5 Things We Learned Week 2 in NFL DFS
The beginning of the NFL season in DFS is always tough since there can be a lot of question marks coming into the year. Will this guy be the main running back? Which wide receiver is actually getting the majority of snaps? Will they run read option with this QB?
While some of these questions will fluctuate week to week, we found out quite a few things from the first couple weeks. What are a sign of things to come? What should we not overreact to?
Let’s find out.
The Eagles offensive line looks awful – To be clear, the Eagles offense looked abysmal from the get go. No one played well. But like any other team, it always starts up front to give the skill players a chance. A majority of the time when Sam Bradford had snapped the ball, multiple Dallas defenders were immediately in the backfield. Obviously Bradford had some bad moments, but that can happen with pocket passers when his OL gives him trouble all day.
Improving an offensive line is a very difficult thing to do mid-season. Contrary to popular opinion, Chip Kelly is a fantastic coach, and he will make adjustments to make this offense look great. However, the OL is a huge issue, and we may not see the downfield passing attack like we all thought we would see given the limited time Bradford gets.
Carson Palmer is picking up right where he left off – While the Saints and Bears secondaries are far from juggernauts, Palmer’s superb play has been actually happening if you go back to last year. Because of his injury and there isn’t a specific WR on the Cardinals who is jumping off the page with fantasy value (although Larry Fitzgerald looked like he was still at Pittsburgh while crushing the Bears), most people forget about Palmer. Keep in mind that Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown combined for 2,321 receiving yards last season, and that’s without Palmer for over half the season. Check out the article for more reasons on why Palmer will continue to be fantastic this season.
Oh, and the Cardinals host the 49ers in Week 3. Look what Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers did to them in Week 2…
Dion Lewis is a huge boom or bust candidate moving forward – We all know how fickle the Patriots run game can be and how Bill Belichick loves to attack the opponents’ weakness. He went spread for a vast majority of the game against the Buffalo Bills as Tom Brady picked apart the secondary for 451 yards on 38-59 passing. Meanwhile, the running game only saw 15 touches, including seven touches from Dion Lewis. Remember, LeGarrette Blount returned last week, but he only got two touches. Lewis got 15 carries Week 1 against the Steelers while Brandon Bolden received five.
Against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3, New England comes in as a 13.5-point favorite, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Belichick to get back to the running game. While Belichick has switched before on who his primary RB is before, it’s very possible Lewis is the new No. 1 in New England. There’s also value here in particular because of Lewis’ PPR value. He already has 10 catches for 149 yards.
While very much a risky option in cash formats, he could be one of the best plays in a favorable matchup and should definitely be on the radar in GPP formats.
Terrance Williams has a decent floor, but the ceiling is limited – Until Terrance Williams caught that 42-yard TD late in the fourth quarter, his outing against the Philadelphia Eagles was going to be a bust for the most part. One thing we see with backup QBs a lot is their mindset on not turning the ball over. This means shorter passes, a lot of times to the tight end.
Brandon Weeden is the QB for the Cowboys for the foreseeable future. If you look back at the numbers from the Philly game and the Arizona game last season, you’ll see how much better Weeden is at getting the ball to Jason Witten than his WRs.
9/20/15: at Philadelphia – Jason Witten: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 56 yards. Terrance Williams: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 84 yards, 1 TD
11/2/14: vs Arizona – Jason Witten: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 62 yards. Dez Bryant: 10 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards, 1 TD. Terrance Williams: 7 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards.
Obviously this is a small sample size, and what we care about is what’s ahead. That Arizona contest involved Bryant, DeMarco Murray and a really good Cardinals secondary.
But this is one reason why Weeden didn’t last in Cleveland. His ability to get the ball to WRs, whether it be downfield or to the outside was shaky. Williams is also more of a speedster Z-WR who excels on deep routes. He’s averaged over 16 yards per reception every season in the league. By comparison, Dez averages 14.2 yards per reception in his career and hasn’t hit the 16-yard mark in the season.
The injury to Tony Romo is a huge blow for people looking for value on the Dallas roster. The Cowboys might run it a bit more, but they are still in split-time mode between Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden.
Witten is your best bet for a possible bump in production, but even that will be minimal. Williams’ upside just isn’t there given that he has Weeden under center and isn’t the route runner Dez is.
Tyler Eifert is the real deal – If you’ve read my stuff before or saw me on Twitch last week, I believe this is no fluke coming from Eifert. Eifert was injured and didn’t play for essentially all of 2014, and he only saw limited action in his rookie season since Jermaine Gresham was still in Cincinnati.
But now that he’s healthy and Gresham is gone, not to mention the Bengals WR core behind A.J. Green is average-to-mediocre, Eifert is in perfect position to get a lot of receptions from Andy Dalton. What’s even better about this from a fantasy perspective is the way they are using him in the passing game. Numerous times throughout the game on three, four and five WR sets, Eifert has lined up in the slot as a WR, much like the Patriots do with Rob Gronkowski. Eifert is freakishly athletic with his 6’6″ 250 frame, and he is one of Dalton’s go to guys in the red zone.
While we won’t see Week 1 numbers each outing where he logged 9 catches for 104 yards and 2 TDs, his 4 catches for 49 yards and 1 TD should be viewed as a slightly bad week (the TD made him a solid play). I think we can expect an average of 6.5 catches for 75 yards and 0.75 TD a game. He has a real shot at being a top three TE by the end of the season.
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