What’s better than one Monday Night Football game? Two Monday Night Football games! Both DraftKings and FanDuel are offering up some massive prize pools for the two-game slate, which starts at 7:15 p.m. ET.
In this article, I’ll be using various FantasyLabs tools and other industry metrics to break down the slate.
Finally, make sure to check out all the projections available for purchase within the FantasyLabs Models. Subscribers now have the option to purchase Derek Carty’s THE BLITZ from our Marketplace. Projections from One Week Season and Establish the Run are available if you’re a subscriber to those specific sites (our optimizer is a separate add-on feature).
You can also combine them to create your own aggregate projections:
NFL DFS Quarterback Picks
As far as quarterbacks go, it’s hard to do much better than Josh Allen these days. He was phenomenal in his season-opening performance vs. the Rams, completing 26 of 31 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns. He added 10 rushes for 56 yards and a score, bringing his fantasy total to 33.48 DraftKings points.
Those are the types of performances that have become routine for Allen. He led all quarterbacks in fantasy scoring last year, and he’s the current favorite to take home the MVP award.
What makes that performance even scarier is that it came against the Rams. They had an excellent defense last year and were playing at home, and Allen just straight-up blew their doors off. Now, he heads back to Buffalo for a matchup vs. the Titans, who are a slightly better matchup. The Bills’ implied team total of 28.75 is the top mark on the slate, and Allen leads all quarterbacks in ceiling and median projection. He’s expensive, but you can’t go wrong if you can afford him.
Jalen Hurts isn’t exactly cheap on this slate, but he still presents arguably the best value. That’s especially true on FanDuel, where he leads the position with a Bargain Rating of 80%.
Hurts and the Eagles’ offense exploded in Week 1, tallying 38 points in a victory over the Lions. However, Hurts didn’t do much of the scoring himself. He did rush for a touchdown – along with 90 yards – but the other four touchdowns were scored by the running backs and defense.
That should normalize a bit in Week 2. No team scored a higher percentage of their touchdowns via the run last year, and even they managed to score more than 40% through the air. Scoring five touchdowns without a touchdown pass is pretty much unheard of.
The Eagles’ implied team total just barely trails the Bills, and their game figures to be a fantasy-friendly environment. The total is set at 50.5 points with a spread of just 2.5, which suggests a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair.
Kirk Cousins shredded the Packers’ defense in Week 1, but he did it somewhat quietly. That’s because most of his production came when targeting one player. He was 9-11 for 184 yards and two scores when targeting Justin Jefferson and 14 for 21 for 93 yards and zero scores when targeting anyone else. Cousins draws an advantageous matchup vs. the Eagles, who surrendered 35 points and 386 yards to the Lions last week.
Ryan Tannehill rounds out the QBs, and he’s the toughest to make a case for. Not only is he the worst passer of the bunch, but he also has the worst matchup. The Bills’ defensive line abused the Rams last week, and they could give Tannehill the same treatment. Still, he’s going to check in with easily the lowest ownership of the group, which always has some appeal in tournaments.
NFL DFS Running Back Picks
Two running backs stand out above the rest on this slate – Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook – and the preferred target depends on the site. Henry owns a Bargain Rating of 93% on DraftKings, while Cook owns a Bargain Rating of 97% on FanDuel.
Henry is coming off a subpar performance in Week 1 vs. the Giants, tallying just 82 yards on 21 carries. He’ll also face a tough matchup, but he’s gone off against the Bills in the past. Just last season he racked up 130 rushing yards and three scores against Buffalo, leading the team to an upset victory.
However, that game was played in Tennessee, and Henry is also coming off a foot injury that caused him to miss significant time last year. More importantly, the fact that the Titans are big underdogs is a major concern. Henry does not typically play on passing downs, and Henry has averaged a Plus/Minus of just +1.37 as an underdog of greater than a touchdown (per the Trends tool). That doesn’t sound awful, but it’s buoyed by some big games: Henry has less than eight fantasy points in two of five previous occurrences.
Still, it’s hard to be at least somewhat intrigued by the price tag. Henry is down to just $7,800, and he’s historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +6.44 with a comparable salary.
Cook is in a much better spot. The Eagles defense was particularly poor on the ground last week, surrendering 172 rushing yards and three scores to D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.
Cook was quiet in Week 1, but he remains the clear bell-cow back in Minnesota. He had 20 carries and five targets, and only three other players checked both boxes to start the year.
Like Henry, his price tag is also very tempting. He’s had a comparable FanDuel salary on 17 previous occasions, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.51.
The Eagles technically have a four-person committee backfield when you factor in Hurts, but Miles Sanders is still their top guy. He led the backfield with 51% of the snaps, 41% of the carries, and a 42% route participation. He also got 58% of the short down and distance opportunities, which bodes well for his touchdown-scoring ability.
Sanders has some bust potential, but he’s hard to avoid at just $5,500 on DraftKings. That’s good for a 98% Bargain Rating, which is the top mark on the slate.
The Vikings are also an ideal matchup for all of the Eagles’ rushers. They were just 25th in Football Outsiders rush defense DVOA last year, and they were far better against the pass. That means the Eagles should look to exploit them on the ground, which they’re typically more than happy to do.
The Bills employed a three-man committee at the position last week, but James Cook was a distant third. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss were the top two options, with Singletary seeing more carries and Moss logging more targets. Still, it’s hard to read too deep into that situation given that the game turned into a blowout. Singletary still profiles as the top option, particularly in terms of catching passes. That’s extremely important in Buffalo, who have a pass-first offense and a quarterback that occasionally serves as a goal-line hammer.
Kenneth Gainwell is the passing-down specialist for the Eagles, which gives him some appeal on DraftKings. He had a 17% target share in Week 1, and he played on most of the long down and distance situations. He also had 16% of the rushing attempts, including a goal-line carry vs. the Lions. I wouldn’t expect that on a weekly basis, but his involvement in the passing game gives him an every-week role.
Dontrell Hilliard spelled Henry in passing situations last week, and he managed to secure five targets and a touchdown. However, Hilliard has been ruled out for Week 2. It’s possible his work in the passing game could go to Henry, but rookie Hassan Haskins could also fill that role. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he’s an interesting punt play if you think the Titans fall behind.
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Picks
This is a great slate at the top of the receiver position. It’s hard to argue against Jefferson as the top guy – he’s arguably the best receiver in the league – but Stefon Diggs might be the superior value.
For starters, Diggs is considerably cheaper. He’s $1,500 less expensive on DraftKings and $1,100 cheaper on FanDuel. Diggs had an excellent week of his own in Week 1, finishing with a team-high 29% target share and 46% air yards share.
There’s also the Gabriel Davis factor to consider. He was a late addition to the injury report, and he’s currently listed as questionable. If he’s unable to suit up, Diggs could be looking at an even larger workload.
Finally, his matchup vs. the Titans is a good one. Pro Football Focus gives him the sixth-largest matchup advantage of the week
Ultimately, Diggs’ median and ceiling projections are slightly lower than Jefferson’s, but he stands out as the better option in terms of projected Plus/Minus.
Robert Woods was invisible in Week 1, racking up just two targets for one catch and 13 yards. It’s possible that he’s not going to be a fantasy factor now that he’s playing in Tennessee, but I think it’s too early to make that statement.
The Titans may not be a passing factory, but they did throw enough to make A.J. Brown an elite option at the position. Woods isn’t Brown, but he’s still the top passing option for a team that is a double-digit underdog.
His salary has also dipped tremendously on DraftKings. He was listed at $5,600 in Week 1, but he’s down to just $4,400 in Week 2. I’m willing to roll the dice on Woods at a reduced salary.
Even though our Models have Diggs as the top stud, it’s obviously completely fair to go with Jefferson. He racked up an absurd 85% of the Vikings’ air yards last week, and new offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell did a great job of scheming him open. Six of his targets came against either a safety or linebacker, and he should continue to try to get the ball to Jefferson in creative ways. The Eagles do have a pair of solid cover corners, but Jefferson is basically matchup-proof.
Adam Thielen took a backseat to his teammate last week, but he ran a route on 100% of the team’s dropbacks. That bodes well for his improvement moving forward. If teams start loading up to try and stop Jefferson, Thielen could be the primary beneficiary.
If Davis is in, he’s definitely an option across the industry. Like Thielen, he also ran a route on 100% of his team’s dropbacks last week. His only downside in previous seasons has been limited opportunities, but that doesn’t figure to be an issue this year. If Davis is out, Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie both become excellent options, and they have some GPP upside even if Davis is active.
Finally, don’t forget about A.J. Brown. He was a monster for the Eagles in Week 1, racking up 46% of the targets and 77% of the air yards. If not for Jefferson’s monster performance, people would be talking more about him at the moment. He’s already proven he can post gaudy numbers in a run-first offense.
NFL DFS Tight End Picks
There really is no stud tight end on this slate, but Dallas Goedert is the closest match. He was a favorite target of Hurts following the Zach Ertz trade last season, and he finished third on the team in targets last week. He also ran a route on 81% of the team’s passing attempts, which is an excellent number for a tight end. Minnesota was merely middle of the road in DVOA against tight ends last year, so Goedert stands out as the top option at a weak position.
If you’re looking to go cheaper at the position, you could do worse than Austin Hooper. He had just one target last week, but he had a 67% route participation. That trails only Goedert among Monday’s tight ends. Hooper is a particularly nice option on FanDuel given his 75% Bargain Rating.
Dawson Knox didn’t run a ton of routes last week, and he finished with just two targets. Still, he plays for arguably the most explosive offense in football. That’s enough to make him a viable option, and he could get a bump if Davis is inactive.
Is it time to panic with Irv Smith Jr.? It might be. He ran fewer routes and had fewer targets than Johnny Mundt last week, and while that might not be an every-week occurrence, it’s still a major concern. Still, Smith is dirt cheap, and he has flashed talent in the past. He could be worth a flyer in tournaments.