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Week One DFS Plays – Ryan Skolrud

Philip Rivers. Photo by Jeffrey Beall (CC by 4,0)

By Ryan Skolrud

With week one of the NFL season officially upon us, it is time to start looking at the daily fantasy landscape to see what match-ups are out there to exploit and try and win a little extra coin. Here are some of my thoughts on some great values, and some prices that may be a little too high. (All price values based of DraftKings)

Good-to-Go

Philip Rivers ($6400)

Rivers has a great match-up for season one if you are wanting big production from your QB without paying the hefty price. The Chiefs passing D struggled against the pass last year, even with Marcus Peters and Eric Berry. However, Peters is now in a Rams uniform and Berry will likely miss week one as he recovers from an Achilles injury from last year, making this a very exploitable defense. His value allows you to stack him with Keenan Allen($7500), or go for a deep value pick with either Tyrell ($4200) or Mike Williams ($3900). Look for Rivers to put up at least a couple TDs in this game.

Alex Collins ($5600)

The Buffalo Bills were horrible against the run in 2017. Giving up the 2nd most fantasy points per game to RBs, 4th most rushing yards, and being the only team to give up more than rush TDs (22), you can see why I am really high on Alex Collins this week. Unless Nathan Peterman has greatly improved his game over this past off-season, the Buffalo offense is likely going to struggle, leaving their defense on the field for too much of the game. Even if Collins gets a slow start, look for the Ravens to continue feeding him the ball and wearing down the defense, much like PHI did with Ajayi on Thursday Night Football.

DeAndre Hopkins ($8300)

This is a week that you could spend big on WRs and still get equal returns due to the match-ups this week. We mentioned Keenan Allen above and the holes in the KC secondary, and Michael Thomas ($7800) is a force even without having an easy match-up against the Buccaneers. If you find enough value around the rest of your lineup to spend heavy on WR though, Hopkins could be a monster for you. While Thomas and Allen have other solid receiving options on their teams, Hopkins will almost be flying solo. Will Fuller is out for week one, so Deshaun Watson is going to be looking Hopkins’ way…A LOT! If you remember last season when Houston visited New England and Watson had a coming out party in a shoot out the Texans almost won. Hopkins is almost uncoverable (even Jalen Ramsey would agree on that one) and will be in for a giant workload as Watson’s favorite target in a game that could again, be a shootout.

Delanie Walker ($4900)

The Titans will be going up against the worst defense against fantasy TEs from last season, which would already favor any TE going against them. But Walker has also been the top target for Mariota the last few years and in spite of his age, Walker has continued to produce at a very high level. Look for that to continue today as the Dolphins are still trying to figure out their defensive identity.

Pivoting Away

James Conner ($4500)

I understand that Conner is in for a HEEE-YUGE role against CLE in taking over for hold out Le’Veon Bell. I understand also that he is a great value at only $4500. However, EVERYONE knows he is a great value and that he will have a monster role. While it could put you a little behind by not using Conner, he is going to have a massive ownership rate. And to make money in DFS you have to be a little different. Going with the crowd gets really crowded and does not let you rise above.

Tom Brady ($7200) and Deshaun Watson ($6700)

Here is where name recognition makes some guys unplayable. Brady is going to be in for a big game against Houston and the same could be said for Watson. There are probably going to be a lot of players targeting this match-up after seeing the scoreboard get a workout in last year’s contest. In a possible shootout, there are other names in this game that will be on my radar (Hopkins, James White – $4000, Chris Hogan – $6100)

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