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Weekly Surprises

Week 2 Sleepers

by Nick Mensio
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Fantasy football is all about finding value and targeting players in potentially high-scoring matchups. All of the players below -- aside from Terrance West -- will be involved in games with over-unders set at 49 points or higher, per Bovada. Especially in daily fantasy, we have to hit on a couple cheap plays in addition to our studs if we want to win the prize. At quarterback, anything below $8,000 would be considered a value on FanDuel. At the other skill positions, I've set the line at $6,000. Reminder: $4,500 is the minimum salary on FanDuel. Let's get to it.

QB Andy Dalton vs. Falcons ($7800): Dalton uncorked 38 passes last week against the Ravens and averaged a healthy 7.9 YPA. The Bengals were not expected to be so pass-happy under new OC Hue Jackson, and we ultimately expect them to become more balanced. But Dalton has an extremely favorable matchup at home against Atlanta. Dalton was 8-0 at Paul Brown Stadium in 2013 and averaged 7.76 YPA with a 98.3 passer rating. The Falcons surrendered 333 yards through the air to Drew Brees in Week 1. This is going to be a defense to target all season. Dalton has QB1 potential this week in a potential shootout.

QB Jake Locker vs. Cowboys ($7400): Locker might be my favorite QB play of the week. I personally scooped him off the waiver wire in one league and am starting him over Jay Cutler. The Cowboys field a barely-there defense. Some will say, "They held Colin Kaepernick to 201 yards in Week 1." Those are called box-score readers. San Francisco's offense didn't have to do anything because Tony Romo and the Cowboys were turning the ball over at will. Locker has a rocket arm and has played surprisingly well over his past eight games. He's a big-time value play in a dream matchup at home.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $250,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 2's games. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday, September 14th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

RB Terrance West vs. Saints ($5300): Ben Tate is out 2-4 weeks with a sprained knee. Enter West, who coach Mike Pettine has already confirmed will start against the Saints. The rookie was one of the more disappointing preseason players, but he was elusive against the Steelers on his way to 100 yards on 16 carries. Fellow rookie Isaiah Crowell will be Tate's change of pace and could steal some goal-line looks, but West is the lead dog in what should be an offense that features its run game. The Saints were 19th against the run in 2013, and surrendered 123 yards on the ground to the Falcons in Week 1. West makes for a solid RB2 play.

RB Shonn Greene vs. Cowboys ($5000): Greene led the Titans backfield with 33 snaps played last week against the Chiefs and finished tied for third in the NFL with his five touches in the red zone. He was Pro Football Focus' top running backs in terms of pure rushing Week 1. Greene now gets the Cowboys' porous run defense. Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde combined to average 5.04 YPC against Dallas. The Titans have a strong offensive line, while Greene is the early-down horse and goal-line back. He's a good bet for a touchdown.

RB Jeremy Hill vs. Falcons ($4900): Hill played just 10 snaps to Giovani Bernard's 57 against the Ravens, but OC Hue Jackson said it was because the Bengals were on the road in a hostile environment and didn't want Hill to make a mistake in his debut. Things will be easier this Sunday. Hill's the big back complement to Bernard and is expected to see an increased role. Saints big backs Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson combined for 88 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries against Atlanta in Week 1. Even if Hill just sees 8-10 carries, he can do some damage. There's touchdown potential here.

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WR Justin Hunter vs. Cowboys ($5700): If Locker is my favorite QB play of the week, Hunter is my favorite overall play. I'm getting him in lineups wherever I can at all costs. Take advantage of Hunter's low cost while you can. Hunter played 52-of-82 offensive snaps in Week 1 and saw a team-high eight targets. It appears three-wide will be the Titans' base offense under coach Ken Whisenhunt. Hunter will see plenty of CB Brandon Carr on Sunday. Carr was torched in Dallas last season and allowed a perfect 158.3 passer rating in his coverage to Colin Kaepernick last week. There's gobs of upside.

WR Riley Cooper at Colts ($5400): Cooper was second only to Jeremy Maclin (10) with his seven targets in Week 1. He didn't do much with them (4-29-0), but the ball is at least coming Cooper's direction. He already showed a strong connection with Nick Foles in 2013. The Monday night tilt between Philadelphia and Indianapolis currently has the highest over-under at 53.5 points. Cooper will likely see plenty of No. 2 CB Greg Toler. I'm simply trying to get Colts and Eagles skill players into my lineups. Cooper comes at a bargain price. He's shown in the past that he can pop off for monster games.

WR Jarrett Boykin vs. Jets ($4900): Boykin didn't see a single target against the Seahawks, as the Packers were content to line Boykin up on Richard Sherman's side the entire game and using him as a sacrificial lamb. That won't happen again. Boykin is an every-down player in the three-wide base and is playing the old James Jones role. He now gets a Jets secondary that is riding high after limiting Derek Carr at the Meadowlands. They're now going on the road to Lambeau. Aaron Rodger and Derek Carr aren't even in the same quarterback stratosphere. Jets top CB Dee Milliner (ankle) may miss again, but even if he does play he's expected to be limited. Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls will be on the outside against Boykin and Jordy Nelson. Boykin's a solid WR3.

WR Mohamed Sanu vs. Falcons ($4700): Sanu was the star of Bengals camp, and is now locked into an every-down role with Marvin Jones (foot) out. He was targeted six times in the opener, and the Bengals have since also lost Tyler Eifert to a dislocated elbow. Sanu has shown in the past he can do some damage in the red zone. As the Bengals' slot receiver in three-wide sets, he'll see a ton of Falcons slot CB Robert McClain. McClain was brutal in 2013 and allowed catches to six different Saints receivers last Sunday. I like Sanu as a dirt-cheap FanDuel play who will allow you to load up at other positions.

TE Delanie Walker vs. Cowboys ($5000): What do ya know? Another Titan makes the list. Walker isn't going to be making starting fantasy lineups most weeks as the fourth option in the Titans' passing attack, but this is a week to consider him. Vernon Davis secured two easy touchdowns in the opener against Dallas. Walker plays an every-down role and might not have to block much this week. The Titans have a strong offensive line, while the Cowboys are weak up front on defense. Walker could see 5-7 targets and sniff the end zone. He's a streaming option.

TE Dwayne Allen vs. Eagles ($4800): The Colts have always seemed to favor Coby Fleener over Allen in the passing game, but it remains clear who the better player is, and it's Allen. Fleener drew eight targets in the opener, catching just three of them for 21 yards. Allen reeled in four of his five targets for 64 yards and a score, while also leading the team with his two red-zone looks. Allen is an all-around tight end, who is probably a better real-life player than fantasy player at this point. We just need the coaching staff to unleash him. Though the Eagles allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends in 2013, they surrendered the eighth-most yards. Jaguars tight ends caught six balls against them last week. I like Allen to see a couple of red-zone looks in this likely shootout.

TE Travis Kelce at Broncos ($4600): Kelce played just 18 snaps in the opener, but still cashed in three of his five targets for 49 yards. Coach Andy Reid said Monday that Kelce is capable of playing a bigger role. While I'm not ready to plug Kelce into re-draft lineups, I like him as a GPP daily play in that he could blow up. The Kansas City-Denver over-under is set at 51.5. The Chiefs are going to have to score points to keep up with Peyton Manning. Kelce is an infinitely better playmaker than Anthony Fasano. Kelce has the skill set to play off the line and stretch the seam. He's an extremely cheap FanDuel option who would allow you to load up the rest of your lineup.

Favorite kicker: Eagles K Cody Parkey at Colts ($4900).

Favorite defense: Bucs vs. Rams ($4900).

Nick Mensio

Nick Mensio has been covering the NFL for NBC Sports Edge since 2012. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.