Each Sunday in this spot I’ll list my top five plays at each position. I’ll also offer lineups.
As I wrote on Thursday, Week 1 is chock full of value (it should be chalk full, because that’s what they’ll all be). That will encourage a stars-and-scrubs approach and makes the difference of a few hundred dollars almost irrelevant with the more expensive players.
1. Matthew Stafford (FD $7,400, DK $7,200)
2. Derek Carr (FD $7,700, DK $7,300)
3. Drew Brees ($FD $8,700, DK $8,100)
4. Andrew Luck ($8,700, DK $8,300)
5. Matt Ryan (FD $7,600, DK $7,100)
There are two games I’m betting on being shootouts Sunday and my top four quarterbacks tell you which two they are. I put Stafford at the the top for a couple of reasons. Unlike Carr and Brees, Stafford’s running game is a question mark and I’ve totally bought into the idea that Jim Bob Cooter wants to play fast in Detroit. The biggest reason though is that I think the beat up Indianapolis Colts defense provides the least resistance.
1. Christine Michael (FD $4,800, DK $3,700)
2. Spencer Ware (FD $5,400, DK $4,400)
3. Adrian Peterson (FD $8,200, DK $7,600)
4. Latavius Murray (FD $6,600, DK $5,600)
5. Lamar Miller (FD $7,600, DK $7,000)
The biggest impact of the early price releases in Week 1 can be seen here. Spencer Ware and Christine Michael will start for their respective teams and both should have excellent game scripts. I would expect both to get near two-thirds of their respective team’s touches at running back. In tournaments it will be very popular to play both and go elite at WR. I don’t hate that idea, but I’m more likely to mix and match with one cheap back and one expensive.
1. Antonio Brown (FD $9,300, DK $9,800)
2. Marvin Jones (FD $5,500, DK $4,600)
3. Alshon Jeffery (FD $7,500, DK $7,900)
4. T.Y. Hilton (FD $6,800, DK $7,500)
5. Amari Cooper (FD $7,100, DK $7,200)
The one surprise name on this list may be Alshon Jeffery. The Chicago Bears are not expected to have much success against the Houston Texans , but Jeffery is going to be a target hog.
Remember, those numbers were when Jeffery was playing with Brandon Marshall , Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte . Jeffery is my underdog pick to lead the NFL in targets after Week 1.
1. Jordan Reed (FD $7,300, DK $6,600)
2. Coby Fleener (FD $5,400, DK, $4,900)
3. Martellus Bennett (FD $5,100, $3,400)
4. Travis Kelce (FD $6,400, DK, $5,000)
5. Gary Barnidge (FD $6,300, DK, $4,700)
With Rob Gronkowski out Reed becomes the clear-cut No. 1 TE for Week 1. With the value available at RB and WR, he’ll also be my most highly owned tight end. Of course, Gronk’s absence also greatly increases the value of Martellus Bennett. Bennett has always been a fast starter and has a Week 1 touchdown in each of the past four seasons.
1. Arizona Cardinals (FD $5,000, DK $3500)
2. Green Bay Packers (FD $4,300, DK $2,800)
2. Minnesota Vikings (FD $4,600, DK $3,100)
4. Los Angeles Rams (FD 4,500, DK $3,800)
5. Seattle Seahawks (FD $5,000, DK $3,900)
I’m trying to get as much exposure to the Cardinals DST as possible. They face a backup quarterback at home in the opener in a night game. The absence of Gronk only makes them more appealing. The Packers will be contrarian because everyone expects a shootout, but even when Blake Bortles is good he turns the ball over.
Thankfully you don’t have to use kickers on DraftKings — I wish FanDuel would follow suit and #BanKickers. Since they haven’t, I’d just try to get Chandler Catanzaro ($5,000) in as many lineups as you can. If you must go cheaper, choose a kicker from a team with large implied total that you don’t have a lot of exposure to in that lineup. In other words, I would be more likely to use Matt Prater ($4,600) in a NO/OAK stack than I would in an IND/DET stack.
QB Matthew Stafford $7,400
RB Spencer Ware $5,400
RB Christin Michael $4,800
WR Antonio Brown $9,300
WR Julio Jones $9,000
WR Alshon Jeffery $7,500
TE Jordan Reed $7,400
K Matt Bryant $4,500
DST Minnesota Vikings $4,600
QB Matthew Stafford $7,200
RB Christine Michael $3,700
RB Latavius Murray $5,600
WR Marvin Jones $4,600
WR Alshon Jeffery $7,900
WR Julio Jones $9,400
TE Martellus Bennett $3,400
FLEX Vincent Jackson $4,400
DST Arizona Cardinals $3,500