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DFS

Week 1 FanDuel Cash-Game Picks

By Kevin English 1:36pm EDT 9/9/22


Welcome to another season of DFS coverage!

Each week, I'll tackle FanDuel cash game and tournament articles, sharing my top picks for each format.

Jared Smola will handle our DraftKings offerings. All DFS content will populate here.

If you're new to FanDuel, they use .5 PPR scoring and a lineup consisting of:

1-QB

2-RBs

3-WRs

1-TE

1-FLEX

1-DEF


Let’s get into the Week 1 main slate targets…


QBs

Lamar Jackson, Ravens ($8,500) at Jets: Jackson appears set to play out the final year of his rookie contract. He’ll look to start hot against a Jets defense that, while improved, doesn’t project as a high-end unit. As of this writing, the Ravens are implied for 25.75 points — 5th highest on the main slate.

Jackson also turns up #1 in FD dollars per point — as well as in raw projection.

Jalen Hurts, Eagles ($8,000) at Lions: You’ll notice a theme throughout the year — using mobile QBs in cash game lineups. Their rushing ability simply raises the point floor for your lineups, which is critical in more conservative builds.

In 2021, Hurts led all QBs in carries, rushing yards and rushing TDs, scoring 10 times on the ground. You have to love the addition of A.J. Brown, while Philly’s O-line remains the best in the game.


RBs

Jonathan Taylor, Colts ($10,200) at Houston

Sure, JT’s expensive. But in 2 games vs. the Texans last year, he posted lines of 28.8 and 26.3 FD points. Soft pricing elsewhere makes the high price tag more manageable.

Saquon Barkley, Giants ($6,800) at Titans

Barkley figures to be a fairly high-owned cash game play. But at $6,800 — and with a workhorse role in hand — it’s rational. The 25-year-old also catches Tennessee without top pass-rusher Harold Landry (ACL).

Antonio Gibson, Commanders ($6,800) vs. Jaguars

Current projections have Gibson for ~20 touches. With Brian Robinson out, he’ll have a chance to exceed that number as a small home favorite. Jacksonville’s run defense should improve, but we’re still talking about Pro Football Focus’ 29th graded unit from 2021.


WRs

Marquise Brown, Cardinals ($6,900) vs. Kansas City

Arizona enters with a banged up pass catching corps. Zach Ertz has a calf; Rondale Moore has a hamstring. DeAndre Hopkins, of course, is suspended for the first 6 games.

So Brown enters game #1 alongside Kyler Murray with monster target upside -- especially in a likely shootout with the Chiefs. This game enters the weekend with a slate-high game total of 53.5.

Mike Williams, Chargers ($6,600) vs. Raiders

Recall that Williams ranked #1 among WRs in fantasy points over the first 5 weeks of last season. The last time we saw him, he dropped 9-119-1 on Vegas with a 27% target share. Vegas’ secondary remains a vulnerability.

Rashod Bateman, Ravens ($6,100) at Jets

Since we’re spending up this week at QB/RB, we’ll need to save a bit at WR. Fortunately, Bateman comes out as the #1 dollars per point option at the position with a salary of only $6.1K. While this game environment isn’t ideal — the Jets figure to struggle on offense — Bateman should operate as a key part of a concentrated, 2-man passing attack. Current projections have him at a healthy 8.2 targets.

Adam Thielen, Vikings ($6,100) vs. Green Bay

Thielen tallied 8-82-1 in his lone meeting with Green Bay last year. While season-long durability concerns are valid, we’re looking at just a single game here. And by all accounts, this 32-year-old enters the season healthy. It’s also worth noting that Irv Smith, following a lost 2021, missed training camp with a thumb injury. Translation: Thielen’s role might be extra secure out of the gate.


TEs

Kyle Pitts, Falcons ($6,000) vs. New Orleans

You can pay up for Travis Kelce if you want… but I’ll take the $2,000 discount on Pitts.

By all accounts, he’s enjoyed an excellent offseason. Only 22 (in October) I look for a season of improvement in an offense that might feature an absent (or limited) Drake London in Week 1.

He’s truly my only cash-game target at the position. If you want to save here and load up elsewhere, though, I’d drop down to Evan Engram at only $4,900.


DEF

San Francisco 49ers ($5,000) at Chicago Bears

San Francisco’s D-line vs. the Chicago O-line looks like one of the biggest mismatches of Week 1. You're paying a premium here, but it’s for an elite sack/takeaway ceiling.

Washington Commanders ($3,700) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

If you're looking to save at DEF, pivot to Washington. Even with Chase Young out, the Washington front-7 is deep enough to give the Jags’ O-line some trouble.


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