Welcome to week 1 of the NFL season and all I have to say is it is about damn time! With this article I will be taking a look at some contrarian plays each week that we should take into consideration based off of all the talk about certain plays. We want to locate some pivots in order to hopefully take advantage of some of the duds that the popular plays will put up throughout the season. I will do my best to give you a few players from both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Let’s get started at the QB position as there are a number of guys in play this weekend with either extremely positive match-ups or who have way too cheap of a price tag to be ignored. For various reasons, guys like Dak Prescott, Drew Brees, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford and Andrew Luck are going to be pretty popular plays for week 1 and while I agree with all the reasoning behind them as solid plays, it might be beneficial to look to pivot to plays around their price points.
Dak Prescott – Prescott is priced at just $5000 on DK and on FD. That is the minimum price for a QB so it is going to be tough to find a lot of pivot options. On DK you could go with Carson Wentz who is $5000 and takes on a pretty weak Cleveland team, but my DK suggestion would be look to spend up to $5600 and take a shot with RGIII against Philly. On FD I may look to pivot elsewhere, as the only two options are basically Wentz for $5000 or if Shaun Hill is named the Vikings starter as he is just $5000 as well.
Drew Brees – Brees is $8100 on DK and $8700 on FD so we know he is one of the highest priced options; however it is for great reason as the game has the second highest O/U. On DK I would look to pay up to $8500 for Rodgers as he seems to be over looked this weekend, or I would pay down slightly to Russell Wilson at $7900. On FD I would look again to spend up to Rodgers at $9000 or I would go down to Wilson at or Roethlisberger at $8500.
Derek Carr – Carr is $7300 on DK and $7700 on FD which opens up a few different options around those price points. On DK I would look to pivot down Tyrod Taylor at $6900 as he goes up against his former team, Baltimore. With his $7700 FD price tag, I can make two recommendations. Carson Palmer at $7900 is going to be EXTREMELY under owned as he gets to start the season at home and you could pay down again and go for Jameis Winston at $7500.
Matthew Stafford – Stafford is sitting at $7200 on DK and $7400 on FD. Stafford’s DK price point is basically the same as Carr, so Taylor stands out as does Carson Palmer at $7100. On FD you can look at a few names I have already brought up but I might consider Ryan Fitzpatrick at $7,300 in a match-up that appears difficult on paper, however he gets to throw to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.
Andrew Luck – Luck puts us in the same spot as Drew Brees as they are very similarly priced on both sites as Luck is $8300 on DK and $8700 on FD. On DK it’s easier to pay up to Rodgers at his $8500 price tag while on FD you could also add Blake Bortles as an option at $8400.
Next we take a look at the RB position and we see a few guys that are going to be very popular this weekend as they have either excellent match-ups or they are just too cheap to ignore. The RB’s that are getting talked about the most are Ezekial Elliot, Lamar Miller, DeAngelo Williams (FD only), Todd Gurley (FD only), Spencer Ware and Ryan Mathews. Let’s take a look at each of these guys and find some pivots around them (a few of these guys have similar price points).
Todd Gurley – For some reason DK did not include the Monday night games in their big contests this weekend, so Gurley is a FD only option and he sits at a hefty $8900. My suggestion here is to play him unless you feel like he is going to be too high owned for you and then I would drop to David Johnson at $8800 or down to Adrian Peterson at $8200. Johnson’s match-up isn’t the absolute greatest, however he is involved in the pass game and that is always a bonus while AP won’t be in the pass game all that much but he is going to see a TON of carries.
DeAngelo Williams – Williams is like Gurley, as the Steelers play on Monday night as well. Williams has a $7100 price tag while offering a couple options near him that I think will not have the ownership that they should. Those players are Mark Ingram $7300, Doug Martin $7200, Eddie Lacy $7100, LeSean McCoy $6900. Out of that group, I am going to recommend going with Lacy at $7100 as the pivot as I think he has the lowest ownership of that group and I really liked what I saw during the preseason from him.
Lamar Miller – Miller is probably going to be the highest owned RB of the weekend as he has a great match-up and has shown flashes of fantasy dominance over the last couple of seasons. He comes in at $7600 on FD and $7000 on DK. As far as options on FD, everybody I listed under Williams is in play, however here I think I want to save $300 and go with Mark Ingram at $7300. Most people will see a passing game shootout in New Orleans and automatically bypass Ingram.
Ezekial Elliot – Elliot comes in as a trendy pick as a heralded rookie while having the best O-Line in the NFL. With that said, he is going to see such a high ownership that I think it makes sense to fade him in your GPPs and there are two guys that stand out as pivots from Elliot’s $7900 price tag on FD. Those two guys are Adrian Peterson $8200 and Devonta Freeman $8100. On DK, Elliot is priced at $7300 which brings AP and Freeman into play there as well, but I think I like the idea of going to David Johnson at $7500 over there.
Ryan Mathews – You may be shocked to see Ryan Mathews here, however he seems to be trending towards being more popular than you might think thanks to a terrible Cleveland run D and the fact the Eagles are starting a rookie QB who barely played during the preseason. Mathews’ price tags are very nice as he is just $6100 on FD and $5700 on DK. On FD I am going to spend down to $6000 and go with Rashad Jennings in a game that should be extremely close, which should benefit him seeing the carries as well as a few targets in the pass game. On DK you can go to Jennings at $5400 or you can go to Latavius Murray at $5600 against a terrible Saints D.
Spencer Ware – I am starting to wonder where Ware’s ownership is going to fall because it seems like there are some freaking out about an initial depth chart that had listed West as the #1 even though Ware has gone everything with the first team offense all offseason. Also reports of Reid going with the hot hand. I guess I don’t see Ware’s “hand” being cooled by a non-existent run D that the Chargers employ. The big thing with Ware is the fact that he is cheap, as he is $5400 on FD and $4400 on DK. On both sites I am looking at pivoting to James White or Christine Michael. White is priced at $4900 on FD and $3600 on DK, while Michael is $4800 on FD and $3700 on DK. One other name to consider in your GPPs is Derrick Henry, who sits at $5400 on FD and $4000 on DK.
The WR position is a tough one because there are generally a lot more playable options with teams using so many 3 WR sets throughout a game. I believe the following six are going to be among the highest owned in our GPPs and those six are: Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Amari Cooper, Donte Moncrief, and Marvin Jones.
Julio Jones – Jones is deemed to be healthy and ready go to after a preseason ankle injury and he should be in line for a ridiculous amount of targets against TB. Jones’ price on FD is $9000 and $9400 on DK. He is at or near the top in terms of price point so we have just a few places to look. Those places are either Odell Beckham Jr at $9100 on FD and $9300 on DK or Antonio Brown on FD at $9300. I would suggest looking at ODB as there are some who will see how badly he has performed against Dallas and think that he will be shut down again, which works in our favor because at some point he is going to go off against the Cowboys.
DeAndre Hopkins – Hopkins is $8400 on FD and $8800 on DK and will probably be the most popular WR thanks to a terrible Bears secondary. On both sites I am interested in pivoting to Allen Robinson or Dez Bryant. Robinson sits at $8500 on FD and $8300 on DK, while Dez sits at $8000 FD and $8500 on DK. I think Dez will get over looked because of the fear of the rookie QB while also just being near the top of the list of prices. Robinson has a chance to put up ridiculous numbers this season.
Sammy Watkins – Watkins is a very popular pick thanks to the Ravens secondary and his price points aren’t too ridiculous as he sits at $7300 on FD and $6900 on DK. On FD I will look to pivot to Larry Fitzgerald or Randall Cobb at $7200. On DK, I would look to move to Jordan Matthews at $6700 or Eric Decker for $6600. All 4 of the guys I have listed should be in solid spots while also having their ownership lowered for various reasons.
Amari Cooper – Cooper comes in at a similar price point to Watkins so all the guys I mentioned above are in play as Cooper is $7100 on FD and $7200 on DK. One name that I think will go overlooked because of the Q tag next to him is Golden Tate as he is $6900 on FD and $7300 on DK. The Lions have just 4 WRs on their active roster and play in the game with the highest O/U. I think Tate is going to be criminally under owned.
Donte Moncrief – Moncrief is an interesting case as he has all sorts of talent and has shown flashes of stellar play, however he has lacked consistency so far. The Colts are projected to be one of the highest scoring teams on the weekend. Moncrief is priced at $6200 on FD and at $6000 on DK. On FD, I like the idea of pivoting to Tyler Lockett at $6200 or Michael Crabtree at $6100. On DK, I LOVE the idea of pivoting to Jarvis Landry at $6000 or to Michael Floyd at $5900. The reason I love Landry is that nobody is going to own him thanks to facing the Seattle D, however Seattle does struggle against the slot and Landry is just a PPR beast.
Marvin Jones Jr – The last highly touted WR is Marvin Jones as he moved from Cincinnati to Detroit during the off season and finds himself as the Lions’ only real deep threat. He is getting all sorts of love thanks to his $5500 FD price and his $4700 DK price tag. With him being so cheap, I am going to list a few around him that are worth GPP spots. On FD those guys are Mike Wallace at $5400, Will Fuller at $5600, Travis Benjamin at $5600 and Torrey Smith at $5600. While on DK the pivots include: Willie Snead at $4800, Anquan Boldin at $4500, Vincent Jackson at $4400 as well as Wallace, Fuller and Benjamin.
That brings us to the TE position and at this position we have just a couple guys that are getting a lot of love and those are Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook. Gronk reportedly did not travel to Arizona so that is why the skyrocket of Bennett in a short time and Cook has looked stellar in the Packers offense.
Martellus Bennett – Bennett is in a great spot at a cheap price point. I was on him prior to the Gronk news and now I may have to pivot my shares away. Bennett sits with a $5100 tag on FD and $3400 on DK. His price is just too low on DK, however there is somebody in this section who is definitely too low. On FD I would look to drop to Charles Clay at $5000 or Clive Walford at $4700. On DK, I think you have to consider the two guys I mentioned, along with Crockett Gillmore at $2600.
Jared Cook – Cook has been my play since the prices came out as he is just $5300 on FD and ONLY $2900 on DK. On FD I would consider the guys above or I would think about going up to Coby Fleener at $5400 or Jason Witten at $5500. On DK the $2900 price point is just way too low, however you certainly can go with any of the guys I mentioned for Bennett as well as Walford at $3000.
When it comes to defenses, the obvious plays seem to be Seattle, Houston and Kansas City. While I think all three are spectacular options, they are going to be very popular and I think Defense is the best way to differentiate and separate yourself as just about any D can pick up a TD one way or another.
Seattle – Seattle should be the second most popular D on the weekend as they should torment the Dolphins. They also have the best return man option in Tyler Lockett. Seattle is $5000 on FD and $3900 on DK. On FD I would look to drop to the Eagles at $4800 or the Vikings at $4600. While on DK, I think we can drop down to both of those teams or consider the Cardinals at $3500.
Houston – All three of these D’s are going to be very similar in terms of price points as Houston is $4900 on FD and $3200 on DK. That DK price is way too cheap, however I think you could sneak down to the Packers at $2800 or the Giants at $2700.
Kansas City – The Chiefs are the most expensive D on FD at $5100 and for that reason I might stick with them as people generally drop below the top D to save a few hundred, however you could consider the Cardinals at $5000. On DK, at $3600, I would consider all the teams I have mentioned, especially the Cardinals at $3500.
There you have it everybody, the first edition of the 2016 NFL Pivots article. I hope you enjoyed what I had to say and make sure you follow me on the Twitter! Make sure to leave some comments below or on twitter and let me know how bad I am, or if I am lucky, how great I have been doing! Best of luck DFS’ers and may you receive the “You have won” email on Monday/Tuesday!