Yes, we are all celebrating the start off football. I am not one of those guys who says that all that preseason stuff was meaningless. There was plenty to learn. All that information is what makes this first Draft Kings article all the more interesting.
Clearly we do not know all that much yet. We need better sample sizes to know where players are this year. Still, we have to make due with what we have. Here are the players going undervalued in Draft Kings right now that will help you build your roster.
Quarterbacks (Top Rank- Tom Brady $7,600)
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee (vs. Oakland Raiders, $6,800)
There not be a team in the NFL that did more to help support their rising quarterback star. Rishard Matthews and Delanie Walker are back. Eric Decker is now in the group. Then, they went out and drafted Corey Davis. Tennessee has a very good offensive line and Oakland is not very good at stopping people. Mariota is nearly $1,000 less than Brady this week and is the eighth most expensive, but could put up enormous numbers.
Carson Palmer, Arizona (at Detroit, $6,000)
If you keep moving further down the list of quarterbacks you will see Palmer. Palmer still has a good receiving corps and one of the best running backs in football. I fully expect that this game will be a high scoring affair. The Lions defense has been rather poor at stopping fantasy points through the air. In a home game, the Lions should be able to put up points and keep the Cardinals throwing the ball. In a dome and playing for Bruce Arians, I still like this play.
Running Backs (Top Rank- Le’Veon Bell $9,800)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (at San Francisco, $5,400)
So, McCaffrey is running as a RB2 in the DK rankings. Remember though, San Francisco does not really stop much on offense. Expect Carolina to get out to a lead and get McCaffrey a good look. At this price I like McCaffrey here. Defenses have not had much of a chance to scheme against him and he should be effective here.
Bilal Powell, New York Jets (at Buffalo, $4,900)
Powell should be the lead back on a team with very few other options. Matt Forte is around somewhere, but he has been getting less and less useful over the last few years. There is very little going well in this passing offense and the Jets will hope to slow the game down and stay in this game. The Bills have a nice defense, but it is more geared to stop the pass and was not particularly strong at stopping fantasy points in the rush game. Powell, as the 26th DK running back, has a chance to get some very good numbers at a great price.
Marshawn Lynch, Oakland (at Tennessee, $5,300)
Lynch has some risk because he is in a new place and took a year off. Expect him to be fresh and ready to go. His chance of getting a goal line touchdown is pretty good. Carr and the passing game will force the Titans to respect the pass (something Lynch never really had in Seattle). He will not be the focal point of this offense, but he does move from the cheapest offensive line in football to the most expensive one.
Wide Receivers (Top Rank- Antonio Brown $8,800)
Golden Tate, Detroit (vs. Arizona, $6,500)
Yes, Arizona has been good at pass defense. Still, a home game playing a team that will pressure the Lions to throw more and more. Tate started slowly last year and then came on very strong at the end of the year. I expect him to be the Lions top receiver and he should get great targets in this game.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (at Detroit, $5,900)
Much the same argument as Carson Palmer. This is a game ripe with passing stats. Fitzgerald has redefined himself in the Arians’ offense and truly bought into the role. DK uses a PPR format and Fitzgerald has been getting far more targets with the slot role. Fitzgerald has been scoring like a low-end WR1, but he is DK’s 21st wide receiver.
Pierre Garcon, San Francisco (vs. Carolina, $5,300)
Garcon reunites with his old offensive coordinator. Shanahan knows how to use Garcon. Garcon is a guy who will catch the short pass and turn it into something once it is in his hands. The 49ers need someone like this. He should help the 49ers move the ball and keep the chains moving. Carolina is likely going to win this game and get ahead early.
Terrell Pryor, Sr., Washington (vs. Philadelphia, $6,100)
This one is less of a sleeper, but he is the 16th ranked WR on the DK prices. He could be a WR1 player at a rather reduced rate. A home game for Washington bodes pretty well for Kirk (don’t call me Kurt) Cousins. Pryor is a multifaceted guy who can play the deep routes and also take the short game that used to belong to Garcon.