The first Sunday of the 2019 NFL season is nearly here! After a long winter and summer, daily fantasy football is back and we’re going to help you figure out a lineup to get things going! The first week is incredibly fun because there is so much mystery about how players are used and which teams will boast the best offensive units. Let’s start putting the puzzle together with a quick look at a few different ways to use your budget Week 1. All prices come via DraftKings.
Pay for QB?
If you want to build around one of the more expensive quarterbacks, Jameis Winston hosts the San Francisco 49ers in what could be a showdown between two talented offenses and two of the weaker defenses of 2018. Winston’s price ($6,600) is third behind Patrick Mahomes ($7200 vs. JAX) and Deshaun Watson ($6800 vs NO). Winston may not match their rushing numbers, but he is an intriguing value play given he has the receiving weapons to torment the 49er secondary.
If you want to save at the position the Lions-Cardinals game has two options that could be spurred on by game speed and sheer volume. Kliff Kingsbury is known for running a fast offense that produces tons of plays which often leads to more fantasy points on both sides of the ball. Dialing up Kyler Murray ($5,600) or Matthew Stafford ($5,400) is an economic way to approach the position. Murray is making his debut but we’ve seen rookie QBs deliver big in the past and Detroit’s stingy defensive line could mean more passing on both sides. Many are worried about Matthew Stafford this season because the team has expressed an interest in focusing on the run. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where Stafford throws it significantly less than the league average and he has two fantastic receivers who can test Arizona’s talented secondary.
High Volume Running Backs
Building around one of the running backs that should shoulder the vast majority of touches won’t be cheap. The most interesting player is Ezekiel Elliot who recently ended his holdout shortly before Week 1. He’s the priciest rusher ($9200), but out of the top 4 he has what could be the most favorable matchup. The big question is if Zeke will immediately return to the workload he received in 2019. If Elliot presents too much risk you can take a shot on David Johnson ($7,700). The Detroit Lions defense is formidable but far from impenetrable. It will also be interesting to see how Johnson is utilized in the passing game under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Discount Tight Ends
A popular budgeting strategy is to save at tight end. It’s a maddeningly random position if you aren’t willing to acquire Travis Kelce ($7,100), George Kittle ($6,600) or Zach Ertz ($6,100). So if you’re willing to dig you’ll find Oakland tight end Darren Waller ($3,000). He’s got the starting tight end job with Jared Cook now in New Orleans and he could see increased looks should Antonio Brown be inactive. Even if AB plays, Waller presents good value at a tricky position.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Derekrva) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.