Joey Ricotta | October 27th, 2019
Welcome in. Hopefully, everyone had a great week and is ready to have an even better Sunday. Hopefully, last week you were able to construct a nice winning lineup based on some of the plays mentioned in last week’s article. However, you aren’t here to reminisce about last week.
The goal of the cash game article is to outline some of the safer plays, while also, providing options that will help you create the most optimal builds. The whole point of it all is to make some money. Sometimes we won’t, but putting ourselves in the best position to do so is the most important part. That goes without saying, but can sometimes get overshadowed by the results on a week to week basis. All people want to know is how many points a guy scored, and not necessarily the route in which they got there. DFS is not only a science but a math equation. Let’s dive in, put the pieces together, and try to solve it. Here are my favorite Cash Game Plays for Week Eight.
Disclaimer: As always, there will be a lock emoji next to a few of my favorite plays. All of the guys mentioned are viable for cash games, but the ones with a lock emoji are going to be fixtures in my main lineup.
Josh Allen ($6,500 DK, 7,700 FD)
As we’ve mentioned in past articles, the way to attack the Eagles is through the air. They allow an average of two passing touchdowns per game, which is the sixth-most in the NFL. Allen did his part last week, salvaging his day with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. The second-year quarterback carries a lot of upside every week. If there is a reason to fade Allen in cash games, it’s the weather. As of now, 20 plus MPH winds are expected and that can definitely affect the passing game.
Matthew Stafford ($6,100 DK, $7,700 FD)
Such a good spot for Stafford this week. The Detroit Lions like throwing the ball and now offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell might be forced to throw more with the injury to Kerryon Johnson. Yes, the New York Giants held Kyler Murray in check to only 104 passing yards and zero touchdowns. But the Cardinals had no need to throw last week with Chase Edmonds demolishing them on the ground. Going into last week, the Giants had allowed the second-most passing yards per game (285.0). After last week, they are now ranked 23rd in the league, improving eight spots from 31st. I’m not convinced that the passing defense has improved that much based on one week’s performance. Stafford should be able to light them up.
Value Play: Ryan Tannehill ($5,100 DK, $6,900 FD)
Saquon Barkley ($8,900 DK, $8,600 FD)
Over the course of his career, Barkley has averaged a staggering 5.1 yards per carry. In limited action this season (four games), he’s averaged 5.6 yards per carry. Now that he’s healthy, it’s only a matter of time before he has a gigantic eruption type of game. The Lions are yielding an unheralded amount of production to running backs. Depending on which site you look at, the Lions are ranked second or third-worst in terms of average DraftKings points allowed to running backs. Either way, being in the same discussion or realm as the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins speaks volumes as to how poorly they’ve defended. I think Barkley’s first big game of 2019 comes this week.
Chris Carson ($7,000 DK, $8,000 FD)
This is one of the plays where we don’t feel as good about the matchup, but we love the player’s volume. The Atlanta Falcons have been pretty consistently stout against the run, allowing just 3.7 yards per carry on the season. However, the Seahawks should be able to take care of the 1-6 Matt Ryan-less Falcons. Earlier in the year, we were concerned with his fumblitis issues, but he’s been on the field for at least 80% of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps in each of the last three weeks. He’s also involved in the passing game with at least four targets in four of seven games played.
Latavius Murray ($5,800 DK, $6,200 FD)
Alvin Kamara is officially out. With that said, Murray feasted last week in place of Kamara against the Chicago Bears, piling up over 100 yards on the ground, scoring two TDs, while adding five catches. Even without Akiem Hicks, if Murray and the offensive line can play well enough to carve up the Bears defense, they can take care of the Arizona Cardinals. The New Orleans Saints are heavy favorites at home (-11) with an over/under close to 50 points. Take the running back in that situation, all the time. Add in the fact that the Cardinals suck horribly against the run, and we have ourselves a lock.
Courtland Sutton ($5,300 DK, $6,000 FD)
Volume, Volume. Volume. Emmanuel Sanders is expected to make his debut for the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. His departure from the Broncos opens the door for someone else to get an increase in targets. The most likely receiver to step in and take over as the Denver Broncos’ number two wideout, is DaeSean Hamilton. However, I want a proven commodity. I want the receiver that has been getting the job done and looked like a real number one. Sutton has done that.
He’s averaging nearly eight targets per game and ranks 14th among WRs with 36 catches on the season. If he had a better quarterback, he might have some more catches at this point. Nonetheless, Sutton is too cheap for the amount of volume he could get on Sunday. I’m thinking of somewhere around ten targets. The Indianapolis Colts have given up the ninth-most DK points to opposing WRs. The matchup is solid. Furthermore, Sutton is tied for second in the league in red-zone targets with ten (per NFL Savant).
Tyler Boyd ($5,100 DK, $5,600 FD)
Oil Can Boyd‘s long lost cousin Tyler Boyd chose a different sport to feed his motor. Boyd, the football player, has been getting a ton of work and draws an interesting matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Boyd currently ranks third in the NFL in targets with 74. Now, before you say “he’s going up against Jalen Ramsey what’s so interesting or good about that?”
Number one, I don’t buy that Ramsey will be shadow covering Boyd like Pro Football Focus seems to think. Boyd normally lines up in the slot and Ramsey lines up in the slot only 4.6% of the time, according to playerprofiler.com. They also have him matching up against Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate, which makes way more sense. He should be the main outside threat. The Rams will most likely be looking to take away the huge outside chunk plays and live with the dump-offs over the middle.
Number two, the Rams are expected to be playing from behind and this could lead to a ton of passing from the Bengals, especially given their lack of success running the ball. The Rams will expect it and Andy Dalton will be forced to take what the defense gives him, and my hope is that will be Tyler Boyd.
D.K. Metcalf ($5,000 DK, $6,600 FD)
Metcalf has yet to have an outburst that he’s capable of. The Rookie wideout is seeing plenty of action. After Will Dissly was placed on IR and missed his first game last week, Metcalf saw his most targets in a game all season with nine. The targets should be there again and Russell Wilson is the highest priced quarterback on DraftKings this week for a reason. Metcalf’s big frame makes for a good red-zone target if the Seahawks choose to use him that way. I don’t mind using both Chris Carson and D.K. Metcalf in the same lineup because I think that way you have a very safe floor, locking in almost all of the offense’s usage. You could also choose to use only one of Carson and Metcalf, but I do think you need at least one of them or Tyler Lockett.
Kenny Stills ($4,700, $5,700 FD)
Will Fuller has already been ruled out this week with a hamstring injury. That means we can expect big usage again for Stills, and now a better matchup. The Oakland Raiders got manhandled by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last week. For the first time ever, Rodgers finished a game with a perfect passer rating (158.3). Since I’m taking a stand and not using Deshaun Watson in cash games (I don’t blame you if you use him), I want some kind of exposure to his receivers. Naturally, finding a value guy that will be on the field for nearly all of their pass attempts, makes a ton of sense.
Last week after Fuller exited the game, Stills was on the field for 94% of his team’s offensive snaps. Earlier in the week, the Raiders traded cornerback Gareon Conley to the Texans. It’s almost as if the Texans will have an informant on their side. Not to mention, with Conley gone, Trayvon Mullen steps into a starting role. The Rookie will have his hands full trying to keep up with the speedy downfield threat, Stills.
Value Options: DaeSean Hamilton, Mike Williams
Evan Engram ($5,300 DK, 6,300 FD)
Engram burned us pretty bad last week. Put that aside for a minute. The game script could be favorable if the game shoots out the way I expect it. The Lions aren’t allowing a ton of fantasy production to TEs, but they allow the third-most passing yards per game (289.7). It’s possible that this is more of a Golden Tate revenge game, but Engram’s been a little too quiet recently. I think he has a nice bounce-back from last week. The Lions trading safety Quandre Diggs away during the week could also help open things up over the middle.
Zach Ertz ($5,100 DK, $6,300 FD)
Ertz is severely under-priced from where he should be. This is a top-flight, elite-level tight end that should be in the $6,000 range every single week. The matchup is less than ideal against the Buffalo Bills who are allowing the second-fewest DK points to opposing tight ends. However, Ertz is an entirely different beast than what they’ve faced so far this season. The best tight end they’ve faced was Evan Engram, and he led the Giants in receptions, going six-for-48 in that game. With the wind expected to be howling, I think Wentz will make use of his star on some short-to-intermediate routes.
The Eagles got their butts stomped on Sunday Night Football, and Ertz was barely targeted at all. It was his worst statistical performance of the year, with only two catches for 38 yards on five targets. Even with the poor game, Ertz remains the number one targeted tight end in all of football. Also, albeit only having one touchdown, he is tied with Evan Engram for the most red-zone targets among tight ends with ten. My point is the targets should be there and I’m not entirely scared of the matchup. I’m not sure if we can predict a huge ceiling type of game from him, but the floor is there in cash games, despite the lower ownership.
Value: Jonnu Smith
If you’re a returning reader, you know, I like to look for cheaper defenses than most people feel comfortable with. I felt like I needed to say that as almost a disclaimer before we get going. This doesn’t necessarily make all of these defenses “safe,” although I know that’s normally the goal in cash games. Because of the unpredictability at the position, I’m more willing to punt defense in hopes of finding some cheap turnovers. Taking salaries into consideration, here are my favorites.
Los Angeles Chargers ($2,300 DK, $4,100 FD)
The Bears’ offense has been trash, to say the least. Matt Nagy, Mitchell Trubisky, the offensive line, they’ve all faced a ton of scrutiny this week. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is going to change. In fact, it could get worse before it gets better. The Chargers are way too under-priced for the matchup. I know they’re on the road, but I’ll take a discount on defense and load up elsewhere.
Carolina Panthers ($2,400 DK, $3,500 FD)
The Panthers can get good pressure on the quarterback and we’ve seen Jimmy Garoppolo make his fair share of mistakes. He’s thrown six picks and fumbled the ball five times already this season. This game could be a lower scoring affair with a defensive play making the difference.
Always An Option: New England Patriots (vs CLE), Jacksonville Jaguars (vs NYJ)
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