“James Addiction” Wide Receiver/Running Back Start ‘Em (DFS/Season-Long) Week #1
Finally the NFL Season is has arrived, and even better, our Fantasy Football Seasons are set to begin. Our teams have been drafted, our opening waivers are in, and all that is left is setting our lineups for a successful first week. There is some good news/bad news for Ezekiel Elliot owners. The NFL is allowing him to play Week 1, but we won’t know about the rest of the season until at least Friday. Other owners also take a hit with the postponement of the Buccaneers at Dolphins game to Week 11.
This week, I’m here to help you decide on some of those players to fill out your starting rosters. If you somehow managed to draft three receivers or three running backs within the top couple of tiers then by all means, start them, but if you have some choices to make, if you lost Evans, Jackson, Ajayi, Parker or Landry this week, consider these players below…
- Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints / DK-$5,900, FD-$6,500) – Rookie, Dalvin Cook faces the New Orleans Saints who gave up 101.6 yards per game in 2016. The Saints have a couple of new faces at linebacker with Manti Te’o and A.J. Klein, but their past performance doesn’t suggest much of an upgrade. Cook is an extremely elusive runner with great vision and regularly broke off big plays in college. In DFS his mid-tier pricing makes him a great value this week.
- Robert Kelley (Washington Redskins vs Philadelphia Eagles / DK-$4,300, FD-$5,800) – Kelley is my least favorite pick this week against an above average Eagles run defense, but he is a likely producer in the red zone as Washington should be able to move the ball through the air against the Eagles pass defense. I’d only expect average yardage from Kelley this week, but he has a good chance to punch in a short TD from the red zone. In DFS he is at a great price to fill out your roster.
- Frank Gore (Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Rams / DK-$4,300, FD-$6,000) – I love Frank Gore this week against the below average rushing defense of the Rams. It’s only week one and Gore, at 34 years of age, will have the freshest legs he’ll have all season, and an added bonus is he won’t have to face Aaron Donald. Even with backup QB Scott Tolzien running the offense the Colts should be able to stay in this game against the young Rams offense, and Gore should be a big part of the game plan as the Colts will be limited in the passing game.
- Michael Crabtree (Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans / DK-$6,000, FD-$6,900) – Crabtree faces the abysmal Titans pass defense this week. Yes the Titans did add Logan Ryan and rookie Adoree’ Jackson, but Ryan wasn’t all that successful a corner in New England and, judging by his pre-season play, Adoree’ Jackson will need some time to adjust to the NFL game. The Raiders will be able to put up some points this week, and Crabtree will be one of the beneficiaries.
- Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit Lions / DK-$5,900, FD-$6,400) – The Lions slot corner is D.J. Hayden, a former first round pick of the Raiders and current bust. He will have all kinds of difficulty covering Larry Fitzgerald in the slot. I look for Fitz to have another big opening day, and in DFS he is priced to “buy”.
- Ted Ginn Jr. (New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings / DK-$4,200, FD-$5,600) – Xavier Rhodes is likely to be shadowing Michael Thomas this week, and Terence Newman will be covering the slot, which should be Brandon Coleman while Willie Snead is out. Newman may struggle in the end zone against the 6’6″ Coleman, but is generally the better player. This leaves Ted Ginn Jr. matched up against Trae Waynes. Ginn will win this matchup, and be targeted often by Drew Brees this week. He is a great DFS option at his current price.
Running Back Duo’s
Matt Forte (DK-$4,800 / FD-$6,000) and Bilal Powell (DK-$4,900 / FD-$6,300)
I’m trying out a new section in articles this year – best running back duo! I’m going to kick this off by picking Matt Forte and Bilal Powell against Buffalo this week. Buffalo finished at the bottom of the NFL in rushing defense in 2016, ahead of only Miami, surrendering 133.1 yards per game. The Jets game plan this week should be to run the ball and I expect both Forte and Powell to get plenty of work. Powell is the more explosive option at this point in their careers and has the bigger upside in this game, but Forte has a high enough floor against the Bills to be an attractive option as well.
Check back each week for Running Back and Receiver picks all season. Our current schedule, starting in Week 2, has me publishing each Wednesday morning, and I’ll be highlighting three to four picks at each position to help you fill out your fantasy lineups. Best of luck this Fantasy Season!