We have football back baby and I know you’re (almost) as excited as I am. As always, I’ll try to be your DFS guide this year in 2019. There will be ups, and there will be downs, but we’ll go through it together.
If you’re new here, this guide goes hand in hand (that expression looks way weirder to type than when I hear it) with my Youtube channel that you should check out if you haven’t right here.
This article is meant to be your guide to find the best values for the week with a little bit more precision than in the videos.
This is meant for people who like making their own decisions, but like to see some great options and reasonings why.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the first 2019 edition of The Best Value Picks for Week 1 NFL DFS on DraftKings.
Carson Wentz (5700) PHI vs WAS
Carson Wentz in 2019 has “an embarrassment of riches.” Let’s go down the list. Zach Ertz. Alshon Jeffery. Desean Jackson. Dallas Goedert. JJ Arcega Whiteside. Nelson Agholor. Miles Sanders. The Eagles also spent their first round pick on the best pass blocking Left Tackle in the draft this season on Andre Dillard. PFF has the Eagles offensive line ranked as the number 1 unit in the NFL in 2019. He has protection, he has weapons, and we all know he has the talent (as we saw during his MVP run in 2017.) The Washington defense should be a bit improved this year, but Wentz is a top 5 QB for me in 2019 and I think he comes out of the gates with a 3 touchdown performance at home in Week 1. Wentz will be my most owned QB in Week 1.
Dak Prescott (5900) DAL vs NYG
Well, it’s August 30th, 6 days before opening night of the NFL, and Ezekiel Elliott still has not signed a new contract, and is very likely to miss game 1 at home against the Giants. Even if Zeke does play though, Dak is looking very solid in week 1. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan in using quarterbacks with a rushing upside, and Dak’s 6 rushing touchdowns in every season as a pro, is a great example of that. If you look at his stats once Amari joined the team, Dak averaged 274.2 passing yards per game and was a much better fantasy passer. I think Michael Gallup will also be taking a huge step up in the offense this season. It’s likely that the Cowboys win this game, and I think Prescott is a big reason why.
Jimmy Garoppolo (5800) SF @ TB
If you played Daily Fantasy Football last year, you know exactly why Jimmy Garoppolo is on this list. We attack the Tampa Bay Bucs’ defense. Tampa Bay gave up the third most passing touchdowns and 7th most passing yards in 2018. They drafted some corners and a linebacker, but nothing that will turn around this defense in Week 1. The 9ers have some great weapons on the outside including Kittle, Pettis, and my boy Deebo Samuel. I love Kyle Shanahan’s play calling and think Jimmy G rewards owners in Week 1.
Kyler Murray (5600) ARI vs DET
The great unknown! The number 1 overall pick, Heisman trophy winner will most likely be the highest owned quarterback on this slate. The rushing upside is amazing, and in Kliff Kingsbury’s high tempo offense, the Cardinals could easily reach 70-75 snaps in week 1, which is what we look for in fantasy football, more opportunities. We’re likely to see some bumps in the road for Murray as a quarterback, but a lot of the times a running quarterback has fantasy success early as a rookie when other teams don’t have enough tape on him. Kyler is a very good pick in Week 1.
Matthew Stafford (5400) DET @ ARI
What was I saying about the Arizona Cardinal offense? They want to play up-tempo and they want to play fast. That is a good thing for opposing quarterback Matthew Stafford, who plays for a team that typically wants to slow the game down and run the ball. Arizona’s pace will force Stafford to run more snaps than usual, and the Cardinal defense isn’t very fearsome as far as pressuring the quarterback. Look for Marvin Jones or Kenny Golladay to have a big game with Stafford throwing for a ton of yards.
One thing that we can’t get too caught up in, during Week 1 specifically, is player pricing. That sounds really dumb considering what this article is, but hear me out. It’s Week 1, and DraftKings wants as many new players to start playing on their platform as possible. The pricing is VERY friendly in Week 1, because Draftkings wants people to be allowed to draft as many of their favorite people as possible. The reason I bring this up, is this article usually contains the diamonds in the rough, but I want you guys to focus on the best value for each dollar this week. There are some INCREDIBLE values here in Week 1, so I’m going to be talking about some great running backs with even better pricing in Week 1.
Nick Chubb (6400) CLE vs TEN
All aboard! The Nick Chubb hype train is real, and I’ve been on it a while. He was my highest owned player in 2018, and if people would stop drafting him in the first round he’d be my highest owned player again. But this is DFS, so let’s ignore that. Chubb is the starting running back for the best thing since sliced bread according to most people, AKA the Cleveland Browns offense. Personally, I have to see Baker do it in year 2 before I go that far, but one thing I do know, is that they will be feeding Nick Chubb the ball. He doesn’t have an amazing offensive line, but Odell Beckham should help him see a lot less stacked boxes in 2019. When Chubb took over as the starter in 2018, he saw 8+ carries in his first 5 starts. This offense should be scoring a ton, and at home in a game they’re favored in, look for Chubb to be in the 20+ carry range. 6400 is a steal.
Dalvin Cook (6000) MIN vs ATL
These running backs on the list today are going to look a lot like the 2019 ALL-HYPE squad, but that’s no problem. Dalvin Cook deserves it. The Vikings have a new OC in town that wants to rely on Cook and the ground game to keep this team on track. We all know how ridiculously talented he is, the only question has been health for Dalvin. He finished 2018 strong and is coming into this season healthy and with legitimate expectations. One thing to look for in Week 1 is how involved Dalvin Cook is in the passing game. Dan Quinn, the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons tends to funnel passes short to opposing RB’s as part of his defensive scheme. If the Vikings take advantage of this, Cook could be a slate breaker at $6000.
Miles Sanders (3900) PHI vs WAS
Is he the next Saquon Barkley? Very unlikely. But Miles Sanders was the second highest-drafted running back this offseason, and the Eagles coaching staff loves his talent. Everyone is skeptical about Doug Pederson’s chances of having a workhorse back. Pederson is known for going RBBC but that’s largely been due to personnel, rather than by design. Sanders looks to be far and away the most talented running back that Pederson has had, and running behind PFF’s number 1 rated offensive line in 2019, in a home game where the Eagles are heavily favored, we’re going to learn a lot about how Pederson views Sanders. This is a very clear opportunity for the rookie to see 15+ touches and I think you have to take this value at 3900.
Chris Carson (5700) SEA vs CIN
The last 4 games of 2018 saw Chris Carson average 111 rushing yards and 1.25 touchdowns per game. I’d say that’s pretty ridiculous. All the reports out of camp so far this year have been glowing on Carson, and the Seahawks are likely the favorites to attempt the most runs in 2019. Carson will be a workhorse, and in Week 1 he is playing at home in a game that Seattle is highly favored in. Get Carson on your roster and enjoy.
Tony Pollard (4500) DAL vs NYG
Like I said, we still don’t know for sure that Zeke won’t play in Week 1, but it’s certainly looking that way. Tony Pollard is the unquestioned option to replace Zeke if he doesn’t play, and even if he is no Zeke, this team runs the ball. This is a game that the Cowboys should win, and Pollard will most likely be the highest owned player on this slate. Don’t be afraid to avoid this spot due to how many great values we do have in Week 1. It will be a huge advantage if he has an average game and you’re one of the 25% of lineups that don’t have Pollard on your roster.
Leonard Fournette (6100) JAX vs KC
There’s a ton not to like about Leonard Fournette. We’ll start with the potential negatives. First off, Fournette hates staying healthy. Second, he had a terrible (3.3) YPC in 2018 and was inefficient the times he was on the field. Third, the Chiefs could blow out the Jags and force Jacksonville to abandon the run. Now is the part where to determine your risk tolerance. Since entering the league, Fournette has averaged 19.1 carries per game. The coaching staff has talked about Fournette looking amazing and being the focal point of the offense. When Foles played in the preseason, he almost exclusively targeted Dede Westbrook or Fournette when he dropped back. The Chiefs were awful at stopping the run last season, and haven’t done too much over the offseason to address it. Those are the pros and cons of Fournette week 1. Now you have to make your decision.
Mark Ingram (5100) BAL @ MIA
The Ravens brought in Mark Ingram to do 1 thing and to do it a lot. Carry the rock. This pricing was very odd to me. Ingram looks like a lock to receive 18+ carries against a poor defense. What am I missing? I won’t go too in depth on this one because I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. (Again with these sayings that seem a lot weirder when I have to type them out.)
Tyler Boyd (5800) CIN @ SEA
This isn’t the Seattle legion of boom that we got used to. This defense isn’t exactly the most talented in the league, and just lost their second best defensive weapon in Frank Clark, likely giving Andy Dalton a bit more time to pass the ball. New head coach Zac Taylor should be an upgrade for this offense, and Tyler Boyd is a rising star. I love Boyd’s game, and these valuable slot targets will be plentiful in week 1. AJ Green is unlikely to play in week 1 so look for Dalton to lean heavily on Boyd. Take this 5800 to the bank!
UPDATE: Jadeveon Clowney is a Seahawk! Probably only plays 45% of defensive snaps week 1 but much better pass rush against Andy Dalton
Amari Cooper (7000) DAL vs NYG
After a full offseason together, I expect Cooper to take another significant step forward in 2019. Add in the fact that we probably won’t see Zeke in Week 1, Cooper is on my short list of must plays. I understand the risk and inconsistency, and I hate that for Week 1, but given the values in other places, I don’t mind taking this risk.
Dede Westbrook (4800) JAX vs KC
Last Week the Jaguar’s OC John Defilippo said that Dede Westbrook is the best route runner he’s ever been around. Nick Foles attempted 10 passes in his only preseason game, and targeted Dede on 70% of those passes. The Jags should have to up their pass attempt number in this game against the Chiefs high powered offense. Dede is one of my favorite breakout players in 2019.
DJ Moore (5500) CAR vs LAR
There’s been plenty of talk about Curtis Samuel as the potential WR1 in Carolina, but I don’t want to hear it. DJ is a Randy Moss-lite type player when it comes to athletic metrics. He was a high level producer in college, and came out strong in his rookie season for almost 800 receiving yards. His ridiculous 14.3 Y/C might come down a little, but it is his style. Cam seems to be healthier than last season when it comes to his throwing shoulder, and I think Moore can take a big step forward in 2019 and be dominant. This is a higher variance play, but could definitely work out in Week 1.
Mike Williams (5300) LAC vs IND
TD machine. BMW (Big Mike Williams) had a crazy 10 TDs last season. People want to yell regression, but this is a GROWN MAN in the red zone. BMW has all the traits that you look for in a true WR1, and this is another awesome high variance option for Week 1. BMW has legitimate multi-TD upside.
Robert Woods (6400) LAR @ CAR
130 targets last season. 86 catches. 1,219 yards. 6 TDs. Robert Woods is a BALLER. I fully expect Cooks to see the top coverage in Week 1 from the Panthers, and Woods to see his typical 9 target game. Sometimes Dwayne Wade (Draftkings) just throws Lebron James (you) a perfect lob and you gotta dunk that ****! Merry Christmas.
Calvin Ridley (5100) ATL @ MIN
At 5100 we’re looking for Ridley to put up around 15+ points to be a valuable pick in Week 1, which he did 7 times in his rookie season. Matt Ryan is a great quarterback, and Julio Jones on the other side keeps defensive pressure off of Ridley. If we can see the Ryan – Ridley chemistry grow, we could be in for a special sophomore season from the former Alabama WR.
OJ Howard (5000) TB vs SF
San Francisco is not a dominant defense. The over/under for this game is 49 points. The tempo should be high, and a lot of passes should be thrown. TB has a trio of stud pass catchers with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and OJ Howard, with little talent around them. All 3 should see big games, and Howard is my most owned TE in Week 1 as of right now.
Evan Engram (4800) CLE vs ATL
Week 1 will likely see: No Odell Beckham (well not for the Giants anyway.) No Sterling Shephard (broken thumb.) No Golden Tate (suspension.) I’m not sure it’s in the Giants’ best interest to give Saquon Barkley 18 targets in week 1, so they have to go somewhere. If you’re looking for guaranteed targets under 4800, Engram is probably the safest at any position in Week 1. I even like considering Engram at Flex if you like 2 TE’s for Week 1.
Eric Ebron (4100) IND @ LAC
I get it. Ebron can’t score as many touchdowns this season as he did last year. Andrew Luck is gone. Jack Doyle is healthy. Hear me out though. What if… Eric Ebron is actually good? What if Frank Reich likes the fact that the offense runs through the tight end in the middle of the field, and the former 10th overall pick, at only 26 years old coming off a 13 touchdown season, will be a good fantasy player? I’m not worried about Ebron, and I think he’s the best lock at the tight end position (not named Kelce) to score a touchdown in week 1.
David Njoku (3700) CLE vs ATL
There are a lot of mouths to feed in Cleveland this season. Njoku might be the second most athletic player on that offense though. He has a full year’s worth of chemistry with Baker Mayfield, and is a monster in the end zone. This team should move the ball easily this year, so give me a tight end will be that close to the end zone as often as Njoku will be in 2019.
Mark Andrews (3000) BAL @ MIA
Guys if you’ve made it this far, can you do me a favor and just read my thoughts on Andrews in this article right here from last month? He’s a beast, and he’ll feast. Oh and he’s 3000.
San Francisco 49ers (2200) SF @ TB
The best predictor of success for a DST in DFS is how well you can put pressure on the quarterback. The Bucs O-line looked as bad as I’ve ever seen this pre-season, and Jameis isn’t exactly Tom Brady when it comes to ball security.
Kansas City Chiefs (2800) KC @ JAX
The Chiefs do something really well, and that makes other teams throw the football. KC takes a big lead and forces opponents to throw the ball more often, giving the KC DST more chances at sacks and turnovers.
Dallas Cowboys (3500) DAL vs NYG
Eli Manning. No healthy weapons (besides Saquon.) Playing at home, and should have a big lead. Give me some popcorn to watch Demarcus Lawrence sack Eli 4 times on Sunday.
How to Win Money on DraftKings in NFL DFS
WEEK 1 BABY! IT’S HERE!!! This is what I found on DraftKings for my favorite values in this lovely week 1. I’d love to hear from you guys on some other potential values that you guys are seeing and let me know your favorite QB-WR stacks for the week. Tweet me your lineups @hydeandzeke and we’ll sweat it out together! And come on over to Youtube if you aren’t subscribed already!
An Example Week 1 DFS Lineup that I Could Use: