Week 2 DFS Lessons Learned


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Week 2 DFS Lessons Learned

I tend to get frustrated because I usually feel like all my picks are going to hit, and perfection is unattainable, but I thought Week 2’s recommendations were pretty strong.

At QB, I highlighted Kyler Murray because he was pretty cheap and less obvious than Dak/Ryan, but I did make a mistake for saying anything good about Daniel Jones. Of course, had I known Saquon Barkley would go down early in the game I wouldn’t have, and Jones was relatively affordable. The Giant OL has not played well, but the biggest problem is their red zone woes. They had plenty of chances to score, and had he tossed 2 TD passes, he would have hit my projection. But he wasn’t even close with 0.0 TD passes in Week 2.

So there’s a lesson right there:

  • Especially for QBs who aren’t running a ton like Jones, if a team is struggling in the red zone, I’m not going to be optimistic they can figure things out based on a matchup and risk using them in DFS.

Probably the main QB lesson learned from Week 2, though, is the following:

  • Never say never with running QBs. I didn’t have a good feeling about Russell Wilson and Cam Newton, especially Wilson, due to his seemingly tough matchups; and correspondingly, I didn’t think Cam would have to do anything crazy to keep his team in the game. Wilson crushed his matchup and Cam had to keep pace. To be fair, both players, despite their running, can be a little boom-or-bust.

Some other lessons:

  • I should give Gardner Minshew more love. I did like him quite a bit this summer as late QB to target, but I certainly didn’t think he’d be this good and that they’d have so many different receivers involved. Our Greg Cosell was pounding the table this summer that the Jags didn’t need a QB in the 2021 draft because Minshew was good.

  • If a running QB has OL issues, especially at OT, he may run more. Granted, Dak only ran it 5 times so his game may have been fluky, but our Scott Barrett did bring that up in the DFS livestream last and I had actually never thought of that. I’d add that if you do take that risky angle, it better be against a bad defense like Atlanta’s.

Otherwise, at QB, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Matthew Stafford had solid days and should have merited consideration based on their matchups, but they didn’t stand out enough with their salaries, so I don’t regret it that much. I will say I loved Roethlisberger’s matchup and did recommend Diontae Johnson, but I didn’t think he’d have to throw it much. Turns out, he did.

Otherwise, the QBs I listed in last week’s cash game ranked the following for the week (excluding MNF teams):

Kyler Murray – ($6100) – QB5

Matt Ryan ($6100) – QB6

Dak Prescott ($6100) – QB1

Josh Allen ($6700) – QB3

Daniel Jones ($5800) – QB29

At RB, the dumbest thing I did was actually list Adrian Peterson. I mentioned in the article how I went back and forth between AP and D’Andre Swift. The Packers did get seriously run on in Week 1 and were missing NT Kenny Clark, plus AP was very cheap at $4800, but I used his 3 targets the week before as an angle for Week 2. Peterson played only 15 snaps with 0 targets. The Peterson call does look dumb in retrospect, but the real problem was that I assumed Kerryon Johnson was toast, and he actually looked pretty good and played 32% of the snaps.

So the lesson was:

  • Don’t use old guys who usually don’t catch the ball on the road against a superior opponent when they’re in an ugly 3-man committee (duh).

I featured Miles Sanders because I didn’t think he would be popular, which did work out, and I went with the chalk in Jonathan Taylor, who did well but not as well as I hoped. The real annoying inclusion was Ronald Jones. We may never know if the plan was to unleash Leonard Fournette in Week 2, but that’s exactly what happened, and Jones’ involvement in a first-quarter fumble that was credited to Tom Brady, I suspect, had something to do with it. So even though my matchup analysis was 100% correct (Buc RBs ran for 126/3) my lesson was:

  • Don’t ever trust or use Ronald Jones when his team has alternative options. I was never a fan, but I got swayed by his very low price vs. upside, which was tantalizing. At least the end results prove I invested in the right backfield.

I’m glad I didn’t feature Derrick Henry, but I did list him as a secondary option. I mean, he did get 27 opportunities and the game had 63 freaking points scored. He did look sluggish Week 1, but I chalked that up to the bad matchup against Denver. But my lesson with Henry is simply this:

  • Unless his matchup is insanely good or he shows major signs of life, I’m not using him early in the season. The guy is just so much better in November and December. But we’ll see if that is once again the case this year. Another few poor showings here early in the season and I won’t be too sure about his second-half dominance continuing.

At WR, for the most part, the calls were very good. I did get hurt by three things, though:

  • Davante Adams’ injury.

  • Parris Campbell’s injury.

  • Breshad Perriman’s injury – He probably would have come through as super scrubs Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios combined for 16 targets with 12/134/1. But he’s been really frustrating after seemingly turning the corner with injuries 2018-2019.

  • Tyrod Taylor’s injury – I thought Mike Williams looked great with Tyrod Week 1, but I obviously had no idea Tyrod wouldn’t play.

But as for Adams, while he did leave the game a couple of times, he wasn’t going nuts before getting banged up after going crazy in Week 1. I also included Darius Slayton because I thought he was way too cheap at $5000. I don’t feel strongly about listing the following as a lesson because I think it’s a little too general and dangerous, but let’s call it a lean:

  • Unless the matchup + cost is insanely good, I’d like to avoid receivers coming off huge games. We all know chasing points is usually unwise, but it does seem to me the last 2-3 years that it’s harder than usual for receivers to string together back-to-back games with massive outputs. Of course, if you play on the Falcons, it’s quite easy (unless your name is “Julio”).

To that point, Mike Evans (our WR3 for the week) was my favorite play this week coming off a poor Week 1 and with a good matchup, and he worked out wonderfully, as did our guy Diontae Johnson (how good is he looking?). Amari Cooper was pretty good, and at least lower-end guys Corey Davis and Marvin Jones scored. Marvin, though, wasn’t a great play at $5600.

For the two secondary calls I listed, I got one right and one wrong. The good call was DJ Moore, and the analysis was 100% on point… he was WR10 on the week. The bad call was Marquise Brown. I wrote that his price was way up, but that I felt he would get more targets in a higher-scoring game, but it didn’t happen. But there was something interesting relating to Brown this week. Maybe I’m off base, but I was a little worried about Brown’s matchup against CB Bradley Roby, yet I had to list Brown as a player prop to bet with a ridiculously low number of 48.5. I was also a little worried about Mark Andrews’ matchup against the Texans safeties, and I noticed his player prop number seemed a little low. Then I checked Lamar Jackson’s passing yardage prop and thought that was also low, so did the people setting the lines see the same issues with the matchup as I did? That was one of the reasons I gave Mark Ingram love this week. He did score and was their best option, but it still didn’t work out.

And finally, my best calls of the week came at TE. I really don’t read anyone else’s content outside of our site (and sometimes I don’t read that because I like to have opinions that are 100% mine), but I was surprised to see Wes Huber also recommend Mike Gesicki last week. I thought I was all along listing and touting him, but I did feel better seeing someone else give him love. I liked Gesicki so much that I added a player prop for him, which also hit. That is a great feeling when you nail a call like that.

I was also very happy with my Tyler Higbee call, and I got that from talking with Greg Cosell, who told me the Eagle LBs were liabilities in coverage. I also thought their top two wideouts had tougher matchups. I took a firm and positive stand on Higbee late in the preseason based on some good intel I got on him, and I think that’s going to work out.

I did get Evan Engram essentially wrong, but my analysis was right because he did lead them in targets, receptions, and yards, but his 12.5 PPR points was lame. What I’ve learned about Engram these first two games is that, despite nothing but great reviews in August, he kind of sucks right now.

I also took a shot with Logan Thomas, who did almost score, but that was annoying because I failed to promote the many low-end guys who got it done, like Dalton Schultz, Jordan Reed, and Mo Allie-Cox. But I can’t complain too much when the guys I listed at TE finished the week as such:

Evan Engram – TE14

Tyler Higbee – TE1

Hayden Hurst – TE7

Jonnu Smith – TE3

Mike Gesicki – TE2

Hunter Henry – TE10

Logan Thomas – TE25

As a final thought, I think I need to add a small section on the Primetime games because I absolutely loved Julian Edelman this week and ranked him as WR7. Then again, I didn’t like D.K. Metcalf against Stephon Gilmore. I’ll probably start including some more primetime people.

Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer John Hansen has been an industry leader and pioneer since 1995, when he launched Fantasy Guru. His content has been found over the years on ESPN.com, NFL.com, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded FantasyPoints.com.

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