We are coming down to the wire before the rest of Week 2 in the NFL begins.
We have already seen A.J. Green go ham this week, and that was against an allegedly stout defense in the Baltimore Ravens.
So let the fun begin Sunday!
There are 13 games on the Sunday main slate, and one thing we have to be thinking about in roster construction is not letting recency bias invade our thought process too much. Week 1 is such a different animal than many of the weeks in the NFL regular season, so don’t overreact or over correct, too much.
For the Cash Game Index, we featured the QBs as part of the “free” preview part, so for the GPP Index you can see the running backs as part of the free preview.
If you haven’t read the GPP Index, we look at contrarian plays to pivot off of guys who might be highly owned based on the group think that is out there. Last week, the chalk was big-time money bags. But everyone has had a few weeks to digest matchups and pricing. Now there’s only a few days to do that same thing. Hopefully we can hit on both the Cash Game and GPP side! Good luck!
Melvin Gordon – Los Angeles Chargers – $7,400
The Pivot: Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara
Analysis: I am considering Gordon for cash games this week, but he probably won’t make the cut (for one, he’s not in my Cash Game Index and I am almost stuck sticking with those picks). Traveling East to Buffalo is tough, but I think Gordon is the guy who can burst through and pull off a big game in what should be an easy win for Los Angeles’ Chargers.
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – $6,500
The Pivot: Christian McCaffrey
Analysis: Cook got a monster workload last week and had so much work in the passing game. If Aaron Rodgers plays, I love Dalvin Cook at what seems like a ridiculously low price IF he continues to get this kind of workload and usage each week. If Rodgers’ doesn’t play and DeShone Kizer steps in, Cook won’t be a favorite GPP play of mine, but I’d still have exposure.
Chris Thompson – Washington Redskins – $5,900
The Pivot: Adrian Peterson
Analysis: I have already put my foot down on every playing Adrian Peterson. That may bite me in the ass hard, but I will not fall for it. Sure, he’s going to be fresh in the beginning of the year, but that price has come up a ton after just one game. I’ll take the electric Chris Thompson who should see 5-7 targets and get a handful of carries out of the backfield. A poor man’s Alvin Kamara, Thompson has the upside to take it to the house. Should the Redskins get behind or in a a slugfest, Thompson will be the guy called upon in the passing game.
Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons – $5,300
The Pivot: Dion Lewis
Analysis: Tevin Coleman is going to be a cash game play for me if Devonta Freeman is ruled out. That’s about all you need to know for GPPs, too.
Carlos Hyde – Cleveland Browns – $4,900
The Pivot: Isaiah Crowell
Analysis: The Saints run D was the lone “bright” spot for them against the Bucs, but I think the Browns have a better passing attack and an even more mobile running back. This will make things open up for Carlos Hyde in the trenches. Now, will the Browns coaching staff actually give Hyde 20+ touches this week or will there be a 180-degree turn somewhere?
Theo Riddick – Detroit Lions – $4,000
The Pivot: None
Analysis: LeGarrette Blount injured his knee and we don’t know yet if he is going to play. If he doesn’t, Theo Riddick will be this team’s goalline back. Jim Bob Cooter has shown us that in the past. Riddick is in a game that could be a sneaky shootout and got 7 targets last week as the Lions played behind against the Jets
Jalen Richard – Oakland – $3,400
The Pivot: Alfred Morris
Analysis: I loved Richard on the Monday Night slate and I love him this week against Denver. People likely won’t have caught on that Richard is this team’s passing down back while Marshawn Lynch and the corpse of Doug Martin are the running game specialists. Richard got ELEVEN targets last week out of the backfield against the Rams. Why shouldn’t he see that kind of volume again in a game the Raiders will likely be behind in?
Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – $7,200
The Pivot: Mid-Tier
Analysis: Paying up at quarterback is a contrarian move, even if it’s Brees against the Browns. Paying down at QB is going to be a popular move to save money this week, so finding a way to get to Brees could pay dividends should the Saints get into another shootout at home this week.
Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – $6,600
The Pivot: Drew Brees
Analysis: I do think Brees is popular, but not anything overwhelming. Cam Newton is a pivot to consider as the Panthers travel to Atlanta on the fast track dome surface. Cam is going to run, he’s going to throw, and he’s going to get goalline carries in the end zone. He also will look to Run CMC more out of the backfield with Greg Olsen gone, meaning a greater opportunity for big plays.
Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – $6,100
The Pivot: Any other QB in this mid-tier.
Analysis: We know Stafford has been consistent each and every year. He has 3 wideout talents to choose from plus a plethora of talent in the backfield. So he’s going to rebound to that atrocity against the Jets. It probably will be this week against the Niners, who welcome the Lions to town this week. I love this game as a pivot from KC/Pitt as the Lions should run more plays than usual due to the up-tempo nature of the Niners.
Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – $5,400
The Pivot: Tyrod Taylor
Analysis: We don’t know about Leonard Fournette, but either way Bortles is a guy with enough weapons to keep up with the Patriots. If this game shoots, then Bortles will be the reason why thanks to his big-play receivers, none of which make this week’s GPP Index because I am not into guessing games.
Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – $8,400
The Pivot: Top-tier wide receivers
Analysis: From 2018 to 2016, respectively, here are the numbers Julio has put up against the Panthers in Atlanta – 5-80, 12-300-1, 9-178-1.
Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs – $7,600
The Pivot: DeAndre Hopkins
Analysis: The Chargers have a really good secondary. The Steelers have more old guys in the secondary. If the Chargers can’t stop him, who in the hell for Pittsburgh is going to be able to keep up with TyFreak? The likely answer is: No one. Mahomes has a cannon and a connection with Hill. I think Hill will still draw ownership, but not as much as he should due to his price and the worry that his regression kicks in this week.
Josh Gordon – Cleveland Browns – $5,800
The Pivot: Nelson Agholor and Emmanuel Sanders
Analysis: Unless the Browns’ coaching staff really is stupid, Josh Gordon should get the chance to eat this week against the Saints. He’s my absolute favorite GPP play this week in a game where the Browns should be throwing…a lot. Manny Sanders and Agholor will draw ownership due to their roles and performances last week while I feel Gordon still worries people. Price is super cheap for the upside and talent level in a game that should feature a lot of points.
Kenny Stills – Miami Dolphins – $5,700
The Pivot: Demaryius Thomas
Analysis: Stills caught two TDs in the Dolphins’ opener and solidified his spot as the No. 1 receiver. Even if DeVante Parker returns, it’s Stills that has the upside against the Jets, who put up some fluky defensive numbers in their season opener versus the Lions.
Kenny Golladay – Detroit Lions – $4,800
The Pivot: Quincy Enunwa
Analysis: Quincy Enunwa feels like chalk this week. But it’s Golladay, who got 12 targets even with two other very capable receivers on his team, that might be moving his way up the depth chart in Detroit. He’s a great tournament play this week in a game that I’ve already talked about having shoot out potential. This is the time to hop on before his price skyrockets.
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – $6,100
The Pivot: Cheap tight ends
Analysis: Paying down at this position will be the popular move, so paying up for Ertz, who is a ball hog for quarterback Nick Foles, will be the contrarian move. The Buccaneers allowed a ton of points and yards to the Saints, so why to Nick Foles, the check down machine and the rest of the Eagles.
Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – $5,000
The Pivot: Cheap tight ends
Analysis: This is another scenario where we can pay up for this position instead of punting away. Reed caught a touchdown against the Cardinals and has enormous upside when healthy. His health concerns are why this price isn’t higher, so jump on now before you are paying a price for recent production.
Eric Ebron – Indianapolis Colts – $3,500
The Pivot: Jack Doyle
Analysis: Hey it worked last week, so why not again this week? Ebron saw plenty of targets for the limited time he was on the field. He’s in a game where the script should have the Colts throwing a lot. And even when the Colts were in a game where they were ahead, they still managed to throw 53 times. Ebron will have plenty of upside with Andrew Luck throwing him the ball.
Jonnu Smith – Tennessee Titans – $3,100
The Pivot: Ian Thomas
Analysis: I love Smith more if Blaine Gabbert plays. Typically, backup and rookie quarterbacks want to manage games and play it safe. The safe play for Gabbert would be to check down to the tight end whenever possible. Smith will be that tight end moving forward with veteran Delanie Walker out for the season.
Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. New England Patriots – $2,800
The Pivot: Washington Redskins
Analysis: The Redskins are a home favorite against a team with a bad offensive line. They will draw ownership. But who won’t? The Jaguars, who are priced as a punt against the New England Patriots. Jacksonville is at home in their opener where the weather could have some factor. The Jaguars have two shutdown corners who will face Chris Hogan and a Patriots player to be named later. J’ville also is very capable of slowing down Gronk, so who does that leave Brady to throw to and feel comfortable? Mostly running backs. Jacksonville is nto as stingy against the run, but I wouldn’t be scared of a run-heavy approach from the Patriots. This price is too cheap and no one will play them based on offensive matchup.
Los Angeles Chargers – at Buffalo Bills – $3,600
The Pivot: Los Angeles Rams
Analysis: Who is playing Buffalo? OK, play that defense.
Atlanta Falcons – vs. Carolina Panthers – $2,700
The Pivot: New York Jets/Houston Texans
Analysis: The Falcons face the Panthers in their home opener where they have moved up as favorites in Vegas. This play is based solely on the lackluster ability of the Panthers offensive line to keep the Falcons aggressive pass rush at bay. The Panthers may put up some points and yards, but the Falcons have a high floor with their ability to get to quarterbacks, forcing panicked throws and Cam Newton being down a main target with Greg Olsen out for an indefinite amount of time.