Welcome to the Week 8 NFL DFS main slate. Before we dive into the Cash Game picks for this week, let’s get a few guidelines out of the way first. The “Cash Game Plays” weekly DFS article has been my bread and butter for the past few years. Evolving a little over the years, I now play almost as many tournaments as I do cash game contests.
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 the most important part is putting ourselves in the best position to do so. That goes without saying, but it can sometimes get overshadowed by the results on a week-to-week basis.
People only want to know how many points a guy scored, not necessarily the route they took to get there. DFS is not only a science but a math equation. Let’s dive in, put the pieces together, and try to solve it. With that said, here are the DFS Cash Game Plays for Week 8. If you’ve been riding with me all along, you know the drill. There will be a lock emoji next to a few of my favorite options. All the players mentioned in the article are viable for Cash Games, but those with that lock emoji will be fixtures in my main lineup(s).
Jalen Hurts ($7,200 DK, $8,400 FD)
Because Lamar Jackson isn’t on the slate this week, we need another quarterback with an extremely high built-in floor. Preferably, one who runs the football a lot and racks up points even when he’s not as efficient through the air. Bullseye. Hurts fits that criteria. In seven games this year, Hurts averages nearly ten rushing attempts and 51.6 rushing yards per game. Speaking of averages, Hurts is putting up nearly 26 DK points per game and has no less than 21.8 in any game this year. The only concern is his lack of effectiveness passing the ball and if that could get him benched. If this were a different matchup, I would be more concerned. However, I think Hurts and the Eagles’ offense will find enough success against the Detroit Lions and their 27th ranked pass DVOA defense.
Matt Ryan ($5,900 DK, $7,200 FD)
Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons get a decent matchup at home where they typically play better offensively. The Carolina Panthers are solid on defense with a ninth-ranked pass DVOA defense. However, paying down at quarterback is a viable option this week to save money, and Matt Ryan has been consistently scoring 22-plus DK points. He’s thrown for at least 283 passing yards and two touchdowns in four of six games this season and has at least two touchdowns in each of his last five games. I’m fine with taking a discount at QB and playing Ryan.
Other Options: Josh Allen, Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz, Trevor Lawrence
Darrell Henderson ($6,500 DK, $7,700 FD) ????
Last week was supposed to be the great matchup smash spot for Henderson, making him the best point per dollar option at running back. Things didn’t quite pan out, but that should somewhat keep his rostership rate reasonable this week as he finds himself in another potential smash spot. The Houston Texans allow 4.7 yards per carry and are 30th in defense rush DVOA. Additionally, the Rams are 16-point favorites and could be handing the ball off to Henderson quite a bit in a favorable game script. Process over results, right? Let’s double down with the expectation that this time it works.
Kenneth Gainwell ($5,000 DK, $5,900 FD)
Despite being nearly the same price as Miles Sanders was last week, and starting in his spot this week, maybe going back to the well isn’t a bad idea. I wound up playing Sanders in cash games, but he left with an ankle injury. He has since been placed on injured reserve. The issue with playing Gainwell in the same lineup as Hurts is normally if the quarterback smashes, especially a rushing quarterback, it could be hard for the running back to because the quarterback could vulture away his touchdowns. Luckily for Gainwell, he should receive some passing work and his price is low enough where this is more than viable in cash game contests. The Detroit Lions have allowed the fifth-most DK points to opposing running backs, so you’re playing Gainwell for his price, matchup, and the potential that he’s the main workhorse back, catching some passes.
Other Options: D’Andre Swift, Elijah Mitchell, Alvin Kamara, Chuba Hubbard
Cooper Kupp ($9,000 DK, $9,200 FD)
No one is rolling the way Cooper Kupp is right now. He’s always been a great route runner and a PPR monster, but since Matthew Stafford joined the Rams, the connection between the two of them has been unreal. Kupp is leading the league in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns. The explosiveness has also been there, it’s not just dinking and dunking like it was when a lot of times when Jared Goff was at the helm. Kupp is also leading the NFL in 20-plus yard receptions. Surely, the game could get out of hand and the Rams could pummel the Texans here, but Kupp could be a big reason why if it even gets there. Ride the hot hand with Kupp.
Chris Godwin ($6,400 DK, $7,200 FD) ????
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be getting Rob Gronkowski back from injury, and that could eat into Godwin’s target share. However, Gronk’s usage could also be limited if he isn’t 100 percent. Furthermore, Antonio Brown will be out once again. That leaves the main wide receiver targets divided between Godwin and Mike Evans. Going up against the New Orleans Saints isn’t the most appealing matchup, but neither was the Chicago Bears last week from an offense vs. defense standpoint. Godwin hauled in eight catches for 111 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. Then if you look at past history, Marshon Lattimore has almost completely locked down Mike Evans, and he should be covering him the majority of the time. That makes Godwin the easy play as one of Brady’s favorite targets in a game with a high total.
Tee Higgins ($5,200 DK, $6,300 FD)
Ja’Marr Chase has been on another planet this season, putting to bed all of the preseason doubters when he was struggling with drops. Tyler Boyd is clearly the odd man out in this offense. When all three wide receivers have been in the lineup, Tee Higgins has a 28.3 percent target share, and he received 15 targets last week. The catch percentage wasn’t the greatest, only seven catches for 62 yards, but that will absolutely play at this price tag. Teams will start focusing most of their attention on Chase based on how he’s performed to this point, so it’s only a matter of time before Higgins finds the endzone and it’s his turn to smash.
Stefon Diggs – FanDuel lock ($8,100 DK, $7,300 FD) lock
Other Options: Brandin Cooks, Michael Pittman, Jakobi Meyers Calvin Ridley
Dan Arnold ($2,800 DK, $4,900 FD)
The Jacksonville Jaguars traded former first-round draft pick, C.J. Henderson for Arnold earlier this season. After slowly easing him into the offense, he’s become a larger part of it over their last two games. In each of the last two games, he’s played at least 62 percent of the team’s offensive snaps while receiving a total of 13 targets. The tight end position is fairly brutal this week, and paying down makes the most sense on DraftKings. On FanDuel, I would spend up because the salary cap is easier to work around.
Other Options: Kyle Pitts, Dallas Goedert, T.J. Hockenson
Washington Football Team ($2,100 DK, $3,400 FD)
Washington travels on the road to take on the Denver Broncos. If you’ve read any of my previous DFS articles, you know my style. I like to grab a cheap defense to help afford the better, more predictable players and roster spots. Washington has been surprisingly poor this year defensively after a good 2020 season. This is less about them and more about their matchup. Denver lacks firepower and although they’re getting Jerry Jeudy back off injured reserve, Washington is almost the bare minimum salary. Also, Teddy Bridgewater has thrown at least one interception in each of his last three games.
Other Options: New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars
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