WATCH: QB COMPARISON – ALEX SMITH VS. SAM BRADFORD
After an exciting and fun Week 1, it’s time to see which teams and players are for real and which were just one-week wonders as we get geared up for what should be a fun second week of the season. If you’re in search of some less expensive options loaded with upside for Week 2, here are my favorite value plays for Sunday’s 14 games.
($6,000 and under)
Sam Bradford – MIN @ PIT – $5,500 – Bradford racked up 346 yards and three touchdowns while completing 27 of his 32 pass attempts Monday night. His 28.5 DKFP trailed only Alex Smith in Week 1 production, and his production is more sustainable since Minnesota’s offense looks like it will be more vertical this season. Bradford has solid weapons and is taking on a Pittsburgh defense that DeShone Kizer looked good against last week.
Jared Goff – LAR vs. WAS – $5,100 – Maybe it’s an extra year of maturing, maybe it’s new coach Sean McVay, or maybe it was just because he played the Colts, but whatever the reason Goff looked very good Week 1 and was a top-10 QB with his 19.4 DKFP. He gets another good matchup at home against Washington who was carved up by Carson Wentz last week. Goff has some nice weapons in LA, and he could be a pleasant surprise this season.
($5,000 and under)
C.J. Anderson – DEN vs. DAL – $4,700 – Anderson was clearly Denver’s top running back Week 1 taking 20 carries for 81 yards and adding seven yards on his one catch. Jamaal Charles did have 10 carries, but his late fumble should cement Anderson as the go-to RB. Anderson could have had an even better day than his 9.8 DKFP but his touchdown was called back due a to penalty. He’s a great value play as the Broncos host Dallas Sunday afternoon.
Chris Thompson – WAS @ LAR – $3,800 – While I definitely like Tarik Cohen at $4,100, he’s sure to be widely owned after his big Week 1. Thompson is cheaper than Cohen, and he proved in Week 1 he’s in for a big role in the Washington offense as a receiver out of the backfield much like Cohen. Thompson had four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown on his way to 15.6 DKFP. He has the ability to make people miss after catching check-down throws making him a valuable weapon as Captain Kirk tries to rally the Redskins in LA after a tough loss to the Eagles.
($5,000 and under)
Adam Thielen – MIN @ PIT – $5,000 – Thielen was my best Week 1 value pick, and he’s still a great play at only $5K as the Vikings try to move to 2-0 as they visit Pittsburgh. Theilen hauled in nine passes for 157 yards against the Saints Monday night and had 27.7 DKFP even without finding the end zone. Thielen finished last season strong and obviously has a great connection with Sam Bradford which has carried over into his strong start.
Cooper Kupp – LAR vs. WAS – $4,100 – Kupp got his NFL career off to a strong start catching Jared Goff’s only touchdown Sunday and posting 17.6 DKFP on four catches for 76 yards. Kupp is a relatively safe play since he should get plenty of targets throughout the season including this week against a Washington secondary that looked very beatable Week 1.
Jermaine Kearse – NYJ @ OAK – $3,900 – After being acquired in a trade a week before the season, Kearse was the Jets’ number one receiver last week leading the team in targets, catches and yards. He finished with seven catches for 59 yards and 12.9 DKFP. He will continue to be worth a look even in the Jets’ underwhelming offense due to the volume of passes coming his way.
Marqise Lee – JAX vs. TEN – $3,800 – Another WR who could be his team’s top target moving forward, Lee needs to step up after Jacksonville lost Allen Robinson for the season. Lee didn’t catch a pass Week 1 but should be much more involved against Tennessee.
($4,000 and under)
Jason Witten – DAL @ DEN – $3,400 – Denver’s defense is excellent, but they have been susceptible to opposing TEs in recent seasons. Witten proved last week that he still is a nice safety valve for Dak Prescott who threw nine passes his way Sunday night. The veteran hauled in seven catches for 59 yards, a touchdown and 18.9 DKFP.
Charles Clay – BUF @ CAR – $3,000 – Buffalo doesn’t have much WR depth, so Tyrod Taylor will look Clay’s way often this season. In Week 1, he drew nine targets and totaled four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. Even if Clay or Witten doesn’t get into the end zone in Week 2, the number of catches they get should be enough to keep them from being a bust.
($2,800 and under)
Cowboys – DAL @ DEN – $2,600 – The Cowboys defense shut down the Giants on Sunday Night Football taking advantage of the absence of Odell Beckham. They are the only value play this week that posted double-digit DKFP Week 1 totaling 12 DKFP on three sacks and an interception. Denver is on a short week and still starting the unproven Trevor Siemian although Siemian did look good Week 1.
Patriots – NE @ NO – $2,500 – The risk is obvious since they are facing Drew Brees in the Superdome, but after a week and a half Bill Belichick should have this unit ready to bounce back from their Week 1 embarrassment. They have talent and just need to gel as a unit.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.