After a long summer, Week 1 is finally here. We have a full slate of games on both sites, an of course pricing and scoring will make a difference between the two sites. Looking at Vegas there are a few games that sit with a total over 50. Even with Jacksonville being a strong defense, the Chiefs are in town. The Rams-Panthers game is another one where offense is projected. The 49ers and Bucs present a shootout given the defenses. The Bills-Jets and Ravens-Dolphins project for very little offense. In cash games we want to find safe players that provide is with a high floor, but still strong upside.
Jimmy Garoppolo - FD: $7,200 / DK: $5,800 - Given the defenses in this one, we have one of the higher over/unders on the slate in Tampa Bay. Jimmy Garoppolo is on the cheaper side for both slates if you are looking to pay up at other positions. He also is a nice stacking partner with George Kittle. The Bucs allowed the 5th most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks last season, and there is really no hope given the moves they made over the offseason.
Russell Wilson - FD: $8,200 / DK: $6,300 - Russell Wilson is a little bit more expensive, but also gets a plus home matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. This was a team that struggled, allowing 25.3 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks last season. Wilson was relatively consistent outside of the two matchups against Arizona, and Minnesota. He should offer more potential with his legs, and usually brings in 3-4 fantasy points on average with rushing yards.
Kerryon Johnson - FD: $7,000 / DK: $5,800 - Looking for a mid-range back? Kerryon Johnson is in a prime spot against the Cardinals. This defense has been ripped to shreds already by running backs, and that was already predicted before preseason even started. This was a team that allowed over 2,000 rushing yards against last season, and a league high 20 touchdowns. Johnson offers up plenty of value, but big time upside as he looks to close in on a featured role with Detroit. He won't have much positive game script like this week, so use him in Week 1 as an RB2 or FLEX play.
Christian McCaffrey - FD: $8,900 / DK: $8,800 - Attacking a Rams defense isn't the worst thing in the world. They are a fine fantasy defense, but have had their issues with limiting opponents at times. The plus side of McCaffrey is that he is a work horse. The touches will be there, and likely most in the passing game. He has a bit more worth on DK, but even on FD he can be targeted. He dominated in home gmes last season, averaging six more fantasy points per game. He should be around the 100-yard all-purpose mark.
Chris Godwin - FD: $6,900 / DK: $6,200 - There are a ton of mid-priced wideouts that I like, and not too many high ones outside of OBJ and Julio Jones. There will be plenty of time to talk about the obvious, but Chris Godwin comes in with some value against a poor 49ers secondary. I am excited to see Godwin breakout under Bruce Arians, as this passing offense is going to be a fantasy target all season long. The 49ers allowed the third most fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts last season, and ranked 26th versus WR2s.
Dede Westbrook - FD: $5,900 / DK: $4,800 - Even against a Jacksonville defense, you'd have to expect the Jaguars to play catchup here. Dede Westbrook is the only Jags wideout I feel comfortable with, and Nick Foles was targeting him early. He has a real chance to dominate the target share this season, which is a big plus for him. The Chiefs defense should be improved, but ultimately because of their offense, they will still give up points. Westbrook is a very solid WR3 target on both sites with a cheap price tag.
George Kittle - FD: $7,300 / DK: $6,600 - The pay up option for me this week is George Kittle. The Buccaneers allowed over 1,000 receiving yards to opposing tight ends last season, but the touchdowns didn't follow. They still allowed the 10th most fantasy points per game. Kittle averaged 8.4 targets per game last season, and that was hardly with Jimmy G, but he is the go-to option in this offense. With a lot of great mid-range plays, Kittle is someone I want to pay up for.
Hunter Henry - FD: $6,100 / DK: $3,900 - Hunter Henry is laughably cheap on DK, and more of a mid-range play on FD. I expect this to be due to the usual early season relaxed pricing for the causal player. Henry is a fine cash game play, but in tournaments you can pivot from the higher ownership, especially on DK. The Colts defense improved last season, but did struggle against tight ends allowing 9.5 fantasy points per game. That was the 5th highest. The Chargers offense is in great shape with plenty of weapons, and Henry is going to be involved now that he is healthy.
Baltimore Ravens - FD: $5,000 / DK: $3,800 - There are easily two standout options on defense this week, and Baltimore taking on Miami is an easy call. This offense allowed over 50 sacks last season, and struggle with a lack of playmaking options on the offensive side. The Ravens did lose some bigger names, but still hold one of the top defensive units in football. They come in as expensive options, but well worth it from a floor play.
Seattle Seahawks - FD: $4,500 / DK: $3,100 - I don't believe Seattle's defense will hold up most of the year against good offenses, but you can certainly target them on the cheaper side in home matchups against bad ones. That is the case here in Week 1. They get a Bengals offense without A.J. Green, and a very battered offensive line. Seattle comes in $500-700 cheaper if you need that extra cash.