FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 1 Thursday Night (Bills at Rams)

The Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills -- two of the leading Super Bowl contenders -- get the season started tonight in the exact place where last year's campaign ended -- SoFi Stadium.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the visiting Bills are 2.5-point in a game with a 52.5-point total. That makes the implied score is 27.5-27.0 in Buffalo's favor.

For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.

Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy, and we have projections for the single-game slate if you select the game from the slate tab. It's worth checking out both of those things before you make your lineups.

MVP Candidates

Josh Allen ($17,500 on FanDuel) is the obvious top MVP option. He's both salaried like it -- $1,500 more than anyone else -- and projected like it, with our model pegging him for 23.7 FanDuel points, 5.5 clear of the field.

By our numbers, he has the best rushing touchdown odds in the game (0.49) among all players, including running backs. You know what Allen brings to the table as a runner and passer. His ceiling is through the roof, and his rushing ability gives him an elite floor, as well. He'll probably lead this slate in FanDuel points.

However, Allen will likely be the chalk MVP play, too, which pushes me toward Matthew Stafford ($15,500) and Cooper Kupp ($16,000) as my favorite MVP picks.

Kupp is coming off a historic season in which he totaled 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. In fantasy, he offered a weekly floor that's basically unheard of at the receiver position, scoring at least 9.2 FanDuel points in 16 of 17 games. He was a monster, and there isn't much of a reason to expect anything different right out of the gates in 2022. We project him to score 16.4 FanDuel points.

Stafford underwhelmed in fantasy as the 2021 season wore on, topping 18.0 FanDuel points in only three of his final nine regular-season contests. He adds almost nothing as a runner, which dings his floor and ceiling. As such, I'm more interested in Kupp at MVP, but whenever a quarterback isn't going to be a real popular multiplier -- which I think is what will happen with Stafford in this one -- we should at least be intrigued.

Stefon Diggs ($14,000) is the other top-tier MVP play. Diggs took a step back last season after his big-time 2020, but he still had 1,225 yards and 10 tuds. Tied to one of the game's top signal-callers, Diggs offers tasty upside each and every time out, even in a matchup in which he'll see some Jalen Ramsey.

We project Diggs for 15.3 FanDuel points, and he's a fun MVP play who probably won't see as much MVP love as the three aforementioned guys do.

Flex Breakdown

After those four, the slate is pretty wide open. We have three players -- Cam Akers ($12,500), Allen Robinson ($12,000) and Gabriel Davis ($11,500) -- projected for between 10.9 and 10.3 FanDuel points.

Robinson is a wild card in his first season in LA. Bogged down by poor quarterback play in recent years (and about all of his career, to be fair), A-Rob could have a big year alongside Stafford as defenses try to key in on Kupp. He's my favorite play from this trio.

Akers' stock has been trending downward this offseason after he struggled late in 2021 in his return from injury. If he gets a lead-back role, though, it stands to reason he can eat in this offense.

Davis exploded in the playoffs, scoring four times versus the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round. With Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders gone, the runway is clear for Davis to take off this season. If Ramsey tracks Diggs, Davis could be awfully busy, but it's not a given Ramsey shadows Diggs -- he didn't shadow as much in 2021 -- so Ramsey could wind up on Davis a good amount.

Including Akers, the running backs on this single-game slate feel like a big shrug emoji.

By our numbers, Darrell Henderson ($9,000) rates out as a better point-per-dollar pick than Akers as we project Henderson for 8.5 FanDuel points. If he and Akers are more of an even split, it'll make both fairly unappealing. We just have no way of knowing how the volume and snaps will be divvied up until we see them out there.

We also don't know what to expect from Devin Singletary ($10,500) and James Cook ($7,000) in the Bills' backfield.

Singletary was a workhorse at the end of last year, playing every single snap in the Divisional Round. He was in on at least 76% of the Bills' plays in six of their final seven games, including the postseason. It feels like a safe bet to count on him to be at least the early-down thumper in Week 1, and there's upside for more if Cook isn't ready for a meaningful role.

Our projections have Singletary (7.7 FanDuel points) and Cook (7.1) both being pretty involved. That makes Cook a very enticing value choice at his $7,000 salary. We rate him as the top point-per-dollar play outside of the four guys we touched on in the MVP section.

Dawson Knox ($10,000) and Tyler Higbee ($8,000) project as crappy point-per-dollar plays at their salaries. I'm more interested in Knox between the two, and his salary might cap his draft percentage at a pretty low clip, especially if the masses go with a stars-and-scrubs build.

In the dart-throw range, Van Jefferson ($7,500) -- who is an injury question mark -- could pop for a big play if he suits up. If Jefferson sits, Ben Skowronek ($6,500) could get a lot of run at a basement-level salary. On the Buffalo side, Isaiah McKenzie ($8,500) generated some hype this offseason and will likely be on the field plenty, making him a viable value option.