DraftKings NFL Value Plays: Week 1
DraftKings is offering a FREE $1 billion contest for Week 1 if anybody out there picks the perfect lineup. This is basically Warren Buffet offering $1 billion for anybody that fills out a perfect March Madness bracket, but it’s enough to get my DraftKings addiction going again.
Here are some value plays at each position that probably won’t help you win $1 billion, but they might help you win less than that.
Josh McCown (NYJ): $4,600 vs. BUF
Oh, I love me some ‘Downtown’ Josh McCown. A man whose Arizona Cardinals jersey proudly sits in my closet (seriously, it was only $10 on eBay), McCown has made it his life mission to start for every downtrodden NFL franchise except for the Jaguars (but his brother Luke did). Even his stint as the starting QB of the Hartford Colonials of the UFL in 2010 ended in a losing season.
This is a man who once went full Super Bowl John Elway by helicopter diving into the end zone during the first quarter of a Week 1 Jets-Browns only to fumble and get concussed.
And this is also a man who once compared thinking that he landed in Detroit to watching pornography. If not for the ‘Clipboard Jesus’ Charlie Whitehurst, I would consider ‘Downtown’ Josh McCown to be the most inspirational quarterback of our generation.
Besides Brock Osweiler, I’ll take any QB that is under $5k and starting against the putrid Bills defense. A horrible defense in 2016, the Bills will be even worse this season as they lost five starters on defense including top cornerback Ronald Darby who was sent to Philly. Over the last three seasons, Mr. Downtown has gone 2-20 as a starting quarterback for the Buccaneers and Browns which I’ve been told is bad. However, he’s averaging 246 yards and 1.3 touchdowns per game over that timespan which is pretty good value for a guy priced $100 more than Matt Schaub. There’s a good chance he can outperform those numbers against a bottom-barrel Bills pass defense.
Bilal Powell (NYJ): $4,900 v. BUF
Yeah, another Jet. Powell was a stud in 2016 once Forte went down and is expected to be the Jets feature back against a Bills defense that allowed two 200+ yard rushing games to Jay Ajayi last season. Based on that, it’s no surprise that they ranked 30th in rush DVOA last season. He’s an effective pass catcher as well so he’s fine to pair with McCown.
Todd Gurley (LAR): $6,000 v. IND
The important thing here is that Gurley was priced before the Rams switched from underdogs to 4.5-point favorites due to Scott Tolzien not being Andrew Luck. While were on the topic of rush DVOA, there were only two teams worse than the Bills last season. The Colts were one of them. Fire up Gurley.
Robby Anderson (NYJ): $3,800 v. BUF
If you’ve gone in on McCown and Powell, then you might as well stack all three and hope the Jets score 30. Anderson proved late last year that he is capable of putting up numbers when given the opportunity, and a quarterback who can get him the ball. Anderson had three very productive games with Bryce Petty at quarterback in 2016 before falling off the final two games of the season when Petty got injured and Ryan Fitzpatrick was re-inserted. Anderson is the default No. 1 WR with Quincy Enunwa out for the season against a Bills defense that lost their top two corners from 2016.
Kendall Wright (CHI): $3,200 v. ATL
If you don’t feel like being a Jets stacker, take a look at Kendall Wright. Like with Gurley, timing is the key here as Bears No. 1 WR Cam Meredith had yet to suffer his season-ending knee injury when prices were released. Wright is now projected to see the most targets among Bears pass catchers in a game with an O/U of 49. The PPR format of DraftKings provides a boost as well to a possession receiver such as Wright.
Zach Ertz (PHI): $3,500 v. WAS
I was shocked to see Ertz priced this low. Ertz finished as a top-six fantasy tight end last season but is priced as the 10th overall tight end in a good matchup against the Redskins. The trade of Jordan Mathews to the Bills definitely doesn’t hurt his fantasy value moving forward either, and new top wideout Alshon Jeffery will be shadowed by Josh Norman. Take Ertz with confidence.
Los Angeles Rams (LAR): $3,200 v. IND
The Rams face Scott Tolzien who has thrown two career touchdowns and seven career interceptions. Oh yeah, and they aren’t among the top-five highest priced defenses. Need I say more?
Good luck in Week 1!