Spencer’s NFL Week 1 matchup and prop guide: Raiders and Chargers set for shootout

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr warms up before a preseason game against the New England Patriots on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr warms up before a preseason game against the New England Patriots on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Week 1 of the NFL season is here, and with that comes a new year of dissecting how each matchup affects fantasy football and which players are in position to break out.

It’s especially important for those that play daily fantasy as opposed to the traditional season-long league, and there are also player prop options as far as a player going over or under the various statistical totals set by the books such as our partner Caesars Sportsbook.

We’ll have three matchups to watch each week, including the one that should see plenty of points and be the most friendly for DFS, the one to stay away from for fantasy since the defenses are set to shine from and the one that’s set for more points than many are expecting.

We’ll also have the top player prop values for passing, rushing and receiving with odds from Caesars, so let’s take a look at who’s set to deliver in Week 1.


Most Stackable: Raiders at Chargers

Both the Raiders and Chargers have several players worth starting in fantasy and rostering for DFS purposes with a Week 1 shootout on the horizon between quarterbacks Justin Herbert and Derek Carr. Herbert and Carr both have strong weapons such as Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler for the Chargers and Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller for the Raiders. It’s going to be tough for either defense to keep up, so don’t be afraid to load up on both offenses in what should be perfect weather conditions.

Honorable Mention: Chiefs at Cardinals

Stay Away: 49ers at Bears

Chicago is where quarterbacks go to die, which is a bummer for promising second-year signal callers Trey Lance and Justin Fields having to start their seasons there. Expect the defenses to get after these inexperienced quarterbacks to where they’ll have to be running as much or more than throwing, making the receivers in this matchup not ideal for fantasy. Starting running backs Elijah Mitchell and David Montgomery could produce, but they don’t offer much upside in what projects to be the lowest-scoring contest of the week.

Honorable Mention: Giants at Titans

Lowkey a Shootout: Eagles at Lions

There should be plenty of points put up in this contest even though not many are talking it up as a fantasy-friendly matchup. The Lions defense still has major question marks, which should allow Jalen Hurts to thrive as a passer with stud receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith being able to stretch the field while also running the ball with a for-now healthy Miles Sanders. The Lions might struggle at first, but garbage time king Jared Goff should be able to lead them back in the second half to where the likes of D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown and T.J. Hockenson can produce quality stat lines.

Honorable Mention: Jaguars at Commanders


Passing: Joe Burrow under 258.5 passing yards (-117)

Burrow is a name that many will be tempted to take the over on, but this isn’t the week to go all-in on the former LSU star having a big statistical showing. The Steelers pass defense is much better than their run defense, meaning that the Bengals will likely lean on Joe Mixon and the running game as opposed to Burrow’s arm.

Honorable Mention: Trevor Lawrence over 237.5 passing yards (-117)

Rushing: Alvin Kamara over 59.5 rushing yards (-108)

The Falcons defense was among the worst in the league last season, especially against the run, and Kamara took advantage of that with a 133-yard rushing performance in his final contest of last season. With the Falcons defensive line looking no better than last year, look for Kamara to pick up right where he left off as the Saints workhorse.

Honorable mention: Lamar Jackson over 61.5 rushing yards (+102)

Receiving: A.J. Brown over 64.5 receiving yards (+100)

The Lions defense is exploitable as mentioned above, and Brown should be able to take full advantage of that in his Eagles debut. The Lions got gashed by Deebo Samuel in the opener last season, who has a similar skill set to Brown, so expect the former Titan to deliver a huge performance yardage-wise even if DeVonta Smith sees an equal amount of targets.

Honorable mention: Davante Adams over 78.5 receiving yards (-115)

Spencer ‘the Guru’ Urquhart (@spencertheguru) has been a fantasy football analyst since 2014, founding a community of over 6,000 followers on Instagram

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