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Thursday Night Football Week 1: DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings


Football is back! And what a way to welcome back the NFL to our lives than with the defending Super Bowl Champs taking on the Houston Texans in Kansas City. This game has a lofty 54.5 point over/under and we should see some fireworks from these offenses on opening night. The Texans got the best of the Cheifs in the regular season 31-24 and had a 21-0 lead on KC in the AFC playoffs before the Chiefs came storming back to beat them 51-31 in an incredible offense performance.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Thursday Night Football on September 10th, 2020 (Week 1). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

With both FanDuel and DraftKings hosting Milly-maker contests on opening night, there's some serious money being wagered on this game! If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @ThunderDanDFS and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like! Now let's break this slate down and make some cash right out of the gates!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

It's not often we have a single-game slate where the opposing quarterbacks are both potentially elite plays, but that's absolutely the case in this game as Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson are both top options. Opposing QBs actually correlate well and there's a case to be made for playing both in a lineup if you think this game shoots out and stays close.

Mahomes should be the more popular play and for good reason. The Super Bowl MVP is the better passer of the two and has better weapons around him as well as a better offensive line. While I usually don't play QBs at captain or MVP very often in single game/showdown, you can absolutely play either of these guys as they both have the ability to run the ball and score rushing TDs (Watson ran for 3 TDs total in the two meetings between these teams last year).

Summary: Play Mahomes in cash, Watson in GPPs. Stack them together to be different. Both make viable captain/MVP choices.

 

DFS Running Backs

There's a number of viable options at running back in this game, but probably only one relatively "safe" play in Clyde Edwards-Helaire. We don't know how Andy Reid is going to divvy up the touches amongst his backs, but we do know that CEH is the starter and easily the most talented of the bunch. Andy Reid schemes the ball to his backs better than most NFL coaches and therefore CEH is a top play even with 50-60% of the RB touches. He's an explosive back who's great in space and that skillset should translate well to way in which the Chiefs will want to utilize him.

Backing up CEH will be Darrel Williams (only 1800 on DK) and I'm definitely interested in rostering him as a pivot off CEH or actually using them together to try to grab as much of the running back production as possible. He didn't see all much action last season but did score 4 TDs and is reportedly ahead of DeAndre Washington in the pecking order.

Houston's lead back will be David Johnson. After a disappointing year in Arizona, he came over in the trade that sent DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals. Coach Bill O'Brien will definitely want to get him involved often, but he be facing a negative game script if the Texans get down early. He has been a solid pass catcher in his career but the Texans also have an effective third-down back in Duke Johnson who should see his share of touches as well. I'm not all that high on David Johnson at his price and there's no way to know if Duke Johnson is on the field enough to make value, but I'd rather roll the dice on him if I had to take a Houston back.

Summary: CEH is the safest back on the slate for cash. Darrel Williams is an excellent value on DK. The Houston RB situation is a bit of a mess that I am likely to avoid if possible.

 

DFS Wide Receivers

The WR position might be the hardest spot to figure out on this slate. The Chiefs' top pass-catching option is their tight end, Travis Kelce, followed closely by the speedy Tyreek Hill. Hill is fairly expensive on both sites but has explosive playmaking ability and the ability to rip off huge chunks of yardage at a time. He's definitely worthy of some GPP exposure, but not a priority for me in cash games.

Sammy Watkins is the WR2 for KC and also has shown big-play ability with Mahomes at times. He's way too inconsistent for cash but a solid GPP option as a pivot off Hill/Kelce. Both Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman have occasionally popped off for long TD receptions but are low floor plays that are best reserved for large field GPPs.

For Houston, we have four receivers who are all worthy of consideration to be paired with DeShaun Watson. With Hopkins' departure, we should see more targets for incumbents Will Fuller and Kenny Stills, both of whom can be solid threats in the vertical passing game.

The arrival of Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb muddies things a bit as both should get a number of looks their way, too. My favorite plays from this group are Fuller (for his ability to stretch the field and his prior success with Watson in the last few seasons) and Cobb (for his track record doing work underneath in the short passing game).

Summary: All the WR options on this slate carry some risk and none of them have very safe target floors. Hill has the most upside but is expensive. Fuller will be popular but is my favorite Houston WR while Cobb is a nice cheap play with some volume upside.

 

DFS Tight Ends

There are not many tight ends (or receivers, really) with the talent and playmaking ability of Travis Kelce. He's easily one of the best plays (if not THE best play) on this slate and I will have a healthy share of him in my captain/MVP slot. He's not just a safety blanket for Mahomes who can pile up a bunch of catches in the short passing game, he's an athletic freak who can rip off huge gains on seam routes and do plenty of damage after the catch on patterns in the flat or across the middle. In the 51-31 playoff comeback against Houston, he piled up 10 catches for 134 yards and three scores. He's an elite play in all formats and a hard guy to fade on this slate.

Houston actually has a few really compelling plays here at the TE position, too. Starter Darren Fells caught 9-91 and a TD between the two contests against KC last season. It remains to be seen where Hopkins' vacated targets go, but Fells is certainly worth a look at his price, as is their TE2 Jordan Akins who is the better athlete of the two and more of a big-play threat.

Summary: Play Kelce in all formats. Houston TEs are solid GPP value options.

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

In high total games like this one, defenses are often overlooked on DraftKings (not available on FanDuel) and that can be a mistake. The Chiefs D/ST is 3400 and is in a nice spot to produce here if the Texans are trailing and playing catch up. That would equal more chances at sacks and interceptions as Watson is trying to make things happen in the passing game. It's a contrarian play with some nice upside if they score a defensive touchdown or a special teams TD (also a strength of KC).

Harrison Butker is an excellent kicker, but in order for him to be an optimal play he's going to need to make probably three field goals and a few extra points. It's certainly well within the range of outcomes, but I think KC converts more of their drives into TDs than FGs and therefore I won't have too much exposure, at least not when there are other position players cheaper on both sites.

Summary: KC defense is in play on DK. Butker is decent floor play on either site. 

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs on opening night!

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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More