FanDuel NFL Week 1 Lineup Strategy

Our Picks for FanDuel NFL Week 1 Contests

Top Quarterback Plays

Drew Brees
FanDuel Price – $8,700
Brees is a particularly good cash game play this week. While we don’t love paying over $8,000 for a QB in GPP lineups, he is a can’t miss play in week one. In out of conference home games last season, Brees averaged over 34 FanDuel PPG. Stack him with Cooks, who averaged over 22 in those same four games.

Matthew Stafford
FanDuel Price – $7,400
The buzz around Stafford and the Lion’s offense has picked up over the past week, and with good reason. The Lions are playing fast, continue to throw it a ton, and face a Colts secondary that will be without 4 of it’s top 6 players including top corner Vontae Davis. Throughout his career, Stafford has thrived in no huddle situations, and the Lions offense is now built around running without a huddle. This preseason they went no huddle for 62% of their offensive snaps, second only to Chip Kelly’s 49ers who were at 70%.

Dak Prescott
FanDuel Price – $5,000
Prescott’s hot preseason and minimum QB price will likely make him one of the most popular week one plays. Given his $5,000 price tag, he can hit value with even a mediocre game (200/1 with 40 yards rushing). The matchup is also working in Dak’s favor as the Giants gave up the third most FanDuel PPG to opposing quarterbacks last season. Don’t fade the obvious play here, but I certainly don’t trust him enough to be exposed in over 10-15% of my week 1 lineups.


Top Running Back Plays

Lamar Miller
FanDuel Price – $7,600
We aren’t waiting to jump on the Lamar Miller bandwagon. He’s underpriced at $7,600, is in a plus matchup, and should excel in the Texans offense. Keep in mind that, in his four games last season, Arian Foster was the third leading scorer amongst running backs averaging 19.75 fantasy PPG. We expect Miller to produce similar numbers as the Texans every down back.

Ryan Mathews
FanDuel Price – $6,100
He’s an injury waiting to happen, and Wentz could be a disaster, but we love Ryan Mathews this week. The Browns will compete with the Chargers for the NFL’s worst run defense this season, and a healthy Ryan Mathews can break a long touchdown, catch the ball, and is an effective goal line runner. Given the matchup, there is no way Mathews doesn’t reach value if he gets to even just 18 total touches this week.

Spencer Ware
FanDuel Price – $5,400
I think the Chiefs are going to be able to do whatever they want against the Chargers, and may even be a little more pass-heavy than many fantasy owners expect, but Ware won’t need many carries to reach value here. He was one of, if not the, most efficient runners in the NFL last season and will be the number one back facing a Chargers defense that gave up 27 PPG to opposing RB’s last season and 5.5 YPC in the 2016 preseason. At $5,400 he’s easily the best running back value play for week one.

Also worth a look: Gurley, Elliott, Martin, Abdullah, Jennings

Top Wide Receiver Plays

Julio Jones
FanDuel Price – $9,000
We have lineups with Julio, OBJ, and AB this week, but Julio is our top owned wide receiver over $9,000. We aren’t sold on the young Bucs secondary, Julio is great in home openers (9/140/2 last season), and you know he’s going to see 12+ targets.

Brandin Cooks
FanDuel Price – $7,600
We mentioned Cooks in our Brees breakdown, but it’s worth repeating. The duo was unstoppable at home in out of conference matchups last season. We expect it to be tough sledding on the ground against this Raiders defense, and this game has the making of a shootout so Cooks could see up to 15 targets, which should translate into a 20+ point performance.

Golden Tate
FanDuel Price – $6,900
By now you probably have Marvin Jones in about half of your lineups. We are featuring Tate to remind you to have some exposure to his pricier counterpart. Tate is tough for any corner to deal with, and Stafford will look to him anytime he sees one of the Colts backup corners isolated in man coverage. We love Jones, but don’t be surprised if Tate ends up being top Lions receiver this week with a 10/120/1 type line.

Vincent Jackson
FanDuel Price – $5,900
With so much attention on Mike Evans, including the attention of Des Trufant, we like a healthy, rested Vincent Jackson who will be matched up with the diminutive Robert Alford. Jackson looked good in his final preseason appearance with 4/78 in the first half against the Browns. He’s an under the radar play that could pay off with a big week one performance.

Also worth a look: Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, Marvin Jones, Quinton Patton

Top Tight End Plays

Jordan Reed
FanDuel Price – $7,400
We gave Reed as a top play in our DraftKings week one preview as well, and a big reason we are so high on him is the matchup. We know Ben and AB are going to move the ball and put up points, and that the Steelers run defense is one of the top 5 units in the NFL, so expect to see Cousins airing it out. Additionally, Reed killed out of conference opponent last season, averaging over 21 PPG when playing a team other than the Cowboys, Eagles, or Giants.

Jesse James
FanDuel Price – $4,500
It became clear that James was fantasy relevant early on in Roethlisberger’s only preseason game. He targeted the TE on 5 of his 17 passes. With Ladarius Green out, Wheaton missing practice, Miller retired, Bryant suspended, James may just luck his way into a 7-10 target game here. At the minimum salary he should be able to translate that into at least a 3x performance. At 6’7″ we know he is in the Steelers’ red zone plans.

Also worth a look: Travis Kelce, Jared Cook, Eric Ebron

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