NFL Fantasy Football: Week 1 DFS picks and thoughts

The name of the game is grabbing value picks where you can to save for the one or two studs you want.

Holy cow! It’s football season. My regular fantasy draft is over, but I can’t stop researching and looking for trends and sleepers. So, I guess I’ll have to get involved in DFS play. Here’s what I’m thinking of doing this week. 


If I could afford him, I’d buy Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ running back by committee will take the ball sometimes, but Wilson will rack up fantasy points with Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham carving up the suspect defense of Green Bay. I suspect Wilson is a great value, certain to offer as many fantasy points as the more expensive options at QB. 

If my running backs or wide receivers bankrupt me, I’ll take the value pick that is Sam Bradford in Minnesota. Bradford throws as much as any quarterback in the league. In a potential shootout against New Orleans, he might have to throw even more than usual. Perpetually underpriced, Bradford has a reasonably high floor.

Brian Hoyer offers superb value running the show in San Francisco. He says he is more comfortable and happier than he ever has been playing football. Kyle Shanahan is an offensive genius and he will prove it by making Hoyer look like a quality quarterback. 

Tight ends

Jimmy Graham would be my carefree, no budget worries pick. I expect Seattle to come out with guns blazing this week. 

But I don’t make carefree, no budget worry picks at tight end. I try to save as much as I can and this week, it will pay off with a great value in Buffalo’s Charles Clay. New offensive coordinator Rick Dennison utilizes tight ends more than Buffalo ever did before. The price on Clay will sneak up during the year, but right now, he’s a top bargain. 

Defense/special teams

Playing with emotion after Hurricane Harvey, I think the Houston Texans have to be the DS/T play of the week against Jacksonville. The price is a little steep, though. 

Many folks are taking the bargain price on Jacksonville against Tom Savage and the decimated Texan receiving corps. As for me, I am wary of messing with Texans this week. 

The value I am targeting is the San Diego Chargers. A good defense last year with a better coordinator this season. Gus Bradley is stressing turnovers in his first season at the helm. Turnovers are points. 

I bought the Giants rookie kicker Aldrick Rosas for the lowest price on the board. He will kick as many field goals as anybody else. 

Wide receiver

If you have enough cash to grab a top-15 wide receiver, by all means, do it. Once you get past the top echelon, we have an interesting fact for you. When you look at all the wide receivers from the 2016 fantasy season, less than two points per game separated the WR16 from the WR48. Keep that in mind when comparing prices.

Look for the best matchup and relevant injuries. I purchased Rishard Matthews for next to nothing based on Corey Davis not practicing much and a favorable matchup with Oakland’s defensive backs. Thinking the game might end up as a back-and-forth shootout, I also took another value pick in Michael Crabtree. He was much cheaper than teammate Amari Cooper and will catch as many passes. 

Pierre Garcon of San Francisco is also a good choice, as is Kendall Wright of Chicago who is an excellent bargain until he emerges as the primary receiver for Glennon or Trubisky. 

Running backs

Hopefully, you saved enough cash on your other players to land at least one top-six running back. The costs are high but totally worth it. 

If you are looking for a little more of a bargain, grab Todd Gurley this week before the word gets out that he is back in 2015 form. You can get Dalvin Cook and Isaiah Crowell for slightly less money. 

If you need a very low-priced option to fill out your roster or as a flex, take your pick of either Shane Vereen or Darren Sproles. Both are third-down and passing backs for teams likely to use them a lot this week. 

Prices vary on different sites. Be sure to stick to a budget and play smart, not emotionally and not with visions of grandeur. And check in here at RealSport every Friday for more DFS tips!

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Pat Opperman


Pat recently retired from real life to watch sports and write. Look for references to games and events from ancient times as memories of an earlier Age of Sport tend to pop into his head.