4 NFL FanDuel Studs to Target in Week 1
With Week 1 of the 2019 season finally here it's time to set those FanDuel NFL lineups and gear up for a monster weekend of football.
As is the case when playing any sport on FanDuel, it’s imperative to hit on the high-priced players in your lineup. They require a big chunk of your salary, and when paying up for a player, you shouldn’t have to worry about him letting down your lineup.
Heading into the opening week of the NFL season, here are four studs who should prove to be worth their high price tag.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
FanDuel Price: $7,400
Projected Points: 20.9
While a first-round loss to the Los Angeles Chargers certainly added to the growing list of detractors, Lamar Jackson gets a cream puff matchup to begin the 2019 season against a very poor Miami Dolphins defense heading in the wrong direction.
If you forgot about Jackson's exploits last season, let's remind you about how adept he was as a runner, averaging 17 rushing attempts last season. In the seven games that he started, he rushed for 557 yards -- that's not a bad 18.6 fantasy point-per-game average.
While Jackson had his hands full against the Chargers in that playoff contest, the 'Fins certainly aren't that defense, or anywhere close. They ranked last as a defense overall in 2018, last against the run, and second-worst against the pass.
While they will be on the road with only a 38.5-point over/under, it could lead you to avoiding Jackson -- but fear not, as our highest-projected quarterback should be in line for a big score.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
FanDuel Price: $9,100
Projected Points: 17.3
First, let's peek into that New York Giants defense, which clocked in as one of the league's worst in 2018 against the run (26th), and Elliott gashed them in Week 2 last year for 78 yards and a score in the only time he suited up against them a year ago. A season ago, the Giants gave up the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing runners (21.2 points-per-game).
Vegas has installed the Cowboys as healthy favorites (money line -7.0 points), and Dallas has the fourth-highest implied team total (26.25 points) on Sunday's main slate. If Elliot gets a strong workload as expected against this Giants team, the running back could put up monster results.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FanDuel Price: $7,900
Projected Points: 13.9
Coming off an 86-catch, 1,539-receiving yard, 139-target campaign (22.2% target market share), Evans was clearly a focal point of one of the best passing offenses in the league, which we ranked as ninth-best in 2018.
For Evans, the likelihood of a big game rises even further attacking a San Francisco 49ers pass defense that ranked as the third-worst a season ago. And if pace stats from last year continue, where Tampa ranked seventh in situation-neutral pace (27.10 seconds per play), there should be plenty of offensive opportunities for this passing attack.
We project Evans as the top wide receiver on Sunday's slate of games, so if you can afford the pricy pass catcher, he should be worth it.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Price: $7,800
Projected Points: 13.3
After the juggernaut Kansas City Chiefs offense shattered record after record in 2019, including passing for a whopping 50 touchdowns, they will get the chance to continue to prove their worth against a ferocious Jacksonville Jaguars defense in Week 1.
While the Jags took a step back as a team, this defense remained stout. It clocked in sixth overall and sixth against the pass, so why would we want to consider even rostering a guy like Travis Kelce?
If there was one soft spot exposed by teams, it was the tight end position. The Jaguars allowed only 17 passing touchdowns last season, but they allowed eight of them to opposing tight ends.
While Kelce has topped 100 or more targets in each of the last four seasons, he saw a whopping 150 targets a season ago -- look for Patrick Mahomes to look his way early and often in this game.
Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.