The first week of the season is in the books. There is a lot we can learn from the first week of games, but we shouldn’t overreact just yet. One of the biggest mistakes that people make in weekly fantasy football is to react after a single week of play. You wouldn’t overreact if LeBron James didn’t play well in his first game of the season, would you? How about if Clayton Kershaw had a bad outing to start the year? I didn’t think so. We have to keep in mind that one game is still an extremely small sample size. This week’s article will focus on players that are expected to have opportunity to succeed on FanDuel in Week 2, rather than players that had good or bad outings in Week 1.
Cash Game Targets:
Antonio Brown: $9,200 (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
Brown has the highest floor of any receiver in the NFL. Many will flock to Julio Jones after his big Monday night performance against the Eagles, but I’ll take the consistency of Brown for my top wideout. He is guaranteed to get at least five catches for 50 yards because he has done just that game after game after game. He gets his touches on screens, short routes, and the occasional deep ball, which gives him both a high ceiling and a high floor. The Niners may have looked good defensively in their opener, but that had more to do with the ineffectiveness of the Vikings’ offense than anything else. Brown is a high volume receiver that makes a great cash game play this week.
Jordan Matthews: $7,000 (vs. Dallas Cowboys)
Speaking of high-volume receivers, Matthews is poised for a monster season with the Eagles. With Jeremy Maclin in Kansas City, Matthews should lead the team in targets. He played well in the season opener against the Falcons, catching ten of his 13 targets for 103 yards. While the Cowboys do like to control the clock with their running game, the Eagles are the quickest-paced offense in the NFL. The Eagles also have the highest team total on the NFL odds board of any team this week, so we shouldn’t be concerned with the Cowboys dominating the time of possession.
Terrance Williams: $6,300 (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
Dez Bryant is out for the foreseeable future, which means Williams is going to see an increase in both snaps and targets for the next few weeks. He has a knack of letting us down in these types of situations, but it’s hard to pass up the lethal combination of matchup and opportunity that he has this week against the Eagles. Even with the addition of Byron Maxwell, the Falcons torched the Eagles’ secondary in Week 1. Given his increased opportunity and the fact that this game is expected to be a shootout, Williams is a strong play in all league formats.
Odell Beckham Jr.: $8,700 (vs. Atlanta Falcons)
OBJ – Odell Beckham Jr. – was quiet in the Giants’ Week 1 loss to the Cowboys, but that was a strange game in which the Cowboys almost gave it away, which left the Giants in a position to try to run down the clock offensively. I wouldn’t put too much stock into that performance though, as the Giants will be forced to air it out against the Falcons in Week 2. We all know the type of upside that OBJ offers, and with Victor Cruz still out, he should see in the range of 10-12 targets. He is a great tournament option this week, as his ownership percentage will be lower than it should be.
DeAndre Hopkins: $8,100 (vs. Carolina Panthers)
The Texans’ offense may not inspire a ton of confidence at this point, but regardless of whom they have at quarterback, their game plan is to get Hopkins as many touches as possible. Alfred Blue has looked awful – this and last season – and until Arian Foster comes back, Hopkins will remain their best offensive weapon. The Texans force-fed Hopkins the ball in Week 1 against a tough Chiefs’ defense and he responded nicely, grabbing nine catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Hopkins should get overlooked again this week, as the low team total will scare the masses away from him, even in tournaments.
Larry Fitzgerald: $5,900 (vs. Chicago Bears)
Fitzgerald is as much of a cash game play as he is a tournament play, but I have him listed down here because his ownership level is going to be low, which is always an attractive quality of players in tournaments. Fitzgerald played on 93.5% of the Cardinals’ snaps in Week 1, catching six passes for 87 yards. Fitzgerald has a dream matchup this week against the Bears, who have been historically bad on defense over the last few seasons. Don’t sleep on Bruce Arians and the Cardinals this week.
Cash Game Targets:
Jimmy Graham: $7,100 (vs. Green Bay Packers)
Graham got off to a slow start against the Rams, but the Seahawks were so far behind that they were forced to air it out for most of the second half. Graham ended up with six receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. While it’s tough to fade Rob Gronkowski at this point, I’d rather not pay over $8,000 for a tight end that is facing arguably the best defense in the NFL. Take the discount with Graham, as the Seahawks will likely be forced to air it out again in Week 2 against the Packers.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins: $4,500 (vs. New Orleans Saints)
ASJ was one of my favorite sleepers last week and it’s hard not to like him again in Week 2. The Buccaneers’ passing game has the expected game script in their favor, as they are huge underdogs against the Saints. That means they will be playing from behind and that also means that there should be potential to score a lot of fantasy points in garbage time, which are worth the same as fantasy points in close games. At $4,500, he will be one of the most popular tight ends this week for cash games.
Greg Olsen: $6,000 (vs. Houston Texans)
Olsen was arguably the biggest bust of Week 1. While he did have a touchdown called back, no one could have predicted him to end up with one reception for 11 yards against the Jaguars. The good news is that everyone that had any shares of him last week is going to be mad and completely avoid him this week. Recency bias plays a huge role in weekly fantasy football and it allows us to take advantage of low ownership each and every week. Olsen is going to lead the Panthers in targets this season and we should put little to no stock into his Week 1 blunder.
Heath Miller: $5,400 (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
The Steelers will once again be without Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant this week, both of whom are huge parts of the passing game. Miller played on 100% of the Steelers’ snaps in Week 1, catching eight of his 11 targets for 89 yards. That’s not a bad day at the office. Look for Ben Roethlisberger to lean on his trusted targets in the red zone – Miller and Brown – this week against the Niners, whose defense is not nearly as good as they appeared to be on Monday night.