Welcome to Week 2 of the NFL season. Some of the big injury news to keep an eye on this week includes George Kittle (knee), who likely won’t practice much and looks likely to be labeled as questionable for next Sunday. Miles Sanders looks on track to make his debut Week 2 after sitting out Week 1, which would be a huge boost to the Eagles. James Conner didn’t practice early this week and looks very questionable to even get in a limited practice. His absence would open the door for Benny Snell to start Week 2.
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NFL DFS PICKS Week 1
QB Kyler Murray: Grades: A, Values: A
Murray rewarded those who took a shot on the him in a tough matchup — at low ownership — last week with a superb game that saw him rush for 90 yards and score once each in the air and on the ground. Despite the big outing, his DraftKings price this week hasn’t risen, so you can guess why he rates out as one of the top plays at quarterback in the Awesemo model this week. Murray is projected with the third-best output from a pure points perspective for Week 2, but actually rates out with the best value score of any quarterback. The decrease in price is certainly one factor, but the matchup against the Washington Football Team is another. Washington’s strong pass rush will be mitigated eventually by a weaker secondary, and Murray’s mobility here will liken dampen their effectiveness. From a pace perspective, both of these teams ranked inside the top eight in pace of play for Week 1, making Murray’s upside look solid again for Week 2.
Projected NFL DFS ownership: DraftKings: 15.2%
RB Jonathan Taylor: Grades: B, Values: A
Taylor benefited from the Marlon Mack (Achilles) injury in Week 1. The rookie saw 15 touches in his debut and impressed as a receiver, catching six passes from running back target guru Philip Rivers for 67 yards. Taylor’s price didn’t budge much from Week 1, and with the push in workload he should get with Mack now out for the season, Taylor definitely grades out well on the site’s projections. He ha the second-best value rating at his position this week on DraftKings and second-best point projection of any running back under $6,000 in salary. Taylor’s upside is going to come from both workload and who he’s working with, as Rivers has really favored throwing to the running back position later in his career — he targeted Indianapolis running backs on 17 of his 46 throws in Week 1. Minnesota actually allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to the running back position last year too, so even the matchup is a plus here for the moderately priced Taylor.
Projected NFL DFS ownership: DraftKings: 16.9%
Using Awesemo’s Premium projected stats breakdown’s there’s an excellent betting value on Colts RB Jonathan Taylor. Awesemo has him projected for 83.12 rushing yards this week, but the sports books have him pegged between 56.5 and 60.5 yards. This is a great opportunity to bet the over, using the OddShopper tool, which allows you to shop for the best odds on player props, money lines, point spreads and much, much more.
*Odds as of Friday, September 18th, 4:30 PM ET
WR Davante Adams: Grades: A, Values: B
Adams had a monster Week 1, seeing an insane 17 targets, which he turned into 14 catches and two touchdowns. The Green Bay WR1 was expected to contend for the lead in overall targets this year, but even this Week 1 usage exceeded expectations. The price jump on Adams may look slightly off-putting, but context is everything. He’s still well under what Michael Thomas’ price was last week on the site and is now filling in a similar (and perhaps even better) role in the Green Bay offense. From a pure points projection, Adams rates out as the highest play at his position by nearly a point and will be going up against a banged-up Detroit secondary that missed Jeff Okudah Week 1 and could be without Desmond Trufant Week 2. The bottom line here is that you should keep paying Adams until his target levels change significantly or his price rises to its correct point.
Projected NFL DFS ownership: DraftKings: 14.8%
TE Tyler Higbee: Grades: B, Values: B
Higbee had a slow Week 1, catching just three passes for 40 yards against the Cowboys. Game flow was a factor in keeping Higbee down last week, but his projection on Awesemo remains solid for Week 2. As a value, he grades out as the best at his position on the site’s model. While there are other options at or around his price range to consider — Logan Thomas also rates out well—Higbee’s upside could get a significant boost this week if Gerald Everett ends up missing the game. Everett looks likely to suit up here, but the injury issues are already a concern for a player who has had trouble sticking as an every-down player. Higbee’s a solid upside play here regardless and someone whose ownership isn’t likely to get out of control considering the multitude of cheap options at his position.
Projected NFL DFS ownership: DraftKings: 11.1%
Contrarian Stack: Texans
Last week we saw the power a rushing quarterback possesses when the low-owned Kyler Murray went off against one of the best defenses from 2019 in the 49ers. We have a very similar situation shaping up in Houston this week as Deshaun Watson ($6,400) looks set to be well under 5% owned against the scary Ravens. Watson was saved by a garbage-time rushing touchdown last week, and that type of scenario could easily play out again here as the Texans defenses doesn’t expect to be much competition for Baltimore’s offense. Pairing Watson with David Johnson ($5,800) and Will Fuller ($6,300) here makes a ton of sense given the usage of each last week. Fuller led the Texans in targets, while Johnson should see a bigger workload in Week 2 given the questionable status of Duke Johnson. The Ravens also gave up 137 yards rushing last week to the Browns, so there’s every shot that Johnson, and potentially Watson, could find some success in that area.
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