Our NFL product at FantasyLabs is powered by our Models, which feature projections from Sean Koerner. He’s been FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season ranker in three of the past four seasons, which makes our Models a must-have for the serious DFS player.
One of the best ways to incorporate his projections is by looking at each player’s Projected Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Projected Plus/Minus is a proprietary metric that measures projected points vs. expected points. The higher the number, the better that player is expected to perform relative to his price tag.
If you wind up rostering players who finish the week with a good Plus/Minus, there’s a good chance you’re going to find yourself at the top of the leaderboards.
Here are six players who are popping in our NFL Models for Week 2.
Josh Allen ($5,300 on DraftKings) @ New York Giants
Allen did a lot of typical Allen things Week 1 vs. the Jets. He did some good things, including rushing for 38 yards a TD, and he did some bad things, like throwing two picks and losing a fumble. Overall, his 19.96 DraftKings points don’t exactly jump off the page.
Still, there was plenty to like with Allen in Week 1. For starters, Buffalo threw on 60.32% of plays in that contest, which ranked 17th in the league. They passed on just 53.57% of plays in 2018, which was the fourth-lowest mark in football. More pass plays will give Allen more opportunities to put his big arm on display, like he did when he connected with John Brown for a 38-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
More pass plays also means more scrambles, and that’s where Allen really makes his money. He’s averaged 51.5 rushing yards per game through his first 13 contests, which is the top mark among all current QBs. Rushing value has historically led to fantasy success, with QBs who average at least 30 yards per game on the ground averaging a Plus/Minus of +1.93 on DraftKings (per the Trends tool).
He has a great matchup this week vs. the New York Giants, who were absolutely shredded by Dak Prescott in Week 1. His $5,300 salary on DraftKings also comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%, which makes him an excellent value for cash games.
Leonard Fournette ($6,900 on FanDuel) @ Houston Texans
Fournette could be a bit overlooked in DFS this week. He didn’t put up gaudy statistics in Week 1, resulting in just 9.40 FanDuel points, but there were still a lot of positives to take away. He absolutely dominated the workload for the Jags against the Chiefs, logging 86.3% of the snaps and 92.9% of the carries at the RB position. Fournette was effective when running the ball as well, tallying 5.1 yards per attempt.
His work in the passing game was even more encouraging. He saw six targets in Week 1, which was more than he received in any game last season. He’s shaping up to be a true workhorse RB, but he’s priced as just the 14th-most expensive back on the FanDuel main slate.
The Jaguars might look to lean on him a little heavier than normal this week given the injury to QB Nick Foles. Gardner Minshew looked fantastic in relief last week, but most of his attempts came with his team playing from well behind on the scoreboard. It remains to be seen if he can carve up NFL defenses when they’re actually geared up to stop him.
Josh Jacobs ($4,700 on DraftKings) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
DFS players get to benefit from Jacobs playing on Monday Night last week. His salary for Week 2 was already set before he torched the Broncos for 113 total yards and two rushing TDs. He absolutely dominated the RB workload for the Raiders, playing 75.4% of the snaps while garnering 88.5% of the carries.
Jacobs is in an interesting spot this week for the Chiefs. He’s a +7.5-point underdog at home — which obviously isn’t ideal — but the Chiefs’ rushing defense was historically bad last season. They ranked dead last in Football Outsiders’ rush defense DVOA, and RBs projected for at least five DraftKings points averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.82 when facing the Chiefs.
Jacobs also garnered the only target out of the Raiders’ backfield in Week 1, so he could remain fantasy relevant even if they fall behind early.
Christian Kirk ($5,400 on FanDuel) @ Baltimore Ravens
The Cardinals weren’t always successful during Week 1 vs. the Lions, but their offense showed why they offer a ton of potential from a fantasy perspective. They ranked first in pace, resulting a whopping 89 snaps, and they passed at the eighth-highest frequency. The Cardinals also used four WRs on 45 of their plays, which was more than the rest of the NFL combined.
Kirk figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of their offensive system. He struggled in Week 1, catching just four passes for 32 yards, but he did rank second on the team with 12 targets. He also played on 93.3% of the offensive snaps and saw one target in the red zone. Kirk averaged a 63.2% catch rate and 13.7 yards per reception last season, so he should see positive regression moving forward.
Tyrell Williams ($4,400 on DraftKings) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Williams benefits from the same situation as Jacobs on DraftKings, so he stands out as one of the best values at the WR position there. He managed six catches for 105 yards and a TD last week, and he has an extremely juicy matchup this week vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. They ranked sixth in neutral pace last season, and their explosive offense often left the opposing team trying to play catch-up for most of the game. The result is an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.9 for Williams and the rest of Oakland’s receivers, which is the top mark on DraftKings.
T.J. Hockenson ($3,000 on DraftKings) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Hockenson is coming off quite possibly the most impressive debut for any TE in the history of the NFL. He saw nine targets vs. Cardinals and turned them into 131 yards, which was the seventh-highest receiving total among all players in Week 1. He also added in a TD for good measure.
Can he put together another strong performance in Week 2? I don’t see why not. Only four TEs saw more targets than him last week, and three of those options are priced at $5,200 or greater on DraftKings (Travis Kelce, George Kittle and Evan Engram). Even if he’s not a generational talent — and he very well might be — it’s rare to lock up that many targets at the TE position without breaking the bank. Historically, TEs with a comparable target market share and a salary of $4,000 or less have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.89 on DraftKings.
There are a lot of strong values this week, but Hockenson might be the best of the bunch.
Pictured: Oakland Raiders WR Tyrell Williams (16)
Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA Today Sports