Wright Up Your Alley

Kendall Wright is extremely Cheap on FantasyDraft and should see a healthy amount of targets with the team’s receiving core decimated. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for Week 1 NFL contests.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks, $12,900 – On FantasyDraft’s main slate, Russell Wilson is priced as the fifth most expensive quarterback (QB) and yet his team is involved in the game with the highest projected over/under (according to Vegas). Clearly, the odds-makers believe this game is going to be a shootout and the total has risen 2.5 points since the open. Judging by Wilson’s numbers in this matchup last year, he is in a tough spot: 22-39 completions (56.4-percent) for 240 yards, one TD and five (yes, five) interceptions (INTs). Nevertheless, the Packers defense ranked 23rd in passing defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) and their defense has not changed much since last season. In fact, the Packers did not possess a single receiver who rated in the top 85 of the coverage attribute last year (per Pro Football Focus) so they should have a tough time covering Doug Baldwin, Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett. It also needs to be acknowledged that the Seahawks addressed their offensive line issues by adding players like Luke Joeckel, Oday Aboushi and Ethan Pocic to the mix. This go-around, the results should be different for Wilson, and he should be able to torch this weak Packers secondary.

Le’Veon Bell, Steelers, $18,600 – The easiest play of Week 1 is to just go ahead and lock in Le’Veon Bell against the lowly Browns defense. Pro Football Focus ranks the Browns’ defensive front seven amongst the eight worst in the league despite the additions of Jamie Collins and Myles Garrett. Last year, Bell lit them up in his one meeting against them as he rushed 28 times for 146 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and a TD plus he caught 8-9 targets for 55 yards. Per Football Outsiders’ DVOA, the Browns ranked as the league’s 27th rushing defense and their additions will not suddenly allow them to stop a top back like Bell. On the road, Ben Roethlisberger has been substantially worse over the past three seasons, so look for the team to rely a little more heavily on the run game (as is tradition when they are on the road). An elite back with elite volume equals a must-play in cash games (and probably tournaments too).

Pierre Garcon, 49ers, $10,500 – People may be sleeping on Pierre Garcon heading into the year so early is the take to take advantage of the edge. At just $10,500, Garcon is a true number one wide receiver (WR) and he is priced like a WR3. Coach Kyle Shanahan has always focused around a single receiver in his offensive schemes and Brian Hoyer has also always relied heavily on his top option as well. Now, factor in Garcon’s output in his last season with Shanahan at the helm (113 receptions, 1,346 yards) and it is easy to see why he is a player worth getting excited about. Remember, Carolina lost Josh Norman prior to last season, so they are lacking in the dominant corner department. According to Pro Football Focus, James Bradberry, the team’s best cover corner, ranked outside the top 20 in the attribute. Therefore, expect Garcon to rack up the catches and surprise people by pushing 20 fantasy points at this extremely reasonable cost.

Kendall Wright, Bears, $6,300 – If needing a punt to fit all the other plays in this article, look no further than Kendall Wright who has been reconnected with his favorite Offensive Coordinator: Dowell Loggains. In the one year these two spent together in Tennessee when Loggains was calling the plays, Wright hauled in 94 of 140 total targets for 1,079 yards and two TDs. With the Bears having lost Cameron Meredith in the preseason, Wright will be needed to step up and take on an extensive role in the offense. Evidently, Loggains is the Wright whisperer, so he should be able to get the best out of this guy. Since the Bears will likely be playing from behind, Mike Glennon and company will be required to pass. Over the course of the year, it would not be shocking if Wright caught 75-plus passes and proved to be a quietly consistent fantasy option on a site like FantasyDraft that uses PPR scoring. Start him in Week 1 and start nothing but studs around him…it will be glorious.

Delanie Walker, Titans, $8,100 – Death, taxes and tight ends (TEs) against the Raiders defense are the three surest things in life. Seriously, this matchup is the nuts and the Titans passing attack overall should be drastically improved. The team added red zone threat Eric Decker and drafted Corey Davis in the first round to help round out Marcus Mariota’s weaponry and alleviate some of the defensive attention from Delanie Walker. Both the Raiders’ inside linebackers and safeties leave a lot to be desired and Jason Witten lit them up in the preseason tune up game. Essentially, their scheme still has not figured out a way to make up for their lacking personnel. Consequently, Walker, who led the position in receptions just two seasons ago, should be able to roam free. If looking for a safe option at the position, Walker is the cream of the crop.

St. Louis Rams Defense, $7,000 – Andrew Luck has officially been ruled out which means Scott Tolzien will start. Tolzien is not a good QB and Frank Gore, the team’s starting running back (RB), is on his last legs. Even if Aaron Donald’s hold out lasts into the season, which it is not expected to, this defense just faces a total cupcake of a matchup. As icing on the cake, the offensive line is terrible so the defensive line should get after the QB (especially if Donald is active). In this case, the opposing offense’s lack of talent is equally as important as the Rams’ defensive talent. Start this defense in all formats.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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