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NFL Week 1 DFS tournament picks

Jan 3, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs with the ball en route to scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

In order to win a DFS tournament, it is essential to build a unique roster that embraces the randomness within each NFL game. We must be able to identify players and game scenarios the rest of the field is overlooking so when these low-owned plays hit, your roster will soar past the competition and into first place.

NFL Week 1 is unlike any other in DFS because the player pricing is extremely soft. There is value all over the place, with plenty of exciting — and cheap — options in play to pay up for the studs. It will require a mammoth score in the range of 250 fantasy points to take down tournaments on Sunday. Build your lineups accordingly and chase all the upside. 

Here are Week 1 DFS tournament picks. Be sure to check out PFF's projected DFS ownership percentages and DFS lineup optimizer to get off to the right start in 2021. 

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RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns: 6% projected ownership

Chubb boasts slate-breaking upside whenever he steps onto the field — regardless of matchup.

The fourth-year back is the best pure runner in the league and trails only King Henry in rushing yards after contact (1,893) and missed tackles forced (124) over the last two seasons.

Chiefs vs. Browns carries the highest game total on the entire slate, at 54.5 points. The masses will stack this game with lineups built on a Chiefs victory, but what if Cleveland pulls off the surprising upset? This high-upside scenario is likely to be overlooked despite the potentially massive payoff.

The Browns' path to victory is obvious — pound the rock and grind the clock with their all-world running back. Chubb is no bargain at $7,200, but he comes at a steep discount compared to Christian McCaffrey ($9,500), Dalvin Cook ($9,100), Derrick Henry ($8,800) and Alvin Kamara ($8,600). That group of four also projects to be the most-rostered running backs on the entire slate.

Perhaps the chalk foursome implodes and nobody posts the monstrous 30-plus-point score needed to pay off their expensive price tags. In that universe, Chubb rosters will soar past the field if he racks up 100 yards and multiple touchdowns. These Chubb lineups would then have an extra $1,500-$2,000 of money to hammer the edge even further.

Additionally, avoiding the more expensive running backs will give every Chubb roster a very different construction compared to the field — this is a key leverage point for tournaments.

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