The approach to selecting the right quarterback in daily fantasy sports can be summed up in three words: don’t get cute. This position is one of the few in which ownership doesn’t matter, especially in cash games. Because there’s only one quarterback per lineup, you don’t get the chance to leverage a risky play with a more stable option at the same position. Since we only get one shot to nail this position, we have to lean towards stability over upside. Let’s not get cute and identify which quarterbacks to avoid in week two.
Tom Brady: $8,500
Jaguars DVOA (Total): 11th Jaguars DVOA (Rush): 9th Jaguars DVOA (Pass): 14th
For cash games, this is the definition of getting cute with the quarterback position. Tom Brady presents himself as an excellent GPP play with the emergence of value players like Tevin Coleman and Dante Pettis. Brady is phenomenal, no question; however, he doesn’t have the weapons at his disposal to make value this week.
Think about this fact, the Jaguars faced a top-five wide receiver in Odell Beckham and a top-five fantasy running back in Saquon Barkley and still held the Giants to only 15 points. Not to mention they had to at least remember that Evan Engram and Sterling Sheppard were on the field as well. The Patriots don’t have an Odell Beckham player on the perimeter, and they certainly don’t have a Saquon Barkley to overcome this tough matchup.
The Patriots are excellent schemers. Meaning, they’ll likely make some plays and have success in the first half. But, once Jacksonville makes the schematic adjustments, it will come down to players like Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, and a less than healthy Rex Burkhead to win one-on-one matchups. Will Rob Gronkowski produce, I think so. However, he spends most of his time dominating the middle of the field, not outside the numbers. A perimeter threat pressures the defense differently and physically stretches them more than a dominant tight end. If you believe with all your heart and soul that paying up at quarterback in cash games and that Tom Brady is the best option, then good luck.
Andrew Luck: $7,500
Redskins DVOA (Total): 19th Redskins DVOA (Rush): 32nd Redskins DVOA (Pass): 6th
If you listen to the Suck My DFS Podcast, you know I have a soft spot for Andrew Luck. I would more accurately describe it as a hard spot, but that’s as far as I can go while keeping it PG on the website. Despite my affinity for Luck, I will have exactly 0.0 shares of him this weekend. And as you can see from the DVOA numbers above, the matchup is why.
The Redskins suffocated the Cardinals in week one. Now, I don’t think they will stay that highly ranked after facing Luck and the Colts, but they will have success. Sam Bradford does not, and did not, attack down the field. Luck will take his shots strategically, but without starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo, the Redskins’ pass rush will get home.
Conversely, I don’t think the Redskins are as bad against the run as their DVOA indicates. The numbers can easily be skewed with only one week of data. But sadly, the Colts are going to struggle running the football. And, we don’t know how long they will stick with the run so that they can eventually exploit this defense’s weak spot. With all these factors in play, you’re better off pivoting to another player in that price range like Patrick Mahomes and Nick Foles who both have superior matchups.
Tyrod Taylor: $6,600
Saints DVOA (Total): 23rd Saints DVOA (Rush): 10th Saints DVOA (Pass): 32nd
Do not believe in what you saw from the Saints in week one. In 2017, the Saints got dismantled by Sam Bradford and the Vikings in week one and again by Tom Brady in week two. What happened next? They adjusted and became an above average NFL defense aided by a tremendous offense. Fast forward to 2018, and the Saints are in the same scenario. So now the question is, do you think Tyrod Taylor will play the Tom Brady role and pick them apart? My answer is no.
What usually makes Taylor a great cash game play is his price and rushing upside. In week one, Taylor displayed his ability to run and flopped miserably as a passer in the rain. The Saints will have a plan to contain Taylor and force him to win from the pocket. There’s also a problem no one wants to address with Taylor. How much longer before Baker Mayfield gets his shot if Taylor’s poor passing production continues? If Mayfield gets the start in the second half against the Saints, you’re screwed. Just do what most people will be doing and pay the extra $100 for Case Keenum against the lowly Raiders.
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