NFL DFS “Box Checkers” Week 1 | Key Picks for Winning Fantasy Football 2022

Back by popular demand, NFL DFS Box Checkers shows you to quickly identify key players for this week’s fantasy football slate in minutes.  The DFS Army NFL Research Station is a very powerful suite of statistical analysis with fully customizable, filterable, sortable functionality.  What used to take days or hours now takes mere minutes to discover!  Follow along as @Choppodong rips these core plays to shreds every week in less than 15 minutes…

At the bottom, see a secret video normally only available to our VIPs!  How to setup the optimizer to crush the top 1% and 2% in contests like leagues and microboosters.  As the self-proclaimed “king of the smallaballa,” Chop has uncovered another easy to follow system capable of building bankrolls for anyone struggling on Fanduel or Draftkings.

Week 1 NFL Box Checkers for 2022


5 categories lead to making value historically.  Home NFL QBs perform better than road QBs.  Favored teams are implied to score more points, and their QBs do the scoring.  Game totals make sense to follow, the higher the better.  And, efficiency trumps volume!  Volume is nice, but efficient QBs are proven to put up more fantasy points than those banking on volume alone.  To finish, salary.  You can price yourself out of making value unless putting up a true ceiling performance.  In the NFL, we find staying under $8000 in Draftkings salary (9k on Fanduel) helps…in fact, the cheaper the better in many cases.

Fantasy Football NFL

Remember, blue is very strong.  Green is pretty strong.  Yellow is like an honorable mention.  When it comes to checking boxes, we are tracking those typically leading to a DFS NFL player paying off his salary.

Lots of decent choices, some not listed.  Don’t forget this guide isn’t all-inclusive.  It’s a teaching ground for you to use our NFL Research Station and find other players fitting these categories that make them strong plays.

I am right there with you questioning names like Carson Wentz and Ryan Tannehill.  But, if they smash, we shouldn’t be stunned.  The trick to notice here is Lamar Jackson or Jalen Hurts.  They will carry ownership and going with a Justin Herbert or even Patrick Mahomes might be a better path in Week 1.  Box Checkers can be a great tie-breaker.  I can leave Jackson or Hurts to my gpp builds rather than the safer, cash type contests (in spite of industry ownership).

Running Backs

Once again, home teams matter for RBs, and being favored obviously affects game scripts in a positive way.  High scoring game environments help push those touchdowns around, landing on running backs.  We want volume at all positions not QB.  18 touches (rushes + receptions) is the goal here.  Passing game work gives us safety when the game script flips.  Red Zone work matters…especially inside the 10 and 5.  And, salary works here again.  Staying under $8000 like our NFL QBs helps the running backs, too.

Fantasy Football NFL

NFL DFS RB is often where Box Checkers shines.  These guys are safe enough for a cash game, but you might not use them there if you find 30% or 40% NFL RBs.  They do, however, make sneaky high-quality pivot plays in tourneys or even multipliers and leagues.  My “Ladder System” absolutely feasts off plays like these.

We are not looking at backups getting starting roles in this guide, but they are easy to find and filter in our research station with an additional 5 minutes of work.  That’s the beauty of these tools.  They are very simple to use once you have just a basic understanding of them.

Austin Ekeler leads the way in Week 1, and paired with Justin Herbert gives you access to almost every touchdown possible from a higher scoring game.  The ceiling is there being one of the league’s premier receiving backs, too.  Antonio Gibson is intriguing, but I’ve noticed other touts on him this week.  So, he’s not as out there as I originally thought…he’s getting ownership.

If you worry about chalk and leverage, RB isn’t the place to worry.  You will be plenty “diversified” in your WR/TE plays that you can just eat the safety of a solid RB week in and week out without stress.

Another note is Jonathan Taylor.  People are going to show a lot of love.  I can wait another week until he checks more boxes.  If I’m stupid….well, it won’t be the first time…nor the last.

Wide Receivers

Home field advantage proves negligible for NFL WRs.  But, being favored is still important to hitting fantasy value.  High totals matter, but when favored, we want team totals over 25 points.  When the dog, we want UNDER 21 points indicating garbage time potential.  Volume matters again. We’d like to see more than 7 targets per game on the average, and we want to see more than about 25% usage in the Red Zone…especially on Fanduel.  Salary is key again, so we stay under $7000 here.  Remember, this position is volatile as hell.  But, we have backtested 250+ contests and found the top 3 Milli-Maker lineups contain someone meeting these criteria almost 60% of the time…..good odds for a crapshoot like WR.

NFL strategy picks

WR is typically our crapshoot position. When we don’t get a lot of green and/or blue plays, I will just spend down most times.  If the position is going to be volatile, why spend money?

Again, look at the game total category and how much it hurts these guys.  We need high scoring games for WRs to be even remotely predictable.  When we look at the implied team total (25+/21- column), things quickly fall back into line.  The favorites should score points and the dogs should get some garbage time.  I’m still looking to spend down where I can because I don’t pay up for lack of predictability.

Another great tool to consult is our coaching NFL Cheatsheets!  If you wind up torn on a couple players, sometimes the words in the blurbs by another coach can help you tip the scale.  In the case of this week, when Box Checkers isn’t helping a lot, those cheatsheets might become more important to your research.

Tight Ends

Here we go with the home and favorite stuff again.  NFL TE depends on it.  We want volume, so focus on 7+ targets again, too.  Red Zone work goes without saying at TE.  And, we’ve discovered they also benefit from closer games, under 7 point spreads.  If favored, you want ITTs over 26 points, and if the dog, under 24 points.  Cheap plays, too!!  On Draftkings, $3000-$5000 seems to be landing in the Milli a ridiculous 68% of the time…..and until week 1 this year, we had no recorded example of an 8k TE appearing in the Milli winner.  That changes with Travis Kelce, and you can speculate all the previous slates he might not have been a part of due to prime time or Monday Night games.  Fact is….the super high-priced TE is rare and likely cost prohibitive most times.  Tend to pay down.

DFS Picks

Travis Kelce checks the boxes, but wowza is he pricey.  $2000 above a guy like Kyle Pitts.  Combining projected ownerships, Kyle Pitts is my guy in a cash game.  For other contests, I can easily pivot to anyone else making sense.  Again, with volatile positions, we can pay down.  We can pivot off chalk.  We can look for leverage.  Ertz and Hock make a lot of sense in Week 1…and carry lower ownership as people have the salary early in a season to spend like our federal government.

Remember, these boxes are set up by Shark Autopsy’s analysis of what players typically land in the Milli-Maker lineups, too.  We have our safety plays, but we are also shooting for upside.

Where to Use These DFS Players

Box Checkers players are typically obvious, chalky (see our NFL Chalkboard Tool) and highly owned.  Occasionally, we get some that slip under the radar (see our Leverage Stacks components).

However, these players can be used in ANY format from NFL cash games to big tourneys (or “Ladder Lineups” combining both!).  The key to tourney play is using a core of these players and adding in some other lower owned pieces to give your lineup some uniqueness and creativity with the upside to beat a lot of competitors.  As the DFS NFL world becomes more and more advanced, sometimes simplifying our process actually goes a little against the grain.

Now, How Would You Set Up an NFL Optimizer?

I have backtested my own contests looking for the elusive “top 1%” and found a very fast and easy way to set up optimizers.  Gone are the days of hours and hours of research.  Make your own tweaks, but start winning more money this week.

Imagine how openly I share with our VIPs?  Ask any question, and I will dive into YOUR game and help turn things around. (See how to join DFS Army below.)

Box Checkers Setup NFL Week 14…but applicable for any week.

Don’t waste time duplicating the efforts of nerds!  Focus on what matters….setting up optimizers.  Here are two very fast ways that work.

I referenced an article I was “working on” focused on Diversification: How to Win with MORE Lineups in an Unpredictable DFS World.  I published this in the summer of 2022 and people have reached out in droves to thank me for the concept shared.  I think you’ll like it.  Hopefully, it helps turn on a couple light bulbs about playing DFS in 2022.

To unlock every piece of content, every tool, or to even ask simple questions to professional DFS players, become a VIP or Core4 member and unlock our premium Discord Channels.  Your game will hit new levels, almost guaranteed, if you gain access to the interaction with coaches willing to dig in and help you plug those leaks holding you back.

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Plenty of box checkers in Week 8’s gpp winner.  But, what’s up with all the goofy correlation?  I broke the details down for our members in our #beginners-coaching Discord Channel.  If you feel you struggle with stacking, correlation, leverage, and some of the finer points of lineup construction, you are going to want to use that discount above….and get involved.

We turn #Smallaballas into DFS pros every day.  And, we can teach you to win 50,000 person gpps just like our coaches do.  (It’s not as hard as you think…you just have to interact with us!)

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Oh, and in case you want to see how these “Ladder Lineups” work out…’s an easy example.  This is what we call a “sweep” in that it cashed everything.  Ladders build bankrolls!!

NFL Ladder