Point/Counterpoint: Week 2 Daily Fantasy Strategy for DraftKings
By Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup:
Every week of the season for daily fantasy brings new debates about core plays, fades, game stacks, and more. For fantasy purposes, it is best to read about both sides of the argument and decide which side, data, and analysis YOU agree with.
For the NFL season, our series of Point/Counterpoint will be a back-and-forth discussion between siblings Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup about the slate strategy, stacks, core plays, and fades for that week.
So let’s get to Week 2 strategy talk!
Well, Week 1 in DFS was not awesome for me! So much so that I was more excited about my best ball lineups than DFS lineups. Week 1 was wild as always, full of upsets, surprises, fantasy explosions, and letdowns.
But it’s so good to have the NFL back! And that’s just one week and it’s time to turn the page to Week 2. This week we are missing a lot of high-powered offenses on this main slate. The Chargers, Chiefs, Bills, Titans, Eagles, and Vikings are all in primetime this week.
So let me first ask you, what game stacks are you most interested in this week?
On to week 2! For me, 3 games stand out as those I have an interest in that could be potential shootouts.
Cardinals @ Raiders- Both teams didn’t live up to the hype of their “shootouts” this past weekend, but there is enough offensive potential on both teams. Also, the defenses of the Raiders, and especially the Cardinals left a lot to be desired. When Kyler is on, he can be the best QB on the slate. As for Derek Carr, obviously, we can’t have those interceptions again, but he has a real connection with Davante Adams. That is a great stack to start your team.
Commanders @ Lions- Carson Wentz was the 3rd best fantasy QB of the week, and now he faces a Lions defense that gave up a lot of points and yards to the Eagles. Washington’s offense in general is filled with weapons and right now all seem to be underpriced. The toughest thing will be choosing the right options to use. The Lions on the other had put up 5 TDs vs an Eagles defense that many thought was among the best units heading into the season. Goff didn’t have a great game, but I could see him playing better here. I really love D’Andre Swift in this contest.
Dolphins @ Ravens – I liked what I saw out of Mike McDaniel and Tua Tagovailoa in week 1, and this is an offense I want to be ahead on. They have such playmakers that extra yards/TDs will just naturally occur. They weren’t pushed in week 1, but the Ravens might be the team that can do that. I also think both running games are below average right now, so it could just naturally lead to more passing attempts.
How about you, what games are you targeting? Also if there is one QB you want to be overweight on? Who is it and why?
With so many good offensive teams off the main slate, you covered my top three game stacks. Love all three of those games to target, and especially Cardinals/Raiders and Commanders/Lions have a lot of different ways you could approach a game stack.
I have two QBs I see me being overweight on at this point in the week — Derek Carr, as you mentioned, and QB Russell Wilson. Wilson put up good numbers for the Broncos on MNF, it’s just the fumbles, errors, and terrible coaching at the end that left us with negative feelings about Russ’ Broncos. As I’ve heard you mention already this week, HC Nathaniel Hackett and Wilson would be smart to put up big numbers and make everyone forget about that week 1 debacle! Let’s ride!
So we’ve narrowed in on QBs and game stacks, who are your other core plays at RB, WR, and TE this week?
I agree Wilson is my favorite QB play no matter what. I think the Broncos come out firing so I want to stack up Wilson and this offense.
As for my core plays at RB, WR, and TE, I’ll definitely look at some stacking partners with my QBs, but there are guys I want to play regardless:
Saquon Barkley has just a fantastic match-up at home vs a Panthers team that got run over last week by the Browns. Both D’Andre Swift and Antonio Gibson in that Washington game are interesting. Swift was incredibly explosive in week one, and he could give a Washington defense fits. The Commanders could be short-handed this week, and they struggled to stop the duo of James Robinson and Travis Etienne. On the other side, Gibson is in a great spot as he should get the majority of the carries and a decent passing role. The Lions gave up over 200 yards on the ground and 4 rushing TDs. I can see Gibson having a field day. Joe Mixon would be my final core RB as I think the Bengals will control this game and he could have the bonus and a touchdown or two.
I want to make sure I’m playing Davante Adams even when it’s not a stack or a game stack. Last week Justin Jefferson was the best WR, but you didn’t want to stack up that game. Adams has the similar solo value of a guy to build around. I’m also pretty partial to both Dolphins receivers as I love their upside to break the slate if this turns into a bit of a high-scoring game. I’m all on board with the Broncos, Commanders, and Lions receivers as well, both in and out of stacks. Michael Pittman Jr. and Christian Kirk are two other top receivers who could be in their own sneaky high-scoring game.
Tight end is where I struggle right now. I love Darren Waller versus the Cards who had no answer for Travis Kelce. Beyond that, not much stands out to me. You could make a case for Zach Ertz and Tyler Higbee would be the next interesting, but I’m not sold either.
The toughest issue I have is finding value guys to get excited about on this slate. Is anyone standing out to you?
My core plays are very similar for RB & WR. I will want some exposure to Jonathan Taylor and Christian McCaffery even though they are the highest-priced RBs on the slate. The Panthers coaching staff has to find a way to utilize CMC more or they should all be fired. Maybe I end up playing Taylor more in the 1 pm only slates (which we’ll discuss more in another short slate article).
I agree on Adams, Pittman, Kirk, and Broncos, Commanders and Lions receivers too. If I’m spending up at WR, it will mostly be for Davante Adams, but I have an interest in Kupp and Chase too, obviously. In the mid-tier receivers, I also like Brandin Cooks, DJ Moore, and Tyler Boyd (if Higgins is ruled out).
Since Kelce is off the slate, I think I will usually pay down at TE. You can find some solid value at TE this week. I think there is multiple TE under 4K that are interesting and could put up the same points as Ertz or Higbee. The under 4K TEs I’m interested in are Albert O, Evan Engram, Hayden Hurst, and Logan Thomas.
Here is the other value I see at RB and WR:
Outside of Rhamondre Stevenson, high-value touches and/or targets were there in week 1 for all these value plays. For Stevenson, with Ty Montgomery on IR, maybe he has a larger role this week.
-RB value (5.2K or under):
-Michael Carter 5.2K
-R. Stevenson 5.2K
-Jeff Wilson Jr. 5.1K
-Rex Burkhead 4.9K
WR value (under 4.6K):
-Commanders WR C. Samuel (4.6K) and J. Dotson (4.2K)
-G. Dortch 3.5K (if Rondale Moore is out again)
We covered game stacks, core plays, and values. Any major fades you see that will most likely be high-owned?
I like the Stevenson call at RB. With Ty Montgomery ruled out, the Patriots have to try to utilize Stevenson more. He and Harris need to be the focal point of that offense right now. I see the case for Carter as well. I played him some last week and he was fine for his price in mid/small field. Jeff Wilson initially was someone I was interested in, but I’m just not sure what to do with the 49ers. Not only will Lance and Samuel steal goal-line work, but they just signed Marlon Mack. Not sure if he’ll be active this week, but this could be a very messy situation.
I can see all those WR values as well. Dotson especially I think could get underlooked in a very intriguing game. People will probably gravitate to Samuel due to the double-digit targets. Dotson though out-snapped Samuel and I think will end up being more of the focal point of Washington’s offense along with McLaurin.
As for early fades, that’s a good question. Daniel Jones seems to be getting some early QB buzz, but I don’t think I’ll go down that road at all. The Giants’ offense looked strong in the 2nd half vs the Titans, but this is still a team without a lot of WR weapons and they also looked awful in the 1st half vs Tennessee. So not sure I’m buying the Jones hype.
At RB, I won’t stay away from the top-owned guys, but some clear starters that I don’t see myself using are Josh Jacobs and Alvin Kamara. I’m not sure what to make of either backfield right now, and I’m not really excited to see if there is any upside.
For WR, I’m fading Mike Evans and the Buccaneers receivers. Even with Godwin missing the game, both Evans and Gage are banged up, and Brady has never played well vs the Saints since coming to Tampa.
How about you any particular fades or games you want to avoid?
You hit on two of my main fades. Both you and I have never really bought into the Daniel Jones hype, so I’m not going to start now. I’ll be fading Jones and the Giants’ receivers. And I’m fading the Bucs at likely high ownership against the Saints that have dominated them recently. I most likely won’t be playing many Saints either unless someone like Jarvis Landry fits my build.
My other high-owned fades will be players from coaches I just do not trust – Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan. I got burned on Rams’ RB Cam Akers in the NFL Kickoff and I can never get on the right side of running backs with these two coaches. So at higher ownership and with other RBs I like better, I’ll likely stay away from Darrell Henderson and Jeff Wilson Jr. after thinking about that further.
What do you think of these strategies for Week 2 DFS on DraftKings?