Over the past few years, daily fantasy sports leagues have become all the rage among NFL aficionados. Every week, a large portion of fantasy football players flock to FanDuel in order to compete.
Folks who hate the commitment of redraft leagues enjoy the flexibility that FanDuel games offer. But just like season-long fantasy football, it’s incredibly important to do an adequate amount of research prior to setting your lineup.
With that in mind, here’s a look at what I’ve identified as the perfect FanDuel fantasy football lineup for Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season.
QB – Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – $5,000
There’s simply no way to avoid rolling the dice on Dak Prescott in Week 1, as he’s priced at a minimum yet carries tremendous upside at home against the New York Giants, who have far more talent on defense this year but will need some time for the unit to gel.
For his price, as long as Prescott finishes with double-digit fantasy points, he will have done his job considering the massive amount of cap space he helps save.
RB – Lamar Miller – Houston Texans – $7,600
The Houston Texans signed Lamar Miller to be their bell cow back and intend to feed him a plethora of touches in 2016 as QB Brock Osweiler gets acclimated to his new team.
Against the suspect run defense of the Chicago Bears, expect over 15 fantasy points from Miller.
RB – Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders – $6,600
While rookie DeAndre Washington has garnered some buzz heading into the season, it’s clear that Latavius Murray will be heavily featured by the Oakland Raiders again in 2016.
Oakland’s opponent, the New Orleans Saints, fielded an abysmal run defense in 2015 and haven’t done much over the offseason to get any better.
Thus, I’m expecting Murray to perform like a top-tier running back, yet he only carries a mid-tier price tag.
WR – Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers – $9,300
If you’re going to pay top dollar for any player, you might as well select the top (non-QB) fantasy performer from last season in Antonio Brown.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will be playing without Le’Veon Bell for the first few games of the season, and project to give Brown an absurd amount of targets against one of the worst pass defenses in fantasy football from 2015 showcased by the Washington Redskins.
Josh Norman is an excellent cornerback and will help Washington’s secondary this season, but Brown is essentially matchup proof.
WR – Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers – $7,400
Keenan Allen averaged 16 fantasy points per game on FanDuel last season, which was good for the seventh-highest line among wide receivers. While the Kansas City Chiefs are undoubtedly known for being a defensively stout team, they finished the 2015 season ranked 22nd in fantasy points allowed against wide receivers, according to NFL.com.
Thus, playing with Philip Rivers in San Diego’s pass-happy offense, Allen is unlikely to disappoint.
WR – Golden Tate – Detroit Lions – $6,900
Anytime you can roster a player who is the No. 1 wide receiver on his team for under $7,000, I implore you to do so. Golden Tate was targeted 128 times last season when the Detroit Lions still had Calvin Johnson and could end up seeing 150 passes thrown his way in Johnson’s absence this year.
The Lions have a suspect running game, which will force them to rely on Matthew Stafford and the pass attack in 2016. Against the Indianapolis Colts, who showcase a substandard secondary (24th ranked in fantasy football last season), fire up Tate expecting to get more than your money’s worth priced at $6,900.
TE – Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – $7,400
Jordan Reed has a chance to finish as the top scoring tight end in fantasy football this season. Obviously, Rob Gronkowski is the NFL’s premier tight end until proven otherwise. However, Reed finished with an unthinkable 87 receptions for 952 yards and a remarkable 11 TDs in 14 games (just nine starts) in 2015.
Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins looked for Reed on an abundance of red zone plays last season and projects to do so against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who gave up the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends last season.
Save a little cap space by taking Reed instead of Gronkowski.
K – Steven Hauschka – Seattle Seahawks – $4,800
Steven Hauschka averaged a solid 9.1 fantasy points per game on FanDuel last season and is fairly priced at $4,800 in Week 1. The Seattle Seahawks project to score a ton of points at home against the Miami Dolphins, which will keep Hauschka busy early and often.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 2, 2016
D – Seattle Seahawks – $5,000
The Seattle Seahawks defense averaged the fifth-most fantasy points per game (10.3) on FanDuel last season and project to be a scoring threat again in 2016, especially considering they have the dynamic Tyler Lockett in the return game.
The Miami Dolphins will be better this season, but Ryan Tannehill and Co. have no chance on offense in Week 1 against the juggernaut Seahawks in their own building. The only drawback of rostering this unit is the fact that it will likely be owned at a high percentage.
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