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Daily Fantasy Football Cash Game Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Week 1 - Main Slate
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The Eagles have the 4th-highest implied total on this main slate of games and the offense should be a pretty high-powered one this season. Hurts is coming in as a high-floor option seeing as how he now has an improved group of receiving weapons with the addition of AJ Brown and can take off running at any moment. Last season, Hurts was first among quarterbacks in rushing yards, putting up 784 yards on the ground in his 15 starts. The 61% completion percentage leaves some to be desired, but that should improve some this season. In terms of price, Hurts is coming as QB6 and QB5 on DraftKings and FanDuel respectively, putting him in a great place as a value play.
In terms of just pure safety on a week-to-week basis, it’s hard to beat Lamar Jackson over the last few years. Because he isn’t reliant on touchdown variance, and runs as much as really any quarterback ever has, the floor is just so high time in and time out. He didn’t have the same passing success as 2020, but the returns were still excellent when he could stay on the field last season. He was QB6 in DraftKings points per game and one has to think the 16:13 TD:INT rate is something of a blip even if he isn’t the most prolific passer.
It sure looks like we are going to be rostering one or maybe even two expensive running backs on this slate. There will be some value at WR to offset some of the pricing.
You are paying through the nose, but it’s hard to find someone safer at the running back position. The Colts, with Matt Ryan no under center, are -8.5 road favorites against the Texans and it stands to reason they will lean on Taylor early and often. He was RB1 in fantasy last season despite not seeing a monster workload early in the year. But when he started taking all of the snaps, all of the points followed and he had some borderline transcendent performances. You are paying top dollar, but going into the season Taylor is easily the safest top-tier fantasy play on the entire Week 1 slate.
Christian McCaffrey FD 9500 DK 8500
Proj Points FD - 20.42 DK - 23.59
It’s pretty simple here. In full games last season, that saw McCaffrey play the entirety, he averaged 20 touches per game including 7.6 targets. It’s just that he couldn’t stay on the field. In a PPR format, CMC is worth every penny on the passing game usage and that projects to stay in line this season with Baker Mayfield under center. That’s he’s not even the most expensive RB on DK helps as well, sitting at $8500, under Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry. I understand the relative safety in those two guys and this is close, but I do think we are getting McCaffrey at possibly a bargain here.
Austin Ekeler FD 9400 DK 8200
Proj Points FD - 16.67 DK - 18.85
Ekeler finished as RB2 on DraftKings last season and 12th overall despite missing one game. A full season would have easily put him in the top 10. Though he’s still not slated to get every single carry and touch for the Chargers, he was still the league-leader in running back receiving targets last season, something that should carry over to this campaign. The Chargers come in as -3.5 home favorites against the Raiders in a game that could be a shootout with a 52 over/under, the second-highest on the slate. I prefer Ekeler on DraftKings with the full-point PPR scoring.
There are some other running backs to consider in lower price tiers this week who could have some higher floors for cash. Joe Mixon is coming in the next tier and projects to see the majority of usage for the Bengals.
If Allen Lazard sits, then I actually think we can give Aaron Jones a bump on the receiving usage.
Because there is a lot of wide receiver movement in the off-season, I think we can target some middle-tier value here at the position in an effort to pay up more for Quarterback and Running Back on the Week 1 slate.
Michael Pittman Jr. FD 7200 DK 5500
Proj Points FD - 12.74 DK - 15.61
The Colts have a new quarterback in Matt Ryan behind center and there’s reason to believe the pass catchers in this offense will benefit from the change. Pittman led the Colts with 129 targets last season, converting those to 88 catches and 1,082 yards. He now gets a more accurate arm under center in an offense that could look more balanced than last season. We are getting him at an excellent price on DraftKings where he’s coming at only $5500 and should make for a higher floor play at the position.
Allen Lazard FD 6300 DK 5600
Proj Points FD - 13.06 DK - 15.67
The Packers lost a guy named DaVante Adams in the off-season. Ever heard of him? Gone with him are the 169 targets he saw last season, a number 2.5 times more than the next-closest pass-catcher (Aaron Jones). Then, add in the 55 targets for Marquez Valdes-Scantling and you have 60%+ of the Packers’ target share last season. In math terms, that’s a lot. It’s going to leave a lot of love to disperse among the guys left, one of them being Lazard who’s 60 targets last season were the next-best among the WR group. In terms of flyers, this is definitely one to take going into cash for Week 1 and I think you can make a case for Randall Cobb as well. *Note: Lazard's status is up in the air right now. If he plays, he's a cash game option. If he sits, Cobb and Sammy Watkins would get boosts.
Robert Woods FD 5600 DK 5600
Proj Points FD - 11.44 DK - 14
With a decent amount of quarterback and wide receiver shifting in the offseason, we might have to take some flyers going into Week 1 of this season. There’s almost no way around it and in some spots, we will have to speculate. Robert Woods and rookie Treylon Burks will be WR1 and 2 in this offense that had nearly all of its target share open up in the offseason with the AJ Brown trade as well as most of the rest of the receiving corps moving on. The Titans aren’t a volume passing offense, but if you think Woods is the true WR1 in this group then his FanDuel price is just too low going into this first week of games.
With no Tyreek Hill, Juju Smith-Schuster could really have a breakout here and is coming reasonably priced on both sites. There's a world where he's a popular cash game play this week with folks speculating on how the Chiefs' offense will run now.
With the way this slate is shaping up, I don’t think we are going to be spending up on tight end at all. That’s going to mean hunting in the lower or middle tier for value and maybe even punting it completely on DraftKings.
Dallas Goedert FD 5700 DK 4500
Proj Points FD - 8.42 DK - 10.36
Following the Zach Ertz trade in Week 6 when Dallas Goedert took over as TE1 for the Eagles, he was a top-10 target guy at the position with 57 and ranked fifth overall in yards with 614 from that week forward. Those were all with Jalen Hurts under center and offered a longer look at what he would do in the offense. We are getting him too cheap on both sites heading into Week 1 and he makes for one of the safer plays in this price range.
Cole Kmet FD 5000 DK 2500
Proj Points FD - 6.96 DK - 8.77
In games Justin Fields started last season, Kmet saw decent target share, averaging close to six looks per game in those contests. And over the last 10 weeks of the season, he actually ranked as TE6 in targets overall. The yards weren’t prolific and he didn’t have any TDs in that stretch, but he was featured in the offense. I like the price on both sites for a position that I don’t really want to spend up on.
MIA FD 3800 DK 2600
Proj Points FD - 7.64 DK - 7.64
Are we in any way worried about the Patriots’ offense this season? Their wide receiver corps is pretty bad, they will stick to the run primarily and it sure seems that while they won’t be terrible, they also won’t be lighting the world on fire either. I like the Dolphins here at home as -3 favorites. The DraftKings price is especially palatable in a game they will look to control from the start. The coach has changed, but the Dolphins were a top-10 defense in DVOA last year.
WAS FD 3700 DK 2500
Proj Points FD - 7.34 DK - 7.34
We are trying to hit some value defenses so as to not break the bank at a "position" with high variance. The Commanders will play the Jaguars who still don't project to have a high-powered offense in a game that has a 43.5 over/under, the third-lowest on the slate. Look, we are working to get out of this on the cheaper side which is the major case for Washington.