Brady (About to Go) Gaga

Tom Brady and the Patriots are going to be angry coming off a loss and they will face the Saints in a dome in Week 2. Look for their offense to absolutely explode and fantasy owners will want a piece of the action. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for Week 2 NFL contests.

Tom Brady, Patriots, $14,900 – Undoubtedly, a spot that fantasy owners will want to attack tonight is the matchup between the Patriots and Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Not only does the game come equipped with the highest total of the slate but it features a battle between arguably the two top offenses in the league and it will be played in a dome where the Saints offense flourishes. If either defense is as bad as they showed last week, this one is going to be a barn burner. The Patriots are being implied to score a slate-high 30.5 points so fading their offense in cash games could have devastating consequences. With values available to be rostered elsewhere, there is no reason to take the chance. Tom Brady will be angry after losing the opener and the Saints defense ranks dead last in defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) after one week (in which they were dominated by Sam Bradford and the Vikings). Each of the last two seasons, Brees has posted a substantially higher quarterback (QB) rating at home comparatively on the road so he should bring it as well. If all goes well, this game has a chance to be the highest scoring game of the season, so play it safe, roster the former MVP and sleep like a baby.

Kareem Hunt, Chiefs, $12,700 – After just one week, it is fair to upgrade Kareem Hunt to a true RB1 after seeing his role. Do not forget Coach Andy Reid schemed Jamaal Charles to 1,287 yards, 70 receptions (RECs) and 19 total touchdowns (TDs) in his first season with the team (followed by 14 TDs the next year). In Week 1, Hunt set a rookie record for total yards in a debut (246) and he caught five passes along the way. When all said and done, Hunt had score three TDs and he led all players in fantasy points in just his first career game. In Week 2, the Chiefs will take on an Eagles team that has dominated tight ends (TEs) for over a season now. Jordan Hicks is the best cover linebacker in the league, and he has a great shot to shut down Travis Kelce, leaving more of the offense to funnel through Hunt and Tyreek Hill than normal. If Hunt is forced to carry a heavier load than normal, and last week was anywhere near normal, then the sky is the limit once again. There is no need to spend up for Le’Veon Bell when Hunt can be rostered at a massive discount.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers, $8,700 – Although he may prove to be chalky, Jacquizz Rodgers is a bellcow back at a sub-$9,000 cost. When Rodgers filled in for Martin last season, he averaged over 20 touches per game and ranked as the 13th best running back (RB) in fantasy as the starter from Weeks 5-8 in 2016. Additionally, Rodgers has averaged 4.4 yards per carry (YPC) in games which he has received at least 15-plus rushing attempts. Fortunately for Rodgers, the Bears just lost their best linebacker (Jerrell Freeman) to injured reserve, so their subpar rushing defense (29th in rushing DVOA last year) just got worse. At this price point, Rodgers is a lock.

Ty Montgomery, Packers, $10,900 – The knock against Ty Montgomery this offseason was the fact he struggled in pass protection. Well, in the matchup against the Seahawks, Montgomery shined and ended up graded as the top pass protecting back in the league in Week 1. Consequently, he played 90.2-percent of the Packers’ offensive snaps and produced in his usual, unconventional way: 19 rushes, 54 yards, rushing TD and he caught 4-4 targets for 39 yards receiving. Remember, Montgomery started out as a wide receiver (WR), so he is a threat to catch double-digit passes out of the backfield on any given Sunday. Other than the Patriots/Saints game, the Packers/Falcons game is the other game with an outlier total (53.5) and why not with two elite offenses playing in a dome? Last season, no team allowed more RECs to opposing RBs than Falcons so the correlation literally could not be stronger here. Montgomery should compete for the positional lead in fantasy-points-per-dollar in what is arguably the best possible matchup for him.

Michael Thomas, Saints, $14,100 – Both sides of the Patriots/Saints game are worth targeting as this game has all the makings of that Eli Manning/Drew Brees duel in the Superdome where the two combined for the most passing TDs ever in a single game (13). The Patriots defense did not look sharp against the Chiefs who completely torched them and they lost Pro Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower to a sprained MCL in the process. Just a season ago, the Patriots ranked 22nd in passing DVOA and 20th in DVOA specifically to opposing number one WRs. Michael Thomas, coming off a predictably quiet game against Xavier Rhodes, is listed as the exact same size as Julio Jones (and is similarly talented). This game should have the quickest pace of any on the slate and points should be aplenty with both offenses going back and forth. Thomas is significantly cheaper than Brandin Cooks and will be receiving passes from one of the best home QBs in all of football. Therefore, he is an easy play in cash games especially.

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots, $13,000 – One member of the Patriots is not enough in this game and Rob Gronkowski is still above and beyond the best tight end (TE) in the league when healthy. Even with some of his injury-plagued seasons, Gronkowski has averaged more TDs per game than any other player at the position in history. Essentially, he has a distinct advantage against a defense that ranked 22nd in DVOA against TEs last year and allowed 52.4 yards per game to the position. Since Brady is still figuring out how to make a batch of WRs with a similar skill set (speed) work, Gronkowski is the constant he is used to playing with, and one he always looks to exploit in the right matchups. The Saints’ linebacking core features rookie Alex Anzalone, who looked good in coverage (graded as fourth best cover linebacker) in the opener, but Gronkowski still possesses the experience advantage. Gronkowski has before and will again make rookies look like rookies and the scheme of Bill Belichick should only help. On this slate, Gronkowski is above and beyond the top TE, and going cheap at the position is way too risky for my liking.

Baltimore Ravens Defense, $7,300 – A rookie QB in his first road game is unpredictable and attacking him with a defense that shut down Andy Dalton last week is a sharp play. Furthermore, the Browns are coming off a week where their top back, Isaiah Crowell, averaged just 1.94 YPC on 17 attempts. The Ravens ranked fourth in rushing DVOA last year and held opponents to 23.6-percent below their average production in the run game. Assuming they can shut down Crowell, DeShone Kizer will have to throw more than he would like, and that did not work out well for the Bengals last week (16-31, 170 yards, four interceptions and a fumble lost). Spending up for a defense means making concessions elsewhere but the Rams proved last week that a defense can mall all the difference.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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