Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity — that’s what fantasy football is all about. Each week I aggregate projections from around the internet and find the best DFS values from a dollar-per-opportunity perspective.
We’re back baby!
[Insert 1-hour rain delay]
Okay, now we’re back! [Insert 864 yellow flags] God I missed football!
While the Thursday night opener wasn’t necessarily a value-add proposition in terms of minutes spent in our lifespan, I can assure you that there is plenty of value to be had this week in DFS. It’s Week 1, after all, and that’s the week in DFS where it’s impossible to only make 150 unique lineups that you absolutely love.
Before we get to the plays for the week, a quick description on what to expect this season. Every week I’ll aggregate weekly projections and find the best values of the slate from a salary per opportunity perspective. I’ll try to suggest at least one cash game play and one tournament play for each position. Last year, my record on DraftKings was 89-75 — not too shabby, but definite room for improvement. As always, we’re looking for 3x value here.
Let’s get to the plays!
Tyrod Taylor | 35.2 Opp Score | $5,400 DK
You can say I’m drinking the Browns kool-aid and I’ll admit it … I love this offense. There’s plenty of talent on the roster and they finally FINALLY have a real quarterback to get them the ball. Tyrod Taylor‘s opportunity score ranks seventh while he’s priced as the QB22, which gives him the second-most equity at the position.
Andy Dalton | 32.1 Opp Score | $5,800 DK
Are the Bengals back?1 Andy Dalton has a healthy Tyler Eifert for the first time in ages and the offense looked spectacular this preseason2. However, more importantly is the fact that the Colts roster one of the worst collection of DBs I’ve seen since “Gym, Tan, Laundry” became a thing. Look for Dalton to test the Colts deep with the speedy John Ross you know A.J. Green is going to absolutely feast per usual.
Saquon Barkley | 30.7 Opp Score | $6,700 DK
We didn’t get to see Saquon Barkley much in the preseason, which should help suppress his ownership and GPP outlook. We know the Giants will want to show off their shiny new toy and the matchup vs. a Jaguars run defense isn’t as scary as many will make it out to be. Last season, the Jaguars ranked 26th in rush efficiency defense and 29th in explosive rush defense.3 Barkley clocks in with the fifth-highest opportunity score on the slate.
James White | 17.9 Opp Score | $4,000 DK
Yes, James Conner is the “free square” this week, but what if I told you that you could roster a running back who should see more higher-leverage touches in a more prolific offense and he’s $500 cheaper? That’s right, James White is coming in as the Patriots third-best receiving option and quite possibly their top running back considering both Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel missed almost the entire preseason with knee injuries.
Larry Fitzgerald | 23.5 Opp Score | $6,600 DK
Larry Fitzgerald is a dollar-per-opportunity staple and 2018 is no different. He gets to face a Redskins defense that traded its elite slot corner this offseason, and the Cardinals have few receiving options on the outside. Expect targets to once again get funneled to Fitzgerald and for him to rack up the PPR points.
Stefon Diggs | 18.6 Opp Score | $6,300 DK
It wouldn’t be a RotoViz article without a Stefon Diggs mention! To date, two statements have been true in his career; he’s better at home and he’s better early in the season. Well it’s Week 1 and he’s at home. Oh, and he gets to face off against Richard Sherman, but it’s the old version of Sherman coming off a torn Achilles, which is the equivalent of running MacOS Mojave 10.14 vs. Windows 98.
Keelan Cole | 11.9 Opp Score | $3,800 DK
Imagine being able to roster the top wide receiver of an offense that is a road favorite for less than $4,000? It’s not like you need the salary relief this week, but if you roster Keelan Cole all your cash dreams will come true. Translation: you can mash in a whole bunch of stud running backs. Cole’s 46th-ranked opportunity score and 67th-ranked salary gives him some of the most equity at the position.
Jack Doyle | 13.8 Opp Score | $3,600 DK
Jack Doyle will be the chalk play, but for good reason. The Colts-Bengals matchup comes in with the fourth-highest game total and Doyle has a plus matchup vs. the Bengals linebackers. Given the Colts’ lackluster options in the passing game, it’s no surprise that he has the sixth-highest opportunity score among tight ends.
Rob Gronkowski | 16.1 Opp Score | $6,900 DK
If DraftKings is going to price Rob Gronkowski at $6,900 I’m playing him every time. Also, who the hell else is Tom Brady supposed to throw to on Sunday?