With Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season officially one game in, it’s time to lock in and set those DraftKings daily fantasy football lineups. This week there are some monster-sized prize pools out there, including a game which features $1 million going to first place. Let’s also not forget the potential to win a billion dollars if you’re able to pick the perfect lineup.
Obviously going perfect in daily fantasy football is nearly impossible, but we’re going to give it a shot here. There’s quite a bit of value for a Week 1 of daily fantasy football, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting one or two studs into the mix. With that said, let’s jump in and look at the optimal lineup for Week 1 on DraftKings.
Optimal DraftKings Week 1 NFL Lineup
- QB: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers $7,000
- RB: Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers $9,800
- RB: Bilal Powell, New York Jets $4,900
- WR: Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks $6,700
- WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans $5,900
- WR: Kendall Wright, Chicago Bears $3,200
- TE: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles $3,500
- Flex: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears $6,300
- Def: Indianapolis Colts $2,700
The choice of Aaron Rodgers is one that I believe will be fairly low-owned. While he’s up against the Seattle Seahawks, which seems terrifying, he’s actually been excellent against them over the past two seasons, specifically. Last year he completed 18-of-23 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns with a 150.8 quarterback rating. Rodgers has tremendous upside and I see his floor being high in a home game.
The choice of Le’Veon Bell is one of the safest on the board in my opinion. Last season, the Browns allowed 142.7 yards per game on the ground, the second-most in the NFL. Even if they’re improved from that, Bell will run wild and should catch plenty of passes as well.
Bilal Powell is a name who might get overlooked due to how bad the Jets are expected to be this season, but he certainly shouldn’t be. Once Powell began getting the heavy lifting in the Jets rushing attack, he was a force over the final four games of the season. In that four-game stretch, he averaged over five yards per carry in three of the games, while seeing 82 carries for 411 yards and two rushing touchdowns. To make it even better, he also caught 21 passes and an additional touchdown. And for good measure, he racked up 137 total yards and a score against the Bills to finish off last season.
The choices of Doug Baldwin and DeAndre Hopkins give ridiculous upside. Baldwin has an amazing matchup against a defense that allowed the second-most passing yards per game last season and is in a game that should become a shootout quickly. As for Hopkins, his matchup is tougher, but he’s going to see double-digit targets almost without question. And for what it’s worth, one of the two games Tom Savage started for the Texans last season was against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he targeted Hopkins 17 times in that game, which resulted in him pulling down eight passes for 87 yards.
I’m saving money in a big way with Kendall Wright and Zach Ertz, both should be heavily involved in their respective offenses. Wright comes with plenty of risk, but he’s expected to be the No. 2 wideout for the Bears after Cameron Meredith’s injury, and in the third preseason game, Mike Glennon looked his way often. He caught 3-of-5 targets for 35 yards. Don’t be surprised to see him wind up with six or seven catches.
When looking at Ertz, the fact that he should pick up a ton of targets due to the trade of Jordan Matthews just makes his $3,500 price tag even more appealing. There aren’t any elite tight end options this week, with Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce playing on Thursday night. Ertz will be a safety valve for Carson Wentz and will see a heavy number of targets against a mediocre Philadelphia Eagles pass defense.
I really like Jordan Howard’s potential and upside in this game against the Atlanta Falcons. There’s going to be heavy points put on the board, but on that same note, if the Bears don’t want to let this game get away from them, they have to control the clock. Howard is going to be a busy guy and had 12 games with at least 15 touches last season. At $6,300 it’s hard to pass up the possible upside he brings.