The scoring system on Draft Kings is a bit interesting, especially for quarterbacks. While standard season-long fantasy football leagues tend to favor QBs, their numbers are quite a bit more tempered on DK. A QB earns just four points on DK for a passing TD, and just one point per 25 passing yards. A 300-yard afternoon will earn your passer a whopping three additional points. So while it can be nice to have a fairly safe option like Aaron Rodgers in there for you, he’s likely not going to be totally carrying your team.
So, if you can find a guy at a more reasonable price than a Rodgers ($8,600 in Week 1) that can offer similar upside, there’s plenty of reason to pull the trigger. That brings us to two mega-cheap options that will be starting for their respective teams in Week 1: Tyrod Taylor of the Buffalo Bills and Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins. Both are priced at just $5,000, which is the minimum for a QB on Draft Kings. So, which of the two should you plunge for?
Washington coach Jay Gruden (who is sad about being called fat, apparently) made the surprise move of the preseason by opting to start Cousins over Robert Griffin III. Both of them suck, so I’m not totally sure what all the fuss is about. But who sucks less? THAT IS THE QUESTION.
In six appearances for Washington last season, Cousins completed nearly 62% of his throws for 1,710 yards with 10 TDs and nine INTs. The low point was a 45-14 drubbing at the hands of the Giants (on Thursday Night Football) in which Cousins tossed four interceptions to go along with just one score. He was eventually replaced as the team’s starter by Colt McCoy. Cousins and the ‘Skins get a home date with the Miami Dolphins in Week 1.
As for Taylor, Rex Ryan announced Monday that he had won the Bills’ QB battle over the likes of Matt Cassel and E.J. Manuel. In his three preseason appearances, he’s completed 24-of-31 passes for 236 yards. While he didn’t throw a TD pass, he also didn’t throw an interception and scored once on the ground. T.T. and the Bills face the the Colts in Week 1.
Of these two, I’m leaning heavily towards rostering Tyrod Taylor. Running-type QBs have long been more valuable in fantasy than they have been in actual football, and Taylor clearly fits the bill there. Rushing TDs get you six points (compared to the aforementioned four for a passing score), which obviously adds appeal. Kirk Cousins isn’t rushing for many touchdowns, fellas. He’s only attempted to run it 14 times in his career so far, none of which have resulted in an awkward white guy end zone dance.
I also think Taylor’s got the easier matchup, plus the superior weaponry surrounding him. The Colts are a pretty hit-or-miss defense, as evidenced by their shutout against the Bengals in Week 7, followed by allowing 51 to Pittsburgh the very next week. Buffalo’s offense has speed for days all of a sudden, with the likes of LeSean McCoy, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Charles Clay all figuring to feature heavily in the Bills’ attack.
Cousins has to take on a Miami defense that should be improved, particularly with the addition of the terrifying Ndamukong Suh in the middle. He’s got a decent amount of talent around him (Alf Morris, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed), but I don’t trust his offensive line at all. This could be one of those crazy 8-sack type games for the Dolphins. Combine the immense pressure Cousins will be facing with his general skittishness in the pocket and you’ve got the makings of a potential disaster here.
I don’t hate Cousins as a cheap DFS option given the right matchup, but Tyrod Taylor is the obvious choice for Week 1.