Here’s a breakdown of DFS one-game contests for Week 2 of Monday Night Football featuring the Cleveland Browns at New York Jets at 8:15 E.T. on ESPN.
Cash Game Strategy
After getting stifled by veteran defensive coordinator Dean Pees and throwing three fourth-quarter picks in a loss to the Titans last week, Baker Mayfield gets a road date with Kacy Rogers unit that would have looked a lot tougher before Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) and first-round defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (ankle) were ruled out.
Mayfield has a highest floor and median projections in our DK Showdown Models. The man he’ll hand off to, second-year standout Nick Chubb, has the second-highest.
With Sam Darnold (mono) out, Le’Veon Bell (questionable, shoulder) figures to take a lot of handoffs from Trevor Siemian, who statistically represents no drop-off from Darnold (Siemian 13-11 career win-loss record, 5.34 adjusted net yards per attempt; Darnold 4-11 W/L, 5.11 ANY/A).
Bell is projected for tenths of a point less than Odell Beckham Jr., but provides more coverage of potential usage and TDs in this game, so he belongs in cash lineups along with Mayfield, Chubb, and Siemian as long as he’s active.
Given the uncertainty of Bell’s re-aggravation chances even if he suits up, the best thing to do on DraftKings is also roster Ty Montgomery. And given that Chubb sat out 22-of-73 snaps last week, I’d it makes more sense to roster backup running back D’Ernest Johnson over Jets tight end Ryan Griffen or Browns wideout Damion Ratley on DraftKings.
Many times, the optimal FanDuel build involves leaving salary on the table, but on this slate, Mayfield, Chubb, Bell, and Siemian fit neatly with a min-priced player. Griffin played 68-of-72 snaps last week and has the highest median projection among available options.
Core GPP Plays
WR Odell Beckham Jr., Browns: Per our NFL Trends tool, OBJ is averaging 22.2 DraftKings points and a +3.2 Plus/Minus on Monday Night Football. As I discuss in our Browns-Jets betting guide, he presents a huge mismatch for Jets corners.
WR Jamison Crowder, Jets: It’s tough to know if Crowder will be peppered with targets from Siemian the way he was by Darnold last week, but Crowder has Adam Gase’s history of feeding slot receivers and the Jets lack of viable receiving options on his side.
WR Robby Anderson, Jets: Though Jets have never had targets like Bell and Crowder to pick up the slack, Anderson’s splits with vs. without Quincy Enunwa (IR, neck) are notable: 2.9-42-0.24 with Enunwa, 4.3-62-0.45 without. Darnold was near the bottom of the league in deep accuracy, so Anderson is no worse of a play with Siemian under center.
The Jets have too many new pieces and moving parts to give any weight to past correlations, but here are a few notable ones from the Browns since Freddie Kitchens took over the offense midway through last season (via our NFL Correlations Dashboard):
- Browns RB1-DST: +0.79
- Browns QB-DST: +0.75
- Browns QB-WR1: +0.41
- Browns QB-RB1: +0.34
- Browns QB-Opposing QB: -0.03
- Browns RB1-WR1: -0.13
- Browns WR1-WR2: -0.17
- Browns WR1-TE1: -0.28
- Browns RB1-WR2: -0.40
Even though sports books may be overvaluing the drop-off from Darnold to Siemian, this game still sets up perfectly for a Chubb-Browns DST stack. The data also suggests Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and Co. would work better as pivots off OBJ rather than paired with him.
Most of the potential leverage plays in this game are dart throw types than true leverage plays, so there’s not much leverage-wise beyond the usual suspects aka each side’s kicker and DST. Browns kicker Austin Seibert has the fifth-best Projected Plus/Minus on the slate. Jets DST has the top ceiling projection under $5,400.
- TE Ryan Griffen, Jets: Played nearly every snap last week and has the top Projected Plus/Minus on the slate as he goes up against a Browns defense that give up two TDs to Delanie Walker last week.
- RB D’Ernest Johnson, Browns: Elevated to No. 2 running back status with Dontrelle Hilliard (concussion) — who the team did envision a Duke Johnson-esque role for — out. D’Ernest is also expected to handle returns, which gives him additional coring chances. He has the second-best Projected Plus/Minus on the slate in our models.
- WR Josh Bellamy, Jets: An Adam Gase favorite who could get more snaps than he deserves if Demaryius Thomas (hamstrong) is out or limited. As it stands, Bellamy has the No. 4 Projected Plus/Minus on the slate.
- WRs Damion Ratley/Taywan Taylor, Browns (contingent on status of Rashard Higgins): If Higgins (knee) goes, he’s a top play, as he has a strong correlation with Mayfield dating back to last season. Ratley is playable either way, as h could split snaps with Higgins even if Higgins is active. Taylor would only have a role if Higgins is out, but his $200 price tag and deep speed would immediately make him a top value.
- RB Bilal Powell/Trenton Cannon, Jets (contingent on status of Le’Veon Bell): This is digging deep for large GPPs, but monitor the inactives on this one. If Bell is active, Powell would likely be inactive, and Cannon would be the hail mary dart throw. If Powell is made active even with Bell active, it would signal that the Jets may want to spell him with more of a true runner, as Montgomery has been used as a receiver and Cannon is more of a special teams gunner/return man.
Pictured above: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham (13)
Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports