Quick, who were the top fantasy football performers in Week 1 in DFS last season?
Answer: They were mostly Kansas City Chiefs.
Remember the opener from last season, when the Chiefs ruined the Patriots' victory lap with a 42-27 victory? It was filled with fantasy goodness, and if you played that Thursday game on a large slate, you were sitting pretty entering the weekend.
While most of the action went to the Patriots side, rookie RB Kareem Hunt ran for 148 yards and a touchdown and hauled in five catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns, and Alex Smith threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns. Tyreek Hill had 133 receiving yards and a touchdown.
All three of those players cost less than $6,000 on DraftKings.
Meanwhile, the Rams in Week 1 of last year scored two defensive touchdowns and a safety. They were a mid-priced defense and swung contests by putting up 28 points.
All of these winning choices were pure conviction plays in Week 1. They were not the most popular plays. You were going out on an edge if you rostered them.
Week 1 is the very best time to be contrarian in DFS. And it make sense as to why.
We have the least information available.
Data hasn't come close to normalizing, and won't for about eight weeks.
We don't know yet who is good, who is bad, who is emerging and who is over the hill.
So if you feel strongly about a particular player or game, I encourage you this week to be way above the field in terms of ownership.
My best example of this succeeding is Week 1 of 2016. I was convinced of two things: Raiders-Saints would shoot out. And Darrelle Revis, for as great as he has been, was washed up and A.J. Green would produce. I went heavy in rostering players from Raiders-Saints, and had 80 percent exposure to Green in his matchup against the Jets.
The results? Oakland 35, New Orleans 34, with Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks combining for 315 yards and three touchdowns. And A.J. Green roasted Revis for a 12-180-1 line.
My most profitable week of the year.
With that, here are a couple of guys I'm taking a hard look at for this week.
Andrew Luck ($6,100 DraftKings/$7,300 FanDuel): Healthy or not, if Luck is out there, I'm in on him this week. The Colts defense is, to put it kindly, not good. That's going to put the Colts in more throwing situations. Luck will be forced to throw vs. the Bengals as they try to play catchup and hopefully, he'll be Andrew Luck again.
Christian McCaffrey ($6,400 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel): He'll be popular — and for good reason. The price is too low for a true workhorse back who will see goal-line carries against a Dallas team that all of a sudden finds itself in a world of trouble.
John Ross ($3,900 DraftKings/$5,100 FanDuel): I like the over in Bengals-Colts, and Ross is too cheap for a WR2. His speed makes it so one long touchdown can pay off his salary.
Vance McDonald ($3,200 DraftKings/$4,800 FanDuel): Big caveat that this is contingent on his health. But I'm playing a tight end against Gregg Williams' Browns defense on at least one roster every single week I can.