Kyra’s Kash Grabs | Week 1 DFS

Welcome, to anybody who is reading this article for the very first time (you are in for a treat), and welcome back to anybody who has DFS and chilled with me on Thursday nights or woke up to read us last year here on Saturday mornings. We have made it to better days, people! It’s been a long-awaited off-season, and I cannot even begin to express how excited I am for my second year here in this space, writing articles for Club Fantasy, but I will try to do it anyway.

Those who follow my Twitter account already know this, but I have decided to plant my flag in the idea that I had compared myself to being something sort of like an NFL rookie last year. Nobody too serious, nothing too crazy, no Justin Jefferson arch type by any means. But I won’t sell myself short here either. I’d like to think of myself more like a Ceedee Lamb. Someone who didn’t at all disappoint you. I had a decent amount of touchdowns, some great suggestions, some great articles here and there. You may have had higher expectations and wanted more out of me, but you are not ready to give up hope yet because you know that the talent is there; I just needed Dak Prescott back. After witnessing that presentation of fantasy goodness on the season opener this past Thursday night, I think we all did.

But the Dak I specifically needed back for myself was the motivation after a COVID-filled year of depressing and overwhelming differences that we had to overcome. It took a lot out of my emotional being. But we aren’t here to make excuses, people… we aren’t a bunch of suckers. My motivation is at an all-time high, and my Dak is back, so you better believe I’m primed and ready for my year 2 breakout to start right here right now for the Sunday slate. I let the real-life Ceedee steal the show Thursday, so it’s my time to shine. It’s also that time to put my money where my mouth is and bring you the best value players you will ever see here in 2021. I have missed the grind of researching, the sights of value, and all things DFS. I can hear the NFL Network playing throughout my house for the next 18 weeks, and it is sweet music to my ears. So get ready to spend every Saturday morning, afternoon whenever you wake up and check this weekly article with me, providing you the information to set up your DFS lineups. I mean, who has the time to waste? Let’s get right to the chase and back to what we all know and love football and kashin’ out!

Be sure to check out our weekly DFS show “DFS and Chill” on our Youtube Channel!

QUARTERBACKS

Ryan Tannehill (Draftkings: $6,500 / Fanduel: $7,700)

My first top value of the 2021 season here at Kyra’s Kash Grabs goes to the underrated king himself, Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill is the epitome of why we poke fun at his ex-head coach Adam Gase. He has been nothing short of spectacular ever since he took over under center in Tennessee. According to ProFootballFocus, Ryan Tannehill currently grades 5th overall in QB rankings, and ever since 2019, when he showed up in Tennessee, he has impressed with a 92.8 passing grade that ranks number 2 out of 59 quarterbacks with at least 100 drops backs and a QB rating of 110.6 which also ranks 2nd overall. Tannehill has also thrown at an above-average touchdown rate, 7.1%, that ranks 3rd amongst the best quarterbacks, with guys like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson only above him.

So why is there no high price tag in a juicy matchup this week? Ryan Tannehill is a freakin’ sleeping giant. Make it make sense! Whatever the reason might be, we want to be putting a guy like Tannehill into our lineups. While others may be opting for his opponent in this matchup, Kyler Murray, or think they should build rosters around guys like Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes, we should pay down for someone like Tannehill, who can present you with the same exact upside for a discounted price. The Arizona Cardinals secondary is suspect, starting a rookie middle linebacker, a rookie cornerback, an aging defensive end. They also have lost cornerback Malcolm Butler to retirement and other borderline starting options at their respective positions.

Last season, the Cardinals ranked 14th in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks.  Given the idea that Tennessee’s high powered offense averaged 29.6 points per game last year and only have got better by adding star wide receiver Julio Jones while having a suspect defense themselves that give up an average of 27 points per game seems to me that any game the Titans are playing in against an offense which boasts star players like Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, and rookie sensation Rondale Moore can call for a barn burner!

Jalen Hurts (Draftkings: $6,400 / Fanduel: $6,400)

It is no mystery to those that follow me that I am, in fact, a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Am I a Jalen Hurts fan, though? That remains to be seen. As far as fantasy football purposes? Heck yes! You strike gold in quarterbacks when you have someone as mobile as Jalen Hurts and an offense in front of him who may frequently need to keep up with a bad secondary. That is my favorite recipe drawn up for fantasy success when the Philadelphia Eagles secondary last season averaged giving up 26.1 points per game, and believe me, when I say the Atlanta Falcons were no better. In fact, they were nearly just as bad while giving up an average of 25.9 points per game.  But this isn’t just about bad defenses… let me sell you on why I like the idea of Jalen Hurts this week.

I know that Hurts has been a hot topic all off-season about who he can be as a fantasy quarterback for season-long leagues. Last year, he gave us a small sample size in his 4 games that he started with the Eagles and finished as the QB10 in Week 14, QB1 in Week 15, QB16 in Week 16, and QB19 in Week 17. Pretty wide range of outcomes! But I’m looking at the overall picture of that small sample size. In Week 14, he faced a tough New Orleans defense, Week 15 a soft Arizona secondary, Week 16 another bad secondary in Dallas. Then, in a questionable decision, he was pulled before the 4th quarter against Washington in a situation where it seemed the Eagles wanted to lose. The team itself was an absolute dumpster fire surrounded by multiple injuries to the offensive line that led them to 13 different rotations amongst them, injuries to essentially every wide receiver leaving Travis Fulgham (a practice squad player) to be the number 1 wide receiver and even more injuries leading to both starting tight ends Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz. Everyone was playing hurt or on its second or third-string options. I can’t judge a rookie’s performance given those circumstances!

Hurts showed promise and breathed life into a lifeless team at the end of their season. I think he has tremendous upside with his legs, and the accuracy issues can correct themselves with having more time to make throws with a healthy offensive line. Not to mention last year was just a mess trying to sort through an offseason of COVID restrictions, and Hurts didn’t have the allotted time allowed to gel with his teammates like he did this year. Can’t forget to mention the Eagles added a familiar face in his old teammate and current Heisman winner, wide receiver Devonta Smith. This week, the sky is the limit for Hurts going against a Falcons defense who allowed the MOST fantasy points per game last season and did little to improve the secondary. Make no mistake, do it like a true Philadelphian and trust the process! Pro tip: stack him with Devonta Smith for a sweet cheap stack option this week!

Honorable Mention: Trevor Lawrence (Draftkings: $6,200 / Fanduel: $6,800)

Deep Sea Dive: Sam Darnold (Draftkings: $5,000 / Fanduel: $6,500)

RUNNING BACKS

James Robinson (Draftkings: $6,400 / Fanduel: $5,900)

Somebody call the police! Why is James Robinson so underpriced going against the league’s WORST defense versus opposing fantasy running backs? This should be criminal! Robinson lost his counterpart and potential fantasy vulture Travis Etienne to injury this past preseason. While that’s unfortunate and injuries are nothing to boast about for someone else’s gain, it still remains true that Robinson is only in competition for touches with Carlos Hyde, who hit the bad side of 30 this year.

I know some people want to connect Hyde and Urban Meyer and their glory days at Ohio State but let’s get real people. James Robinson is a beast that can’t be tamed. There is a saying that goes, “be so good that people can no longer ignore you,” and I think James Robinson fits that mold and Urban Meyer is going to be forced to recognize that this guy is a three-down back who can do it all. He did it once last year, and there is little reason to believe he can’t do it again in 2021. Last year, he averaged 14.4 fantasy points per game in a much less exciting offense than he is in now. Additions like rookie Trevor Lawrence and Marvin Jones, along with a healthy D.J. Chark and second-year wideout Laviska Shenault can only improve his situation. Houston allowed an average of 26.7 points per game to their opposing running backs last year. So unless you think Carlos Hyde can account for the rest of those points, which I don’t, I’m taking aim at James Robinson this week at the bargain price, ESPECIALLY in Fanduel at $5,900!

Najee Harris (Draftkings: $6,300 / Fanduel: $6,500)

I have been excited for the Steelers’ first-round rookie pick Najee Harris all offseason! He is the last of a dying breed as a bell-cow running back, and if the preseason was an indicator of his usage, you best believe this guy is never coming off the field. I know his 6 foot-2, 230lb frame may profile like he’s just another big power back.  Like a slightly smaller Derrick Henry, but this guy also provides pass-catching abilities. He’s a versatile running back that can get you fantasy points on the ground and through the air. I understand that the argument capping Najee’s upside is the only glaring negative on Pittsburgh’s offense, their offensive line.

Pro Football Focus has Pittsburgh’s offensive line ranked as number 31 amongst 32 NFL teams. Pretty bad! Almost as bad as it gets! But that doesn’t worry me with someone as talented as Najee Harris. It was obvious to me during the preseason that they intend to use him often with an aging Big Ben Roethlisberger still under center. He can become a comfortable safety net for Ben to bail him out when that offensive line collapses. The game script also reads that these are 2 pretty good defenses facing each other, and I don’t see a case regardless where Najee ever finds himself phased out of this game. This is probably the cheapest we will ever see the rookie in DFS lineups, so take advantage while you can.

Honorable Mention: Chase Edmonds (Draftkings: $4,600 / Fanduel: $5,900)

Deep Sea Dive: Ty Johnson (Draftkings: $4,400 / Fanduel: $4,700)

WIDE RECEIVERS

A.J. Brown/Julio Jones (Draftkings: $7,100 / Fanduel: $7,800)(Draftkings: $6,800 / Fanduel: $7,000)

I’ll take Batman and Robin this week at wide receiver. These guys are a superhero duo and will be lethal all season, especially this week against the Arizona Cardinals. So, for many of the same reasons I liked Ryan Tannehill, I also like A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. These are big framed dudes who will be a matchup nightmare for corners Byron Murphy and Robert Alford. They will be a tough tandem for any opposing defense to stop, but I really like these two at their respective prices in a potential shoot-out. So when my choices are in the range of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones or guys like Adam Thielen, Tyler Lockett, or Keenan Allen in a tough matchup, I’d rather go Brown or Jones. They aren’t too high, and they aren’t all that low — the porridge is just right, and these two should eat on Sunday!

Tee Higgins (Draftkings: $4,700 / Fanduel: $6,000)

Last season, we were spoiled with historical rookie seasons like Justin Jefferson or just fantastic ones like Brandon Aiyuk. Tee Higgins’s excellent rookie season fell kind of under the radar! Higgins finished with a stat line of 67 receptions for 908 yards and 6 touchdowns in 14 games. That was without starting quarterback Joe Burrow from Week 11 on. Higgins posted five WR1 games as a rookie. All eyes are on first-round pick Ja’Marr Chase, but with terrible reports out of training camp suggesting Chase is knocking off a ton of rust from sitting out last season and is having trouble tracking or catching the newly unstriped NFL football, I am willing to bet Higgins remains very fantasy relevant.

With 2 of the 3 wide receivers on this team coming in at a higher price tag, I like the idea of Tee Higgins at a discount. Higgins also stands out with a big frame being 6’4 216lbs. That’s a huge red zone target! One Joe Burrow will need to utilize going up against a top 11 red-zone defense last year in Minnesota. It’s also an area in which the Bengals have struggled. But if there’s one thing to remember from last year, it’s just how much opposing wide receivers ate against the Vikings’ porous secondary. They surrendered the 5th most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. With a healthy over/under of 48, this game should allow for plenty of fantasy points. It’s a similar recipe I always tend to enjoy where good offenses and bad defenses collide!

Honorable Mention: Devonta Smith (Draftkings: $4,500 / Fanduel: $5,300)

Deep Sea Dive: Michael Pittman Jr. (Draftkings: $4,100 / Fanduel: $5,300)

TIGHT ENDS

Kyle Pitts (Draftkings: $4,400 / Fanduel: $6,000)

Kyle Pitts was, quite possibly, the most polarizing player coming out of the 2021 draft class. Boasting wide receiver-esque abilities and a wingspan from Philadelphia to Atlanta, he will feast on the soft Philly secondary in his debut. What better time to showcase your number 4 overall pick than against a team who wasn’t all that great defending the tight end position last year. The Philadelphia Eagles gave up the 13th most fantasy points per game against tight ends last season. Also, In the endzone last season versus tight ends, Philadelphia gave up a 154.7 passer rating. That is nearly perfect. I don’t think any secondary has the players with the ability to cover a guy like Kyle Pitts, let alone the poor Eagles defense who have just no named linebackers and are thin at safety. I don’t see a case where they can stop both Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. Philadelphia doesn’t have the firepower. In DraftKings, he’s listed at $4,400, and this is, without a doubt, in my mind the cheapest we will ever see to acquire Kyle Pitts after week 1. Get it while it’s hot!

Austin Hooper (Draftkings: $4,000 / Fanduel: $5,100)

Now, I know this name is not nearly as sexy as someone like Kyle Pitts, but it’s one that still holds a Kash Grab value! I typically like to punt the tight end position and pick from the bottom of the barrel (Shout Out to Week 1 gues, Chris Robin!) so I can fit superior running backs and wide receivers in my DFS lineups so a guy like Hooper makes for a good suggestion. The Chiefs versus Browns reads to me as a game of the week! Right now, Odell Beckham Jr is going to be a game-time decision. We have the highest over/under in this game set at 53. Someone will need to get these points, and why not Austin Hooper against a Chiefs defense who are not great at defending the tight end position. Last season, the Chiefs gave up the 9th most fantasy points per game against the tight end position. Coach Kevin Stefanski said he wants to expand Hooper’s role more this season, and even if Odell can suit up for this game, Austin Hooper still averaged 5.5 targets per game with Beckham in the lineup. There are far worse options at this price range.

Honorable Mention: Zach Ertz (Draftkings: $3,800 / Fanduel: $5,000)

Deep Sea Dive: Jordan Akins (Draftkings: $3,000 / Fanduel: $4,800)

DEF/ST

Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (DraftKings: $3,500  Fanduel: $4,500)

Denver Broncos vs New York Giants (Draftkings: $3,300 / Fanduel: $4,100)

Honorable Mention: Los Angeles Chargers vs  Washington Football Team (Draftkings: $3,100 / Fanduel: $4,300)

Deep Sea Dive: Buffalo Bills vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Draftkings: $ 2,500 / Fanduel: $3,600)