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NFL DFS Picks: Saquon Barkley & Aaron Jones Top Value Plays at Running Back in Week 1 (Sunday, September 11)

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NFL DFS Picks: Saquon Barkley & Aaron Jones Top Value Running Backs Week 1 (Sunday, September 11)

Opening weekend of the NFL offers tremendous opportunities as bettors enthusiastically recommit their Sundays football. Those who have been studying throughout the offseason will benefit by finding value available on our opening slate. The same is true with daily fantasy players when making their Week 1 NFL DFS picks.

Using Stokastic’s NFL DFS projections we analyze the best point-per-dollar plays while using the projected ownership to understand the leverage of these plays. 

Week 1 NFL DFS Picks & Value Plays

DraftKings Quarterback: Daniel Jones – $5,000

Jones and Jameis Winston filled out the top three value plays on DraftKings at the position, alongside our upcoming selection. Preferring Jones here comes down to not being able to justify spending an additional $300 for a favorite in a contest featuring a lower point total. The New York Giants will face off with the Tennessee Titans in a game carrying a total of 43.5 favoring the home Titans by 5.5 points. Tennessee allowed the eighth-most passing yards per game (261.5) last season and Brian Daboll is the man to exploit that vulnerability in his first experience as head football coach. Daniel Jones was highlighted as a sleeper quarterback and gets a tremendous opportunity to prove that in Week 1. 

FanDuel Quarterback: Jalen Hurts – $8,000

Hurts enters Week 1 as the top value play on both sites. His salary on DraftKings ($6,800) is less prohibitive to lineup creation, but receiving more ownership than any of his counterparts proves there’s plenty of flexibility in that regard. The matchup is fantastic as Detroit presents a team capable of scoring on their own yet incapable of stopping their opponents from doing the same. Ranking second in defensive scoring in 2021 (27.5 points per game) and last in 2020 (32.4 ppg) proves this defense has its fair share of weaknesses. Philadelphia has raved about Hurts’ growth throwing the football and will waste no time revealing their newest weapon, A.J. Brown

DraftKings Running Back: Saquon Barkley – $6,100

Last season certainly didn’t pan out as Barkley anticipated but improvements to the offensive line and a needed coaching change bring new light to the organization and new life to the second half of the former Penn State running back’s career. Stacking him with Daniel Jones could be the key to winning lineups on this platform while helping alleviate some of the ownership concerns that may come with Barkley at 22.6%. Besides the massive salary savings that come with this stack, the points-per-dollar possibility is legitimate. The Giants’ bell-cow back holds more value (2.78) than anyone else at the position. While the Titans’ defense led the NFL in rushing yards allowed (83.5) last season, they did allow 4.6 receptions to the position and Barkley has proved to be more than capable in the passing game. 

FanDuel Running Back: Aaron Jones – $7,400

Questions surrounding the Green Bay Packers offense often revolve around where Davante Adams’ targets will go. One forgotten challenger for these unaccounted targets is their lead running back who is coming off three straight seasons of 63 or more targets. This total realistically has the chance to reach triple digits this season, but could safely be projected above 80 after seeing a target share of 12.9% last season. Coupling his extraordinary pass-catching ability with an impressive one-cut running style, the former El Paso Miner has totaled 53 touchdowns already through his first five seasons. Minnesota’s defense was exposed by running backs to 22.1 FanDuel points per game, 10th worst in the league and Jones has proved to be an issue for them in the past. He missed two opportunities to punish the divisional rival in 2021 and 2020, but looking back at the 2019 season, Jones produced 53 fantasy points in two games against the Vikings. 


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DraftKings Wide Receiver: Michael Pittman Jr. – $5,500

While this position offers tons of value and there were two that would’ve made a Giants trifecta stack, the Indianapolis Colts breakout receiver was too good to pass up. His salary is far too low given the offseason hype and heavily discussed connection with Matt Ryan. With the first capable quarterback of his career, the Colts’ offense is expected to be more balanced than we’ve seen in the previous three seasons. Capitalizing on one of the safest matchups of Week 1, while avoiding the expensive price tag of Jonathan Taylor could be the solution to winning a tournament this opening weekend. Expect Pittman Jr. to command an elite target share this season and with his field-stretching ability (12.4 yards per reception over his career), the upside of boom games is unavoidable. 

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