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FanDuel NFL Week 1 DFS: An Early Look at the Top Plays, Values, and Who to Avoid

FanDuel NFL Week 1 DFS: An Early Look at the Top Plays, Values, and Who to Avoid for your FanDuel Week 1 Lineup

Hey guys, Geoff Lambert here from GoingFor2.com. Jared and I decided to come together and do some guest blogging to give our readers a fresh perspective on NFL DFS. Hopefully this can become an in-season thing as well.

For those that read my NBA FanDuel stuff at GoingFor2 you might already know my format. I’m going to go position by position and give you four different plays from each. Here are the four categories and their explanations:

1) Explosive Play – In the real-world NFL an explosive play is defined as any play over 20 yards, and those type of plays will typically win you football games. In the DFS world, an explosive play is a player that I think has the potential to put up huge fantasy production, based on his matchup, recent performance, and his history against the opposing team.

2) Deep Threat – A deep threat is a second or third tier player that I think will outperform their price on FanDuel, giving you the best Return on Investment (ROI).

3) Punt Play – This term is pretty universal — typically a GPP play only. It’s a player that has an outside shot to have a great game, and will most likely me low-owned in large tournaments.

4) Missed Tackle – A missed tackle is a first or second tier player that I’ll be avoiding, be it because of match-up, weather conditions, or recent performance.

Let’s get started…


Explosive PlayMatt Ryan $8,800

There were a couple of players I could have gone with here, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton were two others I liked. I ultimately decided to go with Ryan for a couple of factors.

1. He is playing at home. Matt Ryan at home is a different QB than on the road. He is dramatically better in every statistical category at home verses away games. At home in 2014 he was 11 points higher in QB rating, 3-percent better in completion percentage, and nearly two yards per pass better than his away games. Not to mention, historically speaking, September is his best month.

2. Vegas has this over/under currently set at 53.5, the highest over/under of any game on the Week 1 slate. Neither team is going to stop the other. I expect there to be lots of fantasy points to be had in this game.

3. The Falcons still have no running game, so expect them to throw and throw often. Ryan threw the ball 628 times last year, only Drew Brees threw it more (659).

Deep ThreatRyan Tannehill $8,000

I really like Tannehill this year in season long formats, but I really like him in Week 1 versus a Redskins team with a very bad secondary. They were going to be bad before the Brashaud Breeland injury, and even if gets healthy in time, he is suspended for his first game. Tannehill is also likely to rack up some yards on the ground and could potentially get you the all important rushing touchdown.

jameis winston fanduel

Punt Play – Jameis Winston $6900

As fate would have it, the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in this years NFL Draft will open the season facing one another. Winston for some reason is actually cheaper than Marcus Mariota, but with the weapons that Winston has he is the one I’ll be throwing in my GPP lineups. His receiving core consists of Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins whom are all listed at 6’5″. To quote ESPN’s Matthew Berry “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to lead the NFL in rebounding”. All Winston needs to do is throw it up.

 Missed TacklePeyton Manning $9100

I really think the Broncos plan is to lean more heavily on the run game in 2015, and it’ll start Week 1. From a yards standpoint the Ravens were the 25th ranked defense last year, which wouldn’t scare anyone, except they were also second in the NFL in sacks. They are going to come after Manning with everything they got, and with his price point, there are better options.

Running Back

Explosive PlayEddie Lacy $8500

The Bears defense was historically bad last year, and even though they have made some changes, they aren’t drastically better. Lacy started slow in his first two years in the league, he won’t do that this year. I’m expecting Lacy to lead all running backs in scoring in Week 1.

Deep ThreatJonathan Stewart $7100

Finally healthy AND no longer part of the worst RBBC in the NFL with that DeAngelo Williams is in Pittsburg. He gets to play the Jaguars in Week 1 — the 27th ranked run defense last year. At $7100, where do I sign up?

Punt PlayAlfred Blue $5,800

This may not qualify as a punt play because with the Arian Foster injury, if he shows well in preseason, he could be highly owned at that cheap price point. But it’s the beginning August so I’m going to put him here anyway.

Missed TackleMatt Forte $8,800

There were a ton of changes in Chicago this off-season, new head coach, new coordinators on both sides of the ball and Brandon Marshall is in New York. The important thing to note here is that Mark Trestman is no longer the head coach. Starting running backs under Trestman have averaged over 70 catches a season. The entire running back core from the Broncos in 2014 (where current Bears head coach — John Fox — and offensive coördinator — Adam Gase — coached last year) had 68 receptions, and that was with Peyton Manning as their QB. Newsflash Jay Cutler is not Peyton Manning. I don’t think Forte will even come close to the type of reception numbers he had last year. At $8,800 I’ll be looking elsewhere in Week 1.

Wide Receivers

aj green fanduel

Explosive PlayA.J. Green $8,300

There are a ton of great plays at wide receiver. I almost went with Julio Jones here and a potential Falcons QB/WR stack with Matt Ryan, but I ultimately decided to go a cheaper route. Green had an off-year in 2014, mainly due to injuries, but what better way to come out and show the world your still a top five wide receiver then to beat up on the Raiders?

Deep ThreatAndre Johnson $6,900

It would be hard to do this entire post and not mention at least one Colt player. Andrew Luck will throw the ball a ton, and he has a plethora of targets to throw to, but I expect Johnson to become one of his red zone targets. Johnson could easily have two TDs in this game to go along with 100-plus yards.

Punt PlayJohn Brown $6,000

Here is another player much like Alfred Blue, he will be given the chance to shine due to an injury to a player higher on the depth chart than he. I liked John Brown before Michael Floyd injured his fingers — now I love him. The problem is, so might everyone else.

Missed TackleJeremy Maclin $7,600

He is a little cheaper than a typical “missed tackle” would be, but that’s because all the receivers in front of him have great match ups. Maclin is now in Kansas City, and this is Jamaal Charles‘ team. I don’t expect Maclin to approach the numbers he did last year, and his price will plummet as the year progresses. Alex Smith just doesn’t take enough shots downfield to give Maclin much value.

Tight Ends

Explosive PlayGreg Olsen $5,900

Tight ends are hard to predict unless you take one of the top guys, so I’m taking the one that has been the most consistent for the longest time period in Olsen. Jimmy Graham is just too expensive for a guy that has changed teams, Travis Kelce is still a bit unproven, and Martellus Bennett has the habit of disappearing. Give me the safer Olsen.

Deep ThreatJordan Cameron $5,500

Ryan Tannehill represents the best QB Cameron has had in his short career, and Tannehill loves to throw to his tight ends, just ask the 2013 version of Charles Clay.

Punt PlayVernon Davis $5,300

With all the issues in San Francisco, Vernon Davis may end up being zero percent owned, and if he can even remotely capture his 2013 form, he’ll be  a steal in Week 1.

Missed TackleJimmy Graham $6,900

As I’ve already mentioned, Graham is too much of an unknown now that he plays for a run first team. I’d like to see him get a few games under his belt as a Seahawk before I dish out the money to get him.

That wraps up my guest post on Moxyball. I’d like to thank Jared for this opportunity and you for reading my post. You can check me out, as well as some other great DFS and season-long fantasy writers, at GoingFor2.com and follow me on Twitter @GeoffLambert77. I’m always willing to talk fantasy on Twitter.


About Geoff Lambert

Founder/Writer of GoingFor2.com. Fan of the 49ers and the Pelicans. Love playing and writing fantasy sports and DFS.


  1. Lacy yep going to be heavily owned. The RB2 slot/choice will make or break some teams.
    I am going to roll with Beckham tell proven otherwise- figure Eli is going to be behind at some point and will have to throw to catch up. Dallas secondary yikes…

    • Agreed… I’ll have some exposure to him as well. Beckham is an elite option, despite the pessimism that some folks have for him this year. Should be a shootout there in week 1, in all likelihood!

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