Week 1 is here and below are my DraftKings sleeper picks for the main slate on Sunday. If you want some picks for cash games, be sure to check out my first NFL post for week 1, via this link. As always, be sure to be watching all the injury news, all the way until roster lock at 1:00 PM EST. @Hunta512.
QB: Sam Bradford: (5,200)
As it should be, RB David Johnson’s return from injury is going to overshadow QB Sam Bradford’s debut with The Cardinals this Sunday. This creates an interesting opportunity to attack Bradford at a very low ownership and cheap price. He only played one full game before going down with the knee injury in week two last season, but in that game, Bradford looked fantastic as The Vikings’ starting QB, completing 27/32 passes (84.4%) for 346 yards and three TDs in a week one win over The Saints. (28.54 DK points) Prior to this, in his last two starts in 2016, he scored 28.9 DK points vs The Packers and then 23.4 DK points vs The Bears, bringing him to a very strong 26.9 DK PPG average in his last three full starts. This is obviously stretched over a long period of time, but for a bigger sample, via Fantasy Pros’ Twitter account, Bradford has a 23/5 TD to pick ratio, a 71.8% completion percentage, and a 101.1 QB rating is last 17 games.
As you can see, Bradford has the talent, it’s just a matter of him being fully healthy, which is the case right now for him heading into this week one home matchup vs The Redskins. Washington isn’t the best defense to target for QBs (6th in pass DVOA last season), but I think a fully healthy Bradford, who is at home, in a decently strong offense, that has Johnson back to drive the run game, can easily outproduce this soft salary. They have an implied team total of 22.3 points and Bradford could get us 20+ DK points in this spot. In GPPs, I will be stacking him with WR Larry Fitzgerald, who should mostly avoid top CB Josh Norman, as Fitzy does most of his work from the slot. Norman only defended from the slot 4.7% of the time in 2017 (via Fantasy Labs) and Fitzgerald should see a ton of CB Fabian Moreau, who allowed a high 2.71 yards per reception and had a low PFF grade of 42.2 last season. Outside of the rookies, this is the second lowest PFF grade for a starting CB this weekend.
RB: Lamar Miller: (5,200)
The RB ownership for this main slate seems very congested up top and outside of James Connor and Rex Burkhead, I think paying down at the position will automatically make your lineup different. Miller, at only $5,200, seems like one of the better gambles, with the heavy volume he should see. HC Bill O’Brien called him a “three down back” this summer and with RB D’onta Foreman starting the year on the PUP list (Achilles), Miller should be worked until an injury slows him down in the early stages of the season. He should see 20+ touches this Sunday and his matchup vs Patriots is a strong one on paper. (31st in rush DVOA last season)
The Texans are six point underdogs, which isn’t always promising situation for a back, but in this every down role, Miller should be very active in the passing game, as The Texans try to fight their way back in this shootout. (50.5 O/U, highest of the week) This Pats’ defense allowed the 5th most catches to RBs a year ago and Miller could easily bring in 5+ balls coming out of the backfield. The Texans with an implied team total of 22.25 points and in the past seven games Miller has played in with his team having a team total of at least 22 points, he is averaging 16.26 DK PPG. At a low cost, Miller is a fine way to get some more exposure to the highest total of the week.
WR: John Brown: (3,700)
Brown has been the talk of The Ravens’ camp all summer long. In late July, OC Marty Mornhinweg said “He’s very good down the field. He’s got great speed. He’s very good at getting in and out of breaks as well. So he’s had a heck of a camp.” Via The Baltimore Sun. Two weeks later, in their second preseason game, Brown connected with QB Joe Flacco on a seven yard strike for a TD vs The Colts. This was encouraging, considering Brown and all of the first team saw very limited action throughout the preseason. He will be a full time player outside and his excellent speed is a great match for Flacco, who has always been one of the better deep throwers in The NFL. His week one matchup vs The Bills is ugly from last year’s ranks (9th least fantasy points to WRs), but they should be weaker now, with former Colts’ CB Vontae Davis playing a full time role. (53.4 PFF grade in 2017)
In preseason, Davis got absolutely torched by a similar WR to Brown, in Bengals WR John Ross. The fellow speedster made the 30 year old Davis show his age, blowing by him for a 57 yard TD, that was capped off by a juke that left Davis lying on the field. Brown will see some of their stud CB, Tre’Davious White (89.8 PFF grade), but when he gets a chance at Davis, I am sure Flacco is going to try to expose the washed up veteran. There is a ton of big play upside here and even if they don’t connect on a deep ball, I think Brown should produce value at this near minimum price.
QB: Andy Dalton, Case Keenum (This Seahawks’ D is going to be a shell of its former self this season. The Broncos have an implied team total of 23 points and I like pairing Keenum with WR Emmanuel Sanders), and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
RB: Dalvin Cook, Ken Drake, Royce Freeman, and James White. (nice pivot off Burkhead in GPPs)
WR: Larry Fitzgerald (above), Emmanuel Sanders, Kenny Stills (assuming Davante Parker sits), Marquise Goodwin (top CB Xavier Rhodes has been dealing with an hamstring injury and was limited in practice on Thursday. He is listed as questionable and if he sat this one out, Goodwin’s value would skyrocket), Danny Amendola (if Parker is out), Michael Gallup, and John Ross.
TE: Ben Watson, Ryan Griffin (only $2,800 and scored 17.1 DK points vs them last season), and Blake Jarwin.
D: Broncos, Panthers, Titans, and Bengals.