DFS Sunday 9/10 NFL Main Slate Plays of the Day

It’s finally here! The first NFL football Sunday of the season. This is honestly my favorite week of the season. No teams on bye, off-season questions answered, full of surprises, etc. Earlier this week, I reviewed the top QBs that can be seen here. This morning, I will go over the skill position of players and defenses. All dollar values are Draft Kings pricing.

Running Backs

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Play of the Week

Jamaal Williams, New Orleans Saints ($5100)

Last year, Jamaal Williams led the NFL in rushing touchdowns for the Detroit Lions. While splitting snaps with Deandre Swift, who served as the pass-catching back, he did so. Over the offseason, Jamaal Williams signed a three-year deal with the Saints. The expectation was for him to serve in a similar role as he did in Detroit. However, with Alvin Kamara serving a three-game suspension and third-stringer Keandre Miller missing today’s game due to injury, Jamaal Williams is in for what seems to be a tremendous workload.

The matchup is very good. While having some studs like DT Jeffery Simmons, Tenessee has a porous overall defensive unit. The pricing is the real reason he is a play of the week. Jamaal Williams is priced like a backup at $5100 behind guys who are their teams’ second or third option. This price gives you many possibilities and flexibility to spend at other positions. Williams is chalky this week, as he is projected to be the highest-owned player on Draft Kings. There are times, though, that the chalk is too good to fade, and this is one of them. I have Jamaal Williams in 42 percent of my lineups—more than any other RB.

Honorable Mentions: Joe Mixon ($6800); Rachaad White ($5500)

Spend Up of the Week

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers ($8400)

I also love Christian McCaffrey this week and am rostering him in more lineups than any other running back besides Jamaal Williams. That said, Austin Ekeler has too good of a matchup to pass up at $300 less than McCaffrey. Last year’s top-scoring running back in PPR, Austin Ekeler, and the Chargers enter a week one matchup with the Miami Dolphins. This game has an over/under of 51.5, by far the most on the slate today. While Joe Lombardi’s very Austin Ekeler-friendly playcalling may be gone, Kellen Moore still runs a high-powered offense in which Ekeler is a key piece. With such a good matchup that figures to be a back-and-forth shoot-out, Ekeler is a strong option if you plan on spending up for one of your running backs.

Honorable Mentions: Christian McCaffrey ($8700); Josh Jacobs ($7700)

Wide Receivers

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Play of the Week

Marvin Mims Jr., Denver Broncos ($3000)

OOOOOOO, here is my favorite play of any position! There is so much to love here. For one, the price is incredible. The Broncos’ first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft this past April, Marvin Mims Jr., looks to be in for a high workload today against the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders have a very weak secondary. With star fourth-year WR Jerry Jeudy missing today’s contest, Marvin Mims slots in as the number 2 option at wideout behind Courtland Sutton. With Sutton and tight end Greg Dulcic likely to be the Raiders’ primary focus, Mims is bound to have many opportunities today.

I am honestly puzzled about how Marvin Mims could have the minimum WR price tag of $3000. Fellow day two WR draft picks Cedric Tillman, Jonathan Mingo, and Joshua Downs cost more. Mims’ expected role coming into the season can also be thrown out of the window for this game. Sean Payton is no dummy. He won’t stubbornly avoid putting his best available players in the best opportunities to succeed. Look for Mims to put up numbers exceeding his low price point and spend elsewhere. I currently have him rostered in more lineups than any other player at 71%

Honorable Mentions: Mike Williams ($5700), Amari Cooper ($5800), Jahan Dotson ($5000)

Spend Up of the Week

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings ($8800)

Yes, Jefferson is the most expensive player on the slate. You also have strong options for $600-$700 cheaper in Tyreek Hill and Ja’marr Chase. Justin Jefferson is still my favorite play, though, and the top guy I am spending up for today. This guy has been otherworldly since entering the league. He is putting up numbers that we haven’t seen so early in a career since the great Jerry Rice. He is too good to pass up on a week with much value, allowing you the salary flexibility to afford whatever you want. The Vikings’ defense is not good, and will likely have some growing pains in learning Brian Flores’ complicated system, so this is a back-and-forth, high-scoring game. Fire up Jefferson against an unspectacular Tampa Bay Buccaneers Secondary.

Honorable Mentions: Ja’marr Chase ($8100), Tyreek Hill ($8200)

Tight Ends

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Play of the Week

Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens ($3000)

Mark Andrews was locked and loaded as my top play of the week, but he will not be suiting up today. The Ravens’ second-string tight end, Isaiah Likely, is not only a fine pivot, he is less than half of the price that Andrews was. Isaiah Likely has shown flashes filling in while Andrews missed time with injury in the past and has a great matchup to do so again. The lowly Texans will have their work cut out for them trying to contain Lamar Jackson, opening up some great chances for Likely. While the Texans have a decent group of cornerbacks led by last year’s number 3 overall pick, Derek Stingley Jr., they will probably focus on Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman, and Zay Flowers. You can get some good value for slightly less money in rookies Luke Musgrave and Michael Mayer, but the upside is so high for Likely that at just $3000 I am getting him as many lineups as possible now that Andrews isn’t playing.

Honorable Mentions: Luke Musgrave ($2900), Michael Mayer ($2800)

Spend Up of the Week

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams ($4800)

While $4800 isn’t what you may consider “spending up” with Andrews out of the picture, it is probably the highest I will go on a tight end in cash games this week. This price tag is much higher than the mentioned $3000 and below guys Isaiah Likely, Luke Musgrave, and Michael Mayer. The Rams are in shambles coming into the season. Their defense is full of inexperienced players, and they just placed Cooper Kupp on the Injured Reserve. This puts Higbee as the number 1 option for the Rams in a game they figure to be playing from behind. I expect Higbee to be the most owned tight end this week with Andrews out, but it might be chalk worth chasing, especially in cash games.

Honorable Mentions: T.J. Hockenson ($5700), Gerald Everett ($4300)


Defense/Special Teams

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Play of the Week

Washington Commanders ($2800)

Defensive-minded head coach Ron Rivera gets a gift matchup in week one against a terrible-looking Arizona Cardinals team. To start, $2800 is low for the Commanders regardless of matchup. While they are missing Chase Young, they still have a strong defensive unit led by DT Daron Payne up from and Safety Kamren Curl in the secondary. I consider them the best play by a wide margin this week, though, because of their opponent. The Cardinals had the third-worst record in the league last year and managed to get worse. They released top WR DeAndre Hopkins and are without QB Kyler Murray for the foreseeable future as he recovers from an ACL injury sustained last year. Journeyman QB Joshua Dobbs, acquired from the Cleveland Browns a few days ago, will be under center for Arizona. Dobbs does know they play book as OC Drew Petzing was his QB coach in Cleveland last year, but this looks like a disaster waiting to happen. The Commanders are such a good play that I am taking them in as many lineups as possible in cash and GPP.

Honorable Mention: Seattle Seahawks ($3300)


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