Underdog Fantasy NFL Picks: Week 1

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Do you feel like a sharp football fan? Does winning money sound appealing to you? Of course!

Thankfully, Underdog Fantasy offers sports fans many gaming options such as best ball fantasy drafts and pick ’em prop challenges. As for the initial question posed, I’m here to help sharpen your football acumen by utilizing several helpful resources such as BetPrep projections to topple the over/under and rivals picks.

It’s easy to get started. Here’s how it works: 

  • Create an account on Underdog Fantasy.
  • Use the promo code PROPS to claim an extra $25 on your first deposit.
  • Go to the Pick’em Games.
  • Make two or more selections to receive a correlated payout of 3x, 6x, 10x, or 20x.
Use the promo code PROPS to get $25 free!

It’s pretty fun, and Underdog Fantasy is available in most states except for the following: Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Louisiana, Montana, Washington, Delaware, and Iowa.

Now, let’s take a look at my five favorite Underdog Fantasy picks for Week 1.

Dallas Goedert UNDER 46.5 Receiving Yards

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Dallas Goedert’s receptions and receiving yards per game have climbed each season since his 2018 rookie campaign, peaking at 4.2 receptions and 47.6 receiving yards per game last year, per Pro-Football-Reference. So surely, he should go over his receiving yardage total against Atlanta’s below-average pass defense, right?

To quote Lee Corso, not so fast, my friend.

A look under the hood is revealing for how Goedert reached his new per-game receiving yardage high. It was a tale of highs and lows. He surpassed 45 receiving yards only four times in 11 games. In addition, two of the times he did so were with Zach Ertz sidelined.

Further, he didn’t do so in any of Jalen Hurts’s starts. In fact, Ertz was targeted more frequently by the erratic rookie passer. Speaking of Ertz, he’s back, contrary to expectations earlier this offseason when his name swirled around the rumor mill. He’s coming off of his worst season since his rookie year, and even a modest bounce-back would stifle Goedert’s path to targets.

I love the under and BetPrep’s in lockstep with a projection of only 37.37 receiving yards for Goedert.

Stefon Diggs OVER 89.5 Receiving Yards AND Zack Moss UNDER 32.5 Rushing Yards

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Let’s get fun with some correlated totals.

For Stefon Diggs to gain receiving yards, the Bills have to pass the ball. Thus, they’re not feeding the ball to Zack Moss on the ground. So there’s the correlation part of the equation. However, let’s look at each of these individually, too.

Diggs’ first year with the Bills exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. He led the NFL in receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535). His per-game average of 95.9 receiving yards is over his yardage total, and unlike the aforementioned Goedert, he was a model of consistency. He went over 90 receiving yards in 10 of 16 regular-season contests, including erupting for 130 receiving yards against the Steelers in Week 13 — more on that to come. Additionally, he cleared 100 receiving yards in two of three playoff games.

Circling back to the game in Pittsburgh, according to Sharp Football Stats, the Bills passed at a 63% clip against the Steelers when the scoring margin ranged from trailing by seven points up to leading by seven points. Encouragingly, they didn’t take the air out of the ball when leading by eight points or more, either, throwing at a 62% clip.

The pass-happy approach is crippling to Moss’s rushing yardage over. That’s before factoring in Devin Singletary outproducing him in the preseason and free-agent addition Matt Breida’s element of speed unseen by Singletary or Moss potentially turning this into a three-back committee.

I like both Diggs’ over, and Moss’s under in isolation. Yet, I’m completely enamored with hooking them.

DeAndre Hopkins OVER 84.5 Receiving Yards

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Diggs wasn’t the only No. 1 receiver to make a seamless transition to a new team. DeAndre Hopkins balled out for the Cardinals, showcasing immediate chemistry with Kyler Murray. Nuk finished third in receiving yards (1,407) and fifth in receiving yards per game (87.9). Moreover, according to Sports Info Solutions, he led the NFL in target share (29.3%) and ranked 13th in Intended Air Yards (1,373).

The air yards are great. However, Nuk’s a menace after the catch as well, tying for 29th among receivers and tight ends targeted at least 75 times with 4.6 yards after the catch per reception. He’s a versatile stud.

It’s not all good news. Nuk’s game log reveals volatility. Fortunately, this week profiles as the type of layout for one of his boom weeks. Last year, according to Sharp Football Stats, Arizona’s offensive pace when the scoring margin ranged from trailing by seven to leading by seven was second-fastest to Cowboys.

You might be wondering, but what about the Titans? Well, I’m glad you hypothetically asked. They played at the third-fastest pace under those conditions. Putting a bow on this, the Buccaneers ranked sixth. So how did things go for the receivers on the Cowboys and Buccaneers in the Thursday Night Football game between two teams playing at a breakneck pace?

A.J. Brown OVER 70.5 Receiving Yards

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A.J. Brown’s participating in the aforementioned projected shootout, too. Now, why didn’t I hook his over with Nuk’s like I suggested selecting Diggs’ over and Moss’s under? Well, there’s a less-direct correlation between Nuk’s and Brown’s overs. Yes, they can both benefit from a back-and-forth shootout.

Of course, it’s also possible Nuk lights it up through the air while Derrick Henry runs roughshod over the Cardinals. I don’t begrudge gamers who get a little greedy and take Nuk’s and Brown’s overs together. I might do so, too. Still, selecting their overs in isolation elevates your floor. So sometimes, it’s okay to go slow and steady rather than swinging for the fences with each pick.

Anyway, let’s get back to Brown’s case for hitting his over. He averaged 76.8 receiving yards per game last year. In 14 games, Brown cleared 70 receiving yards seven times. That’s a coin flip. However, a matchup with the Cardinals should aid in the coin landing in your favor.

Arizona’s cornerbacks are wretched. Their starters Byron Murphy Jr. and Rasul Douglas earned Pro Football Focus’s 52nd and 64th coverage grades out of 119 cornerbacks, respectively, last year. So Brown should have a field day clowning them.

Melvin Gordon UNDER 67.5 Rush + Receiving Yards

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In this year’s draft, the Broncos used a fourth-round pick to move up from pick 40 to pick 35 to select the tackle-breaking machine, Javonte Williams. That’s a double-whammy of bad news for Melvin Gordon’s outlook in the backfield. Not only did the Broncos use significant draft capital to pick Williams, but they also traded up to ensure selecting him.

Yet, the bad news doesn’t end there for Gordon. It’s not illogical to think a rookie running back could be eased into action. Perhaps requiring some patience to learn the nuances of pass protection, for instance. That doesn’t appear to be the case with Williams.

Head coach Vig Fangio’s so confident in the rookie back; he put him on ice for the final preseason game. A game in which Gordon played. Oof. Fangio also vocalized his confidence in Williams, going so far as to say, “he’s earned that trust and we’re not against playing him in any situation at any time in the game.”

Gordon appears ticketed for backup running back duties. Thus, I love him falling well short of this total operating behind Williams in the pecking order for touches.

NFL Prop Betting Guide