NFL – The Nutz – Week 1

These are the pure best plays on DraftKings, even the chalk, with some pivots at every position. I am not going to waste time deeply explaining plays you already know so the chalk will have a note or two. Each player will have a label for some overarching indication.


Ben Roethlisberger – PIT at CLE – $7,300 (Chalk)

Mandatory. The best stack, but yes, it’s the chalk. We can only hope the road woes are behind him and with the Browns potentially being frisky, he could be forced into BIG BEN MODE for three if not four full quarters!

Derek Carr – OAK at TEN – $6,700 (Chalk)

Highest game total on the slate at 53 with a one point spread. It will shootout.

Marcus Mariota – TEN vs OAK – $6,800 (Chalk)


Kirk Cousins – WAS vs PHI – $6,400 (GPP)

Cousins is the contrarian guy I am on and I love the stack. We know WR Terrelle Pryor will have a physical advantage on the outside and Jordan Reed gets shit done. They have a sneaky high team total of 25.25 and there are so many weapons on this team to make it happen. With a little luck, 300 yards and three touchdowns is well within reach.


Running Backs

Le’Veon Bell – PIT at CLE – $9,800 (Chalk)

David Johnson – ARZ at DET – $9,400 (Chalk)

LeSean McCoy – BUF vs NYJ – $8,200 (Less Owned Pivot off Top 2)

Jordan Howard – CHI vs ATL – $6,300 (Low Owned)

This guy and my next guy are my slate winner’s. Jordan Howard can catch passes and is the three down back with a decent quarterback in QB Mike Glennon who I expect to be able to move the ball.

The total is huge, but everyone seems to be focused on the Falcon’s side. We have seen times last year where Howard puts the team on his back doe and I see a path to 30 touches here, including a ton of pass game work which is gold on DK. WR Cam Meredith is out and that just leaves more work for Howard. In addition, Howard has the 6th best mark in the league at yards after contact per attempt at 2.98 with the 5th best elusive rating of 55.2 per PFF.

Lamar Miller – HOU vs JAX – $5,100 (Low Owned GPP)

The Jaguars rush defense has more respect in the community than deserved and most teams won’t have it together week one anyways. There is no one behind Miller and Bill O’Brien loves to run the ball heavily. Miller played last year hurt tying his career low 4 YPC rate so you have to understand that to have faith in Miller coming into the season. The flood narrative is also present. I like stacking Miller with the Houston defense if you can get up there.

Rob Kelley – WAS vs PHI – $4,300 (More Risky Super Low Owned Play)

Kelly makes a ton of sense if you project the Redskins to be leading this game and/or if you expect the Redskins to put a ton of points on the board. He is the goal line back and most likely will have a 60-75% share of all rushes, but the presence of fellow RB Samaje Perine has the fantasy industry on hold.

This is a risky play, but one with a ton of upside that will be under 10% owned. You can mini-stack Kelly and Philly TE Zach Ertz if you want a small piece of the stack to fit this duo within another stack.


Wide Receiver

Antonio Brown – PIT at CLE – $8,800 (May End up Low Owned Due to Team Jam ‘Em In)

For those new to DFS, “Team Jam ‘Em In” started last year with the strategy of rostering both RBs Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson on the same roster.  This was doable because both were underpriced when considering they were basically a RB1 and a WR2/3 rolled into one player.

Brown is the best play at WR and he may be under owned. We all know he is the best fantasy WR, but with the path of most lineups taking one or two of DJ and Bell he is falling by the wayside in many lineups across the industry.

A.J. Green – CIN vs BAL – $8,000 (Low Owned Upside)

The Baltimore Raven’s present a proper funnel defense being decent up front, but weak on the back end. Green has tremendous history over the past two years and in three games vs BAL averaged 27.9 DK points on averages of 130 yards, 1.3 TDs, and 6.67 receptions.

The best part is I think Green will be near 10% owned. The game total is pretty low which will keep people off, but the points on the Cincinnati side will certainly be on WR A.J. Green’s back. He has the 15th best WR-CB advantage on the week of 18% vs CB Bradon Carr of the Ravens per the glorious PFF stats which FanVice is using to power a lot of their content.

Doug Baldwin – SEA at GB – $6,700 (Upside GPP)

QB Russell Wilson will be popular so I am not sure how highly owned Baldwin will be, certainly at least 15%, but I like him. Wilson’s struggles vs defensive maestro Dick LeBeau’s defenses has been publicized highly, but if you remove Wilson’s last game from the last two years sample(3 games) he has a good 60.8% completion rate and two touchdown average.

Additionally, the game plan has been run heavy in those games, and the ascending GB defensive front and terrible corners should offer a funnel defense spot. Baldwin has an excellent specific match up vs CB Quentin Rollins, last year’s 9th worst corner in the league according to PFF. This matchup offers a 52% matchup advantage per PFF, the highest on the slate.

Amari Cooper – OAK at TEN – $7,200 (Chalk)

I like him, but he is the week one darling and can disappoint. I would rather eat the chalk with the other Raider wide out discussed below.

Martavis Bryant – PIT at CLE – $6,000 (GPP)

The Steelers will put up points handily and a lot of them. Will they need to stretch the field? No, but they will. Bryant will get 4-8 targets and with the depth of these targets he has the upside to take one or two to the house. Ben has an average yards per attempt of 10.3 to Martavis, his highest among all Steelers receivers over the last three years.

Terrelle Pryor – WAS vs PHI – $6,100 (GPP)

I am having a problem gauging the ownership of Pryor this week. His great match up in terms of size has been distributed around the populace, but it is hard to see Pryor getting over 15% when I expect the Redskins to be a lower owned stack.

Pryor has the second best WR-CB match up advantage this week of 45% vs CB Jalen Mills, the corner he will see the most of. Washington WR Jamison Crowder also has a great advantage of 36% vs CB Patrick Robinson and is an easy way to make a smart contrarian stack.

Michael Crabtree – OAK at TEN – $6,000 (Chalk)

I expect the Raider’s to be forced to throw a ton in this match up and pretty much all year due to the weakness of the run game even though the offensive line is great. QB Derek Carr will have time to hit his spots, indicated by the offensive lines 2nd best offensive line passing efficiency PFF metric, and Crabtree will get 8-12 targets in good corner match ups, including 1-2 in the red zone. The PPR format on DK makes me willing to ride this chalk at $6K.

Pierre Garcon – SF at CAR – $5,300 (Cash Game Play)

This ain’t pretty, but let’s face it, he is going to get volume and QB Brian Hoyer isn’t terrible. The Panther’s were one of the worst passing defenses last year and that should continue. They are pretty good up front and I am not sure RB Carlos Hyde will have the success many expect this week which may lead to funneling garcon more work. I have him at 6-11 targets this week.

Jordan Matthews – BUF vs NYJ – $4,400 (Deep Low Owned GPP)

We expect the Bill’s to put up a ton of points on the Jet’s and Matthew’s is the most capable receiver here sans WR Sammy Watkins. Buffalo will be approach the game with a run heavy style, unless they have to change. QB Josh McCown is better than public perception and although he doesn’t have a strong receiving core I can see a scenario where the Bill’s fall behind. Buffalo is a rushing defense I am looking to attack this season and the Jets have two very skillful backs rushing out of the backfield and catching the ball who can pretty much carry the team.

While I think you could also run out RBs Matt Forte or Bilal Powell on this theory, it is hard to play Russian roulette with your lineup when we expect them to split the work. This is a deep contrarian play so don’t go overboard, but I can see a path to 8-10 targets at $4,400 in a positive matchup.

Corey Coleman – CLE vs PIT – $4,400 (GPP)

Who you gonna run it back with? Someone has to get work with the Brown’s in comeback mode for four quarters that you can put in with your Pittsburgh stack. WR Kenny Britt is also an option that many may go towards, who isn’t a bad play, but I’ll lean on the electrically athletic Coleman who has home run speed. The rookie quarterback manning the helm is a cause for concern, but we expect the Browns to be required to throw the ball 30-40 times due to the game script.

Robby Anderson – NYJ at BUF – $3,800 (Chalk, but Super Value)

At $3,800 with QB Josh McGoat (my name for the very underrated when healthy Josh McCown, which for the perennially snake bitten J-E-T-S could only last a few series) throwing the ball to him, seeing some bottom five in the league CB E.J. Gaines when he lines up on the left side and rookie CB Tre’Davious Johnson on the right with an expected 7-12 targets, he is an awesome play. You can do so much with him in there and there is upside.

RB LeSean McCoy and Anderson make a nice mini stack to add to a lineup you have stacked up elsewhere. If we expect the Jets to use Anderson similarly to last year, which I do, with a better deep ball thrower targeting him, 37.3% of Anderson’s targets last year were deep targets which provides upside.


Tight End

Tyler Eifert – CIN at BAL – $4,600 (Low Owned Upside)

We need upside at the TE position and there is a mammoth touch down scoring savant that will be low owned with multiple TD upside. At $4,600 I can’t think of any player this price or lower that has a better chance to score two touchdowns. I don’t have a problem running him in the flex. Eifert will be the lowest owned among upside guys, but I prefer the guy below.

Jordan Reed – WAS vs PHI – $5,900 (Low Owned Upside)

This game is one I expect to shoot out as mentioned and Reed can get it done. Are his averages great vs PHI, no, but he has gone off vs them and he is good enough to beat a tough match up. He was second in fantasy points per game among TEs last year and owns the 4th best yards per route run among TEs at 1.97. There is no reason to expect his heavy volume and high end zone opportunity to not continue.

Delanie Walker – TEN vs OAK – $4,300 (Chalk)

Walker has the nuts match up of all TEs this week. The struggle of the Raiders vs TE over the past two years is well documented and Walker is the go to option in the passing game in a spot we expect to shootout.

Zach Ertz – PHI at WAS – $3,500 (Good Chalk Value)

Targets will be funneled to Ertz due to WR Alshon Jeffery being defended by legitimate shutdown corner, Josh Norman. He will be high owned, and I will fade him outside of game stacks where I can. It is a great spot.


Defense/Special Teams

Houston Texans – $3,800 vs Jacksonville Jaguars (Chalk)

Blake Bortles had a 23-22 TD to turnover ratio in 2016 which is nuts. The possibility of turnovers with expected pressure on the QB from defensive stalwarts J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney along with elite CB Kevin Johnson on the back end defending on deep 50/50 shots to Allen Robinson is one of the best on the slate. There is also the play for the city narrative in effect here.

New York Giants – $2,600 vs Dallas Cowboys (Discounted D/ST)

They are just too cheap. I see them as a top five defense this year and they could give problems to any team.

San Francisco 49ers – $2,100

In past Millionaire Maker winning lineups, many have utilized an extremely cheap defense that scored under 10 fantasy points. QB Cam Newton is playing through a shoulder injury, one I believe to be more serious than advertised, and he is coming off of a 19-16 TD to turnover ratio in 2016.

Carolina is a bottom 10 in offensive pass blocking line efficiency also and the SF addition of Reuben Foster, immediately expected to put pressure on the QB, should help as well with another year of DE Arik Armstead expected to be tasked with rushing the QB more this season with hell wrecking veteran DE Elvis Dumervil coming in to spell him. All these factors equate to a cheap, low owned, sneaky upside improved defense that is easy to build around.