The site that started it all, as far as I can remember, is offering $5 million in prizes and $1 million to first place for a $25 entry fee in their $5M Sunday Million contest.
You’re going to need some sleepers and values if you want to post a winning lineup because you need to have a couple studs in there.
To win a big tournament and take home $1 million you essentially need every player on your roster to score at least two touchdowns. That means you’re going to need to roster Julio Jones and Rob Gronkowski and get lucky with a few other players. Here are some players with good matchups who also represent good values this week at FanDuel.
Tyrod Taylor, BUF vs. IND, $5,000 — This one is easy. He’s priced like the backup he was when Draft Kings’ NFL games went live. It was before he looked decent in the preseason and better than all of his competition on the Bills. Taylor isn’t big and doesn’t have a rocket arm, but his preseason highlights showed off an ability to hit on intermediate passes and, more importantly, to make potentially game-changing plays with his legs.
Sam Bradford, $7,500, PHI vs. ATL — Like Taylor, there was some doubt if Bradford was going to start for the Eagles this preseason. All the Eagles offense under Chip Kelly does is produce top-10 quarterbacks. This offense made Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez look like All-Pros. If Bradford can stay healthy this season, that’s a Texas-sized IF, he’ll have the best season of his pro career and it starts this week against a Falcons defense that was second-worst in the NFL at stopping the pass in 2014.
Teddy Bridgewater, $7,200, MIN at SF — While the 49ers defense has been one of the toughest in the NFL recently, a pile of turnover has a lot of people questioning whether they’ll be as good. That defensive 11 gets their first taste of 2015 NFL against Teddy Bridgewater, who finished last season strong and is considered by many to be an up-and-coming quarterback with a couple new weapons he didn’t have access to last season — Mike Wallace and Adrian Peterson.
Eddie Lacy, $8,500, GB at CHI; DeMarco Murray, $8,500, PHI at ATL; and Justin Forsett, $7,800, BAL at DEN — Typically, it’s best to pair a stud running back with cheaper back to open up cap space. This trio represents the lower-end of the high-end scale.
Ameer Abdullah, $5,900, DET at SD — Abdullah is no sleeper after his stellar preseason. The next Barry Sanders? Probably a bit early. But reports today say he is a better receiver out of the backfield than expected. On top of his electric running ability, he should be fun to watch this week against San Diego. His price is a measly $5,900. He’s going to be owned on a lot of lineups, but I’m not going to avoid him because of it.
Danny Woodhead, $6,000, SD vs. DET — Woodhead is a pass-catching veteran back sharing a backfield with a rooking getting his first taste of NFL action. He’s not as valuable here as he is on a site like Draft Kings, which awards a full point per reception, however the ranks of true running back values at FanDuel this first week are pretty slim. The next three on my list would be Jeremy Hill, $8,600, Jamaal Charles, $8,900, and Matt Forte, $8,800.
Davante Adams, $5,500, GB at CHI — While not as cheap as he is on Draft Kings, Adams’ price is reflective of a No. 4 receiver in the Green Bay offense despite some flashes of brilliance at the end of last season. Then Jordy Nelson’s ACL tore and Adams was thrust into a starting role. He may not be 80% owned like he will be at Draft Kings, but Adams is going to be on a lot of FanDuel lineups in Week 1.
Jordan Matthews, $6,800, PHI at ATL — The Falcons were the second-least effective defense against the pass in 2015. Chip Kelly’s high-powered offense will certainly attack that weakness. If it all works, Jordan Matthews could have a monster week 1.
Steve Johnson, $4,700, SD vs. DET — Johnson wasn’t high on my must-own list this preseason, but he is going to be on the field a lot. He’s a player who I consider older than he actually is. He’s only 29, which means he has more than a half decade of upper-tier performance in him if he gets the opportunity. DET wasn’t exactly easy to pass against in 2014, but few WRs need to score so few fantasy points to pay off in Week 1 at FanDuel.
Devin Funchess, $4,600, CAR at JAX — Funchess isn’t listed as a starting wide receiver for Week 1. Coaches will be coaches. Despite being raw, Funchess is the best WR talent on the roster since Kelvin Benjamin suffered his season ending injury. Jacksonville might put four people on Greg Olsen this week. Funchess will get opportunities to loosen up the defense. At $4,600, he needs very little to reach value.
Eddie Royal, $5,000, CHI vs. GB — Rookie first-round receiver Kevin White is out for the season and Alshon Jeffery is questionable for the season-opener against the Green Bay Packers. The contest has one of the five highest over/unders this week. The Bears will likely have to play catchup with the Packers. All these factors made a lot of people scour the roster to find the player likely to benefit. All signs point to Royal. I’m not a believer he’ll have a huge season, but in Week 1, at just $5,000 we have to consider him.
Julio Jones, $9,000, ATL vs. PHI — To produce my lists and rankings I run consensus players projections from other sites through a number of formulas. I’ve also tweaked the formulas a number of times to get them just right. No matter how much weight I put on value players Jones keeps ending up on top of the list. So, that tells us he should be worth the price of ownership, particularly if you pair him with QB Matt Ryan, a big favorite in the DFS community this week.
Greg Olsen, $5,900, CAR at JAX — I have Greg Olsen everywhere. He’s on a bunch of my season-long teams. He’s on most Draft Kings lineups where I don’t have Martellus Bennett. He will be on most of my FanDuel lineups. Considering the WR woes in Carolina, I wouldn’t be surprised if Olsen has 20 targets this week. Against Jacksonville, 20 targets can turn into a lot of fantasy points.
Tyler Eifert, $5,000, CIN at OAK — Eifert’s here. He has an attractive price and, in theory, matchup. I’ll probably avoid him because I don’t think Cincinnati likes to use their tight end as much as they should. Most of the experts tend to disagree. Also, Oakland’s defense was 10th-most effective against tight ends last season, according to Defense-adjusted Value Over Average.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, $4,700, TB vs. TEN — Everyone’s sleeper tight end this season. Rookie quarterbacks allegedly lean on their tight ends early in their careers because they provide a big outlet target when they get in trouble or run out of reads. Tennessee, like Oakland above, was one of the five least-effective pass defenses in 2015. However, unlike the Raiders, the Titans were in the lower third of effectiveness against tight ends.
Delanie Walker, $$5,400, TEN at TB — For a few years now, I’ve had Walker on at least one of my teams. Not this year. You know what that means? Career year incoming. Rookie quarterbacks allegedly lean on their tight ends as a safety valve. If I’m not going with Olsen at TE I’m probably going for ASJ at a lower cost than Walker.
You almost always want to pick a minimum-priced kicker with a good matchup in a game with a high over/under. If you have a few bucks left after you’ve maximized your team, you could throw a little more at them, but they should never be a priority in DFS.
Brandon McManus, $4,500, DEN vs. BAL
Josh Lambo, $4,500, SD vs. DET
Josh Brown, $4,500 NYG at DAL
Team defenses should be chosen carefully, but typically there are a couple good low-priced options. You want to pick a team playing a poor offense. If you can afford one playing a completely inept offense, even better.
New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns, $4,400
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans, $4,300