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Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football Week 1 Picks: Top Grades and Values

Geoff Ulrich



DraftKings and FanDuel NFL DFS Picks and value plays for Week 15 lineups, including optimal picks for lineup optimizers, projections & more.

Week 1 of the NFL is here, and Awesemo has a ton of great tools and NFL DFS strategy to help you tackle all the largest contests in DFS. This article will take you through and highlight some of the week’s highest-projected Yahoo NFL picks at each position on the Week 1 main slate, all based on Awesemo’s projections and models. We will also provide insight into ownership projections and provide some other matchup information for optimal Yahoo NFL picks for daily fantasy lineups each week.

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Week 1 has plenty of big contests available on Yahoo, including the 1 Million Dollar NFL Baller. These big contests have a lot of entrants, so we will provide a few ownership projections here to help sort who might be overlooked in large fields on Yahoo this week. For Week 1, there is plenty of value available at wide receiver, so expect high ownership on lots of the stud running backs.

Week 1 Yahoo NFL Picks

Top Graded QB: Josh Allen | Grades: A, Values: B

Allen has the second-highest projected point total among quarterbacks on Yahoo this week, yet he is just the fourth-most expensive. The Bills have the second-highest projected point total this Sunday (27.50) and are favored by over 6 points at most sportsbooks, so there should be plenty of red-zone opportunities for Allen. While he is not as prolific a rusher as Kyler Murray or Lamar Jackson, Allen gets it done in the red zone. Twenty-four of his 102 rush attempts last year were inside the opponent’s 20 (second most on the Bills), and he has scored eight or more touchdowns rushing in each of his first three seasons as starter. Allen will be popular, but he grades as one of the best blends of value and upside for opening week.

Projected Yahoo NFL DFS ownership: 13.1%

Top Value QB: Trevor Lawrence | Grades: C, Values: A

Lawrence has the second-best pure value score on Awesemo this week, and despite being a rookie, he is in a great spot to put up numbers in his debut given the opponent. Houston just finished trading away their best cornerback in Bradley Roby and allowed 7.6 yards per pass attempt to opposing quarterbacks last year, the fourth-worst mark in the league. The Jaguars have some nice weapons in Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault to help Lawrence take advantage of weaker opponents like this, and he is capable running (eight touchdowns rushing in his final year of college). He and his wide receivers make for a good large-field GPP stack in Week 1, as the inexperience in Jacksonville will likely keep ownership extremely low.

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Projected Yahoo NFL DFS ownership: 5.6%

Top Graded RB: Derrick Henry | Grades: A, Values: C

Henry and the rest of the Titans will be taking on the Cardinals this week, a team that ranked second in of pace in 2020. This should be a fast-paced matchup, and it has the second-highest over/under on the slate. In the first three games of last season Henry averaged just under 28 rush attempts per game, and he is a great leverage play given that he has the second-highest projected point total at running back but projects to have under 6% ownership on Yahoo.

Projected Yahoo NFL DFS ownership: 5.6%

Top Value RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire | Grades: B, Values: A

The Chiefs got some good news recently when they announced that Edwards-Helaire will likely be available for this Sunday after spraining his ankle on Aug. 20. That is great for Yahoo daily fantasy users, as Edwards-Helaire looks criminally underpriced at just $18. To put things in perspective, Edwards-Helaire is again projected to be the lead back for the Chiefs and perhaps even take a bigger workload in the pass game, all for a Chiefs team that has the largest implied team total of Week 1 (30.25). Expect lots of red zone opportunities, and for a player who is $5 to $10 cheaper than he should be, he is an excellent Yahoo pick this week.

Projected Yahoo NFL DFS ownership: 16.2%

Top Graded WR: Calvin Ridley | Grades: A, Values: C

Ridley has the largest projected point total among receivers and only rates as the fifth-most expensive player at his position ($30). The Eagles and Falcons were top 10 in pace last season, and the Eagles secondary is one of the thinnest in the league. Atlanta was fourth in pass attempts per game last year, and with a running back duo of Mike Davis and Wayne Gallman, that rate seems unlikely to change much in 2021. Ridley is in a monster spot here and rates as the best value among the top wide receivers.

Projected Yahoo NFL DFS ownership: 16.0%

Top Value WR: Laviska Shenault | Grades: B, Values: A

Shenault has just a $15 price tag on Yahoo. He caught 10 passes from Lawrence in preseason and may be poised to vault up the depth chart in Jacksonville in 2021. His greatest appeal in Week 1, though, is the matchup with the Texans. Houston was 28th in yards per attempt allowed last season and gave up the second-most touchdowns to the wide receiver position. Shenault has the highest points projection and value score of anyone priced $15 or more on Yahoo this week, and he looks like a great tournament target at sub-5% projected ownership.

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Projected Yahoo NFL DFS ownership: 2.3%

Top Graded TE: George Kittle | Grades: A, Values: D

Kittle has a great matchup against the Lions, as they were near the bottom in almost every defensive passing metric last season. San Francisco also has the sixth-largest implied team total on the slate, and Kittle is one of only two tight ends on Awesemo to have a projection of 12 or more fantasy points on Yahoo this week. Despite an injury-plagued 2020, Kittle is one of the most elite after-catch weapons in the game, and his 13.2 yards per catch last season was the second best of his career. While he cannot compete with the volume Travis Kelce sees in Kansas City, the elite matchup and the fact that he is $8 cheaper makes him a great target for those looking to save a little cash but not fully punt on the position.

Projected Yahoo NFL DFS ownership: 13.6%

Top Value TE: Mike Gesicki | Grades: C, Values: B

Gesicki is in an interesting spot for Week 1. The matchup against New England does not look great on paper, as they project to be an above-average defense and ranked in the bottom half of the league in pace last year. Still, Gesicki’s $12 price tag makes him just the 20th-most expensive tight end on the slate and behind C.J. Uzomah and Eric Ebron. Gesicki was the seventh tight end in PPR scoring last year and averaged eight targets per game in his last four games of 2020. He has the highest value score on Awesemo this week, of any tight end on Yahoo and makes for a great pay-down option, as he is expected to have minimal to no ownership.

Projected Yahoo NFL DFS ownership: 0.2%

Thanks for reading to the end of this article! If you appreciate this free content and want to see more of it every day, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media! Take a look at our NFL depth chart list, NFL starting line-ups and inactive player list. View our FanDuel DFS NFL rankings and our DraftKings NFL ownership rankings. We also have NFL DFS single-game projections and NFL DFS single-game ownership projections. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS strategy for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, DFS NFL rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking.

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