DFS Roundtable: Betting on Passing Game Turnarounds

The Footballguys staff looks for DFS value among the concerning passing games from Week 1

There were significant reasons to be concerned about the overall passing games of Arizona, Dallas, Tennessee, Cleveland, and others from Week 1.

What under-performing passing game turns things around? Is there one you are avoiding until further notice?

Phil Alexander: Out of those four, I'd give Cleveland the best odds of a turnaround. At least they can use heavy rains and strong winds as a scapegoat. Arizona looked like Week 1 was the first time they ever played a snap together. Dallas appeared to be the same dismal offense they were last year, only with less established receivers. And while it's still early as of this writing to know Marcus Mariota's status for Week 2, it sure seems like it will be Blaine Gabbert leading Tennessee into Houston to face J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, and the rest of the Texans defense. Maybe Gabbert is interesting from a value standpoint priced near site minimum, but that endorsement is as tepid they come.

James Brimacombe: Arizona and Tennessee are big avoid passing games for me right now, I see no need to take a chance on either passing attack this week. Dallas just doesn't have the weapons through the air so that is also a hard sell right now so that leaves Cleveland and with a matchup against the Saints in a dome, you have to love the potential for a big game from the passing offense. Both Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon should be in line for heavy volume against the Saints and if Tampa Bay can put up points against them why not Cleveland?

Will Grant: The Dallas passing game was nothing to be excited about going into this season, and after last week’s performance, I won’t have any of them in my lineup for a while. Tennessee is an ‘avoid at all costs’ now that Delanie Walker is done for the season as well. I don’t trust Marcus Mariota and I certainly won’t be stacking him with anyone on the receiving side of the ball. Cleveland is clearly a better team than they were last season, and the Saints may be just the team to give their passing game a boost. Jarvis Landry is cheap enough to consider a possible play this week. He makes a good ‘upside’ guy you can plug into a lineup so you can pay up for other players like Mike Thomas and Julio Jones. A stack of Drew BreesMike ThomasJarvis Landry makes an interesting tournament play.

Jason Wood: I agree with Phil that Cleveland is the most likely to bounce back in Week 2. The Browns get a Saints defense that was just torched by the Buccaneers, and Josh Gordon has been officially named a starter. Looking toward the full season, I'm not ruling Arizona or Dallas out, but both need to answer big questions. In Arizona, we need Josh Rosen under center to see what he can do with Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, and the rest of the receiving corps. In Dallas, we need the offensive staff to remember how they called plays in 2016 when rookie Dak Prescott looked like an MVP candidate. I wouldn't bet on either team turning things around quickly, but I can't rule it out.

Justin Howe: I hate for Corey Davis that he could be catching balls from Blaine Gabbert this week. Still, it was encouraging to see him utilized so extensively in Week 1. Davis' 13 targets were spread all over the field, and before long, he's going to start breaking away with some of those screens and quick slants.

I'm also bullish on the Cleveland pass game. Tyrod Taylor's efficiency can only go up from a shaky Browns debut (15 of 40), and he's throwing to a bevy of dynamic talent. Josh Gordon's "benching" was a laughable Week 1 narrative but nothing more; he played 80% of Cleveland snaps and was frequently targeted with high-reward jump balls. In Buffalo, Taylor was annually among the league leaders in downfield and deep-ball efficiency, so big days are coming. If his Week 1 was any indicator, he'll spend his Browns tenure winging deep balls to Gordon and seam throws to David Njoku. Both boast strong ceilings against a Saints defense that tumbled back toward the Saints' norm in Week 1.

I have no interest in the Cowboys' garbage unit, that's for sure. Dak Prescott looks overwhelmed and unsure of himself, and why not? He has so strikingly little help down the field that he's no more than a rushing-contingent GPP stab - and a terrible one, at that. With only low-impact slot man Cole Beasley projectable for any real week-to-week role, Prescott looks like a weekly pass regardless of matchup. And his underwhelming receivers look poised to keep alternating stretches of invisibility. Terrance Williams and Allen Hurns aren't start-worthy NFL receivers, and rookie Michael Gallup is being eased in. There's almost no production to project here, and no way to tell where the little bit that comes will come from.