AFC West Week 1 DraftKings Daily Fantasy Preview

We are wrapping up the AFC by breaking down the West division for DraftKings in Week 1. Two of the teams have intriguing matchups to use a few guys. The other two, not so much. But we will at least give a rundown of who to keep an eye on in the weeks to come.


Denver Broncos

1. Peyton Manning10100
2. Brock Osweiler5000
3. Zac Dysert5000
1. Montee Ball7000
2. Ronnie Hillman3000
3. C.J. Anderson4000
1. Demaryius Thomas8100
2. Wes Welker5800
3. Emmanuel Sanders4800
4. Andre Caldwell3000
5. Cody Latimer3000
1. Julius Thomas5800
2. Jacob Tamme3000

Indianapolis at Denver (-7) O/U 55.5

I won’t waste your time with Peyton Manning talk, but I would actually pass on him in Week 1. It’s not that Manning is a bad play, it’s more that I’d save my DraftKings $ on the running backs with plenty of other good plays at QB.

Running back for Denver is interesting though. I love this matchup for the Broncos running game. The only scary thing is even though Montee Ball is the No. 1 back – how many of the carries will he actually get? This is something that we simply won’t know until after the game. Ball could get anywhere between 15 and 30 touches assuming his health is good. The Colts were 26th in rush defense last year at 125.1 yards per game. I’d throw Ball out there in a GPP since the Broncos have a good spread and O/U at home on opening night, but don’t overuse him.

As for WR, assuming Wes Welker is good to go with his concussion, I don’t see any changes in the production. Demariyus Thomas will lead the way, and I think he’ll be used more in the WR screens, which will be good for PPR purposes. Welker will continue to be solid (again, health provided). Emmanuel Sanders will have similar stats to Eric Decker from last season. Julius Thomas will take advantage up the seam and in the red zone. Andre Caldwell and rookie Cody Latimer will make some noise here and there. For this matchup until we get a better idea on the Colts, this is basically pick at your own risk. I’m not too high on anyone considering how much Manning diversifies. Thomas is obviously the best bet, but I’d rather spend the money elsewhere. If Welker isn’t cleared to play, I’d give Sanders a try and in a GPP.


Kansas City Chiefs

1. Alex Smith7000
2. Chase Daniel5000
3. Aaron Murray5000
4. Tyler Bray5000
1. Jamaal Charles9000
2. Knile Davis4000
3. Cyrus Gray3000
1. Donnie Avery3000
2. Junior Hemingway3000
3. A.J. Jenkins3000
4. Albert Wilson3000
3. Kyle Williams3000
1. Anthony Fasano3100
2. Travis Kelce3000

Tennessee at Kansas City (-4.5) O/U 43.5

This is the other good matchup for the AFC West. There’s no need to play Alex Smith for obvious reasons, but I’ll be curious to see if he can still improve at this point in his career, especially if his defense takes a step back.

Jamaal Charles is a fantastic option and will be money well spent, even though he’s $9,000 on DraftKings. Tennessee was 20th in rush defense last year at 112.2 yards per game, but they gave up a 30th-best 21 rushing TDs. Keep in mind the Titans play in the same division as the Colts, Texans (banged up running game) and the Jaguars. With the Chiefs as a favorite as well, he should get plenty of touches. Plus, Charles led the Chiefs in receptions and receiving yards last year. Seriously.

And what will help that out even more is that not only is Dexter McCluster gone, Dwyane Bowe is suspended for this game. But is there another WR should you consider? Donnie Avery is certainly worth a shot. He only caught 17 fewer balls than Bowe last year and only 77 fewer yards. However, when I say he’s worth a shot, I mean that since he’s certainly the No. 1 receiver at minimum salary. The Chiefs are not a great pass offense, and you never know who will actually catch the football. Still, if you’re wanting to front load a GPP lineup with people like LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson and Drew Bress, Avery is a fine option at his price.


Oakland Raiders

1. Matt Schaub5300
2. Derek Carr5000
3. Matt McGloin5000
1. Maurice Jones-Drew4500
2. Darren McFadden4100
3. Latavius Murray3000
1. James Jones3300
2. Rod Streater3400
3. Andre Holmes4400
4. Greg Little3000
5. Denarius Moore3400
1. Mychal Rivera3400
2. David Ausberry3000

Oakland at NY Jets (-4.5) O/U 39.5

This is similar to what I said about Blake Bortles in my AFC South preview. The Raiders need to start Derek Carr. Unlike certain running QBs, I don’t think Carr is at much risk going out there as a rookie. He has all the necessary tools. He’s played very well in preseason and now needs the real NFL experience.

But no matter who the QB is, neither are worth a play here. It’s a low O/U, the Raiders are on the road for a 1 p.m. ET kick on the East coast and both teams place at a slow pace and run frequently.

Unless Darren McFadden or Maurice Jones Drew get hurt, I absolutely hate the RB picture here. It’s just as bad (actually worse when you consider how poor the first-string offense has been) as the Buffalo situation. We just have to wait and see if this is going to be a 50/50 split or one back will actually get a majority of the carries.

At WR/TE, James Jones is the No. 1 guy and will probably lead the team in all categories. However, the only area I think he’ll improve on from last year’s 59 receptions, 817 yards and 3 TDs is the touchdowns. He should get double the amount this year with the lack of targets around him. Still, unless Carr gets the nod, Jones doesn’t have that great of value, even at DraftKings’ $3,300.

One under the radar guy is starting TE Mychal Rivera. He won’t get a ton of targets, but he’s very good in the red zone in the way he uses his 245-pound frame and has great hands. But again, that’s for a more favorable matchup.

No plays here.


San Diego Chargers

1. Philip Rivers7400
2. Kellen Clemens5000
3. Brad Sorensen5000
1. Ryan Mathews5400
2. Danny Woodhead3700
3. Donald Brown3200
1. Keenan Allen6800
2. Malcom Floyd3300
3. Eddie Royal3000
4. Vincent Brown3000
5. Seyi Ajirotutu3000
1. Antonio Gates3400
2. Ladarius Green3200

San Diego at Arizona (-3.5) O/U 44.5 

Unless you had your head under a rock last season, you know how great this Cardinals defense is. They were No. 1 in rush defense and rushing TDs allowed. However, even though the pass defense snagged 29 INTs, they were actually 14th in pass defense. Still, not too shabby.

I wouldn’t play anyone here. Why risk Phillip Rivers against that defense on the road? To put it simply, nothing is ideal when you factor in the O/U, a mediocre receiving core and the great Cardinals D all around.

Mayyyyyyyyybe you could try Danny Woodhead in a GPP since he has great PPR value on DraftKings, is only $3,700 and he could be used a lot down the stretch of the game. But I’m reaching pretty far here. Everyone else, don’t even think about it.

At WR, Keenan Allen will be covered by Patrick Peterson, so that’s a no-go. Antonio Cromartie is now on Arizona at the No. 2 corner, and while he may be a little past his prime, he’ll have an easy matchup against Malcom Floyd. The only positive thing going for the Chargers here is that  Tyrann Mathieu may not play with his injury. But even if he doesn’t, it’s not worth it. Let’s keep an eye on who might be Rivers’ second-favorite target after Allen this year. Floyd? Eddie Royal? Ladarius Green? Does Antonio Gates still have something left?

Or is this going to be by committee again? Unfortunately for the Chargers, that’s what I’m thinking.

View all posts by Nick Juskewycz
Nick Juskewycz

About the Author

Sked Nick is a Daily Fantasy Sports enthusiast and a former Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Most of his time is dedicated to the sports world in front of several televisions, monitors and a projector. This involves researching, writing, watching games or simply keeping up to date on news.He graduated with honors from Bowling Green State University with a degree in sport management and journalism. Furthermore, Nick was a radio play-by-play and color commentator for Bowling Green football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball. He also has experience working with the BGSU athletic department.Follow @NickJuskewycz

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