A vital key to success in DraftKings fantasy football — or any sport, for that matter — is to find the bargains.
You want guys who are going to outperform their salaries.
If Player A costs $8,500, but you went with Player B for $7,000 and Player B outscores Player A, there’s a good chance you’re on your way to winning money in a DraftKings fantasy contest.
Easier said than done, though. But not impossible. First, you need to know how the scoring system works.
Let’s talk about quarterbacks. In DraftKings, you get 4 points for a touchdown pass, 1 point for every 25 passing yards and 3 points for a 300-yard game. But you also lose a point for an interception.
But this post is going to focus on the undervalued players, the ones who cost under $7,500 yet can still pile up the fantasy points in Week 1. They exist. In fact, I’ve identified more than a handful of them. They are quarterbacks who wing it and have favorable matchups on the NFL’s opening weekend.
Rodgers is the most expensive QB in the field at $8,600. Technically, $7,500 isn’t exactly a bargain, but that’s the salary mark we’re going to use for Week 1, when things are still somewhat of an unknown.
As for the contests offered in Week 1, the biggest is the NFL Millionaire Maker contest, which is handing out $10 million in prize money — the biggest prize pool in daily fantasy sports history. The contest is $20 to enter and will pay out $2 million to the top finisher.
Bookmark our fantasy football rankings 2015 page to keep up-to-date on the latest projections and rankings heading into the season.
Keep reading to see the Week 1 quarterback bargains:
Matt Ryan, Falcons: vs. Eagles, $7,500 — The Falcons-Eagles game has “shootout” written all over it as neither team bothered to play much defense in 2014 — pass D, especially. With a still-unsettled running game, expect Ryan to pile up the pass attempts.
Eli Manning, Giants: at Cowboys, $7,400 — Manning has thrown 12 TDs vs. the Cowboys in the past 4 games. And now the Cowboys just lost starting corner Orlando Scandrick. The chop-licking for Eli has already begun.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins: at Redskins, $7,400 — Tannehill has the best group of receivers he’s ever had and faces a Redskins unit in Week 1 which gave up 35 TD passes in 2014. They got some new parts in the secondary, though nothing star quality.
Tony Romo, Cowboys: vs. Giants, $7,300 — Romo threw 7 TDs vs. the Giants in 2014 and in Week 1 will need to keep the Cowboys scoring as New York will be getting into the end zone. Another shootout is expected.
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Sam Bradford, Eagles: at Falcons, $6,800 — Now we’re starting to talk real bargains — under $7K. Bradford hasn’t played in almost 2 years, but the combo of a Chip Kelly offense, an extremely porous ATL secondary and the low salary makes the former No. 1 overall pick a very attractive Week 1 option. Atlanta has known it was getting Philadelphia in Week 1 for a while now, so the Falcons have had all summer to cook up a defense to counter the Eagles’ attack. Like I said, though, only a slight concern.
Joe Flacco, Ravens: at Broncos, $6,700 — I don’t see the Broncos-Ravens being a defensive struggle. Flacco is going to need to air it out to keep the Ravens in this one. Garbage time stats count, too.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals: vs. Saints, $6,500 — Palmer was off to a blazing start a year ago before a season-ending injury. And the Saints haven’t exactly been the stingiest defense to pass on in recent years. He’s a gamble, but the price is right and the pass attempt volume will be there.
Andy Dalton, Bengals: at Raiders, $6,100 — Everybody’s down on Dalton. He did have a forgettable 2014, but he’s got his full stable of receivers back healthy (for the most part) — AJ Green, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Tyler Eifert. Not to mention RB Gio Bernard is an above-average receiver. It also doesn’t hurt the Raiders have allowed 62 TD passes vs. 18 interceptions the past 2 seasons. Dalton could prove to be the bargain of the week.