Week 2 DFS NFL FanDuel Tight End & Defense Picks

Written By Nate Weitzer on September 15, 2017

Week 2 FanDuel.com DFS NFL GPP Plays & Picks for September 17, 2017

Week 2 NFL is upon us and everyone is looking to cash in on the big money at FanDuel. Every week, we’ll bring you our top DFS NFL picks at each position, separating them into Cash Game and GPP plays. And to keep up with all things PlayPicks, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Cash game options generally come with less risk and a more stable floor, while the best GPP plays can come with tons of risk and upside. Taking a chance on players with high ceilings and low floors is a good way to separate from a large tournament field.

As with any DFS sport, the advice below is relevant for fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than they are in real life due to matchup, price, game flow, etc. This is important when constructing a roster. And if you’re looking for new ways to play DFS, be sure and give BOOM Fantasy and DRAFT a try!

In DFS NFL, predicting game flow can be vital towards success. Teams that are heavily favored and come through with a comfortable win will be far more likely to lean on their running game, while two teams with poor defenses and high-powered offenses could pay off by getting into a shootout. Later in the season, especially, weather will play a key factor in NFL games, so make sure to check the forecast for each Sunday.

Targeting games with high Over/Under lines is an effective strategy for GPP formats. In DFS NFL, you can not only stack players on the same team, but use WRs and QBs from the opposition as correlation plays in the hopes that a particular game turns into a shootout and provides heavy production on both sides of the ball.

In general, GPP plays are high-risk, high-reward prospects that can fizzle out and leave you empty handed. That said, if you want to win the big money, you have to take big chances and sometimes that means fading a safer choice for a risky play with more upside.

Use these Week 2 NFL Lines as a guide when constructing your lineups.

Week 2 DFS NFL Tight Ends for Cash Games

Delanie Walker @ JAX ($6.2k FanDuel)
This is a very tough week to find a reliable oversized target for your cash game lineups. Travis Kelce faces arguably the top defense against TEs in the Eagles, Greg Olsen is tied to an inaccurate QB, Jordan Reed is hobbled, and Jimmy Graham might not see many targets if the Seahawks pull away early. That leaves Walker as one of the safer plays to consider against a Jaguars secondary that’s excellent on the perimeter and looked better against the run so far this year, but can still be had in the middle of the field. Walker caught 7 balls for 98 yards and a TD in 2 meetings with the Jags last season and he remained a favorite option for Marcus Mariota with 9 targets in the season-opener against Oakland.

Zach Ertz @ KC ($6.1k FanDuel)
While the Chiefs have a great reputation for limiting TEs over the past couple of seasons, difference-making safety Eric Berry is now out for the year with a ruptured Achilles. Without Berry in coverage, Ertz should be able to run his high-percentage routes over the middle of the field and remain a favorite target for Carson Wentz after catching all 8 balls thrown his way for 93 yards in the season opener. He’s athletic enough to win jump balls in the red zone and quick enough to gain separation while piling up shorter catches, yet his ownership rate may remain low ahead of a perceived tough matchup.

Jared Cook vs. NYJ ($5.1k FanDuel)
A complete boom-bust option in other offenses over the past few years, Cook appears to be a more consistent value play as the default third option in the Raiders elite passing offense. He caught 5-of-5 targets for 56 yards in a matchup against a much-improved Titans defense and now faces one of the worst teams in the league at home. The Jets ranked 31st in DVOA pass defense while giving up the 11th-most FPPG to opposing TEs last season and that linebacker corps got significantly weaker with David Harris moving to New England.

Week 2 DFS NFL Tight Ends for GPPs

Rob Gronkowski @ NO ($8.1k FanDuel)
With so many question marks surrounding the defending champs after a surprising loss on Opening Night, Brady, Brandin Cooks and Gronk might all have somewhat low ownership rates despite their obvious upside in a matchup against the Saints porous defense. Gronk is in a price bracket all his own on FD, which makes him a clear GPP play, but one with multi-TD potential against a unit that ranked 22nd in DVOA pass defense against TEs last year.

Martellus Bennett @ ATL ($5.8k FanDuel)
He didn’t exactly pop in his Green Bay debut, but don’t even think about benching Bennett ahead of a much easier matchup this week. The Seahawks speedy LBs are almost impossible to beat over the middle, whereas Atlanta coughed up the sixth-most FPPG to opposing TEs and gave up 61.4 receiving YPG to the position last year. Bennett’s value will be found in the red zone, where Aaron Rodgers can extend plays and hit him right in the numbers, and we should see much more of that in a projected shootout with Atlanta this Sunday night.

Julius Thomas @ LAC ($5.0k FanDuel)
Once a touchdown-catching machine playing with Peyton Manning in Denver, Thomas has been completely forgotten due to a couple of lackluster, injury-plagued campaigns with Jacksonville. Yet he could find new life with another talented player looking for redemption in Jay Cutler, a notably strong-armed QB with a willingness to fire the ball into traffic in the end zone. Thomas is a classic GPP play due to his ability to box out and catch TDs and he could see more targets than expected if the Dolphins look to avoid the Chargers elite DBs by attacking the middle of the field.

Week 2 DFS NFL Top Defense Plays

BAL vs. CLE ($4.7k FanDuel)
You can pay up for the Seahawks D/ST ($5.4k) if you want to be truly safe, but the Ravens look like a good bet at this mid-tier price tag. Baltimore wants defense to be its identity and that unit made steady improvements throughout last season while adding pro bowl safety Eric Weddle. C.J. Mosley is one of the best LBs in the game and Terell Suggs is HEALTHY, which can’t be underestimated when facing an offense that absorbed a whopping 66 sacks last season. 

LAC vs. MIA ($4.3k FanDuel)
He can talk up his former OC and new HC in Adam Gase all he wants, but the fact remains that Jay Cutler just makes poor decisions at the worst times. He’s one of the prime candidates to throw a Pick 6 as per usual this week and the Chargers certainly have the personnel to shut down Miami’s receiving options with elite DBs Casey Hayward and Jason Verrett locking down outside. Their pass rush was fierce with four sacks and plenty of pressures on Trevor Siemian in Week 1 and now they’ll have a home crowd that should be craving a taste of good football in Los Angeles.

JAX vs. TEN ($4.3k FanDuel)
At the same price point, the Jaguars could serve as more of a contrarian option this week. Even though they stomped Tom Savage and the Texans in Week 1, the public will be slow to trust a Jacksonville defense that’s been a doormat in recent years. HC Gus Bradley is from the Seattle school of coaching and he may finally have the personnel to imitate the Seahawks great defenses. With Calais Campbell leading an excellent pass rush, new acquisitions A.J. Bouye (RCB) and Barry Church (SS), and super sophomore Jalen Ramsey (LCB) the Jaguars secondary is capable of forcing Marcus Mariota into turnovers in a home game.

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Nate Weitzer Avatar
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Nate Weitzer

Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player at DraftKings and FanDuel with numerous tournament wins in NBA and NFL contests. He's been writing about DFS for several years, specializing in NBA picks and advice while continuing to build his bankroll across the daily fantasy industry. When he's not playing DFS, Weitzer is often covering high school sports in the greater Boston area for outlets such as The Boston Globe, or playing basketball himself. Follow Nate on Twitter @Nweitzer7.

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