Who is ready for a season-long adventure? I’m going to be here each week, giving my best DraftKings NFL DFS lineup for the Sunday slate of games, breaking down my reasoning for selecting those players. Heading into Week 1, the hope is to help you fellow DFS players with your own lineups. I’ll be honest, I was pretty successful last year, quadrupling my stake over the last six weeks of the 2020 season so fingers crossed I’ll be able to continue on from where I left off last season.
Because we’ve had the longest run up to Week 1, there are quite a number of bargain plays available this week, and I’ve highlighted a few in my lineup to allow me to roster some of the big fantasy names.
Note: I’m setting my lineup based on the standard nine player, $50k salary cap setup for the Sunday slate of games, excluding Sunday Night Football.
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers @ New Orleans Saints ($6,800)
Rodgers just screamed value to me at the quarterback position as the QB5 (ignoring Deshaun Watson) and faces a Saints defense that I have pegged to see a dramatic fall off vs last year. On what is essentially a neutral site game in Jacksonville due to the effects of Hurricane Ida, and with all his weapons healthy heading into Week 1, everything points to the current league MVP carrying on where he left off last year. An easy pick for me to make this week.
Running Back: Christian McCaffrey vs New York Jets ($9,500)
Injuries limited McCaffrey to just three appearances in 2020, but even in just those games he managed to average over 27 .5PPR points per game. Yes, he’s the most expensive player in DFS this week, but I couldn’t in good conscience leave him out of my lineup given the huge scoring potential when he’s at full health.
Running Back: Antonio Gibson vs Los Angeles Chargers ($5,900)
I have Gibson pushing to be a top-10 running back in 2021, so his price as the RB19 in Week 1 pricing got my attention. With the word out of Washington saying Gibson will see an increased workload this year, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and backing
Wide Receiver: Davante Adams @ New Orleans Saints ($8,300)
I’m sure this doesn’t take much to figure out why I’m rostering Adams this week. I’m aiming for the ultimate boom and taking that top tier stack and putting him in with his QB. If Rodgers excels, then its usually Adams on the end of that excellence.
Wide Receiver: Corey Davis @ Carolina Panthers ($4,900)
Here at NerdBall, we’ve been on the Corey Davis train since we got started in July. He’s the clear No. 1 target in the Jets’ offense, and I have a strong suspicion that Zach Wilson is going to surprise a lot of people with his play this year. At under $5k, Davis is a top value target in DFS this week. You could even stack him with Wilson ($5,000) and load your salary cap into some top tier running backs.
Wide Receiver: Marvin Jones Jr. @ Houston Texans ($3,600)
The receiving corps for the Jaguars is really intriguing, with Jones Jr. joining D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault in a talented trio that puts Trevor Lawrence in a great position to be successful. Despite Chark and Shenault being much younger than Jones, I have a strong feeling he could outpace them both with his experience and end up as the WR1 in Duval County this year. At just $3,600 this week, Jones is a great value pick with huge upside playing what on paper might be one of the worst teams in the league.
Tight End: Dallas Goedert @ Atlanta Falcons ($4,800)
As much as I would love to roster Travis Kelce this week, I’m looking for some better value and Goedert offers that for me. Though they only have four games where they played together at the end of last season, Goedert saw 20% of the passes thrown by Jalen Hurts so there is a connection there and an off-season practicing together with Hurts as the QB1 should have built on that connection. Without a huge array of pass catchers in the Eagles’ offense, Goedert should lead the team in targets and against a Falcons defense that has been bottom 12 against the pass in each of the last five years, he has the chance to finish as a top-3 tight end in Week 1.
Flex: Marquez Callaway vs Green Bay Packers ($3,400)
Pure value play in the flex with the buzzy Marquez Callaway, and I severely doubt we’ll see him at this price again. He really popped in the pre-season and with no Michael Thomas for the first half of the season, Callaway should be the WR1 in New Orleans for that time. I’m banking on New Orleans getting behind and having to throw the ball and Callaway being the primary beneficiary of that.
D/ST: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans ($2,700)
Not much to say here other than the Jaguars offer some good value against an extremely weak looking Texans offense. If you want an even cheaper option, the Colts at home to the Seahawks at $2,300 is another good play for one of last year’s top-5 fantasy defenses.
Who are you rostering in your DFS lineups this week? Drop your top plays in the comments.