Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) $6,600 @ CLE
Big Ben’s home/road splits are legendary in the DFS world. He is just a different QB on the road then he is at home. Looking at his career splits, he has played two more road games than home games but still has 49 fewer TDs in those road games and has thrown 14 more INTs. For Week 1, Ben is the fifth highest-priced QB on the slate opening on the road against what should be a much-improved defensive Browns team over last season.
The Steelers opened last season in Cleveland as well and Big Ben was 24-for-36 263 yards two TDS and one INT. While those aren’t horrible numbers, they aren’t worth $6,600, especially when there are cheaper QBs that can put up better numbers.
Eli Manning (NYG) $4,700 vs JAX
This price is complete disrespect. Manning is priced less than three QBs who aren’t even expected to start in Week1 with Landry Jones, Brian Hoyer and Jacoby Brissett all priced higher than Manning’s $4,700. Yes, Manning was terrible last season, but he was without his No. 1 receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. (Leg) and his No. 2 receiver, Brandon Marshall (ankle), for most of the season. His No. 3 receiver, Sterling Shepard, only played in 11 games, they had no running game to speak of and their defense was terrible.
Most of that, if not all, has changed in 2018. Beckham is back, Shepard is now the No. 2, they drafted Saquon Barkley to shore up the running game and their defense has to get better because it can’t get worse as they gave up the second-most yards, the fifth most points and had the third fewest sacks. If you like to pay down at QB, take Manning at home against the Jags. Yes, they have a tough defense, but they aren’t unbeatable and at $4,700, Manning doesn’t have to do much to hit value.
Le’Veon Bell (PIT) $9,400 @ CLE
Sticking with my over-priced Steelers theme, Bell is my over-priced running back for Week 1. It’s not that I necessarily think Bell will have a bad game, but $9,400 is a ton of money when you can have a guy like Ezekiel Elliott for nearly 2k cheaper. There is just too much value at the RB position to justify paying up for Bell.
Similar to last season, Bell is going to hold out and miss most, if not all, of the preseason. He won’t quite be up to full speed yet, and just like last season, his Week 1 opponent is once again the Browns. His stat line from that game, 10 carries 32 yards no TDs with three receptions for 15 yards and no TDs. Does that sound like something you want to pay $9,400 for?
Jerick McKinnon (SF) $5,800 @ MIN
The “revenge” factor only works in the NBA, so I will refrain from using that narrative here, but I really feel as though Kyle Shanahan will use McKinnon in so many different ways that he will more than justify his 5.8k price tag. Carlos Hyde had a career season under Shanahan last year on a team that was absolutely terrible until Jimmy Garaopplo arrived. McKinnon can do what Hyde did in the running game and be better in the passing game.
The PPR scoring for DraftKings helps McKinnon tremendously. in 2017, Carlos Hyde had a career-high 88 targets — nearly triple his previous career high of 33 targets from 2016. McKinnon is a much better receiver than Hyde ever was and could easily have 100 targets on the year. Shanahan will look to get him involved in the passing game early and often against this stout Vikings front-seven, in fact, McKinnon could lead the team in carries and targets in this game.
T.Y. Hilton (IND) $6,800 vs CIN
This price tag assumes that Andrew Luck is…well…Andrew Luck. Hilton being priced higher than Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald and Tyreek Hill is asking a lot from a QB that hasn’t played in nearly two years. Hilton averaged a mere 11.8 DK points in 2017 without Luck, and if Luck isn’t 100 percent up to speed by Week 1, Hilton will struggle to justify his price.
Even with Luck healthy, Hilton could be a bit boom or bust. When he led the league in receiving yards in 2016, he had four games with 130-plus yards, including two games over 170 yards, but also had five games under 50 yards, including a game when he had only one catch for 20 yards. Betting on Hilton to boom is risky in its own right, betting on him to boom in Andrew Luck’s first game after nearly two seasons is downright suicidal.
Jamison Crowder (WAS) $5,000 @ ARI
Draftkings PPR scoring will help Crowder as he figures to be a volume receiver out of the slot for Alex Smith. The talk in camp is that these two have been clicking with each other, and after a down season for Crowder, I’m looking for a huge bounce back. The presence of Jordan Reed also helps Crowder as Reed draws the coverage, leaving Crowder to get open in the middle of the field.
In Crowder’s career season in 2016, with Reed on the field, he averaged nearly 1.5 more targets and 1.2 more receptions per game than he did when Reed was off the field. While I don’t expect Reed to stay healthy all year, he should be healthy for Week 1 and that is a boost for Crowder at only 5k.
Evan Engram (NYG) $4,700 vs JAX
Engram had a record-setting fantasy season last year, his rookie season, but with the addition of Saquon Barkley in the draft, the return of Odell Beckham from a season-ending injury and the gradual emergence of Sterling Shepard, there is no way Engram has an encore performance in his sophomore season.
The Jags were a tough defense in 2017, and they were particularly stingy against tight ends, giving up an average of 9.6 DK points to tight ends, good for the fifth best average in the league per Pro Football Reference. As the fourth highest-priced tight end, I’ll be looking elsewhere in Week 1.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYG) $3,200 @ NYG
On the opposite side of that same game is my under-priced tight end on the slate. ASJ steps into a great situation in Jacksonville and immediately becomes their best red zone threat in the passing game. Marcedes Lewis had five TDs on a mere 24 receptions last year, and ASJ is a much more talented player than Lewis at this point in their careers.
The Giants defense was on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Jags when it came to defending the tight end as only the Dolphins were worse than the Giants who gave up 12.6 DK points to tight ends. The Giants also gave up 12 TDs to tight ends, two more than anyone else and one of only three teams to give up double-digits.
Seahawks DEF @ DEN $3,100
The Seahawks are getting way too much credit in the fantasy world for their defense, in both daily and seasonal formats. Their defense just isn’t that good anymore, in fact, I think they will be downright terrible in 2018. Here is a list of players no longer on the team:
- CB Richard Sherman
- DE Michael Bennett
- DT Sheldon Richardson
- S Kam Chancellor
- S Earl Thomas (holdout)
That’s a lot of big-name defensive players gone, leaving the Seahawks with a ton of players no one has heard of. The Broncos may not be an offensive juggernaut, but they are improved enough to put up points against this defense. I won’t be rostering the Seahawks in any league, DFS or Seasonal.
Cardinals DEF vs WAS $2,500
The Redskins will have a completely new look when they hit the field in 2018, and they start off against a pretty tough defense on the road — advantage Cardinals. The Cardinals were a middle of the pack fantasy defense in 2017, but they are priced like they were terrible. The return of David Johnson on the offensive side of the ball should help this defense as they can rest as he continues to move the chains.Download the Free GoingFor2 App by Clicking Here...