2016 Draft Kit

Week 1 fantasy football matchups to attack/avoid

It’s early in the season so we don’t have much new information to go on. We have the preseason, but that’s only good for so much.

The best we can do is look at predictive stats from last season. I think Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average is among the best, if not the best out there.

Let’s take a look at the best and worst passing matchups this week.

Passing matchups

Passing/avoid Opp   Passing/attack Opp
Indianapolis Colts (IND) @BUF Miami Dolphins (MIA) WAS
New York Jets (NYJ) CLE Philadelphia Eagles (PHI) ATL
St. Louis Rams (STL) SEA Green Bay Packers (GB) CHI
Cleveland Browns (CLE) @NYJ Cincinnati Bengals (CIN) OAK
Baltimore Ravens (BAL) @DEN Arizona Cardinals (ARI) NO
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB) TEN
Detroit Lions (DET) SD
Tennessee Titans (TEN) TB

You’ll note, if you check our quarterback rankings, that we’re a little lower on Andrew Luck than many outlets and a bit higher on Ryan Tannehill and Sam Bradford than many outlets. These matchups are a good indication why.

Bradford, Tannehill and Aaron Rodgers are considered good quarterback plays in daily fantasy this week across the industry, but you don’t see a lot of people banging their drums for Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer and Jameis Winston.

There’s your opportunity to get contrarian, Ninja.

They are riskier plays than Rodgers, sure, but if Dalton throws three TD passes to A.J. Green (or Marvin Jones, you sneaky Ninja) and you have both of them on your roster, there’s your ticket to $2 million.

If you’re trying to win big money, you’ll want to pair one of the quarterbacks above with his No. 1 or No. 2 wide receiver to maximize potential point output. Here are our wide receiver, tight end and flex rankings for Week 1.

Rushing matchups

Rushing/avoid Opp   Rushing/attack Opp
San Diego Chargers (SD) DET Arizona Cardinals (ARI) NO
St. Louis Rams (STL) SEA New York Jets (NYJ) CLE
Baltimore Ravens (BAL) DEN Philadelphia Eagles (PHI) ATL
Seattle Seahawks (SEA) STL Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB) TEN
Denver Broncos (DEN) BAL Oakland Raiders (OAK) CIN
New Orleans Saints (NO) ARI
Philadelphia Eagles (PHI) PHI

One of the most important parts about rushing matchups is remembering that good run defenses are waaaaayyy better at stopping the run than bad defenses are at giving up rushing yards.

That means the list on the left is far more important than the list on the right.

Benny Cunningham represents a great value on Draft Kings at only $3,000 and could be a sneaky play for an owner with early-season RB trouble. But against the Seahawks, it’s unlikely he scores two TDs, which is kind of the baseline for winning a GPP like that Millionaire Maker above.

I’m pretty sure we’re as low as anyone is going on Marshawn Lynch this week. The chart above is why.

You’re probably looking at our running back rankings wondering why we have Justin Forsett so high despite the ranking above. Well, expect him to slide a few slots when our Sunday Final Rankings update is released this morning.

The good Arizona matchup above might provide you with a contrarian edge. Andre Ellington isn’t getting a ton of love from the experts this week. But Ellington has a plus matchup and his team is expected to win at home. That could mean a little extra work for him.

Typically, when a running back has a huge game, is team’s defense is also doing a good job forcing turnovers and flummoxing the opposing offense. Here are our D/ST rankings for Week 1.

Chris Ivory is one of my top plays in daily this week. He’s the kind of player who I think can get in the end zone two or three times, he has a plus matchup against the Browns and his price is just $4,100. He’ll probably produce like a $6,000 or $7,000 player this week.

Check out our daily fantasy football sleepers and values for more players like Ivory: Draft Kings | FanDuel.

May variance be in your favor this week in season-long, daily and any other fantasy you play. Win $2 million and come back here to tell us about it.

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