The first week of fantasy football is literally two weeks away. As in 14 days. Today is Thursday, and in two weeks, Thursday night will showcase the Patriots and Steelers in real life pro football action. Very excite, I know.
That means you have to prepare, especially if you plan on taking a piece of that ridiculous $100k FREE fantasy football game DraftKings is pushing out. Those guys are just great, aren’t they? You’ll surely only think that if you win. I know, I’ve lost a lot, too. But hey, week one brings that fun little word: opportunity. Take a stab at it by hitting the box below. Share it with a friend if you’re nasty.
Okay, that was weird. But my fantasy football advice isn’t. I’ve already gone over several sweet DFS fantasy football value buys on Twitter and various articles, but this is the one where I lose my mind. That’s right, I’m dropping EVERY dude I like when it comes to price/matchup/ability in week one. The list is long, so I’m breaking it down by position. This one is the quarterbacks and that’s a weird position because it costs a good amount for a reliable one, yet quarterbacks are a little undervalued at DK with just 4 points per touchdown. That means if you pay a heap for Peyton Manning and he puts up something like 220 yards, 2 touchdowns and a pick against a strong Ravens defense, you’re not going to be overly happy about the production you get.
This is why it’s pretty important to find some value guys you’re confident can produce at a high level, while not restricting the rest of your roster. I obviously am fine with the likes of Matt Ryan ($7.5k), Philip Rivers ($7.1k) and maybe even Matthew Stafford ($7k) in the $7k range, but that’s still not exactly “cheap”. Let’s concentrate on guys at $6.9k and below and see where the value really lies for week one in DFS fantasy football leagues:
Note: If you don’t see a guy here, it’s probably because they’re too expensive, weren’t a great value or just look like a crappy play for the week.
Sam Bradford (Philadelphia Eagles) $6.9k
It’s tough to go off of the numbers Sam Bradford last produced. He’s torn up his knee more times than he’s thrown touchdowns in the past two years, and he’s in a totally different system. Mark Sanchez did well in this system and Nick Foles looked like a god, though, so it’s not crazy to think Bradford could go nuts. He’s also facing a Falcons defense that isn’t very good – yet. There is the rust factor, here, but Bradford has loads of upside and is a decent value. It’s still a tad steep for a guy that has proven nothing so far, however.
Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears) $6.8k
I think it’s possible Cutler cuts down on his turnovers in 2015. Either way, he’s got talent around him and he’s going to put up yardage and some scores. He won’t do all three against the Packers in week one. Green Bay seems to always to get to Cutler, and the Bears rarely win this matchup. Cutler should be safe for 200+ yards and 1-2 scores, but you’ll have to eat the likely two picks he’s sure to throw. He’s still worth a shot and he’s at home, but just know the picks are coming.
Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota Vikings) $6.6k
Bridgewater was solid enough as a rookie, but his growth heading into the new season is evident. He’s got a stacked offense around him – it seems – and his system opens the door to a huge season season. I’m not entirely sure it starts in week one, as the 49ers do have a good defensive system and this is a road game for Teddy. That being said, the Niners have lost Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and Chris Borland. Just to name a FEW. Their defense could still be fine, but it’s absolutely possible it’s swiss cheese. That’s enough to take a shot on Bridgewater at this price. Plus he’s a closer (playing in last game of the week), which is pretty fun to have for GPP games.
Carson Palmer (Arizona Cardinals) $6.5k
Hello, older, less mobile Sam Bradford. Like Bradford, ol’ Palmy also is coming off of a shredded knee. I like his value better, but the matchup is worse and his system doesn’t scream upside like Bradford. That being said, Palmer was all kinds of solid when healthy last year and should have nice targets in Michael Floyd (monitor his hand situation), Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Andre Ellington to work with. The Saints aren’t exactly an elite defense, either, while Palmer gets to go to work in the desert.
Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals) $6.1k
The Red Rifle could win you some cash in week one. He’s obviously well priced, but he also has all of his talented weapons back at full strength and takes on the freaking Raiders. Oakland figures to be better than we’ve seen them be in the past, but probably not by much. Dalton, meanwhile, can explode at times and has A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert healthy. There’s reason to get excited about Andy Dalton in week one.
Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans) and Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) $6k
The rooks are the same price and face each other, which I have no idea how to interpret. Winston is the more advanced pocket passer and probably has the stronger arm, but he’s also way more prone to turnovers than Mariota. Then again, Mariota didn’t throw a pick all summer and in his first preseason game he turned the ball over twice. Still, the odds suggest Winston is the riskier bet, although both teams could lean on the run game early. Winston has the better matchup on paper and he clearly has the better weapons, so I’m tentatively picking him over Mariota. That being said, I’m not overly into either of these guys in their pro debuts.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (New York Jets) $5.5k
Fitzmagic could be back. It’s true he’s facing the mighty Joe Haden and a pretty strong Cleveland Browns defense. And he’s still Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Beard just gets stuff done sometimes, though, and does have Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker on his side. Tempting, sure. But I hate the matchup and Fitzmagic can drown in a sea of turnovers way too easily. There is better value to be had.
Nick Foles (St. Louis Rams) $5.3k
Foles was a monster in 2013 and then just OK in 2014. I don’t know if his real skill level rests somewhere in between, or if we haven’t seen the worst of him yet. Both are possible, but with unsexy options around him, I don’t think many are getting too amped about his fantasy prospects. Double down on that logic in week one, when Foles gets to try to out-smart the Seattle Seahawks. No thanks.
Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills) $5k
My favorite quarterback value play in DFS fantasy football for week one is Tyrod Taylor. If he starts. Spending up on QB supposedly ensures SAFETY and probably upside, but I’m here to tell you that isn’t always the case. A quarterback with impressive legs that can actually throw decently, Taylor is a very interesting play to start the year. If he starts. And he should. Throw in LeSean McCoy, Sammy Watkins, Percy Harvin, Robert Woods and Charles Clay around him, and there’s suddenly a ton to like. Indy isn’t that scary of a matchup, either. At the minimum, there are worse risks to take.
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