Joey Ricotta| October 12th, 2019
Welcome in. Hopefully, everyone had a great week and is as excited as I am for this week’s games. Hopefully, last week you were able to construct a nice winning lineup based on some of the plays mentioned in last week’s article. We had a solid week, for the most part, correctly highlighting Michael Thomas, Will Fuller, Leonard Fournette, and the Carolina Panthers defense as solid plays. 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 Six.
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.
Patrick Mahomes ($7,500 DK, $9,200 FD) Normally, I’m not a pay up at quarterback kind of guy, but this is a week I might break my own rules. The Vegas expected points total for this game is outrageous. As of writing this, the Kansas City Chiefs have the highest implied total on the slate, and the game is the highest over/under. Mahomes’ ankle may not be 100%, but even a less than fully healthy Mahomes is better than a lot of other quarterbacks. Unsure of where to go when it comes to picking out the value in this Chiefs offense and still getting exposure to them, why not use the guy that’s guaranteed to be involved and hasn’t thrown for less than 300 yards in any game this year? That’s right, as mediocre as they looked last Sunday night against the Colts, Mahomes still threw for 321 yards and a TD. Oh, and by the way, he hasn’t thrown an interception all season. There’s value to be had at other positions this week. If you want to pay up at quarterback, I have no qualms about it.
Matt Ryan ($6,400 DK, $8,100 FD) Why have I been consistently overlooking Matt Ryan? I used him plenty last week against Houston, but he’s been steady all season and throws the ball a ton. This week sets up nicely for him, getting a matchup in Arizona against the Cardinals who are allowing the ninth-most passing yards per game and third-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Ryan’s lowest-scoring fantasy game was 19.7 DraftKings points in week four against the Tennessee Titans. The weird part about that game, he actually threw for a season-high in yards (397) and attempts (53) in that game. The only reason it wasn’t a better game fantasy-wise, was because he didn’t throw any touchdowns. While the Falcons have a meager rushing attack and throw the ball more than any other team at a 72% clip, Ryan also ranks third in the NFL in completion percentage (70.3%). The Arizona Cardinals throw the ball 65.49% of the time which puts them sixth in the NFL for passing play percentage. This could very well be a shootout. Matt Ryan is absolutely an option this week.
Another Option: Deshaun Watson
Punt Option: Kirk Cousins
Normally, I use a couple of lock emojis on my running back picks. This week, I think it’s a bit different because there are so many good options in play and Christian McCaffrey isn’t on the main slate. Also, I think it’s going to come down to which of these injured running backs play and which don’t. Todd Gurley has already been ruled out due to a thigh contusion he suffered in Week Five against the Seattle Seahawks. That puts Malcolm Brown squarely in play as a cheap replacement option to use. I’m not sure how great I feel about it in cash games, but he’s certainly an option. Then, we have David Johnson dealing with a back issue and Alvin Kamara with a bum ankle. If either one of those two guys doesn’t suit up, I love the value that would open up. If Johnson is out, Chase Edmonds is a great option and if Kamara sits, Latavius Murray is even cheaper than Edmonds. Either one of them would be locks in cash games.
Le’Veon Bell ($6,400 DK, $6,800 FD) 🔒
Sam Darnold returning this week not only effects the New York Jets’ receivers, but it should also open things up in the backfield as well. Bell has been a bell cow tailback for years. Nothing has changed this season. In fact, I’d argue that this year has been his most difficult challenge and along with attempting to do damage in an anemic offense, Bell didn’t play all of last season. I think sometimes people forget that. Yes, he was able to save his legs for a season and should be very fresh, but there’s also the game speed factor that comes into play. When you spend that much time away from the football field, there has to be an adjustment and refocusing period. The more Bell plays, the more he will get back to feeling like his normal self, and the vision will fully be there. He’s a solid floor play because of his usage in the passing game and the upside is finally there with Darnold making things less predictable. The Matchup is fine. The Cowboys are fresh off a week where they made Aaron Jones look like Jim Brown. Hit the lock button. Ring the bell. Whatever you want to do, just get him in your lineups.
Leonard Fournette ($6,700 DK, $7,300 FD) Fournette is getting boatloads of usage. Much like Bell, Fournette has been on the field for nearly all of his team’s offensive snaps (91.1%). He’s not only just been on the field, but he’s also been getting a bunch of opportunities, averaging 23 touches per game. I’ll always have at least some interest in any running back getting that amount of work. The New Orleans Saints have been mediocre at stopping the run this season, allowing 108.4 yards per game. Also, unlike some other running backs’ situations this week, I’m not worried about the game script. No matter what happens with the score, unless there is an insanely large point deficit, Fournette will be in the game because he’s proven to be game flow independent.
Other Options: Ezekiel Elliott, Mark Ingram, Chris Carson
Punt Options: Chase Edmonds (If DJ is out), Latavius Murray (If Kamara is out), Malcolm Brown, Carlos Hyde
DeAndre Hopkins ($7,400 DK, $8,400 FD) 🔒
Well, we were all over Will Fuller and his big blow-up game last week. Recency bias will take many people in that same direction this week, but I think that’s a mistake. Nuk Hopkins is still one of the best receivers in the game and he’ll be in a prime spot against the Kansas City Chiefs. Bashaud Breeland will likely be shadow covering Hopkins, and even if he isn’t and Charvarius Ward is covering him, Hopkins has the advantage. I expect a back and forth game with a lot of offensive fireworks, especially given that this game is the highest over/under total on the slate. Get back on the train, it’s Nuk’s turn to blow up this week.
Preston Williams ($4,100 DK, $5,600 FD) Picking up steam as the week has gone on, many people seem to be getting on board with using Kenyan Drake as a value play this week at running back. However, I’m looking in another Miami Dolphins player’s direction. Preston Williams is getting overlooked due to his lack of touchdowns this season. It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. He doesn’t even need to score TD to hit value and he’s going up against a trash Washington Redskins secondary. Furthermore, he’s getting doused with a team-leading 22% of team targets. His teammate, air yards buy-low model cover boy, DeVante Parker will also see some ownership in tournaments. But in cash games, I want the guy with the higher floor and I think Williams provides that with his cheap price tag.
Other Options: Cooper Kupp, Michael Gallup, DJ Chark
Punt Option: Byron Pringle (Only if Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill are out)
George Kittle ($5,200 DK, $6,500 FD) The San Francisco 49ers number one receiver is and has been a Tight End. Kittle receives around 27% of the 49ers’ team target share and has hooked up with Jimmy Garoppolo on 81.25% of passes, for a total of 23 catches, 235 receiving yards, and one touchdown. Really, Kittle’s been disappointing fantasy owners this season because of his lack of TDs. His first and only one came last week against the Cleveland Browns. The Los Angeles Rams do a decent job against outside receivers and generally, the way to attack them is over the middle. If Kyle Shanahan is wise, that’s the route he’ll take as far as his gameplan goes. With two of the faster-paced teams in the NFL squaring off, Kittle is in a prime spot to see plenty of action. Monitor his status prior to kickoff. He was a late addition to the injury report on Friday with a groin issue. He’s still expected to play, but definitely keep an eye on the situation.
Austin Hooper ($5,000 DK, $6,400 FD) 🔒
Hoop there it is! Hoop there it is! Hooper has continued to build a nice rapport with quarterback Matt Ryan. He’s consistently racked up 17.46 DK points per game. I had very little exposure to Tyler Eifert and the Cincinnati Bengals’ Tight Ends, but only because I didn’t trust them or their usage. The Arizona Cardinals are still horrendous at covering the TE position and Hooper is a different animal. As aforementioned, the Falcons are extremely pass-heavy. Hooper leads all Falcons in catches (34) and receiving yards (363) and is second to Julio Jones with 42 targets. Also, he’s among the league leaders in average separation (4.1 yards), tied for fifth in the NFL. If George Kittle plays and you choose him over Hooper, I can’t fault you, but Hooper is a terrific option.
Other Options: Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz
Punt Option: Gerald Everett
If you’re a returning guest, 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 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 (one for each of the two main sites).
New York Jets ($1,500 DK) 🔒
The Jets defense isn’t good. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me tell you why they aren’t a bad option. This is a major pricing mishap by DraftKings. This is going to allow you to spend up where it counts. Is this a safe play? No, not by any means, and I really don’t expect this defense to do all that much, but they have the potential to create a turnover or two. Dak Prescott receives more flak than he should for the way he plays, but he’s definitely not above making mistakes. At $1,500 on DK, the Jets D really only needs to get some sacks or create one turnover to pay off their salary.
Minnesota Vikings ($3,600 FD) Another pricing injustice that we can take advantage of. The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t pushovers, but they aren’t exactly fearsome to a defense like the Vikings playing at home. They rank fourth in terms of DVOA at -12.0% and allow the fifth-fewest points per game (14.6). Much like the Jets, I’ll take the discount and hope for the best.
Other Options: Denver Broncos (vs TEN), Jacksonville Jaguars (vs NO)
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