I haven’t had a great week 1 when it comes to my daily fantasy entries (DFS). However, as I will be investing less this week, I expect a big bounce with my Week 2 DraftKings and FanDuel picks.
I had a decent week with sports betting, but I admit I fumbled the best bet last week. However, I feel much more confident about this week’s pick.
As a reminder, in addition to the best best, I will give you “safe picks” and “high leverage” picks. These correspond more or less to “cash game” choices and to GPP choices for those who know what it is.
Let’s jump right into the Week 2 picks.
This week’s best bet: Tom Brady 1.5+ Passing TDs (+100)
I don’t know if at the time of this article’s publication this bet will even be available. However, DraftKings got that special “happy hour” boost on Friday that was just too good to pass up. They had this prop set at -215, but increased it to +100. If you can still make this bet, I will bet the maximum you can.
Brady averaged more than two passing touchdowns per game his entire time in Tampa Bay and four of his last six years in New England. The last time Brady faced the Saints in the Superdome, he only threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns.
There was a prop for Thursday night’s game that I liked better, but this one has an even better payout for even higher odds, making it an obvious choice for my best bet of the week, as I I said, if you can still make this bet, bet as much as you can.
Safe Quarterback Week 2 Pick
Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (DK $5500, FD $6800)
There will be a flood of entries with Ryan this week as he costs less than a dozen quarterbacks at both venues.
He threw for over 350 yards last week and can now take on Jacksonville, who allowed the third-most fantasy points at quarterbacks in Week 1. It’s not hard to see why DFS will go for Ryan.
High Leverage Quarterback Week 2 Pick
Baker Mayfield, Carolina Panthers at New York Giants (DK $5300, FD $7000)
So much for the revenge game over there, huh Baker?
But the Browns have a sneaky good secondary, so I wouldn’t stress too much that Mayfield couldn’t beat the Browns. Many will overlook Mayfield this week. But I will say publicly that I can see Mayfield light up the New York high school this Sunday.
Mayfield had two touchdowns against Cleveland. Also, while the Giants looked like a contender against the Titans, a lot of that was led by Saquon Barkley, not the defense. The Giants still gave up the 12th most fantasy points to quarterbacks last week. And it’s not like they were particularly stingy last year, either. Mayfield is a perfect leverage game.
Related: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 2 QB/TE/DST Fantasy Advice
Safe Running Back Week 2 Choose
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers (DK $7300, FD $8800)
Barkley is priced much more appropriately on FanDuel than on DraftKings, so expect his ownership on DraftKings to be too high. But he remains a phenomenal pick at both sites, especially against a Carolina defense that was completely crushed last week by Cleveland’s run game.
High Leverage Running Back Week 2 Picks
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (DK $6,700, FD $7,800)
Nothing makes fantasy gamers more temperamental than seeing tweets like this:
However, given that Fournette has had a number of limited practices this week, I suspect he is playing.
Fresh off a 127-yard rush day, expect Fournette to continue racking up the yardage. Recall that the Saints have just allowed Cordarrelle Patterson to accumulate 120 yards rushing against them. Do you think Fournette could do a little more than that?
Related: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 2 RB/WR Fantasy Advice
Safe Wide Receiver week 2 selector
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons (DK $9900, FD $9700)
Kupp caught 13 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown last week. Against Buffalo. Let’s just say the Falcons secondary is a little less talented than the Buffalo secondary. No WR has a higher floor this week than Kupp.
High Leverage Wide Receiver Week 2 Pick
George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots (DK $3600, FD $5000)
Pickens had a pretty quiet week last week, so much so that he’s ridiculously undervalued. He still played 71% of snaps last week and Cincinnati looks like a much better defense than New England so far this year.
New England gave up the eighth most fantasy points to the WRs last week. Yes, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool could have higher shares. But if New England were to give up a fantastic 42-plus points to the WRs again, there would be plenty to go for and Pickens should do just fine.
Safe Tight End Week 2 Pick
Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Arizona Cardinals (DK $6,600, FD $6,800)
Waller had a decent Week 1, hooking four of six targets for 79 yards. It was against the Chargers, who also did a good job keeping the Kansas City Chiefs in check on TNF. It matters because those same Chiefs absolutely lit up the Cardinals, Waller’s opponent in Week 1. I don’t expect Waller to do what Travis Kelce (8 rec., 121 yds., TD) did against Arizona, but I’d be shocked if he hasn’t gone for at least 75 yards yet this week.
High leverage week 2 pick
Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins (DK $2,500, FD $4,100)
I already talked about Likely here in my start/sit article earlier this week.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Pick of Week 2
Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys (DK, $2200 FD $3900)
That salary was set at both sites before news broke that Dak Prescott would be out for 6-8 weeks. Take the easy salary savings and put them to use elsewhere.
High Leverage Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 2 Picks
Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins (DK $3600, FD $4500)
So I have this suspicion that those who don’t go with Cincinnati will either spend on teams like Denver (vs Houston) or the Rams (vs Atlanta) or go for much cheaper options, leaving some of those “second tier” defenses intact. And there are still some great options left when you break out of the top five, including Baltimore.
Besides falling through the cracks of the more popular options, others will shy away from Baltimore due to their recent loss to DB Kyle Fuller. But look at what Tua Tagovailoa did against Baltimore last year as they started the third strings: He went 8-for-13 for 158 yards and that was it. And we could add his rushing yards in this game to his passing yards and we’d still get 158 yards. The Ravens had three sacks last week and I expect them to score a similar number this week.
Other cheaper options I’m considering in my GPP entries:
QC: Geno Smith Daniel Jones
RB: Travis Etienne, Michael Carter, Jeff Wilson Jr.
WR: Greg Dortch, Jauan Jennings, Ashton Dulin
AND : Daniel Bellinger, Kyle Granson
– Written by Athlon Network contributor Mark Strausberg, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks played fantasy sports before the Wildcats or Hoosiers even came to VHS. Have a question or thought about fantasy sports? Hit it on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.