Week 1 FanDuel Picks: NFL DFS lineup advice, strategy for GPP tournaments
Fantasy football and NFL DFS are back, and we have a great slate of games to choose from for Week 1 on FanDuel. Every week, I’ll give you my core FanDuel picks, along with players to fill in around them to complete your daily fantasy football GPP tournament lineups.
This week’s “core four” starts with Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, adds two WRs in Buffalo’s John Brown and Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin, and is completed by Giants’ TE Evan Engram. Below, you’ll find why those are players you should build your a good chunk of your lineups around, along with the guys that will give you a great chance to wind up in the money.
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NFL DFS Picks Week 1: FanDuel GPP lineup
QB: Josh Allen, Bills @ Jets ($6,900)
We are going to start by stacking Allen with his best vertical receiving target in John Brown. I love Allen in Week 1 against a vulnerable Jets cornerback group, and he offers one of the best rushing upsides on the slate at the QB position. Allen rushed for at least 95 yards or had a rushing touchdown in five of the last six weeks of 2018. As I previously mentioned, the pairing with Brown is perfect for GPP lineups, given Allen’s tendency to throw the ball deep down the field.
CORE PLAY: RB Dalvin Cook, Vikings vs. Falcons ($7,400)
I fully expect Cook to be one of, if not the highest owned player in Week 1, but he is the type of chalk that I’m more than willing to eat against a Falcons defense that gave up the most fantasy points to running backs in 2018. While Atlanta should be better on defense in 2019 with the returns of Deion Jones and Keanu Neal, they are still weak up front against the run. Cook posted a monster plus-minus of plus-6.3 in the five games in which he had more than 15 touches last season, and he should push for around 20 touches in Week 1 against Atlanta at home.
RB: Christian McCaffrey, Panthers vs. Rams ($8,900)
McCaffrey is option A, B, and C for the Panthers and should see between 20 and 25 touches in a matchup with the Rams that has a total of 50.5 points.
CORE PLAY: WR John Brown, Bills @ Jets ($5,500)
Brown’s skill set is perfect for quarterback Josh Allen, who threw deep at a higher rate than any quarterback in the NFL last season. At $5,500, it will only take one or two long receptions for Brown to pay off his salary, and he will smash value if he takes one of those to the house against a Jets secondary that struggles against deep passes.
CORE PLAY: WR Chris Godwin, Buccaneers vs. 49ers ($6,900)
The Bucs-49ers matchup has the third-highest total on the slate at 49.5 points, and Tampa is likely going to be scoring their points through the air given their lack of a reliable running game. Godwin will probably be a popular play in Week 1 in all formats, but his combination of high floor and high ceiling make him a tough option to pass up on at $6,900.
WR: Tyreek Hill, Chiefs @ Jaguars ($7,600)
Hill is in a tough matchup against the Jags, but that should keep his GPP ownership in check. While Hill is always a boom-or-bust player, I’m willing to take a chance on his upside at half the ownership of Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, and Mike Evans.
FLEX: Tyler Lockett, Seahawks vs. Bengals ($6,800)
Lockett is a player I want to be early on in 2019, and he could be in for a career year following the departure of Doug Baldwin from the Seattle passing game. Lockett posted a plus-minus of plus-3.3 in 2018, which is incredible considering he saw more than six targets in only one game. With Baldwin retired and DK Metcalf ailing, expect to see Lockett push for double-digit targets against a poor Bengals secondary.
CORE PLAY: TE Evan Engram, Giants @ Cowboys ($6,400)
I know, the Giants offense is horrendous and the Cowboys have one of the better defenses in the NFC. However, Engram should be Eli Manning’s top target in this game with Golden Tate suspended and Sterling Shepard dealing with a thumb injury. The Cowboys were also one of the worst teams in the league against tight ends last season, and Engram took full advantage, torching them for lines of 7-67-1 and 5-81-1 in his two games against them.
D/ST: Tampa Bay Buccaners, vs. 49ers ($3,500)
The Buccaneers’ defense may seem like an odd pick here, but it does pose some upside in a home matchup against the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo has looked bad in the preseason coming off tearing his ACL last year, and I think that it will take him a few weeks to get into form. The Tampa Bay defense invested a first- (MLB Devin White), and second-round pick into their defense (Sean Murphy-Bunting), and its explosive offense could put the 49ers into passing situations early in the game. The risk is low for Tampa here, but the upside is there given its $3,500 price tag.