NFL Week 2 features a Sunday Night Football contest between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots at 8:20 p.m. ET.
If you’re unfamiliar with the single-game NFL DFS format, it differs a bit on DraftKings and FanDuel. On DraftKings, you have one “captain” spot and five flexes. The captain will score 1.5x fantasy points, but he also costs 1.5x salary. That means if you want to roster Russell Wilson at captain and take advantage of the scoring boost, you’ll have to pay $19,200 as opposed to $12,800.
FanDuel’s single-game format features one “MVP” spot and four flexes. The MVP also scores 1.5x fantasy points, but he doesn’t cost any additional salary. That takes away a bit of the strategy and makes the goal simple: get your highest-scoring player in the MVP spot.
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The two most expensive players on this slate are the two quarterbacks, and both players have their merits.
Let’s start with Wilson. He shredded a porous Falcons’ defense in Week 1, racking up 322 yards and four passing TDs en route to 34.78 DraftKings points. More importantly, it seems like the Seahawks have finally – finally! – decided to #LetRussEat. There was talk that they would let Wilson throw more in 2020, and that is exactly what happened against the Falcons. The Seahawks threw on 66% of their offensive snaps, which was the fifth-highest rate in the league. That’s obviously encouraging, especially considering that the Seahawks had that contest well in hand for most of the second half. They threw the ball on 69% of plays while it was still a one-score game against Atlanta, so Russ has the potential to throw even more if tonight’s contest with the Patriots is more competitive.
Unfortunately, more passing volume might not lead to success against New England. The Patriots have one of the best secondaries in the league, and they finished first in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA in 2019. They also finished first vs. No. 1 WRs, No. 2 WRs, and “other” WRs, so Wilson might not be able to rely on Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf as much as usual.
The Cam Newton era got underway in Foxboro last week, and he looked to be just fine from a health perspective. Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels designed their offense to make full use of Cam’s skill set, and they let him carry the ball 15 times vs. the Miami Dolphins. He finished with 75 rushing yards and two TDs on the ground, and he’ll have massive fantasy upside if they continue to let him tote the rock that much. There’s no guarantee that will happen – it’s probably not advisable to have Cam take so many hits as a ball carrier – but I would expect Newton to continue to serve as a goal-line hammer at a minimum.
The good news for Newton is that his WR corps is expected to be at full strength. Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry were both questionable earlier in the week, but both are expected to suit up tonight in Seattle.
Overall, Wilson has the slight edge in median and ceiling projections in our NFL Models, but Newton stands out as the better pure value given the difference in salary. Regardless of who you prefer, both players deserve heavy consideration for the captain spot on DraftKings and the MVP spot on FanDuel.
After the QBs, there’s a pretty stark decrease in salary before the next tier of players. That group consists of four players priced between $9,600 and $8,000 on DraftKings, and three of the four play for the Seahawks: Chris Carson, Lockett, and Metcalf.
Carson struggled a bit as a runner in Week 1, logging just 21 yards on six carries. Carlos Hyde actually saw more carries than Carson in that contest, and Carson played on just 45.2% of the Seahawks offensive snaps. That’s definitely a bit concerning moving forward.
That said, Carson did take some major steps forward as a receiver in Week 1. He managed to catch all six of his targets for 45 yards and two TDs, which was more than enough to make up for his lackluster production on the ground. Carson is not someone you think of as a receiving back – he logged just 37 catches for 266 yards and two TDs in that department in 2019 – so adding that to his repertoire would definitely increase his fantasy value. The Patriots’ biggest weakness in the pass game last season was defending RBs, ranking just 21st in DVOA vs. the position, so Carson has the opportunity to build on that success tonight.
Lockett and Metcalf are both solid players, but both have more downside than usual today. You can’t have a much worse matchup as a WR, and both players own an Opponent Plus/Minus of -3.1 on today’s slate. You can obviously stack either one with Wilson, but I wouldn’t target them as stand-alone options on today’s slate.
You can also look to stack both Lockett and Metcalf with Wilson. The two WRs have a correlation of +0.35 on DraftKings, so they tend to do well in the same contest pretty often. You can pretty easily increase your exposure to the duo using one of the new rules inside our multi-lineup tool:
On the Patriots side, Edelman stands out as the top option in their passing attack. He led the team in targets, catches, and receiving yards in Week 1, despite the fact that he played on just 57.8% of their offensive snaps. The low snap count might be an issue moving forward, but it also could be a one-week anomaly. The Patriots didn’t feel the need to keep him on the field as much given their run-heavy gameplan, but Edelman was still out there in most passing situations. Ultimately, he posted a target market share of 37%, which greatly outweighs any negatives with his snap count.
Edelman also stands out as one of the lone wideouts who actually has a good matchup today. He owns a +15% edge over Marquise Blair according to Pro Football Focus, and he’s the only starting wideout who actually grades out better than his opposing CB in this contest.
Moving down a tier, Harry is someone who has some appeal at his current price tag. He finished with just one fewer target than Edelman and played significantly more snaps. His matchup isn’t as appealing, but he seems underpriced as the No. 2 passing options for Newton.
Greg Olsen is also someone who stands out as underpriced. He was fourth on the Seahawks in targets last week – trailing only Lockett, Metcalf, and Carson – and he could see a slight bump this week given the matchup against the Patriots. The Pats were merely average in terms of DVOA vs. the tight end position last season.
Values & Punts
- Defenses & Kickers – I’m not going to break down the four individual defense and kicking options on this slate, but they are definitely options in the single-game format. This is also expected to be a relatively low-scoring game – the total sits at just 44.5 points – and those options tend to have more value in low-scoring affairs.
- Carlos Hyde: $3,400 on DraftKings, $8,000 on FanDuel – The rushing split probably won’t end up in Hyde’s favor on most weeks, but the playing time split between him and Carson was encouraging in Week 1. I wouldn’t play him in the same lineup as Carson, and you can ensure that won’t happen by utilizing the rules inside our multi-lineup tool:
- Will Dissly: $2,200 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel – Dissly caught each of his two targets in Week 1, and he’s definitely a threat for a cheap TD against the Patriots.
- Damiere Byrd: $1,400 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel – Edelman’s relatively low snap count benefits Byrd, who operated as the No. 2 WR in the Patriots’ run-heavy formations. Being on the field is the first step toward fantasy relevance, and Byrd played on 87.5% of the Patriots’ snaps in Week 1.
- Travis Homer: $600 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel – If you don’t buy Carson’s emergence as a pass-catcher, Homer becomes an interesting punt play on DraftKings. The Seahawks clearly want to throw the ball more this season, and Homer looks like their best pure receiver out of the backfield.