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TheHunterReport DFS Week1 2016
By Dave Hunter
Crazy how time flies, right? Week 1 of the NFL is upon us and for some of us it’s time to get heavily invested again. Are you in? I am.
This is what we’ve all been waiting for: Josh Gordon and Le’Veon Bell suspended, Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch and Calvin Johnson retired, and Ezekiel Elliott expected to touch the ball a ton this year for the Dallas Cowboys. It’s interesting to note how the player pool has changed from last season, although there will be plenty of players to fill the DFS lineup void.
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 $5M Fantasy Football Millionaire ($1M to 1st). Don’t fret; there are still plenty of spots available to draft if you want to get in. I’ll have a team or three 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 mainly for tournaments. How, you ask? Just read my write-up each and every week on FootballDieHards.com for the range of players I dig. Keep in mind all suggestions are not equal, but players that I like for particular tournament and cash lineup builds.
Without further adieu, here’s Week 1 for you:
Aaron Rodgers, GB @ Jacksonville Jaguars ($8,500) – I’m not one for normally spending this kind of dough at the QB position, although this game should be a fine offensive shootout. I don’t expect a ton of defense here, so Rodgers should have a line on 300 yards and 2-3 TD passes. Can you stomach the $8.5 K price tag? That’s the key. I’d stick to Rodgers for cash games only.
Other choices: Drew Brees, NO vs. Oakland Raiders ($8,100)
Derek Carr, OAK @ New Orleans Saints ($7,300) – I’m not going to lie – I absolutely love Carr in this game. I want his ownership to be lower than it likely will be, mainly since most will look at the 32nd ranked Saints pass defense from last season that Carr will be facing. Still, I think there’s a good chance that Carr may go under the radar with Rodgers, Brees and Russell Wilson glaring other owners in the face. The smart owner will cut a bit at QB, take a chance on Carr or another for tournament play.
Other choices: Blake Bortles, JAC vs. Green Bay Packers ($7,200); Matt Ryan, ATL vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7,100)
Dak Prescott, DAL vs. New York Giants ($5,000) – Okay, if you don’t have Prescott in at least one of your lineups in Week 1, you’re losing out on tremendous output for the dollars spent. In other words, Prescott provides wonderful value potential. I’m willing to take a chance on Prescott for cash and tournament play just based on his price tag and that he’s got a good WR arsenal to toss to. Prescott will be over-owned, although you can’t afford to ignore him at $5 K.
Other choices: Jimmy Garoppolo, NE vs. Arizona Cardinals ($6,200); Brock Osweiler, HOU vs. Chicago Bears ($6,300)
Matthew Stafford, DET @ Indianapolis Colts ($7,200) – The matchup seems all fine-and-dandy on paper, although I’m not convinced that Stafford will be very consistent in Week 1. Plus, I’m just not thrilled with the Lions WR corps, not yet anyway. I want to see something from Stafford before I commit this kind of salary to him. Also, this may be the highest salary we see Stafford this season, unless he has a rebound year. I’m staying away.
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. New York Giants ($7,300) – Rookie-beware and all that follows, right? We know the drill, but it’s hard to ignore the massive potential that Elliott brings right out of the gate. I know Dak Prescott will have to shoulder some of the load, so Elliott won’t have to do everything. Still, I’d be surprised if Elliott didn’t reach 20-25 carries with a great shot at 2 TDs. I’m willing to pay-up to get Elliott on roster, considering the matchup situations and price tags for other RB around the same price. Consider Elliott a “safe” pick at RB, so cash games attract me here - and maybe the occasional tournament lineup if I can save elsewhere.
Other choices: Devonta Freeman, ATL vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6,900)
Doug Martin, TB @ Atlanta Falcons ($6,200) – Martin will be under-owned with a good matchup. I’m not saying he completely wrecks in Week 1, so don’t build your lineup around him; however, Martin offers serious value at a questionable position early in the season. Martin averaged 18 carries a game last year, giving owners a heck of an expectation each week. I see Martin filling out all lineups quite nicely. I just wish he gave a tad more out of the backfield as a receiver.
Other choices: Thomas Rawls, SEA vs. Miami Dolphins ($6,000); Latavius Murray, OAK @ New Orleans Saints ($5,600)
Charles Sims, TB @ Atlanta Falcons ($4,400) – I’m sure you realize I’m not suggesting to start the aforementioned Doug Martin and Sims in the same lineup, or maybe you’re just that kind of owner that loves to pair RB from the same team? Sims fits the mold if you’re trying to save big bucks at the RB position, figuring he’ll get some good looks out of the backfield as a receiver to pad those PPR points. Sims is a cloak-and-dagger play, one that you may be able to sneak over the bulk of the tournament field.
Other choices: Spencer Ware, KC vs. San Diego Chargers ($4,400) – if Jamaal Charles can’t go.
Adrian Peterson, MIN @ Tennessee Titans ($7,600) – Yes, it’s Peterson and he can do anything against any defense on any given Sunday, but I have a hard time paying almost $8 K for him. Plus, the Titans defense won’t be a walkover. No Teddy Bridgewater means that AP will be heavily targeted by the Titans, so expect a heavy frontload on defensive play. I won’t fault you for building AP into your lineup; you just won’t find him in mine.
Allen Robinson, JAC vs. Green Bay Packers ($8,300) – With Robinson being the No. 1 receiving option in the Jaguars offense this season, he’s going to present a ton of opportunity for owners when building lineups. The price alone, compared to Julio Jones ($9,400), Odell Beckham ($9,300) and DeAndre Hopkins ($8,800) is enough to make me look Robinson’s way. The Packers have a good defense overall but it’s not enough for me to shy away from Robinson. I love the Jags potential to be a high-powered offense in 2016, as other analysts do this year, so Robinson will be a pretty big part of my lineups this season, starting in Week 1. I dig Robinson for tournament and cash plays this week.
Other choices: Brandin Cooks, NO vs. Oakland Raiders ($7,700); T.Y. Hilton, IND vs. Detroit Lions ($7,500); Amari Cooper, OAK @ New Orleans Saints ($7,200)
Eric Decker, NYJ vs. Cincinnati Bengals ($6,600) – With 12 TDs and 80 receptions in 2015, Decker gives owners a reliable option at a reasonable price to start the season. I’m not thrilled with the matchup, but I can work around it. Decker should be a nice red zone target and get plenty of targets to open the season. Just don’t expect big-yardage games from Decker this season – it’s not his game.
Other choices: Doug Baldwin, SEA vs. Miami Dolphins ($6,600)
Jarvis Landry, MIA @ Seattle Seahawks ($6,000) – It’s all about the reception totals with Landry, who netted 110 catches last season for the Dolphins. I expect a jump in TD production too for Landry, and won’t be surprised one bit if he’s a Top 5 WR in the NFL in 2016. Underrated, wouldn’t you say? I’m tempted to slot Landry in most of my lineups even with him on the road in Seattle.
Other choices: Mohamed Sanu, ATL vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5,100)
Julio Jones, ATL vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($9,400) – Even though he’s supposed to be ready for the Week 1 opener against the Bucs, I’m not thrilled spending this kind of money on Jones. It could be a sneaky play though, as there may be a shy-away from Jones altogether considering. Sanu offers a nice gamble, as previously mentioned above, if you’re looking to get exposure to the Falcons passing game.
Rob Gronkowski, NE @ Arizona Cardinals ($7,400)
Travis Kelce, KC vs. San Diego Chargers ($5,000)
Jason Witten, DAL vs. New York Giants ($4,100)
Delanie Walker, TEN vs. Minnesota Vikings ($4,500)
Good luck in Week 1! Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter: @TheRolyPolyBoy