Week 2 was pretty bad for me all around. Barely a winning record for my season-long teams, and about as ugly a performance as you can get in NFL’s FanDuel Sunday Million. But hey, first or last. And my Week 3 NFL FanDuel Sunday Million pivot picks can’t be any worse than last week’s, so there’s that.
The Week 2 winning lineup in the NFL FanDuel Sunday Million had the two best plays of the week, independent of cost or ownership, in Brady and Gronk; a 28.7% owned Ty Montgomery; and was highlighted by a 3-touchdown, 29-point performance from 7.5% owned Michael Crabtree.
A 5.3% Devonta Freeman and a 6.1% owned J.J. Nelson were perhaps the most valuable pieces, though. A recap of Week 2, and then Week 3’s NFL FanDuel Sunday Million pivot picks.
Week 2 Winning Lineup
Total Points: 192.18
Tom Brady: $9,200 salary; 30.78 points; 16.6% owned
Devonta Freeman: $8,100 salary; 23 points; 5.3% owned
Ty Montgomery: $6,500 salary; 26 points; 28.7% owned
Michael Crabtree: $7,300 salary; 29 points; 7.5% owned
Chris Hogan: $6,200 salary; 16.3 points; 14.1% owned
J.J. Nelson: $5,300 salary; 20.5 points; 6.1% owned
Rob Gronkowski: $8,100 salary; 20.6 points; 16.8% owned
Cairo Santos: $4,600 salary; 9 points; 3.9% owned
Baltimore Ravens: $4,700; 17 points; 28.2% owned
Week 2 Picks
Kirk Cousins: 11.86 points; 0.9% owned
Ezekiel Elliot: 4.2 points; 10.7% owned
Brandin Cooks: 5.3 points; 22.2% owned
Jimmy Graham: 0.6 points; 5.7% owned
Chalk: Matthew Stafford ($7,900), Matt Ryan ($8,500)
Why: Two above average fantasy quarterbacks matching up in one of Sunday’s highest scoring games.
Carr was only 10.4% owned against the Titans in Week 1, in what was the week’s highest projected contest. He has another great matchup on Sunday, but I don’t see his ownership exceeding 11% regardless.
That means Carr, who is averaging right around 20 FanDuel points per game so far this year, is again a serviceable, if unexciting, option in Week 3. Priced at $8,400, Carr should get overlooked in favor of Stafford and Ryan, and potentially Tom Brady as well. If those guys falter, Carr could be on a lot of high performing lineups this week.
Roethlisberger has been in only 9.3% and 4% of FanDuel Sunday Million lineups in the first two weeks of the season, respectively. If he can put up a few scores in the first half against a bad Bears defense, he’ll alleviate concerns over game flow limiting his opportunity, and he’ll hit value in Week 3.
CHALK: Kareem Hunt ($8,300), LeVeon Bell (8,700), Jay Ajayi ($8,200)
Why: The hype train will continue to roll for Hunt after scoring five times in his first two NFL games. Maybe rightfully so. Bell’s ownership rate dropped almost 20 points between Weeks 1 and 2, from around 30% to 11%, but that should rebound in Week 3 against Chicago. Ajayi will get a lot of love against the Jets.
C.J. Anderson was only 1% owned in Week 2 against Dallas. Some of that might have been the industry reacting to Dallas’ recent success against running backs, and some might have been his underwhelming performance in Week 1, where he rushed for 81 yards on 20 carries.
Either way, Anderson now has 119 yards on 45 carries in Denver’s first two games of 2017, adding four receptions and two touchdowns along the way. But, mostly, 45 carries. With Buffalo’s run defense at first glance appearing to be much stronger than it is, I think Anderson will remain under 10% owned in Week 3. And that will be enough to separate those rostering him Sunday.
This is a gamble, sure. But the opponent is going to scare people away, and I’m betting Henry gets the majority of the touches in Tennessee even if DeMarco Murray is able to suit up. Seattle has allowed Ty Montgomery and Carlos Hyde to put up big numbers so far this year. Henry could be next. First or last.
CHALK: Antonio Brown ($9,000), Julio Jones ($9,300)
Why: Julio’s ownership was nearing 30% in the NFL FanDuel Sunday Million last week, but Brown’s stayed below 15% in a tough matchup against Minnesota. Brown & Julio both have excellent matchups Sunday, however, and should have ownership rates exceeding 25%.
I don’t think I’ll be the only one in the industry on Thielen this weekend, but most will be looking elsewhere after his dud in Week 2. Thielen has become Sam Bradford’s unquestioned top target, though, and few receivers have a higher week to week ceiling than he does, as crazy as that sounds.
Tampa Bay’s secondary is legit, and the matchup here isn’t anywhere near as good as it was for the Vikings in Week 1 against New Orleans. But Thielen has amassed at least 85 yards receiving in 4 of the last 6 games Bradford’s been under center, exceeding 100 yards three times and 150 twice. If he can get anywhere close to that in Week 3, Thielen will be hugely valuable on FanDuel.
Another boom or bust receiver, Doug Baldwin has yet to live up to his steep price tag in preseason drafts. But I think Seattle will fix its offensive struggles sooner rather than later, and when it does Baldwin could be the biggest beneficiary. Worth the high risk, high reward gamble in this format.
CHALK: Travis Kelce ($7,100), Jack Doyle
Why: Kelce is the only high end tight end without injury concerns this week. And everyone will think they’re sneaky playing Doyle against Cleveland with a $5,300 price tag. It might be smart, but probably not different.
TE is tough in Week 3 because of all those question marks surrounding the top tier guys. Fleener was my honorable mention last Sunday, and he managed to find the end zone for the second straight week late in the game.
This week, Fleener will probably get overlooked because of his matchup. But the Panthers have yet to face a good offense in 2017 – holding San Francisco and Buffalo to a combined 6 points. That should keep Fleener’s ownership well below 10% despite the lack of other options, making him an excellent differentiation play on Sunday.
Weird for the unquestioned best offensive player at his position to be a pivot play, but with Gronkowski’s health in question most people will look to spend that $8,400 elsewhere this week. If Gronk plays, and plays well, he’ll be a huge asset in FanDuel lineups this Sunday.