Week 1 Draftkings DFS Plays: Kyler Murray, Joe Mixon, and More

Week 1 DraftKings Plays
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We’re so close to the first full slate of the NFL season in all its glory. One of my favorite parts is fantasy football. One of my favorite aspects of fantasy football has become playing on DraftKings. Every week is like a new puzzle to figure out. Whether you are more of a cash game player or a tournament player, each presents a unique challenge. Let’s take a look at my favorite Week 1 DraftKings plays.

Week 1 DraftKings DFS Plays

Quarterbacks

Kyler Murray (ARI) – $7,600 @ TEN

Kyler Murray averaged more than 30 fantasy points per game through the first 10 games in 2020. He was on pace to set the all-time scoring record for quarterbacks until he got hurt that week. Murray played through the shoulder injury but it was clear that it affected his game. This year he’s coming in fully healthy and gets a beautiful matchup to start the season. This game has one of the highest O/U of the week at 52. This game also is projected to be the fastest-paced matchup of the slate. On top of that, the Arizona Cardinals are a slight underdog while still having a good implied team total. Murray is one of the higher-priced quarterbacks but with his rushing ability combined with this incredible game environment, he’s one of the best plays at quarterback on the slate.

Jalen Hurts (PHI) – $6,400 @ ATL

Many probably don’t realize that Jalen Hurts was the QB7 in fantasy points per game after he took over as the starter. During that span, he averaged 68 rushing yards per game and had a game in which he rushed for more than 100 yards. The only quarterback with more rushing yards in that span was Lamar Jackson. Hurts might not be a great real-life quarterback but he sure is a great fantasy one. This week he gets to take on an Atlanta Falcons defense that allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks last season. This game is also in a dome and should be a fairly fast-paced shootout. For some reason, Hurts is only the ninth most expensive quarterback on the slate. Take advantage of this.

Others to Consider: Mac Jones (NE) – $4,400 v MIA, Ryan Tannehill (TEN) – $6,500 v ARI, Patrick Mahomes (KC) – $8,100 v CLE

Running Backs

Christian McCaffrey (CAR) – $9,500 v NYJ

That’s an expensive price tag but if there’s anyone that’s worth it, it’s CMC. 2020 was a lost year due to injuries as he only played three games. Even still, in those three active games, McCaffrey averaged over 30 fantasy points per game. The guy is just everything you want in a fantasy running back. His snap share and touch shares are elite and he’s heavily involved in the passing game. This week he gets a nice matchup against the New York Jets. The Jets should be better this year but they were one of the worst defenses last year in terms of receptions and receiving yards allowed to running backs. The Carolina Panthers are five-point home favorites with the 12th-highest implied team total for Week 1.

Joe Mixon (CIN) – $6,200 v MIN

Joe Mixon revenge SZN” should start off nicely in 2021. For some reason, Mixon seems to catch more heat than most running backs. Last year was the first year he’s missed more than two games so far and he’s still only 25 years old. In the six healthy games last season, Mixon was seeing the third-most usage among all running backs and now Giovani Bernard is out of town. Mixon should continue to be a game script-proof bellcow this year and that starts in a solid matchup against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1. There aren’t very many running backs that you can realistically expect to have a bigger workload yet somehow there are 13 running backs more expensive than him. This makes Mixon one of the very best Week 1 DraftKings plays.

Chase Edmonds (ARI) – $4,600 @ TEN

This price is just flat-out egregious! Chase Edmonds is priced below 33 other running backs this week. Think about that for a second. There are multiple backups, who won’t see very many touches, priced higher than Edmonds. It makes no sense at all especially considering the matchup. As mentioned previously, this game should be extremely fantasy-friendly. It’s the fastest-paced game on the slate and has one of the highest O/U. The Cardinals are slight underdogs and Edmonds is a very good pass catcher. The Tennessee Titans also allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs in 2020.

Others to Consider: Antonio Gibson (WFT) – $5,900 v LAC, Aaron Jones (GB) – $6,800 @ NO, Najee Harris (PIT) – $6,300 @ BUF, Javonte Williams (DEN) – $4,000 @ NYG

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams (GB) – $8,300 @ NO

Davante Adams is the most expensive wide receiver on the slate and rightfully slow. Last year he led all receivers in touchdowns and fantasy points per game. His expected fantasy points per game also led the league and were a tier above the rest. His league-leading 33.9% target share is absolutely bonkers. There’s really no reason to expect any difference this year since not much changed on the offensive side of the ball for the Green Bay Packers. A matchup against the New Orleans Saints doesn’t move the needle in one direction or another. Expect Adams to get fed early and often in this one.

Tee Higgins (CIN) – $4,700 v MIN

Tee Higgins was headed for a full breakout as a rookie last year until Joe Burrow got hurt. To that point, Higgins averaged 13.9 fantasy points per game and was the WR27 right in between Mike Evans and Cooper Kupp. Even still he finished with a 108/67/908/6 rookie season line and averaged 12.2 fantasy points per game. Heading into 2021 as possibly the top target for a healthy Joe Burrow should bode well. This week’s matchup against the Vikings should be solid as well as their secondary is nothing to fear. Higgins is the cheapest of the Bengals wide receiver trio and could easily lead the team making him a great value this week.

DeVonta Smith (PHI) – $4,500 @ ATL

It never feels safe putting a guy playing in his first NFL game as a recommended play but DeVonta Smith just feels way too cheap this week. Smith was fairly divisive as a prospect considering his weight but nobody questioned his production. This week he gets a juicy matchup against a Falcons secondary that allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers last season. As mentioned before, this should be a fast-paced shootout in a dome against a terrible secondary. Smith seems likely to be the top target option for the Philadelphia Eagles and that should prove fruitful in this game environment.

Others to Consider: Diontae Johnson (PIT) – $6,300 @ BUF, Marvin Jones Jr (JAX) –  $3,600 @ HOU, Marquez Callaway (NO) – $3,400 v GB, Tyler Lockett (SEA) – $6,700 @ IND, Terrace Marshall (CAR) – $3,000 v NYJ

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce (KC) – $8,300 v CLE

The tight end position is extremely top-heavy this week and will likely continue to be that way all season. Travis Kelce is the gold standard for the tight end position and is understandably the most expensive. He should still be considered a strong option considering how rough the rest of the position is. Kelce puts up wide receiver numbers at the tight end position and that gives such an advantage. This week’s matchup against the Cleveland Browns is a good one. The Browns allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends in 2020. This game environment is also very good. It has the highest O/U on the week with the Kansas City Chiefs having the highest implied total on the week and should likely be a shootout.

Kyle Pitts (ATL) – $4,400 v PHI

It’s only fitting that one of my biggest season-long fades would be a recommended play on Draftkings in Week 1. It all comes down to the price for Pitts in this one. He’s an extremely athletic and talented tight end and in a great game environment. As previously mentioned, this game should be a fast-paced shootout. The Eagles were bad against tight ends last year and this game is in a dome. Pitts is also likely to be second (or third at worst) in target share on a pass-happy Falcons team. This looks like a great spot to use the uber-hyped rookie.

Others to Consider: George Kittle (SF) – $6,300 @ DET, TJ Hockenson (DET) – $4,900 v SF, Tyler Kroft (NYJ) – $2,500 @ CAR

Defense/Special Teams

In terms of choosing a defense/special teams, it’s the last spot I fill in every week. It’s pretty random but there are a few areas to gain an advantage. I look to target the heavily favored teams as they usually are playing with a lead. This forces their opponent to throw it more often which can help lead to extra sacks and turnovers and hopefully a touchdown. Another aspect to target is turnover and sack-prone quarterbacks. My advice is to fill out the rest of your lineup first and then pick your favorite D/ST out of the remaining money.

My Tentative Cash Game Lineup

  • QB – Kyler Murray
  • RB – Joe Mixon
  • RB – Christian McCaffrey
  • WR – Tee Higgins
  • WR – Marvin Jones Jr
  • WR – Marquez Callaway
  • TE – George Kittle
  • Flex – Najee Harris
  • DST – Indianapolis Colts

Make sure to tune in next week to see the results from my Week 1 DraftKings plays and to see the best picks for Week 2. Best of luck to everyone and let’s all enjoy some football and win some money!

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