The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 2 WEEKEND UPDATE September 19, 2015  |  Doug Shain


Check out our NFL DFS Cheat Sheet!

The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the Week 2 Weekend Update. Everything new will be in bolded italics.

What a wild Week 1 we had. Be careful not to overemphasize the results you saw in the first week of the season. Plenty of studs played poorly last week and they’re bound to rebound, just as plenty of league average players had big games that they’re unlikely to repeat. Don’t be that guy who overpays for Kevin Ogletree off of one good game.

Some of the best plays of the week for me were added to the article for the Weekend Update. Make sure you’re checking back on Saturday afternoon because I’m going to update this article as things change during the week. Some of the additions I made to the article for the Week 1 Weekend Update were Carson Palmer, Chris Ivory, and Danny Woodhead. If you stuck to the plan and used the article then you probably had a good week. Let’s hope to keep it rolling this week.

To take a look at how I rank the players and a lists of my “musts” when building a GPP lineup, click here. Best of luck this week!


The Depth Chart – The Plays of the Week

I’m going to list 3 groups of players for each position (except K). These groups are going to be PUBLIC plays, EXPERT plays, and HuLo plays. They are not ranked in any order. I’ll give a little analysis after each position section, but I won’t necessarily give a narrative about each player (I’m trying to keep this relatively short going forward).


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Aaron Rodgers – GB Cam Newton – CAR Andrew Luck – IND
Tony Romo – DAL Teddy Bridgewater – MIN Joe Flacco – BAL
Marcus Mariota – TEN Tyrod Taylor – BUF Matthew Stafford – DET
Drew Brees – NO Carson Palmer – ARI Nick Foles – STL
Matt Ryan – ATL Ryan Mallett – HOU Ben Roethlisberger  –PIT
Sam Bradford – PHI


– I think Mariota moves to a very public play this week off of his big Week 1 game. While I don’t think he’ll be terrible, I’m also not going to chase what probably was the best game he’ll have all year. He’s fine as a value play but I don’t think he’s at all contrarian. Speaking of Mariota, after what he did to Tampa Bay I fully expect that Drew Brees will be the highest owned QB as he gets to face the Bucs this week. I’m most interested in Big Ben of all the Public Plays. His price isn’t bad (7th highest on FD, 8th highest on DK) at all and he’s got a nice matchup at home against the 49ers coming off a really short week. Ben and Brees are my top QB plays this week if you’re planning on paying up and not going HuLo. If you look at some ownership percentages from the Thursday slate you’ll see that Roethlisberger is much less owned that you’d expect. Apparently the 49ers play on Monday night swayed people away from Pittsburgh. I don’t think SF is all that good and the time zone/road game all favor PIT heavily. I’m going to take advantage and keep throwing Ben out there in a ton of lineups.

– After his nice game on Saturday people are starting to talk about Tyrod Taylor like they talked about Tim Tebow (minus the insults). His legs give him a scoring boost but I don’t see how the Patriots let him do what the Colts did. His price has gone up a 20% over last week and that doesn’t help his value. Of course I love it any time I can get a Chip Kelly QB, so Bradford will definitely be in a lot of my lineups even though I still see him being widely owned. Cam Newton going up against a Houston defense that got torched by Alex Smith is going to be a popular call for a bounce back player this week. I’m not opposed to it on FD where his price is down a bunch but on DK I can get Roethlisberger for the same price so it’s a no-go for me on Cam there.

– Palmer was a big last minute addition to the article last week and I think he’s going to be pretty big again this week. I wouldn’t expect another week of <4% ownership, but under 10% seems reasonable. He should be able to have a pretty solid game against the Bears defense. I’m not going back to that well, but I wouldn’t blame you if you did.

– One of the players that I think everyone is going to sleep on this week is Andrew Luck. He’s coming off a bad week, down a WR, and facing a staunch Jets D. Couple all of that with his price and I’m not sure people are going to want to take the chance. I feel completely the opposite. I just don’t see how he’s going to have 2 bad weeks in a row, especially with this being the home opener and a prime time game. I’m not all-in on Luck, but I’ll have a lot of him this week. If I’m going to go with a value QB it’s going to be Nick Foles. He’s not the most talented guy but he can really throw the deep ball and gets to face a weak Redskins Defense. His price is comparable to Tyrod Taylor ($6.5K on FD, $5.5K on DK) and I’d much rather go with Foles. He’s not a sexy pick, which will keep ownership low, but he could be a profitable one. Nobody seems to be with me on this Foles thing. I like that. Let’s keep the ownership low. I think he’s in line for a nice week.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Jeremy Hill – CIN Joseph Randle – DAL TJ Yeldon – JAX
Adrian Peterson – MIN Bishop Sankey – TEN Justin Forsett – BAL
Jamaal Charles – KC David Johnson – ARI Doug Martin – TB
Eddie Lacy – GB Tevin Coleman – ATL Alfred Morris – WSH
Danny Woodhead – SD Ameer Abdullah – DET Marshawn Lynch – SEA
Marcel Reece – OAK Ronnie Hillman – DEN Karlos Williams – BUF
Christopher Ivory – NYJ Mark Ingram – NO Lance Dunbar – DAL
Carlos Hyde – SF   Bilal Powell – NYJ


– You’re probably looking at the Public Plays list and thinking, “huh?” Let me explain. When a guy scores 2 TD’s people tend to take notice. The general public consistently chases points. Sometimes that’s a really bad idea (Marcel Reece) and sometimes that’s not such a bad idea (Christopher Ivory). I try not to let what happened last week influence me unless it involves a role change. Nothing changed here, so Reece is still a bad play and Ivory is still a matchups dependent play (this week the matchup is very good). In general I love Carlos Hyde but this week I’m shying away due to an expected high ownership and a tough matchup going East with an early start on a short week. I may have actually UNDERestimated the love that’s out there for Carlos Hyde. His price is great but he might be the highest owned player in all GPP’s this week. He’s a definite fade for me. I tend to stay off players on Thursday (other than K on FD) and that’s right where my head is at with Charles. I don’t hate the matchup, but I’m going to pass on him. Peterson is a prime bounce back candidate this week after a terrible Monday night performance.

– “If only Ameer Abdullah were getting more carries….” is about all I have been reading on my Twitter timeline. People love the kid. I love his talent. What I don’t love is his current role. If we can’t rely on 15-18 touches a game then he’s not a great play. I’d much rather ignore Bruce Arians (“Chris Johnson will shoulder the load”) and roll out David Johnson. It’s only a matter of time. The play I really like from this list is Sankey. He looked great, Terrence West looked bad, and the Browns have a bad run defense. I’ll ignore Narrative Street (West comes back to haunt Browns) and just play the guy with the talent.

– Lots of people are on Mark Ingram this week, but they are probably right in their play. If TB gets up big then he’s going to churn some clock and have a lot of value. His price is right as an RB2 or a FLEX play.

– If you’re to believe Gus Bradley (“Yeldon will be more involved”), then TJ Yeldon is undervalued this week. The Dolphins gave up 120+ yards to Alfred Morris and if the Jags want to stay in this game they need to control the clock with their horse. Speaking of Morris, he just keeps churning out yards. The matchup isn’t great, but he’s clearly the lead back (Matt Jones didn’t even get the 2nd most touches at RB) and he’s always productive. If he scores a TD then he’ll surely pay off his price tag. With Dez Bryant out for the next month or so I expect to see the Cowboys rely more on Dunbar. He lined up at WR all game and did quite well (8-70). Defenses (and fantasy owners) are going to key in on TWill and Beasley, leaving opportunity for you if Dunbar continues to catch these passes. He makes for a great, cheap flex play on sites that have the position. Lynch and Forsett both had a rough Week 1. Studs bounce back and both have great matchups.

– Keep a close eye on the situations in NY and BUF. If Ivory or McCoy don’t play then their backups (Powell and Williams, respectively) become cheap plays with some upside. I think Powell will be the lesser owned of the two if both play.

I’m playing A LOT more Sankey than I ever thought I would. Bob Harris and Mike Dempsey put it best on Football Diehards yesterday, if you’re not going to play Sankey this week, when are you ever going to play Sankey?

– I’m playing Lance Dunbar in my FLEX on a lot of teams. This is NOT a cash game play, but for a GPP he could really pay off if he gets in the end zone. Romo looked for him a lot (8 targets in Week 1, he caught all 8) and I expect he’ll still be a part of the game plan with Dez out.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Antonio Brown – PIT Donte Moncrief – IND Leonard Hankerson – ATL
Calvin Johnson – DET DeAndre Hopkins – HOU Cole Beasley – DAL
Julio Jones – ATL Terrence Williams – DAL Devante Adams – GB
James Jones – GB Brandon Coleman – NO Sammy Watkins – BUF
Odell Beckham – NYG Tavon Austin – STL Breshad Perriman – BAL
Keenan Allen – SD Jarvis Landry – MIA Devin Funchess – CAR
Jordan Matthews – PHI Nelson Agholor – PHI Emmanuel Sanders – DEN
Brandin Cooks – NO Stevie Johnson – SD Pierre Garcon – WSH
Ryan Grant – WSH Andre Johnson – IND


– I’m not sure I care about what his ownership is, I’m going to try to get Antonio Brown into my lineup this week. He’s incredibly expensive but there’s enough value out there to make it work. His matchup is outstanding and he’s just a machine. Just like with guys like Marcel Reece, people are going to see the 2 TD from James Jones and be all over him. I expect he’ll be in the top 5 of most widely owned WR this week. I’m not sure his talent/role are worth you jumping on that train. He only had 4 targets this week, so for all the love people talk about with he and Rodgers, it was more a case of right place/right time. I’m fading him completely this week. As a matter of fact, I’d recommend you go right back to Devante Adams this week. He was targeted the most of any Green Bay WR. People are going to feel let down by him because he didn’t blow up last week. If he continues to see the targets, then his performance will improve. Be patient, it’s only Week 2! I will never argue with you if you take Julio Jones in a GPP. He’s in my top 2 WR this year and unless he’s playing a top 3 CB he’s in play for me.

– Fantasy Experts on Twitter are in love with Jarvis Landry. My feed exploded when he scored on Sunday. That’s all I needed to know about where his ownership is and where it’s headed. It’s already high and it’s going higher. That’s not to say he’s a bad play, just know that 30% of the field is going to own him.

– I’m not sure there’s a name I’ve seen more these last 3 days than Brandon Coleman. His price is right but I think his ownership will be sky high, especially among the more well-versed fantasy players. I’d rather pay up and get Cooks.

– I saw a stat about what happened with DeAndre Hopkins once Mallet game into the game. He was targeted on 4 of 13 passes Mallet threw. 31% of the time Mallet looked Hopkins way. He caught all 4 of those passes, including a TD. The matchup isn’t golden, but I’m still going to have a ton of Hopkins this week.

– The injuries to TY Hilton, DeSean Jackson, and Dez Bryant are going to make Donte Mocrief, Ryan Grant, and Terrence Williams all very popular plays. Of those 3 I think the most highly owned will be Williams but the most productive will be Moncrief.   All 3 of these guys are young and flashy picks. I’m not opposed to any of them, but I’m also not sure that you wouldn’t be better off with the “boring” alternatives: Andre Johnson, Pierre Garcon, and Cole Beasley.

– Sammy Watkins was completely shut out this past week, but he was also shadowed by Vontae Davis (one of the best CB in the NFL). People are going to be way off him because of that. Watkins is too talented to put up a stinker again in a good matchup against the Patriots. I’ll gladly take advantage of a situation where people overreact to one week.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Rob Gronkowski – NE Austin Sefarian Jenkins – TB Martellus Bennett – CHI
Travis Kelce – KC Greg Olsen – CAR Scott Chandler – NE
Tyler Eifert – CIN Ladarius Greene – SD
Jason Witten – DAL
Jimmy Graham – SEA


– You sit Gronk at your own risk. I don’t care how highly owned he is (under 15% on many of the Thursday GPP’s, I expect that to go up on the Sunday slates), he’s a monster and always worthy of consideration. The 4 other Week 1 studs (Kelce, Eifert, Sefarian-Jenkins, Witten) are another story completely. I think you can look elsewhere and avoid the high ownership rates for similar production. Therese guys aren’t in the same league as Gronk and don’t nearly have the same level of consistency.

– A couple of guys to target are Jimmy Graham (good matchup) and Greg Olsen (stud coming off a bad game). I also really like the idea of going with Scott Chandler because just when you think you’ve figured the Pats out, Belichick goes and flips the script.

– Bennett becomes an even better play with Jeffery hurting again.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Denver Broncos New Orleans Saints Jacksonville Jaguars
Saint Louis Rams Tennessee Titans
San Francisco 49ers New England Patriots


– The Denver Defense is about the only Thursday night play I’d make this week outside of Brandon McMannus. They looked amazing against Baltimore and I think KC is in store for much of the same havoc. They’ll be highly owned but I think they are worth the risk. Were they ever! <5% owned and a huge game. They are a stud defense to keep an eye on going forward. If you played them on DK, you have a few options going forward: you could try to swap out and load up on some safer plays to make sure your big score isn’t in vein, or you could go a little wild at a position or two and really shoot for the moon knowing that you’ve got a top 3 (most likely) defensive score already in the bank. Do you want to cash or do you want to win?

– Saint Louis had a great game against Seattle and should have a similar effort against the Redskins. They should be the most highly owned defense of the weekend slate. On the flip side I think a lot of people are going to be influenced to play SF after their big game against Minnesota but I think they struggle big time this week in Pittsburgh.

– The Saints are taking on Tampa and if Tennessee can handle them, then I don’t see why the Saints couldn’t. They are one of my top defensive plays of the week.

– The Vegas line for the Pats-Bills game is -1. That tells me that a lot of people actually think Buffalo is going to keep up with the Patriots. I say no way. I think the Pats D will force a lot of turnovers and make Tyrod Taylor beat them from the pocket (sacks). That’s not to say that Buffalo won’t score (I do like Sammy Watkins and whoever gets the start at RB), but the D will get theirs and shouldn’t be highly owned.

– Are we totally sure Miami’s offense is going to be good? I’m not, which is why I like Jacksonville as a very under the radar play this week at home. In a similar vein I KNOW that Cleveland doesn’t have a good offense, so I’ll jump on Tennessee to have a 2nd good defensive effort in a row. Neither of these defenses should be highly owned at all.

Check out the Fake Football Cheat Sheets for my sample lineups. I do the Fantasy Aces section but the process of selecting the lineups is the same on all the sites.

Follow me on Twitter @bankster17 and good luck with your Hail Mary!

One Response

  1. Thurs says:

    Like this format!

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