Week one of the NFL season is in the books! It was a rough week for me and my "Take it to the Bank" bets last week, as Baker Mayfield had one of the worst games of his career in a blowout loss to the Titans, the Colts found a way to cover the 6.5 point spread by getting to overtime against the Chargers, and the Bengals somehow kept it within three points against the Seahawks in Seattle. EVERYTHING WE THOUGHT WE KNEW BEFORE THE SEASON WAS A LIE. For fantasy purposes as well, it was not pretty. I said Jameis Winston would be a top DFS quarterback, considering the San Francisco 49ers had one of the worst pass defenses in 2018, intercepting only TWO passes last season. They intercepted Winston three times Sunday.
However, week two is a clean slate, my betting friends! Here are my "Take it to the Bank" bets this week for both pick em's and daily fantasy lineups.
Vegas Spread Picks
Dallas Cowboys (-5) at Washington Redskins
This is a great line for a Dallas Cowboys team coming off of a blowout victory that has also won five of its last six games against the Washington Redskins. Washington got a big lead early last week, but Philadelphia completely neutralized their offense in the second half. I think the Cowboys’ defense will prove to be even stronger. The Redskins have always loaded the box against Ezekiel Elliott in their matchups against Dallas, but with Dak Prescott becoming more confident as a deep-ball thrower in this Kellen Moore offense, I think the Cowboys kill this defense with play action. Give me the Boys by two scores.
Indianapolis Colts (+3) at Tennessee Titans
I don’t think Tennessee will sustain the type of success they had last week against Cleveland. There are still a lot of holes on that roster, and this Colts team punches people in the mouth at the LOS. Marlon Mack rushed for 174 yards against the Chargers last week behind that dominant offensive line, including 119 in the third quarter alone. The Colts are a better team across the board, and even though this one is on the road, I think they win outright, let alone cover.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-4) vs Seattle Seahawks
Big Ben at home is a different animal. When he’s at Heinz, he turns into Super Bowl MVP Ben Roethlisberger for some reason. The Steelers are coming off an embarrassing defeat to the Patriots, and I think they’re going to play with more urgency than any other team this week. Their matchup? A Seahawks defense that gave up 400 yards to Andy Dalton in Seattle. This secondary is sluggish and inexperienced — and as we saw last week, vulnerable to the deep ball. This could very well be a shootout, and I think this Pittsburgh offense rebounds in a big way, winning by a touchdown.
Tyrell Williams ($4,400) vs Kansas City Chiefs - WR45
This price for Tyrell Williams on DraftKings this week is an absurd value. I’m putting him in every single one of my daily fantasy lineups because of it. He plays a porous Kansas City secondary that gave up big performances to three different wide receivers on the Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as nearly 300 yards to rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew. As we saw against Denver on Monday night, Tyrell Williams is clearly the top receiver in the Oakland offense, and I think his combination of volume and big-play potential makes him a fringe top-15 play across all formats.
Chris Thompson ($3,900) vs Dallas Cowboys - RB38
With Derrius Guice out, the Washington Redskins turn to Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson to carry the workload. For fantasy purposes, Thompson clearly sees the biggest uptick in value, yet his DraftKings price reflects his worth before the injury to Guice. Take advantage of that. Thompson has a high floor with his passing game volume, and the Dallas Cowboys’ defense has struggled mightily in recent years against pass-catching running backs, Thompson specifically. Add that to the expectation that Washington will be trailing for most of this game, so Thompson’s snap share could be huge. If you want to load up at other positions with players like Julio Jones and Keenan Allen, go ahead because you can get Thompson for pennies.
TJ Hockenson ($3,000) vs LA Chargers - TE20
NINETEEN tight ends are ranked above Hockenson on DraftKings right now. Unreal. He’s a top 10 fantasy tight end for the rest of the year with top 5 potential. The Chargers are stingy against tight ends, but there is a strong chance Hockenson has asserted himself as Matthew Stafford’s favorite weapon in the passing game. Getting him for the skill-position minimum? It’s too good to pass up.
*all values from DraftKings