NFL Week 1 DraftKings Picks/Ownership


In the future, I will employ and write about custom metrics I use, DVOA ranks, etc; however, with this being Week 1 and the turnover year to year, those aren’t very statistically relevant till around Week 4.

Key Resources I use every week that you should too:

  1. – Incredible Match-up by Match-up analysis and ownership (@JmToWin on Twitter)
  2. – Curates all touting, articles, videos, podcasts, etc. in the DFS industry and provides very accurate ownership projections (@FanShareSports on Twitter)
  3. – Give great WR/CB matchups, Jeff and Zach give great plays for both GPPs and Cash games (@FantasyGolfers on Twitter)
  4. – Rick makes a weekly video and goes position by position with key stats and players he likes (@dfsondemand on Twitter)
  5. Pat Mayo – Follow him on Twitter and listen to/read his content… he’s the GOAT (@ThePME on Twitter)
  6. Adam Levitan – Follow him on Twitter for all the most up to date news, snap rates, routes run, and his solo podcast is information/awesome (@AdamLevitan on Twitter)
  7. Shouldn’t need to be said, but if you’re not following Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter on Twitter then I don’t know what to tell you… Turn their push notifications on for news during the week/Sunday morning

Match-ups I Like This Week:

  • Texans at Patriots: High Vegas Total, elite offenses vs. weaker defenses
  • Buccaneers at Saints: Saints should be able to light up this defense through the air and if the Bucs don’t get down too much, they could exploit the Saints run defense; Saints are the largest implied total on the slate
  • Jaguars at Giants: Giants are healthier and could exploit Jags run defense; this is a game where Jags WRs are in play, Fournette, OBJ, Jags defense, low-owned Barkley, Bortles

Key WR/CB Matchups: 1 to 5 with 1 being easiest and 5 being hardest

WR WR Pos. DraftKings Price CB Matchup Rank
Larry Fitzgerald WR1  $6,600 Fabian Moreau 1
Michael Crabtree WR1 $5,400 Vontae Davis 1
Chris Hogan WR1 $6,100 Johnathan Joseph 1
Keelan Cole WR1 $3,800 Eli Apple 2
JuJu Smith-Schuster WR2 $5,900 TJ Carrie 3
Odell Beckham Jr.* WR1 $7,000 Jalen Ramsey 3
Mike Evans WR1 $6,700 Marshon Lattimore 4
Doug Baldwin WR1 $6,200 Chris Harris 5
Stefon Diggs WR2 $6,300 Richard Sherman 5
DeAndre Hopkins* WR1 $8,300 Stephon Gilmore 4
A.J. Green WR1 $7,300 Pierre Desir 1
Tyrell Williams WR2 $4,200 Steven Nelson 4

 -Notes about the above: A “*” means likely to see shadow coverage; these are predicted CB coverage

GPP Plays

GPP Quarterbacks

  • Phillip Rivers vs. KC ($6,400): Facing weak secondary and only needs about 19.2 DK Points to hit 3x value; I am only predicting 5-10% ownership right now
  • Tom Brady vs. HOU ($7,200): Paying up and will lightly be chalky at a possible 18-20% ownership but he’s facing one of the worst secondaries in the league, playing at home, and has one of the highest implied team totals on the slate

GPP Running Backs

  • David Johnson vs. WAS ($8,800): Best running back based on both skill and value this week with one of the highest ceilings of anyone on the slate; I could also see under 10% ownership which makes him automatic for me
  • Leonard Fournette vs. NYG ($7,100): This price is too low for an absolute beast that is coming into the season hopefully after kicking that nagging ankle injury from 2017
  • Chris Thompson vs. ARI ($4,700): A PPR machine that should see a ton of volume with the normal Alex Smith check downs, Guice being out, and his implied usage as said by his coach during the preseason; plus, at this price, we only need around 14 DK points to achieve 3x value and around 18 for 4x value
  • Royce Freeman vs. SEA ($4,500): Ownership could start to creep up as he has been confirmed as the starter, but I expect Denver to lead/win this game and them to feed Freeman; as we know, Seattle has lost nearly everyone on their defense as well

GPP Wide Receivers

  • Chris Hogan vs. HOU ($6,100): I highlighted him above as a great matchup against a terrible secondary; as the #1 receiver for the time being (and possibly the rest of the season in my opinion), Hogan will be chalky I think but it doesn’t matter as he has some of the best 2 TD upside of anyone on the slate
  • Michael Crabtree vs. BUF ($5,400): A decently low price for a WR1 against a terrible secondary albeit being thrown to by Joe Flacco (never good); however, as I will probably say numerous times all season I think Vontae Davis is one of the worst CBs in the league and is someone I’ll be picking on constantly; Crabtree should be a great RZ target and with only 16 points or needed to hit 3x, I like him as a core receiver for GPP teams
  • J. Green vs. IND ($7,300): This will most likely be one of Green’s lowest prices of the season and I expect him to torch this secondary; if Dalton can get it on target Green is another candidate for 2 TD, 100 yards+ upside and even though he’ll most likely be heavily owned, and rightfully so (I have 10-15% right now), he’s a core play for me

GPP Tight Ends

  • Ben Watson vs. TB ($3,100): Watson is definitely an old veteran but at this price we’re not expecting, nor do we need, a 20+ point performance like we need from Gronk. If Watson catches 3-5 passes for 40 or 50 yards and a TD we have 10-15 points and over 4x value. I will take that risk and since I see Watson has hopefully 5% or lower we don’t need to allocate ¼ exposure but rather 10-15% and be way overweight the field.
  • Greg Olsen vs. DAL ($5,400): I have Olsen at a sub 3% ownership right now and I can’t quite understand why. Cam Newton’s current targets are Devin Funchess at WR1, which is a bad sight to see, and a rookie who I feel good about in D.J. Moore at WR2. Still, Moore is still a rookie and Newton targets Olsen a ton if Olsen can stay healthy and Cam avoids mistakes. I think Olsen is one of my favorite TE GPP plays and if does in fact stay under 3 or 5%, we have a fantastic leg up.

GPP Defense/Special Teams

  • Panthers vs. DAL ($3,200): Since about 500% of the field is going to own the Ravens defense, I love the Panthers at their surprised ownership as well as the fact that similar to what I said about Cam, who is Dak throwing to right now? Allen Hurns, Gallap, and 2 or 3 new TEs? If the Panthers can stack the box against Zeke I like them as one of the better, and low owned (currently have around 5%) defenses out there

Cash Game Plays

Cash Quarterbacks

  • Phillip Rivers vs. KC ($6,400)
  • Drew Brees vs. TB ($6,800)
  • Andrew Luck vs. CIN ($6,100)

Cash Running Backs

  • Alvin Kamara vs. TB ($8,500)
  • Christian McCaffrey vs. DAL ($6,400)
  • Melvin Gordon vs. KC ($6,800)
  • Leonard Fournette vs. NYG ($7,100)
  • Kareem Hunt vs. LAC ($6,900)
  • James Conner vs. CLE ($4,500) ←←← IF BELL IS OUT

Cash Wide Receivers

  • Michael Thomas vs. TB ($7,800)
  • J. Green vs. IND ($7,300)
  • Keelan Cole vs. NYG ($3,800)
  • Emmanuel Sanders vs. SEA ($5,000)
  • Chris Hogan vs. HOU ($6,100)
  • Keenan Allen vs. KC ($7,500)

Cash Tight Ends

  • Rob Gronkowski vs. HOU ($6,900)
  • Jack Doyle vs. CIN ($3,600)
  • Delanie Walker vs. MIA ($4,900)

Cash Defense/Special Teams

  • Ravens vs. BUF ($3,800)
  • Chargers vs. KC ($2,800)

Expected Highest Owned per Position


  • Tom Brady 15-18%
  • Andrew Luck 12-15%
  • Deshaun Watson 12-15%

Running Back

  • Melvin Gordon 25-30%
  • Alvin Kamara 25%
  • Christian McCaffrey 20%
  • James Conner 18%
  • Rex Burkhead 15%

Wide Receiver

  • Chris Hogan 25%
  • Keenan Allen 25%
  • DeAndre Hopkins 20%
  • Antonio Brown 20%
  • J. Green 17%

Tight End

  • Rob Gronkowski 22%
  • Jordan Reed 17%
  • Jack Doyle 15%

Defense/Special Teams

  • Ravens 20%
  • Saints 14%

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