Week 8 NFL DFS Cash Game Building Blocks for FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo! & FantasyAces. Winning your NFL DFS cash games starts here.
The top plays in cash games this week are by and large the cream of the crop. After highlighting value cash games building blocks last week, this week you’ll need to pony up a bit to get the top options. Most of the highlighted options are strong plays across the entire industry, but as is always the case, I’ve highlighted players at the sites they hold the most value.
Spencer Ware – RB – Chiefs – $6,800 – @ Colts
Ware’s salary has caught up to his production, and he’s the fifth most expensive option at running back this week at DraftKings. Jamaal Charles remains less than 100%, and he played only two snaps against the Saints in Week 7 compared to 36 of 52 offensive snaps played for Ware, according to Pro-Football Reference. He’s been an impressive all-around back and ranks fifth in yards from scrimmage (777). Ware is riding a four-game steak of 75 yards rushing or more and has reached at least 70 yards rushing in all but one game this year. He’s also exceeded 30 yards receiving in four of six games. Ware can do it all, and he has a cupcake matchup this week. The Colts have allowed the sixth most DraftKings points per game to running backs this year, and they’re getting shredded by backs on the ground and through the air. Football Outsiders (FO) ranks the Colts dead last defending the run and dead last defending running backs in the passing game. According to Pinnacle Sports, the game’s over/under total is 50 points with the Chiefs favored by 2.5 points. Chalk that up as another positive check mark in favor of using Ware. The combination of floor and ceiling for Ware is tantalizing, and even with a salary increase, he remains underpriced for this matchup and relative to his production.
Mike Evans – WR – Buccaneers – $8,100 – Vs Raiders
This is another game with a juicy over/under total (49) and shootout potential (Bucs favored at home by one point). Evans is a one-man show in Tampa Bay’s passing attack and would thrive in a shootout. His 75 targets rank third in the league, just one behind a two-man tie at the top between Antonio Brown and T.Y. Hilton (76 targets). Putting that total in further perspective relative to his teammates, he has nine more targets than the second and third most targeted members of the Bucs combined. He’s turned his heavy usage into 40 receptions for 545 yards receiving and six scores. Evans has reached pay dirt in all but one game, has caught five or more passes in all six games, and has hit or exceeded 70 yards receiving in five of six games. His opponent, the Raiders, rank 26th defending the pass and 18th defending number-one receivers, per FO. They’ve also allowed the second most DraftKings points per game to receivers. His volume is dreamy and his matchup is too. Make it a point to pay up for this stud.
Christine Michael – RB – Seahawks – $7,800 – @ Saints
Sticking to the theme of favorable over/under totals, the Seahawks are 3-point favorites in New Orleans where the over/under total is 48 points. Try to erase the stench of the Sunday Night Football stinkfest from your nostrils and brain, the Saints defense isn’t in the same class as the Cardinals. FO ranks the Saints 29th in overall defense and 28th defending the run. New Orleans is the most giving defense for FanDuel fantasy points allowed to running backs this year as well. Michael is turning his solid finish in 2015 and preseason hype into solid production as the feature runner for the Seahawks. He ranks 19th in rushing yards (406) and 15th in rushing yards per game (67.7). In addition to his work on the ground, he’s chipped in as a pass catcher with 18 receptions on 23 targets for 90 yards and a score. The yardage total isn’t attention grabbing, but averaging three receptions per game (a total he’s reached or exceeded in four of six games) adds 1.5 fantasy points to his average FanDuel scoring output. He’s rushed for 50 yards or more in every game this year, and he’s reached or bested 60 in four games. The 25-year-old should have little trouble running all over the soft run defense of the Saints. As an added nugget of info, my current cash games roster features both Michael and Ware with ample salary space for the previously mentioned Mike Evans and my forthcoming second cash games building block for FanDuel contests.
Julio Jones – WR – Falcons – $9,200 – Vs Packers
Let’s start with the over/under total in this game. At 52.5 points it is the highest on the slate, and the home Falcons are favored by 2.5 points. Tevin Coleman is dinged up and expected to miss this week’s game, according to RotoWorld, thus, eliminating one mouth to feed from the high-octane offense the Falcons boast. Now, let’s jump into those luscious numbers Jones owns. He’s leading the league in receiving yards (830) by 55, ranks tied for sixth in receptions (40), tied for ninth in targets (65) and tied for seventh in touchdown receptions (four). He’s a beast and on pace for nearly 1,900 yards receiving. Playing at home assures him perfect weather conditions within the Georgia Dome, and the matchup is ripe for the picking. The Packers rank in the middle of the pack (14th) in FanDuel points allowed to receivers this year, but they have a banged up secondary. Pro Football Focus (PFF) projects Jones to draw Demetri Goodson in coverage in 3-receiver sets and base sets. Goodson has played only 39 snaps this year but graded out terribly. His PFF grade is better than only six of 115 qualified corners. Yikes. Look for Jones to barbecue Green Bay’s secondary and make his fantasy owners happy for budgeting for him.
Yahoo! (Y!) and FantasyAces (FA)
(Y!) Rob Gronkowski – TE – Patriots – $27 – @ Bills
At DraftKings, Gronk is tied for the 18th most expensive player at all positions, and there is a sizable salary gap between him and the usable punts at the position. At FanDuel, he’s the ninth most expensive player at all positions, and even though the salary gap isn’t as extreme at FanDuel as it is at DraftKings, there is ample saving to be had spending down to the other usable options at the position. At Yahoo!, he’s tied for 37th in salary among all players and the salary gap between Gronkowski and the other tight ends isn’t enough to bypass his studly work since Tom Brady’s return. In three games played with Brady this year, he’s caught 16 of 20 targets for 364 yards receiving and a pair of scores. That breaks down to per-game averages of 5.33 receptions for 121.3 yards receiving and 0.66 touchdowns. He’s a steal at under $30, and given the difficulty of constructing a well-rounded roster with a $39 Julio Jones or $38 Mike Evans, I’ll turn my attention to Gronkowski and spread the wealth a bit.
(FA) Josh McCown/Cody Kessler – QB – Browns – $5,350/$5,000 – Vs Jets
My real top play at FantasyAces is Christine Michael ($4,800). He’s just the 13th highest priced running back and a total steal. I don’t need to rehash why I love him, though, so I’ll instead turn my focus elsewhere in the interest of providing you, the reader, with another strong play. Cody Kessler suffered a concussion in Week 7 and his status this week is uncertatin. Josh McCown has been out since suffering a broken collarbone in Week 2. McCown has a chance to play this weekend, but nothing has been set in stone. It’s also possible both McCown and Kessler miss the game and rookie Kevin Hogan gets the nod. I don’t trust Hogan and his 24 career passes (all thrown last week), but Kessler hasn’t been god awful, and McCown has been downright fantasy friendly at times in recent years. Both are super cheap and either should hit value as a QB2 while freeing up over $1,000 of salary from the other playable value QB2s. My confidence in either member of the duo is derived from the Jets’ ineptitude defending the pass this year. FO ranks them 31st defending the pass, and they’re in the top-10 in fantasy points allowed per game to quarterbacks this year. Sign me up for the savings and matchup with either of these two.