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NFL Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for Week 1

Steve Buchanan breaks down the Week 1 DraftKings NFL slate with game analysis, odds, lines and prop bets.

While we all knew that the first Sunday slate of NFL games would take place on Sept. 13th, it truly feels like it came out of nowhere and now everyone is running around in a panic. That’s just the nature of 2020, folks.

As for me, I’m happy to be back for another year of my NFL Cheat Sheet each and every week here on the DraftKings Playbook; giving you a look at betting lines, DVP matchups, targets (as the season moves on) and other bits of info to help navigate you through the week.

Feel free to drop me a follow as well on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.


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Game Notes

Biggest Moneyline Favorite

Indianapolis Colts (-400; -8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (+320)

The Colts are MASSIVE favorites against the Jaguars to open up the season. It’ll be our first time seeing Phillip Rivers ($6,000) in game action in a Colts uniform behind what is arguably the strongest offensive line in the league. Last season when Rivers wasn’t under pressure, he had a 73.4% completion rate, which was the eighth best in the league. For reference, he was at 50.3% under pressure. As for the Jaguars, they’re running out an extremely poor secondary that no longer includes A.J. Bouye. While they could see some better results if C.J. Henderson plays up to the level we’ve seen him at before, this is seemingly a secondary to pick on. Thus, a stack of Rivers and T.Y. Hilton ($5,800) looks extremely enticing and affordable to boot. The addition of Rivers will also improve the Colts’ ability to move downfield, as Rivers threw the ball downfield on 13.4% of his attempts. Jacoby Brissett did so on 9.6% — one of the lowest rates in the league.

Other notable favorites: Ravens (-375; -8) vs. Browns (+290), 49ers (-315; -7) vs. Cardinals


Highest Projected Total

Seattle Seahawks (-1.5; 24.5 points) at Atlanta Falcons (23.5 points) 49 points

As I write this Wednesday afternoon, the DraftKings Sportsbook has two games projected at a total of 49, with the other being the Buccaneers (-3.5) at Saints. With this game being a more closely contested game, we’ll talk about it.

The Falcons, like the Jaguars, are going to be a secondary to pick on. With Desmond Trufant out of the mix, the Falcons will be rolling with the likes rookie CB A.J. Terrell and Isaiah Oliver amongst others. They’ll be tasked with stopping a very fast group of receivers like Tyler Lockett ($6,500) and D.K. Metcalf ($5,800). I particularly like the matchup for Metcalf, who should see Oliver in coverage. Last season, Oliver allowed a 67% catch rate and an average of 13.5 YPR. With the Seahawks offense mostly the same from last year, they should be able to build upon the average of 24.7 points per game, which ranked ninth in the league. While the Falcons will also be a team to score plenty of points with two potential receivers reaching over 1,000 receiving yards in Julio Jones ($7,700) and Calvin Ridley ($6,100); they draw a tough Week 1 matchup.


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DVP Matchups

This section will highlight the average DKFP allowed to each position. These numbers will reflect from how the ended in 2019 and will switch over to the current 2020 numbers beginning in Week 4.

Worst QB Matchups

Team, Opponent, PTS/G Allowed, Rank

Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, 15.8, 1st
Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, 16.3, 2nd
New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, 16.8, 3rd

Best QB Matchups

Team, Opponent, PTS/G Allowed, Rank

San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, 27, 32nd
New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, 25.3, 30th
Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, 24.5, 28th

Worst RB Matchups

Team, Opponent, PTS/G Allowed, Rank

New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 12.1, 1st
Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, 12.5, 2nd
Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, 13.9, 3rd

Best RB Matchups

Team, Opponent, PTS/G Allowed, Rank

Las Vegas Raiders, Carolina Panthers, 26.3, 32nd
Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, 24.9, 31st
Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, 23.4, 28th

Worst WR Matchups

Team, Opponent, PTS/G Allowed, Rank

Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, 14.5, 1st
New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, 16.9, 2nd
Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, 17.2, 3rd

Best WR Matchups

Team, Opponent, PTS/G Allowed, Rank

New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 28.5, 32nd
New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, 28, 31st
Washington Football Team, Philadelphia Eagles, 27.6, 30th

Worst TE Matchups

Team, Opponent, PTS/G Allowed, Rank

Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, 4.9, 1st
Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, 5.1, 2nd
New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, 5.4, 3rd

Best TE Matchups

Team, Opponent, PTS/G Allowed, Rank

San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, 13.3, 32nd
Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, 9.2, 30th
Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, 9.1, 29th


Lineup Starters

Quarterback to build around

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons, $7,000 — Touting Wilson is not a groundbreaking play by any means. He’s involved in one of the highest projected scoring games, is the second most expensive QB and will receive plenty of buzz heading into Sunday. All that aside, in a season of uncertainty, he feels like one of the safest options we have. I mentioned how this Falcons’ secondary is going to be one to target against and that’s one of the biggest reasons. The Falcons also struggled to stop mobile quarterbacks, allowing an average of 17.3 rushing yards per game and five rushing touchdowns. In the final three games for the Seahawks, Wilson averaged 46 rushing yards on 24 total attempts.


Wide Receiver To Pair Him With

D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons, $5,800 — As mentioned, I love the individual matchup for Metcalf against Isaiah Oliver. Aside from the 13.5 YPR, Oliver led the Falcons corners in YAC allowed at 361. During the offseason, Metcalf was said to have been working closely with Wilson, leading me to believe the heavy usage Metcalf was seeing toward the end of the year should continue. In the final three games for the Seahawks, Metcalf averaged 5.6 receptions, 100 receiving yards and scored twice against the 49ers, Eagles and Packers.


Top Running Back To Consider

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals, $7,000 — I’m excited to see what we get out of a full year from Ekeler as the RB1 on the Chargers. His flashed that potential in the first four weeks of the 2019 season when Melvin Gordon was holding out, as he averaged 14 carries, six receptions and 122 scrimmage yards per game. His yards after contact per attempt ranked amongst the highest in the league at 3.2, which was 13th amongst players with at least 60 carries during the season. With this expected to be a close game — the Chargers are -3 favorites on the DraftKings SportsbookEkeler should remain busy both on the ground and through the air.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is steveazors) 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.

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