NFL DFS Week in Review – Ownership, GPP Winning Lineups


The Week 1 main slate is officially in the books, and it was an interesting one. We got some things very right as a community, but also some things very wrong.



Let’s dive into some of the biggest winners and losers from the Week 1 main slate and some of the winning tournament lineups on FanDuel and DraftKings.


Chiefs stacks

As much as some things change, some things stay the same. The Chiefs’ three-headed monster of Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were among the most sought-after assets in fantasy leagues this season, and they did not disappoint in Week 1. Mahomes racked up 36.28 DraftKings points, Hill had 40.1, and Kelce had 25.6, giving the trio a combined 101.98 DKFP. Only Kelce had greater than 10% ownership in the NFL $5M Fantasy Football Millionaire, so this trio flew a bit under-the-radar as well.

Overall, just 1.9% of the field rostered all three players in the DraftKings NFL $2.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire. I don’t imagine you’ll be able to get the stack at such minimal ownership next week.

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers were in a smash spot vs. the Lions, and the team responded with a whopping 41 points scored. Unfortunately, most of the field gravitated towards running back Raheem Mostert in that contest, who ultimately left with an injury.

Samuel was also being drafted behind Brandon Aiyuk this offseason, but Aiyuk didn’t see a single target in this contest. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters after the game that a hamstring injury and the emergence of Trent Sherfield combined to keep Aiyuk off the field, and Samuel took full advantage. He finished with 35.9 DKFP thanks to nine catches, 189 yards and a touchdown, and he did it at an average ownership of approximately 2.75% across DraftKings’ tournaments.

Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and those who rostered Gordon were definitely lucky. He was on his way to a pedestrian day before ripping off a 70-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter vs. the Giants. That brought his stat line to 101 rushing yards for the day — just barely qualifying him for the bonus on DraftKings — to go along with one touchdown, three receptions and 17 receiving yards. His ownership was even slimmer than Samuel’s, so he was a true difference-maker.


Falcons Stacks

Woof. What a disappointing performance for the Falcons, who managed just six points against what was supposed to be a subpar Eagles defense. Kyle Pitts was the highest-owned player on the slate on DraftKings, but he finished with just 7.1 DKFP. Calvin Ridley was also extremely popular — he was the highest-owned stud player at the position — and he stumbled to just 10.1 DKFP. Those numbers weren’t killers, but they certainly prevented you from winning anything of real significance.

Overall, the three-man combination of Matt Ryan, Pitts and Ridley was the fourth-highest owned stack on the slate, and the two pass-catchers without Ryan were the seventh-most popular. 

James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars in general were pretty disappointing on Sunday. They lost to a Texans squad that was a massive favorite to finish with the worst record in the league, and Robinson struggled to get anything going. The positive note is that he did see six targets, and his receiving ability should keep him relevant all season. That said, he was out-carried nine to six by Carlos Hyde, who ultimately finished with more scrimmage yards. There will hopefully be better games for Robinson in the future, but Hyde could be a consistent thorn in his side.

Value Wide Receivers

Marquez Callaway and Elijah Moore were both priced at $3,400 or less on DraftKings, and DFS players unsurprisingly flocked to them. Both players were expected to see big roles for their teams given the current injury situations in New Orleans and New York.

Unfortunately, Callaway just wasn’t really needed vs. the Packers. Jameis Winston only needed to throw 20 passes in a comfortable victory, and Callaway saw just two of them. He only secured one catch for 12 yards, which was a killer for the highest-owned receiver on the slate. He also failed to catch any of Winston’s five touchdown passes.

Moore’s problems were self-inflicted. Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson struggled to get into a rhythm in the first half, and his best throw was ultimately dropped by Moore. By the time Wilson got comfortable in the second half, Moore was an afterthought. Corey Davis caught both of the Jets’ touchdowns, and his seven targets were four more than Moore saw.

Marvin Jones did provide some value in this price range thanks to a garbage-time touchdown, but overall, it was a tough day for the cheap receivers.

Winning Lineups

DraftKings $5M Fantasy Football Millionaire

This team actually used a cheap three-man Bengals stack with Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon and Tee Higgins, which allowed them to fit Kelce and Hill pretty easily. They also avoided most of the punt plays at receiver — Jones Jr. was the exception — which allowed them to use two mid-range options in Gordon and Samuel. Finally, the Cardinals defense was fantastic at just $2,100 and 1.3% ownership thanks to five sacks from Chandler Jones.

DraftKings $2.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire

This contest featured a larger entry and a smaller field than the other Milly Maker on DraftKings, so perfection wasn’t required. This lineup was able to win even with the subpar Callaway performance thanks to the Chiefs’ triple stack, Davis, Gordon and Mixon.

One interesting thing of note with these winning lineups is that neither featured one of the stud running backs. Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook had combined ownership of nearly 66% across DraftKings’ tournaments, and while none of those players busted, it forced you into a lineup construction without Hill and Kelce.

(Join this FREE contest at DraftKings Sportsbook to earn your share of $20,000.)

That’s just one example of how being contrarian doesn’t necessarily mean fading the best plays. It can also mean fading a particular type of lineup construction, and those who avoided the top tier at running back were rewarded this week.

FanDuel $3.5M NFL Sunday Million

T.J. Hockenson makes an appearance instead of Kelce in the winning lineup in this contest, as does D’Andre Swift. Both players could be extremely busy for the Lions this season, particularly if the team plays in a ton of blowouts. The rest of the lineup is composed of the other big winners on today’s slate — Mahomes, Mixon, Hill, Samuel and Davis — as well as Stefon Diggs.

FanDuel $3M Sunday NFL Juggernaut

This lineup is probably the most unique of our four million-dollar winners on Sunday. They went with Kyler Murray at quarterback, who actually outscored Mahomes at a cheaper price tag, and stacked him up with DeAndre Hopkins. They also went with a mini game-stack for Chiefs-Browns, featuring Kelce and Nick Chubb. Finally, Brandin Cooks and Sterling Shepard both put together strong performances at minimal ownership, which allowed the team to survive a subpar performance from Robinson.

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