This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.
Week 1 will be remembered as the week of the second wide receiver with many unexpected, explosive games from players who aren't at the top of the depth chart. The injury bug reared it's ugly head, and as a result there'll be some matchups to take advantage of this week.
Lamar Jackson ($8,200) turned in a huge game, and it could have been bigger had the Dolphins kept the game competitive. He'll have a good home matchup this week against the Cardinals and should be very chalky in cash games. Just look for him to score more points with his legs this week and a little less with his arm. Tom Brady ($8,200) arguably has the best matchup of the week against the Dolphins, and Vegas has him as a 19-point favorite. It just remains to be seen if the Patriots choose to attack through the air or by ground. Looking at GPP plays, the Raiders' Derek Carr ($6,600) sticks out as a quarterback in a game with an over/under of 53, the largest of Sunday's slate. While the Raiders are a touchdown underdog, they'll be at home and still have a big expected point total. Putting Carr with Tyrell Williams ($5,900) and Darren Waller ($5,400) is a cheap stack that'll leave plenty of money to spend up at the other spots in a lineup. Finally, Kyler Murray ($6,400) is extremely cheap for a player who scored 22.62 fantasy points, most of which came in the fourth quarter. While he has a tough matchup in Baltimore, that'll help keep his ownership at a minimum. He's one of the better contrarian plays at the position.
Among the stud running backs this week, Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500) appears to be the best choice of the bunch. Alvin Kamara ($8,700) and the Saints don't play as well on the road and go against the Rams, a decent defense. The Bills defense looked good last week and will be focused on stopping Saquon Barkley ($9,200). Christian McCaffrey played Thursday night, so he's not even an option. The Redskins should be a good matchup for Zeke, and the Cowboy said this week he'll be back to a normal load. The chalkiest running back of the main slate likely will be the Bengals' Giovani Bernard ($5,700). It doesn't appear that Joe Mixon will play in this game, and the 49ers aren't a defense to be worried about. Bernard will get all the touches he can handle and is almost a lock to score double-digit fantasy points. He's not worth fading in cash games, especially given there's a flex spot. My favorite tournament play of the day is Sony Michel ($6,800). He's not overly expensive at his price and he's the starting running back on a team favored by 19 points. Every year it seems there's a game where a Patriot running back goes for at least three touchdowns, and that could very well be this game. Hope that people focus on the 15 carries for 14 yards last week; that's an anomaly that won't happen again. Both Josh Jacobs ($6,500) and Aaron Jones ($6,400) are reasonably priced this week and are worth consideration. Jacobs is clearly the main running back for Oakland, and the Chiefs didn't look good against the run last week. Jones should bounce back at home, and the Vikings aren't as strong of a defense as the Bears are. It's a great bounce-back spot for Jones.
The Seahawks appeared to sorely miss Earl Thomas this week, as they were torched by John Ross and to a lesser degree Tyler Boyd. That puts JuJu Smith-Schuster ($8,100) as a standout among the higher-priced wide receivers. As long as his toe is okay, look for Juju to bounce back from a mediocre performance in New England Sunday night. My favorite GPP play at this position this week is Mecole Hardman ($4,700). Without Tyreek Hill it would make sense that either Hardman or teammate Demarcus Robinson ($5,200) will see an uptick in targets and thus, production. I'll side with the guy who runs a 4.33 forty, which is Hardman. It's easy to see a game plan where both Sammy Watkins ($7,400) and Travis Kelce ($8,000) are doubled teamed leaving softer coverage on the rest of the receivers. As always, pairing Hardman with either Kelce or Watkins, and completing the stack with Patrick Mahomes ($9,000) who could be under the radar this week. The Rams' Brandin Cooks ($7,000) is in a good spot to rebound this week home against the Saints. Marshon Lattimore will likely shadow Robert Woods, and Cooks is the perfect boom-or-bust player to use for GPPs. Players moderately priced to consider for both cash and tournaments include Kenny Golladay ($6,600), Tyrell Williams ($5,900), Tyler Boyd ($6,300) and Josh Gordon ($6,300).
The Ravens' Mark Andrews ($6,100) finds himself in a good spot taking on a Cardinals team that just allowed 22.1 fantasy points to T.J. Hockenson ($6,000). Both Travis Kelce ($8,000) and George Kittle ($7,100) are both worth spending up for provided they fit under the salary cap. This might be a good week to gamble and use both in a lineup (one at tight end, one at flex) as a contrarian move. As already mentioned, Darren Waller ($5,400) is in a good spot for either GPPs or cash games as Derek Carr's 1B target. Vance McDonald ($5,600) could be among the Steelers looking for a big game after last week's debacle in New England.
The top defense of the week has to be the New England Patriots ($4,900) who are huge favorites in Miami. Not only are the Dolphins huge underdogs, but if the script goes according to plan, they should be throwing a lot throughout the game, setting up the Patriots for both turnovers and sacks. The Baltimore Ravens ($5,000) at home against Kyler Murray is another interesting pick, but the rookie could surprise and put up points even on the road. Lastly, the Houston Texans ($4,800) are at home facing an unheralded rookie making his first professional start. While Gardner Minshew played well in relief last week, he hasn't faced any type of defensive player like J.J. Watt. Look for Houston's defense to put up some nice fantasy numbers at home coming off the stinging loss.