I am Jack’s utter disdain for stacking the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Just pitching ideas for Edward Norton’s next DraftKings voiceover. Many gamers expected big things from Drew Brees and Co., but they instead fell short both on the scoreboard and fantasy landscape. Perhaps it’s time for Norton’s narrator to turn the lineup decisions over to Tyler Durden.
Many players may wonder where their minds went after a rough week, but others are celebrating the immaculate Antonio Brown or bounce-back breakout from Allen Robinson. Either way, let’s look at some intriguing Week 2 results to help everyone become Jack’s sweet redemption next time.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals ($5,700)
Andy Dalton isn’t that bad.
At this point, defending Dalton feels like Ben Wyatt confessing that he thinks Garry Gergich is a good guy. It’s fun to hate someone who constantly folds in the playoffs, ignoring his competency to get the Cincinnati Bengals there four straight years. But the Red Riffle tossed three touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers, giving him five scores and no turnovers this season.
Unlike last year, Dalton has A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert healthy. He’s fully utilizing his healthy targets, ranking third in Pro Football Focus‘ accuracy percentage—which factors in drops and throwaways:
This is a guy who threw for 4,293 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2013. Despite his strong start and bounty of offensive weapons, he’ll cost $5,700 against the Baltimore Ravens, who just relinquished 351 yards and three touchdowns to Derek Carr. Because everyone is too busy laughing at Dalton to realize he’s OK, a whopping 22 passers are priced higher.
Matt Jones, RB, Washington ($4,000)
It didn’t take long for Matt Jones to make his presence felt.
Washington’s rookie running back became the talk of the town in August, but preseason success doesn’t always translate to the real thing. It did this time. After taking a back seat to Alfred Morris to start the season, Jones opened the floodgates with a 39-yard score. The impressive newcomer finished with two scores and one more carry than Morris:
As noted by DraftKings‘ Ethan Haskell, Jones proved an immense value for anyone who played him for $3,500:
That amazing effort now gives Washington two mouths to feed in the backfield, downgrading Morris to more of a flex play with Jones serving as a high-upside option. The New York Giants yielded 136 rushing yards through two games, so neither is a comfortable play on Thursday night.
Don’t vault Jones into star territory just yet, but he costs the same amount ($4,000) as Benny Cunningham, Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden while displaying vastly greater talent.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals ($5,800)
Those who stacked Carson Palmer and John Brown against the Chicago Bears had the right idea but the wrong receiver. Larry Fitzgerald scored a trio of touchdowns after going the previous nine games without a score. He also offered eight catches for 112 yards, upping his final tally to 40.2 DraftKings points.
Not bad from a $5,400 investment. This game reminds everyone of what they forgot due to Palmer’s season-ending injury last year: Fitzgerald still has plenty to offer with a decent quarterback throwing him the football.
His last 100-yard game came on Nov. 9, Palmer’s last appearance before tearing his ACL. NFL.com’s Alex Gelhar showcased the pairing’s success together dating back to last season:
As Brown’s breakout buzz fizzles, the grizzled veteran gains luster as a stout play given the right matchup. For the third time this year, the Arizona Cardinals get a vulnerable defense in the San Francisco 49ers, who spent last Sunday getting decimated by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Consider a Palmer ($6,600) and Fitzgerald ($5,800) stack.
Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Instead of turning immortal in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense, Sam Bradford has instead remained Sam Bradford. While he completed 66.3 percent of his passes (59-of-89) in two games with the Philadelphia Eagles, he has also averaged a mediocre 6.29 yards per attempt. After coughing up two picks and a fumble against the Dallas Cowboys, he has already surrendered five turnovers.
Dalton, Jameis Winston, Blake Bortles, Carr, Nick Foles, Alex Smith and Ryan Mallett are among the 24 quarterbacks with more DraftKings points than Bradford’s 29.3 through both games. His minus-2.7 grade on Pro Football Focus places him No. 27 among quarterbacks, right above Matt McGloin and Jimmy Clausen.
While two weeks isn’t nearly enough time to crank out the “Should have kept Tim Tebow” jokes, Bradford’s career 59.0 completion percentage and 79.0 quarterback rating don’t exactly grant him a long leash. Tournament gamers can take the plunge on a risky choice with upside, but Philadelphia’s offense looks too lethargic to trust in cash contests, especially against the New York Jets.
Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals ($7,300)
For those who helplessly watched Jeremy Hill watch most of Sunday’s game on the sidelines after losing two fumbles in 10 carries, look on the bright side. At least you’re not tied to him all season like season players, most of whom spent a first- or second-round pick on the Cincinnati Bengals running back.
Even when he scored twice against the Oakland Raiders to open 2015, Hill managed a meager 3.3 yards per carry. He converted only 10 carries into 39 yards versus the San Diego Chargers, but the turnovers sent him to the bench. Giovani Bernard, who lost the lead role to Hill last year after a sizzling rookie campaign of his own, seized the spotlight with 123 rushing yards on 20 handoffs.
“Gio was carrying the ball, but we can’t have a back fumbling the football, either,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told the Cincinnati Inquirer‘s Shannon Russell. “Jeremy’s a talented young player and we’ve got to keep the football. That wasn’t part of his deal last year, and we can’t let it creep in.”
Perhaps Lewis looks right back to Hill this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens. But despite the potential depth-chart divergence, Hill remains highly priced at $7,300, while Bernard costs $4,700. Baltimore has allowed 3.8 yards per carry through two games, so steer clear of the high-priced starter facing an uncertain role.
Note: All pricing and scoring info obtained via DraftKings.com.
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