NFL DFS: Week 1 Preview & Picks (DraftKings)

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

Welcome to week 1 of the NFL season! Each week, we’ll be previewing the main slate on DraftKings. Our philosophy with these selections is to provide you with solid floor plays with some upside to start your roster construction, with potential GPP pivots for even further upside in tournaments.


Please note that the authors of this post are also players of daily fantasy sports, and the selections they make when creating their rosters may or may not include players listed below. You can find Derek Devereaux on DraftKings via the username DerekDevereaux.


Last updated: Saturday, September 12


This week’s lineup building beer of choice

City Lights Brewing Company – Hazy IPA

This beer is so good, and I know I’m not the only one who thinks it. A silver medalist at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, it goes down so smooth and has quite a variety of fruit flavors that hit your palette.


Vegas lines

All lines via Bovada, current as of Thursday evening.

  • GB at MIN -2.5, 44.5 total (opened at 46.5)

  • MIA at NE -6.5, 42 total (opened at 43.5)

  • CHI at DET -3, 42 total (opened at 44.5)

  • SEA -2.5 at ATL, 49 total (line has not moved)

  • PHI -6 at WSH, 42.5 total (opened at 45)

  • IND -8 at JAX, 45 total (opened at 46.5)

  • CLE at BAL -7, 48 total (opened at 49)

  • NYJ at BUF -6.5, 39.5 total (opened at 40)

  • LV -3 at CAR, 47.5 total (opened at 46.5)

  • LAC -3 at CIN, 42 total (opened at 45.5)

  • ARI at SF -7, 48 total (opened at 44.5)

  • TB at NO -3.5, 48 total (opened at 49.5)

Favorite game to target

I really like the Las Vegas/Carolina game. Despite having a high total, it feels like a lot of the players are underpriced for the matchup. I expect this to be high scoring, and if we can find the players who benefit, it could make for a nice game stack.



Conversely, I don’t think I’ll have nearly anything from Tampa Bay/New Orleans, despite it being tied for the second highest total on the slate. It’s not that I think the game won’t be high scoring, but it seems like both teams are priced up due to the hype of the game itself. I think there are better values other places, but if you have the money left, I can’t blame you for playing this game.


Quarterback

Russell Wilson, $7000, SEA (at ATL)

I think people will go up for Lamar Jackson ($8100), but Wilson’s floor is high enough that he could meet value against a below average Falcons defense in the highest total game on the slate. Last year in this same matchup, he underperformed (15.7 DK points), but he only threw the ball 20 times. If this game shoots out, look for Russ to surpass 25 DK points in this spot.


Carson Wentz, $6300, PHI (at WSH)

His receivers are banged up, his offensive line is banged up, his starting running back is banged up, and even he has been in and out of practice with a groin injury. What gives? Well, for one, the Washington Football Team is not very good. He’ll have both tight ends healthy, and I expect them to play a lot of 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE) in this game. I think this game will have a lot of opportunity for Wentz to find his tight ends across the middle, and if he connects on a long ball to DeSean Jackson, I expect his numbers to look more like Weeks 13-16 last season.


Derek Carr, $5900, LV (at CAR)

This one feels pretty simple. We have a high total and a QB on a favored side going against a defense that has fallen apart over the past two years. There’s been some hype around other players near his price range (Minshew, Burrow, Cam) that I think he won’t be heavily owned, but this is a spot where 20+ points is definitely in play.


Potential GPP pivots: Matt Ryan ($6700, vs. SEA), Mitchell Trubisky ($5400, at DET)


Running Back

Christian McCaffrey, $10,000, CAR (vs. LV)

He has the highest floor of any player on the slate and has upside to easily exceed value, too. He surpassed 30 points in 9 of 16 games last season. There’s risk here, of course: new coach, new QB, the addition of Robby Anderson to add a perimeter threat, but none of that should pose a threat to CMC’s usage. Fire away.


Josh Jacobs, $6800, LV (at CAR)

My only hesitancy in playing Carr is that I might prefer Jacobs in this matchup. I expect Jacobs to be an absolute bell cow in this game, and this Panthers defense isn’t what it used to be. As an A in our confidence heat map, I think he should be a $7500 player in this matchup.


Boston Scott, $4800, PHI (at WSH)

I originally wrote Tarik Cohen here, who I think could still be in play for GPPs to get off some of the chalk. But with reports that Miles Sanders did not travel with the team, Scott should step right into his role - and we’ve seen him have success when on the field last season, too. Philly now has a TON of cheap value plays, and you’re likely not playing all of them together, so you’ll have to make a determination how you want to construct your roster around these guys in cash games.


Potential GPP pivots: Joe Mixon ($6700, vs. LAC), Kareem Hunt ($5100, at BAL), Tarik Cohen ($4900, at DET)


Wide Receiver

Davante Adams, $7300, GB (at MIN)

I believe people will go all the way up to Michael Thomas ($9000) if they want to pay up at wide receiver, and I think he’s a perfectly fine play. But give me Adams for $1700 cheaper, who should also see double-digit targets in a good matchup against a Minnesota team that he’s historically done well against.


Jarvis Landry, $5900, CLE (at BAL)

Jarvis always seems to end up with a bunch of targets and a bunch of catches, so he’s naturally a great floor play for cash games. People may shy away from him because of the matchup, but in two games last year against Baltimore, he averaged 7.5 catches on 9.5 targets for 120.5 yards (19.5 DK points). He’s probably not going to score, so there’s not a ton of upside, but he feels safe.


DeSean Jackson, $4900, PHI (at WSH)

He’s going to be popular across the board, and for good reason – Philly has very few wide receivers that are healthy (assuming Alshon Jeffrey sits this game out and Jaelen Reagor will be on a snap count coming off of a shoulder injury), he’s got upside on deep throws, and he’s in a plus matchup. I think there are plenty of other options in this range to take dart throws on in GPPs if you want to differentiate, but if you need to be down here and take what feels like a safe bet for targets, he’s your guy. (I can’t believe I just typed that out.)


Potential GPP pivots: DJ Moore ($6600, vs. LV), Henry Ruggs III ($5100, at CAR), N’Keal Harry ($4400, vs. MIA)


Tight End

George Kittle, $7200, SF (vs. ARI)

Arizona got torched by tight ends last year, and a rookie making his first start probably isn’t going to stop one of the best tight ends in the game from feasting in this matchup. Our confidence heat map thinks so too. He’s priced high enough that I don’t think he’s necessary to have, but if you have the money for it, he feels as safe as they come – and there’s clear upside, too.


Dallas Goedert, $4100, PHI (at WSH)

Remember when I said that I think there’ll be a lot of 12 personnel for Philadelphia? Insert Goedert, who suddenly looks vastly underpriced in this matchup. We’ve seen Goedert have high target counts even with Ertz on the field, and this feels like another situation where people will consider just going to Ertz (who’s also a great play at $5800!) rather than finding the savings for similar opportunity for production.


Potential GPP pivots: Darren Waller ($5900, at CAR), Hayden Hurst ($4300, vs. SEA)


Defense

Don’t prioritize this position, pretty much ever. I’ll always figure out what I want to do from my other spots first, and then figure out what I have left for options at that point. The highest I can see myself going is probably Indianapolis ($3000, at JAX), but I have no issues punting at defense, especially early in the season.


Make sure to follow us on Facebook for news and notes throughout the week, and don't forget to subscribe below so you don't miss a thing. You can also interact with me on Twitter at @derekdevereaux.


Good luck, and may your screens be green!


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