Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos

Total: 42.5

Panthers: 22.25

Broncos: 20.25

There are not many weeks we won't be hyping the prospects of Cam Newton, but facing a Super Bowl rematch with the Broncos defense in Denver on opening night does not appear to be a week to spend on his premium. The Broncos were the No. 1 defense in football last season, No. 1 against fantasy quarterbacks and fantasy wide receivers.

The Panthers defense looks like a cash-game option as the Panthers get to pin their ears back against Trevor Siemian making his first NFL start. That should be a dumbed down game plan, a lot of runs and play-action throws. Hence, a very modest pace and a defensive battle. The hope with the Panthers play is the Broncos have their run game taken away and are forced to open things up, leading to a first-time starter's mistakes in the way of turnovers.

The Broncos were the eighth-most generous team to fantasy defenses last season, thanks to 23 interceptions – most of which were committed by a Hall of Famer (Peyton Manning). You have to figure turnovers will be in the cards for the inexperienced passer against an elite defense in his debut.

We don't love Siemian or Demaryius Thomas' modest numbers with shaky quarterbacks a year ago, but big, physical receivers like him serve as a safety net. We also like the price, listing him outside the receiving elite. We don't think the Broncos play-action will hit a home run against the Panthers' Cover-3, but using a reduced-priced D.T. underneath can be in play.

Despite modest yardage and touchdowns allowed by the Panthers defense a year ago, they did allow wideouts 199 receptions (15th most in fantasy) – 16 of those went to Julio Jones and 10 went to Vincent Jackson. Big receivers have given them trouble.

Also, Josh Norman is no longer here, so the Panthers might be starting a pair of rookie corners James Bradberry (second-rounder) and Daryl Worley (third-rounder), according to the Charlotte Observer.

If you're looking for a conservative defensive struggle, C.J. Anderson might be a pivot play in a less-than-favorable matchup. Head coach Gary Kubiak might be tempted to take the pressure off his quarterback by going with an Arian Foster-like run-oriented attack. That could also help Brandon McManus be a DFS monster if this wins up being 15-12 field-goal battle.

Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens

Total: 43

Bills: 20

Ravens: 23

This might be an entertaining football game, but it doesn't project to be a profitable one for fantasy owners as both teams are predicated on their running games and defense. That doesn't tend to make for high-scoring fantasy options.

And, to note, neither team is explosive on the ground. Sure, LeSean McCoy helped the Bills boast the No. 1 rushing offense last season, but he scored just five rushing touchdowns. Also, the Ravens had an awful year; yet, they managed to finish seventh-best against fantasy running backs. McCoy is a decent play at his price, but merely because of volume in what should be a run-heavy game plan.

The Bills averaged 31.8 rushing attempts per game, good for second most to the Carolina Panthers last year. Of those, McCoy accounted for around 17 attempts per game in a year in which he was literally hamstrung by injury. He said he is much healthier now.

While the Bills averaged a league-best 4.8 yards per carry, the Ravens front was top 10 in the NFL in fewest yards per rush (4.0). It will not be so easy to pound McCoy at them, like the Bills like to do.

If there is a matchup to get excited about it is Sammy Watkins against a Ravens defense that surrendered the second-most receiving touchdowns and the fifth-most fantasy points to wideouts last year. Watkins has foot surgery in the offseason and was limited in the preseason, but he has already come out and said he will score two touchdowns in Week 1 against the Ravens.

If the Bills are able to soften a good Ravens front with McCoy, Watkins can get over the top off play-action to reach his two-touchdown prediction.

The Bills were also a bottom-10 team against fantasy wideouts last year, but the Ravens offense does not matchup well against a Rex Ryan-Rob Ryan defense. Justin Forsett is the likely starting back in a three-headed rotation with Buck Allen and Terrence West, making any of their backs a subpar DFS play. Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken are affordable options, but they don't score touchdowns and are not high-volume targets at this stage of their careers.

This is a matchup where you go with kickers and defense/special team units in your DFS lineups, perhaps.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

Total: 47.5

Buccaneers: 22.25

Falcons: 25.25

Dan Quinn brought his Legion of Boom architect skills to Atlanta last year, as only two teams (the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks) allowed fewer touchdown passes to quarterbacks. Also, quietly, the Falcons were the second-best team in fantasy against wideouts last year.

It makes James Winston and Mike Evans less intriguing plays at their prices, while Doug Martin slightly more intriguing against the Falcons' defensive front. This is a high total for fantasy production, but we tend to feel as if this game's pace is going to be a bit slower and focused on the running games. Both meetings last year feel below this number and fantasy production expectations.

The Falcons gave up the second-most touchdowns to fantasy running backs – and fifth-most points – last season. Also, Doug Martin had 95 yards and a touchdown in the last meeting. With Quinn's expertise aiding the secondary, the Bucs are more likely to rely on the running game behind Martin and dump-offs to RB Charles Sims. The running backs are going to be employed heavily for Winston and Dirk Koetter's Bucs.

If you're not playing the premium for Julio Jones (ankle), who is not quite 100 percent in practice this week – when is he ever? – Mohamed Sanu becomes a more intriguing bargain option as Matt Ryan's second downfield target. Ryan is going to use Devonta Freeman often in the short passing game, but it is the wide receivers who did the bulk of the damage against the Bucs defense a year ago. Tampa Bay was seventh worst against fantasy wideouts. Only four teams allowed more TD receptions to wideouts than the Bucs' 22.

The Bucs have a mess at the tight end position, especially with Luke Stocker (back) banged up, but this is a favorable matchup. The Falcons allowed the third-most yards to tight ends last season, so while they were great outside on the receivers, their safeties and linebackers struggled over the middle.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins is priced as a starter, but Cameron Brate is a co-starter on the official depth chart, and he caught one of his three touchdowns against the Falcons last year. Brate is a better value in this favorable matchup than ASJ and a potential stopgap tight end if you're short on budget.

If you're looking for a kicker, go with Matt Bryant. The Bucs gave up the fourth-most points to fantasy kickers last season and this game is at home in the dome. it should be a three-plus FG day for the Falcons veteran.

Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars

Total: 47.0

Packers: 25.5

Jaguars: 21.5

Here is a game that could really get loose for fantasy players. You have to love when two 30-plus touchdown quarterbacks are going against each other, especially because the Jags struggled against quarterbacks last year, which made for great offensive numbers of their own quarterback (and his receivers) playing catchup. This is a game that looks like a good bet to bust the total.

The Packers are not a suspect team against fantasy quarterbacks (fifth best last year), but Aaron Rodgers' excellence and this favorable matchup figure to give QB Blake Bortles an opportunity to post 300-3 numbers of his own in a shootout. Bortles' price and likely lower usage percentage make him a superior GPP play.

If the Packers score as much as we suspect, WR Allen Robinson is going to do some second-have damage for DFS owners. A Bottles-Robinson stack was a winning combination last year and figure to get off to a good start against Rodgers' Packers again in this one.

On the Packers side, you won't find a lot of hidden value – save for new TE Jared Cook. The preseason hype didn't get baked into his price for NFL Week 1. Cook hasn't had a quarterback this good before in his career and the same can be said for Rodgers and his tight end. The only problem with playing Cook in GPPs is everyone is going to be all over him against the sixth-worst team in fantasy against tight ends last year.

It should be noted, RB Chris Ivory (calf) is on the injury report for his Jags debut. This won't be a great game for the Jags run game anyway, putting even more opportunities and numbers on the downfield passing game.

All of the Packers primary DFS stars are steady cash-game options in this one. QB Aaron Rodgers is the No. 1-priced quarterback on the board. While it will be tough to finish there among passers, he will be his steady 300-3 self in this favorable matchup. That makes Cook and wideouts Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb strong cash-game plays – especially since Nelson should be something close to his career form coming off injury and that should help make Cobb more productive than he was a year ago.

Points, points and more points should be expected ... in all sorts of ways … so consider the premium for K Mason Crosby in your Packers stack.

Chicago Bears at Houston Texans

Total: 44

Bears: 20

Texans: 24

The line suggests a defensive game that won't light up DFS lineups, but there is something about the Texans defense getting after Jay Cutler that excites us here for sacks, turnovers and defensive scores – all the things fantasy owners love out of their defense.

Sure, Cutler did play far more conservatively under John Fox, cutting his interceptions down to 11 in 2015 from 18 the year prior, but Cutler is still a sack-prone passer who shows some indecision when he is not making a poor decision throwing into coverage. The Bears gave up a fantasy-high seven defense/special teams touchdowns last year and were sixth worst against opposing fantasy D/STs.

Take the Texans if you're not paying the premium for the Seattle Seahawks or Kansas City Chiefs.

DeAndre Hopkins usually is a popular cash-game play, but we would hold off on him working with new quarterback Brock Osweiler out of the gate. The Bears allowed the second-fewest receptions to fantasy wideouts last year (164, which is around 10 per game). They also allowed the fourth-fewest receiving yards to fantasy wideouts to boot.

If the Texas score through the air, it is likely to be Osweiler dishing it off to Lamar Miller out the backfield. The Bears gave up the second-most receiving touchdowns to running backs last season and the Texans offense is likely to be limited downfield against the Bears secondary.

Outside of Alshon Jeffery's price – made a bargain by his injury-plagued 2015 – we are not excited by any of the Bears DFS options on the road against a good Texans defense.

Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets

Total: 41.5

Bengals: 21.75

Jets: 19.75

Yuck. Yet another game between traditional defensive teams, leaving a low total on the board and little in the way of DFS promise.

Modest play at the quarterback position on both sides (Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick) is magnified by each defense's ability to limit fantasy passers and their numbers. The Bengals are particularly troublesome as a fantasy matchup, being one of just two defenses to intercept more passes (21) than touchdown passes (18) allowed. (The NFC Champion Panthers were the other.)

That should keep you from slotting Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker as value plays. They feast more on bad defenses, which the Bengals are not.

The Bengals defense was behind just the Broncos and Seahawks as the toughest on opposing fantasy passers.

Then you get to the running backs and the DFS projections get even worse. While both offenses were in the top 10 in rushing attempts last year, both defenses were stingy against fantasy backs. The Jets allowed just two rushing TDs to backs, leading all of fantasy, while the Bengals were tied for fifth with just six allowed.

The Jets' Matt Forte and Bengals' Jeremy Hill will be high-volume backs who are a lot better slotted in DFS when the defenses are softer up front. Avoid them this week.

This is another fantasy game more favorable to values of kickers and defenses.

Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns

Total: 43.5

Eagles: 24.75

Browns: 18.75

Here is a DFS sleeper contest few will be targeting for GPP plays, but they should. It is a perfect storm of hidden value, because not only are the offensive pieces on both sides marginal in terms of fantasy production – which keep their prices down – but both defenses are suspect as well.

We expect to see some whacky totals from this game. Let's start with the Browns backs, especially because we cannot see a whole lot of excellence coming from Robert Griffin III until Josh Gordon (suspension) returns in October.

The running backs are the strength of the Browns offense and the Eagles showed a weakness against them last year.

Isaiah Crowell will be the volume back on the early downs at at the goal line, while Duke Johnson will impact the passing game. The Eagles had the worst run defense in football last year, allowing almost 2,000 yards rushing to fantasy backs. Even more notably, for Johnson value plays, the Eagles allowed the fourth-most receiving TDs to backs (seven). We like each back to post a combined 80 yards and a score apiece.

Passing-wise, the Browns and Eagles finished tied for the worst teams in fantasy against wide receivers. It is too bad the quarterbacks and receivers are not trustworthy fantasy options… they are at least cheap, if you want to roll the dice on them, though.

Jordan Matthews looks like a good bet for 6-60-1 at a nice price, while the tight ends on both sides (Gary Barnidge and Zach Ertz) should be heavily featured as go-to targets, especially in the red zone. Ertz buyers will especially like to hear the Browns gave up 10 TDs to tight ends last year, which was just two off the fantasy-leading pace.

If you are a truly wild dice-roller, you might roll it on the bargain Browns defense against rookie Carson Wentz, who gets the start in his NFL debut. Those notorious go well for defenses and bad for the passer, and Wentz missed most of his first preseason with a fractured rib.

Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans

Total: 42

Vikings: 22.5

Titans: 19.5

This game would be a lot more bountiful if Teddy Bridgewater (knee) was not out for the season, because the Titans were susceptible to fantasy quarterbacks, giving up 34 touchdown passes and a league-high four rushing TDs. The Titans had allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last year.

There is uncertainty at quarterback for the Vikings, which should give Adrian Peterson the ball more than any other fantasy back this week. Expect Peterson to receive 25-plus touches against a Titans defense that was stingy on backs last year, allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points. Only one team allowed fewer rushing touchdowns, the New York Jets.

The Titans running game, bolstered by free agent DeMarco Murray and rookie Derrick Henry this offseason will be a DFS weapon in most weeks, but we don't like the matchup against an underrated Vikings defense. Murray has been declared the feature back, so consider him at his modest price on what should be a decent amount of volume.

The wild card here is Marcus Mariota, who can make throws downfield off play-action and create plays and fantasy points with his mobility. A scrambling quarterback can hurt good defenses out of the pocket, but we cannot see this game getting loose enough for Mariota to be more than a middle of the road fantasy producer here.

Both TE Delanie Walker and Kyle Rudolph are threats to score in this one, with Rudolph being the better value of the two, because the Titans gave up 11 touchdowns to the position in fantasy last season, just one off the league-leading total.

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs

Total: 43

Chargers: 18

Chiefs: 25

This looks like one of the more lopsided contests on paper, which should make for a lot of exposure of Chiefs DFS options. Spencer Ware, the likely starter over Jamaal Charles, is going to be in a lot of lineups, while many will spring for the premium on the Chiefs defense because of a generous matchup.

Not only is Ware priced as a backup, but he is facing a Chargers defense that surrendered the fourth-most points to fantasy backs a year ago. With a line that sets this game up to be a popular survivor-pool pick, Ware could be doing a fair amount of clock-grinding in the second half. Andy Reid famously loves to use his backs often, and Ware caught eight passes in the preseason after catching just six for five yards a year ago.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Chiefs are talented and the Chargers have a quarterback, Philip Rivers, who likes to take chances downfield. It creates sacks and turnovers, which the Chiefs are good at, so this matchup lines up nicely – even if the price is a bit steep. The Chargers gave up the second-most defensive touchdowns (five) last season, including one of the Chiefs.

If the Chargers have a strength to be wary of in DFS, it is the Chiefs' weakness – the downfield passing game. The Chargers were a top 10 team against quarterbacks and a top four team against wideouts. We cannot like Alex Smith or Jeremy Maclin much. TE Travis Kielce's numbers were modest against the Chargers last season (8-64 with no TDs in two games), but the Chargers safeties and linebackers did give up eight TE TDs, so if there is a passing score to be had outside of Smith to a running back, it could be Kelce near the goal line.

Consider Rivers looking short, too, throwing more to his running backs, Danny Woodhead, and tight end Antonio Gates. A road game in a tough environment against a tough opponent for the rebuilding Chargers doesn't look favorable for DFS plays, especially since the Chargers scored just six points combined against the Chiefs in their two meetings last season.

Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints

Total: 50.5

Raiders: 24.75

Saints: 25.75

This is easily the most exciting game on the DFS board for NFL Week 1. The total is high, the line is close and two premium quarterbacks with various weapons matchup against each other. This should be a wide-open game of can you top this very late in the fourth quarter.

No matter what you think of the Raiders defense, Drew Brees is going to score a lot of points at home, and we peg Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree as great bets to keep up.

Sure, the Saints defense will be better with a year of health from Jairus Byrd, but that will merely make them better against tight ends over the middle – against which the Saints were the worst in fantasy last year. We cannot be sure second-year Clive Walford is ready to step into DFS prominence out of gate anyway.

The best opportunities, and the Raiders strength that might put them on par with anyone in football, will be in the downfield passing game to wideouts Cooper and Crabtree. The Saints gave up a lead-high 27 TD receptions to WRs last year. Cooper and Crabtree should each get in the end zone once apiece, if not twice. That sets Carr up to be the play of the week.

Heck, even Latavius Murray can cause havoc in the passing and running game. The Saints are weaker in the front seven than their secondary even. They gave up the second-most fantasy points to backs last season, which was punctuated by seven receiving TDs by RBs (just one off the league-high total).

The Saints have a far more stiff challenge against an improving Raiders defense, but Brees spreads the ball out so well on his home turf it shouldn't keep him from producing up to his price and 300-yard, two-plus touchdown standards. Of Brees' 32 TD passes last season, a whopping 23 came at home. That should light you up on WR Brandin Cooks and new TE Coby Fleener, if not help you sneak WR Willie Sneed into a fat Saints stack.

As for the Saints running game, RB Mark Ingram won't be the best DFS value out there, but he will get used frequently in a game that will feature a lot of points. That gives Ingram a shot at the end zone (he scored just six times last year). It should be noted Ingram is vastly improved as a pass receiver, coming off career highs 50-405 receiving in 2015. Sean Payton loves throwing to backs.

Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks

Total: 44

Dolphins: 17

Seahawks: 27

This one would be a lot easier to peg for DFS plays if not for the retirement of Marshawn Lynch and the banged-up offseason and preseason of his replacement Thomas Rawls (ankle). The Seahawks are the largest favorite of the week in the friendly confines of Seattle, facing a suspect Dolphins team that was dead last in fantasy against running backs last season.

Now, they do have a decent front and DT Ndamukong Suh, but the Seahawks have their way with everyone at home.

The Dolphins gave up a league-high 21 touchdowns to fantasy backs last season, so even if you're not confident in Rawls usage, you can consider Christine Michael at his backup's price. There should be mop duty for him in the second half, if not some pass receiving.

Their Dolphins RB counterpart, Arian Foster, is a very difficult play against the Seahawks defense that is notoriously impenetrable, especially at home. The Seahawks gave up the fewest yards touchdowns and points to fantasy backs last season.

Assuming the Seahawks control the tempo of the game on the ground easily, Russell Wilson should be considered more of a cash-game play at quarterback. It will be unlikely he will be needed to put up a lot of points, but he will get to his 20-point level with a mix of the run and the pass, particularly since Rawls isn't physically ready to carry a feature-back load of the duty.

The Seahawks defense is always a wise cash-game play at home, particularly against a frequently sacked quarterback like Ryan Tannehill. He will find it tough to get the ball to Jarvis Landry and Co. against the No. 2 defense against the pass and fantasy quarterbacks.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

Total: 49

Giants: 23

Cowboys: 26

We consider this line a bit of fool's gold, especially because we cannot be sure how rookie quarterback Dak Prescott is going to react to making the start for Tony Romo (back) in his NFL debut. The Cowboys figure to feature the run heavily, regardless, which should slow the pace from past Romo-Eli Manning shootouts.

We cannot love WR Dez Bryant (concussion), despite the matchup that might appear to be as favorable as any.

The Giants defense was legendarily bad last season, ranking dead last in the NFL and finishing worst against the pass and second worst against fantasy quarterbacks. It should be much improved with rookie corner Eli Apple, second-year safety Landon Collins expected to be better, free-agent CB Janoris Jenkins joined the fold and getting a full preseason from pass-rusher Jason Pierre-Paul.

The Giants also have some meat in the middle of their defensive line, which could mitigate what should be a potent Cowboys running game behind arguably the best offensive line in football and explosive rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott. There will be better weeks for Elliott as a DFS play, especially if Prescott can recreate his preseason magic. We see the Giants playing well defensively here, though.

The Cowboys defense – fourth best against fantasy QBs last year – should be able to limit Eli Manning as it did a year ago. Manning was held under 200 yards and with no TDs in each of the meetings last year. Again, this is a defensive slugfest, as we see it. The values of the Giants or Cowboys defense are intriguing.

Odell Beckham Jr. is a cash-game play but not a true GPP option, because of the unlikelihood of him finding the end zone. If you're looking for a sleeper wideout to make an impact here, we are going to go with dark horse pick Victor Cruz in his long-awaited return from multiple season-ending injuries.

Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts

Total: 49

Lions: 22

Colts: 27

It might be easy to like the Colts' passing game in the return of Andrew Luck (shoulder) at home, but the real DFS intrigue for us comes with the Lions passing game – despite the loss of Calvin Johnson to retirement – against an injury-hit and suspect Colts secondary. The Colts will be without No. 1 cover corner Vontae Davis (ankle).

Consider the spunk you might expect from Luck at home, you should get great value out of the Lions receiving targets for Matthew Stafford in trying to keep up. Golden Tate assumes the go-to man's role at a modest price, while Anquan Boldin and TE Eric Ebron are bargains.

The Colts' Dwayne Allen is a strong play against a Lions defense that gave up a league-high 12 TDs to TEs, while T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief's prices are low because of games started by Luck's backup(s) last season.

Heck, we like all off the weapons on both sides of the respective passing games, including the starting backs (Ameer Abdullah and Frank Gore) getting throws and goal-line opportunities in a wide-open game. This is quietly one of the better stacking contests on the board., especially because the prices of the primary weapons do not come at a premium like many others.

The Colts offense is going to be potent because of Luck and the DFS prices do not yet reflect that. Also, a troubled defense and shaky secondary should help the productive of the Colts' opponents all year, therefore forcing Luck to keep a Drew Brees/Saints-like offense pace.

New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals

Total: 47.5

Patriots: 26.25

Cardinals: 21.25

Las Vegas totals disagree but we expect this game to be a slower-pace, running game, play-action pass, defensive struggle. Two statistically potent offenses face off against quality defenses and the Pats do it with a first-time starting quarterback in Jimmy Garropolo.

Jimmy G cannot be expected to lift Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman to their production that makes their prices high, so consider James White a sleeper play for his usage as a pass receiver out the backfield. Even that value is mitigated in GPPs, though, because the Daily Fantasy Cafe lineup optimizer is going to load up numerous lineups with him. You need more certain production from a player everyone isn't already all over.

Don't count on David Johnson being a huge factor either. The Pats allowed just eight touchdowns to running backs last season – finishing sixth in fantasy against the position – and Bill Belichick is notorious for taking his opponent's No. 1 weapon away and forcing you to beat his teams with alternatives. That would make the sleeper Cardinals wideouts like J.J. Nelson or Jaron Brown far more intriguing values at their reduced prices.

You might like the Cardinals defense to force sacks and turnovers and score fantasy points because of Jimmy G's inexperience, but expect the Pats to limit his mistakes, stick with a conservative ball-control game plan and get the ball to the running backs. The Cardinals were equally tough on running backs as the Pats, allowing the fourth-fewest rushing yards to fantasy backs.

This game might have looked like a prime-time shootout, but we figure it will wind up being a Sunday night snooze-fest best avoided in DFS terms.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins

Total: 50

Steelers: 26.5

Redskins: 23.5

Here is a prime-time game far more worthy of a high total. Sure, the Redskins added Josh Norman to their secondary, but both the Redskins and the Steelers were among the bottom 10 teams against fantasy quarterbacks and bottom-eight teams against the pass. The Steelers were third worst to just the lowly Giants and Saints we railed on above.

Most notably, tight ends went 88-931-8 in 16 games against the Steelers, making this a game very clearly in TE Jordan Reed's wheelhouse – perhaps to the tune of 8-100-1 numbers for QB Kirk Cousins. When the Steelers score early and often, Cousins and the Redskins will be called upon to answer.

Antonio Brown is an obvious play, no matter what you might think of Norman's cover skills, but we like the value of a secondary threat like Markus Wheaton much more. When Brown was matched up against Richard Sherman and the Seahawks' Legion of Boom, Ben Roethlisberger went to Wheaton for a huge 9-201-1 day last season … on the road, no less. You would take half those numbers at Wheaton's price in a far more favorable matchup.

We don't like either running game matching up against the respective defensive fronts here either, further fueling our love for dueling 300-3 quarterback performances from Big Ben and Cousins in prime time. The Steelers were the third best team in fantasy against running backs a year ago, allowing just four rushing TDs, while the underrated Redskins front was in single digits in that latter stat, too.

Among the three prime-time contests on the NFL Week 1 slate, this his easily the most intriguing for healthy stacks – almost exclusively with the passing games on either side.

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers

Total: 45

Rams: 23.5

49ers: 21.5

Few in daily fantasy start their lineups with premium running backs in this modern passing era that is so kind to the diva wide receivers, but the Rams will be a throwback with Todd Gurley and their '80s throwback coach Jeff Fisher. They will be among the league leaders in rushing attempts per game, like they were a year ago (seventh at 26.8).

With a full year of Gurley as a starter, we would expect that number to jump to 30, which is on the level of the Bills, Panthers, Seahawks and Vikings. Gurley warrants a 25-carry day against a 49ers front that allowed over 2,000 yards rushing to fantasy backs last season and ranked third worst against them.

Add the uncertainty of the Rams quarterback situation into that favorable matchup and you have some high-volume stuff on the level of what C.J. Anderson did for Gary Kubiak's Denver Broncos on Thursday night in the opener – and that was against a good run defense with a back not quite in Gurley's league.

That effectiveness of the running game will allow Tavon Austin's speed to pop one over the top, too, making for an easier loft-it-up throw for whomever the quarterback winds up being.

The 49ers offense will be equally run-heavy, as most Chip Kelly teams are, but they will be far less effective with it in this one. The Rams allowed just six rushing touchdowns a year ago. They won't allow one Carlos Hyde and company here either.

Toss in the fact you have an underrated Rams defense going against QB Blaine Gabbert in Game 1 of the mess of the Kelly system and you should see a game soundly controlled by the Rams, Gurley and their defense for fantasy owners.

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