NFL Fanduel Week 1 Picks
As you are going to read in almost every article this week, football is finally back! It has been a long offseason but the best professional sport returns to the gridiron this week. The first game to kick off the season will be great no matter if it is a blowout or comes down to the wire because it is real football. No more preseason and no more speculation. The NFL is here and we get main slate cash games across all platforms for the next 17 weeks.
My goal here is to help highlight players that are in good positions to succeed each week. We will mostly be looking at safer plays that are going to return the value that you spend on them. In cash games, you don’t need to get first, you just need to score in the top half.
There are a few tools that I will be using this season to help guide the decision-making process. These tools will also be used to explain why I like a player to succeed in a given week. These tools are:
- Daily Roto – Daily Roto has Redzone data, snap counts, targets, and an awesome Lineup optimizer
- The Quant Edge – TQE has a WR/CB matchup tool that’ll be perfect for WR Start/Sits
- FantasyData – Advanced player metrics, stats and live odds for week one
$7,400 vs Falcons
I understand that the Vikings want to run the football more this season and I do think that will happen. However, according to Daily Roto, the Falcons were the worst team in the NFL against opposing quarterbacks in 2018 allowing 21.21 points per game. To go along with that, the Vikings have 2 very good receivers. The Quant Edge matchup tool has Cousins with the best week 1 matchup among all quarterbacks. There is also a good chance that with the high powered Falcons offense that this game could quickly become a shoot out.
$7,500 vs 49ers
Sign me up for a quarterback in a Bruce Arians offense, even if it is Jameis Winston. Winston gets to open the 2019 season at home against a 49ers defense that allowed the 6th most points to the position in 2018. Winston was also very solid in the 5 homes games he played in 2018, averaging 23.81 points per game. Winston gets a fully healthy O.J. Howard to play along with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and we can’t forget the lack of a running game the Bucs are expected to have. Winston is in a position to have to throw the ball and that should lead to week 1 success.
$7,000 at Cardinals
Matt Patricia has stood on a mountain top since he got hired and yelled that he wants to run the football. Week 1, he gets one of the worst defenses in the NFL and an offense that he is going to want to slow down. Enter Kerryon Johnson. Johnson should eat on Sunday. The Quant Edge’s matchup tool shows Johnson has the easiest week 1 matchup among all running backs. In 2018, the Cardinals allowed 25.63 fantasy points per game to running backs, most in the NFL. For those concerns about Johnson losing goal-line work, in 10 games in 2018, Johnson saw a team-leading 24 red zone touches and 4 touchdowns. Johnson is in a position to have a blowup game in week 1.
$6,600 vs Bengals
The Seahawks are very similar to the Lions in that they want to run the ball and run it a lot. These two teams are also similar in that they play poor defenses in week 1 and should be able to have their way on the ground. Carson has the 2nd easiest matchup in week 1 according to The Quant Edge Matchup Tool. Carson was the 7th most utilized red zone running back in 2018 with 44 touches. On those touches, he was able to score 9 times. As for Carson’s opponent, the Bengals allowed the 3rd most points to running backs in 2018 (24.46 FPPG). Penny is not a concern in this matchup up because Carson will see plenty of work and should easily return value.
$6,900 vs 49ers
I’ll be happy to stack Winston with Godwin this week. Arians has done nothing but praise Godwin this offseason, he claimed that Godwin could catch 100 passes this year and won’t come off the field while operating primarily out of the slot. This all bodes well for Godwin in his week 1 matchup. The Quant Edge Matchup Tool gives Godwin the 4th best main slate matchup as the WR2 against the 49ers. The WR/CB matchup tool also gives Godwin a major bump. According to the 49ers official website, K’Wuan Williams will be the starting nickel corner. Williams struggled in 2018 as the nickel. He allowed a QB rating of 123 when targeted in 2018. I think week 1 could see Richard Sherman defending Evans and that may also lead to a few more targets than normal for Godwin.
$5,900 vs Chiefs
Westbrook does not have the easiest matchup in week 1 against Kendall Fuller, however, if you look back at week 3 of the preseason, Nick Foles targeted Westbrook 7 times on 10 pass attempts. There is an obvious connection between the two. There is a real chance that the Jaguars have to play some catch up with the Chiefs offense and that will run through Westbrook.
$6,100 vs Colts
Hunter Henry is finally fully healthy and is ready to roll in 2019. He gets a week 1 matchup with a defense that allowed the 7th most points to tight ends in 2108. According to The Quant Edge Matchup Tool, Henry has the 2nd best matchup on the main slate. Early in the season, I am tempted to go with one of the top tight ends and Henry fits in that category.
Those are my week 1 players that you should consider fitting somewhere into your cash game lineups. Make sure you check out all the other content Gridiron Experts offer to assist you in winning all your DFS contests.
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Father to a daughter and son as well as a husband to a wife. I have a healthy obsession with football and not so healthy obsession with ice cream. I have been following the NFL closely for over a decade all while working full-time jobs, primarily as a police officer.