Fantasy Football Week 1: Contrarian Plays for FanDuel and DraftKings
Heath Cummings gives you four players who will be underowned in Week 1 DFS contests.
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Since it's Week 1, let's start with a quick refresher on the what and the why of contrarian plays in DFS. Just skip to the plays if you don't need this.
When you play in big tournaments against thousands of other teams you need more than just good players who score a bunch of points. You need good players who other people aren't playing who also score a bunch of points. Think of it like this: If 40 percent of the other teams have Antonio Brown and only 5 percent have Odell Beckham you will benefit much more from playing Beckham and being right. Make sense? Good. Here are my four favorite contrarian plays for Week 1.
You know who everyone's favorite cheap quarterback is right? Of course you do: We've been talking about Andy Dalton all week. Well, Sam Bradford is the perfect pivot off of Dalton. There's plenty of upside with Bradford and the injury risk that kept your from drafting him in season-long is minimized over one week. When he's been healthy, Bradford has been a good, bordering on great, starting quarterback as of late, throwing for more than 4,000 yards in his last 16 complete games.
I also love that Bradford gives you a variety of stacking options. My favorite is pairing him with David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. But that will also be everyone's favorite. One sneaky play is to pair the quarterback with Ricky Seals-Jones. Washington was bottom five against tight ends last year and Seals-Jones is both cheap and contrarian.
There is nothing exciting about playing Latavius Murray. Well, that's the way it feels at least. You can get James Conner with a better workload for less money. And that's why most everyone will choose Conner over Murray. But while Murray's upside isn't as likely that doesn't mean it isn't exciting. He could very well be the short-yardage back and the grind-out-the-clock back for Minnesota in Week 1. That can be a very lucrative role in a game where his team is a solid favorite with a high implied point total. Pair Murray with the Vikings DST, because the defense being awesome correlates with Murray getting more opportunities. Also, because they're going to be underowned as well.
Most of my contrarian plays will be pivots off another popular play. But in the case of Kenny Stills, he's just overlooked once again. Stills is a top-five value for me on both sites as the No. 1 receiver on the Dolphins in a game where I expect the Dolphins will have to throw the ball. He's a top-25 receiver this week and he's priced like a No. 3 or No. 4. The best part? Projected ownership suggests nobody is really that interested.
Heck, let's just say all the Browns here, okay? Weather is rightly scaring some people off of this game and that's the right way to approach it in cash games. But in tournaments I'll definitely have some Tyrod Taylor and Jarvis Landry combinations. I'll also mix in some David NJoku and Duke Johnson. The short passing game is where both teams should focus, so I'll probably stay away from Josh Gordon. If you're just too scared of the rain, that's fine. Take a shot on Cleveland's minimum-priced defense.
So who is pro Mike McClure putting in his optimal lineups in Week 1? Visit SportsLine now to see the full NFL Week 1 tournament lineup from a professional player who has almost $2 million in career winnings, and find out.
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