NFL DFS: GPP/Tournament Plays for Week 1by Joe Ricotta September 13, 2020 1 comment
Week 1 of the NFL season is oftentimes a wild and unpredictable ride. The same can be said about many weeks, however, what we think we know going into the season, becomes more clear after a real game is played. Without a preseason this year, there’s more uncertainty than ever as to what we actually know and can project with the first batch of games. With all of that out of the way, this is a great week to play tournaments.
NFL DFS: GPP/Tournament Plays for Week 1
Let’s start by saying, any picks used or mentioned for cash games can be played in tournaments. That’s an important thing to know and can sometimes get confused whenever the two are mentioned separately. For that reason, I’ve tried to avoid mentioning my cash game plays for this article.
There’s merit to using or fading certain players in tournaments, whether it be ownership expectations, bust potential, etc. But, as I said earlier, just about all of the cash game plays are viable for tournaments. If you’d like to see Cash Game Plays, you can check that out here. With that said, let’s get to some other picks for tournaments. Getting a mixture of popular and lower owned players could be the best way to go.
Mitchell Trubisky ($5,400 DK, $6,900 FD)
Coming into his fourth season, Trubisky truthers are calling for an all-out breakout party from the former first-round draft pick. Meanwhile, others are calling for his job and begging for it to be Nick Foles‘ time. No matter what side of the fence you are on (I’m neutral, I just want the Bears to win), Trubisky and the Chicago Bears are in a good spot here against the Detroit Lions. Darius Slay is no longer in the secondary and No. 3 overall draft pick Jeff Okudah isn’t expected to play with a hamstring injury. The Bears have won three of the five games Mitch has started against the Lions and he has a 106.3 rating, 1,359 yards, and an 11-to-4 TD-INT rate. If there’s ever a good matchup for him, this is it, especially with his rushing ability.
Joe Burrow ($5,800 DK, $6,600 FD)
The first overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft will make his first-ever NFL start. It could go a number of different ways, but one thing is for sure, it’ll be interesting to watch. Burrow was the Heisman Trophy winner and set a single-season FBS record, tossing 60 touchdown passes last season. The Los Angeles Chargers will be without former All-Pro safety Derwin James and the Bengals come in as Vegas dogs. Burrow could have his struggles, but he could also be forced into late-game heroics mode. I love betting on talent, and this feels like a potential slate-breaker.
Austin Ekeler ($7,000 DK, $7,700 FD)
As of writing this, wideout Mike Williams is not expected to play with a shoulder injury. With Melvin Gordon out of the picture, this backfield belongs to Ekeler, and he could be in line for even more targets, given the injury to Williams. The Bengals allowed the most rushing yards per game a season ago (148.6). D.J. Reader was brought in to help plug up the run game and Chargers center Mike Pouncey has been ruled out with a hip injury. However, Geno Atkins is also out with a shoulder issue. All of these moves and issues kind of cross each other out, but I believe Ekeler will be used in the checkdown game quite a bit. Tyrod Taylor should be able to find him on short passes and he’s not owned enough when you consider his big play, in space ability.
James Robinson ($4,000 DK, $4,500 FD)/Chris Thompson ($4,000 DK, $4,800 FD)
Antonio Gibson was far and away the most popular value running back play leading up to Saturday. That changed with the news of Miles Sanders being out this week. Still, I believe Gibson will get ownership along with Boston Scott, the new favorite. That leaves two very pivotable targets in the value section, Robinson and Thompson. Thompson is a pass-catching PPR threat and Robinson is the team’s coined number one running back. Both have real opportunities to hit value and have access to a higher ceiling than the other favored backs in this price range.
A.J. Green ($5,700 DK, $6,200 FD)
After missing all of 2019 with an ankle injury, Green will finally return to action. Entering a contract season, he has all the motivation in the world to perform well this year. We don’t know what to expect from rookie Burrow, but we know he has potential. The Cincinnati Bengals come into this game as three-point underdogs, so this could be a sneaky points-chasing opportunity. If the Bengals choose to air it out, Green could make an early case for Comeback Player of the Year. I’ll be using some Burrow to Green stacks.
Anthony Miller ($5,000 DK, $5,400 FD)
Many football heads and fantasy football analysts, in particular, were looking forward to Foles being the Chicago Bears starting quarterback. Especially because of how much he targets his slot receivers and the buy-low opportunity to be had on Miller, who is the Bears’ main slot weapon. However, last season Trubisky was able to connect with Miller towards the end of the year. From Week 11 through Week 15, Miller caught 33 balls for 431 yards and two touchdowns. As mentioned, Trubisky has had success versus this Lions team. I could see him finding Miller quite a bit, and Allen Robinson will be the higher-owned target. This is a spot you could get different.
Darren Waller ($5,900 DK, $6,800 FD)
People are excited about the debuts of rookies Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, understandably so. Meanwhile, Waller was the most-targeted weapon in this offense a year ago. He also led the team in receptions and red zone targets. Derek Carr hasn’t been a “let it fly” quarterback his entire career, averaging only 6.6 average depth of target yards per pass attempt last year. Look for him to stick to what he does best, in the first game of the season, connect with Waller, and rely on Josh Jacobs to run the ball efficiently.
T.J. Hockenson ($4,200 DK, $5,300 FD)
Hockenson never reached the $4,000 or higher salary mark last season. As mentioned in the Cash Game article, Kenny Golladay is doubtful. Running back your potential Bears stacks or solo plays of the aforementioned Miller, Robinson, etc. Hockenson is an under-the-radar option. He could take the next step this season, as we see so often second-year tight ends do. When the Bears struggle defending the pass, it’s generally against tough tight ends. A year ago, the Bears allowed the ninth-most DK points per game (13.6) to the position and tied for third-most receptions allowed (96).
TB @ NO
The difficult part of this game is the pricing of the players involved. Mike Evans was listed as doubtful and is now listed as questionable. If he plays, he could be a good option in GPPs, coming in at low ownership. If he doesn’t play, that will open up savings options with Justin Watson and Scotty Miller. Chris Godwin will be extremely popular either way, although he’s in a great spot and should be force-fed. Gronkowski could be the overlooked safety blanket and red zone target for Tom Brady. On the Saints side, it’s much more simplified. Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas are the go-to guys. Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook will be low owned if you want to take a shot there. The Tampa Bay Bucs defense was really good against the run, but not so good against the pass last year.
SEA @ ATL
This game will be played in a dome and it has the highest Vegas game total on the entire slate, sitting with an over/under of 58. Somehow, the players in this matchup aren’t projected to be the highest owned, making them solid GPP plays. I like stacking Matt Ryan with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, and even Russell Gage. For the Seattle Seahawks, we can look at Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Chris Carson.
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