NFL DFS: Fanduel 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 Fanduel Week 1:
It is still Lamar Jackson’s world and his Week 1 projection is a full touchdown clear of the next closest. On a main slate that is missing Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, and Dak Prescott, it is clear that Lamar is Plan A. His $9400 price tag is extreme, but if there is any week that can be stomached it is during a week where there is value from the early pricing release.
If not Lamar, Cam Newton leads the Patriots and their 25-point team total in a home game as 6.5 point favorites against the Miami Dolphins. Cam was recently named the starter and one of the team’s offensive captains. There are plenty of questions around Cam including what style of offense the Patriots will run, who the best stacking options are, and how much redzone rush equity he will have. Still, the tournament upside is alluring as you get exposure to a Top 5 team total and a QB with rushing TD upside.
Other open questions at QB include the transition of Tom Brady to New England and how wide his target tree will be, whether or not Carson Wentz will have any healthy wide receivers and if Josh Allen will have immediate chemistry with Stefon Diggs.
It is a Christian McCaffrey slate so one decision point will be between CMC, Lamar and Michael Thomas. Our first look leans to Lamar and CMC on Fanduel and lineups that Jam Em In are definitely viable. Beyond the obvious, there are some important things to monitor. If Alvin Kamara decides to hold out Week 1, Latavius Murray is just $5100 and would become a Week 1 cheat code on stud filled lineups.
Talented rookie D’Andre Swift is still limited in practice making Kerryon Johnson an appealing punt RB at just $5600. Kerryon likely won’t factor into the passing game but with if Swift is unavailable his rushing load alone puts him in play. Ronald Jones was likely headed towards being a popular option but the recent signing of Leonard Fournette took the wind out of the sales for RJ2 truthers. While Fournette likely hurts Jones’ long-term viability, it still remains to be seen how quickly he can acclimate in time for an important divisional matchup with the Saints. Similarly, the health of a $6800 Miles Sanders must be monitored, both for the value he could have himself as well as what he could create for Boston Scott if he were to sit week one.
Michael Thomas is obviously the top wide receiver play this week, as he is most weeks, but given some other value and the presence of CMC / Lamar he may not be a necessary spend.
Another notch in Lamar’s belt is that his #1 wide receiver, Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown is just $5900 and enters the season fully healthy. The fantasy football draft stock of Brown has seen him soar to a 5th or 6th round pick, and he is the early candidate to be the highest owned Fanduel wide receiver week one, making Lamar stacks EZ mode. If looking for a same price pivot, Desean Jackson at $5700 arguably has similar upside and could be the best playmaker the Eagles have against Washington.
There are also lots of balanced options in the $6500-$7000 range including Adam Thielen who is competing with Bisi Johnson instead of Stefon Diggs for targets, Tyler Lockett in Seattle, Calvin Ridley in the first game of an expected break out season, and Terry Mclaurin.
George Kittle is the #1 overall tight end as of this writing in a flowchart matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, but it is actually Mark Andrews at a $600 discount that hits a slightly higher percentage of lineups. Choosing between those two, or a slightly discounted Zach Ertz, seems like the safest starting point at the position. Punting the position and hoping to grab a cheap TD is always viable and a $5800 Dallas Goedert, $5300 TJ Hockenson or a $5200 Hayden Hurst could all easily flourish if the big three were to have an average game.
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