3 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in Week 1
We have a lot of pieces on numberFire geared toward helping you figure out which players you should roster in your DFS contests on FanDuel, but an important aspect of the DFS process is figuring out who you shouldn't play.
Narrowing down your list of potential plays by avoiding those who are destined to underwhelm can go a long way toward helping you create winning lineups.
Zigging when the masses zag is part of giving yourself an edge in DFS, so you'll sometimes be able to make a case for using a player in this piece in an effort to be contrarian -- especially if said player is really good.
Inevitably, some of the players I feature in this article will blow up and pop for a big game, but that comes with the territory of doing a piece like this one -- unless I'm going to tell you to avoid playing dudes like Jared Goff. I'm not going to do that. I want this piece to be useful.
Here are some players I'm avoiding this week.
Chase Edmonds, RB, Dolphins
FanDuel Salary: $5,800
The low-salary running backs on Week 1's main slate are mostly a wasteland. Chase Edmonds is an exception.
Edmonds is expected to be the starter for the Miami Dolphins. Any starting running back with a salary this low is at least worth a look, and if Edmonds pushes close to 20 touches, he'll have a great shot to post a solid score while giving you the salary to go big elsewhere. Our model likes him, too, projecting him for 12.3 FanDuel points and rating him as the fifth-best point-per-dollar play at the position.
But on a slate with so many top-notch plays at running back -- guys with slate-breaking upside -- I don't think it's worth it to roll the dice on Edmonds. Our model has four backs pegged to score at least 19.1 FanDuel points, and we have 10 forecasted to put up at least 15.0 points. I want to get as many of those guys into my lineups as I can, which means using three of them in the vast majority of my builds.
Plus, with Raheem Mostert and Sony Michel in the mix in Miami, it's not a stone-cold lock that Edmonds operates as a clear-cut lead back. And on top of that, the matchup with the New England Patriots is just a middling one as the Pats were a middle-of-the-pack unit a year ago in terms of FanDuel points per game allowed to running backs (20.6).
All in all, I'm chasing upside, and while Edmonds' salary is enticing, I have several other running backs I will prioritize as core plays. I'll take my lower-salary shots at wideout and tight end.
With that said, if you need to save salary at one running back slot, Edmonds looks like by far the best option under $6,000.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
FanDuel Salary: $6,800
As I just laid out, I'm going after the high-salary, high-upside backs on this slate, so some of what I said about Edmonds not fitting my preferred builds this week also applies to Saquon Barkley. He's just not someone who meshes well with what I'm doing. But I also hate this spot for him.
Barkley should get fed, which is definitely a positive, especially at his modest salary. There are a few problems, though.
The matchup on the road at the Tennessee Titans is a really difficult one. Tennessee gave up the fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs a year ago (16.1). The New York Giants have an ugly 19.00-point implied total, the slate's third-lowest clip. Volume can trump matchup at running back, but this matchup stinks.
The Giants' offense might be miserable again. We have them as the third-worst passing offense and a middle-of-the-road rushing attack. We've seen Barkley get bogged down by this offense, which leads me to my last point.
It's also fair to question if Barkley still has slate-winning upside in him. He just hasn't erupted for a true big game in a while. Heck, he's barely shown any kind of upside. In 2021, he surpassed 10.4 FanDuel points only twice. Yikes.
With the plethora of quality backs available to us, I just don't see much of a reason to risk it with Barkley this week, especially since it looks like he'll be a popular play, according to early draft percentage projections around the industry.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Raiders
FanDuel Salary: $5,900
Even when Hunter Renfrow was the clear number-one wideout on the Las Vegas Raiders, he just wasn't someone I used much in DFS, because his role -- namely his 6.6-yard average depth of target -- caps his upside.
Renfrow had a really good campaign in 2021, but he totaled more than 15.0 FanDuel points just four times, breaking the 20.0-point barrier only once. While the $5,900 salary means Renfrow doesn't need to go berserk to be a good play, the ceiling just isn't that great.
The Week 1 matchup is rough, too, as the Los Angeles Chargers permitted the third-fewest FanDuel points per game to wideouts last season (23.6). The Bolts limited Renfrow to 58 total receiving yards across two meetings in 2021, although he did score three touchdowns in the two games.
Renfrow will likely still have a very valuable real-life role in 2022 as a chain mover, and he's a low-salary way to get a piece of a game with a juicy 52.5-point total and 3.5-point spread. I get the appeal. But with Adams and Waller healthy and Renfrow rarely getting deep targets, I don't see how Renfrow goes off in this one unless he repeats last season's touchdown success from this matchup.