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Fantasy football: Studs and duds for Week 2

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Week 1 offered us but a glimpse of what we can expect from players in Week 2. Let me give you my best educated guesses on some studs and duds for this weekend.

Detroit Lions v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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Let’s talk about the success I had with my Week 1 DFS picks. Matthew Stafford had a top-five performance, Lamar Miller had a very solid day and Doug Baldwin put in the seventh-best performance among receivers. As for some of the picks that fell short, Kevin White—of course a Bears player—underperformed a bit for his price, as did fantasy darling Ezekiel Elliott. His day was rather pedestrian, but getting into the end zone kept it from being a complete disaster.

So let’s do better than three players this week. I can do better than three solid plays in Week 2. I can do it for not only me, but for you, too. Here are your studs for Week 2:

Studs

QB - Blake “I Like” Bortles at $8,100

Blake Bortles didn’t have his best game, but he didn’t have his worst game either against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, and many Allen Robinson owners can attest to that. Bortles spread the ball around to a bunch of different receivers, which is good news for the Jaguars offense and thus great news for Bortles. The third-year quarterback will take his team on the road to San Diego where the Chargers’ pass defense surrendered 363 yards through the air. Oh yeah, that’s right, Alex Smith had 29 fantasy points and was the third highest scoring quarterback from Week 1. I like Bortles in this one.

RB - Rashad “Tha Bod” Jennings at $6,300

This could be the Play of the Week candidate, but it could also be a colossal waste. Here’s why I think Jennings will be a good play this week against the New Orleans Saints: their defense is so very bad. The Saints gave up 167 yards of offense on the ground to the Oakland Raiders in Week 1, which is a lot of rushing yards, but it isn’t eye-popping until you see that the Saints’ run defense allowed 6.4 yards per attempt. They also gave up three rushing touchdowns, tied for the most allowed in Week 1 with the St. Louis Los Angeles Rams.

WR - Allen “15 Targets” Robinson at $8,200

No wide receiver received more targets than Allen Robinson in Week 1. Not Julio Jones (8), Odell Beckham Jr. (8), Antonio Brown (11) or A.J. Green (13) had the ball thrown their way more times than Robinson on Sunday against the Packers. Now isn’t the time for excuses for people who had the Jacksonville receiver last week, but he was facing Sam Shields, and from watching some film, Bortles just overthrew Robinson a few times, including a couple of targets in the red zone. Jeremy Maclin enjoyed some success against the Chargers’ secondary, catching five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Trust in the Bortles and Robinson stack.

TE - Eric “Snaps while Driving” Ebron at $5,500

As it stands right now on FanDuel, Eric Ebron is a cheaper grab than two players who will not even play this week: Cincinnati’s Tyler Eifert and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz. The shootout between Detroit and Indianapolis last Sunday ended up producing three of the top four scoring tight ends, and Ebron has the best matchup of anyone in that group heading into this Sunday’s matchup with the Titans. Last week, the VikingsKyle Rudolph scored 8.5 fantasy points, catching four passes on eight targets for 65 yards against the Titans’ pass defense. Look for Ebron to be a significant contributor against that same Titans team this week after catching all five of his targets for 43 yards and a score in Week 1.

K - Dan “Kickers are people, too” Bailey at $4,700

Bailey scored 17 fantasy points last week on FanDuel, the most of not only any kicker, but he outperformed DeAndre Hopkins, Alshon Jeffery and T.Y. Hilton. His four field goals made last week, two from less than 30 yards and then two big kicks from 54 and 56, were of more fantasy value than the production of any of the receivers listed above. Isn’t fantasy football fun?

Defense - Seattle Seahawks at $5,200

They’re playing the St. Louis Los Angeles Rams.

Duds

QB - Andrew “Crap, Denver already?” Luck at $8,500

The top fantasy scorer among quarterbacks last week over at FanDuel, the Colts have a tougher matchup this week. A much tougher matchup. Luck and co. will travel from the comfy confines of Lucas Oil Stadium to Denver to take on a Broncos’ defense that will pose a ton of problems for the Colts’ offense. You could be wondering, “Hey Ryan, Cam Newton has a pretty solid fantasy outing against the Broncos in the season opener, why can’t Luck?” Well, the Panthers have a running game that stuck 157 yards of rushing offense on the Broncos. The Colts simply don’t have the same personnel as the Panthers. Add to that, the Broncos secondary—and just their pass defense in general—is an upgrade over what Luck faced last week against Detroit. If you want to spend money on a quarterback, Newton at $9,000 or even Drew Brees at $9,200 are much better options.

RB - Todd “Stuck in Football Hell” Gurley at $8,400

Todd Gurley is the second most expensive running back on FanDuel for Week 2 behind only David Johnson. He and his teammates, who are certainly torpedoing their way towards some 7-9 bullshit, get to play in Los Angeles for the first time this week... against the Seattle Seahawks. The Miami Dolphins mustered up only 64 yards—3.4 Y/A—of rushing offense against the Seahawks. The Dolphins’ running game is a mess, but is their offense as big of a mess as the Rams is? No. Definitely not.

WR - Jordy “ACL could be Sore” Nelson at $8,200

If it wasn’t for an 8-yard touchdown reception, Nelson’s return to action after missing the entirety of 2015 with an ACL injury would have been a pretty disappointing one. After facing a young Jaguars secondary, the Packers play a tough, interdivisional opponent with an even tougher defense in the Vikings. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is still on the mend for Minnesota and is questionable for this week’s matchup, but even so, I need to see a big performance out of Nelson before I can have confidence in giving Nelson the nod.

TE - Dwayne “Crap, we’re not playing the Lions again” Allen at $6,200

Hate to harp on the Colts and what I think they’re capable of offensively, but it’s more so about the defense they’re going up against in Week 2. Allen just won’t have the same type of performance he had against the Broncos as he did last week against the Lions. Also, with Jack Doyle playing so well and Donte Moncrief getting a limited amount of targets, Allen could be a likely candidate to see fewer opportunities.

K - Randy “I don’t have a job in the NFL at the moment” Bullock at $4,800

He doesn’t play for the Giants anymore. He also doesn’t kick for a team in the NFL anymore.

Defense - Los Angeles Rams at $4,300

I would literally go with any of the other teams cheaper than this team because I’m not sure if they will do any worse. What is for sure, what is tangible, however, is the extra money you’ll be able to spread around at other positions by going with any of the other defenses cheaper than the Rams.