FanDuel is hosting a MEGA $2 Million NFL Tournament, starting 1:00 ET on Sunday. It’s $25 to enter, and the winner gets a sweet payout of $200,000.
Here’s my tournament lineup for that contest, outlining some of my favorite players and some strategy tips along the way.
Best of luck!
QB Matthew Stafford – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $7,400)
Its looking like I’ll have most of my QB exposure between Stafford and Dak Prescott on FanDuel. I’m hoping Stafford has a lower-than-deserved ownership rate in tournaments, as most people could spend up on Wilson/Rodgers or pivot down to Prescott at the minimum. Stafford may slip through the cracks, despite holding a tempting matchup against an Indianapolis secondary that will be missing Vontae Davis and Clayton Geathers. As long as Stafford has time to throw, he should produce (at least) top five QB numbers on the week.
RB Lamar Miller – Houston (FanDuel Price: $7,600)
I confessed my love for Lamar Miller in the FanDuel NFL Must Plays column, and it feels good to say it again. Miller should be a workhorse as the Texans will try to ease Brock Osweiler into a new system. That, and the game should flow in Miller’s favor, as Houston checks in as seven point home favorites. I believe Miller is a top-five running back on this slate, yet he comes at nearly a $1000 discount from top guys like Todd Gurley and David Johnson. Lock him in.
RB Ryan Mathews – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $6,100)
This is where things get somewhat interesting. Most people are looking towards Spencer Ware or Christine Michael as their value running back. Either of those guys could have productive days to provide an impressive return on investment. However, questions surrounding the use of a committee loom over both situations. Meanwhile, Ryan Mathews is reasonably cheap and set to be the every-down running back for Philadelphia. The Eagles will likely make their rushing attack a priority while protecting rookie QB Carson Wentz. As if that wasn’t enough, the Cleveland defensive front seven was graded worst among all NFL teams heading into this season (according to Pro Football Focus) … Needless to say, Mathews is a sneaky pick that I’m willing to target in all formats.
WR Julio Jones – Atlanta (FanDuel Price: $9,000)
Let’s reference the FanDuel NFL Must Plays column once again. Jones is the premium receiver I’m most likely to select over Antonito Brown, Odell Beckham, and DeAndre Hopkins. He has the best matchup of the upper-tier, facing a Tampa defense that owns a bottom ten secondary. Jones gouged the Bucs for a pair of big games last season, and Tampa hasn’t done much to upgrade that unit (at least that it would impact week one).
WR Amari Cooper – Oakland (FanDuel Price: $7,100)
This New Orleans-Oakland game could be a shootout in the Superdome. The Raiders will try to keep pace with Drew Brees’ Saints, and there should be plenty of snaps/pass attempts to go around. Cooper was tagged somewhat of a “boom or bust” option in his rookie season, as dazzling peaks were met with frustrating valleys in following weeks. Now carrying experience and rapport with Derek Carr, the Raiders combination should be off and running week one. The matchup is fantastic against a New Orleans secondary that was torched repeated last season. We could see a few big plays (and then some) out of Cooper.
WR Marvin Jones – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $5,500)
Marvin Jones will likely be a popular selection, but I have no problem eating the chalk in this spot. The rationale for using Jones is an extension of Matthew Stafford’s write-up above. Jones has emerged as a viable threat to funnel a ton of targets amidst the absence of Calvin Johnson from the Lion’s passing attack. As I said earlier, the Colts’ are down several key members of their secondary, making this a matchup to exploit. The Stafford-Jones (and Golden Tate) connection is one I believe in on Sunday.
TE Jordan Reed – Washington (FanDuel Price: $7,400)
With Rob Gronkowski’s status in question, Jordan Reed jumps to the top spot among projections for tight ends. It helps that he has a fantasy-friendly matchup against the Steelers, who were very generous to tight ends (and wide receivers) last season. In addition, this game will be played at home, where Redskins’ QB Kirk Cousins had outstanding success last season. The firepower on the other sideline is a good thing for Reed as well. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ quick-strike offense should keep Washington in a pass-heavy attack mode. That means more targets and subsequent fantasy points for Reed.
K Steven Hauschka – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $4,800)
I won’t get too in depth in how I selected a kicker. Essentially Hauschka has an accurate foot, playing on a team expected to move the ball and put up some points. Also, the Seattle defense could help the field position battle and give Hauschka more opportunities. I may have gone more in-depth than I intended…whoops!
DEF Seattle Seahawks (FanDuel Price: $5,000)
Speaking of the Seattle defense, of course they are an elite option anytime they face a mediocre offense at home. The Dolphins are traveling across country, stepping into Seattle as double-digit underdogs. I’m not getting too sneaky with this pick, and there’s a relatively high probability the Seahawks come through with the best defensive score of the week.