After seeing quite a bit of value at the quarterback position to start the season, the pricing at quarterback has become tighter for week 2. Pick two quarterbacks who will be great value in week 2 and explain your reasoning. Who do you see failing to perform up to expectations?
Phil Alexander: I'll double down on my Week 1 Russell Wilson love by going back to him at home against the 49ers. Wilson's offensive line is an obvious weakness, but the 49ers young defensive front has yet to prove they can exploit it. Vegas has Seattle with a 28 point implied team total, which is tied with the Falcons for the highest on the slate and they're favored to win by nearly two touchdowns at home. If Wilson fails in this spot, it's time to alter his rest-of-season projections.
In terms of points per dollar, it's tough to ignore Blake Bortles, who costs $100 less than Dallas backup Cooper Rush on DraftKings. Doug Marrone followed through on his promise to limit Bortles' pass attempts in Week 1, but the game script set up perfectly for him to do so. The Jaguars defense has a much tougher challenge against Tennessee this week, which should necessitate Bortles to throw more in a plus matchup. It's hard to imagine Bortles not getting you at least the 13 points he needs to 3x his salary in cash games.
I'm not hopeful Carson Wentz has a strong follow-up to his top-3 Week 1 performance. Arrowhead is a tough place to play, especially for an inexperienced, turnover-prone road underdog quarterback.
Justin Howe: Blake Bortles comes embarrassingly cheaply on the heels of a run-dominant Week 1 and Allen Robinson's injury, and he's hard to avoid in putting together a roster. There's also a lot of downside for cash play, though, so be sure to diversify. Bortles managed just over 10 DFS points in a Week 1 in which he didn't lose a turnover. He'd need an appreciable volume boost and to maintain some level of efficiency without Robinson to hit his cash mark. He'll throw more than 21 times, sure, but if that boost comes in hurry-up situations it will likely carry turnovers and hurt for touchdowns. Most importantly, there's very little ceiling in play here, so the opportunity cost is tremendous. All told, though, a risk-averse cash roster brings a ton of salary flexibility that could net another stud elsewhere. Downgrading to Bortles from, say, Philip Rivers would likely cost you a few points, but makes the difference in leaping from the middle tiers of RBs and WRs.
It's hard not to love Sam Bradford at his discount. Bradford is in the best situation of his career, paired with two dynamic wideouts for the first time ever. The Steelers boast a strong defense on the whole, but their coverage breakdowns are a constant thing. Joe Haden was worked over downfield twice last week by Corey Coleman, and the safeties aren't great in deep coverage. That's a sneaky game to produce high scoring, and Bradford could be in for another big week. He makes for a great pair with either Stefon Diggs or Adam Thielen (I prefer Thielen by a hair).
Like Phil, I'm staying away from Carson Wentz. I profited from him in Week 1, but that was a salary/matchup decision, not anticipation of fireworks. Wentz performed on the upper edge of his weekly expectations and certainly didn't light the world ablaze. The opportunistic Kansas City defense could make Sunday a forgettable day for him. Dating back to the start of 2016, they've allowed the league's second-lowest completion rate and intercepted more passes than anyone.
Jason Wood: Tom Brady is an easy choice, coming off an uncharacteristically bad home loss. He gets to play against a bad Saints defense in a shootout with one of his top contemporaries. I love him as a bounce back and his price isn't significantly higher than other top quarterbacks on the slate.
Jameis Winston is my dark horse pick for NFL MVP this season, and I see him shredding the Bears defense this week. He's priced like a mid-tier starter that doesn't have a plus matchup, and yet I see him as an elite option in a great matchup.
I don't love Drew Brees as one of the top priced quarterbacks on the board, against a fired up Patriots defense trying to avenge a surprising Week One home loss. I'll be fading Brees hard. I'm also fading Marcus Mariota against a Jaguars defense that just sacked the Texans quarterback duo ten times.
Dan Hindery: The two quarterbacks that standout as underpriced are Sam Bradford and Philip Rivers. Bradford played out of his mind in Week 1 against the Saints, making some amazing throws against tight coverage. He finished 2016 strong and had a fantastic preseason as well, so we shouldn't write off his opening performance as a fluke. The Steelers are going to score points on offense and clog the box on defense to take away the run, meaning Bradford is likely to have to throw the ball a lot. This is a nice spot for another 300-yard, multiple touchdown passing performance from Bradford. Rivers is making his Los Angeles home debut against the Dolphins and is always capable of a big day throwing the ball. The Miami matchup should be one that Rivers can exploit. Aside from Xavien Howard, the Dolphins have struggled mightily at cornerback in the preseason. Either Tyrell Williams or Kennan Allen should have a mismatch against the Dolphins second cornerback. In the middle of the field, Raekwon McMillan’s torn ACL means street free agent Rey Maualuga could get the start. He is going to have a tough time keeping up with Hunter Henry and Melvin Gordon. The Dolphins have also experimented with an up-tempo offense in the preseason, which could lead to a higher number of offensive snaps for the Chargers.
John Mamula: I agree with Jason that Jameis Winston is a great mid-priced quarterback value at home versus a weak Bears secondary. He should have multiple touchdown passes in this matchup especially if Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara is inactive. Another quarterback that has my attention is Philip Rivers who is grossly underpriced at home versus the Dolphins. Rivers had multiple touchdowns in 12 games last season and in every one of the Chargers final 9 games. He has a very high floor in this matchup and is in early consideration for cash games and GPP tournaments.