Underdog NFL Week 1 Pick'em Strategy

Mike Noblin
By Mike NoblinPublished: September 7, 2023
Underdog NFL Week 1 Pick'em Strategy

We are just a few days away from the first Sunday of the 2023 season! With that being said, there is some great value in the player props on Underdog including a handful of Dolphins players and the Jaguars wideout that should see upwards of 7 targets.

Lastly, watch out for Chris Olave as he looks to improve off of an outstanding rookie season. Stay tuned for Sunday prop picks throughout the NFL season!

WR Amari Cooper (CLE) OVER 4.5 REC

It’s no secret. The Cleveland Browns have a deep defensive roster and one of the best running backs in the NFL in Nick Chubb. However, outside of Amari Cooper, their playmakers outside the numbers are extremely thin.

With the newcomer Elijah Moore expected to become Watson’s WR2, Cooper has a chance to see upwards of 10 targets in the Browns' opener against the Bengals who will in fact have Joe Burrow.

With an expectation that Cleveland will be fighting from behind for most of this game, Amari should lead all Browns players in targets which should hand us the “over”.

QB Baker Mayfield (TB) UNDER 14.05 FPTS

Mayfield faces the Vikings in his Bucs debut. While the Vikings don’t sport the scariest secondary nor defense as a whole, Mayfield is with a new OC, new playmakers, and doesn’t truly have the starting spot secured if he starts out on a sour note.

Over 14 points would mean a 200-yard game alongside a TD. I’m just not ready to hand Baker an “over” just yet.

WR Christian Kirk (JAX) OVER 49.5 REC YDS

Maybe the easiest bet of Sunday’s slate, Christian Kirk will continue to support Lawrence in the red zone and on 3rd downs out of the slot. I’ll even bet that Kirk finishes this Week 1 matchup against the Colts with the most receptions on either team.

With Doug Pederson due to work Ridley into the offense slowly and surely, Kirk should continue to be utilized as Lawrence’s go-to target in the slot and against a weak Colts secondary, should have a huge day through the air.

WR Chris Olave (NO) OVER 4.5 REC

After 17 games, Chris Olave finally gets a competent QB in New Orleans. While Derek Carr isn’t a huge step up from the QBs last season, he will pick and choose his WR1 and the guys he trusts will get the ball in big moments.

Expecting the short pass game to be a focal point in this offense similar to when Drew Brees was winding down his career, give me Olave to finish this game with the most receptions on the team, given Alvin Kamara is out and Michael Thomas hasn’t played a regular-season snap in a few seasons.

QB Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) OVER 17.65 FPTS

While Tua didn’t hit this mark more than 60% of the time in his games last season, the prediction that he’ll stay healthy in Week 1 alongside the fact this game could turn into a shootout when dissecting Mike McDaniel and Kellen Moore’s offenses, Tua is a great Week 1 play in all formats.

A few TDs alongside a handful of chunk plays to Mostert, Waddle, and Hill should get Tua over the bump here. The pace of play should be intense in this game as the weather will be perfect in SoFi stadium and both teams should throw the ball upwards of 35 times.

Give me both Tua and Herbert to outperform their expectations and put up 20+ fantasy points each in a shootout.

WR Jaylen Waddle (MIA) OVER 4.5 REC

Adding onto the Miami Dolphins' love in Week 1, Jaylen Waddle has a great chance to hit his “overs”. Only hitting this mark seven times last season, but most of the time he did it in games where the Dolphins were playing against another great offense.

His 19-target game in Week 2 against the Ravens put himself and Tagovailoa on the radar and after a top-10 finish in fantasy football last season, Waddle gained the respect of opposing defenses.

While the Chargers have a solid secondary, I believe Tua will throw a handful of screens and short slants to the 3rd year wideout who could end up having a more productive day than Tyreek Hill.

Last season, Waddle had just 2 receptions against the Chargers in a 17-23 loss at SoFi. This time around, expect Mike McDaniel to guide the ball Waddle’s way and rewrite the script for 2023.

Mike Noblin

Mike Noblin

DFS Writer

Mike Noblin brings years of expertise as a skilled handicapper and the premier sports betting writer for EWD. With a solid two-decade background in the sector, Mike has dedicated the last three years to full-time analysis and writing. His coverage spans a wide variety of sports, but his primary areas of focus are the NFL, CFB, and MLB.