Fanduel-DraftKings Week 1 Top Plays: Dak Not-So Automatic

by Keenan Keeling
Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview
Fanduel/DraftKings Week 1 Top Plays

Credit: Keith Allison

It's finally here... week one of the NFL season! It seemed like it would never get here, but after endless preseason analysis the 2016 season has finally arrived. We're going to be together for sixteen long (read: too short) weeks, so you should get comfortable - I know I am.

Each week, I'm going to give you my top plays for the week in the hopes of preparing you for the week's slate of games. Winning at NFL DFS takes hours and hours of research, so hopefully this article can save you 10-15 hours of studying each week. Let's start with my...

Fanduel-DraftKings Week 1 Top Plays

One important note about my rankings. My rankings will provide you with the top point-per-dollar plays for the week, as opposed to the top overall scores. This a very important distinction because you are constantly looking for value when building your lineups, and these rankings will provide those values for you.

However, that does not mean I do not like players with high raw point totals; it just means they are likely priced appropriately by the sites. For example, you'll notice that I do not rank Antonio Brown as a top play. That does not mean I do not like Brown, but rather that I expect him to only meet his high price tag, not necessarily exceed it. When building your rosters, don't forget about these top raw plays when you have enough salary to afford them.

Quarterbacks (Top Point-Per-Dollar Plays)

PlayerTeamFanduel PriceFanduel RankDraftKings PriceDraftKings Rank
Dak PrescottDAL$5,0001$5,000--
Matthew StaffordDET$7,4002$7,2001
Andrew LuckIND$8,7003$8,3003
Drew BreesNO$8,7004$8,1002
Russell WilsonSEA$8,5005$7,9004
Derek CarrOAK$7,700--$7,3005

Unless you've been under a rock for the last two weeks you know about the injury to Tony Romo and the ascension of Dak Prescott. I'm not generally one for hot takes, but I'm sure I'll get some grief on Twitter for this one.

Prescott is at minimum price on both sites and you'll notice that I have him as my number one point-per-dollar play on FanDuel. On FanDuel, where you need each player to meet 2x his salary, Prescott should have no problem getting ten fantasy points

Less effort for Prescott on Fanduel than DraftKings

For context, 12 fantasy points is 200 passing yards and a single passing touchdown. 10 fantasy points would be 150 passing yards and 40 rushing yards with zero touchdowns. My point here is that Dak's floor on Fanduel is 2x his salary, and while I generally want more than a 3x ceiling out of a min-priced player, I'll take it in a cash game.

On DraftKings, Prescott needs 15 fantasy points to reach value. He is still a value play, but a 3x floor takes him far down my list of players to consider. To put it another way, Prescott's path to failure is greater on DraftKings than on Fanduel, which makes him a much riskier play there. If you need the salary relief, by all means play him, but I'll be looking elsewhere.

Leaky Colts defense helps Stafford

My favorite play in this list is Matthew Stafford versus a Colts' defense that will be missing elite defensive back Vonte Davis. Behind Davis is basically just air and the end zone, and Indianapolis' passing attack will likely keep Stafford and the Lions aggressive throughout the game.

I like Stafford to be close to 40 pass attempts and I can easily see him with over 300 yards and two to three touchdowns in this game.

Tournament Players I Like Not Listed Above: Aaron Rodgers, Brock Osweiler, Kirk Cousins

Running backs (Top Point-Per-Dollar Plays)

PlayerTeamFanduel PriceFanduel RankDraftKings PriceDraftKings Rank
Spencer WareKC$5,4001$4,5002
DeAngelo WilliamsPIT$7,1002----
Ryan MathewsPHI$6,1003$5,7001
Lamar MillerHOU$7,6004$7,0004
Todd GurleyLA$8,9005----
Rashad JenningsNYG$6,000--$5,4003
Ezekiel ElliotDAL$7,900--$7,3005

There is a TON of value at running back this week; mostly due to how early these prices are set by the sites. As a general rule, I will not pay up at running back on DraftKings because there are so many lower priced backs that have similar floor/ceiling projections (based on price-per-dollar) due to the full PPR scoring.

On Fanduel, I generally try to pay down, but since the site tends to favor touchdowns it's a little more challenging to pay down at both spots since I want touchdown upside. This is evident in the table above as you see way more players over $7,000 in my rankings for Fanduel than for DraftKings.

Consider Spencer Ware

On both sites, Spencer Ware is an elite play provided the news on Jamaal Charles continues to trend towards him being out (or extremely limited). While there have been some rumblings about Charcandrick West, there is more evidence pointing to Ware being the primary ball carrier this Sunday.

Obviously his price is the main reason for his high rank, but his volume and matchup give him a ceiling similar to the top-priced backs. That means if you decide to fade him, know you are taking a huge risk. His path to failure is very small and if he ends up as a top-5 back this week you'll be in a big hole by missing out.

Other good plays

Ryan Mathews is another back I love this week as another low-priced choice. I expect to see a heavy workload against a bad run defense. While Darren Sproles will spell Mathews in passing situations, I do not expect the Eagles to in many "must-pass" situations outside of the occasional third and long.

On DraftKings, I really like Rashad Jennings at $300 less than Mathews as the main back for the New York Giants. Andre Williams has been released which paves the way for Jennings to be the early down ball carrier in a game where I don't expect the Giants to be in a negative game script (which would bring in Shane Vereen).

Lamar Miller is also in an elite matchup and expected to get close to 100% of the running back touches for the Texans in a matchup against Chicago. Miller is game script independent, so the Bears' solid run defense does not concern me very much.

Wide Receivers (Top Point-Per-Dollar Plays)

PlayerTeamFanduel PriceFanduel RankDraftKings PriceDraftKings Rank
Marvin JonesDET$5,5001$4,6001
DeAndre HopkinsHOU$8,4002$8,8002
Julio JonesATL$9,0003$9,4003
Donte MoncriefIND$6,2004$6,0004
Randall CobbGB$7,2005$7,6005

There is one glaring play at wide receiver on both sites, and that's Marvin Jones who is criminally underpriced everywhere. I almost always pay up for guaranteed targets, but in this instance I'll take Jones' seven to eight likely targets at that low of a price any day. Throw in a fantastic matchup versus the Colts and I will have 100% exposure to Jones in cash games.

After Jones, I love two elite options in Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins, who both command elite targets (10+) and both are in favorable matchups. Jones has repeatedly torched the Tampa Bay Bucs, and Hopkins faces a Chicago Bears' defense that last year funneled all opposing fantasy production to the pass because of a strong run defense and weak pass defense. I expect both to meet or exceed value in their respective games.

As a special note about roster construction on DraftKings. Prices are extremely tight on the site which means you will definitely have to pay down at running back to afford two elite receiving options.

Tight Ends (Top Point-Per-Dollar Plays)

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PlayerTeamFanduel PriceFanduel RankDraftKings PriceDraftKings Rank
Jordan ReedWAS$7,4001----
Dwayne AllenIND$5,5002$3,2002
Delanie WalkerTEN$6,5003$4,5003
Coby FleenerNO$5,4004$4,9004
Travis KelceKC$6,4005$5,0005
Jared CookGB$5,300--$2,9001

On Fanduel there is only one player I truly love and that's Jordan Reed. Reed is Cousins' favorite target in a game that I expect to have a good deal of scoring. The Redskins will need to stay aggressive to keep up with the Steelers' offense, which means more looks for Reed.

After Reed, I have some interest in Dwayne Allen as a red zone option for Andrew Luck, but he may end up needing to block more given the Colts' offensive line woes. Everyone else is just okay.

On DraftKings we have a different story. First of all, Reed is not available on the main slate because it only covers games on Sunday. Second, we have some great changes for major savings at the position.

My favorite play is Jared Cook, who is a mere $2,900 on DraftKings, and he can likely reach value by tripping and falling. Of course just as soon as I lock him into my roster, Cook will let me down yet again and post a goose egg. For now, however, he'll probably be in all of my cash lineups.

I mentioned Dwayne Allen above as someone I have concerns about given how much he may have to block, but at this lowered price on DraftKings I'm much more interested.

So there you have it! Good luck in week one and if you're interested to see what lineup I roll out, pick up my head to head games on both sites. I'll post them Sunday morning.

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