In daily leagues my philosophy is quite simple. Try to find one or two value plays, and pair them with guys who you see as “locks”. Now I am sure most of the fantasy community could point you to the aforementioned “locks”, so the focus of this article will be to identify a player at each position to pair with the studs from the other positions. When I build a team with a salary cap restriction, I also think it’s important to look at what you can buy with the remaining cap space and compare and contrast to build your team. Even though a player is a value, are you really gaining anything from using him and one stud as opposed to two mid priced plays? These are the situations you have to analyze and draw conclusions from in order to be a winning daily fantasy sports player.
QB: Ryan Tannehill: FanDuel $6,500 DraftKings $7,200
He showed more than competency in the last two years in a vanilla offense, and is now in Bill Lazor’s scheme who plays a poker face better than Lady Gaga. Last year in game 1 his offense made the internet explode challenging conventional wisdom with the Eagles attack. Currently Tannehill is going for about 2/3rds of the usual suspects. This is also a home game for Miami, and history has shown Miami to have strong September and is a tough place to play. Rolling the dice on Tannehill isn’t for the faint of heart but one that could pay dividends. Honorable Mention: Shaun Hill. Going for about 1⁄2 of the studs, he gets to face a Vikings D that ranked dead last in passing defense last year. He has a home game, and an underrated stable of weapons. He has been mentioned and discussed at length all week and should be owned highly across the industry. Which makes me like him a lot less.
RB: Toby Gerhart: FanDuel $6,100 DraftKings $5,600
Going for less than committee backs like Chris Johnson, Pierre Thomas, MJD, Carlos Hyde, and Bishop Sankey and going for the same or less than Trent Richardson, Stevan Ridley, Darren McFadden. Toby is a good athlete who catches passes and is one of a handful of RBs who are truly expected to get a full workload. Toby gets an Eagles D who outperformed expectations last year. I expect a solid return on investment, and I think Toby proves to be matchup proof all year long, as his involvement in the passing game will keep him on the field regardless of score. Working with a young offensive line anchored by second year Luke Joeckel, I expect this unit to be a top 15 unit by year’s end. (Side note: I am also picking the Jags to win the AFC South).
Honorable Mention: Shonn Greene: FanDuel $5,100 DraftKings $4,100
Not a sexy pick by any means, but a top 10 offensive line going against a pedestrian Kansas City Chiefs Run D. In the early weeks I fully expect Shonn Greene to get around 20 touches a game, that could easily outperform many of the names going for significantly more than him.
WR: Eric Decker: FanDuel $6,400 DraftKings $5,200
Going for less than most WR1s, the Geno Smith/Eric Decker combo could satisfy your hunger. They are facing a weak Oakland team and Decker will be by far the best weapon Smith has ever had to throw to. There is also not much else the Jets have as targets for Mr. Smith, and I am expecting double digit targets and I expect Decker to emerge as the Red Zone weapon of choice for the Jets. If this connection proves to be fruitful, this will be the only time Decker will be this valuable, as I expect stretches of inconsistency all year for him,
Honorable Mention: Malcom Floyd: FanDuel $4,500 DraftKings $3,300
With Keenan Allen drawing Patrick Peterson in coverage, I expect Wisenhunt to utilize Floyd, who has had encouraging camp reports since recovering from a season ending neck injury last year.
TE: Travis Kelce: FanDuel $4,500 DraftKings $3,200
The playmaker the Chiefs sorely lack is here. Going for pennies on the dollar vs. the top guns, Kelce has the talent to make a name for himself in week 1. With Bowe on the sideline and the Chiefs trail of tier 5 receiving core, Kelce has the stage. Anthony Fasano stands in his way, but Andy Reid has never been afraid to utilize his talent for Fantasy owners to reap the benefits.
Honorable Mention Jared Cook: FanDuel $5,700 DraftKings $3,500
The Vikings have been in the bottom portion of the league in yielding fantasy points to TEs, and I do not expect this year to be different. Jared Cook will probably end up on rosters again in yearly leagues, but he provides a sneaky value play on Sunday. I am only utilizing him on DraftKings as his percentage salary is extremely high on FanDuel