Joey Ricotta | November 23rd, 2019
Alright, it’s time to cook up some winning lineups once again. Hopefully, last week you were able to construct a nice winning lineup based on some of the plays mentioned in last week’s article. It certainly wasn’t my greatest week ever, but that happens from time to time. Nonetheless, I’ve put in the research to help us get back on track this 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.
The main thing 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 12.
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.
Carson Wentz ($5,600 DK, $7,300 FD)
The Eagles are definitely dealing with some injuries. Jordan Howard has been limited all week. His chances to play don’t look good, assuming he won’t be cleared for contact by game time. He is listed as questionable. Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor are also questionable to suit up. I think Wentz will be forced to move the ball through the air to keep up with Russell Wilson. The Seahawks have been slightly better against the run than against the pass this season, ranking 16th in rush DVOA compared to 18th in pass DVOA.
Jeff Driskel ($5,500 DK, $7,300 FD)
Driskel has filled in adequately for the injured Matthew Stafford. His first game against the Chicago Bears could’ve gone a little better, but the start came on short notice with very little preparation. Last week, Driskel had a better quarterback rating, albeit on fewer passing attempts. He threw two TDs and added a rushing TD on 51 yards on the ground. The rushing upside is there, and the matchup against the Washington Redskins is solid. The Redskins rank 26th in terms of pass DVOA (22.8%).
Value: Already Mentioned
Alvin Kamara ($8,200 DK, $8,300 FD) 🔒
Kamara’s usage has been concerning for much of the year, and a real reason I’ve avoided him for much of the season in cash games. He’s always a big part of the New Orleans Saints’ offense, but he is heavily reliant on his volume in the passing game. Game flow is an important factor when it comes to how many carries he will get. But, he’s received 10 targets in each of his last two games. Not paying up for Christian McCaffrey is certainly a risk. If you want to go that route, by all means, you can. But the way I’m building my lineups this week, I’ll have more exposure to him in tournaments than cash games. Kamara offers similar upside at a discounted price. Not to mention, the matchup is better. The Carolina Panthers rank dead last in terms of DVOA against the run. Kamara could easily break a run or a short screen pass more than once in this game.
Nick Chubb ($8,100 DK, $8,200 FD)
The Cleveland Browns are heavy favorites at home ( -10.5 as of writing this) against the Miami Dolphins. This is the first game they’ll play since the Myles Garrett debacle last Thursday night. Chubb has been terrific this season. He’s rushed for over 100 yards four different times and has a 5.03 yards per carry average. Even with Kareem Hunt now in the mix, Chubb has continued to get a ton of work, with at least 20 carries in five straight games. The Phins are allowing the second-most rushing yards per game (148.3), and they are fourth-worst in DVOA against the run (2.8%).
Le’Veon Bell ($6,400 DK, $7,300 FD)
His usage last week could be slightly misleading. He was on the field for 56% of the team’s offensive snaps, but the game was out of hand for the majority of the fourth quarter, as the Jets took a commanding 34-3 lead early on in the quarter. Also, the Jets’ drive to end the first quarter and begin the second, featured Bilal Powell almost exclusively. Bell has still yet to rush for 100 yards in a game this season. But the Raiders aren’t great against the run, ranking 22nd in DVOA, and Bell has gotten at least 20 touches each of the last three games. At this price point, I think you just lock in the volume.
James White ($5,300 DK, $6,100 FD)
While everyone is flocking to Miles Sanders, James White seems to be going overlooked. Normally, that would mean White would be a good GPP/tournament pivot. However, White hasn’t been a high upside type of player this season. He’s consistently sat in the low-to-mid teen points range. If the ownership wasn’t all over him, Sanders would set up to be a nice GPP play. At this rate, he’s looking like a full fade if you don’t trust using him in cash games. Because I’ll still want to counter all of the ownership on him, I’ll most likely run one or two GPP lineups with him for the heck of it. We’ve seen how far down his floor can go. Last week, a lot of people hopped on the train late, and he only put up 6.7 DK points.
While the New England running back situation can always be a guessing game, James White gets a steady diet of targets every week. He averages nearly seven targets per game and has received no fewer than three targets in any game this season. Last week, was his worst outing from a fantasy side of things, producing only 9.6 DK points. Sure, Sanders might be the higher upside play, but White clearly has the higher floor to me. Making him a safer cash game option.
Although Jay Ajayi was active last week, of course, he wasn’t going to get a ton of work in his first game of the season, after being on the street all year to this point. If Howard is inactive once again, Ajayi will most likely carve into some of Sanders’ reps, unlike last week. White should see a good amount of dump-off passes. Phillip Dorsett, Mohamed Sanu, and Julian Edelman are all dealing with their own injuries and listed as questionable. As is Tom Brady who has a sore right elbow. Expanding on that, he’s an aging passer who already doesn’t throw the ball very deep on average. Recheck weather reports, but as of now, it seems this game will see some heavy rain. All of that sets up a potential heavy dosage of James White catching double-digit passes out of the backfield.
Other Options: Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette
Value: Phillip Lindsay (Don’t love it)
Julio Jones ($8,000 DK, $8,400 FD) 🔒
On paper, this is the shootout game of the week. The Tampa Bay Bucs’ defense channels everything through the air. Their defense is extremely good at stopping the run, allowing the second-fewest rushing yards per game (80.9). Quite the opposite when it comes to their defense against the pass. They are allowing the second-most passing yards per game (290.9), and the most DK points per game to opposing receivers (49.3). Even without the Bucs help, guiding them to do so, the Falcons throw the ball more than any other team in the league, attempting 41 passes per game. The Bucs are third in the league with 40.6 pass attempts per game. Points could be put up in a hurry on both sides. Austin Hooper is out. Why not take one of the most gifted receivers in the league in a terrific matchup? Julio should be able to destroy this secondary. I also understand if you want to use his lesser-priced teammate Calvin Ridley instead.
Odell Beckham ($7,000 DK and FD)
Much like the Julio Jones situation, I won’t fault you for wanting to spend down for Beckham’s teammate Jarvis Landry. He’s also in a good spot to succeed. However, Beckham carries the higher upside of the two, with arguably a higher floor as well. Baker Mayfield has played considerably better in the last three weeks. Meanwhile, OBJ has received an astounding 22 targets over the last two games. We saw what John Brown was able to do against this Dolphins defense last week, as he racked up nine catches for 137 yards and two scores. Beckham STILL hasn’t caught a touchdown since Week Two of the season. Come on. You know that’s changing soon.
Tim Patrick ($3,000 DK, $5,400 FD)
Prices are easier to manage on sites like FanDuel. On DraftKings, we might need to go dumpster diving this week. Patrick is the bare minimum price, sitting at only $3,000. Following the Emmanuel Sanders trade, many thought DaeSean Hamilton would step up as the Broncos’ number two wide receiver. That hasn’t been the case. In the last three games, Hamilton has been targeted only once. Last week, Patrick made his return after suffering a broken hand that kept him out since Week One. Immediately, he saw a lot of targets (eight) and he was on the field for 73% of the offensive snaps. He caught four of those eight targets for 77 yards.
The matchup isn’t good and I’d be lying if I said it was. However, at this price point on DraftKings, we don’t need Patrick to do much. Him being a focal point of the Broncos’ offense is enough for me to use him. Courtland Sutton will undoubtedly draw more attention from the Buffalo Bills’ defense, including more coverage from TreDavious White. Patrick has been dealing with a shoulder injury and is listed as questionable. So, this definitely depends on his availability. He was able to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday and Friday. If he’s active, I’m saving salary and plugging him in.
Dallas Goedert ($3,700 DK, $5,200 FD)
If you’re paying up at Tight End this week, Ertz is the clear option to me. If not, the amount of two Tight End sets the Philadelphia Eagles run, makes Goedert interesting as well. Out of the teams on the main slate, the Seattle Seahawks have allowed the third-most receiving yards to Tight Ends this season (615). Along with the eighth-most DK points per game (14.2). Goedert has also been fairly safe. Four of the last five games, he’s received five or more targets and has a touchdown in three of those games.
Vance McDonald ($3,500 DK, $5,300 FD) 🔒
The Cincinnati Bengals have been worse defending the Tight End position than a lot of the stats show. When they’ve faced TEs who are focal points of their respective offense, they’ve had difficulties against them. Darren Waller caught five passes for 78 yards last week. And Foster Moreau caught a TD as well. The week before, Mark Andrews caught six passes for 53 yards and two TDs. Andrews also had another game catching six passes for 99 yards against the Bengals, earlier in the season. McDonald has received seven targets in each of the last three games. He’s also received the most red-zone targets out of any Steelers player (nine targets). That number amounts to 25.71% of the team’s total red-zone looks. With JuJu Smith-Schuster out, Mason Rudolph should be looking for McDonald often.
Another Option: Zach Ertz
Value: Already Mentioned
Cincinnati Bengals ($2,100 DK, $3,800 FD)
The Cincinnati Bengals have anything but a good defense. However, you don’t need a telescope or new bifocals to see how bad the Pittsburgh Steelers offense is. Going into the game last Thursday night, the Cleveland Browns were the fifth-worst team in takeaways per game. After picking off Mason Rudolph four times and the conclusion of Week 11, the Browns moved up nine spots. Putting aside the scrum that took place and how that makes you feel, Mason Rudolph is still not a very good quarterback. The Bengals are third-worst in the league in takeaways per game (0.9). But I have a feeling they’ll be able to improve on that number this week. James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster will miss this game due to injuries, as they have already been ruled out. An already pitiful offense gets even weaker.
Denver Broncos ($2,400 DK, $3,800 FD)
The Broncos will be traveling to the East Coast to take on the Buffalo Bills. Normally, a West Coast team traveling East would scare me, but the Bills are turnover-prone. Josh Allen can be a risk-taker at times. The conditions could be windy, upwards of 15-20 MPH, which could affect any long passing attempts. The Bills and the Broncos allow the third and fourth-fewest total yards per game. Vegas currently has the total sitting at 37 points. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the final score falling below that.
Other Options: Jacksonville Jaguars (@ TEN), Pittsburgh Steelers (@ CIN)
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