Stevie's NFL Week 1 QBs & RBs to Target
It’s back! Week one of NFL is finally here, and I’m glad to be back with the quarterback and running back breakdown for 2019. Each week I will highlight some of my favorite cash game and tournament options. I’ll be writing this earlier in the week, so make sure to follow the news, and check the weather before lineup lock.
Cash Game Targets
Nick Foles vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Foles will be making his first regular-season start with his new team and faces the high-powered Kansas City offense. I hate looking at 2018 stats too much, but we need somewhere to start for week one. The Chiefs allowed 272 passing yards and an average of 1.78 passing touchdowns per game in 2018. With the price point on Foles, he’s a solid cheaper cash game option. I don’t ever hate paying up for a quarterback in Week 1, but I also think the value guys are the way to attack this slate. The Jaguars have a 24-point implied team total, which also gives Foles a really nice floor in this matchup.
Kyler Murray vs. Detroit Lions
We have no idea what to expect from Murray in his first regular-season game, but we know he is cheap. Like I said above, I really like the idea of playing cheaper quarterbacks in cash games. He gets the benefit of making his first start at home and he has really good options surrounding him. While the Lions ranked 13th in DVOA against the run, they ranked 31st in DVOA against the pass. At Oklahoma in 2018, Murray threw for 4361 yards and was very efficient with 42 touchdowns and only seven picks. I’m still on the fence about Murray, but I’ll take my shot at this price point.
Jimmy Garoppolo @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is my favorite game on the weekend, and I’d expect it to be the favorite game for a lot of people. I’m hoping Winston is the higher owned quarterback in this game. Tampa ranked 30th in DVOA against the pass in 2018, and they allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Garoppolo is coming off an injury again but looked really good in his final preseason outing. With this matchup, I’m willing to roll the dice on Garoppolo, and if he is 100%, there is a ton of upside here.
Russell Wilson vs. Cincinnati Bengals
This is a game I could see being a sneaky shootout, and I’m just hoping the Bengals can keep up with the Seahawks, so we get four quarters of back-and-forth scoring. The Bengals allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2018. They allowed an average of 2.0 passing touchdowns and 272 passing yards per game. Seattle is a 10-point home favorite and they have a 27 implied-team total. I like Wilson and Carson a lot in this one, and again, I hope it stays close because of the massive upside.
Cash Game Targets
Dalvin Cook vs. Atlanta Falcons
I’d expect Cook to be one of the highest owned running backs this weekend. I’m not too concerned with that in cash games, and I think he’s a really high floor option in this matchup. Atlanta allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs in 2018. They allowed a league-high 7.63 catches per game to opposing running backs. This is the second straight season they’ve struggled with pass-catching backs. With Cook back to 100%, he’s a duel threat out of the back field, and it’s a great spot to target him at this price.
Mark Ingram @ Miami Dolphins
I like to target running backs at home in cash games, but the Ravens are 6.5 road favorites against the Dolphins. The Dolphins are in full rebuild mode and will be a team I’m picking on all season. Ingram will be making his first start with his new team but looks to be in a role to get a majority of the work in this game. Plus, the Dolphins allowed 115.19 rushing yards per game and an average of .94 rushing touchdowns per game. I like the Ingram/Baltimore defense stack, and I think Ingram has a nice floor for cash games.
Leonard Fournette vs. Kansas City Chiefs
As much as I like Foles, I think Fournette has some really solid upside in this matchup. The Chiefs ranked 32nd in DVOA against the run and allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs last season. Fournette is always someone we worry about injuries with, and he only played eight games last season. When he returned from injury in week ten, he was a top seven running back in three straight games. When healthy he has the upside to be a top-five running back.
Chris Carson vs. Cincinnati Bengals
I mentioned Wilson above, but that’s not going to stop me from playing Carson and potentially stacking them. Carson was 27th among running backs in snap share in 2018, and despite that, he finished fifth in rushing yards. He was also seventh in red-zone touches among running backs. If he gets a higher snap share, he could be in for a massive season, and I’m planning on jumping on it before everyone else. Carson was a top-six running back in three straight games to finish the 2018 regular season.