Here we go with the Single Game NFL DFS slate for Thursday Night Football of Week 1. Tonight’s matchup is between the Texans and Chiefs with Kansas City listed as 9.5 point home favorites with an over/under of 54.
We’ll highlight the top picks and best bargains to assemble a cash-inducing lineup. On top of that, the “additional notes” section will feature several tournament selections while adding context to the rest of this slate.
We will be producing these articles for Thursday and Monday primetime matchups every week, so be sure to bookmark the Rotoworld Daily page for those occasions - not to mention all the other fantastic daily fantasy content.
Patrick Mahomes - QB - Kansas City
There’s absolutely no surprise here, as Mahomes is the biggest name of this slate with the highest projection as well. Take note that the former MVP will have an extremely heavy ownership rate through all formats, but it’s an unnecessary gamble to fade him in cash games. Mahomes is more viable as an MVP over on FanDuel, as you don’t have to pay the extra salary to get the 1.5x bonus. He’s still viable as a captain on DraftKings, but shelling out $18.9k to make that happen will make the rest of your lineup extremely snug.
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Will Fuller V - WR - Houston
DeAndre Hopkins is no longer in Houston, so Will Fuller steps up as WR1 for the Texans. Fuller has always carried big-play potential, but now he’s poised to see more targets to raise his fantasy floor/ceiling combination. That especially holds true with Houston checking in as 9.5 point road underdogs while trying to keep pace with Kansas City’s high octane offense. Add it all up, and you could argue that Fuller is the best receiving option of this slate, given his predictably high market share in a Houston passing attack that will throw the ball plenty.
Darrel Williams - RB - Kansas City
Williams checks in as the best bargain on both FanDuel and DraftKings. His 6.0k and 1.8k price tags come as welcomed salary relief to help combine the true studs of this slate. Williams is listed as RB2 on Kansas City’s depth chart, and some reports suggest that he’ll have a moderate role with the Chiefs easing rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire into action. Even if Williams only sees 25% of the rushing attempts (with a few receptions), he’s still a decent choice for this non-imposing salary. There’s upside if the reports are true, meaning Williams would see more attempts than the projections account for. No matter how you slice it, he’s a strong value choice.
Randall Cobb - WR - Houston
As mentioned earlier, I’m expecting Houston to enact a pass-heavy offense while trying to keep up on the scoreboard. Fuller is the primary beneficiary of that, while Randall Cobb is arguably next in line. Fellow WR Brandin Cooks is questionable tonight, and the quad injury has limited crucial practice time since joining the Texans this offseason. Even if Cooks plays, I’m pessimistic he’ll see a full snap count. That opens the door for Cobb to step up as the WR2 in this offense. The Houston slot man is a dependable veteran who should see healthy targets, especially if Kansas City is dedicated to keeping Fuller’s big-play ability in check. Stacking Watson-Fuller-Cobb is a viable strategy through all formats.
When you are looking to pair a receiver with Mahomes, Travis Kelce (TE - KC) and Tyreek Hill (WR - KC) obviously serve as the leading candidates. Kelce is the better option in my opinion, as he absolutely shredded the Texans for a sweet 10-134-3 line in the playoffs last season. Hill is no stranger to finding the endzone against Houston either, as he went for 5-80-2 vs. Houston last October. Deciding between the two is a coinflip scenario, but I have a slight preference to Kelce, especially for a cheaper salary on DraftKings.
Sammy Watkins (WR - KC) makes for a realistic value play through all formats. Mecole Hardman (WR - KC) and Demarcus Robinson (WR - KC) are better tournament commodities, especially Hardman’s big-play potential. I’m expecting Watkins to easily see the most snaps and targets of this group, but Hardman’s ability to break one serves as a wild card.
We already talked about the Houston passing attack of Watson-Fuller-Cobb, but don’t forget about their new running back, David Johnson (RB - HOU). I really like him in tournaments tonight. We aren’t really sure how the workload will shake out in Houston’s backfield, and the fact that they are 9.5 point underdogs will dissuade people from looking that way. However, David Johnson should see majority of the action over Duke Johnson while looking at goal-line touches as well. We can assume that David is ready for a bounce-back season with fresh legs under him and a coach that is poised to feed him the football in order to justify acquiring him.
Jordan Akins (TE - HOU) and Kenny Stills (WR - HOU) are tournament cheapies from the Texans’ passing game. You are essentially hoping Akins can find the endzone with Houston (probably) deploying a pass-heavy approach. Stills would benefit if Cooks is ruled out or extremely limited, so keep an eye on that status as we move closer to kickoff.
What should we do with Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB - KC)? The rookie has extreme upside this season, but can we trust him in Week 1? That’s the million-dollar question (literally on DraftKings) heading into this showdown slate. As mentioned earlier, there are some rumblings that Darrel Williams will see a legitimate number of snaps while feeling more comfortable in the offense (pass protection, etc). However, “CEH” has the tremendous raw ability to break a slate wide open. While he holds merit in cash games, I’m viewing Edwards-Helaire as more of a tournament differentiator away from the aforementioned likes of Mahomes, Watson, Kelce, Fuller, etc.