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Daily Fantasy Football Advice For Week 1 Of NFL Action


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When Abraham Lincoln invented fantasy football sometime around 25 A.D., he probably didn’t imagine the glory that could come from the “daily” version of the game. Granted, that’s because Lincoln didn’t invent fantasy football, but you see where we’re getting at. Daily fantasy ruuuuuules, dude/dudette. All the hubris, highs and lows of a fantasy football season tucked into a Thursday, Sunday or Monday with the ability to do it all again the following week. Will you learn from your mistakes? Probably not and that’s perfectly alright.

My name’s Dan and I’ll be your daily fantasy football buddy throughout the 2017 NFL campaign. I’m here to share analysis, observations and sexy secrets about your celebrity crush options for each week’s slate of games. Week 1 is approaching with rapid speed, so let’s hop to it, shall we?

Quarterback

Invest in Russell Wilson: Sentient mission statement Russell Wilson is going up against 2016’s second-most generous pass defense in Week 1 when the Seahawks clash with the Packers that could lead to regional cheese tariffs in the fallout. The Pack seized on a banged-up Wilson last season to the tune of 5 picks, but that was just a plain ol’ ugly outing from #3 as opposed to Green Bay having his number. The Packers have a ridiculously vulnerable defense as far as fantasy point glory is concerned and with the running back situation still getting sorted out in Seattle, Wilson will be expected to a do a bit more heavy lifting. When Wilson’s on, he’s a Top 5 quarterback and that means a Top 5 pivot is ready to prey on crappy Packers pass protection in the non-freezing confines of September Lambeau. If you’re going to spend on a quarterback, this scenario should suit things fine.

Avoid Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben’s bringing an insane assortment of weapons (like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown) with him to lowly Cleveland, so what’s not to like, right? For one, Roethlisberger is historically a man-shaped lump of garbage (23 TDs, 22 INTs in the last three years) on the road versus at home (59 TDs, 16 INTs) which should make the would-be Drew Careys at the Browns game giggle a bit. The Browns are no prize on defense, but are improving enough that it makes Big Ben’s $7,300 position-high price tag on Draft Kings seem like a shaky value in a QB pool with options.

Consider Brian Hoyer: No, this isn’t an elaborate prank, nor have I been shoved in a locker by perma-goateed NFL coaches or execs either. Hoyer is a serviceable enough quarterback with a super low price tag ($5,100 which is lower than quite a few non-starters) and a Panthers defense that teams can score on with ease. Weapons like Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, and Carlos Hyde help boost the veteran quarterback’s potential to rack up numbers and do so with loads of potential garbage time scores tucked into the proceedings. Plus, in what universe does new Niners coach (and ex Falcons coordinator) Kyle Shanahan not light up the Panthers defense with something in his first head coaching gig? Give ‘er a think.

Running Back

Invest in David Johnson: The “Invest” portion of these daily fantasy funzos is about looking at the big name stars that are worth the big chunk of money you need to spend to get them. David Johnson clocked in double digit performances in every 2016 outing outside of his injury-impaired Week 17 and now he returns with coach Bruce Arians wanting to get 30 carries a game out of the young rusher. In an Arizona offense designed to help Johnson reach boffo rushing and receiving totals, the 25-year-old Pro Bowler will run wild on a middle-of-the-pack Detroit defense in Week 1. He’ll always be in the top tier of RB cost and should be worth every penny of his $9,400 value in matchups like these.

Avoid Leonard Fournette: I wrote a lot of things about Darren McFadden, but then this happened, so now I’m giving a friendly warning about Leonard Fournette. I like the dude a lot as the rusher Jacksonville’s been craving, but he’ll be playing opposite a ferocious Texans defense in Houston with an offensive line with all the blocking power of Axe spray under a 6th grader’s pits. Not helping things is a foot injury that bunged up Fournette’s preseason. Best to exercise caution and re-evaluate in Week 2.

Consider Frank Gore: Frank Gore may be older than math, but you’re not the one having to find a retirement castle for him so why not enjoy this bargain? Clocking in a rather modest $4,300, Gore is far less of a mystery than the gaggle of rookie rushers it’s tempting to gamble on. Against a beatable Rams defense, Gore provides a steady rushing option and an improving receiving threat. Gore won’t light anyone’s world on fire, but if money’s tight assembling a lineup, Indy’s lead back in a Luck-free season debut should provide productive padding. Next week? This guy’s probably dead to you. Cruel but fair.

Wide Receiver

Invest in A.J. Green: Flashier models of superstar wideout (OBJ, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown) have taken a bit of the shine off A.J. Green, but he’s in line to hog a good chunk of Sunday’s highlights with a 2017 debut at home against the Ravens. Green didn’t face Baltimore in 2016 thanks to his (latest) injury-hampered season, but the dude hasn’t missed pay dirt in a game against the Ravens since 2012. Touted draft picks John Ross and Joe Mixon will help keep some of the focus off of Green and provide Andy Dalton with more opportunities to connect with his star receiver. I mean that on a passing level, but if their relationship grows stronger for any other reason that’s cool too.

Avoid T.Y. Hilton: Hilton gets the exciting job of playing with a passer that’s been downgraded from Andrew Luck to Scott Tolzien. Even in a pitch-black isolation room, you could tell the difference in quality between these two passers and that’s not good news for Hilton who doesn’t play a game destined to suit Tolzien’s strengths. Against a pitiful Pittsburgh defense, the 2016 Colts had their sh*t kicked in at home 28-7 with Tolzien subbing in for Luck. Hilton didn’t have a good game then and an underrated Rams secondary will look to repeat that scenario.

Consider Seth Roberts: If money’s tight, Raiders receiver Seth Roberts (currently a remarkably gentle $3,300 on Draft Kings) could be the guy that bails you out. Oakland has bigger stars in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree getting the lion’s share of looks, but Roberts could be a quiet points producer against a Titans squad that was one of only three teams to give up 4,300 yards through the air last season. Derek Carr is going to try and filet Tennessee every way possible and Roberts is in a spot to benefit. Don’t build your team around him for goodness sake, but he’s lurking if there’s no other cap space in that tight of a squeeze.

Tight End

Invest in Jimmy Graham: He hasn’t fully-morphed into the juggernaut of a tight end he was envisioned to be in Seattle, but it’s game like the Seahawks-Packers that suit him (and by extension you) fine. The Packers are vulnerable to an aerial assault and Graham has been hyped by the coaching as getting more red zone opportunities. A sensible choice.

Avoid Eric Ebron: Even with Matthew Stafford chucking the ball, a stifling Cardinals pass defense handicaps Eric Ebron’s production potential. Hamstring problems that ailed the Lions tight end through the preseason is also something to have an extended think about. With options like Zach Ertz and Jared Cook available in the same price range, there are better choices you can roll with

Consider Zach Miller: The Bears are short on quality targets and that’s where Zach Miller can scoop up a lot of attention from a Chicago offense that just lost Cameron Meredith to a knee injury. Atlanta’s a friendly enough matchup for a tight end in this scenario and the attached price tag ($2,800) won’t break the bank. Miller’s also getting raves for how he’s performed in training camp, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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