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DFS

Week 1 FanDuel Tournament Picks

By Kevin English 8:50pm 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. You can find the cash game article here.

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

For those 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 main slate targets…


QBs

Justin Herbert, Chargers ($8,400) vs. Raiders

Ownership projection: 9%

Herbert hit 3 passing TDs in both matchups with Vegas last year. His squad enters the weekend with an implied point total of 28 — 2nd highest on the slate. Shortly, we’ll find stacking options for the 3rd-year passer…

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs ($8,700) at Arizona

Ownership projection: 9%

Mahomes talked recently about how the ball will be spread around without Tyreek Hill. On the surface, it’s not an ideal admission for fantasy — but it figures to help keep his pass-catchers low owned. The matchup is right, too, with Arizona missing 2 CBs already (Antonio Hamilton and Trayvon Mullen) and potentially Byron Murphy (questionable) as well.

I'm most interested in stacking Mahomes with Kelce and JuJu Smith-Schuster.


RBs

Derrick Henry, Titans ($9,700) vs. Giants

Ownership projection: 14%

Henry’s lack of pass-catching upside hurts you less in FanDuel’s .5 PPR format. You’re playing him for his multi-TD upside, a mark he reached in 3 of 8 games last season. In fact, Henry averaged just over 2 goal line carries per game over the limited sample.

New York’s defense is breaking in a new DC (veteran Wink Martindale) and is coming off a 2021 that saw them rank last in Football Outsiders’ run DVOA. They’ll also be without top pick Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee).

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

Ownership projection: 16%

Barkley should be among the highest-owned RBs on the slate. But we’re talking about a workhorse back in a neutral-at-worst matchup. You can’t play all low-owned guys in tournaments, and this is a spot where I’ll follow the herd a bit.

Barkley’s currently projected for ~22 opportunities.

Dameon Pierce ($5,400, vs. Colts) is a tempting, cost-saving option. Just note that he's currently installed as a 7-point home underdog. The Colts, however, are without ace LB Shaquille Leonard.


WRs

Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($8,100) vs. Packers

Ownership projection: 16%

Among all WRs, Jefferson narrowly edges out Ja’Marr Chase in Week 1 ceiling projection. (Note: this info can be found on the Daily Fantasy Lineup Generator under Player Exposure). While he posted 1 dud against Green Bay last season, the other matchup went for nearly 30 FD points.

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

Ownership projection: 12%

I mentioned Williams as a cash-game play because of his cheap price. Here, he gets the nod as a stackable option with Justin Herbert. Williams’ strong 11.4% career TD rate also plays well in FanDuel’s .5 PPR format.

Kadarius Toney, Giants ($5,300) at Titans

Ownership Projection: 6%

Toney is the epitome of a tournament play. You know he has week-winning potential…and also the ability to torpedo a lineup.

Brush off injury concerns, though, and you see a player worth the risk at low ownership. The Titans aren’t particuarly strong at CB, and they recently lost top pass rusher Harold Landry to an ACL tear.

Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers ($5,600) at Bears

Ownership projection: 6%

Aiyuk probably won’t fly under the radar if George Kittle (groin) is ruled out. Even if that’s the case, it’s easy to get excited about Aiyuk following a hype-filled training camp. For now, he appears to have the best rapport with new QB Trey Lance. Chicago also enters with a secondary lacking experience.


TEs

Gerald Everett, Chargers ($5,200) vs. Raiders

Ownership projection: 3%

You can certainly take the chalky route with Kyle Pitts. He’s only $6,000, and with heavy usage upcoming, that price is tough to avoid.

But Everett’s case as a discount TE strengthens with Donald Parham “doubtful” to play. In what looks like a possible shootout, Everett could sneak his way into a top-8 fantasy line. And he’s quite easy to stack with Herbert and/or Mike Williams.


DEF

Carolina Panthers ($4,700) vs. Cleveland Browns

Ownership projection: 3%

Carolina’s defense is loaded with young, ascending talent. And a matchup with Jacoby Brissett looks favorable for turnover upside.

I’m also considering the Ravens ($4,800) against a Jets offense with QB Joe Flacco... and without OTs Duane Brown and Mekhi Becton.


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