Hello everyone and welcome BACK to my DFS likes of the week. The 2018 NFL season official kicked off Thursday night in an ugly game between the defending Superbowl champs and the Atlanta Falcons. Week 1 is my favorite week to play DFS, whether that be on DraftKings or FanDuel. It allows you to take some of your personal favorite plays, before they become DFS relevant and their salaries increase before your eyes. Like last year, I will do my best to bring you my DFS plays week in and week out. Make sure to follow me @ezpolizzi_21 on twitter as well as my podcast page @JNJTalksports.
Philip Rivers- DraftKings– $6,400. FanDuel– $7,500
Everybody loves Andy, The Red Rifle, Dalton this week; and rightfully so, he’s playing a Colts defense that allowed the 10th most points to QB’s last year. But you know who gave up more points to the QB position last year, The Kansas City Chiefs. A defense that will now be without All-Pro corner Marcus Peters and leaders Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson. Justin Houston is still there but is slowly coming back from a knee injury. Philip Rivers last year was horrible against the Chiefs, completing less than 55% of his pass attempts while throwing 1 Touchdown to 6 interceptions. But this isn’t the same play-making Chiefs defense from recent years. Rivers will have his safety blanket return for one more year in Antonio Gates, Keenan Allen is a top NFL WR, Melvin Gordon has finally come into his own and with Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler are healthy. Rivers has the weapons for not only a huge week 1, but a huge rest of the season. Oh and with no Joey Bosa, Chiefs should do a lot of scoring as well.
Jared Goff– Goff is going up against a defense that allowed the 7th most points to the position in the Oakland Raiders who are now without Khalil Mack. With an even stronger defense from last, The Rams should have an excessive amount of scoring opportunities. Goff and the Rams offense ruin the homecoming for John Gruden. He’s a little more pricier than Rivers if you’re willing to go with a safer floor. He also plays Monday night, so if you’re on the east coast, be ready to stay up pass midnight.
Alex Collins– DraftKings– $5,600. FanDuel– $6,700.
Buffalo allowed 22.7 fantasy points per game to the running-back position last year which was the most in all of football. The Bills are significantly worse this year on both sides of the ball. Alex Collins last year had a DYAR, Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement, score of 205 ranked 6th in the NFL and ranked 3rd in the NFL in DVOA, Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. Sorry, I’m a nerd, basically Alex Collins is actually a very good running-back and just didn’t succeed from opportunity and good line play last year. At his price, Alex Collins is in prime position to be an RB1 this week and finish 3x his value by weeks end. The match-up is there, the Bills offense wont score and I’m not worried about any other back in this backfield.
James Conner- I have to ride the wave here with everyone else. James Conner averaged 5.26 yards per carry on 19 carries with 1 touchdown this preseason. He also had 7 receptions for 61 yards and he didnt even play a full games length worth of playing time. Bell isn’t suiting up for game 1, so its all pointing to James Conner leading the way for the Steelers backfield. Conner is less than 5k in both formats, so make sure he’s in your cash plays for DFS this week. He’ll be owned in 90% of leagues, therefore you don’t want to miss out on his production in cash plays (in cash leagues, you just need to make 50%.) But it tournament plays, I can’t blame you for trending the other way with how highly owned he’ll be. James Conner will be another 3x player at his value this week. BOOK IT!
Kenny Stills– DraftKings– $4,700. FanDuel– $6,000.
I’m truly sorry DeVante Parker truthers, but he will no longer be a threat to Kenny Stills. Kenny Stills will not be in the shadow of Parker or Landry and will be going up against a Titans defense that allowed 26.9 PPG to the WR position. Now despite adding corner Malcolm Butler, I still believe Stills we receive such a great volume in targets as the Dolphins number one receiver, even going up against a so-called “top” corner. The Titans should run and throw all over this Dolphins defense forcing the Dolphins to be in a passing game script. In the last season Stills played with a fully healthy Ryan Tannehill, he had 42 receptions and 9 touchdowns. Kenny Stills is in line to be a 2x player this week in tournament style plays.
Keenan Allen- For all the reasons I love Philip Rivers, I love Allen. I always like to have a stack QB/WR in DFS tournament play. The Chiefs gave up the MOST POINTS to wide receivers in fantasy last year. And for reasons I explained above, no Marcus Peters & high scoring game, The Chargers and Keenan Allen will eat up the no named (except for Erick Berry) defense. Allen is a great buy this week and will finish as a WR1 this week regardless if you invest in Rivers.
Delanie Walker– DraftKings– $4,900. FanDuel– $6,100.
I have a lot of tight ends I like this week. George Kittle is a great investment with 2x potential against a Vikings defense in which you must believe will shutdown those 49ers WR’s. But Delanie Walker has an intriguing match-up against a Miami Dolphins defense that allowed the most points to the tight-end position in all of 2017. The Dolphins didn’t help Kiko Alonso at all, this off-season, by not adding pieces to their secondary. Which means he’ll have to play more man to man defense against Delanie Walker and/or Dion Lewis on passing plays and based off his 2017 season, Kiko Alonso showed he wasn’t a great coverage LB. With Corey Davis not looking so good this pre-season and Rishard Matthews coming back from injury, Delanie will be what we ALL already know, the Titans TRUE number 1 WR. Invest in that man this week.
That will do it for week 1 NFL DFS plays, whether that be on Fanduel or DraftKings. Remember ladies and gents, week 1 is the best week to play. You can only judge plays based off last years stats and off-season acquisitions. Take chances this week, stack a QB/WR or even better stack a RB/Defense like Collins and the Ravens. Whatever you decide to do, gamble and play responsible and most importantly, good luck!