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Fantasy Football Picks: Top DraftKings NFL DFS Targets, Values for Week 1

Steve Buchanan gives his top studs and values at each position for Sunday’s 12-game DraftKings NFL slate, which locks at 1:00 p.m. ET.

I could give you this fluffy intro where I express my excitement it’s Week 1 and say “wooooo here we gooooooo!” But you read that in every other article. So how about we say, “Hey, here’s my Week 1 picks. Hopefully you like them and use them.” End scene.

Oh, and follow me on Twitter. @SBuchanan24.

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Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons, $7,000 – Wilson is likely going to be a popular play, even with Lamar Jackson ($8,100) on the slate. What has me on Wilson over Jackson is the poor Falcons secondary that they’ll be running out. With Desmond Trufant out of the mix, the Falcons will be rolling with the likes rookie CB A.J. Terrell and Isaiah Oliver amongst others. This sets up extremely well for Tyler Lockett ($6,500) and DK Metcalf ($5,800). In particular, I love this spot for Metcalf, who should see Isaiah Oliver, who allowed 13.5 YPR last season. With the added rushing ability of Wilson against a defense who last season allowed an average of 17.3 rushing yards to quarterbacks, Wilson is my guy in Week 1.

Other Option – Lamar Jackson ($8,100)


Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars, $6,000 – So maybe you’re thinking, “Look Steve, anyone can point out Wilson or Jackson, give me something else.” Rivers against the Jaguars is a very appealing matchup as that secondary looks as if it’ll be one to pick on. Gone is A.J. Bouye, leaving a huge gap in this defense. T.Y. Hilton ($5,800) in particular has a very good matchup against CB Tre Herndon, who allowed 17.4 YPR and four touchdowns scored last season. Rivers willingness to throw downfield is also a boost to this offense, as Jacob Brissett had one of the lowest deep attempt rates in the NFL last season at 9.6% compared to the 13.3% of Rivers, which ranked 12th.

Other Option – Derek Carr ($5,900)

Running Back


Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $7,200 – Plenty of attention will be on Christian McCaffrey ($10,000) and Dalvin Cook ($7,900) and that’s totally fine. However, I’m looking more toward Kamara against the Bucs. This game features one of the highest totals on the slate at 48.5 — according to the DraftKings Sportsbookand Kamara is extremely active in the backfield. Even with a bum knee, Kamara averaged seven targets per game and 92.3 scrimmage yards. The matchup isn’t easy by any means, but Kamara managed 22.2 DKFP against them last year with 10 catches, 13 carries and 122 total yards. Some quick passes to Kamara could help defeat a tough Bucs’ interior.

Other Options – Christian McCaffrey ($10,000), Josh Jacobs ($6,800)


Sony Michel, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins, $4,600 – This slate doesn’t offer a ton of value at the running back position. Quite frankly, Michel may not even see a full workload if the Patriots elect to take it easy on him, as the RB had foot surgery in the offseason. Nonetheless, he should handle the bulk of the carries and the goal line work. Michel didn’t post great numbers last season, as indicated by his 3.7 YPA and seeing only 22 targets. However, the Dolphins struggled against the run, allowing an average of 4.5 YPC and 12 rushing touchdowns.

Other Options – Antonio Gibson ($4,000), Kareem Hunt ($5,100)

Wide Receiver


Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings, $7,300 – The Vikings will be rolling out a new look secondary that’ll feature Mike Hughes, Jeff Gladney and Holton Hill. Adams should be seeing Hill in coverage, who last season was on the field for only 60 snaps and was targeted against 10 times, allowing seven receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. Regardless, Adams is going to continue to be a target monster and he posted 106 and 116 receiving yards against this team last season. This looks to be a great spot to start off Week 1 on a positive note for the Packers’ WR1.

Other Options – Michael Thomas ($9,000), Calvin Ridley ($6,100)


Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders at Carolina Panthers, $5,100 – We’ll be getting our first look at Ruggs against the Panthers, who are no longer carrying the services of James Bradberry. With Tyrell Williams on IR, it’s expected that Ruggs will be all over the field after he was initially thought to be operating out of the slot. Ruggs has the speed advantage with his 4.27 40-time and can take advantage on a relatively young secondary. I would love the matchup for him lined up on the right against Donte Jackson, who allowed a 63.3% completion rate on 60 targets for an average of 17.0 YPR with six touchdowns scored.

Other Options – Marvin Jones Jr. ($5,500), Parris Campbell ($3,900)

Tight End


George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals, $7,200 – I hate going with the obvious play here, but it’s really, really hard to not put Kittle in this spot. He faces a Cardinals team that was simply decimated by opposing tight ends last season. The 13.3 DKFP allowed was by far the highest in the league and they were the only team giving up double-digit points to the position. Last season, Kittle caught 6-of-8 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown, good for 19.9 DKFP. While Mark Andrews ($6,000) is also in a great spot and cheaper, the Cardinals secondary woes will be too hard to ignore.

Other Option – Mark Andrews ($6,000)


T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears, $4,200 – Is it smoke or is it fire? That’s the early question for Hockenson, who offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said is going to be more involved this season. Even if that wasn’t the initial plan, a late hamstring injury to Kenny Golladay ($6,200) could force the matter to the forefront. Even if Golladay is active, the Bears struggled against the tight end position last season, allowing an average of 7.4 DKFP, 55.3 receiving yards and a 73.3% reception rate — the third-highest total in the league.

Other Option – James O’Shaughnessy ($3,000)

Defense/Special Teams


Patriots, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins, $3,200 – The Patriots endured some early season opt outs and are looking a bit vulnerable heading into the season. However, the Dolphins are also coming into Week 1 banged up due to injuries, with DeVante Parker ($6,000) dealing with a hamstring issue and Preston Williams ($4,500) with a knee issue. If you’re looking to pay up at this position, I do like the Pats against Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,300), who is no stranger to turning the ball over.

Other Option – Philadelphia Eagles ($3,600)


Jets, New York Jets at Buffalo Bills, $2,100 – With the lowest projected total of 39.5 on the DraftKings Sportsbook, I’m more than willing to go way down the board with the Jets. The Bills projected team total is at 22.5 and that feels a bit high for me. The Bills were the worst team in the league at hitting the over on their game total last season at just 4-13. I think this could end up being a sloppy game overall, so with the Jets at such a minuscule price, I’ll take the chance here.

Other Options – Raiders D/ST ($2,600)

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Put your DraftKings daily fantasy football skills to the test against other readers and writers of DraftKings Playbook! Enter our brand new DraftKings Content Battleground $5 entry 3-max event here, which will be held all throughout the NFL season.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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