FanDuel DFS NFL Picks: Studs, Sleepers, and Strategies

Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season continues Sunday. That means the first full Daily Fantasy Sports slate. FanDuel has one of the industry’s top platforms with a variety of games to play. Whether you’re trying to place in a large tournament or take your friends’ lunch money in a private league, our FanDuel DFS NFL picks will help you build a winning Week 1 lineup.

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Don’t worry if you’re new to DFS. We put together a DFS primer to break down the best DFS promos and bonuses, discuss the basics, and offer some advanced strategies to consider. Just register for FanDuel DFS, claim your bonus, and you’ll be building lineups in no time.

FanDuel DFS Week 1 Picks


Stud: Joe Burrow, $7,700 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bengals’ offensive line is improved — on paper, at least — and Burrow has an enviable set of weapons, led by All-Pro candidate wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Burrow has all of the elements in place to match the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert point-for-point this season.

Sleeper: Trevor Lawrence, $7,000 vs. Washington Commanders

Flush everything you remember from Lawrence’s rookie season down the drain. Lawrence is in an infinitely better situation under new quarterback-friendly head coach Doug Pederson. The Jaguars may not have the greatest set of offensive skill players, but there’s enough in the fold for Lawrence to make significant strides in Year 2.

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Running Backs

Stud: Saquon Barkley, $6,800 vs. Tennessee Titans

The Giants should be improved offensively under a new coaching staff, and with an upgraded offensive line. Barkley is healthy, motivated, and the Giants’ premier offensive weapon — even if by default. Don’t be surprised if the Giants lean on him as a runner, receiver, and touchdown scorer.

Sleeper: Dameon Pierce, $5,400 vs. Indianapolis Colts

Perhaps “sleeper” is the wrong category for Pierce, as he’s climbed preseason fantasy rankings in the wake of being named the starter. Even so, it’s tough to pass on such an inexpensive starting running back. Nobody expects the Texans to be good this season, but that in itself does not preclude Pierce from making an impact in his rookie season.

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Wide Receiver

Stud: A.J. Brown, $7,100 vs. Detroit Lions

The Eagles traded their first-round pick and paid Brown $100 million. They’re not going to do all of that and not feed him. Look for Brown to make an emphatic first impression when he takes the field Sunday, and to be featured as the Eagles’ top offensive weapon this season.

Sleeper: Brandon Aiyuk, $5,600 vs. Chicago Bears

Aiyuk is the epitome of a “post-hype” sleeper. He was expected to break out last season but just couldn’t get on track. According to camp reports, Aiyuk was a star throughout the preseason and has positioned himself for a big Year 3. Not to mention, tight end George Kittle (groin) will likely be limited if he plays at all, opening the opportunity for more targets.

Tight Ends

Stud: Kyle Pitts, $6,000 vs. New Orleans Saints

If there’s one player who is positioned to absolutely hog his team’s offensive opportunities, it’s Pitts. At 6-6, 246 pounds with wide receiver speed, Pitts is a physical nightmare, and now he has a year of NFL experience under his belt. BUY.

Sleeper: Irv Smith Jr., $5,100 vs. Green Bay Packers

New Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell is a product of the Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan coaching trees, and his offensive scheme is expected to consistently put Smith in positions to succeed. Smith missed all of 2021, but the team has been very high on him, and he could emerge as a co-No. 2 in the passing game alongside wide receiver Adam Thielen.

Additional Thoughts

It’s always a good idea to consider some general strategies as you’re entering lineups each weekend. Here are a few final considerations ahead of Sunday’s Week 1 kickoff.

  • Defense/Special Teams: More often than not, it’s a good idea to save money on your defense. Generally, there’s just not enough high-scoring upside to justify eating into your budget more than necessary. The Houston Texans ($3,300) and Miami Dolphins ($3,800) — both playing at home — are intriguing, moderately priced options. We’re not saying anyone should play the Texans, but don’t underestimate the difference a year can make for last year’s bad teams/defenses.
  • Don’t cap your potential: This is a simple, intuitive tip, but it’s easy to overlook. Unless you’re stacking a quarterback and his pass-catcher, avoid starting players from the same team. There are only so many FanDuel points available to each team in a given game, and you don’t want to construct a roster with players that cancel each other out. If Ja’Marr Chase scores three touchdowns in a game, that’s great, but it also means Joe Mixon is working from the scrap heap.
  • Balance: It is tempting — especially on the main slates — to force certain players or combinations into your lineups. Be judicious about the low-priced players you select each week. It’s not always worth gambling on a long shot in order to roster the most expensive running back or wide receiver.
About the Author

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based sportswriter who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.