NFL Week 1 is nearly here and I’m ready to get going with my DraftKings NFL Week 1 Sleeper Picks for the 2018 season!
Sunday will be like Christmas morning for a lot of us, as the excitement has been building for a few months now. DraftKings is running some monster contests in Week 1 to add to the excitement, including the popular Millionaire Maker NFL contest.
I’ve got 5 Week 1 Sleeper Picks for DraftKings listed below, and these are going to be picks that I think will be somewhat lower owned and good picks for the large GPPs at DraftKings.
Week 1 Sleeper Picks
QB + WR Stack
Blake Bortles ($5,600) + Keelan Cole ($3,800)
One of my favorite stack for GPP contests, such as the Millionaire Maker, is going to be Blake Bortles and Keenan Cole. Sure Cole will have high ownership, but we should get Bortles at fairly low ownership in a pretty good spot.
The Jaguars will be in New York for Week 1 to face the Giants. They are 3 point road favorites, although we have a lower total set at 43.5. The Giants were 31st vs the pass last year in yards against per game and 27th in yards against per attempt. They also gave up a league-high 32 TD passes through the air.
Blake Bortles seemed to get better as the year went on last year, finishing the regular season with 4 of 5 games with 268+ passing yards (three of those games over 300 passing yards) and multiple touchdowns in those 4 games as well. On the season he finished with 21 TDs and 13 INTs, adding a pair of TDs on the ground and 322 rushing yards which we like to see from fantasy quarterbacks. Overall not great numbers for Bortles fantasy-wise, but that’s why we’re getting him at $5,600 in Week 1 at Draftkings. With a good matchup vs the Giants, I could see him having a good start to the 2018 season.
Bortles #1 target, Marquise Lee, went down with a season-ending injury in the preseason – opening the door for Keelan Cole. When Cole got an opportunity in his rookie season he took advantage putting up 186 and 108 receiving yards in his two games with 6+ receptions (34 and 19 DraftKings points in those two games). In games when he was targeted 8+ times he put up 61, 186, 108, and 33 yards. There’s a good chance he will see close to 8 targets in Week 1 with Allen Robinson gone and Lee injured, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a good day at a cheap $3,800 price tag. He will be popular, but I see no reason not to play him in a good matchup.
Peyton Barber ($4,100)
It looks like the Buccaneers will start the season with Peyton Barber as their #1 running back, and he should see a majority of the offensive snaps in Week 1 vs the Saints. The Buccs are 7.5 point underdogs, but they are still expected to score points with a high total currently at 49.5.
The line opened at 52 and has moved down significantly, but 49.5 is still a high total and I think we will see some DraftKings points being scored in this game.
Note that the Saints were an average 16th in the NFL in rushing yards against per game, but near the bottom at 27th in yards against per rushing attempt.
Barber had a few games as the Buccs leading back last season, but only two games where he saw a good amount of carries. In those two games, he had 23 carries for 102 yards and 21.3 DraftKings points, and 17 carries for 71 yards and 16.9 DraftKings points.
There’s no guarantee that Barber will see 17+ carries, but I do think there is a good chance he gets 15+ and could have himself a pretty nice fantasy scoring day given his cheap $4,100 price at DraftKings.
There are a ton of great RB options at DraftKings for Week 1 but if you’re looking for a cheap option to be able to spend up elsewhere I think Barber is worth a look in the Superdome.
Emmanuel Sanders ($5,000)
The Broncos will host the Seahawks in Week 1 and are 2.5 point favorites with a total set at 42 points. There isn’t expected to be a whole lot of points scored in this game with one of the lower totals on the board, but I think we can still make a case for a guy who I think is still a top receiver in the league.
He had to deal with Siemian, Osweiler, and Lynch throwing the ball to him last year, but still showed his upside with a pair of games with 22+ DraftKings Points. This year the Broncos will be improved at quarterback, as Case Keenum will take over after throwing for 3,547 yards and 22 TDs (7 INT) last year with the Vikings.
Although Demaryius Thomas is given the #1 WR tag, Sanders still sees quite a bit of action with 8+ targets in 6 of 12 games played last year. If you’re looking for a mid-range priced receiver at DraftKings take a look at Sanders as a bit of a sleeper pick for NFL Week 1 action.
Ben Watson ($3,100)
Ben Watson will join his new team (Saints) and have one of the league’s best QBs throwing to him this year, in Drew Brees. In my opinion, Watson is an upgrade at TE this year for the Saints and I wouldn’t be surprised if Brees looked Watson’s way a good amount.
I don’t think we can expect Watson to see the 10+ targets that Jimmy Graham was seeing fairly often when he was in New Orleans, but I do think we could see a good 6-9 targets weekly. Last season Watson saw 8+ targets in 4 games and in those games he scored 13, 11, 8, and 17 DraftKings points.
It’s a gamble hoping that Watson does get quite a bit of action in the passing game in Week 1 of the NFL season with his new team, but a gamble I’m willing to take in at least a few of my Draftkings Week 1 lineups. I think Ben Watson could make a solid sleeper pick at home vs the Buccs.
That wraps up my NFL Week 1 Sleeper Picks for the 2018 season. Leave a comment below with your thoughts, or be sure to check out my DraftKings Picks YouTube Channel where I will talk more about these picks. Good luck!