The NFL is back! With that comes the start of fantasy football seasons, including DFS from our friends over at DraftKings. Every week of the NFL regular season, Canal Street Chronicles will lay out a few value plays for the week’s main-slate tournaments. The main slate consists of Sundays noon and afternoon games, not including any primetime games. These will be pay-down options, leaving you with enough budget to choose some superstars and round out your plays. A quick recap from previous weeks will be posted going forward as well. These are DraftKings DFS tournament plays for week 1 of the NFL regular season.
DraftKings DFS Plays for NFL opening weekend
In order to determine some potential explosive players, DraftKings sportsbook will be used to some pull game totals. If sportsbooks believe points will come easily in some games, it is worthwhile to target players in those games. This week, the highest total is the Kansas City Chiefs and the Arizona Cardinals at 53.5 points. Following close behind is the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers at 52.5. Next is the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions at 49 and then the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings at 48 total points. Some combination of players from these games should pay off. Of course, superstar players like Austin Ekeler and Patrick Mahomes will cost but this budget should allow that.
The first player on this week’s entry will be Dameon Pierce. At just $4,800, Pierce is priced at his rock-bottom price for a starting running back. Piece is likely to be a popular pick in tournaments this weekend, but do not let that deter lineups too much. Getting such a value means tournament lineups can be diversified in other ways. With every player on this list, it will be easy to diversify for some big and mid-tier starters after these initial recommendations.
This week’s list will include a pair of receivers playing in the same game. As stated earlier, the Chiefs and Cardinals game should be explosive. If so, take a player from each side in hopes of a shootout. For the Cardinals, AJ Green is expected to step up while Deandre Hopkins serves his suspension. Green is an incredible value at $4,600 and does boast some strong finishes with the Cardinals last year. Green had eight finishes last season with double-digit fantasy points. On the other sideline, waits an offense with many questions after the loss of Tyreek Hill. Enter Juju Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster signed with the team this year and insiders have stated that he has quickly acclimated to the Chiefs offense. Smith-Schuster is priced at just $5,200 this week, which is a great value for a starting piece of the Chiefs offense.
At tight end this week there are several great options. Looking at the Eagles and Lions game, there are two good values. T.J. Hockenson at $4,900 and Dallas Goedert at $4,500. Hockenson has not played since week 13 but in his final six games where he played fully, he scored over 10 fantasy points each week. In three of these he scored 15 or more. Also, in his first two games of 2021, Hockenson scored over 20 points in both. Hockenson is back and will once again be Jared Goff’s escape outlet when needed. He might not be priced this low the rest of the season, take Hockenson as a value.
Sample Lineup for Week 1:
- Dameon Pierce, $4,800
- AJ Green, $4,600
- Juju Smith-Schuster, $5,200
- T.J. Hockenson, $4,900
- Titans DST, $3,500
Picking defense is the opposite of players, look for low totals. DraftKings Sportsbook expects the New York Giants to struggle this week, so grab the underrated Tennessee Titans defense at just $3,500. With these selections, players have a whopping $27,000 to spend on the remaining four slots in DFS lineups. This leaves plenty of room to pay up for someone like Justin Jefferson ($7,800) against the Packers. In his opening game with the Miami Dolphins, Tyreek Hill ($6,800) can easily fit into this budget if players like his upside. It might be tight, but Derrick Henry ($8,600) or Jonathan Taylor ($9,100) could also fit in this lineup. If grabbing one of the top running backs or wide receivers, your quarterback options will likely have to be someone like Joe Burrow ($6,400), Trey Lance ($6,000), or Trevor Lawrence ($5,600). Whichever way you decide to go, good luck in the opening weekend of DraftKings DFS tournaments.