Week 1 DFS Plays

Now that we’ve narrowed down our player pool, it’s time to get our hands dirty. If you missed our first look article, we go through our process of elimination, you can find it here.


Aaron Rodgers – The best QB in the league, favored at Home, with the 2nd largest Vegas implied total of the slate, and lower than normal ownership?  Sign me up. Your average fan is going to see Seattle and move on elsewhere. Don’t be fooled, he has an elite floor and upside here.

Marcus Mariota – There’s some things working for and against Mariota. For the downside, Tennessee wants to run the ball and he’s had very little time to work with Eric Decker and Corey Davis due to injuries. However, OAK again should be a sieve against the pass, especially down the seams (Delanie Walker!). Also, be aware he will likely be extremely chalky.

Matt Ryan – He arguably has the highest upside of anyone on the slate. Chicago’s defense is expected to be better vs the Run this year, so that is also working in his favor. Due to pricing (8.5 vs 6.9) he’s likely to be much chalkier on Draftkings than Fanduel.

Ben Roethlisberger – It’s no secret that he historically struggles on the Road which makes us like Le’Veon Bell much more than Big Ben.  However, he’s had very few snaps with Brown, Bryant, and Bell on the field at the same time, so the upside for Tournaments is there.  He will likely be chalkier on Fanduel where he’s priced just below Matt Ryan.

Carson Palmer – Detroit’s defense should again be tougher again the run than the pass.  Their secondary was especially vulnerable over the middle of the field (Fitz!) last year and we expect that to continue. He doesn’t have elite upside, but we feel he’s a solid Cash play.

Derek Carr – He was not on our original list but I’m including him for a few reasons. Tennessee’s defense will be much better vs the Run, they’ll likely have a Rookie covering Cooper, and this game does have some shootout potential if Tennessee fails to control the clock on the ground.  Ownership will likely be high.


LeSean McCoy – Buffalo is going to run him early and often behind the best run-blocking OL in the league. Though I think his ownership is going to wind up being slightly higher than first expected it is still very enticing (low teens) given his RB #1 upside.

Lamar Miller – He’s incredibly inefficient but the touches shouldn’t be an issue. He had slid down some draft boards because there’s some speculation Freeman would steal carries, however, Freeman is banged up and it’s not clear how much work he’ll see on Sunday. Jacksonville’s secondary duo of Ramsey and Bouye are one of the best in the league so they’ll need to beat them on the ground.

Zeke Elliot – He found out late he’d be able to play so there is some risk with how much he’ll be involved this week, however the Giants have an excellent Secondary so I’d expect Dallas to use their stud back plenty.

Dalvin Cook – Really the only question here is how well Minnesota’s OL has gelled. If they are able to generate some push, Cook could have a great day, if they are 5 revolving doors it will be a struggle.

CJ Anderson – I really like this as a potential under the radar play. Denver wants to run the ball, they are built to run the ball, and CJ is the clear cut starter.

Todd Gurley – One of my favorite plays of the week. The Colts should again be a defense we’ll target with RBs in 2017.

Le’Veon Bell – I don’t need to tell you that he’s an elite play. Pitt will lean on their elite back in this divisional road game. Arguably the biggest upside of the day.

Devonta Freeman – Chicago’s defense should be better against the run so he might have to do his damage in the passing game but the upside is there.

Some other backs that are in play:

Eddie Lacy – Lacy and Rawls were announced as Co-starters.  Now it looks like Rawls might be hurt? And Prosise has been hampered as well.  Lacy is returning to his face his former team so the revenge narrative is in full effect.

Adrian Peterson – Likely a better play on Fanduel due to the likelihood that he is the Saints’ goal line back. Minnesota should again be better against the pass than the run.  And, of course, the revenge narrative is in play.

Billal Powell – It seems like Matt Forte’s best days are even further behind him than we thought. The Jets will need someone, anyone, to make a play on offense to have a chance to win.  Powell should see plenty of touches and makes for a nice DK cash game play.

David Johnson – He’ll likely need to get his through the air rather than on the ground, but you can’t go wrong with one of the most explosive players in the league.  A TD hat trick is always on the table.

Ty Montgomery – No one is quite sure how they are going to use Jamaal Williams and how that will affect Ty’s touches/targets especially in the red zone, but he was a PPR monster last year. GPP only.


Amari Cooper / Mike Crabtree – Tennessee is starting a Rookie in Secondary who’s likely to cover Cooper the most. This game has some shootout potential. We like Cooper more on DK and Crabtree more on FD.

Doug Baldwin – Green Bay has no one who can cover him. Tournaments, cash, he’s safe for everything. Paul Richardson makes for an interesting GPP play.

Jamison Crowder / Tyrell Pryor – I’m a big fan of WRs as Home underdogs. The problem with this Washington offense is there are several mouths to feed. Jordan Reed will see targets.  Josh Doctson will be involved as well. Crowder for Cash, Pryor for GPPs.

Michael Thomas / Ted Ginn – Thomas has an absolutely brutal matchup with Xavier Rhodes which is why we’d lean towards Ginn here as the GPP play.

Kevin White / Kendall Wright – Wright makes for an interesting cash play. White is as a legit GPP option who could see double-digit targets as the Bears try to keep pace with the Falcons.

Pierre Garcon – Likely a better Cash play than a GPP option, though we think you could use him in GPP. Shanahan has a history of getting video-game numbers from his X.

Mike Wallace / Jeremy Maclin – Steve Smith’s 101 targets have to go somewhere. We like Maclin a lot to work over the middle of the field and fill that void. The risk is the health of Joe Flacco and that he hasn’t been able to work much with his new WR.

Kenny Britt – We expect him to have slightly more TD upside this year in Cleveland and they should give him plenty of targets as they try to keep pace with the Steelers.

Some other WRs that are in play:

Larry Fitzgerald / John Brown – Both of these guys could have monster games against this Detroit secondary.  Fitz will be chalky but he’s safe for all formats. Brown is a GPP play.

Sammy Watkins – Much has been made of his lack of chemistry with Goff however, he gets a major break this week with Vontae Davis out and he has 2 TD upside in this matchup.


Jordan Reed – The only TE who has come close to putting up Gronk-like production. Elite upside.

Tyler Eifert – The pace of this game could be dreadful but he has TD upside and that is all you’re looking for.

Charles Clay – Like him more on DK in a PPR format, he’s typically lacked TE upside, but he should get plenty of targets.

Delaine Walker – Probably our favorite GPP/Cash TE play of the week, even though he will be chalky. The Raiders were one of the teams we targeted with TE last year, and that will continue this year.

Martellus Bennett – It seems like it’s been forever since Aaron Rodgers had a legit TE threat. We’re expecting big things.

Kyle Rudolph – He has TD upside you are looking for against this rebuild Saints defense.

Some other TEs that are in play:

Zach Ertz – Alshon will be shadowed Josh Norman which could give Ertz more targets than normal. Solid Cash play and enough upside to be considered in GPPs.

Good luck everyone!

Ryan Cooper

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