🌡 Heat Check On 3 Offenses
Are they good for fantasy? Well...
At this point, I think we’re all Questionable for Week 2…
Resetting fantasy expectations for 3 teams
Rankings, rankings, rankings! Get yer Week 2 rankings updates
QUICK HITTER: Injury Updates for Week 2!
A Star WR is set to return. Expecting a snap count?
Week 2 DFS Stacks: Jaguars Offense. To. The. Moon.
It’s 9/16. Take it away, Chris Allen.
We’re through one week of NFL action, and #ReactionSZN is well underway.
But we can’t overreact. That’s how you wind up spending all your FAAB on Puka Nacua a few days before he gets slapped with a “Q” tag ahead of Sunday.
We can’t underreact, either. If you thought Joshua Kelley’s Week 1 was a fluke, Austin Ekeler had *slightly* different thoughts.
So, fantasy managers have to do something. And we’ve got another batch of games coming tomorrow that’ll help tell us what to do. But before Week 2 kicks off, I’ve got three offenses I’m still trying to gauge after their season opener.
🎢 Washington Commanders
First, I’ll give credit where it’s due.
Sam Howell was a QB1 to start off the season. He shook off a massive hit in the first quarter and answered with two scores. Despite having just one career start before last Sunday, Howell looked like an NFL QB at times. But it wasn’t all pretty.
Despite being pressured at a league-average rate (32.5%), Howell took the second-most sacks (6) against the “potentially tanking” Cardinals.
But, even worse for fantasy, his pass attempts went to, well, everybody, apparently.
A “Logan Thomas-Sam Howell” stack certainly wasn’t on my bingo card for 2023, and drafters targeting Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson in the early rounds certainly didn’t have the same plan.
Luckily, per our Utilization Report, the Commanders have a higher Dropback Over Expectation (DBOE) rate compared to last season. But Howell’s deep passing tree is a concern.
Unless OC Eric Bienemy is going to turn the Washington Commanders into the Kansas City Commanders, we’ve got problems in fantasy land.
Howell averaged 21.9 yards per drive (11th-worst in Week 1) and ran about as many red-zone plays (13) as the Chicago Bears (12).
Attacking the Broncos’ secondary (who just gave up two receiving TDs to Jakobi Meyers) may yield some fantasy production, but it might take a few more weeks to figure out this offense.
🦅 Seattle Seahawks
To be fair, if I was Geno Smith, I’d have said the same thing if Aaron Donald was flying at me (although, I’d probably add a few more expletives).
What a QB yells when Aaron Donald is coming at him:
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)
Sep 10, 2023
My concern isn’t about the Rams generating pressure against Smith. DC Raheem Morris was an HC candidate in last year’s cycle, and, oh yeah, they’ve got Aaron freakin’ Donald upfront
I’m more worried about Seattle’s response to LA’s defensive approach.
Smith’s 44.8% pressure rate was the single-highest mark any defense put on the journeyman QB since he joined the 12s. But part of the allure of Smith under center was his aggression. In similar spots (games with a +40% pressure rate), he averaged 9.4, 8.1, and 6.6 yards per attempt.
Against the Rams in Week 1? He hit his fourth-worst mark of 4.3 YPA since becoming a starter in 2013.
Seattle maintained a similar passing rate but added a target-demanding weapon in Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Plus, their offensive line suffered major casualties in Week 1.
I was hoping for fireworks in Week 2 like we got last year, but even our rankers have a hard time trusting any Seahawks’ pass-catcher not named DeKaylin.
🧀 Green Bay Packers
Sure, I said play Jordan Love, and one of Jayden Reed or Luke Musgrave would be good adds ahead of Week 1.
I mean, fantasy analysts only get to claim so many W’s throughout the season. So I’ll take them when they come, and the Packers’ offense looked explosive against the Bears.
Jordan Love. Feelin' the flow. Workin' it.
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice)
Sep 14, 2023
But that one play to Aaron Jones (thrown -4 air yards) accounted for 20.8% of Love’s total passing yards. Jones had another (thrown 5 air yards) that went for another 35 yards. Now, I’m fine with the Packers building the entire plane out of explosive plays, but there has to be something in between.
Like with the Commanders, credit where it’s due. HC Matt LaFleur mashed all the easy buttons for Love using play action, screens, and RPOs to keep the offense moving. But Jones didn’t practice all week, and Christian Watson is still on the mend.
Atlanta (on paper) offers a tougher challenge for Green Bay, so I’ll be watching the Pack in Week 2 to see how they fare against the Falcons.
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Debating between two guys on your roster? Need someone to break the tie for you? Matthew Freedman, Dwain McFarland, and Ian Hartitiz dove deep into their rankings to find a few players they’re willing to push into their starting lineup for this week
It’s Week 2, and fantasy managers are already resetting expectations for, well, everything.
Some early-round draft picks didn’t pan out as expected after a week’s worth of games (I’m looking at you, Tee Higgins and Saquon Barkley). And others just had bad matchups.
Regardless, the reality of the season hit us all, and we have to adjust.
As we head into another slate of games, our rankings squad got together again to find a few players they’re higher or lower on relative to consensus.
So if you’re having questions about setting your lineup for Week 2, check out their notes before kickoff.
🌟 Brock Purdy (49ers) at Rams
In his seven full games last year — from Week 14 to the Divisional Round — Purdy went 7-0 as a starter and operated the offense with Jimmy Garoppolo-like efficiency, ranking No. 1 in EPA + CPOE (0.161).
Applied to the regular season, Purdy’s seven-game mark would’ve been No. 2, behind only Patrick Mahomes (0.178).
The Rams have the No. 32 secondary in our unit rankings, and 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan has dominated Rams HC Sean McVay in their head-to-head matchups, going 10-3 ATS (46.5% ROI) and 9-4 ML (46.1% ROI) against his former assistant (per Action Network).
👀 Look at the efficiency gap between Purdy, everyone else...
EPA/play outside of garbage time:
1. Brock Purdy, 49ers: 1.01
2. Matthew Stafford, Rams: 0.55
3. Jordan Love, Packers: 0.53
4. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins: 0.44
5. Jimmy Garoppolo, Raiders: 0.41
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself)
Sep 13, 2023
In Week 1, Purdy picked up where he left off last year with 220-2-0 passing on a 65.5% completion rate with 9.0 AY/A and 3-20-0 rushing.
🐃 Gabriel Davis (Bills) vs. Raiders
Sauce Gardner and the Jets’ lethal pass defense are now responsible for all three of Josh Allen’s worst performances in terms of fantasy points from purely passing production since the beginning of last season.
Don’t be surprised if Maxx Crosby makes his presence felt on at least a few occasions; just realize Vegas fully expects this Bills offense to rebound in a major way.
Just four offenses are currently implied to score more than 25 points based on Week 2 game totals and spreads:
No Bills WR posted a higher route rate than Davis (94%) in Week 1, as he remains fully locked in as Josh Allen’s No. 2 WR inside of an offense that continues to want to throw the ball more than just about anyone.
Credit to the Raiders for holding up against Russell Wilson and company last week, but don’t be surprised if Allen has a “Ya’ll must’ve forgotten” sort of performance – and his top-two WRs wind up being a major reason why.
⚡ Mike Williams (Chargers) at Titans
Williams let fantasy managers down last weekend with only 6.5 fantasy points, which hurt in a game where 70 points were scored.
However, Williams missed most of the second quarter (evaluated for concussion), and the Chargers posted a -7% dropback rate over expected (DBOE) against a Dolphins’ defense that invited them to run the ball.
This week, Los Angeles will face the Titans – a polar opposite to the Dolphins scheme.
Tennessee is extremely hard to run the ball against but prone to giving up big yardage through the air. Last weekend against this secondary, Derek Carr and the Saints threw for 305 yards with an average depth of target (aDOT) of 13.6 yards.
Given the QB and passing weapons at his disposal, we shouldn’t expect Kellen Moore to suddenly turn into a run-first coordinator. The matchup in Week 2 will allow the Chargers to be the best version of themselves.
I am seven spots ahead of consensus in the Fantasy Life flex rankings and 14 spots ahead of overall expert consensus. Williams is a mid-range WR2 with WR1 spike-week upside.
🤕 C.J. Stroud’s shoulder injury puts his Week 2 status in doubt. The “Davis Mills Experience” lives on in 2023.
🎉 Jerry Jeudy will make his ‘23 debut on Sunday. And HC Sean Payton doesn’t think Jeudy will need a snap count.
📺 Which games should you target in Week 2? Our Matchup crew and Paramount+ have you covered.
📊 Week 2 betting lines are movin’ and groovin’. Get the inside scoop on what sharps are doing this week.
🤣 Travis Kelce lets us know he's ready to go on Sunday. No lie, the dude has moves.
✍️ EVERYTHING you need to prepare for Week 2. All in under 7 minutes.
🐬 Aaron Rodgers explains a new healing technique after his surgery. I can’t even tell if he’s joking.
🎯 This WR let you down last week. Trust in a Week 2 bounce back.
🐄 Asking Marshawn Lynch to milk cows went about as you’d expect. Never change, Beast Mode.
🤔 Doug Pederson says Christian Kirk will see more action in Week 2. Sounds like the experts believe him.
Focusing on the Chargers-Dolphins game looked profitable in Week 1, and stacking strategies are the optimal way to attack building DFS rosters. If you want to get the jump on this weekend, James McCool from Paydirt DFS has the data to guide you for Week 2.
Welcome to High Value Facts and Stacks! I’ll be outlining three high-value stacks for DFS and providing some important stats about them that separate them from the rest of the pack.
Typically, the goal here will be to talk about one popular option, one less popular option, and one value option. This way, you can find the right stack to focus on for a wide array of situations!
All images and model data for both DraftKings and FanDuel are sourced from Paydirtdfs.com.
🐅 Popular Option: Jacksonville Jaguars
Calvin Ridley finished the 2020 season with nearly 1,400 yards on 90 receptions, a yards per reception of 15.27, and 9 touchdowns, putting him on par with Justin Jefferson for yearly totals
In week one, the Jaguars played at a neutral pace and skewed heavily towards the run, but that didn’t stop Trevor Lawrence from pushing a 75% completion percentage and top 10 finish at the position in PPR scoring
Travis Etienne Jr. had terrific utilization in the season opener, with 80% snap participation, 83% route participation, and 21 fantasy points, good for the 4th best utilization score for running backs
📊 Stack info (DraftKings)
💰 Salary and projections:
Combo 1 (Trevor Lawrence/Calvin Ridley/Zay Jones): The Median score is 43.72 for a Salary of 18,600
Combo 2 (Trevor Lawrence/Calvin Ridley/Evan Engram): The Median score is 40.88 for a Salary of 18,700
Combo 3 (Trevor Lawrence/Zay Jones/Evan Engram): The Median score is 37.91 for a Salary of 16,200
When you look at the Median score per unit of Salary, the first combo provides approximately 43.72 / 18,600 = 2.35 points per unit of Salary.
Similarly, the second combo offers 40.88 / 18,700 = 2.19 points per unit of Salary, and the third combo offers 37.91 / 16,200 =2.34 points per unit of Salary.
The first and third combos are marginally more "efficient" from a cost-to-median-score perspective although the differences are minimal.
📊 Finish Percentiles
Combo 1 (Trevor Lawrence/Calvin Ridley/Zay Jones): 4% Top Finish and 19% Top 5 Finish.
Combo 2 (Trevor Lawrence/Calvin Ridley/Evan Engram): 1% Top Finish and 11% Top 5 Finish.
Combo 3 (Trevor Lawrence/Zay Jones/Evan Engram): 1% Top Finish and 5% Top 5 Finish.
📈 High Salary, High Reward
The first combo is the most expensive but also offers the highest upside.
It has a significantly higher likelihood of not only achieving a Top Finish (4%) but also a Top 5 Finish (19%).
📊 Moderate Salary, Moderate Reward
The second combo has a moderate salary, but its upside is lower than the first combo.
While it has only a 1% chance for a Top Finish, its Top 5 Finish chance is also relatively moderate at 11%.
⬇️ Low Salary, Lowest Reward
The third combo is the least expensive but also shows the least promise in terms of high finishes. With a 1% chance for a Top Finish and 5% for a Top 5 Finish, this combo represents the highest risk in terms of performance but comes at the lowest cost.
Overall, the Jaguars will be popular along with their opponent (the Chiefs) because of a high game total and condensed offense. They make for a solid stack in all formats, but be sure to be reticent of leverage points in larger field GPPs.