Welcome to Week 1 of the NFL season and the first DFS RB Coach of the season as well! It’s great to have football back and I am sure we are looking at another fun season on tap. It’s time to start putting those DraftKings and FanDuel lineups together and hit the big paydays! We have some interesting pricing right out of the gates and with this piece we will look to provide players at every price range, so you can build a lineup going any type of route (big RB spend-ups or value plays to go with spending up at QB/WR). The Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins have the highest total on the slate, so be sure to keep that in mind. Let’s dive into my favorite RB plays for the first main slate of the year!
Be sure to check out the rest of the NFL DFS Coaches and DFS Watch List throughout the week!
NFL DFS RB Top Play
Ekeler had double-digit fantasy points in every single game last season and had the highest dk ppg of any running back last season at 22.2. He has both a high floor and a high ceiling as he had four games with at least 34.9 points last year. He has a solid matchup in Week 1 against the Dolphins in a game that has the highest total on the board, so we can expect a shootout and that obviously bodes well for Ekeler. Shootouts are always ideal for DFS and Ekeler is even the type of running back that you can pair/stack with the QB, given his receiving upside. He is expensive, but worth the price.
NFL DFS RB Mid-Tier Plays
For all the talk about Tank Bigsby, I love Etienne in the opener. Bigsby may become an issue for Etienne in fantasy at some point this season, but I highly doubt it’s in Week 1. Etienne had a rock solid first year last year and this is a good matchup against the Colts in a game that, on paper, looks like a game that the Jags will be leading. I could see Etienne coming out and firing on all cylinders with fresh legs and wanting to make all that Bigsby talk moot.
Would anyone be surprised if Dobbins’ best game of the season came right here in Week 1? I honestly wouldn’t be shocked at all, given this matchup against the Houston Texans. He finished the year in a big way, averaging at least 4.8 YPC in all five of his final five games. The Texans were the best matchup in football last year for running backs and they are a bad team once again. This is a home game and I expect the Ravens to come out strong in this one while Dobbins carries the load and have a monster game to kickoff his 2023 campaign. He is my favorite play of the week for points per dollar.
NFL DFS RB Value Plays
White now (at least for the time being, including Week 1) owns the Bucs backfield and I like him in this game against a soft Vikings defense. He has already proven to be very strong as a pass-catching option, hauling in 54 passes as a rookie on just 64 targets, and that was despite sharing with Leonard Fournette, who caught a ton of passes himself. At this price, White can catch three or four passes and probably be a solid value, regardless of rushing or finding the end zone (and if he does that… boom). I really like him in this spot.
Robinson, much like Dobbins, may have his best spot of the year right here in Week 1. The Cardinals look like the worst team in the NFL this season and the Commanders are playing them at home. Robinson is the ground and pound type back in this offense and he will likely get a ton of carries in this game as the Commanders will look to ease Sam Howell into action and should be leading pretty much this whole game. 100 yards and a score seems like a real possibility. He probably works a little better on FanDuel, just given that DraftKings is full PPR.
NFL DFS RB Fades
There’s no denying that this kid has talent and he could have a monster year, but this is a HEFTY price tag for a player who hasn’t even taken a snap in a real NFL game yet. The Falcons also have Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson to work into the mix, especially here in Week 1. I’m sure Robinson will get the most work and score just fine, but I don’t see him paying off a price tag that is similar to Austin Ekeler and Nick Chubb. This game looks like it will be a low scoring and boring game to boot, which just lowers his upside even more. Even if you aren't looking to spend this type of money on a running back, you would be better suited spending at wide receiver (like a Ja'Marr Chase - who is only $100 more) than on Robinson.