The Arena Football League (AFL) makes its DraftKings debut with the kickoff of its 32nd season on Friday night. Rotowire will provide lineup suggestions for each of the 12 weeks of the AFL regular season, the two weeks of the playoffs and the ArenaBowl.
DraftKings AFL lineups consist of one Captain spot, which sees the player's salary and fantasy points both multiply at a rate of 1.5x, and five Flex positions. The lack of positional specifications means that one could potentially compose a lineup consisting of players from just one position. However, for our purposes, we'll strive to highlight players from at least the top two fantasy-producing positions, quarterback and wide receiver.
Note: Please keep in mind that these are merely recommendations on certain players and are not intended to constitute a lineup that fits under DraftKings' $50,000 salary cap. In fact, the cumulative salary of the players suggested weekly will often check in well over that figure.
For a full overview of the basics of playing AFL DFS contests on DraftKings, review our DFS 101 primer here: https://www.rotowire.com/arena/article.php?id=45291
Week 1 AFL Plays
Captain: Tommy Grady, QB, ALB vs. CMB ($13,800):
Grady was the AFL's top passer last season with 2,960 yards and 81 touchdowns while throwing just six interceptions. His 6.8 touchdown passes per game easily paced the league as well, and thanks to the premature demise of the Alliance of American Football, Grady gets top wideout Malachi Jones back from the very start of the season. Grady's 66.9 percent completion rate last season speaks to the efficiency he's capable of, and his considerable upside makes him a natural choice for the Captain's spot and its 1.5-point multiplier.
Flex: Arvell Nelson, QB, WAS at BAL ($9,400):
Nelson finished last season on a strong run, checking in as both the Valor's leading passer and rusher while earning Arena Bowl MVP honors. Nelson generated an impressive 16:4 TD:INT in four road games last season and scored between 43.32 and 55.12 fantasy points in the final three games of the campaign. The high end of that range came against the same Brigade squad he'll open the season against Friday, one that allowed 61 passing touchdowns overall in 2018. With a price that he proved capable of providing a 5x-plus return on in multiple games last season, Nelson shapes up as an appealing option in Week 1.
Flex: Malachi Jones, WR, ALB vs. CMB ($8,800):
Jones should be in mid-season form right from the jump after spending eight weeks this spring on the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football. Jones racked up a 77-1,156-29 line over 12 games with the Empire last season as well while averaging a league-high 96.3 receiving yards per contest. Jones even added five rushing touchdowns, and he scored 23 of his 34 total touchdowns at home in 2018. He finished the season on a tear as well, scoring 32.3 to 64.3 fantasy points in the last eight games. Given his upside and established rapport with QB Tommy Grady, Jones' price is particularly appealing.
Flex: Darius Prince, WR, PHI vs. ATC ($8,400):
Prince returns to the Soul for a second consecutive season. He'll be primed to build on last season's AFL-leading 89 receptions, as well as the league's second-highest receiving yardage total (1,076). Prince also hauled in 24 touchdowns and averaged a team-high 89.7 receiving yards per contest. He'll have a chance to reconnect with QB Dan Raudabaugh in 2019 as well, affording him a chance to deliver on the 40-plus fantasy-point upside he demonstrated on five occasions last season.
Flex: Dan Raudabaugh, QB, PHI vs. ATC ($8,200):
Raudabaugh generated a 36:6 TD:INT and league-best 69.4 percent completion rate over seven games last season, and he checks in with a very reasonable price to kick off Week 1 on his home turf. Raudabaugh benefits from a potent top receiver duo of Darius Prince and Darius Reynolds, who combined for 141 receptions, 1,830 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2018. Raudabaugh scored over 36 fantasy points in each of his last four games last season and could well approximate that range again in Week 1, which would equate to close to a 5x return at minimum.
Flex: Brandon Thompkins, WR, BAL vs. WAS ($7,800):
While there were certainly more explosive receivers in the AFL last season, Thompkins was a target monster who checked in third in the league in receptions with 85. The wily veteran also compiled 15 touchdowns, and he was one of the league's top returners with the second-most return yards (886) and a score as well. With fellow vet Joe Hills sporting a questionable designation for Week 1, Thompkins could potentially be in line for even more work against a Valor defense that allowed a healthy 10.7 yards per catch and 53 passing touchdowns in 2018. Thompkins was a limited participant during Thursday's practice, so his availability for the opener should be monitored.