Welcome to Week 1 DFS. In these weekly articles, I’m going to look at three players with similar salaries on DraftKings and pick the player I think you should add to your fantasy football lineup for the Sunday main slate. In Week 1 we usually see some favorable salaries as the week is set so far in advance so the edges this week are usually easier to find.
This time we’re looking at three mid-priced wide receivers, all with questions marks about their impact in 2022.
Rashod Bateman @ New York Jets ($5,300)
I’ve found it hard to rank Bateman heading into 2022. On the plus side he’s the prime beneficiary of the trade of Marquise Brown to the Cardinals and should see the majority of the targets vacated by Brown. On the downside, Bateman is an unproven commodity after a rookie season where his production was underwhelming, averaging just 7.3 fantasy points per game and just one 100 yard receiving game and a lone touchdown reception. The matchup against the Jets is a good one, especially with Lamar Jackson back to full health so will be a speculative add to your DFS roster this week until we see how the Ravens’ offense will run in 2022.
JuJu Smith-Schuster @ Arizona Cardinals ($5,200)
JuJu is an underrated add to the Chiefs roster this season. No he doesn’t have the same skill set as Tyreek Hill but he is a proven fantasy commodity in terms of seeing a high target share. With Hill out the door, Smith-Schuster should be the top receiving option behind Travis Kelce. JuJu only played five games in 2021 so is another speculative add until we see him playing at full speed, but playing with Patrick Mahomes and in an Andy Reid offense gives me confidence he’ll produce good numbers. On paper the Cardinals’ defense is the stiffest test of the three defenses these players will face this week, but I like JuJu to have a bounce-back 2022, starting in Week 1.
Brandon Aiyuk @ Chicago Bears ($5,200)
Aiyuk has the best 2021 resume to give a view on what we could expect heading into this year. He finished 2021 as the WR35, averaging 8.8 points per game but was very inconsistent, finishing as the WR55 in our NECC consistency and efficiency rating. We also have the potential growing pains that comes with a new quarterback under center which could affect his potential targets. The Bears present a good potential matchup as I have them projected as a bottom-10 defenses for 2022, and the likely absence of George Kittle opens up some target opportunities. However, I think I need to see it before risking Aiyuk in DFS.
My Pick: JuJu Smith-Schuster
There’s a lot of projection with each of these guys into Week 1 but JuJu has the safest target floor and against a potential top-15 offense in the Cardinals, it should be a competitive game with both offenses seeing plenty of the ball which will add to his ability to put up points for your DFS roster.