Editor’s Note: We’re going to be bringing you an unprecedented amount of content this year during the season, mostly dynasty related. However, seeing the explosion of DFS games, we’ll also be ramping up our Daily coverage, similar to last season. Even if you don’t play in DFS games, these articles can help you in making lineup decisions or judging current value of your dynasty assets.
Of all the weeks on the NFL schedule, week one is perhaps the best for FanDuel players. Not only does it finally give all of us what we’ve been craving for the last seven months, but due to prices being set so long ago, it presents the best opportunity for bargain hunters to find good deals.
Over the next 17 weeks (and into the post-season), I’ll be highlighting some of the best bargains on the best daily site in the industry, FanDuel.
Keep in mind that these suggestions are made for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments with more than 50 participants where players are looking for bargains to fill out their lineups after already inserting their “studs” for the week. Many of them are risky plays and shouldn’t necessarily be considered in head-to-head or 50/50 games.
Sam Bradford, QB PHI
If you’re looking to fade the superstar quarterbacks with superstar salaries like Aaron Rodgers ($9,700) but still want the potential to put up monster numbers, look no further than Bradford ($7,500), who looked incredibly sharp in his final preseason tune up against the Packers where he went 10-for-10 passing for 121 yards and three touchdowns.
The Eagles travel to Atlanta Monday night to face the Falcons’ defense that ranked worst in the league a year ago in passing yards allowed. Although that defense may be slightly improved with Dan Quinn now in charge, all indications point to a shootout in the Georgia Dome as the game has the highest over/under of the week at 55.5.
Despite playing in one of the most explosive offenses in the league and taking on one of the worst defenses from a year ago in week one, Bradford is listed at the 19th highest salary on FanDuel behind the likes of Joe Flacco ($8,200), Colin Kaepernick ($7,900) and Jay Cutler ($7,900). He’s my favorite bargain play of the weekend at the position and will be in many of my tournament lineups.
Carson Palmer, QB ARI
Before going out for the season with a torn ACL last year, Palmer ($7,700) was one of the most consistent fantasy quarterbacks, averaging 277 passing yards per game and throwing at least two touchdowns in each of his starts before the injury.
Palmer and the Cardinals host the Saints on Sunday. New Orleans’ defense is another that finished towards the bottom of the league (25th) in passing yards allowed a year ago. With very little help added defensively in The Big Easy, it’s difficult to see much of an improvement.
Considering his weapons and Bruce Arians’ pass happy approach, Palmer has a good chance to be a bargain under center in week one.
Bargain Basement Options: Kirk Cousins ($6,000) and Tyrod Taylor ($5,000)
Doug Martin, RB TB
Martin ($6,900) is my favorite value play at running back in week one. On top of his impressive play in the preseason where he ran for 118 yards on 20 carries (5.9 YPC) and a striking 19-yard touchdown against the Browns, he gets the luxury of facing the Titans in week one who finished 2014 as the second-worst defense against the run, allowing 137.2 yards per game. Tennessee also finished among the worst in the league when it comes to keeping opposing rushers out of the end zone, giving up 17 rushing touchdowns last year.
Lovie Smith will likely do everything he can to get quarterback Jameis Winston comfortable and that will start with a heavy dose of Martin. When you add up a hot running back with a poor run defense and a rookie quarterback starting his first NFL game for a defensive minded coach, you get a tailback in a lot of my lineups in week one.
Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR
Entering the season at full health and as the unquestioned number one tailback, Stewart ($7,100) presents a good value for daily players in week one.
Facing a Jaguars’ defense that should be improved but finished 2014 as the 27th ranked defense at stopping the run (127.1 YPG), Stewart should be in line for 20-plus carries in Jacksonville on Sunday. With nobody to force him off the field on third down and a lack of healthy talent at receiver for the Panthers, Cam Newton will likely be looking to get Stewart the ball in the passing game as well.
Stewart should have a heavy workload against a poor defense. Where do I sign up?
Alfred Blue, RB HOU
Blue ($5,800) is a prime example on how early pricing can present potential value for daily players in week one. Due to the injury to Arian Foster, Blue is scheduled to handle early down work for the Texans to start the season. The Texans will face the Chiefs this weekend, who should have a stout run defense and were the best team in the league last year at keeping opposing runners out of the end zone, giving up just four rushing touchdowns on the season. The Texans’ offensive line struggled to open rushing lanes for much of the pre-season as ball carriers averaged just 2.8 yards-per-carry so there is definitely risk involved in rostering Blue. But with a price as low as his, he’s still worth serious consideration.
Ameer Abdullah, RB DET
It pains me to suggest Abdullah ($5,900) as a potential bargain because I pretty much avoided him at all costs in rookie drafts. Just because I’m not a fan of him long term, doesn’t mean I should avoid him when trying to bank some quick cash in week one, however.
Because he looked so explosive in the preseason and it appears the Lions plan to use him as more than a change of pace back, Abdullah looks like he could be massively underpriced in week one. Taking on a Chargers defense that was 26th in the league against the run a year ago and didn’t do much to improve, it’s difficult to see him not having a large workload on Sunday afternoon – especially if Joique Bell ($6,500) isn’t ready to play. If Bell is on the shelf, Abdullah instantly becomes one of the top bargains at running back this week.
Chris Ivory, RB NYJ
The Jets and Browns may have the lowest over/under of the week at 40 but that doesn’t mean its impossible for daily players to find something useful in the game.
Another cheap option set to take on a poor defense from a year ago, Ivory ($6,400) looks like he could be a nice bargain against the Browns. Cleveland allowed a league worst 141.6 yards per game on the ground and 4.5 yards per carry last year. That and the fact there isn’t another tailback on the Jets’ roster worthy of taking carries away from Ivory makes him a worthy consideration.
Bargain Basement Options: Benny Cunningham ($5,100)
Jordan Matthews, WR PHI
It’s shocking to me that Matthews ($6,800) is listed as the 27th highest priced wide out. The incredibly low price alone is enough to make him one of the best values of the week but when you add that he gets to line up across from the Falcons’ pathetic pass defense that gave up a league worst 288.6 yards per game through the air a year ago, the deal is sealed.
Many daily players will be trying to fit the salaries of Antonio Brown ($9,300), Julio Jones ($9,000), Dez Bryant ($8,700) and Randall Cobb ($8,400) into their lineups to get a shot at elite production. Me, I’ll be doing it too. But I’ll also be sliding Matthews’ name into the WR2 spot and expecting the same kind of numbers. He’ll be in a majority of my lineups this week and makes for an ideal combo play with his quarterback.
John Brown, WR ARI
I’m expecting a high scoring game in the desert this weekend and for the most part, so does Vegas (48 o/u). Many still consider Larry Fitzgerald ($6,000) the top receiver for the Cardinals, but Brown looks like the number one guy to me.
Before Palmer went down with a torn ACL a year ago, he and Brown seemed to be gaining chemistry with every week that passed. I expect that to continue in week one this year. If Michael Floyd ($6,100) isn’t able to suit up, Brown will be on the field a lot and will be in many of my lineups as my third receiver.
Davante Adams, WR GB
Hello, Captain Obvious.
Because pricing for week one came out before Jordy Nelson blew out his knee, Adams ($5,500) has an extremely low salary. Because of that, everybody is going to be rostering the Packers’ receiver.
Some will tell you because he’s bound to have a high ownership percentage, you should avoid Adams like the plague. While I agree with that to some extent, I also know if he catches a couple touchdowns I’ll be kicking myself for staying away from a talented receiver at a bargain price in a high powered offense with the best quarterback in the league just because I thought too many people would own him.
Needless to say, Adams will be in more than one of my lineups.
Brandon Coleman, WR NO
Coleman ($4,500) is the perfect example of how being a dynasty player can assist you as a daily player.
After getting rave reviews in training camp, Coleman had an up and down preseason until he caught four passes for 82 yards in the Saints’ week four game. Some may think that’s nothing but it seems to me the Saints may have been holding their number three receiver back until the real lights come on.
There’s no doubt Coleman is a risky play, but with Drew Brees tossing him the ball, it’s a risk worth taking for those in desperate need of a minimum priced receiver. While he won’t be in a lot of my lineups, he’ll be on my short list for when I need to save a pile of money.
Other Options: Jarvis Landry ($6,900), Mike Wallace ($6,400), Allen Robinson ($6,100), Eddie Royal ($5,000) Kamar Aiken ($4,600) and James Jones ($4,500)
Greg Olsen, TE CAR
Yes, Olsen ($5,900) has the fifth highest salary of any tight end this week. But if you’re not going to spend top dollar on a tight end, I can’t think of a better way to go than the Panthers’ starter.
With Kelvin Benjamin out, Carolina will be looking to Corey Brown, Ted Ginn Jr. and rookie Devin Funchess at wide receiver – that means Olsen will be in for a lot of targets. There are a few tight ends (the other two are listed below) worth rostering if you’re not going to spend the money for Rob Gronkowski ($8,100), but Olsen is the one I prefer over them all.
Other options: Jordan Cameron ($5,500) because the Redskins stunk against tight ends a year ago and Tyler Eifert ($5,000) because I believe this is the beginning of his breakout year.
Find Dan on Twitter at @dmeylor22
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