NFL Fanduel Week 1
The first week of the NFL season is a lot like syllabus week (the first week of school) in the sense that we are eager to begin but don’t know what to expect exactly. Imagine if school is or would have been treated like FanDuel. Even if you fail a test the first week of school because your teacher gives a test the first week back on the book that nobody read of the summer. It didn’t matter because how you did on a test the first week doesn’t impact your grade for the year. Much like a bad NFL FanDuel week doesn’t impact your entire season. That’s why I love FanDuel, a brand new season every single week.
- If you’re new to FanDuel check out How FanDuel Works & How to Win.
- If you aren’t sold on FanDuel yet and want to stick with only season long leagues, then check out Gridiron Experts’ Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 1.
Now before we jump into the best buys for Week 1 understand that the players are for the Thursday- Monday slate. The players below are selected because they are “the best bang for your buck” something I suggest looking for to win in FanDuel or to have a solid Saturday night or Thursday night depending what kind of week you had.
Marcus Mariota vs. OAK
FanDuel Price: $7,800
Mariota is not only my favorite quarterback play this week on FanDuel, but I also believe he will be the highest scoring quarterback Week 1. The Raiders and Titans game will be a high scoring game, and I expect Mariota to pick apart the Raiders. This preseason the Raiders secondary has looked abysmal, and the Titans offense on paper looks legit. With Eric Decker, Corey Davis, Rishard Matthews, Delanie Walker catching passes combined with the two great running backs in the backfield, Mariota will have plenty of chances to score. Also, I am willing to bet Mariota has a rushing touchdown; the Raiders last season gave up four rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks which were the most in the NFL. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him score four total touchdowns in Week 1.
Todd Gurley vs. IND
FanDuel Price: $7,300
Think about the fact that I am telling you to play a guy who hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game since Week 15 of 2015. Yep, Gurley didn’t have a single game last season with more than 100 rushing yards. Gurley breaks that trend Week 1 against the Colts. The Colts defense will struggle, and I expect the Rams to be winning this game since Andrew Luck will be out. The Rams have looked better this preseason on both sides of the ball which gives me confidence that Gurley will look like rookie Todd Gurley and not sophomore slump Gurley. Gurley will have the Coliseum rocking so much it may show up on the Richter scale.
Jonathan Stewart @SF
FanDuel Price: $6,100
Stewart is the starting running back in Carolina that has been stated many times this offseason. If Stewart is able to get 15 carries against the 49ers he may be the most valuable running back on FanDuel, the most “bang for your buck.” The 49ers last season gave up an average of 144 rushing yards a game to running backs, and on the season they gave up 24 rushing touchdowns. I would be surprised if Stewart didn’t get to 80 plus yards and at least one touchdown. Pick Stewart and strike gold in San Fransisco.
Doug Baldwin @GB
FanDuel Price: $7,500Baldwin has looked terrific this preseason, so much so that I’ll go on record now saying he is the best slot wide receiver in the NFL and will finish as a top 10 WR at the end of the season for the third year in a row. But this isn’t season long this is a Week 1 pick. Baldwin is the 11th most expensive wide receiver and will finish as a top three wide receiver Week 1 against the Packers. The Packers put up points at home and give up fantasy points to wide receivers. The Packers were the worst team in the NFL in giving up fantasy points to wide receivers in 2016.
Amari Cooper @TEN
FanDuel Price: $7, 600
As I stated above I expect the Titans versus Raiders game to be a high scoring game. The Titans allowed the most targets to wide receivers in the league last season with 407 and Carr loves targeting Cooper and Crabtree. They combined for 277 targets last season and I think Cooper is the primary beneficiary Week 1. Cooper has the upside to finish as the best wide receiver Week 1 and the floor to not be outside the top 20. Cooper will be the wide receiver you see on the most winning lineups in Week 1.
Zach Ertz @WAS
FanDuel Price: $5,900
I know it isn’t easy trusting Ertz in the first half of the season since he has struggled the first half of the season two years in a row. I think he struggles in the beginning of the season due to building chemistry with his quarterbacks. I think Ertz picks right up where he left off in 2016 getting nearly seven receptions a game against a Redskins defense that surrendered 106 receptions to tight ends which were second most in the NFL and 1,100 receiving yards which were the third most in the NFL. The argument against Ertz has always been touchdowns, but I expect him to score a touchdown while racking up the receptions and yards in route to being a top three tight end in Week 1.
Kai Forbath vs. NO
FanDuel Price: $4,500
Now I am an honest guy. Heck, it’s what the “h” in my “Ph.D.” stands for on my twitter page. I don’t spend more than five minutes selecting a kicker for FanDuel. I do however look for a few things which are below.
- Are they playing in a dome
- Are they on a good offense
- Do they play a bad defense
- Priced right
If I can find at least three of those four, I will pick that kicker. Forbath will be kicking in a dome, he is playing a bad Saints defense, and he is priced very cheaply. Don’t over analyze the kicker, please.
Defense/ Special Teams
Rams vs IND
FanDuel Price: $4,600No Andrew Luck for the Colts on the road means I am playing the Rams defense. The Rams now have a new defensive coordinator who I personally think is one of the greatest ever to do it, Wade Phillips. The man who has been in charge of the Broncos defense the last two seasons. Now normally I go with the defense playing Blake Bortles, but Scott Tolzien is hard to pass up. In the three games Tolzien has started he has thrown seven interceptions, and I don’t expect that to change in Week 1. Fingers crossed for a defensive touchdown for the Rams.
If you have made it this far then this is the equivalent to the bell ringing and the teacher keeping you after class. So I don’t care where you go from here all I ask is two things for the season ahead. First please make sure to come back each week and remember if you win big please don’t be afraid to donate some money to the Mitchell Renz foundation where all proceeds go to helping me pay my college loans.
Mitchell is working full-time as Senior Writer & On-Air Talent at Chat Sports in Dallas, TX. Mitchell is a Head Writer at Gridiron Experts and Co-Host of the Empire Fantasy Podcast. He also is a featured fantasy writer for the Fantasy Footballers and FantasyPros. Mitchell has a Ph.D. in Fantasy Football so give him a follow on Twitter @MitchellRenz365.