If you’re reading this you probably already know Week 1 of the NFL season is here, but you may not know that you could pocket a frankly absurd amount of money – £1m top prize or a chunk of the rest of our £3.3m jackpot fund – if you come out on top of the biggest Week 1 daily fantasy contest on Paddy Power Fantasy.
Oh, and for Week 1 you can enter for FREE!
Now that is what I call fantasy football.
All you have to do to enter is click here to claim your free entry, pick your team, and, as sure as Bill Belichick loves embarrassing reporters who ask dumb questions, you’ll be in with a chance to win that barely imaginable prize.
And, just in case you’ve not been paying the closest attention to every move teams have made since January, Paddy’s here to tip you off about a few worthwhile additions to line-up.
Players to Build Around in Week 1
QB Russell Wilson, Seahawks – Russell Wilson is the second-highest priced quarterback on this slate, behind Lamar Jackson but he still appears to be favourably priced based on his matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. In last year’s meeting, Atlanta held Wilson to just 15.7 fantasy points, but that was due in large part to Seattle building a 24-0 first-half lead, causing Wilson to attempt just 20 passes with four rushing attempts. Atlanta gave up at least 20 fantasy points to seven quarterback last year, and the team made minimal changes on the defensive side of the ball with the exception of adding first-round cornerback A.J. Terrell.
QB Matt Ryan, Falcons – The Falcons enter Week 1 with the highest implied total (Bookie’s Total Points line minus Favourite Total Points line) among underdogs, making this an ideal spot to roster Matt Ryan. Last year, the Seahawks allowed six quarterbacks to reach at least 20 fantasy points, and five of those were in games won by Seattle. So if this game script unfolds as expected, Ryan should have an opportunity to rack up points while playing from behind in the second half.
RB Christian McCaffrey, Panthers – Despite being the most expensive player on the slate, Christian McCaffrey is still worth adding to your lineups. McCaffrey was a superstar last season, but could elevate his game to another level in an improved offence under new coordinator Joe Brady. Last season at LSU, Brady helped create 270 touches for Clyde Edwards-Helaire (215 carries, 55 receptions) and was a part of the New Orleans Saints offence during some of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara’s best years. McCaffrey also draws a good matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, who allowed 6.5 yards per target to players out of the backfield last season, which ranked 24th in the league.
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RB Todd Gurley, Falcons – Health is always a concern for Todd Gurley, but we can probably assume he’s as fresh as we’ll see him in his Atlanta Falcons debut. He’ll face a solid Seahawks run defence in this matchup, but Gurley could make an increased impact in the passing game. Seattle allowed 7.8 yards per target to players out of the backfield, the second-worst rate in the league. The Falcons averaged 6.1 targets per game to running backs last season, so Gurley should see enough of a workload to make an impact.
WR Michael Thomas, Saints – The New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are tied for the highest over/under of the week at 49.5 points, which should put all the offensive stars in this matchup on your radar. Michael Thomas looks like the best bet to put up big numbers based on his recent success against the Bucs. Thomas put up 44.2 and 28.4 fantasy points in his two games against Tampa last year, and has averaged 25.9 fantasy points against the Bucs throughout his career.
WR Davante Adams, Packers –The Minnesota Vikings rebuilt their secondary in the offseason, parting with veteran cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. In the long run, maybe these changes improve Minnesota’s chances of shutting down Davante Adams, but in Week 1, without any preseason games to iron out the kinks, a unit featuring so many new faces seems particularly vulnerable. Adams posted 26.6 and 20.6 fantasy points in his two meetings with Minnesota last season.
TE George Kittle, 49ers – The Arizona Cardinals allowed a league-worst 19.6 fantasy points per game to tight ends last season, which makes George Kittle the obvious front-runner to be Week 1’s highest-scoring tight end. Arizona did invest a first-round pick in Isaiah Simmons in an effort to rectify this hole in its defence, but Kittle versus a rookie linebacker still looks like a mismatch the San Francisco 49ers should be able to exploit.