NFL DFS: Week 4 Cash Breakdown

NFL CASH BREAKDOWN

CASH Game Strategy Reminders

The first thing to discuss with regards to cash games is contest selection.  What?  Yes, contest selection matters for cash games as well.  Let’s walk through the type of cash game contests that I would focus on for NFL DFS.

Find large Contests.

The 11 man double-ups might seem great as 5/11 will place and you only have to beat 6 people.  Then you really notice the chalk and that two or three “pros” have the exact same lineup minus one player.  It’s not that all of them are sharing lineups, but its that they’ve done this long enough that they have a trusted process that will lead them to the same spot.  Can you beat them?  Yes.  Is it annoying to sweat in an 11 man contest?   Yes.   Go for the larger contest.  Sort by the size of the contest descending and then go from there.

  • 50/50‘s….  Simple math, they’re the best in terms of the pay-line with 50% of the field cashing.  You aren’t pulling back a full 2x but you will want to target the largest 50/50’s you can find.
  • Double-Ups … Same logic here on the size of the contest, find the bigger ones and preferably the ones with SINGLE ENTRY into them.
  • 3-man … Some will enjoy a 5 man contest or even the 10 man leagues, but one alternative to the normal cash games will be the 3 man contests.  Look for ones that arent full close to lock as those generally will give you better variance on the players in them.

BALANCE, BALANCE, BALANCE

  • Remember to focus on trying to get a balanced lineup in cash games.  We take a little less risk with game stacks in cash, but like tournaments we are seeking the best plays each week.  Sometimes with cash we get suckered into playing “must own” plays and when there isn’t obvious value it really makes things risky.  Try to focus on a balanced lineup each week with guys who are going to come through.

IDENTIFY WEAK POSITIONS

  • Each week look at the rankings and determine if the top ranked players are premium players or not.  For example, if you don’t see Gronkowski, Ertz, Kelce, etc. listed as top TE plays then it’s likely a position to pay down for that week.

 

 

WEEK 4 CASH GAME PLAYS

Each week we are going to post these CASH game plays early in the week.  It’s often a good indicator of the early week rankings but things will change with late week injuries or late scratches.  Monitor the Optimizer and Scout Rankings for updates as the week moves on.

Last week ended up being a solid week as the picks of the week included Brees, Kamara, Hunt and Woods.  Some late value opened up at the end of the week with running backs that drove others away from guys like Kamara and Gurley at RB, but as we saw there was also value at WR with Tyler Boyd and Calvin Ridley having huge games.

All prices listed below are DraftKings prices.

 

QUARTERBACKS

Scout RankingsPicks of the week
  1. Eli Manning – $5,600
  2. Matt Ryan – $6,100
  3. Deshaun Watson – $6,300
  4. Aaron Rodgers – $6,800

VALUE:

  1. Mitch Trubisky – $5,200
DeShaun Watson – Watson and the Texans will travel to Indianapolis for a division showdown with the Colts.  Watson has rushed for an avg of 40 yards through the first three games and is throwing the ball over 30+ times a game.  With Will Fuller back in the saddle we’re seeing the two connect back on their success from last year as they have now connected on six straight games when they both play together for a touchdown.  Watson’s rushing upside makes him a good play in cash this week and this game is a sneaky play for offense this week and we like him to score both through the air and on the ground.   – Steve Renner

Eli Manning: Over his last two starts on the road, Manning completed 79.4 percent of his passes for 576 yards with three TDs and no Ints. Eli had been sacked 11 times, which is the key reason why he hasn’t been able to get the ball downfield for long scoring plays. The Saints have struggled to defend QBs over the first three games (1,037 yards and ten TDs) with huge failure defending WRs (48/853/9 on 61 targets). With two strong WRs, Manning looks position for a nice game. His downside is tied to the success of Saquon Barley on the ground.   – Shawn Childs


RUNNING BACKS

Scout RankingsPicks of the week
  1. Alvin Kamara – $9,600
  2. David Johnson – $6,600
  3. Ezekiel Elliott – $7,700
  4. Giovani Bernard – $6,300
  5. Saquon Barkley – $8,100
  6. Jordan Howard – $6,800

Value

  1. Lamar Miller – $5,000
  2. Sony Michel – $4,500
Ezekiel Elliott: Last week Elliott had his first 100-yard rushing game, but he still doesn’t have 20 carries in any start in 2018. He’s gaining 5.7 yards per rush but struggling to find space in the passing game (11/37 – 3.4 yards per catch). Last week he did have a fumble after a long run. Overall, Ezekiel has 311 combined yards with two TDs and 11 catches while averaging just under 20 touches per game. The Cowboys have scored only four TDs on their 33 possessions. Detroit had a huge problem vs. the run in Week 1 (36/169/2) and Week 2 (28/190/1). They allow 5.4 yards per rush with RBs scoring four TDs with 16 catches for 116 yards on 23 targets. A favorable matchup, but Elliott needs the Cowboys to create more scoring chances to help his TD upside. – Shawn Childs

Giovani Bernard: In his first start for the Bengals with Joe Mixon out, Bernard gained 86 combined yards with one TD and five catches while receiving 17 touches. The Bengals had him on the field for 88 percent of their offensive plays, which is a winning opportunity. The Falcons have injuries on their defense, which has been a big win for RBs over the last two weeks in the passing game (14/17 and 18/131/1 on 40 combined targets). They did face two of the top pass-catching backs in the league over that stretch (Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara). Atlanta allows 4.8 yards per rush to RBs with backs scoring four rushing TDs. An excellent matchup in what looks like another shootout game in Georgia.  – Shawn Childs

Sony Michel: Over his first two games, Michel struggled to get to the second level of the defense leading to only 3.5 yards per rush. He has 90 combined yards on 26 touches with two catches. With Rex Burkhead out, New England can’t help but give him a high-volume opportunity if they play from the lead. I’m sure the Patriots won’t work him too hard, which points to about two-thirds of the RB playing time. Miami only allows 3.3 yards per rush with RBs scoring two rushing TDs. Priced to shine and New England needs to come into this matchup with motivation after losing two straight games. I can’t give him the green light based on matchup, but he does have it for playing time.  – Shawn Childs

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Scout RankingsPicks of the week
Top:

  1. DeAndre Hopkins – $8,400
  2. Odell Beckham Jr – $8,700
  3. Keenan Allen – $8,300
  4. Michael Thomas – $9,100
  5. Julio Jones – $8,200

Mid Range

  1. TY Hilton – $7,000
  2. Allen Robinson II – $5,900
  3. Will Fuller V – $6,800
  4. Jarvis Landry – $7,400

Value

  1. Sterling Shepard – $4,900
  2. Chris Hogan – $5,800
  3. Kenny Stills – $5,800
Odell Beckham (DK – $8,700/FD – $8,600): Beckham has two very good games in 2018 (11/111 and 9/109), but he’s still looking for his first TD of the year. Odell averages 11.3 targets per game. The Saints have struggled to defend WRs in 2018 leading to 48 catches for 843 yards and nine TDs on 61 targets. Three WRs already have impact games against New Orleans (Mike Evans – 7/147/1, DeSean Jackson – 5/146/2, and Calvin Ridley – 7/146/3). Most of the failure has come against CB Ken Crawley, but no one in the New Orleans’ secondary is playing well. Beckham looks poised for a monster game while finding the end zone for the first time in 2018. My Week 4 daily game foundation should start here.

T.Y. Hilton (DK – $7,000/FD – $7,300): Hilton has double-digit targets in each game, but he has a short catch rate (53.1) while gaining only 10.5 yards per catch. T.Y. has 17 catches for 179 yards and two TDs on 32 targets. Last year he beat Houston for five catches for 175 yards and two TDs on the road with short success at home (3/14 on six targets). In 2016, Hilton had one other big game of value (9/115/1) vs. the Texans. WRs have 36 catches for 396 yards and three TDs on 49 targets vs. Houston while facing a depleted Patriots WR core in Week 1 (9/83/1) and a boring passing offense in Week 2 (TEN – 11/109/1). Houston has risk in their secondary, which gives Hilton the needed space for Andrew Luck to hit him on a long TD. Viable option at this level with more boom than bust in Week 4.

Allen Robinson (DK – $5,900/FD – $6,500): Over the first three games, Robinson has 17 catches for 194 yards on 28 targets with his best game coming in Week 2 (10/83 on 14 targets). Some of his failure and lack of TDs is the low output in the Bears’ passing game (171/0, 200/2, and 220/0) and an improved defense. Tampa has had a tough time defending WRs in 2018 (56/595/5 on 68 targets) with three players having eight catches or more (Michael Thomas – 16/180/1, Nelson Agholor – 8/88/1, and Juju Smith-Schuster – 9/116). Last week CB Brent Grimes struggle in his first start against the Steelers. I expect his first TD and an active game in catches, but he needs Tampa to score as well to reach an impact level in the daily games.

Sterling Shepard (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,200): Shepard didn’t end up having a huge jump in targets last week, but he did catch six of his seven chances for 80 yards and a TD. Sterling now has 14 catches for 152 yards and one TD on 19 targets while facing three teams with aggressiveness in their pass rush. The Saints lost slot CB Patrick Robinson last week, and CB Ken Crawley has been a disaster in coverage while injury replacement P.J. Williams could be worse. One of the Giants’ top two WRs has a chance to pay off in a big way. Double down in Week 4 with a wide-open game helping his final stats.

Chris Hogan (DK – $5,800/FD – $6,700): After three games, Hogan is the 55th ranked WR in PPR leagues with one good game (3/42/2). He’s yet to have over five targets in any game while catching only half of his passes. Last week Chris was on the field for every play run by the Patriots. In his only game vs. the Dolphins in 2017, Hogan caught one of his five targets for one yard. Rookie CB Minkah Fitzpatrick played well in his first three NFL games after being draft in the first round. A weak opportunity with unfavorable CB/WR matchup.

 

TIGHT ENDS

Scout RankingsPicks of the week
  1. Rob Gronkowski – $7,000
  2. Jimmy Graham – $4,500
  3. Zach Ertz – $6,200
  4. Eric Ebron – $3,600
  5. Trey Burton – $3,900
Eric Ebron (IND):  A week after being a disappointing play Ebron gets a better match-up back at home against the Houston Texans.  The Texans through three games this year have given up 13 catches and 194 yards and two touchdowns to opposing tight ends (and no, they werent all Gronkowski in week one).  With Jack Doyle out and Luck having to throw quickly once again this week it should mean more targets for Ebron who is only $3,600 on DK this week.

DEFENSES

Scout RankingsPicks of the week
  1. Jacksonville – $4,100
  2. Chicago – $2,600
  3. Philadelphia – $3,300
Chicago Bears – The Bears defense will welcome in Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs off a short week and the Bucs showed some signs of the magic warping off on Monday  night football against a Steelers defense that has been getting gashed.  The Bears should impose a huge challenge for Tampa and given their price this week offer the best upside to score and give the Bucs offense problems.