By: Mark Leipold @LeipoldNFL
DFS Cash Game Advice – Week 13
Welcome back to the DFS Cash Game series on FFDynasty260. No fluff this week, here we go.
Let’s start with the best value plays of the week. Very simply, this compares a player’s salary on each site to his rank in Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) as of Wednesday evening, courtesy of FantasyPros. Players with salaries well below their ECR value are objectively better plays, as the expert consensus is higher on that player than the DFS sites (i.e., the player costs more than he should). Players with salaries above their ECR are objectively worse plays because the experts are lower on that player than the DFS sites (i.e., the player costs more than he should). I will caveat all of this by saying that this is purely based on the numbers and does not account for several factors including mid-week injury updates, floor and ceiling of players, etc. It is strictly based on the ranks versus the salaries, and the ranks are fixed differentials (e.g., the difference between 1 and 2 is the same as between 41 and 42), but the values are not necessarily linear. Last caveat – these rankings don’t account for bonuses (e.g., 300 yard passing bonus on DraftKings). To summarize all that, this should not be the sole basis of your lineups, but it’s a nice way to identify some variance or opportunities in salary where the sites have not caught up to player values. Here are the top value plays for Week 7 on each site. A player’s value in this chart is defined simply as Salary Rank minus ECR. For example, if Colin Kaepernick has the 25th highest salary on DraftKings this week, and his ECR is 12th, his value would be 25-12=13.
Do I like all of these players for cash games? Same as last week, absolutely not. In cash games, drafting players with a floor is key. For QBs, that means pass attempts and scoring opportunities. For RBs, it means carries and passing game usage (targets). For WRs and TEs it means routes run and targets. There are some players on this chart I like, and I explain below.
Tyrod Taylor ($5,400 on DK and $7,300 on FD) – Tyrod Taylor comes into a matchup against the Patriots, which looks great on paper (4th-most fantasy points allowed to QBs this season), but has been tougher of late. The Patriots defense is not elite, but is better than their early season form. That being said, Taylor still has a lot of fantasy value at his price given his dual threat ability. His passing numbers are serviceable, but Taylor ranks 2nd among QBs in rushing attempts per game, 2nd in red zone carries per game, 3rd in rush yards, and 5th in rushing touchdowns. His mobility has always been, and still is, an underrated fantasy asset. Since the Bills’ Week 6 bye, Taylor has finished as a top 10 QB in 4 out of 6 games, including the game against the Chargers where he wasn’t even the starter. He had one dud, and his other performance was for 14.9 fantasy points. Taylor has a rock-solid floor with one outlier, and a nice ceiling with his rushing ability (finished as the QB1 in Week 9). In a game where the Bills will likely be trailing, Taylor’s anticipated volume also helps.
Russell Wilson ($7,100 on DK and $8,200 on FD) – Did you realize that Russell Wilson ranks 1st in the league in pass attempts? Shocking, right? He also ranks 3rd among QBs in carries and red zone carries per game. He ranks 2nd in the league in air yards and 1st in pass attempt distance. These numbers are all absolutely sustainable with his volume. Wilson is certainly in the conversation for top fantasy QB of this week. Against a beatable Eagles secondary, in a game where Philadelphia’s stout rush defense should have no problem stopping Seattle’s meager rushing offense, Wilson will be the only guy getting it done for the Seahawks. He’s my favorite QB of the week, and definitely the guy I’m paying up for. Since the Week 6 bye, Wilson has finished outside the top 5 QBs in weekly scoring just once, and he posted a QB9 rank in that week against the Cardinals. No other player in the league besides Le’Veon Bell (perhaps) has the floor that Wilson has shown. He’s as safe as they come in cash games.
Jamaal Williams ($4,700 on DK and $5,700 on FD) – At this point, Ty Montgomery has been ruled out for Week 13, and Aaron Jones looks unlikely to play as well. These prices for a running back who will probably see 20+ touches make him a free square. Williams has really done nothing special this year, but he has 20+ touches in three straight weeks, including 11 targets in the Packers’ last two games. It’ll be hard to fade him on either site this week, especially in a good matchup (TB is allowing the 9th-most fantasy points to opposing RBs.
Kenyan Drake ($4,900 on DK and $5,800 on FD) – Drake gets a bad matchup against the Broncos this week (26th-most fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs), but with Damien Williams ruled out, Drake will also be very likely to eclipse the 20-touch mark. Like Jamaal Williams, Drake has been unremarkable this season, though he does rank 8th among RBs in yards per carry, at 4.8. Drake is purely a cheap volume play, with a relatively low ceiling. However, using him and/or Jamaal Williams opens up a lot of options, and is certainly a move I’m willing to make, especially on DraftKings where there is a FLEX spot.
Carlos Hyde ($5,900 on DK and $7,000 on FD) – Hyde saw 13 targets last game. 13! He has now set a career high in targets in a game for four straight games. It will be interesting to see how Jimmy Garoppolo’s presence influences Hyde’s usage, and my expectation is he actually sees less work in the passing game. That being said, Hyde is still the only playmaker on the 49ers offense, and has been rock-solid all year. His usage is on par with some of the top RBs, as he ranks 13th in carries, 3rd in targets, and 1st in goal line carries, which are the most valuable of course. Hyde also ranks 9th in evaded tackles, so he’s creating for himself. Hyde has seen 19+ touches in three straight games, and I suspect he’ll go over 20 in this game, making him a strong play, especially on DraftKings, where he is a better value.
Jarvis Landry (5,900 on DK and $6,900 on FD) – I know, I know, he’s playing Denver. Denver’s pass defense has actually been beatable this year, as they’ve surrendered the most passing touchdowns in the league. Landry will see the return of Jay Cutler this week, which is good, because Cutler has fed Landry all year. Landry ranks 3rd among WRs in both targets and team target share. He ranks 7th in red zone targets, 2nd in receptions, 3rd in red zone receptions, and most importantly, 6th in PPR points per game. He’s been a WR1 this year, and is not priced as one. Don’t shy away from the matchup with Denver this week, because Landry should combat any inefficiency with his usual volume.
Davante Adams ($6,500 on DK and 6,500 on FD) – Free square on FanDuel this week, and a decent value on DraftKings. Tampa Bay is the most favorable pass defense for opposing WRs, and Adams has seen 8-10 targets in 6 of his last 7 games (5 of 6 with Brett Hundley playing). Adams is clearly the #1 target in Green Bay with Hundley under center, and he’s posted three straight weeks as a WR1 in weekly scoring, yet he’s priced as the 30th-highest WR on FanDuel (15th on DraftKings). Capitalize on that market inefficiency and the fact that the Buccaneers have no cornerbacks who match up physically with Adams (read: they are all shorter). Adams can only be held back by Hundley this week, and I’m definitely taking that chance.
Mike Evans ($7,100 on DK and $7,500 on FD) – Evans is priced within $100 of Tyreek Hill’s price from Week 11 on both sites. Yes please. Evans suffers from lack of TD production this season, but otherwise has been everything we thought. He ranks inside the top 12 in targets, target share, red zone targets, and end zone targets. Evans ranks only 23rd in touchdowns. The Packers are allowing the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing WRs, so this game shapes up to have a lot of passes thrown. Evans also sees the return of Jameis Winston, who is not afraid to make bad passes to Evans, which is good for fantasy. According to analysis on PlayerProfiler, Winston has run the 5th most “Danger Plays,” which means that he risks a turnover. Turnovers don’t hurt Evans, so Winston’s return should be good for his favorite WR, as Winston should get back to chucking the ball up and letting Evans make a play. An Evans breakout game should be coming, and this week is the perfect storm.
Hunter Henry ($4,700 on DK and $5,400 on FD) – This is mostly a matchup play, as Henry draws the Browns this week, who are only beaten by the Giants for the “worst at defending TEs” crown. Henry’s volume has been less than exciting this year, ranking 18th among TEs in targets. However, he ranks 2nd in air yards, so his targets have been valuable for fantasy, rather than dump offs. I expect Philip Rivers, who is on a hot streak, and Henry to connect on a few passes this game, which should result in a nice fantasy line for Henry. Henry has seen 5 targets in two straight games now (2 and 1 in the red zone in those games), so if that continues, he could be in for a nice day.
Jared Cook ($5,400 on DK and $5,500 on FD) – Cook is a FanDuel special this week, and I know he burned everyone last week, but I’m definitely going back to him this week. Amari Cooper looks like he’ll be sidelined with a few injuries, and Michael Crabtree is suspended. That leaves only the team’s leading receiver, Jared Cook, left standing. I am not expecting Seth Roberts, Cordarrelle Patterson, or Johnny Holton to draw significant targets, so Cook’s volume should be a notch above usual. Cook already ranks 8th among TEs in targets and 6th in target distance, so he’s seeing volume and it’s valuable enough to be worthwhile. Cook hasn’t seen fewer than 5 targets this season except in Week 6. That’s much more than most TEs can say, so I’m very comfortable going back to Cook this week in cash games. Oh, and he also plays the Giants, who are #1 in fantasy points allowed to TEs, so that helps.
I hope these tips help you set winning lineups this week on both sites. Let me know your thoughts and how they worked out for you! I am on Twitter at @LeipoldNFL and always like talking football. Let me know what you liked, what you didn’t like, and if this can be more useful moving forward.
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