Every year the first Sunday of the NFL season is a roller coaster ride, especially for us DFS degenerates. We saw the Saints and Buccaneers light up the scoreboard, the Bills fail to play the professional sport that they claim to be part of, and a tie between the Steelers and Browns. However, it’s time to move on after a profitable week one and examine which D/ST to avoid in week two.
Denver Broncos: $4,500
Despite allowing 24 points to the Seahawks, the Broncos finished with 12 points on the day. In cash games, they did more than make value at $4,600, but that won’t be the case against the Raiders. What allowed the Broncos to fight back was the fact that they recorded six sacks against the completely inept Seattle offensive line. Even with all the pressure they applied, Russell Wilson still hung 298 yards and three touchdowns against the former “no fly zone” without his most dependable target, Doug Baldwin.
The Raiders, while they have serious questions, have a good offensive line. Pro Football Focus ranked the Raiders as the seventh best offensive line in the NFL. They anticipate the starters will be (from left to right): Kolton Miller, Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Donald Penn. Any of those players would start on the Seattle offensive line and would be in consideration for their best lineman on the roster.
Offensive line aside, the Raiders skill position players are more proven than those of Seattle. Amari Cooper would currently be the best receiver on the Raiders (including the fact that Baldwin was admittedly not 100 percent). Jared Cook, despite his inconsistency, would be the best tight end on the Seahawks as well. Yes, I understand Derek Carr will not be able to extend plays like Wilson, but he won’t have to. If the back end coverage doesn’t improve for Broncos, they will be a big DFS bust on the main slate.
Carolina Panthers: $4,100
My analysis and justification for listing the Panthers as a D/ST to avoid in week two is similar to the Denver Broncos argument. The Cowboys, while they have a good offensive line without Travis Frederick, have zero downfield threats. Dak Prescott on 29 attempts only threw for 170 yards, giving him a YPA of 5.86. As of Monday morning, that would make Prescott 20th in YPA and among the league’s least aggressive quarterbacks. That number is the product of poor perimeter players and predictable offensive system.
The Falcons’ offense is much better than the Cowboys’, holistically. Their play calling between the 20’s is less predictable and more efficient than the Cowboys. While their red zone woes are real, the Panthers won’t be able to pressure Matt Ryan the same way. Their offensive line unit is among Pro Football Focus’ top five and Ryan is far more aggressive than Prescott. In two games against the Panthers in 2017, Ryan had a 7.63 YPA and the Falcons demonstrated on Thursday night that they aren’t afraid to attack down the field, even if it wasn’t successful. The Panthers defense will not be able to play as aggressively with Julio Jones lurking on the perimeter and will face an offense that had 10 days to prepare for them.
Washington Redskins: $3,700
While I used the Redskins defense in the majority of my DFS lineups in week one, I won’t in week two. Andrew Luck, without his starting left tackle, was productive against the Bengals as he threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns. Sam Bradford didn’t present the same downfield threat as Luck will, and the Colts are a pass first team, unlike the David Johnson-driven Cardinals. If you’re looking for a value play, consider the Falcons at $3,400 given the Panthers’ debilitating offensive line injuries. If the Cowboys’ defense can come within a point of hitting value, so can the Falcons.
Featured Image Courtesy of Last Word on Pro Football
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