This is a weekly review of all the important DFS news and notes from all 16 games. I give my thoughts on the relevant fantasy performances and future daily fantasy impact from each game.
Seahawks @ Green Bay
- The Seahawks are now 0-2 but have had two extremely tough games on the road to start the season. Next week their defense gets Chicago at home with Jimmy Clausen at QB in their home opener. It’s safe to say you might want to think about rostering them in your DFS lineups, Kam Chancellor or no Kam Chancellor.
- I don’t know what to tell you about TE Jimmy Graham (1 rec. 11 yards) going forward. I had him primed for a big game this week in a high over/under point total but as soon as the game started it was like he put on a cloak of invisibility. You can’t write off talent like him so soon and a massive fantasy game next week won’t surprise me. Still, another muted performance means this whole trade thing might not be working and it would be time to permanently leave him out of your lineups.
- The Packers offense took a few small hits in this game. Both RB Eddie Lacy and WR Davante Adams sustained small ankle sprains but neither appear super serious. It already appears as though Lacy might be ready for next week and Adams actually completed the game so he’s probably not a huge concern either.
- My biggest takeaway from the Packers offense is that WR Randall Cobb (8 rec. 116 yards) now appears pretty healthy and should be the target monster we all thought he was going to be once WR Jordy Nelson got hurt. If he can burn the Seahawks for over 100 yards receiving Cobb should be able to find even more room to run against weaker defenses.
Studs: Randall Cobb
Duds: Marshawn Lynch, Jimmy Graham
Jets @ Colts
- The Colts as a team were awful in this game. QB Andrew Luck (21-37 250 yards, TD 3 INTs) has now had two completely ineffective games and two pretty poor fantasy performances too. He admittedly got bad protection for a lot of this contest but also made some extremely bad throws/decisions. The schedule gets much easier for Luck going forward and this is probably a situation to capitalize on for DFS. Many fantasy players may overreact to this week and stop using Luck, that’s likely a mistake as the Colts still have no real run game and Luck will be forced to pass the ball a ton. He’s going to get rolling eventually.
- WR Donte Moncrief (7 rec. 122 yards TD) had a huge game for the Colts as they were in panic/comeback mode and couldn’t rely on a hobbled TY Hilton (4 rec. 45 yards). Moncrief looked really good in this game getting wide open against quality corners a lot and with Andre Johnson (3 rec. 27 yards) seemingly unable to separate much anymore he might be their only viable option outside Hilton (who is still hobbled a bit from week 1).
- Not sure I want much to do with the Colts run game. RB Frank Gore (15 car. 57 yards) looked pretty ineffective for the most part behind a bad O-line. The Jets are a good defense though. There will probably be better days ahead for Gore too, just like Luck, something to keep in mind.
- As for the Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (23-34, 244 yards 2 TDs INT) is never going to be Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady but he knows how to get good players the ball and that’s what he did in this game. Fitz gave WRs Brandon Marshall (7 rec. 101 yards TD) and Eric Decker (8 rec. 97 yards TD) a lot of chances to make plays and they both responded with TDs, Decker got hurt late and so Marshall might become a massive play in PPR next week if he can’t go. The Jets play the Eagles week 3 who have been torched by several WRs this year already.
Studs: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, Donte Moncrief
Duds: Andrew Luck, Frank Gore
Falcons @ Giants
- The Falcons squeaked out a quality road win here and look like a much more complete team under new coach Dan Quinn. The Falcons defense looked pretty solid for the most but they did get burned by a big time WR again as Odell Beckham (7 rec. 146 yards TD) bounced back from a bad week 1 to post a monster line. He could have had an even bigger game but the Giants tried to play keep away in the second half and it cost them the game.
- As for Giants running backs Rashad Jennings (9 car. 12 yards) might have played himself out of the starting job as he was pretty ineffective the entire game. Meanwhile Shane Vereen (6 car. 19 yards, 8 rec. 76 yards) showed how good he can be in the passing game by catching a ton of balls and just looking like the all-around better fit for the Giants scheme. I expect his snaps to go up and is a definite PPR target for coming weeks.
- The Falcons lost rookie RB Tevin Coleman in this game to broken ribs. It’s a huge shame as he was working on a big game and had already scored before getting hurt. Devonta Freeman should be the primary back now and becomes a decent play. When Coleman gets back this might be a time share and semi-avoidable.
- It was interesting to note that Falcon WR Roddy White had zero catches in this game. Meanwhile “third” WR Leonard Hankerson (6 rec. 77 yards TD) drew 11 targets and TE Jacob Tamme (4 rec. 77 yards) also garnered a lot of attention. Going forward it’s hard to tell who will get the leftovers from Julio Jones (13 rec. 135 yards) game in and game out. I’d definitely expect White to rebound but Hankerson is a decent player and it’s not out of the question he surpasses White in catches for the year.
Studs: Julio Jones, Leonard Hankerson, Odell Beckham
Duds: Roddy White
Lions @ Vikings
- The Lions are not a great team at the moment. Their once vaunted run defense is seemingly no more as—after giving up two TDs to Danny Woodhead—Vikings great Adrian Peterson (29 car. 154, 2 rec. 58 yards) had a big day yardage wise against them in this game too. Peterson’s usage went way up week 2 which is good for his fantasy value going forward. Peterson actually fumbled inside the 5 yard line and had another TD vulture by his fullback or it could have been a monster day.
- Peterson’s usage probably hurts the value of QB Teddy Bridgewater (14-18 153 yards, TD, 6 car. 21 yards TD) going forward. Bridgewater had a much more muted day passing wise throwing for well under 200 yards. He did find the end zone with his feet in this game which is a small bonus you get with him, he won’t have huge rushing days but he’ll always have some yards. He was insanely accurate again going 14-18 with most passes being of the 5-10 yard variety.
- QB Matthew Stafford got really banged up. His week 3 availability is still unclear. What is clear is that the Lions offense is stuck in mud right now. Even after throwing 52 times in this game Stafford could only compile 286 yards, 2 TDs and an INT. He gets the Broncos if he plays in week 3… a horrible matchup for a possibly injured QB.
- AT RB the Lions actually gave Ameer Abudallah more snaps than Joique Bell but failed to feature him at all as Theo Riddick syphoned off a lot of his passing targets. This is a big concern going forward and you have to really consider Abdullah only a play for gpps and tournament now in DFS. He’s still an immense talent and could go off any game but it’s no guarantee as he’s simply not being used as an every down back at the moment.
Studs: Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson
Duds: Matthew Stafford, Charles Johnson
49ers @ Steelers
- This was a shellacking that was only semi-close due to some late garbage time heroics by QB Colin Kaepernick (33-46 335 yards 2 TDs, 9 car. 51 yards). Both of these defenses are not great, especially in the secondary and will be great targets for WRs going forward.
- San Fran lost RB Carlos Hyde (13 car. 43 yards, 4 rec. 18 yards) in the middle of this game with a thigh issue and his status is semi-in doubt for next week. Hyde was a victim of game flow against the Steelers but should be OK against weaker opponents. He’s going to hog most of the carries this year and also will get involved in the passing game now that he’s out… he had four targets in this one before departing.
- I’m not a huge fan of the San Francisco offense though and wouldn’t really put too much stock in the passing output from this game. Yes it was nice to see newly acquired WR Torrey Smith (6 rec. 120 yards TD) get involved and score a huge 75 yard TD but good luck predicting when that will occur again. Kaepernick simply piled up stats in garbage time and most weeks will not be throwing nearly this much or aggressively.
- As for Pittsburgh I would stay on the QB Ben Roethlisberger (21-27, 369 yards 3 TDs) train for most of the year. Ben and Pitt are pretty much committed to chucking the ball down field as much as possible and letting the chips fall where they. Ben has now opened up the season with two big passing yardage games and I expect even more of these to develop when WR Martavis Bryant comes back. Antonio Brown is unstoppable and draws so much attention that Bryant will probably have half the field to work with.
- RB Deangelo Williams (20 carries 77 yards, 3 TDs, 4 rec. 15 yards) looks like he spent all off-season in a hyperbolic chamber. He looked fit and fast for a 30+ year old and scored three times in this game while running with speed and power inside the red zone. He will be losing most of his carries next week though as Lev Bell returns. With how well Williams is producing (at or near the top RB both weeks for DFS) in this offense you have to ask yourself what Lev Bell will do when he returns. Don’t be shocked if he starts off with a monster game right off the bat.
Studs: Deangelo Williams, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Torrey Smith, Colin Kaepernick
Duds: Carlos Hyde
Rams @ Redskins
- The Rams had a huge let down in this game after beating the Seahawks week 1. The Skins gave them numerous chances to come back and tie or win but they simply did not take them. Part of the issue is that the Redskins defense is a little better than initially advertised. They have now limited opponents to 27 points through the first two games.
- At running back for Washington you have a definitive time share brewing. RB Matt Jones (19 carries, 123 yards 2 TDs) showed what an explosive power back he can be. The rookie out of Florida was bothered by some knee issues in college and that might have affected his 40m time at the combine and his draft stock. He’s healthy now and running with more power and zip than RB Alfred Morris (18 car. 59 yards). It’s going to be hard to decipher the carries in Washington week to week but Jones is definitely the higher upside option for the time being, the only question is whether the coaches there give him the bigger workload.
- With WR Desean Jackson out expect both WR Pierre Garcon (6 rec. 23 yards TD) and TE Jordan Reed (6 rec. 82 yards) to keep getting a ton of targets. Both should continue to be good plays going forward with DJax out. Bigger games could have been had in this one for both players if Washington had been behind at some point.
- As for the Rams, don’t sleep on their defense. This is still a team to fear given their personnel. The letdown in this game was unfortunate but semi-predictable. I really like the way TE Jared Cook (5 rec. 49 yards) is being used thus far and he looks like a decent PPR option going forward if his price continues to be at or near the min on most DFS sites.
Studs: Matt Jones
Duds: Nick Foles, Rams D
Dolphins @ Jaguars
- So much for the vaunted Dolphin defense. The Dolphins got pounded by QB Blake Bortles (18-33 273 yards, 2 TDs) and WR Allen Robinson (6 rec. 155 yards 2 TDs) in this game. While it’s nice to see some offensive production out of the Jags it should be noted that Robinson’s production was truly a product of his own skill and probably not anything to do with the Jags being super-improved as a team. Robinson came down with some nice jump balls that were slightly underthrown by Bortles and made also made a spectacular catch on a deflected ball for a TD. Miami’s pass defense looked completely lost in this game, and so even though I love Robinson I’d still only feel good targeting him against softer pass defenses. Bortles will still limit his upside many weeks.
- Miami’s Jarvis Landry (8 rec. 110 yards) also had a big game and is probably going to be one of the more consistent DFS plays at WR this year, especially in PPR formats. QB Ryan Tannehill (30-44, 359 yards 2 TDs) is consistently looking for Landry in almost any situation and it again allowed him to rack up a big day PPR and yardage wise. Landry may not score the same number of TDs as a player like Antonio Brown does but he has similar PPR upside.
- It’s also interesting to note the emergence of WR Rishard Matthews (6 rec. 115 yards). Matthews is a fantastic possession receiver and it looks like he may have established himself as the number 2 option in this offense. He definitely has Tannehill’s confidence and is a player to consider if he keeps being priced ultra-cheap by the sites.
Studs: Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry, Rishard Matthews
Duds: Dolphins defense
Ravens @ Raiders
- This was the upset of the week and quite frankly might spell the end of the consistently dominate Ravens teams from the past ten years or so. The Ravens looked completely burnable on offense (running and passing) and the loss of Terrell Suggs is likely to hurt them more than people realize.
- WR Amari Cooper (7 rec. 109 yards TD) had a massive TD catch to start the game but then actually took a backseat to WR Michael Crabtree (9 rec. 111 yards TD) in terms of targets and catches. There’s no doubting that Cooper is the more explosive option and going forward will eventually be this teams number one but for the time being (and possibly this year) don’t be shocked if Crabtree turns into Carr’s “go to guy” and ends up with more catches on the year. It’s a very similar situation to Larry Fitzgerald/John Brown in Arizona but with Cooper obviously being superior to Brown.
- This is easily the best game I have seen Raiders QB Derek Carr (30-46, 351 yards, 3 TDs INT) play since entering the league. Normally Carr has been afraid/not had time to throw the ball downfield. In this game Carr was running play action and bootlegs almost every play it seemed and just slinging it at will. He’s a player I would 100% bump up in the next few weeks as the Raiders really do have a lot of talent on the offensive side. His fantasy upside is defiantly higher than at any point last season for me.
- I wasn’t shocked to see WR Steve Smith (10 rec. 150 yards) go off against a bad passing defense. The Ravens are slightly in shambles and they really have no other options in the passing game (except their backup TE I guess). Smith could be a target monster against bad passing defenses going forward but as we saw week 1 v Denver, he will also probably be shadowed and shut down against good ones. I don’t like the outlook for Baltimore as a team this season at all but recognize there might be weeks where it’s right to target them for fantasy.
Studs: Amari Cooper, Steve Smith, Derek Carr
Duds: Raven D, Justin Forsett