Training camps are opening up across the league which can only mean one thing – football is back! The start of Training Camps means we’re a little over a month away from one-handed catches, 80 yard rushes and an entire season of breath-taking moments on the gridiron. Over the last few years, it’s also marked the time where daily fantasy players start to get excited about the return of daily fantasy football games at DraftKings.
With that in mind, we’re going to release 2 player salaries at each position over the next few days as we work towards the launch of our 2015 NFL contests!
We will be releasing two player salaries per day leading up to launching our 2015 NFL Tournaments which, spoiler alert, will boast the most guaranteed prizes ever seen in daily fantasy sports.
1 – The Opening Night Game (Thursday Night Football – Pittsburgh at New England) is not included as part of this initial NFL salary release.
TOP QUARTERBACK SALARIES – WEEK 1
1) Aaron Rodgers @ CHI ($8600) – Last season’s MVP draws a nice matchup in Week 1, heading into Chicago to face the 2nd worst secondary in terms of FPPG allowed to opposing quarterbacks in 2014. It’s a terrific opponent for Rodgers to post a huge Week 1 total and getting Randall Cobb back to pair with Jordy Nelson and a budding star in DaVante Adams means he’ll have plenty of weapons to torch the Bears with.
2) Andrew Luck @ BUF ($8300) – Luck is widely projected to be the #1 fantasy quarterback this upcoming season but has a tough matchup in Buffalo for Week 1. The Bills allowed the 2nd fewest fantasy points per game to QBs a year ago and brought defensive guru Rex Ryan in as their head coach in the off-season. Luck will continue to grow as a superstar, but this Week 1 matchup could pose issues for his daily fantasy numbers.
3) Peyton Manning vs. BAL ($8,200) – Baltimore’s secondary was miserable a season ago and while Manning struggled down the stretch, I’d imagine he’ll be coming into this season relatively healthy and should hold up at least in the early going. He has Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at his disposal on the outside and even though Orange Julius is gone, I expect Peyton to be a top tier tournament play in Week 1.
4) Drew Brees @ ARI ($8,000) – Drew Brees had a brutal 2014 campaign and he’s really not coming into the best situation in Week 1. He goes into Arizona to face one of the better defenses of the last few years without his star TE on the roster anymore. His weapons are down, his opponent is solid on paper and I’m a little worried about Brees paying off value here.
TOP RUNNING BACK SALARIES – WEEK 1
1) Jamaal Charles @ HOU ($7900) – Houston was in the top third of the NFL in FPPG allowed to running backs last season so this definitely looks like it could be a tough matchup for the highest priced running back on DraftKings in Week 1. Of course Charles will have to contend with JJ Watt on the other side of the ball but the Houston defense overall was extremely solid against RBs in the red zone. They only allowed 3 rushing touchdowns to opposing backs in all of 2014.
2) Matt Forte vs. GB ($7800) – The Packers rush defense struggled at times last season, allowing just under 100 rush yards per game to opposing RBs but were generally good at keeping backs out of the end zone. This should be a matchup where Forte can post good numbers but the big boost here is Forte’s incorporation into the Bears passing game. He’s been a Top 5 running back in targets over the last few seasons and the Bears could fall behind big here, meaning lots of PPR boosts for Forte in Week 1.
3) Adrian Peterson @ SF ($7700) – I have no idea how to feel about Adrian Peterson in Week 1. The 49ers are widely expected to be a train wreck but when was the last time that they had a bad rush defense? I honestly can’t remember. And for AP, he sat out all of last season. How much rust is going to be on his wheels as he heads into Week 1? Both are huge question marks, making Peterson a true high risk/high reward Week 1 play.
4) Arian Foster vs. KC ($7600) – Foster continues to fight through injury-plagued season and provide value, especially catching the ball out of the backfield. Traditionally he’s had some very strong starts to the season, so don’t be surprised to see a healthy Arian Foster come out of the gates red hot. Do be surprised however, if the Chiefs allow him to really put up stud numbers. They allowed the 3rd fewest fantasy points per game to opposing RBs.
TOP WIDE RECEIVER SALARIES – WEEK 1
1) Julio Jones vs. PHI ($9300) – Chip Kelly’s high-flying offense led to fantasy goodness for both the Eagles and their opponents last season and should boost Julio’s Week 1 potential. The Eagles allowed the 2nd most fantasy points per game to wide receivers in 2014 and while they’ve made some improvements to their secondary, they should still struggle with Julio who is one of the league’s elite wide receivers.
2) Odell Beckham Jr. @ DAL ($9200) – Has anyone taken the world by storm faster than Odell Beckham Jr.? This might be the first mark on the record of this season’s Madden Cover baller, as he failed to earn top billing at the WR position in Week 1. 2nd place isn’t too bad though, and the Sunday Night Football game in Dallas between the Giants and Cowboys is sure to be a thriller. Look for ODB to put on yet another show against a sub-par Cowboys secondary.
3) Demaryius Thomas vs. BAL ($9100) – Demaryius was one of the top receivers a season ago but stumbled a bit down the stretch with Peyton struggling with injuries. I’m a little worried about the Broncos taking a more run-first mentality this season but this matchup is prime for a lot of passing. The Ravens secondary is sub-par and their front seven is one of the best in football, meaning they should be throwing a lot in Demaryius’s direction.
4) Dez Bryant vs. NYG ($8700) – I love Dez in big matchups, especially against the Giants. He averaged 118 yards per game last year and a score against the G-Men and has a fresh new contract to show off in Week 1 this season. The Giants have some talented corner, but generally speaking they are a little too small to stop the machine that is Dez Bryant.
TOP TIGHT END SALARIES – WEEK 1
1) Jimmy Graham @ STL ($5600) – Graham moves from New Orleans to Seattle and goes from one Pro Bowl caliber QB to another in Russell Wilson. Wilson has never had a talented tight end to work with, so it should be interesting to see how he gels with Graham who is a pure pass catcher. The matchup isn’t ideal in Week 1 either, as the Rams allowed the 4th fewest FPPG to opposing tight ends a year ago.
2) Greg Olsen @ JAX ($5300) – Olsen is coming off a really impressive year and he continues to gain rapport with Cam Newton in the Panthers relatively low-powered offense. He’s a red zone machine and goes to Jacksonville in Week 1 to face a team that never seems to be all that successful on either side of the ball. Expect Olsen to put together a nice Week 1 performance and certainly earn his status as the 2nd highest priced Week 1 TE.
3) Travis Kelce @ HOU ($4800) – Zeus, as he’s known by his biggest fans, is poised to have a breakout 2015 season after putting up pretty solid numbers a year ago. The biggest concern for him isn’t talent, but rather the offensive gameplan that seemed to limit his snaps at times a year ago. I don’t expect that to be the case in 2015.
4) Julius Thomas vs. CAR ($4500) – The Tight End who was repeatedly priced in the Gronk/Graham zone a season ago is suddenly real cheap. Want to guess why? Well the answer is pretty simple. Jacksonville. That offense has been a fantasy trash can for years and years now and it should definitely hurt Thomas to no longer have one of the best QBs of all time throwing to him.
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