(Note: Keep an eye out for my top point-per-dollar play)
QB – Tom Brady (NE@NO, FD PPG: 10.7, FD Salary: $9,200, DK PPG: 10.7, DK Salary: $7,900):
Tom Brady (who happens to be my top point-per-dollar play) looks like a likely bounce-back candidate this week after having a poor performance last week against the Chiefs. His matchup with the softest secondary in the league, the Saints, in Week 2 seems to be just what the doctor ordered for Brady to be able to recover from such a tough season opening loss after winning a Super Bowl earlier in the year. With that said, this player's hefty price tag on both DFS sites (highest of all QBs) isn't ideal, but you have to keep in mind that New Orleans' D gave up the most PASS YDS and the second most PASS TDS (tied with another team) in the league last season. In addition, they gave up a whopping 352 PASS YDS and four PASS TDS against a Vikings offense last week that's not known to typically throw for many PASS YDS or TD PASS. Brady has got to be champing at the bit for an opportunity to show that his poor performance from Week 1 was a fluke against a tough Chiefs D regardless of the fact that he was without his main starting WR (Julian Edelman, ACL tear) last week and will once again be without him in Week 2. I expect to see one of the Patriots' wideouts to step it up in and big way on Sunday to help ensure a very big fantasy point total from one of the greatest QBs of all time (Brady).
QB – Aaron Rodgers (GB@ATL, FD PPG: 17.5, FD Salary: $9,100, DK PPG: 20.5, DK Salary: $7,400):
Here is your second top-tier option at QB and what an option he is considering the type of fantasy numbers he usually puts up (had almost 25 FPPG last year on both DFS sites) and the ideal matchup he has lined up in Week 2. Aaron Rodgers gets to face an Atlanta D next that was one of the top five worst defenses in the NFL last season in PASS YDS against and PASS TDS against. As I said last week, he will have his usual arsenal of receiving weapons to choose from once again (Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb) and will have one of the best REC backs waiting for his fair share of dump off passes, too, of course (Ty Montgomery) but they should be even more productive this week. Rodgers is a very strong pick to go with that will also cost you $500 less on DraftKings and $100 less on FanDuel than Brady would if you went with him instead this Sunday.
WR – Brandin Cooks (NE@NO), FD PPG: 10.3, FD Salary: $7,900, DK PPG: 11.8, DK Salary: $8,200):
Here's the wideout I expect to have a standout performance for the Patriots this week. Brandin Cooks faces a putrid Saints D next that gave up the most REC YDS and the second most REC TDS (tied with another team) in the league last year. New Orleans' D is already off to a terrible start this season, too, letting Minnesota's starting QB Sam Bradford (a QB not known to typically play at a high level) shred their secondary for 300+ PASS YDS and three PASS TDS with a less than stellar core of receivers. Cooks only three catches for 88 YDS REC against Kansas City in Week 1, but I expect him (a player that had over 1,100 YDS REC and eight TDS last season for the Saints) to end up with 100+ REC YDS and at least one TD in this matchup against his former team.
WR – Jordy Nelson (GB@ATL, FD PPG: 17.4, FD Salary: $8,100, DK PPG: 20.9, DK Salary: $7,900):
Jordy Nelson caught seven of eight targets thrown his way for 79 YDS and a TD on Sunday. He was his typical efficient self in Week 1 and much of the same, if not more, should be expected of him this week against a fairly weak Falcons secondary. Atlanta's D gave up the fifth most REC YDS in the league last season and finished as one of the top five worst defenses in the NFL in REC TDS against in the same season. Now, if you're not convinced that Brandin Cooks has what it takes yet to take it to another level this week, Nelson (who impressively has four 1,200+ REC YDS and three double-digit TD seasons to fall back on in his now 10th season with Green Bay) is a fine alternative option to consider using as your top-tier WR pick in Week 2 or you can go all out at WR this week and take both wideouts as your top two receivers. The choice is yours.
RB – Melvin Gordon (SD@MIA, FD PPG: 16.4, FD Salary: $7,600, DK PPG: 18.9, DK Salary: $7,000):
Last week, Melvin Gordon finished with 18 carries for 54 RUSH YDS and caught five passes for 25 REC YDS and one TD REC against a pretty solid Denver D. This week, he should have an easier time offensively facing a Miami D that may be solid at stopping RUSH TDS but they can't seem to hold up as well at stopping RUSH YDS from accumulating as they gave up the third most in the league last year at an almost 5.0 YPG average (4.8). Gordon should also be able to take advantage of what could be plenty of action on the field for his offensive unit since opposing QB Jay Cutler isn't exactly not prone to turning the ball over. This pick could very well have RUSH+REC yard totals well into the 100+ range with at least one TD in this one and seems to be the safest cash game back to go with for Week 2.
QB – Jameis Winston (CHI@TB, FD PPG: 17.1, FD Salary: $7,800, DK PPG: N/A, DK Salary: $6,300):
Overall, Chicago's D was about middle of the pack in the league last season against the pass and Jemeis Winston finished with respectable enough numbers that year against them (312 PASS YDS and two PASS TDS with one INT) that they seemed like an even less effective team than that versus him in that contest. Winston now gets to show the Bears what he has in store for them this week and that may be bad news for them and their fans. He gets to throw to his favorite target Mike Evans again in this one and both him and Evans seem to be getting better and better the more NFL seasoning they have under their young belts. Another 300+ PASS YDS with a possible three TD strikes in this one from the Bucs' main man under center is very possible, so if you're not digging spending a good chunk of change on either Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers in Week 2, here's your solid third option.
RB – Leonard Fournette (TEN@JAX, FD PPG: 19.9, FD Salary: $7,600, DK PPG: 24.4, DK Salary: $6,500):
The Jags' rookie RB Leonard Fournette had a solid showing last week (26 carries, 100 RUSH YDS, 24 REC YDS and one TD) against a fairly decent Houston run D that gave up the eighth most RUSH YDS last year, but they only gave up eight RUSH TDS in total that same season (tied for second fewest RUSH TDS against in the NFL with two other teams). Fournette's next contest is on Sunday where he goes up against the less taxing Titans D at home. Tennessee gave up the third most RUSH YDS and the 10th most RUSH TDS (tied with two other teams) in the NFL last season. He should once again get a good bulk of rushing attempts for his squad in Week 2, so another 20+ carries and another 100 RUSH YDS or more with a TD is very possible this week for the former 2017 1st round pick (4th overall) out of LSU.
RB – Marshawn Lynch (NYJ@OAK, FD PPG: 9.7, FD Salary: $7,200, DK PPG: 10.2, DK Salary: $6,000):
Marshawn Lynch's upcoming matchup with the Jets surprisingly makes him a sound choice at RB as a mid-tiered pick on FanDuel and DraftKings. I'll explain why in a second. Lynch had a notable 92 YDS RUSH+REC (76 RUSH) in Week 1 against a pretty formidable Titans RUSH D and should fair even better this week against a now seemingly porous Jets D that was at one point a top 10 defense (last year) against the run in terms of RUSH YDS against and RUSH TDS against. Last week, their run defense allowed a league worst 190 RUSH YDS and also gave up a TD run against the Bills. They really don't seem like the same D anymore against the run, so this should be a good spot to plug in “Beast Mode” who has five 1,000+ RUSH yard and four double-digit RUSH TD seasons on his resume while entering in his 10th NFL season.
WR – Stefon Diggs (MIN@PIT, FD PPG: 24.2, FD Salary: $6,500, DK PPG: 27.7, DK Salary: $6,100):
The Vikings' top wideout had a splendid performance last week. Stefon Diggs ended up with seven REC for 93 REC YDS and two TD grabs against a weak Saints secondary. He faces a Pittsburgh D next that is no pushover by any stretch of the imagination (they were a top five D at minimzing REC TDS and were a mid-level one against REC YDS last season), but Diggs should still be able to finish with solid numbers overall in this one. Another close to or possibly just over 100 REC YDS with at least one TD catch outing from this third-year receiver should be a realistic expectation for him.
RB – C.J. Anderson (DAL@DEN, FDPPG: 9.3, FD Salary: $7,000, DKPPG: 9.8, DK Salary: $4,700):
Here's a pick that's a low mid-level priced RB on FanDuel and a low priced one on DraftKings. He's obviously the better start on DraftKings thanks to his rock bottom price tag on that site, but he's a solid mid-level salary pick on FanDuel, too. C.J. Anderson had 81 RUSH YDS on 20 carries (also had one catch for seven REC YDS) in Week 1 against a pretty decent Chargers run D and next faces a defense that should be a much easier matchup for him. His Week 2 opponent, Dallas, gave up the second most RUSH YDS and RUSH TDS in 2016/2017. Anderson also has the luxury of playing at home this week in Denver, so don't be shy with giving this pick a chance on Sunday in whatever DFS site he fits in best for you.
TE – Delanie Walker (TEN@JAX, FDPPG: 11.1, FD Salary: $6,200, DKPPG: 14.6, DK Salary: $4,700):
On Sunday, Delanie Walker finished with seven catches for 76 YDS against Oakland. He's an ideal low-tier pick at TE if you're not willing to spend it up big on Rob Gronkowski or any other more expensive TEs this week. Walker has sported three consecutive seasons in a row now with at least 800 REC YDS (one with over 1,000 REC YDS) and has had between 4-to-6 TD catches in his last four seasons. He faces a Jaguars defense next that he had a six-catch, 75 yard REC game against the first time he faced them last season and then followed that up with only 23 REC YDS the next time he played them that year, but had a TD grab in that one, too. I can see this pick filling up a box score with something like 75-80 REC YDS and maybe a TD this week.
WR – Cooper Kupp (WAS@LAR, FDPPG: 15.6, FD Salary: $5,400, DKPPG: 17.6, DK Salary: $4,100):
Cooper Kupp is a Rams rookie WR with plenty of upside as shown by his 2017 preaseaon numbers and his most recent performance in Sunday's contest versus the Indianapolis Colts. He ended up with four catches (with a team-high six targets, too) for 76 YDS and one TD in that contest and could be in line for yet another big game against a weak Redskins defense next. Washington D was easily a top 10 worst D in REC YDS against and at best a middle of the road defense in REC TDS against last year. For the price Kupp is coming in at the moment on both DFS sites, it's hard to imagine passing up on such a promising first-year player this Sunday.
WR – Kenny Golladay (DET@NYG), FDPPG: 20.9, FD Salary: $5,700, DKPPG: 22.9, DK Salary: $4,000):
I'm really surprised that I've actually picked not one, not two, but THREE rookies now as my top cash game picks this week. It's kind of scary, to be honest, but these three really show a great deal amount of promise. All of them also have solid enough matchups to warrant such picks and there really weren't any other low-tiered WRs I would have rather gone with for Week 1. Now it's true that none of the rookies had the huge performance Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt had, of course, last week but they all did well and when their low price tags are factored in too (particularly my last two rookie picks), they're very hard to pass up on. This pick, especially, was basically a must to recommend since he's priced extremely low on both DFS sites and should make for a good selection in any type of DFS contest. Kenny Golladay finished with 22.9 fantasy points on DraftKings and 20.9 fantasy points on FanDuel on Sunday thanks to his four catch, 69 YDS REC and two TD grabs. He faces a Giants D next that finished as one of the top 10 worst D's last year in PASS YDS against, so the potential to finish with even more REC YDS this week is definitely there for Golladay even though there are no guarantees he'll be able to catch two TD passes again, let alone one this week. I'm not willing to rule it out though because this first-year receivers jumping abilty and explosiveness on top of him already being tall, too, are top notch (Note: He's only a suggested pick if WR Golden Tate plays).
QB: Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Derek Carr and Ben Roethlisberger
RB: Ezekiel Elliott (only if he plays), Jay Ajayi, Todd Gurley II, Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook and Ty Montgomery
WR: Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Michael Thomas, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Golden Tate (only if he plays), Danny Amendola (only if he plays), Chris Hogan, Adam Thielen and Jeremy Maclin
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz
K: Graham Gano, Giorgio Tavecchio and Blair Walsh
DEF: Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers