With week 1 fast approaching and the first opportunity to win big money in tournaments is upon is. The key to taking the top prizes in guaranteed prize pool (GPP) tournaments is finding those bargain buys that give you salary relief but still offer at least a medium level contribution. If those bargain buy players can also go off then you could be looking at wining the whole tournaments and taking home the jackpot.
Before we dive into the bargain buys lets first take a quick look at the format that FantasyDraft.com offers. There are nine roster spots that require filling with 1 QB, 2 RB’s, 2WR’s, 1 TE, 2 Flex (RB/WR/TE) and a defence (Yay no kickers!) and you have a $100,000 salary to spend filling those nine roster spots. The scoring offered is standard to most PPR fantasy leagues but with added bonuses for players throwing over 300 yards or players who get to 100 yards either rushing or receiving. In addition, there are also rewards for individual players who return punts or kick-offs for touchdowns (Jarred Hayne anyone?!) meaning you have some tricky decisions if one of two fringe player is a good returner.
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So let’s get on with looking at which players can be your bargain buys for week 1:
The prices quoted in this article are from FantasyDraft.com
- Tyrod Taylor, $12,200: IND @ BUF
This is the player I will be rocking in most of my line-ups across all formats! The colts defence struggled at times last year and with Arthur Jones now out they will be susceptible to the run. Taylor should be able to use the run game to open spaces for him to use his legs whilst also surprising the colts DB’s with his improved accuracy. He doesn’t have a ton of targets but he does have Sammy Watkins against a Colts defensive backfield with no real leaders. Using Taylor this week in GPP gives you the opportunity to go heavy at running back and with at least one top end receiver.
- Sam Bradford, $13,600: PHI @ ATL
Bradford is the guy who will be the triggerman for the rest of my teams this week. Playing in the Eagles’ offence will give Bradford plenty of opportunity to shine and put up big points. Bradford is the best QB to play for Chip Kelly in this offence and while he is healthy he should light up the scoreboard. Priced outside the top 10 QB’s and roughly $3,000 cheaper than the top end options with a match-up against a Falcons team who were defensive deficient last year could see Bradford lead you to the top of the leader board.
- Ameer Abdullah, $7,600: DET @ SD
Abdullah has become the universal fantasy sleeper in the preseason with some dazzling runs and the lack of Joique Bell on the field. While the hype may have gone a little too far in season long leagues for week 1 he looks to be undervalued by FantasyDraft at just $7,600. Abdullah is the ultimate home run swing for GPP as he has the elusiveness that makes it look like he is going to break it to the house every time he touches the ball. However, be prepared for a frustrating night as Abdullah will be likely to do his damage in 10-15 touches at most as Detroit do not see him as a bell cow and won’t just run him into the line for the sake of it. Saying that one missed tackle could make for a big night for this exciting rookie and a potentially jackpot winning night for you.
- Charles Johnson, $10,100: MIN @ SF
I just feel this kid is being completely forgotten what with the arrival of Wallace and the return of Peterson. Johnson was Bridgewater’s main man last season and in an offence which was highly conservative last year Johnson should serve as the pressure relief valve which he can turn into explosive gains. He should see plenty of targets as the Vikings look to ease the sophomore QB into the season with short safe throws to one of their main playmakers.
- Stevie Johnson, $7,200: DET @ SD
With Antonio Gates out there is some opportunity for Johnson to stamp his mark on the team as the number 2 wide out. Johnson has had a good preseason and has pedigree as a decent receiver. This is probably the best quarterback he has had and I expect Johnson to have a good week against a Lions defence I expect to struggle with the loss of their two main defensive linemen. Many people have him as a PPR bargain this season especially early on and with daily formats rewarding catches heavily he could lead you to a high end finish.
- Eddie Royal, $7,600: GB @ CHI
Royal’s value has gone from strength to strength this offseason as the receivers around him have fallen like flies. Royal was signed to be the number one slot option so he always figured to be part of the offence. The injury to Kevin White shouldn’t have much effect on Royal’s playing time but it should see an increase in targets. Add in that Royal and Cutler have previous together and they are going to be playing in what I expect to be a crazy shoot-out to try and hang with the Packers. Just keep an eye on him leading into the games Sunday because he has been suffering with a hip injury in the preseason but if he is more than 50% fit I expect to see him get a lot of work.
- Delanie Walker, $7,000: TEN @ TB
This next statement goes for all fantasy formats: I love Delanie Walker. I pretty much have this man as my tight end on every single team where I didn’t take a punt in Gronk or Graham early because apparently everyone else I play with has forgotten he exists. Walker is the starting tight end for a rookie QB and is likely to play the role of safety blanket meaning he should see plenty of targets. As a daily fantasy option Walker has fantastic value at just $1,000 over base tight end price. Tight end is very touchdown dependent but Walker may be one guy who can provide solid value without actually reaching the end zone making him a safer bet than most. Normally you preach upside for GPP but at tight end where real low scores are possible it is sometimes better to shoot for safety in a week where Gronk is available.
- Crockett Gilmore, $6,000: BAL @ DEN
With Daniels playing on the other side, Pitta on the IR and Williams having missed some practices for undisclosed reasons Gilmore jumps into fantasy relevance. At the base price of $6,000 Gilmore has the potential to be a tournament winner by offering not only fantasy production but by allowing you to squeeze in an extra stud running back or receiver. You won’t feel good about this when you set your line-up but Gilmore has the potential to make you feel very good about your bank balance.