DFS Week 1: DRAFT Targets & Players to Avoid

I’m very excited that this season I’ll be writing DFS articles specifically for DRAFT. If you’re not familiar with DRAFT I highly encourage you to jump into your App store or Google Play store and download the most user-friendly and fun DFS app out there. My takes are a combination of stats, match-up analysis, and what I’ve seen drafting this week: to draft with me next week add me MattHicks15.

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Favorite Play: Drew Brees (NO) vs TB

I have a lot of shares of Brees this week, and a lot of shares of Saints in general. Last season, Tampa Bay gave up the 13th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and nothing about their offseason suggests improvement to me. Brees is opening at home in the dome and has a good track record in Week 1. In his 2017 and 2016 season openers he combined for 714 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. You don’t have to pay up either, I’ve gotten him consistently in the 4th round.

High Upside: Tom Brady (NE) vs HOU

It’s odd to call Brady an upside play, and even DRAFT has him projected high, but I’ve seen him consistently go in the 5th round of drafts I’ve done this week…and I don’t hate it. Although improved, the Texans defense allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2017. Brady contributed significantly to the previous stat in Week 3 when he threw for 378 yards and 5 (yes 5) touchdowns against them. Brady comes out of the gate hot: in 2017 he threw for an average of 349 yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game in his first 4 games. He also didn’t throw an interception until Week 5.

Do Not DRAFT: Phillip Rivers (LAC) vs KC

Rivers is a trap pick. Originally, I liked Rivers this week: he’s coming off a career year and with a slew of weapons including Allen, Williams, Gordon, and now even Gates. Rivers is also facing a Kansas City offense that allowed the 9th most fantasy points to quarterbacks last season. Rivers, however, struggled against Kansas City in 2017; throwing for 464 total yards, 1 touchdown, and 6 interceptions while completing just 40 of 76 passing attempts.

Running Back

Favorite Play: Alvin Kamara (NO) vs TB

I’m taking Kamara over DJ, Zeke, Gurley and every other player this week. I’m not on my own either: I’ve seen him go first overall more than any other player. Kamara tore up Tampa Bay in his rookie season: rushing for 112 yards, catching another 168 yards, and scoring 3 touchdowns in his two match-ups vs the Bucs. The Saints are sure to be on the field a lot this week too; Tampa Bay is currently starting a bleak back-up who edged out their rookie hopeful at running back and a career back-up covering for their suspended quarterback.

Upside Target: Alex Collins (BAL) vs BUF

If you start WR/WR this week, you’re going to find Collins as a viable option this week. Normally, it seems rational to shy away from the Bills defense, but they allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs last season. Collins has a sneakily successful sophomore season: he rushed for 4.6 yards per carry (9th among all running backs), just behind Todd Gurley (4.7 yards per carry) and ahead of Devonte Freeman (4.4 yards per carry), Ezekiel Elliot (4.1 yards per carry), and Le’Veon Bell (4.0 yards per carry). He’s a great round 4/5 target.

Do Not DRAFT: Saquon Barkley (NYG) vs JAX

Barkley’s dual threat will pull me in most weeks, but this is not that week. Jacksonville shutdown opposing running backs last season: ranking in the bottom third for fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. They also allowed the least fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks; meaning that it will be difficult for the Giants to stay on the field and get into the redzone this week.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Favorite Play: A.J. Green (CIN) vs IND

You can grab Green late, but I’ve reached for him in the 3rd multiple times this week. The Colts allowed the 7th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers last season and Green has little competition for volume. Green caught at least 5 receptions in 10 games in 2017, while catching 8 touchdowns in a year where Andy Dalton struggled to keep the Bengals offense moving. In this game, the Bengals should be battling in a close game that will require Green to be involved in all four quarters.

Upside Target: Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG) vs JAX

It’s weird to call OBJ an upside target, but this normal consensus top 3 WR has plummeted to a round 5 option. I gave multiple reasons for avoiding the Giants offense above, however, at some point you disregard the match-up for talent. That’s what I’m doing each and every time I see OBJ available in the 4/5th rounds-don’t overthink this one and draft the guy who caught 302 yards and 3 touchdowns in 4 games before suffering his season ending injury in 2017.

Do Not DRAFT: Davante Adams (GB) vs CHI

There are too many factors working against Adams this week. He’s facing a tough Chicago defense, who has spent an off season improving after allowing just the 17th most fantasy points to opposing wideouts last season. In Week 4 of last season, Adams got shot down against the Bears: catching just 2 of his 5 targets for 13 yards (although he did sneak a touchdown in there). Adams just doesn’t weigh up to the other DRAFT targets you can get in his range. I’d rather take Diggs, Julio Jones, or Larry Fitzgerald; all of whom I’ve seen go near or after him.

Published by

Matt Hicks

Matt’s writing is focused on dynasty and devy fantasy football. He loves blending his experience writing research in the field of education with fantasy football stats. Matt currently lives in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. You can follow Matt on Twitter: @TheFF_Educator

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