By Jamie Calandro
Jamie Calandro





This is going to be one of the more popular ones on the slate with two offenses full of shiny toys and an O/U of 52.5. The Cardinals were second in pace last season and Kyler was the QB1 for the first 12 weeks of the season before being ultimately overtaken as he got banged up. DeAndre Hopkins was second in the NFL in receptions, receiving yards, targets, and YAC. He should savage the TEN secondary who allowed the fourth most FPPG to WRs a year ago. I’ve been all over Rondale Moore in the preseason, and it’s going to translate to DFS GPPs in week one as well. Moore is small but explosive, and I don’t view AJ Green or Christian Kirk as adequate competition to keep Moore off the field much. Arizona led the league in both 3WR and 4WR sets last season, and Moore’s upside should only help that. At 3k, he’s a wonderful addition to double stacks.

I want to like Chase Edmonds a lot more than I do, but the presence of James Conner makes it too difficult to trust him with too much exposure. The matchup is right though, as TEN allowed the fourth most FPPG to opposing RBs, so I think he’s a fun GPP option if ownership gravitates toward the passing games of these two teams. Most ARI stacks will be Kyler-Hopkins-”another WR”.

I’m not buying A.J. Green at all. His 1.02 yards per route run last season is laughably bad. It’s not like he’s getting a pace boost either, as the move from CIN to ARI is pretty lateral in that sense. As for Kirk, he should rotate with Green on the outside and is nothing a lottery ticket homerun threat. I don’t see the upside for either one, even in this offense.





As long as Derrick Henry is still Derrick Henry, I’m skeptical the AJ Brown/Julio Jones duo will reach the upside that they were drafted for in season-long leagues. In DFS, however, we can pick and choose the spots where we think they’ll be featured, and this is it. Arizona projects to have a bottom-3 secondary this year according to PFF, and the Brown/Julio tandem could wreak havoc. Since we don’t yet know how the target situation will be handled, this is best treated as a GPP double-stack. Ryan Tannehill is an uber-efficient QB with rushing upside as well, and Arizona allowed the fifth most FPPG top opposing QBs.

Anthony Firkser is a fun GPP punt at TE off the higher ownership of the receivers. He’s not a blocker, and should be the primary slot receiver. Arizona gave up the seventh most FPPG out of the slot last season. Just be aware they have almost completely fixed their TE issues from previous years, and allowed the fifth fewest FPPG to the position last year (thank you Isaiah Simmons).

Don’t forget about Derrick Henry. In a vacuum I prefer McCaffrey, Cook, and Kamara in this range, but there is absolutely no argument against playing Henry in the second highest-expected scoring game on the slate in GPPs. It’s still his backfield, and this is still a run-first team.

Kyler-Hopkins-Moore w/ Derrick Henry
Kyler-Hopkins-Moore w/ Brown/Jones
Kyler-Hopkins-Edmonds w/ any TEN piece

Tannehill/Brown/Jones w/ Hopkins or Moore
Tannehill/Brown/Jones w/ ARI RB
Tannehill/WR/Firkser w/ any ARI piece










The Vikings look to have a super condensed passing offense following the injury to Irv Smith, so Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen both look to be in smash spots here against a CIN team that allowed the sixth most passing YPG and the tenth most FPPG to WRs. Thielen concerns me for the long haul with an unsustainable TD rate from last year, but he could easily realize similar upside in this matchup, and Jefferson was third in receiving yards and seventh in air yards a year ago. He could crush this team. Cousins is fine as a stack pairing but I do worry about him not getting enough pass attempts to have a ceiling game. Tyler Conklin can be used in both cash and GPP as your TE at $2900. He looks to be fully healthy for week one and doesn’t need much production to reach his floor. CIN allowed the fifth most FPPG to TEs a year ago.

Dalvin Cook is set up to feast in this game. He ranked 5th in snap share, 5th in opportunity share, 2nd in carries, and 1st in RZ touches last season, and there’s no reason to think his workload diminishes. Game script and game pace are in his favor, and CIN allowed the tenth most FPPG to RBs last season.





The Cincy passing game is possibly the most polarizing stack on the slate. There are concerns - most notably the offensive line, and also the target distribution and Chase’s preseason struggles. However, Boyd is the most expensive receiver of the bunch at $5200 and even Burrow himself is egregiously priced at $5700. Prior to Burrow’s injury last year, the Bengals were first in plays per game and we know Zac Taylor likes to push the pace. The prices on these guys are such that you can stack them and still afford Dalvin Cook and another expensive RB, and I would recommend that path. In terms of GPP priority, I rank them Boyd > Chase > Higgins.

Ah, Joe Mixon. He’s my “guy” this year. For the season, I’m all in, but I do understand there are matchup concerns and game script concerns here. MIN allowed the fourth most PPG and the seventh most FPPG to RBs last season, but they were missing a LOT of starters on defense and seem to have them all back this year. Prior to going down in week 6 of 2020, Mixon was on pace for 1,509 yards and 11 TDs, and 56 catches out of the backfield. His 81.5% opportunity share was 4th in the NFL among RBs and his 66% snap share was 9th, and he averaged 24.8 touches per game when healthy. This is not JAG-material, and OC Brian Callahan has made it public that Mixon will be a three-down back with Gio Bernard out of town. If at least half of Gio's 3.2 targets per game (when Mixon was playing) go to him, that raises his floor even more. Mixon's career catch rate is over 80%, so even 1-2 extra receptions per week can be significant to his placing among his peers. At $6200, he’s simply too cheap.

Cousins/Jefferson/Thielen w/ Mixon
Cousins/Jefferson/Thielen w/ any 1-2 CIN WRs
Cousins/Jefferson/Conklin w/ any CIN

Burrow/2-3 WRs w/ Cook
Burrow/2-3 WRs w/ Jefferson
Burrow/Mixon/WR w/ any MIN











This is the highest total on the slate at 54 points, but it remains to be seen how popular it will be with the aggressive pricing on Chiefs players. If stacking Chiefs (more on that below), the most logical bringback is Nick Chubb, who is easily the most talented player on the Browns. He has a good history against the Chiefs and the KC D allowed the eighth most FPPG to opposing RBs. Chubb’s big downside in this game is whether or not the game script is in his favor, because he’ll almost certainly cede passing down work to Kareem Hunt. The latter is also a fun bringback to Chiefs stacks at a lower price, and higher likelihood of game script favoring him, lower ownership, and almost equal TD equity.

The better option for Browns bringbacks or CLE stacks in general would be to deploy the passing options, whose prices are depressed and who would realize their ceilings in a shootout. Odell Beckham is screaming upside at his $5400 price tag, and Jarvis Landry is an acceptable pivot if you have the money. His aDOT is lower than Odell’s, but KC allowed the second fewest pass plays over 20 yards last year, which plays well to Landry getting peppered with targets underneath. I wouldn’t look too much past these two in the passing until we see how the TE targets shake up and if Donovan People-Jones will actually be used.





Here’s the fun one. Mahomes-Hill-Kelce stacks are almost certain to be given looks considering the two big receiving threats combined for just under 50% of the team’s target share. The Browns secondary allowed the fourth most FPPG to opposing WRs and also the fourth most to TEs a year so there’s more than enough room for these two to feast, especially with the Chiefs’ robust team total of 31 points. Mahomes is arguably the QB1 of the week, and adds rushing upside to any passing stack he’s used with.

If you want to save money and deviate from the top two KC receiving options, Mecole Hardman is set to be the Chiefs’ WR2. He was heavily targeted in the preseason, which is encouraging even though it didn’t yield the desired results preseason DFS players were looking for. Hardman is the epitome of boom or bust, but his 99th percentile speed metric gives him multiple-TD ability, which could win you a large field GPP at almost no ownership.

The other option to stack with the Chiefs’ passing game is Clyde Edwards-Helaire. It remains to be seen how much work he’ll actually get, and Darrel Williams and Jerick McKinnon could both be thorns in his side, but even in a pedestrian rookie season CEH was top 15 in snap share and opportunity share and was 19th in yards per route run. The downside here is that KC is a pass-first team (25.2 runs per game last year), so any upside we’re looking for from CEH comes as part of the receiving game. The Browns did allow the sixth most receptions out of the backfield a season ago, so this is the spot to target CEH.

Mahomes/Hill/Kelce w/ Chubb
Mahomes/Hill/Kelce w/ Hunt
Mahomes/Hill/Kelce w/ Beckham
Mahomes/Hardman/Kelce or Hill w/ any CLE
Mahomes/CEH/Kelce or Hill w/ any CLE

Mayfield/Beckham/Landry w/ Hill or Kelce
Mayfield/Beckham/Hunt w/ Hill or Kelce