Top Draftstreet Football Values for Week 2
It was hit and miss last week with our initial Draftstreet article. While we did indicate that both DeSean Jackson and Michael Vick as well as the Dallas Cowboys defense represented three of the best values, we also had Stevan Ridley included in that article.
With one week of the 2013 NFL regular season under our belt, there is at least a sample size to look at. In what will be a weekly article here at Pro Football Focus, we will be providing readers with the top Draftstreet football values in weekly leagues.
For the purposes of these articles, I will utilize Draftstreet cap numbers and base them off total cap numbers of $100,000 per team.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles ($15,012)
Vick makes an appearance in this article for a second consecutive week. Why not? After all, he did finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback in Week 1 after tearing apart the Washington Redskins. While Vick’s price tag has increased for this upcoming week, he’s still only the 10th-most expensive quarterback in Draftstreet leagues. Considering that the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson will be going up against much stiffer competition this week, Vick’s value is there.
He’s going up against a San Diego Chargers pass defense that yielded 346 yards and three scores to Matt Schaub last week. Even more interesting, San Diego allowed Houston Texans’ wide receivers Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins to catch 17 passes on 21 targets. Overall, we graded out the Chargers pass defense in the bottom 10 of the league last week. There is absolutely no reason to believe that Vick won’t put up another top-five fantasy week against what has to be considered a weak defense in San Diego. That makes him a steal.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins ($11,430)
The second-year quarterback didn’t perform like a solid fantasy option against a good Cleveland Browns defense last week. He completed 24-of-38 passes for 272 yards and a score, numbers that weren’t good enough to rank him as a decent QB2 option. In addition, Tannehill’s seemingly non-existent relationship with wide receiver Mike Wallace should be cause for alarm. It’s important to note that this performance came against a Browns’ pass defense we graded out as the sixth-best in the NFL last year.
Miami now goes up against the Indianapolis Colts, who allowed Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor to compile 329 total yards in his first career road start. Draftstreet has Tannehill has the eighth-least expensive starting quarterback this upcoming week. Needless to say, his performance last week against a better pass defense indicates that he will be able to perform much better than where he is currently projected. Even if Tannehill isn’t a top-tier QB1 option this week, his $11,430 price tag is good enough to consider him a solid back-end starting option, especially in two-quarterback leagues where you can nab another solid starter at a cheaper price. Ask yourself the following question. Would you rather have Tannehill … or E.J. Manuel going up against Carolina? That’s about where he’s being valued right now.
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers ($8,619)
Would I suggest that you run Mathews out there as a RB1 every week this season? Of course not. This is where weekly fantasy leagues really do differ from those that draft prior to the start of the regular season. Mathews had a solid game against the Houston Texans last week, going for 55 yards and a score on 15 touches. While he didn’t perform up to the level of a decent RB1 option, indicators were definitely there that Mathews is ready to take his game to the next level in the coming weeks.
Enter into the equation the Philadelphia Eagles, who we graded out as the 30th-ranked rush defense last season. It might be foolish to look at statistics from the previous season and the Eagles did play well against the run against Washington on Monday night, but that’s not really the point here. Make no mistake about it, Philadelphia’s defense still leaves a lot to be desired. Barring a possible blowout here, Mathews will see more touches than last week and should put up some solid fantasy numbers. It might not be good enough to rank him as a decent RB1, but Mathews will put up better numbers than his current No. 19 ranking on Draftstreet suggests.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers ($10,212)
Lacy didn’t exactly set the fantasy football world on fire last week against the San Francisco 49ers. The rookie running back put up just 41 yards on 14 carries, but was able to score a touchdown against one of the best run defenses in the entire league. San Francisco yielded the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs and graded out as our No. 1 overall run defense in the league last season.
The competition gets much easier this week against a Washington Redskins defense that gave up 263 rushing yards to Philadelphia this past Monday night. Some will point to Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense as one of the primary reasons for that, but both LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick had some huge holes to run through in that one.
Even with Aaron Rodgers under center in a pass-first offense, there is no reason to believe that Lacy won’t see 20-plus touches this week. Based on his talent level and Washington’s inability to stop the run, this could mean 100-plus total yards and a score. Heck, he nearly tallied that against San Francisco with a 31-yard reception to go with his 41 rushing yards. Lacy is currently being valued as an average RB2 option this week.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots ($12,349)
For those of you who own Danny Amendola, two things: “I am sorry” and “I told you so.” New England’s new wide receiver is going to miss Thursday’s game with a groin injury and his status is uncertain after that. This leaves Edelman as the only viable veteran receiving option on the Patriots roster heading into their Week 2 game against the New York Jets. What might be bad for the possibility of New England having sustained success through the air moving forward, will be good for Edelman this upcoming week.
The veteran scored two touchdowns against Buffalo on opening day, which enabled him to finish the week as a WR1 option. This is interesting considering that Edelman was targeted a total of nine times against the Bills, numbers that promise to increase this week. Edelman caught 67 percent of the passes thrown in his direction last season and 74 percent back in 2009 (the last time he saw consistent playing time). With Tom Brady primed to target him more this week, expect Edelman to put up some ridiculous PPR numbers. It also doesn’t hurt that the Jets allowed Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams to combine for over 200 receiving yards last week. Edelman is currently a top-tier WR2 option in terms of cost on Draftstreet, a ranking that doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense right now.
Denarius Moore, WR, Oakland Raiders ($7,358)
The third-year receiver from Tennessee is going to have himself a stellar fantasy performance with Terrelle Pryor under center. It’s important to note that Moore put up nearly 1,400 receiving yards and 12 scores in his first two seasons with the Raiders. Natural progression seems to suggest that he’s capable of being a decent WR2 option this season. Whether it is Alan Ball or Dwayne Gratz going up against Moore this week, it really doesn’t matter. Neither is going to be able to contain Moore if he receives the necessary targets to succeed.
We graded the Jaguars out in the middle of the pack in pass coverage last week against Kansas City. That’s surprising considering that the Chiefs really decided to sit on the ball relatively early in the second half. With absolutely no pass rush to speak of, Jacksonville is putting a ton of pressure on a young secondary, which should come back to burn it this week against the Raiders in Oakland. According to Draftstreet values, Moore is the 44th-most expensive wide receiver in salary cap leagues this week. That’s ridiculous for someone with high-end WR2 upside against the Jaguars.
Joseph Fauria, TE, Detroit Lions ($3,560)
It’s just a matter of time before Detroit just decides to move on from Brandon Pettigrew, who was absolutely atrocious in nearly every single category against Minnesota last week. In fact, it might have started to do that toward the latter part of its Week 1 win against the Vikings. Fauria received more snaps in the second half than Pettigrew and came down with a one-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford in the fourth quarter. His current Draftstreet value suggests he shouldn’t even be in the conversation this week. That being said, if you are looking for an under-the-radar and cheap TE1 option against the Arizona Cardinals, Fauria might be your guy. After all, Arizona did yield the most fantasy points to a tight end this past week when Jared Cook went off to the tune of seven catches for 141 yards and two scores.