NFL Sports Betting Toolkit
The name of the game for a GPP tournament is getting the best and most valuable players every week. Every pick matters in such a high-stakes tournament and choosing the correct players is both stressful and difficult. Luckily for you, we did all of the dirty work and research to get you certified winners. Without many key starters playing in the preseason, we don’t really have a gauge to see how players will perform in the regular season. We can only use our eyes and examine the key pieces teams either gained or lost in the offseason and approximate how these changes will affect the outcomes of games. Let’s take a look at some of the players we expect to do well in Week 1.
Ryan Tannehill ($7,700) vs Arizona Cardinals
Ryan Tannehill has been criminally underrated since becoming the starting quarterback for the Titans. In the 28 games he has played for Tennessee, he is 19-9 while throwing for an impressive 6,561 yards, 55 TDS, and 13 INTS. These numbers are similar to some of the best quarterbacks in the game, like Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. Last year, Tannehill averaged 21.7 points per game on FanDuel and he has a great matchup for Week 1. Arizona will be more focused on stopping the run because the Titans have last year’s rushing leader, Derrick Henry, in the backfield meaning there will be more room to throw. The Cardinals don’t have the most talented secondary, so excellent receivers like A.J. Brown and the newly acquired Julio Jones should have a field day.
Baker Mayfield ($7,100) vs Kansas City Chiefs
Mayfield might not have the most impressive stat line coming out of Week 1, but he has the safest floor of any quarterback. Mayfield will not get the same opportunities to throw the ball since the Browns are a power-running team, but the good thing about him is that he makes the most of the chances he does get. Last year, Mayfield had his most efficient year as a pro throwing for 3,563 yards, 26 TDS, and 8 INTS. This got him a mediocre 16.4 points per game, but this was because he didn’t have star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to throw to. After Beckham Jr. went down with an ACL injury, Mayfield’s stats plummeted. Looking at Week 1, the Chiefs do not have the secondary to guard Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, and Kareem Hunt, especially if the Chiefs focus on stopping the run.
Dalvin Cook ($9,400) vs Cincinnati Bengals
This isn’t much to say about why you wouldn’t want Dalvin Cook on your fantasy team. He has been one of the 5 best running backs in the league, gets used frequently in the running and passing game, has one of the best offensive lines in football, and has a great Week 1 matchup. While the Bengals did add Trey Hendrickson, he won’t be enough to stop the offensive onslaught the Vikings bring. The Bengals were ranked as the 29th rushing defense last season and with the high usage Cook has in the Minnesota offense, fantasy owners should be licking their lips for the right to draft him.
James Robinson ($5,900) vs Houston Texans
The name of the game for this season’s DFS will be to pick the best players playing against the Texans. And as the number 1 running back on the Jaguars playing against the Texans, James Robinson falls into that category. Last year, Robinson tore up the fantasy world as he had 1,070 rushing yards, 7 TDS, and 16.1 fantasy points per game as an undrafted rookie. While there might be some competition in the backfield with first-round rookie Travis Etienne, Robinson is the guy to pick at the beginning of the season. Playing with an underrated O-line and playing against one of the worst defenses in recent memory, Robinson should have a big day for fantasy owners everywhere.
Calvin Ridley ($8,100) vs Philidelphia Eagles
Atlanta is going to be throwing the ball a ton and Calvin Ridley should be the recipient of many of those passes. With Julio Jones out of the picture, Ridley becomes the new top dog in town, if he wasn’t already. Ridley has been a great draft selection for the Falcons as he has accumulated 3,061 yards, 26 TDS, and averaged 15.8 fantasy points per game last season while making defenders everywhere look silly with his incredible route-running ability. Rookie TE Kyle Pitts might not have been a bad thing for Ridley, as Pitts is another dynamic receiving threat that opposing teams will have to cover, leaving open spaces for Ridley. Atlanta loves to throw the ball, 4th most in the NFL last season, and are playing against one of the worst passing defenses in the Eagles, who ranked 25th against receivers last season.
DeVonta Smith ($5,300) vs Atlanta Falcons
I expect fireworks in the Falcons vs Eagles matchup. I think that these teams will be more inclined to pass the ball as both teams ranked in the bottom half of the league in passing defense, Philly at 15th and Atlanta at 32nd. I don’t care how much both secondaries have developed because numbers like the Eagles and Falcons have don’t lie, these teams stink at stopping the pass. This is a good thing for DeVonta Smith as he was the Eagles’ first-round pick. Smith was selected as the 10th overall player because of his game-breaking speed and quick stop on a dime movements. The Falcons have no one that can stop him and as long as Jalen Hurts can get him the ball with room to run, Smith should be able to take passes all the way into the endzone in his first NFL game.
Logan Thomas ($5,600) vs Los Angeles Chargers
Logan Thomas was one of the surprise stand-out stars for the Football team last season. No one knew Washington had a tight end this good and Thomas has positioned himself as a prime time target this season. He had 670 yards, 6 TDS, and 8.8 fantasy points per game last season which is one of the best stat lines for a tight end last season. The thing to like about Thomas in this matchup is Washington’s new quarterback playing against the 21st ranked defense against tight ends last season. Thomas is a big and speedy receiving threat and should put up a solid stat line coming out of Week 1.
Robert Tonyan ($5,400) vs New Orleans Saints
Not many people are happier about Aaron Rodgers returning as the quarterback for the Packers than Robert Tonyan. Tonyan had a monster year last season as he racked up 586 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 9.4 fantasy points per game and was a breakout star for Green Bay at tight end. While I expect his touchdown numbers to go down, it won’t be in Week 1 as the Saints have the 19th best defense against tight ends last season. The Rodgers to Tonyan connection was a good one for the Packers last year and Tonyan sheer size and physicality should result in his scoring a touchdown and having an overall great day.
San Francisco 49ers ($5,000)
Another matchup you should target all year long is finding the defense that is playing against the Detriot Lions. Not many people realize this, but this is like a perfect storm for a Week 1 defense selection. Not only are the Lions going to be one of the worst offenses in the league because of their lack of good wide receivers, but the 49ers’ defense is awesome and one of the best in the league. Last year they weren’t the same because of injured star players like Nick Bosa, but this year they are healthy and ready to feast on Lion meat. Last year, Lions QB had 396 yards, 2 TDS, and 3 INTS in 2 games against a much worse version of this defense and now he is on a far worse team. While this is the most expensive defense to get, the 49ers’ defense is going to eat up this Lions’ offense and will be worth every penny.