Take a Stand: Week 1 DFS Plays
By Megan Shoup:
The “Take a Stand” article each week will feature players or teams that I am high or low on, yet it seems like majority of the daily fantasy world feels the opposite. As we know in daily fantasy tournaments, if you take stands against ownership, you can use that to your benefit.
Obviously not for all chalky plays, because there is plenty of “good chalk”. But each week I also see leverage points. I certainly will not always be right. But when I am right, taking a stand will gain a huge leverage on the field.
Also remember, for Weeks 1-4 (and especially Week 1), taking a stand can be a HUGE advantage. Why? Because we all think we know what’s going to happen based on last year’s results. But in actuality, a lot changes in the course of an offseason. Whether it’s draft picks, free agents additions/losses, positive/negative regression, coaching/scheme changes, and plenty more variables, the value of a player or team in daily fantasy from one year to the next can change. So Week 1 is the best time to be contrarian. Play like it’s a new season…because it IS! So let’s get to my Week 1 stands.
Browns Passing Offense:
Baker Mayfield is projected to be 1% owned in a high total game where the Browns are expected to play from behind. His receivers will be low owned too. Nick Chubb is an amazing running back, but I do not think the “keep away” game from Patrick Mahomes is going to work. The Browns were throwing at a much higher rate to end the season and during the playoffs. Mayfield is heading into his 4th season and 2nd with same coaching staff. There could be a huge potential for another big step for him and this entire offense. So I want to be early to the party and get Mayfield and his receivers for a discount on both price and ownership.
Everyone is talking about the Bills, but Najee Harris is only projected to be 13% owned. He is going to be a 3-down running back for the Steelers. So no matter what the game script is, Harris will be on the field and get touches. He’s an uber talented rookie that Mike Tomlin and the Steelers are very excited about. And I’m excited to play him a lot Week 1.
Christian McCaffery is back and Sam Darnold is the new quarterback for this Joe Brady led offense. I’m excited to see what Brady can cook up for Darnold to have a fresh start with talented weapons. Everyone is interested in playing CMC this week, and I will be over the field in ownership on him. But I’m also interested in receiving game too. I think this game could be a sneaky high total and want pieces of several Panthers skill players.
Angry Aaron Rodgers:
I know Aaron Rodgers is not one of the mobile, dual threat quarterbacks we love to play in daily fantasy. But he is the reigning league MVP and he’s pissed. Never, ever fade an angry Aaron Rodgers. I’m especially not going to fade him when he’s only projected to be 3% owned! I see a few A Rod touchdown passes early with his famous snarky smile and maybe a wink to the press box where the Packers GM sits.
No, this isn’t because I’m a Washington fan. And yes, I understand the Falcons matchup is a great one for Jalen Hurts. But this was a quarterback that only played three full games last season with one ceiling game. He had some fumbling issues and a high sack percentage. He has a new coaching staff and still lacks weapons at this point. Besides his rushing floor, I just don’t see this as a ceiling game for Hurts. I’m especially not interested when he’s projected to possibly be the 2nd highest owned quarterback on the slate.
Josh Allen was competing for MVP last season and very well could do the same in 2021. But Week 1 against the Steelers is not the match-up that is best for an Allen ceiling game. Allen has struggled under pressure and if the Steelers can get home, it might be a bumpy game for the Bills offense. While everyone seems to be projecting this game to be a high scoring affair and Josh Allen is projected to be the highest owned quarterback, I’ll sit this week out on him.