DRAFT Week 2 Breakdown and Top Plays
Week 2 brings different matchups, new challenges, and a fresh set of players primed for your DFS lineups. The DRAFT platform has put together a unique format that marries redraft and DFS together into one exciting and different power couple.
Their weekly fantasy contests are not your typical salary cap format. Instead, they offer a series of snake-style draft contests with differing team amounts. You can choose from head-to-head, 3-team, 6-team, 8-team or 10-team contests, with varying dollar amounts per contest. With each draft, players must select five position players: 1QB, 2RB, and 2WR/TEs. There are no salaries, no ownership percentages, and no large tourneys.
Below I will take a look at some of the best plays of the week, according to league size. You will see multiple references to aFPA, which is our schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric. By using aFPA, we remove bias so that we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an "apples-to-apples" manner. One more note: remember that DRAFT is a snake-style format, so you must plan accordingly in larger contest sizes.
With only two drafters involved, your cumulative score just has to be higher than that of your opponent. Since only 10 players are involved, stick to the elite DFS chalk here.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers @ ATL – Green Bay heads to Atlanta in Week 2 where Rodgers seems to play better indoors than out while on the road, averaging 286 yards per game in domes and 248 in open-air venues. The Falcons DST was the third-worst at defending opposing QBs in 2016, with an aFPA of 18.5 fantasy points.
Tom Brady, Patriots @ NO – We are all familiar with the “angry Tom Brady” narrative, and if there’s ever a week to see it go down, I do believe this is it. Coming off an ugly Week 1 performance at home against the Chiefs, Brady gets the porous Saints DST in Week 2 and should tee off against a team that allowed Sam Bradford to throw for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns last week. Since there are no high prices to contend with on DRAFT like other DFS sites, Brady can easily be yours if you draft him before your opponent does.
Melvin Gordon, Chargers vs. MIA – The Chargers running back was sixth in the NFL in Week 1 for touches with 23, and ninth in PPR points with 18.9. He proved he is healthy with great vision and speed, and can handle being a legit three-down back. Gordon should have success all over the field this week against Miami’s unproven run defense.
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys @ DEN – Last season, Denver’s weakness defensively came against the run, and they didn’t seem to solidify their run defense holes over the offseason. Melvin Gordon had a solid night versus the Broncos’ DST on Monday, and I expect Elliott to also fare well in the Mile High City in Week 2. He plays behind the best offensive line in the league and is chalk at this point for running backs.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Jordy Nelson, Packers @ ATL – Like his quarterback above, I expect big things from the Packers offense this week, as do the numbers guys in Vegas. If Rodgers and Nelson are clicking, Atlanta won’t have an answer in their secondary, meaning plenty of points for the fantasy world to be had.
Stefon Diggs, Vikings @ PIT – The Minnesota receiver started the season out hot, torching the Saints for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns. This week, the Vikings head to Pittsburgh to face a Steelers’ DST that allowed 222 yards in the air to rookie DeShone Kizer and company. With the clear chemistry between Sam Bradford and Diggs, they should pair nicely this week for solid fantasy numbers.
Brandin Cooks, Patriots @ NO – Someone has to benefit from the angry Tom Brady narrative and Cooks is the best man for the job, especially since he has the revenge game script in New Orleans going for him as well. Cooks was second in receiving yards last Thursday behind Danny Amendola, who, unsurprisingly, finds himself on the injury report again. Look for Cooks to be heavily targeted on Sunday, making him the chalk wide receiver play this week.
When you enter a contest with only three teams, you’re either picking two players at a time, or you’re in the middle of two drafters doing just that. Same studs apply here; draft accordingly.
6, 8 or 10-Person Draft
Below you’ll find a few more recommendations for Week 2 starters to assist in filling out five-player rosters when more players are involved. You’ll need to dig a bit deeper into the rankings to find a player or two who outproduce the players your opponents draft.
Derek Carr, Raiders vs. NYJ – Carr has an impressive group of receivers, plus tight end Jared Cook at his disposal. The Jets DST is deplorable, allowing Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor to score 18.8 fantasy points last week. This game could easily end up in a shootout with tons of points for Carr and the rest of the Oakland offense.
Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. GB – Last season, Ryan and his receiving corps put up an obscene amount of fantasy points with the same crew of players currently on the roster. This week they get the Packers at home, who struggled with their pass defense in 2016. Look for Ryan to spread the ball around and best his Week 1 fantasy score of 17.9.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. MIN – Coming off a mediocre opening road performance, Big Ben gets a tilt in Pittsburgh against Minnesota in Week 2. He has a history of being a beast at home, averaging 319 passing yards and nearly 3.5 touchdowns per game six games at Heinz Field last season. Your opponents may be hesitant to draft him due to his low numbers from Week 1, so selecting him could pay off.
Ty Montgomery, Packers @ATL – The Packers running back stepped up last weekend against a tough Seattle run defense with 19 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown, plus another 39 yards through the air. He proved he can handle the workload, and gets to face a soft Falcons defense in Week 2. Look for solid numbers again from Montgomery this week similar to his 19.3 PPR points from a week ago.
Jay Ajayi, Dolphins @ LAC – We haven’t seen much of the Miami running back in 2017; however, he has emerged from the concussion protocol and Hurricane Irma and jumps into a tasty Week 2 matchup against the Chargers. The Chargers allowed C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles to rush for a combined 121 yards on Monday night, indicating there’s a solid chance the more talented Ajayi runs all over the Chargers in Week 2.
Kareem Hunt, Chiefs vs. PHI – Hunt's RB1, 45.6 PPR point performance in Week 1 was no fluke. This kid can fly and should produce again in Week 2 at home versus the Eagles. Philadelphia was in the bottom third of the league last season defending the run, with an aFPA of 24.3 PPR points to opposing running backs. Tyreek Hill should also give the Eagles defense some trouble, meaning more open lanes and passes in the backfield for Hunt.
Marshawn Lynch, Raiders vs. NYJ – The 31-year-old Lynch showed he’s not done playing in the NFL, with 18 carries and a respectful 4.2 yards-per-carry average in Week 1 versus the Titans. This week, Oakland’s powerful offense gets a weak Jets defense at home with the potential for the Raiders to grab a big lead early. Lynch could be called upon often, meaning some solid garbage fantasy points are up for grabs.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Michael Thomas, Saints vs. NE – The Week 2 meeting of New England and New Orleans should be a shootout, as the Saints notoriously have a bad defense, and the Patriots struggled to contain Alex Smith and Tyreek Hill last week. Thomas is a stud and should bounce back from a weak opening performance with solid WR1 numbers on Sunday.
Amari Cooper, Raiders vs. NYJ – New York simply doesn’t have an answer for Cooper in the secondary, and the 2015 first-rounder should have a really nice fantasy output this week. His opening numbers against Tennessee were good enough for WR12 on the week, with 17.2 PPR points. There is obvious chemistry with Derek Carr, so stacking the two could be profitable this week.
Allen Hurns, Jaguars vs. TEN – Here is my contrarian call for Week 2 at wide receiver. While Hurns doesn’t necessarily come to mind when thinking of five guys to draft, the Jaguars face a Titans secondary that ranked dead last in 2016 against wide receivers, with an aFPA of 42.1 to the position. With Allen Robinson on the shelf, Hurns becomes more valuable in the Jacksonville offense.
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots @ NO – Gronk’s Week 1 performance was forgettable at best, but this week he gets a super tasty opponent in the New Orleans Saints. It’s no secret the Saints defense isn’t the stoutest unit in the NFL. Plus, throw in the angry Brady scenario and we have a perfect storm for a true Gronk Smash.
Zach Ertz, Eagles @ KC – Kansas City did an excellent job of shutting down Gronk in Week 1, but will be without Eric Berry due to a season-ending Achilles injury. Ertz was the fourth-highest targeted tight end last week and was second on the Eagles in targets behind Nelson Agholor. Look for that workload to continue in Week 2, with Ertz winning most of those battles in the secondary.