November 11, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) greets New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) after the Falcons 31-27 loss at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Best picks for daily fantasy football in Week 1

Daily fantasy football is a relatively new phenomenon in fantasy sports, but is has already gained lots of popularity among fantasy players who enjoy the ability to pick a new team every week, and possibly compete for cash and prizes.

Daily fantasy football uses a salary cap system for picking teams for its most popular games, and that means looking for the best values will help you win every week. Saving in some areas, while spending big in other areas will lead to the best team which scores the most points.

This week, we’ll be taking a look at players and citing their values on DraftKings, DraftStreet, and FanDuel. If you’re curious about rules, scoring systems, and other available games, be sure to check them out.

So who are the best players to play this week? Which have the best prices for their potential scoring performances? Which players are overpriced, and worth avoiding completely? Check out my picks, and leave yours in the comment section below.

Worth the Price:

Aug 24, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes against theTennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons ($9,500 on DraftKings, $8,800 on FanDuel)

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons will take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, and the Saints were among the worst defenses in NFL history last season. That’s a great recipe for a pass happy QB in an offense loaded with weapons.

There’s also the likely disappointing defense for Atlanta that will keep Ryan throwing, as opposed to sitting on a lead and running out the clock with new workhorse runner Steven Jackson. This could be a shootout, and fantasy football players should flock to shootouts like a Black Friday sale.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints ($9,600 on both DraftKings and FanDuel)

Remember what I said about the Falcons’ disappointing defense? Drew Brees will get to face it this week.

Remember what I said about shootouts? This game is going to be one.

If you get to start 2 QBs in your league, spend big and start both Brees and Ryan. They’re a lock to get big points.

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints ($7,200 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel)

I know it seems lame to mention three guys from the same game, but the beauty of daily games is you can build your lineup however you want.

Graham is a must-start in every format, every week in yearly fantasy leagues. But when he’s priced lower than the top-tier running backs and wide receivers, he’s even more of a must-start in daily leagues. As he performs well, he’ll gain in value, so use him now while you can.

Plus, he’s playing the Falcons defense, who allowed a ton of yards in the playoffs last season to tight ends who are about half as good as Jimmy Graham.

Best Value:

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins ($6,300 on DraftKings)

Alfred Morris is playing the Eagles. The Eagles let this happen in the preseason. (Thanks to for the GIF)

Blount Run
Yes, I know that was a preseason game, but it’s a symptom of a larger problem with the Philadelphia defense. They’re not going to stop the run very well this season. Morris is a part of a high-powered offense that will focus on running the football.

Some sites price Morris higher, but if you play on DraftKings, he’s an absolute steal at this price.

Zach Sudfeld, New England Patriots ($2,000 on DraftStreet)

He’s a target for Tom Brady. He’s the lowest possible price for any player on the site.

Sudfeld is assuming the Aaron Hernandez “move” tight end role in New England, which means it’s safe to assume somewhat Aaron Hernandez-like numbers from him. He had a solid preseason, and is worth the gamble for such a crazy low price.

Kansas City Chiefs DST ($3,300 on DraftKings)

How many fantasy teams do you have with a Jaguars QB on them?

The Chiefs are bargain basement for this week despite a favorable matchup. They have talented players at every level on defense, and these playmakers could bring in points via sacks and interceptions. I am not sold on the Chiefs as a contender in real football this year, but I am all in for them against the Jaguars in a one week format.

Must Avoid:

Aug 25, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) watches warm ups before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Arian Foster, Houston Texans ($8,400 on Draft Kings, $9,100 on FanDuel)

Arian Foster is still priced like he’s one of the best running backs in the NFL, but there is a mountain of doubt about his usage in Week 1.

It’s not an awful matchup against the Chargers, but it’s an awful situation. In a game where you can pick any running back you want, why would you pick one who might struggle to see the field thanks to injury concerns?

C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills ($8,700 on FanDuel)

Spiller is priced as one of the top running backs on various sites, but he’s got a very tough matchup against the Patriots. There’s a chance the Bills won’t be in the game, and Spiller will be nothing but the occasional dump off pass option.

You can do better than Spiller this week, and you can enjoy the reduced price in a few weeks when he has a better matchup.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals ($8,200 on DraftKings, $8,100 on FanDuel)

If you’re going to spend big on a wide receiver, it shouldn’t be A.J. Green. Green is facing the Bears, while some other top receivers have much better options.

In daily fantasy football, you’re wasting money by drafting a star with a bad matchup. The chances that Green dominates an incredible defense aren’t worth the potential loss by spending big on a player unlikely to deliver a good amount of points.

Tags: Fantasy Football

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