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: Ben Roethlisberger- The pricing gap at Quarterback is much larger this week than it has been so far this season, making spending up for Big Ben rather challenging. If you’re going to however, Ben is 100% the play and it’s really hard to make a case against him. Atlanta is now down 4 key defensive players, and this game features a monster 58 O/U. Not to mention, Ben is at home where he has perennially excelled. As always, I’ll update my final thoughts in this article on Saturday, but to Ben or not to Ben is the question.
Mid Tier: Matt Stafford- This is kind of where I’ve been sitting in my early cash game build, especially on DraftKings where you can get Staff at under $6,000. Those savings you get from dropping down are huge, especially on a week where we are going to want to spend up at running back. Stafford, like Ben, has excelled at home throughout his career and he has a strong history against the Green Bay Packers. This game also has string shootout potential, and the DraftKings bonus is definitely in the fold in this matchup.
Low Tier: Derek Carr- If I absolutely can’t fit Stafford in, I’m fine going with Carr probably the second most attractive game environment to me outside of Atlanta vs Pittsburgh. Carr sneakily has thrown for 280+ yards in each of the first four games, and this Chargers defense has been pretty bad overall without Joey Rosa. His price on DraftKings is just too low, and I feel like somehow he will go overlook once again this week. even if you don’t end here in cash games, please don’t forget about him in GPPs!
UPDATE: I probably won’t go here, but I have messed around with using Kirk Cousins in addition to Stafford or Carr, so keep that in mind.
Top Tier: Todd Gurley/Melvin Gordon- This is the key to the slate for me, with these being pretty much the top two overall plays. As of now, I see myself taking the savings and using Gordon, and if I do that then I 100% will be hedging with Gurley in tournaments. Both have great matchups, and I don’t think I need to dive into the matchups too deeply, because everyone knows they are good plays. Gurley will destroy the Seahawks who are going to be missing Earl Thomas mightily on Sunday, and the Raiders have up over 100 yards to Nick Chubb last week on just three carries. Gordon’s floor is much higher this season with his passing game usage, and that’s why I feel confident in dropping down to him IF needed.
Mid Tier: James Conner- I was on Conner to start the week, off him a bit, and now I’m back on full-force. I know he hasn’t been good since that opening game with the Browns, but I feel like I need pieces of this 58 total and the thing that keeps bringing me back is that he still saw 7 targets last week. Everyone in the world knows to attack the Falcons with pass catching running backs, and this is a spot I don’t want to over-think.
Low Tier: Joe Mixon- I was going to include David Johnson here, who I still think is a strong cash game play, but with the news that Gio Bernard is out for this game I feel like I have to feature Joe Mixon. Yes, there are some big concerns with him being two and half weeks removed from arthroscopic knee surgery, but at the same time the Bengals have shown 0 commitment whatsoever to Mark Walton and Thomas Rawls. With John Ross and Tyler Eifert also out for the game, it’s not crazy to think that the Bengals will lean on the run game and that should mean huge usage for Mixon.
UPDATE: With some of the news that broke Saturday, I am re-considering Mixon and the concerns with his health. I’m not sure if he will be able to fully handle a massive workload, so for now I am slightly bumping him down. That’s a bump up for DJ and Yeldon, and I’m also looking at Marshawn Lynch (Carr) and just jamming in Austin Ekeler along with Melvin Gordon to get 100% of the RB touches in LA, and his usage is really really solid for his low DK price.
Others I’m Considering: David Johnson, TJ Yeldon
Top Tier: JuJu Smith-Schuster- I think both Antonio Brown and Julio Jones are smash plays this weekend, but I don’t see how I can fit them in with the running back options we have. That being said, we can still get Steelers exposure here but dropping down to JuJu. Smith-Schuster has seen just 2.2% less targets than AB this season, and he actually has seen more red zone usage. He’s clearly heavily involved in this offense, and we have attacked this exact matchup in the slot against Brian Poole each of the first four weeks of the season.
Mid Tier: Stefon Diggs- This is someone I really want to cram into my cash game lineup if possible even though I don’t think he’s going to be a popular play. I have attacked this Eagles secondary all season, and I think Vegas is flat out wrong with the O/U they have dished out to this game. Kirk Cousins is second in the NFL in pass attempts this season, and I think this game is going to turn into a shootout on Sunday afternoon with the Vikings shredding the Eagles through the air. Adam Thielen is the safer play, but I’ll take the $700 savings I get with Diggs who should dust Jalen Mills on the outside all day long.
Low Tier: Marvin Jones/Taywan Taylor- I absolutely love the low tier once again this week at wide receiver. Marvin Jones did appear on the injury report Friday, so it is worth monitoring his status up until lock. If he is active, he becomes my favorite partner with Stafford on DraftKings at just $4,700. He quietly has led the Lions in air yards this season, and has double-digit targets in the end zone. As for Taylor, he saw a season-high snap count and targets last week against the Eagles without Richard Matthews, and that should continue this week in a great matchup with the Buffalo Bills. Tre’Davious White will be matched up with Corey Davis, leaving Taylor to feast in the middle of the field and he has big play ability every time he touches the ball.
Others I’m Considering: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Boyd, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (If Geronimo out)
UPDATE: I’m adding in Jordy Nelson as another option, as a partner with Carr
- Vance McDonald- I’m simply listing the top option, because I don’t think there is any way that you can spend up in cash games on this slate. McDonald has established himself as the pass catching option at TE for the Steelers over the last two weeks, and this Falcons defense has been decimated over the middle of the field in recent weeks. I love getting a cheap piece to the top O/U on the slate and I anticipate Vance to be one of the highest-owned plays on the slate.
D/ST Options: Titans, Ravens, Browns, Bengals
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)