Just as the NFL is unveiling the 2021 season, Awesemo’s is also unveiling its new DraftKings NFL Tiers Projections Tool. Using the NFL DFS projections, below is a sneak peek at projected and optimal ownership, which yields the overall leverage over the field for each of the eight tiers. Join Awesemo+ NFL to gain access to all these projections to assist you in making your DraftKings NFL Tiers picks.
Week 1 NFL DFS DraftKings Tiers Projections & Picks
Tier 1 Pick: Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Awesemo Ownership Projection: 20.4%
The Cardinals are 3-point underdogs and have an implied total of 24.5 points on the road against the Titans. This matchup features two high-powered offenses that each added an aging receiver to their potent skill groups. Last year Murray attempted more passes (36.6 passes per game vs. 33.1) and more rushing attempts (nine carries per game vs. 7.6) in games decided by fewer than 7 points, so he not only has a great floor, but he also has one of the highest ceilings among Tier 1 options. Plus, he is facing the lowest-quality defense of the four quarterbacks. Mahomes and Allen lead the ownership projections, at over 36% and 29%, respectively, while Murray projects slightly over 20% and Wilson 14% ownership.
Tier 2 Pick: Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Awesemo Ownership Projection: 19.1%
Tier 2 offers a group of elite workhorses who all project for a massive workload in Week 1. Matchup will be crucial, so Cook is an ideal Tier 2 pick. The Vikings face the Bengals, who were the fourth-worst defense against the run last year and gave up an astonishing 218.7 yards on the ground over their last three games. Cincinnati will get D.J. Reader back healthy this season and have moved Larry Ogunjobi to the 3-technique, but their biggest weakness is at linebacker, where they will rely on Germaine Pratt and Logan Wilson to keep up with Cook and the Vikings run game that produced the fifth-most yards in the NFL last season (over 142 per game). The Vikings are 3-point favorites, predicting a positive game script that should help Cook continue to build off his league-leading 25.4 touches per game in 2020.
Tier 3 Pick: Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
Awesemo Ownership Projection: 2.9%
Tier 3 features a talented group of pass catchers and an elite running back whose usage could depend on game script. Cleveland had the fourth-highest run rate in the NFL last season and will look to establish the run in order to keep Mahomes and the lethal Kansas City offense off the field. Chubb offers the best ownership leverage of this tier and the second-best leverage overall, at 5.2%. Chubb averaged 16.4 carries and 87.7 yards per game while seeing an additional 2.4 targets for 20.6 yards over the last 10 games of 2020. Kansas City’s defense gave up 4.6 yards per carry to running backs, ninth worst in the NFL, and were dead last in receiving yards allowed to opposing backs. Additionally, they were also last in red-zone defense in 2020, an area where despite only seeing 37 touches, Chubb scored 10 touchdowns. The Browns will feed Chubb more in the red zone this season, so this is an advantage he has over the rest of the Tier 3 members.
Tier 4 Pick: DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
Awesemo Ownership Projection: 25.5%
Stacking DeAndre Hopkins with Tier 1 pick Murray is ideal. The Tennessee Titans’ defense allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing receivers in 2020 and this matchup carries the second highest point total of the week at 53.5 points. Hopkins will build off a 2020 season where he finished second in the NFL with 160 targets, resulting in 115 receptions, tied for second among pass catchers. Facing a positive game script in a potential shootout, expect Hopkins to continue to be a vacuum of targets in a pass heavy offense.
Tier 5 Pick: Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Awesemo Ownership Projection: 19.9%
Philadelphia comes into Week 1 with questions surrounding their pass-catching corps but will face an Atlanta Falcons defense that allowed the second-most passing yards in 2020. The Falcons also allowed 26.1 DraftKing points to quarterbacks last season, which was more than any team in the NFL. Jalen Hurts comes off a rookie season where he started the final four games and threw for over 300 yards in half the contests. Additionally, he threw for five touchdowns and added another three on the ground. Given his running ability, he enters Week 1 with a solid floor and an enticing ceiling if some of his speedy options on the outside can take advantage of a weak secondary. In Tier 5, he’s a great DraftKings NFL pick this week.
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