It’s finally here! Week 1 is upon us. We’ve drafted our standard league teams and that means it’s time for one final thing….to gamble on some fantasy dailies. Last year we featured every desirable option for every position in one article. This year we’re diversifying a bit and mixing it up into three different segments: running backs, wide receivers, and the rest (QBs, TEs, DEF). Lets dive right in with the QBs, TEs, DEF to start it off.
To be honest, the three positions I care the least about are the QBs, TEs, and DEF. It’s not that they aren’t important. In fact having a dud at any position can set back your chances of winning money. But these three positions are where I typically try and save, so that I can invest in those sexy WR and RB options. With that being said, we’re looking for great deals and the right value at every position, but especially these three since we’d prefer to be big spenders on RBs and WRs. Lets begin with QBs.
Worth the Money: Aaron Rodgers ($8,500) @ Jaguars, Andrew Luck ($8,300) vs Detroit, Drew Brees ($8,100) vs Raiders, Russell Wilson ($7,900) vs Dolphins, & Ben Roethlisberger ($7,800) @ Redskins
Five of the six best fantasy QBs have excellent Week 1 match-ups. The theme is pretty simple. They’re great and the secondaries they’re playing against aren’t. If I picked any of these five QBs for my lineups, I’d go with Wilson because he’s on the cheaper end of the spectrum. With that being said, I’d save my money here because there are more affordable options with great options down the list.
Great Value: Derek Carr ($7,300) @ Saints & Matthew Stafford ($7,200) @ Colts
For a little less than the elite options, we have two gunslingers that should torch two of the worst secondaries in the NFL. However, it seems DraftKings is getting wiser, so neither of these options is that tremendous in monetary value. Regardless, Carr is my favorite QB this week considering he’s facing the worst passing defense in NFL history from last season. I have Carr ranked 5th on my weekly rankings. Stafford should also take advantage of a hapless Colts secondary that is missing several critical defensive backs. Either option is great this week.
Sleepers: RG3 ($5,600) @ Eagles & Dak Prescott ($5,000) vs Giants
I don’t have tremendous confidence in either of these options, but you can’t argue with the price tags. RG3 faces one of the worst secondaries in the league which is also starting a rookie QB, so he should do decent fantasy damage. Prescott was fantastic in the preseason, but will likely be tested against that revamped Gmen defensive line. He’s worth a $5,000 flyer in some big tournament formats.
Overpaid: Cam Newton ($7,700) @ Broncos, Blake Bortles ($7,200) vs Packers, Carson Palmer ($7,100) vs Patriots
None of these are/were terrible options, but they’re all facing tough opponents and are on the upper end of the pay scale, so I won’t be utilizing them.
Final Pick: Derek Carr ($7,300) @ Saints
Let there be passing yards…and tons of them.
Worth the Money: Travis Kelce ($5,000) @ Chargers & Coby Fleener ($5,000) vs Raiders
I’m not investing in the elite options this week for TE either. Both Kelce and Fleener are great above average options. The Chargers D was a dumpster fire last season. Kelce is at a nice value. Yeah, yeah, yeah…we’ve all heard about Fleener’s alleged problems fitting in Nola. However, this weekend at home vs the Raiders is a great chance to silence the critics.
Great Value: Gary Barnidge ($4,700) @ Eagles & Jason Witten ($4,100) vs Giants
Again, the Eagles secondary was horrendous last season and Barnidge is the most reliable target on the Browns right now. Witten historically has thrashed the Giants as well although a rookie QB scares me a bit.
Sleepers: Martellus Bennett ($3,400) @ Cardinals, Dwayne Allen ($3,200) vs Lions & Vance McDonald ($3,100) vs Rams
Assuming Gronk sits Sunday night, Bennett immediately becomes a mid-range TE1 with a great value. If Gronk is out then he’s in at least half my lineups. Allen has a great price tag as well and McDonald has been quietly considered one of the best sleepers this preseason.
Overpaid: Gronk ($7,400) @ Cardinals, Greg Olsen ($5,100) @ Broncos, Zach Ertz ($4,300) vs Browns
Gronk considers himself “week to week”, so I’d avoid that huge price tag if he does suit up. Olsen, who already played, was destined for a mediocre first game against that Denver D, and Ertz has a rookie QB throwing him the pigskin (although it is a nice match-up). Again, save your money.
Final Pick: Martellus Bennet ($3,400) @ Cardinals
Top three: Texans ($3,200) vs Bears, Bengals ($3,000) vs Jets, Packers ($2,800) @ Jaguars