NFL DFS: DraftKings Week 1 Pricing First Look
Somehow, the 2020 NFL season is already here, and before you have even recovered from kicking back with a few beverages over the long Labor Day weekend you’ll be hit in the face with Showdown contests, dozens of podcasts, and enough articles to make your head spin.
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A lot will change over the next week as rosters are finalized, players are cut, the first injury reports released and team beat writers speculate over who will start Week 1. Here are some of the early values and key things to watch for DraftKings Week 1:
Much like our Fanduel writeup, the question isn’t whether Lamar Jackson is the #1 QB as much as it is whether or not you need salary relief. That value seems to be there for week one outlined in the RB section below making Lamar a pretty safe cash game option that is easy to fit in punting one RB spot and one TE spot.
If spending down, Kirk Cousins is probably too risky for cash formats as the Vikings prefer to run the ball, but at $5700 he is easily stacked with Adam Thielen and a cheap option like Bisi Johnson or Irv Smith. With a 25-point team total, Cousins is probably 35% to put up 20+ DK points, just needs to run hot on TD variance or game script to realize a ceiling.
Similarly, a $5700 Jimmy Garoppolo played the Cardinals twice last year and dunked on them with 31.9 and 34.7 outings, easily his two highest of the season. Like the Vikings, the 49ers would prefer to run if ahead (Jimmy G sub 15 points in 11 games last year) but will play aggressive if they need to, so this would be a game where you would also want Cardinals exposure.
The release of Adrian Peterson opens up immediate value on the slate and questions with how talented rookie Antonio Gibson will be utilized.
The rookie is a perfect fit for the DraftKings scoring system and with a cost of just $4000 provides salary relief and reasonably high upside. While it is probable that Washington will use a committee including Bryce Love and JD McKissic, Gibson still is a Top 5 value in our early projections. If punting RB, it will be a choice between Gibson and $4400 Kerryon Johnson who is coming off of an injury but may have a week free of competing for early down work with D’Andre Swift.
Towards the top end, Christian McCaffrey is obviously the #1 raw ranked player but at $10,000 the price gap between him and Alvin Kamara is $3000. Speaking of Kamara, if he were to hold out, Latavius Murray is priced at just $4600 and produced 35 and 39.7 DK point outputs when Kamara sat weeks 7 and 8 last year.
Terry Mclaurin is a strong value wide receiver option at $5600 and projects like a WR1 as far as the marketshare of his team’s targets. It is a little bit concerning to have too many Washington Football Teamers on a single lineup given the 19 point total but McLaurin has to be in consideration for all formats. While CMC was the clear Fanduel play, Michael Thomas is more viable on DraftKings with the PPR format and will be the WR1 in all projection systems.
Early on, we are high on Adam Thielen who is Kirk Cousins most reliable target following the departure of Diggs. Reports are Bisi Johnson has been starting opposite Thielen, but whether it is him or a rotation including Jefferson and Sharpe, it is clear that Thielen should command the highest target share on the Vikings to start the season.
Marquise Brown is a cheap upside wide receiver that can easily fit into Lamar stacks, while a $6000 Julian Edelman will likely be rostered by less than 10 percent of the field as narratives persist that he doesn’t fit Cam Newton’s style of QB play. Edelman is not the type to put up a 40-spot at wide receiver but at $6000 a 24-point performance may do the trick.
The other interesting thing is that in week one there are tons of unknowns. Last year, not a single WR owned by 10 percent of the field put up more than 20 fantasy points (highest was 15.X) while all of the top scoring receivers hovered around 5 percent owned or some even sub 1 percent. It is likely that questions around his role will not only leave Deandre Hopkins unowned but also temper people buying into Christian Kirk. Other productive mid-tier options like DJ Chark, Tyler Boyd, Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry are all candidates to go off at sub 5 percent levels.
The top three tight ends on the slate are fairly obvious. George Kittle (flow chart, most talented, risky game script), Mark Andrews (increasing role, high 2019 ceiling) and Zach Ertz (zero wide receiver depth, facing Washington Football Team) will be the consensus top three across the industry and we prefer them in that order. On DraftKings, punting tight end has been a popular strategy and there are sources of salary relief at this position as well. A $4100 Dallas Goedert is a low rent Zach Ertz, a $3600 Jack Doyle could draw Rivers affection, and a $3300 Chris Herndon will be playable albeit in a tough matchup at Buffalo.
- Monday: GPP Recaps, Premium Showdown Analysis with Drewby
- Tuesday: First Look and Injury Analysis with Pacheco
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