2013 Fantasy Football September 5 Daily Fix: Week 1 DEF/ST Recommendations
Today’s fantasy football daily fix delivers news, notes, and DraftKings D/ST recommendations including the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Kansas City Chiefs.
News and Notes
Champ Bailey won’t play in tonight’s opener
The Denver Broncos have confirmed that Champ Bailey won’t play in the team’s Thursday night opener against the Baltimore Ravens. His sprained left foot hasn’t healed enough for Bailey to take the field with confidence; the team hasn’t determined at this point whether Bailey’s absence will extend beyond Week 1.
This news provides a slight boost in value for Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith and significantly weakens a Denver defense that has already been handicapped by Von Miller’s suspension. If you were planning to roll with the Broncos this week, I’ve got plenty of better options coming in just a few paragraphs.
Geno Smith named Week 1 starter
Geno Smith named Week 1 starter vs. Tampa Bay. http://t.co/FrLL7qfyrg
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 4, 2013
The Jets also tweeted the Mark Sanchez would be 100% for the opener. It makes the decision to start Smith a bit more viable over the long term, but neither Jet quarterback is useful in anything by the deepest of leagues, especially with New York facing a trip tot Revis Island in Week 1.
Raiders front office doubtful about Terrelle Pryor
There’s nothing like a vote of no confidence to psyche up a first-time starting quarterback. Terrelle Pryor surely knows by now that he wasn’t Oakland’s first choice to start at QB, but he certainly doesn’t need to be reminded of it now. With the season just a couple of days away, now is the time for puffery and coachspeak. It’s not the time for criticism, and it’s certainly not the time for any suggestion of Matt McGloin.
It’s never the time for Matt McGloin.
Pryor’s running abilities make him a high upside option in two-quarterback or deeper formats, and I think that’s still true. The Raiders may not be happy with Pryor, but I’d be floored if they actually made a change to McGloin.
DraftKings Defense/Special Teams Recommendations
If you like free money, and you’ve never played on DraftKings before, you can get a deposit bonus by signing up. There are a myriad of wonderful options for opening week; try the Kickoff Bash, the$30,000 Play Action or the $100,000 Hail Mary.
As I mentioned in my piece on streaming defenses in our draft kit (which is still a wonderful investment, by the way), I have a very simple evaluation for fantasy defenses: follow the crappy quarterbacks. Sacks and interceptions are the easiest and most predictable sources of defensive fantasy value, and bad quarterbacks attract them like moths to a bug zapper.
Here’s the DraftKings scoring system:
Sack = +1PT
Interception = +2PTs
Fumble Recovery = +2PTs
Kickoff Return TD = +6PTs
Punt Return TD = +6PTs
Interception Return TD = +6PTs
Fumble Recovery TD = +6PTs
Blocked Punt or FG Return TD = +6PTs
Safety = +2PTs
Blocked Kick = +2PTs
0 Points Allowed = +10PTs
1-6 Points Allowed = +7PTs
7-13 Points Allowed = +4PTs
14-20 Points Allowed = +1PT
21-27 Points Allowed = 0PTs
28-34 Points Allowed = -1PT
35+ Points Allowed = -4PTs
The Houston Texans ($5,300) will be one of the best options in fantasy week-in and week-out, but a chance to face Philip Rivers puts them to the top of my list. The Chargers offensive line will have no answer for J.J. Watt, and as a result, Rivers will have plenty of errant passes for Texans defensive backs.
The New England Patriots ($4.700) are a bit pricey as well, but jeepers is this a nice matchup. Poor E.J. Manuel. First he had to deal with skepticism around his surprisingly high draft selection, then a nagging knee injury that cut his training camp short, now he has to make his NFL debut against a fully-prepared Bill Belichick defense. Belichick eats quarterbacks like E.J. Manuel for breakfast… then has Jeff Tuel for a midday snack.
The Pittsburgh Steelers ($3,400) aren’t quite the Steel Curtain of old, but they could be a linen curtain and still come away with a solid performance against Jake Locker and the Tennessee Titans. Locker isn’t the cerebral type of quarterback who you’d expect to excel against Dick LeBeau’s zone blitzing schemes, and the Titans offensive line was one of the swiss-cheesiest in football against the pass rush last season.
Darrelle Revis gets to face his old team in his debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($3,600) and he’s sharing everything he knows about the New York Jets offense with his teammates. Although he won’t have any inside information on new starting quarterback Geno Smith, I’m pretty sure that the Bucs can handle that part of things without any cheat codes. While Smith and Revis were never teammates in New York, something tells me they’ll be making at least one connection during this game.
I’m generally higher than most on the Kansas City Chiefs ($3,300), but even taking off my arrowhead-shaped glasses, this seems like a ridiculous value. Both Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne ranked among the worst quarterbacks in football last season, and aside from a healthier Maurice Jones-Drew, I don’t see any significant offensive improvements anywhere else on the Jacksonville roster.
When the Indianapolis Colts ($3,200) get to play against Terrelle Pryor, you get to play against Terrelle Pryor. His team is considering benching him for Matt McGloin, for heaven’s sake.
It’s almost football season. Let’s win some cash, people.