Top Picks & Targets for NFL Week 1

In this article, I will be breaking down some of my top NFL plays on FantasyDraft position by position. I will be giving my top ranked player at each position regardless and the reasons why I like them. I will also give you a FLEX player and this player will be my favorite player of the week at either of the skill positions minus quarterback. Now you may not be able to fit all five of these players in your lineup due to salary constrictions as while I am taking salary into account when making these plays I am not building an actual roster. This goal is with this article along with the value plays article that I will be writing later on in the week is meant to be a base to help you construct your winning lineups. 

Quarterback

Russell Wilson-$12,900-SEA

I cannot get enough of Russell Wilson this week. Wilson has been one of my favorite quarterbacks coming into the season as I just think he is poised for a huge season. Wilson had a monster season last year with over 4,200 yards passing and played most of the season hurt. He comes into this season healthy and with more weapons at his disposal than in years past. The match-up against the Packers also has me really excited about Wilson. The Packers were one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL a year ago. Last season the Packers allowed the second most passing yards per game, third most passing touchdowns, and ninth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. The Packers did not make the necessary changes needed in the offseason to address that weakness. This game also has really good Vegas odds as it has the third highest over/under on the slate at 49.5 with the Seahawks being road underdogs. Wilson should carve up the Packers secondary this week and even with the likes of Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger in great match-ups this week I don’t see how Wilson is not in your lineups.

Running Back

Todd Gurley-$11,300-LAR

I know Gurley was awful last season and I know he has not rushed for over 100 yards since December 13th of 2015 or 18 games but I don’t care. I am all in on Gurley this week as I think he has a monster game. The Rams did a lot to improve not only their offensive line but their passing game as well and both of those things should help open things up for Gurley. Gurley is also a workhorse back who is one of the few backs in the NFL who you know is going to get 20 plus touches right out of the gate. While all of those things are fine and dandy they are not the reason why I am all in on Gurley. The reason why I am all in on Gurley is due to the matchup with the Colts. The Colts are an awful run defense and the stats back me up. Last season the Colts ranked 25th in rushing yards allowed per game, dead last in DVOA against the rush and ninth in fantasy points allowed per game to running backs. Not only do the Colts suck at stopping the run but the Rams are actually expected to be ahead in this game due to Andrew Luck not playing. If the game script goes to how most people including myself think it will Gurley should be getting a lot of carries in the fourth quarter as the Rams try to run out the clock. I know this may sound like a bold call but I am going to make the call anyway. Gurley will run for over 100 yards this week and have two rushing scores which is easily going to make him one of your top scoring players this week.

Wide Receiver

Stefon Diggs-$10,900-MIN

After a decent rookie season, Diggs broke out in a big way in his second season. Diggs ended his sophomore season with 84 catches on 111 targets for 903 yards and three scores. Diggs did all that damage in only 13 games after being shut down due to injury late in the season. With a full offseason under his belt with Sam Bradford and health on his side, I am expecting even bigger things for Diggs this season starting this week against the Saints. The Saints have been one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL the past two seasons and last season they allowed the most passing yards per game and the eighth most fantasy points per game to wide outs. Now, most of that damage was to a teams secondary wide receiver which Diggs is not but that doesn’t bother me this week as Delvin Breaux the Saints top corner will be out this week. Diggs is going to be targeted early and often on Monday night and I would be shocked if he didn’t finish with six plus catches and 85 plus yards.

Tight End

Zach Ertz-$7,000-PHI

Ertz is the cheapest guy I have in this article but even if he was expensive I don’t see how you pass over Ertz this week. In his past two seasons, Ertz has averaged 5.28 receptions for 57.55 yards a game. Those numbers rank him in the top ten for tight ends in that time frame and are only expected to go up with Jordan Matthews being traded to the Bills. The match-up is also one I like to target tight ends with as the Redskins cannot cover them to save their lives. The Redskins allowed the sixth most fantasy points per game to tight ends last season and ranked 25th in DVOA against them. Ertz also dominated them last time these two teams faced off with ten catches for 112 yards. Ertz is just too damn good and in too good of a matchup for me to pass up this week especially at his salary.

Flex

David Johnson-$17,700-ARI

If you have never watched David Johnson play football you are really missing out. Johnson is one of the most complete running backs I have ever seen and in only his second season Johnson had 1,239 yards rushing and 879 yards receiving on 80 catches. Johnson also had 20 scores last season and that number seemed like it could have been higher if not due to some questionable decisions by Bruce Arians. Johnson is one of those players that any time he takes the field he should be on your roster especially when in a great match-up which is what Johnson finds himself in this week. The Lions really struggle against the run and last season they ranked 19th in DVOA against it. They also struggle against running backs who can catch the ball like Johnson as last season they had the third worst DVOA in the league in terms of allowing running backs to catch the ball. Johnson who has already stated he wants to go for 1,000 yards in both rushing and receiving this season should have a monster game and is not someone I want to fade especially when you factor in Johnson’s expected high ownership levels.

Good luck with NFL this week!

Zach Qualtieri

Zach Qualtieri

Zach is an accomplished fantasy player who has had success in multiple sports across multiple platforms. Zach specializes in cash games where he can often be found playing $25 H2Hs but has also had a lot of success in GPPs as an 11-time winner of a large field GPP. When not talking about fantasy sports, Zach enjoys hanging out with his son. If you have any questions about fantasy or sports in general Zach can be found on Twitter @zachsgotmoxy.

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