So last week I gave you one of my FanDuel team lineups and hopefully nobody followed that advice as that team was pretty bad. I played two games last week and my other team was far better but still ended up out of the money. Hopefully we’ll have better luck this week, but first I wanted to touch on some of the better performers last week. I want to look at the players from a point per play standpoint as well as looking at usage numbers for the skill players.
We had three standout performers last week in Matt Ryan (0.455 pt/play), Matt Stafford (0.452), and Andrew Luck (0.410). There was a major drop from Luck down to Peyton Manning (0.33). Of those players the most impressive was Stafford who did not have his number called, due to the blowout nature of the game, nearly as much as Ryan and Luck. Luck was the primary handler of the football on nearly 90% of the plays in his game, which I cant imagine holding up all season, but perhaps will this week against the Eagles.
A QB to be happy with was clearly Carson Palmer who was about as effective as Manning and was not as TD dependent. Colin Kaepernick was very effective in his brief opportunities (0.317) and of the efficient guys with the lower scores Id anticipate his usage to increase to make him a more viable option. The worst QBs of last week were both of the Rams QB’s, who simply stunk, Tom Brady (0.132), RGIII(0.143), and Eli Manning (0.152). Other QBs under 0.2 pts per play were Aaron Rodgers, Nick Foles, Ryan Tannehill, and Tony Romo. Based on history Id anticipate a big bounceback for Rodgers. Id hedge my bets more on Romo and Brady.
Calvin Johnson led all players with a 0.515 pts per play score. There was nobody else even close to that mark as the next closest was UDFA Allen Hurns at 0.368. Other big players were AJ Green, DeAndre Hopkins, and Antonio Brown. Other than Megatron who was targeted on nearly 35% of pass attempts the other players were all in the 20’s and below.
The most targeted, as a percentage of pass attempts, were Jordy Nelson (42.9%), Andre Johnson (40.9%), Anquan Boldin (39.1%), and Donnie Avery (37.1%). There is nothing to make of Avery there as Dwayne Bowe was out plus Avery was unproductive, but the others are all strong players especially those numbers keep up.
Julius Thomas had a career day and averaged a ridiculous 0.469 per play. Vernon Davis ranked second with about 0.34 pts per play and there were just four others with over 0.2 points per play. Id like to keep an eye out to see how Greg Olsen is used with Cam Newton back as starting QB. Olsen was targeted on over 32% of passing plays, highest among tight ends, and he’s probably playing for a new contract which could make him a nice play moving forward. Likewise Antonio Gates looks to be a popular target on a depleted Chargers roster and he was your highest scoring player that did not catch a touchdown pass. Big disappointments were Jordan Cameron and Jason Witten.
Week 2 Games
I’ll be donating $5 to the FanDuel 35K SUN NFL Spike game this week and may opt for a second game as well. Who are some of the players I like this week? At QB I’m big on Aaron Rodgers against the Jets secondary. The Jets were rarely tested by the Raiders and Rodgers should be sitting on a big game following his dud of a opener. At $9,100 he is not cheap but I think worth the salary. Nick Foles and Rusell Wilson at $8,300 and $8,200 I think can be top performers at a moderate price. Both have good matchups this week. Carson Palmer is a steal at $6,900 but with a possible injury making him limited its probably not worth the risk. Of the cheapest QB’s I think Ryan Tannehill could have a surprising game against the Bills.
I don’t like Arian Foster as a NFL RB right now, but for fantasy purposes I know hes getting almost all the work in Houston and they have a great matchup against the Raiders. I don’t care if he averages 3.8 yards a carry if he gets me 100 yards and a score. I think Matt Forte is the other high priced back worth a play this week. I like both Jets runners this week, though Id probably lean more towards Chris Johnson over Chris Ivory. I think the Jets will fall behind and Johnson should be the guy in there on passing downs as they try to get back into it. Likewise I like both Saints backs because of the matchup but would lean more on Pierre Thomas due to the pass catching.
Of the top tier receivers I would take AJ Green at home against a bad Falcons defense. I think Green will be the most consistent receiver on the season and I like him at $8,500. Both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb should have big games and I don’t think there is anything wrong with doubling up one of them with Rodgers. Kelvin Benjamin costs just $6,600 and I think before long he is going to be the top target in Carolina. He certainly will be their most targeted wide receiver. Jeremy Maclin and Reggie Wayne both cost just a shade above $6,000 and both should be good plays against one another this week. If you need a lower cost player Id go with Andrew Hawkins. He looks like he could be the top target in that offense and the game should be a shootout, or at the least have the Browns throwing a lot trying to catch up.
As stated above Im high on Olsen at Tight End. I like the matchup against the Lions who gave up some catches and a score to an unknown last week Zach Ertz costs just $5,200 and is matching up against a Colts team that couldn’t cover that position even if they knew the route being run. He’ll be fighting for targets but I would think they may make him a focal point this week.
So good luck this week with your games and if you want to get in the action on FanDuel just follow through on this link or click one of the banners below. Use the promo code OTC100 when signing up. Remember that each week is a new game so its never too late to sign up.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.