The NFL season is knocking on the door and that means it is DFS time. Week 1 is always tough to navigate due to not having a firm grasp on how defenses will look, but we can make educated guesses based on personnel and last season’s performance.
This is also a time where training camp stars can be had for cheap and many will want to get on the ground floor of their breakout campaigns. Of course, some of those training camp stars will go back to being buried in the pecking order.
Tom Brady, Buccaneers at Saints $6,500
The news out of Tampa Bay has been encouraging for Brady. His receivers continue to praise his ball placement while his coach has nothing but positive things to say. Add in that he has Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski and a strong set of ancillary receivers, and his upside is great.
Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers vs. Raiders, $5,900
Bridgewater hasn’t been getting a ton of hype, but the news has been positive out of camp. The Panthers are a big question mark coming into this season. The good news for their offense is that they have a lot of strong skill position players, an innovative OC and a defense that will keep the offense needing to score. Add in a matchup against the Raiders weak defense and I’m on board with Bridgewater’s cheap price in Week 1.
Damien Harris, Patriots vs. Dolphins, $4,300
Harris’ Week 1 usage is a question mark due to Sony Michel joining camp, but he still has a real shot at leading the backfield in Week 1 against a poor Dolphins defense. It will be tough getting good intel out of New England, so we might have to fly blind with harris in GPPs for now.
Jerick McKinnon, 49ers vs. Cardinals, $4,000
The buzz on McKinnon has been hard to ignore. If the reports are anywhere near accurate, he could see a bunch of usage as a receiver in Week 1, especially if Deebo Samuel is still out.
Nyheim Hines, Colts vs. Jaguars, $4,000
The word from camp is that Philip Rivers has been throwing to his running backs an inordinate amount, with Hines obviously being a big part of those targets. Jonathan Taylor has had some trouble with drops as well and Trey Burton could be out Week 1. It is shaping up to be an upside game for Hines against a bad Jaguars defense.
Antonio Gibson, Washington vs. Eagles, $4,000
Gibson is a big play waiting to happen and with Derrius Guice gone and Bryce Love not looking like a factor to start the season, Gibson should be in a committee with old man Adrian Peterson. The matchup against the Eagles isn’t the best, but Gibson would strictly be a GPP play as we look for a home run.
Tarik Cohen, Bears at Lions, $4,900
The Bears could be without David Montgomery in Week 1. Maybe they grab Leonard Fournette, but if they don’t, Cohen should be in line for elevated work against the Lions.
Desean Jackson, Eagles at Washington, $4,900
I’ll have a lot of Jackson in my Week 1 lineups now that Jalen Reagor and Alshon Jeffery are out. Greg Ward and JJ Arcega-Whiteside are both good value plays as well, but Jackson is the vet and as long as he’s healthy, he’s still a huge play or two waiting to happen.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers at Vikings, $4,100
The news out of camp has been good for Valdes-Scantling and he may finally put together enough consistency to be useful in fantasy. He’s still more of a GPP play, as he’s likely to still be a deep ball threat while Davante Adams and Allen Lazard could see more work underneath.
Scotty Miller, Buccaneers at Saints, $4,000
The Buccaneers have plenty of targets, but there’s no doubt that Brady has liked what he’s seen from Miller in camp. The good news is that they play the Saints Week 1 and they will need all their firepower to pull of the victory. Miller won’t be a player you can count on for 7-8 targets, but his speed and ability could easily make him worthwhile in this matchup.
Parris Campbell, Colts at Jaguars, $3,900
Much like Nyheim Hines, Campbell could be heavily targeted underneath by Rivers. He’s shown that he is healthy and has speed to spare. Again, he’s likely a GPP play until we know how much usage he’ll get, but his upside is worth it in Week 1.
Chris Herndon, Jets at Bills, $3,300
You really can’t find a player who has gotten as much training camp hype as Herndon. And with Le’Veon Bell not looking good and Denzel Mims hurt, the Jets need pass catchers. The matchup could be better, but the price is quite good for a player who could be Top 2 in targets for his team in Week 1.
Logan Thomas, Washington vs. Eagles, $2,800
Thomas is poised to lead the way at tight end to start the season in D.C. His upside isn’t great, but getting a starter for his price is useful.
Tyler Eifert, Jaguars vs. Colts, $3,300
With Josh Oliver injured, Eifert is the likely lead tight end in Jacksonville and he has shown a good connection with Gardner Minshew according to reports.
Robert Tonyan, Packers at Vikings, $2,500
Jace Sternberger missed a lot of camp due to Covid-19 and hasn’t shown much since his return while Tonyan has been getting props. If he does end up getting the start for Week 1, you can’t get any cheaper for a starting tight end punt play.