Greetings, Gamers! We have an excellent opportunity on Yahoo fantasy football for Week 2, as they are running a $1,000,000 contest with a $15 entry fee and 66,667 entries and ZERO management fee. Generally, this flagship daily fantasy tournament does not fill more than 80-85% in the second week, which provides extra value for gamers. Let’s get into some Yahoo Daily Fantasy Picks for NFL Week 2, including Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, Kenyan Drake and more!
Yahoo Daily Fantasy General Strategy & Picks
As with most sites, many viable strategies can be successful in large-field tournaments, and of course, we need the same amount of favor from Lady Luck as we do elsewhere.
The critical 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, Tom Brady is at the top of the pricing list at $41. The complete 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.
Don’t forget to check out this week’s NFL DFS On the Contrary show with Alex Baker, Dave “Loughy” Loughran and guest Brian “Bric75” Hooper on the Awesemo YouTube Channel.
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Picks Using Awesemo’s Expert NFL Rankings
One of the most valuable features of the Awesemo.com 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 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.
Kyler Murray – Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings $37
Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value B
Kyler Murray did not take long to remind everyone what a complete quarterback he is when healthy. Murray led the Cardinals over the Titans in a 38-13 laugher. He accounted for five touchdowns going 21 for 32 for 289 passing with four aerial scores and rushing five times for 20 yards and another end-zone trip. Minnesota is the Week 2 opponent in Arizona’s home opener. The Vikings’ defense suddenly looks suspect with a middle-of-the-pack passing DVOA and a bottom five rushing DVOA. The third-year signal-caller is a solid solo option or paired with DeAndre Hopkins – $35.
Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks vs. Tennessee Titans – $35
Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value B
After getting worked over last Sunday by Murray at home, going on the road to face a loud partisan Seattle crowd is not going to be any easier. Russell Wilson already looks like he is in mid-season form, leading his team to a road victory against the Colts in Indianapolis. The Seahawks controlled the game on both sides allowing Wilson to throw four touchdowns on an efficient 23 passes completing 18 for 254 yards. Though he didn’t need to run, keep in mind that he is still mobile with 20+ rushing yards in nine of his last 14 games, including the postseason. There should be many points in this game with a 54.0 projected total despite Seattle being favored by nearly a touchdown. Both teams have suspect passing defenses, which should keep the ball moving all day.
Tyrod Taylor – Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns – $21
Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value A
In a twist, Tyrod Taylor led the Texans to upset Jacksonville ruining new head coach Urban Meyer’s NFL debut. This week, the Texans will not sneak up on the Browns, though they do have a puncher’s chance despite being two-touchdown underdogs. Taylor will be facing off against one of his former teams, and we know he can get it done on the ground, but the real question will be, can he get any help from his running backs. This group of castoffs includes Mark Ingram II, Phillip Lindsay and Rex Burkhead as the newcomers and David Johnson as the experienced incumbent. Houston will try and run the ball to keep the clock moving, but if the retread running backs cannot find success, things will fall back on Taylor. Even though the Texans do not have any above-average pass-catchers besides Brandin Cooks, we could see upwards of 35 passing attempts, which would bode well for Taylor’s fantasy prospects at his bargain salary.
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.
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers – $38
Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value D
The volume was there for Alvin Kamara with20 carries, though he saw only four targets as New Orleans rolled over Green Bay 38-3, and the game wasn’t even that close. Carolina does not have a stout defense shaping up to be in the bottom third of the league from a rushing and passing DVOA perspective. Jameis Winston will not throw for five scores every week, but it is nice to see that he could make do without Michael Thomas, which should help keep the rushing lanes open for Kamara.
Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks vs. Tennessee Titans – $24
Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value B
Though Nick Chubb – $34 projects out for more fantasy points, the $10 discount we get for Chris Carson is just too good to pass up. Carson saw 16 of the 19 running back carries, and now, with Rashaad Penny dinged up, it is just DeeJay Dallas as his only backup of note. Last weekend, Tennessee allowed Chase Edmonds and James Conner to top 50+ rushing yards, and Carson is far more talented than that duo. He should also be active in the passing game, which gives him additional opportunities. If Carson had found the end zone last week, he would be on the collective fantasy radar. Instead, he is getting lost in the shuffle.
Kenyan Drake – Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers – $15
Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value B
Josh Jacobs is out of action this week while dealing with toe and ankle issues which is not a surprise considering how he looked on Monday Night Football. Coach Jon Gruden specifically targeted journeyman Kenyan Drake in free agency, and despite Gruden talking up Peyton Barber in his late-week press conference, Drake is the more talented back. The matchup against the Steelers is not great, but seeing 8-10 carries going to Barber, there should be plenty of check downs from Derek Carr to keep the fantasy points ticking upwards for Drake.
More often than not, we should be able to find several excellent 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:
Chris Godwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons – $28
Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C
While we know that Tom Brady is not afraid to take what the defense gives him rather than force things, the 14 targets that went to Chris Godwin are a good sign of exactly which receiver is the current favorite. Antonio Brown – $26 looked great with seven targets for 5/121/1, Mike Evans – $27 is always a game-breaker, and Rob Gronkowski – $24 is the true love in the red zone, but the volume looks like it is going to be going Godwin’s way for now. The lack of a rushing game should keep the Buccaneers throwing even if they are in the lead, which is a bonus.
Stefon Diggs – Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins – $32
Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value D
Though we are paying top dollar to roll with Stefon Diggs, he picked up right where he left off last season with 13 targets in the opener. Being the lead option in a pass-happy offense should keep him on the shortlist of top receivers every week this season. After his breakout campaign last year, it seems like anything less than 100+ yards and a score will be a disappointment. Those are lofty expectations to live up to, but Diggs is clearly in the right situation to repeat his newfound production level.
DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills – $14
Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value A
Though he is eligible to return from his suspension, Will Fuller is away from the team for personal reasons. That means that DeVante Parker and rookie Jaylen Waddle – $17 will be the leading options in the passing game. Buffalo has a decent pass defense, though the consolidated options mean that the targets should be concentrated again this week, with Parker looking like a steal at his unchanged salary.
This week, we have tremendous options for the tight end position in the middle of the salary sheet.
Darren Waller – Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers – $22
Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C
The matchup is tough, but coming off a whopping 19 targets in Week 1 is an excellent look for Darren Waller. Though we should not expect anywhere near that level of opportunity on the regular, he now has double-digit targets in five of his last six games. He also has surpassed 100+ receiving yards five times in this stretch, along with five touchdowns and a two-point conversion.
Noah Fant – Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars – $18
Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value D
Jerry Jeudy is out with a sprained ankle, and Courtland Sutton is still working his way back from last season’s knee injury. That leaves Tim Patrick and K.J. Hamler as the other receiving options for Teddy Bridgewater. In the season opener, Noah Fant was solid, getting eight targets for 6/62/0. Even with the revolving quarterback situation in Denver, Fant has been one of the leading options in the passing game. In his last 16 games, Fant has had fewer than five targets only once, and the only thing holding him back from fantasy relevance was the paltry three touchdowns in this stretch. Positive regression should be coming his way as his career targets, receptions, and yardage indicate he should have closer to double the six touchdowns he has to his credit.
This week, there are a couple of exciting bargain options.
Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints – $12
Awesemo Grade: Points D, Value D
One important thing to keep in mind is that the Yahoo fantasy scoring does not favor defenses, and in most cases, we either get an obvious discounted option while the “best” defense is too expensive for their potential return and for the randomness of return touchdowns which upsets the apple cart every week. Last week the Panthers got to the Jets for six sacks and an interception. While Winston looked great last week, we know he takes too many downfield chances and too many sacks. That puts the Panthers as an interesting option despite their poor grades.
Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears – $10
Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value C
The Bengals defense is b-a-d BAD! However, they are at the Yahoo minimum salary, and they benefit from having an offense that should put points on the board. They are slight road favorites heading into Chicago. If the Bears are forced to pass to keep up with Cincinnati, that means an uninspiring Andy Dalton or an inexperienced Justin Fields will be under a magnifying glass. The Yahoo salaries and scoring system only punishes teams for the first two touchdowns allowed, and even ceding 28-34 points is only a negative one. If you can build the otherwise perfect lineup but need a discounted defense, look to Cincinnati.
You can always reach out to me in Awesemo.com Premium Slack or Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.
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