Week 1 brought a ton of surprises with massive upsets, shocking poor performances, and excellent fantasy production from players nobody was talking about – welcome back to the NFL. I’m back after a tough DFS week with more FanDuel cash picks, and I’m looking forward to bouncing back in Week 2. As a reminder, in cash games such as 50/50s and double-ups, you’re looking to maximize your point value first and foremost. Ownership is less of a concern, and while upside still matters, you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel with your lineup. The following are some of my favorite picks at each position for FanDuel cash lineups in Week 2.
Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers – $7,600 – Projection: 22.2
Some fantasy players may be fading Justin Herbert following a disappointing output of just 13.4 points in Week 1, but that would be the wrong approach. He faced a tough Washington defense on the road and still played admirably well, including a wild stat line on third down of 14-17 passing with a 127 passer rating and 13 first downs. This week, Herbert faces a Dallas defense that allowed Tom Brady to finish as the QB5 with 29.2 fantasy points in Week 1. The Cowboys-Chargers game has one of the highest over-under totals of the week, and I see an easy path to 3+ touchdowns for Herbert in this game.
Matthew Stafford – Los Angeles Rams – $7,500 – Projection: 19.8
Matthew Stafford doesn’t run the ball, so he lacks the upside of some other quarterbacks who pad their fantasy scoring with rushing yards. However, despite that limitation, Stafford finished as the QB10 in Week 1 with 24.3 fantasy points, and I expect him to be a locked-and-loaded top ten guy again this week. The Indianapolis defense got torched for four passing touchdowns from Russell Wilson last week, and Stafford should take advantage of this plus matchup. Xavier Rhodes still isn’t practicing with a calf injury, and the Colts don’t have enough secondary talent to cover the likes of Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Tyler Higbee.
Honorable mentions: Russell Wilson ($8,500), Josh Allen ($8,100), Dak Prescott ($8,000), Ryan Tannehill ($7,300)
Chris Carson – Seatle Seahawks – $6,700 – Projection: 16.1
Outside of the tier of elite running backs, Chris Carson is my favorite play at the position this week. He faces the Titans at home, who allowed the ninth-most rushing yards and tenth-most rushing touchdowns last season. Tennessee allowed the Cardinals to run for 136 yards in Week 1. Carson saw 19 opportunities in Week 1 (16 carries and three targets) and has excellent touchdown upside in what should be one of the higher-scoring games of the week. The Seahawks are significant favorites at home against a team that got destroyed by the Titans last week. The likelihood of a positive game script is a further boon to Carson’s fantasy value.
Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – $6,300 – Projection: 14.7
Among the impressive parts of the Eagles’ 32-6 Week 1 shellacking of the Falcons was significant involvement and efficiency for Miles Sanders. He collected 113 yards from scrimmage on 19 touches (5.9 yards per touch) behind a healthy and massively improved Eagles offensive line. Jordan Mailata is entrenched as the left tackle starter following a hefty extension. For the time being, veterans Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson are all healthy, giving Philadelphia one of the better offensive lines in the league. The 49ers allowed D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams to finish as top-five fantasy RBs in Week 1, so this is an excellent matchup for Sanders.
Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – $5,700 – Projection: 14.1
No team in the NFL allowed more rushing yards than the Texans last season, and I’m expecting both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to have massive games in this matchup. When these teams met in November of last season, both Chubb and Hunt racked up 19 carries while Hunt had an additional three catches to finish with 132 yards from scrimmage – that was good for 14.7 fantasy points without even scoring a touchdown. Last year, these teams played in brutal weather conditions in Cleveland and only combined for 17 total points. In this game, the Browns have an implied total of 30.5 points, so there is much better upside for a touchdown.
Honorable mentions: Alvin Kamara ($8,800), Austin Ekeler ($7,000), Damien Harris ($6,200), Javonte Williams ($5,500)
DK Metcalf – Seattle Seahawks – $7,000 – Projection: 17.1
I find this to be the weirdest price point on FanDuel of the week and a complete overreaction to Week 1. Metcalf is priced lower than players like Chris Godwin, Amari Cooper, Adam Thielen, Keenan Allen, Allen Robinson, A.J. Brown, and even teammate Tyler Lockett. All of them he scored more fantasy points than last season. The Titans allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in Week 1 as both DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk finished with two touchdown receptions apiece. Metcalf is currently my projected WR3 in half-PPR scoring, and he’s a smash play in this matchup.
Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams – $6,200 – Projection: 14.2
Before the season, I knew the Matthew Stafford-led Rams passing offense would provide plenty of fantasy value, but we didn’t yet know who the #1 target would be between Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Now we know. Kupp was targeted ten times in Week 1 compared to four targets for Woods, and while it wasn’t a huge sample size, the chemistry between Stafford and Kupp looked very real. Now, Kupp faces a Colts defense that allowed four passing touchdowns last week and may be without top cornerback Xavier Rhodes for another week as he continues to miss practice with a calf injury. The Rams showed in Week 1 that they are willing to throw the ball in neutral game scripts, so I don’t have a ton of concerns about the game script hurting passing volume in this game.
Mike Williams – Los Angeles Chargers – $5,600 – Projection: 11.6
Mike Williams? In a cash lineup? Weird, I know. But we saw Williams get a whopping twelve targets in Week 1, just one fewer than Keenan Allen. The other wide receivers on the team combined for just nine targets. Williams finished with 18.2 fantasy points against a tough Washington defense, good enough to make him the WR2 on the week. Now, Williams faces a Dallas defense that allowed Tom Brady to throw for 379 yards and four touchdowns in Week 1, and that was before they lost their best defensive player in DeMarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys-Chargers game will be a shootout, and Williams’s high-volume role in the offense makes him one of my favorite plays for DFS.
Honorable mentions: Keenan Allen ($7,400), CeeDee Lamb ($6,800), D.J. Moore ($6,700), Courtland Sutton ($6,200), DeVonta Smith ($5,600), Ja’Marr Chase ($5,500)
Noah Fant – Denver Broncos – $5,700 – Projection: 9.3
It was a miracle that Jerry Jeudy’s injury was a high ankle sprain and not a broken ankle with how things looked initially, but he will still miss a solid chunk of time. Moving forward, Noah Fant is likely to be the team’s first or second target, along with Courtland Sutton. I had concerns about Fant in Week 1 due to his leg injury, but he showed no signs of it hampering him as he finished with six catches for 62 yards and led the team with eight targets. Teddy Bridgewater is an excellent boost of value for all of the pass-catchers in the offense, and it’s hard to ask for a better matchup than against the Jaguars, who Tyrod Taylor tore apart in Week 1.
Cole Kmet – Chicago Bears – $5,100 – Projection: 6.9
If you’re looking to go a bit cheaper at tight end, I love Cole Kmet this week. People will question this due to the Vikings not using their tight ends much in Week 1, but they were inexplicably in three and four-wide sets for most of the game, and it wasn’t a product of great defense by the Bengals, who the Bears face this week. Kmet had seven targets in Week 1, tied for the second-most on the team, and was on the field for 74% of snaps. At tight end, you’re simply looking for players who have the opportunity to rack up a handful of catches, and Kmet certainly fits the bill in a solid matchup.
Honorable mentions: George Kittle ($6,700), Tyler Higbee ($5,600), Jared Cook ($5,400)
New Orleans Saints – $4,300 – Projection: 9.2
I was incredibly impressed with the Saints’ defense in Week 1 as they held Aaron Rodgers to 53% passing for 133 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions. New Orleans finished with 15 fantasy points, the second-most of the week. This week, the Saints face a Panthers offense that had a hard time moving the ball against the lowly Jets. Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport should overwhelm the Carolina offensive line while Marshon Lattimore and Bradley Roby keep Sam Darnold from completing passes downfield. New Orleans has one of the best defenses in the NFL and, in a plus matchup, they are a smash play this week.
Honorable mentions: Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,900), Arizona Cardinals ($4,400), Cincinnati Bengals ($3,600)