Let me address something before we continue breaking down the week one NFL slate . You ready I’m confused, but I’m working on it. I received a lot of e mails over the past few days wondering if I was going to continue writing baseball for the remainder of the season and the short answer is Yes and No because I’m confused. My personal fantasy sports method of play is single entry cash and tournament entries I just like to streamline things to the best final lineup for a given day. I’m just not into throwing darts in too many directions because I end up not hitting the board. We are entering for the next 4 months the greatest part of the fantasy year, as well as potentially the most profitable and I feel I would be doing a disservice to everyone including myself by dividing my attention between the two sports . Now that we got that out of the way I need to address my confusion. This is the first time I’m writing NFL articles and just like NBA and MLB I’m trying to figure out a process to get you the best information and at the same time prepare myself to make the most profitable lineup for the slates. I think I have it figured out though so if you like the process or want to see something different hit me up with an e mail and I’ll make some adjustments .
Let’s get rid of this confusion. Football research is a weekly job it’s not like the other sports that you commit a bit of time a few hours before a slate make a lineup and reap the rewards when you cash . The way I thought our preparation could work is first find the games that we have good game scripts and explore how I expect the fame to play out while taking into account Vegas lines and match ups. Next I delivered on Monday my initial thoughts on each game on the slate . Today’s article now that I have conducted a decent amount of research I’m going to start dialing in each games research warning today’s article may contradict some of my initial thoughts from the previous two articles. The last article Friday or Saturday will be my best plays per position based on the equation that I have stressed in each article.
Matchup+opportunity+cost= player rostered
So today’s job is to start eliminating things and help get us to our final assessments. If you notice that I’m not discussing a player it means that he probably Isn’t making my personal cut down process. One last request if you haven’t read the roster construction article read it many things discussed will be revisited throughout the season
Denver vs Carolina
Three words fade the game it’s that simple
Tampa bay vs Atlanta
I’m getting really close to locking in Julio Jones into one of my wide receiver positions. In the last 2 games vs Tampa Bay Jones has averaged 15 targets and the Bucs secondary hasn’t improved do why should things be different this time. The game script and pace of game is fast and positive and I expect plenty of points to be scored . Mike Evan and Jameis Winston could be an interesting stack for the same reason as listed above ,but before I can endorse Mike Evans I need to figure out if Desmond Trufant will be following him around the field. Matt Barr can be an interesting mid level priced kicker.
Vikings vs Titans
Still think this is an Adrian Peterson game but I’m not as high on him as I was on Monday . I won’t blame you for rostering Peterson but I like backs that will contribute in the passing game , Tennessee is going to sell out to stop the run daring Hill or Bradford to beat them and I think we can get other running back 1 with more upside . I do expect a slow paced grind it out type of game eliminating almost all the skill players positions including kickers from both teams .
I initially like Tajae Sharpe for value but the matchup and lack of volume has lowered my expectations .
Both defenses are reasonably priced and can be considered as viable alternatives to the higher priced defenses in the slate
Browns at Eagles
My opinion on this game has dramatically changed . I still have zero interest on the Cleveland side of the game even with a good matchup on paper, due to the fact that there is no one on the roster to exploit this matchup, but the Eagles have caught my attention principally Ryan Matthews. The Eagles will be starting a rookie quarterback and I see them trying to control the clock. Matthews is a good bet to get 20 carries and with the ability to be involved in the passing game I love his upside at this price point against a Browns team that was destroyed a year ago by opposing running backs
Bengals vs Jets
Zero interest for the Bengals it’s that simple let your opponents reach for this game but I suggest we avoid it like the plague. Need further convincing the running backs are in a time share, A j Green gets a trip to Revis Island , and I expect the Jet front seven to make Andy Dalton very uncomfortable .
As for the Jets I would have interest in their defense but I like others on this slate more and let’s revisit Decker and Marshall for s minute as I only have a slight interest in the Jets wide receivers and it’s truly slight . There are many other wide receivers on the slate with better match ups however the targets should be there for both wide receivers . I guess for me this will be strictly a salary cap play but I won’t force it.
Raiders at Saints
Still confused but read the previous article for the insights as I still feel Latavius Murray may be somewhat overvalued by the Dfs community in this matchup and he actually may be losing carries and opportunities to Deandre Washington who had a great training camp . The Raiders want to run the ball but I still believe ( and I’m in the minority here ) that there is a strong possibility that this game becomes a pure passing games do the running game becomes somewhat an after thought. My focus is still on the Raiders As I do believe they will be playing from behind and even though the experts have it as s neutral game script I don’t see it that way. Derek Carr , Amari Cooper, and Michael Crabtree are in play but I prefer Cooper in this matchup at his price point as he has a really nice floor and a tremendous ceiling against a poor New Orleans secondary. I’m off New Orleans as I can’t justify paying up for Drew Bree’s with other quarterbacks with similar upside available on the slate . The skill players also are an avoid for me as I can’t readily identify how the targets and touches are going to be distributed . Let’s talk about Coby Fleener , yes earlier in the week I was on him especially at his price point but reading up on the subject it seems like Bree’s and Fleener aren’t clicking right yet so I may avoid him and revisit this play later even at the risk of fading a chalky player. I’m always worried about a quarterback not having faith in a receiver as this may limit his targets . Now this may just be coach talk coming out of the New Orleans camp so I’ll keep breaking this down and by Saturday we will see if Fleener makes my final cut . One last point this game is being played in a dome also warrants looking at kickers from both sides especially due to the high implied Vegas total.
San Diego vs Kansas City
Taking a pass on The Chargers its truly a tough matchup and at their price points just doesn’t make a lot of sense even with the strong probability of the Chargers playing catchup. Extremely interested in the Kansas City defense and kicking game in this one. As for the rest of the offense I was very high on Spencer Ware at $5400 due to the uncertain status of Jamaal Charles , in addition can we count on ware getting all the carries or will there be some sort of time share in this game . Remember we want to avoid time shares for our running backs when ever possible in DFS
Bills vs Ravens
Nothing really has changed for me in this game and I’m not really high on the defenses as much as I was in Monday . I can still make a case for Lesean McCoy but at his price points I like a lot of other players with better match ups and game scripts . Baltimore complete fade for me as we don’t know the roles of these players as of now , if these Ravens go off some how and lose because of it I can live with that as this is truly a reach.
Bears vs Texans
This is quickly moving up the ranks as one of my favorite famed to target. I love the Texans defense in this matchup as I expect Jay Cutler to make a few mistakes in this one. In addition let’s look at the Texans offensive philosophy . They live to run the ball as last year even with the loss of Arian Foster they had the 5th highest rushing attempts in the league. Lamar Miller is going to be featured in this game extensively and even if he can’t get it going against an improved front seven of the Bears I expect him to get between 20-25 touches and be involved in the passing game . His price matchup and opportunity makes him a potential elite play on this slate. Now for my favorite part of the Chicago defense to attack . You guessed it their secondary . Chicago may be without their top 3 corners for this game and I truly expect them to do what ever they can to limit the damage Deandre Hopkins will to do them opening up a huge opportunity for Will Fuller. Fuller is a boom or bust rookie with game breaking speed. For a rookie he runs really good routes and although we can’t count on targets a long touchdown reception is not out of the question. Fuller is definitely s sleeper worth taking a flyer on in tournaments and I’m not against using him in cash at this cheap price point as I can pair him with Julio Jones and another high end wide receiver or tight end if I choose. For all you suicide pool players this may be a game you can use as I don’t expect a lot of players to attack this game .
Green Bay vs Jacksonville
Another game that requires further breaking down. Let’s talk about Green Bay . I won’t pay up for Aaron Rodgers at this price point. Yes he will have a good game but will he give you that game where you have that oh crap moment where you regret not having rostered him , not likely and you sacrifice to much other upside players by investing that salary into Rodgers. Eddie lacy is going to start the season in a time share with James Starks and until lacy shows me something I’m off of him. This is another spot where the experts and I disagree and I do believe Lacy will be somewhat chalky but I’m going to avoid this situation as I need proof before I invest a roster spot on him even at his price point . I’m taking the same approach with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb as I need to see how they play although Cobb may make my final group.
My real interest in this game is the Jaguars side of the game . I do anticipate the Jaguars playing from behind so I gave zero interest in their running game , but the tandem of Blake Bortles and Allan Robinson has caught my attention as I do expect of ton of pass attempts in this game . Even better I expect the game to be competitive and I can’t rule out a upset completely as the Jacksonville defense has improved.
Miami vs Seahawks
Seattle defense and kicker are firmly in play here as expect the Miami offense to struggle in this one. I have zero interest in the Mismi offense. Here is where the fame script could be interesting though . Miami has a real weak secondary and a strong defensive line . Seattle has Russell Wilson and a very weak offensive line . This could be a game where Wilson is scrambling and creating so using him as a starting quarterback may make a lot of sense. I need to know Thomas Rawls health situation before I commit to deploying him and if he isn’t healthy or limited in anyway Christine Michael becomes the elite value play of the day easily vaulting Spencer Ware.
Giants vs Cowboys
Rashad Jennings very sneaky upside play in this matchup as he will be a three down back for the Giants and it seems like the experts aren’t touting him so I’m confident he will be in my final cut down at the running back position. I can’t say the same about Odell Beckham as I like Julio Jones much better at this price point but I’m extremely interested in sterling Sheperd as he is a legitimate play maker and can be had at an extremely low salary for his matchup and opportunity .
Dak Prescott at $5000 will be a chalk cash game and tournament team lineup but he just seems a little overhyped and although I expect him to reach value I’m also concerned for a few reasons . Rookie quarterback , rookie quarterback , rookie quarterback , and rookie quarterback . The Dallas game plan will be streamlined and with so many other quarterbacks and valued at other positions I’m not married to the idea any longer of deploying Prescott no matter what. Ezekiel Elliot on the other hand may just be a must starter for me playing behind the best offensive line in football with guarantee of 20-25 touches and involvement in the passing game ,a positive game script , and a very reasonable cost has vaulted him up to my favorite running back on the slate.
Detroit vs Colts
I beat the hell out of this game in my previous two articles . Nothing new to say here but make sure you get exposure to this game as this is the offensive game of the week not New Orleans vs Raiders
There will be many players making my final roster cut article from this game
If your looking for a sneaky running back play consider Theo Riddick and Marvin Jones is probably a must play at his salary especially in cash games
A note on the colts the offensive line is real bad so I’m avoiding Andrew Luck and Frank Gore.
New England vs Arizona
To much uncertainty in this game I think I’m just going to avoid it and enjoy it as a fan
Steelers at Washington
Deangelo Williams is in play vs a redskins team that was poor vs the run.
Antonio Brown vs Josh Norman. It’s my hope that people get scared off of this matchup due to the perceived difficult . Brown is matchup proof and will get his targets regardless of who is covering him and I gave a question for you. Is it really a tough matchup . I’m not sure it is. Keep this in mind last year Odell Beckham torched Josh Norman for two touchdowns and no disrespect to Odell he isn’t Antonio Brown and that was with out game scripting Odell away from Josh Norman . As a life long steeler Dan I expect Brown to spend a lot of time lining up in the slot and guess what Mr Norman doesn’t play the slot ,so this perceived tough matchup on paper in reality may not be as tough in real life.
On the Washington side Kirk Cousins could be in play against a sub par steeler secondary. I expect the redskins to be playing from behind and trying to catch up in this game and I love Jordan Reed to receive plenty of targets in this game. Reed may just be my favorite tight end on the slate and don’t sleep on Pierre Garçon could be a target monster in this one . Get exposure to the Mondaynight hammer in cash games and tournaments or risk depleting your bankroll .
The last game and most boring
Rams vs 49 ers
Gurley may get the most carries if any back in week one against a very weak 49ers defensive front but with a lack of involvement in the passing game I may take a pass but I haven’t made a final decision on him and I need to reevaluate . I’m also not against deploy in the Rams defense in this one against Blaine Gabbert.
Boy we covered a lot here. How do you feel ?
I’m sure you will let me know in your e mails and I look forward to reading your comments. I’m gonna switch gears and instead tell you how I feel. I started off the article in a state of confusion right . Well that confusion seems to have flushed down the toilet as a quiet confidence is starting to take over. That’s what happens when you put in the time the confusion disappears . Well that’s a wrap but we aren’t even remotely completed with our research as we gave three more days until Sunday, we have to get through injury reports , determine ownership percentages to the best of our abilities ,and I have one more article to write which will put things together so that we can finalize our rosters and grow our bank rolls together by creating the best possible rosters for Sunday.
Evan, as always you can contact me at, email@example.com