Home I All Guides I DFS Guides I Beginners Guide I How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports for NFL Week 1
The NFL season opener is like the first day of school. There’s excitement in the air and you want to see if there’s any good-looking new kids. There’s also a lot of unpredictability and confusion – which is a good thing. Unlike school, where day two is progressively downhill and depressing, the NFL gives us excitement all year long. It’s still important to make that good NFL week 1 impression however.
Everybody is starting with a clean slate on the NFL week 1, including DFS players. There are no past week trends to go off of, no benchings for poor play, (usually) no nagging injuries to affect performance. Depending on which side you take, you could argue that the NFL opener is either the hardest week to win or the easiest. The key to getting on the board and padding the bankroll in week 1 is evaluating the new, while paying attention to the old.
Returning starters are a big deal for the NFL season opener, but more importantly, so are coaching changes, or a lack thereof. Teams that are running the same offense and defense as last year with the same players are more apt for success than those squads ‘going live’ for what is essentially the first real time. When there is minimal turnover from the year before, a QB is more comfortable with the timing between receivers and can still call audibles to put them in the best position to score DFS points.
Teams that are largely composed of free agent acquisitions and rookie pickups are going through a transitional phase, especially in week 1. The playbook will be minimized but there may be more of a reliance on the running game, which could also be something to watch.
Of course it doesn’t help keeping all the same players if the team was 4-12 the year before. Big time free agent acquisitions can have a trickle down effect on the whole team. Say the Bears defense got better in the offseason for example — they’ll now be on the field less which will give their offense more opportunities. Look for a QB who got a few new receivers to throw to or a RB with an improved offensive line as well.
It’s easy to be retroactive to week one with your picks. If the Jaguars start off 4-0 for example it’s easy to say, “I should have saw that coming.” The key to DFS is to see it coming before it happens. You have plenty of time leading up to week one to do research. As a tip, make 5 outside the box predictions you could see happening for the regular season and try putting them in play for the season opener. If you’re ahead of the curve, you’ll be able to cash in for 3-4 weeks until the national media starts piggybacking your sage wisdom.
Normally you’d say bench rookie QB’s in week one because their coaches are going to put the handcuffs on them for at least the first quarter of the year. Then the 2015 season opener happened where Marcus Mariota went head-to-head with Jameis Winston, the top 2 picks of the ’15 draft class. Winston was average with 2 TD and 2 INT. Mariota on the other hand, put up a perfect 158.3 rating, completing 13 of 19 passes with 4 TD and 0 INT. There could be anywhere between 2 and 4 rookie signal callers suiting up in the 2016 opener but do you put them and their receivers on ice? Or do you hope for Mariota 2.0?
That’s what makes the NFL so great; much better than school anyway.
Make sure to check out our guide on how to win at Daily Fantasy Sports for Week 1 as well: Click Here
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