Tampa Bay Times

Each Thursday, FindBet will preview the DFS slate, highlighting players that are priced well on FanDuel as well as some contrarian plays that can push your team to the top of the leader board.

Most NFL Fanduel games have you putting a team together with players from a certain slate of games. It could be just Sunday 1:00 pm games or it could be every game that is slated for the week. Once the last game that has eligible players is over, the final payouts are made according to how many fantasy points each team scored. Each player is worth a certain dollar amount, and you have a cap of $60,000 to build your team with. You have to have 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB, WR, or TE) and 1 DEF.

The general scoring rules include (6) points for each rushing and receiving touchdown, (4) points for each passing touchdown, (0.1) points for each rushing and receiving yard gained, (0.04) points for each passing yard, and also (0.5) points for each reception. There are other scoring opportunities for defenses. You can see the entire breakdown on FanDuel. Let's dive into players we like and players we advise to avoid in Week 1.

Jonathan Taylor is a great underdog option this week.AP Sports

Players to Target

Patrick Mahomes QB - $9300

I don't mind spending up on Mahomes this week as the TNF showdown with Houston should be a high scoring affair. When paying up for Mahomes you are going to have to go cheap somewhere else in your lineup though to make up for his high price.

Ben Roethlisberger QB - $7800

Roethlisberger has a great match up this week with the Giants on Monday night. I think you can almost get the same production out of Big Ben that you can get from Mahomes this week. The Giants defense is slated to be one of the worst in the league this year and the Steelers won't want to run Connor into the ground in Week 1.

Josh Allen QB - $7900

Allen gets a Jets defense minus CJ Mosley and Jamal Adams, arguably their two best play makers. Allen has top 5 potential this week, especially if he can add a TD on the ground.

Philip Rivers QB - $7200

Most people view Rivers as a game manager more than the gunslinger he was in LA. He has an elite offensive line and is going against a Jacksonville defense that is a shell of its former self.

Austin Ekeler RB - $7700

I think the Chargers are going to move more towards the running game becoming the central part of their offense. I like the Ekeler's match up against the Bengals this week.

Clyde Edwards Heliare RB - $7200

Heliare is priced nicely this week. I expect his price to go up even more as the season goes on, so a potential shootout with Houston is a good time to take advantage of this price tag.

Jonathan Taylor RB - $5300

Taylor may not get the start this week against Jacksonville, but game script will allow him to get plenty of work in the 3rd and 4th quarters in a game that Indianapolis should be up big by halftime.

Jonathan Williams RB - $4800

A real boom or bust pick this week, Williams looks he is going to get the nod over Devine Ozighbo to lead Jacksonville's backfield, at least for Week 1. He's going to need to find the end zone once or twice to make this pick worth it, but if you have spent up at other positions, he's a good lower priced option with high upside.

JuJu Smith-Schuster WR - $7100

As I talked about with Heliare, Smith-Schuster's price is only going to go up as the season goes on. He's got a great match up against the Giants this week.

Stefon Diggs WR - $6600

Diggs is going up against a weak Jets defense, and I have a feeling the Bills are going to want to show off their new WR and will get him involved early and often in this weeks game script.

TY Hilton WR - $6500

Hilton is priced decently this week, and gets a bottom 5 defense in Jacksonville. He's a great mid tier option when building your lineup this week.

Emmanuel Sanders WR - $5400

Sanders could be in for a nice day in what looks like it will be an offensive shootout with the Bucs. At $5400, Sanders looks like a steal this week. I have him in lots of my lineups.

George Kittle TE - $8000

Another player where I feel like it is going to be OK to pay up this week is Kittle. He is almost match up proof and will be one of the main targets for Garoppollo this week with all the questions the 49ers have at wide receiver.

Jared Cook TE - $5900

Cook gets the nod because of the high scoring potential the Saints-Bucs match up has this week. Drew Brees will be spreading the ball around this week.

Blake Jarwin TE - $5300

Jarwin looks like a decent play this week if you are trying to save money to spend in other spots of your lineup. The Rams-Cowboys game could have the potential to be a shootout.

Eric Ebron TE - $5000

Ebron is decent play for the same reason as Jarwin, Bad defense, with good QB play. He is a fine play if you want to save money at the TE position this week.

Buffalo Bills DEF - $4700

The Bills get a Jets offense that has looked awful this summer. They should eat this week.

Tennessee Titans DEF - $4000

The Titans landed Jadeveon Clowney earlier this week and added a top tier pass rusher to an already formidable unit. They get Denver this week, and could force Drew Lock into some bad decisions. You can do worse with other defenses this week.

Detroit Lions DEF - $3700

The Lions are a dark horse this week to score some points against a turnover prone Bears offense. Trubisky is starting for the Bears and he is always good for a turnover or two.

Indianapolis Colts DEF - $3700

The Colts are a great play this week against the Jaguars, especially at this price. I am targeting them on a lot of my teams and putting that money in other places on my team.

Matt Ryan is a fade this week going against an improved Seattle Defense.atlantafalcons.com

Players to Avoid:

Drew Brees QB - $8100

Drew Brees is going to be a nice play in regular leagues this week, but his price is too high for my liking. For that reason I am fading him this week.

Matt Ryan QB - $7800

Ryan has a high price and is facing a much improved Seattle Defense. I'll pass this week.

Kyler Murray QB - $7700

Like Ryan, Murray is high priced and facing an elite defense in the 49ers. You can do worse at QB, but he is a risky play this week.

Carson Wentz QB - $7700

Wentz is down two starting offensive lineman and facing a formidable Washington defensive line, he isn't going to have much time with that pass rush.

Christian McCaffrey RB - $10000

McCaffrey is elite, but also is the most expensive player in FanDuel this week. The Raiders aren't a very good defense, but he is not going to produce enough points to justify that price point.

Dalvin Cook RB - $8700

Cook held out all training camp and is slated to play Week 1. He'll most likely be on a snap count and may take a game or two to get into shape. Not a risk I am willing to take at that price.

Todd Gurley RB - $7100

Too many unknowns with Gurley's usage going into the season. Pair that with a tough Seattle D and I am fading him this week.

Kenyan Drake RB - $6600

Drake was electric last year, but the 49ers defense is suffocating and game script my force the Cardinals into passing more as the game progresses.

Davante Adams WR - $8000

I just don't see Adams producing and elite stat line this week against Minnesota. He's a fade for me but will be worth that price in spots down the road.

Keenan Allen WR - $7000

Allen will not see the pass volume to justify this price. Tyrod Taylor has been a check down QB his entire career, and unless Allen breaks a quick pass for a long score, he won't be very playable this year.

Terry McLaurin WR - $6500

McLaurin is most likely going to see a healthy dose of Darius Slay this week. That's enough for me to stay away.

Jamison Crowder WR - $6000

Crowder is about the only WR you may be able to get production from this year on the Jets. He has a tough match up with the Bills this week.

Evan Engram TE - $6300

Engram is going to have a good year, he'll finish as a top 5 TE scoring wise, but a match up with an elite Steelers defense is not a smart play this week.

Hunter Henry TE - $6000

Henry may see a garbage score this week on a goal line gadget play, but we need to see Tyrod in this offense a little bit before we justify spending up on Henry.

Austin Hooper TE - $5700

Hooper going up against an elite Raven defense is hard pass for me. He'll have startable weeks, but not in Week 1.

Hayden Hurst TE - $5300

I think Hurst has a great chance to be a top 10 TE this year. But a Seattle Defense that added Jamal Adams is enough for me to fade him this week.

Kansas City Chiefs DEF - $4200

TNF is going to be a shootout, not a good week for the Chiefs Defense.

New Orleans Saints DEF - $4100

Another shootout possibility with the Bucs this week has me fading the New Orleans Defense.

New England Patriots DEF - $4600

The Patriots get the Dolphins, but at $4600, there is too much assuming going on right now for me to be comfortable starting them. They lost 3 starters due to COVID opt outs, so I need to see a week or two before I start them in DFS

New York Jets DEF - $3900

The Jets are down Jamal Adams and CJ Mosley, going against a much improved Bills offense. No thanks.

FindBet Free Play for Week 1:

Here's a team you can put right into any of your contests, just remember to buy us a beer when you win big!

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File:Justin Herbert (51459803577) (cropped).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

It's another eventful week in the NFL.

Four teams -- the Jets, Falcons, Saints, and 49ers -- are the first teams to get a bye week. After Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers narrowly escaped Thursday Night Football with a 28-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the reigning Super Bowl champs are the first team with five wins in the league. Who will join them on Sunday? We know that we'll get at least a second five-win team since the 4-1 Ravens are hosting the 4-1 Chargers. That is going to be an epic battle, so let's start with that clash of AFC contenders. Welcome to our Week 6 NFL Best Bets.

Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5) at Baltimore Ravens

Playing on the road is a difficult task for any team, but if any team can escape with a victory, it's Justin Herbert and the Chargers. This isn't the Chargers of the last decade. This team is winning the close battles. Herbert is playing at an MVP level this season and already has led this team to big-time wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns -- two of the top teams in the AFC. This L.A. team is deep at the skill positions, can rush the passer, has an improved offensive line and a great young coach. What's not to like?

All that said, Lamar Jackson seems to be playing as he did during his 2019 MVP campaign. Not to mention, Marquise "Hollywood" Brown is actually catching passes. He eclipsed 100 yards last week and scored two touchdowns (including the game-winning catch in overtime). Simply put, this is a tough team to bet against. It did take last-second heroics for the Ravens to beat the winless Lions and a pretty pedestrian Colts team. Overall, Baltimore hasn't faced a test like this yet this season. Take the points and the better overall squad. Chargers may win this game, but if they don't, they are not going to lose by more than a field goal.

PICK: Chargers +3.5

Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) at Washington Football Team

It's been a tough start to the season for the Chiefs. They had great odds to return to the Super Bowl and are now last in the AFC West heading into Week 16 with a 2-3 record. They desperately need this game. This is a great opportunity for the Chiefs to prove they are still elite by defeating a team that made the postseason last year on the road. The Chiefs are going to turn it around against a Washington defense that is allowing the sixth-most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns this season. Patrick Mahomes is going to blow up. Tyreek Hill is going to dominate. Travis Kelce is going to continue to provide a steady source of receptions down the middle of the field. As long as the Chiefs' offensive line holds against Chase Young, it's going to be a long day for Washington's defense. Betting on Mahomes to right the ship isn't a really difficult choice.

PICK: Chiefs -6.5

Houston Texans (+9) at Indianapolis Colts

Yes, the Texans are one of the worst teams in the league. Betting on them on the road against a divisional rival might seem crazy at first. However, the Texans are 7-3 against the spread as underdogs in their last 10 games. Plus, the Colts are emotional after completely giving away the game against the Ravens in which they blew a 22-3 lead late in the game. This is going to cause a bit of a hangover in that locker room. When New England suffered a terrible loss against Tom Brady and the Bucs, the Texans managed to cover the spread the following week. Look for history to repeat itself. Texans coach David Culley has Houston playing hard in spite of its lack of talent and quarterback Davis Mills appeared to take a step forward last week against the Pats. Houston has played pretty good pass defense, too. The Texans have allowed only seven passing TDs this season.

PICK: Texans +9

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5)

Sunday night will be an interesting matchup to watch as Geno Smith will make his first start in four years as the Seahawks travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. I hate betting on Ben Roethlisberger, but it's hard to envision the Seahawks covering the spread without the services of Russell Wilson. And as much as I think Big Ben should hang up his cleats, you have to give him credit for the way he dominated a solid Broncos defense last week. Roethlisberger looked better than he did earlier in the season and was able to get the ball to his playmakers -- Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and running back Najee Harris. Seattle's defense is one of the worst in the league and their secondary is even worse than their front seven. Look for the Steelers to light up Seattle in the passing game.

PICK: Steelers -5

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns OVER 49.5

Both of these offenses can put up a lot of points, though they go about it very differently. The Browns are a run-heavy team, and even though they will be without the services of Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt is more than capable of getting the job done. Meanwhile, Arizona's offense runs through electric quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray is able to move the chains with his legs but he isn't afraid to toss the ball either. He loves getting his guys involved and his weapons are elite in DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and Christian Kirk.

The Browns are coming off an 89-point slugest with the Chargers and hit the OVER in their other game against a high-end offense in a 33-29 loss to the Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have scored 30-plus points in four of five games this year. Smash the OVER.


Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers
Getty Images

Week 2 of the NFL was full of breakout performances, thrilling finishes and potentially the start of the Justin Fields era in the NFC North as the Bears' win over the Bengals finds them in first place in the division.

We cap off the week with a Monday Night Football showdown between the Packers and the Lions with the winner finding themselves tied for first in the North. The Packers put up an absolute dud of a performance last week against the Saints in Week 1 while the Lions looked surprisingly effective while playing catch-up against the West-leading 49ers. The expectations for these two teams couldn't have been further apart coming into the season but with matching 0-1 starts on the books, I think there are a couple of interesting props and roster construction angles to exploit.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks

*Prices are from DraftKings

Captain: TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions ($9,600) ($14,400)

I'm normally not a fan of playing a tight end in the captain spot, but T.J. Hockenson is not your average tight end. He finished 2020 with an elite 18% target share in the Lions' offense and picked up right where he left off in Week 1, finishing with an 18.2% share on 50 routes run last week. Hockenson has always carried premium TD upside as a red-zone target but what was most encouraging about last week was that he ran nearly 55% of his routes out of the slot, leaving him a matchup against Chandon Sullivan, who's allowing a 67% catch rate in his coverage. In a game where the Lions are projected to be down early, expect Hockenson to get fed once again. His red-zone utilization gives him enough juice to take the captain's chair in my builds.

Core Consideration: QB Jared Goff, Detroit Lions ($10,000)

Two principles I take into Showdown slates apply to this play. Generally speaking, if I have a pass-catcher as my captain, I'm finding a way to get their QB into a flex spot. The second is that your build needs to tell a story. Mine is that the Packers come out with something to prove after getting embarrassed in Week 1 and that we'll likely see upwards of 50 pass attempts from Jared Goff as he attempts to mount a comeback. Goff is a surprisingly effective passer when getting good protection and this unit gave him a clean pocket on 86.7% of snaps last week. Expect that to continue tonight as Goff will continue to feast in garbage time.

Contrarian Play: WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers ($2,000)

I still chuckle at the thought of the return of Randall Cobb being on the short-list of demands from Aaron Rodgers in the midst of his holdout. I do, however, think there is something to be said about the importance of chemistry between a quarterback and his receiver and I expect that in a typical game (which Week 1 was not), Aaron Rodgers is going to find his spots to get Cobb involved. In a game script that figures to have the Packers up by a healthy margin, not many are going to look at the tertiary passing options for Green Bay and I think a $2,000 Randall Cobb could sneak in a handful of receptions at single-digit ownership..

Salary Relief: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions ($2,400)

This one fits perfectly into my narrative for the game as well. In a game where the Lions are likely to flirt with 50+ pass attempts and coming off a week where St. Brown ran routes on 75% of the team's passing plays, I will be overweight on Amon-Ra tonight. Lining up in the slot on 74.5% of plays means St. Brown will primarily see coverage from Chandon Sullivan, the most favorable of the options GB lines up in their defensive secondary. Expect St. Brown to see his target volume increase tonight. If Detroit can be more effective in getting to the red zone, he carries decent scoring upside with the way he's utilized in this offense. Plus, who doesn't love the extra motivation of playing against their big bro?

Monday Night Football Best Bets

Taking a look at the wagering side of this game; before we determine anything else we must ask ourselves what we think of these Green Bay Packers. I tend to look at last week's performance as the exception and not the rule. With that being the case, I am laying the 11.5 points and taking GB tonight. Over the past six seasons, oddsmakers have been fairly sharp when it comes to these larger spreads and NFL teams cover double-digit spreads more than 55% of the time. The total for tonight is sitting at 48.5 and given the somewhat surprising ability of the Lions to make up ground last week, I am confidently on the "over" side of that line.

Picks: Packers -11.5, OVER 48.5 points

Taking a look at the prop market, I am again mainly investing in the "GB Blowout" narrative:

D'Andre Swift: OVER 28.5 Receiving Yard

Coming off a 65-yard performance in a very similar game script, this one feels like a no-brainer. Swift averages nearly 8 yards per reception so this really boils down to whether you think he catches more than 3 passes. I certainly do and I'm confidently on the OVER for this prop. FanDuel is currently carrying the best odds at -110.

T.J. Hockenson: Anytime TD

I'm not the biggest fan of these "to score" props, but I'll break from the norm with this one. I am projecting the Lions to at least have a go at it in this game and there simply isn't a scenario where that doesn't involve a score for Hockenson. +220 odds at FanDuel sort of feels like stealing given that I see this game going over the 48.5 total.

AJ Dillon | UNDER 8.5 Rushing Attempts

I know that the betting public is forecasting a fairly comfortable win for the Packers, but let's not get carried away. AJ Dillon would have to nearly double his career average for carries to get to this number. Plus, it's a bit unlikely that this game gets so far out of reach that Green Bay brings in their backups. Even last week when they did bring in the second-stringers, Dillon only saw 4 carries. I'm expecting Aaron Jones to have a monster day on the ground, as evidenced by my Saturday article.

File:Derrick Henry 2019 12-08.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Week 1 is in the books and it's time to move on to the best bets in Week 2.

If you listened to my article earlier this week, you would have started 1-0 for taking the Giants with the points against Washington in that thriller of a matchup Thursday night. Now, let's dive into Week 2's best NFL bets.

Best Bets

Tennessee Titans/Seattle Seahawks Over 54

The Seahawks' offense was high-flying in the first half last week. Because the Colts never really threatened the outcome of the game, the Seahawks were able to take the air out of the ball and finish the game with an easy win while only scoring seven in the second half. While both the Titans' defense and offense looked atrocious, expect Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry to have big bounce-back weeks and make this an epic high-scoring game. This has all the makings for a shootout in which both teams put up 30-plus points.

Cincinnati Bengals +2.5 @ Chicago Bears

Until that Monday night game, the Bengals had the honor of winning the craziest Week 1 game over the Vikings in overtime. The Bears' defense, which is supposed to be their strength, looked awful against the Rams, including one of the most blown coverages you'll ever see on Cooper Kupp's long touchdown. It was simply an awful week for the Bears. I don't think it gets any better until they remove Dalton and promote Justin Fields. If they don't do that prior to game time, the Bengals will run away with this one.

Los Angeles Rams -3.5 @ Indianapolis Colts

Coming out of Week 1 the Rams looked great on both sides of the ball. Matthew Stafford had a great first game, going 20 for 26 with three touchdowns. The Colts... They didn't look that great on either side of the ball. While Carson Wentz's overall numbers didn't look bad, most of the yardage and one of his two TDs came in the fourth quarter as they were chasing from two or more scores back, never actually threatening to win the game. I'm leaning towards the Rams winning this in a blowout and would consider alternate spreads.

Arizona Cardinals -3.5 vs. Minnesota Vikings

Kyler Murray appears to be a man on a mission to avenge last season's bitter ending after absolutely torching the Tennesee Titans in Nashville. The Vikings' defense, who hasn't been as formidable as years past, is going to have their hands full with Kyler. Last week they allowed Joe Burrow to complete nearly 80% of his passes, and Burrow isn't a threat to run nor has a receiver as talented as DeAndre Hopkins. If the Vikings offense doesn't step up and make this a shootout, things could get ugly in Phoenix.

Dallas Cowboys + 3.5 @ Los Angeles Chargers

Dak Prescott looked great in Week 1 and if there were any issues with his shoulder after throwing 58 times, he had 10 days to get healed up again and ready for the Chargers. I can almost guarantee, whenever the Cowboys go to play either Los Angeles team in their stadium, that there will be more Cowboys fans than LA fans. So while they aren't playing in Jerry World, they'll have more fan support. My concern for Justin Herbert and the Chargers is their efficiency in the red zone. His most potent weapons in Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler become less effective as they get closer to the goal line. That leaves Jared Cook and Mike Williams as your bigger bodies in the red zone, which isn't ideal. The Cowboys have a decent chance to win this one outright, but you can take the points for some cushion.

Long-Shot Parlay

  • Cowboys ML (+160)
  • Titans +6.5 (-105)
  • Steelers ML (-225)
  • Rams -3.5 (-110)

Five Props To Consider

  • Calvin Ridley OVER 6.5 receptions (+115)
  • Tyrod Taylor OVER 34.5 Pass Attempts (-105)
  • Aaron Jones OVER 88.5 combined yards (-115)
  • Nick Chubb OVER 17.5 carries (-120)
  • James Robinson OVER 9.5 carries (-125)

All five of these props have an excellent chance at hitting. I like the idea of wagering a three-leg prop parlay with the last three props listed (Jones, Chubb and J-Rob). Thanks me on Monday.

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