Football is back. It feels unbelievable but the season kicked off on Thursday night when the Kansas City Chiefs smacked the Houston Texans 34-20. With one game underway, the Sunday slate is readily approaching and so is the deadline for NFL Daily Fantasy lineups.
With that said, let’s dive into the first DFS article of the season.
All values are subject to DraftKings’ prices and scoring format.
Fire them up!
Lamar Jackson vs. CLE ($8,100)
It might seem obvious, but this is a must-play for the price tag. Jackson will continue to run his heart out en route to a top finish. There are question marks for everyone. Not for Jackson, who faces a banged-up Browns secondary missing cornerbacks Greedy Williams and Kevin Johnson.
Josh Jacobs @ CAR ($6,800)
This will be one of the few chances to pay under $7,000 for Jacobs in a juicy matchup. The Panthers were historically bad against the running back last season, allowing a league-worst 31.9 points per game to the running back position. They should be an improved unit with the addition of first-round defensive tackle Derrick Brown, but the team also lost five-time All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly to an abrupt retirement. Fire Jacobs up.
DeSean Jackson @ WAS ($5,200)
Anyone remember Jackson’s perfect Week 1 performance last season when he scored 38.4 fantasy points? Well, he can start off the same way this season in a solid matchup against Washington. Yet again, Jackson is the only show in town. Rookie Jalen Reagor should suit up for his rookie debut, but he will likely be on a snap count coming off a shoulder injury that was supposed to keep him out. Jackson has the DFS ceiling I love at a cheap and affordable price.
Jack Doyle @ JAX ($3,600)
Quarterback Phillip Rivers’ penchant for targeting the tight end should carry over to a Frank Reich system that has utilized the tight end in years past, dating back to Zach Ertz’s breakout in Philadelphia. With backup tight end Trey Burton on the Injured Reserve, Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox are the only options left. Doyle should see the majority of snaps as a receiver and should be peppered with targets against a Jacksonville team that is looking to 2021 and beyond already.
Colder than ice
Matthew Stafford vs CHI ($6,200)
One of my favorite late-round targets, Stafford is someone to avoid at his price tag in an extremely tough matchup. The Bears held offenses to just 18 passing touchdowns last season. Stafford has also thrown 21 interceptions in 18 games against Detroit. More importantly, star wide receiver Kenny Golladay has been listed as “doubtful” to play on Sunday after suffering a hamstring injury that held him out of Thursday and Friday practices. Stafford should have a good season — just not in Week 1.
Devin Singletary @ NYJ ($5,400)
The Bills should have this game in hand and while Singletary should have plenty of opportunities early, third-round rookie Zach Moss will be taking more touches than owners want. The goal line is especially where Moss may prosper as the bigger athlete. If Singletary’s passing volume is limited due to the score and Moss vultures touchdowns, Singletary will lack the upside needed to make him a worthy DFS play.
Tyler Boyd vs LAC ($6,100)
Boyd will be matched up against four-time Pro Bowl slot cornerback Chris Harris Jr., a tough matchup for any player. Add in the rookie debut of quarterback Joe Burrow who will be dealing with the pass rush of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, and there are plenty of reasons to fade Boyd this week. For a price tag that is the same price as Calvin Ridley (vs SEA) and more expensive than Odell Beckham Jr. (@ BAL), your money is better spent elsewhere.
Rob Gronkowski @ NO ($4,900)
The price tag is astronomical for a tight end who won’t even dominate snaps for his team. O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate will certainly be cycling in. Gronk will be used in the red zone, valuable snaps for sure, but he will need to have multiple scores to overcome the lack of volume. Against a Saints defense that allowed just five touchdowns to tight ends in 2019, there are better options.
Mitchell Trubisky @ DET ($5,400)
It’s tough to swallow, but Detroit’s defense is that bad, and his price tag is that low. Trubisky scored 27.92 points on the Lions in their final matchup last year, which was WITH cornerback Darius Slay. If you like to go cheap at the QB position, you won’t find a better option.
Fun fact: Justin Herbert and Jameis Winston are both more expensive than Trubisky this week.
Antonio Gibson @ PHI ($4,000)
The matchup does not scare me away from the upside of Gibson who should see enough passing volume to be a solid fantasy asset. The team has listed him ahead of Peyton Barber but behind J.D. McKissic on the depth chart. There’s no reason to expect McKissic to see significant carries as a 195-pound scatback, and Gibson has the ability to be a workhorse for the lowest possible RB price on the platform.
Bryan Edwards @ CAR ($4,200)
The Carolina secondary leaves a lot to be desired, and that was before the team lost No. 1 cornerback James Bradberry in free agency. There is a lot of youth on the defense and early in the season, that youth can be exposed. Who better to do it than fellow rookie Edwards who is coming off of a stellar training camp? He should be locked into most formations as the “X” receiver out wide, and his size allows him to be capable of being the teams’ go-to red zone option. The ceiling remains high, though counting on a rookie can always be a risky move.
It’s DFS, though. Cheap and risky is the name of the game.
Chris Herndon @ BUF ($3,300)
I’ve been championing Herndon all offseason and while the matchup is far from ideal, few tight ends have the ability to be the No. 1 in their offense. Herndon is one of the cheapest options out there with among the highest ceilings, making him an attractive DFS play.
Stack of the week: Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown.
The Browns secondary is depleted and Brown is ready to start his breakout sophomore season off right. Few players have a higher combined ceiling than Jackson and Brown, and if you like to play a stack look no further than Baltimore.