FanDuel NFL: Wide Receivers Week 1

Dec 6, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Atlanta Falcons 23-19. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Atlanta Falcons 23-19. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver, and FanDuel NFL Stud, Odell Beckham (13) in the first half against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports /

FanDuel NFL: Wide Receivers Week 1 is a column highlighting the best player, most affordable, and best value options for your FanDuel NFL lineups focusing on salary versus expected points. The intention of this article is to help you build your FanDuel NFL lineup for the most likely big payday each week.

I like to lean on FantasyPros for weekly point projections, the information is a result of consensus from many fantasy football experts.  I check the point projection results, which update daily, with the salary set by FanDuel for players each week.  One of the advantages we have for week 1, FanDuel had already set the salaries for multiple players about a month in advance.  So, as players rise and fall on the depth chart, or become injured, they are now over/under-valued and offer unique opportunities to capitalize on your FanDuel NFL lineups.

To help you optimize your FanDuel NFL lineups each week, this is the first of many articles focusing on the Most Points, Best Affordable, and Most Value options.  This article will focus on the Wide Receivers position.  Here’s a brief description of each category:

  • Most Projected Points – Evaluation of top projected point options from FantasyPros
  • Best Affordable – Your most affordable, best player, options leaving you with enough money for good players in other positions
  • Most Value – Identify the cheapest players with the highest upside

Now, let’s take a look at the players everyone’s targeting:

Next: Most Projected Points - WR

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Nov 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) makes the catch in front of New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) for a touchdown during the second quarter of a game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /

Most Projected Points – WR

It’s hard to forgive anyone who immediately wants to find a way to afford Antonio Brown ($9,300 / 19.4) in their FanDuel NFL lineups this weekend.  Brown was a FanDuel NFL stud in 2015, and is playing a Washington Redskins defensive backfield that, while getting better, still has some holes. However, FantasyPros actually has Julio Jones ($9,000 / 20.4) as the top projected points for wide receivers in week 1. Jones is playing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team who’s gotten better, but most of their improvement has been on the offensive side of the ball.  So if you can afford him, Julio should have a fantastic day, at home in Atlanta, against the Bucs.  Julio is $300 cheaper than Brown, too, so you might as well save the $300 for someone else, and still score big.

Also expensive, $9,100, is Odell Beckham Jr. in Dallas against the Cowboys.  FantasyPros has Beckham hauling in 17 points.  However, that’s a 3 point drop-off from Jones, and you’re paying $100 more.  You’re better off picking Jone over Beckham and saving some money.

If you’d like to stay under $9,000 but want a top 5 point option, take a look at DeAndre Hopkins ($8,400 / 16.2) or Allen Robinson ($8,500 / 14.6).  While Robinson had a fantastic fantasy season in 2015, you re probably better off with Hopkins this week.  The Jaguars face a tough Green Bay defense, at home, and Robinson is projected at almost 2 points lower but for a slightly higher salary.  Hopkins, on the other hand, is slightly cheaper, and is facing a banged up Chicago Bears secondary.  If you can’t afford Julio Jones this week, go with Hopkins.

Next: Best Affordable - WR

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Aug 27, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) reacts after catching a touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter at Oakland Alameda Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

Best Affordable – WR

The Best most Affordable option at WR this weekend is easily Amari Cooper.  Cooper is facing a re-building New Orleans Saints defense and could have a fantastic day.  FantasyPros now have Amari projected to hit 13.9 points, 6th among all wide receivers, and with only a $7,100 salary.  That’s quite a bargain for this weekend!  As you go down the list, you won’t find a cheaper option until you land on Golden Tate ($6,900 / 12.4), who’s 18th this week in projected points.

Another intriguing option close to Cooper’s point projection is Mike Evans ($7,900 / 13.8), who has a favorable matchup this weekend against the Falcons.  You’re paying more for Evans, but if you’re not sold on Cooper, he’s a decent next option.

Some other intriguing options are Keenan Allen ($7,400 / 13.0), Brandin Cooks ($7,600 / 12.9), and Randall Cobb ($7,200 / 12.7).  Allen is a target machine.  Keenan was having a fantastic season, last year, before a season-ending injury.  Now back on the field healthy, and with Phillip Rivers still slinging the ball in San Diego, Allen could have another fantastic season and will likely get many looks from Rivers in Kansas City.  Cooks is pushing to be the Saints top receiver.  The jury is still hung on whether Brandin is ‘that guy’, but he should still have a solid day at home against a Raiders defense still struggling in the defensive backfield.  Cobb and Nelson are both projected to have 12.7 points.  While I’m tempted to pick Nelson, but I have a feeling Rodgers is dying to throw the ball to him again after an injury-riddle 2015 season between the two of them, but Cobb should also be productive and is $1,200 cheaper.  That a very big value difference.  Pick Cobb over Nelson if you’re struggling with that one.

Next: Most Value - WR

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Aug 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) celebrates after a catch during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Most Value – WR

We’ve talked about it in each column for week 1.  This week gives us fantastic value, because FanDuel set the salaries over a month ago and several players have risen well beyond their given salary.  Marvin Jones provides the most value at the wide receiver position.  Jones is projected to haul in 11.5 points at a rock-bottom $5,500 salary.  To put that in perspective, that’s just $200 more than Rueben Randle, who was cut by the Eagles.  Needless to say, Randle would not be a good value pick this week.  If you’re looking for someone to give you 10+ points and save ~$2,000, Marvin Jones is your guy!

Another interesting value play this Sunday is Michael Crabtree ($6,100 / 11.1).  Crabtree is $600 more expensive than Jones, but Jones aside, you’re not going to find a cheaper option among wide receivers expected to score 10+ points.  And like Amari Cooper, Michael is facing a suspect New Orleans Saints defense, heading into the 2016 season.  In fact, a Crabtree / Jones value combo could yield you another stud at WR, and a few studs at RB or QB.

Next: FanDuel Running Backs Week 1

Wrapping up value, we should revisit Amari Cooper one more time.  Cooper is projected to pull in top six FanDuel NFL points for WR’s but ranked only the 18th highest salary, at $7,100.  Aside from Jone’s week 1 unique situation, Cooper is a fantastic value this weekend.