Week 1 DraftDay Picks
September 5, 2014 | Justin Edwards
It’s Week 1!! Real football is upon us and that means fake football is upon us! The only thing better than watching real football is making money on fake football. I’m heading over to DraftDay.com and setting up lineups to start my yearly bankroll. I’ve got tips and suggestions to how you might like to set-up YOUR lineup.
I’ll be judging each position on a sliding scale of beer.
From Arrogant Bastard (it’ll certainly get you there but is it worth how much you have to spend on it? Is there any room for other beer?)
To Budweiser (The ol’ tried-and-true, nothing unexpected here, you get what you pay for)
And finally, Natural Light (Pretty much the cheapest of the cheap, it’s all value here. But how much will you really get out of it?)
We’re sticking with American beer because this is football after all, not futbol. Let’s get ‘Murica drunk:
Arrogant Bastard – Peyton Manning ($16,650), Drew Brees ($15,900)
These guys are poised to score a whole lot of points. And they cost a whole lot of money. They both did great things last year, and they both did admirably against their respective opponents last year. But you’re never going to be able to afford both (or maybe you can, more power to you) so I’m gonna have to lean one way or the other. I’d rather take Brees here with the sudden absence of Welker in Peyton’s passing game. I think he’ll have a great game against this Falcons team and if I can squeeze his price tag into my budget without tilting the rest of my team I’m all about it.
Budweiser – Tony Romo ($12,800)
Calling the QB of “America’s Team” a “Budweiser” is just too hard to pass up, but there’s actually some pretty solid reasoning behind it. It defines this part of the scale perfectly; not once last year did he go a week without throwing a TD and ONLY once did he throw for more than three (Week 5 – 5 TDs in a shootout with Denver). San Francisco’s defense is a little beat up and don’t look to get quite the pass rush we’ve come to expect from them and that’s not even the best part! Dallas’ defense is in even worse shape than SF, which means Romo will be airing it out early and often. There’s no 506-5-1 in his future but I can settle for 300-2-1 here.
Natural Light – Chad Henne ($8,600)
Stop choking, I’m being serious. Seriously. At a price this low, Chad will barely have to do anything to get you some value out of the deal. He averaged 223-1.8-1 Yds/Tds/INTs last year, which would give you around 14 fantasy points. Not to mention the Eagles gave up the most passing yards in the NFL last year. If Philly can shut the run game down and score some points Henne could be chucking the pigskin around all day long and can walk away with something in the area of 275-2-2. Or maybe he throws 4 interceptions and we welcome Blake Bortles to the league in Week 2!
Arrogant Bastard – Jamaal Charles ($14,700)
There’s a reason he’s going number 1 overall in many of the year-long fantasy drafts. He’s the entire friggin’ Chiefs offense…ESPECIALLY with Dwayne Bowe’s team leading 105 targets (2013) on the bench. That’s a big boost to probable receptions for Jamaal who was second on the team with 104 targets out of the backfield last year. Oh yeah, don’t forget about his 17 carries/game, his nose for the end zone, and the fact that Tennessee doesn’t have much of a run D. Pay up and expect some mouth-watering results.
Budweiser – Frank Gore ($8,350)
Frank Gore is a robot. He’s been “declining” for years now yet refuses to be thrown by the wayside. Although this year will PROBABLY be the year that he succumbs and finishes closer to 1,000 yards there is no reason to think he won’t be able to take advantage of a porous, grotesque Dallas defense. San Fran could climb to an early lead and pound the ball for a good part of the game. Either way, Gore will see the hand-egg plenty, and for fantasy sake let’s hope he sees plenty inside the 5 yard line.
Natural Light – Mark Ingram ($5,950)
“This guy’s looked great in preseason!” Not exactly a statement you want to rest your laurels (or money) on. Look at that price though, he’s going for cheaper than a big handful of defenses so you’ve got to give it atleast a look. Ingram has had some injury history but that’s not something you’ve got to worry about in DFS when the player in question looks as healthy as can be. Pierre Thomas is technically the #1 RB in this Saints offense but he has averaged eight carries a game in seven seasons with New Orleans. That leaves a lot of work in between the hashes and in the red zone for Mark. If you’re running thin on $$ and still need to fill an RB spot, this here’s your guy.
Arrogant Bastard – Demaryius Thomas ($13,300)
DT lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns, averaged almost nine targets a game from arguably the best QB in the league and led all receivers who played all 16 games in FFPts/G. So what do you get the man who has everything? How about getting Wes Welker and his 111 targets out of the way for the first four weeks? Oh yeah, and Peyton is playing against the Colts who he has some sort of history with. This just isn’t even fair.
Budweiser – Eric Decker ($9,400)
Going from top 3 QB to bottom third QB. Woof. But luckily he’s practically the only option in this offense and he’s going against a terrible Oakland pass defense that allowed a whole friggin’ buttload of points to opposing WR1 last year.
Natural Light – Riley Cooper ($7,750)
DJax is gone, which moves Jeremy Maclin and Cooper up the WR depth chart. Maclin was out all of last season while Riley had a chance to build some chemistry with Nick Foles, averaging a 4-67-1 statline while becoming a favorite for deep pass plays. 13 20+ yard plays for him last year, all of which came from the 11 games he played with Foles under center.
Arrogant Bastard – Jimmy Graham ($12,650)
Surprise, right? Jimmy’s the bee’s knees and everyone knows it. Amount of targets last three years: 149, 135, 142. Amount of receptions last three years: 99, 85, 86. Amount of TDs last three years: 11, 9,16. Drew Brees loves ‘em, Saints fans love ‘em, and fantasy owners love him. If you’re willing to put mucho money on an absolute beast in his position, go for it. But keep in mind for this sort of price you’re gonna need a guaranteed return of 7-80-1 or something similar to make it worth your while.
Budweiser – Jordan Reed ($8,800)
You won’t get anything crazy from Jordan Reed, he’ll serve as RGIII’s safety valve. Alf Morris hardly catches any passes so as new addition DeSean Jackson helps to stretch the field Reed will benefit with a good amount of middling plays. Jordan’s last healthy game he sported a 6-62-1 stat line. That’s sort of near his ceiling but it’s something he could certainly reach. Also, Houston was almost exactly league average against TEs last year.
Natural Light – Travis Kelce ($6,600)
It could be a hard pill to swallow starting a Tight End in his first ever professional game but keep in mind that he’s not a rookie. The injury that kept him off the field gave him an extra year to become assimilated to this Chiefs offense. Kelce got to see plenty of action in the preseason, racking up the most yards by a TE if that means anything to you. Alex Smith’s #1 target is suspended, Travis is only costing you 6% of your allotted salary and a TD or two are certainly in the near future.
Arrogant Bastard – Panthers ($6,950)
There’s not a huge gap in the #1 DEF price and the bottom of the barrel but if you can penny pinch here you should definitely do it. With that said, the Panthers have a pretty juicy matchup with Tampa Bay’s poo-poo O-Line. The Bucs did just add Logan Mankins from the Patriots but I would still expect Josh McCown to end up on the McGrownd a few times. Josh threw only 1 interception last year while working mop up duty in Chicago when Cutler went down. Expect him to match that interception total in week 1.
Budweiser – Jets ($4,850)
Rookie QB. Raiders offense. It doesn’t take much more than that to give the Jets D a nod. This isn’t a D/ST that typically scores a ton but the 8 rookie quarterbacks that have played against this Rex Ryan team have completed just 48% of their passes and that correlates very heavily with FP/G.
Natural Light – Lions ($4,150)
Sticking with the theme of teams who will be facing O-Lines that finished in the bottom 6 of the league last year; Detroit gets to face the Giants and big-foreheaded interception machine Eli Manning. The younger Manning brother and his league leading 58 sacks will saunter into Ford Field and I don’t see him being upright for much of the game.
We’ll try to get a mixer of these guys and put together something we can sip on long enough that we’ll be piss drunk on success come Tuesday morning:
QB Drew Brees
QB Chad Henne
RB Jamaal Charles
RB Frank Gore
WR Demaryius Thomas
WR Riley Cooper
TE Travis Kelce
FLEX Eric Decker
FLEX Montee Ball
That will be my base lineup and I’ll try to make some tweaks so that I have a few different options for my final submission. Don’t want to lose all of my games just because one of my guys didn’t come through for me! I suggest you do the same.
I create my lineups mainly directed towards cash games, so keep that in mind as well.
Good luck fantasy nerds, hope you’re rolling in profit soon and if not remember: “That’s the way she goes. Sometimes she goes, sometimes it doesn’t. She didn’t go. That’s the way she goes.”