After months of waiting, the NFL season is beginning this week. There are plenty of intriguing DFS options on the slate heading into Week 1 at all of the positions as teams set their depth charts and some holdout players remain at home. Let’s take a look at some picks this week.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens ($6,000 on DraftKings, $7,400 on FanDuel) – All of the hype in the preseason has been on Cardinals rookie Kyler Murray, but there are dual-threat options that don’t cost much more than him. If given the choice, I’ll take the guy who’s been there before. I like Jackson in this spot against the Dolphins. There have been mixed messages coming out of camp about how much Jackson will rush this year, but if he’s even close to the 16 rushes per game he can put up massive DFS numbers in the QB position.
Jameis Winston, Bucs ($6,600 on DK, $7,500 on FD) – In an expected shootout between the 49ers and the Buccaneers, the gunslinger Winston could pile up big yards. He scored 19.8 or more points in five of his last size games of 2018 and looks to build on that in Week 1 of 2019.
Nick Chubb, Browns ($6,400 on DK, $7,400 on FD) – With little experience behind him, Chubb is likely to be a workhorse for Cleveland early in 2019, and the Browns are likely to use him a lot late with a lead to bleed out the clock.
Austin Ekeler, Chargers ($5,500 on DK, $6,400 on FD) – With Melvin Gordon still holding out, Ekeler becomes the man for the Chargers and makes a solid value play on the day. The Chargers like to toss him the ball, too, which included one game with 10 receptions last season. That makes him a particularly valuable play on DK and its one-point-per-reception scoring.
DeeDee Westbrook, Jaguars ($4,800 on DK, $5,900 on FD) – My pick of the weekend is this Jacksonville WR who has shown great chemistry with his new QB, Nick Foles. Westbrook was targeted by Foles seven times in their only preseason game together and looks to be a favorite to reach 4x value this weekend.
Curtis Samuel, Panthers ($4,200 on DK, $5,900 on FD) – Samuel looks to be a favorite target of Carolina QB Cam Newton, but continues to be value priced despite putting up good DFS numbers consistently. Samuel catches a lot of passes, but hasn’t gotten into the end zone much. Variance may work out in his favor this year.
OJ Howard, Bucs ($5,000 on DK, $6,500 on FD) – Fully recovered from last November’s season-ending ankle and foot injuries, Howard should be a top target for Winston in 2019. When he was healthy, Howard put up good numbers for a TE, averaging more than three catches and 55 yards per game with five total touchdowns.
Browns ($3,400 on DK, $4,300 on FD) – One of the higher-priced D’s – not that the cost is much a factor when picking defenses given the low salaries – the Browns face an anemic Tennessee Titans offense on Sunday led by Marcus Mariotta, who struggled mightily both at the end of 2018 and the 2019 preseason.