NFL Sports Betting Toolkit
Week 1 payed off the chalk in a big way. Ownership numbers were blown up for the so called chalk plays, but this is why NFL is so difficult to win on a weekly basis. Everyone is reading from the same book you are. While it payed off to have a chalky lineup Week 1, keep in mind that this will certainly not always be the case. The NFL can leave you really scratching your head after the games are completed wondering, how didn't the top RB that all the "experts" touted not come through or why was no one talking about player X who went off? NFL is the hardest game to consistently predict accurately and you have the least opportunities to do so with only one large slate per week. Vegas helps you weekly by providing what the best minds in the industry think for how the games will play out and this should always be looked at. I'll provide the Vegas perspective for this week along with my own views on these games, while providing you one fantasy play from each of them.
Tennessee @ Detroit -5.5 O/U 47
The spread on this game is accurate, but the total is a bit high IMO. It's also being bet up at some sites as well to 47.5. Both these team in week 1 surrendered far more yards through the air than expected. If the secondaries for these teams show up in the same fashion for this game, then this certainly could turn into a shootout. Against the run though, both teams had strong week 1 showings. Considering that both of these teams use some sort of committee makes it hard to warrant playing any RBs from either in cash, but it is worth noting that Abdullah and Riddick are priced modestly on both sites. Both Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are nice plays, but I would play Tate on FD and Jones on DK due to pricing. The player that is safe to roll out on both sites though is Tajae Sharpe again. His price rose slightly on each site despite being tied for 9th in targets among WRs. As mentioned, the Colts torched this secondary last week, and if the Titans are playing from behind as expected, Sharpe will see plenty of action his way. He is once again, a nice value play on both sites.
Tajae Sharpe WR - FD Price $6,000 - DK Price $4,100
Kansas City @ Houston -2.5 O/U 43.5
This game opened at pick, but has since moved in Houston's direction a few points. You had two good defenses going at it here, and with a fairly low total. The total is not seeing much action as far as line movement goes, as this number is good for these teams. Expect a lot of ground action from both of these teams, as this is what they each do best along with play defense. It's actually tough to warrant targeting anyone from this game. Even if Charles is out, Ware's price has climbed too high for this match-up, and it's tough to warrant paying up for Miller against the Chiefs D. I don't love this play but Will Fuller would be the guy I would roll out from this game. He got plenty of looks from Osweiler, and though the Chiefs didn't give up much through the air last week, San Diego had no legitimate WRs once Keenan Allen went down. Fuller is still fairly affordable on both sites, and his price is very low on DK, much like Sharpe.
Will Fuller WR - FD Price $6,200 - DK Price $4,200
Miami @ New England -6.5 O/U 41
What we learned last week is that coaches are still undervalued in the NFL. New England lead Arizona early and never looked back. No Brady, no Gronkowski, no problem as the coaching staff had their guys more than prepared to fill the void. New England here is a big favorite with one of the lowest totals on the board, so I'll be ruling all Miami players out even though Landy's FD price is tempting. I cannot trust the NE RB committee, and God Bless you if you trust Blount after seeing he got 22 carries in week 1. I think whether Gronk plays or not, this is a good spot for Edelman. You know his floor is 5-6 catches for 60-70 yards, and if he sneaks into the endzone, it could make a solid day into a great one. After his modest week 1, I expect him to have a solid performance against the Dolphins.
Julian Edelman WR - FD Price $7,100 - DK Price $6,200
Baltimore -6.5 @ Cleveland O/U 42.5
This line saw a 3-4 point shift once Robert Griffin was declared out. The problem I have with this line is that, I don't think the Ravens are a TD better than any team on the road. With that said,Vegas really expects McCown and the Browns to struggle here. While the Browns are bad vs. the run and pass targeting Ravens WR is a coin flip. I like that Steve Smith saw 8 targets last week, but he is still difficult to justify trusting. I like Forsett in this match-up as I feel a decent amount of people will be scared off by the time share with West. His price is not ideal on FD, but this makes his a very nice contrarian play there. I do expect his ownership to be higher on DraftKings due to the serious price discount. The Browns stop no one on the ground and Forsett had a solid day vs. them last year, and I expect the Ravens to really establish the ground game after being nearly nonexistent week 1.
Justin Forsett RB - FD Price $6,600 - DK Price $4,400
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh -3.5 O/U 48.5
These two division rivals always seem to play each other tough. This certainly figures to be an entertaining game and sports one of the highest totals of the day. You can expect Antonio Brown to be a popular play along with DeAngelo Williams, but I'll be looking elsewhere in this game as these teams have not filled up the stat sheets in most recent meetings. AJ Green is always an option, but again back to what I said, these team's star players in their most recent meetings have not filled it up, and you are getting none of those three guys at a discount. I'll be looking to target Jesse James in this one. I like that he saw 7 targets last week and Heath Miller used to have solid games against Cincinnati. He is min price on Fanduel and nearly minimum price on DK. TE is not exactly a pretty position this week, so I don't mind punting with James.
Jesse James TE - FD Price $4,500 - DK Price $3,400.
Dallas @ Washington -3 O/U 45
I really like the Redskins in this spot even on a short week. Dallas proved last week that they do not trust Dak airing it out, and until they do, I expect every team to keep 9-10 guys close to the line of scrimmage. Vegas opened with the Redskins as a 3.5 favorites and has since been bought down to 2.5 at some places. This doesn't worry me all that much though as the public loves Dallas every week. There is not much worth targeting in this game as pricing is tight here, but I always like to provide a punt defense. Last week I gave out the Ravens and they played well for a cheap price, and I really like the Redskins this week to play well as a punt defense.
Redskins Defense D - FD Price $4,400 - DK Price $2,800.
New Orleans @ NY Giants -4.5 O/U 53
This is by far the best game to target and for obvious reasons. This line opened at 51.5 and has since moved to 53 with some extra juice going the Giants way as well. People will look at last year combined 100+ points from these two and think magic all over again, yet this one will not be in the dome. Not to say it cannot go over, but expecting anything close is nothing more than a pipe dream. This game will have various players mid-high owned with Odell Beckham being one of the most popular players on both slates. Eli Manning is a fine play as well, but my only issue with him is that Cam's price is so close to him on both sites, and Cam's upside is far better. Pairing Manning with Odell though is still a solid combination. I won't be targeting any Saints WRs specifically either because the prices are not ideal. Odell is the big play from this game, but for GPPs, feel free to target nearly any starter in this game.
Eli Manning QB - FD Price $8,100 - DK Price $7,600.
Odell Beckham Jr. - FD Price $9,400 - DK Price $9,500.
San Francisco @ Carolina -13.5 O/U 45.5
This is the biggest spread of the season, and clearly Vegas was not swayed at all with how good San Fran looked in Week 1. It's worth noting that the total has come down three points since open. Spreads this large only occur about 4-5 times a year tops, and anytime they do, you can always expect the favorite's defense to be the highest owned on the slate. The Panthers defense price is certainly affordable on both sites, and well worth the price. The Cam Newton/Kelvin Benjamin combo may be a popular one, but understand that you're hoping San Fran keeps this competitive, so both can put up numbers all game. I'm more than fine with paying for Cam, since his price is only shortly higher than Eli Manning, and his upside his higher, but Jonathan Stewart is a great value play as well. Stewart is being worked slow in practice this week due to an ankle injury, but should play and if he does, he makes for a fine option on both sites. If he sits out, Fozzy Whittaker becomes the top chalk play of the day. I am normally anti QB/RB stacks, but even this one is tough to pass up.
Cam Newton QB - FD Price $9,000 - DK Price $7,900.
Jonathan Stewart RB - FD Price $6,700 - DK Price $5,400.
Tampa @ Arizona -6.5 O/U 50
Arizona is in a great bounce-back spot here after they let down many on Sunday Night. Arizona owns one of the highest projected totals of the week, and it's hard to imagine Arizona starting out 0-2 with two home games. Jameis had a great week 1, but I expect him to struggle here along with the Tampa Offense. As for Arizona, the WRs are always a toss-up. Fitz always has the highest floor of the three, but again week to week the top performer can change. I'm looking to go with David Johnson in this spot, as his price has barely moved from week 1 and I am not sold on Tampa's run defense after one week of stopping Atlanta. Johnson is the highest priced RB on both sites, but provides highest floor of all running backs in this match-up.
David Johnson RB - FD Price $9,000 - DK Price $7,600.
Seattle -3.5 @ Los Angeles O/U 38.5
These are two teams that severely under performed in week 1. This total is very low, yet accurate, and this would be the top game for to fade for DFS purposes. I do like Seattle to snap out of their shell here after the lack luster week 1. This is not a good spot for the Rams to bounce back, however this can be seen as somewhat of a trap line as far as Vegas goes. This is another reason not to target this game. Rarely will I not recommend a player from a game, but here there is no play on the board that I can confidently say is worth the price. You can play Seattle's defense on the road if you'd like, but the defense will be in better spots this year.
Indianapolis @ Denver -6 O/U 46
Denver opened as a 4 point favorite, but that has since moved to 6 at most spots, with the total being bumped from 44 to 46 as well. This is an extra telling sign that sharps think Denver will score more than Vegas originally did. With Trevor Siemian at the helm, it is still tough to trust any Broncos WR, but C.J. Anderson will be a popular play for sure. There is good merit for it too. Week 1, he proved to be a workhorse, and Denver explored with various RB formations in the newly built offense. Expect Denver to score their projected allotment of points and C.J. Anderson to have a stat rich day.
C.J. Anderson RB- FD Price $7,800 - DK Price $6,800.
Atlanta @ Oakland -5 O/U 49
This game opened with a total of 47 which I felt was fair, but has since been bought up to 49.5 at most places with juice bringing Oakland down to a 5 point favorite from 6.5. Oakland is projected the 4th highest total on the slate, so should certainly be in your thoughts when lineup building. On Atlanta's side if Julio is unable to go, Sano becomes a fine option in cash. Julio is expected to play though, but lingering injury has me weary of paying up for him. Freeman is a concern due to how well Coleman played, and how Coleman could cut into his carries and playing time. Mike Evans had a solid day against this secondary on limited targets, and expect much of the same from Amari Cooper. My issue with Cooper is with his price on both sites. He is a bit too high for my liking, however Michael Crabtree can offer a serious discount and should see similar targets. Crabtree is in a good spot to once again get close to double digit targets. While the Falcons are normally good vs. the WR position as it relates to DFS, Oakland primarily moves the ball down field with Cooper and Crabtree and shouldn't struggle much here in doing so.
Michael Crabtree WR - FD Price $6,200 - DK Price $6,100.
Jacksonville @ San Diego -3 O/U 47
I understand that San Diego has taken a bit of a nose dive the past few years, while the Jaguars have appeared to be at the very least more competitive than the previous years Jaguars, but this line is quite questionable. It tells me that the Jaguars would be a 3 point favorite in Jacksonville against the Chargers which is also eyebrow lifting. This line has seen very little movement from open with the total dropping a full point and the line moving a half point towards San Diego to 3. The line in itself says the Jaguars will be quite competitive here traveling west after looking very good in a tough loss to the packers. The Chargers gave up 363 yards passing to Alex Smith. Alex Smith surpassed 300 yards once all of last year. Now I get it, that the Chiefs were heavily behind and forced to throw far more than usual, but this is not common at all by Smith's standards. Blake Bortles has the chance to fill up the passing yards column and find his favorite target Allen Robinson often. Expect Allen Robinson to have a much better game in this spot, as he was the most heavily target WR in week 1. His price is also down from last week on both sites and his match-up is far better. If you can fit Robinson in, I really like the play. I cannot trust any of the upcoming Chargers WRs just yet, and the running backs for the chargers are priced higher than I'd like them to be. Antonio Gates though provides the best value in this game. As mentioned above, TE is an ugly position this week, but he certainly sticks out with the weeds and has potential to have a strong showing here.
Antonio Gates TE - FD Price $6,200 - DK Price $4,200
Green Bay -2.5 @ Minnesota O/U 44
Green Bay being a slight road favorite makes sense here. Line opened up at 3.5 and has since been moved to 2.5, while the total has seen a half point drop at some sites. This is not a pretty to target DFS game, as most players are overpriced and the match-up is just not ideal for any player in particular. Stefon Diggs is priced higher than he should be, all GB receivers are priced a bit high. Lacy and Peterson are tough to pay up for at the RB position and how can anyone trust the TEs for either team with confidence. I'll be fading this game completely.
Philadelphia @ Chicago -3 O/U 43
Philly looked very dominant in their win over the Browns, but is this really saying much? As for the Bears, they were far more competitive at Houston, then the score indicates. This line opened with the Bears as a one point favorite, but has since moved to 3 and even 3.5 at some places. Clearly Vegas thinks the Bears will play well against Philly and I like them in this bounce back spot. I cannot trust any WRs with a rookie road QB playing in his first NFL road game. Ryan Mathews isn't mouth watering at his price either. On the Bears side though, I do like Langford a lot at his discounted price on both FD and DK. He is seeing the lions share of carries, and if the Bears lead throughout, he should see 20+ touches. Philly proved to be vulnerable vs. the run even against the Browns, and the Bears should recognize this and plan to attack on the ground often. Langford will get a lot of opportunities to pile on numbers in this game.