Week 1 is in the books, but the fun is only just beginning. Week 2 looks like another magnificent slate of games to enjoy. Fair warning, there will be quite a few Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders mentioned in this week’s article. Both teams are in a position to post monster numbers from a fantasy outlook. Some, more so due to their price, and others because they’re monsters every week and have great match-ups. 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 don’t, but putting ourselves in the best position to is the main thing. 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 he 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 2.
Patrick Mahomes ($7,500 on DK and $9,000 on FD)
This all depends on what your normal strategy is for cash games. I’m generally of the mindset that paying down for quarterback most weeks is the best strategy. However, Patrick Mahomes is never a bad option. He can easily throw for four touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders and his floor seems to be two touchdowns minimum every week. Many people love stacking their QB with a wide receiver. In cash games, I don’t think you need to go that route if you play Mahomes. There’s nothing wrong with doing so, but his weapons are expensive and it won’t allow you to spend up at other key spots. For that reason, it’s Naked Mahomes or no Mahomes for me in cash games.
Jared Goff ($5,900 on DK and $7,600 on FD)
How could you pass up Lamar Jackson and go straight down to Goff? Didn’t you see how he played last week? Yeah, sure, he played bad. That’s nothing new for Goff on the road. His home/road splits are a real thing. Is Goff becoming Ben Roethlisberger? His home completion percentage last year was 68.32% compared to 60.85% on the road. The Rams are playing host to the New Orleans Saints, and this game has just as much ability to shootout as any other on the docket. Goff has a ton of amazing options to go to. If you’re looking for exposure to the Rams offense, which one do you choose as a solo play? GPP stacking him is a good strategy, but using a naked Goff, much like Mahomes, in cash games is perfectly fine.
Josh Allen ($5,300 on DK and $7,500 on FD)
Is he the greatest real-life QB? No. But Allen does so many different things to rack up fantasy points. First and foremost, his arm strength is very good, it’s his decision making that lacks at times. Realistically, he can’t make that many bad decisions against a very suspect Giants defense, right? The Giants’ secondary, in particular, isn’t the greatest and Allen has the type of gunslinger mentality to pick up major chunks of yards downfield. The best thing about Allen is his legs. He rushed for 95 yards or more in four of his last six games last season, and over 100 yards in two of those games. Last week, he ran the ball 10 times for 38 yards and a score. Any quarterback running the ball ten times per game has a high floor and a high ceiling.
Alvin Kamara ($8,200 on DK and $8,700 on FD)
Lights, Kamara, Action! While the Drew Brees to Michael Thomas connection is certainly alive and well, Alvin Kamara takes up a huge part of the offense. He was on the field for 76% of the Saints’ offensive snaps in Week 1. Kamara didn’t get the ball as much as you’d think given his production. He was extremely efficient, rushing for 97 yards on 13 carries for 7.5 yards per carry. He also caught seven of his eight targets for 72 yards. Now, he gets a saucy match-up against the Los Angeles Rams who just allowed Christian McCaffrey to go bananas for 45.90 DraftKings points. Lock and load, Kamara is easily my favorite play at running back.
Austin Ekeler ($6,100 on DK and $7,500 on FD)
Hunter Henry suffered another injury and finds himself on the shelf for at least 4-6 weeks. Mike Williams‘ status has been changed from questionable to likely to play and get red zone looks, according to Adam Schefter and his source. Regardless, Williams should see a limited role. Ekeler was on the field for 75% of the Chargers’ offensive snaps in week 1, out-snapping Justin Jackson 48 to 16. As it stands now, the backfield belongs to him. Sure, Jackson will get in there every once in a while, but Ekeler should still see the majority of the action. We can’t expect him to get another three touchdowns, but even taking those three touchdowns away, he would’ve scored 21.4 points on DK. At $6,100, that would be good enough for 3x value this week.
Mark Ingram ($6,000 on DK and $7,500 on FD)
The Miami Dolphins look terrible. We can’t give Ingram too much credit for doing what he’s supposed to do against an inferior opponent. However, he took care of the task at hand and that’s all that matters. The match-up this upcoming week against the Arizona Cardinals is another favorable one. As of writing this, the Ravens are favored by 13 points at home. Targeting running backs on teams favored at home is one of my favorite strategies. Some will be scared off because Ingram was only on the field for 32.5% of the offensive snaps. The game against the Dolphins got out of hand in a hurry and Ingram wasn’t needed at all down the stretch. Gus Edwards will have a role, but Ingram’s 107 yards on 14 carries solidified his.
Josh Jacobs ($4,700 on DK and $6,500 on FD)
The price is right and the match-up is good. Jacobs will be very highly owned. The only problem with playing him is the game theory that he might not produce as many points once the Raiders fall behind by a substantial margin. Fading him in tournaments is fully viable, fading him in cash is somewhat risky. He won’t need many points to hit value at his price tag.
JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,500 on DK and $8,100 on FD)
Overreaction Monday had many people talking smack about JuJu and the Pittsburgh Steelers without Antonio Brown. The offense didn’t get that much worse, it was only one game, and the Patriots have always done a nice job shutting down Big Ben and the Steelers in Foxborough. Not to mention, Big Ben is much better at home, and that’s where this game will be played. The Seattle Seahawks’ secondary is nowhere near as good as we’ve seen in years past. According to PFF.com, the Steelers line JuJu up in the slot 62% of the time. With Neiko Thorpe doubtful with a hamstring injury, and Akeem King mistiming interceptions that lead to touchdowns, Jamar Taylor is expected to play a lot in the nickelback role. They aren’t getting an upgrade as he graded out as a 43.5 rated CB last season. For those concerned about his toe injury, JuJu talked about making cuts left and right in his yard and chasing his dog around. I think his toe is fine.
Sammy Watkins ($7,200 on DK and $7,400 on FD)
Watkins exploded on the scene in Week 1 to the tune of 9 catches, 198 yards, and 3 TDs. He scored a touchdown on a long catch and run within the first minute and a half of the game, and it was a big game from that point on. Watkins racked up 49.8 DK points and won people who played him a ton of money. We can’t expect him to do the same here, but 21-25 points sound very reasonable.
Tyrell Williams ($4,400 on DK and $5,900 on FD)
The Oakland Raiders weren’t looking for Williams to be their number one receiver this offseason. However, circumstances change, especially if your Antonio Brown and it changes seemingly every day. Going into the season, I liked Williams because many teams would be keying on AB. Without Brown, he becomes their clear cut number one wideout and one that should see plenty of targets. Williams went for six catches, 105 yards, and a touchdown against a better Broncos defense last week. The Kansas City Chiefs should be able to put up plenty of points against the Raiders and that will lead to even more passing on the Raiders’ side of things.
Other Targets: John Ross and Terry McLaurin
Travis Kelce ($7,300 on DK and $8,000 on FD)
Get used to seeing his name in the weekly write-ups. This should come as no surprise. Kelce underwhelmed last week only because he didn’t get into the end zone. His usage and targets were still there as I expect them to be week in and week out. He ended the day with 3 catches for 88 yards on 8 targets. Four of those targets came in the red zone, tying him for the most red-zone targets with George Kittle in Week 1.
Darren Waller ($3,300 on DK and $5,400 on FD)
So, why would I mention two receiving weapons as possible targets for cash games? Well, the answer is simple, it all depends on your preferred flavor. Which of these two do you prefer? Of course, I don’t necessarily love the idea of putting both of them in the same cash game lineup. However, I don’t hate the idea either. The prices are so dirt cheap on both of them that not hitting big with one of them won’t kill you. Most of the passing attack will run directly through both Williams and Waller. Even if one has a mediocre game, it’s tough to pinpoint which one will. Therefore, playing both will make sure you get the big game you’re looking for from one of them. In turn, making the pairing a solid cash game strategy this week.
T.J. Hockenson ($3,000 on DK and $6,000 on FD)
It looks like Matthew Stafford has found some new friends to throw to. In his first NFL regular-season game, Hockenson got plenty of work. The rookie out of Iowa had 6 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. The Lions threw the ball maybe as much as they will all season. They still have plenty of options with Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola, and Marvin Jones, but at this price, he has to be considered.
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 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. Here are two defenses to target, one for each of the two main sites.
Houston Texans ($2,800 on DK)
Gardner Minshew II played a decent game and showed some nice touch after entering the game for the injured Nick Foles. The Kansas City Chiefs defense once again looks miles behind their offense. The Houston Texans however, should be able to get more pressure on Minshew. History tells us that rookie quarterbacks under pressure struggle. I don’t know to what extent he’ll struggle, but I’m guessing an interception, and possibly a pick-six is in store for the Texans defense.
New York Giants ($3,500 on FD)
I love Josh Allen this week, but he always turns the ball over. Even if he has a great game, a turnover or two is likely in the cards.
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