The game within the game in the DFS market is finding a balance between elite impact players and low-value hookups. In some weeks, star players will pay off handsomely. Ideally, your quarterback needs to be hooked up with one or more wideouts to improve your team’s ceiling. When paying up for a front-line wideout, they must score more than 30.00 fantasy points to be an edge for their salary.
Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders (DraftKings– $8,100/ FanDuel – $8,500)
The Las Vegas Raiders have a high-scoring matchup with the Chargers on Sunday, giving Adams a chance at an impact game. Despite having a drop-off at quarterback after leaving Green Bay, he played his college ball with Derek Carr at Fresno State, leading to excellent seasons (103/1,312/14 and 131/1,719/24). Adams is a much better player than he was eight years ago in college. His opportunity with Las Vegas will remain high, but Carr most likely won’t get him as many targets in close scores. Last year the Chargers ranked fourth in the league at defending wide receivers (197/2,360/11 on 304 targets). Cornerback J.C. Jackson signed with LA in the offseason after two excellent seasons with the Patriots (17 interceptions and 37 defended passes). Unfortunately, he will miss Week 1, giving Adams a better chance to get open on more plays. I have him projected to catch seven passes for 84 yards and one score. To be a winning investment at DraftKings, he needs to break the 100-yard barrier with a couple more catches.
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (DraftKings – $7,400/FanDuel – $8,400)
In 2021, Samuel was the best running back and wide receiver on the 49ers. His surprising role as a runner raised his floor immensely over the second half of the year, but the 49ers didn’t get him the ball as much via the pass. The change to Trey Lance at quarterback takes away some of his chance in all areas, plus San Francisco may not lean on Samuel as much as a runner. The 49ers have a favorable matchup in Week 1 on the road vs. the Bears, but they may play from the lead, leading to more rushes than passes. Despite his success last year, Samuel almost has a caution sign next to his name entering 2022. I must project him based on ceiling and expected role, meaning I could have him ranked too high. Ultimately, talent wins out and Samuel is a beast with the ball in his hands. I expect him to be overlooked by many in Week 1 in the daily games.
Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (DraftKings – $7,100/ FanDuel – $8,200)
The early thought surrounding the Bengals/Steelers matchup in Week 1 is a mid-level scoring game with Pittsburgh needing to fix their 2021 issues defending the run. Scoring for the Steelers could also be questionable, with Mitchell Trubisky starting his first game for his new team. Joe Burrow brings a high ceiling in the passing game, thanks to the elite duo of Chase and Tee Higgins. Last year Pittsburgh held Chase to three catches for 39 yards on the road (4/65/2 at home), painting a less than rosy picture in his matchup. The Steelers ranked seventh defending wide receivers (198/2,516/18 on 331 targets). Their cornerback options have risk in the passing game if Pittsburgh doesn’t shorten the passing window for Burrow. I expect Chase to hit on a long score, setting up a big game while not being a lot of rosters.