NFL Week 1 DFS Plays for FanDuel and DraftKings

NFL picks against the spread

Ahh Week 1!! It’s back! I am sure you are as excited as me to get back to the best time of the year, the daily fantasy football season! This is also the most profitable time for me in terms of DFS, although I have had fantastic NASCAR, MLB, NBA, and PGA DFS seasons as well. Let’s get right into it and remember to sign up for DraftKings to start playing tonight! 

In week 1 we are in a realm of unknowns, and in this land you must take the most known quantities in cash games and, as always, go off the the board a little more in tournaments. There are a ton of guys that could do things, but there is so much player turnover in football year to year that you have to go with what is the most likely to happen in these types of contests. That said, in GPPs the hurd will be strong. Popular opinions have been propagating for months. Take the lower owned guy that you project similarly when looking for the big cash. Low ownership is your friend. Of course you should adjust your riskiness according to the size of the field in your contest, going more risky the bigger the field.

Always remember to think about what you think the game flow will be in each game because that will determine fantasy outcomes, for the most part. Most importantly, you want to find the games that will shoot out. Two teams with poor defenses will be a good place to start. We can and should also use Vegas totals to aid in our search of these holy grails of fantasy football.

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Cash Game Plays

($7,400/$7,200)Stafford @ IND -3.5 IND, 50.5
Matt Stafford in cash?! Yes. Most people will be off him due to a poor year, but he enters the year with 2 new quality receivers in an incredible match up. I think a lot of people are on Marvin Jones but I don’t think many are on Stafford due to his general bad perception. Indianapolis has the 20th ranked CB group according to PFF and that was before they lost Vontae Davis due to ligament damage in his ankle. The Colts allowed the 9th most passing yards per game last season at 257. I also believe this game will shootout, keeping Stafford passing. Detroit passed on 65.63% of their plays last season, most in the league.

($5,400/$4,400)Spencer Ware | -7 KC, 44.5
Reports are Jamaal Charles will not be ready for week one and Ware has been running with the ones in preseason. While Charcandrick West was the guy last year it seems he’ll be passing the torch to ware. Ware will be very popular that week, but in cash games that is fine. Ware was an early down bruiser last year, but he caught 8 passes in 3 preseason games already, eclipsing his season total of yesteryear by 2. I think he will function in a 3 down role, and he is sure to get the goal line looks. He is affordable across the industry and opens up your possibilities at other positions. San Diego allowed the 6th most rushing yards per game last season and they are now without Eric Weddle, one of their strongest run stoppers. The Chiefs are also projected to lead which should keep them pounding the rock.

($9,100/$9,300)Odell Beckham Jr. | PK, 46
Dallas has. Profootballfocus’ 27th ranked CB group in the league. I think your only worry here is if the week 1 starter Dak Prescott can’t bring his preseason studliness into the regular season. If he can, and gets points on the board early and often, this will have Eli attempting a ton of passes. We know who it’s going to. Beckham averaged 10.53 targets per game last season.

($7,400/$6,600)Jordan Reed | -3 PIT, 50
It took until the last 2-3 games of the season last year for people to catch on to this guy. I think he is s known quantity at this point. He is Kirk Cousins favorite target, especially in the red zone. The Steelers secondary is atrocious through and through. I would rather target Reed over Gronk due to better quarterback play and strength of match up.

($/$3,900)Seattle Seahawks vs MIA | -10 SEA, 44
While Miami is not the worst offense in the league, The Seahawks have the best defense. Miami is the 19th best offensive line according to PFF vs Seattle’s 2nd ranked unit. There should be a good number of sacks and potential for turnovers here. Tannehill had 15 turnovers in 16 games last season.

GPP Plays

($7,800/$)Kirk Cousins vs PIT | -3 PIT, 50
I feel like this game is getting overlooked outside of Antonio Brown, and if anything, this is the better side of the ball to target. Kirk Cousins is one of those guys that has a public perception of being a bad quarterback, but I’m a truther. QB9 last year averaged 22.4 fantasy points per game. He has a healthy DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed and is facing the Steelers horrible secondary. Pittsburgh allowed the 3rd most passing yards per game at 267. The unit has not gotten stronger. Couple this with the strength of the Pittsburgh offense and I think Kirk will be throwing the ball a lot this week.

($7,100/$7,000)DeAngelo Williams vs WAS | -3 PIT, 50
This is not best matchup, but this is a situation where opportunity outweighs opponent strength. Especially on DK, Williams could meet value simply on the volume of dumps offs. I saw a tweet from @RsandersDFS that said games where Williams touched the ball 18 or more times last year he averaged 24.74 DK points. I like him to meet that mark this week. I think he is definitely getting overlooked this week and will be owned less than 10% in tournaments.

($7,300/$6,900)Sammy Watkins vs BAL | -3 BAL, 44.5
There are a ton of guys in the price ranges of Watkins that are getting touted far more around the industry. Watkins is a big play threat and averaged 7.75 targets per game. This is also a funnel defense situation. While the run defense of Baltimore is decent, their secondary is very weak, ranked 28th by PFF. With Baltimore being the favorites, I expect the Bills to play from behind leading to passing on a good percentage of their plays.

($5,500/$3,200)Dwayne Allen vs DET IND -3.5 IND, 50.5
I love Allen in season long and I think this is the week he gets the ball rolling. With the exodus of Coby Fleener the tight end targets are left for Allen alone. He is a very talented red zone performer who Luck looks to within the20. Per Rich Hribar, Detroit allowed 10 top 12 Tes last season, including 12 touchdowns. This game also projects as a shootout, so I like the bet of Allen to get in the end zone. Allen is also an incredible value on DraftKings at just $3,200.

($4,700/$3,800)Carolina defense vs DEN | -3 CAR, 41.5
Trevor Siemien averaged 1 interception per game in his 2014 season at Northwestern, and vs the Carolina defense, I could see him having serious issues. Although I typically try to stay away from the Thursday night games due to the ownership increase I think Carolina is a good bet for a defensive touchdown and some sacks due to the poor offensive line of Denver and talented defensive line of the Panthers.

Lines from Westgate as of 9.6.16

Featured Image Credit: By Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Matt Dulcan