Bargain Shopping: DraftKings Week 1
Searching for some diamonds in the rough for your Daily Fantasy Football lineup? Search no longer, because you've come to the right place. Here are a few players that are likely to heavily outperform their respective DraftKings value for Week 1.
QB: Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles ($6,900; 14th) vs. Atlanta Falcons
Yes, this is the same guy who has totaled 7 games in the past 2 seasons because of not 1, but 2 ACL injuries. Good news: this is just one week and not a whole season. It might not be smart to bet on Bradford staying healthy for 16 games, but it seems likely he can make it through one. Bradford has shown this preseason that he can fire on all cylinders and is the perfect fit in Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense. Playing against a week Falcons Defense (32nd in Yds/Allowed in 2014) and especially a lackluster secondary, Bradford could explode in this game. Chip Kelly's Eagles have gotten off to blazing starts in week 1 the previous two years and this year should be no different.
Honorable Mention: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills ($5,000; T-Last) vs. Indianapolis Colts
Taylor is still being valued as a backup despite being named the starter for week 1. Indianapolis might be intimidating on offense, but their defense still leaves much to be desired. Taylor could use his arm and especially his legs to record almost as many points as some of the top-tier names on the list, at a fraction of the cost.
RB: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,500; 31st) vs. Tennessee Titans
Martin's 2015 preseason is drawing comparison him to his 2012 rookie campaign, when he burst onto the scene with 1,926 All-purpose yds and 12 Total TDs. Tampa's Head Coach, Lovie Smith has dubbed Martin the "primary ball carrier" going into the season according to Tampa Bay Times' Greg Auman. This bodes well for fantasy owners and fans looking for a week 1 steal. Martin is barely being valued as a starter but will face a young Tennessee defense that allowed the 2nd-most rushing yards in the league in 2014. As Jameis Winston takes time to adjust to the NFL, Martin will most likely be given the rock early and often while eclipsing the 100yds/1TD plateau to become one of week 1's top performers .
Honorable Mention: Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles ($3,600; 45th) vs. Atlanta While
Matthews won't get the majority of the carries in the Eagles offense, Chip Kelly has shown insistence on spreading his carries. Just like we saw last year with the McCoy/Sproles duo, Chip Kelly will give the 2nd back plenty of redzone touches. This Eagles-Falcons game has shootout written all over it and Mathews could easily come away with a TD and 50+ yards, far outperforming his uninspiring $3,600 price tag.
WR: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers ($4,400; T-50) vs. Chicago Bears
Adams is something of a question mark after a mediocre rookie season, which explains his low-end cost. Building off of a stellar performance in the divisional round (117yds, 1 TD) against the Cowboys, Adams looks to take advantage of being called upon as the number two target in Green Bay's offense after Jordy Nelson was placed on IR. With the Bears coming in ranked 30th in pass defense in 2014 and having since lost long-tenured CBs Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, Aaron Rodgers looks to have a field day in week 1. Adams could be on the other end of that, and more than outperform his lowly price tag.
Honorable Mention: Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs ($6,900; 19th) vs. KC Chiefs
Chiefs receivers scored zero touchdowns last year. We all know this by now. However, this is 2015 and if the preseason is anything to judge by, that streak will end, and it will end soon. Alex Smith threw a deep ball to Maclin on the Chiefs' first play in uniform together, and a week later Smith hit Maclin for a three-yard score. Expect Andy Reid to make a statement in week 1 and make sure Maclin catches a TD pass in this game while possibly going for 75+ yards as well against a mediocre Texans pass defense (21st in 2014).
TE: Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers ($2,500; T-33) vs. Chicago
Another A-Rod target is being undervalued in these week 1 rankings. This Rodgers has been tearing it up in the preseason and looks to solidify himself as a redzone target in Green Bay's offense this season. It all starts with week 1 against the Bears who gave up the most fantasy points to Tight Ends last season. Look for Rodgers to capitalize and easily outperform his $2,500 price tag.
Honorable Mention: Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins ($3,300; 20th) vs. Miami Dolphins
With Kirk Cousins being named the starter for week 1, the Dolphins will likely send a bunch of blitz packages his way, stuff eight or nine guys in the box to try to contain Alfred Morris, and dare Cousins to beat them through the air. All those extra men near the line of scrimmage could leave Reed open further down the field. Cousins will look to get the ball out quick to his tight ends, but with Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen both on the IR, Reed will be the primary beneficiary of that. While Miami did a good job at stopping tight ends in 2014, a revamped defense geared towards stopping the run could render that irrelevant. Reed has showed flashes of brilliance the past 2 seasons, and this week gives him a great opportunity to display those abilities again.
DEF: New York Jets D/ST ($2,900; T-9) vs. Cleveland Browns
There's really no sleeper Defense considering they are all priced within $1,000 of each other. However, if the goal is to save a couple hundred while still gaining elite production, New York is the ideal selection here. They face a weak Cleveland Browns offense that features Josh McCown, Isaiah Crowell, and Dwayne Bowe as its "star" skill players. After the Jets brought back Darelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie to lock down opposing receivers, this front seven should really be able to get after the quarterback and force some turnovers while limiting Cleveland on points.
Honorable Mention: Kansas City Chiefs ($3,000; T-5) vs. Houston Texans
Not much of a sleeper pick, but spending an extra $100 or $200 to guarantee possession of an elite defense will be worth it. Kansas City gave up the 2nd-fewest points last season and looks to continue that into 2015 with the returns of Derrick Johnson, Mike DeVito, and of course Eric Berry. The Texans will be without Arian Foster, meaning Brian Hoyer's available weapons will be Jaelen Strong, Cecil Shorts, Garrett Graham, and Alfred Blue. I did not mention DeAndre Hopkins because he is the only threat Kansas City has to worry about, will likely be facing double coverage all game. Houston's offense could get ugly, and ugly quick with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali getting right in Hoyer's face the majority of the time.