Week 2 Matchups

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Kickoff Thursday, Sep 12th 8:20pm Eastern

Bucs (
20.75) at

Panthers (
27.25)

Over/Under 48.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Buccaneers Run D
30th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per carry
Panthers Run O
2nd DVOA/1st Yards per carry
Buccaneers Pass D
28th DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per pass
Panthers Pass O
13th DVOA/21st Yards per pass
Panthers Run D
8th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per carry
Buccaneers Run O
22nd DVOA/31st Yards per carry
Panthers Pass D
29th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per pass
Buccaneers Pass O
10th DVOA/2nd Yards per pass

Here's a little Q&A regarding Xandamere's cash game formula (note :: as this is an extension of Xandamere's course, it is only available to Annual subs; apologies to the Weeklys out there!). This will help you if you feel like you haven't quite figured out the ins and outs of this yourself.
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Thursday’s island game has the Bucs traveling to Carolina. This game opened at 51.0 but has since dropped to 49.5, with Carolina installed as . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 1:00pm Eastern

Cards (
16.5) at

Ravens (
29.5)

Over/Under 46.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Cardinals Run D
22nd DVOA/27th Yards allowed per carry
Ravens Run O
10th DVOA/15th Yards per carry
Cardinals Pass D
10th DVOA/10th Yards allowed per pass
Ravens Pass O
19th DVOA/26th Yards per pass
Ravens Run D
6th DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per carry
Cardinals Run O
32nd DVOA/32nd Yards per carry
Ravens Pass D
4th DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per pass
Cardinals Pass O
31st DVOA/32nd Yards per pass

In PFF's run defense rankings heading into the year, the Cardinals ranked one spot behind the Dolphins. That's good news for the Ravens' run game.

But let's step a level deeper and see what that "run game" consists of. Here are the Ravens' first quarter runs vs Miami last week:

Play 1 :: run with Ingram (first play of drive)
Play 3 :: run with Edwards
Play 5 :: run with Hill
Play 6 :: run with Ingram
Play 7 :: run with Edwards
Play 8 :: run with Ingram
Play 10 :: run with Edwards (first play of drive)
Play 13 :: run with . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 1:00pm Eastern

Cowboys (
26.25) at

Redskins (
20.25)

Over/Under 46.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Cowboys Run D
4th DVOA/5th Yards allowed per carry
Redskins Run O
14th DVOA/18th Yards per carry
Cowboys Pass D
12th DVOA/13th Yards allowed per pass
Redskins Pass O
29th DVOA/29th Yards per pass
Redskins Run D
25th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per carry
Cowboys Run O
16th DVOA/14th Yards per carry
Redskins Pass D
14th DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per pass
Cowboys Pass O
27th DVOA/16th Yards per pass

The Cowboys' new-look offense debuted in Week 1, and while the motion and misdirection wasn't as heavy as we'll surely see over time, there were plenty of pre-snap shifts and a decent amount of deception aimed at getting the defense out of position and allowing to read the defense more easily. As a result of all this, Dak attacked 8.7 yards downfield on average (top 10 in the NFL in Week 1), while passing on play-action on 47% of his drop-backs (only Lamar Jackson had a higher percentage of play-action passes in . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 1:00pm Eastern

Colts (
20.25) at

Titans (
23.25)

Over/Under 43.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Colts Run D
5th DVOA/6th Yards allowed per carry
Titans Run O
17th DVOA/16th Yards per carry
Colts Pass D
18th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per pass
Titans Pass O
24th DVOA/14th Yards per pass
Titans Run D
13th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per carry
Colts Run O
19th DVOA/22nd Yards per carry
Titans Pass D
22nd DVOA/7th Yards allowed per pass
Colts Pass O
14th DVOA/22nd Yards per pass

This divisional game with an early-week total of 44.5 is going to be the ultimate chess match between Frank Reich and Mike Vrabel, making this game a treat for fans of good old-fashioned football, but making it less likely to produce week-winning fantasy scores.

Vrabel will attempt to show looks to confuse Jacoby Brissett — trying to mix in elements the Colts would not have been able to prepare for. And Reich will try to figure things out on the fly: masking the weaknesses of Brissett while putting him in the best possible position for success. The . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 1:00pm Eastern

Seahawks (
21.5) at

Steelers (
25.5)

Over/Under 47.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Seahawks Run D
19th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per carry
Steelers Run O
13th DVOA/24th Yards per carry
Seahawks Pass D
13th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per pass
Steelers Pass O
7th DVOA/13th Yards per pass
Steelers Run D
7th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per carry
Seahawks Run O
6th DVOA/5th Yards per carry
Steelers Pass D
21st DVOA/11th Yards allowed per pass
Seahawks Pass O
6th DVOA/6th Yards per pass

Let's take a look at some of the numbers and unknowns with the Steelers offense as we head into Week 2.

Last year, the Steelers' point totals on the road were :: 21 // 30 // 28 // 23 // 20 // 17 // 21 // 28
Last year, the Steelers' point totals at home were :: 37 // 14 // 41 // 33 // 52 // 30 // 17 // 16

We all know that home games are better for scoring expectations for all teams; and we all know that home games are especially better for scoring expectations for the Steelers. We also know that the Patriots' defense — with their elite coverage unit and . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 1:00pm Eastern

Bills (
22.75) at

Giants (
21.75)

Over/Under 44.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Bills Run D
9th DVOA/10th Yards allowed per carry
Giants Run O
18th DVOA/10th Yards per carry
Bills Pass D
3rd DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per pass
Giants Pass O
16th DVOA/11th Yards per pass
Giants Run D
18th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per carry
Bills Run O
24th DVOA/21st Yards per carry
Giants Pass D
24th DVOA/21st Yards allowed per pass
Bills Pass O
32nd DVOA/31st Yards per pass

Last week against the Jets, the Bills showed a willingness to ask, “What is our best way to win this specific game?” Of course, this sounds like an obvious approach, but the majority of teams in the NFL don’t do this. The majority of teams practice their scheme and then put it up against the opponent, while coaches like Belichick/McDaniels, Mike Vrabel, Doug Pederson, Frank Reich, Andy Reid, and others try to figure out each week what it will take for them to win that particular game, and then adjust to that. If Daboll carries that over to . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 1:00pm Eastern

49ers (
22.5) at

Bengals (
23.5)

Over/Under 46.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
49ers Run D
14th DVOA/0th Yards allowed per carry
Bengals Run O
12th DVOA/8th Yards per carry
49ers Pass D
25th DVOA/0th Yards allowed per pass
Bengals Pass O
17th DVOA/27th Yards per pass
Bengals Run D
28th DVOA/25th Yards allowed per carry
49ers Run O
30th DVOA/0th Yards per carry
Bengals Pass D
27th DVOA/27th Yards allowed per pass
49ers Pass O
23rd DVOA/0th Yards per pass

There are two very clear ways that this game could play out (along with a few other tributaries you could consider), but there is only one scenario that should truly capture our attention in DFS. We'll hit that scenario in a moment; but first:

Last week, we talked in the NFL Edge and on the Angles Podcast (where they were our cheap defense of the week) about the fact that the 49ers defense might very well be good this year. Their defensive line is one of the scariest in football; their linebackers are smart and talented; and their secondary . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 1:00pm Eastern

Chargers (
24.25) at

Lions (
22.75)

Over/Under 47.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Chargers Run D
16th DVOA/12th Yards allowed per carry
Lions Run O
21st DVOA/28th Yards per carry
Chargers Pass D
9th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per pass
Lions Pass O
25th DVOA/24th Yards per pass
Lions Run D
20th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per carry
Chargers Run O
7th DVOA/7th Yards per carry
Lions Pass D
31st DVOA/28th Yards allowed per pass
Chargers Pass O
2nd DVOA/3rd Yards per pass

Chargers // Lions carries a slightly aggressive Over/Under of 47.5 — with Vegas counting on the offensive aptitude on both sides of this game to outweigh the methodical nature and slow pace of both of these teams. (Last season, the Lions ranked 23rd in pace of play while the Chargers ranked 32nd. No team allowed fewer opponent plays per game than the Lions, and only four teams ran fewer plays per game than the Chargers. The Chargers also struggled with time of possession on the road last year; though they did hit 20+ points in every road game, and at . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 1:00pm Eastern

Vikings (
20.25) at

Packers (
23.25)

Over/Under 43.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Vikings Run D
12th DVOA/8th Yards allowed per carry
Packers Run O
4th DVOA/2nd Yards per carry
Vikings Pass D
8th DVOA/6th Yards allowed per pass
Packers Pass O
9th DVOA/20th Yards per pass
Packers Run D
29th DVOA/13th Yards allowed per carry
Vikings Run O
31st DVOA/25th Yards per carry
Packers Pass D
17th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per pass
Vikings Pass O
15th DVOA/23rd Yards per pass

The Vikings and Packers will match up this week in a game in which big plays and big mistakes will both be difficult to come by. Given the elite levels at which most of these players are priced (with and STILL priced for their workloads from the first half of last season, with priced up after his big Week 1, and with the Packers priced like a team with under center), this game becomes immediately unattractive in cash games, as we have an early-week Over/Under of 44.0 to go with those high prices. Last year the Vikings . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 1:00pm Eastern

Jaguars (
18) at

Texans (
25)

Over/Under 43.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Jaguars Run D
10th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per carry
Texans Run O
26th DVOA/19th Yards per carry
Jaguars Pass D
7th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per pass
Texans Pass O
12th DVOA/5th Yards per pass
Texans Run D
2nd DVOA/1st Yards allowed per carry
Jaguars Run O
23rd DVOA/26th Yards per carry
Texans Pass D
16th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per pass
Jaguars Pass O
28th DVOA/30th Yards per pass

Welcome back on the carousel, Jaguars fans!

After failing to lead a touchdown drive across 30 possessions in the preseason (leading to much, understandable hand-wringing amongst Jaguars media and fans), Gardner Minshew stepped in Sunday and looked genuinely #good. While it’s true that the Chiefs are not “the most talented defense in the world,” they are coached by Steve Spagnuolo, who does a good job disguising coverages and giving quarterbacks a decent amount to think about. Minshew consistently read these disguises and made the right throws — and there were a few times when he showed excellent anticipation, throwing . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 1:00pm Eastern

Patriots (
33.25) at

Dolphins (
15.25)

Over/Under 48.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Patriots Run D
21st DVOA/29th Yards allowed per carry
Dolphins Run O
11th DVOA/0th Yards per carry
Patriots Pass D
19th DVOA/5th Yards allowed per pass
Dolphins Pass O
20th DVOA/19th Yards per pass
Dolphins Run D
17th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per carry
Patriots Run O
9th DVOA/20th Yards per carry
Dolphins Pass D
26th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per pass
Patriots Pass O
4th DVOA/10th Yards per pass

Hard Rock Stadium has been a house of horrors for in his career, where he has a 6-9 record overall and has won only once since 2012. Against this current Dolphins squad, this is obviously more of a footnote than it is actionable information; but it is something that can be kept in the back of your mind while building rosters this week. (Maybe the stadium can field a pass rush? That would help them slow down Brady.)

Weather shouldn't be a major factor this week (the Pats will be leaving mid-60s and humid in Foxboro to . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 4:05pm Eastern

Chiefs (
30) at

Raiders (
23)

Over/Under 53.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Chiefs Run D
32nd DVOA/31st Yards allowed per carry
Raiders Run O
27th DVOA/23rd Yards per carry
Chiefs Pass D
15th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per pass
Raiders Pass O
11th DVOA/18th Yards per pass
Raiders Run D
27th DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per carry
Chiefs Run O
5th DVOA/6th Yards per carry
Raiders Pass D
32nd DVOA/31st Yards allowed per pass
Chiefs Pass O
1st DVOA/1st Yards per pass

Do you play the Chiefs this week? Every week, they're going to score points; that isn't the question. The question is, "Is this the best salary allocation?" The question is, "Are the Chiefs overpriced or underpriced this week?" And this week, it really comes down to this: can the Raiders keep up with the Chiefs? Even at Mahomes' price, it would take a low-percentile game for you to be disappointed in any scenario (i.e., he'll remain where he always remains: in Tier 1), but in order for him to tilt the slate in your favor . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 4:25pm Eastern

Saints (
25.25) at

Rams (
27.25)

Over/Under 52.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Saints Run D
3rd DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per carry
Rams Run O
1st DVOA/3rd Yards per carry
Saints Pass D
20th DVOA/29th Yards allowed per pass
Rams Pass O
5th DVOA/4th Yards per pass
Rams Run D
24th DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per carry
Saints Run O
8th DVOA/17th Yards per carry
Rams Pass D
6th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per pass
Saints Pass O
3rd DVOA/7th Yards per pass

This matchup is a favorite of the DFS community — spiking ownership, generating discussions throughout the week, and making everyone wait until after the late games finish to count any of their winnings. And while the line in this game has dropped two points since it opened (which you can find in the Advanced Odds tool, under the Line History option), it still carries the second-highest Over/Under on the slate, and it is one of our clearest paths to the sort of back-and-forth shootout that can win the week on its own.

The most interesting place for . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 4:25pm Eastern

Bears (
21.5) at

Broncos (
19)

Over/Under 40.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Bears Run D
1st DVOA/4th Yards allowed per carry
Broncos Run O
3rd DVOA/4th Yards per carry
Bears Pass D
1st DVOA/1st Yards allowed per pass
Broncos Pass O
21st DVOA/25th Yards per pass
Broncos Run D
11th DVOA/17th Yards allowed per carry
Bears Run O
15th DVOA/27th Yards per carry
Broncos Pass D
2nd DVOA/25th Yards allowed per pass
Bears Pass O
22nd DVOA/17th Yards per pass

Generally speaking — if we are trying to find week-winning scores at every position in tourneys, the Bears’ spread-the-wealth offense is one of our less-likely bets. We’ll probably get about eight different week-winning scores from skill position players on this offense this year; but those scores will likely be spread across five different players, making it best, in general, to leave these guys alone outside of obvious matchup boosts or game stacks in shootout environments. A Week 2 trip to the thin air of Denver (where the Broncos defense always plays far better) is not . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Sep 15th 8:20pm Eastern

Eagles (
26.75) at

Falcons (
25.75)

Over/Under 52.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Eagles Run D
15th DVOA/21st Yards allowed per carry
Falcons Run O
29th DVOA/13th Yards per carry
Eagles Pass D
23rd DVOA/14th Yards allowed per pass
Falcons Pass O
8th DVOA/8th Yards per pass
Falcons Run D
31st DVOA/28th Yards allowed per carry
Eagles Run O
25th DVOA/30th Yards per carry
Falcons Pass D
30th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per pass
Eagles Pass O
18th DVOA/12th Yards per pass

Here's a little Q&A regarding Xandamere's cash game formula (note :: as this is an extension of Xandamere's course, it is only available to Annual subs; apologies to the Weeklys out there!). This will help you if you feel like you haven't quite figured out the ins and outs of this yourself.
_______________

Showdown Slant ::
Presented by top Showdown mind Xandamere!
— access Xandamere's "Mastering Showdowns" course here!
Sunday Night Football should be exciting, as the Eagles visit the Falcons for one of the highest total games of the week. The game total is 51 . . .

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Kickoff Monday, Sep 16th 8:15pm Eastern

Browns (
25.75) at

Jets (
19.25)

Over/Under 45.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Browns Run D
26th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per carry
Jets Run O
28th DVOA/29th Yards per carry
Browns Pass D
5th DVOA/8th Yards allowed per pass
Jets Pass O
30th DVOA/28th Yards per pass
Jets Run D
23rd DVOA/19th Yards allowed per carry
Browns Run O
20th DVOA/11th Yards per carry
Jets Pass D
11th DVOA/17th Yards allowed per pass
Browns Pass O
26th DVOA/15th Yards per pass

Here's a little Q&A regarding Xandamere's cash game formula (note :: as this is an extension of Xandamere's course, it is only available to Annual subs; apologies to the Weeklys out there!). This will help you if you feel like you haven't quite figured out the ins and outs of this yourself.
_______________

Showdown Slant ::
Presented by top Showdown mind Xandamere!
— access Xandamere's "Mastering Showdowns" course here!
Disclaimer: this is being written on Friday before the slate is posted, so we don’t have prices to work off of. Pricing updates will be added . . .

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