Ladies and gentleman, can I please have your attention? I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. And I need all of you to stop what you’re doing and listen! Faaaaaaaaantasy!
Week 1 of the NFL season is here and just like that unexpected text at 1:30 AM requesting your presence, whether you’re prepared or not, this is going to be awesome! (until regret sinks in down the road … but who cares about that now?!)
Fantasy Football isn’t gambling, if you’re good at it. In fact, nothing is gambling, if you’re good at it (I didn’t think about that sentence long enough to determine if it’s true or not). So, let’s get good at it, specifically Daily Fantasy Football or DFS.
To give you an idea of what I’m looking for when making my DFS lineup, here are a few things to keep an eye on:
- The projected point total for the game: The higher the projected point total, the more Fantasy points are being projected.
- Home team favorites: Home team favorites tend to win more often than not. Teams that win typically run the ball more often. Running backs on home team favorites tend to … see where I’m going here?
- Injuries: Are there any key players missing from this week’s game? Is the team’s number one cornerback out? Is the defensive line missing it’s run stopper? If so, certain offensive players can get a bump in production.
DFS game plans and strategies are great. They’re a must if you want to have an advantage. That said, these guidelines don’t work 100 percent of the time. Let’s use the Sex Panther baseline to measure our success and see how we do.
Week 1 DFS Lineup Tips
DFS QB Plays:
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
Value is the name of the game in DFS. Dak is going to cost you almost nothing. If you can get 3x the amount of Fantasy points than his price, you did well. Dak is a running threat, so with a game of 30-40 rushing yards, he adds an extra 3-4 Fantasy points.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions @ Indianapolis Colts
The Colts secondary is banged up, neither of their starting corners are expected to play, and the Colts D isn’t very good when healthy. Offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is attempting to institute an increase of high percentage completion plays and they have the personnel to do it. Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, Marvin Jones, Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah all run short to intermediate routes. Given the Colts ability to put up points, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Detroit keep their foot on the offensive gas pedal.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders @ New Orleans Saints
The Saints defense is a DFS dream. They’re awful. Someone on Oakland is going to benefit big time. Latavius Murray might be the beneficiary of the league’s worst defense but Derek Carr looks poised for a breakout campaign. I’m predicting that starts Week 1. Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and DeAndre Washington should all see some targets in this matchup.
DFS RB Plays:
Lamar Miller, Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears
Texans coach Bill O’Brien runs the ball as often as any head coach in the NFL. Lamar Miller wasn’t brought to Houston to tally the 13 carries a game he was seeing in Miami. Expect Miller to get a full workload against a sub-par opponent. Home team favorites and running backs, remember?
Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints vs Oakland Raiders
The Raiders secondary should be significantly improved from a year ago. Yes, the Saints have enough vertical weapons at their disposal to mitigate that fact but their distinct advantage might be in the running game. Ingram played a huge role in passing downs last year and should see the same volume again this season. Whatever Ingram doesn’t get you on the ground he can certainly get you via the pass.
Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers
Jamaal Charles is most likely out this weekend which puts Ware in the driver’s seat at the RB position. Yes, Charcandrick West will see work as well, but Ware displayed enough last season to merit the starting gig. Home team favorites … running backs … rinse, repeat. Did I mention he was cheap?
Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks vs. Miami Dolphins
Thomas Rawls is expected to play in Week 1. Rawls owners need to temper expectations, however. Assuming Seattle builds a comfortable lead by halftime (a pretty safe assumption), do you think they’re going to continue to run Rawls out there when he’s not yet 100 percent? Expect Michael to see the majority of touches when the Seahawks are ahead. Oh, and he’s extremely affordable.
DFS WR Plays:
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins
Antonio Brown is the nuts. Don’t get cute.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
See notes on Antonio Brown.
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
See notes on Antonio Brown and Julio Jones.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets
Green is a great play for two reasons. One, people are going to be concerned about his matchup with Darrelle Revis. Let them be concerned. That means Green becomes a contrarian play and you now own someone very few others do, giving you an advantage. Revis of 2016 is not the same Revis DFS players once feared. There were several instances last year in which Revis had hardly any impact whatsoever on top level WRs.
Two, the Jets are going to try and put pressure on the QB. That’s what the Jets do. This means Green is likely to see a number of one-on-one match-ups and luckily for us, Dalton is generally above average when under pressure.
Lastly, there is no Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert, or Mohamed Sanu.
Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins @ Seattle Seahawks
I expect the Seahawks to build a lead, a sizable one. Ryan Tannehill will then turn to his offensive binky, Mr. Landry. No DeVante Parker means additional targets for last year’s DFS week-in and week-out bargain.
Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions @ Indianapolis Colts
Marvin Jones has looked awesome this preseason. Good ol’ Jim Bob Coots (I didn’t want to have two Cooter references in my article given the potential search engine ramifications … damn it. Too late.) has shown he knows how to use Jones in this offense. The Colts stink and Jones is cheaper than George Costanza.
Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans vs. Minnesota Vikings
I personally don’t love Sharpe as much as the consensus but he’s Joe Dirt level cheap and should see at least 4-6 targets. You could do worse.
DFS TE Plays:
Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Reed is the top target on a team that has an above average offense but can’t run the ball. The time to use Reed is now. He’s an injury risk in redraft leagues but he’s healthy now. Sign me up.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans vs. Minnesota Vikings
People want to talk up Sharpe and that’s fine, but Walker must be from Tennessee because he’s the only ten I see in the passing game. Ehhh? Ehhhhhhh? Yup. Nailed it.
DFS K Plays:
No one knows. Good luck though!
DFS Tournament Options:
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons defense is pretty bad but they can score points. If Tampa can’t get the running game going, expect Jameis to take over. He looks like he has the potential to take a serious leap in year two. That process could begin in Week 1.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Two years ago, Evans was a TD monster. Last season wasn’t ideal for Evans but the hate has gone too far. He’s a tier one level WR that no one wants to roster. Offseason reports suggest he and Jameis have been working together and have something special going. We might see evidence of that this weekend.
Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles vs Cleveland Browns
Running backs don’t need good QB play in order to have an effective game. See C.J. Anderson.
Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans vs. Minnesota Vikings
Sharpe is the talk of the town but Matthews’ stat line from last season gives him almost 1,000 receiving yards had he played all 16 games. No Kendall Wright and no Dorial Green-Beckham.
Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins
No Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton, or Ladarius Green. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Steelers rotate Sammie Coates and Darrius Heyward-Bey at the number two WR position, leaving Rogers to get almost 100 percent of the slot WR snaps.
Will Fuller, Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears
If you don’t know who Will Fuller is, you will. DeSean Jackson Jr. has arrived. He’s a home run threat every week and the Bears don’t have anyone who can keep up.
Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins
James is going to see a bump in targets. Heath Miller is somewhere planting corn, Martavis Bryant is making a bong out of said corn and Markus Wheaton … I don’t have a joke but Wheaton is out. James should see a bump in targets.
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