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This is my second season writing for Loaded Box and I am more excited than ever to bring you the DFS side of it. Last season the Loaded Box crew teamed up with other fantasy football podcasts to give you all a view of what bargains we each liked before I took over the entire article on Week 14. This season the DFS side of it will be my focus here at Loaded box and I hope you come and check out my weekly column throughout the season!
I was looking over DraftKings and the values they have for Week 1 and noticed that everyone is coming in at a reasonable value. I know Week 2 we should start to have a better idea of the type of output we can expect from these guys, but let’s kick off Week 1 of those DFS lineups!
Jameis Winston, Quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6,600)
To kick off the season you can’t really go wrong at quarterback. Patrick Mahomes is the top QB for Week 1 and comes in at $7,200. I’m not willing to pay that as the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. Not an ideal matchup. Most will look to go for Lamar Jackson ($6,000) against Miami, but I want to go with a player that will have less ownership and help give you that advantage Week 1 in Winston. Look at that running back depth chart. What will the Buccaneers do? Throw the ball is the answer. Then throw again and again. I won’t be surprised by the end of the week if Winston ends up as the top-scoring QB because he will be carrying that offense. You want to stack him with a deep sleeper? Dare Ogunbowale ($3,000) isn’t a bad cheap throw in at flex.
Kerryon Johnson, Running Back, Detroit Lions ($5,800)
It’s a nice week to find a bargain running back because you have guys like Zeke Elliott ($9,200), Saquon Barkley ($9,000) and Christian McCaffrey ($8,800) as very expensive options and then everyone follows after that with the next highest being Todd Gurley coming in at a bargain of $7,900. In the Lions/Cardinals game, though, I expect the defenses to play like they have during the preseason – like crap. With Darrell Bevell looking to implement a run-heavy game script, it should mean a lot of carries coming for Johnson starting already in Week 1. If the Lions can keep up with what is suppose to be a fast-pace offense in the Cardinals, expect Johnson to get 15+ touches and a touchdown easily. If you want to do a stack where you can get a top running back or wide receiver, I wouldn’t mind pairing up Johnson with Matthew Stafford ($5,400).
Matt Breida, Running Back, San Francisco 49ers ($4,000)
Breida is currently listed ahead of Tevin Coleman ($5,000) on the depth chart, and I like what he should be able accomplish against a Tampa Bay defense that’ll have a hard time trying to bring him down. He is one hell of an underrated running back and to get a “starting” running back to plug and play against a putrid defense like Tampa Bay? Yes, sign me up for the easy chalk play here.
Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers ($7,300)
Obviously inserting a WR1 in your DFS lineup is great, especially when your star running back, Melvin Gordon, is holding out for a new contract and won’t be available for Week 1. With Austin Ekeler projected to be the starter at a reasonable price of $5,500, it’s hard for me to not try to find a way to get Allen in all my lineups this week. Sure, he is one of the top receivers this week, but he gets the Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts at home. Philip Rivers ($5,900) should be targeting his top receiver here in Week 1 as we look to get a better understanding of how this offense is going to work without Gordon. Allen is going to eat this week and should return value, even at a high price.
Tyler Lockett, Wide Receiver, Seattle Seahawks ($6,000)
Another wide receiver that will be hard to keep out of lineups is Seattle’s Tyler Lockett. When you’re a WR1 and get a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals, you’re always a good bet to be on the receiving end of what could easily be a two-touchdown day. He has the speed and Russell Wilson ($6,300) has the arm to throw Lockett wide-open as that perfect deep threat for Seattle. He’s worth every penny of his $6,000 salary expense if you can build a lineup around him.
Travis Kelce, Tight End, Kansas City Chiefs ($7,100)
Yes, I am telling you to pay up for tight end this week and Travis Kelce is worth every penny in my mind. Last year, Jalen Ramsey shut down Tyreek Hill and Kelce went on to produce 100 yards on five receptions. With Mahomes coming into his second year as the starter in the offense, I expect Kelce to once again come in with 100+ yards and a touchdown. Another bargain play to use from the Chiefs would be Sammy Watkins ($5,000) as he is coming into the year fully healthy.
Mark Ingram, Running Back, Baltimore Ravens ($5,100)
It’s hard to pass up running backs this week. I highly suggest that you try and get three running backs in your lineups as the values are very solid outside the top-three most expensive. My favorite running back to flex this week is Mark Ingram. He gets the Miami Dolphins who are basically left with….. nothing… I think at this point I could make the team (not really, but you know what I mean). With Lamar Jackson ($6,000) being a dual-threat quarterback, having a dual-threat running back like Ingram is a win-win and is a good pairing for your DFS lineups.
Cleveland Browns DST ($3,400)
The excitement for this offense is off the charts. But why is no one talking about the defense? With Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon patrolling the edges, this defense and its pass rush is scary good. First in line to be menaced by this defense is Marcus Mariota who is beginning to look like a bust. This defense should be lethal Week 1 against the Titans, and at that cost and possibly low ownership, this could be a the quickest way to fantasy points.
Looking for even more DFS advice for Week 1? Check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as the guys discuss their DFS stacks, bargains and general advice for the opening weekend in the NFL!