DRAFT Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 2
Just because the NFL season is underway doesn't mean you can't enjoy fantasy football drafts.
Over at DRAFT.com, you can get the experience of a fantasy draft while building your daily fantasy rosters, and the format is quite simple.
You roster one quarterback, two running backs, and two wide receiver/tight ends while drafting against opponents in real-time. That means the typical "value" aspect of daily fantasy is different, as you're not worrying about salary cap and instead just playing your opponents for your preferred picks of the week.
What stands out for Week 2's main slate?
When considering running backs in the DRAFT format, you are required to draft two, but the difference between the top options and the next grouping can be a big drop-off. Our projections have three running backs projected for 19.7 points or more, while the fourth running back is projected for 17.8 fantasy points. A full two-point difference might not seem massive, but in fantasy football or DFS, every point matters. In your head-to-head matches, you will 100% be grabbing at least one of these running backs, but as you move on to 4-Person, 6-Person, and 10-person DRAFTS, things can change dramatically.
Let's take a look at a few players by tiers, so you can get a clear picture of where you should be targeting each player.
1. Saquon Barkley (RB1) - Barkley tops the list of running backs -- which shouldn't be a surprise -- as we have him projected for nearly 23 total touches. His 7.57 projected targets are the highest among any running back this week. If you are playing in a head-to-head, you are looking to grab either Barkley or one of the following backs.
2. Ezekiel Elliott (RB2) - Despite being on the road, the Dallas Cowboys come in as 5.5-point favorites over division rival Washington. A moderately strong Week 1 has Washington coming in allowing 0.02 Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per carry, which is around average for the slate. Regardless of some Week 1 success, Washington has a weak defense, and it gives us Elliott projected at 19.9 points, the second-highest among running backs. He's an elite option in any size draft.
3. Alvin Kamara (RB3) - The New Orleans Saints are on the road to take on the Los Angeles Rams in a game where the over/under is set at 51.5 points, the second-highest on the slate. We are expecting plenty of offense in this game and have Kamara projected for slightly more than 19 total touches and a total of 19.7 fantasy points.
4. James Conner (RB4) - The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to rebound after a horrible Week 1 and find themselves with a strong 25.50 implied team total -- the seventh-highest on the slate. With Conner's involvement in the passing game, he is up at 17.7 projected points -- which is strong -- but clearly a step behind the top-tier options.
5. Austin Ekeler (RB5) - Ekeler had an amazing performance in Week 1, ending with three total touchdowns and 36.4 fantasy points. While we won't see that level of production every week, he should continue to be the lead back for the Los Angeles Chargers, who are 2.5-point favorites on the road versus the Detroit Lions.
6. Derrick Henry (RB6) - The Tennessee Titans are tight 3.0-point home favorites against the Indianapolis Colts, who got embarrassed on the ground last week by the above mentioned Ekeler. Henry had 19 carries in Week 1, which is right at where we have him projected this week. His lack of involvement in the passing game keeps him in Tier 2.
7. Damien Williams (RB11) - The highest over/under on the slate -- 52.5 -- features the Kansas City Chiefs at the Oakland Raiders, giving us plenty of fantasy points to capture. With LeSean McCoy taking 10 rushing attempts away from Williams in Week 1, it's hard to put Williams in one of the top-tiers, but the game script and weak defense make him very viable in this matchup.
8. Matt Breida (RB16) - Breida played on 44% of the snaps in Week 1, and with Tevin Coleman out with an injury, we can project him for a similar, if not increased role, along with 13.8 fantasy points.
9. Kerryon Johnson (RB18) - The Los Angeles Chargers took a beating on the ground in Week 1 via Marlon Mack, which has them coming in as the second-worst on the slate in terms of run defense, per our metrics. This is good to hear for Johnson, who can put together a strong game after falling flat in Week 1.
1A. Michael Thomas (WR1) - Thomas comes in as the highest projected receiver this week, sitting at 16.4 fantasy points, which shouldn't come as a surprise since the Saints are in game with an over/under at 51.5 points. He is an elite option as always and has the highest projected receiving yards and the fifth-best value among receivers, per our models.
1B. Travis Kelce (TE1) - Kelce is the 1B to Thomas at 1A since Kelce is sitting at 16.3 projected fantasy points. just 0.1 behind Thomas. With the Chiefs set to be in a shootout versus the Raiders, along with losing Tyreek Hill, Kelce is in for a busy afternoon against one of the weaker defenses in the league.
2. JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR3) - Smith-Schuster has the second-highest projected targets this week and is in a spot for the Steelers to bounce-back against the Seattle Seahawks. Last week, Seattle got destroyed by John Ross and Tyler Boyd, so no shocker here, JuJu is projected for the third-most fantasy points this week.
3. Davante Adams (WR2) - Adams has the highest-projected targets on the week -- 11.13 -- but will likely see plenty of Xavier Rhodes of the Minnesota Vikings. Rhodes was able to hold Julio Jones to just six receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown last week, making this a tougher matchup. Adams can get to his 15.4 projection on volume alone but is clearly behind the top options due to matchup.
4. Keenan Allen (WR4) - Allen was a monster in Week 1 and can keep that production rolling in Week 2 against the Lions, who allowed more than 100 yards to Larry Fitzgerald, mostly a slot guy like Keenan, in Week 1. Projected for the fifth-most fantasy points among receivers, Allen is a no-brainer this week.
5. DeAndre Hopkins (WR5) - It's not easy to "bet against" Hopkins and put him in the second-tier, but facing either Jalen Ramsey or A.J. Bouye this week is going to be tough. Yes, the Jacksonville Jaguars got torched last week, but with other receivers in easier matchups, Hopkins falls to the second-tier.
6. Sammy Watkins (WR6) - As mentioned above with Kelce, Tyreek Hill is out for the Chiefs, so there is usage to be filled in that offense. Regardless of what Watkins did in Week 1 -- he went nuclear -- he would still be a solid play this week against the Raiders in a game with a super-high over/under. He is projected for 14.2 fantasy points this week.
7. Tyler Boyd (WR12) - While the spotlight was on teammate John Ross for his 158 yards and two touchdowns, Boyd quietly had 11 targets and eight receptions, The box score numbers weren't there for him, but that should change this week as he is up against the San Francisco 49ers, giving him a solid 12.3 projection.
8. Robert Woods (WR13) - The Los Angeles Rams have the fourth-highest implied team total, sitting at 27.00 this week, and their trio of receivers should see plenty of work against New Orleans. Woods has the highest projection among the three, sitting at 12.1.
9. Allen Robinson (WR16) - The Thursday night game from Week 1 might be out of your mind already, but Robinson ended with a whopping 13 targets, seven receptions, and 102 yards. After being ripped up in Week 1, the Denver Broncos' D comes in third-worst on the slate against the pass by our numbers.
We all know you should be prioritizing elite running backs and receivers over taking a quarterback in season-long fantasy, and that should be the same here. We have seven quarterbacks projected for 19.0 fantasy points or more and 11 quarterbacks projected for 18.1 fantasy points or more. The options this week are fantastic, and you should be able to walk away with a quarterback who is in a spot to put up plenty of fantasy points.
1. Patrick Mahomes (QB1) - It's the Chiefs, it's Mahomes, it's a high over/under game. What more do you need? He is our highest projected quarterback this week by almost two full points, and you can potentially look to stack him with either Kelce or Watkins.
2. Lamar Jackson (QB2) - Jackson put the league on notice last week with his five touchdowns, which is a trend that could continue this week with an implied team total sitting at 29.75 -- the third-highest on the slate. Up against the Arizona Cardinals, who are missing their top two corners, we can expect more fireworks from Jackson.
3. Deshaun Watson (QB3) - Watson can seemingly do it all himself, and after the Jaguars were carved up last week by Mahomes, Watson could very well reproduce some of those numbers. He owns our third-highest projection among quarterbacks, sitting at 20.9.
4. Tom Brady (QB4) - The Miami Dolphins are bad -- very, very bad. Brady and the New England Patriots are good -- very, very good. A 33.0-point implied team total for New England should help you sleep easy if you grab Brady this week.
5. Ben Roethlisberger (QB5) - Last week against the Seahawks, Andy Dalton threw for more than 400 yards and two touchdowns. We all know Big Ben has strong home splits, so look for him to bounce back this week, and consider pairing him with JuJu Smith-Schuster.
6. Jared Goff (QB7) - Goff and the Rams are set for a shootout, giving him a strong 19.0 fantasy point projection. He doesn't crack the top tier, but using him with one of his three receivers is a solid option this week against the Saints.
7. Josh Allen (QB9) - Allen has the advantage of a rushing floor, which most quarterbacks don't have. He is projected for the second-most rushing yards at the position and 18.8 fantasy points, which will come at the expense of the poor New York Giants' defense.
8. Russell Wilson (QB13) - Wilson didn't do anything eye-popping in Week 1 as he threw the ball just 20 times but was able to post two touchdowns in that game. The Pittsburgh Steelers secondary looked terrible to start the season versus the Pats and come in as the fifth-worst defense versus the pass on this slate, according to our numbers.
9. Derek Carr (QB15) - The Raiders-Chiefs game has the highest over/under on the board (52.5), so we are expecting some offense here. Really only an option in 10-person DRAFTS, Carr will need to sling the ball around to keep up the Chiefs and their scoring.