NFL DFS Strategy

Fanduel Tournament Plays – Week 1

Hey LineupLogic listeners!  Here are my favorite lower-owned tournament plays for Week 1 of the 2018 season. I will also be giving a lineup using some of the players mentioned at the end of the article.

Quarterback

Andrew Luck $7,300 – Everybody seems to be scared off of Luck and I don’t blame them, but let me tell you why you should throw him in a tournament lineup or two. People seem to be doubting his arm strength even though he has looked great all throughout training camp and seems to be near his pre-injury form. He has averaged 24.4 fantasy points per game since joining the NFL which is good for a top 5 QB in any given season. He’s the 9th most expensive quarterback on the main slate out of 24 starting QBs and if he’s able to put up a 22 point game, he will get you a 3x value making him a complete steal this week. 

Case Keenum $6,300 – To be honest, I almost didn’t want to pick Keenum for this because any time I see a QB against Seattle, my brain automatically fades him. We need to remember that this is no longer the Legion of Boom. They have lost Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson and Kam Chancellor. They are a shell of their former selves and although I don’t think they will be awful, I also don’t think you need to auto-fade players against them anymore. Keenum excelled last year for the Vikings and he still has a ton of talent surrounding him after going to Denver. I’m definitely willing to risk $6,300 of my salary to see if Seattle’s defense is worse after all of their losses this offseason.

Running Back

Derrick Henry $6,800 – Finally! DeMarco Murray is gone and we get to see what Derrick Henry can really do. Throughout his 2 seasons, Henry has had 6 games in which he received more than 14 carries. In those games, he scored 5 rushing touchdowns. Henry should get the bulk of the carries, including goal line work, while Dion Lewis will be used more on passing downs. Last year, Tennessee tied for second for most rushing touchdowns (18). Miami was an average rushing defense last year and I expect the same this season. The Titans have one of the best O-lines in the league and I love the upside Henry has this year getting more carries.

Lamar Miller $6,500 – The Patriots know how to shut down the best weapon of opposing offenses. DeAndre Hopkins is a great player, but New England has figured out how to phase him out in the past and I expect them to attempt to do the same this week. Miller was touted for getting into great shape this offseason and Head Coach Bill O’Brien referred to him as a 3 down back. I know that the Houston O-line is awful, but the shootout potential this game has paired with Miller’s versatility and cheap price tag allows me give him a shot in GPPs this week.

Carlos Hyde $5,900 – I really like Carlos Hyde this week. He looked great in the preseason, he’s dirt cheap and I think Cleveland is going to allow Hyde to show them what he can do. Last year Cleveland averaged the 6th highest yards per carry in the league and Pittsburg’s defense allowed the 6th most yards per carry in the league. We have seen 2 touchdown upside from Hyde in the past and that’s too much upside at this price to pass up. Plus, I love the first game back home in Ohio narrative.

Fade

James Connor $5,000 – Last season, Cleveland’s defense allowed the 7th fewest rushing yards per game and 2nd fewest yards per carry. He does have upside due to his low price, but I don’t like him in tournaments because of his high projected ownership percentage.

Wide Receiver

Demaryius Thomas $7,000 – You can count on Thomas for target volume every single week. Over the past 6 seasons, he has averaged 155 targets and 95 receptions. The revolving door of mediocrity at quarterback has ended for the time being in Denver which should allow Thomas a little more consistency and dependability each week. He is the type of guy who could go off for a huge game and help catapult your lineup up the leaderboard. At $7,000, he’s worth taking a risk on seeing as he has 100 yd/2 touchdown potential. Keenum likes to spread the ball around quite a bit, but I’m going to go with the most talented wideout in Denver in week 1.

Cameron Meredith $6,600 – This game is projected to be high scoring and the Saints offense has so many good players, it makes it impossible for defenses to stop every threat. Drew Brees is known to use all of the weapons at his disposal and there is no reason this year will be any different. Meredith excelled last year in a shaky offense, so I can’t wait to see what he can do in an offense with an elite quarterback.

Tyrell Williams $5,500 – This game should be very high scoring and after losing Marcus Peters in the offseason, the Chiefs secondary is questionable. A lot of people expected Williams to have a huge season last year, but he wasn’t able to match the marks he had set in 2016. The Chargers are without Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates is no longer the athletic beast he once was and those targets will be going somewhere. Williams has huge play potential and can make an affordable tournament flier this week.

Tight End

Delanie Walker $6,100 – Walker will probably be owned by a decent number of people, but I still felt the need to mention him here. I can’t stress enough how much I love Walker this week. He’s the only receiver on the Titans who has really proved himself as a reliable option every year. He has had over 100 targets and 800 yards each of the past four years and he’s going up against the Dolphins. The Dolphins have allowed more touchdowns (20) to tight ends over the past two seasons than every team not named the Browns. They have also given up an average of 12.6 fantasy points to the position in that same timeframe. They haven’t gotten much better, if at all, on defense over that span and I have Walker as a top-3 tight end this week.

Jordan Reed $5,800 – The Cardinals were about league average last year against the tight end, but that’s not why I have Jordan Reed listed here this week. It’s simply due to the freakish athleticism he possesses. When he’s healthy, he is one of the highest upside tight ends in the NFL. Since joining the league, Reed has averaged 7 targets per game and 5.3 receptions per game. To give you a comparison, Rob Gronkowski has averaged 7.1 targets per game throughout his career and 4.6 receptions. I’ll take a chance on a guy who’s QB has throw for an average of 975 yards to his tight end over his past 4 seasons. 

 

Tournament Lineup

QB – Case Keenum – $6,300

RB – David Johnson Jr. – $8,600 or Leonard Fournette – $8,000

RB – Derrick Henry – $6,800

WR – Demaryius Thomas – $7,000

WR – A.J. Green – $8,400 or Antonio Brown – $9,000

WR – Tyrell Williams – $5,500

TE – Delanie Walker $6,100

FLEX – Chris Hogan – $6,700

DEF – New Orleans Saints – $4,600

Total Salary: $60,000

 

That’s it for my Week 1 tournament plays. Follow me on Twitter @joejberg for more fantasy information and feel free to hit me up with any fantasy related questions or suggestions for these articles you may have. Thank you for reading and have a fun and profit filled DFS weekend!

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