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NFL Week 1 DFS Cheat Sheet: Five recommended plays for all contests

Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb has ranked top three in both missed tackles forced and yards after contact, on a per-rush basis, over the past four years among NFL running backs with at least 190 seasonal rush attempts.

• Running back Elijah Mitchell produced a 75.5 PFF rushing grade last year, operating as the San Francisco 49ers’ lead back. Expect Mitchell to keep the ball rolling against a fractured Chicago Bears defensive front. 

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill has a PFF WR/CB matchup advantage rating of 99.0 over his upcoming primary coverage defender, New England Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills.

Estimated Reading Time: 6 mins

NFL Week 1 action is finally here. Here are five recommended plays to help you win big in DraftKings GPP and cash game competitions.

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RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns ($6,500 on DraftKings) at Carolina Panthers

All signs point to Nick Chubb operating as the straw that stirs Cleveland’s drink this week. Jacoby Brissett will be starting at quarterback for the first 11 games of the year, which gives head coach Kevin Stefanski even more of a reason to keep things simple as the offense greases its gears after months of staged activity.

The most lopsided aspect of Cleveland’s tilt with the Carolina Panthers is the battle in the trenches; the Browns’ offensive line has a 49% run-blocking advantage score in PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart, the second-highest margin of the week. Though Chubb could certainly be fired up in cash games as a high-floor option, DraftKings users should consider him in GPP formats, as many users will dismiss him outright in the full-PPR scoring format due to his lack of a reliable passing game role. PFF ownership projections have Chubb at just a 5.2% expected rostership rate.

Nick Chubb PFF rushing grade (Rank) Missed tackles forced/att. Yds after contact/att. Runs of 10+ yards
2021 80.6 (eighth) 0.25 (third) 4.2 (first) 41 (second)
2020 86.8 (third) 0.3 (first) 4.0 (first) 39 (third)
2019 90.3 (first) 0.22 (tied-third) 3.8 (second) 39 (second)
2018 89.7 (first) 0.23 (first) 4.5 (first) 28 (tied-tenth)

*Ranks among RBs with 190 rush attempts per year

As the table above illustrates, Chubb has been, and continues to be, one of the best pure rushers of his era. With a matchup like this, it’s important to go against the grain. Fire up the game’s best ball carrier in a GPP lineup this weekend.

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