Never in my life has time gone by as fast as it is now. Spring blooms and is gone in the blink of an eye. Summer goes by in seemingly a long weekend. Winter hits like a punch in the gut. While the fall lends itself to football. Now we are here with the Bottom of the Barrel 2023 NFL DFS Week 1 RB article!
Be sure to check out this week's other Bottom of the Barrel Posts - QB | WR (9/7) | TE (9/8)
As the first official week of the NFL season is close, I find it necessary to rewind time and mention what I had learned over the summer. As the 2022-23 season came to an end I was toasted. Fried out with no real direction. For the first time in my writing career, I had no idea what to do next.
I have never been as burnt out as I was in January. It left me stumped but with this feeling of emptiness. More like all alone with no prospects of change. I will admit social media gave me a false sense of security last season. With all my written work and single-slate NFL DFS videos I felt confident! I felt strong with a purpose!
While you’re in it nothing seems to be an issue. As long as the next article is out on time and the video hits the airwaves you are unstoppable! Then *poof* the season is over and you’re of no importance to anyone or anything. While I know that’s not true the allure of success, or being popular, can sway opinions and emotions.
So, I decided to do nothing. It felt wrong at first after having such a grueling schedule during the football season. I felt like a bum. Like a loser. Then it hit me, I was allowed to take a step back. I was allowed to take a break. In doing so there was a risk of becoming irrelevant on social media. Willingly halting my own progress and positive momentum. Such a bleak thought after being so involved and active the last five, or so, months.
Worst case scenario I could pick up right where I left off after the Super Bowl. In my mind that was good enough. What was the alternative? Trek onto hockey then baseball and then resent the very thing I love so much. After coming to that realization, I made the choice to rest. Furthermore, resting under the guise of a mental health break. Which was truthful after a few weeks. See, at first, I didn’t think of it that way. All I knew was that I just needed to stop before I fell over.
Over the course of the summer, I had to make peace with that decision. No matter which way I sliced it or framed it I was headed towards a breakdown. So regardless of what purpose I used or what idea I came up with I just needed time. During that time away it made sense. Had I not taken the risk of just walking away regardless of the consequences, who knows what would’ve happened?
I am happy that football season is back. I will save all the cornball amped-up and excited talk. I just wanted to be open and honest about how I spent my summer. It was not all sunshine and rainbows, but we made it out! The NFL is back!
*Note the number inside the parenthesis is the defense rank versus that position
Bottom of the Barrel 2023 NFL DFS Week 1 RB
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Christian McCaffrey 49ers @ Steeler (11th)
(FD-$9,200) (DK-$8,700) (Y!-$40)
Sometimes the most expensive player at the running back spot isn’t always the best play in DFS formats. Well, that does not apply with CMC here in Week 1. Sure, the opposing defense is tougher than we’d like but stars are stud for a reason. It doesn’t need to be the seasonal fantasy football playoffs to adhere to the ideal, “start your studs!”
Given the current state of the San Francisco 49ers more times than not CMC will carry a high price tag. It is up to us to decide when and how to deploy him. I would never willingly tell you to fade CMC but I can think of a few other players and resources to use in Week 1.
If it helps you out I do have CMC around 13 carries, 65 yards, 5 receptions, 45 yards, and a touchdown. A very productive Week 1 ahead for McCaffrey. Are you willing to spend up for his services?
Cam Akers Rams @ Seahwaks (30th)
(FD-$6,600) (DK-$6,200) (Y!-$23)
Here’s hoping the rollercoaster ride of is Cam Akers a stud or not is over. It is done. As it should be in my opinion. There was a report out of camp, from a few weeks back, where Cam was kicked out of joint practice for fighting. While some folks on social media may call him a punk or a thug the overall idea of it is spirited!
You can call me an idiot or fool for thinking so but, here me out. There was a time, not too long ago, where Cam was an afterthought. We looked at him as a wimp to be honest. How in the world could you fall out of favor in such a productive offense?
Regardless of all that mess Week 1 brings on a fresh start, across the board, for all of us! Including Cam Akers! Two factors in play here, in my mind. Given the DvP match-up, against Seattle, Akers should see a healthy 15-16 carries for 85 yards. In addition to another reception, or two, for 15 more yards.
Chris, what is the second factor to play here with Cam? Fresh start or not we can’t always walk back our words. Especially our significant other words to the media. I would never have thought Rams HC Sean McVay would put Matthew Stafford in the doghouse. Yet, if he’s still struggling to connect with his offense the easiest path to points would be the ground game. Cam is an outstanding move for Week 1!
J.K. Dobbins Ravens vs. Texans (32nd)
(FD-$6,500) (DK-$6,600) (Y!-$21)
One of the rare occasions where a player is more expensive on DraftKings than FanDuel! Which, in an odd way, tells a story! When we break it down to the brass tacks with J.K. he’s further removed from that midseason knee procedure which hindered his pop. Yet, Dobbins was still able to average 5.7 yards per attempt. There was one specific run late last season where he broke away for like a 40+ yard touchdown and it looked awfully uncomfortable.
The talking heads have said that the Ravens may be less run heavy after their old OC Greg Roman has split but that’s like eating a coney dog without chili and onions. It just doesn’t work! The Baltimore Ravens are built on a hard-nosed style defense while they will also run right through you. If it takes Dobbins to run around you instead then I am all in!
Let’s expect Dobbins to carry the ball 14-15 times for 70-75 yards. Followed by a reception, or two, and an additional 10-12 yards. I do think he finds the endzone on the ground too.
Javonte Williams Broncos vs. Rams (28th)
(FD-$6,500) (DK-$5,700) (Y!-$22)
If I could burst through your phone right now as you read this, I would. Why though? To scream and yell and tell you about the beautiful prospects of what J-Will can, and will, do for our DFS lines all season. Let me calm myself and chill first. I will meet you in the second paragraph.
Alrighty, I’ve cooled down, but the fire still burns as we look ahead to this Week 1 match-up. No matter what new source you subscribe to they all say the same thing. Javonte could begin the season on a pitch count. That is all fine and dandy but given the state of the Raiders' defense, I’d prefer Javonte’s ten carries over a full workload from say Alexander Mattison against the Buccaneers.
We shall see how long this self-imposed pitch count will last in Denver for Javonte. Looking around at their offense, as is, we get Russ Wilson to cook with who? Given his lowly price tag in Week 1 I have Javonte around 10-11 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown. Also, 1 or 2 catches for another 18-20 yards. Yes, that’ll play for me in Week 1!
Brian Robinson Jr. Commanders vs. Cardinals (27th)
(FD-$6,400) (DK-$5,100) (Y!-$17)
“Many men wish death upon me. Blood in my eye, dawg, and I can’t see. I’m trying to be what I’m destined to be.” Every time I see his name it takes me right back to last year when he was finally able to take the field and this is what he chose to run out to. Looking at Week 1 the Commanders get a plum match-up against a rebuilding Cardinals team. Well, so we thought. Truth be told, who the hell know what is going on with Arizona.
All that aside, the Washington offense will be led by Sam Howell. I am not here to convince anyone of his talents or what he could be. I am here to tell you why I love B-Rob Jr. in Week 1.
The predictive game script alone should have you jumping for joy. Let me lay it out for you, please. It’s Week 1 and Sam Howell is now your QB1. What is the best way to take a ton of pressure off him while building his confidence at the same time? Use the duo of awesome RBs on the roster! If it were up to me Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson would combine for 30ish total rushing attempts while Sam looks at Terry and Dotson a few times. Look, I could run a professional football team, right?
Brian Robinson Jr. should be good for around 14-15 carries, 65-70 yards, and one touchdown. Gibby should get his fill too, but B-Rob catches a ball or two for an additional 10-12 yards.
Other Interesting Players for NFL DFS Week 1
Each week I will be giving out my main plays up top, but will then be giving out some other players that caught my eye. For Week 1 this will be completely free! If you want access to these for the rest of the season be sure to sign up to be an All-Access Member.
Rachaad White Buccaneers @ Vikings (17th)
(FD-$6,400) (DK-$5,500) (Y!-$17)
Leonard Fournette who? I was pleasantly surprised at what Mr. White accomplished last year. Seems as if a large portion of dynasty folks were as well given his ADP over the summer. I wish no ill will towards the Minnesota Vikings but I do hope Tampa Bay steamrolls them by way of Rachaad White.
As it stands now the Bucs are still iffy with Mike Evans and his contract while Chris Godwin should flourish from the first snap. We all know that old adage. Play action passing sets up the running game. While running the ball can also set up that play-action passes. I have no issue going out on a limb with White in week 1. I think he carries the ball 15-16 times for 65-70 yards while catching 3 or 4 passes for another 25 yards. The kicker? Rachaad White scores TWO touchdowns in Week 1. Let the good times roll!
AJ Dillon Packers @ Bears (31st)
(FD-$6,100 )(DK-$5,200) (Y!-$20)
Aaron Jones is an institution in Green Bay at this point in his professional football career. He just doesn't fit the bill for Bottom of the Barrel given his more expensive price tags. While, on the other hand, AJ is priced just right and in a perfect spot to just rack up yardage, points, and touchdowns for our DFS lines in Week 1. Using AJ in Week 1 against the Bears is a gift. Please, I am asking you not to throw this opportunity away!
We have it time and time again where both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon can coexist. Look for Dillon to carry the ball 11-12 times for 45-50 yards, and a touchdown on the ground.
Khalil Herbert Bears vs. Packers (24th)
(FD-$6,100) (DK-$5,300) (Y!-$17)
Herbert or Foreman? Foreman or Herbert? One week could be a Foreman week. The next could be a Herbert week. Just making my intentions clear now. That is how Bottom of the Barrel is going to go this season! In Week 1 I firmly believe it's a Herbert week.
All the running around Justin Fields has done has made Chicago Bears fans loopy. So much so they have this dangerous tunnel vision that nothing else matters. It's all about Justin! That is a dangerous idea and even negligent in my opinion. The Bears, on paper, have a solid offense so it would be in their best interest to let Justin learn, in real-time, as he goes through his progressions. Will that be the case? I highly doubt it but what can I do?
Give me Khalil Herbet to carry the ball 12-13 times for 60-65 yards, and a touchdown.
Raheem Mostert Dolphins @ Chargers (26th)
(FD-$5,900) (DK-$5,400) (Y!-$15)
Raheem Mostert, to me, is the last of a dying breed. In a Miami offense that should take a little step forward this season. Give me Raheem for 11-12 carries for 60 yards while he catches 2-3 passes for another 15 yards in Week 1.
Deon Jackson Colts vs. Jaguars (18th)
(FD-$5,600) (DK-$4,100) (Y!-$10)
The hottest waiver wire target going this week makes for a nice add to be honest! We saw him rack up yardage and touchdowns last year in the absence of Jonathan Taylor. It looks as if JT will be out the first few weeks of the year. If he's a nice seasonal add then it goes double in DFS formats. Just check his ownership percentages before lock time!
I have Deon at 12-13 carries for 60 yards while to catches 2-3 passes for another 20-25 yards!
Evan Hull Colts vs. Jaguars (18th)
(FD-$5,100) (DK-$4,000) (Y!-$10)
Evan is what we call a lotto ticket in GPPs for Week 1. Not expected to get a ton of work but what if, by chance, he takes a screen pass 75 yards to the house? With his low price tags, he could be part of a lot of winning lineups!
Jaylen Warren Steelers vs. 49ers (2nd)
(FD-$5,100) (DK-$4,600) (Y!-$10)
The offense runs through Najee Harris with Kenny Pickett at the helm. Dionate Johnson and George Pickens are the hot names in the offense while not a soul has paid attention to Jaylen. This kid is lightning fast and doesn't need double-digit touches to be a difference-maker.
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