This article is designed to highlight my favorite cash game building blocks. Cash games are the staple of our optimal blueprint and should be anchoring your bankroll. Cash games are classified as head to head contests, 50/50s and double ups. Good luck in your contests this week and remember to tweet us @dfs_karma with your winning screenshots!
Top Tier: Drew Brees- Drew Brees absolutely lines up in the money spot this week at home against the Detroit Lions. Brees is averaging over 350 yards in his career when coming off his bye week, and yeah, he had his bye week last week. The Lions defense has widely been playing above their heads this season, and after getting ripped up by Cam Newton last week they travel to the Coors Field of NFL DFS. We know that Brees has significant home/road splits, now couple in the whole 350+ yards coming off his bye week thing. Brees is my favorite option for cash games this week and he will be popular.
Mid Tier: Deshaun Watson- This should come as no surprise to anyone as I fully expect Watson to be the highest owned Quarterback on the slate. He's been absolutely unreal over the last two weeks for the Texans ranking inside the top 5 at his position each time. The Browns have been a stone disaster on defense this season and have already surrounded 11 touchdowns through the air, good for second worst in the NFL. As a massive home favorite, Watson is in an impeccable spot this week and is a perfectly safe cash game option.
Low Tier: Kevin Hogan- This is a more Draftkings specific play as the news Browns signal caller is just $4,600. I'm a big fan of paying up for either Watson or Brees in cash games this week given all the running back value we have, but paying down for Hogan could be a contrarian way to cram in studs. The Texans defense is extremely banged up and the Browns team total has risen a few points since Hogan was named the starter. Hogan was efficient after he came in last week for Kizer completing all but 3 passes and finding the end zone twice. The Browns will need to throw to keep up with the explosive Texans offense and what does he really have to do at that price tag?
Top Tier: Kareem Hunt- This is one of the best spots the young rookie has been in this season and I'm beyond excited to use him this week. Hunt lines up a home favorite against a #bad Steelers run defense. We are used to the Steelers having a fairly strong defense and hopefully some people are hesitant to click on Hunt against them this week. The Steelers were gashed by Leonard Fournette last week and are giving up over 130 yards per game on the ground this season. Hunt has started to get the worst we are looking for, rushing 20+ times each of the last two weeks and he obviously is an option in the passing game as well. I love Hunt this week at home and don't be surprised if he busts a long one late like Fournette did last week.
Mid Tier: Todd Gurley- This one is so funny to me and I am 100% fine if you land on him in cash games. Last week we all were all in on Le'Veon Bell against this Jaguars run defense and now since Gurley had one bad game nobody wants to use him? The Jaguars are still giving up the 2nd most yards per game on the ground, it's not Bell's fault he only got 15 carries last week. Gurley had an early fumble that should of been a touchdown and that set the tone for his whole day. Gurley has been the volume king this season and that's the overall top thing I look for when. choosing my cash game player pool. It's a great matchup and NOBODY will be on him this week.
Low Tier: Mark Ingram- I'm a big fan of Mark Ingram and I have been throughout his career but it never seems like he's gotten that bell cow usage to truly show off what he can do. He's been a top 10 PPR back the last few years and now with Adrian Peterson out of town is clearly the guy in New Orleans. A lot of people want to play Alvin Kamara, which I understand, but Kamara is mainly a pass catcher and it's not like Ingram doesn't catch passes. The Saints are at home where they have perennially crushed under Drew Bree's, they're coming off their bye week and Ingram should be locked and loaded for a big game at a suppressed price tag. Lock him in for cash games!
Top Tier: DeAndre Hopkins- This should come as no surprise given who one of the best Quarterback options is this week. Hopkins has been an anomaly at the WR position this season racking up 40 more targets that anyone else on the Texans. His marketshare is something you won't find anywhere else and he saw some positive touchdown regression last week finding the box 3 times in a loss to the Chiefs. As I've tried to teach you so far this season, volume is king in NFL DFS and in cash games especially. Nobody is seeing the targets that Nuk is and he's going to be so popular that it's hard to stomach a fade in cash.
Mid Tier: Keenan Allen- Yes, yes yes! Finally, I get to highlight my boy in this article. If you have read anything I've written so far this year for NFL then you know I'm a huge Keenan Allen fan. He's a PPR monster when he's healthy and this spot couldn't be better for him. He works primarily from the slot and the middle of the field is wide open against the Raiders, they have one of the worst assortment of linebackers I have ever seen. This game's total was a bit slow to open up because we didn't know about Derek Carr and it now sports the highest total of the week in Vegas. This is a potential shootout and I think Keenan is going to get fed big time. Have some exposure!
Low Tier: Adam Thielen- Thielen is a flat out baller and a lot of people haven't come around to it yet. The Packers secondary is a bit banged up and it's already one of the go-to secondaries to target each week. Thielen is averaging around 8 targets per game and the best thing about this game for him is that Stefon Diggs was ruled out for this game. Case Keenum is running out of options to throw to after Diggs so Thielen should be the focal point of this offense on Sunday and it won't surprise me if he sees 10+ targets.
Top Tier: Rob Gronkowski- Tight End is a wasteland on Sunday and I don't think it's really in the cards to pay up at Tight End, but with some of the RB value we have it is doable. Gronk is back for the Patriots this week and it's obvious why you would want to play him, it seems like every time he plays he finds the box and he gets a dream matchup with the Jets secondary who allowed a red zone touchdown to Browns rookie Tight End David Njoku last week. If you have the money play him, but I'm not prioritizing paying up at Tight End in cash games this week.
Mid Tier: George Kittle- Tight End is fairly ugly this week and that's why I think it's a fine position to just punt and save some money. Kittle is a legit good NFL Tight End and he's crazy athletic, after watching him play the last couple weeks I'm a fan. He lines up in a great spot against the Redskins and the 49ers will need to throw to keep the game close. The Skins rank bottom 3 against Tight Ends this season and that's the money spot to attack their strong defense.
Low Tier: Ryan Griffin- This is a Fanduel specific play as Griffin is actually a bit more expensive than Kittle on Draftkings. I always look for pricing discrepancies to start my week off and Griffin was one of the biggest ones that stuck out to me this week, he's the TE6 on Draftkings but still MIN PRICED on Fanduel! That's quite the difference and it's for one reason...he plays the Browns. The Browns have been one of my go-to targets for Tight Ends this season and have allowed a big game to Tight Ends in every single game this season except for one. Griffin is playing on 80% of the snaps for Texans and he's an athletic guy who can easily take advantage of how bad the Browns secondary is in coverage.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)