Welcome in. Hopefully, everyone had a great week and is as excited as I am for this week’s games. 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 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 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 3.
Disclaimer: This week I’m adding a new element to the weekly article. From now on, I’ll be putting 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 ($5,900 DK, $7,500 FD)
Until they price him up to the level which his upside calls for, I will continue to view Josh Allen as an option. Allen gets another reasonable opponent to produce against, the Cincinnati Bengals who are allowing the second-most passing yards per game with 343. The Bengals have also given up 165.5 rushing yards per game. Allen has the ability to do both which projects well for him in this match-up.
Kyler Murray ($5,800 DK, $7,200 FD)
In tournaments, I want all the exposure in the world to this game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers. Saying it out loud gave me a very uneasy feeling, but these are the two fastest-paced teams in the NFL, running a combined average of 22.13 seconds per play. The more plays you run, the more opportunities you’ll have to put up points. With that said, it’s tough to tell how fast the Panthers will play with Kyle Allen under center in place of Cam Newton. But one thing’s for sure, the Cardinals will play fast and throw often.
Jameis Winston ($5,400 DK, $7,300 FD)
Jameis has let so many fantasy owners down. Whether it be season-long leagues or DFS, it’s often a roller coaster ride and sometimes one that makes you vomit when you reach the ground. So, is this a safe play? I’m not even sure anymore. I’m not sure whether it’s my brain or my gut that is telling me to do this again, but the New York Giants have an abysmal secondary and they’ve given up the third-highest DraftKings points per game to opposing quarterbacks (28.99). Being unsure if it will be a Mike Evans or Chris Godwin game, also makes this a good play. If you want exposure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense in a game where they should put up some points, rostering Winston is how you cover it.
Punt Option: Kyle Allen
Ezekiel Elliott ($8,900 on DK, $8,800 FD) 🔒
Zeke Week! He’s fully loaded and back to getting his full reps. Of course, the “fish tank” is in full effect for the Miami Dolphins. They are terrible. In case you weren’t aware, the Miami Dolphins are brutal against the run. We’re only two weeks into the season, but they’ve given up the most rushing yards with an astounding 194.5 yards per game. The Dallas Cowboys are historical Vegas favorites to win Sunday by a 22.5 point spread. People are scared Tony Pollard might steal garbage time carries when the game gets out of hand. By that point, Zeke most likely already earned his money (get it?) and is a big reason why they are ahead.
Dalvin Cook ($7,800 DK, $8,300 FD)
The Minnesota Vikings are officially a run-first offense. Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons hinted towards that, but they went up 14-0 very early and 21-0 at halftime. Therefore, they had no real reason to throw the ball anymore. Dalvin Cook ran the ball 21 times for 111 yards and two TDs. Last week, however, the Green Bay Packers jumped ahead early with a 14-0 lead over the Vikings at the end of the first quarter. The Vikings fought back to make the game close. Cook proceeded to carry the ball 20 times for 154 yards and a TD. He was also included in the passing game. Last year, Minnesota was the fourth-ranked team in passing play percentage (64.41%). Through two games this year, the Vikings are dead last (40.37%). If they were in the top four of passing plays ran, you can already guess they were in the bottom four of rushing plays ran (35.59%). This year, they’ve run the highest rate of rushing plays (59.63%). The Vikings are nine-point favorites at home. I expect Cook to run rampant again.
Chris Carson ($5,900 DK, $7,000 FD) 🔒
Some would call this risky, given Carson’s recent case of fumblitis last week. Carson was seemingly benched after two fumbles which the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to capitalize on to score two touchdowns. Former first-round draft choice Rashaad Penny filled in nicely, racking up 62 yards and a TD on 10 carries. However, Penny popped up on the injury report as questionable following Friday’s practice with a hamstring injury. Last year, the New Orleans Saints were ranked second in the NFL in rushing yards against per game with 78.3. So far this season, the Saints have allowed the sixth-most per game with 147.5 yards. Even if Penny plays, Pete Carroll will likely give Carson a chance to rebound. I expect him to get closer to the 77 percent offensive snaps share he received in Week 1.
Punt Option: Frank Gore
Keenan Allen ($7,000 DK, $7,800 FD)
While Austin Ekeler has so far been a big part of both the rushing and passing attack, Keenan Allen is always going to get his. The 27-year old back to back Pro Bowler has had at least 95 catches and 1,000 yards receiving in each of the last two seasons. This season, Allen has accounted for 53.94% of the Chargers’ intended air yards. (second in the league) That might sound like nothing, but in fact, it is huge because he is essentially getting the majority of the deep shot attempts. Allen has hauled in eight catches with at least 98 yards in each of the last two games. His 25 overall targets rank third in the NFL. The Chargers like lining him up in the slot, and he’ll likely draw Bradley Roby across from him when he does. A match-up Allen can certainly take advantage of. We love looking for big play potential along with safe floors in cash games. Allen checks both of the boxes.
Emmanuel Sanders ($4,800 DK, $5,700 FD) 🔒
Targets and easy receptions. Joe Flacco‘s favorite target is getting plenty of them. Sanders is among the league leaders in total targets and getting 25% of the Broncos’ target share. Also, Sanders is tied for the league lead in red-zone targets with six and has five catches for two TDs in the red zone. According to pff.com, Sanders has lined up in the slot 54% of the time from the beginning of last season to now. If the Broncos line him up in the slot, he’ll draw Tramon Williams who I believe is very average. Sanders seems to be fully healthy after tearing his ACL last year. He’s running routes as effectively as he has his entire career and looks explosive in and out of his cuts. At this price, lock him in.
Nelson Agholor ($3,600 DK, $4,800 FD)
With Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson both getting hurt in the Sunday night game against the Atlanta Falcons, Agholor was relied on heavily down the stretch. He dropped a key pass in the fourth quarter that looked to be a sure-fire touchdown, assuming he would’ve outrun the defense after making the catch. He did, however, make his next catch setting the Eagles up in a position to strike. They ended up not cashing in and the missed touchdown opportunity loomed even larger.
DeSean Jackson has been ruled out for the upcoming game against the Detroit Lions. Alshon Jeffery was officially listed as questionable. Reports earlier in the week were that Jeffery had a chance to miss Week 4 as well, and now reports are coming out saying he has a chance to play this week. Either way, Agholor is going to get flooded again with targets. I suspect, if Jeffery is active he will most likely play as a decoy. Playing in the slot more times than not, Agholor will avoid going one on one with Darius Slay. The only problem is, Justin Coleman is pretty solid covering slot receivers. This is more about price and opportunity than anything else. I expect Agholor to get a minimum of 7-10 targets. Also, Agholor isn’t a scrub, he just needs to hang on to the ball. He’s among league leaders in average separation with 3.4 yards on average.
Punt Option: Devin Smith
Zach Ertz ($5,700 DK, $6,900 FD)
The number one targeted TE in the NFL last season is so far the number one targeted TE this season. Using him depends on your preferred roster construction, as do many other things. But if you’re playing Agholor it’s feasible to plug both of them in your lineup with the realistic expectation that you’ll be getting about 40-50% of Philadelphia’s overall target share. The reason why you don’t want to do it? You’re limiting upside. However, they could easily pay off their salaries. Of course, pivoting away from Agholor and playing Ertz by himself is in play as well.
Mark Andrews ($4,600 DK, $6,800 FD)
Andrews is getting plenty of opportunities and making the most of them with an extremely efficient 16 catches on 17 targets through the first two weeks of the season. And it’s not like he had one big game and one okay game either. Andrews has at least eight catches, eight targets, and 100 yards receiving in each of the first two games. The match-up is good against the Kansas City Chiefs, in what could be a very high scoring back and forth game. The Chiefs are giving up 17.25 DK points per game to the TE position this season. If Andrews obtains that, he’s worth it in cash games. Keep an eye on his status as he’s listed as questionable but likely to play.
Punt Option: Greg Olsen
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.
San Francisco 49ers ($3,200 DK)
With Ben Roethlisberger out for the year, Mason Rudolph will make his first career NFL start. Through two weeks, the 49ers rank second in terms of defense DVOA (-41.5%). It might not be a train wreck all season, but going into San Francisco I don’t like his chances this week.
Minnesota Vikings ($4,200 FD)
As mentioned earlier, as of writing this, the Vikings are nine-point favorites at home. The Oakland Raiders have an implied total of 17.25 points. That’s the third-lowest team total behind the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. Turnovers aren’t guaranteed, but a team on the road trailing late taking shots downfield are. This is a solid cheap option on FanDuel. Let’s bank on the low score and hope for a late interception.
Absolutely Viable: Dallas Cowboys (vs MIA), New England Patriots (vs NYJ)
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