Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 2 DFS Cheat Sheet: Five recommended plays for all contests

2RH6JJ0 Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) warms up before an NFL pre-season football game against the Buffalo Bills, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

• QB Anthony Richardson (49.3 PFF grade), Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans: Richardson and fellow rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud (55.6 passing grade) offer youthful shootout potential. 

• TE Luke Musgrave (63.3 PFF grade), Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons: Musgrave’s big break comes against the league’s worst linebacker coverage unit. 

• Dominate your fantasy league in 2023: For up-to-date fantasy draft rankings and projections, check out PFF’s fantasy rankings tool!

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) lineups require smart matchups analysis and rostership leverage opportunities to succeed. The analysis below details five fantasy assets capable of gaining significant leverage on the field. 

WR:CB Matchup Chart

QB Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans — $7,500 on FanDuel

Indianapolis rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson (49.3 PFF grade) enters Week 2 with just a 6.5% projected FanDuel rostership rate after a late-Week 1 injury scare in the Jacksonville Jaguars green zone resulted in Richardson’s benching. Richardson’s likely touchdown robbery prevented his Week 2 rostership from reaching astronomical levels, and FanDuel users should aggressively exploit the opportunity. 

Indianapolis head coach Shane Steichen’s playcalling reflected his belief in Richardson’s passing talents; Indianapolis’ 66.7% early-down passing rate finished in the top eight, and their 61.8% neutral-passing rate (within seven points) ranks No. 14. Houston head coach DeMeco Ryans likewise embraced rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud (55.6 passing grade) on a second-ranked 54 dropbacks.

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Indianapolis a 23.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, tied for No. 8 among NFL teams

Richardson performed very well as a passer, thriving on a top-10 28.9% play-action pass play rate. 

Richardson’s overall Week 1 passing data among 32 NFL quarterbacks with at least 10 dropbacks, and Week 1 play-action passing data among 15 NFL quarterbacks with at least 10 play-action dropbacks.

2023 NFL QB Passing Anthony Richardson
PFF Passing Grade 51.7 (No. 25)
Adjusted Completion % 75.8% (No. 16)
Yds/Pass Att. 6.0 (No. 15)
PFF Play-Action Passing Grade 41.4 (No. 15)
Past-The-Sticks Throw % 45.5% (No. 4)
Yds/Pass Att. 8.1 (No. 4)

Houston slot cornerback Tavierre Thomas (91.4  slot-coverage grade) is a talented player, but Houston’s perimeter coverage offers Richardson an exploitable weakness. Among NFL teams, Houston’s 80.0% perimeter-route catch rate allowed tied for No. 29, and their 6.7% explosive 15-plus-yard pass plays allowed rate ranks No. 23. 

Houston’s starting safeties Jalen Pitre (59.2 PFF grade, bruised lung) and Jimmie Ward (80.6 PFF grade in 2022, hip injury) failed to practice on Wednesday and Thursday, putting their Sunday availability in doubt. 

Indianapolis X-wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (69.6 receiving grade) established himself as an AFC South alpha last week, rumbling for 6.4 yards after the catch per reception (YAC/Rec., No. 3 among 22 NFL wide receivers with at least eight targets) and 2.11 yards per route run (YPRR, No. 13).

Indianapolis tight ends Mo Alie-Cox (46.5 receiving grade) and Kylen Granson (63.4 receiving grade) have the advantage over Houston’s coverage-bamboozled linebackers Denzel Perryman (37.6 coverage grade) and Christian Harris (60.0 coverage grade). 

The 6-foot-4, 244-pound Richardson dominated as a rusher.

Richardson’s Week 1 rushing data among 24 NFL quarterbacks with at least three rushing attempts and Week 1 green-zone rushing data among eight NFL players with at least three green-zone rushing attempts. 

2023 NFL QB Rushing Anthony Richardson
PFF Rushing Grade 50.8 (No. 19)
Rush Att. 10 (No. 2)
YPC 4.0 (T-No. 10)
Missed Tackles Forced 2 (T-No. 3) 
MTF/Rush Att. 0.2 (T-No. 8)
Yards After Contact per Rush Att. 2.0 (T-No. 8)
Explosive 10+-Yd Run Play % 1 (T-No.  4)
PFF Green Zone Rushing Grade 63.8 (No. 4)
Green Zone Rush Att. 3 (T-No. 5)
1st-Dwn Gained + TD Scored % 66.7% (T-No. 1)

Houston’s front seven (52.0 run-defense grade) ranks bottom-12 in both positively graded run-play rate (53.6%) and negatively graded run-play rate (57.1%) among NFL teams. Their 2.38-yard average depth of tackle ranks No. 14. 

The two head coaches’ willingness to rely on their rookie quarterbacks, coupled with problematic defenses, makes Richardson an elite DFS QB1 with a likely-depressed rostership rate following his touchdown-robbed Week 1 conclusion.

RB Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers — $7,100 on FanDuel

Atlanta second-year running back Tyler Allgeier (73.4 PFF grade) operated as a featured player alongside first-round rookie running back Bijan Robinson (71.2 PFF grade). Allgeier’s 11th-ranked $7,100 FanDuel salary pushes him to just a 1.6% expected rostership rate in PFF’s ownership projections, making him an easy GPP tournament option and a smart leverage play in cash games. 

Atlanta is a -1.5-point home favorite, and head coach Arthur Smith employed Week 1’s run-heaviest neutral-game rushing rate (48.9%). 

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Atlanta a 36.0% run-blocking matchup advantage rating. Among 74 NFL offensive linemen with at least 25 run-blocking snaps in Week 1, four of five Atlanta offensive linemen received top-20 run-blocking grades.

Green Bay’s No. 1 graded defender linebacker Quay Walker (92.1 PFF defense grade) suffered a Week 1 concussion, jeopardizing his Week 2 availability. Green Bay’s 2.00-yard average depth of tackle ranks No. 8 among NFL teams, and Walker’s absence would severely weaken this strength. Among Green Bay front-seven defenders with at least 10 run-defense snaps, Walker’s -2.00-yard average depth of tackle ranks No. 1. Fellow starting inside linebacker De’Vondre Campball’s (71.4 PFF run-defense grade) 5.00 average depth of tackle is tied for No. 55 among 68 NFL linebackers with at least 10 run-defense snaps.

Update 9/17/23: Green Bay linebacker Quay Walker cleared the concussion protocol and will play, but Atlanta’s elite run-blocking unit will still impose its will, especially on outside runs. Green Bay defensive ends’ 23.8% negatively graded run-play rate tied for 26th among NFL teams in Week 1

Allgeier’s Week 1 rushing data among 33 NFL running backs with at least 10 rushing attempts. 

2023 NFL RB Rushing Tyler Allgeier
PFF Rushing Grade 70.7 (No. 12)
Rush Att. 15 (T-No. 13)
YPC 5.0 (T-No. 8)
Missed Tackles Forced 5 (T-No. 1)
MTF/Rush Att.  0.33 (T-No. 2)
Yards After Contact per Rush Att. 3.7 (T-No. 5)
10+-Yd Run Play % 3 (T-No. 3)
1st-Dwn Gained + TD Scored % 33.3% (No. 5)

Allgeier’s (76.2 PFF green-zone offense grade) four green-zone snaps and four rushing attempts crucially led Robinson’s (60.0 PFF green-zone offense grade) respective one and zero sums and Allgeier impressively tacked on three receptions for 19 yards on three targets. His 30.0% target rate tied for No. 6 among qualifying running backs.

Allgeier’s co-starter status places him firmly in the half-point-per-reception (half-PPR) RB2 ranks. He has top-12 upside.

TE Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons

Green Bay rookie tight end Luke Musgrave (63.3 PFF grade) registers lightweight-chalk status in just his second NFL game. PFF’s ownership projections expect a 7.0% FanDuel rostership rate, with his $5,000 salary ranks No. 13 among NFL tight ends. He is a locked-in TE1 with matchup-based upside against Atlanta’s lacking tight end-coverage unit. 

Atlanta’s linebackers were targeted in the NFL Week 1 DFS Cheat Sheet via the Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst (71.9 receiving grade), who lumbered his way to a 12.6-point half-PPR overall TE2 finish. Atlanta surrendered a 100.0% catch rate to Carolina tight ends, failing to contest a single tight end target. 

PFF’s TE matchup chart gives Musgrave a 15.0% receiving matchup advantage rating over Atlanta linebacker Troy Andersen, who registered consecutive DNP practice designations in the concussion protocol. He is backed up by special teams player Nate Landman and practice squad player Tae Davis.

Update 9/17/23: Atlanta's Troy Andersen did not clear the concussion protocol and is inactive. Green Bay tight end Luke Musgrave is an elite TE1 with flex-worthy scoring potential. 

Musgrave’s projected rostership rate would be far higher had an ill-footed throwing stance following a botched snap not impinged Love’s accuracy. 

Musgrave’s Week 1 receiving data among 23 NFL tight ends with at least four targets.

2023 NFL TE Receiving Luke Musgrave
PFF Receiving Grade 58.1 (No. 17)
Target % – YPRR 16.7% (No. 13) – 2.08 (No. 1)
aDot – Yds/Rec. 18.0 (No. 1) – 16.7 (No. 1)
YAC/Rec. 3.7 (No. 11)
15+-Yd Pass Plays 1 (T-No.2)
20+-Yd aDot % 50.0% (No. 1)

Musgrave’s 50.0% deep-target rate is twice as high as the No. 2-ranked tight end. 

Both Green Bay’s No. 1 wide receiver Christian Watson (77.8 PFF receiving grade in 2022) and No. 1 running back Aaron Jones (56.4 receiving grade) failed to practice on Wednesday and Thursday, nursing hamstring strains. Watson (14.3-yard 2022 aDot) is Musgrave’s primary competition for downfield targets. Jones’ (25.0% target rate) likely absence opens up short-area run-after-catch opportunities. Musgrave's downfield target-earning and bulldozing-ballcarrier abilities position him to fill both roles while Romeo Doubs (76.6 PFF receiving grade, 7.8-yard aDot) mans the intermediate-depth zone.

As detailed in QB Matchups, Streamer of the Week, Week 2 Rankings, quarterback Jordan Love (77.1 passing grade) will enjoy protected pockets playing behind Green Bay’s third-ranked offensive line (83.6 pass-blocking grade).

Musgrave’s 67.3 PFF run-blocking grade ranks No. 7 among 53 NFL tight ends with at least 25 snaps, ensuring his role on the fantasy-critical play-action passing attempts. As touched on in Top 3 Late-Round Tight Ends to Draft, Pat Kerrane’s brilliantly researched Impact TEs in the early rounds explains how tight end run-blocking proficiency unlocks play-action receiving involvement. Musgrave’s 86.3 PFF play-action receiving grade ranks No. 5 among 29 NFL tight ends with at least four play-action snaps and one play-action target. Atlanta’s defense allowed a 100.0% catch rate on play-action targets.

Musgrave will push for an elite TE1 finish against Atlanta. 

TE Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks — $5,100 on FanDuel

Detroit Lions rookie tight end Sam LaPorta (65.4 PFF offense grade) produced a promising debut against the Kansas City Chiefs and gets far softer competition against Seattle in Week 2. PFF’s ownership projections give LaPorta and his affordable $5,100 salary a 1.4% expected rostership rate, just the 18th-highest among NFL tight ends. He is a half-PPR TE1 with game-wrecking upside. 

The game’s 47.5-point FanDuel over/under ranks third-highest on the Week 2 slate, signaling a fantasy-friendly shootout environment.

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Detroit the No. 4-ranked 34.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, ensuring comfortable pockets for quarterback Jared Goff (73.8 passing grade). 

Seattle’s defense earned a 25th-ranked 49.1 PFF tight end-coverage grade in 2022 and was unable to solve the issue this offseason. 

Seattle’s Week 1 tight end-coverage data among NFL teams. 

2022 NFL-Team TE Coverage Seattle Seahawks
PFF Tight End-Coverage Grade 36.9 (T-No. 31)
Catch % Allowed 80.0% (T-No. 22)
Yards Allowed per Coverage Snap 14.0 (No. 30)
15+-Yd Pass Plays Allowed % 40.0% (No. 31)
Open-Target % 60.0% (T-No. 16)

PFF’s TE matchup chart gives LaPorta a fifth-ranked 21.0% receiving matchup advantage rating over linebacker Jordyn Brooks (45.6 PFF tight end-coverage grade).

LaPorta’s Week 1 receiving data among 23 NFL tight ends with at least four targets.

2023 NFL TE Receiving Sam LaPorta
PFF Receiving Grade 65.4 (No. 9)
Target % – YPRR 19.2% (No. 11) – 1.50 (No. 5)
aDot – Yds/Rec. 4.2 (No. 17) – 7.8 (No. 14)
YAC/Rec. 3.6 (No. 12)
NFL Passer % When Targeted 99.2 (No. 4)

LaPorta soaked up short-area (one-to-nine-yard aDot) targets, ranking No. 5 among 17 NFL tight ends with at least three such targets with a 72.7 PFF short-area receiving grade.

Seattle’s No. 5 overall pick slot cornerback Devon Witherspoon (92.5 PFF 2022 coverage grade, hamstring strain) will make his NFL debut this week. Detroit slot receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (69.4 PFF receiving grade) remains a half-PPR WR1, but the 2022 All-American and Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year award-winning Witherspoon will command offensive coordinator Ben Johnson’s respect, which should result in the ascending LaPorta seeing an increased passing-game role.

LaPorta will command robust target volume while assuming the No. 2 pass-catcher role against the exploitable Seattle defense.

WR Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers — $5,900 on FanDuel

New Orleans quarterback Derek Carr (68.4 passing grade) headlined QB Matchups, Streamer of the Week, and Week 2 Rankings, thanks to glaring holes in Carolina’s coverage unit.

No. 2 wide receiver Rashid Shaheed (76.5 PFF grade) sits loaded in a slingshot ahead of Week 2’s Monday Night Football doubleheader and is startable as a half-PPR WR2 with top-12 upside. He notched an overall WR11 finish against the Tennessee Titans.

Carolina is forced to start cornerback C.J. Henderson (43.5 coverage grade) after losing stud No. 1 cornerback Jaycee Horn (68.0 coverage grade) to an injured reserve-worthy hamstring strain. Head coach Frank Reich confusingly cycles safety Jeremy Chinn in as a part-time slot cornerback despite the capable Troy Hill’s (77.0 slot-coverage grade) presence. Both Henderson and Chinn offer chunk-gain opportunities to anyone who lines up opposite them. 

Shaheed logged a 24.0%-or-higher routes-run rate at all three pre-snap alignments last week. PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart projects him to face Henderson (15 projected routes) and Chinn (11 projected routes) on a combined 26 routes, giving Shaheed a good 76.2 receiving matchup advantage rating over Henderson. 

Henderson got busy on 12 Week 1 snaps, allowing an 8.3% explosive 15-plus-yard pass plays rate and a 3.75 yards per coverage snap rate, ranking outside the top 135 among 143 defensive backs with at least 12 coverage snaps and two targets.  

Among 43 NFL wide receivers with at least six targets in Week 1, Shaheed ranks top three in aDot (16.5), YPRR (3.56) and deep-target rate (50.0%). The field-stretching phenom will shred Carolina defensive backs en route to a high-scoring half-PPR outing.


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