Welcome to the first NFL DFS Pick One, a series in which, each week, I’ll pick a price range and position that might end up tilting the contest in your behavior and ultimately making a decision on who you should start. For Week 1, we’ll look at Brandon Aiyuk, Robby Anderson, and Chase Claypool. Aiyuk and Anderson are both priced at $5,700, Claypool at $5,600 on DraftKings. All three of these receivers have tremendous potential, but none of them are the unquestioned top-dog for their offenses.
The case for Aiyuk, the No. 3 man on the totem pole for this week, is an easy one to make. Aiyuk has to contend with a dynamic rushing game and George Kittle in a matchup that I expect the San Francisco 49ers to win relatively easily. The Niners are 7.5-point favorites on the road against the Detroit Lions. Jimmy Garoppolo could throw for fewer than 200 yards and San Francisco could still cover that 8 point cushion. There are many bright weeks ahead for Aiyuk, but for the daily fantasy game, not this week.
Robby Anderson is one of my personal favorites for fantasy this year as his ADP did not reflect his talent and situation. I believe in the Sam Darnold career resurrection, and I believe Anderson has proven himself to be on the cusp of the elite category despite going undrafted and starting his career under Adam Gase.
The Panthers have no shortage of receiving weapons with D.J. Moore and, dare I say, Terrace Marshall Jr., though. When we add perhaps the best running back in the game in Christian McCaffrey, you can see that Darnold will not have to force-feed anyone in a matchup against the lowly New York Jets. This matchup is slated as one of the lower-scoring games for the week, and I expect the Panthers to win this one pretty handily. And so while I’ll be starting Anderson everywhere in my weekly fantasy matchups, I’ll pass on him in DFS this week.
Chase Claypool is my pick for this week. While Claypool will have plenty of competition for targets, and he’ll also be playing alongside a running back who will get a ton of work, the Pittsburgh Steelers are facing off against the Buffalo Bills this weekend. The Bills are 6.5 point home favorites, and that sounds about right to me. The number-crunchers at DraftKings believe the Steelers will be playing from behind, and that bodes well for the budding deep threat. Ben Roethlisberger may end up playing desperate and chucking it deep, and who better to reap the benefit of that game script than 6-foot-4 speedster from Notre Dame?
Claypool should start the season with a bang!