FanDuel GPP Picks for Week 1

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Big Picture Analysis

Favorite Games of the Week:
Seahawks at Falcons
Raiders at Panthers
Bears at Lions
Cardinals at 49ers

Additional Favorite Spots of the Week:
Eagles (at Washington)
Ravens (at home vs. Browns)
Chargers (at Bengals)
Patriots (at home vs. Dolphins)
Colts (at Jaguars)
Bills (at home vs. Jets)

Quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Cardinals $7,400
Jimmy G is a tourney kind of QB because he’s definitely hit or miss but when he hits you’ll likely have him at a low roster percentage thanks to others being afraid to embrace the volatility in tournaments. Yet, that’s what we want to do and this game has a chance to be outstanding. I’m completely bought into Kilff and Kyler in year two in Arizona and they already played the 49ers tough twice last season. This is no guaranteed win for the 49ers by any means and either way, Garoppolo projects to be throwing more in this one than we saw at the end of last season.

The matchup is fantastic as he gets a Cardinals defense that ranked 31st in passing yards allowed, 27th in pass DVOA, 32nd in yards allowed, and 28th in points allowed last season. Don’t expect many to roster Jimmy G despite the fact he ranked 10th in pass TDs per game (1.7) last season. If Garoppolo does have a great game, hindsight bias analysis will be his lack of weapons made things murky but let’s not forget Kyle Shanahan has the ability to scheme anyone open and George Kittle, Kendrick Bourne, first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk, the running backs, and others aren’t exactly a group of scrubs.

Cam Newton vs. Dolphins $7,300
Most of our competition will want to see it before they believe it so I expect Cam’s roster percentage to be low. Yet, winning tournaments is all about getting out in front of the crowd and being onto something before everyone else. I can’t think of a better Week 1 example than investing in Cam. Let’s not forget, Newton was Lamar Jackson before Lamar Jackson. Cam has five of the 15 highest QB rushing yards seasons over the past decade, by all accounts is healthy, was just named a Captain of the Patriots, and gets to play for the best offensive coaching duo in football, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels.

Miami actually significantly upgraded their defense this season but Cam and the Patriots get to open at home and there is no chance the Dolphins are prepared for whatever Belichick, McDaniels, and Cam have in store for them right out of the gate. My money is on Belichick forming a rushing-centric and downfield passing offense that elevates and plays to Newton’s strengths. If so, this will likely elevate our tourney lineup upside chances as well.

Tyrod Taylor vs. Bengals $7,000
Like Cam Newton, Tyrod also offers rushing and downfield passing upside. He has a great matchup against a Bengals defense that ranked 21st in passing yards allowed, 28th in pass DVOA, 29th in yards allowed, and 25th in points allowed last season. And with Joe Burrow likely bringing upside to the Bengals offense, that could put more pressure on Tyrod to perform, increasing his upside in a favorable matchup.

Matthew Stafford vs. Bears $7,300
I really like this sneaky spot for Stafford, who was lighting the league up last season prior to his injury. In Stafford’s eight games, he ranked second in passing yards per game (312.4) and second in pass TDs per game (2.4). I like being able to grab Stafford at a lower roster percentage in this one, especially since he gets to play at home in the dome. The Bears defense appears imposing yet studying their personnel, this is a secondary with few playmakers outside of Safety Eddie Jackson. If the Lions offensive line which recently was ranked 16th by Pro Football Focus can neutralize the Bears pass rush, Stafford and his plethora of weapons should be able to attack early and often.

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