(Preferably used in contests like Head to Heads, 50/50s, Double Ups, and Small Leagues)
These will be the guys that should get it done every week.
These will be guys you can normally rely on in season long leagues.
These will be guys that will consistently score more than 3 times their salary on that given week.
Don’t overthink it; look at the salaries, do the math, and make the simple plays.
- Derrick Carr $7300– Although I also think that Latavius Murray will have a big game, a lot of Murray’s workload is through short dump off passes, as well as the occasional screen. I firmly believe that this game against the Saints will be a shootout, and Carr will have have to throw for 250 yards and 2-3 TD’s to even compete against Brees. Carr/Cooper will be a very highly owned stack week 1. I am optimistic that Carr can reach 20ish FP (fantasy points) in week 1.
- Drew Brees $8100– The same high-scoring game theory for Carr is the same for Brees as they will face off week 1 in the Dome. Brees, in my opinion, has the highest chance of any QB to have a monster 5 or more TD game week 1. The only reason he is 2nd on my list is because he is $800 more than Carr, which means he needs 2.4 more FPs than Carr (62 yards more). However, he does have a higher chance to get the extra 3 FP from the 300+ yard game. With all of this being said, Brees also has 2 talented backs behind him in Ingram and Spiller, so if Carr and the Raiders do not respond, look for those guys to see more carries. Most people will likely combine Brees with Fleener, and even though Brees loves his TE’s, with a talented Cooks, Snead, and Thomas at WR, I would fade any Saints combo and just select Brees hoping for around 24 FP.
- Jameis Winston $6600– People see this young man as a wildcard and being very inconsistent, but I see a guy that only had 3 games last year with fewer than 15 FP. From a fantasy standpoint, Winston is one of the most stable QBs as there is a very small chance that he will have a dud game. He needs about 18.5 FP, and I think he surpasses that week 1 against the Falcons. Also, with his big targets in Evans, Jackson, and hopefully Sefarian-Jenkins, as well as his ability to scramble, Winston also always has the chance to perform masterfully in any situation.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick $6500– Even though the Bengals are a very tough team, the Jets are at home, and do not have Chris Ivory this year. I realize that they did pick up Matt Forte, but he mostly catches passes out of the backfield. The Jets are a pass-first team, and the performances from Marshall and Decker last year were remarkable; and also the addition of Forte may add even more yards to Fitzpatrick’s stat lines throughout the season.
- Matthew Stafford $7200– The Colts secondary may be exploitable this year. With that variable as well as the lions possibly being down the majority of this game, Stafford may be throwing a lot of passes this game, and a lot of them will probably be thrown to Golden Tate. Stafford could reach 20 or more FP, and I also think he will be low-owned.
Breaking News: The new highest owned QB of week 1 will be the Cowboys rookie Dak Prescott at the minimum price of $5000. Prescott has had a great preseason which – in my opinion -doesn’t mean that much, but he is facing a suspect secondary at home in a rivalry game against the Giants. I believe that Ezekiel Elliott will have the better game and more FP, but Prescott only needs 15 FP which is only 175 yards and 2 TD’s. Prescott will now easily be the highest owned QB week 1, unless his salary increases by then.
Honorable Mentions: Rodgers, Luck, Bortles, Ryan, Bradford/Wentz, Cutler, Bridgewater, RGIII.
- Ezekiel Elliott $7300– I absolutely despise paying more than $7k for an RB, but there are several reasons why I will support Elliott other than the fact that I am a Columbus native and a massive Zeke fan. First off, the Giants front 7 can be exploited, as long as the passing game can keep them honest. Secondly, there is a lot of hype around his potential, and what a chance to show off your abilities than week 1 at home against your rivals. If you remember correctly, Elliott played even better in championship games in college, and he always wants the ball in his hands ala “Feed Zeke”. Thirdly, he is a great all-around guy, meaning he may be good in PPR formats, especially with a rookie QB in Prescott that will need to get his confidence up with short passes. The spotlight will not elude this kid, as he has the best chance to have a breakout game week 1. He will need around 21 FP to reach value which is tough to do out of the RB position, and I have never played a rookie in cash games before week 3, but I may select Elliott week 1.
- Latavius Murray $5600– Perhaps my favorite play at RB week 1 is Murray at the Saints. The Saints have a pedestrian front 7, and Murray is also an excellent pass catcher. If Murray even gets 20 touches, 15.5 FP seems to be an automatic for this young stud during his contract year. He will be very highly owned.
- Doug Martin $6200– The Muscle Hamster will be the focal point of the Buccaneer offense this year, and if they want to grind out a win on the road against the Falcons, they will need to ride Martin’s coattails to the promised land. Even with their talented offense, Martin should get the ball early in the game, and towards the end if they are winning. Martin is not the greatest pass catcher, but if he gets 20-25 carries, he should get over the 100-yard mark. 18 FP is manageable for this veteran back.
- Ryan Matthews $5700– The Browns rush defense is awful, and it is a home game that the Eagles should be winning. Pretty blunt, but true. Sproles is another guy that I also think hits value at $4200; but if Matthews is indeed their number 1 back, look for him to put up some numbers against the Browns in week 1. Matthews also has a lot to prove, as this may be a pivotal year in his career.
- Lamar Miller $7000– This is a guy that has had skewed stats in his career by having duds and breakout games. I believe Houston will have a run and play defense type team this year, and that Miller will have good games throughout. With that being said, I see a bulk of carries going his way week 1 against the suspect Bears rush defense. If the Texans get a lead on the Bears, Miller may get an even heavier workload.
Honorable Mentions: Lacy, Forte, Charles, Freeman, Ingram, Rawls, Hill, Sproles.
- Julio Jones $9400– 28 FP is tough for any NFL player, but with Antonio Brown unavailable, Julio, if healthy, is easily the best option at WR for week 1. He should get the most targets of anyone in the league, and he seems to be a week 1 monster every year. You always have to be weary of the injury bug, especially if you are paying $9k for a single player. But, if 100% healthy, the falcons will most likely be behind in most games, and that means even more targets for Julio.
- Golden Tate $7300– Targets are the most important thing in PPR leagues, and Tate may be in the top 5 in the league when it comes to targets. The Lions will probably be trailing late in the game which may result in even more targets to Tate. Another factor is the fact that Calvin Johnson retired, and Tate even put up decent numbers without him. If Tate finds the end zone he will most likely surpass his value.
- Julian Edelman $6100– This salary is normally insulting for Edelman, but he is without Tom Brady, and the Patriots added Martellus Bennett. Edelman is a target monster, but without Brady, the Patriots may be very unpredictable. With that being said, Edelman is normally one of the steadiest producers in the league.
- Kamar Aiken $4700– Aiken has always produced in the absence of Steve Smith. The Ravens don’t have many talented WRs, but Aiken will get a fair number of targets, especially in the red zone. Aiken had 13 games with double digit FP’s last year, and some of those games Steve Smith even played. I don’t see to many dud games for Aiken this season, and at only $4700 there is even potential upside.
- Travis Benjamin $4100– Even though he is on the road against a tough Chiefs defense and home field, he may reach value by catching 6 passes for 60 yards. Rivers runs a West Coast offense, and the Chargers will probably be trailing late in this game. With Benjamin being in Rivers’ top 3 targets (most likely), he may see some throws his way. Short slants and out routes are Benjamin’s favorites, as he is a good yards after the catch guy which is important in the Chargers system. He may not score TDs, but he will certainly get his touches and yards.
Honorable Mentions- Hopkins, Cooper, Evans, Coleman, Martin Jones, Rishard Matthews, Snead, Pryor, Vincent Jackson, Kevin White, Green-Beckham, Davante Adams, Michael Thomas.
- Rob Gronkowski $7400– Normally I hate going expensive at TE because there are so many great values (especially week 1); however, Gronk is in a spot where Garappolo will probably target him a lot as he is their go to guy. Gronk is the perfect safety net for any part-time QB. I know who I would dump the ball off to if I was Garappolo. Also, in Gronk’s mind, he may know that he is the key to them winning in these first 4 games, and he may come out swinging. Gronk is in the same price range as Evans, Cooper, Tate, Hilton, and Elliott; and although those guys could have big games, who is the most likely to explode, and who would you take first in a season long league? My money is on Gronk.
- Coby Fleener $4900– this is a talented pass-catching TE that is going to have the privilege of playing with both Luck and now Brees. The primary difference in those 2 QBs is the fact that Brees loves going to his TEs. Although the Saints have talented receivers and backs, I am certain that Fleener will be thrown to frequently (especially in the red zone). Although he is a tad risky in a new system, I believe that he will fit quite well.
- Gary Barnidge $4700– Possibly the safest play week 1 is Barnidge, who is literally the only proven target on the Browns week 1 roster. Coleman may be a solid target, but is an unproven rookie. Barnidge is the only way the Browns have a chance of competing week 1. And only needing around 13 FP, I don’t really see a dud game from this guy.
- Delanie Walker $4500– This guy is in the exact same category as Barnidge in the fact that he is his team’s primary weapon offensively, and he is only $4500. If they can fix his health issue, Walker is the safest play at TE for week 1. He gets looks from every field position in any situation. If healthy, there won’t be many, if any, dud games from this guy.
- Dwayne Allen $3200– Will this guy get 9 FP? I don’t really see why not; he may even have some upside. The Colts are changing their offensive formations with the departure of Fleener, where Allen is the only TE on the field. Allen may get a few targets, and Luck does target him in the red zone, as well as 3rd downs. He may only catch 5 passes, but even if so, he only would need 40 yards to reach 9 FP; and if he snags a TD, well then you just got great value from a $3200 player.
Honorable mentions: Thomas, Witten, Kelce, Rudolph, Gillmore, Miller, Ertz, Gates, and Bennett.
- Seahawks $3900– The Seahawks are at home. It is week 1. Tannehill throws picks. The Dolphins are limited offensively.
- Chiefs $3600– The Chiefs are at home. It is week 1. Although the Chargers have some offensive weapons, their run game is fairly limited. This means that even though the Chargers could potentially put up points, there are some potential sacks and interceptions out there as well for the Chiefs.
- Eagles $3300– They are home against the Browns, also it’s week 1.
- Vikings $3100– The Titans are very limited offensively, especially if they can’t figure out what’s wrong with Delanie Walker. Sure they still have Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry to run with, but couldn’t the Vikings just anticipate that? And what if the Titans are losing by 10 late in the game? They can’t possibly run the clock down. The Vikings are a little risky, but I can see them getting you the 9 FP you need.
- Bills $2900– This situation is very similar to the Vikings, where the Ravens are very limited offensively although they have some solid RB’s. They haven’t been the healthiest defense, but they probably won’t have a dud game against the Ravens. You can even flip it and take the Ravens defense at $2700. This should be a low-scoring ugly game.
Honorable mentions- Titans, Browns, Texans
Sean Hoy is currently an office manager at a daycare in Morgantown WV. He is a Columbus Ohio native who played division II baseball at Davis & Elkins College, and graduated with two Bachelors of Science degrees in marketing and business management. Sean played DFS the first year it came out, and learned over time how to win consistently. Sean’s two best sports are football and basketball, and he will continue to up the ante as he gets older. Sean enjoys sports, food, beer, video games, Pokemon, and doing nothing. Sean does not like excuses, laziness, complaining, warm beer, or rude people. Sean is very friendly and would love to talk to you about anything in life, especially DFS. Follow him on Twitter @