What are we going to consider value? Because value can come in a couple of ways. Antonio Brown may very well be a value. Rob Gronkowski, Eddie Lacy and other higher priced players may very well deliver value, even at their higher cost.
The other school of thought is that value pertains to the cheaper tier, the discount rack of sorts of the DFS slate. These are the guys who you roster to be able to afford the higher priced talent. Want to roster a top QB like Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers? Well, that cost has to be balanced somewhere, and if you can get a player who produces a greater percentage towards your winning score goal than he costs to the cap…well, that’s value.
I’m going to look at players each week that fit that bill. These are the players that give you the cap relief you need to balance your roster. So, who are those players for Week 1?
Tyrod Taylor ($5,000) – When the Week 1 games were posted a while back, nobody knew, or likely cared, who the Buffalo Bills QB would be. But when the spry Taylor got the surprise nod over two fantasy nothings that we knew so well (Manuel, Cassel) there was interest. He’s coming off a nice preseason where he showed his ability to be a dual-threat, he’s costing the minimum and looks like he’ll post a 15-16 pt game. Nice value.
Kirk Cousins ($5,000) – Like Taylor, Cousins is another min priced QB who was expected to be on the bench when the season started. I am not as sold on Cousins this week as Taylor but he’s also going to be able to provide minimum cost and forecasts out solid production like Taylor (16 points), perhaps allowing you to roster the top WRs on the slate to push your roster higher.
Jameis Winston ($6,000) – Either spend up at QB or go low, don’t get caught in the middle. 6K is sort of the high end of value tier or the very bottom of the middle, but I don’t mind Winston. The Bucs are favored with a team total of 22 and a Titan defense that ranked 10th worst against the pass and sixth worst overall.
Chris Ivory ($4,100) – Do I have to like Chris Ivory this week? The numbers say yes. The hard running Jets RB forced me to change a few lineups after researching this to make sure I had him in the mix. He’s here due to his likely rushing volume, his low cost to cap and 11-12 point forecasted output.
DeAngelo Williams ($5,100) – THURSDAY NIGHT DeAngelo gets the ball in the offense-friendly Steelers attack with Le’Veon Bell out on holiday. Williams forecasts out as a top ten back (14-15 DK points) at the 23rd most expensive RB price. I’ll take it.
Bennie Cunningham ($3,000) – Tre Mason is dinged up and Todd Gurley won’t play week 1, which leaves Cunningham the sole survivor in the backfield. Jeff Fisher has already had a party when they traded Sam Bradford, saying that he didn’t feel he had to throw the ball as much without the bonus baby around, so this heartfelt desire to run the ball falls on Cunningham at a 3K price. At min price, he won’t need much to turn around value here.
Danny Woodhead ($3,700) – Week 1 is a special time, a time where veteran quarterbacks lean on veteran running backs on critical downs. Such a situation exists in San Diego, where Woodhead remains the third down mainstay and with a few catches should easily pass the value line for 3.7K.
John Brown ($4,500) – John Brown is everybody’s favorite value play. He’s not a sleeper because nobody is sleeping on him, rather, they are already counting the points he’s going to score against New Orleans and their hey-come-on-and-pass-on-us defense.
Markus Wheaton ($3,800) – THURSDAY NIGHT With Martavis Bryant missing games due to suspension, Wheaton could see an uptick in attention from Big Ben. Basking in a game that features a 52 point game score, an offense that attempted the sixth most passes last season and ran the sixth most plays as well, Wheaton is poised to make solid numbers for his modest 3.8K price tag.
Davante Adams ($4,400) – Starting wide receiver in Green Bay: Yes. Aaron Rodgers is playing quarterback in Week 1: Yes. Top 20 potential for less cost than Kenny Britt? Yes. Ok, then, you got me. I say yes.
Danny Amendola ($3,700) – THURSDAY NIGHT Somebody other than Gronk and Edelman is going to get catches in an offense that ran the fifth most plays per game last season against a defense that has been, at best, stinky against the pass. Quick equation: Brady completions minus Gronk/Edelman receptions = Amendolicious production.
Stevie Johnson ($3,700) – With Antonio Gates out and Ladarius Green possibly dealing with a concussion, Johnson, along with Woodhead, stands to gain receptions. Vegas has the Chargers as the eighth highest scoring team of the week at 24.5 points. Johnson, at 3.7K, is forecasting a 12 point game, which would make this a solid value offering.
Heath Miller ($3,300) – THURSDAY NIGHT Look, I could just say BUY GRONK, but this is a value column as I said at the top, though I could argue Gronk is the real value, always. But, in the interest of other tight ends, Miller provides a solid floor and decent upside as a reliable Big Ben target in Week 1. At a 11 point projection, his low cost would pay off very well if you pivoted from The Mighty One.
Larry Donnell ($3,200) – Am I going to go down the Larry Donnell path at TE again this season. Yes. Yes, I am. The Giants new offense brought the big fella into the limelight last year and he’s a solid value again in Week 1 as the Giants go up against the Cowboys, who still look weak against the pass coming into the season. A 10.5 point projection is a nice find at 3.2K.
Delanie Walker ($3,400) – Walker is a trendy TE play coming into the year, and an opening week matchup against the Buccaneers is a nice way to start the season. Walker is a top ten TE play this week for being the 17th highest priced at the position.
Carolina Panthers ($3,100) – Defenses are fairly flat priced weekly, but the Panthers (at Jacksonville) are showing the #1 defensive projection for the third highest DEF cost, so that counts as value, right?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2,800) – Ok, so I’ll dip down below the 3K threshold and pick on the rookie Titans QB Marcus Mariota and take the Bucs on defense. They are forecasted as the 6th or 7th best output for the week and are tied for the 12th most expensive with ten other teams.