What’s up guys! I can’t believe it’s already Week 9, but here we are! I’m going to do this article a little bit differently this week, because I think this week is extremely straightforward for cash games. As always, I will be as transparent as possible and provide any updates throughout the weekend if needed.
1. Cam Newton- Quarterback is extremely straightforward this week, with Cam Newton set to be the mega-chalk in a smash spot at home against the Buccaneers. The Bucs are top-five in the NFL in passing yards allowed this season, and Cam has thrown for two or more touchdowns in every game this season. He also is first in the NFL in rushing among QB’s this season, showing the huge floor he has which is tough to beat in cash. With the value we have present, it’s easy to get to Cam in cash and it’s the most logical route for Week 9.
2. Jared Goff- IF, and I truly mean if, you feel the need to drop off Cam in cash games it’s 100% Jared Goff for me. Goff has SMASHED in close games this season and the Saints secondary is one of the most attackable in the NFL. This game sports an outrageous 60 O/U, something you rarely see in the NFL and there’s no doubt this has shootout written all over it.
Top Tier: Todd Gurley– So, last week I ended up not using Gurley in cash and I still had a fantastic week, this week I don’t see that happening. Gurley smashed again, and yet his price went down, and now he’s in this insane 60 O/U game where alllllll the points are going to be scored. He’s the first player I’m putting in my lineups this week, especially with the value we have at WR.
Mid Tier: Alvin Kamara/Christian McCaffrey/Kareem Hunt- I will dive into why I think you can fit two of these guys at wideout, but let’s get to the analysis. Kamara is number one out of this trio for me, his snaps have decreased with Ingram back, but the touches are still pretty much the same and DraftKings was way over-aggressive knocking his price down. This is the nuts game atmosphere, and he will 100% be in my cash game team alongside Gurley.
The question here is which one of Kareem Hunt and Christian McCafrey do we want as our third. Hunt has a great matchup in a homecoming narrative against a tired Browns defense that has been shredded on the ground in recent weeks. McCaffrey fits perfectly with Cam as a way to get exposure to “all” of the Panthers points and the Bucs have been #bad against pass-catching running backs this season. I will update this with my final thoughts, but as of now I’m *narrowly* leaning Hunt, it’s entirely too close.
Value If Needed: As I clearly just pointed out, I’m looking to jam in three of these mid-high-priced backs this week, but I’m sure that’s not everyone’s strategy. With the news that Dalvin Cook will play “15-20 snaps” and with the news that Theo Riddick is in, I think the top cheap option to me is Nick Chubb. I think the Browns are going to get killed, but he’s been in negative game-script in each of his first two starts and still has seen 18+ touches in each game. The Chiefs are the 32nd ranked run-defense (DVOA) so the matchup is good for Chubb to finally have a monster game on the ground.
Top Tier: Julio Jones- Julio is right up there with Thielen in terms of yards per game, and he fits perfectly with DraftKings scoring because he doesn’t need to score a touchdown to crush value. I don’t think I will have the money to get up to this range, but if I did, I think I would lean Julio narrowly over Michael Thomas.
My Targets: With all of these running back options, this is 100% a spend down at wide receiver week and we have some fantastic value to do it with. Courtland Sutton should be ready to shine without Demaryius Thomas, and he remains priced under $4,000 this week. D.J. Moore is set up for another higher-usage game with Torrey Smith sidelined, coming off his best game of the season. Tre’Quan Smith looks primed for a breakout game in the most attractive game on the slate, and he also is sub-$4,5000. To me, right now, I’m locking in those three, jamming in running backs and if I lose with three stud running backs then I do, I won’t be upset. You can add in Sammy Watkins, DeSean Jackson and Kenny Golladay as mid tier plays, but I want these high-upside young bucks to allow me to get three elite backs.
1. Travis Kelce- Given how I clearly am constructing my roster this week, I won’t have the money to get to Kelce, but if you want to go down at your third running back to jam him in I could totally get behind that. He’s coming home to his native northeast Ohio and I am expecting a monster performance.
2. Kyle Rudolph- If Stefon Diggs is unable to play, this is where I’m going in cash games 100%. He sees a nice increase in targets with Diggs off the field, and the red zone usage jumps a ton, which is massive for tight ends considering if he scores a touchdown he’s pretty much guaranteed a top-five scoring week at this position.
3. Jeff Heuerman- Heuerman is probably the least-sexy name at the tight end position, but he is under $3,000 and is sneakily top-five in the NFL in targets within the 10 yard line. He has just one touchdown on those targets, and definitely could see some positive regression coming his way.
D/ST Options: Bears, Broncos, Chiefs, Bills
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)