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The NFL season has arrived! If Thursday’s game is any indication of the season we are in for a fun and entertaining year. This season I will be providing a weekly FanDuel lineup of all value plays. The intent is not to play this exact lineup as it will come in well below the Salary Cap but to use the players as a baseline of value option that can be used and then upgrade to a better player with a higher salary at a few of the positions.

My intent is to find a QB, RBs and WRs under $7,000, a TE under $6,000 and a K and DEF at $4,500 or lower.

So onto the value plays for Week 1…

The LootCrate FanDuel Value Plays for Week 1

Quarterbacks

Mike Glennon (CHI) vs ATL $6,700

Glennon has an expected game script that could lead to a lot of garbage time yardage and touchdown passes with the Bears as a touchdown underdog at home against the Falcons. Vegas expects there to be some points also with a 49 total. He was a productive starting QB with the Buccaneers before the arrival of Jameis Winston with 29 TD passes and 4,025 passing yards in 19 games during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The Falcons’ pass defense ranked 28th in both passing yards allowed and touchdown passes last season. Glennon could make a good first impression with the Bears.

Running Backs

Carlos Hyde (SF) vs CAR $6,800

Workload should not be an issue for Hyde with very little behind him on the depth chart in San Francisco. There is some downside with Hyde as the 49ers are underdogs against the Panthers who ranked fifth in yards to opposing RBs last season. However, with the sheer volume of touches that Hyde should get carrying the ball and in the passing game should allow him to exceed value on his salary.

Bilal Powell (NYJ) @ BUF $6,300

While there are some questions around the split of carries in the Jets’ backfield between Powell and Matt Forte, Powell was the more explosive RB last season averaging 5.5 YPC. He will also continue to be heavily used in the passing game and with the Jets as a nine-point underdog on the road in Buffalo, Powell could be on the field a lot as the Jets try to come from behind against the Bills.

Wide Receivers

nfl fanduel value plays week 1 2017Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) @ SF $6,500

Benjamin had a good preseason and is now over a year removed from his torn ACL that forced him to miss the 2015 season. He has a great matchup against a 49ers defense that ranked 31st against #1 WRs according to Football Outsiders DVOA rankings. The 49ers secondary also ranked 29th in TD receptions by WRs last year. Look for Cam Newton and Benjamin to click in Week 1.

Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) @ DET $6,400

Fitzgerald has caught over 100 passes in each of the last two seasons. He is an excellent receiving option over the middle of the field and has a history of success with Carson Palmer. Fitzgerald’s matchup is great going against the Lions secondary that ranked 27th in TD receptions by WRs last season and has one of the worst slot DBs with Quandre Diggs. A close game with a high Vegas total could turn into a big day for Fitz.

Kendall Wright (CHI) vs ATL $5,200

With Cameron Meredith out, Wright will see an increase in his targets working out of the slot for the Bears. He will serve as nice short security blanket option for Glennon in garbage time as the Falcons go into a prevent defense allowing him to rack up receptions, yardage and hopefully a TD. You can’t beat his salary for a player that should get around 10 targets.

Tight Ends

Jack Doyle (IND) @ LAR $5,100 

With Andrew Luck out, Scott Tolzien will be slinging the pigskin for the Colts against the Rams. While Tolzien will struggle against the Rams defense the one place he can look to and find success is with TE Jake Doyle especially in the red zone. With the Colts as an underdog on the road, they may be forced to pass late in the game and take the sure yards with Doyle.

Kicker

Blair Walsh (SEA) @ GB $4,500

Walsh is kicking for a team with one of the highest Vegas totals of the week in Green Bay. He has familiarity with Lambeau Field from his days with the Vikings and has hit 14 out of 15 field goals against the Packers in his career.

Defense

Jaguars (JAC) @ HOU $4,100

There are not a lot of intriguing defenses under $4,500 this week but the Jaguars look like the best cheap option. While the Texans defense on the other side of this matchup gets all the attention, the Jaguars who have a lot of talent on defense will face Tom Savage who is making just the third start of his career in what should be a low scoring defensive affair.

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Growing up, I was always intrigued with stats, from the back of baseball, football and basketball cards to playing dice rolling simulation games, while tracking the stats for the players on my team. My fantasy sports obsession began in college running fantasy football leagues with friends and has expanded into playing in both fantasy baseball and fantasy basketball leagues, and most recently Daily Fantasy Sports. I consider myself a “stats guy” by nature and lean on data to back up my advice and analysis of strategy techniques and player evaluations. That said, I have also always felt that sometimes you must go with a gut instinct based on things you have seen watching players play, even when the numbers don’t back it up. I feel that it is this mix of analysis that leads to the most successful formula when competing in fantasy sports.

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