Deciding on who to play at quarterback in the daily fantasy (DFS) games can be a game within a game. A low-priced option can match or beat many top-tier quarterbacks in any given week. The challenge is finding the needle in the 26 quarterback haystack on most Sundays’ main slate (13 games). The goal at DraftKings is finding a quarterback that scored four times his salary (three times at FanDuel).
If a quarterback delivers an impact game, one or more receivers should post a difference-maker game. When building a daily lineup, touchdowns push daily teams up the standings. If a quarterback tossed four touchdowns, the combination of his score and his top receiver could exceed 60, maybe even 70 fantasy points, setting an excellent foundation for a team build.
Here's a look at the top three high-priced quarterbacks for Week 1 on the main slate on Sunday:
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (DraftKings – $7,300/FanDuel- $8,500)
When at his best last season, Jackson posted three impact games (36.65, 47.30, and 35.30 fantasy points) that all came at home. His edge comes from his ability to run the ball, but he only found paydirt twice on the ground last year. Baltimore has an elite tight end and the Ravens expect Rashod Bateman to have no problem filling the vacated WR1 after Marquise Brown signed with the Cardinals. The Jets’ defense ranked 27th against quarterback last season (4,980 combined yards with 32 scores), with one team scoring over 30.00 fantasy points. In DraftKings scoring, I have him projected to score 28.97 fantasy points(top quarterback on Sunday).
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (DraftKings – $6,400/FanDuel – $7,700)
Despite averaging only 32.5 passes over his 16 starts last year, Burrow finished sixth in passing yards (4,611) and eighth in passing touchdowns (34). He attempted 199 fewer passes than Tom Brady, 152 less than Justin Herbert, and 138 fewer than Patrick Mahomes. His two highlight games (525/4 and 446/4) show his explosiveness, but Burrow delivered two short games vs. the Steelers (172/3 and 190/1). Hidden in his stat line in those matchups were 34 completions in his 42 pass attempts while gaining 8.7 yards per pass play. Pittsburgh wants to play tough defense while hoping to run the ball to slow down the clock. Last season, they finished 11th defending quarterbacks (19.74 fantasy points per game). Burrow has elite passing tools, but he has an against-the-grain feel, leading to him being rostered on fewer teams in Week 1. However, his risk is well worth the reward if Pittsburgh can put up a competitive fight on the scoreboard.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (DraftKings – $6,800/FanDuel – $8,000)
DraftKings has the Eagles favored by 3.5 points over the Lions with an over/under of 48.5. This game ranks third in projected scoring behind Chiefs/Cardinals (53.5) and Raiders/Chargers (52.5). This matchup has the making of being the top-scoring game of the week. Philly has an elite running quarterback plus three live passing options (A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert). The Lions bring to the table a potential explosive passing catching back (D’Andre Swift) plus a top-tier tight end (T.J. Hockenson) and a potential stud wideout (Amon-Ra St. Brown). Last season Hurts scored over 30.00 fantasy points (31.40, 32.05, 32.25, and 32.60) in four games, but only one result came on the road. The Lions’ defense should be improved thanks to the addition of DE Aidan Hutchenson and LB Malcolm Rodriguez ("Hards Knocks" star). The Lions ranked 24th in 2021 defending quarterbacks (21.21 FPPG, 8.02 yards per pass attempt, and 30 passing touchdowns), with three quarterbacks scoring over 30.00 fantasy points (30.90, 30.70, and 30.20). Hurts will be a fun follow in 2022, and his first showing should have plenty of fireworks on the scoreboard.