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3 worst quarterback plays for Week 1 DFS

You don’t want to overthink your defense, but there will be some stinkers. Here are three defenses to avoid in Week 1 DFS.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes talking with an assistant coach before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on August 29, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Week 1 main slate on DraftKings has plenty of really strong QB plays, but some of them just don’t make for good value at their salaries given the matchup. Here are three signal callers that I’m looking to fade in their season-openers.

Patrick Mahomes (KC @ JAX) — $7,200

I don’t think Mahomes is the worst overall QB play this week. He actually could very well end up in the top-three overall when it comes to DK points scored. But let’s remember that we’re targeting value within the $50,000 salary cap on DK. Paying $7,200 for a QB playing Jacksonville just isn’t how I want to construct my roster.

It does help my argument that the Jaguars were the only team to prevent Mahomes from throwing a TD pass in a regular season game in 2018 (although his did save his day with a rushing score). I get that it’s hard to fade someone that averaged 28 DK points last season, but just look at the value on this slate that you can get for $1,500 cheaper than Mahomes. Each of the following are priced below $5,700 — Carson Wentz ($5,700), Kyler Murray ($5,600), Kirk Cousins ($5,500), Matt Stafford ($5,400), Jacoby Brissett ($4,400). We simply don’t need to spend this much.

Marcus Mariota (TEN @ CLE) — $5,200

Mariota showed nothing last season that would encourage me about his fantasy value heading into 2019. There was a period in time where Mariota had a lot of value in tournaments on DraftKings, and he’s been the QB on some Millionaire Maker winning lineups. This isn’t a week, or season, where I see that happening.

Cleveland’s defense was already above average against the QB position last season, and has a ton of top-end talent at its disposal this season (especially on the defensive line chasing after Mariota). Mariota was brutal on the road in 2018, averaging just 11.7 DK points in eight games. He showed one of the lowest floors of any QB, scoring single-digit DK points in eight of his 14 games, including seven or less in each of his last three games.

Case Keenum (WAS @ PHI) — $4,900

I don’t expect Keenum to be a popular play at all, but I wanted to highlight him because I think he’s the worst overall QB play on the entire slate. Honorable mention here for Sam Darnold ($5,100), Andy Dalton ($5,000) and Ryan Fitzpatrick ($4,900), but this Washington offense is in big trouble in Philly.

Washington has ZERO pass-catchers on this roster, without any WR or TE even priced at $4,000 on this slate. The WRs Keenum will be targeting are Paul Richardson ($3,900), Trey Quinn ($3,400) and Terry McLaurin ($3,300) — you don’t need me to tell you they’re not good. Elite left tackle Trent Williams is still holding out, and the main piece of multiple missing parts of the offensive line. Keenum may not even be able to get off good targets to those WR while he’s running for his life. Oh yeah, and per usual, Jordan Reed ($3,600) is already battling a concussion.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.