Greetings Gamers! Welcome back to the Awesemo NFL DFS Single Game Prime Time series for FanDuel and DraftKings showdown slates. For each of the featured games, typically Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights we will be providing a free analysis for the Showdown slate action. This will include team capsules as well as player rankings and comments.
Don’t forget to check out the Live Before Lock tonight at 6 EST tonight with EMac and Nolan Kelly
Week 1 is always tough as we have limited preseason and training camp information to work with. Some of our analysis will be supposition and some will be based on last year’s data.
The other key to remember is that strategy and lineup construction are crucial to get that ever elusive edge on single game slates.
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For the Monday Night Houston at New Orleans showdown article click here
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders +2.5 / 42.5
Somehow the Raiders even managed to be more of a dumpster fire than usual with the whole Antonio Brown saga. At least it kept the media away from the story of their upcoming move to Las Vegas for a couple of weeks.
Denver Broncos 22.5 implied points
Joe Flacco will be making his debut for the Denver Broncos on Monday night against a team that has to be emotionally bankrupt. Last season Oakland had the worst Passing DVOA in the league and allowed the second most yards per pass attempt trailing only Tampa Bay. However, this is the not so “elite” version of Flacco and we should not expect a whole lot as he projects outside the QB25 range on the full-slate. Also keep in mind that Flacco has topped 25 passing touchdowns in his career only once (27) and he topped two aerial scores only once in his last 29 starts and had only three 300+ yard games in that time frame.
Phillip Lindsay was amazing last season as an undrafted free agent, making his hometown team and ultimately the Pro Bowl. He lucked into a good situation as a result of injuries (Royce Freeman) and substandard performance issues (Devontae Booker). Things will be more of a timeshare this season with Freeman healthy and the Broncos not wishing to overwork Lindsay who is 5’8″ and 190 pounds. The Raiders had a bottom five rushing DVOA and they allowed the third most yards per game at 140.6 and playing from behind is not going to do them any favors.
Emmanuel Sanders has bested all expectations with his early return from a ruptured Achilles tendon. That said, I do not particularly feel comfortable trusting him so I will likely be under the field. Courtland Sutton got a bad rap last year, though he seemed to possess hands of stone in some games. He is fast, runs decent routes and has potential upside improvement available… too bad his quarterback is Flacco. Finally the third option will be DaeSean Hamilton who is in his second season out of Penn State. He is more of a possession receiver and will likely see time out of the slot.
Jake Butt is out after having yet another knee procedure, so that leaves Noah Fant and Jeff Heuerman. Fant was drafted #20 overall this spring out of Iowa and he looks to have the lead role secure. Of course he will need to work on his blocking, which will still give Heuerman the opportunity to be on the field.
Denver had a decent pass rush last year with 44 sacks for the eighth most in the league and Oakland allowed the fifth most sacks. The Broncos were also fifth in the league with 28 takeaways and Oakland ceded 24 turnovers themselves.
Oakland Raiders 20.0 implied points
Derek Carr just lost his best receiving option for the second year in a row… though can we really count Antonio Brown as having been a Raider? Much like his counterpart Joe Flacco, Carr is outside of the QB25 group for Week 1. For his career, Carr averages just over 1.5 passing touchdowns per game and that was before he had to count on this dismal collection of receivers.
Rookie Josh Jacobs is going to have to shoulder a heavy load this season for Oakland. Teams will be able to stack the box and he is going to have to earn every yard he gets. Jacobs should see work in the passing game, just be cognizant that he had 48 receptions over 40 games in a mostly part time role at Alabama. Fourth year man Jalen Richard will be the “passing down” back and likely see a fair amount of time on the field when game flow inevitably turns against the Silver and Black this season.
By default, Tyrell Williams will now be the WR1. Former Cardinal J.J. Nelson has been limited in practice with a sore ankle and there is a chance he may miss this game. That would leave the cupboard pretty bare and elevate Hunter Renfrow to a more prominent role in his very first NFL game. Journeyman Ryan Grant will also be in the mix, though keep in mind with four years in Washington and one with Indianapolis, he has a career line of 119/1,319/11.1/7 so he is unlikely to have a major impact.
Finally a player worthy of our attention! Last year Darren Waller played second fiddle to a career season by Jared Cook, who is now with New Orleans. Cook served as the safety valve for Derek Carr and there is a good chance that the fourth year veteran Waller will see 5-8 targets on Monday night.
Joe Flacco generally does a good job of taking care of the ball and not getting sacked very often. Considering that Oakland was bottom ten in takeaways and dead last with only 13 sacks last season, it would take a miracle for this squad to be a fantasy game breaker on Monday night.
Awesemo’s Showdown Rankings provide an additional look at how to value the player pool from Alex himself >>> premium members click here
Strategy: Fortunately we have a variety of options on both sides that have the potential to rack up fantasy points. We saw on Thursday that things do not always go according to plan, but these defenses are not as good as the two that squared off 72 hours ago. Remember if you are making a few lineups, be sure to “craft a story line” and build around those scenarios.
Single Game Ranking (taking into account projected production, pricing and popularity)
- Joe Flacco: here we are… the top play is not someone I am wacko for by any stretch of the imagination. However, he is one of two quarterbacks in this game and should at least touch the ball on every offensive snap for the Broncos.
- Phillip Lindsay: yes, it looks like a time share – but I think he gets the higher leverage touches and reception opportunities.
- Jalen Richard: drop him down another five or six spots on FanDuel, embrace the discount and full-PPR scoring on DraftKings.
- Royce Freeman: likely gets the short yardage red zone looks… if there are any.
- Josh Jacobs: rookie who is going to be given the keys to the ol’ jalopy by coach John Gruden.
- Derek Carr: even this feels a little to high. We need to remember that he is a quarterback and will have opportunities… but what he will make of them is the mystery.
- Courtland Sutton: even though Emmanuel Sanders is supposed to be healthy, I am giving the edge to Sutton.
- Tyrell Williams: yikes, this is not what Raider Nation was hoping for after the Antonio Brown trade.
- Emmanuel Sanders: I think he is a risky play as it is my opinion he will have his snaps limited, at least they will mostly happen in passing situations.
- Daniel Carlson: he is not Sebastian Janikowski, but he does have accuracy from long distance so far.
- Brandon McManus: heading into his sixth year and he is no stranger to pressure situations.
- Darren Waller: differentiation play, not for the faint of heart.
- Oakland D/ST: pricing discount and being at home give them the edge over the Broncos.
- Devontae Booker: as long as he is active, he is essentially free on DraftKings. Riskier on FanDuel, but he is the minimum price there as well.
- Ryan Grant: as long as he is active, he is essentially free on DraftKings. Riskier on FanDuel, but he is the minimum price there as well.
- Denver D/ST: they project for more points that the two recommendations above them, but the price is prohibitive.
- Noah Fant: let’s see what the rookie can do as the TE1.
- Hunter Renfrow: with Antonio Brown out of the picture, this rookie is going to be on the field at least. Make sure J.J. Nelson is out.
- DaeSean Hamilton: better DraftKings option with the price and full-PPR as his touchdown probability is pretty low.
- Dwayne Harris: free on Draftkings, should be returning kickoffs and punts along with Jalen Richard.
As always, you can reach out to me in Awesemo.com Premium Slack or on Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.
Good Luck Gamers! ~ EMac