We started the season on fire with our FanDuel core plays for GPP tournaments. Dalvin Cook exploded for 25 FD points, John Brown put up 21.8, and TE Evan Engram was one of the top plays of the slate after he posted 23.1. Even Chris Godwin had a decent showing with 12.8. It’s going to be tough to back up a week where the core plays all scored at least once, but there are some great potential picks out there for Week 2 of daily fantasy football on FanDuel.
If you're new to this article, we pick four players every week we'll be overweight on in our lineup builds. Then, we give an example of how we'd fill in around them in tournaments. This isn't an "optimal lineup", but it's an example of one you culd build if you start with our "core four". If you're looking for more great NFL, NBA, or MLB, or PGA DFS advice, give me a follow on Twitter (@DFSBenj).
FanDuel Picks Week 2: NFL DFS example lineup
CORE PLAY: QB: Josh Allen, Bills @ Giants ($7,500)
I loved Allen as a cheap option last week, and while his performance was ugly with four turnovers, he was still able to exceed his salary expectations with 17.96 FD points. I’m going right back to the well with Allen this week in cash games on FanDuel at a very reasonable $7,500 price tag in a prime matchup with the New York Giants.
Look, Allen certainly has his flaws as a real life quarterback, but his skill set of deep passing with great rushing ability is a perfect fit for DFS lineups. We saw this combo in action last week as he rushed for a short touchdown and also threw a 38-yard strike to John Brown for a touchdown late in the second half. There are so many ‘outs’ for Allen to reach his salary expectations that he is hard to pass up on a week-to-week basis - you can think of him as a discounted Lamar Jackson or Cam Newton. The matchup with the Giants also couldn’t be much better after they were diced up by the Cowboys in Week 1. It’s clear that the New York defense is going to struggle this season, and Allen is likely to be the next player to take advantage. This could very well be one of those ceiling-type games for Allen, who we know has 30-plus fantasy point upside.
CORE PLAY: RB Matt Breida, 49ers @ Bengals ($5,600)
There is so much value at running back this week that it’s going to be tough to narrow down the options in your lineups. I view Josh Jacobs, Aaron Jones, Tarik Cohen, Gio Bernard (if Joe Mixon is out), Devin Singletary, Matt Breida, and Chris Thompson as all being viable options under $6,600 on FanDuel, and you can legitimately make a case to play any combination of them. However, if I had to choose just one, it would be the 49ers running back, Brieda.
Tevin Coleman left last week’s game against Tampa Bay with an ankle injury and is likely to miss a few weeks. This opens the door for Breida to lead the backfield, with Raheem Mostert also set to pick up touches. I’m projecting Brieda to see the majority of the work, and he should push for between 10-15 carries and will be the preferred option in the passing game should the 49ers fall behind to the Bengals. The matchup with the Bengals is also a good one for Breida after they allowed Chris Carson to post 81 total yards and two touchdowns in Week 1.
WEEK 2 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
RB: Todd Gurley, Rams vs. Saints ($7,000)
I’m also going with Gurley at running back, which may raise a few eyebrows. Gurely looked pretty good on his 15 touches last week, and the narrative surrounding him would be much much different going into this week if it was him and not Malcolm Brown who got the two goal-line touchdowns. This is a great value for an elite player that should see 15-20 touches in the highest total game of the week -- and at low ownership to boot.
CORE PLAY: WR Stefon Diggs, Vikings @ Packers ($6,900)
Week 2 is absolutely loaded at wide receiver, and there about 10 guys who I could make a case to be your highest exposure player at the position. With the value at running back, you should have no problem being able to fit any of the high-priced receivers into your lineup so I’m going to drop down just a tad and highlight Diggs at $6,900 against the Green Bay Packers. A lot of hype is surrounding this Packers defense following an excellent Week 1 showing against the Bears. I don’t buy it. This is still a team that has been one of the worst units in the league against opposing passing games for the better part of the last 5 years, and CB Buster Skrine is always a big play waiting to happen on the outside.
I expect a lot of GPP ownership to gravitate towards the Chiefs-Raiders and Saints-Rams matchups, and while both of those games are great spots, I see the Vikings-Packers game as having just as much shootout potential at likely lower ownership. Both Diggs and Adam Thielen are excellent plays, but it’s Diggs who I like a touch more in this one. Diggs came into last week with a hamstring issue and put up a poor 2-37 performance. With that abysmal statline in mind, you can’t put that all on Diggs. The Vikings got up big early and ran the ball effectively with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, which led to Kirk Cousins only throwing 10 passes the entire game. I fully expect the Vikings to go more pass heavy to exploit the Packers' secondary this week and project Cousins to throw 25-30 times in this matchup.
In two games last season against Green Bay, Diggs posted lines of 9/128/2 and 8/77/1. Keep an eye on the injury report for Diggs. He almost always tends to struggle when he has to battle through injury, but if he is deemed 100 percent then he is an excellent option in both cash games and GPPs.
I favor Rams' WR Cooks over Cooper Kupp in tournaments due to his big-play ability, and we saw the Saints get beat deep a few times on Monday night by the Texans. Cooks should also garner less ownership than the more consistent Kupp and Robert Woods, but Cooks has more upside than both.
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers vs. Seahawks ($8,100)
I’ll also be going with a heavy dose of Smith-Schuster this week. The Steelers laid an egg on Sunday night against the Patriots, but their passing game is in a great bounce-back spot at home against the Seahawks. The Seattle secondary is absolute garbage and is a far cry from the Legion of Boom. They allowed Andy Dalton to dominate them in Week 1, as he threw for almost 400 yards and going into Heinz Field to face the Steelers is about the worst possible matchup a struggling secondary could face.
FLEX: Alvin Kamara, Saints @ Rams ($8,700)
The Saints-Rams matchup projects to be a shootout with a total of 54 points, and I want pieces from that game in almost any lineup that I build this week. Kamara has an extremely safe floor and a high ceiling, one of the best combinations of the two on this slate.
CORE PLAY: TE Darren Waller, Raiders vs. Chiefs ($5,400)
The tight end position has some sneaky good plays this week outside of the obvious top option in Travis Kelce. I love Kelce this week, but he is extremely expensive on FanDuel at $8,000, and I believe that there are a few low-priced pivots that can go 4-5x their salary expectations. The two main targets I’m eyeing are Vernon Davis and Waller. Both are extremely cheap, both are top two pass catching options in their offense, and both have great matchups against the Cowboys and Chiefs who struggle against tight ends.
I’m going to give the slight edge here to Waller, who should have a positive game script as the Raiders come in as 8-point home underdogs to the Chiefs, which should lead to Derrick Carr attempting 35-plus passes. Kansas City ranked dead last in fantasy points allowed to tight ends last season, and Waller has the physical tools to make them pay when he gets open across the middle. The ‘Hard Knocks’ breakout star had a great coming out party on Monday night, catching all but one of his eight targets for 70 yards. His eight targets led the Raiders, and it would not be surprising to see him pace the team for the entire season given the other options in the Raiders passing game. I also love the idea of a Mahomes/Kelce stack and then running it back with Waller in the FLEX to open up some salary for the top-end wide receivers.
D/ST: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Texans ($3,800)
Finally, I don’t mind the savings that the Jaguars defense offers this week against the Texans. Deshaun Watson was sacked six times on Monday night against the Saints, and it’s clear that Houston still has serious issues on the offensive line. While Jacksonville is a more risky play, they have as much upside as any defense on the slate given their elite pass rush.