5 NFL FanDuel Value Games to Target in Week 1

There’s no better starting point for uncovering values ​​for FanDuel NFL matchups than numberFire’s projection tool. Users can easily view the entire player pool or sort by position to see statistical projections for all players in FanDuel’s player pool. Additionally, the value column gives users a sortable way to see which players offer the most bang for your buck, showing the player’s score per thousand dollars in salary.

But, of course, factors such as the team’s intended total and the spread of the game are integral to the decision. Fortunately, numberFire patrons can use the Heat Map for this information and many other goodies.

However, other considerations contribute to my choice. So this is your home for the five FanDuel values ​​I’m targeting weekly for the main slate. Check out this week’s picks below.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings ($7,300)

Kirk Cousins ​​has a tough matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranks Green Bay’s secondary as the fourth-best unit. So it’s understandable that our projections don’t like Cousins.

Still, I’m interested in him in a potential shootout with a new offensive-minded head coach. The Packers are only 1.5 point favorites and Minnesota’s projected total is 23.00 points. So if the game slightly exceeds scoring expectations, the Vikings could join elite offenses in scoring in Week 1.

New head coach Kevin O’Connell needs a breath of fresh air for the offense. He wasn’t a player for the Los Angeles Rams. Still, L.A.’s tendencies may paint a picture of what the Minnesota Vikings might paint will play this season. According to Football Outsiders, the Rams played at the fourth-fastest situation-neutral pace in 2021, and Minnesota was just 17th.

In addition, according to Sharp Football Stats, the Rams had the sixth-highest passing percentage (60 percent) on neutral play scripts, which was a few ticks higher than Minnesota’s rate (58 percent). As a result, I want to play faster to get ahead of those who have to see Minnesota pass more and believe it.

Finally, Cousins’ numbers in a dome with the Vikings were palatable. According to my hand calculations of Pro Football Reference’s dome stats for Cousins ​​from 2018, he averaged 264.39 passing yards per game with 74 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 36 games in a dome. I advise players to spend money on an elite quarterback in cash games, but Cousins ​​is a great value pick in tournaments.

Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants ($6,800)

The modern NFL doesn’t have a lot of ringbacks. Saquon Barkley isn’t a flawless back, but he’s a dying breed as a back who doesn’t fit the playbook.

Before Barkley seriously injured his ankle in Week 5, the do-it-all quarterback played at least 84 percent of snaps for three straight weeks, according to Pro Football Reference.

New York Giants Having one of the worst running back rooms in the NFL only strengthens Barkley’s stranglehold on back-to-back duties. The explosive back will also benefit greatly from Big Blue’s hiring of offensive-minded head coach Brian Daboll from the Buffalo Bills. and plucking Mike Kafka from the Kansas City Chiefs to serve as their offensive coordinator. The importance of exposing Joe Judge, Jason Garrett and Freddie Kitchens cannot be overstated.

The Bills and Chiefs played up-tempo and pass-heavy offenses. Daboll and Kafka are likely to stick with what they know and have had success offensively. Fortunately, Barkley has the passing ability to take advantage of an up-tempo and pass-heavy offense. In his career, Barkley averaged 4.3 receptions and 33.7 receiving yards per game.

Finally, our projections rank Barkley as a great value, giving him the third-highest value score (2.18) among running backs on FanDuel’s main slate.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons ($6,000)

Tight ends often have a steep learning curve and struggle to hit the ground running in the NFL. However, Kyle Pitts was having no such nonsense. Instead, he was immediately selected as a passing weapon.

Of the 35 tight ends with at least 40 targets in the 2021 regular season, Pitts had the fifth-highest Yards Per Route (2.02 Y/RR), according to PFF. In the same group, he also ranked fourth in targets (107), seventh in receptions (68), third in receiving yards (1,026) and first in yards per reception (15.1). Unfortunately, he scored only one touchdown. However, Pitts immediately made his presence known.

Plus, Pitts had a season for the ages compared to other rookies. According to StatHead, Pitts’ 60.4 receptions per game was the third highest in NFL history for a rookie who played at least eight games. So our algorithm understandably likes him this week, projecting him as the TE4 with the third-best grade point average (1.61) at the position on the main slate.

I can take liberties by including the fifth-highest paid tight end in Week 1 in this slot, but he’s $2,000 less than Travis Kelce ($8,000) and $1,900 less than Mark Andrews ($7,900). So Pitts fits the spirit of this article.

Christian Kirk, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,800)

Christian Kirk is the frontrunner to become the No. 1 receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars. With a salary under $6,000, it’s tempting to get a potential upside for his team.

Kirk secured the bag after a career year with the Arizona Cardinals. The deal was widely criticized, but players shouldn’t ignore the criticism because it doesn’t affect Kirk’s FanDuel value. In fact, the big bucks could be considered a positive for head coach Doug Pederson’s vision for Kirk, if you’re going to take his optimistic view.

Still, Kirk is coming off a career year in which he was very solid. Of the 106 receivers targeted at least 40 times, Kirk was 27th in receiving yards (57.8), 21st in receptions (77), 30th in receiving touchdowns (five) and 14th in yards per game, according to StatHead. target (9.5). Kirk also ranked 26th with a 1.81 Y/RR.

A good match out of the gates can make a strong first impression. PFF ranked the Washington Commanders‘ averaged 24 this offseason. They also have the sixth-worst pass defense in the Fire Power Rankings. As a result, Kirk has the eight-highest rating (1.78) among receivers on this week’s main slate.

Justin Watson, WR, Kansas City Chiefs ($4,700)

Justin Watson is a GPP special. Players shouldn’t throw too many shots at him, but he made some noise in the offseason. Kansas City Chiefs Including Watson in the mix, they revamped the reception room. He wasn’t a high-profile signing like JuJu Smith-Schuster, though or Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and the team also held a second-round pick for Skyy Moore.

Still, Watson’s athleticism was a pleasant surprise for Patrick Mahomes when they practiced together in May. Thankfully, Watson’s measurables back up Mahomes’ interpretation. The duo also showed chemistry on the deep ball in the preseason.

Of course, it’s interesting to see Watson play Mahomes and the preseason starters. However, he was also receiving first-team reps in camp.

The Chiefs have the highest implied total (29.50) in the main table. So it’s exciting to get an overlooked piece of a Mahomes-led offense in a possible shootout. Still, Watson is only a boom-or-bust GPP pick.



Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS tips, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. Although the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal opinions, he may apply different strategies and player selections when entering competitions on his personal account. The opinions expressed in his articles are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FanDuel.

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