Optimized Cash Game Lineup | Week 2

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There are few things in life that leave me as befuddled as Le’Veon Bell scoring only 6 points in a ripe matchup vs. the Cleveland Browns. It’s almost as if Hue Jackson ripped a page out of Bill Belichick’s playbook by taking away the opposing team’s most dynamic threat. Le’Veon aside, the majority of established DFS players were left scratching their heads after a travesty of a performance as far as Week 1 was concerned. DJ got hurt, many offenses conjured lackluster performances, and everyone slept on Antonio Brown as he mashed up the Browns pass defense on about an unheard of 13% ownership rate. With that being said, we are just a couple days away from another juicy slate of games come Sunday, and this time around we at least have a week’s worth of game film in the books to base our projections off of.

Week 2 features a couple of extremely pass-happy matchups with steep implied point totals between the Patriots and Saints, and the Packers traveling to Atlanta in hopes of spoiling the Falcons housewarming party in the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

A peek inside the Falcons new digs

For anyone that read my piece on Player Ownership Percentages yesterday, you should know by now I will not be leaning on Brady, Rodgers, Brees, and Ryan in my featured GPP lineup (although there will certainly be some exposure across some of my other entries). Ownership rates for these 4 stud QBs range from 12 to 20%, and I’ve always been one to pay down for a QB who is essentially a mortal lock for 20 points in exchange for paying up at the higher value RB and WR positions. This week is no different, as I dug through the my cellar of unwanted toys to find a guy that will almost certainly perform well for about $2,000 cheaper than the above listed Tier 1 gunslingers. And that guy is…

QB

Philip Rivers – LA Chargers

DraftKings Salary: $5,800 Projected Ceiling: 30 Points Projected Ownership: 9%

Rivers is my QB this week playing at home against a tragic Dolphins pass defense that surrendered the 4th most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers in 2016. Philip is coming off of a solid performance throwing 3 TDs against an elite Broncos secondary. Not only does the veteran have several weapons at his disposal, but also Rivers boasts an impressive 10 straight games having thrown multiple touchdown passes – the longest streak of its kind since 2011. This pattern is almost certain to continue, and I’m all over stacking Phil with Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon, and maybe even a little Tyrell Williams this week in what I expect to be an overlooked but productive stack.

RB

Marshawn Lynch – Oakland Raiders

DraftKings Salary: $6,000 Projected Ceiling: 24 Points Projected Ownership: 10%

Beast mode will have the opportunity to flip off the teleprompters several times in a game where Vegas expects Oakland to score 28 points. Lynch is the clear cut alpha RB in this Raiders offense, and I would be hard pressed to believe that he doesn’t punch in 1-2 TDs with 90 yards on the ground to pair with it. Despite the Derek Carr-led Oakland aerial attack, I think this game will be out of reach by halftime, which should put a hard stop to the passing game, and several opportunities for Marshawn the curbstomp Gangreen into oblivion. This one feels like a rout as black & silver will be out to torture an NFL squad that is perfectly capable of losing to a NCAA Division 2 soccer team.

Expect Marshawn Lynch to get those fingers all up in that Jets defense this weekend

Jay Ajayi – Miami Dolphins

DraftKings Salary: $6,400 Projected Ceiling: 28 Points Projected Ownership: 3%

Out of all of the power top tier running backs available in the week 2 slate, Ajayi is a bargain coming in at under $6,500. The fins face a tough pass defense and will most likely have their top perimeter targets clogged up by quite possibly the most underrated CB duo in the NFL: Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward. The Miami tailback has been known to explode, and managed to log four 25+ DK point performances last season. I’m forecasting a breakout about to take place here with Miami’s gameplan revolving around getting him at least 20-25 carries. With Jay Cutler playing his 1st regular season game in the Adam Gase offense, expect Ajayi to get the rock early and often.

WR

Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs

DraftKings Salary: $6,200 Projected Ceiling: 26 Points Projected Ownership: 16%

Whether its running, receiving, or returning, Tyreek Hill will be the most dynamic player on the field come Sunday. Hill will no doubt be a popular play, but when you have the home crowd at your back and basically your own playbook designed for you, good things will happen. This guy has the ability to catch a 10 yard slant and take it to the house faster than you can say the words: “Alex Smith.” Its going to be a very, very, long day for Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills who is tasked with covering Hill, and sports a PFF rating of 34.5/100 – the lowest ranking for all qualifying CBs in 2016). Lock in Tyreek the Freak across all of your lineups, and don’t think twice.

WR

Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings

DraftKings Salary: $5,000 Projected Ceiling: 29 Points Projected Ownership: 10%

Despite racking up 9 receptions and 157 yards last week, Adam Thielen is still not getting the respect he deserves as he is projected to only receive ownership from about 10% of entries in tournament play this Sunday. It’s no secret that Thielen is Sam Bradford’s favorite target, and will likely draw coverage from slot corner William Gay, who rocked a sub-60 PFF grade in Week 1 vs. underwhelming Browns receivers. This game could turn into a bloodbath if the Vikings offense resembles any bit of its original form in Week 1. I’ll continue to let the second coming of Ed McCaffrey rip it up in my lineups until others take notice 1-2 weeks down the line.

WR

Keenan Allen – LA Chargers

DraftKings Salary: $5,300 Projected Ceiling: 26 Points Projected Ownership: 23%

A pretty consistent narrative you will find throughout this piece is that I have absolutely no respect for the Dolphins secondary. Keenan Allen is a slippery receiver that can fall down mid-route, and still manage to get open. Luckily for Keenan, there are no legitimate defenders in Miami’s back 4, so we can count on the former 3rd round pick to feast in the Chargers inaugural home game in Los Angeles. Allen is my pick for highest ROI in the slate as his sub-$6,000 price tag is projected to yield a ceiling of about 26 points, and represents one of the highest points/dollar projections in FantasyLabs player models for Week 2. Stack Allen with Rivers, and watch Miami’s secondary beg for mercy.

Count on Keenan Allen to spark the Chargers offense.

TE

Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings

DraftKings Salary: $4,200 Projected Ceiling: 20 Points Projected Ownership: 6%

I don’t know whats up with Vikings players not named Diggs, but these guys just can’t seem to get any love. Maybe its just because everyone hates Sam Bradford. Regardless, Rudolph the purple shirted tight end has produced four 10+ target performances in his last 7 games (basically since Pat Shurmur took over for Norv Turner as OC halfway through last season). The former Fighting Irish TE has also been peppered with 14 red zone targets in his last 5 games. If that’s not a legitimate case for production then I don’t know what is. I expect Kyle to serve as Sam Bradford’s security blanket in this contest (8-10 targets), as the Steelers will definitely try to bring the heat by blitzing the Viking’s immobile QB.

FLEX

Melvin Gordon – LA Chargers

DraftKings Salary: $7,000 Projected Ceiling: 30 Points Projected Ownership: 23%

Rivers to Allen with a little Melvin Gordon mixed in. DADDY LIKE.

It’s another triple stack this week as Melvin Gordon proves week in and week out that he can get the job done by basically never coming off of the field. With that many opportunities, its difficult to NOT rack up at least 20 points. Improvements in Gordon’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield have only added to his value, and at a price of $7000? Set it and forget it.

D/ST

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DraftKings Salary: $3,200 Projected Ceiling: 15 Points Projected Ownership: 5%

Kendall Wright. Markus Wheaton. Tarik Cohen. Deonte Thompson. Ever heard of em? I have, but that’s only because I’m obsessed with football. The only thing longer than the Bears chances at winning this game is Mike Glennon’s neck.

Freak.

The Chicago Bears pose no threat to a talented Bucs defense yearning for its first drop of blood after a postponed game last week due to Hurricane Irma. I expect the Bucs D to fly under the radar compared to other options like any team that has the fortune of getting to play the Jets or Colts. I don’t see Tampa giving up more than 10 points to an offense that has less integrity than Bill Clinton at an holiday party.

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