We all know of FanDuel and DraftKings, they’re the controversial Daily Fantasy Sports websites you see a dozen commercials for every Sunday. When you play DFS, especially for football, it’s easy to want to come back for more, win or lose. As long as it doesn’t transform into an addiction, you’re guaranteed to have a fun time.
So, this is how we’re going to do it. This week, I’ll be talking about FanDuel. Next week it’ll be DraftKings, and we will alternate each week throughout the duration of the NFL season. What exactly will I be talking about? Well, I’ll give out a few stacks (QB-WR/TE combos) that I like, as well as some cheap players you should go after. Then I’ll go over which expensive players are worth their price, and which you should stay away from. I’ll be doing this for the main slate on whichever website I’m using. Let’s do this!
QB: Matthew Stafford ($7,400, 16th most expensive QB)
Player(s) you can stack him with: Marvin Jones ($5.5K, 55th), Golden Tate ($6.9K, 20th)
Most people usually only take one of the QB’s targets, but you have two great options here. Tate is more expensive, but will be less-owned than Jones, who football nerds like myself are all in love with. I personally am going to play both WRs in a few lineups, and also have them by themselves in others. Some might want to play Detroit’s TE, Eric Ebron, and it’s possible he may catch a TD and have a good game, but I’d say it’s fairly unlikely.
The Lions open the season against the Indianapolis Colts, whose secondary is made up of All-Pro CB Vontae Davis and a bunch of players who are average, at best. Guess who’s out this week? Vontae Davis. Detroit will be throwing like there’s no tomorrow, I expect lots of points coming from Stafford and his top 2 targets.
QB: Russell Wilson ($8.5K, 4th)
Player(s) you can stack him with: Doug Baldwin ($6.7K, 24th), Tyler Lockett ($6.2K, 37th), Jermaine Kearse ($5.4K, 57th)
Russell Wilson was the best QB in football in the final 8 games of last season, and Doug Baldwin emerged into a TD machine. Seattle is a heavy favorite (-10.5) in this game, and they’re going up against a particularly poor defense in the Miami Dolphins. It’s probably smart to just stack Russell with Baldwin, but if you want to go very cheap at one of your WR spots, Kearse seems to be a frequent overachiever in DFS.
QB: Brock Osweiler ($7.1K, 25th)
Player(s) you can stack him with: DeAndre Hopkins ($8.1K, 6th)
Houston is in a similar situation to Detroit this week. They’re facing a weak secondary that will be even worse due to injuries, and Osweiler will be going deep, especially to Hopkins, quite a lot. Expect at least 1 TD for Hopkins, and even if he throws an INT, Osweiler will have great stats this Sunday.
Who to Fade
The term “fade” in DFS means to decide not to play someone, usually expensive, that will be owned in a large portion of lineups. So, which players on FanDuel should you fade here in Week 1?
Thomas Rawls ($7.4K, 9th)
Let me be clear: I love Thomas Rawls, and usually, him costing this much is a steal. But, he’s playing in his first game since he tore his ACL, and it’s already been announced he isn’t starting. And there will be no reason for Seattle to rush him back for this week, since they have such an easy matchup.
Jordy Nelson ($8.1K, 5th)
Similar to Rawls, this is primarily about returning from an ACL tear. But there’s more than that. Even if he wasn’t coming off of an injury, I think he’s a bit too expensive. With all of that being said, he’s also playing against a revamped secondary in Jacksonville that is sure not to give up any huge plays.
Jamaal Charles ($8K, 6th)
Sensing a pattern? Charles, also coming off of a knee injury that ended his 2015-2016 campaign, probably isn’t even going to play! But, he’s still listed as Questionable on FanDuel, even though his own coach has confirmed the rumors about his star RB’s absence in the opener against the Chargers.
Don’t Sleep on These Guys
The following players are some that are either cheaper than they should be, or won’t be popular among DFS players. I am not going to mention anyone in any of the stacks I already discussed.
DeAngelo Williams ($7.1K, 12th)
With LeVeon Bell missing Pittsburgh’s first 3 games, DeAngelo Williams will have to step in as the starting RB, like it seems he always does, and he does an exceptional job. Don’t be surprised if he goes off, because he always has that ability. Last season, in games in which he had at least 15 carries, he averaged 105.4 Yards Per Carry, and 1.2 TDs per game, excellent numbers.
Ryan Mathews ($6.1K, 29th)
Mathews, the official Eagles starting RB, is sure to get tons of touches in a game where Philly is starting inexperienced rookie QB Carson Wentz, and their opponent, the Cleveland Browns, have an awful defense.
AJ Green ($8.2K, 7th)
I know what you’re thinking, how can anybody be sleeping on AJ Green? Given his current price, he’s the cheapest of the extremely expensive WRs, so when someone has enough money for AJ Green, they immediately realize they can go cheaper at one or two other spots and instead play an Antonio Brown, or a Julio Jones. Green has always been an elite WR who doesn’t get nearly enough credit, but the smartest DFS players know to cash in on his weekly top-tier performance.
So, those are my Week 1 FanDuel picks. To all those excited as I am to be playing DFS as I am, good luck this season, and stay tuned to our website for weekly advice that will usually be published every Saturday evening or Sunday morning!