Fantasy Football Week 1 Value Picks
Week 1 Value Picks
There are three distinct time frames in the NFL season that relate to Daily Fantasy NFL Contests and the strategy implemented. First there is Preseason, where it is almost impossible to predict which players will get play time and Daily Fantasy sites abandon any effort to price players and simply set them all on an equal salary level. This has its distinct advantages for the informed user but if you fail to do your research or pick based on which players you think are good, you are usually in trouble (since the players you think are good will likely be saved for the regular season).
Another time is the regular season, here we know the general dynamics of each team and their matchups and for the most part, no huge fantasy performance is way out of left field. Fantasy sites become better and better as the season progresses in setting player salaries and often it just takes a sleeper pick or the right quarterback, wide receiver combination to earn you some serious cash.
The last time frame is the time in between these two periods, one of the most risky yet profitable times of the NFL season. That is Week 1.
There are a couple reasons for this. First off, you have the largest arrival of new fantasy users who don’t realize Daily Fantasy isn’t about choosing fantasy allstars, it is about choosing fantasy value (that is points per dollar of salary). A little knowledge of fantasy strategy during this period can set you leagues above your competitors.
Also, there is very little relevant data to make projections. Sites attempt to use preseason data and previous season data to project how a player will play in week 1 but usually the data is very irrelevant to how a player will do this year. Thus, like the preseason, salaries may not necessarily represent how a player will perform, and there is room to take advantage of that.
Specifically, here are some players who I believe are priced too low and should bring substantial fantasy value to your lineups in week 1.
The three value quarterbacks I have for week 1 are Alex Smith of the Chiefs, Brian Hoyer of the Texans, and Phillip Rivers of the Chargers. All three of these quarterbacks are experienced and underrated returners for their teams. While they may not lead the charts in total fantasy points, you can insure they will bring respectable fantasy value to your lineup, freeing up space to splurge in the other positions.
Value Running Backs
If you are looking to save a little cash at the running back position look to Alfred Blue also from the Texans or Mark Ingram from the Saints. Be sure however to not pair Alfred Blue with Brian Hoyer in the same lineup, because usually how fantasy NFL contests go, is that Quarterback performance is typically inversely correlated with running back performance. You can only expect one of the two to have a huge game.
Devante Adams from Green Bay and Kenny Britt of the Rams are the value picks at the Wide Receiver position. Aaron Rodgers is going to need somebody to throw to with Jordy Nelson out and Devante Adams is the likely target. Be careful in choosing Adams in high stakes contests however as many other people probably have that same idea. When it comes to high stakes Daily Fantasy Tournaments, it is to your benefit to pick players that are not picked my many of your competitors.
Value Tight Ends
Look to Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen for value at the Tight End position. This is commonly the most overlooked position (or the most wasted cash position if you pick Gronkowski) and can earn you that extra push between getting in the money, and losing your entry fee. Don’t get me wrong, Gronkowski has hit some huge fantasy totals, but with the price of a top end receiver, I would rather spend my spare salary cap somewhere else. Plus, even when he does have a big game, over 50 percent of your competitors usually own him so it doesn’t help your chances much.