Joey Ricotta | October 19th, 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. 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 Seven.
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.
Matt Ryan ($6,300 DK, $7,900 FD) 🔒
I absolutely want a piece of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams. The Vegas over/under total for this game is the highest on the board at 54.5. Yes, Jalen Ramsey will be in the Rams’ secondary, but getting acclimated to his new team and situation isn’t a small task, especially because this will be his first game and it comes on a short week after the trade.
The Falcons have plenty of weapons and throw the ball enough for me not to worry about one player on the opposition making a big difference. As we always say, Atlanta throws a ton, ranking second in the league in passing play percentage (70.10%). Ryan has thrown for 300 yards every week this season, continually hitting the DraftKings bonus. Plus let’s not sugarcoat it, the Atlanta Falcons defense sucks more than a vacuum.
The Falcons will need to put up points via the air. This game has serious shootout potential with two of the fastest-paced teams in the league. if you were wondering about playing Jared Goff, you can. However, Ryan’s floor is much higher than Goff’s as evidenced by his abysmal performance last week against the San Francisco 49ers. With all of these factors considered, Ryan is my favorite cash game quarterback.
Josh Allen ($6,500 DK, $7,700 FD)
We have yet to see one of Allen’s insanely huge games from a fantasy perspective this season. What better time to have one than this week against the pitiful Miami Dolphins? We know he has the rushing upside and he’s not afraid to air it out. Other than his stinker against the New England Patriots in week four, Allen has posted at least 18.5 DK points in every other game.
I’m not going to harp on the matchup with the ‘Phins for too long. They are second to last in the league in DK points allowed to the quarterback position per game (25.45), dead last in terms of DVOA (35.3%), and dead last in total opponent points per game (36). It’s hard for me to trust Goff in cash games, but if you want to pivot away from Ryan, Allen is solid.
Leonard Fournette ($7,000 DK, $7,900 FD) 🔒
Fournette is becoming a mainstay in my weekly article. As tired as I am of writing up the same guy week in and week out, I really don’t see the need to try to be different just for the sake of doing so. Fournette’s killing it from a floor perspective, he’s getting a ton of volume, and he should have a better game than last week. The matchup against the New Orleans Saints was tough as they are stingy against opposing running backs. They held him to 72 yards on 20 carries for an average of 3.6 yards per carry.
It should be a completely different situation this week considering the Cincinnati Bengals have gotten gashed by opposing running backs all year, allowing 184.5 yards rushing per game (the most in the NFL). For some reason, Fournette’s price hasn’t reached the level you’d expect given his usage. Even given the rushing struggles last week, he was still able to compile 17.8 DK points because of his work in the passing game. He’ll be popular but for good reason. Fournette is my favorite running back this week.
Chris Carson ($6,500 DK, $7,600 FD) 🔒
Carson’s usage is similar to Fournette’s in the sense that he’s a huge chunk of the Seattle Seahawks’ offense. According to Football Outsiders, Carson is tied for eighth in the league with Dalvin Cook for offensive snap percentage among running backs. I don’t expect that to change this week as he has rushed for over 100 yards each of the last three weeks. DFS players generally don’t like to attack the Baltimore Ravens’ defense because they have been such a solid group in the past.
However, last year, they ranked sixth in the league in terms of DVOA against the run, whereas this year, they rank in the bottom half of the league at 18th overall. Vegas is telling us there should be a decent amount of points in this game and the Seahawks are favored by three points at home. I always like taking running backs favored at home.
There’s a plentiful amount of good options at wide receiver this week. So, if you notice, there are more wide receivers mentioned in the “other options” section than normal. All of those guys are viable to use in cash games and it really just depends on your preferred roster construction.
T.Y. Hilton ($5,900 DK, $7,600 FD)
Plain and simple, the Texans secondary isn’t good. Now, they are dealing with injuries and Hilton has destroyed them almost twice annually. Bradley Roby and Johnathan Joseph are questionable with hamstring injuries but have logged limited practices this week. Even if they play, Hilton’s talent and his chemistry with quarterback Jacoby Brissett should give him the upper hand. I expect the Texans to put up some points and the Colts will most likely need to keep pace through the air. In four games played, Hilton’s averaged over seven targets per game. I think he gets over on that number this week.
Allen Lazard ($3,000 DK, $4.500 FD)
Opportunity due to misfortune. The Packers will again be without wide receiver Davante Adams, while Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are listed as questionable. So, if you’re aware of or familiar with the Lazarus effect, you can understand this comparison. In this case, Jesus is Aaron Rodgers and Lazarus is Lazard. Albeit having a significant amount of upside and potential, Lazard was basically left for dead on the Packers’ practice squad when rosters were set on September 1st. However, prior to their first game, on September 4th, he was signed from the practice squad to the active roster.
If you recall from the story, Jesus restored Lazarus back to life four days after his death. This past Monday night, Lazarus or Lazard played a big role in the victory, snagging four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. Reportedly, Rodgers fought for Lazard to get playing time in the fourth quarter of the Monday Night game. He’s got talent and could get the start on Sunday. Given the fact that Rodgers likes him (and that’s really all that matters), I expect him to look his way on Sunday. At bare minimum salary, Lazard could bring your lineups to life.
Evan Engram ($6,500 DK, $6,800 FD)
We know about the terrific matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. But if you’ve been living under a rock for the first six weeks of the season, the Cardinals struggle mightily versus tight ends. They can’t guard them, they are giving up huge chunks of yards, and a ton of fantasy points. Plus, Engram gets a ton of volume and is the Giants’ number one receiving weapon. Sterling Shepard has been ruled out as he’s still in the concussion protocol. Barkley is expected to return this week and that will help the offense move the ball better, and should make them less predictable. One thing is for sure, when they aren’t going to Barkley, Engram will be the main man. Engram has been dealing with a knee issue and missed the last game, but has been a full participant in practice this week. If you’re spending up at tight end, fire up Engram.
Hunter Henry ($4,000 DK, $5,700 FD) 🔒
Welcome back, Mr. Henry. He returned to have a huge game on Sunday Night Football after dealing with a tibial plateau fracture. This, also, coming after missing virtually all of last season. Henry caught eight balls for 100 yards and two touchdowns. So far in his two games played, Henry has been targeted a total of 14 times. There’s no question about the guy’s talent. If he can stay healthy and on the field, this is a great value play. The Tennessee Titans’ defense is top-ten in terms of DVOA, but we’ve seen how much Philip Rivers loves to utilize his tight ends in the red zone. I wouldn’t bank on another 100 yards and two touchdown game, but at this cheap price tag, he should be able to return value.
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.
Chicago Bears ($3,000 DK, $4,500 FD)
Even with Akiem Hicks being placed on injured reserve and out for this game, the Bears defense is still among the best in the league. The rushing attack for New Orleans should be in better shape with him out but Alvin Kamara is also banged up and has been ruled out with a high ankle and knee injuries. Latavius Murray will be filling in his place and is a decent option for tournaments, given that he could fall into the end zone a couple of times.
But as far as talent goes, this is a big downgrade from Kamara. The Bears are once again this season, among the league leaders in turnover differential (+6). With a limited rushing attack, I think the Bears can focus their attention on creating pressure on Teddy Bridgewater. They are hungry and refreshed after a bye week and an abysmal London trip. Turnovers could follow.
Indianapolis Colts ($2,000 DK, $3,600 FD)
The Colts are a cheap defense in what looks to be a bad matchup for them, going up against the Houston Texans. Why would I play a defense in what looks to be a bad matchup? The Texans will be without Tytus Howard who has already been ruled out with a knee injury and they’ve already looked shaky in pass protection, averaging three sacks per game (eighth-worst in the league). I’m not super confident in the Colts D and I expect the Texans to be able to put up some points, but if you’re going the cheap route, you could do worse.
Miami Dolphins ($1,500 DK, $2,500 FD)
By all accounts, the Dolphins have a terrible defense this season but hear me out for a second. Allen has proven a tendency to turn the ball over. Yes, he’s played well overall this season, and I do expect him to have another solid game this week. However, turnovers equal fantasy points. Allen has thrown seven interceptions and fumbled five times this season.
Safe Options: Buffalo Bills (vs MIA), San Francisco 49ers (@ WAS)
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