An Early Look at DraftKings' Week 1 Pricing

Aug 08, 2016
An Early Look at DraftKings' Week 1 Pricing

DraftKings put out their Week 1 pricing on Friday, August 5th. The Millionaire Maker is $3 and has 1.96 million entrants, Sunday-only is now the main slate, and QB pricing has been elevated.

Here are my initial thoughts on a position-by-position basis:


DraftKings has elevated the average price of QBs -- for Week 1 at least. Whereas in 2015 there were 5.5 QBs per week priced at $7,000 or above, there are 11 on the Sunday-only slate alone. This will make it even more important to find cheap values at the other positions. (Learn how to find value at RB here, WR here, and TE here.)

Eli Manning ($7,500) is the QB19 on FanDuel's pricing, but the QB5 on DraftKings', so he's a QB who could be a good fade candidate on the site if you play on both.

Brock Osweiler ($6,300) is a relative unknown with the Texans, but he is a home favorite with a team total of 24, which fits the criteria of the ideal DFS QB.

I like Carson Palmer ($7,100) as the QB10 in pricing against the Patriots. Palmer finished 2015 ranked as the QB7 in PPG and is priced the same as Matt Ryan, who finished ranked as the QB26 in PPG. Barring setbacks from Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis, I don't think Patriots-Cardinals will necessarily be a defensive game. Remember, Matt Cassel kept the Patriots offense right on schedule the last time Tom Brady missed extended time. That also makes Jimmy Garoppolo ($6,200) an interesting GPP play as one of the cheapest QBs on the board. The game's current over/under is 48, the fourth-highest on the slate.

Running Back

The Raiders could have one of the most valuable backfield situations in fantasy, and with the latest reports suggesting Latavius Murray ($5,600) is in the driver's seat to remain the lead back, he is shaping up as a nice Week 1 play against a Saints defense that will likely struggle up front again in 2016.

The value at RB looks to be in the $4,500-$5,500 range:

  • Frank Gore ($5,500) is a home favorite against the Lions and has little competition for touches in a good offense.
  • Danny Woodhead ($5,000) was the RB13 in PPG but is priced as the RB21. Woodhead's target outlook is slightly improved with the injury to Stevie Johnson.
  • Jeremy Langford ($4,700) is a road underdog against the Texans, but averaged 21.3 touches, 122.0 yards, and 1.3 TDs in three starts as an underdog in 2015, of which two came on the road.

Jerick McKinnon ($4,600) is priced as the RB26. Does DraftKings know something we don't? Is Adrian Peterson about to get switch-happy again before Week 1?

Wide Receiver

Julian Edelman ($6,100) comes with a huge injury (and QB?) discount if he's ready to go; the last time he was active in the regular season, his price was $8,200. Edelman being ready to go, however, is no sure thing. Reports out of camp about Edelman's health have been vague, and some injury experts think a Week 1 return from the type of foot injury he sustained is a bit aggressive. I haven't been drafting Edelman in MyFantasyLeague best ball drafts for this reason, but he'll be an interesting value pick if healthy. Edelman was the WR9 in PPG scoring last season.

Amari Cooper ($7,200) should be viewed as a WR1 against the Saints porous defense even if he gets shadowed by the talented but mistake-prone Delvin Breaux.

John Brown ($5,200) is the same price as Kevin White and only $100 more than Mohamed Sanu and Corey Coleman. Brown's ADP is WR29, while White's is WR37, Coleman's is WR40, and Sanu's is WR57. The Patriots have been successful at limiting the opposition's top receiving option, and with Larry Fitzgerald ($6,300) taking on more of an underneath role and Michael Floyd ($5,900) operating mostly as a deep threat, Brown could be the guy Bill Belichick zeroes in on.

As I wrote in my early look at FanDuel Week 1 pricing, Marvin Jones ($4,600) could be a screaming value -- unless he gets shadowed by Vontae Davis, which is possible depending on how often Golden Tate lines up in the slot.

Tight End

Dwayne Allen ($3,200) looks like one of the biggest bargains on the slate. Allen is the TE20 on DraftKings, and remember, this isn't even a full slate. 4for4 has Allen ranked squarely inside the top-10 at the position, and the Lions are ranked as the bottom-five team in early aFPA versus TEs.

Julius Thomas ($3,800) is another TE 4for4 has ranked inside the top-10 that is very affordable, priced the same as or below TEs that 4for4 doesn't even have ranked in the top-15, like Jason Witten ($4,100), Eric Ebron ($3,900), and Jimmy Graham ($3,800).

Speaking of Witten, he tends to put up good numbers against the Giants, who always seem to be undermanned at linebacker and safety, as they could be again in 2016. Over the last three seasons, Witten has averaged 17.3 PPG in six games against the Giants, and 10.3 PPG in 42 games against everyone else.

Clive Walford ($3,000) could be an interesting punt play against a Saints defense that we have ranked dead last versus TEs in early aFPA -- assuming Walford's knee bruise and resulting lack of camp reps with Derek Carr don't cost him Week 1 playing time.

Defense/Special Teams

As I also mentioned in the FanDuel piece, selecting a D/ST is all about leveraging Vegas odds to select teams that project to be playing with a lead, which can force the opponent into passing situations where errors like sacks and interceptions that benefit the defense from a fantasy perspective are more likely to occur. You should aim to select defenses who are favorites, with home favorites being the ideal choice.

Here is a list of the current Week 1 home favorites:

  • Seahawks (-10, $3,900) vs. Dolphins
  • Chiefs (-7, $3,600) vs. Chargers
  • Cardinals (-5.5, $3,500) vs. Patriots
  • Eagles (-6, $3,300) vs. Browns
  • Falcons (-3, $2,800) vs. Buccaneers
  • Colts (-5, $2,700) vs. Lions
  • Ravens (-3, $2,700) vs. Bills
  • Cowboys (-3.5, $2,500) vs. Giants

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