The 2020 NFL season is almost here, which means it is high time NFL DFS fans start preparing for week one.
You can do that by checking out our individual NFL betting picks, but we’ve also taken some time to point out some terrific daily fantasy football value plays to use.
If you plan on playing daily fantasy football, check out these week one NFL DFS sleepers before finalizing your lineups.
Week One NFL DFS Quarterback Sleepers
- Joe Burrow – Bengals ($5.8k)
- Jimmy Garoppolo – 49ers ($5.8k)
- Tyrod Taylor – Chargers ($5.6k)
Burrow didn’t get the regular offseason for a rookie and he plays for the Bengals, but I’m a believer. The guy was a monster at LSU, and has a swagger you can’t teach.
That, and he’s in what should be a pretty good system, with an array of interesting weapons like A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross, and Joe Mixon around him.
The Chargers are a good defensive team, but Cincy is going to be playing from behind and throwing a ton. Opportunity is everything in fantasy football, so by sheer volume, a cheap Burrow could crush in his pro debut.
Jimmy G isn’t normally a guy I look to in NFL DFS, and it’s worth noting his receiving weapons are banged up. However, he’s cheap, he torched the Cardinals last year, and this was a defense that gave up the second-most passing scores in 2019.
Arizona also allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, so there’s that.
Is this the moment where we drop the #FreeTyrod hashtag? Why not, right? Taylor was honestly never fully unleashed even in his Buffalo days, yet he still graded out as a very good dual-threat fantasy option.
He should return to relevancy at least for a little while, as he tries to hold off rookie passer, Justin Herbert.
While known for his rushing ability, Taylor doesn’t get enough credit for his deep ball.
Taylor could have his way with the Bengals, who ranked 29th against quarterbacks last year. They also gave up the most rushing yards (441) to mobile quarterbacks.
Top Running Back Value Picks for Week One
- Le’Veon Bell – Jets ($5.6k)
- Mark Ingram – Ravens ($5.5k)
- Matt Breida – Dolphins ($5k)
- Antonio Gibson – Redskins ($4k)
I don’t love Bell on the season, and a date with the Buffalo Bills makes him feel like a gross play. There’s also the presence of the ageless Frank Gore, as well as Adam Gase’s affinity for tacos.
I kid, I kid.
Bell looked slow last year, but in theory, he has a huge workload that could easily translate to fantasy gold in the way of catches, yardage, and touchdowns. He averaged a respectable 14.4 fantasy points per game last year, and in week one he hung 23 fantasy points on the Bills.
I don’t like the matchup, but Bell is arguably too cheap for his skill-set and role.
Ingram is a tough sell because of the presence of J.K. Dobbins, but he’s cheap enough that we need to consider him. This is still a highly effective rusher who averaged five yards per carry last year, and generated a solid 16 fantasy points per game.
In a week one tilt with the hated Browns (27the vs. RBs in 2019), Ingram has considerable upside.
Jordan Howard ($5.1k) is also in play here – as much as Dolphins running backs against New England can be – but I tend to favor Breida. He’ll be lower-owned, he’s more explosive, and he’s probably a bigger threat to be used as a receiver if the game gets out of hand.
Washington is a total mess, and it doesn’t stop at the running back position. The legendary Adrian Peterson is slated to start week one, but what happens when they inevitably fall behind the Eagles.
Wide Receiver Fantasy Sleepers for Week 1
- Marquise Brown – Ravens ($5.1k)
- Robby Anderson – Panthers ($4.7k)
- Jalen Reagor – Eagles ($4.3k)
- Scotty Miller – Buccaneers ($4k)
- Dante Pettis – 49ers ($3.7k)
DraftKings hands out points per reception, so wide receivers are usually a pretty good spot to pay up for “guaranteed” production. Michael Thomas is probably the main guy we look to there, but there is still room for some value plays at the position.
You either want contrarian options that are going to haul in a bunch of catches, or cheap deep threats who can bust games open.
Brown qualifies as the type of guy who can break a game right open and even win a GPP. He did precisely that back in week one of last year (33.7 fantasy points). He really wasn’t heard from again until the playoffs, but his speed and role need to be noted.
The weird thing? He’s priced like he’s not going to be a huge part of what could still be a brilliant and dynamic offense. I don’t know if I’ll be able to fade Brown at $5.1k.
Anderson and Reagor are in a similar mold. We know what both of these guys can do as athletic specimens, but we also have to understand they’ll be hit and miss all year.
That said, Anderson faces a Raiders defense that led the league in 40+ yard passing plays allowed. I think they’re better this year, but even a small boost may not silence Robby in this spot.
Reagor is a rookie, but it isn’t looking likely that Alshon Jeffery will be ready for week one.
That could hand the talented receiver a big role right away against the Washington Football team, who should be a little better defensively, but still gave up 17 passing scores to receivers a year ago.
The Niners have injuries to several receivers, which (gulp) suddenly gets the Dante Pettis hype train moving again.
Garoppolo also had some TD passes in the red zone, connecting with Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis and Tavon Austin (on a pass that would have needed a lengthy review to determine if TD). Pettis had another good showing, including a strong catch over the middle to close practice.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) August 26, 2020
I’m really just interested in his price and the matchup with Arizona, but he’s still on my radar.
There have also been whispers of Scotty Miller taking over the slot role in Tampa Bay. Obviously you’re looking to spend on guys like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in week one, but a nice pivot could be buying shares of whoever starts at the third receiver spot.
Miller is both quick and fast, and flashed solid ability with 11+ fantasy points in two of his last three games last year. In a likely shootout with the Saints (49.5 game total at the top football betting sites), he could be interesting.
Tight End Value Plays for Week 1
- Hayden Hurst – Falcons ($4.3k)
- Dawson Knox – Bills ($3.9k)
- Jace Sternberger – Packers ($3.6k)
- Jack Doyle – Colts ($3.6k)
- Tyler Eifert – Jaguars ($3.3k)
Should we continue to go all-in on the Cardinals being the absolute worst at covering tight ends? Since they’ll be trying to stop George Kittle, well, probably.
That said, you can save a ton of salary if you don’t use Kittle and invest those funds elsewhere. One great tight end option could be Hayden Hurst, who figures to land a full-time role with the Falcons.
Hurst was always regarded as a solid athlete with nice pass-catching ability, but he failed to distance himself from the flock in Baltimore. If this is his job to lose, he could be the chalk play in week one against the Browns (22nd vs. TEs in 2019).
I won’t spend too much time on these other tight end sleepers, but they’re all viable for NFL DFS tournaments.
Knox is a terrific athlete, but will understandably be a major boom or bust play throughout 2020. Sternberger looks to replace Jimmy Graham in Green Bay and he does have nice red zone chops, but he’s admittedly quite unproven.
Doyle may be in a bit of a timeshare with Trey Burton, but Philip Rivers is good for fantasy tight ends, and we know Doylce can be a factor in the red zone.
Eifert can be, too. I’m not a huge believer in Minshew Magic, but if Eifert is the top tight end, he’s a guy Minshew could look to early and often. Eifert faces a Colts defense that ranked 21st against tight ends in 2019, so he’s certainly interesting at his price tag.
Best Team Defense Sleepers for Week One
- Los Angeles Chargers ($2.9k)
- Las Vegas Raiders ($2.6k)
- Jacksonville Jaguars ($2.3k)
Defense is a total crapshoot, so I won’t spend much time here. The Bolts are a rock-solid unit, and they face a rookie quarterback in a game they’re favored to win.
Joe Burrow is a solid value for DFS, but he could still eat some sacks and turn the ball over a bit in his first NFL game. Using the Chargers as a nice value defense as a hedge away from Burrow isn’t the worst idea.
Las Vegas hasn’t been good defensively, but that could change in 2020.
The Raiders honestly have drafted better than expected, and they also brought in some nice additions in free agency. They’re not a terrible punt against a Panthers team that’s expected to lose a ton of games again in 2020.
The Jaguars are supposed to be bad, too, but they’re pretty cheap in week one against a regressing Philip Rivers. This is obviously a spot where Rivers and the Colts could go nuts, but what if an aging Rivers just doesn’t pan out?
Even if it does, Rivers still turned the ball over 23 times in 2019. If his turnover issues continue, week one could be a time for a cheap Jacksonville defense to feast.
These aren’t going to be the only week one NFL DFS sleepers to consider. Injuries will occur, starters will change, and the list goes on.
So much can change leading into week one, so just keep these options on your radar, and continue gauging who else makes sense to roster.
That said, this should get you moving in the right direction. Big daily fantasy football contests get taken down all the time with cheap quarterbacks heading the lineup, while you typically need a couple of value plays to go right to make the magic happen.
Hopefully, these NFL DFS sleepers work out. For more daily fantasy football advice, as well as NFL betting insight, stop by our sports betting blog.