DraftKings NFL Deep Sleepers: Week 1
A QB-TE duo will fly under the radar, but are logical GPP targets
Week 1 of the NFL season is finally upon us and the dynamic duo of RotoQL and BetQL have you covered.
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Here's a look at five deep Week 1 sleepers. If these pop off, they have tournament-winning potential.
Miami Dolphins QB ($4,900)
Last season, the Baltimore Ravens ran the ball 51.5% of the time at home (second-highest), but 43.8% of the time on the road (ninth-highest). This game will take place in Miami. While rostering the opposing quarterback against a run-heavy offense is never fun, Fitzpatrick has shown the ability to break a slate due to his willingness to sling the ball all over the field.
Although he has been reckless at times, Miami will most likely rely on his arm to keep them in the game (or to get them back in it). In either scenario, he's a sub-$5,000 quarterback option with the similar upside of the more expensive pocket passers. Due to the projected ineptitude of Miami's offensive line, expect lots of high-percentage passes to speedsters Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson, while DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and Allen Hurns could emerge as playmakers on the outside. Further, Kenyon Drake has shown a propensity to catch passes out of the backfield and has the explosiveness to turn a simple catch into a touchdown within seconds.
Expect Jacoby Brissett ($4,400) to be the most popular bargain-bin option while Fitzpatrick's competition Lamar Jackson ($6,000) will likely be one of the highest-owned quarterbacks.
Buffalo Bills RB ($3,600)
After the Buffalo Bills released LeSean McCoy, the team will feature a combination of Frank Gore, Devin Singletary and T.J. Yeldon. As seen in the preseason and with all the reports surfacing from Bills camp, Singletary has looked explosive and dynamic and was likely the main reason why McCoy was released.
At this point in Gore's career, he's best served as an early-down back or in goal-line or short-yardage situations. Yeldon has traditionally been used as a pass-catching, third-down back and will likely assume a similar role if he sees the field. With that being said, the road to double-digit carries and multiple targets exists for Singletary, who should be heavily featured in what's projected to be a close game. Last season, the Bills rushed the ball 46.3% of the time, the fourth-highest rate in the NFL. With no major passing game improvements being made in the offseason, expect more of the same under second-year offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
New York Giants WR ($3,000)
Fowler was unimpressive in 10 games played with the New York Giants last season, hauling in 16 catches on 27 targets for 199 yards and a touchdown. With Golden Tate (suspension) out, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram should be showered with targets. However, both Cody Latimer and Fowler will also be in the mix.
Since the Cowboys are favored by a touchdown against the Giants in Week 1, there's a strong chance that Eli Manning and company will have to air the ball out in order to stay in the game. Fowler is one of just a few receivers who will see the field at the minimum price tag and rostering him opens up exciting opportunities elsewhere in your lineup.
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Miami Dolphins TE ($2,500)
After the Miami Dolphins cut Jordan Mills, Clive Walford and Dwayne Allen, a Week 1 positional grouping of Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe, Nick O'Leary and Chandler Cox is listed on the team's official depth chart. However, tight end coach George Gadsey has been high on O'Leary, which could be an indication that he will have some kind of featured role in Week 1. He had 22 catches for 322 yards and two touchdowns as a member of the Bills last year.
Pairing him with Fitzpatrick opens up the salary to pay up in multiple spots. Assuming that the Dolphins will be playing from behind in their matchup against the Ravens, expect Fitzpatrick to be slinging the pigskin all over the field. At this depressed price tag, a couple catches and a touchdown could easily 5x his salary.
Oh, and fun fact: he's Jack Nicklaus' grandson. That should mean something, right?
Indianapolis’ defense has a few important factors working in its favor in their Week 1 meeting against the Los Angeles Chargers. Ranking 10th in Football Outsiders' overall team DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) in 2018, the Colts were quietly effective, especially against the pass (8th in Passing DVOA). Since Melvin Gordon will miss this game due to his contract situation, the Chargers will be forced to lean on Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson out of the backfield. That should lead to an influx of passing attempts for Philip Rivers, which would lead to an increased opportunity for sacks and interceptions due to the current state of Los Angeles’ offensive line.
The Chargers’ o-line should be a turnstile and might be the worst in the entire NFL (as seen in Evan Silva's tweet above). As a result, expect a lot of short routes, check-downs and drop-offs, all of which are high-percentage and will keep the clock moving. Indy’s offense should heavily lean on Marlon Mack and the running game in general, which will also keep the seconds ticking and would decrease the risk of a high-scoring output by either team. At just $2,600, this situation presents an edge and some upside towards a double-digit DK point output. The Ravens ($3,800) will likely be the chalk and are the highest-priced defense on the board.
Note: The advice above does not represent the stance or interest of RotoQL or BetQL in any way.