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Week 2 DFS Blue Book

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Welcome to the Week 2 DFS Blue Book; your weekly buyer’s guide as a GM in the DFS industry.

Quarterbacks

Drew Brees | QB | GPP
Last season, the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants played one of the most exciting NFL games you will ever see. The Saints won 52-49 in a game that saw Drew Brees throw for 505 yards and 7 touchdown passes. The Giants defense has improved this season, especially with the addition of pass rushing specialist Olivier Vernon. Brees should still be able to pick on the Giants secondary that features Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, Darian Thompson, Nat Behre, and Landon Collins. Gameflow will also help; the Giants are the home team and favored by 4.5 points.

Eli Manning | QB | Cash
Eli Manning will be a hugely popular pick this weekend after posting an incredible stat line against the Saints last year. He nearly matched Drew Brees’ excellence by throwing for 350 yards and 6 touchdowns. This year Eli will see another beleaguered Saints defense that will be without Delvin Breaux in the secondary because of a broken leg suffered in their Week 1 loss to the Raiders. Now the Saints will have to rely on CBs like P.J. Williams, DeVante Harris, and Ken Crawley to try and stop the Giants dangerous trio of receivers. This week, Manning is about as safe as you can get and we are very confident he will return value while also providing plenty of upside.

Trevor Siemian | QB | Cash
Trevor Siemian made his debut against a very tough Carolina Panthers team and led the reigning Super Bowl champs to a win. C.J. Anderson may have actually led the charge, but looking deeper at the stats and some game film, there are definitely positives for Siemian. First, against the Panthers, Siemian had an adjusted completion percentage (aC%) of 79.2 percent which was good for 11th last week (Matthew Stafford was 1st). Second, his average depth of target (aDOT) was a minuscule 5.6 which was second to last only ahead of Stafford. How is this a good thing? Stafford was playing against the same Colts defense that Siemian will be lining up across from on Sunday. Stafford and his receivers were able to turn his infinitesimal aDOT of 5.2 into 340 yards and 3 touchdowns. This weekend, Siemian will look to build off of his difficult first game matchup with a much easier opponent in the Indianapolis Colts.

Andrew Luck | QB | GPP
In Week 1, Andrew Luck was Pro Football Focus’ highest graded QB. At 95.2, Luck nearly played the perfect game. Luck also finished as QB1; beating Drew Brees for the spot by 1 fantasy point, thanks to 21 yards rushing. Luck’s matchup against the Broncos is less than ideal. The Broncos have one of the fiercest pass rushes as evidenced by their 55 sacks in 2015, and have a good chance of putting pressure on Luck throughout the game. But the Colts have a porous defense that will necessitate Luck to try and win this one for his team. There is a wide range of outcomes for Luck this week but one of them is QB1, making him a very interesting GPP play.

Running Backs

David Johnson | RB | GPP
During the offseason, there was a report or two that Chris Johnson would eat into David Johnson’s snaps. Week 1 proved that report couldn’t be further off as Johnson was on the field for 95 percent of the Cardinals offensive snaps. This week, Johnson faces off against an upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. The stat that really jumps off the page in this matchup is how badly the Bucs struggled with Falcon RBs in the passing game in Week 1. Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman combined for 9 catches for 125 yards. Johnson is one of the best pass-catching backs in the league and Arizona’s propensity for downfield throws often opens up underneath routes for RBs. With the focus this week on the Saints vs. Giants game, Johnson makes for a very high upside GPP play.

Lamar Miller | RB | Cash
Last week had to have felt like the culmination of Lamar Miller’s hard work. For years he was inexplicably absent from the Dolphins game plans, yet in his first game in Houston, Miller proved he could be a bell cow RB. He had 28 carries for 107 yards and 4 receptions. This is the kind of performance that an owner needs out of cash game RBs. This week, there is no reason to expect a drop off in usage and Miller’s involvement in the passing game only raises his already high floor. Miller is one of the Blue Book’s favorite RB targets this week for either format.

Adrian Peterson | RB | GPP
Adrian Peterson was not good in Week 1. Thankfully, DFS is a weekly game and Week 1 performances only affect other players’ psyche. Exploiting human nature is one of the keys to winning at DFS and AP is a fine example in Week 2. Peterson has a home game, in primetime, against the rival Green Bay Packers. With uncertainty at QB, the Vikings will look to slow the game down and grind out first downs. Peterson will have an opportunity to tote the rock over 20 times and RB1 is well within his range of outcomes.

C.J. Anderson |RB | Cash
One of the stars of Week 1 was C.J. Anderson. He was basically everything fantasy owners expected him to be in 2015, just a year late. This week he has a much softer opponent in the Indianapolis Colts. The Broncos are favored by six points in this one and with the Colts ability to score, Anderson will play a critical role in keeping Luck off the field. Last week, Anderson scored an astounding .70 points per opportunity (carries+pass routes, PPO) which was 4th in the NFL. If Anderson can keep that kind of efficiency this week, he will once again be near the top of RB score boards.

DeMarco Murray | RB | GPP
There were ups and downs for DeMarco Murray in Week 1. The bad news was that Murray’s old fumbling issue reared its ugly head. Aside from that, it was mostly positive for Murray. He played in 75 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, so he is definitely not in a split with Derrick Henry. He also led the NFL in red zone targets with five. His catch rate on those targets was 100 percent and he scored 2 touchdowns through the air against a stout and inspired Minnesota defense. This week the Titans travel to Detroit for a game in which they are a 5.5-point underdog. Tennessee being in a shootout definitely benefits Murray because he is an accomplished pass catcher. He makes for a very interesting GPP play with two-touchdown upside.

Danny Woodhead | RB | Cash
After Keenan Allen went down last season, the entire San Diego Chargers offense suffered. Everyone except Danny Woodhead. In the 8 games without Allen, Woodhead was able to catch 41 passes; he averaged 14.5 fantasy points per game. In Week 1, Woodhead was on the field for 68 percent of the offensive snaps; 27 more snaps than Melvin Gordon! This week, expect Philip Rivers to use Danny Woodhead early and often in the passing game which gives Woodhead a very high floor for cash games.

T.J. Yeldon | RB | Cash
T.J. Yeldon’s inclusion in the Blue Book is relative to Chris Ivory’s status. At the time of this writing, Ivory is just getting out of the hospital. Mysterious hospital stays are generally not a good thing but what is a good thing is a bell cow RB against the San Diego Chargers defense. Last week, Spencer Ware was able to score .90 PPO which was good for No. 1 in the entire NFL. This should come as no surprise to anyone who watched the preseason. Targeting the Chargers run defense is definitely a strong strategy which will make Yeldon a highly owned RB.

Jeremy Langford | RB | Cash
Jeremy Langford is a volume based target that will be popular in cash games. This is because he led all NFL RBs in snap percentage with an amazing 96 percent of his team’s offensive snaps. Once again, no one will confuse Langford with an elite RB, but his elite usage rate gives him one of the highest floors of any RB. This is what we want from cash game RBs, so Langford is one of the top cash game RBs on this slate.

LeGarrette Blount | RB | Cash
With Jimmy Garoppolo as QB, LeGarrette Blount was on the field for 59 percent of New England’s snaps in Week 1. In exactly half of those snaps, Blount handed the ball. This will likely be how the Patriots offense continues to operate until Tom Brady gets back. Hand the ball to Blount, throw short to slot receivers, take some shots deep, and then repeat the cycle. Even a shorthanded Patriots team is much better than the Miami Dolphins, which will lead to more carries for Blount in the 4th quarter against a tired and beaten Dolphins defense.

Theo Riddick | RB | Cash
Dating back to last season, Theo Riddick has been an amazing cash game target. He has found himself a niche in Jim Bob Cooter’s offense. Riddick, a noted pass-catching back, was even able to show off some nice rushing ability in Week 1. If Riddick is going to continue to be heavily involved in the passing and running games, his price will be on the rise. But currently he is still priced very modestly across the industry. Riddick reaching the end zone like he did in Week 1 is far from a guarantee, but his value still lies in his passing game involvement. Expect Riddick to perform well enough in the passing game to hit value on PPR sites and anything in the running game will be an added bonus.

Tevin Coleman | RB | GPP
Week 1, we witnessed Tevin Coleman explode onto the scene and subsequently crush Devonta Freeman owners’ hopes of cashing. Throughout the summer, Falcon coaches stated they would ride the hot hand. Ride the hot hand they did; Coleman was on the field for 32 snaps in comparison to Freeman’s 36. This week there is a good chance the Falcons look to build on Coleman’s performance by getting him the ball in space like they did in Week 1.
Chris Thompson | RB | Cash
Chris Thompson entered Monday night’s game against the Steelers as the second-string RB for Washington’s Football Team. When the dust settled, however, it was Thompson who was on the field for 67 percent of the snaps. Some of this can be explained by game script because as Washington got down further and further, Thompson’s pass catching ability became more valuable. That doesn’t explain why Thompson, not Jones, was on the field for the goal line carry that Thompson turned into a touchdown. This shows that Washington trusts Thompson in the most critical moments; third down pass protection, third down receptions, and goal line carries were all Thompson’s on Monday night. Most prices were released before Monday Night Football ended, making Thompson one of the best values on the entire slate.

Wide Receivers

Odell Beckham Jr | WR | GPP
We think that Odell Beckham Jr. will be one of the most popular plays this week and for good reason. Last season, OBJ torched the Saints secondary for 8 catches, 130 yards, and 3 touchdowns. It was one of the more impressive receiving performances of the year. The problem is that performance is baked into his price across the industry, making his inclusion in cash game rosters somewhat prohibitive. To hit value on a site like DraftKings, Beckham has to score 28.5 fantasy points which is well within his range of outcomes; we just think there are easier routes to 150 points. OBJ is a tremendous GPP play this week, however, because he has shown on more than one occasion that he has 40-point upside.

A.J. Green | WR | Cash
Despite the hype around the Saints vs. Giants game, it is A.J. Green that might have the juiciest matchup on Sunday at the Pittsburgh Steelers. For his career, Green averages over 21 PPR points per road game. This isn’t a small sample size either; his 60 career games are split almost directly down the middle with 31 road games to his 29 home games and the results show Green excels on the road. Last season against the Steelers, Green had 17 receptions for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns. In Week 2, Green will look to keep up his hot start in Pittsburgh and is our favorite WR on the entire slate.

Brandin Cooks | WR | GPP
If you go back to 2015, in Brandin Cooks’ last 10 games, he has been one of the best WRs in the NFL. Over that span of time, Cooks has 55 catches for 837 yards and 10 touchdowns. That is an amazing 15.2 yards per reception and exactly 1 touchdown per game! This week he is playing in the game with the highest over and has huge upside. We would be completely comfortable using him in either format, but the Saints plethora of weapons makes us lean toward using him in a Saints GPP stack.
Allen Robinson | WR | GPP
Here’s an interesting play this week: Allen Robinson. Coming into the season, the gripe about Robinson was that the volume wasn’t there and regression would come because he wouldn’t be able to sustain his efficiency from 2015. Half of that assumption was proven right in Week 1 as Robinson wasn’t efficient; thanks in large part to Blake Bortles’ inaccuracy. The volume was there in Week 1 to the tune of 15 targets. Should Bortles repeat that and target Robinson 15 times again in Week 2, it would be shocking if Robinson didn’t produce better results against a demoralized San Diego defense.

Jordan Matthews | WR | GPP
Jordan Matthews has an amazing matchup on Monday night. Matthews, who is a big slot receiver (6’3, 212 lbs), will be covered by Bryce Callahan (5’9, 191 lbs). This is a mismatch in every sense of the word. In Week 1, Matthews was clearly Carson Wentz favorite receiver as he was targeted 13 times. That target share will continue, especially since Eagles TE, Zach Ertz, is dealing with a rib injury. Matthews is a highly recommended GPP play and a viable stack option.

Willie Snead | WR | Cash
Last week, Willie Snead was one of the most efficient WRs in the NFL. Snead was targeted 9 times and he caught 100 percent of those targets for 172 yards. In terms of PPO, that was No. 1 in the NFL, just ahead of Antonio Brown and Snead’s teammate, Brandin Cooks. This week Snead can be used in a Saints Stack, but his low price makes him a cash game target as well. It is very likely that Snead will be able to hit his cash game value threshold while also providing his owners with great upside.

Sterling Shepard | WR | Cash
Everyone this week will be focused on whether or not Odell Beckham Jr. can duplicate his 2015 performance against the Saints. One of the reasons we are skeptical about that is the emergence of Sterling Shepard. In Week 1, Shepard was on the field for 95 percent of the Giants offensive snaps and was productive during that time. He was able to find his way into the end zone against the Cowboys and should be able to do the same against the beaten up Saints secondary. With his low price across the industry, exposure to Shepard will give owners a piece of the Giants passing attack at a fraction of the cost of OBJ, making Shepard a highly recommended cash game play.

Vincent Jackson | WR | GPP
Vincent Jackson is a really interesting GPP play this week. Mike Evans excelled last week against the Falcons and his overall talent should attract Patrick Peterson. If Peterson is asked to shadow Mike Evans, Jackson will be covered by Brandon Williams. Williams is a converted RB and has only played CB for two years. VJax, on the other hand, is a veteran that will be able to exploit Williams’ inexperience. Jackson is the most speculative play in the Blue Book but he is priced very low across the industry and does possess immense upside.

Tajae Sharpe | WR | Cash
Last week, Tajae Sharpe proved that you can’t always ignore preseason superstars. After months of hype, some people expected Sharpe to be relegated to the 2nd or 3rd option in the passing game. That was proven wrong when Sharpe was targeted 11 times for 7 catches. One of the most impressive stats for Sharpe was actually his snap count; he was on the field for 64 of 67 offensive snaps. This week he remains the Titans WR1, but he isn’t priced like a WR1. The Titans are heavy underdogs to the Lions which should provide Sharpe with the same kind of volume which makes him a great cash game play.

Tyrell Williams | WR | Cash
Tyrell Williams is going to be many players; source of salary relief this coming week. Williams won’t be asked to replace Keenan Allen, but he will see a significant increase in volume this coming week. He is a really interesting athlete at 6’4, 200+ lbs with a 4.4 40-yard dash. It’s easy to see why some people are infatuated with him. The results remain to be seen, but with his low salary can you afford to fade him? In many respects, owning Williams may be “the price of doing business” this week.

Dontrelle Inman | WR | GPP
Dontrelle Inman is a pivot off of Tyrell Williams for the non-risk averse owner. Inman is an interesting target because in Week 1, Inman led all Charger WRs in snaps with 79 percent. Inman was also the WR that had the most success in 2015 once Keenan Allen went down. In the 8 games that Inman played without Allen, he averaged just over 10 fantasy points per game and had 26 catches. His 2015 aDOT during that 8-game stretch was 13.1. That means Rivers was throwing to him in the intermediate range that Allen has been so successful in.

Cole Beasley | WR | Cash
Cole Beasley is a minimum-priced, salary relief option for those who want to fit as many studs in their cash games as possible. Last week, Beasley was targeted a shocking 12 times. One reason Beasley may have been targeted so much is Prescott’s initial read in his college days was the slot receiver. Old habits die hard and Beasley stands to benefit from Prescott’s ingrained behaviors. The Beas’ value threshold this week is only 9.6 and it is very reasonable to believe he can hit that number against a defense that allowed Eli Rogers to be successful from the slot (including a pinball red zone reception for a TD).

Tight Ends

Delanie Walker | TE | Cash
Delanie Walker is a cash game staple whenever he is affordable. Dating back to last year, Walker is a Top-3 PPR TE and led the NFL in targets and receptions for TEs with 130 and 94 respectively. This week, Walker should see an increase in usage with his team being a 5.5-point underdog to the Lions. Last week these same Lions gave up three touchdowns to the TE position, making Delanie Walker one of the safest options on the slate.

Dwayne Allen | TE | GPP
Dwayne Allen was one of our biggest hits in Week 1 and we are back on the Allen train for Week 2. Previous to 2016, Allen has been a TD-dependent TE but that role seems to have shifted from Allen to Jack Doyle. This leaves Allen with a really interesting role in Rob Chudzinski’s TE friendly offense. Now Allen is the focal point at a position that could flourish against the blitz-happy Denver Broncos. As T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett stretch the Denver defense, it will be Allen working into the areas that have been vacated by blitzing LBs. The Colts will look to work around their somewhat shaky offensive line by getting the ball out quickly to Allen, making the veteran TE a great option for either format.

Coby Fleener | TE | GPP
Last week, Coby Fleener laid an egg. He was only targeted 4 times and Fleener managed one meager catch. This week he plays in a projected shootout against a defense that just gave up tons of catches underneath to Cole Beasley and Jason Witten. The Giants will do their best to keep Brandin Cooks and company in front of them which should leave room for Fleener to work underneath. Lest we forget that in 2015 the New York Football Giants gave up a Top-6 TE performance in half of their games. Once again, let’s exploit some recency bias and use Fleener in GPPs.

Jacob Tamme | TE | GPP
Jacob Tamme draws an interesting matchup against the Oakland Raiders. Last season, the Raiders were terrible against TEs but in Week 1 they were able to limit Coby Fleener to 1 catch. For Tamme, Week 1 was a success. He was targeted 7 times and had 6 catches for 51 yards. At his modest price point across the industry, duplicating this stat line would easily provide some value while also giving your lineup salary relief.

Virgin Green | TE | Cash
Virgil Green will look to take advantage of the Colts defense in the same way that Eric Ebron was able to in Week 1. Ebron had 5 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown against the Colts defenders. Green, who had to work against one of the best linebacking corps in Week 1, will have a much easier time in Week 2 against the Colts. One matchup to look out for is Virgil Green against D’Qwell Jackson. Jackson is atrocious in coverage and a jumbo athlete like Green will be able to gain separation with ease.

DST

Seattle Seahawks | DST | Cash
We generally like to play home favorites in cash but the Seahawks matchup is too juicy to ignore. Last week, Los Angeles Rams QB, Case Keenum, was 17 of 35 for 130 yards and 2 interceptions. Things won’t get any easier for the Rams in their Los Angeles debut. The Seahawks are a perennial power on the defensive side. The Rams don’t have any WRs to challenge DeShawn Shead or Richard Sherman, so the Seahawks defense will be able to tee off on Todd Gurley. The Seahawks also have a great return game that boosts their value a bit.

New England Patriots | DST | GPP
The Patriots are the cheapest home favorites on the slate and are our preferred play for the week. The Patriots front seven is so much more talented than the Dolphins offensive line; they should be able to force the Dolphins into 3rd and long. Getting the Dolphins off schedule and thus forcing Ryan Tannehill to throw downfield is a recipe for turnovers. The Pats DST can be plugged into either GPP or Cash games with confidence.