Daily Fantasy Football: DraftKings Value Plays and Picks – Week 1

Cody Latimer
Cody Latimer
Cary Edmondson USA TODAY Sports

It’s finally here. September 4, 2014 is the beginning of the NFL season. It’s the beginning of the Seattle Seahawks as reigning champions, the beginning of fantasy football, and most importantly, the beginning of daily fantasy football.

XN Sports will present values and picks from DraftKings each and every week throughout the season for all your daily fantasy needs. Check out all the contests at DraftKings here, and be sure to enter the Week 1 free rolls right away.

If you have not played on DraftKings yet, be sure to make your first deposit which will earn you a free spot in a paid tournament. Why play DraftKings? In addition to one of the most aesthetically-pleasing websites on the internet, DraftKings offers user-friendly scoring and rules which can be found in full here. In addition, there is no kicker so any of those six field goal days will not ruin your weekend.

The details of this week’s contest:

Contest Details
-$100,000 Play-Action Fantasy Football Contest
-$10,000 to first place – Free entry with your first deposit
-Top 11,500 places paid out
-Make any deposit on DraftKings and you get free entry to this $100,000 Contest
-Part of DraftKings’ $5,000,000 Kickoff Bash
-$5M in prizes are being given away, Week 1 Only.

You are given $50,000 in cap money to start a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, a tight end, a flex, and a defense/special teams. There is no right or wrong strategy, but there are many ways to win. Be sure to check DraftKings out today to be the next big winner in daily fantasy football.

Without further ado, Week 1 values and picks.

Value Plays


Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders $5,000

Carr takes on the Jets this week, who have an excellent pass rush. But, considering the Jets’ secondary could be one of the worst in the NFL, especially with Dee Milliner out, Carr at the minimum price for a QB is worth looking at.

Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars $5,200

Henne will take on the Eagles this week. You may be thinking, why start a Jaguars quarterback? Jacksonville will need to score a lot of points to keep up with the Eagles, and that burden will lie on Henne’s right arm. The Eagles secondary is improved, but still one of the question marks on the team. Henne could accidentally throw for 300 yards in what could be a barn-burner.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston Texans $5,400

Fitzpatrick faces the Redskins, who notoriously have one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. Fitzpatrick will have Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and Arian Foster at his disposal, and the Fitzmagic can continue from the end of last season. For a player that is only $400 above the minimum, consider him in your lineups.

Running Back

Dexter McCluster, Tennessee Titans $3,000

At the minimum price, McCluster could be worth adding to your team. He is slated at running back on DraftKings, but he could line up in the slot or the backfield for the Titans. DraftKings is full PPR, so if McCluster catches a few passes, he will be well worth the minimum salary at running back.

Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers $3,900

Hyde and the Niners take on the Cowboys this weekend, and with the Niners expected to roll all over Dallas’ defense, Hyde could be the beneficiary of carries in the second half. With Gore getting older, Hyde will see a lot of carries to keep both backs fresh and it starts this week.

Wide Receiver

Cody Latimer, Denver Broncos $3,000

With Wes Welker out, the Broncos have four wide receivers on their depth chart. Obviously Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are the top two, but who is the third? Andre Caldwell is likely the second slot guy which leaves the rookie from Indiana as the third option for Manning. Latimer has impressed at camp and in the preseason, and he seems to get Manning’s system early which is a plus for a rookie. At the minimum, it’s worth playing a Denver receiver, especially when that guy is an incredible talent.

Tight End

Levine Toilolo, Atlanta Falcons $3,000

It seems that everyone is discounting Toilolo this season so far, and with his price at the minimum for Week 1, he is a bargain. Without a doubt, he is no Tony Gonzalez, but the massive tight end is playing in Gonzalez’ role and could be a target for a touchdown. But, Toilolo is not just a red zone threat. He has caught the ball well between the 20s as well in camp. Keep an eye on him for DFS and seasonal leagues.


QB – Peyton Manning, DEN $10,100

RB – Montee Ball, DEN $7,000

RB – Joique Bell, DET $5,500

WR – Demaryius Thomas, DEN $8,100

WR – Emmanuel Sanders, DEN $4,800

WR – Cody Latimer, DEN $3,000

TE – Julius Thomas, DEN $5,800

FLEX – Kelvin Benjamin, CAR $4,200

DST – Jaguars $1,500

As you can see, the Broncos stack is in effect already. Why? The Colts defense is improved, but still not built to match the firepower that Manning and his weapons possess. In order to afford the Broncos plus Bell and Benjamin, the Jaguars defense was selected. Why start them against one of the best offenses in the NFL in the Eagles? It’s not advised, but at that price only a few sacks or one turnover will return decent value.

author avatar
Josh Collacchi
In addition to writing here at XNSports, my fantasy content can be seen at Pro Football Focus Fantasy, eDraft, and Project Roto. Member of the FSWA and the FWAA and can be reached on Twitter @JoshCollacchi