Every Friday, I’ll be giving my top daily fantasy football lineup for the upcoming weekend. Salaries vary between DraftKings and FanDuel, so there will be slight variations most weeks; but for the most part, the lineups will remain the same for each platform.
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QB: Tom Brady vs. HOU
DraftKings: $7,200 | FanDuel: $8,600
Last season against the Texans, Tom Brady threw for 378 yards and five touchdowns while leading New England to a thrilling victory. In the preseason, Brady looked extremely sharp, and he should carry that over to the start of the regular season. TB12 should be worth spending for in Week 1.
RB: David Johnson vs. WAS
DraftKings: $8,800 | FanDuel: $8,600
As an elite RB1, David Johnson is going to cost a lot every week. To open the season, it’s a great time to put him in your lineup. Johnson is motivated after people forgot about him during his missed 2017 season, and he’s also looking for a new contract. Also, Johnson should rack up plenty of points in this daily fantasy PPR format. The Redskins gave up the sixth most fantasy points to opposing running back last season.
RB: Derrick Henry @ MIA
DraftKings: $5,400 | FanDuel: $6,800
The Dolphins were tied with the Redskins for points allowed to running backs last season, and they lost Nndamukong Suh. Miami’s run defense didn’t look great in the preseason, and the Titans should be ready to feed Henry the ball 15-20 times in the game. He has 100-yard, multi-touchdown upside.
WR: A.J. Green @ IND (DraftKings) | JuJu Smith-Schuster @ CLE (FanDuel)
Green: $7,300 | Smith-Schuster: $7,000
This is where my recommended lineups for DraftKings and Fan Duel vary for Week 1. A.J. Green has a chance for one of his huge games with an appetizing matchup against the Colts, and I think he’s one of the best daily plays of the week. However, my best lineup for Fan Duel swaps Green for another NFC North receiver, as JuJu Smith-Schuster is a very good option against Cleveland. JuJu had 143 yards, a receiving touchdown, and a kick return touchdown against the Browns in Week 17 last season.
WR: Stefon Diggs vs. SF
DraftKings: $6,300 | FanDuel: $7,400
Kirk Cousins and Stefon Diggs showed a nice connection throughout the summer, and now they’ll put it to the test against Richard Sherman and the 49ers in the season opener. Drawing some coverage against Sherman isn’t a big concern, as Diggs should still find enough room to navigate and do some damage in Week 1.
WR: Phillip Dorsett vs. HOU
DraftKings: $3,700 | FanDuel: $5,900
I was surprised at Phillip Dorsett’s price on FanDuel, but he’s an excellent high-upside option on both sites. Brandin Cooks had 141 yards and two touchdowns versus the Texans last season, and Dorsett could be playing a similar role in 2018. The doubling-up of Brady and Dorsett is my favorite pairing of Week 1 given the cost.
TE: David Njoku vs. PIT
DraftKings: $3,400 | FanDuel: $5,300
The Steelers were stout against tight ends last season, and they added more pieces at safety to get even better against the position in 2018. However, David Njoku worked well with Tyrod Taylor in the preseason as the clear No. 1 tight end in Cleveland, and much of the Steelers focus could be on Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry. Njoku might only get a handful of points, but he offers great upside at his price.
FLEX: James White vs. HOU
DraftKings: $4,000 | FanDuel: $5,500
In a PPR format, James White should be a good bet for at least 7-10 points per week with Julian Edelman (suspension) out of the lineup. White only had one reception in each of his last two games versus the Texans (though one was a 19-yard touchdown in the playoffs), but with Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola also gone, he’s clearly one of Tom Brady’s most-trusted targets.
DST: Ravens vs. BUF
DraftKings: $3,800 | FanDuel: $4,800
Most people are going to play Ravens defense against the Bills and their shaky offensive line in Week 1, and I don’t recommend doing any different. They are the best bet to score 20+ points as a D/ST in Week 1.