If you’re an avid daily fantasy sports player then you’re probably already thinking about setting a lineup for the first NFL game on Thursday night, a matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles.
FanDuel already has tons of contests ready to go for just Thursday night, with the big-ticket contest paying out $1 million worth of prizes (the contest requires a nine dollar entry with over 132 thousand entries).
NFL Week One Daily Fantasy Picks: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
The way FanDuel formats lineups for a single-game contest is you pick five players at any position, with one of those players being your MVP whose points are worth 1.5x. This creates more differential between lineups and tries to create fewer people with the same exact roster. Since you can roster any five players, as long as they fall under the salary cap, you could theoretically roster both kickers, both quarterbacks, and a tight end.
The strategy for single-game contests is quite simple, yet difficult to nail. In order to be near the top, you need to have your MVP be the person who scores the most amount of points in the contest. Most people might think that will be the quarterback because they touch the ball the most, but that isn’t necessarily the case.
You also want to fade players that everyone else might have. If you’re aiming to simply place and make a little more than your money back, you can’t go wrong with rostering both quarterbacks. However, most people will do the same. In order to hit it big, you will need to fade whom most people roster and go with a long shot that could score a touchdown or two.
For me, that player is Corey Clement. Clement is an asset out of the backfield for the Eagles and can add some yards on the ground. If the Falcons are able to shut Jay Ajayi down, or Ajayi’s health affects his production, Clement could be the beneficiary of that lack of production.
Clement will probably come with relatively low ownership. With few players to choose from, it’s hard to see many players falling below 15-20 percent ownership, but even that is enough to reap the rewards if Clement does get a lot of touches.
The player that I’m fading this week is Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Philadelphia’s head coach Doug Pederson recently stated that Foles will start week one with Carson Wentz still recovering from a torn ACL.
Foles has been inconsistent throughout his career and though he was stellar last year taking over for Wentz, he struggled mightily this preseason. He was 16 of 26 with two interceptions and no touchdowns.
Preseason doesn’t mean much if anything at all, but it was enough for me to want to fade Foles this week. His ownership will most likely be extremely high with some owners rostering him as their MVP.
If he goes off and isn’t my MVP then I most likely won’t place anyway. However, if I fade him to roster Clement and another Eagles running back and they score on the ground I should do pretty well.
In terms of my MVP, I am going with All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones. Jones has had multiple 200-yard games in his career and I have a feeling week one could be one of those nights for him.
Whatever you pick, setting a DFS lineup for whatever amount makes watching football that much better. It’s just great to have football back.