Okay family, WE BACK! NFL Week 1 kicks off tonight at 5:40 PM PT as the Texans rock on up to Kansas City. Mahomes. Watson. Thursday Night.

Tonight we welcome back the best sport in the world, along with the best game in the world and the best times in the world. As the Texans get set to host the Chiefs, you’re getting for a totally different battle. You spent all summer researching and mining for value, and now you’re getting ready to face off with Greg from accounting, your new girlfriend’s brother or your boss. I’m here to make sure that come Tuesday morning, you can walk into work or wherever with your head held high as your league gloats over your most recent victory. Here we go.

Start ’em Sit ’em

QUARTERBACKS- START ‘EM

  • Deshaun Watson QB, HOU @ KC: Watson is one of the leagues best QBs. NFL defenses are going into the season raw dawg by eliminating the pre-season. That means defenses will be rusty. Offense should be a little slow too, but I think Watson has enough dawg in him to get over this hump and put up a 30 burger on Thursday night.
  • Cam Newton QB, NE vs. MIA: Give me a Patriots QB at home any week of the year. I don’t care if it’s Brady, Stidham, Newton or Hoyer. Ok, maybe not Hoyer, but Cam should step into this role and dominate like he did in 2015. I think Cam’s debut should reward it’s owners with over 35 points.
  • Dak Prescott QB, DAL @ LAR: Coming into his 4th year as a Dallas Cowboy, Dak has certainly played well in big moments over the recent years and he produced for those who were brave enough to start him. a few dump offs to Zeke, deep ball to Amari Cooper and dink and dunk to CeeDee Lamb should give Dak a solid score Sunday Night.

QUARTERBACKS- SIT ‘EM

  • Kyler Murray QB, AZ @ SF: Kyler Murray is a 2020 MVP hopeful and is an overall great player, but I think this San Fran defense is going to come out and act like it’s a Super Bowl re-match. Kyler Murray is good, but god damn that defense is sweet.
  • Matt Ryan QB, ATL @ SEA: Matty Ice is gonna be looking like Natty Ice on Sunday vs the Seattle Seahawks. Watered down QB stepping into one of the loudest stadiu- Wait that doesn’t matter anymore. Jamal Adams picks off Matt Ryan at least once this week, book it.
  • Tom Brady QB, TB @ NO: Brady is like the 5 star quarterback that transferred from his hometown football team to a prep academy in Florida. He is the new kid on the team with something to prove. Maybe we’re gonna see Brady pull out some old tricks to impress his new team.

RUNNINGBACKS- START ‘EM

  • Austin Ekeler RB LAC @ CIN: The Bengals got gashed by good running backs in 2019, but we have seen them improve on defense a little. I still think Ekeler runs wild vs the Bengals. 100+ yards all purpose and 1.5 TDs.
  • Christian McCaffrey RB CAR VS LVR: No duh, start the top fantasy running back in the game. He should rack them up vs the Raiders and be one of the best fantasy performers of the week. Easy pickings here.
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB KC vs. HOU: The rookie has come into camp and proved why the Chiefs took the kid in the first round. The last time the Chiefs had a rookie running back open the season? Kareem Hunt’s debut where he went over 30 points. I expect 20+ from CEH tonight.

Sleepers: Ronald Jones RB TB @ NO, Joe Mixon RB CIN vs. LAC

RUNNINGBACKS- SIT ‘EM

  • Derrick Henry RB TEN @ DEN: Henry had a monster year in 2019 and was almost meme’d into stardom. He is a huge, physical running back with speed and vision, but he’s earned the respect of NFL defenses and should be seeing 8 in the box from now on. Which should equal tough sledding for him in Denver.
  • Todd Gurley RB ATL @ SEA: Gurley is really going to have to flash the old stuff if he wants to be successful against President Mal and the Seattle defense. Gurley is surrounded by all #1 draft picks but I think he won’t have enough in the tank this week.
  • Nick Chubb RB CLE @ BAL: I’m not completely sold on Nick Chubb. Something about these Georgia running backs not named Herschel Walker seem to flirt with greatness but never really top it. The Browns just extended Kareem Hunt and I can’t imagine they’re paying him to be a backup. Bench Chubb.

WIDE RECEIVERS- START ‘EM

  • De’Andre Hopkins WR AZ @ SF: Arguably the best WR in football, paired up with a MVP dark horse. Fantasy owners could see the K1xDHOP connections flourish on the first play of the game. D-Hop should see 10+ targets and a few red zone looks.
  • Keenan Allen WR LAC @ CIN: Slayer is another Charger that I think is gonna have a huge day. Along with Ekeler, Allen should rack up 75+ yards and a touchdown or two vs. Cincinnati’s defensive backfield. I’m not happy about it, but it is what it is.
  • Michael Thomas WR NO vs. TB: The 3 yard slant king is the GOAT when it comes to short route and PPR. If you’re in a PPR league Thomas should go down as the #1 WR. Brees, Hill or whoever is throwing him the ball should be looking his way early and often. No brainer.

Sleepers: Calvin Ridley WR ATL @ SEA, CeeDee Lamb WR DAL @ LAC, Tyler Boyd WR CIN vs. LAC

WIDE RECEIVERS- SIT ‘EM

  • Mike Evans WR TB @ NO: Evans was a boom or bust WR in 2019. I expect him to level out and be more consistent with Brady, but I think we need a few weeks to see where that consistency is gonna land. To me, Evans should be around 15-20 points a week, but Brady has his boy Gronk, has Godwin and Evans is little banged up. Pass on Mike Evans this week.
  • DeVante Parker WR MIA @ NE: Not a good time to be any WR lining up abasing Patriots top CB Stephon Gilmore, and now I’m sure you’ll break out the tape of the week 17 match up between these two, but let’s be honest. Gilmore wins this match up 7 days a week and 2x on Sunday.
  • Stefon Diggs WR BUF vs NYJ: Another new kid in town. Diggs has been dealing with an injury during training camp and I’m going to assume Diggs and Bills’ QB Josh Allen haven’t spent much time together. I have Diggs on my fantasy team, but he will be riding pine week 1.

TIGHT ENDS- START ‘EM

  • Travis Kelce TE KC vs. HOU: Kelce should come into every week as a Start ’em but Thursday night might just be his Super Bowl sequel. Kelce is going to be a rockstar tonight and Mahomes is gonna want to light it up with his favorite tight end in the world. Rock on, Travis.
  • Darren Waller TE LVR @ CAR: Waller burst onto the scene in 2019 and while he was held back by Check down Derek, Waller still went off and caught a ton of fantasy owners eyes’. Look for Waller to get at least 10 targets and some red zone looks.

TIGHT ENDS- SIT ‘EM

I don’t want to single out 3-4 guys here. Tight end is a tough fantasy position due to scarcity of elite talent, but if you don’t have Kelce, Kittle, Andrews, Henry, Gronk, Waller or Hurst, you’re just going to have to play it by ear and use the waiver wire to help you dominate.

DEFENSE- START ‘EM

  • STEELERS D/ST @ NYG: The Steelers defense should come out and contain Saquon and Daniel Jones. I’ve even got these towel waving dorks to score a touchdown on defense or special teams. Should come out and dominate Monday night.
  • RAVENS v D/ST vs. CLE: The Ravens are going to come out week 1 looking to shit on the Browns during all 3 facets of the game. They should shut down Chubb and contain Baker and maybe go out for some Cheesecake Factory after the W.

DEFENSE- SIT ‘EM

  • CHIEFS D/ST vs. HOU: The Chiefs Super Bowl winning defense is a solid stout defense with Honey Badgers roaming the secondary, but I don’t love them in week 1. Deshaun Watson is a baaaaaaaaaaad man and this NFL week 1 opener could be a high scoring bout between two studs from the 2017 draft class.
  • TEXANS D/ST vs. KC: Which ever defense Patrick Mahomes plays is going to the bench. I don’t care if its the 85′ Bears. If Mahomes is playin’ I’m benchin’.

KICKERS- START ‘EM

  • Justin Tucker K BAL vs. CLE: My fantasy kicker strategy is always to grab a kicker on a high scoring team. The Ravens can sore 5-7 touchdowns and given game and get into FG range at any time. Tucker should reel in 10 points on Sunday and that’s all you need from a kicker.

KICKERS- SIT ‘EM

Steven Gotskowski and Brandon McManus K TEN @ DEN: Weather. Weather. Weather. I don’t love this match up either way and weather really sets me over the edge to avoid these kickers. Hopefully you have some one else rostered.

Perfect Team

Here’s my perfect team. Basically a fantasy line up that I think will score the most points during week 1. No relation to Draft Kings or any daily fantasy app.

QBLamar Jackson vs CLE
RBChristian McCaffrey vs LVR
RBMark Ingram vs CLE
WRDaVante Adams @ MIN
WRDeAndre Hopkins @ SF
TETravis Kelce vs HOU
FLEXAustin Ekeler @ CIN
DSTEELERS D/ST @ NYG
KPRATER vs CHI

NFL Week 1 Gambling Picks

Just a heads up to my readers, I won’t be betting every single pick I give out. Picks in bold are picks I am live on, and underlined picks are a parlay. To get a more accurate reading follow me on twitter @maxfarias27. Any pick I tweet out is a live bet for me. Also, remember to gamble responsibly.

PICKS
TEXANS +9.5 + Over 54
SEAHAWKS -1.5
JETS +6.5
LIONS -3
PACKERS +3
PATRIOTS ML
EAGLES -6
PANTHERS +3
COLTS -8
BROWNS +8
BENGALS +3
BUCS +3.5
CARDINALS +7
COWBOYS -3
GIANTS +5.5
BRONCOS +1.5