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NFL DFS: Week 1 Matchups First Look - Totals, Salaries, Slates and more

J.K. Dobbins - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

It's the most wonderful time...of the year! That's right, NFL football is back THIS WEEK and I know so many of you are chomping at the bit for some NFL DFS action!

This year, I am launching a "first look" article that should drop every Tuesday. This piece is intended to be a one-stop shop for readers to begin their DFS research for the week. While it always pays to wait for all the relevant information to come in during the week regarding weather, injuries, and even Vegas line movement, it's also a good idea to get out in front of things early as there is a lot of data to consume!

We are looking at the NFL DFS main slate for FanDuel and DraftKings on Sunday, September 10. This analysis and data dump will vary from week to week, but I am hoping that you find it helpful when starting your weekly research. Week 1 is always wild and a whole lot of fun as we will most assuredly have some unexpected results from teams that we thought we knew what to expect from this season! Do yourself a favor if you haven't already and pick up an NFL RotoBaller Premium Season Pass and get my DFS cheat sheets and plays all season long. Use promo code THUNDERDAN to let them know I sent you!


Week 1 Vegas Totals and Team Data

In this section, we take a look at which teams should be expected to put up the most actual points (which usually means fantasy points, too) this week. Since it's Week 1, I am including some data from last season as well.

You shouldn't target ONLY the teams who are expected to score the most points, but the majority of your players are going to come from these teams each week. Deciding which offenses are worthy of stacking (and of course, how you are going to stack them) is the challenge!

Top Implied Team Totals for Week 1: Main Slate Only

  1. Chargers - 26.75
  2. Ravens - 26.75
  3. Vikings - 25.75
  4. Seahawks - 25.5
  5. Bengals, Jaguars - 25.0
  6. Eagles - 24.5

2022 Top-Scoring Offenses: Points Per Game

  1. Eagles - 29.1
  2. 49ers - 25.9
  3. Bengals - 25.7
  4. Vikings - 24.9
  5. Jaguars, Seahawks - 23.9

2022 Stingiest Defenses: Points Allowed Per Game

  1. 49ers - 17.9
  2. Ravens - 18.8
  3. Bengals - 19.6
  4. Eagles - 19.8
  5. Commanders - 20.2

The biggest total this week on the main slate comes in the Chargers-Dolphins game (51) since we don't have Detroit-Kansas City on the main slate. That is going to be a popular game to stack with L.A. favored by just three points at home. The Ravens and Vikings are much bigger favorites and more likely to end up in lopsided contests against the Texans and Buccaneers, respectively.

The Seahawks come in just a half-point ahead of the Bengals and Jaguars, who also both have divisional games in Week 1. Seattle swept the season series last year with the Rams but needed overtime to beat them just 19-16 in the second matchup in Week 17.

The Eagles are implied to scored 4.5 fewer points against New England than they did on average last season, which might be giving Bill Belichick and his defense too much credit. The Pats' defense was a solid unit last season, but this Philadelphia team is loaded and poised for another Super Bowl run. They could be a sneaky team for DFS this week with other teams having better matchups on paper. Speaking of matchups, let's take a look at some of the best this week.


Week 1 DFS Matchups

Here, we want to get specific not only with some mismatches for both passing and rushing offenses, but some individual positional matchups as well.

Top-Five Matchups for Passing Offenses

(Yards Passing and Yards Allowed Passing ranks in parentheses)

  1. Tampa Bay (2) vs. Minnesota (31)
  2. L.A. Chargers (3) vs. Miami (28)
  3. Seattle (12) vs. L.A. Rams (21)
  4. New Orleans (16) vs. Tennessee (32)
  5. San Francisco (14) vs. Pittsburgh (19)

Tampa Bay with Baker Mayfield instead of Tom Brady isn't likely to finish with the second-most passing yards in the league, so that matchup is a bit misleading. The Chargers, Seahawks, and 49ers' passing games all remain intact from last year, while the Saints have an upgrade (we think) to theirs with Derek Carr under center this season.

Top-Five Matchups for Rushing Offenses

  1. Baltimore (3) vs. Houston (32)
  2. Chicago (1) vs. Green Bay (26)
  3. Atlanta (2) vs. Carolina (18)
  4. Tennessee (13) vs. New Orleans (26)
  5. Green Bay (15) vs. Chicago (31)

The Ravens should be a chalky team this week as they are 10-point favorites going up against a Houston defense that struggled to stop anyone last year. The Texans were the worst team against the run in 2022 by a wide margin. While Baltimore has a healthy Lamar Jackson and new receiving weapons, I would expect them to establish the run game, too. It has been their key to success over the last decade.

2022 Top-Five DvP (Defense vs. Position) Matchups for Each Position

(Top matchup listed first, player to target in parentheses)

QB - Miami (Herbert), Tennessee (Carr), Minnesota (Mayfield), Las Vegas (Wilson), Chicago (Love)

RB - Houston (Dobbins), Chicago (Jones), Seattle (Akers), Arizona (Robinson/Gibson), Las Vegas (Williams)

WR - Tennessee (Olave), Minnesota (Evans/Godwin), Carolina (London), San Francisco (Johnson/Pickens)

TE - Seattle (Higbee), Arizona (Thomas), Miami (Everett), Tennessee (Johnson), Atlanta (Hurst)

DEF - Indianapolis (JAX), Houston (BAL), L.A. Rams (SEA), Denver (LV), Chicago (GB)

These are often referred to as the "flow chart" plays each week. While DvP (like any statistic without context) can be deceiving at times, it's been a staple for DFS players for a long time. There's no promise that these defenses continue to be this vulnerable to these positions. Last year's data is the only concrete data we have to use with no more than training camp reports and a handful of snaps (if that) for most star players.

We could see Tyler Higbee become a really popular play this week if Cooper Kupp does miss Week 1. Derek Carr and Chris Olave both have top-five matchups here. I am willing to bet you don't hear about that Saints stack too often this week in comparison with other more popular teams.

Week 1 DFS Salary Analysis

If you play exclusively on FanDuel or DraftKings (unlike me), then you may not find this next part all that helpful. But for those of you who play on both sites, what I attempted to do here was to find which impact players were significantly cheaper on one site than the other.

And while you will probably end up playing a similar player pool on both sites, the point-per-dollar value of each player matters especially when making some tough decisions for your cash game build. Remember that projections are going to vary from FanDuel to DraftKings, too, as DK uses full-PPR scoring as well as player performance bonuses.

In order to compare prices, I found the percentage of the salary cap that rostering each player costs (remember that DK uses a 50k salary cap, while FanDuel uses 60k). Both sites have the same exact roster build with nine roster spots.

FanDuel Values (FD, DK)

  1. Bijan Robinson (8k vs. 7.8k) - DK jacked up Bijan Robinson's price for Week 1. Remember that he's projected to catch a lot of passes, which is why he could end up with a bigger score on DK.
  2. DeVonta Smith (7.2k vs. 7.2k)
  3. J.K. Dobbins (6.5k vs. 6.6k) - This smells like good chalk for cash games. As long as the Ravens actually decide to feature their talented young back.
  4. Rhamondre Stevenson (7k vs. 7k)
  5. Davante Adams (7.9k vs. 8.2k)

DraftKings Values (DK, FD)

  1. Sam Howell (4.9 vs. 7.1k) - I don't think it's all that crazy to entertain Sam Howell for cash games on DK with how well he played in the preseason and with the Commanders being touchdown favorites at home against Arizona.
  2. Chase Claypool (3.4k vs. 5.3k)
  3. Elijah Moore (3.8k vs. 5.7k)
  4. Marvin Mims Jr. (3k vs. 4.7k) - There is a ton of hype surrounding Marvin Mims Jr. and this week might be the only chance to roster him at the stone minimum on DK. Jayden Reed and Tank Dell are both min-priced rookies that could be worth firing up in some GPPs as well.
  5. Rashid Shaheed (3.7k vs. 5.4k)

Cheap Stacks (FD, DK)

There are plenty of cheap value plays to fit around expensive stacks. As the pricing tightens up each week, I like to look for some of the cheapest viable stacks that feature the QB and one of their receivers (could be WR1, WR2, or TE1).

  1. Love - Doubs (11.7k, 9.4k)
  2. Wilson - Mims Jr. (12k, 8.9k)
  3. Jones - Smith-Schuster (12.2k, 9.9k)
  4. Howell - Dotson (13.2k, 9.9k)
  5. Pickett - Johnson (13k, 10.5k)
  6. Richardson- Pittman Jr. (13.3k, 11.8k)
  7. Carr - Olave (14.3k, 11.8k)

If Romeo Doubs can't go this week, then Jayden Reed should slide into the WR2 slot for only 3k, making an even cheaper Green Bay stack. I don't love the matchup for Mac Jones and the Patriots passing game, but a negative game script could be there for them if they are trailing the Eagles in that one. Carr and Olave almost didn't make the cut, but their matchup is so noteworthy that I wanted to include them. If you wanted to go with someone like Juwan Johnson as a stacking partner for Carr, I kind of like that and it's quite a bit cheaper.

Notable Rookie Salaries (FD, DK)

  1. Anthony Richardson (6.7k, 5.6k)
  2. Bryce Young (6.5k, 5.5k)
  3. C.J. Stroud (6.3k, 5.4k)
  4. Bijan Robinson (7.8k, 8k)
  5. Tank Bigsby (5k, 5k)
  6. Zach Charbonnet (4.8k, 4.8k)
  7. Zay Flowers (5.5k, 4k)
  8. Jordan Addison (5.5k, 5.1k)
  9. Jaxon Smith-Njigba (5.3k, 4.9k)
  10. Quentin Johnston (5.1k, 4.4k)
  11. Jayden Reed (5k, 3k)
  12. Tank Dell (4.9k, 3k)
  13. Marvin Mims Jr. (4.7k, 3k)
  14. Michael Mayer (4.7k, 2.8k)
  15. Luke Musgrave (4.5k, 2.9k)

Alright, that's it for Week 1 and my data dump! I took quite a bit of time to find some stats that I hope you find helpful -- so that you don't have to! Good luck and make sure you continue following RotoBaller all season long for the best fantasy football, DFS, and betting advice!

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