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Week 1 FanDuel Cash-Game Picks

By Kevin English | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT

Each week this season, I’ll go over the FanDuel cash game plays to focus on. Remember that we’re working with a .5 PPR format and a starting lineup of:

1 QB

2 RBs

3 WRs

1 TE



If you’d like to keep the conversation going, feel free to leave a comment below the article.

Good luck!


Drew Brees, Saints ($8,100) vs. Tampa Bay

The Bucs defense looks improved — at least on paper. Brees at home has historically been a winning proposition, though. Last year he posted 333 passing yards per game (8.3 YPA) in 6 home games. He was at 322 yards per game and 9.5 YPA(!) in 2018.

Now with Emmanuel Sanders in the mix — plus a healthy Alvin Kamara — I’d be surprised if he doesn’t deliver in a potential shootout.

Tyrod Taylor, Chargers ($7,000) at Cincinnati

Taylor might be without Mike Williams due to a shoulder injury. But that doesn’t make a huge difference for me; Taylor’s game fits with shorter-range targets like Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Austin Ekeler.

I don’t see the Chargers running away with a victory here, so pass volume should be fine. And you have to love a matchup with a thin Bengals secondary that ranked 24th in fantasy points allowed vs. QBs in 2019.

Running back

Christian McCaffrey, Panthers ($10,000) vs. Oakland

It’s easy to find values given that FanDuel’s pricing came out weeks ago. So don’t hesitate to start your lineup with McCaffrey, who still comes out #1 on the main slate in our FanDuel $/point rankings.

Josh Jacobs, Raiders ($8,200) at Carolina

Jacobs enters year 2 with perhaps the best matchup on the board. Carolina allowed the 4th most rushing yards to opponents last year and profiles as a worse unit entering Week 1. Vegas, installed as 3-point favorites, figures to feed Jacobs 20+ touches.

Now, the 2nd-year back might not have the highest receiving ceiling. Oakland rosters a capable receiving back behind Jacobs in Jalen Richard. Still, receiving upside matters less in FanDuel’s .5 PPR format.

Chris Carson, Seahawks ($7,200) at Atlanta

Atlanta projects as a mid-pack run D this season. But the big draw here is Carson’s workload, as the Rashaad Penny-less Seahawks should feed Carson 20+ carries (as they did last year at Atlanta).

Primary backup Carlos Hyde brings nothing as a receiver, so Carson should handle the bulk of 3rd downs and carry a bit more pass-catching upside than usual. Having a high-powered offense on the other side certainly helps; this game sports the second highest game total on the main slate (49).

Antonio Gibson, Washington ($4,900) vs. Philadelphia

Gibson’s mostly a price play. But he should also be able to capitalize on a matchup against an Eagles squad that’s weak at LB. With Gibson projecting as a plus receiver, look for Washington to try and exploit that mismatch (especially because of their lack of pass catching depth).

If he hits 12-15 touches, you're thrilled.

Also consider: Joe Mixon, Todd Gurley

Wide receiver

Chris Godwin, Bucs ($7,700) at New Orleans

Mike Evans is dealing with a hamstring injury that leaves him questionable to face the Saints. Even if he’s active, Godwin should lead this team in targets in what projects as one of the highest scoring games on the slate. (The current game total is 47.5.)

And, per Pro Football Focus, Godwin draws the best individual matchup on the board against slot CB P.J. Williams.

Calvin Ridley, Falcons ($6,600) vs. Seattle

Many around the league have labeled Ridley a 2020 breakout candidate. He’s come close to doing so already, posting lines of 64-821-10 and 63-866-7 over his first 2 seasons. A 13.3% TD rate probably isn’t sustainable, but having Matt Ryan (and Julio Jones) alongside certainly helps.

A matchup with Seattle provides a welcoming scoring environment. While the Seahawks added one of the game’s best safeties in Jamal Adams, it’s not nearly enough to knock me off Ridley at a depressed price.

Terry McLaurin, Washington ($6,500) vs. Philadelphia

There’s no chance I use two Washington players in my cash lineup. But McLaurin — who I prefer over Gibson — must be mentioned. Even in a potentially tough matchup vs. Darius Slay, McLaurin could see double digit targets as the team's lone dependable pass catcher.

For what it's worth: Eagles beat writer Jimmy Kempski doesn’t expect Slay to exclusively shadow McLaurin.

Also consider: Adam Thielen, Tyler Boyd

Tight end

Zach Ertz, Eagles ($6,700) at Washington

Philly’s WR corps — again — looks banged up.

Alshon Jeffery is out. 1st-round pick Jalen Reagor was expected to miss several games with a small tear in his labrum, and while he might play on Sunday, his involvement figures to be limited.

So Carson Wentz figures to lean on his most dependable target. Ertz compiled 17 targets against Washington last year, while Philly combined for 69 points in those 2 games. As long as the O-line holds up, the Eagles should be able to exploit a subpar secondary.

Also consider: T.J. Hockenson (if Kenny Golladay is out)


Bills ($4,700) at Jets

Colts ($3,700) at Jaguars

Kevin English Author Image
Kevin English, Senior Analyst
Kevin brings 15 years of experience as a fantasy analyst and mid-stakes competitor across various formats (redraft, best ball, dynasty, DFS). His work has been featured on The Mercury News, Rotoworld, and FantasyPros.
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