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Daily Fantasy Football Articles

Week 1 Wide Receiver DFS Picks

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Week 1 of the NFL season is upon us! What a treat! I’d argue that Opening Day of the NFL season is better than Christmas morning but it’s certainly close. What I’ll be doing for Win Daily is breaking down the wide receivers for each slate. I’ll offer up cash game options and GPP plays while providing pricing for both DraftKings and FanDuel. With that in mind, let’s get into some Week 1 Wide Receiver plays that we love! 

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Week 1 Wide Receiver Cash Game Plays 

Adam Thielen, MIN vs. ATL 

FD ($7,400)         DK ($6,800) 

People are forgetting just how good this dude was last season. While he struggled in his last five games, we’re talking about a Pro Bowler who attained 93 catches, 1,138 receiving yards and 8 TDs over his first 11 games. He was actually the top-scoring WR in the NFL at that time and he’s not being priced like someone with that sort of potential. The advanced statistics tell a similar story, with Thielen generating a 26 percent share of the team targets while providing 88.6 air-yards per game. Those are both elite rates and it tells us that he’s the focal point of this offense.  

All of those stellar numbers paired with this matchup make Thielen one of the most reliable options out there. In fact, the Falcons allowed opposing receivers to average 24.8 fantasy points per game, which happened to be the eighth-worst mark in the league. They also allowed opposing QBs to score the fifth-most fantasy points against them and the implied team total of 26 for Minnesota tells us that this could be a high-scoring game with two talented offenses on display.  

Kenny Golladay, DET at ARI 

FD ($6,900)         DK ($6,300) 

Golladay is actually my favorite per-dollar play on the board. Being the only good receiver on this offense is a major reason why, as I anticipate Matthew Stafford feeing KD at will. That’s really scary against a secondary who not only lost Patrick Peterson to suspension, they also lost Robert Alford to a broken leg. That means they’ll be down to their third-corner covering Golladay, which makes me believe that they’ll force-feed him all game long.  

This guy is one of the most talented WRs in the game too, finishing last season with a career-high 70 receptions and 1.063 receiving yards. That appears to be the floor this season, with players like Golden Tate and Theo Riddick out of the picture. He actually still had 28 percent of the teams receiving yards and receiving TDs last season, which will only get higher in a diminished offense. That pairs beautifully with the fact that he ranked ninth in contested catch rate and 16th in total targets in the NFL last season. Look for this guy to have a breakout season and look for it to begin against this dismantled secondary.  

Dede Westbrook, JAX vs. KC 

FD ($5,900)         DK ($4,800) 

I really can’t believe how cheap these prices are for Westbrook. I initially had him as a GPP play but he has too big of a floor for someone in this price range. The reports out of camp tell us that he’s the top receiver on this offense and his four catches for 29 yards and a TD in his final preseason game show us that Foles really leans on him. In fact, six of Foles 10 pass attempts in that game were thrown to Westbrook and that’s a godsend for such a talented receiver. We can look past his ugly career numbers too, as he’s never played with a QB like Foles.  

The advanced numbers tell us that he’s a better receiver than his statistics would indicate too, with Westbrook ranked 14th in red zone target share and 17th in catchable target rate last season. The potential for this sort of breakout is particularly intriguing against a defense like this, with the Chiefs allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing WRs last season. A lot of that is due to their elite offense but that too should have the Jaguars passing the ball more than ever before.  

Week 1 Wide Receiver GPP/Punt Plays 

Sterling Shepard, NYG at DAL 

FD ($6,000)         DK ($5,000) 

This play is very risky but I always like using a WR1 in a game where I anticipate them losing handily. That probably sounds strange but I believe that the Giants are going to be forced to throw in this game as a 7-point underdog. That’s all we can ask for when talking about Shepard, as he’s the only receiver we can trust on this offense with Golden Tate suspended and Odell Beckham in Cleveland.  

In the final four games without OBJ last season, Shepard collected 13 receptions for 234 yards. More importantly, he had 31 targets, thus proving that he’s their go-to receiver with him off the field. That’s about eight targets per game and that’s all we can ask for from someone so cheap. While Dallas is a tough defense, the fact that the Giants will likely be playing catch-up only adds to Shepard’s intrigue.  

Curtis Samuel, CAR vs. LAR 

FD ($5,900)         DK ($4,200) 

I hate to do this but the preseason hype on this guy is simply amazing. Some beat reporters are saying that this could be the next great WR in the league and it’s truly incredible just how low these DFS sites are keeping his price. Going off of reports is a risky game in terms of DFS but Samuel still had at least 72 receiving yards in three of his final five games last season.  

The profile from this kid is simply amazing, as his 4.31 40-yard dash is one of the best totals ever at the combine. That may be one of the reasons that people are glowing about him but the fact that he’s solidified himself as an every-down receiver is the most intriguing part about Samuel. This matchup is brilliant too, facing a Rams team who allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing WRs last season. That’s why we’re looking at a total of 50, as we should have a ton of passing from both teams. 

Sterling Shepard Featured Image via Keith Allison.   

I've been playing fantasy sports since I was 12, which means I've been playing for over half of my life. I love DFS and season-long formats and have been writing for nearly a decade. I started my writing career at RotoWire and currently write for FantasyPros, Rotoballer, Razzball and DFSR. I cover NBA, MLB and NFL and follow all major sports. I generally cover primarily DFS but I also do game previews, recaps, player write-ups, injury updates etc.

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