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NFL Week 1 DFS Value Player Picks
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NFL Week 1 DFS Value Player Picks

NFL Week 1: September 5 – 9, 2019

With the NFL season kicking off in a month, we’ll take an early look at some DraftKings and FanDuel salaries, provide some insights, and review some DFS value players for week 1 of the 2019 NFL season.

Salary ranks are based on the main-slate Sunday only (12 games).

Betting lines are as of the time of this writing.

Of course, anything can happen in the next month, so updates will be made as new info comes to light prior to Sunday kickoff.

*DraftKings note – any additional players signed prior to 9/2 will be added to the player pool on Monday, 9/2. If/when this happens, this may slightly change player salary rankings previously posted.

Quarterback

Kirk Cousins (MIN) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5500 (11% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 7400 (12.33% of cap). Cousins’ upcoming salary ranks him 16th/12th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting line with the Falcons has the game total at 47.5 points with the Vikings as -4 point home favorites. The Vikings’ implied team total is currently at 25.75 points and the Falcons are currently at 21.75 points.

Last season, the Falcons ranked last in fantasy points allowed to QBs, 27th in fantasy points allowed to WRs, and 29th in DVOA against the pass. Atlanta’s defense also ranked 27th in pass yards allowed and 28th in points allowed. However, Atlanta does return three starters that missed most/all of last season in ILB Deion Jones (foot), SS Keanu Neal (ACL), and FS Ricardo Allen (Achilles).

Cousins finished as last season’s QB9 while his WRs Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs finished as WR6 and WR10, respectively. HC Zimmer would like to pound-the-rock as much as possible, however, Cousins seems like a nice value in a great matchup at home.

Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5800 (11.6% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 7200 (12% of cap). Garoppolo’s upcoming salary ranks him 12th/15th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting line with the Bucs has the game total at 49 points with the 49ers as +1 point road dogs. The 49ers’ implied team total is currently at 24 points and the Bucs are currently at 25 points.

Last season, the Bucs ranked 29th in fantasy points allowed to QBs and WRs, 24th against TEs, and 30th in DVOA against the pass. Tampa Bay’s defense also ranked 26th in pass yards allowed and 30th in points allowed.

Jimmy G (ACL) will be over 11 months removed from his knee injury which kept him out most of last season, but is all set to return in a great matchup with heavy shootout potential. HC Shanahan actually managed to end up with the 15th ranked team in passing yards with the likes of Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard last season.

Carson Wentz (PHI) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5700 (11.4% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 7600 (12.67% of cap). Wentz’ upcoming salary ranks him 13th/8th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting line with the Redskins has the game total at 46.5 points with the Eagles as -8.5 point home favorites. The Eagles’ implied team total is currently at 27.5 points and the Redskins are currently at 19 points.

Last season, Washington ranked 19th in fantasy points allowed to QBs, 23rd against WRs, and 11th in DVOA against the pass.

In Wentz’ lone matchup against Washington last season, he logged 23.84 DK points. This season, he gets new addition WR DeSean Jackson, the best deep-threat WR Wentz has ever had. Wentz is an accurate deep-ball thrower and Jackson’s presence should definitely help to improve Wentz’ deep-ball game.

The Eagles are a deep team in most aspects, starting with one of the best O-lines, a now deep receiver corps at all levels, a deep backfield, and their TEs. The Eagles utilize “12” personnel much more than most other teams (35%). Currently on most books, Wentz is tied with Drew Brees, as the 5th favorite league MVP candidate.

Lamar Jackson (BAL) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 6000 (12% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 7400 (12.33% of cap). Jackson’s upcoming salary ranks him 9th/12th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting line with the Dolphins has the game total at 37.5 points (lowest on the board) with the Ravens as -4.5 point road favorites. The Ravens’ implied team total is currently at 21 points and the Dolphins are currently at 16.5 points.

Last season, the Dolphins ranked 26th in fantasy points allowed to QBs, 28th against RBs, 23rd in DVOA against the pass, and 24th in DVOA against the run. Miami’s defense also ranked 31st in rush yards allowed with 145.3/gm and their D-line ranked 28th in adjusted sack rate.

Now enters what projects to be the run-heaviest team in the league under OC Roman, behind a solid O-line. The Ravens’ O-line ranked 9th in adjusted line yards and 8th in adjusted sack rate.

Last season, Jackson toted 46 more QB rush attempts then the next highest QB (Newton) and led all QBs in rush yards. Jackson also led all QBs in red zone rush attempts and yards. These red zone numbers ranked him, for all positions overall, 9th/8th, respectively. Jackson only made 7 regular season starts last season.

This season, Jackson will have had his first camp to prep as the starter, and the offensive unit should be better prepped right out of the gate. Jackson’s matchup doesn’t get much better than this and Baltimore should have their way on both sides of the ball. Baltimore will bring ground-and-pound and defense this season…shocker right?

However, there may be something to monitor a month from now…Miami’s weather. High heat/humidity, if that’s the case, could affect pace etc., especially for a team coming from the AFC north. Brock Osweiler, as a last minute fill-in for Tannehill, won someone a milly last season, against Chicago no less.

Running Back

Mark Ingram (BAL) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5100 (10.2% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 6600 (11% of cap). Ingram’s upcoming salary ranks him 19th/17th on DK/FD, respectively.

The betting line – See Jackson Above.

In addition to what was previously covered above, Miami’s defense also ranked 30th in DVOA vs. RBs in the pass. 81 RB targets have been vacated with Buck Allen, Alex Collins, and Ty Montgomery now gone. New addition Mark Ingram is no doubt the RB1 with a potential three-down role. Ingram has hands, but QB Jackson hasn’t targeted RBs that much based on last season’s play. Kenneth Dixon may be on the bubble, and if he gets moved before week 1, Ingram’s snap share could be as much as he can handle, but we’ll see.

Ingram, at this price, in this offense, in this matchup, with a favorable positive-script, deserves consideration.

Chris Carson (SEA) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5700 (11.4% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 6600 (11% of cap). Carson’s upcoming salary ranks him 15th/17th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting line with the Bengals has the game total at 43.5 points with the Seahawks as -9.5 point (largest on the board) home favorites. The Seahawks’ implied team total is currently at 26.5 points and the Bengals are currently at 17 points.

Last season, the Bengals ranked last in fantasy points allowed to RBs, 26th in DVOA against the run, and 31st in DVOA vs. RBs in the pass. The Bengals also ranked 29th in rush yards allowed with 137.8/gm, 31st in points allowed with 28.1/gm, and their D-line ranked 30th in adjusted line yards.

Last season, the Seahawks led the NFC in rush attempts with 32.8/gm and led the league in rush yards with 160.0/gm. Seattle’s O-line ranked 12th in adjusted line yards. Seattle projects as the run-heaviest team in the NFC.

With Mike Davis now gone, he vacates 112 carries, 42 targets, 728 scrimmage yards, and 5 TDs. WR2 Doug Baldwin (retired) is also gone with his replacement being a 9-route running rookie.

Carson and Rashaad Penny are both expected to see plenty snaps, but with north of 30+ carries and 5-6 RB targets/gm up for grabs, there should be plenty of work for both, especially in this positive-script, juicy home matchup against the Bengals.

Kerryon Johnson (DET) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5800 (11.6% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 7000 (11.67% of cap). Johnson’s upcoming salary ranks him 14th/12th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting line with the Cardinals has the game total at 47.5 points with the Lions as -2.5 point road favorites. The Lions’ implied team total is currently at 25 points and the Cardinals are currently at 22.5 points.

Last season, the Cardinals ranked 31st in fantasy points allowed to RBs, 29th in DVOA against the run, and 14th in DVOA vs. RBs in the pass. The Cardinals defense also ranked last in rush yards allowed with 154.9/gm, 23rd in points allowed with 24.9/gm, and their D-line ranked 14th in adjusted line yards. The Lions O-line ranked 20th in adjusted line yards.

With new addition OC Bevell, the Lions are expected to be run-heavier this season. LeGarrette Blount is gone and Theo Riddick was cut. The Riddick loss is interesting as he vacates 74 targets and 61 catches (both ranked 2nd on the team). With the 8th overall pick in the draft, the Lions selected TE T.J. Hockenson who does bring some blocking-chops. With new addition TE Jesse James, Detroit could run more “12” personnel, which would make sense for a run-emphasized offense.

The opportunity for Kerryon to run-away as a true RB1 is right there. Detroit added C.J. Anderson and 6th round rookie Ty Johnson, but neither appear to be a big threat to Kerryon’s snaps, unless his pass-protection issues aren’t improved. Kerryon gets a great matchup, and if the positive-script holds, he should have the opportunity to be the featured offensive weapon for Detroit in week 1. Arizona HC Kingsbury’s anticpated quick-pace on their end should help with play volume, because that won’t likely come front Detroit’s side.

UPDATE:
Both Arizona starting CBs, Peterson (suspension) and Alford (fractured tibia) are out for at least the first six weeks.

Wide Receiver

Curtis Samuel (CAR) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 4200 (8.4% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 5900 (9.83% of cap). Samuel’s upcoming salary ranks him 38th/31st on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting lines with the Rams has the game total at 51 points (2nd highest on the board) with the Panthers as +3 point home dogs. The Panthers’ implied team total is currently at 24 points and the Rams are currently at 27 points.

Last season, the Rams ranked 18th in fantasy points allowed to WRs and 9th in DVOA against the pass.

The departure of Devin Funchess vacates 79 targets, 549 yards, and 4 TDs. As currently the WR2 on the Panthers, Samuels’ potential volume spike and a third-year breakout opportunity for the 4.3 speedster lines up with a nice opportunity in a projected high-scoring game at home.

DeSean Jackson (PHI) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 4500 (9% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 5600 (9.33% of cap). Jackson’s upcoming salary ranks him 34th/36th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting line with the Redskins has the game total at 46.5 points with the Eagles as -8.5 point home favorites. The Eagles’ implied team total is currently at 27.5 points and the Redskins are currently at 19 points.

Last season, the Redskins’ defense ranked 23rd in fantasy points allowed to WRs and 11th in DVOA against the pass. The Eagles ranked 11th in DVOA pass offense and 7th in passing yards, despite Wentz missing 5 games.

The Eagles’ have a lot of offensive options to go to and defenses can’t sellout and cover everyone (maybe Ertz?). Jackson goes from one of the least accurate deep-ball QBs (Winston) to one of the better ones. Philly’s best single killshot option would be Jackson, as he has the potential to hit value in a single play. The Eagles should be able to call their shots in this one and Jackson offers a cheap play with, albiet, a volatile ceiling.

Christian Kirk (ARI) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 4700 (9.4% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 6000 (10% of cap). Kirk’s upcoming salary ranks him 32nd/28th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting line with the Lions has the game total at 47.5 points with the Cardinals as +2.5 point home dogs. The Lions’ implied team total is currently at 25 points and the Cardinals are currently at 22.5 points.

Last season, Detroit’s defense ranked 14th in fantasy points allowed to WRs and 31st in DVOA against the pass.

In new HC Kingsbury’s air-raid offense, Kirk as the WR2, has opportunity potential at a cheap price.

Tight End

Mark Andrews (BAL) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 3000 (6% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 5400 (9% of cap). Andrews’ upcoming salary ranks him 17th/10th on DK/FD, respectively for the position, making him a better relative value on DK.

The betting line with the Dolphins has the game total at 37.5 points (lowest on the board) with the Ravens as -4.5 point road favorites. The Ravens’ implied team total is currently at 21 points and the Dolphins are currently at 16.5 points.

Last season, the Dolphins ranked 18th in fantasy points allowed to TEs and 14th in DVOA against the position.

With Baltimore rostering arguably the league’s worst WR corps, Andrews role should grow this season. Last season, Andrews was Jackson’s most efficient receiver, hauling in 26% of Jackson’s passing yards on 12% of his pass attempts. However, Andrews averaged just over 3.1 targets in games Jackson started (including playoffs). This stat may increase on passing downs this season. Baltimore lost 2 of their “top” 3 WRs (John Brown, Michael Crabtree) in the offseason and brought in Seth Roberts and Michael Floyd (just gross).

The opportunities generally shouldn’t be voluminous for Andrews, based on the nature of this offense, but when Jackson goes to the air, Andrews is probably his best option. 5 catches for 70 yards maybe doable against the worst team in football.

Tyler Eifert (CIN) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 3100 (6.2% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 5200 (8.67% of cap). Eifert’s upcoming salary ranks him 15th/14th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting line with the Seahawks has the game total at 43.5 points with the Bengals as +9.5 point road dogs. The Bengals’ implied team total is currently at 17 points and the Seahawks are currently at 26.5 points.

Last season, the Seahawks ranked 9th in fantasy points allowed to TEs and 10th in DVOA against the position.

The story with Eifert is as predictable as the sunrise. He’s appeared in just 14 games over the past three seasons, with just four appearances last season, all in September.

But, Eifert is currently active heading into week 1, and with A.J. Green out, facing an implied negative game script, volume opportunity should be there for him, since outside of WR Tyler Boyd, there’s not a whole lot of other options left for Dalton.

Hunter Henry (LAC) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 3900 (7.8% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 6100 (10.17% of cap). Henry’s upcoming salary ranks him 7th/6th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting line with the Colts has the game total at 47.5 points with the Chargers as -3 point home favorites. The Chargers’ implied team total is currently at 25.25 points and the Colts are currently at 22.25 points.

Last season, the Colts ranked 30th in fantasy points allowed to TEs and 29th in DVOA against the position.

With Tyrell Williams and Antonio Gates gone, their combined 110 targets, 16 red zone targets, 69 catches, and 7 TDs from last season are now available. Without any new significant receiver options added during the offseason, Henry’s potential for a solid season is right there for the taking. Henry (ACL) missed last season, but the big horse will be over 15 months removed from the injury, and is now all systems go with a very friendly week 1 matchup.

Evan Engram (NYG) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 4800 (9.6% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 6400 (10.67% of cap). Engram’s upcoming salary ranks him 5th on both DK/FD.

The betting line with the Cowboys has the game total at 46.5 points with the Giants as +7.5 point road dogs. The Cowboys’ implied team total is currently at 27 points and the Giants are currently at 19.5 points.

Last season, the Cowboys ranked 25th in fantasy points allowed to TEs and 19th in DVOA against the position.

Expect Engram to be the chalk TE play of the week due to the Giants’ receiver situation. At least, two of New York’s top three WRs are out. Golden Tate (4 game suspension) and Corey Coleman (ACL placed on IR) are out, and Sterling Shepard’s (fractured thumb) status going into week 1 is uncertain. Even if he is a go, there’s a chance he just serves as a decoy.

Other than Saquon Barkley, Eli should be looking to pepper Engram with targets, in what is very likely to be a negative script scenario at Dallas.

Last updated: August 21, 2019 at 12:33 pm


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