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I’ve been riding high from my GPP win all week which netted me a cool $7k, and I’m ready to let some of it ride into week 5 to see if we can keep the hot streak going (thank you, Bears offense). This week features three game with an O/U of 50 or higher, highlighted by the PIT/ATL game which features a whopping 57.5. You’re going to need exposure to this game, and there are several ways to do it, so let’s get started. I will be on chat all morning Sunday helping out our FTA+ subs, and make sure to follow me on twitter @jac3600. Good luck!
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT ($8400)
There are three QBs all priced right at $8400 that are cash worthy, but that 57.5 O/U I mentioned puts Ben right at the forefront, and he can be used across all formats. The Falcons currently rank 25th in DVOA pass defense and 28th in overall DVOA so there’s no reason Pittsburgh can’t put up massive points. Atlanta’s D has also allowed 30.5 PPG through four games and the Steelers’ implied total is sitting right near 30. Ben has a bevy of weapons at his disposal (who you’ll hear about later) and he has historically performed better at home.
Other options – Patrick Mahomes, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Jared Goff
Matthew Stafford, DET ($7600)
Stafford does not have a particularly exciting matchup, as the Packers rank 6th in overall DVOA and 7th in DVOA pass defense. However, the O/U on this game is 51 points and the spread is even. This suggests both teams will play to their strengths, and Stafford’s is a high-volume passing attack. I expect the same to continue, and Stafford now has three amazing athletes to throw the ball to with Kenny Golladay’s emergence. I wouldn’t do this in cash, but Stafford carries weekly GPP-winning upside.
Other options – Kirk Cousins, Carson Wentz, Andy Dalton
Blake Bortles, JAX ($7000)
There are such exciting skill positions this week that I really have a hard time spending up in the $8000-8500 range for a QB in cash. Luckily, Bortles is here to provide the value you need in order to get those top skill guys in. His splits with Leonard Fournette out as opposed to playing is staggering, and Bortles gets a perfect matchup against the Chiefs who rank 30th in DVOA pass defense and dead last in DVOA rush defense. The Chiefs are also incredibly fast which creates more possessions for each team, and Bortles has a great rushing floor as well this year (28,27,35,42 rushing yards in each game this year). I’m really digging this play this week.
Other options – Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco
Melvin Gordon, LAC ($8700)
I have Gordon and Todd Gurley dead even atop my rankings this week, but a couple of things are pushing me a little more towards Gordon as the better play in DFS. One, he’s $400 cheaper on FD which could go a long way. Two, he’s beaten Gurley handily in the passing game this year which I didn’t expect when we were in draft season in August. The LAC/OAK game has the second highest O/U on the slate at 53 points and the Chargers’ implied total of 29 points is second only to the Steelers. Gordon is a fantasy MVP week in and week out and is worthy of his price tag.
Other options – Todd Gurley, Christian McCaffrey
James Conner, PIT ($7800)
After two amazing weeks, Conner has fallen onto everyone’s poo list with two straight duds (he saw TONS of instances where there were eight men in the box). This is the bounce back week for Conner, as you should always make it a priority to target a RB against the Falcons. Their defense is well known for protecting the deep ball which funnels opportunities to the RB position, especially out of the backfield. Atlanta ranks dead last by far in DVOA pass defense to RBs and have allowed…get this…47 receptions to RBs so far. Yes, you read that right. Throw in the fact that they rank 25th in DVOA rush defense while allowing 119 RYPG and I don’t see any way Conner busts again.
Other options – Saquon Barkley, Kareem Hunt, David Johnson
Giovani Bernard, CIN ($6900)
With Joe Mixon set to miss one more week, Gio is once again a cash lock at his price. The Bengals may be the sneakiest team on the slate with an implied total of 28 points which is the third highest of the week (and ahead of the Falcons in the marquee game). Gio has handled 90% of the RB touches and played 88% of snaps since Mixon went down and is facing a Dolphins D that ranks 26th in overall DVOA and 20th in DVOA rush defense. The only issue is that Bernard himself is also questionable with a knee ailment, so you’ll have to monitor this.
Other options – TJ Yeldon, Tevin Coleman (if Devonta Freeman misses), Marshawn Lynch, Jay Ajayi, LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis
Antonio Brown/Juju Smith-Schuster, PIT ($9000/$8000)
Brown is the clear top play, but I need to include his “Robin” at $1000 cheaper, and you can argue that Juju has been more of a value as a fantasy option this year. You have to have one of these players in cash on the highest implied total, and there’s no argument against having both if you save elsewhere. Brown has always been the “guy” as he’s generally the most targeted receiver in football, but he’s only four targets ahead of Juju this year (53-49), and Juju has actually out-targeted him the last two weeks (22-20). Furthermore, Juju has a 62% RZ target share over the past two weeks, which is the highest of any player in the NFL. Both are elite cash options against the Falcons.
Other options – Julio Jones, AJ Green, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Odell Beckham, Keenan Allen, Davante Adams
Brandin Cooks/Robert Woods, LAR ($7800/$7200)
This is completely a “lite” version of the writeup listed above. Cooks is the “WR1” on the Rams, but Woods (and Cooper Kupp) are literally right there as far as market share goes, so it might make sense to pivot to them in cash and save a bit of money. We haven’t mentioned the Rams yet, but they have an implied total of 27.5 points on the road in Seattle, and the Seahawks just lost Earl Thomas to a broken leg. Cooks has 33 targets while Woods has 34, and Woods has three TDs over the last two games. I love him as a mid-tier option.
Other options – Tyreek Hill, Golden Tate
Cooper Kupp, LAR ($6700)
Kupp is always called the “complementary” piece to Cooks and Woods, but here’s the deal – he also has 33 targets thus far this year which puts him right in line with the other two. On top of that, his RZ market share over the last two weeks is 54% which is third only to Juju and Jarvis Landry (who I also adore this week). Kupp leads all Rams’ WRs with four TDs and he was virtually unstoppable last week against the Vikings who are “supposed” to protect the middle better than the Seahawks do. Kupp remains too cheap.
Other options – Jarvis Landry (also way too cheap), Doug Baldwin, Amari Cooper, Corey Davis, Devin Funchess, Kenny Golladay, Quincy Enunwa, Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, Sterling Shepard
Travis Kelce, KC ($7700)
It’s tough to target a high-priced guy against the Jaguars defense, but Kelce is someone that makes sense if you can afford him. The Jags’ CBs are SOOOOO good, and that naturally funnels opportunities and fantasy points to the RBs and TEs. The Jags are first (surprise) in overall DVOA but ranks 17th in DVOA pass defense to the TE position. Since he busted in week one, Kelce has been feasting ever since. He has 38 targets this season and leads the Chiefs in RZ market share. He should be super busy and has a nice floor for all formats.
Other options – Zack Ertz, George Kittle, Jimmy Graham
Jared Cook, OAK ($5900)
Cook is a polarizing play this week. He still seems too cheap and he may be popular as a result. It also helps that Cook’s eight RZ targets this year leads all tight ends, but beware. The Chargers’ defense is ranked first in DVOA pass defense against the TE position and have amazingly only allowed one red zone target to TEs all year long. I feel like Cook is fine in GPPs given his targets lately, but I’d rather spend a little on the TE position this week in cash (Kelce/Ertz/Graham).
Other options – David Njoku, Austin Hooper, Vance McDonald, Jeff Heuerman, Nick Vannett
TOP FIVE DEFENSES IN CASH
Jamie Calandro (DFS alias jac3600) is the President of Operations and was an FSWA finalist in 2018 for basketball writer of the year. He has been playing fantasy MLB, NFL, and NBA since 2001. He has won various titles and is a 10-time NFBC and 14-time NFFC champion. He is a seasoned daily fantasy sports player, logging in 7 days a week on multiple sites and winning multiple large-field GPPs while being a prolific cash game grinder. Jamie is FantasyPros' 2016 MLB Daily Fantasy Accuracy Cup champion and earned a top five finish in 2017 as well. Look for him in chat on FTA, and follow him on twitter @jac3600.