The first week of the 2019 NFL season is in the books.
Here’s hoping you earned a W in the first matchup of your season-long league. If you’re riding high and looking to take part in as much fantasy football as possible, there’s no better way than to take a shot at building the perfect daily lineup.
If you’re in the market for any tips on creating said roster, check out our “optimal lineup” for DraftKings’ Sunday slate (early and late afternoon games), which allots a $50,000 budget for nine players.
Quarterback: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers ($6,100)
Rivers looked sharp in Week 1, completing 25 of 34 passes for 333 yards with three touchdowns in an overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts. The Chargers quarterback faces a favorable matchup in Week 2 against a Detroit Lions team that just allowed Kyler Murray to throw for over 300 yards in his first professional game. After coming out on top by the skin of their teeth to start the season, the Bolts surely will be looking to make a statement in Week 2.
Running Backs: Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints ($8,200); Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans ($6,000)
We probably don’t need to sell you on Kamara. The Saints’ ultra-versatile running back might be the most difficult player to tackle in the league. Kamara had over half as many catches (seven) as he did carries (13) in Week 1 and racked up 169 all-purpose yards. The Los Angeles Rams struggled to contain Christian McCaffrey (19 carries for 128 yards with two touchdowns; 10 catches for 81 yards) last week, and they’re bound to face similar problems with Kamara.
Henry lit it up in the Titans’ season opener. He made his lone reception count, coasting 75 yards for a score. The bruising back also racked up 84 rushing yards against the Cleveland Browns, who feature a fairly stout front seven. The Colts let the Chargers run all over them in Week 1, so Henry could be in store for another big afternoon when these two AFC South squads collide.
Wide Receivers: Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys ($7,400); Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams ($6,400); Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders ($4,400)
Dak Prescott and Cooper picked up right where they left off, as the star wideout corraled six catches for 106 yards with a touchdown in Week 1. He’ll now go up against the Washington Redskins, who blew a three-score lead against the Philadelphia Eagles largely due to their inability to prevent chunk plays (51- and 53-yard touchdown receptions by DeSean Jackson). Cooper is a big-play machine, so he should go off against Washington.
As good as the Saints are on offense, their defense can be awfully porous at times. Deshaun Watson threw all over the field in the first “Monday Night Football” contest of the season, and Jared Goff should be able to follow suit in Week 2. Woods was Goff’s favorite target in the Rams’ season opener, grabbing eight catches for 70 yards.
No Antonio Brown? No problem. Williams now sits atop the Raiders’ wide receiver depth chart, and his performance in Week 1 — six catches for 105 yards with a touchdown — lived up to the billing. Oakland likely won’t claim victory Sunday, but Williams is in line for a nice afternoon going up against a weak Kansas City Chiefs secondary.
Tight End: Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens ($3,800)
Lamar Jackson and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown received all the attention following the Ravens’ destruction of the Miami Dolphins, but Andrews put together one heck of a game as well. The second-year tight end snagged eight catches for 108 yards with a touchdown. He’ll now go up against a Cardinals defense that allowed rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson to collect six catches for 131 yards with a score in his first NFL. Giving Andrews the nod kind of seems like a no-brainer, right?
Flex: Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins ($3,900)
Unfortunate news out of the nation’s capital, as Derrius Guice reportedly could miss four to six weeks with a knee issue. In turn, Adrian Peterson will be the Redskins’ starting running back in Week 2 against the Cowboys. The 34-year-old back was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and is a complete non-factor in the passing game. Thompson, meanwhile, is a dual-threat and is coming off a seven-catch performance against the Eagles. Washington could lean on Thompson this Sunday, especially given its mediocre collection of wide receivers.
Defense: New England Patriots ($3,700)
This is about as obvious as it gets. The Patriots limited Ben Roethlisberger and the high-powered Steelers to three points in Week 1. The Dolphins nearly lost by 50 points in their season opener and turned the ball over three times. Need we say more?