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NFL Week 2 Yahoo! $350K Baller Analysis (FREE)

Eric MacPherson



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Greetings, Gamers! We have an excellent opportunity on Yahoo for Week 2, as they are running a $350,000 contest with a $10 entry fee and 39,775 entries. This flagship tournament generally does not fill more than 85-90% in the second week, which provides extra value for gamers. Let’s get into some NFL Yahoo Fantasy Football DFS Picks for Week 2 including Ezekiel Elliott and Lamar Jackson.

Don’t forget to check out the NFL DFS Lineup Construction show with Alex “Awesemo” Baker and Josh Engleman Friday at 11 a.m. ET on the Awesemo YouTube Channel

Yahoo Fantasy Football General Strategy

As with most sites, there are many viable strategies that can be successful in large-field tournaments and of course, we do need the same amount of favor from Lady Luck as we do elsewhere.

The key thing to remember is that this is a half-PPR site, meaning receptions are worth 0.5 points and the minimum salary is $10 with an average salary per player of $22. This week, Lamar Jackson is at the top of the pricing list at $40. The full scoring parameters can be found here.

Please note: Yahoo now offers CSV upload as well as editing capabilities. The latter was something that was not available until recently. Be sure to become familiar with the steps involved in this process so you are savvy with how it all works when faced with a time crunch.

Awesemo NFL Rankings

One of the most useful features of the premium content is the personal player rankings from Alex Baker, aka Awesemo, for all of the main sports. The players grade out separately for each DFS site with ratings for both “projected points” and “value” receiving an A through E report card-style grade.

As a sneak preview, for this article I will be sharing the grades Full Rankings (Premium Content)


If you have played football on Yahoo, or if you played Yahoo fantasy baseball, you know that the strategy is to look for the cheapest quarterback or pitcher that is tolerable so you can look for more secure points and upside elsewhere. In the recommendations below, I will be highlighting several discount options at the other positions so you can build a framework that will allow lineup construction for a top-shelf quarterback along with his favorite target and still have enough salary cap to run it back with the top option on the opposing team.

Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans  – $40 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C

It is going to be almost impossible to ignore Jackson this season if he stays below $42 each week. Essentially he is matchup-proof, and if the game is close, then he will have the opportunity keep rolling up the fantasy points. With Houston capable of moving the ball, there is a chance they can keep this game within a score or two despite being nearly touchdown underdogs. Jackson is a phenomenal building block each week if you are playing a handful of lineups. This year Marquise Brown – $20 is healthy, and we saw that Mark Andrews – $25 is going to be heavily involved in the offense with neutral to negative game flow. The somewhat prohibitive price of this trio means it is unlikely that many gamers will be playing all three in tournaments this week.

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Kyler Murray – Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington Football Team – $33 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value B

You will notice a trend for this Yahoo-centric article where we will be focusing on quarterbacks who have rushing upside. This worked out with two of our three recommendations last week with Jackson and Russell Wilson doing excellent work, but the Tyrod Taylor recommendation was a complete whiff. I know this all too well as he was my cash game quarterback. Murray is perfectly suited to lean on his receivers as well as run the ball when the opportunity presents itself. Last week he had 13 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown on the ground against the vaunted 49ers defense. In his last seven games, he has topped 40 yards four times and scored three touchdowns. Murray is a fine solo play in all formats, and we can pair him with DeAndre Hopkins – $31, which projects as a combo that will be rostered by less than 5% of the tournament field.

Cam Newton – New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks – $29 Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value B

Currently we are projecting less than 3% of the field to be on Newton, who plays in the Sunday Night Football matchup on the road in Seattle. Assuming there are no issues with air quality from the forest fires in Central and Eastern Washington, this is a nice spot to look to the 2015 MVP. It is clear that coach Bill Belichick has plans to allow the former Panther standout the opportunity to make plays with his legs. While Newton only had 155 passing yards against Miami, he had 75 rushing yards on a whopping 15 attempts with two touchdowns. This is no longer the Legion of Boom defense, and there will be no raucous crowd attending in person to cheer on the home team.

Editor’s Note

Awesemo’s Player Prop Stat Projections are predicting Cam Newton to have a few more passing yards than his Vegas totals suggest. There is some variation in the lines across sportsbooks, so use OddShopper to take advantage of this possible money-making player prop.

Check out today's FREE DFS tool of the day

*Betting odds as of Friday, Sept. 18 at 5:30 EST

Running Back

We want to keep in mind that while running backs are very important, Yahoo fantasy uses half-PPR, which will not penalize running backs that are not as active in the passing game.

Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C

Week 1 was a well-rounded performance for Elliott, who scored on the ground and through the air. It is clear that the Cowboys will continue to lean on their franchise player under new coach Mike McCarthy.

Player Snaps Snap % Rush Att Rushing Routes Trgts Receiving
Ezekiel Elliott 63 87.5 22 22/96/1 21 4 3/31/1
Tony Pollard 10 13.9 2 2/10/0 8 3 2/22/0

The matchup against the Falcons is a juicy one, as they will be slinging the rock from the jump. Dallas is just 4.5 home favorites and the game has a 54.0 over/under which is one of the highest on the slate. There should be plenty of fantasy goodness to go around.

Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value B 

Marlon Mack has been lost for the season with a torn Achilles. That moves second-round rookie Taylor into a featured role. While he will still be sharing time with veteran Nyheim Hines, keep in mind that Taylor is sixth on the all-time NCAA rushing list after playing just three seasons at Wisconsin.  It is very encouraging to see that Taylor hauled in all six of his targets, which bodes well for his involvement in high-leverage situations.

Player Snaps Snap % Rush Att Rushing Routes Trgts Receiving
Marlon Mack 11 87.5 4 4/26/0 7 3 3/30/0
Nyheim Hines 39 13.9 2 7/28/0 26 8 8/45/1
Jonathan Taylor 26 35.1 9 9/22/0 11 6 6/67/0
Jordan Wilkins 1 1.4 0 0 1 0 0/0/0

Also, in a bit of a twist, Indianapolis is actually a -3.0 home favorite per OddsShopper by Awesemo.

Hines is also in play at just $14. However, his fantasy upside increases on full-PPR sites.

Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers – $17 Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value A

In the event that Phillip Lindsay has to sit this one out with his turf toe, Gordon becomes an intriguing value play. Last year Pittsburgh led the league in sacks, takeaways and generally had the best all-around DVOA in various situations. However, if Lindsay is on the shelf, then it would seem that the former Charger’s bell cow would be in line for around 20 touches. Even against a fierce defense, that dollar-per-opportunity ratio is very solid.

Wide Receiver

More often than not, we should be able to find several nice options in the middle tier. The top-shelf Yahoo fantasy options are typically priced in the mid-$30 range. Often, they are best paired with their quarterbacks for tournament upside rather than risking downside as solo plays.

In addition to the players highlighted above with their quarterbacks, we can look to:

Michael Gallup – Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons – $19 Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value B

With Amari Cooper – $22 dealing with a sore hamstring, we have to like Gallup in this matchup with the porous Atlanta pass defense. Tight end Blake Jarwin has been lost for the season with what is believed to be a torn ACL. That leaves the less-than-inspiring duo of Dalton Schultz and Blake Bell manning that position.

This should consolidate even more of the opportunities to the talented trio of receivers on Dallas.

Player Snaps Snap % Trgts Trgt Share % Receiving
Amari Cooper 68 94.4 14 37.8 10/81/0
CeeDee Lamb 59 81.9 6 16.2 5/59/0
Michael Gallup 69 95.8 5 13.5 3/50/0
Noah Brown 3 4.2 0 0 0/0/0
Cedrick Wilson 3 4.2 0 0 0/0/0

Do not be shy about adding rookie CeeDee Lamb – $17 to your short list of receiver options. As of Friday morning we are projecting him to be in the 6-8% range for tournaments. Cooper (30-35%) assuming full health and Gallup (20-25%) will be far more popular.

Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles – $21 Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value C

Woods hooked us up last week, and I am still comfortable recommending him as a core play even with the $5 price bump. He along with teammate Cooper Kupp – $24 saw heavy volume in the Rams passing game, which of course is no surprise. On tap is a matchup with the Eagles, who are still struggling to field a competent secondary.

Player Snaps Snap % Trgts Trgt Share % Receiving
Robert Woods 61 83.6 6 28.6 6/105/0
Cooper Kupp 62 84.9 5 17.9 4/40/0
Van Jefferson 33 45.2 3 10.7 1/31/0
Josh Reynolds 37 50.7 1 3.6 1/17/0

Do not be turned off by the less-than-thrilling game logs posted by the Rams receiving corps. They were able to control the ball and the clock (35:38) with 153 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in a 20-17 victory over the Cowboys. On the road they may not have the luxury of playing with the lead for 56-ish minutes.

Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions – $37 Awesemo Grade: Points D, Value A

This high-level price tag is going to keep the masses at bay, as we are projecting the former Fresno State stalwart to be on about 10-15% of all tournament lineups. Last week was a masterpiece with 17 targets for 14 catches, 156 yards and two touchdowns on his way to 34.6 Yahoo points. Awesemo is currently projecting half of that production, but we know that there is absolutely attainable upside.

Tight Ends

If you have the salary cap, feel free to target premiere options such as Travis Kelce – $28 and Mark Andrews – $25. Otherwise this is usually a good position on Yahoo to find some savings.

Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs – $18 Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value D

While the grades are not great, the matchup against Kansas City certainly is from a game flow perspective. Last week Henry was second on the team with eight targets, which was tied with wide receiver Keenan Allen and one fewer than Mike WilliamsThe Chargers are currently 8.5-point underdogs at home according to OddsShopper by Awesemo.

Logan Thomas – Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals – $13 Awesemo Grade: Points D, Value D

While this seems to be chasing points, we know that the Cardinals historically have struggled against tight ends. This play is not for the faint of heart, but there is some tournament differentiation value as Awesemo is currently projecting Thomas to be on less than 3% of all rosters.

Defense/Special Teams

There are several good matchups this week for Yahoo fantasy where we can get some bang for our buck.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington Football Team – $11 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value A

Currently the Cardinals are just over a touchdown favorite at home against the Washington Football Team. Last week Arizona had an excellent showing in San Francisco, coming away with a 24-20 victory. They did a good job of keeping Jimmy Garoppolo in check holding him to 259 yards and sacking him three times. Last season Washington allowed at least three sack in 11 games, and Philadelphia got to Dwayne Haskins three times last week. It is hard to envision Washington not being down by a score or two for most of this game.

San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets – $21 Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value E

While I am not a fan of spending up on defense for most of my Yahoo squads, the 49ers will be facing a watered-down Jets squad without Le’Veon Bell. New York tightened things up down the stretch, but they still had half a dozen games where they allowed at least four sacks. They also had multiple turnovers in five games.

As always, you can reach out to me in Premium Slack or Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.

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Looking for more NFL DFS picks content? We’ve got loads of articles, data, cheatsheets and more on the Awesemo NFL home page, just click HERE.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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