This will be the first year that Daily Fantasy Sports are legal in the state of Louisiana. New players will be joining tournaments for the first time in many instances. DraftKings is the first DFS provider to go live in Louisiana so they will be the focus of this new series. All salaries will be focused on DraftKings until further notice. This will be the first article in a weekly series that examines some of the better plays for the main Sunday card.
Building a DraftKings DFS Lineup
Sundays are the busiest days for DraftKings, as their tournaments last the two primary times of NFL games. The 12:00pm and 3:25pm Central games are both included. A DraftKings lineup consists of nine NFL players in each of the primary slots recognized by traditional fantasy leagues. Each team starts a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one flex, and one team defense. Each positional player is assigned a salary and it is up to the selector to stay under this cap. This series will focus on selecting a handful of players to start a lineup. DFS players can take these options and then round out lineups with some highly regarded starters. Without further delay, let’s examine some of the Week 1 plays.
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Week 1 selections
At quarterback, the salaries can be very high. Star quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes generally fetch the most salary. Finding a good matchup for quarterbacks is likely to find value. In Week 1, that value lies with Jalen Hurts facing the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are thought to have one of the weaker defenses going into the regular season. Hurts and his playmaking ability are likely to bring the points and he only costs $6,400 this week. Pair him with any of his pass catchers for an extra boom. DeVonta Smith is a value at $4,500 but so are the two Philadelphia Eagles tight ends. Dallas Goedert is salaried at $4,800 and Zach Ertz is only $3,800. Ertz has recently reconciled with the Eagles and is one of the cheapest superstars available in Week 1.
Starting only two running backs, not counting the flex, can be a challenge. This holds especially true in Week 1, where NFL defenses are large unknowns. With this being the case, selecting a running back against what might be the worst team in the league should not be overthought. James Robinson is salaried at $6,400, the 13th running back on the board. Robinson and the Jacksonville Jaguars face the lowly Houston Texans in Week 1, and the second-year back should see plenty of action. Likewise, Raheem Mostert is facing a defense not highly regarded, as the San Francisco 49ers face the Detroit Lions in Week 1. The high-powered Niners rushing attack is a safe bet, and at only $5,800, Mostert can fit into most lineups. Each of these running backs has top-10 potential on the week.
Some other value pass catchers can help mold lineups and fit in superstars at the other available spots. If a stack of Hurts and DeVonta Smith starts your lineup, then pivoting to Austin Hooper at $4,000 at tight end fits into budgets nicely. The Cleveland Browns play the Kansas City Chiefs and will likely be throwing the ball. Another game that could be a high-throwing affair is the Minnesota Vikings at the Cincinnati Bengals. Neither team’s defense was very good last year and marginal improvements have been made. Since the Bengals receiver splits are unknown, grab whichever fits into the budget. Tyler Boyd is $5,200, Ja’Marr Chase is $4,800, and Tee Higgins is $4,700. These plays take advantage of what is likely to be high-scoring games in the first regular season action.
Sample Lineup for DraftKings Week 1
With all of these players, here is a sample DFS Lineup.
- Quarterback: Jalen Hurts, $6,400
- Running back: James Robinson, $6,400
- Wide Receiver: Tee Higgins, $4,700
- Tight End: Zach Ertz, $3,800
- Flex: Raheem Mostert, $5,800
- Defense: Jacksonville Jaguars, $2,700
This lineup will leave a cap of $20,200 left to spend on the final three players. This would allow a full lineup which consists of several value plays and anchors. The left over salary cap will also allow players to fully fill out a lineup with star players. The selection of the Jaguars defense is cheap and they are facing the Texans. Streaming whatever defense plays the Texans this year will likely be a good bet any week. The leftover salary is enough to grab one or two star players. Swapping out James Robinson for a higher end player could also happen with the amount of salary left. Whichever way you decide to play it, this will get you started for DFS finally being live in Louisiana.
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