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Fantasy Football Picks: Top DraftKings NFL DFS Value Plays for Week 1

Steve Buchanan gives his top value plays at each position for Sunday’s main DraftKings NFL slate.

NFL: Preseason-Baltimore Ravens at Washington Commanders Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

We can all figure out who the studs are on a football slate. No one has to go out of their way to tell you to play Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen on a particular slate. What really takes the effort is combing through the player pool and figuring out who are some of the best values on the board ahead of the Sunday slate. That’s what we’ll do in this piece each and every week. I’ll help you save some salary while hopefully not skimping on the fantasy production.

Let’s get into some of the best value plays at each position for the Week 1 main slate on DraftKings.

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Sam Howell, Washington Commanders vs. Arizona Cardinals, $4,900 — Howell is one of the cheapest options on the board, aside from Joshua Dobbs ($4,600) for the Cardinals. Howell will have a matchup against a Cardinals secondary that allowed the highest completion rate in the league last year at nearly 70%. Going against a team that is clearly looking to tank the season, Howell and company have a good opportunity to be one of the better values on this slate. His numbers in the preseason (take with a grain of salt) were fantastic, completing 76% of his pass attempts for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Howell’s ownership is projected to be extremely low and stacking him with his top receivers allows you plenty of wiggle room the rest of the way. Terry McLaurin ($6,400) was a full participant in practice on Thursday, clearing the way for him to play.

Another interesting pairing could be with Jahan Dotson ($5,000) whom Howell had a good connection with during the preseason. In his best game, Dotson caught five of his seven targets for 76 yards. If Dotson is seeing more targets this year, rather than big downfield plays, this stack would cost you less than $10K.

Other Option – Anthony Richardson vs. JAX

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Running Back

Jamaal Williams, New Orleans Saints vs. Tennessee Titans, $5,100 — A crowded Saints backfield has quickly fallen apart, even before they take their first snap in 2023. Alvin Kamara is serving his suspension, Eno Benjamin is out for the season, rookie Kendre Miller ($4,300) has been sidelined at practice and Troy Jones Jr ($4,500) is on the practice squad. That’ll leave a lot of work for Williams (and possibly Kirk Merritt ($3,000), who is a WR on the roster but an RB on the depth chart) on Sunday.

After racking up 17 touchdowns for the Lions last year, the Saints system should benefit him as well. He should undoubtedly receive some check downs from Derek Carr ($5,300) as well as take the workhorse role in the backfield. Don’t forget, this is someone that went over 1,000 rushing yards last year, averaging 4.1 YPC and and 2.78 yards after contact. The Titans were fantastic at stopping the run last year but with Williams likely involved heavily in the game plan, his salary is too good to pass up, especially if he’s getting opportunities at the goal line.

Other Options – Rachaad White $5,500 at MIN

Wide Receiver

Marvin Mims Jr. Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $3,000 — How big of a role Mims has on Sunday is largely dependent on Jerry Jeudy ($6,600). He’s dealing with a hamstring injury that was initially thought to keep him out for the short term, but he could potentially suit up on Sunday. If he doesn’t Mims would step into a big workload alongside Courtland Sutton ($5,200). Mims should line up on the right side of the field for the majority of his snaps, lining him up against CB Marcus Peters. Last season, Peters allowed a 71% reception on 62 targets for an average of 11.8 YPR. Peters joins a secondary that is in desperate need of help and allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game. Mims’ speed will be a difference maker, after logging a 4.38 40 at the combine.

Other Options – Puka Nacua ($3,000) at SEA

Tight End

Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears, $2,900 – As of Friday morning, it’s looking more likely that Christian Watson ($6,000) will be ruled out of Week 1. That will leave (tell me if you’ve heard this before) the Packers thin offensively. This could be a major boost for Musgrave, who ran a route on 82% of the snaps he played during the preseason. Through three games, Musgrave was targeted seven times and made five catches for 36 yards. Priced only $400 above the stone minimum of $2,500, Musgrave is a fantastic way to punt the tight end position, while also getting someone who could be frequently involved.

Other Options – Noah Fant ($3,100) vs. LAR

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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests. The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups.