Top Value Picks & Targets for NFL Week 1

In this article, I will be breaking down some of my top value plays on FantasyDraft position by position. I will give you one or two names at each position to consider each week. This article is meant to be used in conjunction with our top plays article that comes out earlier in the week. Using both articles will give you a great base to help with your research.


Sam Bradford-$10,200-MIN

Bradford is not a name I would normally play in DFS as he doesn’t throw a lot of touchdowns but I love him at his salary this week. Bradford is in a great matchup against the Saints who are one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. Over the past two seasons, the Saints have allowed the most passing yards per game and most passing touchdowns in the NFL. The Saints also allowed the sixth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and ranked 30th in DVOA against the pass. Bradford at this salary in this match-up is a very attractive option this week.

Brian Hoyer-$10,100-SF

If you are punting the quarterback position in week one Hoyer is my favorite punt quarterback. Hoyer is only $100 above site minimum for the quarterback position and happens to be really good. In his four full games last season, Hoyer threw for over 300 yards in each game and threw for two touchdowns in three of the games. Hoyer produced at least 15 fantasy points in each game and produced over 22 fantasy points three times. Hoyer comes into this season fully healthy after his injury last season and finds himself in a great offensive system with the move to San Francisco. The match-up is also an excellent one for Hoyer as the Panthers were one of the weakest teams in the NFL against the pass a year ago. Last season, the Panthers allowed the fourth most passing yards per game and ranked in the bottom half in terms of fantasy points allowed per game to quarterbacks. I also like the way the game script is shaping up for Hoyer this week as the 49ers are underdogs to the Panthers in a game that has one of the highest projected point totals on the slate at 48. I am going to call it now with Hoyer and say that he throws for at least 300 yards with at least one score this week.

Running Back

Bilal Powell-$9,800-NYJ

Not a lot of great value at running back this week but a player that I feel is underpriced is Powell. Powell is going to be the lead dog for the Jets running game this season and he has shown that when he is given the touches he can produce. Powell averaged 5.5 yards per carry last season and 6.7 yards per catch. Powell also is an elite pass catcher and last season he had 58 catches. That number is expected to increase by a lot with the Jets offense and I would not be surprised to see Powell average six to seven catches a game this season. The match-up is also an excellent one as the Bills ranked 30th in DVOA against the rush last season and 21st in DVOA against the pass in terms of running backs. Powell is going to have over 150 total yards this week and I would be really shocked if he did not produce over 20 fantasy points.

Wide Receiver

Kendall Wright-$6,300-CHI

Wright is a hot name in fantasy circles with the injury to Cameron Meredith. Wright is expected to step in as the Bears number one pass catcher with Meredith out and he has shown in the past that he can thrive in that role especially under the Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. Loggains was the Titans OC when Wright first entered the league and in his last season under Loggains which was Wright’s second season, Wright had 94 catches for 1,079 yards. Those are elite numbers and numbers that I think Wright can hit this season. I also really like the match-up in week one for Wright as the Falcons struggled against slot receivers last season. The Bears are also expected to be down big in this game which should lead to plenty of targets for Wright in the second half as the Bears play catch-up.

Rishard Matthews-$8,300-TEN

I don’t know why but no one seems to be talking about Matthews this week against the Raiders. The Raiders have an awful secondary and last season they ranked 18th in DVOA against a team’s top option and 30th in DVOA against a team’s second option. That is good news for Matthews who should be lining up all over the field for the Titans this week. I also love the fact that both Corey Davis and Erik Decker dealt with injuries all preseason and in the case of Davis are expected to be limited in the opener. That should leave Matthews as Marcus Mariota’s top option. With this game expected to be a shootout, I am expecting a huge game from Matthews this week.

Tight End

Zach Ertz-$7,000-PHI

I talked about Ertz in my top plays article as my top target at tight end and I am going to leave what I wrote about him in that article below as Ertz is dirt cheap at only $7,000 in salary.

In his past two seasons, Ertz has averaged 5.28 receptions for 57.55 yards a game. Those numbers rank him in the top ten for tight ends in that time frame and are only expected to go up with Jordan Matthews being traded to the Bills. The match-up is also one I like to target tight ends with as the Redskins cannot cover them to save their lives. The Redskins allowed the sixth most fantasy points per game to tight ends last season and ranked 25th in DVOA against them. Ertz also dominated them last time these two teams faced off with ten catches for 112 yards. Ertz is just too damn good and in too good of a matchup for me to pass up this week especially at his salary.

George Kittle-$5,000-SF

With the 49ers trade of Vance McDonald to the Steelers, Kittle has found himself at the top of the 49ers depth chart this week against the Panthers. Now I don’t know much about Kittle besides that the rookie went to Iowa and that he looked good in week two of the preseason but what I do know is that Kittle finds himself in a great matchup this week against the Panthers. The Panthers despite ranking ninth in DVOA against tight ends last season was one of the worst teams in allowing fantasy points to the position. Last season, the Panthers allowed the fourth most fantasy points to the position. That combined with Kittle’s minimum salary is enough for me to take the risk of the unknown that Kittle brings this week.

Good luck with NFL this week!

Zach Qualtieri

Zach Qualtieri

Zach is an accomplished fantasy player who has had success in multiple sports across multiple platforms. Zach specializes in cash games where he can often be found playing $25 H2Hs but has also had a lot of success in GPPs as an 11-time winner of a large field GPP. When not talking about fantasy sports, Zach enjoys hanging out with his son. If you have any questions about fantasy or sports in general Zach can be found on Twitter @zachsgotmoxy.

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