FanDuel NFL Value Plays: Week 1

Let’s find some low-cost value plays at each position so you can mix/match your lineups to take down your tournaments this week. To do so, I’ll set a limit of $6,000 and we’ll have to go below the line to secure our values. We’ll look at quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends, and I’ll throw a couple of items around kicker and defense as well.

Any questions, hit me up in the Comments Area or reach out to me on Twitter @JasonWalker_72.


Dak Prescott – DAL vs. NYG –  $5,000 – A hugely popular play this week, so much so that people are starting to peel off of Prescott because of higher ownership. Will the backlash grow to the point where he slides back to being tourney worthy? Anyway, at his 5K salary, his ability to run, the Giants not-so-hot defense and a universally lauded offensive line, one thinks that his points per dollar will be fairly safe.

Carson Wentz – PHI vs. CLE – $5,000 – A not as popular play would be to look at Wentz, with a lot of the same positives as Prescott; just remove NYG and put in CLE. The offensive line is a potential top ten line, the Eagles defense will put the offense in good position to score and the Browns were as bad, maybe worse, than the Giants last season. Wentz doesn’t have as much of a running pedigree as Prescott, but the matchups his receivers have are much better, should they decide to pitch it around a little bit. For considerably less ownership (20% for Prescott in tourneys compared to 1-2% for Wentz), it may be an interesting pivot at the same price.

Running Backs:

Christine Michael – SEA vs. MIA – $4,800 – It feels like a trap, like when Michael was supposed to get a bunch of carries in Dallas one week and then he poofed and we didn’t see him again. Now it’s back in ol’ Seattle and Michael is listed on the ever changing depth chart as the RB1 as Thomas Rawls, the presumed starter when healthy, get eased back into the picture. The reason Michael is viable this week is because, well, of price, of course, but also because the Seahawks ball carrier is, according the Vegas, going to be grinding out some clock and production. The line on the game implies a 27 point total for the Seahawks and a 10.5 pt advantage. Right now, that back is Michael, so he’s a definite value here.

Spencer Ware – KC vs. SD – $5,400 – This one is a bit clearer. Jamaal Charles could pull the inactive sticker come Sunday, leaving a banged up Charcandrick West as the only thing between Ware and ballhoggery in the Chiefs backfield. The Chargers were a train wreck on the defensive side, especially against the run, meaning Ware will be a very, very popular option come Sunday.

James White – NE at ARI – $4,900 – The Patriots are underdogs to the Cardinals, which might mean more passing from Jimmy Garopolo. The Cardinals were bottom ten last season in defending the receiving running back and White is stepping into the Dion Lewis position here in the backfield, as he did last season after Lewis went down. White saw, on average about 25 snaps per game, almost exclusively in passing sets, and spiked to 51 snaps in Week 13, of which 45 were passing snaps.

Charles Sims – TB at ATL – $4,900 – Sims, like White, is also an underdog on the road this week, and as the pass catching back on the Buccaneers, Sims will likely get more snaps this week chasing the Falcons. New TB coach Dirk Koetter seems committed to getting Sims in the game more often, moving him all over the field in the preseason.

Wide Receivers:

Marvin Jones – DET at IND – $5,500 – Another well-discussed play, Jones has stepped over from the Bengals and looks like he’ll have the WR1 role on the Lions, sharing top targets with fellow WR Golden Tate. Jones is more of an all-around WR, so his role here, against a Vontae Davis-less Colts secondary, should be profound, as will be his ownership levels.

Tajae Sharpe – TEN vs. MIN – $4,800 – Sharpe has taken his prolific pass catching skills and chased Dorial Green-Beckham off to Philadelphia, leaving him with a significantly larger role than first expected. Despite this emergence so soon, the game itself is a dud, with both teams forecasted to run the ball a lot, reducing the number of snaps, and limiting the ceiling of the top players here. Still, at $4,800, if Sharpe is the one that scores a touchdown for Tennessee, a strong possibility if Marcus Mariota throws one or two in there, then his tiny salary is paid for.

Vincent Jackson – TB at ATL – $5,900 – Strictly a matchup play, as the Bucs are game scripted to throw and Jackson has Jalen Collins across from him, giving V-Jax one of the top WR/CB matchups, according to Pro Football Focus. Jackson has had a lot of rest in the offseason, so even though he’s 33 years old, this is the time to nab him, in a good matchup, in good conditions and everyone playing fresh.

Michael Thomas – NO vs. OAK – $4,900 – Hunch play here, as Thomas has emerged and should settle into the slot, which is a good matchup against Oakland and Thomas, who has excellent route skills, should work the former Marques Colston territory with aplomb and in a 50+ point total, at home, in a good matchup against slot defender DJ Hayden, Thomas is in a good spot. He’ll likely have an up and down season as a rookie, but this is definitely and up spot.

Tight Ends:

Coby Fleener – NO vs. OAK- $5,500 – Some of the same things resonate for Fleener, though he never seemed to pay off his value last season, but that could have been more Indianapolis than Fleener himself, since the team was ravaged with injury and the offense sputtered. But now, it’s New Orleans, and Drew Brees loves to throw to tight ends, so here’s Fleener. Will be a highly popular play at TE.

Jesse James – PIT at WAS – $4,500 – James is the new Heath Miller, which means that he’ll be underpriced and deliver value on most weeks. Washington was bottom ten in TE defensive efficiency last season and the Steelers offense is implied by Vegas to score 26 points this week.

Jared Cook – GB at JAC – $5,300 – The real trap, really, Jared Cook is back in Week 1 to sucker you (ok, me) into rostering him and believing that Aaron Rodgers can truly make anyone work on the field. Jacksonville was terrible at defense efficiency to the tight end position, leaving Cook in a great spot to run the old Jermichael Finley routes.

Kickers and Defense:

Adam Vinatieri – IND vs. DET – $4,800 – There are no large discount kickers, they are kickers after all, but Vinatieri has a great game/team total, the Colts are supposed to lead and are playing at home. All of which means that the V-Man should have plenty of field goal and point after attempts.

Green Bay Packers – GB at JAC – $4,300 – Blake Bortles can certainly provide some opportunities for sacks and interceptions, exactly what you would need for a high scoring defense. The Packers are favorites, and that means that Bortles could be dropping back a lot, which is excellent for the aforementioned DFS scoring categories.

Good luck! – Jason