Look, I won’t sugarcoat it: Week 1 is tough. Especially for DFS purposes. We have no previous weeks to compare to, every team is at or near full strength, and everyone is 0-0 and undefeated. Hope springs eternal in the NFL in September, which is especially great for Cleveland, Jacksonville, and San Francisco. But look, we have some bets to place, so it’s GO TIME. The first week of the NFL is probably the highest-played week of the year for DFS, which means you need some serious bargain picks to win. Fortunately, we’ve got you degenerate gamblers covered. These are my Week 1 DraftKings value picks.
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Maybe Dak is being overhyped. All he did was set the damn preseason on fire, though. Prescott gets to throw to Dez, hand it off to Zeke, has the Witten security blanket, and perhaps most of all opens up against the 31st(!) ranked defense against opposing QBs last season. He can clearly throw, and he’s a lock to contribute some rushing stats. How many fantasy points would he have to score to justify only a $5,000 DK investment? Not many. 100% upside here.
This game could end at 80-79. Seriously. Both teams can score, and the over on this game is 51 right now. I think the Raiders are much improved on defense, but the Saints still get at least 20 here. I find Carr to be right at the bottom of the tier of QBs who have a chance to end up as the top QB of Week 1. Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Latavius Murray are a strong supporting case but just as strong is the fact that this should be a shootout. Drew Brees costs $800 more, and I think their DK scores will be very similar.
This is almost a joke at this point – We know C-Mike is going to take the lead-back role this week, as Thomas Rawls just isn’t ready yet. Fine. Seattle should pound Miami at home, which means there will be plenty of running out the clock going on in the second half. Great. But, really DraftKings? He’s only $3,700? Ridiculous value.
Very similar to Michael above, Ware is going to start Week 1 because Jamaal Charles isn’t fully recovered from injuries sustained in 2015. You’ll recall Kansas City still LOVES to run the ball, right? And that Ware was a monster at the end of last year? Well, he gets to reprise that role at least one more time against San Diego, who last season couldn’t quite manage to crack the top 26 defensive teams against opposing RBs. Fire ’em up!
New England can’t defense David Johnson, and also cover Arizona’s lethal trio of WRs. They simply don’t have the horses, and they’ll be on the road. The threat of Johnson running free will keep the defense honest, and Floyd should see more than his share of single coverage. I might have chosen John Brown here if he hadn’t missed so much time but I think Floyd definitely scores here, and at a cost of only $5,900 for a guy who could hit WR1 numbers easily, he’s an easy choice for me.
Donte might just be a WR1 on another team, but on Indianapolis he’s stuck behind T.Y. Hilton. That’s a bad thing for Detroit, who very recently weren’t even a top 19 defense against opposing WRs. The game is at home in Indy (which makes it a track meet) and I suspect we’ll see a lot of points scored here. Somewhat like Floyd above, I simply don’t think there are many second Cornerbacks that can hang with Moncrief.
Watkins averaged 18 DraftKings points per game last year…and he played quite a bit of the year hurt. He’s a full go now, has a full offseason working with Tyrod Taylor, and gets a juicy matchup against a Ravens team that, if we’re putting it kindly, is ‘rebuilding’. I think Watkins gets his 18 here, and has upside for many, many more. That fact that his price doesn’t quite crack the $7K mark cements it – In my mind he’s a WR1 at a WR2 price.
In games last year where they were generally not facing a team with the heavy weaponry of the Packers, Jacksonville struggled against opposing TEs. They were just downright bad, and this week their defensive coordinator gets to scheme against Lacy, Nelson, Cobb, Rodgers, and…Cook. Who will be a complete afterthought, and that’s why I love him. I don’t think Green Bay brought him in for his beauty – he’s a freak athlete who has always been able to catch the ball. He’s a risk – no doubt about it – but at $2,900 for a guy with strong touchdown upside, he’s a risk I’ll take against a bad team.
See Carr, Derek from earlier. This game is going to be a shootout, and I want some shares in it. I know…I’ve read the reports that Fleener hasn’t picked up the offense quickly or whatever…but look. Oakland ranked 30th against opposing TEs last season and based on the money the Saints threw at Fleener, he’s the guy. I believe that with how this game might play out, he has a chance to end up as the No. 1 TE overall for Week 1.
Green Bay Packers
Jacksonville was the 29th most generous matchup for opposing defenses last season. They have playmakers like Clay Matthews and Ha-Ha Clinton Dix (possibly the best football name of all time) roaming free, and they’ll have plenty of offensive support. I think Jacksonville falls behind early here, which should lead to plenty of Blake Bortles dropbacks. While I think Bortles has a good game here, I think the Pack grab a couple of sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery as they roll to a 1-0 record on the the road.