The months of speculation and our re-draft drafts are all behind us now. It’s time for the season to finally get under way! With pricing coming out so early for the week 1 slate, there are plenty of values out there on DraftKings and FanDuel. Take a look at a few of my favorite tournament plays for the opening week.
Ameer Abdullah - Draft Kings $4,300 , FanDuel $6,100
It’s never been a question of talent with Abdullah. In his very limited sample of actual NFL games, he’s shown quickness and burst not many can match. The Lions host the Cardinals in game which Vegas pinned a 48 point total to. With Abdullah taking advantage of the DraftKings full PPR bonus, I think we’re looking at a big day for a guy under 5 grand.
Abdullah will lose a bit of value with the .5 PPR setup on FanDuel (FD). Don’t abandon Ameer, though. At $6,100 he’s still a great value.
Carlos Hyde - Draft Kings $4,600 , FanDuel $6,800
The Niners didn’t make an effort to hide their the lack of confidence in Hyde this offseason, but now that the real games are about to get going, Hyde is the clear workhorse in San Fran. Kyle Shanahan’s zone running scheme may not be a perfect fit for Carlos, but I believe he’s talented enough to find a way to produce in a system that isn’t a perfect match for him. In a game where I expect San Francisco to upset the road-favorite Caroline Panthers, I see Hyde ending up with plenty of touches and ample goal-to-go opportunities.
We get a bit of a discount on Hyde on Draft Kings (DK) since he hasn’t traditionally been a big part of the passing game. On FanDuel, you’re not getting quite the bargain on Hyde (about 11% salary on FD, 9% on DK), but a runner with the potential to dominate a game for a coach who wants nothing more than to run the ball all day will pay off that higher price over on FanDuel.
John Brown - Draft Kings $4,800 , FanDuel $5,700
We just saw what John Brown is capable of in the 4th pre-season game. Brown pulled in just 2 receptions for 49 yards, but he made them count, getting in to the end-zone on both catches. When he’s healthy, and all indications are he is a full go for week 1, Brown is an electric talent. I wouldn’t recommend building all your lineups around Brown, but he’s got the talent to blow up in any one week and push you in to a big payday.
Brown hasn’t traditionally been a high volume pass catcher, so he won’t benefit as much as the Keenan Allen types with DK’s point per reception format.
Marvin Jones Jr. - Draft Kings $4,100 , FanDuel $6,100
Jones got off to a hot start in 2016, peaking in week 3 with a 200 yard 2 touchdown effort against the Green Bay Packers. Marvin played hurt the rest of the year for an offense that all but abandoned the deep passing game the rest of the way. In his second year in the offense, we’ll see Jones emerge as the kind of deep threat you can build a nice fantasy lineup around.
The Lions will have to keep up with the high-powered Arizona Cardinals offense in week 1, opening the door wide for Jones to put up a huge game. Jones has potential for both big plays and nice volume. Whether the full PPR on DK or the .5 PPR on FD, we’ve got great upside on both FD and DK.
C.J. Fiedorowicz - Draft Kings $3,100 , FanDuel $5,200
I expect the Houston Texans to eek out a victory in a defensive struggle against the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend. That means plenty of check-downs and safe plays from Tom Savage as the Texans lean on the running game and their defense. C.J. should haul in several passes, making him a great option in the PPR format over on DraftKings. Starting Fiedorowicz should give you an edge in a big tournament if he puts up a big game as I expect his ownership percentage to be pretty low here in week 1.
Brian Hoyer - Draft Kings $5,100 , FanDuel $6,400
Remember when DeAndre Hopkins had that huge year? Remember last year when Hoyer threw for 300+ yards in each full game he played? The Niners host the Panthers this weekend, and with Hoyer at only $5,100, we’ve got an amazing value on our hands. It may not always be the prettiest game when Hoyer is the QB, but he’s a capable starter playing for a coach known for delivering fantasy gold. Take advantage of the hyper-cheap Hoyer + Garcon pairing early and often this weekend on both sites.
Defense / Special Teams
Giants - Draft Kings $2,600 , FanDuel $4,500
The New York Giants open the season on the road, against the Cowboys. It looks like Ezekiel Elliot will play this weekend, but I expect a good performance from a Giants side who played great D last year. We’ve got a chance to get a solid score from a very low-cost option on D this week, take advantage.
The Giants aren’t much of a bargain on FanDuel, coming in middle of the pack price-wise. For FanDuel, I’ll be taking a chance on the 49’ers defense at their rock-bottom price of $4,000.