The wait is over, Football is back and I couldn’t be more excited. Hi everybody, Alex here, and I want to welcome you to my first DraftKings NFL article of the season, my Week 1 Sleeper Picks. Below are some of my favorite cheap plays for the main Sunday slate on DraftKings, that should hopefully come with low ownerships in GPPs. Just as a reminder, be sure to be watching Twitter and all the other major news outlets all the way up until Sunday’s kick off to see if any new injury news comes up. Finally, if any of these picks help your lineups or if you need any advice, feel free to let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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RB: Carlos Hyde: (4,600) When The Niners just recently cut veteran RB Tim Hightower, who was presumably going to be Hyde’s main back up, they showed us that are all in on Hyde taking on a feature back role for at least the start of the season. There was hype around their fourth round pick RB Joe Williams this offseason, but an ankle injury landed him on the IR, leaving Matt Breida, an undrafted free agent rookie out of Georgia Southern as Hyde’s back up. Hyde should be very busy going forward in this new look Niners offense that should be much improved from last year, with the additions of QB Matt Hoyer, WR Pierre Garcon, and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan.
During the preseason Hyde looked solid, especially as a receiver, catching all four of his targets for 48 yards and a very nice TD. His week 1 matchup isn’t perfect vs The Panthers, who ranked 9th in rush defense DVOA last season, but they were a very vulnerable defense when defending receiving backs, giving up 6.3 catches a game to backfields, which was the third highest average in the league. I am fully expecting Hyde to see around 20 touches on Sunday and he should return value at this low price with very nice upside if he can find the end zone multiple times. In my opinion he is one of the strongest values available this week and is someone who may get overlooked with the general public paying up at RB. (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
WR: Corey Coleman: (4,400) I have kept my eye on Coleman all summer and I think the news of rookie QB DeShone Kizer being named the starter is an excellent boost to Coleman’s fantasy stock for this upcoming season and Week 1. In The Brown’s third preseason game, we finally got to see Kizer and Coleman work together with the first team, and the outcome was very promising, as Coleman hauled in four of his eight team high targets for a very solid 66 yards. Kizer is, no doubt, a work in progress, but this kid is not shy about forcing it and taking shots deep to his main targets. To the kick off the season, Coleman and The Browns will take on their divisional foe, The Steelers, at home. The Browns recently just released veteran CB Joe Haden, who immediately decided to join The Steelers, setting up this week 1 matchup.
It’s unclear if The Steelers right out of the gate will have Haden shadow the opposing team’s #1 WR, but there should be plenty of opportunities for this Brown’s offense to attack their former CB, who they know better than anyone has taken some huge steps backwards over the last few seasons. Just last year, Haden finished as the 88th worst CB out 110 possible CBs, at a low grade of 46.0. (via Pro Football Focus) Even if we take Haden out of the picture, Coleman has a pretty intriguing matchup if we focus on this defense’s stats from last year, as The Steelers surprisingly ranked dead last in DVOA vs #1s WR for the 2016 season. Outside of the matchup, The Browns are eight point underdogs in this game, which is a perfect situation for Coleman, who should be very active if The Browns are playing behind for most of this contest. Without question, there is plenty of risk in rostering Coleman, but I think he is the exact type of upside play that we should be taking a gamble on in GPPs for the always volatile first week of the NFL season.
WR: Rishard Matthews: (4,200) With rookie WR Corey Davis expected to play a situational role and newly acquired WR Eric Decker not at full strength (ankle), Matthews should be QB Marcus Mariota’s top target in this matchup vs The Raiders. Based on last year’s numbers, this is an average matchup vs this Oakland defense that allowed 22.8 fantasy points per game to WRs, but they were among the worst secondary’s on display this preseason, giving up an average of 26.5 fantasy points a game to opposing WRs.
Now I know this is preseason, but based on an eye test, I am not expecting much out of this unit, and Vegas apparently agrees, giving The Titans a very healthy team total of 26.5 points. Also, this AFC West matchup has shootout written all over it, with its high 50.5 point O/U game total, which is the second highest total of the week. Matthews should be heavily involved in this passing attack and I think we see him possibly approach ten targets in this high scoring affair. This might be one of the lowest prices we see Matthews at all season and I think DFS players should take advantage of this bargain right now in both cash games and GPPs.
QB: Brian Hoyer, DeShone Kizer, Josh McCown, and Eli Manning (better if OBJ plays).
RB: Ameer Abdullah, Bilal Powell, Danny Woodhead, Wendell Smallwood, and Christian McCaffrey.
WR: Pierre Garcon, Paul Richardson, Martavis Bryant, Robby Anderson, Marvin Jones, Kelvin Benjamin, Brandon Marshall, and Davante Adams.
TE: Evan Engram, Eric Ebron, Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert, and C.J. Fiedorowicz.
D: Falcons, Giants, Niners, and Cardinals.