Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
O/U 53 , KC -8
Implied Scored: KC 30 – OAK 22
This AFC Divisional bout is slated as the highest point total in week 2. Initially opening on Monday morning as the 2nd highest point total. But following Oaklands offensive display on prime-time Monday Night Football against a loaded defensive Denver team, Vegas bumped the line on the KC/OAK matchup to the top dog. Passing up the 2017 NFC championship re-match, NO @ LAR.
Both Quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes and Derek Carr, finished in the top 20 of quarterback scoring for week 1. If Joe Flacco could have mustered up any offensive production against Oakland, Derek Carr’s fantasy output could have pushed top 12/QB1 numbers. Derek posted an impressive 121.0 passer rating and 94.1 QBR. Showing great rapport with preseason camp favorites, Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller. Going up against a defense that allowed Nick Foles and 2019 6th-round draft pick, Gardner Minshew, to throw for a combined 347 yards and 3 TDS- I like Carr’s ability to outperforms Rudy’s projected QB20 for week 2.
Playing catchup most of the game, Jacksonvilles ground game still was able to churn out 81-yards, on 16 carries for an average of 5.1 yards per carry against Kansas City’s defense. Going up against arguably two of the leagues best defensive lineman (Nick Chubb and Von Miller), 1st-round rookie RB Josh Jacobs had himself a day. Toting the ball 23 times for 85 yards and 2 TDs. Granted his 3.7 yard per carry is nothing to brag about, but Jacobs had to fight against a stout Denver defensive front. I bet his YPC improves against a Chiefs defense that allowed 5.1 yards per carry to Jacksonville. Gruden’s commitment to running the ball and high scoring matchup against KC, gives us the confidence to fire up Jacobs as safe RB2 with RB1 upside. Rudy has him projected to finish as the RB10 in PPR leagues this week.
After Monday night, it’s obvious who we need to target in the passing game. Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller led all OAK pass catchers in targets, receptions, and yards. I love Waller as a top 5 TE play this week, and Tyrell Williams as a high upside WR3/Flex play. Rudy projects Tyrell finishing as WR39 and Darren Waller TE3. Waller was on the field for 100% of the Raiders snaps on Monday, and following the game Gruden doubled down on getting the ball to Waller, saying “We’re going to get the ball to Waller. Waller’s Special.” Jared Cook finished 2018 as TE5 in John Gruden’s system, scoring 193 points. Waller has the path to be one of 2019’s fantasy sleepers, going un-drafted in the majority of 12-team redraft leagues. He made an appearance on last weeks 50/50 Club.
TE Darren Waller was #Raiders one skill position player to play 100 percent of offensive snaps last night. Gruden said role didn't necessarily grow b/c a certain receiver wasn't there.
"We're goign to get the ball to Waller. Waller's special," Gruden said.
— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) September 10, 2019
For the reigning MVP, not much more needs to be said. Throwing for 378 yards, 3TDs, and 0 INT, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid picked up right where they left off. Albeit, mainly in garbage-catch up time against OAK, Joe Flacco was able to post 268 passing yards against this Oakland Defense. Poor offensive play calling and poor quarterback play were the driving factors, rather than the idea of Oaklands defense becoming a power house. Look for Big Red and Mahomes to tear it up against this defense. Rudy projects Mahomes as QB1 this week, throwing for 2.38 TDs, 294 passing yards, and a 46% chance of reaching over 300 yards.
Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman combined 21 carries for 99 yards on the ground against Oaklands defense for a healthy 4.7 yards per carry. In a high scoring matchup, there will be plenty of opportunity for both Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy to carry value this weekend. McCoy looked great in his first game as a Chief, taking 10 carries for a eye-catching 8.1 yards per carry. Could we see a resurgence of McCoy under Andy Reid? Reid is known as one of the fantasy RB whisperers. Damien Williams owners shouldn’t get discouraged, Williams was used heavily in the pass game. Catching 6 passes on 6 targets for 39 yards, and out-touched McCoy on the ground with 13 carries. With Tyreek Hill scheduled to miss a few weeks with a shoulder injury, Williams will see an uptick in passing targets. Boosting his value in PPR formats. Another positive for Williams owners, out of the 67 running back snaps for KC last week, Damien owned 67% of the snap share compared to McCoys 30%. McCoy should see an uptick in snaps with another week under his belt in KC, but it’s obvious that the Chiefs coaching staff still view Williams as the lead dog..for now. Darwin Thompson can be dropped in most formats.
Sammy Watkins was a money maker for many in the DFS world, and hopefully you fired him up after I eluded to Watkins as a sneaky play in my week 1 Shootout vs Blowout article. Sammy exploded for 198 yards on 9 catches (team high 11 targets). Now with Tyreek Hill sidelined for 4-6 weeks, Watkins receives a huge bump in weekly value. View Watkins as a top 12 WR play until Hill returns. I expect Travis Kelce to bounce back after his “mild” outing down in Jacksonville. He received 8-targets, 2nd highest on the team, and was overthrown for a wide open TD when Mahomes was trying to show off a no-look pass. Hopefully he stops trying to force these type of throws, before he ends up tossing a couple of errant INTs. The sneaky play out of this game is WR Mecole Hardman. Surprisingly overlooked in a lot of leagues waivers on Wednesday, Hardman offers huge upside in this Kansas City Chief offense until Hill returns. Don’t forget, the Chiefs traded up to draft Hardman during the time Tyreek Hill’s future was uncertain with his off field issues this summer. The coaching staff and front office clearly viewed him as a possible Hill replacement. I love Hardman in DFS and as a sneaky high upside flex play against Oakland in season long leagues. Don’t make me say I told you so!! Peep the wheels on Hardman….
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) August 11, 2019
Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens
O/U 46.5 , BAL -13
Implied Score: BAL 29.5 – ARI 16.5
Avoiding the number 1 “blowout” New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins (-18.5), because there is little-to-no fantasy fruit to bare on the Miami side of the ball. Instead, Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens present a more exciting fantasy preview.
The battle of the birds, two former 1st-round draft picks and high ceiling dual threat Quarterbacks clash in the Charm City. Tied for the 7th highest point total, and the 2nd largest point spread, plenty of fantasy fruit on both sides of the ball.
If Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray can build off their 4th quarter comeback, this game has a chance to push the over. The Ravens demoralized the tanking Miami Dolphins in an expected blowout, but the Ravens Defense has a more formidable test this week. The Ravens lost a couple of defensive starters this offseason, and are dealing with a bevy of key injuries to their secondary. Murray attempted a NFL high 55 pass attempts in week 1, after entering the 4th quarter with a 17-6 deficit against the Lions. Murray led the Cardinals to 21 points in Q4 and OT. Rudy highlighted in the offseason, this KK Air-Raid offense employs a 4-wide set, giving ample opportunity to support 2-3 fantasy receivers. After a couple of tough matchups to start the season, look for this ‘Zona offense to heat up after this matchup. Their next 5 opponents, Carolina-Seattle-Cincinnatti-Atlanta-New York Giants. Hang tight to Kyler if you drafted him and check your waivers if your league mates abandon him if this game gets ugly against Bal.
Hall-of-Famer, Larry Fitzgerald led ARI with 13 targets for 113 yards and 8 receptions. Second in targets was 2nd-year breakout candidate Christian Kirk, with 12. Followed by deeper league stash candidate, KeeSean Johnson (10). Fitzy and Kirk, ran primarily out of the slot and Johnson was the outside target. With a projected -13 point spread, expect Murray and these receivers to eat targets again this weekend. Fantasy Football does not discriminate against ‘garbage time’ points. Rudy projects both Fitz and Kirk to be top 26 WR plays.
The strength of this Ravens defense is up front on the defensive line, keeping Kenyan Drake below 3.0 yards per carry and an embarrassing -0.2 ypc for Kalen Ballage. Game script forced MIA to abandon the run, tallying only 11 RB carries. We can see a similar situation develop with David Johnson if the Ravens establish their 13 point lead early against a bottom of the barrel Arizona defense. Johnson was still utilized heavily as Arizona trailed last week. In full point PPR leagues, Johnson can make up the low ceiling presented on the ground. He tied for 3rd in team targets last week, with 7. Rudy has Johnson finishing as RB12, with under 62 rushing yards and less than a 50% chance to score any TD. His receiving ability and usage protects his floor from bottoming out, but I’ll take the under for his projected RB12 finish. In redrafts don’t sit him, but he’s a fade in DFS.
The week 1 QB #1, Lamar Jackson has the chance to become this years Patrick Mahomes with the value he is providing as a late round fantasy draft pick. Mike Vick 2.0 has another opportunity to top the leader board against this defense. Rudy projects Lamar to finish as QB3 (removing Newtown after his horrid TNF performance), falling behind only Mahomes and Watson. The Cardinalds defense allowed Matthew Stafford to throw for 361 yards and 3TDs. Fire Jackson up in any and every league you can.
A run first team, the Ravens ran for a league high 46 attempts in week 1. This is another prime spot of Mark Ingram to eat after averaging a staggering 7.6 yards per carry in week one on 14 carries, taking them for 107 and a TD. If the games gets out of hand early, expect for the Ravens to lean on the run game again to milk the clock. Gus Edwards proved to be the early down/goal line handcuff for Mark Ingram. Don’t read too much into his usage in week one, as Gus racked up the majority of his production in the second half when the game was out of reach for MIA. I expect this game to be closer over the course of the matchup. The coaching staff decided to wait and showcase their Justice Hill packages until a later date. Hill can be dropped in most 12-team leagues and smaller until we see movement in his snap counts.
A top waiver wire add this week, rookie WR Hollwood Marquise Brown displayed his game breaking speed. Taking 4 catches for 147 yards and 2 TDs, on a team low 14 snaps/18% of the offensive snaps. This screams unsustainable, be careful putting him into your lineup this week and expecting similar production. Yes, he can take any catch to the house with his speed, but his usage suggest this as highly volatile and unreliable play. You can easily be staring at a zero on you fantasy roster. In a game where Vegas has the Ravens running away with this, the BAL receivers carry the risk of busting this week. The pass catcher to fire up this week is TE Mark Andrews. The Cardinals allowed rookie TE TJ Hockenson to post a NFL record setting 131 receiving yards in his NFL debut. ARI struggles against tight ends and Mark Andrews had the most targets for the Baltimore pass catchers last week (8). With Baltimore’s running tendencies, don’t get comfortable firing any receiver until we have a larger sample size of usage.
Keep an eye out on twitter for this weeks 50/50 club. Leave your comments and feedback below. Good luck this week!
Projections provided by Razzball own Rudy Gamble. Make sure to subscribe to Razzball suite of tools to help you dominate your leagues. Best Value on the inter-web Vegas odds and betting lines are sourced from www.vsin.com. Snap count and target share date sourced from www.fantasydata.com