The 2018 NFL season is upon us, we all know what that means. Fire up the Daily fantasy lineups in search of some of these enormous prizes provided.
Selecting the right players isn’t the only task at hand when trying to beat one of these larger fields. When picking your roster, depending on the type of contest you’ve entered, fading players with high ownership can be the key to move up leaderboards.
Let’s discuss some of the Week 1 options you could plug into your lineups. ( Keep In Mind the Main slate excludes the Sunday night game)
Tom Brady (vs. Texans) $7,200
Priced as the most expensive option player at his position, Brady gets a perfect match up vs. a secondary that comes in ranked 30th overall. Not only is he priced the highest but his projected ownership of 13% is also the most for Quarterbacks in Week 1. The game total sits at 51 and is the highest of all games on this weekends slate, and the public is all over the number with 68% of bettors betting the over. Last season when these teams faced off, Brady went off for 44 fantasy points during his five touchdown performance. The previous four times Brady has met Houston his finishes were 1st, 15th, 10th and 3rd.
Cam Newton (vs. Cowboys) $6.900
The former Auburn standout has what looks to be a prime matchup vs. a Dallas defense that ranked 18th in DVOA vs. the pass in 2017. Newton’s last regular season matchup against Big D was in 2015 where he only managed 187 passing yards on his way to the 19th overall finish for Quarterbacks.
One thing to look out for is Dallas was able to limit opponents rushing last year only surrendering seven rushing touchdowns all season, 3rd best in the NFL. Where you can hurt the Cowboys defense is using your running back in the passing game where they ranked 28th vs. Running backs allowing 7.8 receptions per game and 50 yards to the position. The total might push some people away as it sits as one of the lowest of the week at 42.5. Newton’s ownership is projected to be around %5.
Drew Brees (vs Buccaneers) $6,800
The Saints are the biggest favorite on the board this week, and the game carries a 49.5 point total. Brees is coming off a year which is considered quiet by his standards, finishing as a back-end QB1 and 11th overall at his position. The Buccaneers passing defense was atrocious last year ranking dead last in DVOA.
They seemed to really struggle when defending the right side where they finished 28th and 30th while defending deep balls to that side. Last season in their 2 divisional matchups, Brees finished as the 12th and 18th QB which is something that needs to be monitored as dating back 2015, Brees has only managed to end up top 10 once when facing Tampa Bay.
Deshaun Watson (vs Patriots) $6,700
The electric dual-threat quarterback makes his long-awaited return in a matchup that promises to see points. In the game of the week that offers the highest total set at 51, Watson will carry approximately a 9% ownership percentage ranking him top 5 this week for Quarterbacks. Last season when the teams faced off in a thrilling 33-36 loss for Houston, Watson was able to throw for 301 yards 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, leading him to the 12th QB finish in week 3.
Look for New England to struggle vs. Deandre Hopkins, coming off a year where they ranked 21st in pass DVOA and 26th vs. #1 Wide receivers. The connection between the QB and his star wideout should continue from lasts season, where In Watson’s 6 starts Hopkins was the overall #1 WR posting a 6.3/ 91.8/1.0 average over the 6 game sample.
Mid Range Value
Kirk Cousins (vs 49’ers) $6,500
Arguably the biggest splash of the offseason, Cousins takes the reins in Minneapolis in search of continuing the success the team found in 2017. At his disposal, the 8th and 19th overall wide receivers in PPR scoring that averaged a combined 29.2 fantasy points per game last season. The belief is that the team is improved at QB and Cousins is stepping into the perfect scenario.
San Francisco struggled mightily vs the pass last season ranking 28th overall. The 49ers were the 9th worst pass D allowing 27 passing touchdowns while only getting 10 interceptions. The 5.0% TD permitted rate is well above the league average of 4.2% and ranked them 23rd in the NFL. Look for Cousins to have plenty of opportunities is a game that carries a total of 46. The Vikings newly acquired leader is predicted to be owned at 6%.
Andrew Luck (vs. Bengals) $6,100
Can we get the quarterback the finished 4th, 1st and 7th in his last few seasons excluding his injured season? All signs point to yes, and what better way to be welcomed back then to open up the 2018 season at home as a short favorite in a game totaled at 48.5. The matchup is average vs. a Bengals pass defense that was middle tier but only allowed 20 passing touchdowns ranking them 8th in the NFL. The Bengals won’t exactly be a pushover, and they only allowed 6.5 YPA last season vs the pass which might steer people away, leading Luck to be owned around the 5% range. If low owned, a big game from Luck could put you in prime position to surpass big fields.
Phillip Rivers (vs. Chiefs) $6,400
The Chargers play caller finished 7th overall last season averaging 21.1 fantasy points per game. He enters his 2018 campaign is a prime matchup vs. a Chiefs defense that lost 6 different defensive backs from last season. Most important, the loss of shutdown corner Marcus Peters.
Add the missing pieces to the uncertainty with veteran Eric Berry who is considered day to day as he recovers from a heel injury. If he fails to return for week 1, Rivers is gifted the chance to face the 23rd overall pass D that allowed the 4th most passing yards last season. The 2004 first round pick will carry a high owner percentage as the DFS community is well aware of his matchup, look for Rivers to be owned around 10%.
Flyer of the Week
Case Keenum (vs. Seahawks) $5,100
The new look offense in Denver gets a match up vs a depleted secondary that lacks the energy of old. The loss of players like Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and the uncertainty behind Earl Thomas leaves the legion of boom, DOOMED. The Seahawks allowed a stingy 19 passing touchdowns in 2017, but the holes in the secondary leave a lot in question. Bill Musgrave is now in command of the offensive play calling in Denver after the departure of Mike McCoy, and the former Quarterbacks coach has been known to be able to get the best out of his QB’s skill set.
In 2014, Musgrave was able to command the Eagles quarterbacks group of Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez to the 6th most passing yards that season. When he moved to Oakland, again he was able to sharpen up an offense that ranked 31st in scoring and improved them by +10 Points per game. Keenum has a few weapons at his disposal and a running back that is expected to make noise in rookie Royce Freeman. With the Seahawks name still being somewhat threatening to the novice player, look for Keenum to over exceed expectations in week 1 while only carrying 2% ownership.