What a week 1 it has been. Stunning play by unexpected sources, let downs from those reliable players and unfortunate injuries too. That’s football guys… and thank the stars we have it.
BUT Week 1 isn’t over yet! If you played DFS and lost or maybe didn’t win what you hoped (DAG JARWIN INJURY!) you have a double header tonight that is full of DFS Goodness. Now because it is a double header both Draft Kings and FanDuel are running Classic two game tournaments as well as Single Game Showdown contests. So plenty of variance to play with.
What I want to do for you today is to set the table on both games. Players that I want to highlight for Classic 2 Game tournaments and those that I have on my radar for single game showdowns. Sound Good? Alright – Let’s GO!
Game 1: Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Giants
The Steelers are favored tonight in what the industry is calling a plus matchup for the returning Big Ben and his Merry Men. Here is the thing… the Colts played in a Plus Matchup against a Jaguars team that many in the industry referred to as a disaster. Look what can happen in Week 1. There will be plays all over this game so let me try and quickly highlight where I am looking for my DFS:
Ben Roethlisberger: $7,000 DK $7,800 FD
Showdown Costs: $15,300 DK Captain, $10,200 Flex, $15,000 FD
Big Ben is back and every account all training camp long is he is HEALTHY. This is a huge upgrade to all of the skill position players on the Steelers, obviously. In addition to that the New York Football Giants rank 31st against the pass and 20th against the run according to PFF based on last year’s model. I like Ben here, a lot. The question though is if the Giants are able to keep this game competitive. Yes, he has his full receiver core healthy but so is James Connor and I do fear that if the Steelers jump out ahead early, the running game will take precedence to control the clock late. That being said, Ben has a lot to prove tonight after his season ending injury in week 2 and I do expect him to have a great game. He is the most expensive QB on the board tonight and I expect him also to be the most popular play as well. So you will need to find variance in your lineups as well as value too… but Ben is a great play in tournaments and in showdown slates.
James Connor: $6,400 DK, $6,800 FD
Showdown Costs: $14,400 DK Captain, $9,600 Flex, $13,000 FD
This could very well be a James Connor game tonight, as much as we all hope that we get to see Big Ben slinging the rock down the field on every drop back. However there is a real chance that Connor takes over this game – for one thing, despite the strong training camp there is a potential that Coach Tomlin doesn’t want to over use Ben’s surgically rebuilt arm and in that case it is Connor early and often. On the other hand, Ben could come out like a Gunslinger putting up score after score until it is obvious it is time to grind. Either way I find Connor to be really underpriced tonight and a great play. The only thing always hanging over James Connor is injuries – however you can’t play DFS without risk. I think that a James Connor Ben Roethelisberger stack could be an interesting play tonight in classic tournaments – as a way to hedge your bet on either of the above outcomes. I likely will shy away from this stack in Showdown slates however as the opportunity costs are too high should one or the other outshine..
JuJu Smith Schuster: $7,200 DK $7,100 FD
Showdown Costs: $13,800 DK Captain, $9,200 Flex, $12,500 FD
The Curious Case of JuJu Smith Schuster. 2019 was a much maligned season for the young receiver. Poised for a breakout his quarterback goes down in Week 2 and with little fear of a passing game in general, he saw double coverage all season long until an injury ultimately put a nail in the coffin. Onward and upward – it can’t get any worse right? Here is the thing – many in the industry are pointing to this year as being the breakout for JuJu and as terrible as this sounds, I’m just not excited about it. JuJu is a great play and the obvious pairing with Ben in Stealers stacks tonight in Tournaments as he is the on paper #1 Receiver in this offense … but keep in mind the last time we saw JuJu in a prominent and successful role, he had Antonio Brown running opposite side of him. Now look you couldn’t ask for a friendlier matchup than the Giants tonight to get things back on track, but I am likely going to be underweight on my exposure to JuJu tonight. I think there are two more likely red zone targets for Ben which I will talk about momentarily that will cost you a lot less – especially in Showdown Slates. This is not me saying don’t play JuJu Smith Schuster… it’s just me saying, I am more likely to fade than to go all in.
Dionte Johnson: $4,400 DK $5,900 FD
Showdown Costs: $8,700 Captain $5,800 Flex$10,000 FD
There is a lot of excitement for Dionte Johnson this season. For good reason too! First with less than stellar QB Play last year over the last 4 games, Johnson Averaged 15.2 Fantasy Points and scored 2 touchdowns. Now he has Big Ben throwing to him and Big Ben recently Praised the Young Receiver coming out of camp. All signs are pointing to a breakout year for Johnson and at only $4,400 (Tournament) and $5,800 (Showdown) he is a lock in my DK Lineups. I also like his price on FanDuel but am a little taken aback by the $10,000 in single game Tournaments. Johnson will be a very popular play tonight at these prices so you need to be wary, but for the upside he offers in what is more likely than not going to be a Steeler’s runaway victory – give me all of Dionte Johnson.
Eric Ebron: $4,300 DK $5,000 FD
Showdown Cost: $9,600 DK Captain, $6,400 Flex $7,500 FD
Play Eric Ebron! No seriously. First off look at the pricing on Ebron. Talk about a salary saver. You want to stack Ben, Connor and JuJu – Ebron will help. But Eric Ebron also offers a TON of Red Zone appeal tonight against a Giants Team that last year ranked 20th against Tight Ends. It has been a couple years removed but remember how Eric Ebron scored nearly ⅓ of the Colts Passing Touchdowns in 2018? I do – he won me a championship. The knock on him has always been he has been touchdown dependent BUT guess who developed great Run Blocking Skills in training camp – Ebron. And on top of that, if he catches 2 Touchdowns and 40 yards worth of targets – he just may have won you some money. Play Ebron! With other Highly Touted Tight Ends on this slate, I think he will go under owned. Plus with Dionte Johnson in that same price range on showdown slates, I think Ebron will go overlooked. Play Eric Ebron. If he puts up a goose egg, hey I’m sorry. But with the savings he gives you, you likely were able to build a roster that cashes anyway. Play Eric Ebron.
Last note on the Steelers: Benny Snell. $4,500 DK, $4,600 FD and Jaylen Samuels $4,000 DK $4,700 FD. While I am not going to have exposure to either player in a Showdown Slate, if you are mass multi-entering in a tournament on either site I would recommend having a little exposure to these two players. Make no mistake – this should be the James Connor show tonight BUT there is injury risk with Connor and on top of that there is also the real possibility the Steelers go out ahead and Snell and or Samuels will get extended run as the game winds down. Just something to think about. Again these are Mass Multi Entering plays and a small exposure at that.
Oh yeah and PLAY SHOWDOWN TEAMS WITH THE STEELERS DEFENSE – not every Showdown team, but have exposure. I do not think you will regret it.
The New York Giants.
Please note – Golden Tate is listed as questionable and a Game Time decision at the time of this writing, so I will not be including him in my write up here. If he plays, I would be cautious that he is used more of a decoy than anything else. This season could be a Golden Tate year and I think the Coaching Staff are going to take their time on him.
Daniel Jones. $6,000 DK $7,200 FD
Showdown Cost: $13,500 DK Captain, $9,000 Flex, $14,500 FD
Here’s the thing. My gut says Daniel Jones is a bad play tonight. My gut is telling me this due to the Pittsburgh Steelers being the 3rd best team in all of football against Quarterbacks. However, as we saw this weekend – it’s week 1 of a wonky offseason and anything can happen? Right? Ok so if you want to play Daniel Jones there are two positives to bring up. First he has Saquon Barkley to dump the ball off to and second Sterling Shepard had a sterling training camp. Oh and Evan Engram is Healthy. Oh and Darius Slayton is a stud in the making … Yeah… still a tough putt against TJ Watt and Co. There is one other positive though – NO ONE is going to play Daniel Jones in DFS tonight. With a potential to be the lowest owned quarterback on the slate in Danny Dimes future, I’ll take a few shots in tournaments. Contrarian Daniel Jones may not be a bad play after all. Hmm…
Saquon Barkley $8,000 DK $9,000 FD
Showdown Cost: $16,200 DK Captain, $10,800 Flex, $16,000 FD
At $8,000+ Saquon Barkley is the most expensive player on the slate tonight. But is he worth it. Not only are the Steelers #3 against Quarterbacks – they are #3 against Running Backs too. BUT this is no ordinary running back! I think that the Giants are going to rely on the heavily muscled thighs of Saquon Barkley to carry them tonight and at the high price of playing him, the field you are playing with may avoid it in droves. I will not be. While I do not think he will have a big night on the ground, I do think he has a real chance at a big night through the air. You have to remember that 3/4s of the Giants starting pass catchers are healthy and with that attention can be pulled away from Saquon when he is running routes. I also see draw plays, delays and even designed throws coming his way. Yes there is a lot of risk but I like Saquon tonight and if I am playing any Giant tonight it will be him. I also like him a lot as contrarian Captain on some Showdown teams I roll out. No one is going to pay that much for Saquon against the Steelers Defense. Again, I’m not saying I’ll be all in especially in Showdowns, but I’ll have some shares. I think you should too.
Evan Engram $5,400 DK $6,300 FD
Showdown Cost: $12,000 DK Captain, $8,000 DK Flex, $11,000 FD
If there is a weak spot in the Steeler’s Defense it has been tight end – kinda. The Steelers still rank in the top ⅓ of the league against the position, but a healthy Evan Engram is (in my opinion) head and shoulders above most tight ends that they face and if Danny Dimes is able to have an effective game in the air tonight I think it will start and possibly finish with Evan Engram. I do believe that if there are any Giants players that will be rostered tonight it will be Engram, so beware I think he will be popular in tournaments but an easy way to be contrarian is to stack him with Daniel Jones who I believe will be significantly underowned. Additionally a Saquon Engram stack has the same appeal as I believe at Saquon’s prices he could also go underowned with Derek Henry, James Connor and Melvin Gordon all available for significantly less. But I like Engram tonight and will even have a few Showdown teams with him as a Captain.
Sterling Shepard $5,200 DK $5,700 FD
Showdown Cost: $10,800 DK Captain, $7,200 Flex, $10,500 FD
Even if Golden Tate plays tonight, Sterling Shepard will be the #1 Receiver for the Giants at least when Daniel Jones drops back. Accounts from Training Camp have been that Shepard has really come into his own as the leading receiver of the team and I’d look to see the Giants try and get him involved early if for any other reason to open the box up a little for Barkley. Shepard is a fine play tonight but just not one that excites me. I worry too much about the pressure the Steelers will put on Daniel Jones and I fear a lot of plays will lead to Engram as a safety net or Barkley as a dump off. That being said anything is possible in Week 1 as evidenced this weekend – so don’t ignore Shepard especially if mass multi entering. He’s just not a priority for me. If he beats me he beats me, I just think there are Sterling Shepard Weeks coming this season and this isn’t necessarily one of them.
Darius Slayton $5,000 DK $5,300 FD
Showdown Cost: $7,800 DK Captain, $5,200 Flex, $9,500 FD
One thing I am really looking forward to in this match up is Darius Slayton vs Dionte Johnson. No of course they won’t be on the field at the same time but coming out of last season these were two of the guys we were excited about coming from two teams that there wasn’t much to be excited about. I like Slayton here for much of the same reasons I like Johnson on the other side of the ball. He has a report with Daniel Jones. He has shown he knows how to get open. He is fast and quite frankly a real deep threat in an offense that (especially if Golden Tate sits) needs a red zone threat not named Barkley. You could do worse than rostering Darius Slayton tonight. If you are playing a lineup with Daniel Jones in it, find a way to pair him with Slayton. If Jones can get a 5 second drop back, I think he will be looking for Slayton crossing every time.
To wrap Game 1 up with some strategy… I think that there is a real chance that the Steelers Offense could break the slate and having pieces of it may be the only way to cash both in regular tournaments and in showdown slates. If I am playing Ben I am playing Connor and at least one other Pass Catcher being JuJu or Dionte Johnson or Ebron. If you are playing the two game tournament though… you will need to save some money to get pieces of the second game. So if I am playing Ben and Connor I’m likely pairing with Ebron for the savings.
On the other hand if I am playing a Giants lineup, especially in Showdown, I am stacking as many pass catchers with Daniel Jones as possible. I think that the Steelers Defense will have him on the run and in that situation any port in the storm will do. Jones – Saquon – Slaton – Engram or Jones – Saquon – Shepard – Engram. I think the only lock play for me will be Saquon on any Giants squad I roll out.
Good Luck in your Contests!
PART 2 – Titans vs Broncos – Coming Up After Dinner!