After an arduous offseason, after much doubt and speculation, we have finally arrived at the doorstep of Week 1. It is just as much a thrill as it is a relief. While we’re on the topic of speculation, I have one question for you. How many times in your life have you heard the worn-out, 6-word sentence “You get what you pay for”. Well, add one to whatever your guess was. Whether or not you believe it to be true, that adage can be aptly applied to our DFS approach. Each week we must do our best to identify the situations that will put us in the best position to “get what we pay for. Sure, sometimes you break the bank for Michael Thomas and he only catches 3 balls; or you dive way too far down the bargain barrel. That’s just the game. What’s important is that we don’t overthink the slam dunks. Don’t overthink the backup RB who should see 20 touches with the starter on the mend. Your edge lies in getting better at picking your spots, when to pay up and when to pay down. Now, who are we paying for in Week 1? The following are my Fanduel NFL Picks Week 1
Fanduel NFL Picks Week 1
QUARTERBACK – Jimmy Garoppolo ($7,400)
Not only will the 49ers have to deal with the uncertainty of COVID, but they will also be trying to shake off a Super Bowl hangover. First on the card for them is the up and coming Arizona Cardinals. While the Cards made some major upgrades across the board, Jimmy G’s eyes will light up when he sees this secondary. An aging Patrick Peterson and company posted the 31st ranked passing defense last season. Garapollo took full advantage as he averaged 30.27 Fanduel points across their two matchups. The 49ers weaponry was looking iffy for Week 1 with rookie Brandon Aiyuk’s status in question, but they have gotten some positive news on 2nd-year receiver Deebo Samuel’s health. Not to mention he will still have George Kittle at his disposal for the foreseeable future. Even with Fanduel’s loose Week 1 pricing, I still prefer to pay down at quarterback. The 49ers’ signal-caller will be my guy.
Other Options: While it’s not my style, the loose pricing means paying all the way up for Lamar Jackson ($9,400) isn’t totally out of the question. Jackson should have no issues repeating the success he had against Cleveland last season with a healthy Mark Andrews and Hollywood Brown.
Cam Newton ($7,300) also grades out as a solid value against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. After being praised heavily by HC Bill Belichick, Newton sounds like his old self. While you might have pause about the Patriots’ offensive talent on the whole, have no fear! SuperCam only won an MVP with Ted Ginn Jr., Corey Brown, and Greg Olsen as his top options. Don’t forget the Dolphins stifled the Pats’ hopes at the number two seed after beating them in Week 17 of last season.
RUNNINGBACK – Miles Sanders ($6,800)
While both Miles Sanders and Josh Jacobs will get talked up as cash-game cornerstones this week, I lean in Sanders’ direction. You can project both guys for a similar number of carries, but when it comes to targets it’s a different story. Not only will Sanders be featured in the running game, but the Eagles will also need to lean on his receiving abilities in the early going. When Sanders took over the backfield in the wake of Jordan Howard’s injury last season, he averaged 15.4 carries and 5.1 targets per game. I excluded his Week 16 game against the Giants where Sanders left with an injury. Even in that contest, he had another 5 targets. There is still some trepidation regarding the injury he sustained earlier in camp. The lack of any signing outside of Jason Hunley by the Eagles is encouraging. Sanders is primed to have a monster season starting with Week 1 in Washington.
Other Options: Antonio Gibson’s ($4,600) chances of breaking out in his rookie season seemed slim to none a week ago. Now with Adrain Peterson no longer in the fold, those odds have changed dramatically. A tough matchup in Week 1 is offset by both his cheap price and potential workload, specifically as a receiver for the Washington Football Team.
WIDE RECEIVER – DeSean Jackson ($5,700)
A second Eagles player has made his way into the cash conversation for Week 1. DeSean Jackson has been known to pop off in season openers throughout his career. Last year was no different. He tuned up Washington for a whopping 31.4 Fanduel points. Unfortunately for Jackson and the city of Philly, he wasn’t able to see the field again in 2019 after sustaining a core muscle injury in Week 2. Just as we talked about with Sanders, Jackson will be heavily relied upon to start the year. He will have to be much more than a situational deep threat with Alshon Jeffrey and Jalen Reagor on the shelf. I think we can safely project Jackson for 5-7 targets in this spot.
Other Options: Marquise “Hollywood” Brown has one year of experience and another 20 lbs to start 2020. He’s exactly the type of player I love to target in cash games. Solid floor with the ability to blow it open with one play. The last time we saw him in action he posted 7 catches for 126 yards in the Ravens playoff loss to the Titans.
TIGHT END – Tyler Eifert ($4,600)
Tyler Eifert’s prime days as a fantasy asset are likely behind him. While once a key component of the Bengals offensive attack, Eifert was never able to stay healthy. This year he will get a fresh start in Jacksonville. Any young quarterback would welcome a veteran with Eifert’s ability. Eifert will be competing for targets with a young star in D.J. Chark, a fringe starter in Chris Conley, and a heralded rookie in Laviska Shenault. To me, Eifert should have no issue carving out a role in this offense. The Jaguars also project to face a slew of negative game scripts which will force Garder Minshew II to stay in attack mode. If you want to fit someone like CMC into your builds, you are going to have to take shots on a cheap guy like Eifert. Double-digit fantasy points are certainly in his range of outcomes against the Colts.
Other Options: George Kittle ($8,000) got a well-deserved mega-deal from the 49ers this offseason. He will get a chance to continue his dominating ways in Week 1 against a defense that is notoriously bad against the tight end position. Pairing him with Garapollo will be one of my favorite Week 1 stacks.
Logan Thomas ($4,000) will start the season as the Washington Football Team’s number one tight end. Thomas never caught on as a QB and has barely done much as a pass-catcher, but recent reports out of camp suggest he could change the narrative this season. Thomas is a super athlete on a team that desperately needs playmakers to complement their 2nd-year quarterback.
D/ST – Detroit Lions ($3,700)
Mitchell Trubisky is starting. It’s that simple. End of story. We have to take advantage before the short leash gives way to Nick Foles. Trubisky had issues when he was the unquestioned starter. Now with some decent competition, he will press to keep the job even more. Detroit’s defense isn’t great, especially with longtime shadow corner Darius Slay now on the Eagles. But at their Fanduel price, we don’t need them to do much. A couple of sacks, maybe an interception, and I’m happy.
JR Reynolds has covered DFS for the past couple of seasons and look forward to continuing to do so with Gridiron Experts. I am currently in my first year as a Registered Nurse. I get to meet and work with many different people on a daily basis which is one of my favorite parts of the job. While I love the NFL, I also enjoy paying attention to the other sports with a soft spot for the Philly teams. I am also an avid golfer and love to hit the course anytime I can.