DraftKings NFL Week 2 Picks and Optimal Lineup
One week in, the quest to build the perfect DraftKings Millionaire Maker lineup continues… Week 2 is an absolutely loaded slate and this is the only article you need to build winners on DraftKings. Before we jump into our picks, just a friendly reminder that Aaron Donald vs. Quenton Nelson kicks off at 1 PM on Sunday and should be can’t-miss football.
I want to start this week’s lineup by identifying the chalk stacks that clearly stand out, but probably need to be avoided if you hope to take down a Millionaire Maker. We will certainly have shares from these stacks, but history tells us if you are playing the highest owned stack, you likely aren’t winning $1 million on Sunday.
This matchup sticks out like a sore thumb. We said this repeatedly throughout the offseason, the Atlanta defense (at least on paper, we will see if Pees can find a way to fix it) is one of the worst units ever assembled. They gave up a QB rating of 126.4 to Jalen Hurts in week one, despite Hurts having extremely limited reps with his top receivers this preseason.
How does Brady miss value this week? The Bucs take a massive lead early and lean on Ronald Jones to close out the game. We see this narrative all the time, you think a QB is in a smash spot but then get a rushing touchdown, D/ST touchdown, rushing touchdown, and the next thing you know it’s a running clock. Yes, Atlanta has a terrible pass defense, but they also gave up nearly 6 YPC in week 1 and this Bucs offensive line is considerably better than Philly’s.
A revamped Vikings defense was supposed to be better in 2021, but Joe Burrow put together a nearly flawless week 1 performance against them putting up a QB rating of 128+. Now Minnesota has to deal with what looks like a juggernaut in Kyler Murray and his arsenal of weapons.
How does Murray miss value this week? Mackensie Alexander and Breshaud Breeland looked awful last week despite the Vikings getting plenty of pressure (5 sacks). The only way Murray misses value is if the Arizona defense is more the 2020 unit that gave up 4.6 YPC than the group we saw shut Derrick Henry down. If that is the case the Vikings can play keep-away with Dalvin Cook.
We knew the Titans pass defense was going to be miserable going into week 1 and it was as bad as advertised. Kyler Murray’s average time to throw was 3 seconds and the Titans still only managed two sacks on 40+ dropbacks. That does not bode well against Russell Wilson who’s intended air yards were a league-best 10.4 in week one. Add in the fact that this game is in Seattle, and this looks like a layup for Wilson.
How does Wilson miss value this week? Similar to Murray, it will come down to the Titans running game. If Tennessee can grind on the Seahawks’ defense with Derrick Henry, there is a chance this game plays well under the current total. We know Carroll is willing to run the ball more than Kingsbury, which would really play into the Titans’ hands. If Seattle comes out too conservative, and the Titans’ offensive line shows up hungry, Wilson could miss value as the second-highest-priced QB this week.
Our Optimal Lineup for the Week 2 DraftKings Millionaire Maker
So we have established three stacks that we are targeting in cash games, but ruling out for our week 2 optimal lineup. Again, there is a chance one of these stacks is in the winning lineup, but if 50% of the entries have one of these three chalk stacks, it is going to be nearly impossible to beat the entry limit abusers that will have 20 variations of lineups for each of these stacks.
Let’s start with our Week 2 DraftKings stack and then fill out our roster.
Teddy Bridgewater/KJ Hamler/Noah Fant
After watching the Jags get shredded by Tyrod Taylor, Brandin Cooks, and Pharoah Brown, this is clearly a stack that stands out. In addition to avoiding the chalk stacks, the majority of Broncos stacks will include Courtland Sutton and/or Tim Patrick, so we even have a built-in advantage over other Broncos stacks.
If you look at the Jags’ scheme and yards per route covered, they are clearly going to struggle to defend the slot and tight end positions this season. They were one of the worst defenses against tight ends in 2021 and it looks like it will be a long, busy season for Tyson Campbell if he is going to stick as the Jags’ starting nickel corner.
Not only was Teddy Two Gloves the most accurate QB in the NFL in Week 1, but he showed a willingness to push the ball down field (8.4 IAY) that has been missing to this point in his career.
At $13,400, this stack is also over $6,000 cheaper than a three-player stack from the chalk plays listed at the top of this article. This allows us to ensure this lineup against big games from any of the chalk QB’s by targeting their top receivers.
Until Pittsburgh fixes their offensive line, Najee Harris is going to be a pure matchup/volume play in DFS. That being said, this is a matchup to target Harris in. The Raiders defense was 25th in the NFL in YPC, 30th in rushing touchdowns allowed, and 28th in FPPG allowed to opposing RB’s last season.
Any questions about just how involved Harris would be in this Steelers offense were blown away with a 100% snap count in week 1. Vegas gave up 33.5 fantasy points to Ravens running backs in week 1, and as bad as this Pittsburgh offensive line, it is no worse than the Baltimore line that easily graded out as the NFL’s worst last week.
If you are looking for a week 1 overreaction in the Week 2 DraftKings salaries, look no further than Zeke. Kellen Moore’s game plan to avoid the Bucs run defense altogether was brilliant, but hardly a reflection on this Cowboys rushing attack. Dallas still has one of the strongest offensive lines in football… Tampa’s run defense (Vita Vea) is just that good.
While the Chargers were a middle-of-the-pack fantasy matchup for running backs last season, if you dig deeper into their schedule they were far from good against the run. Their 2020 schedule was ridiculously soft and even slightly above average rushing attacks gashed them. James Robinson had 33 DraftKings points against the Chargers, the Raiders’ backs had 31, Tampa’s backs put up 30, and Denver’s backs average nearly 6 YPC in the team’s two matchups last season. Zeke will eat on Sunday.
To say Miami’s corners are sticky is an understatement, so to see a double-digit performance out of Meyers in Jones’ first start for the Patriots was extremely promising. This matchup is clearly more favorable. The Jets surrendered a 102 QB rating, with only one sack, while allowing Sam Darnold to average 8 YPA in week 1.
Meyers had a 22% target share in Week 1, but we think he will be even more active here in Week 2. When looking at the Patriots receiver’s targets and red zone usage, it is important to remember Agholor primarily lined up against Nik Needham, while Meyers almost exclusively saw Xavien Howard.
The first of two wide receivers we will target to offset those two stacks mentioned earlier, Hopkins is, once again, in a smash spot here in week 2. Two of Minnesota’s three corners received bottom-five grades from PFF in week 1, and their strongest corner was Patrick Peterson… not good.
Clearly, Arizona is deep at receiver, but we know Hopkins will be the go-to guy in this offense. He converted 9 targets into 26.3 DraftKings points in Week 1, including two touchdowns on his two red zone targets. Minnesota simply does not have the bodies to match up with this Arizona offense, which should keep them from bracketing Hopkins, which is of course a recipe for disaster.
We avoided DK in Week 1, simply because the Colts’ two high defense has been so good at taking away big plays, but what a setup this Week 2 matchup. Tennessee gave up 6 passing plays of 20+ yards last week after giving up 55 last season.
This secondary simply isn’t good, and the defensive line generates little-to-no pressure. The Titans’ sack rate was 29th in the NFL last season, and that number got even worse on the road, getting to the QB on fewer than 3.3% of dropbacks.
Metcalf had a 23% target share in week 1, 67% red zone target share, and he topped 25% target air yards in a game where he received only 5 targets. Translation? Given his typical 8-10 targets, he is a virtual lock to hit a big play and reach value. Considering the matchup, we like him to break a couple of big plays this week.
Here is our optimal lineup with an alternate version for those of you that don’t believe in Teddy Two Gloves just yet…
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Chris Lollis is the founder and senior editor at Hello Rookie. He has over a decade of experience in the sports betting industry and has covered everything from the PASPA repeal to every state launch since. Chris currently contributes guides, reviews, and betting tips at Hello Rookie.