FanDuel Fantasy Football: Week 1 Breakdown
FanDuel Fantasy Football: Week 1 Breakdown

This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.

Welcome back to another DFS season for FanDuel football. Each week I'll break down the matchups and recommend players for both cash games and GPPs. Let's get right to it.

QUARTERBACKS

If the money fits, it's tough to go against Patrick Mahomes ($8,700) playing at Jacksonville. This is the game with the highest over/under (51) on the main slate, and the Chiefs are 3.5 point favorites. With these prices coming out early, Jacoby Brissett ($6,000) is at the minimum price for a quarterback and should be able to move the ball even on the road at the Chargers. Perhaps the safest pick of the week at the position is Lamar Jackson ($7,400). The Dolphins have given every indication they're tanking this season for the future and despite the low over/under (38) the Ravens are 6.5 point favorites. Jackson will get valuable fantasy points using his legs, and the reports about his improvement in the passing game are encouraging. After taking over as the starter last season Jackson had more than 16 fantasy points in all eight games, establishing a nice floor for himself. Lastly, don't forget about Kyler Murray ($7,300) in tournaments. The kid could have an immediate impact much in the same way Cam Newton did Week 1 of his rookie season, and like Jackson he'll score valuable points with his legs. He'll be at home this weekend, and the matchup against the Lions isn't a situation to avoid. Stacking Murray with the ageless Larry Fitzgerald ($5,900) with either Christian Kirk ($6,000) or David Johnson ($8,100) is an interesting contrarian play.

RUNNING BACKS

Tony Pollard ($5,200) was going to be the chalkiest play of the week in cash games until Ezekiel Elliott ($9,100) messed things up by signing with the team. Christian McCaffrey ($8,900) looks like the safest among the stud running backs to use with questions about Elliott's fitness and Saquon Barkley ($9,200) having less than an ideal matchup at Dallas. McCaffrey averaged more than 20 fantasy points per game last season and has made it his goal to become the first 1,000 rusher and receiver. The move of LeSean McCoy to Kansas City should open up more touches for Devin Singletary ($5,300) as he faces off against the Jets. With Melvin Gordon missing this week due to his contract mess, both Austin Ekeler ($6,400) and Justin Jackson ($5,900) will lead the Chargers' backfield. Ekeler and his ability to do damage in the passing game is the preferred target between the two. Finally, Chris Carson ($6,400) is another great value with a fantastic home matchup against the Bengals who allowed a league-worst 137.8 rushing yards per game last season. Carson will get the lion's share of touches out of the Seattle backfield, and the team has stated they want to get him more involved in the passing game this season as well.

WIDE RECEIVERS

The Jaguars Dede Westbrook ($5,900) should get the most targets of any player on Jacksonville, and Nick Foles ($6,500) has a big arm. The offense will focus on Leonard Fournette ($7,200) running the rock but they'll take the occasional shot downfield. Using a stack of Foles/Fournette/Westbrook could pay off in a bigger tournament, considering the usage each should get. The wide receiver situation in Minnesota bears watching as Stefon Diggs deals with a hamstring injury. Should he miss this week's game, Adam Thielen ($7,400) would almost be guaranteed double-digit targets as he attempts to gain back the magic he had over the first half of the season. With A.J. Green still wearing a walking boot, it appears that Tyler Boyd ($6,900) will be the top receiving option for the Bengals this week. Boyd had some big games last season as evidenced by scoring 18 or more fantasy points in five of the 14 games in which he played. While many will look at Mike Evans ($7,900), don't forget about Chris Godwin ($6,900) who generated a lot of sleeper buzz in season-long leagues. Stacking Jameis Winston ($7,500) along with some combination of Godwin/Evans or O.J. Howard ($6,500) could pay off nicely in a game with an over/under of 51. 

TIGHT ENDS

With Odell Beckham ($8,200) and Jarvis Landry ($6,300) commanding a lot of attention on the outside, David Njoku ($5,800) should have plenty of room to work over the middle. Njoku scored 14.8 fantasy points in two of his final six games last season, and it'll be a good idea to stack the Browns in tournaments often this season. The situation in Washington bears watching, as Jordan Reed ($5,300) could miss this week's tilt with the Eagles, making either Jeremy Sprinkle ($4,000) or Vernon Davis ($4,000) interesting punt options. Among the elite tight ends, George Kittle ($7,300) stands out now that he has Jimmy Garoppolo ($7,200) back and doesn't have to worry about Kwon Alexander on the other side of the football.

DEFENSES

The Baltimore Ravens ($5,000) are a 6.5-point favorite in Miami in a game with an over/under of 38. That means that Vegas is expecting Miami to score the fewest amount of points this week of any team in the NFL. It's likely that Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't just commit one turnover but multiple turnovers as well as getting sacks. The Dallas Cowboys ($4,700) are also in a good spot at home facing the Eli Manning-led Giants. 45.5 points is about the middle of the road for an over/under this week, but the Cowboys are a touchdown favorite in the game. In the two games last season against Dallas, Manning had two fumbles and an interception.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Kevin Payne plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: Fanduel: kevinccp, Draft Kings: kevinccp, Yahoo: kevinccp.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Payne
Kevin has worked for RotoWire over a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. You can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.
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