DraftKings Projections Week 1
Cash games — head-to-head or large field 50/50 and double-up contests — should be a staple of your weekly bankroll allotment if you’re serious about NFL DFS. It’s no easy task to grind cash games for a profit, but those profits can help you fund your tournaments to take shots at the gigantic paydays.
If you’re playing cash games on DraftKings, then your goal for each player on your roster should be to score three times his salary. For example, Adrian Peterson is $7,600 on DraftKings this week. For Peterson to score three times his salary, he would need to produce 22.8 points (7.600 x 3).
Finding players who will score three times their salary can be difficult, but a stable set of projections should be your starting point. Last year, Gridiron Experts’ projections were very efficient in finding these players — we’ll call them our Gridiron 3X
Jody Smith posts our projections every Tuesday morning — you can find them here.
In the table below, you’ll see how often the average player surpassed 3X his salary last season — only players who were projected for more than 5.0 points were included to remove injured players and those with minor roles). Next to it, you’ll see how often our Gridiron 3X guys surpassed 3X their salary. The difference between the two is in the final column:
So who fits the criteria this week?
Carson Wentz, $5000, Projected 3.47x: Just announced as the starter this week, Wentz is the minimum QB price on DraftKings for week 1. As a 4-point favorite at home, Wentz is in a good position to hit 3X his salary and he will allow you to fit in a couple of stud options.
Dak Prescott, $5000, Projected 3.27x: Like Wentz, Prescott was named the starter after the pricing was released, giving us another mid-priced option at QB. While he’s not a Vegas favorite like Wentz, he’s playing in a higher total game (46 versus 41).
Aaron Rodgers, $8,500, Projected 3.5x: Don’t want to go cheap at QB in cash games? Pay up for Rodgers, who will benefit from the return of Jordy Nelson and acquisition of tight end Jared Cook. With 26.25 implied points, Green Bay has a top five team total this week.
Other Gridiron 3X QBs: Trevor Siemian, Robert Griffin III, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, Brock Osweiler, Jameis Winston, Blaine Gabbert, Jimmy Garoppolo, Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, Derek Carr, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Blake Bortles
Spencer Ware, $4400, Projected 5.2x: Jody Smith’s highest projected RB value, Ware gets a boost with the recent news that Jamaal Charles is unlikely to suit up in week 1. Ware has taken the lead role and ran with it in preseason — as the top back on a 7-point home favorite, it’s not unreasonable to have 100 percent exposure to Ware this weekend.
DeMarco Murray, $5300, Projected 4.0x: Tennessee’s week 1 offensive outlook has brightened some with the loss of their opponent’s starting QB, Teddy Bridgewater, after pricing was released. Murray looks like the RB who was a fantasy stud in Dallas and while he’ll have to fend off rookie Derrick Henry, his salary is far too low.
Todd Gurley, $7800, Projected 3.0x: Want to pair Ware with a stud RB in cash games? Todd Gurley is the answer. Don’t let a road matchup scare you — against a 49ers’ team that should allow their opponent to run a bunch of offensive plays; Gurley is in line for nearly 30 touches in this game.
Other Gridiron 3X RBs: Darren Sproles, Jeremy Langford, Danny Woodhead, Jeremy Hill, Matt Jones, Isaiah Crowell, Rashad Jennings, Derrick Henry, Mark Ingram, LeSean McCoy, Lamar Miller, LeGarrette Blount, Devonta Freeman, Chris Ivory, Ryan Mathews, Frank Gore, Latavius Murray
Tajae Sharpe, $3000, Projected 5.7x: Ah, the most valuable projected player on the slate. Since pricing was released, Dorial Green-Beckham was traded and Sharpe solidified his role as the number one wide receiver. A near-lock to get seven-plus targets, Sharpe is an easy play at $3000 in cash games.
Will Fuller, $3700, Projected 4.8x: While buzz on Fuller was quiet most of the summer, he exploded in the preseason and is now in firm control of the number two role opposite of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The Bears may be without their top three cornerbacks this for opening week, making Fuller an excellent option at his price.
Amari Cooper, $7200, Projected 3.7x: Playing in a dome, against the Saints’ defense, in the highest Vegas total on the board — it’s easy to see why Amari Cooper is a Gridiron 3X recommendation this week. Cooper will be extremely popular in all formats, and you’d be wise to fit him into your cash game lineups.
Other Gridiron 3X WRs: Vincent Jackson, Mike Wallace, Sterling Shepard, Corey Coleman, Stefon Diggs, Michael Crabtree, Michael Thomas, John Brown, Rishard Matthews, Tavon Austin, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Mike Evans, Cole Beasley, Brandon Marshall, Tyler Lockett, Brandin Cooks, Antonio Brown, Kenny Stills, Julio Jones, Eric Decker, Jarvis Landry, Larry Fitzgerald
Vance McDonald, $3100, Projected 5.1x: A rare 5X unicorn, McDonald is one of the highest rated tight ends in Jody Smith’s projections this week. With absolutely zero receiving options in San Francisco, it’s not hard to envision a situation where McDonald is peppered with targets.
Dwayne Allen, $3200, Projected: 3.8x: With Coby Fleener out of town, Allen has the tight end position all to himself in Indianapolis. This price won’t last for long — next week, he’ll be priced like the full-time stud that he is.
Jared Cook, $2900, Projected 4.3x: Cook was mentioned above along with Aaron Rodgers, making the two a great stack in GPPs. His role isn’t 100 percent cemented, but he looks to be the top receiving tight end on the Packers’ depth chart. The upside is gigantic for just $2900.
Other Gridiron 3X TEs: Greg Olsen, Austin Hooper, Zach Ertz, Jesse James, Delanie Walker