The Daily Dozen: Week 1 DFS Plays
Updated: Sep 29, 2019
Week one is FINALLY here, and I cannot be more excited to bring you the first-ever installment of The Daily Dozen. Each week I share the ten plays I love for DFS and two full lineups. Hence, the daily dozen (ten plus two is twelve…). So, let’s not waste any more time. Here they are!!! But as a reminder, all picks are based on the main Sunday-only slate (two sets of games) and with FanDuel prices.
Chris Carson, RB - $6,600
There is NO ONE I like more in week one than Chris Carson. The clear lead back (sorry, not sorry Penny) in what will be an offense that is in the top three in carries per game (could even be number one but will get good competition for that distinction from Baltimore), Carson should be a monster all season long, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his daily price tag grow as the season goes on. But for now, you can get a guy who has the best match up for a running back in week one, at home, for a team that loves to control the clock and should be playing from ahead. I love lead backs in home games that are blowouts, and this is that and then some. Lock him into every lineup you can and watch him soar (like a Seahawk--see what I did there).
Adam Thielen, WR - $7,400
While his teammate Stefon Diggs has great value this week, too, I am happy to pay just $200 more to get Thielen. I love this game. A 47.5 O/U with a line of 4 or 4.5 depending on where you look. This will be high scoring and competitive, which should be a great thing for DFS plays. Thielen should draw coverage from Isiah Oliver while Diggs pulls Desmond Trufant, and I just like Thielen’s match up more. I look for Thielen to score in this game and return extreme value at this price tag.
Devonta Freeman, RB - $6,700
Atlanta knows that their best match up in this game isn’t in the passing game (although they will throw the ball) but instead lies with their rushing attack. Ranked as Roster Watch’s 7th best offensive line and trying to avoid tough coverage match ups in Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes, I look for Atlanta to run the ball...a lot. This also helps keep a high-powered Vikings offense off the field and allows Atlanta to try to control the clock on the road. At some point, too, it is simple, if I can get a clear lead back in a game that will be close, at this price tag, I am all in. Look for Freeman to rack up carries if it’s close and targets if it’s not. Either way, lock him in.
Mike Evans, WR - $7,900
Priced as the 3rd most expensive WR but with arguably the best individual match-up with Ahkello Witherspoon across from him, I will gladly save the $600 compared to playing for Julio and the $300 more for OBJ. And with a whopping 49 point O/U line, this game features two teams with junior-varsity quality defenses, pass-happy offenses, and sub-par rushing games. I wouldn’t be surprised if Evans scores...twice.
Delanie Walker, TE - $5,400
If you read my work enough this season, you will know I try to save money at the TE position, and that is exactly what this move does; however, I think there is great value and huge upside to this play. A Vegas O/U at 45 with a 4.5 spread, this game also fits nicely into the sort of game I like when picking daily players. Cleveland is going to score even against a good Titans D, and as Tennessee looks to match the Cleveland offense, they just don’t have many pass catchers to turn to. Lest you forget, before his season-ending injury last year, Walker was TE 7 in the 2017 season. With a still unproven (or just not good) QB in Mariota, the play calling favors using the TE, and according to Fan Duel, Cleveland is the 27th ranked D vs. the TE. So, while this play might not be sexy, it is smart.
Cooper Kupp, WR - $6800
This one feels like a no-brainer. At $6,800, he is $200 cheaper than both of his teammates (Cooks and Woods), but draws arguably the best match up of all three with Javien Elliott. A 50.5 O/U and a 3 point spread screams lots of points, and we know that is what the Rams do. Coming off the injury there could be some worry about usage in week 1--perhaps they bring him back slowly and manage reps; however, all reports are that he is all signs go with Jay Glazer reporting that his measurable are even BETTER after the surgery. There are plenty of footballs to go around in this offense, and we will see that early and often here in week one.
Tony Pollard, RB - $5,200
Zeke isn’t signed yet, and even if he does, the odds that he will be ready to play in week one are seemingly slim to none. Dallas boasts the best or second-best O-Line in football, loves the run the ball, and should get an early lead vs. a bad Giants team. Don’t overthink this one; if Zeke isn’t there, Pollard is a must play in cash games and someone that seems too obvious but probably needed in tourney formats.
Lamar Jackson, QB - $7,400
This one is a much better tourney play than cash games as it is a bit of a risk. Set as the lowest O/U of this slate of games, the 36.5 line doesn’t scream fantasy production which is exactly why I love Jackson in tourney formats. His ownership should be low but production could be high. I think we see him throw the ball more than we did last year while running just as much. Given the fact that the Dolphins were one of the worst teams in football, and then decided to make themselves even worse with their late-preseason moves, I do expect this offense to score points and to see Jackson at the center of that. It’s a risk I am willing to take.
Kirk Cousins, QB - $7,400
If Jackson is the tourney dart throw I love, Cousins is the lock-into-cash games play equivalent. The price tag is super manageable, but the match up is as good as it gets (literally--Falcons pass D is ranked 32rd by FanDuel). See the notes above about his WR targets, and add in a healthy Delvin Cook to keep things balanced, and Cousins seems like a lock for 270 plus yards and 2 TDs.
Seattle, D/ST - $4,500
While I probably won’t play them a ton because I tend not to spend this much on a D, the value is there. A full $500 cheaper than the top-priced D, this one comes down to matchup. Cincinnati is bad. According to RosterWatch, they have the 28th ranked offensive line, and the front seven for this D is GOOD. Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Jarran Reed, Ziggy Ansah, rookie L.J. Collier, and the newly acquired Jadeveon Clowney...yes, please! If you are looking to pay up a touch for a D/ST, this is the play. With a spread of over a TD (Cincy + 7.5), Cincy is going to fall behind early and need to try to score in the air. That is a great recipe for sacks and turnovers. Get that 12th man roaring, and this defense soaring!
Tourney Lineup #1
Two or three weeks ago I did a “Way Too Early Week 1 Tourney Lineup” piece (you can read that here), and a few weeks later, I still like it. So, here is that lineup.
Tourney Lineup #2
This lineup has a lot of guys written about above, and while it doesn’t employ any sort of stack, these are the guys that all have super-plus match ups and work well based on prices.
Baker’s Dozen Extra Special Tourney Lineup #3
Because we couldn’t let you go into week 1 without a super stack lineup.
Seattle Seahawks D/ST