Week 1 DFS Player Pool
Is there anything better than week 1? It's a no from me dawg. Welcome back to the official DFS player pool article full of the guys I'm targeting with some stacks to consider along the way.
Before I get into some top plays for the week, please take a listen to the first 15 minutes of the Week 1 DFS show to understand my thought process along with the importance of strategy and contest selection. We all have the same information, there are no "Fantasy Football" geniuses out there who have the secret sauce or edge in information. We can all go to the NFL Beat Writers twitter account and find everything we need. We need to focus on finding our edge in tournaments and contests that suit us best. There is rarely a need to get 'cute', even though there will be weeks with crazier plays. It's typically better to apply one or two unique changes to your lineup that you might be convinced is the right way to go. That's leverage and that's how you win. This is probably the most important paragraph I will write all year and did I just mention a player? No, because I don't want you caught up in players. I want you understanding a process so that when you build a solid lineup with upside, you are already in position to succeed. With all the variance involved in fantasy football, DFS is the perfect place to venture into the realm of what we don't know (listen to the week 1 show for further explanation). Now, I'll stop preaching and tell you what I'm looking at this week.
Week 1 Draftkings Stacks
You folks know I love to correlate everywhere possible as it's a massive part of our Daily Fantasy Strategy here at Roster Up. It should be part of everyone's so let's get into some stacks I'm targeting this week and then I will follow that up with my player pool that will round out my lineups.
Russel Wilson and a pass catcher:
With the colts secondary banged up and Shane Waldron saying he's going to give Russ more control by speeding up the offense and calling plays at the line of scrimmage, I think Russ is due a monster week 1. Make sure to stack him with either Metcalf or Locket and in some small field tournaments I will double stack him with both. That's a hefty price to pay but as Rob and I discussed, there is plenty of value on the board in Week 1. Waldron is looking to get the ball out of Wilson's hands quicker so you can consider a double stack with Metcalf or Lockett and one one of Gerald Everett or Dwayne Eskridge. That allows you to have a double stack at a much cheaper price so you can grab some individual pieces from other games. You've heard the term 'Bring Back' and when I'm game stacking I am almost always correlating my lineups with an opposing player that should perform well in a shootout. On the Colts side I am looking at Michael Pittman for $4100. We know the colts want to hammer the ground game with Jonathon Taylor but $8k is expensive for a guy that won't catch passes. The Colts did just make Nyheim Hines the 12th highest paid running back in the league so he's not going anywhere. However, if this game shoots out, then it's because Taylor exploded out of the gate early and Russ is playing catch up which is the story we need in that scenario. Rob also convinced me this is a potentially great leverage play and we've seen Taylor explode without catching passes in the past.
I know Rob isn't a fan of this game but I have a little bias towards stacking Falcons games in the dome. I mean, their defense flat out sucks. Complete and total garbage. An absolute waste. So bad you can play Jalen Hurts with Devonta Smith and while that might make us all a little nauseous, grow a pair and don't be afraid to be a week early when it comes to rookies or other unknowns. If you take the wait and see approach then you'll just always be in the same boat as everybody else trying to figure out why you can never get an edge. Take that as life and DFS advice, but mostly daily fantasy because that's why you're here. Oh and if you think you know which Tight End goes off then go for it. One of them will perform whether it's old man Ertz or the young stud who should get all the work, Goedert. We know running quarterbacks open up the holes for running backs so if you think Miles Sanders get 60% of the backfield work then it's something to consider as a bring back, especially if you like the Falcons passing offense. Speaking of that, If I'm playing Matt Ryan at $6k, then it's going to be a double stack because he's not doing anything with his legs. I am never going to pay over $5k for Russel Gage and I will go bankrupt by dying on that hill. All that's left is Ridley and the rook (I'm not feeling Mike Davis this week either). Calvin Ridley is expensive at $7900 but we know what he can do and with the Eagles secondary banged up, I'm comfortable attacking them there. As for Kyle Pitts, they've kept everything a secret thus far so, again, if you're taking the wait and see approach then good luck ever winning. You just have to take risk in this game if you are going to win and quit worrying about being wrong. Rodney McLeod is out, I don't like rookie Tight Ends either but what more do you want from a team that probably can't run the ball well? I don't know what to expect from the Eagles pace of play but I do know that Arthur Smith has ranked top 10 in situation neutral pace so I'm leaning on that to speed this one up.
I really don't think I have to explain this. The wide receivers have the advantage for both teams and I'm betting on the Titans new OC to skew a little more towards the pass than Arthur Smith based on his limited history. The Cardinals literally had their number one corner, who was a prime target for me in DFS last year, retire. One or both of Brown and Julio should absolutely eat. Obviously, if Henry breaks a couple long ones early then that will be a problem but I'm comfortable fading him and betting on the passing game with Tannehill here. On the other side of the ball, Murray will eat that secondary alive. The Titans are still just awful on defense and we know this game should have outstanding pace. You can stack Murray with Hopkins but if you are looking for a little more risk in large field tournaments, I think you can take a look a look at Christian Kirk to break a long one since the masses will likely be on Rondale Moore after his preseason usage. I love Rondale Moore this week too, I just want to present a potential leverage play in what should be high scoring game.
Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs
The Bills were second in pass rate last year and came out of the preseason showing zero signs of dialing that back. They said screw it, these running backs are garbage so let's just do the smart thing and let Josh Allen have even more control. Man I love Brian Daboll and I really don't care about the Steeler's defense. They will still be good but has every single person forgotten how much changed over there this offseason? That secondary is going to have a few more issues than last year after seeing some guys walk and others simply age. I also think this stack offers a high ceiling and is match up proof along with the fact ownership should be down. This is definitely a little risky since our guy over at Bills Up, Andy Mac, thinks this is going to be a low scoring affair. He might be right and many agree with him but that's my point in roster construction, what if they're all wrong? I will have some exposure to the Bills passing attack as I make that bet.
Week 1 Running Backs I'm Targeting
Dalvin Cook - Taking Cook over CMC this week. I think the Vikings roll the Bengals and I would rather target their front seven than the Jets. You will see below that I love the Panthers' Wide Receivers this week.
Alvin Kamara - Everyone else was on JV last year and the Packers' run defense will always be a target for me.
Jonathan Taylor or Nyheim Hines - If you think the colts control this game and jump out to a lead then Taylor is the choice. If you think it's flipped, then Hines will have a 5 catch floor with room for upside. Hines at $5k is more than I want to pay but if you stack this game then he is under consideration.
Nick Chubb - The best pure runner in the league in one of the heaviest run offenses. Once he breaks $7600 I will unlikely play him so this is a great week to grab him.
Antonio Gibson - We discussed this on the pod, what if he comes out and plays third down? Regardless, he's too good and too explosive for $5900 even if the Chargers defense plays up to their talent.
Raheem Mostert or Trey Sermon - Both are explosive, cheap and will have a favorable game script. I prefer Mostert but Sermon should get plenty of work as well and is only $4500.
Davante Adams - If Lattimore gets ruled out then play him.
Tyreke Hill - Matchup proof and playing in what should be an absolute shootout.
Calvin Ridley - See my favorite stacks above.
Justin Jefferson - Only playing him if I'm fading Dalvin. The Vikings have a hyper concentrated offense that should flow through Cook and Jefferson with Thielen doing his usual thing.
Stefon Diggs - Matchup proof. See my favorite stacks above as he is a great leverage play this week.
Metcalf/Lockett/Eskridge - I will have them stacked with Russ via single and double stacks. Please note that Eskridge is a high risk play and I might have one lineup with him if I go that route.
Brown/Julio - Stacking with Tannehill as I fade Derrick Henry this week. *Gulp*
One Panthers WR - I love DJ Moore this year and think he has great season. The Jets are most vulnerable in the secondary so that's where I will look to attack them this week. Terrace Marshall Jr at 3k is nice pivot off the much chalkier rookies in Rondale Moore and Elijah Moore.
Boyd or Higgins - Chase is going to struggle early on this year and Burrow is going to have to lean on the others to bail him out when this awful offensive line inevitably fails him. Boyd is my favorite this week as I think Burrow is going to have to get rid of the ball quickly but Higgins will get his at a cheaper price.
Laviska Shenault - The Texans are so bad that I need help finding the necessary adjectives to describe how awful they are. They also just traded their best corner back to ensure they stay awful.
Devonta Smith - I'm essentially trying to be a week early by betting against one of the worst secondary's in the league.
Michael Pittman Jr - I think this is the cheapest he will be all season. He and Wentz seem to have a connection so he will be involved in my game stacks.
Cory Davis/Elijah Moore - We saw Davis get peppered with targets during the offseason and while a a 70% target share won't happen in the regular season, he should see 7-10 targets per game and we know he is a player loaded with weekly upside. As for Elijah Moore, he should be the safety blanket with Crowder ruled out but keep in mind I thought he was a top 3 WR in this draft and he is very explosive. Rob's so in love that he's double stacking these guys this week with a cheap Zach Wilson. It's not crazy either because that affords you all the studs you could ever dream.
Travis Kelce - The only Tight End ever worth the price. He is basically a WR at this point but I will not be playing him in the same lineup as Hill. It's one or the other if I go that route.
Kyle Pitts - Reread my analysis of the Eagles/Falcons game. It's risky, but the matchup is perfect and situation is ripe.
Gerald Everett - A nice way to pivot off of one of the Seattle wide receivers but still have plenty of exposure to that offense.
Jordan Akins - Everyone else is really bad and he's really cheap at $3k. You can also consider Pharoah Brown at $2500 since he was named the official starter but I think he will be in more of a pass catching role. Plus, the Texans will utilize 2 TE sets as they try to lean on the ground game in hopes of creating opportunity by shortening games.
Tyler Conklin - I think he's the Vikings TE you want at $2900. He received heavy utilization when Rudolph was hurt last year and with Irv Smith out for the season, he should receive an opportunity to beat out Chris Herndon.
Pick a cheap one as it'll be Bills, Jets or Texans for me. With so much variance, just find a cheap defense and hope a play breaks your way instead of wasting salary for a team that gets you maybe 7-10 points. Think of this as the difference between affording Alvin Kamara or Deandre Swift. Yeah, the risk is a little more palpable now, right?
Be Strategic with your contest selection
Be willing to venture into the unknown
Correlate your plays (team and/or game stacks)
Preferably go super cheap at tight end and defense (Kelce is the exception)