Week 7 NFL DFS Cash Game Building Blocks for FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo! & FantasyAces. Winning your NFL DFS cash games starts here.
There are a number of running backs I love this week, but all are pricey, and none are featured in this piece. Instead, I’m bargain hunting for cash games building blocks so that I can spend up on the top tailbacks and squeeze in a stud wide receiver, too. With that in mind, check out the blue light specials listed below.
Kirk Cousins – QB – Redskins – $5,900 – @ Lions
The Lions have been dreadful defending the pass. They’ve allowed the most DraftKings points per game to the QB position, and they’ve yielded a league-high 17 touchdown passes with just three interceptions. They’ve also surrendered the 10th most passing yards per game (271.3), per Pro-Football Reference. They’ve been pathetic, and it should come as no surprise that Football Outsiders (FO) ranks them 29th defending the pass. Cousins ranks sixth in passing yards per game (283), and since throwing two interceptions with zero touchdowns in the first game, he’s righted the ship with nine touchdown tosses and four interceptions in the next five games. Last year, Cousins displayed a sizable home and road split which favored playing in his friendly home confines. This year, he’s played just two road games but been better in those contests than in his home digs. In the two road games, he’s completed 65.79% of his passes throwing three touchdowns versus just one interception and averaging 278.0 yards passing per game. The sample size is obviously tiny, but it’s a promising start for putting to rest concerns about potential long-term road struggles. With Cousins ranked tied for sixth in pass attempts (226), the volume is a safe bet to be there for him to not only easily hit value at his bargain price, but blow by it in a big way in this Charmin-soft matchup.
Hunter Henry – TE – Chargers – $3,600 – @ Falcons
Henry has played more offensive snaps than Antonio Gates in all but one of the four games the gray-beard tight end has played in. The rookie tight end has developed fantastic chemistry with Philip Rivers, and he ranks third on the Chargers in targets (26), receptions (19) and receiving yards (310) while leading the way in touchdown grabs (three). Since getting off to a slow start and reeling in just one reception for 20 yards on two targets through his first two games, he’s caught 18 passes on 24 targets for 290 yards receiving and three scores. He’s bested 60 yards receiving in four straight games, surpassed 70 yards receiving in three of his last four games and reached pay dirt in three straight contests. Beyond being appealing due to being in good form and owning a small salary, he also boasts a drool-inducing matchup. The Falcons have allowed the second most DraftKings points per game to tight ends, and FO ranks them 22nd defending the position. The Falcons are 6.5-point favorites at home, per Pinnacle Sports, and the Chargers could be chasing the high-powered Falcons offense quickly. In addition to a favorable game script, the game’s total is also favorable for fantasy scoring chances for Henry. The game’s over/under total of 53 points is the highest on the slate, and one of just two games with an over/under total of 50 or more.
Michael Thomas – WR – Saints – $5,700 – @ Chiefs
Thomas has quickly carved out an integral role in the Saints offense, but his salary hasn’t caught up. The Ohio State product is second on the Saints in targets (36) and receiving yards (307), leads the team in receptions (36) and is tied for the team lead with three touchdown receptions. He’s a matchup headache standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 212 pounds. Should he draw second-year stud corner Marcus Peters in coverage, Thomas will hold a three-inch and 14-pound size advantage over him. The Saints have other talented receivers, though, and Peters doesn’t typically travel anyway, so I wouldn’t expect Thomas to see Peters all game. Speaking of Peters, he’s expected to play this weekend, according to RotoWorld, but he is nicked up with a shoulder injury. As for the Chiefs defense as a whole, they’ve allowed the 11th most FanDuel fantasy points to wide outs this year. This is the other game with a 50-point or larger over/under total, and it sits at 50 on the nose. The Saints are 6.5-point road underdogs, so like Henry with the Chargers, Thomas should benefit from game script.
Kendall Wright – WR – Titans – $5,000 – Vs Colts
This is the cash games piece I’m least comfortable with, however, at a miniscule salary of $5,000, he doesn’t have to do much of anything to hit value. The Baylor product didn’t make his season debut until Week 4, and through two games, he did nearly diddly poo — to steal from Jim Mora — with just three receptions for 23 receptions on four targets. Last week, though, he torched the Browns for 133 yards and a touchdown on eight grabs and nine targets. Matt Harmon of NFL.com broke down his route chart for his big game and analyzed his performance at NFL.com. Two big takeaways from Harmon’s breakdown are that Wright played only 35% of Tennessee’s offensive snaps, and that 75% of his snaps came from the slot. The former is concerning since you can’t score fantasy points from the pine. The latter is encouraging because it would result in avoiding stud corner Vontae Davis (the only good corner on the Colts). In fact, Pro Football Focus (PFF) projects Wright to draw Patrick Robinson in coverage, and he ranks 107th at the position. Yeah, he’s been embarrassingly bad. The Colts rank 29th defending the pass, per FO, and they rank 22nd defending number-one receivers, 17th defending number-two receivers and 16th defending “other” receivers. In other words, they’ve struggled with wide outs this year. No, I’m not thrilled with his playing-time percentage in Week 6. That said, the Titans have struggled to get production at receiver this year, and it stands to reason that after his big game last week, Wright would be in line for more playing time.
Yahoo! (Y!) and FantasyAces (FA)
(Y!) Julian Edelman – WR – Patriots – $21 – @ Steelers
Edelman has understandably gotten off to a slow start, but he leads the Patriots in targets (44) and receptions (28). In two games with Tom Brady this year, he’s been targeted 17 times. The target volume with Brady has resulted in only nine receptions for 65 yards, but continued high usage in that high-octane offense bodes well for fantasy scoring going forward. This week, he has a good draw. The Steelers have allowed the second most receptions (92) to receivers this year. Their saving grace to keep their fantasy points allowed total in check is the fact they’ve ceded only three touchdown grabs to receivers. Edelman is underpriced as a result of his suspended-Brady-fueled slow start, and he’s tied for the 27th highest salary at the position on Yahoo!. I like Edelman at most DFS sites this week, but Yahoo! is the one where he stands out as an obvious building block who will allow for big spending elsewhere.
(FA) Marcus Mariota – QB – Titans – $6,100 – Vs Colts
Most sites have caught up to Mariota’s heater over the last couple weeks. He’s the 12th most expensive quarterback at DraftKings and tied for the ninth most expensive quarterback at FanDuel. At FantasyAces, he’s tied for 21st in salary at quarterback. He’s underpriced, and this is a site that requires rostering two quarterbacks, making his value price all the more valuable. The second-year quarterback has tossed three touchdowns in back-to-back games and has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of six games. In the other two, he was held to a bagel for touchdown tosses, though. Mariota’s passing yardage totals haven’t been exciting with last week’s 284 representing a season-high, but he’s buoying his passing yardage with his rushing work. The former Oregon Duck ranks second among quarterbacks in rushing yards (196) and has done an especially good job of carving up teams with his legs the last two weeks with 60 or more yards rushing in each of those games (including a rushing score in Week 5). The Titans are 2.5-point favorites at home in a game with an over/under total of 47.5 points. That leaves the Titans with a team total of 25 points. I’ll gladly take their signal caller with that team total squaring off with a pass defense FO ranks 29th defending the pass.