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Football season kicks off in full this Sunday, much to the delight of fantasy football players around the world.
While most fantasy enthusiasts have likely settled their drafts already, those that take part in daily fantasy leagues like DraftKings and FanDuel are still toiling away to set the perfect lineup before kickoff on Sunday.
Budgeting can get tight fast in daily fantasy – it’s tough to leave Antonio Brown out of your lineup when you’re SURE he’s going to run all over the Browns. With this in mind, below are some potential value plays for Week 1 daily fantasy players. Picking these guys up isn’t a sure thing, but they’ll do well enough to get you some points and save you some dollars so you can spend more money on studs.
Take a look below for our best value picks for your Week 1 DraftKings lineups.
QB: Andrew Luck, $6,100
Andrew Luck is home and playing in his first game back from injury, going up against a Bengals team that gave up 20 fantasy points to Jacoby Brissett when he led the Colts into Cincinnati in 2017. Sign me up.
RB: James Conner, $4,500
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More than any other player in the league, James Conner is essentially a must-add to every one of your daily fantasy rosters this week. Since prices were set before we knew Le’Veon Bell’s holdout would last into Week 1, Conner is priced as a secondary back but expected to get no. 1 running back work from a solid Steeler offense. It’s likely this won’t give you much advantage over your competition, as he’ll be in most of your opponents’ lineups as well, but don’t put yourself at a disadvantage by passing on him unless you have a good reason.
RB: Alex Collins, $5,600
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In terms of yards allowed, the Buffalo Bills had the fourth-worst rushing defense in the league in 2017. If you think the Ravens can jump out to an early lead, chances are Alex Collins will factor into the game heavily.
WR: Cooper Kupp, $5,200
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While Brandin Cooks might be the de facto top receiver in Los Angeles after his monster contract, there was little doubt last year that Cooper Kupp was Jared Goff’s favorite target. If you like having a player left to go on Monday night, Kupp is available at an affordable price. With Goff on the road in a hostile, primetime environment, his eyes will take him to the target he knows best.
WR: Allen Hurns, $4,700
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After years doing his best to haul in whatever Blake Bortles threw in his general direction, Allen Hurns moved to the Dallas Cowboys this offseason. Dallas is notably depleted at wide receiver, and someone has to catch the ball there, right? That someone is Hurns.
WR: Anthony Miller, $4,600
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I’ve been smitten with Anthony Miller since I started following him at Memphis last season, and in his rookie year, I think he has the potential to become an immediate threat in the NFL. With the Bears revamped offense offering plenty of targets, it’s tough to guess what his workload will be, but there’s a chance his price will jump up a bit as the season wears on.
TE: Antonio Gates, $2,600
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Okay, this is a super long shot. If you can spare the extra dollars, it’s probably a better play for you to spend the $3,000+ it costs on a standard tight end – I think Jack Doyle in Indianapolis is also a solid value. But if have your lineup just where you want it and only have the $2,600 to spare, Antonio Gates is back and has 114 career touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald is just behind him with 110, and the Chargers, given the opportunity, might try and give Gates a few looks in the red zone to help him stave off Fitz on the all-time list.
DEF: Cardinals, $2,500
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Patrick Peterson and company are playing against the Redskins at home, and somehow 14 defenses are going at a higher price. If you feel like splurging on the Ravens going up against five-pick Nathan Peterman, follow your heart. But Arizona is a fine play in this spot.
Now check out our best bets for Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season.
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