What’s up everyone and welcome to Ben’s Building Blocks! If you’ve never read my content before, welcome. To those that have, welcome back. I truly appreciate everyone that reads and supports during NFL season. This article is designed for me to highlight the top plays of the week, and my overall player pool for the main slate. Obviously, things can change rapidly in the NFL with injury news on the weekends, so I would be sure to subscribe to our premium package for access to my Final Thoughts cheat sheet, our premium discord channel and my core plays. Our Core Plays product gives you the ability to tail all of our analysts in your contests each week. We do the work for you, and you simply plug and play with our premium Core Plays. With that being said, let’s hop into the Week 2 slate…
It was a very successful Week 1 for myself and all of our community! A few of our analysts Core Plays had solid cashes and I swept cash games on all sites. In Week 2, I’m once again looking at a small QB pool for my main lineup. Derek Carr and Trey Lance are my main considerations, with a slight lean towards Carr. Typically I always lean towards the rushing QB for cash game-type contests, but I have a lot of conviction around Carr this week. He didn’t have a bad game by any stretch in Week 1, but 16.8 DK points is uninspiring. It’s important to note that 16.8 comes with three interceptions and falling five yards short of the three point bonus. He was under constant pressure from the Chargers dominant pass-rush — something that won’t be a factor vs Arizona. Even with JJ Watt expected back, this is one of the worse pass-rush units in football. Las Vegas’ team-total opened up around 26 points and has quickly jumped to almost 29. I think this secondary is terrible, and Carr is set-up for a huge game at home. Lance will not play as poorly as he did in Week 1. Weather was a factor, but he was also hurt by four crucial drops. This is a let-down spot for Seattle on the road after a big win on Monday Night Football. It’s clear only Jalen Hurts will rival Lance’s rushing upside this season, and I expect him to get back on track in Week 2. Both are viable options in all formats and will likely be the two highest-owned options as well.
For three-max and tournaments I really like the spot for Russell Wilson. Wilson was fully unleashed by Nathaniel Hackett in Week 1, it’s just getting overshadowed by the two fumbles at the goal-line and the terrible clock management at the end of the game. He threw the ball over 40 times and averaged 8.1 yards per attempt. It’s clear the ball is going to Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, and that makes building stacks extremely easy. Coming home after that disaster of a game, I expect them to lean on Russ and have a fantastic game against a beatable Texans secondary.
I made my bold call on this weeks podcast that Marcus Mariota would out-score Trey Lance in DFS this week. While that is certainly bold given the Falcons are huge home dogs to an “angry” Rams team — the possibility is there after he ran 12 times for 72 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. I think stacking Mariota with either of Drake London or Kyle Pitts is a unique way to fit Cooper Kupp into your lineup and still have salary left-over to spend-up on other positions.
Core: Derek Carr, Trey Lance
Pivots: Lamar Jackson, Russ Wilson, Tua Tagovailoa, Marcus Mariota
Per usual, my running back tier is extremely concise in Week 2. I believe my main team will consider four options — Barkley, Mixon, Fournette and Henderson. Barkley and Mixon had two of the best roles in football in Week 1 and are both installed as favorites this weekend. Barkley not only led the team in rushing work, but targets as well and my prediction that he would lead the NFL in touches this season looks like it has hopes of coming true should he remain healthy amid this massive workload. Cincinnati was trailing pretty much the entire game against Pittsburgh but Joe Mixon still touched the ball over 30 times and did not lose as much passing work to Semaje Perine as expected. I think this could be a huge Mixon game as a road-favorite over a bad Cowboys team. As of now, they’re my top-two RB plays on the slate. Not far behind is Fournette and Henderson — Hendo especially due to his cheap price tag. He clearly is the guy over Cam Akers after logging 82% of the snaps against the Bills. He’s under $6,300 on both sites and will likely be one of the highest-owned players on Sunday. I think he is a strong cash game play, but won’t be a must for me in tournaments.
It’s pretty strange that the top-tier backs aren’t in my cash pool this weekend but I just don’t see why I would need to get up to them when Barkley and Mixon look like legitimate bellcow backs for less money. That being said, getting up to JT or CMC is always a strong move and I’m not scared off from CMC after that “let-down” Week 1. That was a true floor game for McCaffrey and the Panthers essentially went three and out for an entire quarter and a half to start the game. They will probably look to get him going early on Sunday and he’s one of the top plays in all formats this weekend.
Both James Conner and Antonio Gibson figure to get overlooked and I like both in GPPs. Conner also had a bellcow-type role and will be under-owned in Raiders stacks or even as a one-off. Gibson saw eight targets in Week 1 and it appears Ron Rivera has learned that he actually played Wide Receiver in college. He got a ton of usage, and should continue to do so while Brian Robinson is out.
Core: Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon, Lenny Fournette, Darrell Henderson
Pivots: JT, CMC, James Conner, Antonio Gibson
Las Vegas threw the ball a lot more than I personally expected them to in Week 1, and they were scheming Davante Adams all over the field. The college connection between him and Carr holds strong and I think he is the clear number one receiver this week for the price against a leaky Cardinals secondary. Adams is part of the reason I’m so interested in Carr. I also love Greg Dortch as the run-back with both Rondale Moore and Andy Isabella out. Dortch actually led the team in targets last week at a much lower aDOT than Hollywood Brown — making him a potential safety blanket for Kyler Murray against this fierce Raiders pass-rush featuring Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones in a revenge spot. Both of these guys are likely to make my main roster this week.
Outside of those players — it’s once again a loaded mid-tier. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Courtland Sutton and Christian Kirk all stick out as above-average plays for me in Week 2. ARSB dominated once again for the Lions and has now caught eight or more balls in seven straight dating back to last season. He’s locked in as Goff’s go-to target in a game that has serious shootout potential. Sutton looked the part to me on Monday night, and I’m loving how low his early OWN% projection is. He ranked top-five in Air Yards after one week and dominated the attention of Wilson with a team-high 43% share of his Air Yards. He also got a couple deep end-zone looks but was held. I think this is a breakout game for him in the Broncos home opener. Kirk clearly has a rapport with Trevor Lawrence and they’re going to continue to feed him after making him one of the highest paid wideouts in the NFL. He ran a lot of slot routes in Week 1, and we want to attack Indy over the middle of the field. He’s viable in all formats and is a strong consideration for me.
There’s tons of strong tournament plays at this position. Deebo should be expected to play more of the wide-back role we saw last season and could eat up goal-line carries with Eli Mitchell out. Tyreek was one of the league-leaders in opportunity in Week 1 and we can confidently projected the Dolphins to throw a lot once again. Jeudy, London and Bateman all make my pool and can be used in stacks or correlation plays in any lineup. There are more guys in the mid-tier on DK that could end up in my pool — be sure to check Final Thoughts for my updated decisions.
Core: Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Christian Kirk, Courtland Sutton, Greg Dortch
Pivots: Deebo Samuel, Tyreek Hill, Jerry Jeudy, Rashod Bateman, Drake London
My selections for cheap tight end severely let me down in Week 1, and I was lucky to survive those landmines and still comfortably cash — thanks to Justin Jefferson. I have two clear options I’m considering for my main team this weekend in Albert Okwuegbunam and Juwan Jefferson. As I noted above I’m really high on the Broncos passing game this weekend and was encouraged by Albert’s role in Week 1. He ran a ton of slot routes, and is simply too athletic not to have a big game if he continually gets a 70% snap-rate. Everyone knows that I love the $3K-tier on DraftKings and I will be considering Albert O in all formats on Sunday. Outside of him Okwuegbunam, Juwan Johnson is popping as a strong play at minimum-salary. Another athletic specimen, Johnson has 92nd percentile speed per PlayerProfiler and is a former Wide Receiver. Johnson’s usage was one of the big surprises in Week 1 — he ran a route on 32 of Jameis Winston’s 40 drop-backs and commanded six targets. Reports came out this week he has pulled ahead in the Saints TE room, and he won’t need to do much at this type of salary.
I don’t typically play enough teams to get too crazy at the TE position. Spending up is always a fine move in tournaments and I’m fine with both Andrews and Pitts in stacks or as mini correlation plays. Pitts once again had a ton of Air Yards in Week 1, and it’s only a matter of time before he pops for a huge game. Higbee had strong usage against the Bills, and is a great play in that same game.
Core: Albert O, Juwan Johnson
Pivot: Mark Andrews, Kyle Pitts, Tyler Higbee
Bold Call of the Week
Courtland Sutton tops 100 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)