Week 2 of the NFL saw a number of star players from across the league go down to injuries, including season ending ones for Saquon Barkley and Courtland Sutton.
With so many fantasy relevant players going down in both the short and long term, FindBet hopes to give you some ideas on replacing your battered and bruised. Last week we rounded up the highlights and fantasy tips from Week 1. This week we're splitting the Week 2 slate into two pieces, but let's get started with the Thursday Night Football game in the Battle of Ohio.
Cincinnati Bengals - 30 vs. Cleveland Browns - 35
The Thursday night game featured Joe Burrow and Baker Mayfield, both Heisman Award winners and first overall selections in their respective NFL Drafts. Neither disappointed; however, it was the two-headed monster in Cleveland's backfield of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt that stole the show.
Chubb ran for 124 yards and 2 scores on 22 carries, while Hunt contributed 86 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, and also caught a touchdown from Mayfield. Mayfield finished with 219 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a pick. Odell Beckham also bounced back from a poor Week 1 performance and posted 74 yards and a touchdown on 4 catches. Beckham led the team in targets for a second consecutive week. Chubb and Hunt, though, are proving that fantasy owners of either back should feel confident starting them on a weekly basis, as Kevin Stefanski looks determined to get them both involved in any game script.
On the other side, Joe Burrow had 316 passing yards and threw 3 touchdowns while looking very poised as he attempted to bring his Bengals back from a big deficit late in the game, which he nearly accomplished. As Joe Mixon was largely kept in check by the Browns defense, he finished with 46 yards on the ground and 40 receiving yards on 4 catches, it was up to Burrow and the passing game to make the comeback. AJ Green was targeted 13 times but only managed to haul in 3 catches for 29 yards. Tyler Boyd led the team with 72 yards and a receiving TD. Tight end CJ Uzomah went out with an achilles injury and is out for the season. Drew Sample replaced him and played well catching 7 balls for 45 yards.
New York Giants - 13 vs. Chicago Bears - 17
The Bears have somehow started the season 2-0, despite Mitch Trubisky's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde performances in the first two weeks of the season. Last week against the Lions, Trubisky overcame a rough first half to lead Chicago to a comeback victory with a game winning throw to Anthony Miller. Week 2 saw the Bears build up a 17 - 0 lead at halftime with Trubisky tossing 2 scores, one to David Montgomery and the other to Darnell Mooney.
In the second half, however, the offense stalled, and the Bears didn't manage a single point, almost allowing the Giants to make a comeback. Nobody on Chicago stood out from a fantasy perspective outside of Montgomery, who finished with 82 rushing yards and added 45 yards through the air with the aforementioned receiving TD. Even their lead wide receiver, Allen Robinson, struggled to get anything going as Trubisky struggled; he saw 9 targets but only produced 33 yards on 3 catches. Anthony Miller, last week's hero, had zero catches on three targets.
Saquon Barkley tore his ACL and is out for the season, the Giants confirmed. https://t.co/MFXukEyjZG— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter)1600704426.0
Daniel Jones nearly brought his team all the way back to erase that 17 point halftime deficit, but he came up just short as the offense scrambled to find its identity after the injury to Saquon Barkley early in the game. New York's only touchdown came from Dion Lewis, who replaced Barkley but wasn't efficient as a runner averaging only 2 yards per carry. Evan Engram led the Giants in targets (8), receptions (6), and yards (65). Barkley led the team in rushing yards with 28.
The real story here is the injury to Barkley, and it's been reported that he will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL. There have been rumors about the Giants and Devonta Freeman being in contact and would be a decent landing spot for him considering the opportunities that are left.
San Francisco 49'ers - 31 vs. New York Jets - 13
The game started off with Raheem Mostert breaking an 80 yard touchdown run for the 49'ers and the points continued to add up; but unfortunately for San Fran, so did the number of players on their injury list. The 49'ers saw star defensive lineman Nick Bosa carted off, starting running back Raheem Mostert left with a knee injury in the first half, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was forced out with an apparent high ankle sprain. This adds to existing injuries to Dee Ford, Richard Sherman, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle.
Luckily for them, they faced the Jets, who were without their star running back Le'Veon Bell, and who we saw struggle against Buffalo in Week 1. Garoppolo was very effective when he did play, completing 14 of 16 attempts for 131 yards and 2 touchdown throws. Mostert also did well in his limited action and led the team in rushing with 92 yards over 8 attempts, but Jerick McKinnon filled in nicely as a home run hitter for the Niners going for a 55 yard scamper and ended his day with 77 yards and a rushing touchdown.
McKinnon looked far better than Tevin Coleman, who was given opportunities (14 carries) but was only able to muster 12 yards on the ground and 28 receiving yards on 2 catches. Speaking of catches, Jordan Reed has resurrected himself in the Bay and caught 7 balls for 50 yards and 2 scores. Depending on the health of George Kittle, Reed has shown he is a solid fit in this offense, and provides some depth at the position for the team.
Me celebrating the 49ers win after all of the injuries https://t.co/Kt4zaeRvh5— Tessa (@Tessa)1600632040.0
The Jets have looked underwhelming for the second consecutive week, but the most concerning thing about the Jets' performances has been Sam Darnold not looking like a starting quarterback in this league. Outside of hitting Braxton Berrios for a 30 yard touchdown with only 1:33 left in the game, long after the game had already been decided, Darnold would have finished with 149 passing yards and zero touchdowns. Considering the number of starters that were missing from the opposition's defense, combined with the Jets needing to pass more in the second half to catch up, Darnold needed to be better and he was unable to rise to the occasion.
Tight end Chris Herndon was getting rave reviews and compliments during the offseason camps, but he has been nearly invisible on the stat sheet, finishing this game with only 1 catch for 5 yards. The Jets should look to get him more involved off of play action to take some pressure off of Frank Gore and their running game until Bell is able to come back. Until further notice, fade everyone on the Jets offense.
Detroit Lions - 21 vs. Green Bay Packers - 42
Most rushing yards in Week 2: 🔹 Aaron Jones - 168 🔹 Nick Chubb - 124 🔹 Aaron Jones AFTER CONTACT - 116 🔹 James Con… https://t.co/Oq5wLVwT0P— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF Fantasy Football)1600696923.0
The Packers have scored over 40 points in both of their games so far in the 2020 season, and they've shown the ability to do it in a number of different ways. While Coach Matt LaFleur and the Packers front office made some questionable decisions during the draft and ignored bringing in more ancillary talent around Aaron Rodgers, the talent that they already had in Rodgers, running back Aaron Jones and wide receiver Davante Adams seems good enough to carry the rest of the team.
Rodgers was the star from Week 1 throwing 4 touchdowns; but not to be outdone, the NFL TD leader from 2019 Aaron Jones, showed up in Week 2 on a mission to put up a signature game early in the year. Jones finished with 168 yards on the ground and added 68 receiving yards to go along with 3 combined touchdowns on the day. As Davante Adams struggled to get looks (3 receptions for 36 yards), Jones also paced the team in targets and looked like the second best receiving option on the team next to Adams.
Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have been given the chance to step into the number two role in the Green Bay offense, but both have been too inconsistent and unable to capitalize on their opportunities. If Aaron Jones is able to stay healthy, it looks as though he will have a repeat of last year's success and doesn't appear to have much competition from any of his teammates outside of Adams for scooping up fantasy points the rest of the season.
In Week 1, Detroit had the chance to win late into the game and took a lead into the closing moments of the fourth quarter, only to see Mitch Trubisky hit Anthony Miller for the game winner. Week 2, however, never saw Detroit in it after half time, and by the end of the third quarter the Packers lead grew from 3 points to 20. Matthew Stafford has been pretty good, considering he's been missing his primary receiver Kenny Golladay all season. He finished the day with 244 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and a pick.
But it was the running game that worked so well in Week 1 that never got going against the Packers defense. Matt Patricia's backfield split carries pretty evenly amongst Adrian Peterson, who exploded last week only got 7 carries for 41 yards, Kerryon Johnson rushed for 32 yards on 8 carries and scored a touchdown, while rookie D'Andre Swift carried 5 times for just 12 yards however added 5 receptions for 60 yards receiving. The Lions will hope to get Golladay back for Week 3, and early reports are that is the expectation. That might be enough to get them back on track against the Arizona Cardinals.
Denver Broncos - 21 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers - 26
Since returning under center, Ben Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to a 2-0 record and looks to be picking back up where he left off when he was knocked out due to injury early in 2019 as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The complement of receivers at his disposal have proven to mesh well with the veteran QB, as we've seen solid performances now out of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool who now all have touchdown catches after Week 2.
Benny Snell Jr. rushed for 113 yards in Week 1 and Coach Mike Tomlin had insisted that both Snell and James Conner would get equal work heading into the match up with Denver; however, Snell only received 3 carries and 1 passing target for a cumulative 1 yard on Sunday. Conner had a rushing touchdown and rumbled for 106 yards, marking the second week in a row the Steelers offensive line has produced a 100 yard rusher, but Conner made up most of that late in the fourth quarter on a 59 yard breaker to seal the game for Pittsburgh. Conner still seems to be the running back to own in this backfield, but they may decide to go with the hot hand depending on how games play out. Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool should all be owned and a case can also be made for James Washington.
The Broncos lost starting quarterback, Drew Lock, to injury in the first quarter and was replaced by Jeff Driskel. Driskel went on to throw for 256 yards and 2 scores on a stout Pittsburgh defense, and Melvin Gordon pitched in with 70 rushing yards and 2 catches with a receiving TD. Denver also saw Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton endure injuries in Week 2. Sutton is expected to miss the remainder of the season and Jeudy, if healthy, will slide into the primary role with Tim Patrick, DaeSean Hamilton and rookie K.J. Hamler fighting for reps now that Sutton will be out.
Noah Fant has also positioned himself as an important piece to the Broncos offense; he snagged 4 balls for 57 yards and touchdown on Sunday. Lock is expected to miss 2-6 weeks, Driskel is expected to fill in as starter, and running back Phillip Lindsay is also expected to be out for a few weeks. This Denver team is in serious danger of being one of the first teams eliminated from playoff contention if they cannot figure out a way to get more out of their replacement players.
Source: #Broncos WR Courtland Sutton tore his ACL.— Ian Rapoport (@Ian Rapoport)1600707334.0
Jacksonville Jaguars - 30 vs. Tennessee Titans - 33
The Titans have found themselves on the winning end of two close games to start the season, and Ryan Tannehill has been great early on. Sunday he finished with 4 touchdown passes and helped carry his team to a walk off victory on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. Derrick Henry impressed with 84 yards rushing, and Jonnu Smith erupted for 84 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on the day. Tannehill has been spreading the ball around with 4 different receivers receiving 4 or more targets, including Adam Humphries who also caught a touchdown.
In Week 3, the Titans will match up with the Minnesota Vikings, who have started 0-2 and will be looking to come out firing to get their first win of the season. Tennessee will need to continue their late game heroics to keep their winning streak going. Look for King Henry to have a big game against a run defense that just gave up 151 rushing yards to the Colts including 101 of them to rookie Jonathan Taylor.
Some glorious Gardner Minshew for your timeline... you're welcome 😎 https://t.co/ScW3oalioO— FOX Sports: NFL (@FOX Sports: NFL)1600620383.0
Jacksonville may have to trade quarterback Gardner Minshew in order to successfully complete their tank job this year. Apparently Minshew didn't get the memo, as he has been spectacular thus far. With very little around him, Minshew has been able to keep the Jaguars competitive in their first two games and was just a couple plays away from coming out of this week 2-0. Minshew had 339 passing yards to go with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. James Robinson has also been better than projected, impressing with 102 rushing yards and a touchdown. Minshew's ability to extend plays and throw with accuracy downfield will keep DJ Chark fantasy relevant all year, and guys like Keelan Cole or Laviska Shenault could be viable options later in the season if they prove to be able to put up consistent performances. Pick up James Robinson if he's still available, but with the expectation that he may have just had his best game of the season in Week 2.
Kansas City Chiefs - 23 vs. Los Angeles Chargers - 20
This was a wild ride, and we nearly saw Patrick Mahomes outdueled by a rookie quarterback making a spot start, but we'll get to that later. When the dust settled, the Chiefs took care of business and disposed of the Chargers with an overtime field goal, but it took a few quarters of football for the reigning Super Bowl Champs to wake up and start playing. You wouldn't be able to tell by looking at the box score, however, as Mahomes finished with 302 yards and 2 touchdowns and Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce both ended their days with 90+ yards and a touchdown each.
Rookie back Clyde Edwards-Helaire came back down to earth this week and only managed 70 yards from scrimmage with no scores after an outstanding debut in Week 1. Although they struggled early, Andy Reid's group got it together in the second half and took care of business. Continue to expect these guys to roll offensively throughout the season.
Before the game even started, Tyrod Taylor injured himself during warmups, and rookie QB Justin Herbert was forced to make a spot start in the second week of his NFL career. Widely considered a "project quarterback" that would need time to develop before being ready to play, he was thrown into the frying pan against the World Champs. Herbert responded with an impressive performance. Herbert finished with 311 passing yards and a touchdown to go with a rushing touchdown was impressive; but more impressively, he looked calm under pressure and ready to handle the task at hand much like Joe Burrow in Cincinnati.
We saw a heavy dose of Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley in this game with 261 combined yards from scrimmage. We don't know for sure how long Taylor is expected to miss, but Chargers' Coach Anthony Lynn has already stated that if healthy, Taylor is still the team's starting quarterback. After getting a look at how well Herbert responded in an emergency start, however, one has to wonder how long Lynn can hold off putting his rookie QB back in.
New England Patriots - 30 vs. Seattle Seahawks - 35
Prior to their game with the Seattle Seahawks, Bill Belichick spoke about Russell Wilson and had positive things to say about his competition on Sunday night, "Honestly, I think he's in a way underrated by the media or the fans, I don't know. But I don't really see anybody better than this player," the coach continued, "This guy is a tremendous player." Russell justified the compliments from Coach Belichick during the game, throwing for 5(!) TDs, proving to be too much for the Patriots to handle.
Chris Carson led the team with 17 carries and had 3 receptions one leading to a touchdowns–which marks the second week in a row he had a touchdown in the pass game. It seems safe to assume Carson will continue to be the bell cow for this dynamic offense with Carlos Hyde serving as primary backup. When Wilson is playing this well he makes the entire offense fantasy relevant but D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Carson are must-starts every week.
Cam Newton had the Patriots fighting for the win all the way down to the last second in prime time. Newton on a designed quarterback run was stuffed on the goal line to end the game, and Seattle's defense provided an exclamation point on a back and forth classic. Cam has been the focal point of this offense this season; expect that trend to continue as long as he's healthy. His production is proof of it accounting for 5 touchdowns to 1 turnover in the first two weeks.
Julian Edelman had a huge game with 179 yards on 8 catches. Both N'Keal Harry and Damiere Byrd had 72 yards receiving. Newton has helped elevate this offense with his ability to run the ball, and that seems to have unlocked the potential in his young receivers.
If you have needs at wide receiver following a savage week of injuries across the league, take a chance on Harry or Byrd. As of Monday N'Keal Harry was only rostered in 27% of Yahoo leagues, Damiere Byrd in 0% of Yahoo leagues. I know it's a stretch, but by now we should know that 2020 is not a normal year. Let's get weird.
Cam Newton was willing to target N'Keal Harry and Damiere Byrd in big moments Sunday, which is a positive developme… https://t.co/pdJvyw1sYw— Doug Kyed (@Doug Kyed)1600776060.0
It's another eventful week in the NFL.
Four teams -- the Jets, Falcons, Saints, and 49ers -- are the first teams to get a bye week. After Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers narrowly escaped Thursday Night Football with a 28-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the reigning Super Bowl champs are the first team with five wins in the league. Who will join them on Sunday? We know that we'll get at least a second five-win team since the 4-1 Ravens are hosting the 4-1 Chargers. That is going to be an epic battle, so let's start with that clash of AFC contenders. Welcome to our Week 6 NFL Best Bets.
Playing on the road is a difficult task for any team, but if any team can escape with a victory, it's Justin Herbert and the Chargers. This isn't the Chargers of the last decade. This team is winning the close battles. Herbert is playing at an MVP level this season and already has led this team to big-time wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns -- two of the top teams in the AFC. This L.A. team is deep at the skill positions, can rush the passer, has an improved offensive line and a great young coach. What's not to like?
All that said, Lamar Jackson seems to be playing as he did during his 2019 MVP campaign. Not to mention, Marquise "Hollywood" Brown is actually catching passes. He eclipsed 100 yards last week and scored two touchdowns (including the game-winning catch in overtime). Simply put, this is a tough team to bet against. It did take last-second heroics for the Ravens to beat the winless Lions and a pretty pedestrian Colts team. Overall, Baltimore hasn't faced a test like this yet this season. Take the points and the better overall squad. Chargers may win this game, but if they don't, they are not going to lose by more than a field goal.
PICK: Chargers +3.5
It's been a tough start to the season for the Chiefs. They had great odds to return to the Super Bowl and are now last in the AFC West heading into Week 16 with a 2-3 record. They desperately need this game. This is a great opportunity for the Chiefs to prove they are still elite by defeating a team that made the postseason last year on the road. The Chiefs are going to turn it around against a Washington defense that is allowing the sixth-most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns this season. Patrick Mahomes is going to blow up. Tyreek Hill is going to dominate. Travis Kelce is going to continue to provide a steady source of receptions down the middle of the field. As long as the Chiefs' offensive line holds against Chase Young, it's going to be a long day for Washington's defense. Betting on Mahomes to right the ship isn't a really difficult choice.
PICK: Chiefs -6.5
Yes, the Texans are one of the worst teams in the league. Betting on them on the road against a divisional rival might seem crazy at first. However, the Texans are 7-3 against the spread as underdogs in their last 10 games. Plus, the Colts are emotional after completely giving away the game against the Ravens in which they blew a 22-3 lead late in the game. This is going to cause a bit of a hangover in that locker room. When New England suffered a terrible loss against Tom Brady and the Bucs, the Texans managed to cover the spread the following week. Look for history to repeat itself. Texans coach David Culley has Houston playing hard in spite of its lack of talent and quarterback Davis Mills appeared to take a step forward last week against the Pats. Houston has played pretty good pass defense, too. The Texans have allowed only seven passing TDs this season.
PICK: Texans +9
Sunday night will be an interesting matchup to watch as Geno Smith will make his first start in four years as the Seahawks travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. I hate betting on Ben Roethlisberger, but it's hard to envision the Seahawks covering the spread without the services of Russell Wilson. And as much as I think Big Ben should hang up his cleats, you have to give him credit for the way he dominated a solid Broncos defense last week. Roethlisberger looked better than he did earlier in the season and was able to get the ball to his playmakers -- Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and running back Najee Harris. Seattle's defense is one of the worst in the league and their secondary is even worse than their front seven. Look for the Steelers to light up Seattle in the passing game.
PICK: Steelers -5
Both of these offenses can put up a lot of points, though they go about it very differently. The Browns are a run-heavy team, and even though they will be without the services of Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt is more than capable of getting the job done. Meanwhile, Arizona's offense runs through electric quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray is able to move the chains with his legs but he isn't afraid to toss the ball either. He loves getting his guys involved and his weapons are elite in DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and Christian Kirk.
The Browns are coming off an 89-point slugest with the Chargers and hit the OVER in their other game against a high-end offense in a 33-29 loss to the Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have scored 30-plus points in four of five games this year. Smash the OVER.
PICK: OVER 49.5
Week 2 of the NFL was full of breakout performances, thrilling finishes and potentially the start of the Justin Fields era in the NFC North as the Bears' win over the Bengals finds them in first place in the division.
We cap off the week with a Monday Night Football showdown between the Packers and the Lions with the winner finding themselves tied for first in the North. The Packers put up an absolute dud of a performance last week against the Saints in Week 1 while the Lions looked surprisingly effective while playing catch-up against the West-leading 49ers. The expectations for these two teams couldn't have been further apart coming into the season but with matching 0-1 starts on the books, I think there are a couple of interesting props and roster construction angles to exploit.
NFL DFS Showdown Picks
*Prices are from DraftKings
Captain: TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions ($9,600) ($14,400)
I'm normally not a fan of playing a tight end in the captain spot, but T.J. Hockenson is not your average tight end. He finished 2020 with an elite 18% target share in the Lions' offense and picked up right where he left off in Week 1, finishing with an 18.2% share on 50 routes run last week. Hockenson has always carried premium TD upside as a red-zone target but what was most encouraging about last week was that he ran nearly 55% of his routes out of the slot, leaving him a matchup against Chandon Sullivan, who's allowing a 67% catch rate in his coverage. In a game where the Lions are projected to be down early, expect Hockenson to get fed once again. His red-zone utilization gives him enough juice to take the captain's chair in my builds.
Core Consideration: QB Jared Goff, Detroit Lions ($10,000)
Two principles I take into Showdown slates apply to this play. Generally speaking, if I have a pass-catcher as my captain, I'm finding a way to get their QB into a flex spot. The second is that your build needs to tell a story. Mine is that the Packers come out with something to prove after getting embarrassed in Week 1 and that we'll likely see upwards of 50 pass attempts from Jared Goff as he attempts to mount a comeback. Goff is a surprisingly effective passer when getting good protection and this unit gave him a clean pocket on 86.7% of snaps last week. Expect that to continue tonight as Goff will continue to feast in garbage time.
Contrarian Play: WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers ($2,000)
I still chuckle at the thought of the return of Randall Cobb being on the short-list of demands from Aaron Rodgers in the midst of his holdout. I do, however, think there is something to be said about the importance of chemistry between a quarterback and his receiver and I expect that in a typical game (which Week 1 was not), Aaron Rodgers is going to find his spots to get Cobb involved. In a game script that figures to have the Packers up by a healthy margin, not many are going to look at the tertiary passing options for Green Bay and I think a $2,000 Randall Cobb could sneak in a handful of receptions at single-digit ownership..
Salary Relief: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions ($2,400)
This one fits perfectly into my narrative for the game as well. In a game where the Lions are likely to flirt with 50+ pass attempts and coming off a week where St. Brown ran routes on 75% of the team's passing plays, I will be overweight on Amon-Ra tonight. Lining up in the slot on 74.5% of plays means St. Brown will primarily see coverage from Chandon Sullivan, the most favorable of the options GB lines up in their defensive secondary. Expect St. Brown to see his target volume increase tonight. If Detroit can be more effective in getting to the red zone, he carries decent scoring upside with the way he's utilized in this offense. Plus, who doesn't love the extra motivation of playing against their big bro?
Monday Night Football Best Bets
Taking a look at the wagering side of this game; before we determine anything else we must ask ourselves what we think of these Green Bay Packers. I tend to look at last week's performance as the exception and not the rule. With that being the case, I am laying the 11.5 points and taking GB tonight. Over the past six seasons, oddsmakers have been fairly sharp when it comes to these larger spreads and NFL teams cover double-digit spreads more than 55% of the time. The total for tonight is sitting at 48.5 and given the somewhat surprising ability of the Lions to make up ground last week, I am confidently on the "over" side of that line.
Picks: Packers -11.5, OVER 48.5 points
Taking a look at the prop market, I am again mainly investing in the "GB Blowout" narrative:
D'Andre Swift: OVER 28.5 Receiving Yard
Coming off a 65-yard performance in a very similar game script, this one feels like a no-brainer. Swift averages nearly 8 yards per reception so this really boils down to whether you think he catches more than 3 passes. I certainly do and I'm confidently on the OVER for this prop. FanDuel is currently carrying the best odds at -110.
T.J. Hockenson: Anytime TD
I'm not the biggest fan of these "to score" props, but I'll break from the norm with this one. I am projecting the Lions to at least have a go at it in this game and there simply isn't a scenario where that doesn't involve a score for Hockenson. +220 odds at FanDuel sort of feels like stealing given that I see this game going over the 48.5 total.
AJ Dillon | UNDER 8.5 Rushing Attempts
I know that the betting public is forecasting a fairly comfortable win for the Packers, but let's not get carried away. AJ Dillon would have to nearly double his career average for carries to get to this number. Plus, it's a bit unlikely that this game gets so far out of reach that Green Bay brings in their backups. Even last week when they did bring in the second-stringers, Dillon only saw 4 carries. I'm expecting Aaron Jones to have a monster day on the ground, as evidenced by my Saturday article.
Week 1 is in the books and it's time to move on to the best bets in Week 2.
If you listened to my article earlier this week, you would have started 1-0 for taking the Giants with the points against Washington in that thriller of a matchup Thursday night. Now, let's dive into Week 2's best NFL bets.
Tennessee Titans/Seattle Seahawks Over 54
The Seahawks' offense was high-flying in the first half last week. Because the Colts never really threatened the outcome of the game, the Seahawks were able to take the air out of the ball and finish the game with an easy win while only scoring seven in the second half. While both the Titans' defense and offense looked atrocious, expect Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry to have big bounce-back weeks and make this an epic high-scoring game. This has all the makings for a shootout in which both teams put up 30-plus points.
Cincinnati Bengals +2.5 @ Chicago Bears
Until that Monday night game, the Bengals had the honor of winning the craziest Week 1 game over the Vikings in overtime. The Bears' defense, which is supposed to be their strength, looked awful against the Rams, including one of the most blown coverages you'll ever see on Cooper Kupp's long touchdown. It was simply an awful week for the Bears. I don't think it gets any better until they remove Dalton and promote Justin Fields. If they don't do that prior to game time, the Bengals will run away with this one.
Los Angeles Rams -3.5 @ Indianapolis Colts
Coming out of Week 1 the Rams looked great on both sides of the ball. Matthew Stafford had a great first game, going 20 for 26 with three touchdowns. The Colts... They didn't look that great on either side of the ball. While Carson Wentz's overall numbers didn't look bad, most of the yardage and one of his two TDs came in the fourth quarter as they were chasing from two or more scores back, never actually threatening to win the game. I'm leaning towards the Rams winning this in a blowout and would consider alternate spreads.
Arizona Cardinals -3.5 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Kyler Murray appears to be a man on a mission to avenge last season's bitter ending after absolutely torching the Tennesee Titans in Nashville. The Vikings' defense, who hasn't been as formidable as years past, is going to have their hands full with Kyler. Last week they allowed Joe Burrow to complete nearly 80% of his passes, and Burrow isn't a threat to run nor has a receiver as talented as DeAndre Hopkins. If the Vikings offense doesn't step up and make this a shootout, things could get ugly in Phoenix.
Dallas Cowboys + 3.5 @ Los Angeles Chargers
Dak Prescott looked great in Week 1 and if there were any issues with his shoulder after throwing 58 times, he had 10 days to get healed up again and ready for the Chargers. I can almost guarantee, whenever the Cowboys go to play either Los Angeles team in their stadium, that there will be more Cowboys fans than LA fans. So while they aren't playing in Jerry World, they'll have more fan support. My concern for Justin Herbert and the Chargers is their efficiency in the red zone. His most potent weapons in Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler become less effective as they get closer to the goal line. That leaves Jared Cook and Mike Williams as your bigger bodies in the red zone, which isn't ideal. The Cowboys have a decent chance to win this one outright, but you can take the points for some cushion.
- Cowboys ML (+160)
- Titans +6.5 (-105)
- Steelers ML (-225)
- Rams -3.5 (-110)
Five Props To Consider
- Calvin Ridley OVER 6.5 receptions (+115)
- Tyrod Taylor OVER 34.5 Pass Attempts (-105)
- Aaron Jones OVER 88.5 combined yards (-115)
- Nick Chubb OVER 17.5 carries (-120)
- James Robinson OVER 9.5 carries (-125)
All five of these props have an excellent chance at hitting. I like the idea of wagering a three-leg prop parlay with the last three props listed (Jones, Chubb and J-Rob). Thanks me on Monday.