Daily Fantasy Football Values: Week 1

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Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III

Jul 25, 2013; Richmond, VA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws the ball during opening day of 2013 NFL training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Daily fantasy football, more than any other brand of fake pigskin, requires players to embrace the idea that we’re playing a math-based game about football, not a football-based game about math.

Dynasty owners are right to evaluate skill sets and schemes and player measurables in their obsessive prognostication. Even re-draft owners have some right to incorporate intangibles and eyeball tests in their calculus of player values.

Daily fantasy ballers should eschew this approach and see players as little more than muscular, rich commodities to be targeted and avoided according to their weekly price. We must, above all else, get bang for our daily fantasy buck.

We’re always dealing with short-term investments. The shortest term, actually. Loyalty has no place here, friend.

If you raise your right hand and repeat the above sentences, you’ve sworn allegiance to the degenerate creed.

My daily fantasy analysis this season will focus exclusively on Star Fantasy Leagues. You can compete against me and win up to $100 in Week 1 — not a bad start to our money-making mission.

I’ll comb through every player from every position every week to find screaming values that can help optimize your lineup, stuffing as many potential fantasy points into your lineup with a nice mix of value plays and dependable fantasy machines.

Fight the temptation to fall head over heels for more than a few values every week. The salary cap is there to spend, not to save. Using less than 95 percent of your weekly cap is wading in dangerous daily fantasy waters.

I’ve highlighted below the best Week 1 values after calculating every player’s dollar per point (DPP) — or their salary divided by their projected fantasy point total. The point projections are subjective, of course, so do your own DPP dabbling if you’re particularly high or low on any player.

The lower the DPP, the better.

Player Salary Projected Points Dollars Per Point
Michael Vick $12,807 17.9 715
Colin Kaepernick $14,022 20.4 687
EJ Manuel $10,522 15.5 678
Ben Roethlisberger $12,609 17.2 733
Terrelle Pryor $6,250 15.7 398
Robert Griffin III $14,667 20.4 718

 

  • Vick and RGIII, at first glance, don’t look like they should be included with the other value quarterback plays. I lumped them in for two reasons: Star Fantasy Leagues require two signal callers, and I have Griffin and Vick as two of Week 1′s best upside plays. Above are their median projections; their high projections are scary good.
  • Pryor, who was last year’s Week 16 QB7, is Tebowesque in his ability to play ugly and rack up fantasy points. He’s dirt cheap this week, and in what could be a blowout, I like his garbage time prospects.
  • Kaepernick scored 46 fantasy points against Green Bay in last year’s playoffs. The 49ers didn’t run a single read-option play in the preseason, according to XN Sports writer Rich Hribar, but Kaepernick’s various skills will be put to good use. Bank on that.
Player Salary Projected Points Dollars Per Point
Isaac Redman  $3,250  11.1 292
Shane Vereen  $7,892  13.8 571
Lamar Miller  $9,191  15.2 604
David Wilson  $9,368  17.1 551
Maurice Jones-Drew  $9,728  17.5 543
Darren Sproles  $9,498  14.5 655
DeMarco Murray  $9,331  16.9 552
  • Sproles is listed here for the same reason Vick and Griffin were included in the quarterback values: If the Saints-Falcons throwdown becomes a no-holds-bar shootout, Sproles will eat, and eat well.
  • Jones-Drew has told us that he expects his workload to return to 2011 form, when he touched the ball around 25 times a game. His Week 1 price might be the first and last time MJD will be a daily value in 2013.
  • Redman is a money saver without equal in Week 1. He’s a true test of how daily owners are willing to cash in on one-week value plays. Expect Redman to see 13-17 touches against a so-so Titans’ defensive front. A single plunge into the end zone and Redman instantly pays dividends.
Player Salary Projected Points Dollars Per Point
Greg Little $5,891 10.6 555
Kenbrell Thompkins $6,523 13 501
Cecil Shorts $8,108 14.2 570
Pierre Garcon $8,691 14.8 587
Wes Welker $8,307 14.7 565
Jeremy Kerley $6,082 10.9 557
Anquan Boldin $6,969 13 536
  •  There’s a regular cavalcade of wide receiver value plays, including Thompkins, who proved a Tom Brady favorite this summer. Thompkins daily fantasy price is sure to rise in the coming weeks, so take advantage now.
  • I know the thought of plugging Kerley into your daily lineup makes you throw up in your mouth a little bit. Consider this, however: He likely won’t take the dreaded trip to Revis Island and the Tampa Bay front seven is primed to suffocate the Jets’ running game. Geno Smith will throw quite a bit, and Kerley’s no slouch with the ball in his hands.

 

Player Salary Projected Points Dollars Per Point
Vernon Davis $7,428 13 571
Zach Sudfeld $5,753 11.8 487
Julius Thomas $3,000 7.4 405
  •  Sudfeld, like Thompkins, will see his daily fantasy salary skyrocket in the coming weeks. He’s one of several Patriots who could post gaudy numbers in Week 1.
C.D. Carter is a reporter, author of zombie stories, writer for The Fake Football and XN Sports. Fantasy Sports Writers Association member. His work  has been featured in the New York Times.
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