to succeed:
Saquon Barkley had 11% of his Carry’s against an 8 man box.— Jordan Vanek (@JordanVanekDFS) September 12, 2022
He has only been under 20% in 7 games in his career.
If this is the new look offense, Barkley is going to have a massive year.
The result was 33.4 FPs – the best single-game performance by Barkley since Week 16 of 2019. If Barkley sees usage like this for the remainder of the season, the overall RB1 finish is certainly within possibility. And for Week 2, I wouldn’t expect Barkley to slow down given Carolina gave up a combined 38.3 FPs to the combination of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt last week.
Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Atlanta Falcons (@ LAR)
DraftKings: $6,000 (RB15) | Fanduel: $7,500 (RB9)
On Sunday, Patterson earned a 58% route share, 5 targets, and 22 carries – usage that mirrored what he saw early last season when Patterson averaged 18.6 FPG (~RB4) through his first 10 games. So, if Patterson is both the RB1 and WR3 (by targets and route participation) in this offense, it’s pretty obvious that he’s a massive value as the RB15 on a full-PPR site like DraftKings, especially in what should be a pass-heavy contest for the Falcons as 10.0-point underdogs.
Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams (VS. ATL)
DraftKings: $5,700 (RB19) | Fanduel: $6,200 (RB22)
Darrell Henderson (Week 1)— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) September 9, 2022
+ 81% of snaps (only Najee was higher last year)
+ 13 carries (76%)
+ 5 targets (83%)
+ 16.1 weighted opportunity points (~RB11)
Cam Akers (Week 1)
+ zero fantasy points
Cam Akers is washed, and that means Darrell Henderson is a bell cow. Last year, in the first 12 weeks, Henderson handled 15.5 XFP/G (~RB13), a 76% snap share (~RB2), and 15.7 FPG (~RB12). And, unless Cam Akers miraculously exits McVay’s doghouse, it’s safe to say that 2021-esque usage is going to continue into the foreseeable future for Henderson. Henderson is an excellent value play in what should be a run-heavy gamescript against a team that gave up the 8th-most rushing FPG (15.1) last season.
Jaylen Warren, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (VS. NE)
DraftKings: $5,400 (RB25) | Fanduel: $5,500 (RB39)
Pittsburgh Steelers RBs— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) September 3, 2021
2014: 23.2 FPG
2015: 18.5 FPG
2016: 26.5 FPG
2017: 22.8 FPG
2015-2016: 22.9 FPG (13 injury-free starts)
2018: 22.3 FPG (prior to W14, ankle)
2019: 17.8 FPG (prior to W9, shoulder)
The Steelers have had a noted history of bell cow RBs over the last decade, even when the starter goes down. Current reports suggest Najee Harris “should be fine” after suffering an ankle injury in Week 1, but if he were to miss, Jaylen Warren would be Pittsburgh’s presumptive bell cow, and could be headed for 20 touches (or more) in Week 2. Remember that last year, Harris ranked as the RB8 by FPG (17.7), 2nd in touches per game (22.4), and 1st in snap share (84%). If Warren is able to capture even 75% of that usage, then he will easily be the most valuable (and popular) RB of the Week 2 DFS slate.
Jeff Wilson, RB, San Francisco 49ers (VS. SEA)
DraftKings: $5,100 (RB34) | Fanduel: $6,300 (RB21)
49ers’ RB Elijah Mitchell is expected to be sidelined about two months with the sprained MCL that he suffered Sunday at Chicago, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 12, 2022
Jeff Wilson is likely to lead this backfield for the next few weeks after Elijah Mitchell suffered a knee injury on Sunday. Over the last two seasons, Wilson has averaged 16.0 FPG (~RB11) in the 11 games he’s earned double-digit carries. His TD equity might not be the same as in years past with Trey Lance under center, but the rushing volume Wilson should see relative to his price on both sites makes him one of the top values at RB in Week 2.
Julio Jones, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ NO)
DraftKings: $5,500 (WR24) | Fanduel: $5,700 (WR36)
Julio Jones worked as the WR2 behind Mike Evans on Sunday, earning five targets for 69 yards, and running a route on 76% of Tom Brady’s dropbacks. And we should expect that to continue this week, given Chris Godwin strained his hamstring during Sunday’s contest while Russell Gage worked as WR4 (based on route participation and target volume). Last season, we saw Brady support three WR1s, with the trio of Evans, Godwin, and Antonio Brown all averaging at least 16.4 FPG (~WR11). The volume will be plentiful for Jones given Tampa’s existing WR depth and general willingness to pass.
And, Mike Evans has averaged just 10.2 FPG when playing New Orleans (thanks, Marshon Lattimore), compared to 17.2 FPG against all other opponents. With Evans locked down, Jones should have no problem smashing his salary-based expectation in Week 2.
Elijah Moore, WR, New York Jets (@ CLE)
DraftKings: $5,000 (WR35) | Fanduel: $5,800 (WR33)
Moore’s counting stats (7 targets and 49 yards) were far from exceptional last week, but he did earn a team-leading 89% route share, showcasing just how far ahead (at least in terms of route participation) he is of the Jets’ WR2, Corey Davis (68% route share). Moore has historically crushed when given any serious volume, averaging 14.7 FPG (~WR20) in his ten career games with 6 or more targets. And at least based on his route participation and the likelihood New York will be forced to throw this week as 6.0-point underdogs, I think it’s fair to assume six targets is Moore’s floor in Week 2.
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants (VS. CAR)
DraftKings: $4,900 (WR37) | Fanduel: $5,800 (WR33)
crazy stat, especially in light of Dan's prediction:— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) August 24, 2022
"Shepard has hit 17.0 fantasy points in 5 of his last 5 healthy games with Daniel Jones active (averaging 23.1 FPG). And over his last 11 healthy games with Jones active, he averages 9.1 targets (~WR9) and 17.4 FPG (~WR11)." https://t.co/QOyV0oOoUe
Shepard is less than nine months removed from a torn Achilles, and he posted an extremely impressive 15.1 FPs, 3.94 YPRR, and a 65% route share in his 2022 debut. While Shepard only saw two targets, we have to assume more volume is on its way given his history of high-volume, and the likelihood the team would want to ramp up his workload as he gets more comfortable playing again. The Giants might not be able to give Shepard anything other than a WR1 workload this Sunday, with the only other slot WR on the roster (Wan’Dale Robinson) injured and likely questionable for Week 2.
Zay Jones, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (VS. IND)
DraftKings: $4,300 (WR50) | Fanduel: $5,500 (WR44)
It was a frequent topic of discussion this offseason that Trevor Lawrence’s favorite target in practice was Zay Jones. And while Jones didn’t lead the team in targets (that honor went to Christian Kirk), he did post a solid 21% target share on 9 total targets (the 15th-most targets of any Week 1 WR), while running a route on 91% of Lawrence’s dropbacks. Jones isn’t a world-beater at WR, but he doesn’t have to be given his full-time role and WR50 price tag on DraftKings. He’s a strong value in a contest where Jacksonville will likely be forced to throw as 4.5-point underdogs.
Juwan Johnson, TE, New Orleans Saints (VS. TB)
DraftKings: $2,500 (TE45) | Fanduel: $4,500 (TE29)
#Saints TE Juwan Johnson is an interesting waiver wire target in deeper fantasy football leagues.— Dank (@MarkDank) September 12, 2022
*ran 32 routes on 40 Jameis dropbacks
*lined up slot or out wide on 76% of snaps
*earned 5 tgts for 14.7% share
*had healthy 12.4 yard aDOT
Punting the TE position is a GPP staple for us at FantasyPoints, and it looks like Johnson is the best way to do that in Week 2. Among Week 1 TEs, Johnson had the 11th-most targets (5), the 8th-most routes, and the 11th-most receiving yards (43) while playing mostly out wide or in the slot. If Johnson is yet again headed for a route share of 70% or better while playing all over the formation, he will easily be the top punt TE play of Week 2.