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Week 1 FanDuel Value Plays

The bargain, the value, and the stud at every position for Week 1 on FanDuel.

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FanDuel/SB Nation Fantasy Football League: Week 1

With Thursday night's kickoff, the long awaited 2015 NFL season is now underway. That means it's time to head over to the best daily fantasy site around, FanDuel, and get those lineups crafted. This week, we'll take a look at a few of my favorite plays at each position.


Bargain Basement: Tyrod Taylor $5,000

The Bills are a three point underdog at home with an over/under of 45, so the Bills are expected to find the endzone a couple of times. Even if Taylor doesn't hit pay-dirt, gives you 200 yards through the air and another 50 on the ground, you're at a nice floor (13 points for those following along at home). Would you really be surprised if he passed for 250 and a touchdown, and rushed for 70 yards (21 points)? Even a pretty conservative upside projection reveals the appeal of the running quarterback.

If the wheels fall off, Andrew Luck goes nuts, and Taylor throws a few passes to the Colts secondary, I'm looking at you Vontae Davis, well, that's what can happen when you go bargain basement at QB.

The last note on ole Tyrod, I expect his ownership percentage to be high this week as this is not the most bold prediction.

Good Value: Carson Palmer $7,700

The reliable, cost efficient play this week is Carson Palmer. The Arizona Cardinals are three point favorites at home, hosting the New Orleans Saints. The over/under is among the highest of the week at 48 points. Vegas expects a shootout, and I'll trust Bruce Arians to hold up his end of the bargain. The Saints should have no problems keeping this game interesting with a porous defense and Drew Brees at the helm of the offense.

Palmer may have a nice, low ownership percentage with Sam Bradford at $7,500, Teddy Bridgewater at $7,200, and Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston at $7100. There will be a lot of folks looking past Palmer and trying to save a few bucks at QB this week. Taking a guy at the top of a middling tier can help you diversify your lineup in tournaments, which you'll need to do if you're shooting for that big win.

The Stud: Tony Romo $8,700

With the Dallas Cowboys favored by six over the New York Giants, and an over under of 51, go ahead and pencil in several great fantasy performances from this game.

The Giants and the Cowboys always seem to shine in prime time. Neither the Giants nor the Cowboys defenses are expected to be good, and I think the Cowboys are going to have to throw more than they did last year. Dez Bryant is a monster about to be set loose on a Giants D that is, at best, shorthanded.

Running Back

Bargain Basement: Danny Woodhead $6,000

Woodhead is more than a role player in this San Diego Chargers offense. With Melvin Gordon expected to play a limited role, Woodhead will be in there picking up the slack. When the Chargers are in passing down situations and running shotgun in the redzone, it will be Woodhead lining up next to Rivers. With Antonio Gates suspended, and Ladarius Green questionable for week 1, the Chargers will be looking for someone to step up and score touchdowns. Woodhead and Rivers have a great rapport, so I expect Danny to come away with 70-80 all-purpose yards, a few catches, and put him down for a TD.

Good Value: Lamar Miller $7,300

The Miami Dolphins travel to Washington this week to face a team as dysfunctional as the city they call home. DC is ripe for a blowout.

At the end of last year, the Dolphins finally gave Miller a big workload, and he showed he could handle it. Miami is a three point road favorite, with a 44 point over/under. The Dolphins run Chip Kelly disciple Bill Lazor's up-temp offense, giving fantasy owners more plays, more yards, and more scoring potential than your average offense. If this is the year the Dolphins finally trust Miller to be their workhorse, he could end up seeming quite the bargain in week 1.

The Stud: Eddie Lacy $8,500

I'm torn between my true love in re-draft, CJ Anderson, and Lacy here. I think the Packers get out to a nice lead early on the road against the Chicago Bears. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will roll here. The Pack is the biggest road favorite of the week, with Vegas expecting them to win by seven points. This game has a nice over/under around 50 points as well.

So far, Lacy has been hampered by the plethora of weapons in Green Bay. His workload has been limited, partially for fear of injury, and partially due to a lack of need. With Jordy Nelson out of the picture, Green Bay will have to lean on their great asset at running back. Lacy can shoulder the load, and aside from John Kuhn's vulturistic tendencies, Lacy has multiple TD upside.

I expect Lacy to have a high ownership percentage, so you may want to look to diversify your lineup if you go with Eddie here.

Wide Receiver

Bargain Basement: Tyler Lockett $4,800

Lockett has looked amazing in the pre-season, and there is a dearth of talent at the wide receiver position in Seattle. The Seahawks are another road favorite, giving four points to the host St. Louis Rams. The Rams always play the Hawks tough, and the over/under for this contest is only 41. Lockett could get loose deep if the Rams roll coverage to take away Jimmy Graham, and at this price, one big touchdown play could get you the points you need.

Good Value: Jarvis Landry $6,900

FanDuel is only a half-point PPR scoring system, but with Landry, twelve receptions is not out of the question. While Jarvis isn't a threat to rip off a 60 yard TD catch, he is dangerous in the redzone. He's also proving to be just about un-coverable out of the slot. With Miami facing Washington, we could be looking at a banner day for the Ryan Tannehill to Landry combo. I expect Tanne will go to Landry early and often while Tannehill slowly builds chemistry with his revamped receiving corps. Landry makes a statement in this game, coming up with double digit catches, a hundred plus yards, and a score.

Expect Landry to be highly owned in cash games, but I think he'll be avoided in tournaments due to a perceived lack of upside.

The Stud: Dez Bryant $8,700

The Cowboys and Giants matchups for the past few years have been fantasy gold. While Dallas is sorting out its run game, I expect the Cowboys will have to lean on the passing game. Dez is the best receiver in the league, and he's playing with one of the most under-rated quarterbacks. Romo knows any pass to Bryant is a good one, and I expect Dez to toy with Giants defensive backs in this prime time matchup.

Tight End

Bargain Basement: Richard Rodgers $4,900

Tight end is highly volatile and touchdown dependent when you're talking about guys at this level. The Packers are projected to score several touchdowns this week. With Rodgers, you just hope that he snags one of those scores. Rich-Rod is in a great position to pick up some of the slack in the Green Bay offense with Jordy's knee injury, and if Chicago sells out to stop the run, and/or doubles Randall Cobb in the redzone, Rodgers will find himself in very favorable coverage. I think he has enough talent to hand in a sneaky good week.

Good Value: Delanie Walker $5,400

Walker has been one of the few bright spots on a Tennessee Titans team that earned the 2nd pick in the 2015 draft. Fortunately, the Titans ineptitude has earned them the rights to rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota is a big upgrade over what the Titans had last year, a year that saw Walker finish as the 9th best tight end in total scoring for the year. Walker has a great matchup against the lowly Bucs and their Cover 2 defense, a defense not known for locking down tight ends.

Both the Titans and the Bucs improved in this year's draft, but this is still the Toilet Bowl of the first half of the 2015 Season. Both teams should score despite both rookie quarterbacks struggling. I expect Mariota to dump the ball off short a good bit, and Walker has the athleticism to turn those dump-offs in to a big plays. If you're looking to save at TE, but not completely punt the position, Walker is your man.

The Stud: Martellus Bennett $6,200

Perhaps the best nick-name in football, The Black Unicorn is your best high-priced tight end on a slate lacking Rob Gronkowski. We've seen a few Green Bay players mentioned earlier, and Bennett is the best hope the Bears have of keeping pace with the Pack attack. It may be a misguided narrative based on the past, but Bennett has put up great numbers early in the season, and then faded down the stretch. I want in on Bennett early this year, especially in a game with a 50 plus point over under.


The only pick your getting this week: Brandon McManus $4,500

I won't spend a lot of time on the kicker position. When in doubt, pick a game with a high over/under and pick the favored kicker. But, this week, I'll take Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus. I don't think Denver runs the score up like they have in years past, but I expect Gary Kubiak and Peyton Manning will move the offense and score points. McManus may have a chance at a few long kicks in that thin Denver air, so I'll toss him in to my lineups.

Defense/Special Teams

The only pick your getting this week: Miami Dolphins $4,700

Miami plays Washington his week. Yes, Miami is on the road, but Washington is an early favorite for the 2016 NFL Draft First Pick Sweepstakes. This game has blowout written all over it. While Kirk  Cousins has looked good at times, he's also looked completely inept. I think Miami builds a big lead early, and then completely dominates Washington for the rest of the game. Low points, sacks, and lots of INT opportunities for Miami, they are my defense in the majority of my lineups.