FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 2 Thursday Night
If, like me, you took some tournament shots on opening week that didn't pan out, it's time to get back into the black. Our first shot at doing so is on FanDuel's Thursday Night Football single-game slate.
To start the season last week, we had the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans with the highest over/under of the week. This week we get the Cincinnati Bengals at the Cleveland Browns. And we get the... oh. That's quite a precipitous drop. Currently, the Browns are 5.5-point favorites at home with an over-under of 43.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook. For the eternal optimist, the Bengals' implied total of 19 still tops that of the Jaguars, Broncos, Dolphins, and Jets for Week 2.
If you are new to the single-game slate, here is a brief rundown. The salary cap remains at $60,000 and scoring is unchanged from the full roster game, but we don't have to worry about individual positions. Instead, single-game slates feature five flex spots. Kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial. This past offseason our Brandon Gdula did a deep dive on single-game strategy. It's worth checking out before you make your lineups.
Let's break down this slate!
Baker Mayfield ($15,000) and Joe Burrow ($14,500): In the battle of number-one overall picks, these share almost identical projections, per our model. The entire Browns team struggled against the Ravens, losing 38-6, while Burrow had a game-winning touchdown called back and a game-tying field goal missed to keep him from winning his first NFL game. Both have only a slight projection edge over the running backs, as well. I can't fault you if you have a favorite of the two and want to play them, but nothing stands out. I'll focus on the running backs for my MVP slots.
Nick Chubb ($13,500): An almost even split in snaps with Kareem Hunt ($9,500) was the realization of your worst fear if you played Chubb on the main slate. However, he was still productive on limited touches, rushing 10 times for 60 yards and catching his lone target for another 6 yards. Was the negative game script to blame for the snap share or the new coaching staff? If you think it was game script, the Browns should hold the positive side of that against the Bengals, making Chubb a great MVP pick. The snap percentage with Hunt in Week 1 could deter others from using him in the MVP slot.
Joe Mixon ($13,000): Unlike the situation in the Browns' backfield, Mixon is clear number-one back for the Bengals. However, he couldn't do much with his 20 touches last week against the Chargers. He rushed 19 times for 69 yards and caught 1 of 2 targets for 2 yards, scoring just 5.6 FanDuel points. With a rookie quarterback at the helm, it makes sense opposing defenses will will put the pressure on Burrow and make him beat them through the air. Still, opportunity is key, and Mixon will get plenty of it against a Browns defense that was shredded on the ground by Baltimore.
Odell Beckham ($11,500): You can also play OBJ in the MVP slot if you feel brave enough. Coming off a game with only 3.7 FanDuel points, OBJ doesn't inspire a ton of confidence in that decision, but there are some positives. Beckham easily led the Browns in targets with 10, but he secured just three of those for 32 yards. The opportunity was there; he just didn't covert like he has in the past. Speaking of opportunity, Jarvis Landry ($10,500) is trending toward being a game-time decision with a hip injury. If Landry sits, Beckham's already solid projection of 12.1 FanDuel points will rise.
Austin Hooper ($8,000): Raise your hand if you played Hooper in season-long in Week 1 and kept refreshing your app? The free-agent signing from Atlanta did see the field for 56 plays last week but garnered only 2 targets, which he turned into just 15 yards. The Browns placed David Njoku on injured reserve Monday with a knee injury after he paces the Browns' tight end group in receptions and yards while snagging a touchdown. The Njoku injury should mean more opportunities for Hooper. The Bengals gave up 5 catches and 73 yards to Hunter Henry in Week 1.
C.J. Uzomah ($6,500): It's slim pickin's down here, so bear with me. Uzomah is now the starter in Cincinnati with Tyler Eifert leaving for Jacksonville. He played on 72 percent of the snaps last Sunday and received 5 targets, catching 4 of those for 45 yards. At best, he's the fourth option behind A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and Mixon, but he comes with a cheap salary. It's hard to draw too many conclusions from one game, much less the season opener, but maybe the middle of the Browns' defense is soft based on what Mark Andrews did. For $500 more, you can go up to Giovani Bernard ($7,000) if you think the Bengals will be in a negative game script for most of the contest.
Ryan Bobbitt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan Bobbitt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Drummerinabox. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.