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Week 1 NFL DFS: Money Makers & Heart Breakers

Week 1 is here, welcome fantasy enthusiasts and DFS players. This season we are taking a journey that transcends the ordinary. In the world of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), there are no off days. Each game, each play, and each decision will matter. To navigate the treacherous terrain of DFS during the NFL season, we must delve into a realm where strategy meets intuition, a place where analysis meets gut feelings, a realm where tactical approaches will lead to pay days—welcome to “Money Makers and Heart Breakers.”

If you are new to MMHB this is a weekly article where I will discuss who are great plays in DFS (Money Makers) and those who I recommend avoiding in DFS (Heart Breakers). I have spent a lot of my off-season studying potential new approaches and I think factoring in some “Game Theory” will lead to better results.

Game Theory is a new buzzword we are seeing all over the fantasy community but rarely do people explain what they mean when they talk of “Game Theory”. For our purposes “Game Theory” isn’t about predicting touchdowns or yardage; it’s about understanding the minds of millions of DFS players and leveraging that insight to craft lineups that soar above the rest.

You can also use this column to help you handle some start/sit questions you might have, but its primary purpose is to take you through the main DFS slate weekly with players who will make you money and players who will break your heart.

Here is a brief definition of each of my terms for anyone that might be new:

💰 Money Maker – This player will perform better than expectations

💔 Heart Breaker – This player will perform lower than expectations

Check out all of our Week 1 Fantasy Football analysis. It’ll be streaming out all week!

💰 Money Makers


Justin Herbert

The Chargers start the season playing the Dolphins. It has the highest over/under on the main slate at 51 points. Last season the Dolphins ranked 30th against the pass. Herbert has excellent and healthy wide receivers; they were not healthy last season. Herbert also has a new offensive coordinator who was a quarterback as a player, Kellen Moore. Word is this offense is going to be the bomb, as in bombs away. Take Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Josh Palmer, and the rookie Quinton Johnson; add in a great pass-catching running back like Austin Ekeler and you can see Herbert opening the season all charged up.

$6,900 on DraftKings
$8,100 on FanDuel

Derek Carr

Playing against the Titans in Week 1. Carr has some great wide receivers with Chris Olave and Michael Thomas. Carr likes to push the ball downfield and has players he can do that with. Alvin Kamara is suspended. I think the Saints will pass on the Titans as the Titans gave up the 29th most fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2022. Carr will have a low roster percentage, which can make him appealing: He’s only 0.8% rostered on FanDuel and DraftKings. Derek goes DEEP.

$5,300 on DraftKings
$7,000 on FanDuel

Baker Mayfield 

Everyone hates Baker. People are completely out on him everywhere. That is OK. It’s OK because in Week 1 the Buccaneers play the Vikings. The Vikings defense looks pretty bad on paper. Meanwhile, the Vikings offense looks amazing. This game has an over/under of 45.5 points so there will be some scoring. The Buccaneers have really good wide receivers in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, as well as a good pass-catching running back in Rachaad White. I will be daring and plug him in some place. He’s another guy who goes against the grain and is only 0.2% rostered on FanDuel and DraftKings.

$4,900 on DraftKings
$6,300 on FanDuel

Other quarterbacks for Week 1

Sam Howell

$4,900 on DraftKings
$7,100 on FanDuel

Tua Tagovailao

$6,700 on DraftKings
$7,700 on FanDuel

Trevor Lawrence

$6,500 on DraftKings
$8,000 on FanDuel

Running Backs

Josh Jacobs

Jacobs got super high usage last season. That will continue in week 1 against a Broncos team that has trouble stopping the run. The over/under for the game is 44, so there will be some scoring. The change at quarterback leads me to believe there will be more short passes to both the slot-type wide receiver (Jacoby Meyers) and the running back who happens to be Jacobs. If you are paying up at running back in week 1 pay up for Jacobs.

$7,700 on DraftKings
$8,400 on FanDuel

Rhamondre Stevenson

Do you know who the centerpiece is for the Patriots offense? It is Stevenson. We know the Eagles will most likely score some points. The Patriots will have to as well to keep up in the 45-point over/under game. I am a Patriots fan, I am a Stevenson fan. He was a top-10 running back last season. This offense will get him the ball in space. Thank you, Bill O’Brien!

$7,000 on DraftKings
$7,000 on FanDuel

Khalil Herbert

The Bears ran the ball more than anyone else in 2022. The Bears ran the ball 59% of the time. Herbert looks to be the primary ball carrier to open the season for the Bears. You may not have seen his huge catch and run in the preseason as well. The Packers, who have a defense I like, you can run on. They are bottom 10 against the run. Look for Herbert is gonna catch, he is gonna run, Herbert is going to score touchdowns in week 1

$5,300 on DraftKings
$6,100 on FanDuel

Other Running Backs for Week 1

Aaron Jones

$6,300 on DraftKings
$7,200 on FanDuel

Deon Jackson

$4,100 on DraftKings
$5,600 on FanDuel

JK Dobbins

$6,600 on DraftKings
$6,500 on FanDuel

Brian Robinson Jr.

$5,100 on DraftKings
$6,400 on FanDuel

Wide Receivers

Justin Jefferson

If you were looking to play the chalkiest of chalky players here is your guy this week. So, why even talk about him Mike? Well, because his matchup is amazing. So, if you want to pay up at wide receiver and turn into the chalk like a car sliding off the road in a snowstorm here is the guy to do it with. The Buccaneers finished last season giving up the 25th most points to wide receivers. To top it off last season Jefferson had 28.5% of the target share, 38.2% of the air yards, and caught 70.7% of his targets. This just in, Jefferson will have a huge Week 1.

$8,800 on DraftKings
$9,500 on FanDuel

Chris Olave

Last season the Titans gave up the most fantasy points weekly to wide receivers. This season Olave gets an upgrade at quarterback with Derek Carr. Yes, I mean it. Olave had a 26.6% target share to lead the Saints last season. He also led the Saints in air yards with 43.7% of the air yards. Derek Carr likes to go deep. Olave gets a lot of air yards. Are you picking up what I am putting down here? Ole, ole, ole, Olave.

$6,500 on DraftKings
$7,300 on FanDuel

Chris Godwin

I am all for playing Jefferson and running it back with Chris Godwin or Mike Evans. The Vikings were the second-worst team against wide receivers last season. Second worst. The game looks like a shootout with the highest over under which I have already mentioned. I know most of you don’t believe in Baker Mayfield and that is OK. Believe in the situation for Godwin this week. Believe in Godwin’s ability. BELIEVE. Godwin has over 98 receptions and 100 yards in each of the last two seasons. He also has 800 or more yards in five straight seasons and three 1000-yard seasons in that span.

$6,200 on DraftKings
$6,900 on FanDuel

Other Wide Receivers for Week 1

Tyler Lockett

$6,700 on DraftKings
$6,800 on FanDuel

Diontae Johnson

$5,300 on DraftKings
$6,400 on FanDuel

Jordan Addison

$5,100 on DraftKings
$5,500 on FanDuel

Amari Cooper

$5,800 on DraftKings
$6,700 on FanDuel

Tight Ends

Tyler Higbee

The Seahawks give up points to tight ends. It looks like Cooper Kupp will be out and Higbee could become the focal point of the Rams pass game. Last season Higbee had career highs in targets with 108, catches with 72, and yards with 620. But he did not have a lot of touchdowns. This season, at least in week 1, he scores.

$4,800 on DraftKings
$5,300 on FanDuel

TJ Hockenson

Prior to the season, Hockenson signed a HUGE contract. Hockenson saw 129 targets last season which he turned into 86 receptions, 914 yards, and 6 touchdowns. If you can’t tell I really like the Vikings passing game. Not just for week 1 but the season. Hockenson will be involved heavily in the first shootout of the season.

$5,900 on DraftKings
$7,200 on FanDuel

Juwan Johnson

Johnson doesn’t have a super high target share with 14.2% last season. What he did have is 7 touchdowns. Look for Johnson to score in Week 1. The Saints will be pulling out the stops to try and get a win in Week 1. Especially with Kamara suspended.

$3,900 on DraftKings
$5,100 on FanDuel

Other Tight Ends for Week 1

Hayden Hurst

$3,000 on DraftKings
$5,000 on FanDuel

Evan Engram

$4,700 on DraftKings
$5,800 on FanDuel

Pat Freiermuth

$4,100 on DraftKings
$5,700 on FanDuel

Week 1 Rankings for season-long leagues: Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End

💔Heart Breakers

Quarter Backs

Lamar Jackson

Jackson is great, I love him. So don’t get your panties in a bunch that I am out on him in Week 1. Jackson will be rostered on a high percentage of rosters in DFS week 1. Funny thing is you can run all over the Texans, not pass. SO Jackson will most likely do some of that running. I am saying use a little “game theory” here. Jackson is rostered in 11% of the FanDuel lineups right now and 12.4% of the DraftKings lineups.

Joe Burrow

I know another big name I am not playing in DFS. Last season Burrow did not score more than 17 fantasy points against the Browns. The game is in Cleveland. Burrow is a little dinged up, the Browns seem to be his kryptonite. I’ll find a better option in DFS for week 1. I am playing him in redraft everywhere I have him, just not DFS.

Matthew Stafford

This is a pretty easy avoid. I made it easy for me to write it and easy for you to do it. If you were thinking of playing Stafford I would have been surprised. But I know you should never assume because it makes an… well you get the picture.

Running Backs

Nick Chubb

Chubbs will be involved as the primary running back. Last season though once Deshaun Watson took over, Chubbs’s fantasy production took a huge nosedive. Five straight games of 12 points or less before ending the season on a high note of 20.7 fantasy points. So that is 16% of games played with Watson where Chubb scored more than 12 fantasy points. I want to see how this pans out before investing in Chubb in DFS.

Alexander Mattison

Mattison has taken over as the primary back for the Vikings. Wow, I am so excited about this, said Mattison’s mom. Other than her, I haven’t heard anyone say this was super exciting and we should expect big things. The matchup isn’t bad. I just think if he does damage it will be in the passing game more than the run game.

Jamaal Williams

Williams is the starting running back for New Orleans with Alvin Kamara suspended. That typically makes people run to the price point. The Titans are really good against the run. Like best in the league good. Williams scores his points with touchdowns more than his burning speed, because well, he doesn’t have burning speed. Bad match-up, I will easily avoid it.

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams

Denver actually has a good defense. Not that I think that matters with Adams. He is a great player. I think the problem is Jimmy Garoppolo’s skill set is for shorter passes. This may or may not be beneficial to Adams. I’ll let other people pay up for him in week 1.

Marquise Brown

Who is throwing the ball to Brown? Do you know? At the time of writing this article, I can tell you I have no idea. So if you need me to tell you to avoid Cardinal’s wide receivers, I am here for you. Don’t play any of them.

Drake London

Only one team ran the ball more than the Falcons in 2022. Just 1 team. The Falcons then went out and drafted Bijan Robinson so they could run the ball even more. I have a feeling Arthur Smith sat there at the end of the season and said “I’ll show the Bears who can run the ball the most this season, 2023 the year Falcons don’t fly but run and run some more”

Tight Ends

George Kittle

Kittle could miss the opener which will make this moot. I am not adding him to any lineups because he is so banged up. I’ll let Kittle heal up before I start relying on the Brock Purdy / George Kittle connection to take off again this season.

Kyle Pitts

See Drake London.

Really not much else to write about other than we don’t know if he is fully healed from last season’s injury.

Cole Kmet

In two games against the Packers last season Cole Kmet had 8 targets for 6 receptions and 72 yards. I’ll easily pass on that kind of potential in week 1. I know, I know this was a tough one to write up, but you would be surprised at what some people think is a good option.

Thanks for checking out Money Maker and Heart Breakers. For more great content from Fantrax, follow us on X and @MikeReedyFF for more great content

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