Football season is officially underway! For those of us still trying to get over the disappointments from our respective teams after week one (I’m talking to you, Eli), I’m here to take your mind off that and talk a little fantasy sports. Based on week one performance, the top five QB’s according to ESPN are: Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Marcus Mariota, Tony Romo, and Alex Smith (just as we all predicted). I’d say that Brady and Romo are two guys we could expect to see there, though the other three just seem a little out of the ordinary. Nonetheless, my job here will be to try and guide you through the QB rankings based on price, where I will be highlighting two top tier quarterbacks to target, two middle tier guys to go after, and two bottom feeding QB’s who you can pick up for next to nothing cost wise. I wish you all the best of luck this weekend with your lineups.

Before we get started, it’s worth noting that this week is the perfect week to take a dip into the Daily Fantasy pool as you can win $1,000,000! Daily Fantasy can help you with lineup decision for your season-long league and give you another team to root on during the weekend.

This is a great week to check out DraftKings and pick up a new way to play fantasy football.

Tier 1 – Elite

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts, $8,200 – My pick for this year’s MVP award, Luck and the Colts fell to the Buffalo Bills in week one, though I expect him to come out guns blazing this week. The Colts will host the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, with the Jets featuring a premier defense, much like the one that Luck fell to this past weekend. However, the Jets are now most likely without Pro Bowl cornerback Antonio Cromartie this week, who suffered a knee sprain in the team’s win against the Cleveland Browns. I’m not going to lie and say the matchup doesn’t scare me, but it’s hard to bet against Andrew Luck, especially on Monday nights. Last season, Luck threw seven touchdowns in his two Monday night games, while throwing for just one interception. The Jets are looking for their first 2-0 start to a season in four years, and have dropped four straight road openers. It’s hard to imagine Luck and the Colts dropping two straight to open up the season, especially one during prime time television. Look for Luck to rebound this week and hopefully produce superior numbers to Aaron Rodgers, who is priced at $8,300 and facing the always-frightening Seattle defense.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints, $7,800 – Brees will be a popular pick this weekend on Draftkings, and with good reason. The 36-year-old is playing at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is a great chance for him and the team to try and get the offense back on track after a week where it didn’t look completely right. Luckily for Brees and the Saints, they’re facing the same defense that just got lit up by rookie Marcus Mariota, so this could be the week to get things back on track. Despite the losing effort last week against the Cardinals, Brees still managed to throw for 355 yards against a talented defense, and in his first game since Jimmy Graham was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. With Lovie Smith’s Cover-2 defense and a secondary that lacks talent, it’s easy to see Brees going off this week against a weak Bucs’ D.

Tier 2 – Value

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, $7,400 – Falcons’ wide receiver Julio Jones proved to us last week why the team rewarded him with a five-year, $71.25 million dollar contract before the season started. Throwing to him, of course, is quarterback Matt Ryan who enjoyed a solid week against the Philadelphia Eagles to open up the season, throwing for 298 yards with two touchdowns, though he did get picked off twice in the win. However, this game against an Eagles defense that is much better than the one he is facing this weekend, the New York Giants’ defense. Yes, the Giants could be hungry for a victory after basically handing the Cowboys a win on Sunday night football, but it’s easy to argue that Ryan has one of the best matchups of any quarterback this weekend. His price seems a bit low, especially given the matchup, so I would jump aboard the ‘Matty Ice’ train this week. Oh, and if you have the money to spend, go out and get Julio Jones as well; if the Giants’ defense looks anything like they did on the last few Cowboys’ drives, this game could get really ugly, really fast.

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals, $6,700 – You will be hard pressed to find better value than Carson Palmer’s $6,700 tag this weekend, as the top scoring QB on Draftkings week one is priced modestly, while facing a weak Chicago defense, and calling the Chicago defense “weak” is being nice. The Bears’ defense have allowed opponents to complete 67.3 percent of the passes they’ve thrown, while giving up 37 passing touchdowns since the start of the 2014 season, good for first in the NFL in that category. Palmer showed us last week that what he did in 2014 when healthy was not a fluke, and if the 35-year-old can stay on the field this year, he’s going to make some noise in the AL West. If you forget about the game that he ended his 2014 season, Palmer has thrown two or more touchdowns in each of his last seven starts. This one is kind of a no-brainer here.

Tier 3 – Contrarian

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $5,600 – This is where we start to dive into the low risk, high reward range of QBs. First on my list is rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, who is going up against a terrible New Orleans Saints defense while looking to rebound from an embarrassing start to his NFL career last week against the Tennessee Titans. Jameis passed for two touchdowns last week, though his first career pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, one of his two interceptions he threw on the day. Here’s the good news: the Saints were the fourth-worst team in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last season, and all the same stayed true during week one. The risk in drafting Jameis is obvious, as he’s still a young kid trying to get used to the offense in Tampa Bay as he adjusts to the NFL, but the upside is there for sure. If you’re looking to cut costs at the QB position and save your space to spend on other positions, very few could provide the upside that Jameis does this weekend.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets, $5,500 – A lot of what I said about Winston can be said about New York Jets’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick this Monday, as he’s facing a weak defense and looks well suited to benefit from the weak matchup. I’m not going to sugarcoat it at all, Fitzpatrick isn’t the sexist quarterback to be drafting for your squad, but at this price, it’s not exactly easy to pass up on. The Jets are a slow-paced offense, but they will be forced to speed things up a bit going against the fast-paced Indianapolis Colts. The way the Colts score, there’s a good chance that Fitzpatrick is going to be throwing a lot of passes in the second half to try and play catch-up, which could really benefit owners. Plus, this is the Colts defense we’re talking about here, the very same one that allowed Tyrod Taylor to complete 9 of his 11 first half passes, while throwing for 147 yards and a touchdown in the half. If you have the money to go out and get an Andrew Luck or a Drew Brees this weekend, there should be nobody stopping you; but if you’re looking for a value pick with solid upside, Ryan Fitzpatrick very well might be your guy.

Whether you play season-long of DFS fantasy football, I wish you all the best of luck this weekend, and I hope my advice will be of help!

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