FanDuel NFL Lineup Advice: Week 1 (Thur/Sun/Mon)

by Elliott Baas | @ElliottBaasBB | Featured Writer
Sep 5, 2018

Welcome back to football! We’ve got an amazing week one slate lined up, and this article will be covering the all-week slate. Every game from Thursday to Monday is on the slate we’re playing, starting Thursday with the opener. One important thing to note when playing Thursday games how the Thursday game affects ownership. Often times when fantasy players choose to play the Thursday game it’s because they like a player or players in the Thursday game. That can make Thursday players a little more chalky than they normally would be if the game occurred on a Sunday. As a result, sometimes we can get more favorable ownership on Sunday chalk.

Also, it’s worth noting that FanDuel made a great change this offseason. They eliminated kickers and replaced them with a flex. That allows for more skill positions, meaning less is left up to chance.

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Quarterback

Drew Brees (NO vs. TB): $8,400
The Saints are in a great spot Sunday at home in the vaunted Superdome against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When it comes to pass defense, let’s just say Tampa Bay’s cornerbacks spent a lot of time chasing down wide receivers last season. They allowed the most passing yards in the NFL and were tied for the highest yards per attempt. In terms of DVOA defense, they ranked 31 in pass defense, ahead of just the Indianapolis Colts. The 39-year-old Brees still has it, leading the NFL in both completion percentage and yards per attempt in 2017. The Superdome magic was still in effect as well, as Brees had more touchdowns, yards, and yards per attempt at home last year. The Saints at home are always a good option in DFS, and the matchup makes them even more enticing on this slate.

Running Back

Alvin Kamara (NO vs. TB): $8,700
Usually, when we think of DFS stacks it involves a quarterback and a wide receiver. Kamara gets enough touches and targets to warrant consideration in this matchup. The Buccaneers allowed the fifth most points using FanDuel scoring against running backs last season and were vulnerable both on the ground and through the air to dynamic backs like Kamara. With Mark Ingram suspended Kamara will have all the carries to himself in this backfield, and since TB @ NO currently has a 49.5 O/U there should be plenty of scoring opportunities.

David Johnson (ARI vs. WAS): $8,600
Washington’s defense was shredded by opposing running backs last season for the most rushing yards in the league. They were the No. 29 rush defense in terms of DVOA, compared to being the No. 6 pass defense. If Arizona plans on winning this game, or any games this season, it will be on the shoulders of David Johnson. He should be showered with carries and targets in this matchup, especially since Washington excels in pass defense. The game plan for Mike McCoy ought to be feed David Johnson until the clock hits zero.

Wide Receiver

Michael Thomas (NO vs. TB): $8,500
Going all-in on the Saints means paying up for their big three contributors. Thomas will line up against 35-year-old, five-foot-ten Brent Grimes, who is sadly Tampa Bay’s best cornerback. Thomas should have no problem taking advantage of this size and speed advantage. As a team, the Buccaneers allowed the most FanDuel points to wide receivers last season as well as the most receptions and yards. Between Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves, and Chris Conte Tampa Bay truly has an abominable pass defense. This is a team that needs to be targeted, especially on the road against a prolific offensive unit.

Allen Robinson (CHI @ GB): $6,500
Robinson is the unquestioned No. 1 in Chicago’s revamped receiving corps, and he gets a juicy matchup against Green Bay Week 1. The Packers had the number 27 defense by DVOA last season, and to rectify the problem they brought back over-the-hill veterans Tramon Williams and Davon House. The Packers surrendered the most receiving touchdowns in the NFL last season and the third most FanDuel points to wide receivers. The quarterback situation is a little questionable for Chicago with Mitch Trubisky, but this game does have a 47.5 O/U and has Green Bay as 7.5 point favorites. That means lots of passing for Chicago and lots of volume for Robinson at the very least.

Mike Williams (LAC vs. KC): $5,400
Now we are starting to get into some of the cheaper players to use in order to fit all those Saints and David Johnson in our lineup. The Chiefs have a pitiful pass defense, one that gave up the second most receiving yards, second most FanDuel points, and was tied for third-most receiving touchdowns to wide receivers. Williams is the Chargers’ No. 2 receiver and second-best receiving option behind Keenan Allen. In another lineup, the Chargers would be a good team to stack, but Williams gives us cheap, high-upside exposure to them in this one.

Tight End

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (JAC @ NYG): $4,600
The Giants were among the worst defenses against tight ends last season. They gave up the most receiving touchdowns to tight ends, the second most yards, and the second most fantasy points. With no clear No. 1 receiver in Jacksonville due to Marqise Lee’s injury and New York’s vulnerabilities to tight ends, Seferian-Jenkins is in a great spot to put up points. Jacksonville doesn’t have a wide receiver taller than 6’3″ on their roster, making Seferian-Jenkins the best red zone receiving threat on the team.

Flex

James Conner (PIT @ CLE): $5,000
If one good thing emerges from this Le’Veon Bell drama it’s the potential for a cheap starting running back as our flex against the Browns. Cleveland’s rush defense is better than one might think given the overall state of the team. They ranked as the No. 4 rush defense in DVOA and they allowed the eighth-fewest rushing yards in the NFL last season. The Browns have lost a key component to their rush defense this offseason, trading nose tackle Danny Shelton to the Patriots. This one isn’t about matchup either, it’s all about price and opportunity. Conner was a prolific running back in college, rushing for 2,857 yards and 42 touchdowns in his final two full seasons at Pittsburgh. He’s a talented player and potential successor to Bell in the future, and at this price, he is a tremendous value.

Defense

Tennessee Titans (TEN @ MIA): $4,200
This game has a 45 O/U and Tennessee is a 1.5 road favorite. Miami’s offense is a question mark right now with Ryan Tannehill returning from a major knee injury and an unclear situation in the backfield. Kenyan Drake is their best offensive weapon, but he faces a defense that allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards, fourth fewest yards per carry, and fewest rushing touchdowns last season. The additions of Kenny Vaccaro and Malcolm Butler should help All-Pro safety Kevin Byard shut down the mediocre Miami receiving corps.

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Elliott Baas is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Elliott, check out his archive and follow him @elliottbaasbb.

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1Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
2Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
3Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
4Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
5Chris Carson (SEA)RB
6Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
7David Johnson (ARI)RB
8Le'Veon Bell (NYJ)RB
9Julio Jones (ATL)WR
10Cooper Kupp (LAR)WR
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12Aaron Jones (GB)RB
13Phillip Lindsay (DEN)RB
14Josh Jacobs (OAK)RB
15Mark Ingram (BAL)RB
16Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
17Marlon Mack (IND)RB
18Michael Thomas (NO)WR
19Sony Michel (NE)RB
20T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
21Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
22Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
23Tyler Lockett (SEA)WR
24Tevin Coleman (SF)RB
25Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
26Kerryon Johnson (DET)RB
27Julian Edelman (NE)WR
28Robert Woods (LAR)WR
29Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
30Michael Gallup (DAL)WR
1Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
2Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
3Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
4J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
5Trevor Story (COL)SS
6Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
7Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
8Trea Turner (WSH)SS
9Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
10Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
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11Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
12Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
13Gerrit Cole (HOU)SP
14Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
15Javier Baez (CHC)2B,3B
16Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
17Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
18Juan Soto (WSH)LF
19Anthony Rendon (WSH)3B
20Bryce Harper (PHI)CF,RF
21Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
22Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
23Starling Marte (PIT)CF
24Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
25Manny Machado (SD)3B,SS
26Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B
27Kris Bryant (CHC)3B,RF
28Whit Merrifield (KC)1B,2B
29George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
30Paul Goldschmidt (STL)1B
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (BKN)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
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11Russell Westbrook (HOU)PG
12Paul George (LAC)SF,PF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
17Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
18Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
19Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Andre Drummond (DET)PF,C
26Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
27Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
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