Sneaky Plays to Start in Week 1 Fantasy Football

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 30: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings looks to pass the ball in the first quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The NFL regular season has arrived, and while Week 1 brings no shortage of optimism for fantasy football players, there are also plenty of situations that could already be leaving you with a headache.

Maybe you were counting on Melvin Gordon returning or Ezekiel Elliott sitting and giving Tony Pollard big value. Maybe you spent big on Andrew Luck and are left scrambling at the quarterback position. You could also have a couple of players with brutal matchups that you don't feel good about.

Whatever the case may be, these sleepers could make for sneaky-smart fantasy football plays in Week 1.

1. Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 23: Matt Breida #22 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes with the ball against the Chicago Bears during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Owned in 83 percent but only started in 18 percent of Yahoo! fantasy football leagues this week, people seem to be sleeping on Matt Breida. He opens the season ahead of Tevin Coleman on the San Francisco 49ers depth chart, and while he may end up seeing less volume than Coleman, we can still expect Breida to be heavily involved in the run game. That's a role that easy to like against Tampa, which ranked 31st in Football Outsiders' run defense DVOA in 2018.

2. Ted Ginn, WR, New Orleans Saints (vs Houston Texans)

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 09: Ted Ginn #19 of the New Orleans Saints catches the ball for a touchdown as Carlton Davis #33 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defends during the first half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 9, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Ted Ginn's injury-plagued 2018 season has left him seriously slept on in 2019. Including the playoffs, Ginn averaged 6.7 targets per game in the six full contests he played, not seeing fewer than 6 in any of them. The New Orleans Saints are 6.5-point favorites, per FanDuel Sportsbook, in a game with a 52.5-point over/under. The potential to see significant volume in what should be one of the highest-scoring offenses of the week gives Ginn some intriguing upside this week — especially in deeper leagues.

3. Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings (vs Atlanta Falcons)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 18: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 18, 2018 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Kirk Cousins comes out of the offseason with an average draft position (ADP) of only QB18 despite finishing 13th at the position in 2018. No team allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing QBs in 2018 than the Atlanta Falcons, who ranked 29th in pass defense DVOA, so there's also a good chance Cousins can out-perform his 2018 numbers in this spot. We have him 11th among QBs in our Week 1 fantasy football rankings.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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