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From the Slot: FREE Week 2 Grades and Values from Awesemo’s Rankings

Nolan Kelly



NFL DFS Yahoo daily fantasy picks NFL yahoo DFS picks Week 8 daily fantasy football free expert projections rankings rostership ownership advice tips strategy Travis Kelce Lamar Jackson top stacks optimal lineup optimizer PPR

Week 2 NFL DFS is here and that means it’s time for some FREE NFL DFS Picks from Awesemo’s premium values and rankings, including Travis Kelce up against the Oakland Raiders.

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Check out our FULL NFL Content schedule this season, right HERE. We’ve got loads of new NFL DFS shows and columns this season, including:

  • Sal Vetri and Manny Lora are joining Loughy and a few others on the NFL Strategy Show at 11 ET from Tuesday to Saturday.
  • Adam Pfiefer joins us from RotoCurve to provide a MASSIVE matchups breakdown of every game on the Sunday Slate as well as a key injury report on Fridays.
  • Chris Spags is releasing four weekly videos previewing some of Awesemo’s favorite plays.

And much more!

On Today’s NFL Strategy Show, Chris Spags and Dave Loughran discuss Awesemo’s NFL DFS Ownership Projections

NFL DFS Quarterbacks

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

All sites: Grades: A, Values: A

Recency bias aside, Lamar Jackson is in a prime spot this week at home to the Cardinals, with the second highest implied total on the slate (30.25 points). Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals lived up the hype in week one, running the fasted offence in the league (22 seconds per play). That’s going to mean extra snaps for the Ravens offence, who showed few signs of letting up on the lowly Dolphins last week. It’s difficult to figure out who to pair Jackson up with in this offence in Stacks.

Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown led the team in receiving yards in Week 1, but he did that on just 18 snaps. Mark Andrews is your safe option with Red Zone upside. He’s been Jackson’s favorite target early on in his career and led the team in Week 1 with eight targets. Of course, you could always just play Jackson solo and hope that his legs do most of the work. Down the stretch last year he averaged 90 yards rushing and just under one TD per game.

NFL DFS Wide Receivers

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

DraftKings and FantasyDraft: Grades: B, Values: B

Yahoo and FanDuel: Grades: B, Values: C

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Another high-total game features the usual trio of pass-catching options from the Los Angeles Rams. Early on, it looks as if Brandin Cooks is going to get twice the ownership of his fellow teammates. Before Kupp went out last season in Week 6, he was the WR2 in the NFL, two fantasy points behind Adam Thielen.

Kupp gets a lot of run in the slot, and that means a matchup with Saints CB PJ Williams, who was bottom-five in the NFL in the slot last year in both Passer Rating Allowed and Yards Per Coverage Snap. Williams gave up 40 yards and a TD in Week 1 on four targets.  Really, you can pick on any one these Saints CBs in a 52 point totaled game, stacking with Jared Goff at QB. All three Saints starting cornerbacks finished in the bottom-15 in Yards Per Coverage Snap last year. Don’t be afraid to go Goff and all three in a full-game stack: in Week 4 last season all three went over 100 yards.

NFL DFS Running Backs

Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders

All sites: Grades: B, Values: A

This is a tricky one, because the game script here definitely doesn’t favour the 7.5 point home dog Raiders who host the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend. But that’s really the only negative. Jacobs is underpriced this week because the salaries came out before his Monday night two-touchdown performance. The Chiefs allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs last season on every major site (30.9 per game on DraftKings), including 92-894-6 receiving. Though our rankings are similar on all sites, I like Jacobs a touch more on .5 PPR sites, given that he only saw one target out of the backfield last week against the Broncos. Of course the flip side to that argument is, we only have a one game sample size and the Chiefs defence is a very different opponent than the Broncos and he may very well end up involved in the passing game.

NFL DFS Tight Ends

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

DraftKings and Fantasy Draft: Grades: A, Values: A

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Yahoo and FanDuel: Grades: A, Values: B

Let’s not overthink this one. Tyreek Hill is out, and the Oakland Raiders were very bad at defending the tight end position in 2018, ranking dead last in the NFL in DVOA. It looks as if the Raiders will put some combination of Vontaze Burfict and Nicholas Morrow in coverage on Kelce. In week one the two combined to allowed 5 of 6 completions for 44 yards. Kelce went HAM against the Raiders in Week 13 last year, with a 12-168-2 line. They played again in Week 17, where Kelce duded (5-62) but the Chiefs went up early and likely weren’t going to push the envelope with the division all but clinched and the playoffs starting.

If you want to get creative in game stacks, pair him up with opposing TE Darren Waller (TE in the FLEX is a favorite Awesemo move in GPPs). He’s near the bare min on every site – mainly because the pricing came out early.

NFL DFS Game Stacks

Chalk Stack

With the highest total on the slate, the Chiefs at Raiders game isn’t going to fly under the radar. However, I think there are ways to get creative when stacking this one. The aforementioned Waller and Josh Jacobs are cheap and two of the best values on the slate. Top Raiders WR Tyrell Williams is a fine play on DraftKings (C,B) as well. He’s better value there other sites but is still playable everywhere. If you’re game stacking, try some unique combinations on the Kansas City side. Second around speedster Mecole Hardman is a GPP Boom or Bust option and Damien Williams might be contrarian, especially Mahomes stacks. He had the third most targets on the Chiefs in Week 1 (6).

Unfortunately, we’re at a point now in DFS where stacking Carr and the Raiders as part of a game stack isn’t going to catch anyone by surprises, so use ownership projections to your advantage and try to find some pivots. On the Chiefs side, we have Patrick Mahomes projected at as the highest owned QB on the slate. Our ownership is also extremely low on Sammy Watkins right now, but we expect that to change by week’s end, despite the uptick in price.

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Contrarian Stack

The Houston Texans are flying under the radar this week. Deshaun Watson (Grades: A, Values: A) projects for under 5% ownership up against a Jags team who were torched by the Chiefs last weekend. The Jags are having slot cornerback issues. Aaron Colvin was just cut. All three of the core Texans WRs rotated in and out of the slot last week – which mean’s they’ll get a break from the elite Jaguars perimeter cornerbacks. The Texans have the fifth highest total on the slate and will see reduced ownership across the board, based on the perception that the Jaguars defence will be able to stop them. I’d expect that come Saturday, Awesemo’s Top Stacks tool vs. ownership will have the Texans as a GPP edge play. We’ll have to wait and find out.

I've been obsessed with fantasy sports since as long as I can remember. Back in 1993, while seated in the last row of Mr. MacMillan's math class, I'm fairly certain a few buddies of mine and I invented daily fantasy sports -- popping down our fivers and using nothing more than a newspaper box score, we'd make our NHL player picks for the night's action. Twenty years later I started out playing DFS on DraftStreet, when three-max tourneys with 490 people were a big deal, and I've been hooked ever since. More than anything, I'm interested in using my technical writing skills to articulate and clarify our content in order to help you become a better fantasy sports players player. Armed with Awesemo's grades and the projections from our experts, we're here to help you take the next step. You can contact me by emailing [email protected].

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