Week 1 is finally here! We have had a taste of the NFL season with the Packers defeating the Bears on Thursday night but now it’s on to the main course.
With that, it’s now legal to play daily fantasy again in Alabama so here are some players to look at when building your fantasy lineups.
There are two levels of players:
Top Targets – These are picks that are high in price for a reason, but are still worth taking a look at.
Value Targets – Value picks are players that come in at a somewhat low price and you could get the most bang for your buck. However, these should not be your first choice as the best performers.
This will identify players in both ranges for you to make your best educated guess to piece together the best possible team.
The prices below are all from DraftKings.
Top Quarterback Targets
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs ($7,200) – The most expensive quarterback on the board, but for a reason. Last year’s MVP is projected to be one of the highest scoring QB’s, but you will have to take this pick seriously because of the extra money you won’t be able to spend elsewhere. The Chiefs are facing the Jaguars who weren’t very good last year and let big plays get to them. Mahomes is projected to have the most points on DraftKings at 24.9 so he’s worth the money when looking at strictly quarterbacks.
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers ($6,600) – This is a contract year-type for Winston and he has to prove something to continue to be relevant in this league. Bruce Arians comes to town and there isn’t much of a run game to back Winston up. The 49ers weren’t great against QB’s last year and when these two teams met Winston put up 25.88 fantasy points in 2018. He is projected to have the second most fantasy points this weekend at around 22.8.
Others: Cam Newton ($6,500), Russell Wilson ($6,300)
Value Quarterback Targets
Kirk Cousins, Vikings ($5,500) – Kirk Cousins is expected to out perform his salary against a Falcons team that has never been known for defense. It’s the first game for head coach Dan Quinn to be calling his own defense again and that could lead to Cousins performing well at home.
Nick Foles, Jaguars ($5,300) – The Chiefs were a great team for opposing quarterbacks last year and last season only five opposing QB’s of 16 regular season games ended without either throwing for at least two touchdowns or passing for at least 300 yards – and five did both. The Jags bring in John DeFilippo at OC who helped Kirk Cousins be a threat last year.
Others: Kyler Murray ($5,600), Jacoby Brissett ($4,400)
Top Running Back Targets
Picks like Saquon Barkley ($9,000), Christian McCaffrey ($8,800) and Todd Gurley ($7,900) are always going to be good backs, but you have to determine if you want to spend your money on one of them or spread it out more evenly. Here are some top choices for you to target as RB1 outside these names.
Leonard Fournette, Jaguars ($6,100) – Despite a match-up against one of the best teams in the league, the Chiefs allowed the fifth highest FPPG to opposing running backs last year. Fournette has also been working on his receiving game according to reports, which would be a huge addition to his fantasy production.
Joe Mixon, Bengals ($6,700) – AJ Green isn’t on the field for Andy Dalton so the run game will be relied on a little heavier than usual for the Bengals. Mixon will be the beneficiary of that, plus the fact that the Seahawks weren’t great against running backs last season.
Chris Carson, Seahawks ($5,700) – Seattle is best when they have a good running game (see Marshawn Lynch). Cincinnati wasn’t good against the run in 2018. Carson was great in yards created outside his blocking and was third in evaded tackles. He can also be a part of the passing game too to get some reception points. Pete Carroll has even said he has the best hands on the team.
Others: Nick Chubb ($6,700), Dalvin Cook ($6,000)
Value Running Back Targets
Tony Pollard, Cowboys ($4,500) – Zeke has signed his deal with the Cowboys, but he’s been out of things for a while so this is the one chance for Tony Pollard to make an impact and do so as a valuable pick. The plan is to play Elliott for about 25% of the snaps so Pollard should see the rest. The Giants were terrible against the run, so Pollard could get turn his carries into big one for owners.
Matt Breida, 49ers ($4,000) – The Bucs are right there with the Giants in being terrible against the run, in fact they were one of only three teams to give up more fantasy points against running backs last season. Jerrick McKinnon is sidelined and Tevin Coleman is used to being a secondary back like he was in Atlanta. Breida can also be a good playmaker out of the slot as well.
Others: Devin Singletary ($3,600), Kenyon Drake ($4,700)
Top Wide Receiver Targets
Mike Evans, Buccaneers ($7,900) – It’s an expensive stack if you want him and Winston, but Evans is the clear #1 guy for him. The 49ers average giving up 40 FPPG against receivers, and you can bet Evans will get a good chunk of that as he averages 8.6 targets per game and 95 yards per game. He is great in year-long and daily fantasy for the most part, but especially this weekend.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks ($6,000) – Lockett is the #1 guy for Russell Wilson who will look to be showing off that new contract in week one. He projects at around 20 points which is almost $2,000 more valuable than his listed price.
Others: Cooper Kupp ($5,700)
Value Wide Receiver Targets
Dede Westbrook, Jaguars ($4,800) – Westbrook is a good WR2 option for you with new quarterback Nick Foles. He is not projected to be the highest scoring receiver, but his production should be higher than his salary.
Michael Gallup, Cowboys ($4,300) – Gallup came on strong at the end of last season and it could have been better if Dak Prescott had more of a focus on him. He has looked good in the preseason and with Amari Cooper drawing the best match-ups (likely Janoris Jenkins this weekend), that provides Gallup with great match-ups.
Others: Marquise Brown ($3,000), DJ Chark ($3,300), Christian Kirk ($4,700)
Top Tight End Targets
Evan Engram, Giants ($4,800) – The Giants want to make Engram one of their top receivers and the Cowboys gave up the fourth most receptions to the tight end position last year. In four career games against the division rival, engram has never had less than four catches in a game and he scored in both games against Dallas last year. If the Cowboys are doing everything they can to stop Barkley, then Engram could be the play and receive double digit targets.
Others: George Kittle ($6,600), OJ Howard ($5,000)
Value Tight End Targets
Delanie Walker, Titans ($3,500) – Walker was one of the best tight ends in the league until he got injured last year. Marcus Mariota will get him the ball since the receiver options aren’t the best in Nashville. The Browns are poised to put some points up so Mariota will have to rely on Walker whose price is a little low due to lack of playing time last season.
Others: Mark Andrews ($3,000), Hunter Henry ($3,900), TJ Hockenson ($3,100)
Top Defense/Special Teams Targets
Eagles ($3,600) – Yeah the Eagles are expensive, but for a reason. Most people will tell you to pick the Eagles in your survivor pools because this is a sure fire win for them. The offensive line for Washington will struggle against the Eagles’ pass rush and given the lack of a quarterback they will probably try to run the ball a lot against a defense that allowed the seventh fewest rush yards per game last year.
Others: Lions ($2,900), Bills ($3,000)
Value Defense/Special Teams Targets
Colts ($2,600) – The Colts face the Chargers on the road and they will have to be relied on heavily this year now that Andrew Luck is gone. Melvin Gordon isn’t expected to be there due to his holdout, so they won’t have the same ground game to compliment Phillip Rivers.
Others: Falcons ($2,400), Buccaneers ($2,200)