FanDuel Week 1 Lineup: Sundays are fun again with the return of the NFL, the RedZone channel and daily fantasy football. Here is one FanDuel lineup you can go with in Week 1.
I’ve been writing about fantasy football professionally for nine years now, and that certainly changes ones relationship with the game. Most fantasy experts will probably agree that you lose something by making fantasy part of your profession.
You care less about your own leagues, partially because you’re in so many at this point (expert leagues, charity leagues etc…). You barely have time to squeeze in a few drafts and set your lineups each week.
And with so many teams, it’s impossible to wrap your head around which players to root for on Sunday, since chances are you have players in one league who you’re playing against in another. And then there’s your player rankings and the advice you’ve given on Twitter, you want those guys to do well too! It gets out of hand fast.
Which brings me to my little slice of heaven: My one FanDuel lineup. I’ve settled on a new Sunday tradition in terms of fantasy football. I work on one, simple DFS lineup. Just one. Not one for tournaments and one for cash games (or 35 for each, like the crazy-ass serious DFS players out there).
Not even one for each platform (DraftKings, FantasyDraft etc…). Just one for FanDuel. Why FanDuel? No real reason. They don’t pay me to. Actually, I think DraftKings locked me out of my one account because it found that I had two accounts, one for work and one for personal. So there, that’s why FanDuel. They still let me sign in.
I also do not put much money on this lineup, usually $5 bucks in one of the main tournaments. Sometimes I’ll throw it in a 50/50 as well, but again, not much on the line. I’ve gone down that road too, trying to actually make lots of money (with varying success) and it just wasn’t worth the stress.
Anyway, you didn’t come here to hear my life story. But keep in mind: There’s something real nice about focusing on one set of players to root for on Sunday, in addition to your favorite NFL team, should you have one.
On to my Week 1 FanDuel lineup, the players, the salaries and why I like them today. Also, I’ll keep you posted week-to-week on how well these lineups do, so you can decide to stop reading if they’re really bad.
UPDATE (12:21 PM EST): I’m now spooked by the weather conditions for the Steelers-Browns game, so I made a late swap. Antonio Brown is out and Michael Thomas is in.
FanDuel Week 1 Lineup
QB – Andy Dalton (CIN) at IND ($6,800)
The Colts-Bengals game has the third-highest over/under among the main slate, and Andy Dalton is the cheaper option than Andrew Luck (though he’s more affordable this week than he will be later this season). Dalton was 17-for-29 passes with 243 yards and two touchdowns in his matchup against the Colts last season. The Colts secondary is still pretty darn bad and Dalton was very sharp this preseason, completing 71 percent of his passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns.
RB – David Johnson (ARI) at WAS ($8,600)
Fresh off of a new contract extension, David Johnson will go to work on earning it against the Redskins, who allowed more rushing yards than any defense in the NFL last year. They may be a bit better, but there’s no reason to think a hungry Johnson, having missed almost all of last season with a wrist injury, can’t carve this unit up.
RB – Alvin Kamara (NO) vs. TB ($8,700)
The chalk play of the week in my FanDuel Week 1 lineup, Alvin Kamara could see over 20 touches against the, dare I say, bad run defense of the Buccaneers. The Bucs yielded the fifth most fantasy points to opposing backs in 2017. Kamara did his part with rushing for 112 yards on 19 carries along with 12 catches for 168 yards and three touchdowns.
WR – Chris Hogan (NE) vs. HOU ($6,700)
As I already detailed on my matchups column, the Texans allowed the third most touchdowns (18) to opposing receivers last season and their secondary is still dreadful. In Week 3 last season against Houston, Tom Brady went destroyed the Texans with 378 yards and five touchdowns and two of them went to Chris Hogan.
WR – Keelan Cole (JAC) at NYG ($4,500)
My bargain receiver play of the day in my FanDuel Week 1 lineup, Keelan Cole is the top receiver on the Jaguars and is dirt cheap. How can you not, especially against a Giants secondary that projects to be awful once again, though Cole is likely to be matched up against the talented Janoris Jenkins. Still, he should see enough volume to more than earn his salary this week.
WR – Antonio Brown (PIT) at CLE ($9,000) Honestly, I wasn’t targeting Antonio Brown specifically, but I happened to have exactly $9,000 left and one receiver spot left when assembling my FanDuel Week 1 lineup. So, why not, it’s Antonio fricken’ Brown against the Browns! I’m also superstitious when it comes to my FanDuel salary. I will not leave a penny on the table and will often match my remaining salary to fit my last player in the exact amount. It’s a scientifically proven method of becoming a millionaire playing daily fantasy sports.
WR – Michael Thomas (NO) vs. TB ($8,500)
TE – Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs. SF ($5,900)
I thought about stacking Dalton with Tyler Eifert, who is even cheaper this week, but didn’t feel great about it given Eifert’s lack of a track record in recent years. Kyle Rudolph is a solid option at home with the solid Kirk Cousins making his Vikings debut. Not to mention, the 49ers allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends over the last 11 weeks of 2017.
FLEX – James Conner (PIT) at CLE ($5,000)
This was all about saving money so I could load up with two stud backs in my FanDuel Week 1 lineup. Conner is leading the Steelers backfield this week, thanks to Le-Veon Bell’s continued beef with the front office. The Browns run defense should remain one of the better units in the NFL this season, but the volume should make up for it, and Conner looked really good this preseason.
DEF – Baltimore Ravens vs. BUF ($4,800)
The Ravens are the most expensive defense this week in FanDuel Week 1 for good reasons. The Bills are trotting out Nathan Peterman as the starting quarterback, so it could get ugly and fast. Additionally, what’s left of Tropical Storm Gordon is making it all the way up to Buffalo, making for sloppy conditions that will favor the Ravens defense even further.