I have learned that the best way to win in DFS is to get a feel for the overview of the entire slate for the week. This slate feels like most players are going to be paying up for running backs while trying to find values at the other positions. I think that this is a good strategy for cash games on the week, and most players should be jamming in McCaffrey to their lineups no matter how expensive he gets. Players are going to have to find cheaper plays at other positions, and may even be forced to put some Miami Dolphins in their lineup as gross as it may feel. The great part of DFS is that if you want to be contrarian, there is a game mode where that will benefit you. If players are looking to play some GPPs this week, then my favorite way to get contrarian is to zig while everyone else zags. They should stray away from player McCaffrey or Barkley and look more toward playing the high end wide receivers in this slate.
Jameis Winston – $7,900 Everyone hyped up Jameis Winston this season with Bruce Ariens coming in to take over the head coaching position in Tampa Bay. Winston has lived up to the hype as everyone’s thoughts of him chucking it down the field over and over has come to fruition. Winston has been one of the best quarterbacks in DFS this year, and is still not getting priced up like a top option. Winston has scored no less than 17 fantasy points in his last five games, and has gone over 20 in three of his last five. The Buccaneers also take on one of the worst defenses in the league this week in the Arizona Cardinals. The game is currently projected to have a 52 point over-under which is the highest in the NFL this week, which means Winston should have plenty of opportunities to score points. Arizona also has one of the fastest paces of play in the league, which means that their offense will be on the field less and the Bucs’ offense will have more time of possession in this game. As long as this game can stay competitive, Winston will be well worth the $7,900 and should not be overlooked when constructing your cash lineups.
Christian McCaffrey – $10,500 Christian McCaffrey is arguably the most dynamic and exciting players in the NFL at this current moment. He has handled the entire workload that the Panthers has thrown his way this year, and is ranked #2 in the league at his position taking 96.7% of the snaps. McCaffrey is a no brain play in DFS until further notice with the way that he has performed so far this season. He is currently having one of the best fantasy seasons of all time, and is averaging 30.6 fantasy points per game which is almost unheard of. I am willing to pay any price for McCaffrey each week, and I will not have a lineup that he is not locked into as far as cash games go. He has seen 165 carries so far which is #4 in the league and when combined with his 42 receptions which is #3 at the position, it makes for an enormous amount of volume for him to score points. He also has been the Panthers’ goal line option in every situation so far. He has had at least one touchdown in every game except for week two which was the only time that he was shut down by an above average Buccaneers’ run defense. McCaffrey should be a lock in every cash game lineup as long as he continues to produce in this manner.
Devante Parker – $5,800 The most important factor when considering cash game lineups is the volume that your players will be receiving that week. More volume for your players means that there is more safety in playing them due to their opportunity to score points. Devante Parker fits that mold this week for the Miami Dolphins. So far this season, we have seen Ryan Fitzpatrick look at two wide receivers as his favorite targets and those players are Devante Parker and Preston Williams. The good news for Parker is that Preston Williams went out last week and that means that he should take a step forward and become the favorite target for an offense that loves to throw the ball down the field. The Miami Dolphins throw the ball 39.5 times per game which is #7 in the league and that should continue with them being in a poor game script this week against the Colts. The Colts’ defense has been fairly good so far this season which could be somewhat worrisome, but as long as Fitzpatrick continues to throw the ball deep down the field, there should be a clear path to Devante Parker scoring 10-15 points at a good price. Parker also is crucial to lineup construction this week, because most DFS players are going to have to look to save some salary because of jamming McCaffrey into their lineups.
Travis Kelce – $6,700 This play comes down to Travis Kelce being priced down like he is not the best tight end in the league. FanDuel priced Kelce this week at only $6,700 which means that he is currently priced under Mark Andrews at $6,800 which is a huge mistake in my opinion. Patrick Mahomes logged a full practice as I am writing this, which means that he is more than likely on track to play this week instead of Matt Moore. Kelce has not been great so far this year, averaging 14.2 fantasy points per game which is #4 at the position, but with Mahomes back in at quarterback gives me way more confidence in this play with an under-priced tight end. Expect Kelce to get back on track this week against Tennessee’s defense who has been average at best. Even on a down year for Kelce, he currently has 666 receiving yards which is #1 at the position. The part of Kelce’s game that has regressed so far this year is the touchdowns as he only has two on the year, but touchdowns is one of the most unpredictable stats in football. I believe this will be a bounce back game for Kelce and he could also see some positive regression in the touchdown column with Mahomes back to lead the offense.
Matthew Stafford – $7,900 Matthew Stafford has been on an absolute tear this year just ripping apart every defense that challenges him. Stafford has seen a revitalization under a new offensive coordinator this year, and continues to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league no matter how many times I want to doubt him. He currently is fourth in the league with 2499 passing yards and he also is #2 in the league with 19 touchdowns thrown so far this year. Stafford has a somewhat high price this week taking on the Chicago Bears, but if DFS players decide to go elsewhere at running back other than McCaffrey, then they should have the salary to play a high priced quarterback. Stafford has thrown 55 deep passing attempts so far this season which averages to about 7 deep passes per game and that ranks #1 in the league. Those deep passing attempts are valuable for quarterbacks because any one of those throws could end up going for a touchdown, especially with Stafford’s talented weapons in Golladay and Marvin Jones. Stafford will have a low ownership % this week due to his salary and taking on a Bears’ defense that has not been quite as good as they were last year.
David Montgomery – $6,400 David Montgomery should be a low owned play this week at the running back position and should be a player that people are looking to lock in their GPP lineups. Montgomery will have a low ownership percentage this week due to burning many fantasy players in the first half of the year. Montgomery is currently averaging 14 carries per game along with three targets per game which is not the best volume for a running back, but the good news is that the Bears take on a porous Detroit Lions’ defense this week that has been giving up a lot of production to the position. Last week, against the Lions, Josh Jacobs has 28 carries and went for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Montgomery also has shown his talent on the field the past couple of weeks and averages roughly 4 evaded tackles per game. The Bears also use Montgomery in the red zone when they need to. He is currently seeing almost 2.5 red zone touches per game and scored two touchdowns last week against a good Eagles’ run defense.
Davante Adams – $7,800 Davante Adams came back last week from his turf toe injury against the LA Chargers who manage to keep him to only seven receptions for 41 yards. The good news is that Adams had to take on one of the best cornerbacks in the league last week in Casey Hayward and he should have an easier matchup this week against Carolina. Adams has shown his talent on the field over the past couple of seasons and I believe that as long as he is healthy this week, there is no question that he could easily end up as the wide receiver #1 at the end of the slate. You should be able to get Davante at a somewhat low ownership percentage due to his poor performance last week, along with his higher than average price. DFS players should always be targeting players that have been poor in recent weeks, but they know that the player can have an explosive game in GPPs. Even though Adams has not had a great year like we were expecting, he still is averaging 9.4 targets per game from Rodgers which is great value at the position.
Austin Hooper – $6,600 Austin Hooper has been one of the most surprising players so far this year for me. At the beginning of the year, I never thought that Hooper would be averaging the most fantasy points per game at the position with 17.6 points per game. The Falcons’ in past years focused most of their passing volume to their talented wide receivers but so far Austin Hooper has 52 receptions which is #1 at the position and also has 591 receiving yards which is #2 for tight ends. The matchup this week is not great against the New Orleans Saints, but this game is projected with a 51 point over-under making it the second highest total on the week. This means that Vegas currently thinks that this game could turn into a shootout where both teams are going to have to keep up with each other and pass the ball more than they may like. Hooper also should be a low ownership play because most DFS players are either going to be paying up just a little bit higher to play Kelce, or they may just pay down at the position for a guy like Mike Gesicki. As long as players have the salary to fit in Hooper, he could be the highest scoring tight end on the week and may be a great puzzle piece to taking down a big tournament.