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Week 1 DraftKings Tournament Picks

By Corey Buschlen 7:09pm EDT 9/11/21


Week 1 Tournaments are tricky. It’s very difficult to predict who the surprises will be because we have no data from 2021 to work off and pricing reflects that. It’s very difficult to get an edge in your lineup construction, but there is still plenty of money to be made this week.

Let’s ride.

For reference, here was the winning lineup for last years “Milly Maker” contest on DraftKings in Week 1.


QBs

Ryan Tannehill ($6,500)

5.8% projected ownership

Tannehill has a top 5 ceiling on the week given the Cardinals' reeling pass defense. Tannehill has freaky pass-catching options with AJ Brown and Julio Jones .Both WRs boast a top 7 matchup advantage according to PFF this week. This game has a projected over under at 53 points, the second highest of the slate.

I also really like the differentiation aspect of fading Kyler Murray (9.2% projected ownership), stacking the Titans passing game and running it back with DeAndre Hopkins in a GPP lineup

Jalen Hurts ($6,400)

7.8% projected ownership

One of the under-the-radar QBs on the slate. This Falcons/Eagles game has sneaky shoutout potential and we know that Hurts is always a threat to give you a lot of rushing production. With the ability to spend up across the board in Week 1, I think Hurts will help save you some cash to get some high end RBs/WRs/TEs into your lineup.This Falcons defense gave up the single most points to fantasy QBs last year, including 6 rushing TDs (T-5th most).

Cheaper options include Zach Wilson ($5,000) & Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,500)


RBs

As a principle, I tend to eat the chalk on high-end RBs because I trust my ability to find value at QB and WR. Christian McCaffrey ($9,500) Dalvin Cook ($9,100), Derrick Henry ($8,800) and Alvin Kamara ($8,600) are all great plays, but here are some other ones in case you can’t quite make these high-end guys work.

James Robinson ($6,400)

9.5% projected ownership

A lot of uncertainty surrounding the Jags backfield will steer some people clear of J-Rob in this matchup. The Texans defense allowed the most DK point per game to the RB position last year at 33.6 PPG, a whopping 5.56 yards per carry and 21 rushing TDs. Even if Robinson isn’t the same 80% opportunity share RB he was last year, he should get more than enough volume to get the job done.

Najee Harris ($6,300)

9.8% projected ownership

We all love a big workload, and based on the 45-of-51 first-team snaps Najee saw in the preseason, I expect this to be the cheapest you’ll ever get the Steelers bell cow. Last year the Bills were a run funnel defense — a lot of teams opted for run heavy gameplans to avoid their great secondary.

Najee should have a good chance to get into the end zone as well. In 2020, the Bills gave up the 9th most rushing TDs to RBs.

Some lower-owned options I like in GPPs: Kareem Hunt ($5,500), D’Andre Swift ($6,900) & Myles Gaskin ($6,000)


WRs

Justin Jefferson ($7,700)

5.9% projected ownership

Jefferson and the Vikings face a depleted Bengals secondary in what should be a higher scoring game. The Bengals lost Williams Jackson, their number one corner in free agency, and Trae Waynes (their number 2 corner from last year) is likely out in this game. Jefferson’s primary matchup is Chidobe Awuzie, who he carved up for 86 yards and a TD in 2020 when Awuzie was with the Cowboys.

Tee Higgins ($4,700)

14.7% projected ownership

As mentioned with Jefferson, this game should be one of the higher scoring matchups on the slate. I expect Kirk/Jefferson/Thielen and company to put up points on the other side, which means lots of pass attempts for Burrow and the Bengals. From Weeks 1-11 last year with Burrow healthy, the Bengals ranked #3 in the NFL in pass rate at 64%. With Ja’Marr Chase struggling to get acclimated, don’t be shocked if the rookie sensation from last year gets out to a hot start.

Devonta Smith ($4,500)

3.6% projected ownership

Smith didn’t play much in the preseason.But when he did, he showed why he was the 10th overall pick. Falcons vs Eagles has a 48 point over/under, third highest on the slate. Smith, along with Miles Sanders/Dallas Goedert/Zach Ertz and the other starters, were rested in Week 3 of the preseason, while Jalen Reagor/Quez Watkins/Greg Ward all played. It’s very clear that Smith is the go-to target for this team. He faces a Falcons defense that ranked #32 at stopping opposing fantasy WRs last year.

Low Owned Dart Throws: Jakobi Meyers ($5,100), DJ Chark ($5,800), Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($3,700) & Jarvis Landry ($6,000)


TEs

Logan Thomas ($4,600)

6.2% projected ownership

With the news of Curtis Samuel heading to IR, Thomas gets a big boast from all facets. Thomas ran 65.7% of snaps from the slot and 404 routes last year with Washington thin at slot receiver. The Samuel signing spelled the end of that role … but with him out, Thomas has a chance to regain the high target volume role in this offense. The Chargers were below average against TEs last year, allowing 10 receiving TDs (T-4th most). A bit of a chalky play, but I’m willing to eat it.

Austin Hooper ($4,000)

4.1% projected ownership

The single highest scoring game on the slate with an over/under of 54. I expect Hooper to carve out a much bigger role in his second year with the Browns.That starts in Week 1 in a potential shootout with Kansas City.

Cheap Dart Throws: C.J Uzomah ($3,000) & Anthony Firkser ($3,200)


DST

Colts ($2,300)

3.0% projected ownership

No one wants to play a defense vs. Russell Wilson, but the Colts have some talented playmakers (Darius Leonard, DeForest Buckner, etc.) that can capitalize on mistakes. We know the Seahawks offense is somewhat boom or bust.If you catch them on a bust week in what I project to be a low scoring game, it allows you to save a lot on a low owned defense.

Others to Consider: Jets ($2,400) & Patriots ($3,900)


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