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DFS NFL

NFL 2018: NFC East Sports Betting & DFS Preview

The NFL is back and that means NFL DFS and sports betting is back! We’ve got a full series of previews for each division to ready you for the upcoming season.

Home to the defending Super Bowl champs, the NFC East seems to belong to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 as well. That said, there’s still a cloud over the quarterbacking situation with Carson Wentz still recovering from injury and Nick Foles looking less-than-sharp in his preseason action.

The good thing for the Eagles fans is that the rest of the division looks fairly average. The Cowboys are the only team with a win total line above eight, the Redskins just lost their starting running back for the season, and there are more than a few questions surrounding the Giants.

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Dallas Cowboys

Season Win Total: 8.5 games
Conference Odds: 10/1
Super Bowl Odds: 20/1
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Key player additions

Allen Hurns
Tavon Austin
Deonte Thompson
Jamize Olawale
Jihad Ward

Key player losses

Dez Bryant
Jason Witten
Brice Butler
Ryan Switzer
Anthony Hitchens
Orlando Scandrick
Jonathan Cooper

Draft picks

Leighton Vander Esch, LB
Connor Williams, OT
Michael Gallup, WR
Dorance Armstrong Jr., DE
Dalton Schultz, TE
Mike White, QB
Chris Covington, LB
Cedrick Wilson, WR
Bo Scarbrough, RB

DFS relevant players

Ezekiel Elliott
Dak Prescott
Allen Hurns
Michael Gallup

Parting thoughts

The Dallas Cowboys are going to remain a run-heavy team in 2018. Ezekiel Elliott has led the league in rushing yards per game over his first two seasons in the NFL. He’ll be one of the safest RBs to play in DFS throughout the season. Zeke saw an uptick in targets and catches in his sophomore season, and you can expect the same in his third go-round.

The ceiling on Dak Prescott is not as high as others at the quarterback position, but his rushing ability gives him a decent floor. Dak will be without his two best passing options from last season as Dallas released Dez Bryant and Jason Witten retired.

Allen Hurns enters as the Cowboys’ No. 1 WR, and Michael Gallup is one of the few rookie wideouts with a legit opportunity for targets. Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley will be hard to trust in Cash games but could be considered in tournaments given the matchup. Tavon Austin is expected to get some touches out of the backfield, but it’s nothing to get excited about. Dallas’ 8.5 win total seems high.

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New York Giants

Season Win Total: 6.5 games
Conference Odds: 28/1
Super Bowl Odds: 40/1
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Key player additions

Nate Solder
Alec Ogletree
Jonathan Stewart
Cody Latimer
Russell Shepard
Kareem Martin
Patrick Omameh

Key player losses

Jason Pierre-Paul
Brandon Marshall
Dwayne Harris
Shane Vereen
DJ Fluker
Devon Kennard
Ross Cockrell
Weston Richburg

Draft picks

Saquon Barkley, RB
Will Hernandez, G
Lorenzo Carter, OLB
B.J. Hill, DL
Kyle Lauletta, QB
R.J. McIntosh, DL

DFS relevant players

Odell Beckham Jr.
Saquon Barkley
Evan Engram
Sterling Shepard
Eli Manning

Parting thoughts

The New York Giants improved their offensive line through the draft (Will Hernandez) and free agency (Nate Solder). They also added the best back in the draft in Saquon Barkley, who is a lock for around 300 touches should he stay healthy. Barkley is a three-down back and is every bit as good as advertised.

The Giants had a slew of injuries last season, including to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ has 38 touchdowns in 47 games and should be a staple point in your every day lineups. Then, Evan Engram caught an impressive 64 balls for 722 yards as a rookie. He found the end zone six times, but did most of his damage with OBJ and Brandon Marshall sidelined. Expect a decrease in targets (115) with a healthy Beckham, Sterling Shepard, and Barkley (who will be leaned on in the red zone).

Even after coming off one of his worst seasons and at age 37, Eli Manning has the upside to return a profit this season — especially early on when his price tag is low. Manning has plenty of weapons, with a very talented running back at his disposal. Overall, the 6.5 win total is one of the more intriguing lines given this team’s offensive upside.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Season Win Total: 10.5 games
Conference Odds: 5/1
Super Bowl Odds: 9/1
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Key player additions

Mike Wallace
Michael Bennett
Haloti Ngata
Richard Rodgers
Corey Nelson
Josh Adams (UDFA)

Key player losses

LeGarrette Blount
Torrey Smith
Trey Burton
Brent Celek
Vinny Curry
Beau Allen
Patrick Robinson

Draft picks

Dallas Goedert, TE
Avonte Maddox, CB
Josh Sweat, DE
Matt Pryor, OT
Jordan Mailata, OT

DFS relevant players

Carson Wentz
Zach Ertz
Alshon Jeffery (out at least first two games)
Nelson Agholor
Jay Ajayi
Corey Clement
Mike Wallace
Eagles DST

Parting thoughts

The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles should once again be one of the highest-scoring teams in the league. Carson Wentz is on track to start Week 1 after undergoing knee surgery last season. Wentz was leading the league in touchdowns and on his way to a possible MVP season before suffering a torn ACL in a Week 14 game in Los Angeles.

Zach Ertz is one of the safest tight ends in football, and he’s one of the safest plays on the Eagles too. He led Philly in catches (74) and yards (824) despite missing two games. Alshon Jeffery played his entire 2017 season with a torn rotator cuff and reportedly will miss at least the first two games of this season. Ertz, Nelson Agholor, and newly acquired Mike Wallace all receive boosts with Jeffery sidelined. For his part, Agholor broke out to the tune of 62 catches and eight touchdowns last year. He also led the team with 18 red zone targets. Wallace is an upgrade over Torrey Smith but may only be a tournament play given his boom or bust skillset.

LeGarrette Blount is gone, but it’s still a crowded backfield with Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, and Darren Sproles. All three are expected to be factors and could be used evenly inside the red zone, which was Blount’s role last season. Ajayi is favored to lead the team in touches, but it’s Corey Clement who had more targets and touches inside the red zone in the 10 games they’ve played together. Clement has big-time GPP potential and showed it on the biggest stage when he caught four balls for 100 yards while scoring a TD in the Super Bowl.

Everybody is in play on a week-to-week basis for the Eagles, including the defense, which finished with the fourth-most fantasy points in 2017. They allowed a league-low 79.2 rushing yards against per game and improved defensively. The schedule isn’t tough to start, but it gets much harder as the season goes on. 10.5 is a high number, even for the champs. Philly will play Atlanta, Carolina, Jacksonville, New Orleans, the Rams, and Houston. Five of those six were playoff teams last season.

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Washington Redskins

Season Win Total: 6.5 games
Conference Odds: 25/1
Super Bowl Odds: 50/1
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Key player additions

Alex Smith
Adrian Peterson
Paul Richardson
Orlando Scandrick

Key player losses

Kirk Cousins
Ryan Grant
Terrelle Pryor
Kendall Fuller
Su’a Cravens
Trent Murphy

Draft picks

Da’Ron Payne, DT
Derrius Guice, RB (out for season)
Geron Christian, OT
Troy Apke, S
Tim Settle, DT
Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB
Greg Stroman, CB
Trey Quinn, WR

DFS relevant players

Alex Smith
Jamison Crowder
Jordan Reed
Paul Richardson
Adrian Peterson
Samaje Perine
Chris Thompson

Parting thoughts

With second-round pick Derrius Guice sidelined for the season due to a torn ACL and Chris Thompson questionable for Week 1, Washington went out and signed Adrian Peterson. This will be Peterson’s fourth team since 2016. He’s played 13 games in the last three seasons and only has three touchdowns.  Jay Gruden says they signed AP because he’s in fantastic physical shape. They also didn’t have much of a choice with the struggles Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley showed last season. Perine is also working his way back from an ankle injury. When Thompson returns, he’ll be one of the more intriguing GPP plays given his upside in the passing game. Peterson doesn’t have much left to offer in Cash games.

That’s not even the biggest news of the season in Washington. The club decided not to re-sign Kirk Cousins and traded for Alex Smith. The former Chiefs QB is coming off a career season, which saw him throw for 4,042 yards and 27 touchdowns. But let’s be realistic: Smith’s fantasy potential takes a hit without Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Kareem Hunt at his side.

Washington also cut ties with Terrelle Pryor and Ryan Grant. Despite not hitting the century yardage mark or five-plus catches in a 2017 game, Josh Doctson could still break out. Docston will have his best chance yet at targets. It’s been opportunity and injuries that have slowed down his progress.

Then, Jamison Crowder was very inconsistent last season, but he’ll likely be Smith’s favorite option in the passing game. Jordan Reed can never be trusted in Cash due to the numerous injuries suffered over his professional career, but he makes for a great upside play in tournaments. The same is true for Vernon Davis should Reed miss time. Davis and Smith had some serious chemistry in their SF days. Washington is a good bet to finish last in the NFC East.

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