clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy Football Picks: Top DraftKings NFL DFS Targets, Values for Week 1

Stan Son gives his top studs and values at each position for Sunday’s main DraftKings NFL slate.

We made it! After months of researching, drafting, Twittering, YouTubing, and writhing in anticipation, Week 1 of the NFL season is upon us. Hallelujah! Here are my studs and values for Sunday’s main DraftKings fantasy football slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $5M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry]



Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, $7,400 — The Steelers had the 6th-best rush defense unit according to PFF. Unlike most of the NFL, the Bills’ coaching staff employed Sun Tzu principles last season by attacking weaknesses and not going heads up against the strengths of their opponents. They had no problem spreading things out and letting Allen do his thing. Allen completed 69.2% of his passing attempts last season after posting a 52.8% mark as a rookie. The 572 attempts were the sixth-most in the league. It’s the rushing prowess that sets him apart, though, and made him the numero uno quarterback for fantasy last season. In his three-year career, he’s rushed 300 times for 1,562 yards and scored at least eight touchdowns on the ground in every season. The Bills have an implied total of 27.5, tied for third-highest on the slate. Points are going to be scored and Allen should have a hand in most of them.

Other Option – Kyler Murray ($7,600)


Zach Wilson, New York Jets at Carolina Panthers, $5,000 — He’s a rookie. He’s a Jet. He’s playing his first game in the NFL on the road. That said, these are not the Adam Gase-infected Jets. There’s a new coaching staff with Mike LaFleur leading the offense. He’s bringing over a similar scheme to the one they run in San Francisco, which incorporates tons of pre-snap motion, play-action, and bootlegs off wide-zone run action. This should create confusion and open up seams for the weapons to run through and Wilson to find. He also has sneaky rushing upside, as he ran 70 times for 254 yards and 10 touchdowns in his last season at BYU. While the Jets have a low implied total of 20, the Panthers are at 24, so the Jets’ offense will likely have to be aggressive. It’s Week 1 so there’s uncertainty. I think there’s a little too much pessimism regarding this Jets team, going up against a Panthers defense that was 23rd in Pass Defense DVOA and 21st in Adjusted Sack Rate.

Other Option – Sam Darnold ($5,000)

Running Back


Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals, $9,100 — According to PFF, the Vikings had the second-best run-blocking unit last season. The Bengals were 21st in Rush Defense DVOA. I think the Vikings dominate both lines of scrimmage in this game. The defense was porous last season but made a ton of acquisitions to that side of the ball and I have confidence that Mike Zimmer will get that unit playing at a high level again. The Vikings’ D with Cook correlation is my favorite on the slate. I’m surprised that the spread is only three points in this game on DraftKings Sportsbook and I’m hammering that all day. Last season, Cook was tied with Ezekiel Elliot for the most attempts inside the five-yard line. He’s also not a zero in the passing game as he caught 44-of-54 targets for 361 yards.

Other Options – Christian McCaffrey ($9,500)


Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Minnesota Vikings, $6,200 – I really like the Vikings’ defense but Mixon is just too cheap for the role that he will likely have. He will be the between-the-20s runner, should get the goal line carries, and will be active in the passing game with Gio Bernard taking his talents to Tampa Bay. Mixon should be on the field in two-minute and long down-and-distance scenarios. Translation: he’s going to be on the field for most of the game so he will have plenty of opportunities to accumulate fantasy goodies.

Other Options – Mike Davis ($5,400)

Wide Receiver


Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, $7,600 — I love Josh Allen and think the Bills aren’t going to bother running the ball, so pairing him up with his favorite receiver makes too much sense. Diggs lines up all over the field and has the advantage against whoever lines up against him. Last season, Diggs caught a whopping 127-of-166 targets for 1,535 yards and eight touchdowns.

Other Options – Calvin Ridley ($7,900)


Elijah Moore, New York Jets at Carolina Panthers, $3,000 – I think most of the Jets’ pieces are underpriced as I’m more bullish on their fantasy prospects than most I guess. I went over in the Zach Wilson section why I think this is a good spot for him. Moore is only 5-foot-9 and 178 pounds but he was selected in the second round by the Jets. He will run his routes from the slot, and with 4.4 40-yard dash speed and an agility score in the 98th percentile, he should have plenty of room to operate resulting from the LaFleur scheme, which should prey upon a porous Panthers defense.

Other Options – Rondale Moore ($3,000)

Tight End


Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns, $8,300 – Don’t get cute. Kelce is expensive but it’s money well spent. He has the highest projection and ceiling by a wide margin over the field. He’s essentially a top wide receiver as he garnered double-digit targets in nine games last season and only had one game with fewer than six targets. The Browns allowed 10 touchdowns and were 28th in DVOA to the position last season.

Other Options – Kyle Pitts ($4,400)


Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $4,400 – I put Pitts in both the Stud and Value sections because he’s essentially a wide receiver like Kelce and should see a massive amount of targets. He and Calvin Ridley will be the top two targets for Matt Ryan and there should be plenty of passing in this one. The Eagles were 26th in DVOA against the tight end position last year, so as Scooby would say, “Ruh Roh.” The ownership level will likely be massive due to the price and expected volume, though, so paying up for Kelce may be the path this week, especially to differentiate. It all depends on the ownership projections.

Other Options – Gerald Everett ($3,400)

Defense/Special Teams


Denver Broncos DST at New York Giants $3,300 – The Broncos were 5th in Adjusted Sack Rate last season while the Giants had the worst pass-blocking unit according to PFF. Daniel Jones took the fourth-most sacks, threw the 11th-most interceptions, and led the league with 11 fumbles last season. This is a match made in fantasy heaven.

Other Option – San Francisco ($4,200)


Minnesota Vikings DST at Cincinnati Bengals, $3,000 – The Vikings’ defense was uncharacteristically bad last season. Injuries played a part but it was a porous unit. They made a ton of additions in the offseason and are healthy, for now. I expect the Vikings to be one of the better defenses in the league this season and they get a juicy matchup against the Bengals, who are weak in the trenches. In addition, the Vikings’ offense should be able to find success, making the Bengals’ offense more one-dimensional.

Other Option – Atlanta Falcons ($2,000)

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $5M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry]

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

Place your NFL bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

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.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).

21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See for full terms and conditions.