The regular season is underway and football is officially back, which means that regular season NFL DFS has returned! In this weekly article, I will focus on players that I believe will be a good value for DFS targets in Week One based on their price.
These will not always be the most owned players and often will feature cheaper plays, but they are guys who can help you get you to the cash line while maintaining the salary flexibility to go roster some of the bigger names. I should also mention that all pricing below is for DraftKings contests. It’s been a long time since the last full week of NFL action so I won’t keep you waiting any longer; here are the players I am targeting this week.
DFS Targets For Week One
Andy Dalton, $5800 @IND
Dalton is a very enticing option for a lower-mid tier QB this week. The matchup he has with Indianapolis is not one that will scare anybody as last year the Colts gave up the 5th most yards and tied for the highest net yards per attempt. They also had the second fewest sacks in the league and pressuring Dalton has been a great way to get the Bengals’ offense off track. Last year, per Football Outsiders, Dalton jumped from a -59.9% passer DVOA with pressure to a 30.4% DVOA.
Even if Indy was capable of pressuring the QB, it might not matter as much this year as CIN brought in a new starting left tackle, Cordy Glenn, via trade and drafted a center (Billy Price) in the first round to help keep Dalton’s pocket clean. Last year Indy surrendered the 6th most points per game to QBs in DraftKings, and now that unit is undergoing a scheme change to a 4-3 base.
Last year when facing a team in the lower half of the league in terms of points per game scored by QBs in DraftKings, Dalton averaged 18.3 points, including week 8 when he played Indy at home and scored 18.7. The defense in Indy is a work in progress, and Dalton has all his weapons healthy. He’s in a great spot to hit value (Points=3X salary) at his price.
Lamar Miller, $5200 @NE
This game will be on everyone’s radar as a potential shootout. Remember what happened the last time these two teams met up?
Miller should benefit from DeShaun Watson’s presence. Last year he averaged 4.49 yards per carry with Watson as opposed to 3.79 without. D’Onta Foreman will not be playing, so Miller’s activity in the passing game should increase. Also working in Miller’s favor will be the focus on DeAndre Hopkins, as the Patriots love to take away the best part of a team’s offense. They are going to force other players to beat them.
Last year, while giving up the 13th most rushing yards, NE’s defense allowed an above average yards per carry in 5 out of 7 zones. This includes allowing 7.5 YPC outside the right end, where Miller had his highest YPC average. Miller will see plenty of work in this game and should be in line for a very productive day.
Emmanuel Sanders, $5000 SEA
Sanders will benefit from a QB upgrade as Case Keenum should be the best starter in Denver since Peyton Manning. Sanders has been operating out of the slot where he will likely see Neiko Thorpe, who is the last CB from the Seahawks last playoff appearance. This is not the same secondary that it once was, and it might not even be as good as last years unit. Sanders should be able to exploit the short zones on the outer thirds of the field, where Keenum was excellent last year.
And in the short amount of time we’ve seen them on the field together, Sanders and Keenum look to be developing good chemistry as Sanders had the highest target share in the preseason.
Kenny Stills, $4700 TEN
Stills enters week 1 as the WR1 in Miami, a position that QB Ryan Tannehill has actually served well over his career.
DeVante Parker is listed as doubtful on the latest injury report and Jarvis Landry brought his talents to Cleveland. This means that Stills is the main guy now. He faces a Titans defense that gave up the 10th most ppg to WRs last year. Tennessee comes into Miami, where Tannehill has a career TD/INT ratio of 2.1, which is much more favorable than his 1.2 ratio in road games. Miami is projected to be one of the worst defenses of the week as well. Expect a positive game script for Stills as Tennessee is a road favorite and likely to have a lead.
Tyler Eifert, $3400 @IND
Andy Dalton is about to have a good week, and that extends to Tyler Eifert. In addition to the additions on the offensive line, Cincinnati enters the year with a full off season to absorb new OC Bill Lazor’s offense. In Lazor’s last full season as an OC (2014), his TE1 ended the season as the TE15 in fantasy (Charles Clay). Cincy will be playing a Colts team who allowed an average of 12 ppg to TEs in DraftKings. Combine that with the fact that in his last 8 road games, Eifert is averaging 19.5 ppg.
He could return huge value from a position loaded with cheap options. The main concern with Eifert has always been his health. However, we only need him to stay healthy for this one game, not the season. I’ll take the risk he finishes this game, because if he does, chances are he’s scored at least once and hit well above value.
I have some additional players that I wrote about that I think are good value plays this week here: Hunting For Value In Week One
Be on the lookout for a bunch of players that @DFS_mathlete will be tweeting out stats and facts about over the weekend. They are sure to give you some insight for your DFS lineup as well.