We are back for our week 1 DraftKings Cash Game Plays! Man that feels good to type after such an odd NFL offseason.
For those of you that are new, you know that when it comes to cash, our first goal is to find as much volume as possible. Volume leads to a high floor and that is what we are really looking for in cash games. Yes, the higher the score the better, but we don’t have to have a top 10% lineup to win our H2H’s, Double Ups or 50/50’s. Let’s get into it!
5. Week 1 DraftKings Best Cash Game Plays: Quarterbacks
I am going to give you my favorite top, mid, and bottom tier QB to build cash lineups around.
Lamar Jackson vs. Cleveland – $8,100 – 27.5 or 3.43x
If I am saying that we are looking for a floor, there is no way that I can leave Lamar Jackson out of this article. To fit him into a cash game lineup, you are going to have to find volume to really make it work, but that is not impossible. While I tend to pay down at QB in cash games, this QB only had one, yes ONE week under 20 points in 2019.
With that type of floor, coupled with his upside, I can not argue with someone smashing Lamar Jackson into a cash game lineup.
It wasn’t one of Jackson’s huge splash games that we can see from him, but that floor is nice to have and even at his price, he managed a 3.43x on the week.
My “Maybe” High Price Option: Nobody
Matt Ryan vs. Seattle – $6,700 – 27.9 or 4.16x
It is my opinion that Matt Ryan goes widely underappreciated in cash games. I love getting the floor of a rushing QB in my cash lineups, but Matt Ryan basically has that, except it is with earning that 3pt bonus from passing for over 300 yards. Last year he hit that 11 times in 16 games. He also only scored under 19 DK points 3 times. This game is one of the favorites to shootout on the slate and Matt Ryan has a great shot at earning you that 3pt bonus on the day.
He wasn’t as good as the guy on the opposite side of the field as Russ Wilson was unleashed in week 1, but the only thing we were missing for an even better day, was a 3 TD game as Ryan threw for 450 yards.
My “Maybe” Mid Price Option: Carson Wentz vs. Washington – $6,300 – torches Washington and even with injuries, is in a better spot than 2019.
Mitch Trubisky vs. Detroit – $5,400 – 24.28 or 4.5x
Listen, as a Bears fan, this is not a fun one for me to write about. Mitch Trubisky was not a good quarterback in 2019. But at this level, you won’t find secure floors, that is why they are priced here. But, one thing Mitch Trubisky has done is torch the Detroit Lions. In 3 of his last 4 games he has went over 300 yards. In the game he was under 300 yards, he had 3 touchdown passes.
I won’t believe it until I see it, but all word out of training camp was that Trubisky looks like an entirely different QB. I think we heard some of that last year as well, so this doesn’t feel great, but Detroit’s secondary may be worse than a year ago. If I am going bargain shopping, I will take the 300 yard, 3 TD upside Trubisky has vs. the Lions.
We said we never feel great about Mitch Trubisky and man did it start off bad. But, he rebounded and crushed value in the 4th quarter and got us there with another 3 TD game vs. the Lions.
My “Maybe” Mid Price Option: Ryan Fitzpatrick – $5,300 – I told you that this lower tier doesn’t make you feel all giddy inside. Truth is Miami will be trailing and FitzMagic will be throwing. After week 7 of 2019, Fitz had zero games under 14 DK Pts and 7 above 20 DK points. That included a 27.3 DK pt performance to end the season. We care about fantasy points here and Fitz just gets there way more often than not.
4. Week 1 DraftKings Best Cash Game Plays: Running Backs
For running backs, I am just going to give you the best options I like. Some will be plays I actually don’t like, but will be chalk and because of that, they will be a good cash game play. Just an FYI, if I am playing my lineup strictly in cash games, I will ALWAYS have 3 RB’s in my lineup.
Christian McCaffrey vs. Oakland – $10,000 – 28.4 or 2.84x
There is nothing to say. CMC is a DraftKings cash game play each and every week until proven otherwise.
CMC is a monster and still got us 28.4 pts when he “only” had 3 receptions for 36 yards on 4 targets.
Antonio Gibson vs. Philadelphia – $4,000 – 6.4 or 1.6x
There is “Good Chalk” and there is “Bad Chalk” and honestly, I think Antonio Gibson is bad chalk this week. But, the truth of the matter is that he will likely be paired with CMC in the majority of lineups. Philly looks to be a top 5 team against the run again in 2020. Gibson is really new to the RB position, so even if he gets 10 carries, that could be a whopping 30 yards. He would then need like 4 receptions for 50 yards to get close to hitting 3x and I don’t feel comfortable betting on him getting 10 carries OR 50 yards receiving.
The problem is that if you don’t play him and he smashes with 18 to 20 points, you could lose most of your cash games, if not all. I am just as or even more confident in Chris Thompson ($4,000) hitting value, but playing the ownership game in cash, Gibson is the value on this slate unless something changes prior to Sunday’s start time.
Listen, I thought he was bad chalk, so I would love for this text to be green. My hope is that people moved off of him and looked elsewhere after the Boston Scott value opened up, but truth be told we saw an odd trend in week 1 of pass-catching running backs not being used in the passing game.
Austin Ekeler vs. Cincinnati – $7,000 – 9.7 or 1.39x
Listen, Austin Ekeler averaged like 27 DK Points when Melvin Gordon was away from the team. Gordon has moved on and Ekeler is easily the teams lead back. He won’t be the 20 carry lead back we love, but his receiving volume combined with 8-10 carries more than makes up for it at his $7,000 price tag.
If you told me Austin Ekeler was going to rush for 84 yards I would’ve thought he smashed value. How in the world does Ekeler get only ONE target? It is ridiculous honestly. Just following that trend mentioned above.
Josh Jacobs vs. Carolina – $6,800 – 35.9 or 5.28x
I would much rather roster a RB that is guaranteed 5-6 targets, but the truth is that Jacobs likely won’t need them in week 1. The Panthers were horrible in 2019 on defense and lost Luke Kuechly. This game has a chance to shootout because of how bad both defenses are. There is 100 yard and multiple TD upside here.
Guess who did get targets… Josh Jacob got targets. 6 of them. He caught 4 for 46 yards and smashed in 3 rushing TD’s. I said he wouldn’t need those targets above, but man, they sure were nice. Let’s hope this trend continues as Josh Jacobs could move into a new stratosphere.
3. Week 1 DraftKings Best Cash Game Plays: Wide Receivers
At WR I always want to pay down when possible. I do have a couple higher priced options in this article, but remember, the WR position is volatile. Spend less for volatility and more for a secure floor in cash games.
Michael Thomas vs. Tampa Bay – $9,000 – 4.7 or .52x
Just like CMC there is not much to say here. Michael Thomas is has the highest floor/ceiling combo in the league right now and is viable in all formats.
Ummm… nobody saw this coming… moving on.
Davante Adams vs. Minnesota – $7,300 – 44.6 or 6.11x
I am just going to call him MT Lite. The Green Bay target tree is so truncated that we could see 170 targets for Adams in 2020. The Vikings secondary is suspect and there is a great shot for Adams to reach 12 targets in this game.
By MT Lite, I meant he is the new MT. What a monster game.
Marquise Brown vs. Cleveland – $5,100 – 18.10 or 3.55x
I can hear it now. “Hollywood was WAY too inconsistent in 2019!” they say. I don’t argue that. Luckily, this is 2020 though and I fully expect Brown to be more heavily targeted now that he is not only a year older and more mature, but he is also healthy for the first time since like week 1 of 2019. He is under-priced at $5,100 and since the entire position is volatile, I have no issues going here for a guy that should get 6-8 targets.
He saw 6 targets and hit that 100 yard bonus as he caught 5 for 101 yards. This was in a game where the Ravens led the entire game by a wide margin. Give us some close games and let’s watch Hollywood explode!
Anthony Miller vs. Detroit – $5,000 – 17.6 or 3.52
Another player in a plus match-up that I think is just under-priced compared to the field. This could easily be Allen Robinson at $6,500 if you have the money, he is definitely the safer pick, but Miller is still a great pick at $5,000, IMO. From weeks 11-15 of 2019, Miller saw an average of 10.5 targets while Taylor Gabriel was sidelined. In there was a Detroit game in which he was target 13 times, caught 9 and put up 140 yards. Even without a TD, he scored 26 DK points. Gabriel is gone, Ginn isn’t taking those targets, we have a 2 WR target tree in Chicago now.
Shew… it took a late game TD to get there, but my “Lock of the Week” came through. If this guy played with a premium QB, he would be on everyone’s must own list.
Marvin Jones Jr. vs. Chicago – $5,500 – 9.5 or 1.73x
It is looking more and more like Kenny Golladay is going to be out of this weekends game. That means Marvin Jones will see a slight uptick in targets and he is always a touchdown threat whether Kenny G is playing or not. With Stafford healthy, Jones was already going to be one of my favorite pivot plays of the week. If Golladay is out, Jones moves right into my cash games.
This game was a weird one for the Lions, who had a large lead in the 2nd half. Jones wasn’t bad, but we really needed Chicago to have the lead for the targets to come in.
2. Week 1 DraftKings Best Cash Game Plays: Tight Ends
I love paying down at tight end and using that money on RBs. I am going to treat this segment like the QB segment and give you one guy at each level that I like, with a “maybe” alternative.
George Kittle vs. Arizona – $7,200 – 9.3 or 1.29x
It is always a tough pill for me to swallow spending this type of guap on a TE, but Kittle is definitely a WR with TE eligibility. Deebo has been ruled out and San Fran doesn’t have many options to throw too, so Kittle will just be heavily targeted again. Not to mention, Arizona was the team we targeted week-in and week-out last year for the TE position.
Kittle was on his way to smashing before being injured. Nothing else to really say here. I’ll make the text red, but it comes with an asterisk ******* or 7.
My “Maybe” High Price Option: Zach Ertz vs. Washington – $5,800 – We know Ertz will be targeted and there is high TD upside here.
Dallas Goedert vs. Washington – $4,100 – 27.1 or 6.61x
Listen, most people will probably pay up for Ertz and that is not a necessarily bad with a depleted Philly WR group. But Goedert saw 5 or more targets every week from week 8 until the finish and 6 or more every week from 11 on. Philly will continue to run two-TE sets and you will be hard pressed to find a TE that we are this comfortable with in the mid range.
A lot of people will like Hurst in the mid-tier and I can’t fault you, but we talk about WR struggles when switching teams, so I have to see it before I am comfortable with it in cash games.
My man! Dallas Goedert is a beast and went off vs. Washington. The best TE play of the week and was a great leverage play off of Hayden Hurst.
My “Maybe” Mid Price Option: T.J. Hockenson vs. Chicago – $4,200 – If Golladay sits, I see ownership spiking on Hockenson which may make him the mid-price option over Goedert. He would definitely see an uptick in volume and is reportedly fully healthy after his 2019 injury.
Ian Thomas vs. Oakland – $3,400 – 3.6 or 1.06x
We have seen Ian Thomas flash at times when given the opportunity. Now he has a QB that loves the intermediate pass and an overall offense that should be more creative. Just like QB, we don’t feel really comfortable with any guys in this price range, but we get a 4 for 50 type of game out of Ian Thomas, it isn’t terrible. If he hits pay dirt, it is a smash.
Ian Thomas did not come through and we would have rather been playing Logan Thomas from below. Can’t hit them all.
My “Maybe” Low Price Option: Logan Thomas vs. Philladelphia – $2,800 – Listen, this is a pure punt. The positive is that we don’t need a lot from Thomas to get there. He is listed as the starter on the depth chart and at first glance, there isn’t a clear #2 receiving option on this team. Even if it is Steven Sims Jr., there is still plenty left for Thomas to smash his price tag.
1. Week 1 DraftKings Best Cash Game Plays: DST
For defenses, I am going to make this really simple. I never feel comfortable with any that end up fitting in my lineup. I try to target home favorites vs. turnover prone QB’s and/or offensive lines that give up a lot of pressure. The more dropbacks, the better for defenses as they have the opportunity to create sacks and turnovers at a higher rate. But the truth of the matter is that DST is extremely hard to predict success.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – $3,000 – 4 or 1.33x
This will be my favorite play of the week I think. Colts are heavily favored and Minshew is prone to taking sacks and fumbling.
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