Week 1 in the NFL provided a nice little advertisement for daily fantasy football.
Fantasy owners everywhere lamented last Sunday when All-Pro running back David Johnson and stud wide receiver Allen Robinson went down with significant injuries, and we don’t blame them: Johnson was a consensus No. 1 pick in many leagues, while Robinson often went in the top three rounds.
Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with any of that in daily fantasy sports: Just pick the best players every week and let it roll. So, who’s the cream of the Week 2 crop?
Here are our top plays and value picks at every position for Sunday’s slate of games.
Best play: Tom Brady, New England Patriots. The Patriots’ lack of depth at wide receiver very well might be a real concern. But Brady has 10 days to prepare for a New Orleans Saints defense that just allowed 346 passing yards and three touchdowns to Sam Bradford. If you’re spending big at one position, here is the place to do it.
Value pick: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers. Rivers threw for just 192 yards against the Denver Broncos’ elite secondary in Week 1 but still tossed three TD passes. He should have more room to air out at home against the Miami Dolphins, who have an average secondary and might be a little rusty playing in their first game of 2017.
Best play: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys. Elliott’s 104 rushing yards last week felt a bit underwhelming, which tells you something about his crazy production. The Cowboys’ workhorse should have plenty of room to gallop in Week 2 against the Broncos, who are great against the pass but susceptible in the run game.
Value pick: Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers. As expected, Montgomery got a ton of touches in Week 1 as the Packers’ featured back. He didn’t break many runs loose, but Green Bay could find itself in a shootout this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, who allowed 118 yards on the ground last week. Montgomery is a solid bargain with a high floor.
Best play: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown continued his run as the most consistently dominant receiver in football with an 11-reception, 182-yard explosion last Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings have a solid secondary, but matchups just don’t seem to matter for this guy. Business is boomin’, indeed.
Value pick: DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins. Parker still hasn’t played a game this season, so you can get him relatively cheap. Sure, it’s a gamble, but this could be a breakout year for the 24-year-old, and Week 2 would be a great place to start against the Chargers, who ranked 20th against the pass last season.
Best play: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots. Gronk couldn’t find much room to operate against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1. Expect that to change Sunday against the Saints, who will be scrambling to prevent deep balls to ex-teammate Brandin Cooks and can be beaten on all levels in the passing game.
Value pick: Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints. We could see plenty of tight end production in this one. Fleener is coming off a strong Week 1 performance (five catches, 54 yards and a score), and Travis Kelce fared pretty well against New England last Thursday. If this winds up being a shootout, Fleener should get a decent slice of the pie.
Best play: Arizona Cardinals. The Indianapolis Colts allowed two defensive touchdowns in Week 1 and are deciding between Scott Tolzien and Jacoby Brissett at QB. That’s music to the ears of the Cardinals, who have playmakers galore in their secondary and recorded a pick-six last Sunday despite a rough showing against the Detroit Lions.
Value pick: Los Angeles Rams. The Washington Redskins’ offense is far from inept. That said, it did commit four turnovers in Week 1 and has to travel cross-country to face a talented Rams defense that wreaked havoc on the poor Colts last week.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images