NFL Week 2 DFS Primer: Ownership Projections and Optimizer Picks
Week 2 kicked off with the Eagles’ wild win over the Vikings at home on Thursday night. We saw more offensive fireworks in that game than we did in most of Week 1, and it’s fair to assume scoring will increase moving forward as offenses around the league begin to find their footing.
Here at RotoGrinders, you’ll find no shortage of NFL DFS content at your disposal to help you with your weekly research. Every single week over the course of football season, we’ll give you a deep dive into how to approach the upcoming slate. Specific game breakdowns, positional rankings. optimizer picks, and ownership projections can all help you get a leg up on the rest of the field heading into the weekend.
With such comprehensive coverage, knowing where to find everything can be a challenge. In this weekly primer, I’ll be highlighting some of our best NFL DFS content and giving you a bird’s-eye view of Sunday’s main slates on DraftKings and FanDuel. Here’s a glimpse of some of our best NFL DFS picks heading into Week 2.
NFL DFS Week 2 Optimizer Picks
We live in a #HotTake culture, and there’s no better time to draw way-too-early conclusions than after Week 1. The Bills’ offense – particularly Josh Allen – looked terrible. Jordan Love, meanwhile, looked better last week in Chicago than Aaron Rodgers did at any point last season. If you were watching pro football for the first time ever last week, you probably came to the conclusion that Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill are the best players to have ever donned shoulder pads.
Of course, one week’s worth of games is far too tiny a sample to make any real conclusions about anything. Still, it’s fair to expect players who fared well last week to become popular targets this week. A few sites around the industry have been slow to raise salaries accordingly, as you’ll see in Naap’s Optimizer Picks piece.
Calvin Ridley ($7,200) looks like a core play in all formats this week on DraftKings after enjoying a big debut in Week 1 for Jacksonville. Packers rookie TE Luke Musgrave ($3,200), meanwhile, is still underpriced for the role he’s likely to play in a potentially underrated Green Bay offense. James Cook ($6,100) figures to garner some ownership after impressing as Buffalo’s unquestioned RB1 on Monday night against a stout Jets defense.
Over on FanDuel, Cook’s teammate, Stefon Diggs ($8,000), is in a smash spot against a Raiders defense that was among the most porous in the league against the pass in 2022. Kenneth Walker ($6,700) and David Montgomery ($6,300) are among the best running back plays in that Seahawks-Lions potential track meet.
Week 2 Ownership Projections
RG’s NFL ownership projections are the most accurate in the industry, and using pOWN to your advantage is a major part of being a profitable DFS player. While fields are sharper than ever, NFL GPPs tend to be a bit softer overall thanks to the boatload of casuals that enter the fray on a weekly basis. Game logs are easy to look up, and those who don’t know better will simply assume players who went off in Week 1 will do the same in Week 2.
Obviously, that isn’t always the case. Every player has a range of outcomes, and there’s no such thing as a “safe” play. Having a ballpark estimate of how popular a certain player will be ahead of time will give you an idea of how to approach your builds.
Some of the most popular DK plays heading into Week 2 are:
Puka Nacua topped 100 yards on a whopping 10 catches in his NFL debut last week in Seattle, and he’s still too cheap on DK at $4,900 if he’s going to be the Rams’ WR1 with Cooper Kupp on IR. Unfortunately, we got word that the rookie missed Thursday’s practice with an oblique injury, so keep an eye on the news later today for an injury designation. LA faces a tough matchup at home vs. San Francisco on Sunday, and this is a late-afternoon game. If Nacua is still questionable after the first games lock, we could see his ownership plunge.
Some of the chalkiest players on FanDuel this week are:
Based on the projected ownership, it’s safe to assume paying up at wide receiver will be a popular approach on FD. In addition to the 3 listed above, we’re also expecting ownership of 20% or more on Ja’Marr Chase ($8,400) and Calvin Ridley ($8,300). Paying up at WR likely means most will live in the midrange at running back, which explains the significant pOWN for guys like James Conner (18.48%), James Cook (16.27%), and David Montgomery (15.16%).
PrizePicks Pick’em Plays
NFL DFS isn’t your only option when it comes to making money on Sunday. Pick’em sites are growing in popularity seemingly by the day. Needless to say, you’ve got plenty of options at your disposal when it comes to Week 2, as well. New users can claim a match bonus of up to $100 using our special PrizePicks promo code.
Below are a couple of my favorite PrizePicks picks entering the second week of the season. Premium members can get a leg up on the field by using our special PrizePicks Pick’em Tool.
James Cook More Than 12.5 Receiving Yards
James Cook logged 59% of the Bills’ snaps in Week 1, which put him well ahead of backups Latavius Murray (23%) and Damien Harris (13%). It sure looks like the second-year back has the confidence of the coaching staff, and he got 16 touches in Buffalo’s opening-week defeat in New York. Crucially, that included 4 catches on 6 targets for 17 yards through the air.
The Bills are in a great get-right spot at home vs. Las Vegas this week. Their 27.25 implied team total is among the highest on the slate, so we should see some offense from the home team in this one. Cook doesn’t have to enjoy a monster day through the air in order to top 12.5 receiving yards, as we saw just the other night.
Guess which defense yielded the most receiving yards to opposing running backs per game last season? That would be none other than the Raiders, who coughed up over 48 receiving yards to RBs in 2022-23. Sounds like a recipe for success for Mr. Cook, no?
Cam Akers More Than 32.5 Rushing Yards
There’s nothing Sean McVay loves more than yanking Cam Akers around. We saw it last season with the Darrel Henderson shenanigans, and we saw more of the same in Week 1. Kyren Williams logged 15 carries and found paydirt twice in LA’s easy win over the Seahawks.
However, the results aren’t everything. Akers only mustered 29 rushing yards, but he did get 22 carries. Williams’ 3.5 yards per tote was better than Akers’ paltry 1.8 mark, but it’s not like 3.5 yards per carry is something to write home about. The real issue was the snap count, as Williams was on the field (65%) nearly twice as often as Akers (35%).
Williams seems to be on an upward trajectory, it’s hard to ignore Akers’ 22 carries. The matchup vs. the 49ers this week is brutal, but if Akers continues to get work, topping 32.5 rushing yards isn’t that much to ask.
I don’t have a ton of confidence in this pick, but the logic is there.