Start Your Fantasy Football Season With the Fantasy Feud Survivor Challenge
At this point, you've likely played in a few salary-driven daily fantasy football games. If you haven't, you should visit our friends at FantasyFeud.com. This year, Fantasy Feud is hosting fantasy football "Survivor" contests where you pick players, not teams. Your job each week is to choose one quarterback, one running back and one receiver who will score enough points to help you survive to the following week. Each week, 1/16th of the original contestants are eliminated. To keep things interesting, there's a catch: you can only use each player once all season.
Fantasy Feud is giving a free entry away to anyone who signs up and makes their first deposit on the site.
Clearly there's strategy involved with these contests. It's easier to advance early than it is late - the second-to-last week will see half of the field getting cut. So do you go with studs early in an attempt to just advance, or do you take risks, saving your high-end players for the weeks that matter most? Fortunately, we've got you covered with some solid, under-the-radar options at each position for Week 1 to get you started on the right foot.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
Palmer has a lot of things going for him from a fantasy perspective this week. He has two outstanding targets on the outside - Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd - and the ultra impressive rookie John Brown in the slot. He also has an explosive running back to hand the ball off too in Andre Ellington, which was missing for the most part a season ago.
The other positive for Palmer's fantasy owners is that the Cardinals defense has actually gotten worse. Arizona will be playing without Karlos Dansby, Darnell Dockett and Daryl Washington this season, three of their best players from a season ago.
Oh yeah, and in Week 1 he faces off against a Chargers squad that ranked 26th against the pass last year according to our metrics, and we have them ranked as the third-worst defense in the league this season. All signs point to a big season for the Cardinals signal-caller, and it starts Week 1.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers kick off their season against the Cowboys in what is expected to be one of the highest-scoring games of the week with an over/under of 50.5. Much of the reason why Vegas thinks this will be such a high scoring game is because the Dallas defense is abysmal.
Last season, the Cowboys game up 22.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, which was good for second-worst in the league. They also gave up the third-highest rushing yards per attempt. Now they have they have to try to stop opposing offenses without their best pass-rusher, Demarcus Ware, and their All-Pro caliber defensive signal-caller, Sean Lee. Enter Kaepernick, a young gunslinger looking to prove he's taken the next step in his development.
Considering how many points will be scored in this game and how terrible the Cowboys defense is, this is the ideal week to play the Niners quarterback.
Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
I just got through telling you how bad the Cowboys defense is, so why not target them in the running game as well? Dallas ranked dead last in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs this season at 28.1 per game, and will be playing without their best run stopper, Sean Lee, all season. Not only is this the perfect week to play Gore because of the matchup, but with young stud Carlos Hyde breathing down his neck and more than 2,000 career carries in the books, you can expect the veteran Niners' running back to have a stronger start to the season than finish. Gore is in the absolute ideal situation for a survivor play this week.
Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills
If you thought Gore was the oldest running back I was going to recommend, you're sorely mistaken. But although F-Jax is two years older than the 31-year-old Gore, he has nearly 1,000 fewer career carries, and should have plenty of gas left in his preverbal tank.
In Week 1, Jackson gets a matchup with a Bears defense that ranked dead last against the rush according to our metrics, and allowed 26.6 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs, the second-most in the league. Although the Bills veteran will definitely be sharing carries with C.J. Spiller, there will be plenty of touches to be had for both of them as Buffalo ran the ball 546 times last season, 37 more than any other team in the league. Jackson also has the benefit of getting all of the goal-line work, and will have a great shot at scoring a touchdown. He's a great Week 1 start in this format.
Greg Jennings, Minnesota Vikings
Jennings was a beast down the stretch last season, recording 32 catches for 365 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Vikings final five games. What's the most important thing that this season's Week 1 has in common with those five games? Matt Cassel will be the Vikings' starting quarterback.
Whenever Cassel was under center last season, Jennings seemed to be his go-to guy. In fact, in the eight games Cassel and Jennings played together, the Vikings wide receiver posted 44 catches for 509 yards and all 4 of his touchdowns.
In Week 1, the Vikings square off against a Rams team who, despite having a very solid defense, you can definitely throw on. The Rams ranked 21st against the pass last year according to our metrics, and gave up the 14th-most passing yards. And with Cortland Finnegan gone, they should be even worse this season.
Jennings has a very high floor with Cassel under center, and has big upside against the Rams secondary.
Donnie Avery, Kansas City Chiefs
With Dwayne Bowe serving a one-game suspension, Avery becomes the de facto number one wide receiver in Kansas City for Week 1. Avery does his best work running underneath routes in the middle of the field, which are the exact type of throws Chiefs' quarterback Alex Smith loves to make.
Behind Avery on the depth chart are Junior Hemingway and Frankie Hammond, who have logged a combined 13 total NFL receptions. Avery was better than people realize last season, ranking above average within our metrics at wide receiver. Considering his expected increase in targets with Bowe out, Avery could make a great survivor play, even in a tough matchup against the Titans.
It's Time to Get Started
What are you waiting for? Head on over to FantasyFeud.com and set your first Survivor lineup!