Below, you’ll find a list of players I have spotlighted for daily fantasy selections leading into the second week of the NFL season.
I use the following criteria to try and find players — NFL Vegas totals, NFL team stats, what the fantasy gurus are saying, and my GUT.
Let’s not wait any longer. Let’s see who’s made my list of five players this week!
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Steelers
We all know the Chiefs defense could use some work — particularly in the secondary. This is exactly why I’ve chosen JuJu Smith-Schuster as a potential player to pick up in your weekly drafts.
Vegas has pegged the total for the Chiefs/Steelers game at 53.5 points — that’s a lot! Needless to say, there should be a lot of scoring in this game and the Smith-Schuster should be cheaper than Antonio Brown, and still have quite a bit of production in this game.
David Njoku, TE Browns
This isn’t about the Browns offense; it really isn’t. Picking David Njoku has everything to do with a Saints defense that allowed 48 points against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Compile this with a large 49.5 point total, and articles that say Njoku is vital to the Browns success in week 2 — I’m thinking Njoku could be a cheap selection that may rack up some fantasy points.
Taylor Gabriel, WR Bears
Taylor Gabriel has always been an interesting player to me. Gabriel is one of the fastest players in the NFL and he has bounced around a few teams. He’s on the Bears now, and the Bears are facing a Seahawks team who gave up 135 receiving yards to a speedy Emmanuel Sanders.
The Seahawks struggled to contain Sanders while facing what I would describe as a mediocre Broncos offense. Gabriel is capable of stretching the field and catching a number of screens against the Seahawks. I believe Gabriel has the skill set to do the same thing Sanders did to the Seahawks.
Gabriel should be a cheap option for any fantasy player who may be having a tough time finding the last piece of their team.
Royce Freeman, RB Broncos
Royce Freeman had a fairly decent game to start the season accumulating 71 rushing yards with a 4.7 yards per attempt average. It’s not that I’m high on Freeman, but I do I think he should be fairly consistent through the season.
I’m picking Freeman in this game for two reasons: The line for the Raiders/Broncos game is a somewhat high 46 points, and the Raiders gave up 5.4 yards per rushing attempt in their first game against the Rams.
Also — with the way the Raiders looked in the opening week, the Broncos could be running out the clock sooner rather than later, thus accumulating carries for Freeman.
James Conner, RB Steelers
I know I picked Conner last week, but I have to pick him again for the same reason I picked Smith-Schuster; he’s playing the Chiefs.
The Chiefs defense allowed a league-worst 5.6 yards per rushing attempt in the opener. The Steelers have historically tried to run the ball heavily against the Chiefs. In their last two matchups the Steelers have ran the ball 37 and 34 times.
Factor in that Conner saw 31 carries last week against the Browns and it’s pretty clear the Steelers aren’t afraid to ride Conner like a rented mule while they wait for Le’Veon Bell to return.
Finally — the fun part! This is where I get to pick the Chiefs player I have my eyes on this week...
The Steelers have been put on notice about Tyreek Hill. With so much attention likely going to Hill and Kelce, I think Watkins could have a big week.
I like Watkins in this game because he brings an element to the Chiefs/Steelers matchup that we’re yet to witness; a good option at WR2 for the Chiefs. Watkins loves running seam routes and a lot of zone defenses struggle down the seam.
The Steelers played 70.1 percent zone defense in 2017, which was the second highest amount in the NFL. I think Watkins will have luck against the zone as the Steelers defenders focus on stopping Kelce and Hill.