We’re now through the first week of the season and hopefully, if nothing else, you had fun playing on FanDuel. If you didn't, well this week is a new one and there’s plenty of opportunities to cash in. Let’s take a look at this week’s suggestions for football.
Tip Of The Week
Basing your strategy depends directly on what type of game your trying to win on the site. If you end up getting into a big 50/50 contest, it’s more important to stress having a higher floor than playing “pot odds” type of plays. You want to get as many points as you can since other players in the league will take chances on player who can end up with little or no points. 50/50 contests pay the same to the person who finishes first as it does to the person finishing at the bottom of the top half of the contestants. In the bigger tournaments, it’s smarter to go with “pot odds” type of plays. This means you want to shy away from the obvious picks like Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson and go with other alternatives. This last week was a good example of that strategy, as Calvin didn’t earn nearly close to his price. Granted, every week some of the studs are going to go off; it’s finding the guys like Brian Hartline or Anquan Boldin to pair with A.J. Green or Brandon Marshall.
Bargains Of The Week
Here are some players whose price doesn't appear too low, making them a bargain to put into your lineup with your high priced studs. This could also be a player in the midst of a breakout season and the price still doesn't reflect what they've done, especially early in the season.
Terrelle Pryor, OAK, $6500 – Pryor was one of the bigger surprises of Week 1, finishing with respectable passing numbers and, more importantly for fantasy, over 100 rushing yards. Pryor was able to use his scrambling ability to extend plays and hit open receivers downfield while using his elusive running style to gain yardage on the ground. During the offseason Pryor admitted he didn’t know how to really throw a football and his improved mechanics can be attributed to working with throwing coach Tom House. The Raiders have a nice home matchup (they’re six point favorites) against the Jaguars, which can only help Pryor’s value this week.
Eddie Lacy, GB, $6900 – The two cheap running backs I like this week are Lacy and DeAngelo Williams ($6500, @Buffalo). Williams will see the bulk of the work with Johnathan Stewart out. Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley combined to go for 147 rushing yards on only 23 carries (6.4 YPC) against the Bills, making it an enticing matchup for Williams. However, I like Lacy a little better with his home matchup against the Redskins. While everyone was enamored with the Eagles offense (and rightfully so), I didn’t see too many solid tackles from the Redskins defense. This should be a closer game for the Packers and they should have an advantage playing against a team with a short week. Look for Lacy to show why the Packers used a second round pick on him this week.
Julian Edelman, NE, $6400 – It looks as if Edelman will enter Thursday night’s game as the No.1 wide receiver for the Patriots. If Danny Amendola doesn’t play, there’s a good chance Edelman is the one who sees 14 targets instead. On top of the heavy targets Edelman will see in Amendola’s absence, he should continue to see looks in the red zone after being thrown to three times in the end zone against the Bills. Tom Brady doesn’t appear to have a lot of confidence in any of his rookies and he’s worked with Edelman for a few seasons now. The Jets have a decent defense but they gave up 154 receiving yards to Vincent Jackson on Sunday.
James Jones, GB, $5800 – Why yes, I am recommending a guy who put up the proverbial goose egg last week. I think Jones is a great play in tournament formats because the majority of owners are going to pass on him based on last week’s performance. With Jordy Nelson healthy, Jones may have taken a backseat in Week 1, but Jones still figures to be a prominent part of the Packers’ offensive attack. I can see Jones redeeming himself with a long touchdown against a questionable Redskins’ secondary.
The Big Boys
Here are the expensive players who have favorable matchups and should be able to earn their price this week.
Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC, $7500 - The reason I like MJD is two-fold this week: 1) I like the matchup at Oakland and 2) there are 17 running backs with higher price tags. And having Chad Henne under center isn’t going to hurt either, given the incompetence of Blaine Gabbert in Week 1. I’m not sold on the Raiders being a run-stuffing defense all of the sudden, and the Jaguars should keep it close enough to not abandon the running game.
Julio Jones, ATL, $8200 – It seems pretty obvious right now that Roddy White isn’t close to being 100 percent since spraining his ankle in a preseason game. Jones finished the game against New Orleans with seven catches for 76 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Look for the Falcons to target Jones heavily again now that it’s obvious White isn’t his normal self.
Calvin Johnson, DET, $8800 – Normally, if I was reading this I’d stop, rush to the comments and scream Captain Obvious! The fact is Johnson disappointed everyone last week with his four catches for 34 yards. Watching the game you’d see he barely missed two touchdowns and I think all of the people who were burned by him last week will shy away from him this week. Hence, I like him.
My tentative lineup for this week: