Jens DFS Journal 2016 week 1

By Jen Ryan
Jen Ryan The first week of the football season is always exciting. After waiting months for it we finally have some action. DraftKings was kind enough to give us preseason slates but I found them more difficult this year than last year. Full disclosure: I did not cash one contest until the final week and it was not for any sort of life changing money. I plan for that to change this week when I win 1 million dollars in the Week 1 DraftKings Millionaire Maker. Full disclosure: I truly believe every week that I will win 1 million dollars, but I have yet to. DraftKings usually charges $20 an entry into the Millionaire Maker but for Week 1 they are really blowing the lid off this thing and opening it up for people who only have $3 to burn, or really for people who want to enter as many times as their bankroll will allow. I will have multiple lineups going, some chalky and some contrarian.

If you read my daily fantasy article last season then you already know I save that one lineup that I have a little bit of fun with. These lineups are usually inspired by something. I written about lineups I used inspired by songs, narratives, Vegas totals, revenge games, and many other wacky ideas. This week, I am going to submit one lineup as a football fan, not a DFS player. Back in the 2015 season during Week 13, an individual who goes by 1DontTryThisAtHome1 took down the millionaire maker with five Pittsburgh Steelers in his or her lineup. I am going to assume this person regularly roots for the Steelers. I am a Cowboys fan and I root for the Cowboys. This week one of lineups will feature five Cowboys.

QB – Dak Prescott, $5,000
It is easy to load the rest of my lineup with studs when using a minimally-priced quarterback. This is true every week and is true this week with my Cowboys’ quarterback Prescott. This is not risky move and it is largely predicted that, due to his low cost and matchup, Prescott will be the chalk of the week at the position. He possesses dual threat capability and is able to cause as much damage with his legs as he is his arm. In a limited sample we saw that he has an established rhythm with Dez Bryant which, for fantasy purposes and my real team, could be a lot of fun to watch.

RB – Ezekiel Elliott, $7,300
If you do not think Elliot is the real deal you can take that up with the folks over at DraftKings who set salaries. Only Adrian Peterson and David Johnson cost more money Elliott this weekend. On paper, a rookie quarterback and rookie running back does not just appear risky but it almost appears stupid, but not in this situation. Elliott is largely considered the top rookie running back in recent years and he is expected 20+ touches.

WR – Dez Bryant, $8,500
In 2015, Bryant’s foot and my heart broke at the same time. He returned, or really I should say rushed, back from breaking his fifth metatarsal faster than anyone who has suffered the injury. He was essentially a useless shell of the elite receiver that he is. Bryant is healthy and showed in two preseason games exactly why he is a top receiver in this league, making two circus catches for touchdowns. His biggest knock has always been his usage has one of the least-targeted receivers among the fantasy scoring leaders. That could change with Prescott, who could and should force-feed the ball to Bryant. If he were to get targets in the range that we see Keenan Allen, Julio Jones, or Alshon Jeffery get he could flirt with the top finish of the weekend.

TE – Jason Witten, $4,100
Witten is not just in my all-Cowboys lineup this week. I am using him all over the place. He is mispriced and if you need evidence of that Tyler Eifert, who is inactive, will cost you more to roster than Witten. In 26 career games against the New York Giants, Witten averages 13.49 fantasy points per game. With tight end being such a boom-or-bust position to begin with I really like Witten’s chances of sustaining his usual production that he does against the Giants, even with Prescott under center.

DST – Dallas Cowboys, $2,500
The Cowboys defense is bad. Well, really I should say suspended, but that makes them bad. I am using them in this lineup to stay true to 1DontTryThisAtHome1’s lineup where he used the Steelers’ defense. I am also using them because in two games against the Cowboys last year, Eli Manning failed to throw a touchdown and combined for just 363 yards. Odell Beckham, Jr. also failed to score and notched a combined 79 yards. I’ll bite on that stat, especially with a healthy Orlando Scandrick back in the lineup. Prescott and the Cowboys DST low pricing allowed me to fill out the rest of my lineup with some high-ceiling studs and high-floor cheaper guys.

Pass-catching backs Charles Sims ($4,400) and Theo Riddick ($4,000) both landed in my lineup. I love Sims usage, particularly in the red zone. Desmond Trufant will be all over Mike Evans in this matchup and that could open up things for Sims underneath, where he can catch a few balls. Riddick is the only back I am interested in using from Detroit and he is another player I feel is underpriced. I will add Marvin Jones, Jr. to the list of players who are underpriced, as he costs $4,600 which feels like a discount. He is a WR2 with massive WR1 upside. Both he and Riddick face a porous Indianapolis Colts defense on the road, which happens to be the game with the highest point total of the week at 51.5. All of this bargain shopping allows me to round out my receiving corps with Julio Jones, the top priced receiver of the Sunday slate. I could do way worse than having Bryant and Jones in the same lineup.

I am a dreamer but I am a realist, too. The odds of this lineup, or any lineup I put together, of yielding me that huge bag of money are slim. Those slim chances are what make these out-of-the-box lineups pop sometimes and win money. If 1DontTryThisAtHome1 was able hit the jackpot with five Steelers, maybe I will be able to do so with five Cowboys. If you do not hear from me next Sunday, that will be why. I am just kidding; I will write you an article from the yacht I will be on. Good luck this week!