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Fantasy football and betting primer for Week 2

Your one-stop shop for NFL fantasy football, DFS and betting advice for Week 2.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan greets Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott after their game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Week 2 of the fantasy football season. There are quite a few injuries to navigate this week, so we’ll need to take a look at the most impactful when setting our lineups. Then we’ll consider the DraftKings Sportsbook’s spread and total lines, as well as pace stats, when deciding games to target for DFS and your fantasy lineups. Then I’ll give you my favorite DK individual plays at each position. And I’ll wrap it all up with my favorite wagers for this Sunday.

I’ll also be answering start/sit questions in our War Room starting two hours before early game kickoffs. Do give a click if you’re reading this between 11 am - 1pm EST Sunday morningish.

Fantasy Relevant Injuries

* Chris Godwin is out. this is a downgrade for Tom Brady. Mike Evans, who was taken off the injury report, becomes a possible smash play. Justin Watson will see more work and has some deep league appeal, but after a strong Week 1, Scotty Miller is the preferred start of those two.

* A.J. Brown is out but Corey Davis practiced in full and was taken off the injury report. Davis and Jonnu Smith get the biggest bumps against a weak Jaguars defense.

* George Kittle is out and Deebo Samuel is still on IR while rookie Brandon Aiyuk is expected to play after Week 1 with a hamstring. None of the 49ers receivers really stepped up last week and Aiyuk was set to be a big piece of the offense before his injury. He has some upside against a bad Jets defense while Jordan Reed gets a boost with Kittle out.

* The Saints play the Raiders on Monday night, so they can prolong announcing Michael Thomas’ status as rumors get out that he might be able to play. If he truly has a high ankle sprain, he will sit and if he does suit up, he’s not going to be close to 100 percent. Even if he suits up, Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith, Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara stand to see an increase in work.

* Jack Doyle is out, which moves Mo Alie-Cox to the No. 1 spot. He’s worth a start in leagues where you are light on tight ends.

* Rookie Michael Pittman, who ran as the Colts WR3 is questionable. If he can’t go, Parris Campbell, T.Y. Hilton and Nyheim Hines are locked in as high volume receivers.

* Kenny Golladay is out, which is bad news for Matthew Stafford, but does give Quintez Cephus another shot at fantasy fortune. Marvin Jones, T.J. Hockenson and D’Andre Swift all should see extra work as well.

* Justin Jackson is out. That assures Josh Kelley the No. 2 spot even though that appeared to be a given anyway. Kelley gets a good matchup with a poor Chiefs defense, but could be limited if Kansas City gets a big lead.

* James Conner healed from his ankle injury quickly and will play against Denver. If you need to start Conner, go ahead, but Benny Snell is waiting in the wings and Conner will need to perform if he doesn’t want to lose work to Snell. Also, the Steelers are down two starting offensive linemen this week against a team that slowed Derrick Henry down in Week 1.

* Defensive backs Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman are out against the Packers while they will get rookie Jeffery Okudah back. It’s still a bad development overall for Detroit and a good one for Aaron Rodgers and his receivers.

* Amari Cooper will play after dealing with a bruised foot this week. He and Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb all get great matchups against the Falcons.

* DeVante Parker is questionable and is a game-time decision. Against Tre’Davious White, I’d stay away no matter. For Preston Williams, I’d rather Parker play to help take away coverage.

* Miles Sanders is ready to go. Start him.

* Courtland Sutton is a game-time decision again. He did get three limited practices in, so he has a better shot of playing than last week. He’s likely too good to keep out of your lineups but he does have a tough matchup with the Steelers.

Favorite games to target

Falcons at Cowboys (-5): 53.5

The Falcons and Cowboys are the top game to target this week, as they have the highest over/under and they both play at a fast pace. The Cowboys are also missing linebackers Sean Lee and Leighton Vander Esch while the Falcons defense is missing good players. If you are on the fence about playing someone from this game, just play them.

Ravens (-7) at Texans: 50

The Ravens and Texans have the second highest point total, with the Ravens implied total at 28.5 points and the Texans at 21.5. If this game is another blowout for the Ravens, expect the key players to get theirs, but we’ll need a closer game for them to reach their upside, which is true of any game. The good news is that the Ravens play up in pace and don’t let up while DeShaun Watson also doesn’t let up and always finds a way to put up fantasy numbers despite the defense he’s facing.

Saints (-5) at Raiders: 49.5

The Raiders put up a bunch of points on a bad Panthers defense last week, but will have more trouble against the Saints. I’ll be targeting Saints players this week against a poor Raiders defense. As long as Michael Thomas is out, there will be a bunch of high quality touches for cheaper Saints DFS players like Tre’Quan Smith and Jared Cook.

Lions at Packers (-6.5): 49.5

This game has the makings of a possible redo of the Packers Week 1 game against the Vikings. The Lions pass defense is hurting and Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams are again going to be tough to stop. The Lions look like they’ll be without Kenny Golladay, which should give more looks to Quintez Cephus, Marvin Jones, D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson as they try to keep up with the Packers.

Vikings at Colts (-3): 48.5

Even without Stefon Diggs, the Vikings were able to put up a boatload of garbage fantasy points against the Packers as Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen were able to hook up for a big game while Dalvin Cook found the end zone twice. The Colts will be without Jack Doyle and Trey Burton, which could help funnel targets to Parris Campbell and the running backs once again.

Panthers at Buccaneers (-8.5): 47.5

The Panthers at least showed last week that they can score on mediocre defenses while they also showed they will be scored on by mediocre offenses. The possible absence of Chris Godwin could make this game slightly closer and prop up cheaper DFS plays like Scotty Miller and Justin Watson. Of course, Mike Evans, who was taken off the injury report, is set up for a huge game as Tom Brady tries to get back on track after a mediocre first game. The Panthers have a tougher matchup, but will likely be playing from behind again and could have some sneaky starters.

Favorite DK plays


Dak Prescott, Cowboys, $6,800 — The Cowboys offensive line is a little banged up, which is worrisome, but this game is set up for plenty of scoring even if it comes attached to a few Dak Sacks. Running this back with Matt Ryan ($6,600) is another of my top plays this week and both prices are reasonable. I expect I’ll load up on these two in cash games.

Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers, $5,700 — Garoppolo didn’t have a blow up game in Week 1 but he managed to put up 19.3 DK points and this week he gets an awful Jets pass defense and strong Jets run defense to navigate. The Jets will make Jimmy G beat them, which sets up well for a GPP play on Sunday.


Saquon Barkley, Giants, $8,400 — The Bears let old man Adrian Peterson put up 114 yards on 17 touches while Barkley was stonewalled by the Steelers in Week 1. Barkley did have nine targets, catching six for 60 yards which gave him 21 touches and 24 looks in a loss. I expect a bounce back game with huge upside but also a strong floor with his receiving usage.

Ronald Jones, Buccaneers, $5,200 — Will Leonard Fournette get more work this week? Possibly, but it was a landslide of work for Jones in Week 1 against a tough Saints defensive line. This week he gets the best matchup possible against the panthers lowly run defense. They were awful last year and after giving up three touchdowns and 129 yards to Josh Jacobs in Week 1. Play every running back against the Panthers.

Austin Ekeler, Chargers, $6,500 — Is Ekeler done as a receiver? After seeing just one target and rushing 19 times against the Bengals, it’s fair to worry about his receptions. The good news is that the Chargers were never trailing by more than 7-points and were ahead or tied in the fourth quarter of Week 1, which didn’t push them into hurry up. The Chiefs on the other hand, are going to score and get Tyrod Taylor and Ekeler into must pass situations. Add to that, the Chiefs linebackers can’t hang with Ekeler, as seen last season when he caught nine and eight passes in his two games against them last season.

Jonathan Taylor, Colts, $5,700 — I’ll probably have too many Colts players on here, but Taylor’s price is just too low for his likely usage against a defense that is missing multiple pieces. Both Taylor and Nyheim Hines ($5,300) are decent starts, but Taylor has big upside if he gets rolling.


T.Y. Hilton, $5,700 & Parris Campbell, $4,500 — The Vikings defensive backs were absolutely roasted last week by Aaron Rodgers and with a decimated defensive line, Philip Rivers should have plenty of time to throw. With no Jack Doyle and possibly no Michael Pittman, targets should be funneled their way. Hilton is a high upside play while Campbell is too cheap for is high floor.

Mike Evans, $6,400 & Scotty Miller, $4,100 — As long as Chris Godwin is out, Evans and Miller should see plenty of targets against a weak pass defense. I can’t say if Tom Brady and this offense will get things going on a scale to go deep in the playoffs, but they are going to be able to put up fantasy points against teams like the Panthers.

Davante Adams, Packers, $8,100 — Do we see a repeat of Week 1 out of Adams? He has a shot at least, but huge games like that aren’t ever going to be consistent. The good news is that his price isn’t where it should be for someone set up so well as the overwhelming No. 1 target with a good quarterback and matchup on the slate.

Corey Davis, Titans, $4,000 — It’s going to be tough fading Davis this week, as his price is so low, he has a good matchup and A.J. Brown is out. He’s not a lock, as anyone who has rostered him in the past knows. But, he did look good in Week 1 and he should get enough targets to give him a useful floor.

Quintez Cephus, $3,800 — Cephus doesn’t have his picture on his DK player’s card, so he’s likely ready for some revenge! Well, more likely he wants to make up for his down game despite getting 10 targets in his first game ever. He’s a skilled receiver and with Kenny Golladay out again, he should at least be in the Top-3 for targets on his team. The Packers will likely get a lead and keep the Lions passing in this one as well.

Mike Williams, Chargers, $4,200 — Williams looks like he is going to be a big part of this Chargers offense, which wants to spread defenses out with the long ball. Williams had nine targets and was Top-10 in air yards in Week 1. Those kinds of numbers are prime for a blow up game at some point and the Chiefs will likely push Tyrod Taylor to keep throwing the ball.

CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys, $4,700 — Lamb fit the part in Week 1 and should again be a big part of the offense in Week 2. The good news is that he faces a Falcons pass defense that just allowed big numbers from Russell Wilson and company.


Kansas City Chiefs, $3,400 — The Chiefs are a fine defense, but their offense is what helps get them leads and the chance to pin their ears back and rush the passer. The Chargers didn’t show much against a bad Bengals defense in Week 1, so I expect Kansas City rolls in this game and gives themselves chances for turnovers.

San Francisco 49ers, $4,000 — The 49ers are the highest priced defense this week, but they sure do get a good matchup with a Jets team that has been decimated offensively. I prefer cheaper D/STs, but they make for a good cash game pick.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $2,900 — The Bucs defense is good. When facing the Bucs last season Christian McCaffrey had 38 rushing attempts for 68 yards (1.8 ypc) for no touchdowns and six receptions for 42 yards and one touchdown. Now the team is already in desperation mode as the try not to fall to 0-2 and likely two games behind the Saints. I believe they’ll be plenty motivated on Sunday.

Favorite wagers

Baltimore -7 vs. Houston — DeShaun Watson is great and he scares me for a back door cover, but this Texans team is worse than last season when the Ravens stomped them 41-7 in Week 6. And, the Ravens have gotten better. By the end of the season this line would probably be in the double-digits.

Jaguars +7.5 vs. Titans — The Titans will be without Adoree Jackson and possibly Malcolm Butler in the secondary while A.J. Brown is out on the offense. I expect the Titans and Derrick Henry to be able to move the ball, but this is a perfect game for Gardner Minshew to make things close.

Bills -5.5 vs. Dolphins The Dolphins were awful against the Patriots, who have a good defense, but ob that has lost a bunch of personnel since last season. Now they face a Bills offense that looked good in Week 1 and showed they are going to speed up the pace and pass more this year. I expect the over is a good play here too, but as far as the spread goes, I expect the Bills are just too goo all around for this game to be close.

Seahawks -4 vs Patriots I’m not sold on these Patriots after beating the Dolphins and scoring 21 points. I like Cam Newton and believe he makes them competitive, but this Seahawks team is a step above and look like they are finally going to let Russell Wilson do more while also going for it more often on 4th down. This is a big test for the Patriots and I don’t think they pass.

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