DraftKings GPP Picks: Week 1

Michael Thomas

DraftKings GPP Picks: Week 1

Welcome back, NFL. It is Week 1, and it is time to get our NFL DFS chops chopping. The information here is for GPP/Tournament play on DraftKings. And before we start, let’s remember some guidelines.

Remember why you are entering GPP slates? Are you here for the excitement or to make some money? Don’t get me wrong, it could be both, but something is always 51% to 49%, right? Also, pay attention to your bankroll and play accordingly.

I’m using the player ownership projections from Pro Football Focus on Thursday. Check again on Saturday to see if any seismic movement has happened.

Are you ready? It’s Week 1, let’s get weird.

NFL 2023 Week 1 DraftKings Tournament Plays


Talk about getting weird. My favorite for play is:

QB Russell Wilson vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $5,900. 1.6% projected ownership

There is that feeling that Wilson will either hit it out of the park or bomb spectacularly. His preseason games did not leave us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Wilson’s Week 11 outing against the Raiders last year resulted in only 10.7 fantasy points.

But then something miraculous happened: In his final four games, Wilson accumulated 25.58, 8.26, 23.58, and 23.12 fantasy points respectively. I’m not saying I believe in the complete transformation of Wilson to “Mr. Unlimited.”

What I do believe in is Sean Payton getting it right. And that the Las Vegas Raiders secondary loves man coverage. Wilson ranked seventh in yards per attempt and fifth in air yards per attempt against man coverage.


Lamar Jackson v Houston Texans, 8,000. 12.4% projected ownership

Sam Howell v Arizona Cardinals, $4,900. 13.3% projected ownership

Howell is currently the highest-owned quarterback.

Running Backs

RB J.K. Dobbins vs Houston Texans, $6,600. 7.3% projected ownership

Dobbins is playing at home and is a 9.5-point favorite. And it gets better because the Texans were 32nd in opponents rushing yards per game (170.2) and averaging 166.0 on away games. They were 29th in opponents rushing yards per attempt (5.1) and 30th in rushing touchdown percentage (52.08%). The Texans are just what the Ravens need.

Last year, the Ravens only scored touchdowns on 29% of drives that crossed midfield. Their lack of scoring happened even though they drove into the red zone at the fifth-highest rate without a touchdown.

The game script and the opponent both favor Dobbins.

RB Brian Robinson vs Arizona Cardinals, $5,100. 8.7% projected ownership/ Antonio Gibson v Arizona Cardinals, $5,200. 4.1% projected ownership

Either is in play. I am going with Robinson at $100 less and 4.6% more ownership. The Commanders are a touchdown favorite at home, and Robinson profiles as a three-down back, whereas Gibson is the pass-catching option.

Everyone is in play against the team projected to be the worst team in the NFL. Last season, when the Cardinals weren’t talked about as the worst team, they gave up the fourth most DraftKings points to the running back position (28.8).



Jamaal Williams vsTennessee Titans, $5,100. 17.4% projected ownership. Williams is currently the highest-owned player per PFF.

Josh Jacobs @ Denver Broncos, $7,700. 5.2% projected ownership.

Wide Receivers

WR Justin Jefferson vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $8,800. 15.9% ownership

Jefferson is the second-highest projected ownership. Honestly, I’m not feeling overly confident about this roster choice. But how do you not roster the best wide receiver in fantasy? The Buccaneers allowed an average of 35.6 fantasy points to the wide receiver position last year. At his current price, I need Jefferson to get 30.8. Last year, Jefferson scored over 30 fantasy points once, in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers.

WR Marvin Mims Jr., vs Las Vegas Raiders, $3,000. No projection

Playing Mims is contingent on the status of Jerry Jeudy.  Mims looked good in preseason, and a buzz surrounds him in Denver. Without Jeudy, he is definitely in, but if Jeudy plays and is more than just a decoy, he will pivot to Courtland Sutton at $5,200.

Mims will solidify my game-day stack and all-around weirdness.

WR Michael Thomas vs Tennessee Titans, $5,100. 2.9% projected ownership

The Titans ranked 28th in pass DVOA (16.3%). Their pass rush was 20th, and their pass rush win rate was 38%. They allowed 245.2 passing yards per game and 7.1 yards per attempt. But most importantly, teams could not run on them. Opponents had to pass.

Thomas played in three games with Chris Olave before he got injured (again). He had 17.7, 12.5, and 4.9 fantasy points in those three games. I’m not counting on Thomas for the whole season, just this game.


D.K. Metcalf v Los Angeles Rams, $7,000. 6.4% projected ownership

Chris Olave v Tennessee Titans $6,500. 6.4% projected ownership

Mike Williams v Miami Dolphins $5,700. 6.9% projected ownership

Tight End

Austin Hooper @ Denver Broncos, $3,000. 1.5% projected ownership

I don’t recommend paying up for tight ends (or defense more on that later). There is no Travis Kelce on the slate, and he is injured. There is no Darren Waller on the main slate. Waller is playing Sunday night. The only other top tier consideration in Week 1 would be T.J. Hockenson, who is $5,900 and has a 4.5% projected ownership. (Easy Ravens fans Mark Andrews is hobbled) Nah.

Hooper is in Vegas now. As good as the Denver defense, they are not great against tight ends. Denver allowed the sixth-most DraftKings points to the tight end position.

Can you say the game stack is completed?


Tyler Higbee @ Seattle Seahawks, $4,800. 2.5% projected ownership

Luke Musgrave @ Chicago Bears, $2,900. 13.4% projected ownership


Tyreek Hill @ Los Angeles Chargers, $8200, 12.6% projected ownership

The projected team total for the Dolphins is 22.5 points. The Dolphins are down to their last healthy running back, and Jaylen Waddle has an abdominal strain.

In their last meeting, Week 14 last season, Hill had 20.1 fantasy points on 10 targets, four receptions, 81 yards, and one touchdown. The Chargers’ secondary is stacked. There is also the chance that J.C. Jackson is back healthy.

But if the Dolphins have to funnel plays through Hill, so be it. He had 20.1 fantasy points on a mediocre day. Week 1 is the time for testing out defenses.


Who you play in your flex depends on how you construct your roster. My other option was Austin Ekeler, but I don’t like using a running back in the flex position on DraftKings. Granted, Ekeler is more than your usual running back, but bend the rules a little, and who knows what I will do next!


Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers, $3,200. 5.5% projected ownership

The Falcons will go up against a rookie quarterback with a suspect offensive line and hobbled receiving weapons. I like those odds.

The Falcons added Bud Dupree, Calais Campbell, David Onyemata, Jeff Okudah, and Jessie Bates! Don’t tell me they aren’t serious.


Washington Commanders v Arizona Cardinals, $2,800. 11.9% projected ownership

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts, $3,500, 3.4% projected ownership


This is It

This is a projected line-up for the DraftKings $10K Pylon [single entry]. There is too much money on the board ($1,100) when you should never have more than $500 left over!

Don’t copy the line-up; play with the suggestions. Have fun and get weird.


This is GPP. Remember you want your players to have high upsides reach for maximum volatility. Good luck, and it’s Week 1 have fun and let me know how you did?

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