Fantasy Football Week 2: DFS picks and strategy for Yahoo Sunday Baller

Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen should bounce back for fantasy managers in Week 2. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The Week 2 NFL main slate begins Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT and features 12 games, as the entire league will be in action sans the Thursday Night Football (Vikings-Eagles), Sunday Night Football (Dolphins-Patriots) and Monday Night Football (Saints-Panthers and Browns-Steelers) participants. Yahoo will be running plenty of NFL DFS contests for Week 2, but the biggest is the Sunday Baller, which pays out a guaranteed prize pool of $350,000 to the top 4,162 finishers, including $35,000 to the winner. You can submit up to 150 entries into this contest, which has a maximum total capacity of 20,500 entries but will still run if it doesn't fill, potentially providing you with enhanced odds of winning, also known as overlay.

Playing in guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contests is about chasing upside, while lineups geared towards head-to-head, 50/50 or double-up formats should prioritize high floors. The players you want to target for these different contest types aren't mutually exclusive, but winning a GPP tournament usually requires finding a hidden gem or going against the grain in a spot or two, while building a solid base of the same chalk plays you would use anywhere. Against-the-grain plays typically consist of big-name players in tough matchups or boom-or-bust types with uncertain roles.

[Play in Yahoo's Week 2 Sunday Baller — guaranteed prize pool of $350K]

Keep in mind that Yahoo DFS contests use 0.5 PPR scoring rather than full PPR, which lowers the comparative value of wide receivers and running backs (in that order) while especially affecting high-volume pass-catchers. Your NFL $350k Sunday Baller lineup will consist of one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, one FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and one D/ST unit.

Among the suggested Week 2 plays are a potent QB-WR stack, a few established veterans who can still get the job done at a high level, and a rookie first-round pick who could be ready for a breakout game after modest usage in his NFL debut.


Josh Allen, BUF vs. LV ($39)

Allen tied his career worst with four turnovers Monday against a Jets defense that also gave him fits last season, but he should bounce back against a Raiders defense that allowed the fourth-most passing yards in 2022 while tying for the fewest interceptions in the league with six.

Buffalo's QB is coming off three consecutive seasons with over 4,200 passing yards and at least 35 passing touchdowns, and he's also among the top quarterbacks when it comes to producing with his legs. Allen has exceeded 750 rushing yards in each of the past two seasons while averaging 7.6 rushing TDs in his five-year career. His physical playing style leaves Allen susceptible to wearing down late in the season, but Allen's currently healthy and motivated to bounce back for an 0-1 Bills team that's tied with Dallas as the biggest Week 2 favorite at -9.5 points.

Honorable Mentions:

Justin Herbert, LAC at TEN ($34); Geno Smith, SEA at DET ($31); Daniel Jones, NYG at ARI ($29)

Against the Grainers:

Joe Burrow, CIN vs. BAL ($34); Lamar Jackson, BAL at CIN ($28); Anthony Richardson, IND at HOU ($27)


Saquon Barkley, NYG at ARI ($33)

Arizona came into the season expected to be the worst team in the league, and while the Cardinals were able to make it interesting in Week 1 against the Commanders, this is still a team with minimal talent on either side of the ball. The Giants should control time of possession against Arizona's Joshua Dobbs-quarterbacked offense, and New York will be eager to bounce back after getting embarrassed 40-0 by the rival Cowboys on SNF in Week 1.

Washington lead back Brian Robinson had 66 scrimmage yards and scored his second career receiving touchdown against the Cardinals last week. Barkley's far more dangerous as both a runner and a pass catcher, and after leading the Giants with 1,650 scrimmage yards last season, he should work as the focal point of the team's offense in what's as close to a must-win game as it gets this early in the season.

Jahmyr Gibbs, DET vs. SEA ($20)

Gibbs can be had for $3 less than fellow Lions RB David Montgomery, making the rookie first-round pick the superior value play against Seattle's vulnerable front. Seattle allowed the sixth-most rushing yards, fifth-most receiving yards, seventh-most rushing TDs and seventh-most receiving TDs to running backs in 2022. After losing a couple of key contributors on the interior of the defensive line in free agency, the Seahawks could be even more generous to running backs this year, and they gave up three rushing TDs to the Rams' duo of Kyren Williams and Cam Akers in Week 1.

Gibbs is a far better pass catcher than Montgomery, and he's likely to see more work in his second NFL game after using his speed to turn nine touches into 60 scrimmage yards in his NFL debut, while Montgomery rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries without a target.

Honorable Mentions:

Travis Etienne, JAC vs. KC ($23); Rachaad White, TB vs. SEA ($21); Dameon Pierce, HOU vs. IND ($18)

Against the Grainers:

Bijan Robinson, ATL vs. GB ($27); Breece Hall, NYJ at DAL ($16); Deon Jackson, IND at HOU ($16)


Stefon Diggs, BUF vs. LV ($29)

Diggs was undaunted in a tough matchup against arguably the league's best secondary in Week 1, producing 10 catches for 102 yards and one touchdown in Monday's loss to the Jets while Buffalo's other wide receivers were limited to five catches for 41 yards. Allen's favorite target should get open much more easily in Week 2 against a Raiders defense that allowed the fourth-most passing yards in 2022. The Broncos got only six offensive possessions in a grinding game against the Raiders in Week 1, and even while working without top WR Jerry Jeudy (hamstring), Denver capped two of those six possessions with touchdowns by wide receivers.

Big Bills believers can add Gabe Davis ($18) to this Buffalo stack. The boom-or-bust starter opposite Diggs had 426 yards and five touchdowns in his four best games last season, but just 410 yards and two touchdowns in 11 other appearances.

Mike Evans, TB vs. CHI ($23)

Evans has topped 1,000 receiving yards in each of his previous nine NFL seasons, and he appears likely to challenge for that mark again in 2023 given his productivity in Baker Mayfield's ($23) first game under center for the Buccaneers. Mayfield looked Evans' way 10 times, resulting in six catches for 66 yards and a TD for the veteran WR in a Week 1 road win over the Vikings.

The demise of Tampa Bay's passing attack in the wake of Tom Brady's retirement appears to have been greatly exaggerated, and the same seems to be true of Chicago's expected improvement after an active offseason. In Week 1, the Bears looked much like the team that gave up a league-high 27.2 PPG en route to a league-worst 3-14 record last year, falling 38-20 to the Packers while allowing two touchdown catches to Romeo Doubs despite Green Bay having virtually no other notable receiving threats.

DeAndre Hopkins, TEN vs. LAC ($20)

Hopkins' usage in his Titans debut was highly encouraging, as he led the team in targets (13), catches (seven) and receiving yards (65) despite being covered by shutdown Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Similar volume should lead to significantly more production in Week 2 against a porous Chargers secondary that just allowed 466 passing yards to Miami's Tua Tagovailoa, including 215 yards and two touchdowns to Tyreek Hill.

The veteran receiver missed practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury, but Hopkins has an extensive history of playing despite minimal practice participation, so there's little reason to think he'll be hindered at all come Sunday.

Honorable Mentions:

Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET vs. SEA ($28); DK Metcalf, SEA at DET ($23); Michael Pittman, IND at HOU ($17)

Against the Grainers:

Ja'Marr Chase, CIN vs. BAL ($31); Brandon Aiyuk, SF at LAR ($24); DJ Moore, CHI at TB ($17)


Zach Ertz, ARI vs. NYG ($14)

Given the week-to-week uncertainty when it comes to production at tight end, you're usually better off either paying up for an elite option or trying to find a bargain rather than splitting the difference. With a couple of the biggest names at the position coming off injuries, the bargain bin strategy is appealing this week, and Ertz's heavy Week 1 volume suggests his own injury concerns are in the rearview mirror. There were questions about whether Ertz would even suit up in Week 1 after tearing his ACL in November, but he suited up and easily led the Cardinals in both targets (10) and catches (six). His 21 receiving yards were nothing to write home about, but Ertz would have come away with a much more impressive stat line if Dobbs had been able to keep an end-zone throw that went off the veteran tight end's fingertips just a few inches lower. With Arizona likely to be playing catchup again given the team's lack of talent and Dobbs lacking the skillset necessary to push the ball downfield to wide receivers effectively, the affordable Ertz should continue to rake in immense volume underneath.

Honorable Mentions:

Travis Kelce, KC at JAC ($33); George Kittle, SF at LAR ($23); Kyle Pitts, ATL vs. GB ($15)

Against the Grainers:

Mark Andrews, BAL at CIN ($24); Dalton Schultz, HOU vs. IND ($16); Chigoziem Okonkwo, TEN vs. LAC ($12)


Denver Broncos, DEN vs. WAS ($12)

This will be the first NFL road game for Commanders QB Sam Howell, and the lowly Cardinals defense managed to score 19 fantasy points in Washington against the Howell-led offense last week. Denver's underrated defense allowed just 18.3 PPG at home in 2022, and this unit limited the Raiders to 17 points in Week 1. If Howell gets flustered in this hostile environment or struggles to adjust to the altitude, this defense could easily finish among the highest-scoring units in Week 2, and saving cap space at the D/ST spot will help you afford stars like Allen, Barkley and Diggs.

Honorable Mentions:

Dallas Cowboys, DAL vs. NYJ ($21); Indianapolis Colts, IND at HOU ($19); New York Giants, NYG at ARI ($14)

Against the Grainers:

New York Jets, NYJ at DAL ($15); Tampa Bay Buccaneers, TB vs. CHI ($14); Arizona Cardinals, ARI vs. NYG ($12)