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NFL DFS Picks: Cordarrelle Patterson, Brandin Cooks & Tyreek Hill Top Leverage Plays for Winning GPPs in Week 2 (September 18)





Week 2 delivers a full slate with 12 games on the menu this Sunday. Using Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool, each player is given a leverage score, which is a score based on the player’s ownership and ceiling. So, a low projected ownership combined with a high ceiling means a higher leverage score. This column will dive into some of the best NFL DFS leverage targets for the main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.

Week 2 NFL DFS Leverage Picks

Cordarrelle Patterson

Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Scores Ranks: DraftKings: 19th, FanDuel: 34th

The Falcons used Patterson as a workhorse back in Week 1. The former receiver logged a career-high 22 carries, three of which came in the red zone. The rest of Atlanta’s backs only saw fives touches. As expected, Patterson was also heavily utilized in the passing game, running a route on 51% of Marcus Mariota’s drop backs and garnering a target on 26% of those routes. Patterson finished with 136 scrimmage yards and touchdown for 25.6 DraftKings points against a Saints’ defense that was the second-highest-graded unit on PFF last season. After nearly pulling off the upset in New Orleans and with backup running back Damian Williams (ribs) banged up, Patterson should be in line for another massive workload this Sunday against the Rams.

Although it’s only a one game sample, Los Angeles’ defense looked like a shell of its former self this past week with Von Miller out of town. They surrendered the most yards per pass attempt (9.4), seventh-most total yards (413) and third-most points (31) in Week 1. With Miller leading the way last season, the Rams only gave up over 400 yards four times and over 30 points three times in 21 games.

This Sunday’s tilt with Atlanta carries the third largest total on the board (46.5 points). The Falcons are 10.5-point underdogs, but Patterson is essentially game script proof; they will feed him the rock as rusher if they are winning and will use him heavily as a receiver out of the backfield if they are losing. Patterson is a lock for 15-plus touches, which is more than enough for him to pay off his current price tags. Patterson, who became a running back a year ago, has contributed an immense 1.2 DraftKings points per touch and 19 DraftKings points per game for the 13 occasions he has received double-digit touches with the Falcons. With Stokastic projecting Patterson for less than 5% ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel, he is an incredible standalone contrarian play or bring back option in Rams stacks.

Brandin Cooks

Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Scores Ranks: DraftKings: 22nd, FanDuel: 191st

Cooks racked up a team-high 12 targets against the Colts in Week 1. While running back Rex Burkhead ranked second on the team with eight targets, no other receiver outside of Cooks saw more than three targets for the Texans. Incredible usage rates have been the norm for Cooks since Davis Mills took over as Houston’s quarterback. In the 11 games that Cooks has played with Mills starting, he has led Houston with a 28.4% target share, while running a route on 88% of Mills’ drop backs. Cooks has been heavily utilized as a deep threat with Mills under center, seeing 11 targets north of 20 yards and leading the Texans with a large 37.6% air yards share.

With this role, Cooks has provided at least 15 DraftKings points in seven of these 11 games, including four outbursts for over 20 DraftKings points. This week the Texans find themselves as 10-point underdogs against the Broncos, in a contest that presents the fifth-highest total on the slate (45 points). Houston should naturally be forced into a pass heavy game script in this situation and the massive volume will almost certainly continue for Cooks. He has generated 18 DraftKings points per game when the Texans have been double-digit underdogs in games Mills also started. Cooks is a strong value on both sites but a better target on DraftKings, where players are rewarded a full point per reception and he is forecasted for lower ownership according to Stokastic’s NFL DFS ownership projections.

Tyreek Hill

Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Scores Ranks: DraftKings: 17th, FanDuel: 8th

Hill saw elite usage in his Dolphins’ debut against the Patriots, earning 12 targets while running a route on 83% of Tua Tagovailoa’s drop backs. He ended up with eight catches for 94 yards (18 DraftKings points). Hill ranked first in the league in targets over 20 yards (4) and third in target share (38.71%) for Week 1. Miami has the Ravens on tap this Sunday. Baltimore held the Jets in check last week, but this should be taken as a grain of salt, considering 37-year-old quarterback Joe Flacco was starting for New York. Not to mention, the Jets have an underwhelming cast of pass catchers.

This Ravens’ defense was extremely susceptible through the air last season, yielding the most yards per pass in the NFL (7.8) and third-most yards to receivers (3,119). This contest’s total ranks sixth on the slate (44.5 points) and Miami should rely on their passing game, sitting as a 3.5-point underdog. Throughout his career, Hill has been a monster as an underdog, averaging 25.4 DraftKings points per game in a sample size of 14 contests. Combine his modest projected ownership with his ceiling that ranks top-five among receivers in Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool, and Hill is one of the best tournament targets available for Week 2.

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