by Andy Goddard – @godsy1985
The long wait is almost over as another NFL season is about to begin!! This means it’s also time for fantasy football! So who are we picking for week one on our DraftKings fantasy team?
QB – Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings vs Atlanta Falcons – $5,500
Cousins averaged 19.7 points per game (PPG) last season with 30 TD and 10 INT but most impressively, he completed 70.1% of his passes. This reliability should continue to rack up the points and he is going against a Falcons defence that may struggle with pressuring the quarterback.
The back end of the Falcons D is above average but without pressure, players will get open and Cousins will find them. Stefan Diggs and Adam Thielen are a very good wide receiver pairing which defenses will struggle to match up against. Dalvin Cook also provides a solid run game which could free up further space when using play action.
RB – Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers vs LA Rams – $8,800
McCaffrey is an easy choice in a points per reception (PPR) league as not only can he run the ball, he is also very reliable with his hands. He averaged 25.2 PPG in 2018 clocking up 1,098 yards on the ground and 867 yards through the air. Those receptions came on 107 catches from 124 targets.
The LA Rams have a lot of talent of defense, especially at the line. If that pressure comes Cam Newton’s way look for him to hit the check down passes to McCaffrey. The LA Rams D may have put in a good showing during the Super Bowl but in a recent article on Bleacher Report, it was ranked as just the 21st best in the league heading into the new season
RB – Sony Michel – New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers – $5,900
The reigning Super Bowl champions will be a run first team this season with much of the load being carried by Michel. Brady isn’t getting any younger and the team will look to establish the run early.
The Pats operate a ‘run by committee’ out of the backfield and some of his time will be shared with both James White and Rex Burkhead but after seeing what Michel did during the post season, he will be the lead back.
There are also reports coming out of New England that Michel has been involved a lot more in the passing game so look for him to pick up more points there as well. He averaged 14.4 PPG in his rookie year and ran for 1,267 yards. He only had 8 receptions but that will likely be a bigger number this season.
WR – Antonio Brown – Oakland Raiders vs Denver Broncos – $7,400
After ruining his feet and then arguing about his helmet it would appear Antonio Brown is ready to play football again. Brown is still arguably one of the best receivers in the game and will be Derek Carr’s ‘go-to-guy’.
He will be up against a good defense in the Broncos but Brown has produced against good defenses his whole career. He averaged 22.6 PPG in his final season in Pittsburgh with 104 catches for 1,297 yards. Never be afraid to select a player going up against a good D!
WR – Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings vs Atlanta Falcons – $6,700
Whoever you select as your QB, you have to pick one of his wide receivers! Diggs gets the pick because Adam Thielen has been struggling with ‘soreness’ and is listed as questionable (although you have the option of using Thielen at the FLEX position).
There also isn’t really much to choose between the two. Averaging 18.6 PPG last year with 102 catches for 1,021 yards, Diggs is a threat all over the field. With Thielen lining up as well, this causes problems for any defense. If the Falcons can’t get any pressure on Cousins, Diggs should have a good day.
WR – Cole Beasley – Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets – $3,600
Beasley is a guy who is real value. At just $3,600 you get a solid slot receiver who could easily become the security blanket for Josh Allen. If this happens, Beasley’s stock could rise rapidly. In fact at one stage last season, Beasley was valued at $4,600. He had 69 receptions in 2019 for 715 yards at an average on 9 PPG.
That may not seem great in the PPG column, but in the preseason Allen looked early and often for Beasley and seemed to be developing some chemistry with his new recruit.
TE – Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals vs Seattle Seahawks – $3,100
It seems strange to say this but the Seahawks defense is major concern. With Russell Wilson seemingly taking all of the money in Seattle, the defense has taken the hit! The Bengals are banged up at wide receiver so look for them to use multi-TE formations.
Eifert averaged 9.7 PPG in 2018 with just 15 receptions but he was sent to season ending IR after a foot injury sustained in week 5 against Miami. Eifert is still a good choice at TE in a week by week format due to concerns over injury issues.
FLEX – Will Fuller V – Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints – $4,900
Use your FLEX positions wisely! Will Fuller V is coming back from an ACL tear suffered last October although head Coach Bill O’Brien has confirmed he is on track for week 1.
Before this he was performing well averaging 16.5 PPG on 32 receptions for 503 yards. His matchup in week 1 could be very favourable as the Saints will surely use their top corner, Marshon Lattimore, on DeAndre Hopkins. If there are any problems with Fuller V, use the ‘late swap’ to your advantage. Putting him at FLEX gives you the option to swap in a WR/RB/TE.
DST – New England Patriots – New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers – $3,400
The Patriots are the best ‘bend don’t break’ defense in the league headed up by the best Head Coach. When the team need a turnover, they usually stop opposing offences. In fact, the Pats D only allowed opposing teams to convert third downs 37.5% of the time. This was ranked second behind the Jaguars in 2018.
Super Bowl 53 showed just what this team can do! There may be concerns over the front end but the additions of both Michael Bennett (from Philadelphia Eagles) and Chase Winovich (via the draft) should cover the loss of Trey Flowers.
New England are stacked in the secondary which is lead by all-pro Stephon Gilmore. The Steelers have lost Antonio Brown so the Patriots can push their double coverage to JuJu Smith-Schuster.