Opening Week for the NFL is underway and is capped off by a pair of Monday night games. In the early game, we have the Saints looking to rebound from a controversial loss in the NFC Championship Game against the Texans. Let’s look at some players to target in the six-man Showdown slate, and who to use in the critical Captain slot:
Alvin Kamara ($16,200): With Mark Ingram now in Baltimore, Kamara figures to see an increased workload in the Saints’ backfield. He was already a great DraftKings scorer due to his prowess as a passing catch back, averaging 23.5 DKFP per game last season, even though he was only in on 62.6% of the snaps. Early on last season, we saw what Kamara’s fantasy upside looks like without Ingram. When Ingram was suspended the first four games because of a PED violation, Kamara averaged 33.78 DKFP.
Will Fuller ($12,300): Fuller is the highest variance play in this game. He’s always a boom or bust option with game breaking upside. One of my favorite odd stats to exemplify the big play ability of Fuller is in 2017, he started his season by scoring touchdowns on seven of his first 13 receptions. The issue is he doesn’t usually get a ton of targets, meaning he has a low floor if he doesn’t break a big play. Fuller also draws a positive matchup, playing in a dome against a porous Saints passing defense. New Orleans finished last season ranked 22nd in Pass Defense DVOA.
Duke Johnson ($7,200): I have wanted Johnson to play a significant role for years. His ability to make big plays and catch passes out of the backfield always meant promise for huge fantasy potential, but his upside was capped in Cleveland since he was never the top guy on the depth chart. Even after getting traded to Houston, there appeared to be a roadblock to playing time with Lamar Miller expected to start. That all changed when Miller tore his ACL on his first touch of the preseason. Now, Johnson is locked into a starting gig in an elite offense. Last season, he averaged 5.0 yards per carry and 9.1 yards per catch.
Jared Cook ($6,800): The Saints’ offense has a lot of high end talent, although it lacks in depth. Even though Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas ($10,000) are going to be target monsters, somebody else has to get looks in the offense. I expect Cook to be the third receiving option for the Saints and he could have success similar to what we saw Jimmy Graham have with Drew Brees ($10,200) from his days in New Orleans. Last season, Jared Cook’s season went under the radar playing for an unheralded Raiders’ offense. Despite a lack of talent around him, he finished with 896 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.