Week 1 is finally upon us, which means the start of DFS Football through FanDuel, one of our favorite platforms for DFS and sports betting. FanDuel salaries have been available for several weeks, and there are several types of contests available, ranging from massive tournaments to smaller cash pools. In large GPP tournaments, you have to consider things like upside and ownership in building your lineup. However, in cash games, you can take the chalk options and build a lineup that you think will score the most points without considering ownership as heavily. The following are some of my favorite picks for each position for cash lineups on FanDuel this week.
Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans – $7,700 – Projection: 20.1
I’m looking to load up on pieces from the Titans-Cardinals game this week, and it starts with Ryan Tannehill, who’s one of my favorite quarterback picks in GPP and cash games this week. The Cardinals’ secondary looks very beatable, particularly at cornerback where Robert Alford, a 32-year-old corner who hasn’t played since 2018, and Byron Murphy, a typical slot corner, are expected to start. Tannehill isn’t exactly coming at a discount at $7,700, but he has the upside to finish as the QB1 overall this week and should take advantage of a fast-paced matchup against a poor pass defense.
Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles – $7,600 – Projection: 21.5
Perhaps my favorite quarterback this week, Jalen Hurts faces the hapless Falcons, who allowed the most fantasy points to the quarterback position last year. I’m not completely sold on Hurts holding onto the starting job all season, but he had 37.8 fantasy points in a game last season, and a similar outing here would not be shocking to me. Hurts has the ability to beat defenses on the ground or through the air, and he’s playing in an indoor game, making the prospects of points in the matchup all the more tantalizing. The arrival of DeVonta Smith should really help Hurts (more on him in a minute), as well, and the Philly QB possesses phenomenal upside in a juicy matchup.
Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – $7,700 – Projection: 15.5
I can be convinced that spending up on one of Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, or Alvin Kamara is the right move, but I love Nick Chubb this week at his price point. The Chiefs ranked 31st last year in rushing defense DVOA, and Kansas City allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to the running back position last season. Chubb’s lack of pass-catching may not afford him top-end upside, and the presence of Kareem Hunt limits his touches somewhat. Still, he’s one of the most efficient running backs in the NFL on a per touch basis and should be heavily involved in the game plan this week against a beatable run defense.
Raheem Mostert – San Francisco 49ers – $6,100 – Projection: 13.4
While you may not necessarily compete for massive prizes in cash games, you can also take players like Raheem Mostert, who’s probably going to have massive ownership without any hesitation for the need to diversify from your competition. The Lions have had one of the worst run defenses in the NFL for the past several years, and Detroit allowed the second-most fantasy points to the running back position last season. Mostert is a threat to take the ball to the house at any point as one of the fastest players in the NFL, and he’s going to feast against a weak run defense in Week 1.
A.J. Brown – Tennessee Titans – $7,800 – Projection: 13.7
I’m a big proponent of the need to stack your lineup, even in cash games, as it affords you an extra level of consistency from the correlative power between a quarterback and his wide receiver. A.J. Brown is the top target in the Tennessee offense and should take advantage of a matchup against some cornerbacks in Arizona who don’t have a shot in hell of slowing him down. Brown is a specimen of the highest degree with his blend of physicality, strength, speed, and shiftiness, and it should all be on display in Week 1.
DeVonta Smith – Philadelphia Eagles – $5,300 – Projection: 11.9
In terms of my calculation of fantasy points per $ on FanDuel, DeVonta Smith is the highest-value wide receiver on the slate this week. Smith will see a lot of targets against a Falcons defense that allowed the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers last season. The Eagles don’t have much in the way of consistent pass-catchers who can get in the way of Smith this season, and he’s going to hit the ground running in Week 1. Don’t hesitate to play him in a great matchup just because he’s a rookie.
Corey Davis – New York Jets – $5,800 – Projection: 12.6
One of the players I came around on the most over the course of the offseason is Corey Davis, and I think he’s set for a huge Week 1. Jamison Crowder is out, Keelan Cole is a game-time decision, and Denzel Mims doesn’t look to be much of a factor. Elijah Moore could emerge as a reliable receiver, but this will be the Corey Davis show early on after New York paid him big money to be the team’s top target. Davis will be peppered with targets against Carolina, and I can see him finishing inside the top-15 wide receivers this week.
Kyle Pitts – Atlanta Falcons – $6,000 – Projection: 9.9
I’m stoked to see what Kyle Pitts can do on the NFL field, particularly against a very beatable Eagles defense. Pitts doesn’t fit the mold of a typical tight end, and your concerns about him being a rookie and needing time to gain confidence shouldn’t apply. We’re talking about a 6’6”, 240-lb behemoth who ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash. He’s a rarity of the highest degree. It says a lot that the Falcons drafted him ahead of Ja’Marr Chase and Penei Sewell, considered generational prospects at the wide receiver and offensive tackle positions. Don’t hesitate to throw Pitts in your lineup – he has massive upside in one of my favorite games on the slate to target.
Minnesota Vikings – $3,800 – Projection: 8.4
The Broncos will be talked about a ton for DFS this week, and they are one of my favorite targets, but I’m going to lay out the case for the Vikings here. Minnesota’s DST ranked 27th in fantasy points last season, but that was an outlier year as they saw several key players injured. A few key offseason additions and a return to health for some critical players should see Mike Zimmer’s group return to being one of the better defenses in the league. The Vikings should take advantage of a Bengals’ team with a young quarterback recovering from as serious an injury as you’ll see behind an offensive line that tied for the fifth-most sacks allowed last season. That’s a recipe for success.