You Can Reach on Twitter @DelRayBoston and @Matechlee
My name is Sean Weymouth and that man is Lee Matech and we are glad to be back writing for Real Deal Fantasy HQ and giving YOU our takes on this weekend’s NFL DFS Slate! So Let’s GO!
Here we are in week 1 and already we are seeing so many storylines unfolding with injuries, Covid-19 and suspensions creating both interesting plays in DFS but also a lot of value that can be exploited.
Not too long ago myself and Lee Matech posted a video – DFS Dos & Don’ts. One of the Don’ts that we highlighted is don’t get too tied into what you will hear as Game Scripts. Sure you may say there are some obvious ones but the reality is in Week 1, anything can happen – more so than any other week. Look, as much as we think we have seen what teams are going to do on either side of the ball during pre-season – we haven’t. And even when you listen to your favorite Fantasy Football podcast or even read sites like ours, the best guess any of us can make about matchups is based on last year. So if you are buying every game script you hear for every game, you are buying into every team being the same as they were a year ago … which we know isn’t the case. Some teams have upgraded and at least on paper, gotten better (the Eagles for example) while others have on paper gotten worse (the Texans for example). So if we know about these upgrades and downgrades, how can we also listen to any type of game script based on last year’s results. We can’t.
It’s like the curious case of Sammy Watkins who no matter the uniform seems to rise to the occasion on Week 1 and then largely disappears – can we expect him to do the same again against the Bears on Monday Night just because of the past? I sure can’t. So some of my picks here may seem off the wall to some, but I’m not basing who I like just off of last year. I am basing who I like on what I know about the NOW. Let’s start
It shouldn’t shock you my favorite Quarterback on the slate is Patrick Mahomes ($8,100 DK, $8,800 FD). My biggest reason for this is pride. Mahomes and the Chiefs were embarrassed in the Superbowl and coming out on Sunday in Arrowhead I expect Mahomes will be going on a rampage. This leads me to my favorite Stack which is Mahomes with Tyreek Hill ($8,200 on DK, $8,500 on FD) AND Travis Kelce ($8,300 on DK, $8,500 on FD) AND Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,600 on DK, $6,800 on FD). Yes I am full stacking the Chiefs – Everyone gets a touchdown! There is a little more to this than just that though. First I don’t think a full Chiefs stack will be very popular. It is tough to find viable cheaper options to fill the rest of your roster first and second with Mahomes, Hill and Kelce all being the most or the second most expensive players per position, I think most will try to pay down at one or more of those positions in order to fit in other higher priced players. I also think it will be unique to stack both Hill and Kelce with Mahomes and even more unique to include the running back too. I think we will have Mahomes put on a show in Week 1 to make a statement and if that happens I want all of the touchdowns, or at least the most likely all of them. I will show you a team I built with this stack at the end of the article – it can be done – and I’m actually not even interested in ”Running the stack back with a Cleveland Brown”. I think the Chiefs defense is ready to put on a show too ….
Two more quarterbacks I am looking at are playing each other! Kyler Murray ($7,600 DK, $8,400 FD) and Ryan Tannehill ($6,500 DK, $7,700 FD). I think the Kyler – Deandre Hopkins ($7,800 DK, $8,200 FD) will be extremely popular against a Titans Team who has done nothing but allow Malcolm Butler to retire, to improve their secondary. I also think it will be very popular to play Kyler in a game stack with Derrick Henry ($8,800 DK, $8,900 FD). I am actually ok with playing Kyler by himself believe it or not. Last year Murray averaged 25 DK points per game over the course of the season and that average would have been higher if he did not have the end of season struggles. If I am pairing Murray with anyone, I think a contrarian stack would be Murray – Hopkins – Rondale Moore ($3,000 DK, $4,900 FD).
With Tannehill however I am approaching it similar to how I am handling Mahomes. Titan UP baby … I’m talking FULL STACK starting WITH Derrick Henry. That also means with AJ Brown ($7,100 DK, $7,800 FD) AND Julio Jones ($6,800 DK, $7,000 FD) too. Again, similar to Mahomes the Tannehill – Brown, Tannehill-Jones stacks will be popular – but I don’t see a full stack especially with Henry being on many rosters, but why not? Again – I want all the points, all the scores and I think this game could become a shoot out …
The last two QBs that I’m getting exposure to are Jalen Hurts ($6,400 DK, $7,600 FD) and Matt Ryan ($6,000 DK, $7,300 FD). There will be a lot of focus on this game in DFS with Falcons First Round Pick and Hopeful Stud Kyle Pitts ($4,400 DK, $6,000 FD) being surprisingly cheap on Draft Kings. Likewise the Eagles own first rounder DeVonta Smith ($4,500 DK, $5,300 FD) only $100 more. Calvin Ridley ($7,900 DK, $8,100 FD) will be a very popular one off play. The Eagles’ front seven is very tough to run on so I do think Matt Ryan will be airing it out Russell Gage ($5,300 DK, $5,700 FD) who as the WR3 last year was in the mix. Now he steps into being Wide Receiver 2 on this team and I think he has carved himself a role. I love the 3 man with Ryan, Ridley, Gage and I think it will be very contrarian. By the way it isn’t that I don’t like Kyle Pitts – I do. If I multi-entry, I will have a few shares. I just think a Ryan-Pitts or Ryan-Ridley-Pitts stack will be very popular. I also think because of his price tag, Pitts will be the most used ”run back” in Eagles stacks, but I much prefer Ridley in that scenario.
Similar to Kyler, I actually like playing Jaylen Hurts alone, no stack. Sure you could pair him with DeVonta Smith but are we sure he is going to be ”the guy”? I think there are too many question marks with Eagles pass catchers for me that I like Hurts and his legs alone in tournaments. I actually prefer a Hurts-Ridley game stack above anything else here, but I do like Jalen Hurts in this game for DFS.
Russell Wilson ($7,000 DK, $7,800 FD) at Indianapolis
Trevor Lawrence ($6,200 DK, $6,800 FD ) at Houston
Baker Mayfield ($5,900 DK, $7,100 FD) at Kansas City
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,600 DK, $6,600 FD) vs The Chargers
Zack Wilson ($5,000 DK, $6,500 FD) at Carolina
I think one of the most popular plays at Running Back in Week 1 will be Kareem Hunt ($5,500 DK, $6,000 FD). It is not brain surgery to figure out why. The ”Game Script” is obvious – the Browns will need to throw to keep pace with Mahomes and company and Kareem Hunt is the ”pass catching back”. Hunt’s popularity because of this game script is only bringing Nick Chubb’s ownership down and I am fine with that. I a big fan of Nick Chubb ($7,200 DK, $7,700 FD) in this game. If I am the Browns, the best way to beat Patrick Mahomes is to keep him on the sideline and what better way to do that than with their pro bowl between the tackles thumper – Nick Chubb. It’s not that I dislike Kareem Hunt in this game, it’s just crazy to see his ownership as high as it is getting. Don’t assume Nick Chubb won’t have a role in this game – don’t fall for the hype! If you are multi-entering I’d try and have as much Chubb as I do Hunt if you are playing the Browns backfield.. I will be way over the field on Chubb for what it’s worth however.
I love Dalvin Cook ($9,100 DK, $9,400 FD) in Week 1 facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals. I am expecting a MONSTER performance. I think it will be popular to stack Cook with the Vikings Defense ($3,000 DK) on Draft Kings, but I actually like the mini stack with one of the receivers more, either Justin Jefferson ($7,700 DK, $8,000 FD) or Adam Thielen ($7,000 DK, $7,300 FD) more.
I love Christian McCaffery ($9,500 DK, $10,400 FD) in Week 1 against the Jets – how could you not? What I want to suggest here is that you try and build the rest of your lineup differently. When you add $9,500 Christian McCaffery on Draft Kings you are left with $5,062 remaining salary per player. On FanDuel you are left with $6,200. Do you know who the $6,200 QB is on FanDuel? It is Case Keenum. Right. My point is when I start my build with a high priced player, I try and “get my money back” by looking at the positions where I can find value most likely first – here, let me show you and build a FanDuel lineup with you:
Starting with Christian McCaffery with $6,200 left in the kitty per position my next pick would the 49ers Defense ($5,000 on FD) against Detroit – most expensive defense on the board but here, they are a salary saver. Our Avg player cost is now $6,300. My next pick is Jet’s TE Tyler Kroft ($4,900 on FD) in the flex – contrarian run back in a game stack with McCaffery. Now our Avg player cost is at $6,600! Next pick at TE, Carolina’s own Dan Arnold ($4,500 on FD) – definitely a contrarian game stack! (Both Kroft and Arnold I highlight later as TE Value Plays BTW). Well looky here, now our Avg player cost is over 7K! Who can we go shopping for? Here is what I did: Laviska Shenault ($5,600 on FD) jumps off the page at a cheap price and I like his opportunity against Texas with Quarterback and #1 Pick Trevor Lawrence ($6,800 FD)… with Lawrence & Shenault added my Avg Salary is now up to $7,600. So I game stacked Shenault & Lawrence with Houston’s Brandin Cooks ($6,300) who is basically the only guy in that passing attack.. Now we are up to $8,350 remaining salary. Well Calvin Ridely is $8,100 and oh snap Alvin Kamara is $8,600. Done. So, think it is impossible to get McCaffery, Kamara and Ridley in one FanDuel lineup? Think again. Think differently. Here’s our lineup:
QB Trevor Lawrence, RB McCaffery, RB Kamara, WR Ridley, WR Cooks, WR Shenault, TE Arnold, FL Kroft, Def 49ers. I kinda like it. Build differently.
So yes Alvin Kamara ($8,600 on both sites) against the Green Bay Packers. As much as we all probably were happy for Jameis Winston ($5,300 DK, $6,700 FD) for getting the start we simply don’t know what this Saints passing attack will look like. Reminder – No Michael Thomas, No Tre’quon Smith. I think Sean Peyton will look to Kamara early and often and I also think newly minted #2 Tony Jones Jr ($4,000 DK, $4,500 FD) is a sneaky flex play. We saw Latavius Murray have a role in this offense as the #2 for Kamara and I wouldn’t be surprised if Peyton schemes up creative ways to get Jones involved. But make no mistake, I love Kamara most.
My FAVORITE play however is Raheem Mostert ($5,800 DK, $6,100 FD) against a Lions defense who has historically been AWFUL against the run. In actuality I like the whole of the San Francisco Offense as well as the San Francisco Defense and I think Mostert smashes in Week 1. I especially love his DK pricing which is far too cheap for the opportunity.
Jonathan Taylor ($8,000 DK, $7,900 FD) vs Seattle
Antonio Gibson ($5,900 DK, $7,000 FD) vs the Chargers
Najee Harris ($6,300 DK, $6,500 FD) vs Buffalo
James Robinson ($6,400 DK, $5,900 FD) vs Texas
Nyheim Hines ($5,000 DK $5,400 FD) vs Seattle – Flex Play
There is value to be found in the Wide Receiver pool in Week 1. Injuries, Suspensions and Covid-19 Lists have allowed that to happen. Therefore, it may be the most contrarian play of all to instead pay up for Wide Receiver and that starts with Davante Adams ($8,300 DK, $8,600 FD) who has been a Saints beater for most of his career. Additionally since it is extremely unlikely a contract extension will be struck before kickoff – consider Adams a man on a mission to prove he is worth one. Plus with Aaron Rogers ($6,800 DK, $8,000 FD) having his own axe to grind, I think this is a stack to exploit and one that I think will largely go overlooked.
I also love Stefon Diggs ($7,600 DK, $7,900 FD) on Sunday. Simply put in 2020 there was no more efficient and arguably successful tandem than Diggs and Josh Allen who combined for 127 Catches, 1,535 yards and 8 touchdowns. While I am not as enamored with Josh Allen ($7,400 DK, $8,100 FD) having to deal with the TJ Watt led Steeler’s pass rush, I do think Diggs will be the biggest weapon on the field on either side of the ball and I want to have plenty of Diggs in my lineups on Sunday.
The Indianapolis Colts have a good defense – perhaps even a great one. However I do not think that will totally prevent Russell Wilson from finding DK Metcalf ($7,500 DK, $7,700 FD) and to a slightly lesser extent Tyler Lockett ($6,700 DK, $6,800 FD) down field. Metcalf is coming off a break out 2020 with 129 targets, 83 catches, 1,300 yards and a stellar 10 Touchdowns and he has clearly become the #1 Wide Receiver in Seattle. Meanwhile Tyler Lockett is coming off his third consecutive 1,000 yard season – so he’s no slouch out there! I actually am going to double stack these recievers in some lineups which I doubt many people will think of doing. I do not mind the stack with Wilson, but I do think he has some trouble with the Colt’s pass rush and if anything I think stacking the two Seattle receivers with Jonathan Taylor could be an interesting and contrarian approach. Stack or no Stack, I will have plenty of DK Metcalf in my lineups in Week 1.
With Curtis Samuel going on the IR, I think any room for doubt that Terry McLaurin ($6,400 DK, $6,900 FD) will command almost all of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s attention has been wiped away. The Chargers defense just doesn’t scare me despite what Draft King’s little red 8th says. I don’t mind the stack here but I prefer using McLaurin solo. With bigger names and higher point total games above and below Scary Terry, I think he will go largely unowned and I for one am happy to take advantage.
I also like the Panthers’ DJ Moore ($6,100 DK, $6,700 FD) and Robbie Anderson ($5,700 DK, $6,200 FD) to help Sam Darnold’s ($5,000 DK, $6,500 FD) revenge game against the J-E-T-S work out in Sam’s favor.
I already mentioned I liked the 49er offense on Sunday against Detroit and that includes Deebo Samuel ($5,900 DK, $6,300 FD) and Brandon Aiyuk ($5,700 FD, $6,500 DK). Samuel is my favorite of the two but I think both are in play.
And if you are looking for a game stack that nobody will be playing, look no further than the Jaguars and Texans and Laviska Shenault ($5,000 DK, $5,600 FD) stacked with Brandin Cooks ($5,300 DK, $6,300 FD). Shenault looks poised to be the leading target in DUVAL while Brandin Cooks is pretty much the ONLY target for TYROD. It’s butt ugly, but dare to be different.
In place of Honorable Mentions, here are some of the Value Plays I like best at Wide Receiver:
The Jet’s Jamison Crowder will not play in Week 1 as he is on the Covid-19 List which should open up even more targets for Corey Davis ($4,900 DK, $5,800 FD) who is really the best down field threat for Zack Wilson. This should also open up more for Elijah Moore ($3,000 DK, $5,000 FD) coming out of the slot and at minimum salary on DK where he makes a dart throw at Flex Play.
With TY Hilton on the PUP list, Michael Pittman Jr ($4,100 DK, $5,300 FD) will be the Colt’s #1 Wide Receiver and has impressed in training camp. This may be more of a CASH play and there is risk as we don’t know what Carson Wentz we will see … but still I think his target share should warrant a look especially at $4,100 on DK.
With Wil Fuller suspended, I think we will see a lot of Jalen Waddle ($3,600 DK, $5,200 FD) running deep routes against the Patriots and especially on DK, he makes for a fantastic value play that I think will largely go overlooked in one of the lower point total games on the slate.
I also love the price on Draft Kings for Gabriel Davis ($3,400 DK, $4,900 FD) who even as the Wide Receiver 4 last season caught 35 balls for 599 yards and seven touchdowns… he’ll be acting as WR 3 on Sunday but I’d be shocked if he doesn’t see some action. I also think he will go completely unowned with the below receiver the exact same price … he makes a great pivot from the chalk in other words …
AND NOW THE TRAP … Pre-Season Hero Marquez Callaway ($3,400 DK, $5,200 FD) of the New Orleans Saints. Callaway is expected to serve as the Saints’ #1 Wide Receiver and he is TOO cheap for the opportunity on Draft Kings. However, as the #1 it is largely expected he will see a lot of the Packer’s Jaire Alexander and that could spell a lot of trouble for Callaway. I expect him to be one of the highest owned WR on Draft Kings in Week 1 and this just smells of a bust for me … proceed with caution.
(Editor’s note: Any tight end I mentioned above in stacks with a quarterback or in my running back or wide receiver section are in play for me in their matchups)
Not to be a broken record but I love the 49ers matchup against Detroit so I love me some big George Kittle ($6,300 DK, $7,000 FD) on Sunday. Detroit has been legendarily bad against tight ends and Kittle may be the top TE play behind Kelce of the entire weekend.
I love the price on Washington’s Logan Thomas on Draft Kings and I love the opportunity as well with Fitzpatrick under center. The Chargers’ defense again doesn’t scare me and it wouldn’t surprise me if Thomas finishes second in targets on the day behind Scary Terry.
With both Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith healthy it wouldn’t shock me to see the Patriots run a lot of two tight end sets and I think both are viable options … though I do think Jonnu is the more likely break out of the two.
I also think I have to mention Dallas Goedert ($4,800 DK, $5,900 FD) of the Philadephia Eagles but I am concerned that with Zach Ertz ($3,800 DK, $5,000 FD) back on the field and with the team, it will limit both player’s production so I am going to stay away.
There are actually a lot of Tight Ends I have interest in and they are CHEAP, so punt away!
Tyler Kroft ($2,500 DK, $4,700 FD) – Caught 2 Touchdowns in the last Jet’s Pre-Season Game and will be a part of the game plan! Carolina enters the season ranked 25th against Tight Ends!
Tyler Conklin ($2,900 DK, $4,400 FD) – has secured the #1 TE Role for the Vikings and we know that Kirk Cousins loves looking for his tight ends! It doesn’t hurt that the Bengals rank 26th against Tight Ends either!
Robert Tonyon ($4,200 DK, $5,400 FD) emerged last season as an end zone target for Aaron Rogers and the Saints are middle of the road against the position!
Dawson Knox ($3,400 DK, $5,000 FD) also emerged as an End Zone threat for the Bill’s and built real report with Josh Allen last season! If the pass rush gets to Allen he may be looking to unload the ball quick and his big tight end will be there for him!
Austin Hooper ($4,000 DK, $5,100 FD) should be a big part of the Browns game plan against the Chiefs who come into the season ranked 30th against Tight Ends!
Eric Ebron ($3,900 DK, $5,200 FD) has maintained his position with the Steelers and is another Tight End with a nose for the End Zone in what has the potential to be a high scoring game with the Bills!
BUT my favorite Tight End Punt Play is Dan Arnold ($2,600 DK, $4,500 FD) of the Carolina Panthers who Sam Darnold looked to three times in the last Pre-Season Game and who will be the #1 Tight End in that offense… oh yeah and he is playing the Jets who enter the season dead last in the league against Tight Ends.
Here is who I like for Defenses in Week 1
49ers vs Detroit $4,200 DK, $5,000 FD
Giants vs Denver $3,800 DK, $3,700 FD
Panthers vs the Jets $3,600 DK, $4,600 FD
Washington Football Team vs the Chargers $3,200
Vikings vs Cincinnati $3,000 DK, $3,800 FD
Chiefs vs Browns $3,000 DK, $3,600 FD
Jaguars vs Texans $2,700 DK, $3,900 FD
Texans vs Jaguars $2,100 DK, $3,400 FD
LASTLY, HERE IS HOW I WAS ABLE TO FULL STACK THE CHIEFS IN THE $5, $5 MILLION FANTASY FOOTBALL MILLIONAIRE CONTEST ON DRAFT KINGS:
QB: Patrick Mahomes
RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
RB: Raheem Mostert
WR: Tyreek Hill
WR: Michael Pittman JR
WR: Jalen Waddle
TE: Travis Kelce
TE: Tyler Kroft
Remaining Salary: $100
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!