Week One 2018 is Here

Week 1 of the NFL season is finally here! This has been a long offseason for us football fans, and along with the pigskin action comes one of our favorite things: fantasy football. If you’re getting ready to draft a daily fantasy football team for the first weekend of the NFL season, then you will want to make sure that you have a strong team on your side.

If that’s you, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ve put together some analysis for you on the top rated players, along with who to draft this weekend and who to stay away from.

So, keep reading to see who to use at each of the major DFS positions.

Who Should You Start in DFS for Week One

Where you take your fantasy game this year will depend on some smart decision making.

Quarterback

Tom Brady: Brady is one of the top ranked quarterbacks of all-time. He’s also the most expensive QB in most DFS leagues this week. The Patriots are going up against the Houston Texans on Sunday, who currently have the #30 ranked defense when it comes to stopping QB fantasy points according to DraftKings. That’s unimpressive to say the least. However, there are some issues with this estimate. One, it’s the first week of the season, so it is a guess and not as accurate as it should be. Two, it doesn’t take into account the fact that the Texans’ defense has improved a bit during the offseason against the passing game. Brady is expensive, and the defense that he will be facing is better than advertised. Brady will put up some good numbers, but not enough to warrant the price that he’s getting.

Ben Roethlisberger: Roethlisberger is a lot cheaper than Brady in most leagues but has a very similar expected point outcome. The Steelers face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, who are ranked #27 in the NFL against the throw, but the discounted price on Big Ben makes him a superior draft choice to Brady. DraftKings gives him a price tag of $6,600 and an expected point outcome of 20.6 this weekend. Again, these numbers might not be completely accurate, but history has shown that he is capable of big plays. With WR Antonio Brown ready to play this weekend, the best target in the league will become available for Roethlisberger to throw to. While Brady’s numbers are likely inflated for Sunday, Roethlisberger’s are too low.

Wide Receiver

Antonio Brown: Brown is the number one WR in the NFL this season, and he’s the most expensive one in most DFS leagues this weekend. Given the information above about Roethlisberger, you would think that Brown would be a strong pick. But, at $8,600, he could be a little bit too expensive here. He averaged 24.6 fantasy points per game last season to give him a commanding lead in the league, but the most expensive player is always a bit of a risk. Spending a little bit less money alleviates that risk, as long as you don’t reduce your point ceiling too much. Our pick below accomplishes both of those goals.

DeAndre Hopkins: Hopkins is only $300 cheaper than Brown this weekend at $8,300. His expected point value is a little bit weaker than Brown’s, but the potential for an upside is stronger. Hopkins is expected to have about 21.7 points this weekend, but he’s going to see more throws than normal this weekend because of changes to the team dynamic. The Patriots have a stronger than expected passing defense this season, but it’s not strong enough to stop Hopkins. He is one of the fastest people in the NFL and is going to be the most used target for the Texans all season. His fantasy stats can only benefit as a result of this.

Running Back

LeVeon Bell: Bell is undoubtedly strong at RB and has the numbers to prove it. He was the top ranked RB at DraftKings at the end of the regular season last year and is likely to be one of the top two or three this season without much effort. He averaged 24.7 fantasy points per game last season, being only one of two to be up above 20. There is no way that you can argue that Bell will be weak this season. That’s one of the difficulties that the Steelers face in general this year, at least from a DFS perspective. Both Brown and Bell will have amazing numbers at the end of this season, but those numbers won’t be great on the same day, at least on a consistent basis. The running game is weaker than the throwing game this weekend, and Bell’s numbers will be lower as a result. That means that his price tag of $9,400 is way too expensive for the performance that’s expected out of him here.

Ezekiel Elliott: Elliott was the only RB other than Bell to average above 20 fantasy points last season. His price tag of $7,700 makes him a lot more attractive than Bell but stay away from him here. The Carolina Panthers have the #2 ranked defense against the rush, and Elliott’s usual numbers will be unlikely here. Yes, you can use the offseason uncertainty argument here, but that’s extremely unlikely to work out in Elliott’s favor here. Even though he seems like a steal, stay away here.

Alvin Kamara: Kamara is the less obvious choice at RB but promises a much greater return than either of the others listed here. He is priced at $8,500, but the New Orleans Saints are in a strong position going into this game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a weak rushing defense, and QB Drew Brees will be turning to Kamara far more than normal this game. That makes his 19.9 fantasy points per game last year seem like a low ball figure for what Kamara will produce here. He scored 15 TDs last season, and it would be a big surprise if he didn’t grab his first of the season this game. Even with a higher price tag than some, Kamara is a high value play this week.