Finding Paydirt: Week 1

Touchdowns, while extremely variant, make or break daily fantasy success and swing thousands of dollars every Sunday. Every weekend, players wait anxiously for the players on their roster to find paydirt. The purpose of the contest is to provide an opportunity for the RotoGrinders community to come together and have fun as we spend much of our time during the week stressing over the construction of our weekly lineups. Did I mention there will be prizes? Let’s have some fun!

Football is back. Yes, football is back. While my love for MLB is undying, the switch to the NFL feels like a breath of fresh air. Slowly throughout August, my thirst for home runs morphs into a need for touchdowns. We all need touchdowns in our DFS lineups. So, why not compete with the RotoGrinders community and have a bit of fun as we stress over our portfolio of lineups for the weekend? For information about the contest and prizes, take a quick glance through my recently published Finding Paydirt: 2019 Contest Guidelines.

The Cut List

Simply put, to compete in this contest you must pick a running back, wide receiver, and tight end to score a touchdown on Sunday. The player must be on the DraftKings Main Slate and cannot be any of the players below. These players are the top five at both RB and WR and the top three at TE — I nix them hoping to make the contest more interesting. Leave a comment with your picks.

Running Back Wide Receiver Tight End
Ezekiel Elliott Odell Beckham Jr. Travis Kelce
Saquon Barkley Julio Jones George Kittle
Christian McCaffrey Mike Evans Zach Ertz
Todd Gurley II Tyreek Hill
David Johnson Keenan Allen

Now, for my three picks this week.

Chris Carson – RB – $5,700

Chris Carson is not on the injury report and seems to be locked into a feature role for the Seattle Seahawks this season. More good news. The Seahawks welcome the assumed dreadful Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 at home. At the time of this writing, the Seahawks are 8.5-point home favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Carson seems to be about as good a bet to score a touchdown as anyone on this slate. Carson’s touchdown prop sits at -125 on DraftKings and there might be a bit of value in that number considering his opponent. The Bengals are not expected to improve upon their status as one of worst defenses against opposing running backs last season. The Bengals ceded 14 rushing touchdowns and a league-worst 31.7 DK points per game to the running back position.

Last season, Carson quietly finished in the top ten in rushing attempts (41) and rushing touchdowns (9) in the red zone. He compiled 66.7% of the team’s rushing attempts inside the 10-yard line while finishing second in the NFL with 86.7% of the attempts inside the five-yard line. If, and likely when, the Seahawks find themselves in close, Carson is toting the rock.

Adam Thielen – WR – $6,800

Adam Thielen checks in as my wide receiver for Sunday’s slate. Minnesota is a four-point home favorite against visiting Atlanta. The game total is 48 points at the time of this writing.

If his teammate, Stefon Diggs, is not 100 percent, Thielen should be leaned on heavier than usual. Thielen’s typical workload in 2018 was already plentiful — any boost puts Thielen in play as a top touchdown option at the wide receiver position.

Thielen finished with 20 targets inside the red zone last season for 11th overall in the NFL. Even if not spectacular, of the players available on the main slate, Thielen ranked only behind James White and Eric Ebron in scoring area targets in 2018. He caught six touchdowns in the red zone and soaked up 27.8% of the Vikings’ targets in the scoring area.

The Falcons allowed 24 touchdowns to the wide receiver position during the 2018 season. That second-worst mark coupled with Thielen’s hefty usage makes Thielen a strong play for a touchdown on Sunday.

Hunter Henry – TE – $3,900

Per Football Outsiders, the improving Colts defense allowed a league-worst 76 yards per game to the tight end position. Enter Hunter Henry. With the Chargers seemingly poised to play without Melvin Gordon, a healthy Hunter Henry should become a feature target for Phillip Rivers in the scoring area. Last season, Gordon accounted for 18.1% of the Chargers’ receiving targets in the red zone. That usage needs to funnel somewhere.

In 2017, Henry accumulated 12 red zone targets despite only playing 14 games. The 12 targets were second on the Chargers behind Keenan Allen and lest we forget the Chargers seemed extremely content to feature Antonio Gates despite his — oldness.

The Chargers seem ready for life after Antonio Gates. With Melvin Gordon absent this weekend, Hunter Henry could emerge as the top threat for the Chargers in the red zone. The price will adjust soon. Grab these touchdowns before Henry finds himself on our Cut List.

Thanks very much for taking the time to read through this week’s picks. Be sure to tell me who you think will score a touchdown at each position in the comments section below. Also, give me a follow on Twitter to stay updated with the content I contribute to RotoGrinders throughout the football season. I will be back on Tuesday with a recap of Week 1 as well as a leaderboard update. Until then, good luck.

About the Author

  • Joe Cistaro (joeycis)

  • Joe Cistaro has blogged on RotoGrinders since January 2017. He fell in love with daily fantasy sports after winning an NBA single-entry tournament on FanDuel in the fall of 2013. A small-time player, Joe enjoys writing about MLB and NBA DFS while connecting with the RotoGrinders community.


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