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Week 1 is finally here! With the Tampa Bay/Miami game being postponed to Week 11, we actually start off with a smaller slate of games than usual. There are plenty of high team totals, high expectations, and reasons for optimism as we kick off the 2017 season, so let's dive in and talk about some of the top stacks for Week 1 NFL action:

Top Stack 1

Steelers @ Browns - Team Total 28

Name

Position

FanDuel Salary

DraftKings Salary

Estimated Ownership %

Projected Points

Ben RoethlisbergerQB$8,200$7,30010-1517.25 (DK), 17.15 (FD)
Le'Veon BellRB$9,300$6,20035-4023.78 (DK), 21.03 (FD)
Antonio BrownWR$9,100$8,80020-2520.71 (DK), 17.06 (FD)
Martavis BryantWR$6,500$6,0000-511.81 (DK), 9.86(FD)

As much as I may despise this team and it's players, the smart move this weekend is to get yourself some exposure to this Steeler offense against the Browns. As usual, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown will draw plenty of ownership against a Cleveland team that ranked 31st and 27th against the pass and run (per Football Outsiders), respectively, in 2016. Bell saw the 3rd-most snaps per game among RB in 2016 (48.8), while Brown also found himself among the snap leaders at his position with 60.9 per game. This offense is tied with the Falcons for the highest team total on the board at 28, and the only potential concern here is a near double-digit spread (-9). The Browns' #1 draft pick, Myles Garrett, will sit this one out as well, which hurts their chances of keeping this one close. Mixing in the recently reinstated Martavis Bryant in with your stacks could certainly help you lower ownership this weekend, and Roethlisberger could help set you apart as well. This one will be chalky, but you'd be crazy not to get yourself plenty of exposure. In 2016, Bell totaled 201 yards and a score Week 11, while Brown went for 8-76. The starters rested in Week 17 in the second matchup.

Top Stack 2

Falcons @ Bears - Team Total 28

Name

Position

FanDuel Salary

DraftKings Salary

Estimated Ownership %

Projected Points

Matt Ryan

QB$8,500$6,90010-1518.82 (DK), 18.72 (FD)
Julio JonesWR$9,000$8,50020-2519.12 (DK), 15.92 (FD)
Devonta FreemanRB$8,300$7,00010-1517.62 (DK), 15.72 (FD)
Tevin ColemanRB$6,200$5,4000-510.62 (DK), 9.47 (FD)

While it is often tough to determine which back will get the bulk of the touches, Freeman is generally your best bet. However, in a full stack, I'll be going all-in on both RB together, and maximizing floor and upside. The Jones/Ryan stack will be no stranger to DFS lineups this weekend either, as this matchup against the Bears is a very good one. In 2016, Chicago ranked 25th against the pass, 29th against the run, AND 27th at defending #1 WR (per FO). Jones is among the best in the game, and with new coordinator (good riddance) Steve Sarkisian taking the reins, you can rest assured that Jones will be peppered with targets at all points of the field. The best thing about this stack is that one or both of these backs will be getting the late work if this one turns into a blowout, which raises your floor and ceiling. Don't expect this stack to go underlooked, but pairing both of these electric ball-carriers could set your lineups apart from the field.

Contrarian Stack

Titans vs Raiders - Team Total 25.75

Name

Position

FanDuel Salary

DraftKings Salary

Estimated Ownership %

Projected Points

Marcus Mariota

QB

$7,800

$6,800

5-10

18.91 (DK), 18.61(FD)

DeMarco Murray

RB

$7,600

$7,400

5-10

17.15 (DK), 15.55 (FD)

Rishard Matthews

WR

$6,100

$4,200

0-5

10.66 (DK), 8.71 (FD)

While I still consider the Raiders to be a competent defense, I also expect them to put up plenty of points in this game, and Vegas agrees, as the total for this one is currently set at at 50.5 points. The Raiders will certainly be the more popular side of this one, especially considering the Titans lack of a true #1 WR (sorry, Eric Decker). While Decker is a fine option in his own right, I'm looking for lower ownership without sacrificing upside, and Matthews certainly provides that. He hauled in nine touchdown passes last season, and with a healthy Mariota, he should be in line for yet another solid year. His appeal is limited to GPP action only, of course, as he showed plenty of inconsistencies in 2016. The Silver and Black were middle of the pack against the pass (15th) and run (17th) last season (per FO), but Tennessee will be tasked with trying to keep up with this high-powered offense, and I'm a believer in their chances to do that. Mariota himself has GPP-winning upside, and DeMarco Murray is coming off a tremendous 2016 campaign that saw him total nearly 1,600 yards from scrimmage and a dozen touchdowns. If you believe that this one will stay close (which I certainly do), this stack could pay plenty of dividends.

Value Stack

Rams vs Colts - Team Total 22.75

Name

Position

FanDuel Salary

DraftKings Salary

Estimated Ownership %

Projected Points

Sammy Watkins

WR

$6,900

$6,200

2-3

13.90 (DK), 11.60 (FD)

Todd Gurley

RB

$7,300

$6,000

15-20

16.54 (DK), 15.14 (FD)

Rams D/ST

D/ST

$4,600

$3,200

20-25

7.50 (DK), 7.50 (FD)

While it may seem like Andrew Luck's absence is the biggest story in this game for DFS purposes, I'm noticing the absence of Vontae Davis, who (when healthy) is one of the best 1-on1 cover corners in all of the NFL. While the timetable for his return is unknown, none of that matters for this week. What we do know is that Sammy Watkins will be lining up against some combination of Rashaan Melvin, Quincy Wilson, and Nate Hairston. Who, you ask? Good question. None of these "top" DBs for the Colts have much experience at all, and two of them are rookies. With that said, this is also a Colts defense that was an automatic target for DFS players in 2016 with opposing RBs, as they ranked dead last in the NFL against the run, per FO. Generally, we see stacks that include the QB, but I simply don't believe that Jared Goff has GPP-winning upside. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'll be mixing in other QB/WR combos with my Rams stacks for Week 1.



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