Week 1 is here. Finally, we have NFL football where the rules aren’t made up and the points do in fact matter. With week 1 comes betting lines (Whose line is it anyway?) and Daily Fantasy Sports. A DFS site that is often overlooked is Yahoo. The purpose of this article is to familiarise people with the format and present several lineup strategies.

Note: The Thursday and Monday night games are not included in most Yahoo contests.

 

Scoring settings

1 point for 25 passing yards                     1 point for 10 rushing/receiving yards

0.5 points for a reception

4 points for passing touchdown                6 points for rushing/receiving/return touchdowns

-1 points for an interception                       -2 points for a fumble lost

 

Lineup requirements

1 QB       2RB        2WR       1TE         1Flex(R/W/T)     1 DEF                     $200 budget

 

Home and Dome

There are a few elements that I look at in order to find the most desired matchups. There is what I call Home and Dome, teams that are playing at home with an indoor stadium. While September is too early to worry about snow games, wind can be a factor that can negatively impact passing offenses. Here are the four teams that play Home and Dome in week 1:

Arizona Cardinals vs Washington

Indianapolis Colts vs Cincinnati Bengals

Minnesota Vikings vs San Fransisco 49ers

New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While I will not be looking exclusively at these Home and Dome matchups, it is something I consider strongly in my selections.

 

Quarterbacks

Drew Brees, NO: $33 vs TB

Andy Dalton, CIN: $25 @ IND

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Drew Brees and the Saints offense face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a middle of the road pass rush (ranked 15 by Pro Football Focus entering 2018). With an offensive line ranked 6th by PFF, Brees probably won’t face too much pressure and should be able to pass effectively. According to Daily Fantasy Café, the Saints have the highest projected point total in week 1 with an over/under of 29.25. That is significant, especially considering that Brees is $7 cheaper than Tom Brady, the most expensive player this week.

Another QB strategy that I have is to take a less expensive option, facing a weaker defense. Andy Dalton fits that plan rather well. While it is not quite Home and Dome, the Bengals are visiting Indianapolis and their indoor stadium. Furthermore, the Colts pass-rush is ranked 21st by PFF entering 2018. With the improvements along the Bengals offensive line, this favorable matchup should allow Dalton the time to make plays against a potentially potent offense.

 

Running Backs

Melvin Gordon, LAC: $31 vs KC

Alex Collins, BAL: $26 vs BUF

Derrick Henry, TEN: $21 @ Mia

Mike Nowak / Chargers

At running back, I am looking for players who were matched up against bad run defenses. In week 1, Melvin Gordon and Derrick Henry each play one of the two worst run-defenses (Chiefs and Dolphins respectively) according to PFF’s 2018 rankings. There is some concern that Dion Lewis could take carries away from Henry, but against a Dolphins team that will probably be playing from behind, I expect the Titans to run the clock with their big back Henry.

Alex Collins meanwhile, goes up against the Bills. While he may not be a workhorse RB all season, it appears that Collins will get the majority of the carries to begin the year. He faces a Bills team in the aftermath of an offseason filled with changes. The offense may struggle in this first game, which should lead to better field position and scoring opportunities for the Ravens.

 

Wide Receivers

Michael Thomas, NO: $37 vs TB

Keenan Allen, LAC: $36 vs KC

Stefon Diggs, MIN: $28 vs SF

JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT: $26 @ CLE

John Autey / Pioneer Press

For the WRs, I would spend big bucks this week and get players on potentially high scoring offenses. Since I expect Saints QB Brees to be productive this week, by extension, Michael Thomas should as well. As the Saints clear #1, he will probably see a decent amount of Brees’ pass attempts. Thomas is not the most expensive WR this week, yet I would not be surprised if he outscored Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins ($39 each).

The other WRs all play for teams that are in the top 7 for over/under Vegas points lines. Keenan Allen and Stefon Diggs will most likely be the #1 targets for their respective teams. In addition, the Vikings have the coveted Home and Dome situation, improving Diggs chances to produce. Meanwhile, with the status of Le’Veon Bell still uncertain for week 1, JuJu Smith-Schuster will most likely be the #2 option for the Steelers. All three of these WRs are in good positions to produce against decent matchups.

 

Tight End

Benjamin Watson, NO: $10 vs TB

Jack Doyle/Eric Ebron, IND: $16/$14 vs CIN

Matt Kryger / Indy Star

While I can see the appeal of paying up to get a top tier TE like Rob Gronkowski ($31), I prefer to spend that money elsewhere. If possible, I like to spend the minimum amount at TE and Benjamin Watson offers that chance. If there is one offense to bank on this week, I would choose the Saints. There should be ample TD opportunities for Watson in week 1 and that potential is not found elsewhere at his price point.

The Indianapolis Colts offers an interesting option at TE. They fall under the Home and Dome category explained at the start of the article. In Andrew Luck’s first regular season game since 2016, he may often look for his TEs on shorter routes. The difficulty is deciding between Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron but the Colts have shown in the past that 2 TEs can be viable in the same season. Doyle is $2 more expensive and the belief is that Luck will look to a familiar target. Ebron did however show chemistry with Luck during the preseason. I would not hesitate to put in Ebron if I needed that extra $2 elsewhere.

 

Flex

RB – Jamaal Williams, GB: $14 vs CHI

WR – Phillip Dorsett, NE: $10 vs HOU

Jeff Hanisch / USA TODAY Sports

Since I focus my attention at RB and WR on higher tier players, I like to mine for value in the flex spot. At RB, Jamaal Williams offers high upside at a low cost. His teammate Aaron Jones is serving a suspension, therefore Williams could see an expanded workload in week 1. The Packers also have the 3rd highest Vegas over/under at 27 points, meaning that he may get ample opportunities to score TDs.

Williams’ situation is quite similar to a WR I would choose for the flex. It appears Phillip Dorsett will begin the season as the Patriots starting slot WR. This is due to the suspension to Julian Edelman. Against a Houston pass-rush that is ranked 5th by PFF, Patriots QB Tom Brady may often look for a quick pass to Dorsett in the slot. That has productive potential, especially for a player at the minimum amount of $10.

 

Defenses

Green Bay Packers: $12 vs CHI

Tennessee Titans: $12 @ MIA

The Green Bay Packers unit offered a great opportunity at home against a new Bears offense. While people are excited for what Head Coach Matt Nagy can do for QB Mitch Trubisky, it may take a little time for the team to gel. The Vegas line makers agree as the Bears have the 4th lowest over/under points total at 19.75.

I do not have great expectations for the Miami Dolphins offense in week 1. Continuing what I wrote about Derrick Henry, I believe the Titans will control the clock and limit the number of opportunities that the Dolphins will have to score.  Any better defense matchup was more expensive than the $12 spent on the Packers and Titans DEF.

 

Thank you for reading. I hope that this inspires you to play NFL DFS on Yahoo. Good luck with all of your fantasy football decisions. Remember, Going for 2 has daily content for all your sports needs. For any comments or questions, I can be found on Twitter @nyama_ks.

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