Daily fantasy football is all kinds of fun. In giving players a chance to redeem themselves after their awful season long fantasy football drafts, companies tapped into a market for the serious fantasy players. If you’re new to daily fantasy, take this lineup as a guide to help you along the way. This is a lineup compatible for the contests including all 16 games.
QB — Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
Salary — $6,000
Matchup — Detroit Lions, 31st OPRK
Palmer is a sneaky play in Week 1. He currently ranks 16th in salary despite playing against the bad Lions defense and in a dome. While Palmer was definitely worse on the road than he was at home in 2016, that shouldn’t matter here. The Lions arguably got worse on defense, and at least didn’t do much to improve the pass defense in the offseason. With how much the Lions like to throw the ball, expect the Cardinals to have an extra possession or two than they normally would as well.
RB — LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
Salary — $8,300
Matchup — New York Jets, 15th OPRK
With LeVeon Bell having such a juicy matchup, and guys like Jordan Howard, Todd Gurley and Dalvin Cook also having favorable matchups, McCoy could be a good fade for people who know football. The Jets traded arguably their best player and definitely their best run defender, Sheldon Richardson, to the Seattle Seahawks last month. The Jets are in fire sale mode, and should be one of the worst teams in the league. McCoy and the Bills lethal rushing attack should feast.
RB — Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
Salary — $5,400
Matchup — San Francisco 49ers, 32nd OPRK
I have to admit, I’m buying into the McCaffrey hype from the preseason. He looks like he belongs in the league and the Panthers are already planning to run plays specific for McCaffrey to use his skill set. While they are still using the two-headed rushing attack they have for years with Jonathan Stewart, McCaffrey is a special kind of player they haven’t had before. Combine that with the fact that this could be a blowout early and McCaffrey may get extra touches on the ground as a result, and he could end up going off.
WR — Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
Salary — $7,200
Matchup — Tennessee Titans, 31st OPRK
In my totally unbiased opinion (not a Raiders fan), I believe Cooper could have a top five wide receiver season this year. He’s already proven himself with terrific numbers in his second year, but this could be the year he truly cracks the elite wide receiver group. It starts with a soft matchup in Tennessee. Logan Ryan is a nice addition for the Titans, but it won’t be enough to slow down the Raiders.
*Note – He is listed as questionable, but it’s not expected to keep him out of the game.
WR — Terrelle Pryor Sr., Washington Redskins
Salary — $6,100
Matchup — Philadelphia Eagles, 26th OPRK
Pryor had a monster year with the Cleveland Browns in 2016, so the fact that he signed with the pass-happy Redskins will only improve his chances of being an elite No. 1 wide receiver. The Eagles’ pass defense was not very good in 2016 and doesn’t expect to improve much this season.
WR — Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
Salary — $6,000
Matchup — New Orleans Saints, 27th OPRK
There are a ton of wide receivers you could fit in this slot, but ultimately I went with a home matchup in a dome against a terrible defense. Diggs and Adam Thielen are 1a and 1b in Minnesota, but Diggs should have plenty of opportunities on Sunday. Having an offseason to work with Sam Bradford will help as well.
TE — Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Salary — $3,900
Matchup — New York Giants, 21st OPRK
The Giants have struggled to cover Witten for basically his entire career. Last year, the Giants swallowed up the Cowboys’ rushing attack in both games, but also allowed Witten to be a factor. He caught nine of 14 targets in the home matchup last season for a respectable 15.6 fantasy points. Don’t sleep on this aging veteran.
FLEX — Robby Anderson, New York Jets
Salary — $3,800
Matchup — Buffalo Bills, 3rd OPRK
While the matchup doesn’t appear to be fantastic, remember the Bills lost Stephon Gilmore to the New England Patriots in free agency. Also take into account Anderson is the only good receiver on the depth chart who had an offseason to work with Josh McCown, plus this game figures to be a blowout in favor of the Bills. Garbage time, here we come.
DST — Atlanta Falcons
Salary — $3,300
Matchup — Chicago Bears, 26th OPRK
The Chicago Bears are starting Mike Glennon at quarterback, which doesn’t exactly put fear into the eyes of any NFL defense. The Falcons defense struggled for part of last year, but came on strong at the end of the season. They expect to be a much better group, though not likely to be picked by the casual fan.
You end up with $100 in remaining salary, and actually a ton of tangent lineups are available if you tinker. Good luck!