The Models are the lifeblood for our NFL product. They house our projections for each player, but that’s just the beginning of what you’ll find inside. After all, a projection is just part of the equation: things like salary, ceiling, and projected ownership all factor into which players stand out as the best plays each week.
Let’s dive into our Models and take a look at some of the players with the highest ceilings, value ratings, and projected ownership for the NFL Week 2 slate.
Top Ceiling: Lamar Jackson @ HOU — $8,200 on DraftKings, $9,500 on FanDuel
Jackson had a very interesting stat line in Week 1 vs. the Browns. He was outstanding as a passer, finishing with 275 yards and three TDs, and he led all QBs with an adjusted yards per attempt of 13.4. That said, he did far less damage on the ground than we’ve become accustomed to. He had just seven carries for 45 yards, and while that’s still excellent rushing production from a QB, its well below his average of 80.4 rushing yards per game from 2019.
It will be interesting to see if that trend continues this season. Jackson has stated that he plans to run less in 2020, and a decrease in rushing production will obviously affect his fantasy stock. He still owns the top ceiling projection at the position for Week 2, but this is definitely a situation to monitor moving forward.
Top Value: Kyler Murray vs. WAS — $6,100 on DraftKings, $8,000 on FanDuel
Murray leads the position in projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings, where his $6,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 79%. That number might not jump off the page, but it’s the top mark at the position on DraftKings.
He’s taking on the Washington Football Team in Week 2, who managed eight sacks in their Week 1 contest vs. the Eagles. Their entire defensive line is comprised of first round draft picks, but that performance still feels a bit fluky. The Eagles were missing three starters on their offensive line, and the Cardinals did a decent job in pass protection vs. the 49ers’ excellent pass rush in Week 1.
If they can give Murray time in this contest, expect him to pick Washington’s secondary apart. They were abysmal on defense in 2019, giving Murray an Opponent Plus/Minus of +8.5 on DraftKings.
Top Ownership: Dak Prescott vs. ATL — $6,800 on DraftKings, $8,300 on FanDuel
Three QBs are projected for at least 9-12% ownership on DraftKings: Jackson, Murray and Prescott. Dak was the worst fantasy option of the trio in Week 1, tallying just 17.64 DraftKings points on the road vs. the Los Angeles Rams. He also lost starting TE Blake Jarwin to a season-ending injury in that contest, which leaves him with one fewer weapon moving forward.
Should that matter vs. the Falcons? Absolutely not. They were shredded by Russell Wilson in Week 1, and the Cowboys’ offense still has an abundance of playmakers around Prescott. The Cowboys are currently implied for a slate-high 29.25 points in this matchup, and Prescott has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +7.94 when implied for at least 27.75 points (per the Trends tool). He’s also posted a perfect 100% Consistency Rating over those six contests, so he appears to have a high floor for cash games and a high ceiling for tournaments.
Top Ceiling: Ezekiel Elliott vs. ATL — $8,200 on DraftKings, $8,600 on FanDuel
This category is basically a toss-up between Zeke and Christian McCaffrey this week, but I’m giving the edge to Elliott. He’s approximately $2,000 cheaper across the industry, which makes him the better pure value of the duo.
The Falcons were a bit better vs. the run than vs. the pass in 2019, but they still ranked just 14th in Football Outsiders‘ DVOA in that department. They also ranked just 13th in pass defense DVOA vs. RBs, so this isn’t a matchup you have to fear.
Zeke still commands one of the largest workloads at the position – he ranked tied for fourth with 25 touches in Week 1 – and he should be able to do plenty of damage with those touches in this matchup.
Top Value: Kenyan Drake vs. WAS — $5,900 on DraftKings, $6,600 on FanDuel
Kliff Kingsbury was supposed to bring a dominant passing offense to Arizona last season, but they were actually one of the best running teams in football. They finished second in rushing DVOA, thanks in no small part to the addition of Drake. He averaged 80.4 rushing yards and 5.2 yards per attempt in eight games with the Cardinals, and he also added eight TDs.
His performance from Week 1 wasn’t overwhelming – he finished with 60 rushing yards and a TD – but he still posted a Plus/Minus of +3.33 on FanDuel. That came against a 49ers’ defense that finished as a top 10 unit against the run last season.
This week he gets Washington, who was not nearly as dominant in that regard. They ranked just 24th in rush defense DVOA, and Drake owns a ridiculous +8.90 Opponent Plus/Minus on DraftKings. Washington does figure to improve this season on defense, but remember that they had all of these first-round defensive lineman last year with the exception of Chase Young. Young looks like a brilliant player, but he graded out better as a pass rusher than a run stopper according to Pro Football Focus in Week 1. If they couldn’t stop the run with all of those guys last year, I doubt that adding Young will make that big of a difference in the long run.
Top Ownership: Jonathan Taylor vs. MIN — $5,700 on DraftKings, $5,800 on FanDuel
Taylor will almost certainly be the highest-owned player on this slate. He entered the league as a highly regarded prospect thanks to his combination of college production and athleticism. He ranked in the 98th percentile in terms of 40-yard dash time, 99th percentile in terms of speed score, and 93rd percentile in terms of college Dominator Rating according to Player Profiler. Those numbers are absolutely tantalizing.
The only thing stopping the hype train on Taylor this offseason was the presence of Marlon Mack, but he went down with a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1. It’s full steam ahead now that Taylor has the position basically to himself: He’s projected for at least 30% ownership across the industry this week vs. the Vikings.
Having Philip Rivers at QB doesn’t hurt matters either. Rivers peppered Austin Ekeler with targets last year in Los Angeles, and he threw 17 passes to RBs in Week 1. Nyheim Hines will definitely be a factor in the passing game, but Taylor should see plenty of work in that department as well.
Top Ceiling: Davante Adams vs. DET — $8,100 on DraftKings, $8,600 on FanDuel
Adams’ price tag was comically low last week on DraftKings, and he responded with 14 catches, 156 yards, and two TDs vs. the Vikings. He ultimately finished with 44.6 DraftKings points, resulting in a Plus/Minus of +28.28.
His price has come up nearly $1,000 after that performance, but he still seems to cheap given his matchup vs. the Lions. Their secondary has been absolutely decimated by injuries: Justin Coleman is on IR, Jeff Okudah was inactive in Week 1, and Desmond Trufant is dealing with a hamstring injury. It seems like Trufant will be able to suit up in Week 2, but he was dreadful before getting injured vs. the Bears. He earned just a 40.0 PFF grade in coverage over 48 snaps.
The Packers did little to upgrade their pass-catching corps during the offseason, so Adams figures to command a massive workload all year long. He led all players with 17 targets in Week 1, and his 28% market share trailed only DeAndre Hopkins’ mark of 29%.
Top Value: Adam Humphries vs. JAX — $3,400 on DraftKings, $4,700 on FanDuel
CeeDee Lamb owns the top projected Plus/Minus at the position on FanDuel, but he seems like a relatively obvious target vs. the Falcons. Let’s talk a little bit about Humphries instead, who leads the position in projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings.
For starters, he has a solid matchup vs. a Jaguars’ defense that has become largely devoid of talent recently. Their defense led them to the playoffs back in 2017, but since then they’ve lost Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, and Yannick Ngakoue. Overall, they ranked just 24th in pass defense DVOA in 2019.
Humphries has the potential to command a massive workload in this matchup this week. It’s looking more and more likely that the Titans will be without A.J. Brown, who missed Thursday’s practice with a knee injury. Corey Davis did return to practice on a limited basis on Thursday, but he’s also dealing with a hamstring injury. It’s unclear just how effectively he’ll be able to play through that if he is able to suit up.
Top Ownership: Dionte Johnson vs. DEN — $4,500 on DraftKings, $5,800 on FanDuel
Johnson struggled a bit in Week 1, but that game still bodes well for his fantasy production moving forward. He saw 10 targets in that contest, and he accounted for 29.24% of the Steelers’ total air yards.
I was hoping Johnson might fly a little under the radar this week, but unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case. Adams is projected for the highest ownership at the position on DraftKings, but Johnson is right behind him.
Keep in mind that the Steelers will be playing at home this week, and Roethlisberger has historically posted some of the most drastic home/road splits in football. He’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.00 at home and a Plus/Minus of -1.42 on the road. He averages nearly 25 additional yards and more than a full additional TD, so it stands to reason that extra production would also benefit his pass catchers.
Top Ceiling: Travis Kelce @ LAC — $7,000 on DraftKings, $7,800 on FanDuel
This spot will likely be held by either Kelce or George Kittle for most of the season, but Kittle is currently dealing with an injury. That leaves Kelce as the clear top option this week. He was solid but unspectacular in his first game of the season, logging six catches for 50 yards and a TD.
His matchup vs. the Chargers isn’t ideal – he owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of -1.6 on FanDuel – but Kelce is essentially matchup-proof. The Chiefs are also implied for 28.0 points, and Kelce has averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.15 with a comparable implied team total over the past two seasons.
Top Value: Logan Thomas @ ARI — $3,600 on DraftKings, $4,700 on FanDuel
Thomas garnered a lot of buzz during the offseason. He’s a converted QB with plenty of athleticism, and he turned eight targets into four catches, 37 yards, and one TD in Week 1 vs. the Eagles.
He has an excellent matchup in Week 2 vs. the Cardinals, who absolutely hemorrhaged fantasy points to opposing TEs last season. They look to be improved this season, but Thomas is still very cheap across the industry. He leads the position in projected Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Top Ownership: Mark Andrews @ HOU — $6,300 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel
Andrews could be primed for a massive 2020 season. He played on just 41.5% of the Ravens’ offensive snaps in 2019, but that number increased to 71.2% in Week 1. Additionally, he ran a route on 87% of the Ravens’ dropbacks in Week 1, which was also a massive spike compared to last season. Andrews was already a very good fantasy TE – his average of 11.1 DraftKings points per game over the past 12 months is the fifth-highest mark at the position – so adding some additional volume makes him a legit candidate to finish the year as the No. 1 overall TE.
His additional upside hasn’t gone unnoticed, and he’s currently expected to be one of the highest-owned options at the position. Fade him at your own risk vs. the Texans.