The 2015 NFL Season is finally underway!
Beyond the first slate of Sunday games, this segment will highlight players for you to plug into your lineups in the back half of the day up through Monday Night Football.
These players are perceived to be great plays regardless of price, great values, or both.
Brandin Cooks, NO @ ARI, $7,100 – This offseason when the Saints shipped Jimmy Graham to Seattle and Kenny Stills to Miami, they lost 209 targets from the 2014 season. The addition of C.J. Spiller figured to eat into these targets, but he has already been ruled out for Week 1. This leaves Cooks, Marques Colston, and Brandon Coleman as the top 3 options in the passing game. Cooks is clearly the most electric playmaker in the group, and was on pace for an 85-catch rookie year before he was sidelined for the final 6 games of the season. Despite the projected shift to a more run-oriented offense, Drew Brees still attempted more than 41 passes per game last year and Cooks should expect the bulk of this volume heading his way. As the 18th priced WR this week, he offers plenty of value and upside.
Sam Bradford, PHI @ ATL, $6,900 – As the top pick in the 2010 draft, many have expected a different script to his NFL journey thus far. It’s difficult to fully assess talent when a player misses 31 of 80 games to start his career, but Bradford has landed in a seemingly perfect situation in Philadelphia. At the helm of Chip Kelly’s high tempo, quick-hit offense his supporting cast has never been better. If Week 3 of the Preseason was any indicator of future success, where he went 10-10 with 3 TDs, his value arrow is certainly pointing upward as the 16th priced QB this week. Although the Falcons made strides to improve their defense hiring former Seahawks DC Dan Quinn, they still ranked dead last in passing yards allowed (280 YPG) last year. Bradford has a chance to put up big numbers in what projects to be a high-scoring affair.
Jon Brown, NO @ ARI, $4,500 – Despite a revolving door of Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, and Ryan Lindley at QB during his rookie season, the 3rd rounder out of Pittsburg State emerged as a bright spot for the Cardinals last season. He matched Larry Fitzgerald with 103 targets and figures to improve upon his 48 receptions with a healthy Palmer back under center. In the 6 games Palmer played last season, he connected with Brown for 3 endzone trips, including one in his rookie debut a year ago. The duo will face the Saints Sunday in a potential shootout, making Brown an intriguing option at a price outside of the top 50 WRs. With Michael Floyd ailing, expect the downfield targets to be heading his way more often than not.
Darren McFadden, NYG @ DAL, $4,400 – A perennial fantasy letdown over his first 7 seasons, McFadden may never live up to the hype that made him the 4th overall pick in 2008. But on the flipside, he has been stuck in Oakland for his entire NFL life and now finds himself playing behind arguably the best offensive line in the NFL, with a legit chance to be the top back. The beauty of DFS is that you can ignore his injury-riddled past by not having to project his stats for the entire season. Facing a Giants team who gave up the 3rd most rushing yards per game in 2014, he will have a chance to shine at home on Sunday Night Football. Although he will share carries with Joseph Randle, he could easily finish with the most touches of the two. The uncertainty with the Cowboys starting RB role seems reflected in his low price this week, as he is our 35th priced halfback.
Danny Woodhead, DET @ SD, $3,700 – It’s tough to bank on a rookie or any newcomer in Week 1, which makes a veteran like Woodhead a strong consideration for your lineup this week. There is no doubting the talent of Melvin Gordon who the Chargers snagged with their 15th pick this May, but his workload out of the gate remains to be seen. While Gordon figures to get the early down touches he hasn’t yet pass protected at the NFL level, making Woodhead a favorite for 3rd down duties and hurry-up scenarios. Before breaking his ankle in Week 3 last season, he recorded 76 catches for 605 yards in his 2013 campaign. He has a great opportunity for high volume touches this weekend at a very affordable price.
Delanie Walker, TEN @ TB, $3,400 – On a Titans team that ranked 29th in total offensive yards last season, Walker quietly finished 4th among TEs in receiving yards (890) and 5th in targets (108). This production becomes even more impressive when you consider that these throws came from Jake Locker, Zach Mettenberger, and Charlie Whitehurst, none of whom are current NFL starters. With highly-touted prospect Marcus Mariota now manning the huddle, Walker’s stock should be on the uptick. With the rookie QB propensity for targeting their TEs as a safety blanket, he should see action early and often, especially in the redzone. With Tampa Bay ranking 28th in passing yards allowed (255 YPG) last year, Walker should be in line for plenty of work. Priced only $400 above the position minimum, it won’t cost you much to get him in your lineup.
More to Consider
Carson Palmer, NO @ ARI, $6,500
Nelson Agholor, PHI @ ATL, $5,700
Mark Ingram, NO @ ARI, $5,600
Rueben Randle, NYG @ DAL, $5,100
Tevin Coleman, PHI @ ATL, $4,800
Kyle Rudolph, MIN @ SF, $3,500