4 NFL DraftKings Values for Week 1
Fantasy value doesn't have one concrete meaning. In season-long leagues, one might say that value is dictated by a player's total or weekly output versus their average draft position. In daily leagues, most players are measuring value by a player's output per $1,000 in salary -- in other words, the bang you get for your buck.
Finding cheap players in high-scoring games or with big matchup upside is pivotal to paying up for high-priced players such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey. The combination of the two is what can drive tournament-winning lineups or ones that will help you cash (in 50/50s, etc.) on a consistent basis.
Everyone has their own idea of where the salary cutoff for a value player is. It can depend on position, situation, or even site. For DraftKings, this article looks at quarterbacks who are priced under $6,000, running backs and wide receivers priced under $5,000, and tight ends priced under $4,000.
Some value plays will be obvious and might be rostered in a high percentage of lineups, while others will be more off-the-radar which could differentiate you from other lineups. We're here to parse through the data and information to find both types of low-cost-high-reward plays on a weekly basis.
Let's see who you should be fitting into your Week 1 lineups.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
DraftKings Price: $5,600
Projected Points: 16.9
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 3.02
Coming into the 2020 season there have been a lot of question marks around Tyrod Taylor and the Los Angeles Chargers' offense. Among them, will Taylor be the starter for most or all of the season, or will rookie Justin Herbert take over sooner rather than later? At least for now, Taylor is the man for coach Anthony Lynn, and that's all we're worried about for DFS purposes.
Well, not all -- we want an advantageous matchup, and that's what the Cincinnati Bengals present in Week 1. The Chargers check-in as 3.5-point road favorites in Cincinnati opposite rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow and a revamped yet unknown defensive unit. Just last year these Bengals tied for dead last in yards per play and, according to Pro Football Reference, allowed the ninth-most DraftKings points per game (21.5) to opposing quarterbacks.
To this point in his career, the 31-year-old Taylor has managed three seasons with at least 14 starts and no fewer than 15.2 DK points per game during that three-year run with Buffalo. As a dual-threat under center, he's going to be involved no matter the game script, but a competitive game bodes well for him to do damage both through the air and on the ground. However, the uncertainty makes Taylor a more appealing tournament than cash-game play this week.
Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
DraftKings Price: $4,900
Projected Points: 12.0
Projected Value: 2.44
While everyone and their brother flocks to the chalk that is hyped-up Washington rookie Antonio Gibson, go ahead and do yourself a favor by pivoting to ole reliable Tarik Cohen at a slightly higher price. Like Gibson, Cohen is in a fairly clear-cut backfield, in part, to an injury to presumed workhorse starter David Montgomery. Cohen is joined only by hybrid weapon Cordarrelle Patterson and second-year unknown Ryan Nall.
We can expect the Mitch Trubisky-led Bears to make good use of Cohen's wheels and hands as they begin the year as road 'dogs in Detroit. In fact, Cohen was much more active in defeat last year. In the same number of losses as wins, the out-of-backfield specialist tallied 7 more catches on 10 additional targets en route to 10.5 more yards a game. When trailing, he notched 62 of his 104 targets, and 45 of his 79 catches. If the Lions build a lead quickly we could see a lot of Cohen early and often throughout.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
DraftKings Price: $4,900
Projected Points: 12.5
Projected Value: 2.54
A notch below our threshold, DeSean Jackson isn't the cheapest of options, but he is a likely candidate for any and all lineups. And the reason is quite simple: there are few mouths to feed in Philadelphia. Rookie Jalen Reagor is rehabbing an injury and likely to make his debut in Week 2, while Miles Sanders' status is back and forth and Alshon Jeffery very unlikely to return for the opener. It should be a heavy dose of the two tight ends inside and Jackson outside for Carson Wentz.
It feels like forever ago, so forgive yourself if you don't recall Jackson's very brief but bright 2019. In his one full game, the opener against Washington, D-Jax turned nine targets into eight catches for a total of 154 yards and two scores. The final tally -- 38.4 DK points. That might even be a tall task after an abbreviated camp this time around, but it's worth noting that the Washington defense (a very good unit upfront) ranks in the bottom third of our power rankings -- a byproduct of big unknowns in the secondary.
With the Eagles drawing a healthy 24-point total over at FanDuel Sportsbook, we can expect to see two -- maybe even three -- passing scores on the board. If Landon Collins and company take care of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert Jackson should take advantage of mismatches on the outside, to the tune of a high-value fantasy day.
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
DraftKings Price: $3,600
Projected Points: 7.8
Projected Value: 2.18
As everyone breezed through their early season-long and best ball drafts, Jack Doyle seemed to be an afterthought at the tight end position. He's not a flashy player with the athleticism of dudes like Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson, nor has he sustained the types of numbers we saw him post back in 2016 and 2017, when Andrew Luck was at the helm. Combine that with the addition of Trey Burton, and not even the biggest of Doyle truthers would have expected to be talking about him as a value in Week 1.
Over the past few weeks, things have turned around in favor of a more involved Doyle. Burton has since been placed on Injured Reserve, and with the lack of experience of Mo Alie-Cox (15 catches in 2 seasons), it appears Doyle will be relied on heavily as Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts travel to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Doyle is no stranger to big workloads. He played on at least 70% of snaps in 10 of 16 games last year, as part of an underwhelming campaign in which he still drew 72 targets. The situation really couldn't be better, though. The Colts possess the week's fourth-highest implied total as 7.5-point favorites against what might be the worst defense in the league. A two-touchdown game is in the cards and well worth the small amount of salary for that type of upside.
Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.