The Simple Six- NFL Week 1 DFS Plays

We all consume so much fantasy football content each week leading up to NFL Sunday.  If you are like me, it can be a nonstop barrage of podcasts, articles, and TV content.  I sometimes find myself falling victim to “paralysis by analysis.”  I use this column each week to try to cut through that fog and simplify things.  Some will be cash plays, some will be tournament leans.  The common theme is that these picks will be primarily guided by common sense.

We had some good results and positive feedback from this article last season, so we are running it back 2022.

Sep 8, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) and running back Derrick Henry (22) greet each other at the start of practice at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports


1- Derrick Henry $8,600 on DraftKings and $9,700


The cool kids in the fantasy football industry don’t like Derrick Henry.  No Zero RB Bro worth his salt is ever going to spend a 1st round pick on a 28-year-old running back, coming off a serious injury, who doesn’t catch passes.  I am far from a Zero RB truther, but I generally agree with them on this stand.  I have very little exposure to The Big Dog in best ball, and none in season long.

That said, all the reasons we faded him in those formats should be complete non-factors in week one.  Henry is never going to be healthier.  He’s never going be fresher.  This is exactly when we want to play King Henry, as a 5.5 point home favorite. I hate to say it as a Giant fan, but Henry should absolutely run wild in the matchup.  The Gmen are likely going to be without Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari, two of their most talented defensive linemen.  The recently cut Blake Martinez, who many presumed would be their starting middle linebacker. Plus, this will be their first real game in completely new defensive system under blitz happy coordinator Wink Martindale.

This is right spot to channel your inner boomer and pay up for the veteran running back.


2- Marquise “Hollywood” Brown $6,200 on DraftKings and $6,900 on Fanduel


Hollywood is playing in the game with the highest total (53.5) on the slate.  The Cardinals are going to have to throw the ball to keep up with Mahomes.  Hopkins is suspended.  Zach Ertz and Rondale Moore are banged up and Questionable.  I’ve heard people talk about playing dusty ass A.J. Green, or jabronis like Andy Isabella and Greg Dortch.

I am not going to over think this.  Kyler Murray is going to pepper his former Sooner teammate with targets and Brown has the juice to break one or two.  Hollywood will be fairly chalky, but I am willing to eat it.


3- Saquon Barkley $18 on Yahoo


I have been talking up the 2022 Saquon resurgence in DFS Army content for months.  He’s healthier and more confident than he’s been in years.  He is playing behind a rebuilt offense line, in what should be a creative Brian Daboll scheme.  He could see as high of a snap percentage as any RB in the league this season.  Our guy Fantasy Fling wisely points out that his $18 salary on Yahoo is the equivalent of $4,500 on DraftKings. If a healthy Saquon Barkley was $4,500 on DraftKings, we would all hit the lock button.

Even at $6,100 on DK and $6,800 on FD I think Barkley is underpriced and I will have exposure.  On Yahoo, I can’t see making a lineup without him.  If you do play in the soft Yahoo streets, make sure to read Fling’s full breakdown.


4- Alec Pierce $3,900 on DraftKings


At $5,500 on DraftKings, Michael Pittman Jr. is stupidly underpriced.  In a good matchup, indoors at the Texans, I’m not sure why DK priced him so much cheaper than guys like Keenan Allen ($7,000), Mike Williams ($6,600), or Terry McLaurin ($6,500).  These receivers all went in the exact same range as Pittman all summer in their own best ball drafts.  Ok, so lock Pittman into your cash lineups, but large field GPPs like the $5 Milly Maker I am going to pivot to Pierce and gain a ton of leverage.

The rookie out of Cincinnati had a great camp and locked up the number 2 WR role.  The Houston defense will be more focused on stopping Pittman and Jonathan Taylor.  Perhaps, this forces Matt Ryan to look elsewhere, in the direction of Pierce.  This is certainly not the most likely outcome, but the Milly Maker has near 1.2 million entries.  Taylor and Pittman will likely have a total ownership of close to 40%.  If you play a 1 or 2% and he has a big game, you are going to jump a lot of people in the standings.


5- Baltimore Defense $4,000 on DraftKings, $4,800, and $11 on Yahoo


It’s not often that we are going to tell you to pay up for a Defense, but in week one there is enough value to make it work and I think the spot is just too good here.  The Jets lost their starting Left Tackle Mekhi Becton for the year.  To replace him they brought in 37-year-old veteran Duane Brown.  Earlier this week, in practice, Brown hurt his shoulder and had to be placed in IR.

If you give Jon Harbaugh and staff multiple weeks to prepare for their old friend Joe Flacco, who is playing behind an extremely banged up line, things are going to get ugly quick.  I expect multiple sacks of the immobile Flacco.  If he gets behind, he could start to press.  That is when a slate breaking pick 6 could happen.


6- Lamar Jackson $7,300 on DraftKings and $8,500 on Fanduel


Clearly, I want to pick on the Jets this week. (I am not playing Lamar and the defense on the same GPP teams though.  If the the D scores a TD or two, Lamar is very unlikely to be the nuts.)  I believe Baltimore is going to be able to do what they want in Metlife Stadium this weekend.  With Dobbins likely out, they will rely more heavily on their former MVP QB to score.  Lamar bet on himself by not signing a massive contract before the season.  He going to be looking to put up video game number to prove his worth.

He is easy to stack with Mark Andrews, Rashad Bateman or even Isaiah Likely if you want to get cute in GPPs and punt TE.  Because the game doesn’t have a sexy total (44.5), we are getting Lamar at a projected 5% ownership discount off Jalen Hurts and Pat Mahomes, while his 40.35 Ceiling Projection in our Domination Station is actually higher than both.


Speaking of the Domination Station optimizer, I wouldn’t dare build lineups tomorrow without it.  Take advantage of our best offer of the year (20% off!) on VIP access.  This offer goes away after the opening weekend.  Best of luck climbing those leaderboards.  We will see you back here next week to grade these picks and attack week 2.