DraftKings NFL Week 1 Picks: Top Value Quarterback Plays

Patrick Mahomes

Getty Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

The long, painful wait for the return of the NFL is officially here, which also means daily fantasy football is back. While players set their season-long lineups, they’ll also attempt to navigate the many unknowns that come along with the opening week of football.

And as always, the daily fantasy sports sites, such as DraftKings, are rolling out massive games in Week 1. The main focus for DFS players will surely be the millionaire game, which features $5 million guaranteed and $1 million to first place. The buy-in for that one is $20, but there are even huge offerings in guaranteed prize pool games for $1 or less.

There’s plenty of value across the board this week, and we’re going to break down a few of the top salary-saving quarterbacks. The key position is incredibly interesting this week, as the option to either spend up or use a less-expensive option both can make sense.

Let’s dive in and check out a few salary-saving signal-callers on the slate.

*Note: We’ve qualified “value” plays as any quarterback $6,000 or less on DraftKings.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals ($5,800)

The Indianapolis Colts pass defense simply is not good. They ranked No. 28 in the league in passing yards per game allowed last year, and while the Bengals have some concerns on offense, I’m confident in Dalton. A big key here is the duo of A.J. Green and John Ross. While Green will draw plenty of attention as he picks apart the Colts secondary, Ross should be good for at least one or two big gains over the top.

Between those two, and the red-zone mismatch Tyler Eifert creates, Dalton should be good for 2-3 touchdowns and at the very least 250 passing yards. Let’s also not forget that Joe Mixon has legitimate upside as a pass-catcher, which also helps.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs ($6,000)

To be clear, I’m a fan of the Los Angeles Chargers defense. But with Joey Bosa sidelined, it makes them slightly less scary. Beyond that, though, I’m fine sitting back and racking up the fantasy points from Mahomes taking off running from time-to-time. If we’re able to get one long touchdown and rushing yards from the Chiefs quarterback, then he’ll easily pay off his $6000 price tag.

The over/under on this game is floating around 48.5, which also bodes well for both Mahomes and the two offenses. I’ll happily spend down a bit on Mahomes and spend up elsewhere.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys ($5,500)

Things I’m willing to bet on in Week 1:

  1. Ezekiel Elliott is going to have incredibly high ownership
  2. Dak Prescott will have low ownership
  3. Prescott will far outperform his $5,500 price tag with ease

There has been so much hype surrounding Elliott this offseason (for good reason), but let’s not forget what Prescott has been able to do with his star running back in the lineup. The quarterback’s mediocre numbers of 3,324 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, six rushing touchdowns, and 13 interceptions last season don’t tell the whole story.

Here’s a look at a quick breakdown of Prescott’s numbers both without and with Elliott in the lineup last season:

  • No Zeke: Threw for under 215 yards in five of six games, six total touchdowns, seven interceptions.
  • With Zeke: At least 230 yards in six of 10 games, 21 total touchdowns, six interceptions.

Things open up in a big way for Prescott with Elliott lining up in the backfield with him, and while the Panthers are a good defensive team, I love the idea of getting the Cowboys quarterback at low ownership. The argument all offseason has been that Dallas has no wide receivers, but if Elliott dominates, Prescott is going to have open pass-catchers all over the field. He very well may prove to be the biggest surprise of Week 1 when all is said and done.