Fantasy Football Week 2 Start or Sit – Proof of Concept
Every week for the rest of the NFL season, I have decided to put my money where my mouth is and enter my Start/Sit recommendations in a DFS tournament on Draftkings.
BEN ROETHLISBERGER, QB Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
22.0 Projected Fantasy Points
Big Ben on the road is a thing. We all know that he struggles on the road, but plays at an elite level at home. This week he draws the Kansas City Chiefs at home, a defense that just got gashed by Phillip Rivers for 424 passing yards, 3 TDs and 35 Fantasy Points. Kansas City is coming into this one with the 28th ranked secondary and one that will not be able to slow down WR Keenan Allen and RB Melvin Gordon. Expect Big Ben to throw for 300+ yards and 3 or more scores.
CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY, RB Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
13.40 Projected Fantasy Points
I know you’re starting McCaffrey regardless, but here is something you should know: the Atlanta Falcons defense is terrible against pass catching running backs. In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons Defense Ranked:
•1st in targets against (139)
•1st in receptions against (110)
•4th in yards against (814)
•10th in TDs against (4)
While the Falcons were pretty respectable against the rush last season, Christian McCaffrey is no ordinary pass catching running back. McCaffrey led all running backs last season with 113 total targets, or 7.1 targets per game. In his first game of 2018 against Dallas, he was targeted 9 times, which ranks 4th amongst running backs. Expect him to be targeted early and often. He should be in line for 100+ total yards and a TD.
ADRIAN PETERSON, RB Washington Redskins vs. Indianapolis Colts
11.25 Projected Fantasy Points
I never thought AP would be a thing again as running backs over 30 are non-factors in the NFL, but at 33 years old, dude looked incredible last week, making defenders miss and really churning for extra yardage. AP logged 28 total touches, which was good for 66.7% of the total running back touches. He played 53% of the teams total offensive snaps and was given bellcow volume, with 26 carries for 96 yards a TD. The Colts defense was manhandled week 1 against Joe Mixon and the Bengals to the tune of 22 total touches, 149 total yards and 24 fantasy points. In 2017, the Colts defense ranked 7th in rushing yards against (1,682) and 7th in TDs against (12). They also ranked 7th in Total Fantasy Points Allowed (319.80) and 7th in Fantasy Points per Game (20.0) to opposing running backs. This may not last, but start AP with confidence Week 2 against the Colts.
JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER, WR Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
13.70 Projected Fantasy Points
Juju is becoming a consistent fantasy asset. In Week 1, in a low scoring, bad weather outing, he managed 5 receptions on 8 targets for 119 yards, which was good for 15.5 fantasy points. This week, the Steelers get the Kansas City Chiefs at home, fresh off a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. However, this win saw Phillip Rivers throw for over 400 yards and 3 scores on a porous Chiefs defense. In 2017, the Chiefs defense ranked against Wide Receivers:
•3rd in receptions against (208)
•2nd in yards against (2,834)
•3rd in TDs against (18)
•2nd in Total Fantasy Points Against (391.50)
•2nd in Fantasy Points per Game (24.5)
Antonio Brown remains the guy in Pittsburgh, but Juju is coming. Start him with confidence and expect more targets and a touchdown.
EMMANUAL SANDERS, WR Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders
12.30 Projected Fantasy Points
Emmanual Sanders played 51% of his snaps out of the slot on Sunday, which resulted in 10 catches on 11 targets for 135 yards and a touchdown. This was good for 26 Fantasy Points. We have seen an increase in his usage in the slot since the preseason and the coaching staff had been hinting at this all offseason. Oakland ranks 23rd against slot receivers and Sanders should find plenty of room to work this weekend. I wouldn’t expect a similar yardage total, but the targets will continue to be there along with a score or two.
PS: Start Phillip Lindsay if you have a flex spot. The Raiders rank 29th against pass catching running backs and Lindsay is about to step into a Danny Woodhead like roll. Freeman is the bellcow, but Lindsay could be heavily targeted.
ADAM THIELEN, WR Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
11.45 Projected Fantasy Points
Week 1 was Kirk Cousins debut in Minnesota and he didn’t disappoint, going 20-26, 244 and 2 TDs. Thielen managed 6 catches on 12 targets for 102 yards and 13 fantasy points. His 12 targets were 7th best in the NFL, while his teammate Stefon Diggs was only targeted 6 times. Green Bay ranked 7th in yards allowed (2,572) and 1st in TDs allowed (21) against opposing Wide Receivers last season. They also ranked 3rd in Total Fantasy Points Allowed (388.40) and 3rd in Fantasy points per game (24.3). Thielen should dominate in this one.
DION LEWIS, RB Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
8.25 Projected Fantasy Points
I don’t think anyone saw this one coming, but Dion Lewis had 21 total touches in Week 1. Derrick Henry had 11. Dion Lewis played 71% of the offensive snaps in Week 1, while Derrick Henry played 29%. While it was almost assumed that Derrick Henry would become a fantasy stud once Demarco Murray was out of the picture, Dion Lewis was signed in the offseason to throw a wrench in this Titans backfield. Henry is a big bodied North South runner, while Lewis really excels in the pass game. The Texans are pretty respectable against the run, but expect the Titans to feed Derrick Henry early and often to wear out the Texans defensive line. The Texans are returning the 5th ranked defensive line in the NFL, including All Pro JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. However, their secondary is ranked 25th in the NFL and Lewis should be able to find space in the passing game. I wouldn’t expect 16 carries out of him again this week, but expect 15 total touches and 1 score.
JONNU SMITH, TE Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans
3.20 Projected Fantasy Points
He hasn’t played a full game yet in 2018, but I am already pegging Jonnu Smith as a breakout for this season. This big and physical receiver impressed in a small sample size last season and should continue to impress in 2018 with a full work load. The Houston Texans rank 30th against Tight Ends and Mariotta should feed him often. The Houston Texans ranks against the Tight End Position in 2017:
•6th in receptions against (81)
•6th in yards allowed (922)
•5th in TDs allowed (9)
•4th in Total Fantasy Points Against (146.20)
•4th in Fantasy Points per Game (9.1)
This kid could be the real deal and next elite Tight End. Start him.
JETS DST vs. Miami Dolphins
11.10 Projected Fantasy Points
I think the Jets defense may be for real this year and could resemble the Jaguars defense from a year ago. The Jets came into Detroit on Monday night in Week 1 and dismantled a pretty good offensive Lions team. This is a Lions team that is coming into 2018 with the 8th best offensive line in the NFL and a group that is perfectly healthy. The Jets D Line, who is ranked 32nd in the NFL, wreaked havoc on the Lions front five and Matthew Stafford, resulting in a 4 interception game. This group could be special.
RESULTS FROM WEEK 1:
All and all not too bad, with the exception of Delanie Walker going down for the season. Alex Collins found no running room against the Bills because the Ravens offensive line had the lowest grade for run blocking by Pro Football Focus in the NFL. His usage is becoming troubling and appears to be in a time share with Buck Allen.
This lineup placed me 2nd in 3 leagues with 8 to 10 people in each tournament.
PS. These will not work for tournaments with hundreds or thousands of people. This is mainly to be done in small groups with your buddies.