I’ve already posted my game-by-game breakdown where I broke down each game and narrowed my player pool. This article will be similar to what I do with MLB and NBA, where I highlight my favorite CASH GAME plays of the week. Yes, these players are going to be relatively chalky…that’s the point! I’m a cash game player, so this is an insight to how I think each week when it comes to double ups and h2h’s. Updates will be posted in red throughout the weekend.
Top Tier: Matt Ryan- You probably thought I would slot in Brees here, but Ryan proved me wrong last week and this is going to be the #1 game of the entire slate. The total is now up to over 52 points, and it’s looking like the Bengals will be without CB Dre Kirkpatrick. I want Dalton, but would be fine going contrarian and jamming in Matty Ice.
Mid Tier: Deshaun Watson- If I’m pivoting off our next player, this is where I’m going. Watson has put up over 25 DraftKings points per game each of the last two weeks while failing to look good and without a rushing touchdown. He’s eventually going to put up an all-around fantasy game, and he continues to smash every time that Will Fuller is in the lineup.
Low Tier: Andy Dalton- Lock in the Red Rifle baby! Dalton was a pretty popular play in week one for cash games, and I fully expect that to be the same scenario this week. This Falcons defense is now down three starters, and Dalton has looked legit pretty much weekly dating back to when Bill Lazor took over the offense last season. This has all the makings of an old-fashioned shootout and it’s nice to lock in the cheapest piece.
Top Tier: Alvin Kamara- Kamara is once again going to be a lock for me in cash games with Mark Ingram still suspended and Todd Gurley not on the main slate. He ranks top-five in the NFL in targets, and even though the Saints brought up Dwayne Washington from the practice squad I am not concerned about his usage whatsoever. While Ingram is out, this offense is one of the most pass-heavy in the NFL and while I don’t expect him to rack up 20 targets again this week, his floor is the highest on this slate.
Mid Tier: Saquon Barkley/Melvin Gordon- This is going to be the tale of the slate in my opinion, as the choice between Barkley and Gordon is going to be crucial if you are spending up for two running backs this week. I can make a strong case for both, and I have flipped back and forth throughout the week. Both are going to see 20+ touches, both are going to be involved in the passing game, and both have relatively tough matchups on paper. Gordon is a significant “home” favorite, but I say that with quotations because there will be pretty much zero Chargers fans there once again. Ultimately, I will post my final thoughts here in red later this weekend, but right now I think the $200 in savings you get with Barkley will actually be crucial.
Low Tier: Gio Bernard- This is other “lock” of the slate for me, with Joe Mixon officially being ruled out for this week. The Falcons have allowed over 14 (!) catches to opposing running backs over the last two weeks and they are even more banged up after losing Ricardo Allen. Gio is going to shoulder all of the RB-work again this week and is 100% still under-priced.
Top Tier: Julio Jones- I wish, I WISH, I was going to have the money to get to Julio this week but I just don’t see it happening in cash games. He continues to lead the NFL in air yards according to airyards.com and he struggled last week against Marshon Lattimore. I do respect some of the Bengals DB’s, but none of them are on Lattimore’s level yet and the total has continued to rise throughout the week for this game.
Mid Tier: Allen Robinson- Robinson had a “rough” game for me last week, as he did end up making my cash game roster. I think I will be heavily focused on the sub-$5,000 tier this week, but if I had the money I would love to be able to get up to Arob. He leads the Bears in air yards — per airyards.com — and he was just missed on a would-be long touchdown last week. The Bucs have been roasted in the slot all three games this season, and Arob should see some increased usage there with Anthony Miller out.
Low Tier: Sterling Shepard- My favorite overall play of the week, and he might end up being the highest owned player on the slate. He’s seen seven plus targets in each of the first three games and will (should) see increased volume with Evan Engram out due to injury. The Saints just lost slot corner Patrick Robinson to IR, and this is one of the most attractive O/U’s on the slate. Shepard, Boyd, Ridley, Enunwa etc, this is where we are going to be focused in cash this week.
Top Tier: Rob Gronkowski- I’m not going to be able to spend up for TE this week in cash games, but if I was I would be going with Gronk. As weird as it sounds, this is like a desperation game for the Patriots and they absolutely need to get their offense going. If Josh Gordon is active, this should help open up the field a bit more and the Dolphins have been attackable with tight ends for two seasons. If this Pats offense is going to get going, it’s on the back of Gronk.
Mid Tier: Jared Cook- Much like the Dolphins, the Browns have been horrible against tight ends in recent years and while they have looked better in 2018 they still willingly give up the middle of the field in Gregg Williams’ defense. Cook had a touchdown called back last week, and Gruden has shown the willingness to scheme plays for Cooks, part of which why he had such a monster week one performance.
Low Tier: Eric Ebron- This is the obvious tight end play again this week with Jack Doyle ruled out, and I don’t see getting off this in cash games. Yes, Ebron failed us last week, but he also led the Colts in targets and dropped two of them in the end zone. Process > results, and with Luck’s historically low yards per attempt, it should be a Ebron-heavy offense once again in Week 4.
D/ST Options: Jaguars, Cardinals, Seahawks, Bears
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)