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Week 2 is always the hardest week of the season to handicap for me. Instead of having a few games worth of results to filter, so much emphasis is put on a single week’s results after Week 1. With that in mind, here is a rundown of who to target at different tiers for your DFS tournament contests. Salaries are taken from FanDuel.
Top Tier – Drew Brees ($8,700): A lot of eyes will be on the other quarterback on the field Sunday, as many people expect a mad Tom Brady to take vengeance. For me though, my money is on Brees in the Superdome. He is simply a different QB at home, and the Patriots secondary just got torched by Alex Smith.
Mid Tier – Jameis Winston ($7,800): I’m expecting big things from Winston this season. After his Week 1 tilt was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma, he will look to get on a roll against a Bears defense that didn’t play badly against the Falcons. Winston has new toys, as OJ Howard and Desean Jackson begin their Buccaneer career, and he also has Mike Evans still lurking on the perimeter. I like him at home this week.
Hail Mary Tier – Jay Cutler ($6,900): I badly wanted to pick DeShone Kizer here, but the matchup is terrible. Baltimore’s defense did bad things to Andy Dalton last week. Cutler starts the season in Los Angeles against a Chargers team that let Trevor Siemian look competent on Monday Night. Cutler loves to throw the deep ball and he has Devante Parker and Kenny Stills at his disposal. If you are going to take a low salaried QB, I think Cutler is your guy.
Top Tier – Devonta Freeman ($8,100): Freeman gets Green Bay in the Falcon’s new dome. When the Packers and Falcons get together, there are always plenty of points to be had. Green Bay’s defensive line looked nasty last week against Seattle. I think new OC Steve Sarkisian will throw to the backs quite a bit to slow down that pass rush. The PPR scoring in FanDuel lends very nicely to that strategy.
Mid Tier – Ty Montgomery ($6,500): Same game, different sideline. Atlanta really struggled with the running backs in an otherwise hapless Chicago Bear offense. Montgomery should get a nice mix of running plays and dump off passes to pad his box score. And again, there should be plenty of points to be had in this game, so he is as good a candidate as any to score a TD.
Hail Mary – James White ($5,700): All the talk out of New England over the weekend was how Mike Gillislee looks like the new LeGarrett Blount. With that being said, we all know that New England is notorious for completely changing game plans from week to week with their RBs. Looking closely at the game from last week, White was on the field for 43 of New England’s 81 snaps. That’s almost double the next closest back. New Orleans had all kinds of trouble with Dalvin Cook, and I think White is the most comparable of the Patriot backs to repeat that feat.
Top Tier – Brandin Cooks ($7,900): New Orleans has the youngest secondary in the NFL. They had all sorts of trouble covering Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen Monday Night. Take that and multiply it by what I am sure is a motivated Brandin Cooks. He didn’t have quite the debut he was looking for, and he will be back in the SuperDome. Cooks is good anywhere, but he is a different caliber inside. I like Cooks to get a couple of deep balls Sunday and put up some big numbers.
Mid Tier – Larry Fitzgerald ($6,600): Arizona is going to have to rethink their offense a little bit. I understand that NFL reserves are still great players, but you don’t just replace David Johnson. I think that Carson Palmer and company try to replace some of the running game with quick crossing routes and a shorter passing game. That is Fitzgerald’s breadbasket. I see him getting a great deal of targets against an Indianapolis defense that didn’t have the best effort against the Rams in Week 1.
Hail Mary – Mike Wallace ($5,500): This is going against the grain a lot. No Ravens WR had more than 4 targets last week. I think they will be a little more committed to getting it in the air this week. Cleveland’s defense actually played quite well against the run Sunday. With Danny Woodhead going down, I look for Flacco to attack the Cleveland corners, who are usually good for a big play against them every game. Wallace can still stretch the field, and he may get a long TD this weekend.
Top Tier – Zach Ertz ($6,100): I LOVE Ertz this week against the Chiefs. Yes, I am aware that they just held Gronk in check last week. Most of that coverage, however, was by utilizing Eric Berry to neutralize the TE. With Berry out, Ertz will have some room to operate this weekend. He looked to have a great rhythm with Carson Wentz. This is all about opportunity for me, and I think Ertz has upside to be the TE1 this weekend.
Lower Tier – Coby Fleener ($5,300): Again with the Saints/Patriots game…I know. I expect this to be one of the higher scoring games of the weekend. Fleener has been a disappointment for the Saints since they signed him, but he did have a nice week against the Vikings. He looked a lot more comfortable in the offense and let’s face it, Drew Brees is throwing him the football. I think he has the best QB of the lower tiered TE plays this week, so therefore he is my pick.