If you’re new to DFS, be sure to check out the strategy guides and research tools on RotoGrinders.com. (I’m biased. I’m a contributor there.) They also have an incredible DraftKings promo code that can help get you started.
With that said, let’s dive into my Week 1 picks! Here are a few of the players I’ll be targeting in large-field DFS tournaments. Remember: with tournaments, the name of the game is to find high-upside players who might not be highly owned so you can separate yourself from the pack.
Matt Ryan vs. PHI - $7,500 – There’s a lot of talk about Sam Bradford for Week 1, and I do think he’s a solid play. However, I worry about his upside. On the other hand, Ryan draws a very good matchup against the up-tempo Eagles. The Eagles secondary allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing QBs last season, and also allowed 2+ passing touchdowns in 12 of their 16 games played. With Julio Jones healthy, this could be the highest scoring QB/WR combo on the weekend.
Ryan Tannehill vs. WAS - $7,400 – Tannehill is one of my favorite options for Week 1. Washington allowed the most fantasy points to opposing QBs last season, giving up at least one passing touchdown in every game. Almost every good quarterback was able to throw 2+ TDs on them in 2014-15. Meanwhile, the Dolphins added some solid offensive weapons this offseason. Kenny Stills adds a legit depth threat for Tannehill and Jordan Cameron is an upgrade to Charles Clay when he’s healthy. Tannehill is reasonably priced in Week 1 with some good options, and I expect him to go under-owned.
Jeremy Hill vs. OAK - $7,100 – I’m a big fan of DeMarco Murray for cash games in Week 1, but I think Hill is a great pivot in tournaments. He is a guy who has a ton of upside. He proved last season that he is a very solid running back, and he’s also able to catch the ball out of the backfield. On a site like DraftKings, it’s very important to have running backs that can catch since they’ll receive a full fantasy point per reception (PPR). Oakland allowed some big games to opposing running backs last season and I wouldn’t be shocked to see that happen with Jeremy Hill in Week 1.
Andre Ellington vs. NOR - $6,400 – When looking to find value in Week 1, you don’t need to drop all the way down to someone in the $4,000 price range. There’s a lot of value with Ellington (as well as DeMarco Murray) who are both priced lower than $7,000 on opening weekend. Ellington’s biggest issue last season was injuries, and going into this season, he finally looks to be 100%. He may lose some carries to David Johnson this season, but I still think he’s a great upside option in Week 1. Even with all the injuries last season, Ellington was still able to average 5+ targets a game. The Saints struggled to stop the run last season, and I don’t see that changing much this year.
Dez Bryant vs. NYG - $8,700 – There are a lot of good options at the top of the board, but I think Bryant goes under-owned in Week 1. Demaryius Thomas has a great matchup against the Ravens and Julio Jones might be the top receiver on the board. I can’t fault you for playing those guys, but I do think Dez is the play in tournaments. Bryant had 16 catches for 237 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants last season. Without DeMarco Murray in the backfield, I can see the Cowboys throwing the ball more this season. I expect a high scoring game on Sunday night.
Amari Cooper vs. CIN - $6,700 – Cooper may not have the best matchup on paper this weekend, but the volume of targets is going to be there for him. Many analysts are saying Cooper is the most pro-ready wide receiver to come out of college in a long time. I have been impressed with him so far, and Carr has really shown interest in this guy. I expect Cooper to be one of the highest targeted wide receivers in Week 1, and this could be huge on a full PPR site like DraftKings.
Jordan Cameron vs. WAS - $3,800 – As I mentioned with Tannehill, Washington has a very weak pass defense. Cameron when healthy has the potential to be a top-5 tight end this week. With Gronk playing on Thursday night, there’s no clear-cut #1 option at the position. Sure, Greg Olsen should see a lot of targets and Marcellus Bennett could have a monster game if Alshon Jeffery is out, but Tannehill continues to improve and has always used his tight end heavily. Charles Clay averaged 6 targets a game for the Dolphins last season, and I see Cameron exceeding that number.
Larry Donnell vs. DAL - $3,200 – Donnell really dropped off in the second half the season, but draws a very good Week 1 matchup against the Cowboys. The Cowboys allowed both the most fantasy points as well as the most receptions to opposing TEs last season. Donnell had solid numbers against the Cowboys in previous matchups, and if the defense focuses in on Beckham Jr., Donnell could be a great option for Eli Manning. Having said that, Donnell is still very risky. I would only play him in a large-field tournament due to his extreme boom-or-bust potential.
Miami Dolphins vs. WAS - $3,000 – You’ll hear a lot of talk about the Jets and Seahawks for Week 1, and I do think they’re both good plays. However, Miami is my favorite pivot off the two. They draw a very good matchup against the Redskins. Washington has named Cousins their starting quarterback for Week 1, and he didn’t impress me last season. He checks down to his tight end a lot, and the Dolphins were the third best defense against tight ends last season. The Dolphins have brought in some key missing parts, and should be a top-3 defense in Week 1.
Article written by Steve Young
Follow him on twitter @StevieTPFL