Thursday, September 10, 2015

The NFL Week 1 DraftKings Preview

In past years, the FGR has brought you everything on the NFL from mock drafts (both real and fantasized), weekly picks and even something called a Preview of an NFL Preview (the picture makes it worth a look). Well now that's all going to change as we enter the instant gratification world of DraftKings, FanDuel and, more importantly, the year when my interest in the NFL began to wane, a fact that became clear to me when I tried to do some preseason power rankings and realized I had no clue what I was talking about (never stopped you before).

My interest may be waning but
I'm not dead inside. Yet.
Despite my complete lack of preparation and enthusiasm, I have still convinced myself that I'm good at fantasy football and, more specifically, the "art" of identifying value players so here comes the inaugural FGR DraftKings NFL Preview where I try to discover the components that will make you the next guy to be standing in a Buffalo Wild Wings, wearing some unaffiliated jersey you bought at Old Navy and acting like a 12 year old girl at a One Direction concert. (Full disclosure: I have no idea what the DraftKings scoring system is yet and I'm writing this under the gun as I'm coming out of one draft last night and heading to play golf before another one tonight so this could be a bumpy start . . . but a really good 24 hours for the FGR).

QUARTERBACKS

Sam Bradford - $6,900: One of the keys to fantasy success in the always unpredictable Week 1 is to identify the shootout. The Falcons-Eagles game features two potentially explosive offenses in a dome against one marginal defense (Eagles) and one atrocious defense (Falcons).

Matt Ryan - $7,500: See the Sam Bradford analysis.

RUNNING BACKS

Carlos Hyde - $5,300: All of the top running backs seem a bit overpriced so I'm looking for deals amongst the players ranked 12-16. Hyde should get 20+ touches and have room to run behind an offensive line that was able to make holes for Frank Gore and his walking stick.

Chris Ivory - $4,100: The Jets offense is not going to stink this year because (a) Rex "Fuck the Offense" Ryan is gone and (b) Ryan Fitzpatrick is the closest thing they've had to a real starting quarterback since Brett "Did You Get My Junk Text?" Favre in 2008 (who doesn't love a fun nickname now and then?). Also, new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is not Brian Schottenheimer so they've got that going for them. This is a roundabout way of saying that Chris Ivory is going to be solid as long as he's healthy which could be just this week so ride him while you can.

Lamar Miller - $5,500: Miller is generally regarded as the first guy in either the second or third tier of running backs depending on how multi-tiered your system is (I have six tiers cause I'm fancy). That's probably about right for a guy who had 1,099 yards and 8 touchdowns last year. Here's hoping that the Dolphins' dipshit coaching staff took a look at the stats and figured-out that, when Miller got 15 or more carries, he averaged 95+ yards per game. Playing the Redskins will help.

DeMarco Murray - $6,700: See the Sam Bradford analysis.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jordan Matthews - $7,200: See the Sam Bradford analysis.

Golden Tate - $6,3000: Wide receiver is such a crapshoot in Week 1 because they've barely gotten any gametime to establish a rhythm with their quarterback. At least with Tate you know he's going to get it thrown his way a bunch by a quarterback who targeted him 142 times last year for 99 receptions and 1,331 yards. (Holy shit. Really? Yup).

There's a lot to like in
Atlanta this week.
John Brown - $4,500: For the 5-7 weeks that Carson Palmer is going to be upright, John Brown is a viable fantasy option. Especially this week against the Saints' sieve defense. 

Andre Johnson - $6,100: Andrew Luck is going to throw it to him about 150 times this year and, unlike his days with the Texans, most of those passes will arrive between his kneecaps and the space four feet above his head.

A.J. Green - $7,800: The top receivers are going for $8,700 to $9,300 so Green, who is as capable as any of them, is the elite value pick at $7,800. 

Charles Johnson - $4,900: I needed another low budget guy and for at least this week I'll buy Matthew Berry's hype that Teddy Bridgewater is the real deal and Johnson will be his go to guy.

TIGHT ENDS

Rob Gronkowski - $7,000: Gronk is so far superior to anyone else at this position that he's pretty much a lock for this preview every week. Especially a week when Tom Brady and Bill Belichik want to send a message that you should never rightfully accuse them of cheating.

Owen Daniels - $3,400: Peyton Manning loves tight ends. Gary Kubiak loves tight ends. Let's be honest, who doesn't love tight ends? Throw-in the fact that Daniels will be facing the Ravens which just happens to be the team he played for and the team that Kubiak coached last year. Ugh.

DEFENSE

Jets - $2,900: I'll take a defense playing at home against the Browns all year until proven otherwise.

Jaguars - $2,700: They're at home against Cam Newton who has no weapons. For this price, why not?

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