4 NFL FanDuel Studs to Target in Week 2
Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high salary players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.
We’ve got one week under our belts, so now we have some better indications on how teams will play this season. Let’s see how we can use that to our advantage when looking out for which stars to play this week.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
Projected Points: 23.3
One of the more interesting things to look for at the start of the season was how the Seattle Seahawks would run their offense under new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.
The early returns are not exactly what we had hoped for in terms of pass/run ratio, but it didn’t hurt the fantasy performance of Russell Wilson. We usually have to hope for an extremely efficient performance from Russ to have good fantasy games, because he typically won't have a ton of pass volume.
That's what happened in Week 1. Wilson only threw 23 times but had 254 yards and 4 touchdowns. In a better game script, he could have thrown more passes and had an even bigger game.
The Seahawks face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, and the matchup looks pretty good on paper. The Titans got torched through the air in Week 1, allowing 0.43 Passing Net Expected Points per drop back, which was well above 2020's league average of 0.11. Wilson and the Seahawks had 0.59 Passing NEP per drop back in Week 1, so Russ's efficiency is not something we should be concerned about in this game. If he recieves upwards of 30 attempts to throw in the game, he has a chance to really get cooking.
Tennessee's offense struggled in Week 1, but if they are able to right the ship, this game could have a lot of points. The game has a total of 53.5, and the Seahawks have a 29.5 implied team total according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. Wilson's projection might only be fourth among quarterbacks on this slate, but his ceiling in this enviornment is as high as anyone at his position.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
Projected Points: 20.1
The New Orleans Saints' offense was one of the most difficult units to project heading into this NFL season.
With Drew Brees retiring, Michael Thomas missing time, and uncertainty about who would start at quarterback, the entire offense was a gigantic question mark. One person who benefitted from the ambiguity in fantasy football was Alvin Kamara. That became the case especially after Jameis Winston was named quarterback, and Kamara put it altogether in Week 1 -- and even has room for improvement.
Kamara had 20 carries, which was only the third time in his career he has hit at least that mark. 13 of those came in the first half before the game got out of hand. Typically, Kamara finds rosters in DFS because of his work in the passing game, and his production in that department seemed low against the Packers on the surface. Kamara saw only four targets, but there were only 21 total passing attempts from the Saints, which left him with a 19% target share. In a different game script, he likely would have seen much more volume through the air, and his current role is still tremendous.
The Saints are 3.5-point favorites in their game against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. The total on this game is low (44.5), but with Kamara being the number one option on the team, he still should see enough volume to make those points count. Carolina is a friendly matchup as well, as they tied for the third-most catches conceded to running backs in the league last season, according to Pro Football Reference.
Kamara is one of the safest running back plays each week due to his receiving work, and we've seen him have eruption games that break slates. He is a good play in all formats.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
Projected Points: 16.4
The two touchdowns made Hopkins' day in fantasy, but the underlying usage was also encouraging going forward. He saw a 25% target share and 34% of the total Arizona air yards, and that alleviates concerns that the new additions to the Cardinals' receiving group would tread on his role. Arizona's game in Week 2 should allow Hopkins to have a big game once again.
The Cardinals will face the Minnesota Vikings at home. Minnesota allowed a massive game to Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase, and that continues an unwanted trend from last season. Minnesota allowed the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to wide receivers last season. They don't have a cornerback who can shut down Hopkins, especially considering the attention Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, and other Arizona receivers deserve.
Arizona has a stellar implied team total; it currently sits at 27.75 points. If they are to reach or exceed that total, Hopkins figures to be heavily involved. "Nuk" is numberFire's highest-projected wide receiver this week and is a fine option in all lineup builds.
Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
FanDuel Salary: $7,000
Projected Points: 13.0
If you watched one play of Monday Night Football, you likely saw that ball being thrown towards Darren Waller.
It happened 19 times in that game. That was not only the most targets for any tight end, but it led all pass catchers in the league by three in Week 1. Derek Carr seemed to look Waller's way regardless of coverage and leaned on him in most situations. The tight end position is notorious for a lack of consistent volume, and that makes Waller all the more valuable at his position.
The Las Vegas Raiders do not have an easy matchup. The Pittsburgh Steelers' defense frustrated the Buffalo Bills in Week 1, but there is an argument to be made that the matchup will help Waller. If Carr has less time to throw the ball to any wide receivers, he could be more willing to go his safety valve in Waller as he did against a tough Baltimore Ravens defense. Carr was pressured 21 times and sacked on 3 of those against Baltimore, which led to a large game for Waller, and duress should be there from Pittsburgh's strong defensive line.
With the likes of Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews and Logan Thomas playing in primetime this week, a thin position is even thinner than normal. Waller is one of just three tight ends projected for over ten points on this week's main slate. That means if you want some degree of safety and upside at the position, you are likely going to have to allocate a nice chunk of your salary to it. Waller is likely the best way to do it, as the volume he will see is unmatched at fantasy football's most unreliable position.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.