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Daily Games

NFL DFS Bargains Week 1

by Renee Miller
Updated On: September 8, 2021, 5:58 pm ET

In this weekly article, we’ll look at the cheaper options that should return good value to your NFL DFS lineups. The bargain threshold varies by site, and position, but generally we’ll aim for our bargain plays to take up about 8-10 percent of your salary cap, except for quarterbacks, which we’ll allow 11-12 percent. A great tool to find bargains is our DFS projection system, which gives a dollar per fantasy point projection for each player. I refer to it often!



Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers ($6900 FD, $5500 DK, $24 Yahoo)

Even though Trey Lance suffered the broken finger in the final exhibition game, I think Garoppolo was very much on track to be named the started in SF. When healthy, he’s a capable QB. The biggest knock on him is that the 49ers prioritize the run game so much. With a healthy George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, Garoppolo should be able to make chunk gains against the least imposing defense in the league. Last year, the Lions ranked as the most generous for fantasy QBs, TEs and RBs, and not much has changed. Garoppolo projects as one of the best fantasy point per dollar players overall on the main slate per our NFL DFS Optimizer.


Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers ($6500 FD, $5000 DK, $25 Yahoo)

I’ve held out hope for Darnold as long as anyone and it’s really hard to come back to the well after so much disappointment. But here I am, trying to wipe my memory and believe that being out of that toxic Jets environment with some high-quality receiving options, Darnold is capable of the greatness he came out of college with. Christian McCaffrey can make anyone look good, right? Darnold’s DK price is way too tempting to ignore, and with Carolina being decent favorites at home vs. the Jets, who are not known for their pass defense, I think he reaches value pretty easily this weekend.


Also consider: Mac Jones, Tyrod Taylor, Trevor Lawrence


Running Back

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers ($6100 FD, $5800 DK, $26 Yahoo*)

As noted above, the Lions are #notgood at stopping the run, giving up the most fantasy points to the position last year. This pairs well with the team that loves to lead the league in rushing attempts. Though Trey Sermon (even cheaper) will get some chances – the 49ers like to mix it up – Mostert is a highly efficient back when healthy. Expect a great return on your investment here.

*If Mostert’s salary on Yahoo is a bit high for your build, you could consider Najee Harris ($20), Mike Davis ($17) or D’Andre Swift ($17) instead.


Damien Harris, New England Patriots ($5800 FD, $5200 DK, $17 Yahoo)

Salaries obviously came out before news, which always makes for a fun Week 1. Harris without Cam Newton, Sony Michel or Rex Burkhead is obviously a much more attractive option, especially at this salary. Of course, James White is still there, and this is still New England, so plenty can go wrong with playing a Patriots RB, but I like our chances for success with Harris this weekend. One other cautionary note is that this game has a low point total (43 points), with both defenses predicted to rank in the Top 10 at least to start the season. Consider taking advantage of the RB-D/ST correlation by rostering Harris with Patriots D.


Also consider: James Robinson, Chase Edmonds (DK), Trey Sermon, David Johnson


Wide Receiver

Marquez Calloway, New Orleans Saints ($5200 FD, $3400 DK, $12 Yahoo)

People don’t seem super high on Jameis Winston this week, and I’m among them, though it’s not a position I can easily justify. He’s been able to support multiple wide receivers as a starting QB in the past, so perhaps his biggest issue now is that he has hardly anyone to throw to. Of course, another facet to the argument is that Alvin Kamara should dominate this matchup with the Packers, a below average run defense. But back to Calloway, he just doesn’t have a lot of competition for targets, and Winston loves to sling it. The two had clear chemistry in the preseason, with one effort resulting in over 100 receiving yards and two scores for Calloway.

AJ Green, Arizona Cardinals ($5400 FD, $3800 DK, $13 Yahoo)

Green isn’t the first or probably even second Cardinals receiver you’d think to roster after Rondale Moore’s hot preseason, but he’s definitely on my short list. A healthy Green is equal to almost anyone in the league, and while I highly doubt that status lasts too long, it applies to Week 1. At this price, he could easily exceed value in what should be a high scoring and close game in Tennessee.


Also consider: Michael Pittman, Elijah Moore, Odell Beckham Jr.


Tight End

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions ($5700 FD, $4900 DK, $15 Yahoo)

Another case of the only man standing would be Hockenson in Detroit. I don’t love Jared Goff as a QB, but he’s capable and he’s shown affinity for involving his tight ends previously in LA. Hockenson was dealing with a shoulder injury but is on track to play this weekend in a game I expect the Lions to be trailing. Though San Francisco’s defense won’t make it easy, I think Hockenson gets you to value with volume.


Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons ($6000 FD, $4400 DK, $19 Yahoo*)

Pitts stood out as underpriced on DraftKings especially. The game vs. Philadelphia is expected to be close and high scoring, conditions where Matt Ryan could throw 50 times. Pitts should be the No. 2 behind Calvin Ridley and with his size and speed should be virtually unstoppable. The Eagles’ defense is expected to rank in or near the bottom third of the league this season.



Denver Broncos ($4100 FD, $3300 DK, $13 Yahoo)

Sorry Giants fans. Injuries have decimated New York’s offense already, and I for one am not at all confident that Saquon Barkley will get 30 touches and save the day. I suspect it’s going to be a rough start for Daniel Jones. Moreover, the Broncos are actually a GOOD defense, Vegas has this game with the lowest over/under of the week, and the Broncos are favored on the road.


Also consider: Jacksonville Jaguars