By Daniel Marcus (@danmarcus3)
Welcome to RotoBaller’s daily fantasy football FanDuel lineup picks for Week 1 of the NFL season. In this article I will be taking you through the best FanDuel DFS plays of the week for this upcoming Sunday.
These FanDuel lineup recommendations are based on matchups, recent performances, overall upside/talent levels, and other factors such as Vegas odds, home field advantage, and more.
Good luck with your FanDuel DFS lineups!
FanDuel Quarterback – Week 1 DFS Picks
Cam Newton (at SF, $7,900)
There are reasons for both optimism and concern for Newton heading into Week 1. To start positively, the Panthers have one of the highest implied totals on the slate but are unlikely to receive similar buzz to the other high total teams like the Packers, Falcons, or Steelers. Newton is an ideal play on FanDuel due to his touchdown upside, as even in a down season in 2016, he managed five rushing touchdowns alone. On the other hand, there is some uncertainty for Newton as he had offseason shoulder surgery and the Panthers’ offense figures to look different given the additions of Christian McCaffery and Curtis Samuel. This uncertainty makes Newton a better fit for GPP contests, but he carries elite upside on almost a weekly basis.
Marcus Mariota (vs OAK, $7,800)
Marcus Mariota was the sixth most efficient quarterback as measured by AY/A last season, posting an overall mark of 7.9. However, at home, that number shot up even further to 8.54 AY/A. With Mariota also a home favorite with the fifth highest implied team total, he is one of the best cash game plays of Week 1.
FanDuel Running Backs – Week 1 DFS Picks
Todd Gurley (vs IND, $7,300)
Todd Gurley‘s volume last season salvaged an otherwise forgettable season. However, with new offensive weapons and a new head coach there is optimism that the Rams’ offense will become more efficient this season. Regardless, the matchup against the Colts should lend itself to the Rams having plenty of time of possession thanks to the absence of Andrew Luck. This combination of volume and matchup make Gurley a strong play in Week 1 without having to pay all the way up at the position.
Le’Veon Bell (at CLE, $9,300)
When it’s feasible to pay the hefty cost associated with owning Bell, he is one of the most trustworthy players to roster thanks to both his supreme volume and efficiency. In what should be a relatively easy win for the Steelers in Week 1, efficiency should not be in question for Bell this weekend. Volume on the other hand, could be somewhat of a concern thanks to Bell missing all of training camp due to a contract dispute. However, the Steelers have no proven backup running backs behind Bell and his workload in his first game back from suspension last season, 18 carries and five receptions, work to soothe those concerns somewhat. Running behind one of the best offensive lines in the league and with a favorable matchup make Bell a worthy option despite the price tag.
FanDuel Wide Receivers – Week 1 DFS Picks
Rishard Matthews (vs OAK, $6,100)
The Titans have made moves to improve their receiving depth this offseason, most notable of which were the addition of Corey Davis and Eric Decker. However, each has been hampered by injury during training camp, which should give Matthews a chance to build on the chemistry that he established with Mariota last season.While Matthews may lose targets throughout the season, this shouldn’t be the case week while Decker and Davis acquaint themselves with the offense. Meanwhile, the Titans will square off against Oakland, a defense that allowed 7.9 yards per pass attempt last season, third worst in the league, and also was in the bottom third in the league passing touchdowns allowed.
Doug Baldwin (at GB, $7,500)
According to Warren Sharp’s 2017 Football Preview, the Seahawks had the fifth highest pass rate in 2016 when they were in one score games. Sunday’s matchup has the benefit of likely being a close game in addition to the Seahawks also having one of the highest implied team totals of any road team. Doug Baldwin should dominate the targets on Seattle’s offense, so he possesses a very high floor against a Packers defense that will struggle to generate a pass rush as well as cover the passing game. That makes him a perfect cash game play, even if a chalky one.
FanDuel Tight End – Week 1 DFS Pick
Dion Sims (vs ATL, $4,500)
Dion Sims is a minimum priced tight end with high touchdown upside. Unlike many of the others mentioned in this article, Sims isn’t on a favored team or on one with a high implied team total. However, he has shown good ability in a small sample size close to the endzone throughout his career, having posted eight catches on 11 targets with two touchdowns. With the Bears relatively lacking in skilled receivers on the roster, Sims will have a chance to step up. The Falcons were also vulnerable to the tight end position last year, having allowed the likes of Jermaine Gresham to post a touchdown against them. All of this makes Sims is a nice punt play in an effort to jam in top-end talent at WR and RB.
FanDuel Defense – Week 1 DFS Pick
Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST (vs HOU, $4,100)
The Jaguars and Texans features one of the lowest totals on the entire slate. While the Texans defense is appropriately priced as the highest on the main slate, the Jaguars are priced all the way down at $4,100. Tom Savage shouldn’t scare anyone, and the Jaguars are a young defense on the rise that bulked up on both the defensive line and in the secondary.