With ESPN and Yahoo NFL Fantasy Football leagues starting shortly, and Best Ball leagues already going, our goal is to get you prepped early for your upcoming NFL fantasy drafts with our team previews that feature a look into key positional additions and departures, breakdowns, and possible sleepers. As well we’ve got our early season and pre-season NFL DFS hot takes to get you ready for Week 1.
We’ll be releasing four team previews per week, starting June 25 and going through August 16, beginning with the AFC East.
***As part of our season-long, NFL DFS package, Awesemo will release his NFL Fantasy Football rankings in mid-August for premium members. The world’s number one ranked DFS player is going to use his DFS approach, applying it to season long fantasy to help you find value in your drafts.
More on that, soon, so if you’re not a member, sign up for Awesemo+ to get access to our premium rankings, projections and Slack Chat, including Awesemo’s weekly premium office hours, where he takes all your fantasy football questions.**
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2018 NFL DFS Week 1 Review
For an idea of how things tend to break down in Week 1 on the NFL preseason, let’s take a look at some of the top fantasy producers from last year.
- Ryan Griffin (Third stringer) 182-1
- Tyler Bray: 219-0 (Third stringer)
- Nate Sudfield: 140-2
- Baker Mayfield: 212-2
- Cody Kessler: 140-1
- Lamar Jackson: 119-0 (21 rushing yards, 1 TD)
- Colt McCoy: 189-2
- Geno Smith: 218-1
- Trevor Siemian: 165-2
- Chad Kelly: 177-2
- Francis Owusu: 4-82-0
- J. Moore: 4-75
- Damoun Patterson: 6-77-1
- Antonio Callaway: 3-87-1
- David Njoku: 2-46-2
- Breshad Perriman: 3-71-1
- Geremy Davis: 4-88-1
- Deving Gray: 4-83
Top running backs
- Ryan Nail: 9-95-1
- John Kelly: 13-77-0
- Gus Edwards: 12-58
- Raheem Mostert: 8-57
- Roc Thomas: 3-102-2
NFL DFS 2018 Takeaways
- RBs don’t get every many touches. Very spread out. There were only three instances of an RB getting more than 10 touches. But, RBs have been on winning teams in the FLEX spot. Their usage is much easier to predict that WRs and TEs.
- Avoid first stringers unless they are rookies.
- Depth WRs paired with depth QBs have the highest return, but are very difficult to predict. Avoid too many QB-2WR stacks with these low game totals. That being said, a Mayfield-Callaway-Njoku stack probably won you the week last year.
- Find situations where first stringers aren’t even playing and exploit them. Especially QBs. The less depth, the better.
DraftKings Winning NFL DFS Lineup from Friday, August 9th
NFL DFS Week 1 Team News, Breakdown
Since preseason news is so hard to come by in the lead-up to the games, our entire NFL crew is going to stay on top of things for you, updating each team as news breaks throughout the day. Keep in mind: most of this news is going to come out during pre-game warmups, so a lot of this is guesswork right now. Consider starting your lineups based of what quarterbacks you’re using and then pair them up with a pass catcher who’s going to see the field with them.
Breaking News/Inactives, Saturday, August 10th
Will be updated as news breaks before games.
- 49ers confirmed inactives HERE
*** The vast majority of lineup information won’t come out until the hours before lock, so make sure you’re checking in with beat writers, or our Premium NFL Slack Chat. You’re going to need to be around your lineups close to lock
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs -5 (37)
No word yet on the Bengals QB situation , but even if we do see Dalton it shouldn’t be for more than a quarter max.
No Mixon, Bernard or Rodney Anderson for the Cincinnati backfield which means rookie Trayveon Williams and Jordan Ellis should both see significant playing time.
On the outside Eifert and John Ross also are not suiting up and no word yet on Boyd but you would assume he sees minimal time if any since he is a vital piece to their offense. That leaves us with a handful of guys to choose from including players down the depth chart like Hunter Sharp, Damion Willis and Josh Malone who could all see some targets tonight.
On the Chiefs side Mahomes is expected to play the 1Q followed by Henne and the 2nd stringers in the 2Q. In the second half we are expected to see rookie Kyle Shurmur and Chase Litton at the QB position and the 3rd and 4th stringers alongside them.
Marcus Kemp is a name that has been generating some buzz in Chiefs camp so keep an eye on his production tonight.
L.A. Rams at Oakland Raiders -2.5 (37)
The Rams aren’t expected to use their starters Saturday night, so that means Blake Bortles will most likely get the start for the Rams. After he hits the bench John Wolford and Brandon Allen will be taking over under center.
In the backfield it should be John Kelly and Darrell Henderson both getting in some work with Malcolm Brown also possibly being involved. The Rams do have several other bodies that could get carries down the roster, but with no news on roles this is a difficult spot to gauge.
In terms of the skill positions based on what we saw last year most of the big names like Gurley, Cooks, Kupp, Woods, Reynolds, Higbee and Everett probably don’t see the field or are barely involved so we need to look further down the depth chart. JoJo Natson has flashed some explosiveness and Mike Thomas is another name to take a look at tonight on the outside.
On the Raiders side we have a backup QB battle between Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman who both should see time in this opening game.
With the Raiders not expecting to play many key contributors on outside look for J.J Nelson and Marcell Ateman to get in some work and also rookie Hunter Renfrow out of Clemson who has been getting big reviews in camp. After that guys like Keelan Doss and De’Mornay Pierson-El should get looks and I would expect to see them utilized more in the 2nd half when things are winding down.
On the outside Darren Waller isn’t expected to play meaning Foster Moreau, Derek Carrier and Luke Wilson should be manning the TE role tonight.
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco -3
No Jimmy G so it’ll be Mullens or Beathard under center to start the game. They are currently in a QB battle for backup honors so every snap is important.
In the backfield Breida and Coleman are going to be key pieces in the regular season so I wouldn’t expect much from them. McKinnon is still hurt and Jeff Wilson has a Q tag tonight so it is possible that Mostert and Walter are asked to carry most of the load on the ground tonight.
Lot of WR’s are battling for a role in this offense for the Niners so Richie James, and rookies Jaled Hurd and Deebo Samuel all should see work tonight. Malik Henry is way down the depth chart, but he could see work later in the game if the Niners really work in some of the backups to finish this one out.
On the Cowboys side of things Dak is only expected for a series or two so Cooper Rush and Mike White should divvy up the rest of the game at QB.
Tony Pollard and Mike Weber are two rookie running backs that should see time and Darius Jackson also seems to be in the mix for a role within this offense. Obviously Zeke probably wouldn’t have been playing even if he wasn’t in a holdout but its safe to say if you roster him tonight you shouldn’t be playing DFS.
In terms of receivers the Cowboys Cooper is out and Gallup & Cobb probably only play limited roles so we have to look down the depth chart for guys who may get some targets. Reggie Davis and Jon’Vea Johnson both should get looks with the backup QB’s and they could be paired up if you are looking to stack the Cowboys tonight.