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Break The Slate: DraftKings NFL DFS Lineup Picks - Week 1


FOOTBALL IS BACK!!! Are you guys pumped? I'm pumped! I'm so excited to share my DraftKings DFS picks with you every week this season here at RotoBaller and I look forward to this journey that we have in front of us. There is always so much hope in Week 1 and it will be my goal to bring that same excitement and intensity to this article every week of the season! Ok, enough with the pleasantries, let's dive into this slate! Below are my DraftKings DFS Lineup Picks for Week 1.

These DraftKings lineup recommendations are based on matchups, projected ownership, overall upside/talent levels, opportunity, and other factors such as Vegas odds, home field advantage, and more. There are quite a few great value plays available, so read on to find out which players are the best for Week 1.

Good luck with your DraftKings DFS lineups, lets Break The Slate together!

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks - Week 1 Picks

Jameis Winston - SF @ TB (DK $6,600)

With the soft pricing on DraftKings for Week 1, there's an argument that could be made for spending all the way up for Patrick Mahomes at $7,200, but I'm gonna kick things off with 'Famous Jameis' at $6,600. Winston has been one of the most frustrating QBs in the league during his career thanks to his maddening combination of elite skills and idiotic decision making (both on and off the field). This feels like a make or break year for Winston, with new head coach Bruce Arians appearing to be his last and best chance of finding greatness in Tampa. He threw for nearly 3,000 yards in just nine starts last season and draws a good matchup against a 49ers Defense that ranked near the bottom of the NFL in defending the pass last year. In addition to a trio of talented pass catchers in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard (who are all great stacking options with Winston), Winston's fantasy potential is aided by Tampa's leaky defense that basically forces the Bucs to be aggressive offensively.

Carson Wentz - WAS @ PHI (DK $5,700)

I look for the masses to flock to 'shiny new toy' Kyler Murray at $5,600 this week, but I'm more interested in the solid floor that Philly's Carson Wentz brings to the table for just $100 more than Murray. The Eagles play caller draws a mediocre matchup at home against a Washington Redskins Defense that's average at best, but the boys in Vegas have pegged Philly's team total at 27.5 points, currently the highest on the main slate. Wentz has tournament-winning upside, but I'm drawn to the steady production that gave him an average of just over 20 DK points per game in 2018. He appears to be healthy and ready to go for Week 1 with a new contract extension signed and Nick Foles no longer lingering in the shadows. Wentz also has a great offensive line with some of the best weapons in the NFC at his disposal.

 

DraftKings DFS Running Backs - Week 1 Picks

Christian McCaffrey - LAR @ CAR ($8,800)

In a week where everyone is paying down at the RB position, I'm willing to spend up for Carolina's Christian McCaffery. C-Mac took the league (and DraftKings) by storm last year and should once again be the engine that drives this Panthers offense in 2019. He draws a sneaky-good matchup against a Rams Defense that was dead last in the NFL in yards allowed per carry in 2018. McCaffery is a usage monster and led all NFL RBs in snaps last year at 966, meaning he was on the field for roughly 91% of Carolina's offensive plays in 2018. He will once again get all the work he can handle in this matchup against a Rams team that should force Carolina to remain aggressive offensively. Toss in the fact that the Panthers will probably limit any designed runs for a returning-from-injury Cam Newton and McCaffery could see as many touches as any RB on the board.

Chris Carson - CIN @ SEA ($5,700)

It wouldn't surprise me a bit to see Minnesota's Dalvin Cook ($6,000) be the highest-owned RB in Week 1. While things do set up nicely for Cook, you might want to consider a 'mini pivot' to Seattle's Chris Carson who is a little cheaper and should come with roughly half the ownership. Yes, the Seahawks' backfield is always a little crowded for many fantasy players' tastes, but it seems as though Carson has emerged as the lead dog. His situation doesn't get much better...Seattle heads into Week 1 as nearly a 10-point home favorite over a Cincy team that is breaking in a first-time head coach and will be without their best player (A.J. Green). The Bengals run defense ranked 25th in yards allowed per carry in 2018 and there's not much reason to be optimistic about the unit improving as we head into 2019. The Seahawks are one of the last true 'run first' offenses in the NFL and will relentlessly attack the Bengals on the ground. I could see Carson getting close to 20 touches in this one.

Mark Ingram - BAL @ MIA ($5,100)

This selection isn't very sexy, but I love the price and expected game environment for Mark Ingram this week. He ended his (very successful) tenure with the New Orleans Saints being overshadowed by the flashier Alvin Kamara, but he heads into a great situation with the Baltimore Ravens and Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman. With Lamar Jackson at the helm, this Ravens offense might run the ball more than any team in the NFL in 2019 and the newly-signed Ingram figures to be a key cog in Baltimore's ground attack. The former Heisman Trophy winner averaged 4.7 yards per carry last season with the Saints, which is right in line with his career average. He draws a Dolphins Defense that ranked 26th in yards allowed per carry in 2018 and enters this year in total rebuild mode. The Ravens head to Miami as seven-point favorites and Ingram should get plenty of opportunities to help Baltimore salt this one away. If you really like the Baltimore side of things in this matchup, you can stack Ingram with the Ravens D/ST in this spot.

 

DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers - Week 1 Picks

Chris Godwin - SF @ TB ($6,200)

As you guys will see throughout the season, my preferred lineup construction is usually paying up for 'guaranteed' points at RB and taking my shots at the more volatile WR position. With the soft Week 1 pricing that's in place, you can definitely spend up for an OBJ or Julio at WR on this slate, but I'm content to start with Tampa Bay's Chris Godwin at $6,200. 'The God' has been hyped beyond belief this offseason and enters 2019 on every fantasy writer's "Breakout" list. While I'm normally a little leery of swallowing this type of chalk, I'm a buyer on Godwin. The talent is obviously there and he now has a very clear path to usage with both DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries having departed the Bucs. It isn't hard to imagine this game turning into a shootout and Godwin could be looking at 10-plus targets against a Niners defense that allowed the most TDs to the WR position in the NFL last year.

Dede Westbrook - KC @ JAX ($4,800)

Like the aforementioned Chris Godwin, it feels like the talent has always been there for Jags wideout Dede Westbrook and he should benefit from moves made by his front office over the offseason. Westbrook receives a big upgrade at the QB position, as he goes from Blake Bortles to Nick Foles. He enters the season as Jacksonville's clear number-one WR thanks to the departure of Donte Moncrief and Marquise Lee's lingering injury issues, and the Jags will almost certainly throw the ball more often under new Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo. Westbrook gets a positive matchup against a KC defense that struggled mightily in 2018 and finished at 26th in the league in defensive DVOA. The Chiefs high-powered offense should force the Jags to throw the ball in this one and Westbrook has a great chance to post a splash game.

John Brown - BUF @ NJY ($4,300)

I expect Carolina's Curtis Samuel to draw tons of attention in this price range (and I like Samuel in cash games and single-entry tourneys), but if you're taking some shots in the DK Milly Maker, you might want to consider a pivot to Buffalo's speedy wideout John Brown. He's a boom-or-bust deep threat option for this Bills offense that showed some surprisingly-fun flashes at the end of 2018. Brown's a burner that specializes in the deep ball, he had an aDOT of 16.1 last season in Baltimore and will be the primary downfield threat for Buffalo's cannon-armed QB Josh Allen. He draws a matchup against a questionable Jets secondary and should be facing NY's inexperienced CB Darryl Roberts for a large part of the day. Brown's a low-floor, high-upside play that's perfect for a large-field GPP like the Milly Maker.

 

DraftKings DFS Tight Ends - Week 1 Picks

George Kittle - SF @ TB ($6,600)

If you couldn't tell from the inclusion of Tampa's Jameis Winston and Chris Godwin in this article, I am targeting this Niners/Bucs matchup heavily. My favorite piece on the San Fran side of the ball is TE George Kittle, who put up over 1,300 yards receiving last season despite playing with QB's you've never heard of. Kittle will get Jimmy Garoppolo back this year and, with tons of uncertainty at the WR position in San Fran, will remain the Niners top receiving target. The Bucs defense was horrible in every facet in 2018 (32nd in Defensive DVOA) and they especially struggled against the TE position, allowing over nine yards per target to opposing tight ends. There's lots of ways to stack this game and I would include Kittle in any of those combinations.

Hunter Henry - IND @ LAC ($3,900)

Another one of my favorite roster strategies is saving salary at the TE spot. We don't have to go cheap with all the value available this week, but LA's Hunter Henry is just too juicy to pass up at this price. We're getting Henry in a classic 'good player returning from injury and is deeply discounted' situation here. It's tempting to take a wait-and-see approach when a player is coming off a serious injury, but I seriously doubt that we'll see a player of Henry's caliber at this price for long. It's not a bad idea to take advantage against an Indy defense that allowed just over 75 yards per game to opposing TEs last season.

 

DraftKings DFS Defenses - Week 1 Picks

Baltimore Ravens - BAL @ MIA (DK $3,800)

I'm normally squarely in the 'save money at D/ST' camp, but this Ravens/Dolphins game is perhaps the perfect storm. It appears that Miami is probably going to be a legit dumpster fire that (organizationally) may have already waived the white flag on the 2019 season. The Dolphins have one of the worst offensive lines in football, two mistake-prone QBs, very little skill at the skill positions, and a first-time head coach that is defensive minded. Throw in an always-sound Baltimore defense (with an offense that is hell bent on running the ball and controlling the clock) and the Ravens might just be worth spending up for.

Atlanta Falcons - ATL @ MIN (DK $2,400)

This one might sound a little crazy, but stay with me. This Atlanta unit was not good in 2018, there's no debating that, but they were absolutely RAVAGED by injuries basically from the get go last season. When healthy, this Falcons Defense is very talented and can create turnovers, especially against Minnesota's Kirk Cousins. They are an intriguing contrarian option in large-field GPPs (almost as a quasi-Dalvin Cook fade) and can help to differentiate lineups if you find yourself with a lot of chalk throughout your roster.

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