In the daily fantasy football world, it's all about finding value, and in my weekly column that you'll find here every week, you can count on me to find you that value in order for you to put up big point totals each week.
While I'll list some obvious plays each week, I'll also give you some non-obvious plays that will save you cap dollars, which is the key to a successful lineup -- as veteran DFS players are well aware of.
My recommended plays are based on matchups, statistics and most of all, my 20 years of covering the NFL from a personnel and matchup basis.
And with that, DFS players, welcome to Week 2!
Matchup: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
If you're an experienced DFS player, you're probably aware of the home/road splits for the veteran signal caller. In every meaningful passing category, Roethlisberger's numbers are way up at home (TD%, total TDs, comp%, yards passing per game, yards per pass attempt, INT%) vs. road.
There's no better example of this issue than last week, when the 15-year pro turned the ball over five times in a tie against the host Cleveland Browns. Now he gets to play a Chief defense that is a shell of what it once was.
The Chiefs lack enough quality playmakers at key positions, such as outside linebacker and cornerback (they traded one of the best young cornerbacks in the league in Marcus Peters), and it showed last week against the Chargers.
Veteran QB Philip Rivers torched the Chiefs defense for 424 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. And also keep in mind the Chargers receivers dropped at least three passes that would have resulted in big plays. The bottom line is this should be a high-scoring game and Roethlisberger should bounce back in a big way this week.
Note: Roethlisberger is dealing with an elbow injury, so make sure he has been cleared to play before you finalize your lineups on Sunday, and I have listed other choices for you below if he doesn't wind up playing.
Matchup: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When reviewing the quarterback player values, I was very surprised that Foles ($7,300) had a higher value than Matt Ryan ($7,100).
But it's obvious that the people who set the player values understand how good of a matchup this is for the Eagles passing game and especially for their quarterback.
Foles will face an injured Buccaneers defense that will likely be without two of their top-three cornerbacks and starting DE Jason Pierre-Paul (right knee) is no sure thing to play on Sunday.
And while the Eagles passing game struggled a bit last week against the solid Falcon secondary, they'll face a Buccaneer defense that gave up well over 400 yards passing, three touchdowns, and got next to no pressure on veteran QB Drew Brees.
It's also worth mentioning that in two career starts vs. the Buccaneers, Foles has posted an average of 338.5 yards passing per game, five total touchdowns, and 0 INTs.
Matchup: Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders
While it was a little surprising how well fellow rookie RB Phillip Lindsay played last week, Freeman will still wind up handling over 50 percent of the carries at the running back position for this team this season.
Freeman, who had a very impressive training camp and preseason, should have no trouble putting up good numbers this week against an injury depleted and poor Raiders defense.
The Raiders will be without starting DT Justin Ellis, who was put on IR this week and their defense gave up 108 yards and over 5.0 yards per carry to Rams RB Todd Gurley in Week 1. It's not a coaching issue for the Raiders; it's a personnel issue.
The talent level on defense simply isn't good enough or proven enough at this point (they are playing three talented rookies up front who have a lot to prove) and you already knew that they traded their best defensive player in DE Khalil Mack. The Raiders defense will be the get-well defense for your fantasy teams this season -- count on it.
Matchup: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With starting WR Alshon Jeffery remaining out this week, Agholor is now splitting time between playing in the slot and on the outside.
While he only averaged a paltry 4.1 yards per catch (yikes) against the solid Atlanta Falcons defense last week, Agholor will face a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense which struggled mightily last week. They gave up a whopping 21 pass completions, 248 yards, and two touchdowns to WRs Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn.
And the Buccaneers are dealing with significant injury issues at cornerback. You can count on Eagles head Doug Pederson to draw up an aggressive game plan this week against the injured Buccaneers defense, so Agholor is certainly worth a start this week.
Matchup: Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
In case you didn't watch the Lions offense in Week 1 against the Jets, Golladay, a second-year wide receiver, put on a show. He possesses everything that you look for in a potential star: size, speed, and physical play.
He wound up playing the most amount of snaps of any of their wide receivers (93 percent) while posting seven receptions on 12 targets along with 114 yards receiving. During my training camp tour last month, I watched Golladay make several big plays against the Oakland Raiders secondary in two days of combined practices.
Golladay matches up well against an average 49ers secondary, so give him a shot at a good dollar value this week.
Matchup: San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions
If you watched the Lions defense during their Week 1 blowout loss at home, it was very obvious that they had some real issues with getting pressure on rookie QB Sam Darnold, who was making his first NFL start.
The Lions' top pass rusher DE Ziggy Ansah is dealing with a shoulder injury and other than the 6th-year pro, the Lions simply do not have any quality pass rushers on the outside. When it comes to Kittle, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, who also calls the plays, does a great job of designing his offense to exploit matchups.
I remember talking to RB Carlos Hyde during last year's training camp about Shanahan and he told me he was great at creating space for him to run. That also shows up on tape in the passing game.
Last week's game against the host Minnesota Vikings was a great example when it comes to Kittle. He got open repeatedly and finished with five receptions for 90 yards on nine targets. He also dropped a pass, which would have resulted in a gain for well over 30 yards and QB Jimmy Garoppolo missed him open in the end zone for a TD with an inaccurate pass.
|QB||Ben Roethlisberger||Steelers vs Chiefs||$7,600|
|RB||Adrian Peterson||Redskins vs Colts||$6,700|
|RB||Alvin Kamara||Saints vs Browns||$9,000|
|WR||Antonio Brown||Steelers vs Chiefs||$8,900|
|WR||Nelson Agholor||Eagles @ Buccaneers||$6,100|
|WR||Kenny Golladay||Lions @ 49ers||$5,700|
|TE||George Kittle||49ers vs Lions||$5,600|
|FLEX||Royce Freeman||Broncos vs Raiders||$6,000|
|D||Philadelphia Eagles||Eagles @ Buccaneers||$4,440|
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