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FanDuel NFL Value Plays: Week 1 (2020)

Sep 10, 2020

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Welcome to Week 1 of the NFL season! Football is finally back, and each week, I’ll use this column to provide you with value options for your FanDuel lineups.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA): $6,400 at NE
As soon a Fitzpatrick was named the starter, he immediately became a high ceiling/low floor value play. He is one of the most volatile players in the NFL, as he is capable of throwing for 5-to-6 touchdowns in a game but is just as likely to throw 5-to-6 INTs.

Rostering him does not come without risk, but if he hits his ceiling, he could be a tournament-winning quarterback. I’d monitor his receiving options as we head into Sunday, as wide receivers DeVante Parker and Preston Williams are listed as questionable — as is tight end Mike Gesicki.

Running Back

Chris Thompson (JAC): $4,800 vs. IND
Mr. Gibson, who I write up below, is likely to be the chalk this week, but Thompson is a nice pivot. The release of Leonard Fournette left this backfield with a lot of question marks. The expected replacement, Ryquell Armstead, is on the COVID-19 list and isn’t likely to be cleared. His backup from last season, Devine Ozigbo, would be the assumed “next in line,” but he was placed on IR, and rookie James Robinson was listed as the starter — but he is a rookie without a preseason.

One thing that did not change, however, is the role of Chris Thompson. He was brought in to be the pass-catching back, a role he had in Washington under Jay Gruden, the current offensive coordinator in Jacksonville. The Jags are not a very good team on paper, and they figure to be playing from behind against a very good Colts team. That should lead to a lot of work for Thompson. As long as he can stay healthy, I love Thompson this week.

Antonio Gibson (WAS): $4,600 vs. PHI
As I mentioned above, Gibson is likely the chalk, and I’m only listing him because I’d be remiss if I didn’t. If his ownership is as high as I’ve heard it might be, he is a cash game free square. With that said, I’m fading him in tournaments.

This is a player that had a total of 77 touches in college, so is this really a player that’s going to step in Year 1, Game 1, and be the unquestioned starter? I don’t see it, but in cash games, if he is truly 70 percent owned, it won’t matter if he isn’t good — you still have to play him.

Wide Receiver

N’Keal Harry (NE): $5,100 vs. MIA
When Cam Newton was in Carolina, he made Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess “a thing.” Harry is built like those receivers but way more athletic. Yes, he struggled last year, but he was also hurt for most of the season. He is only in his second year, and from what it sounds like in camp, Newton is looking Harry’s way in the red zone. That’s all I need to know to roster a wide receiver at $5,100.

Marquise Brown (BAL): $5,900 vs. CLE
Brown is one play away from reaching his value whenever he is on the field. He is a big-play receiver on a team that defenses have to stack the box against. That’ll leave Brown one-on-one a handful of times a game, and that’s all he’ll need.

I think the Ravens view Brown as a true No. 1 receiver, and they will scheme ways to get the ball in his hands. At $5,900, he has the highest ceiling of all the players in this column.

Tight End

Irv Smith Jr. (MIN): $4,800 at GB
I’ve been talking up Smith Jr. all offseason. It is in the realm of possibilities that he is the second-most targeted receiver in this offense.  We know that Kirk Cousins has done well with athletic tight ends before, having had Jordan Reed in Washington. Smith Jr. is Jordan Reed-esque but without the injuries.


Washington Football Team $3,400 vs. PHI
The Eagles lost two offensive linemen to injury this offseason, and against this Washington’s front seven, they’ll struggle. They may give up some points on Sunday, but they’ll also get to Carson Wentz and could force some turnovers. At only 3.4K, they really open up your roster to afford some studs.

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