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Week 1 DraftKings Cash Game Picks

By Jared Smola 1:09pm EDT 9/9/22


Make sure to check out the Lineup Generator for dollars-per-point value rankings at every position.


QB

Jalen Hurts, Eagles ($6,800)

In other weeks, $5,000 Daniel Jones and Mitchell Trubisky would be in play. But pricing is soft in Week 1, which means:

  1. We’ll likely need a higher score to cash, so we want more upside at QB.
  2. We can more easily afford a high-priced QB.

Hurts’ Eagles have the 4th highest implied total on the main slate at 26.25 points. He gets a Lions squad that ranked 27th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA and 31st in run defense DVOA last year and doesn’t project to be much better in 2022.

Also consider: Lamar Jackson ($7,300)


RBs

It’s all about volume at RB in cash games. So let’s start with these 2 guys:

Najee Harris, Steelers ($6,400)
Saquon Barkley, Giants ($6,100)

We have these guys projected for 23 and 20 touches, respectively – both top 10 marks on the main slate. They’re 12th and 15th among RBs in salary.

Sometimes it’s that simple.


It’s almost always optimal to use a RB in the flex spot in cash games (the touch certainty at the position gives RBs a higher floor than WRs). Consider these 2 guys for your flex spot this week:

Christian McCaffrey, Panthers ($8,500)

In 5 healthy games last year, McCaffrey averaged 16.4 carries, 7.6 targets and 23.6 DK points. If he registers anything close to that level of volume and production this season, he’ll be priced closer to $10,000.

James Conner, Cardinals ($7,000)

No DeAndre Hopkins. No Rondale Moore. Zach Ertz dealing with a calf injury.

Arizona’s offense should feature WR Marquise Brown and Conner in the opener vs. the Chiefs. Remember that Conner averaged 16.7 carries and 5.3 targets in 6 games without Chase Edmonds last year. He could be looking at similar volume on Sunday.


WRs

Michael Pittman, Colts ($5,500)

Pittman is simply mispriced. He sits 6th among main-slate WRs in our projections but 23rd in salary.

Pittman garnered a 24.7% target share last year, could grow that number in 2022 and got what looks like a QB upgrade in Matt Ryan. So, even if the Colts execute a run-heavy game plan as 7-point favorites vs. the Texans, Pittman should see enough volume to pay off this price tag.

Houston ranked 24th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs last year.

Rashod Bateman, Ravens ($5,300)

We’re expecting a breakout season from Bateman. He opens against a Jets defense that finished 21st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs last year. And we’re projecting a pass-heavier game plan from a Ravens team short-handed in the backfield.

Bateman ranks 13th among main-slate WRs in our projections but 25th in price.

Jahan Dotson, Commanders ($3,400)

JuJu Smith-Schuster ($5,200) is worth considering for your 3rd WR spot. He should open as Kansas City’s #1 WR, and his Chiefs are sporting the highest implied total on the slate at 29.75 points.

But to fit an elite QB and 3 workhorse RBs, you’ll probably need to go cheap here with Dotson.

The 1st-round rookie ran a pass route on every single 1st-team drop back this preseason, so we can comfortably project him for a significant role out of the gate. He draws a Jaguars defense that has some talent in the secondary but still doesn’t look like a matchup to avoid.

10-12 points from Dotson at this price and we’re happy.


TE

Dallas Goedert, Eagles ($4,500)

There are strong options at TE at every pricing level this week, but I gotta highlight the guy I’ve been hyping up all offseason.

Goedert averaged 13.3 DK points in 10 healthy games without TE Zach Ertz last year. He’ll need to contend for targets with WR A.J. Brown this season, but Philly also figures to throw it quite a bit more after ranking dead last in pass attempts last year.

Goedert opens vs. a Lions defense that finished 25th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs and 29th in Football Outsiders’ TE coverage rankings last year. Goedert posted a 6-72 line on 7 targets in their Week 8 meeting last season – despite QB Jalen Hurts throwing it just 14 times in a blowout win.

Also consider: Travis Kelce ($6,600) and Evan Engram ($3,500)


DST

We’re usually looking for the cheapest viable option (read: unlikely to get us negative points) at DST in cash games.

Dolphins ($2,600)

You know who led all main-slate DSTs in DK points last season? Yeah, the Dolphins.

Of course, DST fantasy scoring is super volatile from year to year – and I’m certainly not betting on Miami averaging 9.0 DK points per game again.

But this remains a talented defense that opens as a 3.5-point home favorite against a Patriots offense that struggled all August.

Also consider: Commanders ($2,500) and Steelers ($2,400)


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