Tight Ends and Underrated Quarterbacks Dominate Week 1
NFL week 1 is in the books and from here on, it will become harder and harder to find value in your daily fantasy tournament picks. In week 1 the Daily Fantasy Sites had very little data to establish their salaries off of, but as the season progresses, salaries will become more and more accurate. That is not to say however that you cannot find hidden value in a player with a favorable matchup or a little extra game time than normal if you know what you are looking for.
If you took a couple of my sleeper picks from last week you are probably a happy camper right now. I had Alex Smith and Phillip Rivers as a couple value picks at the Quarterback position and they not only led the league at their salary level, but even outshone the some premium Quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers.
Alex Smith and Brian Hoyer faced each other in a passing game shootout, that is prime for fantasy value at the quarterback position. Alex Smith threw for 243 passing yards in the Chiefs win over the Texans, with 3 passing touchdowns (mostly to tight end Travis Kelce) finishing the day with a total of 21.7 fantasy points. This put him at 6th for quarterbacks of the weekend behind Brady, Palmer, Rivers, Mariota, and Romo. Hoyer threw for 236 yard on the other side of the ball but only 1 touchdown reduced his fantasy value a bit.
Phillip Rivers sits at fourth on the list of quarterback performers for the weekend throwing for a massive 404 passing yards, easily the most of the weekend. This earned him the 3 point fantasy bonus for over 300 yards and if he could have had more than 4 touchdowns, he would have led the weekend. Rivers led the chargers to a high scoring victory over the Lions. In total, Rivers scored 25.2 fantasy points. Remember, although Romo and Brady outscored him in the fantasy realm, Daily Fantasy NFL Contests are about value, not total points, and Rivers delivered more points than these two for his salary level.
Other Quarterbacks who delivered huge value this weekend were Carson Palmer and Marcus Mariota. Palmer threw for 308 yards, earning the 3 point bonus, and threw three touchdowns totaling 27.3 fantasy points on the weekend, in the Cardinal’s victory over the Saints. Being a mid salary level quarterback, he delivered huge value to put you way up in your Daily Fantasy Cash Draft.
Mariota however provided even more value. Being straight out of the NCAA, his salary was among the lowest of all NFL starting quarterbacks. However, he threw for 4 touchdowns and 209 passing yards in Titans’s dominating victory over Bucs totaling 24.4 fantasy points. Having Martiota in your lineups allowed you to select premium players at other position’s without missing out on fantasy points at quarterback, just the edge you need to win big money.
The tight end position can really give you a leg up on the competition in daily fantasy NFL. A tight end can just as easily score 0 points as 30, and if you are on the right end of that spectrum, you can rise in the ranks quickly.
The leaders of the weekend were Travis Kelce, Tyler Eifert, and like always, Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski started off the Tight End domination on Thursday night with 3 touchdowns and fell just short of the receiving yard bonus with 94 receiving yards. He totaled 32.40 fantasy points, which is a nice boost to your fantasy lineup, however Gronkowski’s salary level was more on the level of a premium receiver than a tight end, which worked against his fantasy value.
The rest of the Tight Ends provided significantly more value than Gronk with much cheaper salary levels. Travis Kelce scored 2 touchdowns with 106 receiving yards, earning him the receiving yard bonus and a total of 31.6 fantasy points. The synergy between Kelce and Alex Smith was a serious boost if you had both Chief’s players in the same lineup.
Tyler Eifert of the Bengals got some great attention from Andy Dalton, especially in the red zone. Eifert totaled 2 touchdowns and 106 receiving yards on 9 receptions for the highest total of the week at Tight End of 34.4 fantasy points.
Look to identify teams that make good use of their tight ends and look for opportunities to pair tight ends and quarterbacks. Also, keep in mind to avoid receivers on these teams since receiving yards are all well and good, but if your receiver isn’t getting the ball in the red zone, you can probably find more value elsewhere.