NFL Week One Picks
Week One is here! The slate is chopped up more than usual this week with two Monday night games and the Dolphins-Bucs game being postponed. Week One will see an influx of new players trying their hand at making lineups. Hopefully the combination of projections, members chat and these picks will put you in a position to take advantage of them! Let’s get this party started!
The NFL Week One Picks:
Marcus Mariota ($7800 on FD, $6800 on DK) – Mariota looks primed for a breakout year with all the weapons added. Tennessee was the most efficient team in converting red zone chances to touchdowns (72%). The Raiders are a mess on defense, they just put their rookie safety on IR who was brought in to contain TEs and first round pick Gareon Conley just started practicing last week. The Raiders allowed the 8th most fantasy points to QBs last year.
Matt Ryan ($8500 on FD, $6900 on DK) – Atlanta has the highest team implied Vegas total for the Sunday slate at 29. The reigning MVP should see some touchdown regression this season, but I don’t expect it against the Bears. The Bears look to be a funnel defense this year with a strong front seven and lackluster secondary.
LeSean McCoy ($8500 on FD, $8200 on DK) – Everyone understands David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell are must plays in cash. McCoy is an alternative in case you can’t seem to find the budget for them. McCoy is all alone on the Bills RB depth chart, the Bills return their entire starting offensive line from last year and openly said they’re going to feed McCoy as much as he can handle. The Jets are an embarrassment of a team that looks to be tanking and lost David Harris by cutting him and just traded their best run defender in Sheldon Richardson last week.
Ameer Abdullah ($6100 on FD, $4300 on DK) – Arizona has four new starters in their front seven. Theo Riddick wore a red non-contact jersey for almost the entirety of training camp after double wrist surgery. Had 17 touches in his only full game last year before injury. I have a suspicion he may get a crack at lead back and possible goal line duty to start the year in this potential shootout with the Cardinals.
Antonio Brown ($9100 on FD, $8800 on DK) – Brown’s last two Week One’s on the road, 9-133-1 and 8-126-2. The Browns lost Myles Garrett to injury and cut Joe Haden last week. They allowed the third-most yards per reception and fifth-most touchdowns last year.
Larry Fitzgerald ($6400 on FD, $5900 on DK) – Fitz has come out of the gates hot over the past couple years as he scored five of his six touchdowns last year in the first five weeks. Detroit allowed the most fantasy points to slot WRs last year as well as the highest completion percentage. Fitz primarily runs out of the slot now and topped 100 receptions the last two years. He’s in for a big day.
Delanie Walker ($6100 on FD, $4300 on DK) – See Mariota’s blurb for red zone efficiency in this Titans offense. The Raiders allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to TEs last year. The Raiders just let up 6-74-1 to ancient Jason Witten on roughly 40 snaps in the preseason. They simply cannot cover tight ends and Walker is a talented one on a great offense.
Carson Palmer ($7300 on FD, $6000 on DK) – Palmer is on the road for this first game, but it is being held in a dome. Detroit were in the bottom five of plays per game over the second half of last year, attempting to play keep away. Pat Thorman of Pro Football Focus noted they ran the most plays and no huddle in the preseason. An increase in plays could set this game up as a shootout with the Cardinals running the second most plays per game in 2016.
Carson Wentz ($7100 on FD, $5300 on DK) – Another young quarterback who saw a big upgrade in weapons over the summer. Washington allowed the 12th-most points per game last year. Wentz had a 10-2 TD-INT ratio last year when Lane Johnson played. Add in Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith a much better Nelson Agholor and LeGarrette Blount for short yardage and Wentz could have a great game in a Vegas implied game total of 48.
Christian McCaffery ($6500 on FD, $5400 on DK) – The 49ers allowed 13 runningbacks to go over 100 yards from scrimmage on them last year. They have some new players and a new coaching scheme, but they can’t flip that horrid of a defense overnight. The Panthers have come out saying McCaffery has his own playbook, that’s how many plays they have designed for him. I’ve thought he was a great talent for a couple years now, so put me in the camp that thinks he balls out.
DeMarco Murray ($7600 on FD, $7400 on DK) – With everyone on DJ, Bell and even McCoy – Murray is a little forgotten man this week. A high Vegas implied team total of 51 has a lot of players putting the QBs, WRs and TEs into their lineups. Murray is a great pivot as the workhorse and goal line back for the home favorite Titans.
AJ Green ($8400 on FD, $8000 on DK) – Green has scored in five straight games against Baltimore and was on a torrid pace last year while leading the league in targets before he got injured. Green should be the primary beneficiary of Andy Dalton’s negative touchdown regression.
Paul Richardson ($5200 on FD, $3700 on DK) – A shot in the dark due to the Packers horrible pass defense and stout run defense. Add in Seattle’s troublesome offensive line and questionable RBs and I think an aerial attack by Seattle is in the cards for this matchup. Richardson looks to be the number two wide receiver this week as I expect Tyler Lockett to be eased back into games since he didn’t play at all this preseason.
Jimmy Graham ($6100 on FD, $5100 on DK) – Graham finished as a top-five TE last year despite it being his first season after a patellar tendon tear, he should be even healthier now. The Packers allowed the eighth-most yards to TEs last year.
Texans ($5100 on FD, $3800 on DK) – Texans get to face Blake Bortles who has thrown a pick six in three of the last four meetings between these two teams. The Texans will have three-time DPOY JJ Watt returning. Enough said.
Steelers ($4800 on FD, $3600 on DK) – The Steelers quietly ended last season on a tear on defense. They added another talented pass rusher in rookie TJ Watt as well as Joe Haden as a free agent signing last week. They look poised to give the Browns and rookie QB Deshone Kizer fits on Sunday with their pressure schemes and fast defense.