Week 1 DFS Cheat Sheet – UPDATED
September 13, 2015 | Chet
Welcome to Week 1 of The Fake Football DFS Cheat Sheet!
With the help of our resident DFS Gurus Chet Gresham, Ian Goldsmith and Doug Shain, we have put together a comprehensive NFL DFS Cheat Sheet with matchup stats, analysis, picks, sample lineups and lineup configuration advice. We have picks for FanDuel, Draftkings, and Fantasy Aces, and with their differing settings, the picks, stats and analysis will help you on even more sites than just those three. And with a week between games we will update our picks and analysis as the week progresses. You will receive your Cheat Sheet on Wednesday, in time for the Thursday night games and then we will update the sheet on Sunday Mornings to make sure you don’t miss any breaking news.
And even though we will have more info, more stats, more picks and just more everything in our NFL sheets, we will not be raising the price. Each sheet will remain $1.99 each just like our baseball and basketball sheets. One Month ($6.99) And as a subscriber you will receive an email as soon as the new Cheat Sheet is posted on Wednesday of each week and then an update on Sunday mornings.
Check out our Week 4 Cheat Sheet from last season to see what you get.
Draftkings 100% Deposit Bonus
Sample FanDuel Lineups
FanDuel Lineup Configurations
Thursday: I didn’t put Thursday players into the cheat sheet because I don’t like playing Thursday DFS. There are too many chances for injuries in practice. When I do play Thursdays I try not to put many Thursday night players in my lineup since people disproportionately do just that. Of course Week 1 is a bit different, but I still rather play less on Thursday. But of course with all of that said I’ve made a Thursday lineup and put Brady and Gronk in there!
The Steelers pass defense is a joke at this point and Brady and Gronk should put up plenty of points together. I also Like Markus Wheaton and Danny Amendola in this game, but like I said, I don’t want to get too deep into Thursday night as it is fraught with peril! The rest of my Thursday GPP team will have plenty of my favorite plays this week with Ivory, Royal, Murray, Green, Robinson, Lambo and Miami. Gronk and Brady are the plays here that buoy our GPP hopes. Gronk could and probably will destroy most tight ends this week and give you a step up on the competition and without LeGarrette Blount there Brady will throw the ball a ton. If the Pats come out to shove Deflategate into Goodell’s face they could put on a show.
Sunday Cash: With cash lineups you of course want to go safe and that’s the plan here. Stevie Johnson is the only player I’d consider risky in this lineup, but for his price he’s safe. He’s a veteran who has fit in well with the Chargers offense and Antonio Gates is suspended.
Romo, Lacy, D. Murray and J. Jones make up the heart of this lineup and all have high floors. I would pair Dez Bryant with Romo like I do in the next lineup, but I’m trying to mitigate risk for the 50/50. If Romo flops, there’s a decent chance Dez flops. The same is true with Ryan and Jones. But that also can cap your team’s upside. If Romo and Dez both hit you’re on your way to DFS greatness! Or something.
Sunday Cash/GPP: This next lineup is extremely close to the last, but I’ve taken Jones out for Dez and Stevie Johnson out for Eddie Royal. I like this teams upside a bit more, but feel it is safe enough for 50/50s.
Sunday GPP: I usually don’t like to take QB that will be as widely used as Bradford in GPPs, but his price and upside are so far from each other that I hope to make up some differential with my RBs Ivory and Stewart who are mid-range plays, but with upside while I take A.J. Green and Julio Jones at receiver. In GPPs I like to fill the riskiest positions with the safest upside plays, which means spending.
UPDATED Sunday GPP:
There are several different faces here, but for good reason. I wanted to make a lineup to highlight Matt Ryan. With all of the attention being thrown towards Bradford, Taylor and Rodgers, Ryan is getting someone left out in the mix. Why? He has, arguably, the best matchup of any QB this week. I can – without being facetious – see him getting 400+ yards and 3+ TDs. Atlanta will need to pass, pass, pass….did I mention pass? You think Tevin Coleman is going to scare the Eagles? No. Julio, Roddy and Hankerson? Absolutely. Ryan opened last year with 30+ FPs and there is no reason he can’t pull off a similar performance today.
Benny Cunningham is another move that has become more popular as the week has progressed. If Tre Mason doesn’t sit – which seems likely – then he will probably be limited, leaving the majority of reps to Benny, who was very successful in two games against the Seahawks last year. I love BC as a high upside play this week.
Sample DraftKings Lineups
UPDATED Sunday GPP – Single Entry
DraftKings Lineup Configurations
Like Doug (who wrote the Fantasy Aces piece below), I am generally not a big fan of using players in the Thursday games. Players don’t want to be playing in the game on such short rest and the football is well below par for the talent level we see on the weekend. However, as this is Week 1 and the players are fresh, we can make a few exceptions. Generally I’d be all over Antonio Brown, even at his nearly $9K price. However, I have watched Belichick’s teams shut down the opposing team’s top player more often than not, so I’m not a fan of using him Thursday. Yes, he’ll still get his 5 catch, 50+ yard line – he always does – but I don’t see one of those monster games. Remember, Le’Veon Bell isn’t playing in the game due to suspension, so the Patriots can put more pressure on him than normal. DeAngelo will be a nice fill-in, but Bell he is not, at least at this stage of his career. So, who will be open? Bryant is suspended, too, so I’m putting my money on Markus Wheaton. The former Beaver has been lauded by Big Ben all offseason and has played well in limited time on the field. DraftKings is full PPR, which makes Wheaton’s $3,800 tag very, very attractive. He is Ben’s #2 passing option and I have no problem plugging him into my lineups this week. I’m not touching any other players in this game. However, Brandon Bolden may be worth a flier if we get word that he is starting for New England. As he is a New England RB – and rule #1 about NE RBs is that we rarely draft NE RBs – you may need to wait right until kick-off to set him in your lineup. A starting RB for $3,000 – minimum on DK – is a gamble I’d take if you are entering a GPP with multiple lineups. Gronk is Gronk, but I’d personally rather use him in cash games, if at all.
Pairing QBs with their WRs is a tried and tested strategy in NFL DFS. You want to try and separate yourself from the crowd, especially in the bigger tournaments. While many will have their eye on Sam Bradford, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers – for good reason – there are a number of other QBs worth a look this week. In this Thursday lineup, I’m plugging in Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald. Yes, Palmer is coming off a terrible injury and looked just as bad in the preseason. Fitz’ numbers seem to drop every year. However, they have a lot of positives going their way. The Saints were pathetic against the pass last year and they have not had good fortune in the offseason in that regard either. Secondly, Fitz will likely be seeing heavy targeting, especially if Michael Floyd is at all limited. His price is, deservedly, deflated as well. He still has hands made of glue, however. Lastly, Vegas has the Over/Under at 47.5 right now. Points will be scored. This is a contrarian duo, but one I’m relatively comfortable in this week.
At RB, I’ve plugged in Alfred Blue and Doug Martin. Now, Blue will be heavily owned as he is a starter and only costs $3,600. However, I’m wary about him facing a tough Kansas City run defense. Still, one TD and a few catches basically puts him at value by default at this price, so he’s worth a flier, though I’d not touch him in cash games. Doug Martin is not anybody’s sleeper pick, not anymore at least. He has looked phenomenal in the preseason. If he can bring back his old magic, then $4,500 might buy you one of the best deals of the season. Tennessee was terrible against the run last year, giving up more than 28.4 FP per game to opposing RBs. Obviously you can’t take that at face value after the offseason, but it is a good place to start your research. I’m going big with the last WR and FLEX spots: Odell Beckham Jr. and Julio Jones. Why? Well, both are matchup proof, yet both have incredible matchups. My mouth is watering. Victor Cruz is likely out, which gives free roaming once again to Beckham. We know what he can do with Eli throwing him the ball. Jones against Phily? Yes, please. If they play up to their potential, you could legitimately get at least 65-70 FP from just the two of them. Rounding out the lineup, Martellus Bennett is going to be a magnet for Cutler this week. Who knows if Alshon is ready? Even if he does play, will he be effective or merely a decoy? My money is on Bennett, who Cutler trusts 100%. There are a few options at DST, but I love Miami’s big play potential against a Washington club that has looked inept, to be kind. Washington’s O-Line is porous and Cousins is a sitting duck, let alone a turnover machine.
There are definitely a few differences here from the Thursday GPP lineup. To start with, Matt Ryan is a much more stable QB in a dream opening game matchup against the Eagles. Philly plays aggressive defense, opting to try for the big play rather than cover more conservatively. Ryan and Jones will feast. If Ryan doesn’t hit 3X value, I’ll be shocked. On the other side of the field, DeMarco Murray is vastly underpriced in my eyes. While last year’s top fantasy RB will not get the same workload in Philly, he will certainly get at least 20 touches per game – including plenty in the air – and many goal line carries. $6,700 is a steal. He’s paired here with Chris Ivory, the lead back for the Jets. Ivory has looked dynamic this preseason, and has shown a lot of improvement in the passing game. While Stacy will get some looks as well, Ivory is in line for at least 15-20 touches per game, which I think will include roughly 3 catches per game as well. It’s his job to lose.
WR just became a bit more interesting. I’ve had Davante Adams penciled into this spot for some time, but Green Bay just signed a familiar face: James Jones. Jones is already comfortable with the system and should likely slide into the WR #3 position, though perhaps not this week. Still, Adams is the clear cut #2 receiver after Cobb and will get plenty of looks. If this weren’t full PPR, I’d be more concerned, but as it is, I’ll keep him in the lineup. Dez Bryant is very consistent. He scored 27+ FP in each of his two games against the Giants last season. Romo will look his way and look his way often once again. I don’t think he wins you a tournament this week, but I love him in cash games. Jarvis Landry is a PPR machine and clearly Ryan Tannehill’s top target in Miami. He should average at least 6 catches per game over the course of the season. Guys with this kind of receiving consistency are gold on DraftKings. His teammate Lamar Miller fills in the FLEX here. He already looks in mid-season form and is a much bigger threat out of the back field than last year, judging from his preseason games. As for Carolina, well, I love picking on the Jags, even if Blake Bortles looks better. He still is lacking someone in the backfield, which means the Panthers won’t have to stack the line and can drop more back in coverage.
Many of the players here have been touched on above. However, I’ve switched it up at QB again, going with the combo of Sam Bradford and Jordan Matthews. This game has an Over/Under of 55.5. Yes, you read that right. That’s insane. Frankly, you could probably put together a lineup consisting just from players in this game (I’m sure somebody will). How can you not want a piece of the action? OBJ makes an appearance again. Any WR with a legit shot at 35-40FP in a given week has a soft place in my heart. Obviously, this changes if Cruz starts, but that doesn’t look like it will happen. At TE, I changed it up and went with Ben Watson of the Saints. Watson is filling in for Jimmy Graham (who some dolt just took #1 overall in my home fantasy league…..why?!), who departed for Seattle. While not of the same caliber, Watson is the clear cut #1 and was on the field with Brees all preseason. With a price tag of $2,600, he could catch 1 ball for a TD and already pay off his price tag. Just think if he catches two! Seriously though, he is an all upside pick. Even at that miniscule price, I will not touch him in cash games.
The only other player here that I haven’t covered is Randall Cobb. Cobb is still nursing a sore shoulder, so I think many people could stay away from him this week. However, the upside is certainly there. The Packers had their way with the Chicago secondary on more than one occasion last year. Remember the time Aaron Rodgers passed for 6 TDs in a half and was then pulled? Yeah, I do too. I expect a lot of Rodgers/Adams stacks this week, but I think Cobb will be a bit under owned. Of course, monitor him through the week to make sure he can play through the shoulder pain. If not, then maybe James Jones becomes immediately viable after all.
UPDATED Sunday GPP – Single Entry
There have been quite a few interesting events in the fantasy world since the first edition of this Cheat Sheet went out earlier this week. Of the ones I’m most interested in on DraftKings, the potential for Benny Cunningham to start is number one. Tre Mason has not practiced all week and is going to be a game-time decision tomorrow against the Seahawks. It looks very likely that Cunningham will get the start and – lucky for those paying attention – he is well worth taking advantage of at the rock-bottom price of $3,000. In two games last year, Cunningham – as the second stringer – caught 12 passes against the Hawks for 103 yards and a TD. He scored 12.7 and 15.9 in his two games against Seattle last year. Given more opportunities today, there is no reason that he can’t at least come close to matching those numbers. While Seattle is a great run defense, they are susceptible to RBs who catch the ball out of the backfield. They’re still without Kam Chancellor, which 1) will make Foles’ life easier and 2) will likely help in creating room for Benny to shine. One of the biggest bonuses of this entire situation is that the game kicks off at 1PM EST, so you’ll know whether or not Mason is out before you finalize your roster. If he’s out, lock in Benny.
This lineup is geared slightly more toward single-entry GPP tournaments. You still need upside plays – see Cunningham, Ivory and Adams – but you also want some studs that you know will get theirs. I’m stacking with Green Bay here. Rodgers eats Bears for breakfast (maybe the animal, too…I’m not privy to what he or Olivia Munn cook in the morning). Cobb is probable and should be good to go (another 1PM game – thank the fantasy gods!). Adams is simply too cheap to ignore, even if half of the DFS world rosters him. Sometimes avoiding high ownership is a good thing, but Adams could legitimately return 6X value tomorrow. He’ll be on many of my lineups.
Sample FantasyAces Lineups
UPDATED Sunday GPP
FantasyAces Lineup Configurations
In general, I don’t like playing guys from Thursday games for a GPP. The games are usually bad and players underperform. Another thing that happens is that people want Thursday action, so they overload on those players and the ownership rates are often higher than they should be. This gives you an opportunity to roster value plays at a much lower ownership that you might end up getting if you do a Sun-Mon slate. Both of my QB’s here are those type of plays. While I think Bradford might end up being the most widely owned QB of the week, I expect that ownership to be lower on a slate that includes Thursday games. I plan on using Flacco to differentiate my lineup from everyone else. I think he’s going to have a ton of volume while playing catch up with Denver. My RB (Lacy and Martin) are both high upside plays that should have low ownership as they are overshadowed by their big name QB’s. The prices on these two are outstanding and they allowed me to go very big in my FLEX spots. Those FLEX plays are my top 2 RB for the week in AP and Charles. I like getting high volume, safe plays in at RB for my GPP and getting my value elsewhere. That value, besides my RB, will be found in both Steve Smith (who I have stacked with Flacco) and Delanie Walker. I think Walker could put up top 5 numbers this week as Mariota loves to target his TE. Miami facing Washington is a pretty chalky play but I want to make sure to get something out of that position with this potentially high powered roster.
A 50/50 lineup to me is all about safe plays. I’m not trying to shoot the moon with these picks, I just want to finish in the top half of my league. I’m not worried at all about ownership levels in a 50/50 so I’m going to fire away with my top QB play of the week in Matt Ryan. He should torch the Philly Defense for a very solid game. Tannehill is a slightly bigger risk but he runs the ball enough to push his floor upwards. At RB I want guys who are going to be the featured backs for their teams and give me guaranteed touches. Forsett, Martin, and Hill all fit that bill. I like to go high end with my WR in a 50/50 so give me the top 2 guys of the week in Julio and Thomas. Both will get their targets with no issue. Matthews is a #1 guy going for a #3 price. I love getting value like that from a player that will be in a shootout. I think Greg Olsen is the safest TE play of the week. He’s Cam’s guy and will have a very solid game. With my defense I just want to get a few points to help push me over the top. Miami against Washington is a very safe play.
I spent up a bit with my QB’s here (I usually like to go with 2 value plays or split it with 1 high end guy and 1 value play). Ryan is going to be in a shootout and I think the hate on Cam has gone too far. He’s been a very productive QB in the past with no WR help and I believe he’s going to be under-owned this week. Both of the RB I picked here are the primary runner for their team and neither cost me anything at all. At WR and FLEX I went with 4 guys who should be target machines this week. Jones is my top WR play of the week and Rodgers is going to make sure Cobb makes people forget Jordy Nelson. They are pretty Public Plays and I expect a high ownership. I don’t expect as high of an ownership for Maclin even though he could be top 10 at the position this week. Cooper is a beast and I want some exposure to him while I can still get him cheap. Speaking of guys who will be a big target, Greg Olsen should see double digit targets from Cam Newton this week. I think the Cam/Olsen stack could pay off like a top QB/top WR stack. The Bills defense is loaded and I think they shock the Colts this week in Orchard Park.
UPDATED Sunday GPP
As the week has progressed I’ve become more and move obsessed with the idea of making a lineup involving Carson Palmer. His numbers were outstanding before his injury last weekend and this week he’s going to be in a shootout against a terrible Saints defense. I want to make sure to maximize points with Palmer so I’m stacking him with Fitzgerald, who I think will have a very low ownership with everyone targeting John Brown. Fitz is just a safer pick. For my QB2 I’m going with Bridgewater. I want a Sunday night sweat and people are sleeping on Teddy B and his ability to throw deep. He’s going to have a sneaky good game this week. At RB I have a couple of workhorse backs who face weak defenses. McCoy should see a lower than expected ownership with his preseason injury scaring people off. It’s not going to scare me from taking a chance on him if I have multiple lineups. I went big at WR with Julio, Dez, and OBJ. This is not my normal strategy but when I make multiple lineups I want to diversity. As much as I like Greg Olsen and Delaine Walker this week at TE, there’s no denying that Bennett is going to see a ton of targets with the entire Bears WR corps injured. Chicago is going to have to throw to stay in this game against the Packers and Cutler loves his big TE. On defense I’m going a little wild with the Rams facing the best team in the NFL. Seattle struggles when they play in Seattle and the Rams get to the QB. This should be a low scoring game and with Wilson scrambling around I can see the Rams getting to him in the backfield a number of times.
A very simple, but good start to DFS research is to look at the over/unders and odds. Obviously you want your players in games where Vegas believes the game will be high scoring and on winning teams, while your defenses should come from games they believe will be low scoring.
If the Matchup Machine isn’t sortable for you, here are the same stats in Excel that are sortable: Week 1 Matchup Charts
Sortable Matchup Machine Quarterbacks
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Quarterback for the week.
|Tm||Opp||QB Rk||PPG||MU||RB Rk||PPG||MU||WR Rk||PPG||MU||TE Rk||PPG||MU|
|ATL||SEA||32||9.3||Ð Ð Ð||25||26.4||Ð||31||47.6||Ð Ð||31||10.7||Ð Ð Ð|
|CHI||JAX||7||19||+||8||35.8||+||12||64.7||25||14.8||Ð Ð Ð|
|CLV||TEN||29||11.4||Ð Ð||32||22.5||Ð Ð Ð||27||55.2||Ð||21||19||Ð|
|IND||HST||28||11.7||Ð Ð||31||24||Ð Ð||29||52.1||Ð||30||10.7||Ð Ð Ð|
|NE||CIN||14||16.5||26||26.3||Ð||22||59.4||26||14.4||Ð Ð Ð|
|NYJ||ARZ||19||15.2||20||28.4||Ð||23||59.1||29||12.2||Ð Ð Ð|
|OAK||KC||25||13.4||Ð||7||38||+||11||65||27||13.5||Ð Ð Ð|
|SD||DEN||24||13.8||Ð||10||33.5||32||38.3||Ð Ð Ð||23||18.2||Ð|
|SF||BUF||30||10.5||Ð Ð Ð||13||32.4||13||63.3||28||13.1||Ð Ð Ð|
|WAS||PHI||31||10.5||Ð Ð Ð||15||30.8||28||53.7||Ð||32||5.6||Ð Ð Ð|
Sortable Matchup Machine Running Backs
Here you will find the matchup stats for each running back for the week.
|Rk||TM||Rk vs. #1 WR||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. #2 WR||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. Other WR||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. TE||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. RB||Pa/G||Yd/G|
Sortable Matchup Machine Wide Receivers
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Wide Receiver for the week.
Sortable Matchup Machine Tight Ends
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Tight End for the week.
|Last 3||RZ |
Sortable Matchup Machine Defenses
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Defense for the week.
|Last 3||RZ |
Sortable Matchup Machine Kickers
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Kicker for the week.
|Quarterbacks||Opp||DK||DD||FD||Fan Pts||Com%||PaYds||PaTD||Int||Off Yds||Tot TD||Sck||FO||PFF||AVG||FDP||DDP||DKP|
|Robert Griffin III||JAX||$7,300||$12,950||$7,800||20.4||63.2||285.5||1.6||1.0||297.9||1.9||2.5||26.0||26.0||22.4||19.6||18.9||20.0|