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Week 1 DraftKings Tournament Picks

By Jared Smola | Updated on Sat, 09 Sep 2023 . 11:31 PM EDT


Justin Herbert ($6,900) + Mike Williams ($5,700) + Gerald Everett ($4,300)

I expect a big 2023 season from Herbert and this Chargers passing game. He has all the arm talent you could ask for, is loaded with a strong arsenal of weapons, and will get much better play design from new OC Kellen Moore.

That big 2023 should start on Sunday in a shootout vs. the Dolphins. This game’s 51.0-point over/under is easily highest on the main slate.

Miami has its own explosive offense that can quickly turn a game into a track meet. And the defense is missing CB Jalen Ramsey.

That’s particularly good news for Williams, who still figures to play the majority of his snaps outside the numbers (despite reports out of Chargers camp that he’ll kick inside to the slot a bit more this season).

As for Everett, he gets a Dolphins defense that ranked 28th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs last year.

You could certainly play WR Keenan Allen ($7,300) instead of Everett if you’re willing to use a more expensive Chargers double stack. 

RB Raheem Mostert ($5,400) and WR Tyreek Hill ($8,200) are the top runback options from the Fins side.

Jalen Hurts ($7,800) + A.J. Brown ($7,600)

The Eagles are flying a bit under the DFS radar this week. Hurts is projected for just 6% ownership; Brown 8%.

That alone makes them worth tournament consideration. Recall that Hurts registered six games of 30+ DraftKings points last year. Brown had games of 28.5, 30.1, 34.9, and 42.6 points.

The Patriots defense certainly isn’t a pushover. But they’ve struggled against mobile QBs in recent seasons. And they’ll be without starting CB Jack Jones (hamstring) on Sunday, boosting Brown's matchup.

Also consider: Deshaun Watson ($6,000) + Elijah Moore ($3,800) + David Njoku ($4,200)


Running Backs

Joe Mixon, Bengals ($6,800)

I’m playing Mixon in cash games this week.

He’s one of the better volume bets at his position, gets a Browns defense that ranked 30th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs last year, and is playing in a game with high-scoring potential.

The fact that Mixon is projected for just 7% ownership makes him a strong tournament play.

J.K. Dobbins, Ravens ($6,600)

I had Dobbins as one of the most undervalued RBs in fantasy drafts this summer.

All he’s done is average 5.9 yards per carry as a pro. He’s now over two years removed from that nasty knee injury. And he should see more action in the passing game this season under new OC Todd Monken.

If Dobbins is gonna have the big season I think he will, it’ll start this week in a pristine matchup. The Ravens are 9.5-point home favorites with a 26.5-point implied total against a Texans defense that ranked dead last in adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs last year.

TE Mark Andrews' expected absence could mean a few extra touches for Dobbins.

Also consider: Aaron Jones ($6,300), Rachaad White ($5,500), Raheem Mostert ($5,400)


Wide Receivers

D.K. Metcalf, Seahawks ($7,000)

There’s a good chance that we’re attacking this Rams secondary in DFS lineups all season. They’re set to trot out Akhello Witherspoon, Derion Kendrick, and Cobie Durant as their top three CBs.

Tough to imagine those guys slowing down Metcalf, who’s projected for just 8% ownership.

The Seahawks’ 25.25-point implied total is tied for fourth highest on the main slate.

Chris Olave, Saints ($6,500)

Word out of New Orleans is that Olave had an awesome training camp with new QB Derek Carr.

He opens in a potential blowup spot against the Titans. Tennessee ranked 31st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs last year. 

And they particularly struggled defending deep balls, allowing the most fantasy points to WRs on passes 20+ yards downfield. Olave’s 27 targets of 20+ yards last season were eighth most among WRs.

Mike Evans, Buccaneers ($6,300)

Evans has been a high-ceiling player throughout his career. That’s come mostly with QBs Jameis Winston and Tom Brady. We’ll see if QB Baker Mayfield can support that ceiling.

Sunday’s matchup vs. the Vikings certainly presents blowup potential for Evans. Minnesota is throwing out sophomore Akayleb Evans and rookie Mekhi Blackmon at the outside CB spots.

I particularly like Evans in a mini stack with Vikings WR Justin Jefferson ($8,800)

Also consider: Calvin Ridley ($6,500), Zay Flowers ($4,000), Elijah Moore ($3,800), Jonathan Mingo ($3,200)


Tight Ends

Taysom Hill, Saints ($3,700)

No Alvin Kamara. No Kendre Miller.

If there’s ever a spot for the Saints to make Hill a big part of their rushing attack, this is it.

Hill had a 37.1 DraftKings point outing last season – a ceiling that no other TE on the slate comes close to matching. 

Isaiah Likely, Ravens ($3,000)

TE Mark Andrews is not expected to play this weekend, according to NFL Network.

We got two games from Likely without Andrews and with QB Lamar Jackson last year. He drew a strong 20.0% target share in those outings, scoring 19.7 and 9.4 DK points.

Likely faces tougher target competition from Ravens WRs this year and is in a new offense under OC Todd Monken.

But this price tag, plus the matchup against Houston, makes Likely a tough fade.

Also consider: David Njoku ($4,200), Hayden Hurst ($3,000), Luke Musgrave ($2,900)


Defense/Special Teams

Steelers ($3,000)

Packers ($2,800)

Browns ($2,600)

Raiders ($2,300)


More Week 1 DraftKings Picks

Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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