Hunter Report - Week 1 2017

By Dave Hunter
Dave Hunter The year is shaping up nicely for another successful DFS season. Of course, it depends on what you consider successful. Being on the plus side over 17 weeks of the NFL regular season sure would be nice, but isn’t breaking even a success too? Well, maybe; however, no one wants to just break even.

I look at it this way: it’s a hobby that can earn you some extra dough. Most of us love our hobbies, whether it’s painting, ice sculpting or reading wizard-adventure kid books. We don’t expect to make money from our hobby, but if we can? Excellent. And, if we can make a career out of our hobbies? Righteous, baby, righteous.

Let’s jump right into things, shall we?

I’m going to base this season’s piece on DraftKings player salaries each week, with Week 1 dedicated to DraftKings NFL $5.55M Fantasy Football Millionaire ($1M to 1st). I’ll have a $20 entry in - join me!

I won’t give away my exact lineup every week, although you’ll have a rough idea of what my strategy is and the players I’m leaning towards. Keep in mind all suggestions are not equal, and some players I like more for particular tournament or cash lineup builds.

Let’s get you to Week 1:


Top Level

Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. Seattle Seahawks ($7,000) – Comparing Rodgers’ Week 1 price tag to last season has him coming in about $1,700 less this season. It’s more a note of interest than anything. Rodgers doesn’t have the easiest matchup, but I do like him at home and I think the price tag represents a decent value for what you’re going to get especially for cash games. Rodgers’ 49TD/9INT ratio is quite excellent, so expect him to get close to last season’s 26.1 PPG average from 2016.

Other choices: Cam Newton, CAR @ San Francisco 49ers ($7,100); Matt Ryan, ATL @ Chicago Bears ($6,900)


Derek Carr, OAK @ Tennessee Titans ($6,700) – I feel like I’m copying last season’s Week 1 piece but I promise that’s not my intention! The Raiders receiving weapons intrigue me like no other this season, and while the Titans should give a good fight I see Carr tossing at least 250 yards and 2 TDs; however, the high ceiling that Carr offers for boom-game production over the 250 yards, 2TD game mark is the reason to roster him.

Other choices: Kirk Cousins, WAS vs. Philadelphia Eagles ($6,400); Matt Stafford, DET vs. Arizona Cardinals (6,100)


Eli Manning, NYG @ Dallas Cowboys ($5,600) – Historically, Manning has had some excellent games against the Cowboys, although not so much of late. The options in this price range, however, really aren’t attractive. I consider Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers good values for the production you’ll get. Manning gives me a bit of gut feeling – a good one – in this game, so take that as you will.

Other choices: Andy Dalton, CIN vs. Baltimore Ravens ($5,700)

Over-Value Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @ Cleveland Browns ($7,300) – Listen, I know that the matchup is great on paper. I know that Big Ben should kick butt in this game. Still, I think the Browns will not be a walkover team in 2017. Also, I really dislike the price tag on Big Ben and hate devoting so much of my salary cap dollars to him. I’m passing, even though he’s only a few hundred more bucks than Rodgers. That just doesn’t sound right though, does it – Big Ben more than Rodgers?


Top Level

LeSean McCoy, BUF vs. New York Jets ($8,200) – It’s easy for me to pick Le’Veon Bell ($9,800) or David Johnson ($9,400) here, but I’m not. Sure, go ahead if you want to and I won’t blame you one bit, although it’s so difficult to devote that much salary to one player. I just can’t do it. McCoy, on the other hand, is priced lower and offers a bull-runner facing a weak Jets team. I’m game, and quite happy to roster McCoy. Expect big numbers from him this week.

Other choices: Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. New York Giants ($8,100) – I’m assuming he plays in Week 1.


Devonta Freeman, ATL @ Chicago Bears ($7,000) – The Bears allowed 18 rushing TDs last season so we should see Freeman get a shot at the end zone once, likely twice. I’ve got Freeman taking more of the lion’s share this season at RB in the Falcons’ backfield, really stepping up for DFS owners. The matchup sells me on Freeman, even playing in Chicago.

Other choices: Jordan Howard, CHI vs. Atlanta Falcons ($6,300)


Leonard Fournette, JAC @ Houston Texans ($5,700) – I’m betting Fournette will be a trendy pick heading into Week 1, so if you’re really looking to keep ownership percentage in check other options are available. Still, Fournette is going to be quite versatile for the Jaguars right off the bat as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. I don’t see the Texans stopping him much. Give him a whirl, eh?

Other choices: Christian McCaffrey, CAR @ San Francisco 49ers ($5,400); Marshawn Lynch, OAK @ Tennessee Titans ($5,300); Lamar Miller, HOU vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,100)


Darren McFadden, DAL vs. New York Giants ($6,100) – Okay, so let’s say Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t play and McFadden gets the bulk of the touches for the Cowboys in Week 1. Are we okay spending $6.1K on McFadden? I’m not, as I’d rather see you spend your salary dollars on Jordan Howard or Todd Gurley.


Top Level

Julio Jones, ATL @ Chicago Bears ($8,500) – I absolutely love Jones facing the Bears. The matchup is wonderful, Matt Ryan is his QB and there may not be a better game-breaking receiver in the game. You want ceiling, targets and super-dee-duper-stud-muffin production? Then Jones is your man. I’ve got him scoring 2 TDs in Week 1. What about you?

Other choices: Antonio Brown, PIT @ Cleveland Browns ($8,800); A.J. Green, CIN vs. Baltimore Ravens ($8,000)


Amari Cooper, OAK @ Tennessee Titans ($7,200) – I really love the Derek Carr to Cooper connection in Week 1, but overall this season too. This is the season that Cooper steps up his game and becomes a truly dominant receiver. Next year, we’ll be considering Cooper among the elite at the position. I see Cooper getting targeted a ton facing the Titans, with 6-7 receptions, 100 yards and 1 TD. Of course, there’s so much upper-echelon talent here in Cooper that he could easily exceed those numbers.

Other choices: Jordy Nelson, GB vs. Seattle Seahawks ($7,600); Doug Baldwin, SEA @ Green Bay Packers ($6,700)


Kelvin Benjamin, CAR @ San Francisco 49ers ($5,900) – As much as I love Amari Cooper this season, Benjamin is my “light” option. We’re going to see some special games out of Benjamin this season, with Cam Newton bouncing back from his woeful 2016 year. Look for Benjamin to net quite a few targets, which usually means some excellent opportunities to turn those targets into receptions. We may not see a ton of yardage from Benjamin in Week 1, but we should see him score while racking up the catches.

Other choices: Allen Robinson, JAC @ Houston Texans ($5,200)


Odell Beckham, Jr., NYG @ Dallas Cowboys ($8,300) – Even if Beckham is able to suit up and go, he’s not exactly a reliable option this week with the ankle. I’m pretty sure he won’t be 100 percent if he plays, so look elsewhere. You can find better options for a very similar price tag, someone like A.J. Green for instance.


Top Level

Greg Olsen, CAR @ San Francisco 49ers ($6,200)


Delanie Walker, TEN vs. Oakland Raiders ($4,300)


Jack Doyle, IND vs. Los Angeles Rams ($3,700)


Jordan Reed, WAS vs. Philadelphia Eagles ($5,900)

Good luck in Week 1! Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter: @TheRolyPolyBoy