It’s finally here. The NFL regular season is officially underway, as the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots gave us a little taste of the new season Thursday night. The Fantasy season kicks off in earnest for most NFL fans Sunday, when 26 teams will do battle on the gridiron. And it’s a great time to get in on the DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) action, too.
I have been contacted by several friends and family members over the past couple of weeks asking about DFS, what the best sites are to play, etc. There is none better than our friends at FantasyAces.com.
However, when you’re fielding these kinds of questions, it is truly a signal that DFS has arrived mainstream. Obviously, it has been very popular for a few years now, but several of the top brands are now making their way onto broadcasts, signage at stadiums, etc. and it is truly having an effect. Seasonal leagues, outside of football especially, are for those who refuse to embrace change. DFS cash games and GPPs (guaranteed prize pools) are for those adapting to the quickly changing landscape of Fantasy Sports.
For more recommendations from me throughout the week, plus tips from other top industry analysts like Drew Dinkmeyer, check out DailyRoto.com for comprehensive free and premium DFS content.
FantasyAces.com salaries included below where applicable. (*** salaries subject to change ***)
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay ($5,250 at CHI): If you’re going to spend big on a running back Sunday, Lacy is your guy. He plans to figure prominently in the offense, not only on the ground, but also catching balls out of the backfield. Lacy and TE Richard Rodgers ($3,200) figure to pick up some of the slack left by WR Jordy Nelson (knee). WR Davante Adams ($4,200) is also a tremendous value.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami ($6,200 at WAS): Tannehill and the Dolphins are positioned well for a hot start. The public likes the Dolphins, driving the line of the game up for an opening of 1 1/2 points to 3 1/2, so many are expecting big things from Miami out of the chute. Tannehill has the luxury of WR Jarvis Landry ($4,600), a PPR machine, as well as the sure-handed RB Lamar Miller out of the backfield. If the Dolphins get off to a good start, this one might not even be close, and Tannehill is sure to lead the way to a big stat line.
Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego ($4,450 vs. DET): It seems like Allen gets lost in the Fantasy shuffle, but he is a big-time receiver and he is still very young. He is the top receiving option on a good team, and DFS owners shouldn’t be worried about WR Malcom Floyd ($3,950) or WR Steve Johnson taking targets away. Allen will get his, and at a mid-level salary he has some nice upside.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami ($4,600 at WAS): For the same reasons I like Tannehill, I like Landry. The Dolphins should be able to move the ball rather effectively against the Redskins, and the Tannehill to Landry connection will be good for at least eight grabs, 85 yards and a touchdown. Landry has 100-catch potential this season.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota ($5,500 at SF): Bridgewater really came on down the stretch. If you’re looking to save money at the quarterback position and still not lose too much in the way of value, the second-year quarterback is your man. With Adrian Peterson back to force defenses to pay more attention to the run, and with the addition of speedster Mike Wallace, Bridgewater’s ascension will continue. He is better than his counterparts at a similar salary level, but don’t expect this value to last for many more weeks.
BARGAIN BIN VALUES AND CONTRARIAN PLAYS
Benny Cunningham, RB, St. Louis ($3,000 vs. SEA): Yes, it takes a little bit out of the Cunningham selection since he is going up against a strong Seattle Seahawks defense. However, it is becoming more and more apparent that he will shoulder the load in Sunday’s game since RB Tre Mason (thigh) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, and rookie RB Todd Gurley (knee) will be held out. Cunningham will see plenty of touches, and even if he grinds out 3.0 yards per carry on 15-20 totes with a touchdown, he will easily exceed his DFS salary while helping you to allocate funds to other positions.
Ladarius Green, TE, San Diego ($3,700 vs. DET): Green made it through a full practice session Friday after a concussion scare, but he is still listed as ‘Questionable’ on the injury report for Week 1. So have a replacement (New York Giants TE Larry Donnell $3,650, who plays Sunday night, for example) in mind just in case. If Green is healthy, he will start for the suspended Antonio Gates, and he should see plenty of touches against a so-so Lions pass defense.
Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego ($4,000 vs. DET): Woodhead is obviously behind rookie Melvin Gordon on the depth chart, but he will still get his touches. Woodhead is a solid value in PPR formats, even on sites that reward just 0.5 points per reception such as FantasyAces.com. He is sure to get at least 10-15 touches, either spelling Gordon on occasion or helping to fill the gap due to the suspension of TE Antonio Gates. The Bolts would be foolish not to take advantage of Woodhead’s unique skill set. And remember, LB DeAndre Levy is out for the Lions, softening up the run defense a little.
Green Bay at Chicago (FOX, 1:00 p.m.)
Carolina at Jacksonville (FOX, 1:00 p.m.)
Seattle at St. Louis (FOX, 1:00 p.m.)
Kansas City at Houston (CBS, 1:00 p.m.)
Cleveland at N.Y. Jets (CBS, 1:00 p.m.)
Indianapolis at Buffalo (CBS, 1:00 p.m.)
Miami at Washington (CBS, 1:00 p.m.)
New Orleans at Arizona (FOX, 4:05 p.m.)
Detroit at San Diego (FOX, 4:05 p.m.)
Tennessee at Tampa Bay (CBS, 4:25 p.m.)
Cincinnati at Oakland (CBS, 4:25 p.m.)
Baltimore at Denver (CBS, 4:25 p.m.)
N.Y. Giants at Dallas (NBC, 8:30 p.m.)
Philadelphia at Atlanta (ESPN, 6:55 p.m.)
Minnesota at San Francisco (ESPN, 10:15 p.m.)