While many of you have already wrapped up your season-long fantasy football drafts and are eagerly waiting for the start of the NFL season, there are a lot of great reasons to consider playing Yahoo DFS, too.
Whether you've played Daily Fantasy on Yahoo before or are giving it a try for the first time, this new weekly column will take an early look at the DFS landscape, revealing whom I like building lineups around and undervalued players to help you construct a better team.
So with that, let's dive on in Week 1.
Lineup building blocks
Jalen Hurts ($26) @ Atlanta Falcons
Indoors against a Falcons defense that allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last season, Hurts remains as undervalued in DFS as he did in drafts this year. The Week 1 setup — the Falcons allowed the second-fewest rushing yards to running backs last year and should be able to score plenty of points in this game (over/under is 48) — certainly appears favorable as well.
Christian McCaffrey ($39) vs. New York Jets
CMC went universally first in drafts for a reason despite coming off a completely ruined season that featured multiple injuries — he’s simply treated differently than other backs when on the field. Even with Yahoo scoring of .5 point per reception, McCaffrey’s high salary is worth it (second only to Patrick Mahomes at $40), especially with so many bargains at other positions in Week 1.
Alvin Kamara ($34) vs. Green Bay Packers
Kamara suddenly had a strong argument to go as high as No. 2 in drafts after Jameis Winston won New Orleans’ starting job and Michael Thomas went on IR. With Latavius Murray cut on Tuesday after falling behind the immortal Tony Jones, Kamara is looking at the biggest workload of his career by a wide margin. New Orleans has arguably the league’s best offensive line, and Green Bay ceded the fifth-most fantasy points to RBs last year.
Damien Harris ($17) vs. Miami Dolphins
With Cam Newton no longer a threat at the goal-line (nor Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead), a strong offensive line (and defense) and a rookie quarterback, Harris looks poised to be a top-15 fantasy back this season. He’ll benefit from Yahoo’s .5 PPR scoring as well as Sunday’s game-script, as New England’s front seven is likely to dominate Miami’s overwhelmed O-line (and is favored by 3).
Javonte Williams ($13) @ New York Giants
It’s possible Melvin Gordon is way too involved, but there's buzz Javonte Williams was a healthy scratch for Denver's final preseason game because he’s the real deal. This isn’t a perfect matchup facing an improved Giants defense on the road, but $13 is undervalued for someone with Williams’ upside (and the Broncos are favored). The rookie is the type of player whose DFS salary could double next week.
Jerry Jeudy ($15) @ New York Giants
He racked up the sixth-most air yards as a rookie and now goes from an incredibly inaccurate quarterback to an accurate one. Don’t judge Jeudy based off last year’s drops, as he looks like the game’s next superstar and way undervalued here.
Marquez Callaway ($12) vs. Green Bay Packers
Callaway led all receivers in yards per route run in preseason and far more importantly locked down the role as the Saints’ new WR1 with Michael Thomas opening the year on IR (and Tre’Quan Smith missing a bunch of time). It would be preferable if this game were indoors in New Orleans and not at a neutral field in Jacksonville, but it still projects to be one of the highest scoring games of the Week 1 slate. Jameis Winston is likely to target Callaway often, although the WR will admittedly be an extremely popular play at $12.
Elijah Moore ($12) @ Carolina Panthers
Few rookie receivers have seen the amount of buzz Moore did throughout summer, although he’s likely to enter the year behind Corey Davis on the target depth chart. Still, Moore is an explosive play waiting to happen and unlikely to have a salary this low again anytime soon.
T.J. Hockenson ($15) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Hock draws a tough matchup on paper facing a 49ers defense that yielded the fewest fantasy points to tight ends last season and now welcomes Nick Bosa and Dee Ford back. But he’s not even slotted as a top-12 tight end here, and few at his position project for more targets (and TE matchups can be especially noisy). Playing indoors, looking at a lot of volume and coming off a summer in which he reportedly developed a strong red-zone connection with Jared Goff, Hockenson is an alternative for those who decide not to roll with Kyle Pitts ($19).
Terrace Marshall Jr. ($11) vs. New York Jets
Few quarterbacks target their slot receiver more than Sam Darnold, and the rookie appears to have won that role with Carolina after an impressive preseason in which he was PFF’s highest graded WR. The Jets enter with one of the weakest cornerback units in football and were absolutely gashed for the second-most fantasy points by the slot last season, so while it's a bit of a leap of faith betting on a third receiver making his NFL debut, Marshall looks enticing at $11.
Dawson Knox ($10) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Bills have many mouths to feed but went into hyper pass-happy mode over the second half of last season, which is terrific news for all Buffalo pass-catchers. Knox won Buffalo’s starting tight end role and is an option at the minimum here. Pat Freiermuth ($10) in this same game is another cheap TE who could provide a nice profit, as the rookie should be an immediate red-zone threat.
Vikings DEF ($10) @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have a shaky offensive line, while the favored Vikings get back Danielle Hunter (who’s healthy and “turning heads”) and are Mike Clay’s No. 2 ranked defensive unit. Joe Burrow is returning from major surgery, struggled at times this summer during his recovery and had a high sack% as a rookie, so this seems like a nice recipe for a minimum-salary defense.