FanDuel Week 2 Values & Top Plays
Week 1 showed exactly why it’s important to pay up for a stud WR in tournaments. Calvin Johnson, the stud WR of stud WRs, paced every player on FanDuel in Week 1 scoring, besting even Allen Hurns. Week 1 also reminded us that targeting QBs at home is generally a good bet. Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford weren’t highly owned but put up monster days at home, with seven of the top nine QB scorers coming from home teams.
What were some other key takeaways from Week 1?
Even “safe” stud RBs aren’t immune to poor surroundings. Jamaal Charles had a disasterous outing from a fantasy standpoint last week against the Titans, as he couldn’t overcome poor offensive line play and negative game script due to the Chiefs lack of options in the passing game.
Just because a tight end is a talented receiver doesn’t mean he’ll see the field often. Travis Kelce played 19 snaps and ran 14 routes, while Ladarius Green played 21 snaps and ran only six routes. Meanwhile the TEs that play ahead of them (Anthony Fasano, Antonio Gates) combined for 9 catches, 110 yards and a TD. Tight ends see a low amount of volume as is, so it’s best to go with players who will be on the field and run the most routes, which is almost always a team’s starter.
Tight Ends benefit from high-scoring games. The Broncos, Eagles, 49ers, and Bears were all in the top-5 of in terms of projected points by Vegas in Week 1. Tight ends on those teams combined for seven TDs. When offenses are expected to move the ball and put up points, they generally see more snaps in the red zone where tight ends are highly effective at using their size to exploit opposing matchups.
Let’s get right into Week 2's top plays and values.
QB Peyton Manning $10,200 & RB Montee Ball $8,100 vs. KC
Last week, I recommended pairing Manning and Ball as a cash game stack because Vegas had the Broncos projected to score 31 points, and the two combined for four TDs. This week I am doubling up on that recommendation, as the Vegas line currently sits at an over/under of 52 with the Broncos as 13 point favorites, meaning their projection is an absurd 32.5 points.
Manning shredded the Chiefs for an average of 363 passing yards and 3 TDs in two meetings last season. The Chiefs defense is coming off a game where it allowed 266 passing yards and 2 TDs to Jake Locker. The defense took a major hit last week when two key starters were lost for the season due to injury: DE Mike DeVito and LB Derrick Johnson.
There are some game script concerns with Denver being the huge favorite, which is why I’d prefer to pair Manning with Ball in cash games. Nevertheless, Manning looks set to dominate and I like him as this week's top QB option with Brees on the road again. I wouldn't over-expose myself to Manning in cash games because there are cheaper QBs with favorable matchups, but I also wouldn't want to have no exposure to Manning.
When stacking receivers with Manning in tournaments, don't overlook Demaryius Thomas ($8,700), who had a quiet Week 1 thanks to two drops, and Andre Caldwell ($4,500), who played 42 snaps last week. Those two may not be as highly owned as Julius Thomas ($8,100), whose price sky-rocketed to pass even Jimmy Graham's ($8,000), and Emmanuel Sanders ($6,900), whose price also went up thanks to a solid opening game. Manning threw multiple TDs to all of Denver's starting WRs and TEs last season so all of them are good options with upside, but it's best to lean contrarian in large tournaments.
Ball’s salary only went up $100 this week, and he’s still a great value at his price tag. Losing DeVito is a major blow to the Chiefs run defense in particular. Ball received 25 touches and forced the second-most missed tackles of all RBs in week one, and has multi-TD upside with the Broncos projected to put up over 30 points.