Welcome to Week 1 of the Daily Fantasy season, which is also known as Week 1 of the NFL season. This is arguably the best week to play NFL DFS on sites such as FanDuel, for several reasons. We’ve all been waiting eight months for football to return; many large-field tournaments fail to fill, creating nice overlay opportunities; and player pricing is based purely on conjecture, leading to nice values and under-owned diamonds. This article looks at some of the projected lesser-owned players at wide receiver who could provide huge boosts to your tournament lineups, as well as some trap plays to avoid.
Golden Tate $6,900 (Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts)
At $5,500, Marvin Jones is shaping up to be one of the highest-owned receivers in DFS this weekend, and for good reason. The Colts secondary is in shambles because of injury and this game rates as the second-highest in over/under. Lions receivers are going to be busy all afternoon and Jones provides a nice discount. Meanwhile, Tate might be half as owned as Jones and should at least equal, if not exceed, Jones’ production. On other sites, the price differential between the two receivers is greater. But is $1,400 enough of a savings in tournaments to take the clearly higher-owned player? I’d go with the lower-owned guy and find one of the many value options across all positions.
Michael Crabtree $6,100 (Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints)
This time, the under-owned half of a highly-rated duo is also the cheaper option. Amari Cooper costs $7,100 and is going to be among the chalkiest receiver options on the board. Crabtree should be just as productive in this game, and perhaps more productive if Cooper draws coverage from Delvin Breaux. Points will be scored here and Crabtree should get enough to pay off the discount in price and ownership.
Mike Evans $7,900 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons)
You can make the case that outside of Julio Jones (and Antonio Brown on Monday night), there is no wide receiver who will see more targets and collect more DFS points than Evans against a dreadful Falcons secondary. Unlike, say, the Lions, who face an equally horrid defensive backfield, there is no real tandem at work in Tampa. It’s all Evans, all the time. Despite his incredible upside, Evans is ninth in salary on FanDuel and his projected ownership percentage is about in the same range. The Buccaneers-Falcons game is expected to be a shootout and Evans should be a huge part of that. Get him in there.
Terrelle Pryor $4,900 (Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles)
Maybe preseason doesn’t count for anything, but if it does, there’s no denying there was some pretty good chemistry going between RGIII and Pryor. With Josh Gordon suspended and Corey Coleman’s role still somewhat of a mystery, Pryor has a chance for a big day as Griffin’s top deep threat. His price is bargain-basement and his ownership should be minuscule. One or two big plays and Pryor could be the steal of the week.
Dez Bryant $8,000 (Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants)
An awful lot of people are putting an awful lot of faith in Dak Prescott being able to translate his terrific preseason into regular season success. Accordingly, Bryant is projected for a fairly chalky ownership percentage in Week 1. I am not convinced that Prescott is going to deliver as a passer this weekend, making Bryant a true trap at his price and his ownership. Mike Evans is $100 dollar cheaper, will be less-owned and is in a much better situation. Fade Dez.
Alshon Jeffery $7,500 (Chicago Bears at Houston Texans)
This game could get ugly early, and with J.J. Watt likely to hound Jay Cutler all afternoon, Jeffery is a little too spendy given the risk he presents for a bust performance. His ownership is projected on the lower end, but there are far too many better choices that are low-owned and much cheaper. At least wait for the Bears to play a home game against a bad defense.