Welcome to my Week 1 GPP picks for Draftkings and Fanduel! My sole focus here is to help you identify options we can use in large field GPPs as well as Single Entry tournaments. Now, let’s dig into the 2020 NFL season!
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Dwayne Haskins – Draftkings ($5,000), Fanduel ($6500)
We go big or go home here at #TeamRiseorFall and that’s how we’re kicking things off. With the field locked on to guys like Lamar Jackson, Matt Ryan, and Russell Wilson I think it’s a good idea for us to get contrarian. Week 1 is always a great time to do this. The Washington Football Team starts things off against a divisional opponent, and notorious pass funnel, Philadelphia Eagles. According to Football Outsiders, the Eagles were ranked third in rush defense efficiency and were also graded with a top ten rush defense by Pro Football Focus. In short, be wary of deploying Antonio Gibson, this week.
But while the Eagles are stout against the run, they fall short in coverage where they were ranked 11th worst by PFF last season. When these two teams met in week 15 Dwayne Haskins lit up the Eagles with a stat line of 19/28 261yds and 2TDs. He also added 26yds on the ground. It’s important to note that during weeks 10-16 Haskins was graded as a top ten Quarterback by PFF. Finishing 2019 on a strong note and his rapport with former college teammate Terry McLaurin only continue to grow bode well for his 2020 prospects. With both teams being susceptible to their opponents passing attack I’m expecting this game to be a fast-paced shoot out. According to our ownership projections, Haskins is currently projected at under 3% ownership on DraftKings. Couple that with his $5000 price tag and he makes for a fantastic contrarian play. Do I even need to mention how you should be stacking him with McLaurin? No, I don’t think so. Wheels up on Haskins!
Marlon Mack – Draftkings ($5300), Fanduel ($6100)
You are probably going to call me crazy for going with a running back who is eventually going to be replaced by rookie Jonathon Taylor. But the keyword we need to remember there is “EVENTUALLY”. If there was any week to use Mack over Taylor this is it. In my first article for #TeamRiseorFall, I talked about the “Three C’s”, Continuity, Consistency, and Cohesion. Mack has all of this AND he has the trust of the coaching staff which is evident since he has been tabbed with the starting job going into week 1. While a 50-50 split is possible what could give Mack an edge is opportunity and game script. The Colts head to Jacksonville, as (-7.5pt) favorites, to face a team that’s already given up before the season has started. They’ve seen a ton of turnover on their once-dominant defense. They didn’t draft a quarterback to challenge GODner Minshew and they just traded away Leonard Fournette. The Jags also finished 2019 with a bottom-five defense against the run.
People might gravitate towards the much more talented back in Jonathan Taylor, thinking he’s going to do what CEH did on Thursday night. The big difference there being that veteran Darrel Williams provided no competition to CEH once he was slotted as the backup. Paving the way for the rookies’ record-breaking night. Whereas despite playing in a committee Mack still averaged almost 18 carries a game in 2019. The lack of a full offseason and no preseason games has given Mack a slight edge over Taylor. While his shortage of targets in the passing game doesn’t make him the most enticing play on DK (I still think you can use him there) he does make for an exciting play on Fanduel. Let others chase Taylor. Continuity is the name of the game for Mack and the Colts in week 1.
DJ Moore – Draftkings ($6600), Fanduel ($7100)
I was all set to write up, with glee, Kenny Golladay, and his juicy matchup with the Chicago Bears. But the fantasy gods had other ideas. That’s not to say DJ Moore is sloppy seconds. Far from it. So, let’s dig into Carolina’s alpha receiver and HIS juicy matchup against the coverage lacking LAS VEGAS (that still sounds weird) Raiders. Moore has not been talked about much, outside of traditional fantasy leagues, and we can use that to our advantage. According to our ownership projections, he’s currently sitting at sub 10%. We should be all over this as Moore will be facing a defense that was graded bottom four in the league last year and in terms of passing defense efficiency were ranked second to last. Not to mention they cut their most experienced DB’s in Prince Amukamara and Damarious Randall. You could argue their secondary will be just as bad, if not worse than they were last year. What I’m saying is week 1 won’t be the only time we’ll be targeting this defense.
But back to DJ. Don’t let people scare you away from Moore catching passes from Teddy Bridgewater or how CMC is going to get all the touches. It’s a fair point to wonder about the chemistry between those two. But in this case, I’m taking talent over a poor secondary with low ownership for an alpha receiver who’s going to command a ton.
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TJ Hockenson – Draftkings ($4200), Fanduel ($5300)
As I said earlier, I was all set for a Golladay love fest. Stupid Injuries. But we (and by we, I mean me) can’t continue to dwell on what could have been and must take advantage of what we can do now. And that’s “PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOOOOT!”. My ROSS impression sucks on paper (don’t judge me). I’m now officially in love with TJ Hockenson, for week 1. With Golladay hobbled, and his availability now in question, look for more targets to go towards Hock and Marvin Jones. His price tag ($4200) might scare some away. But when opportunity knocks you answer the door. And this is a prime opportunity. The chalk could potentially be on Chris Herndon and his cheap price tag ($3300) and for good reason. The only other guy he’ll be battling with for targets is Jameson Crowder. The Bills will probably force them to play from behind giving him ample opportunity. Sounds familiar, right?
Well, here’s the counterpoint to that. The Bills defense is stout against TEs. In 2019 they allowed the third least (aFPA) to TEs in PPR formats. The Bears were a middling team against tight ends. Hock faced these same Bears twice last season and notched moderate stat lines of (3-47) and (6-18). The important takeaway from those outings is that he recorded targets of (6) and (11). Also, keep in mind he got those targets from an extremely bad backup QB whose name I can’t even remember (I do remember but does it matter? No, no it does not). Stafford is back, the Lions running back by committee approach will keep the Bears honest and create opportunity. And unlike the Jets, Chicago and Detroit will keep this game competitive long enough for Hockenson to pay off his moderate price tag and outscore his fellow TEs who will be much higher owned (sans Kittle). Our current ownership projection has him at sub 10% ownership. Which is exactly what you want to see from a player with his talent, opportunity, and his teams implied total (23.5). LOCK.HIM.IN.
Now let’s go build those lineups and win that money. Good luck everyone!
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