DFS Week 1 QB Plays: Spend Ups, Value, and Sleepers

Week 1 QB Plays

As season-long fantasy’s “Draft Week” comes to a close, It is time to start prepping for DFS. Each week, I will post my favorite plays for each position for Daily Fantasy Sports using Draft Kings’ salaries. Today, we will look at the QBs on Week 1’s Sunday slate.

Play of the Week

Geno Smith $6100

It was tough to decide, but I am going to go with Geno Smith at $6100 as my favorite play this week at QB. The fellas in Vegas often know more than we do, and Bet MGM has the Seahawks’ o/u at 26.5. The only two teams projected more are the Chargers and Ravens, whose Quarterbacks are significantly more expensive than Geno. This is an absolute steal. The Rams’ defense looks like it is going to be terrible this season, but their secondary looks particularly bad. This is a classic week 1 underpricing, and it’s time to act on it.
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Honorable Mentions: Deshaun Watson $6000 (cash), Justin Herbert $6900 (GPP)

Deshaun Watson is an excellent play at $6k in a game that figures to be high-scoring. While he has yet to show flashes of being his old self, based on matchup and game script alone, he’s in for what I would consider a solid day. The Bengals’ secondary downgraded significantly during the off-season, losing multiple key pieces such as starting safeties Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell. They also lost cornerbacks Eli Apple and Tre Flowers to free agency and Trae Wayans to retirement. In their places is a group of young, inexperienced players bound to go through some growing pains early on. Watson should capitalize. Amari Cooper is also great value at $5800, which is my favorite stack of the week.

As far as other plays, I love Justin Herbert this week. The departure of Joe Lombardi’s impact on what Herbert will be able to do this season is not being talked about enough. He is in for a great matchup with a weak set of corners with Eli Apple and the burned CB of 2022 in Xavien Howard. However, this won’t be a famous play due to his price and mediocre performance last season with Lombardi. You don’t want to be too contrarian when it comes to expensive players in cash games, as if that player flops or gets injured, you are screwed. In GPP, however, Herbert has been my most used QB.

Spend Up Play of the Week

Jalen Hurts $7800

While I don’t think it is an ideal week to spend up for a QB, there are some attractive options. Out of the three guys that are far and away more expensive, the best play is likely Eagles QB Jalen Hurts vs. the Patriots at $7800. It has become ingrained in us that facing the Patriots’ defense is always a bad matchup. However, last year, they were middle of the pack in passing defense and have lost #1 CB Jack Jones for the year due to legal issues. Hurts has a lot going for him, with one of the best WR duos in the league vs. an inexperienced secondary. The transition from Miles Sanders to what looks like a three-back committee at RB also could bode well for Hurts in the rushing department as he is the more familiar option to OC Brian Johnson.
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Honorable Mention: Lamar Jackson $8000

Lamar Jackson is also expected to be in line for a monster game. However, given that he is slightly more expensive and that there is more of a chance the Ravens are up soundly and run the clock out vs. the lowly Texans, I give the edge to Hurts. At $7700, I am fading Justin Fields. If I were going to put that much capital into a QB, I would want more of a sure thing for just $100 more in Hurts. I like Joe Burrow for GPP games, but I think cash games have better bang-for-your-buck options.


Value Play of the Week

Sam Howell $4900

This one is easy. Sam Howell at $4900 is crazy. He is the same price as Gardner Minshew, who isn’t even starting. Howell was once expected to be the number 1 pick of the 2022 NFL Draft before a poor senior-year performance tanked his value. He has shown flashes of that #1 pick potential in the preseason. Richardson is now in an offense run by the more than competent Eric Bienemy, coming fresh off winning his second Super Bowl. He also has solid weapons in Jahan Dotson and Terry McLaurin (if he plays). He also has pass-catching running back Antonio Gibson at his disposal, who is expected to take on a role similar to what Jerrick McKinnon had with Bienemy in Kansas City. Besides all of that, he is playing the Arizona Cardinals, who look like they have the potential to be historically bad. I would go with Howell in GPPs and even some cash games in which you’d like to spend on multiple positions. Desmond Ridder is also a starting QB at $4900, but if you spend that on a QB, Howell is the better option.
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Honorable Mentions: Anthony Richardson $5700 (cash), Mac Jones $5100 (GPP)

Another solid play is Anthony Richardson for the Colts at $5700 vs. Jacksonville. This is probably one of the more frequent plays, as QBs with the running ability of Richardson are usually not this affordable. Since he has yet to play a game, gauging how Richardson will perform is tough. However, he has a head coach who did wonders with Jalen Hurts, who has a similar playing style to Richardson. The rushing ability in and of itself makes this a value, however. Remember, forty rush yards is the equivalent of 100 passing yards. Two or three decent runs can compensate for shortcomings in the passing department and provide additional opportunities to score. The Jaguars defense looks to be nothing to write home about, either. This won’t be the fiercest competition Richardson will play this year, and they will likely be playing from behind for most of the game.

Mac Jones at $5100 is another pick I like. The Patriots had a down year in 2022, at least by their standards, and Mac Jones wasn’t great. That was with the inexplicable combo of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge calling plays for some reason. Mac Jones was a pro bowler two years ago. Being the new OC, Bill O’Brien should do wonders for him, just like he did at Alabama. Mac Jones isn’t a $5100 QB; the matchup doesn’t even matter in that regard. He should be priced at the same level as Jimmy Garappolo and a trio of rookie QBs in C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, and Anthony Richardson.



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