Week 1 is finally here! Below are some studs and value plays to consider for Week 1 of the DFS season. Please note, this does not include players from Thursday night’s game and is instead focusing on the weekend slate. Most of these plays will fall on the chalky side for this weekend.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears (FD $9,700, DK $8,600) – Rodgers has two things going for him in Week 1. First, he is reasonably priced on DraftKings at $8,600 and second, his favorable matchup. The Packers take on the Bears, who Rodgers absolutely crushed last season. He threw for 10 touchdowns, 617 yards, and scored nearly 72 fantasy points in two games against this Bears defense last year. Needless to say, the Bears defense was one of the worst in the NFL against the pass in 2014. They surrendered 4,230 passing yards and 18.2 fantasy points per games to opposing quarterbacks. Despite being without Jordy Nelson and a nicked up Randall Cobb, Rodgers should have no issues completing passes against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Another thing to note is that the Bears are moving back to a 3-4 defense and don’t have the personnel to be fully impactful. Rodgers offers a high floor as well as a high ceiling. In other words, he’s as good as it gets.
Other Studs: Drew Brees (FD $8,900, DK $8,000) Matt Ryan (FD $8,800, DK $7,500) and Tony Romo (FD $8,700, DK $7,300)
Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons (FD $7500, DK $6900) – Bradford looked healthy in the preseason and displayed some promise for this upcoming season. He shred the Packers in the team’s third preseason game for 121 yards and three touchdown and led the Eagles to three consecutive touchdown drives. It appears he will do just fine in Chip Kelly’s offense so long as he remains healthy. To begin the season, the Eagles head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons who surrendered the most passing yards last season (4,478). This game has shootout written all over it. Vegas opened the lines at 53.5 O/U and Falcons +1. Since then the O/U has moved to 55 and Falcons are +3. This implies that it should be close and a lot of points will be scored. This Eagles offense runs a lot of plays and will be in a lot of situations to put some points on the board. Bradford should not struggle against a suspect defense in Week 1. At this reasonable price, he’s in a good spot to hit value and potentially exceed it. He’s safe for cash and provides enough upside for tournaments.
Other Values: Teddy Bridgewater (FD $7,200, DK $6,600) Carson Palmer (FD $7,700 , DK $6,500) and Tyrod Taylor (FD $5,000, DK $5,000)
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears (FD $8,500, DK $7,500) – In two games against the Bears last season, Lacy combined for 177 yards and two touchdowns (scored in each game). Much like they struggled defending against the pass, the Bears were not so tough against the run either, as they surrendered 112.7 rushing yards per game last season and 12 rushing touchdowns. They also showed weakness in defending pass catching backs, and while Lacy doesn’t get 60+ receptions on a yearly basis, he was more involved in the passing game last season and showcased his pass catching ability. Being that Jordy Nelson is out, Lacy could see an increased role on this offense. The Bears defense didn’t have an answer for him last year and I’m not expecting them to have one in Week 1. In addition to a great matchup, Lacy is also priced economically which makes it very difficult to skip on him. I’d buy on Lacy to start the season as we may only see his price move upwards from here.
Other Studs: LeSean McCoy (FD $8,400, DK $7,200) , Jeremy Hill (FD $8,600, DK $7,100) and DeMarco Murray (FD $8,500, DK $6,700)
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Bucs vs Tennessee Titans (FD $6,900, DK $4,500) – This is a good example of how prices being released several weeks prior to the start of the season can create some wonderful opportunities. Martin separated himself from all of the other backs in the Bucs offense during the preseason and now has a strangle hold on the starting gig. His price reflects his value prior to the preseason and is now a huge value play in Week 1. He takes on a Titans defense that struggled immensely against the run last season. The Titans defense surrendered the second most rushing yards (2,195) and allowed the second most fantasy points per game to opposing backs (21.2) last year. Not to mention the third most rushing touchdowns (17). The Bucs have a rookie quarterback under center to start off the season, so chances are they will try to run as often as possible, especially against such a poor defense. Martin should get plenty of carries and create opportunities. He should have no issue hitting value to start the season.
Other Values: Chris Ivory (FD $6,400, DK $4,100) Ameer Abdullah (FD $5,900, DK $4,000) and Danny Woodhead (FD $6,000, DK $3,700)
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs Philadelphia Eagles (FD $9,000, DK $9,300) – Two of the worse pass defenses of 2014 face off against each to start the season. The Eagles and Falcons kick off the season in Atlanta in the game with the highest O/U of the week. Ladies and gentlemen, points will be scored! Jones is the most expensive wide receiver this week, but with all the great value plays across the board, you should have no issue plugging him in. The Eagles surrendered the fourth most receiving touchdowns (30), second most receiving yards and yards per game, and the most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers (26.1). Jones began his 2014 season with a seven catch 116 yards performance. I wouldn’t be shocked if he starts off 2015 with better numbers.
Other Studs: Odell Beckham Jr. (FD $8,900, DK $9,200) Dez Bryant (FD $8,700, DK $8,700) and A.J. Green (FD $8,300, DK $7,200)
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears (FD $5,500, DK $4,400) – At this point this may not come to a surprise to many. Adams is arguably the best value on the board to start off the season. He is now the Packers second wide receiver with Nelson on the shelf. As I mentioned above, the Bears defense is not so good. In fact, they surrendered the third most receiving yards (4,458), second most receiving touchdowns (34), and 22.6 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers last season. Aaron Rodgers torched this defense last season for 10 passing touchdowns. Assuming he throws just half of that amount this year, Adams has a good chance to get a touchdown as he will see a good amount of targets in Week 1. At this low price it’s almost impossible for him to be a bad investment. He is a safe cash game play and makes a great play all around, but could be over-owned in tournaments because of how great of a bargain he is. That being said, you should have as much exposure to him in Week 1.
Other Values: Jarvis Landry (FD $6,900, DK $5,600) John Brown (FD $6,000, DK $4,500) Eddie Royal (FD $5,000, DK $3,900) and Steve Johnson (FD $4,700, DK $3,700)
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers vs Jacksonville Jaguars (FD $5,900, DK $5,300) – Since I’m not including Thursday night players, Rob Gronkowski is out of the question. That leaves us with the next best option, Greg Olsen. The Panthers are extremely thin at the wide receiver position and could turn to Olsen as there go-to guy in the passing game. Olsen is one of the more consistent tight ends in the game. He caught five or more passes in 11 games last season. The Jaguars surrendered seven touchdowns to opposing tight ends last season and allowed 7.1 fantasy points per game. In a volatile position such as tight, it’s difficult to find consistency, but Olsen offers just that. He should receive a good amount of targets against the Jags and should have no trouble scoring double digit fantasy points.
Other Studs: Jimmy Graham (FD $6,900, DK $5,600) Travis Kelce (FD $6,000, DK $4,800) and Martellus Bennett (FD $6,200, DK $4,300)
Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins vs Washington Redskins (FD $5,500, DK $3,800) – Much like his seasonal leagues value, Cameron’s DFS price in Week 1 appears like a bargain. Cameron’s value should only decrease when he’s dealing with injuries, but at this time that’s not the case. The Redskins struggled against tight ends last season as they surrendered the third most touchdowns (11) and third most fantasy points per game against them. The Dolphins will likely spread the ball on offense, but Cameron will likely be targeted more often than others in the red zone, especially against a defense that struggled to keep tight ends from scoring. Cameron is capable of putting up elite numbers at his position and at this low price it’s definitely worth a shot.
Other Values: Delanie Walker (FD $5,400, DK $4,000) Eric Ebron (FD $5,000, DK $2,900) and Richard Rodgers (FD $4,900, DK $2,500)