Kevin Walsh | August 29th, 2019
Kickoff for the 2019 season is just around the corner, and if you are up to your elbows in DFS research already, welcome to the club! I personally cannot wait for this season to start so we can have our little Sunday afternoon sweats back.
Today we take an early look at some value plays at each position so we can jam in all those tried-and-true studs.
Jacoby Brissett ($4400 DK, $6000 FD) – Well there is no doubt about it, Andrew Luck has retired from the NFL, leaving a gaping hole at QB for the Indianapolis Colts. While the matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers is not ideal necessarily, Brissett is a serviceable backup, especially for fantasy since he can generate points with his legs. His price is extremely low, and I think a lot of players will go here to jam in multiple expensive backs. He is just too cheap and the Chargers defense is a little too banged up to not take a shot here in some capacity.
Matthew Stafford ($5400 DK, $6600 FD) – While many will look at Kyler Murray in his NFL debut, on the other side of the ball is one of the highest-paid QBs in the league. While that doesn’t equate to fantasy points, he is hardly a terrible play against an Arizona Cardinals team that has not improved as much as they’d like you to think. They were awful against the run last year, and they may sell out to stop this run-heavy offense. If we are looking for a slate-breaker, a simple Lions stack would be cheap and could pay off huge, especially if the Cardinals flounder in their home debut. This is strictly a tournament move and probably needs to be an MME play, if anything.
Austin Ekeler ($5500 DK, $6400 FD) – With Melvin Gordon standing firm in his holdout, that would leave a lot of volume to Ekeler, who performed well when MG3 was hurt last season. Even if he cedes some touches to Justin Jackson between the tackles, Ekeler is the passing down back and should garner some targets in that regard. If Gordon is not in uniform for the season opener, Ekeler will be a cash game staple and mega-chalk in tournaments – for good reason.
Tony Pollard ($4500 DK, $5200 FD) – In a similar situation, Ezekiel Elliott is holding out also. If he were to miss the first week, Pollard is making some serious separation in the backup race. Pollard doesn’t have to be dynamic or special to run behind this offensive line against the New York Giants. He is another possible chalk target.
Kalen Ballage ($4500 DK, $5700 FD) – Even if you remove the offseason rumors regarding who the starting RB is going to be, Drake being hobbled makes that conversation a hell of a lot simpler. The biggest problem is that they are playing the typically stout Baltimore Ravens defense, so that makes this a GPP play only.
Mike Williams ($5300 DK, $6400 FD) – With Keenan Allen banged up, and MG3 holding out, that leaves Williams to be a featured piece of this passing game. Clearly, this is reliant on Allen missing Week 1 for sure, but he is looking like a nice discount if he is the number one in LA.
Tyler Boyd ($5800 DK, $6900 FD) – Much more of a value on DK, Boyd will benefit from several things this season, but none more than A.J. Green being out of the lineup for the first few weeks. Boyd had some great weeks last season when he saw nine or more targets, and an opening game matchup in Seattle will likely result in needing to play catch up for most of the second half. The Cincinnati Bengals passing game is in play here, and Boyd is the cheapest this week as he will be until Green returns.
I suspect many more value plays will crop up with guys showing out during these 3rd and 4th week of preseason games, so stay tuned to find out what guys make the team and may have solid roles moving forward into the regular season.
Evan Engram ($4800 DK, $6400 FD) – I know, I know, he is the fifth-highest priced TE on both sites. He doesn’t fit the traditional definition of value in terms of DFS. With Golden Tate suspended, Sterling Shepard maybe playing Week 1 with the broken thumb, and the next aerial threats in New York being former Denver Broncos washout Cody Latimer and late-round rookie Darius Slayton, Engram is poised for a monster role in the passing game in the opener. You are getting a TE stud at a medium price. I imagine his ownership will be a bit high for Week 1, but I have no qualms about paying $4800 for that amount of volume.
Mark Andrews ($3000 DK, $5400 FD) – Andrews has been a highly-touted sleeper tight end in season long, and his price is very low on DK in comparison to all the flashy, expensive ones. Baltimore is not much of a passing offense, but Lamar Jackson seems to have a bit of a rapport with him as a safety valve. He could squeeze out a little 5/40/1 line for you and come up with 16 DK points. I imagine he will have a bit of ownership at this price, but this is the value at tight end for kickoff weekend.
Detroit Lions ($2900 DK, $4100 FD) – I am not a huge proponent of value defenses, because picking one sometimes is just a crapshoot who is going to score a defensive TD and put up a 20 burger for a defense. In that vein, I choose the Lions here. They were a solid defense at times last year, but the biggest thing is that this is the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray breakout party. Many will be on Kyler and company, but it is just as likely that he throws 3 INTs and if we’re lucky, one of them turns out to be a pick-six.
Defenses are tough to dissect early in the season, so picking on a rookie QB and coach at a value is probably a safe move. As more news comes out, we can find maybe another defense on the cheap to roll out opening week, but this is the one cheap defense I like two weeks ahead of time.
Questions and comments?
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