Boom/bust report: Which Week 2 DFS options could pop?
Boom – to flourish vigorously
Bust – a worthless thing
Daily fantasy sports is a hyper-nuanced game. Theory can inform personal ownership stakes, or desirable plays can be identified and then analyzed for fit. I prefer the latter method; which players do I want to be heavier on than the field, and which players do I want to be light on, or avoid entirely? The boom/bust report will feature players that fit the following descriptions: a boom is a high-priced stud with favorable conditions to hit 3x value, or a lower-priced player with favorable conditions to hit 4x value. A bust is any player with unfavorable conditions to hit 3x value, regardless of salary.
(Prices and advice based on DraftKings salaries)
Week 2 Booms
This is a week to pay up for Brees. His exploits in the Superdome have been well-documented; he’s thrown 58 percent of his career TDs at home. The visiting Patriots were kind enough to let Alex Smith post the second-best fantasy game of his career in week one. Brees has a 10-1 career touchdown-to-interception ratio against the Patriots. I also think he will be under-owned this week because other elite quarterbacks such as Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers also have attractive matchups and are slightly cheaper.
Other boom candidates: Matt Ryan, Jared Goff
Montgomery essentially never left the field in Week 1, playing on 90 percent of offensive snaps. Now that we know he’s a bell cow and will get the lion’s share of the receiving work, there’s less nuance to projecting TyMo on a week-to-week basis. In Week 2, he faces Atlanta, who surrendered an embarrassing 41.6 PPR points to Chicago running backs in the opener. Montgomery has top-five RB upside in Week 2 at a steep discount.
Hogan was whisper quiet in Week 1, but that will change immediately. Hogan draws the Saints this week, who just got obliterated by Adam Thielen in the slot to the tune of seven receptions for 146 yards. Hogan ran 64 percent of his routes from the slot in Week 1 and will be the primary beneficiary of the Saints soft middle. Most people will be on Brandin Cooks for the revenge -game narrative, but Hogan may be the sharper play due to his salary and equally high ceiling in this particular matchup.
Coby Fleener ($3100, TE15) vs. New England Patriots
I’m going back to the well again in Week 2. Fleener appeared to pick up the slack for the absent Willie Snead against the Vikings. He was hyper-efficient, finishing second in yards per route run in Week 1. The Saints-Patriots game might break the scoreboard, but the beautiful thing about rostering Fleener is you can hit 4x without even getting a touchdown from him due to his rock-bottom salary. The Patriots allowed 18.9 PPR points to the tight end position against Kansas City in week one.
Other boom candidates: Kyle Rudolph
Mariota faces a Jaguars defense that pummeled the Texans on the road last week. Mariota is no Tom Savage, we know this to be true. However, in the face of pressure, he was actually worse. Mariota’s QB rating was just 53.8 against the blitz. The Jaguars had three edge defenders finish in the top eight in pass-rush productivity in Week 1, totaling 14 pressures between them. Expect Jacksonville to bring the rush early and often, and Mariota to hand the ball to his talented backfield even more often than he did in Week 1.
Devonta Freeman ($7300, RB5) vs. Green Bay Packers
Freeman averages about 2.5 yards per carry against the Packers, and 2.75 yards per carry against the entire NFC North for his career. The Falcons rushing attack looked anemic against the Bears in Week 1, and the Packers stymied the Seahawks backfield in their matchup. Freeman was also out-targeted by Tevin Coleman in the first game, and saw his overall snap advantage dwindle. There’s too much not to like here to invest at RB5 pricing.
The Broncos allowed just 192 passing yards to Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night. In eight career road games, Dak Prescott averages just 211 passing yards. Bryant will almost certainly have to find the end zone twice in order to hit 4x at this salary. Bryant saw three consecutive targets from the 5-yard line against New York last week, but failed to haul any of them in. The matchup with the Broncos secondary isn’t much easier, and Bryant has scored only 13 percent of his career touchdowns in the month of September.
The 49ers held Greg Olsen to a mere two receptions for 18 yards last week. Graham averages just 48 yards per game (eight games) against the 49ers, which is 12 yards below his career average. Furthermore, his reception-to-touchdown rate against the 49ers is only eight percent, which lags well behind his career rate of nearly 12 percent. Graham just isn’t quite himself against the 49ers. From a game script perspective, Seattle is favored by two touchdowns and will likely not have to pass much in the second half. San Francisco struggles mightily against the run, and the Seahawks are trying to establish their own rushing attack. This isn’t a Jimmy week.