Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games – Divisional Playoffs
By Ha Kung Wong Daily Fantasy Football
I hope you followed my advice last week for your cash games, because if you did, you won money. But hey, I don’t judge, I’m giving you all another chance in the Divisional Playoffs!
Cash Games, for those who don’t know, are essentially the lowest risk games. They include “50/50” games, in which half the entrants win about 1.8x the entry fee, and “Double Ups”, in which slightly less than half the entrants win 2x the entry fee.
Since there’s so many different sites, and I can’t cover them all, I’ve decided to cover just the most popular sites, including Fan Duel, Draft Kings and Yahoo! Daily Fantasy.
First of all, as a general rule for 50/50 Cash Games, there’s a basic target of points per salary cap spent that you’d like to look for:
- For Fan Duel try to target at least 2 fantasy points per $1000 spent.
- For Draft Kings, try to target at least 2.5 fantasy points per $1000 spent.
- For Yahoo! Daily Fantasy, try to target at least 0.6-0.7 fantasy points per $1 spent.
Remember, this article is not focused on GPP (Tournament) Games, JUST Cash Games. Feel free to use a few of these suggested players as a base when constructing a GPP lineup, but you’ll have to take some chances on a few low cost, upside players as well.
So, without further to do, here are my suggestions for the Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games for the Divisional Playoffs weekend, along with they’re prices on Fan Duel (“FD”), Draft Kings (“DK”) and Yahoo! Daily Fantasy (“Y!”).
For cash games, I like to play it safe at QB. This means I’m not risking Big Ben going out with a reinjury, Aaron Rodgers being able to continue his rare show of confidence this week, or even Tom Brady falling victim to a Belichick ground focused game plan like what happened in Week 17. Instead, I prefer these two options.
Carson Palmer vs. GB (FD: $8900 / DK: $6500 / Y!: $35)
- Carson Palmer had a break out season this year with 4671 passing yards, 35 TDs (good for second most in the NFL) and 11 INTs. Last time Palmer faced Green Bay he put up 265 yards, 2 TDs and an INT. With a full stable of healthy receivers (Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown) plus a few dump off opportunities to David Johnson, skies the limit for Palmer this weekend, particularly with Packers CB Sam Shield out. The Packers and Cardinals have the highest predicted total score (50) of all four games and the Cardinals have the highest implied team total (28.5) this week, so there’s tons of upside here. The only interesting note is that Palmer is disproportionately priced in FD and DK. He’s the most expensive option in FD, while being one of the cheapest in DK. So if you’re playing on DK, don’t think about it, slot in Palmer and move. On FD and Y!, I’d give greater consideration to the next guy on this list.
Cam Newton vs. SEA (FD: $8700 / DK: $7500 / Y!: $33)
- The Seahawks defense only allowed 226.2 passing yards per game this season, good for second best in the NFL. But earlier this season, Cam Newton managed to put up 269 yards, a passing TD, a rushing TD and 2 INTs against the Seattle defense, and that’s IN Seattle. Regardless of how frightening the “Legion of Boom” is, remember Newton also likes to run and is incredibly efficient with 10 rushing TDs. The Seahawks have allowed 3 rushing TDs to QBs this year (one of which was to Newton), good for second most in the NFL. I think Newton’s line in Week 6 is close to his floor this week, with his ceiling significantly higher. He’s the safest play at QB this week.
There isn’t a ton of depth at RB this week, and there are plenty of running back by committees in play, making it tough to predict value. I’m usually risk adverse in cash games, so I’m generally avoiding all the injury concerns, including Marshawn Lynch, DeAngelo Williams and even Spencer Ware.
David Johnson vs. GB (FD: $8500 / DK: $6000 / Y!: $34)
- The Green Bay run defense allowed 4.1 yards per carry this season and 12 TDs. David Johnson has been a serious roll of late and can add to this with pass catching ability. Last time he faced GB he put up 39 rush yards, 88 receiving yards on 3 receptions and a TD. It’s almost a lock that Johnson will get at least 100 total yards this weekend, with a significant chance at a TD.
Jonathan Stewart vs. SEA (FD: $6300 / DK: $5800 / Y!: $24)
- Seattle has one of the best run defenses in the NFL. Opposing teams average 3.5 yards per carry this season and only 5 TDs. Thankfully, 2 of those 5 TDs were to Stewart in Week 6. Stewart looks to be healthy again, and if so, provides a good base at RB, particularly with Newton as a constant threat to run, keeping the Seahawks defense off the line. The Seahawks managed to bottle up Adrian Peterson last week and caused a game-changing fumble, but, unlike with the Vikings, the threat of Cam Newton will keep the Seattle D honest. Only health is a concern, otherwise he’s my second favorite RB of the week.
Fitzgerald Toussaint vs. DEN (FD: $6200 / DK: $4200 / Y!: $12)
- With DeAngelo Williams likely to be out again, Fitzgerald Toussaint again makes the list. It’s clear he’s getting more total touches (i.e. carries plus targets) than Jordan Todman, and he was serviceable last week with 17 carries for 58 rush yards and 4 receptions for 60 receiving yards. The Broncos defense is about as solid as they come, but the Steelers went pass heavy the last time they met and will likely have to lean on the ground even more with Big Ben less than 100% and Antonio Brown likely to miss the game. He’s just about minimum price on DK and Y!, so he’s a chalk play for me there, but on FD, I’d prefer just taking Stewart.
- UPDATE – Jan. 15 – DeAngelo Williams has been RULED OUT. Go ahead and lock Toussaint in.
Demaryius Thomas vs. PIT (FD: $8100 / DK: $7000 / Y!: $29)
- The Steelers are terrible against the pass. They’ve allowed the 3rd most passing yards per game to opponents this season. They’ve also allowed a 64% completion rate and 19 TDs to WRs this year. Manning likes going to Thomas and Thomas likes scoring TDs. Emmanuel Sanders is also in play, but I think Thomas is the safer option with the higher floor.
Doug Baldwin vs. CAR (FD: $7400 / DK: $6800 / Y!: $30)
- The Carolina passing defense is not to be taken lightly. But Doug Baldwin has been the go-to guy since Marshawn Lynch went out with injury. He’s averaged 7.5 targets per game since then. The upside is there, and although this is likely to be a low scoring affair, the Seahawks are potentially going to be playing from behind without Marshawn Lynch, which means more Wilson to Baldwin goodness.
- UPDATE – Jan. 15 – Marshawn Lynch now likely to play. I’m still not preferring Lynch in my rosters, but this also downgrades Baldwin a little bit.
Martavis Bryant vs. DEN (FD: $7100 / $6000 / Y!: $24)
- Antonio Brown is clearly the WR with the most upside in the Steeler’s offense. But after the hit from Burfict which put him on the concussion protocol, it’s not clear if he’ll suit up for this weekend. And if he doesn’t suit up, Martavis Bryant should get plenty of looks. After being called out last week by Big Ben, Bryant responded with a spectacular TD catch. He’s getting plenty of opportunity with Brown in the lineup (averaging over 8 targets per game), but I’d expect that to grow to 12-14 targets if Brown sits.
- UPDATE – Jan. 15 – Antonio Brown RULED OUT. Bryant becomes an elite play this weekend while Markus Wheaton also becomes interesting.
Michael Floyd vs. GB (FD: $6500 / DK: $5100 / Y!: $21)
- He’s healthy again and has demonstrated big play ability in recent weeks. Last time he saw the Packers he snagged 6 of 8 targets for 111 yards. And since, as previously mentioned, Sam Shields is missing, Floyd will have even more room to run and find gaps in the secondary.
James Jones vs. AZ (FD: $6500 / DK: $4600 / Y!: $19)
- The Cardinals pass defense is tremendous, but with Tyrann Mathieu out for the season, the secondary will be a bit more exploitable. Just check out what the Seahawks did against them in Week 17. And with Patrick Peterson likely to be pseudo-shadowing Randall Cobb, and DaVante Adams likely out due to injury, James Jones is likely to continue hogging targets from Aaron Rodgers. He’s already averaging 11.6 targets per game over his last 3, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Packers in catchup mode throughout. For the price, he’s great value with upside.
Rob Gronkowski vs. KC (FD: $8300 / DK: $7500 / Y!: $28)
- My argument for playing Gronk should simply be “C’mon. It’s Gronk, people.” But let’s go one step deeper this week. We know that Kansas City likes to blitz, in part because they have solid corners that can play one-on-one, and partly because they have so much speed that that they cause serious havoc in the backfield (totaling 50 sacks this season). Brady has terrific timing, and I suspect he’ll go quickly to the middle of the field to beat the pressure, which means a lot of Gronk. Sure, Edelman is also likely back this weekend, and he’ll get his too. But you never know how it’s going to go off an injury and Gronk is a much bigger redzone target. Problem is that Gronk may have his own injury issues, so keep a close eye on his availability before the game.
Notable: the Patriots just reissued their injury report to note that Gronk was a DNP because of a back issue on top of the knee issue.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 14, 2016
Greg Olsen vs. SEA (FD: $6500 / DK: $6900 / Y!: $25)
- Seattle has a great secondary, but is still allowing a 67% completion rate to opposing tight ends, leading them to the bottom 10 against opposing tight ends in regard to fantasy points. Good thing Carolina has Greg Olsen. Olsen has been a monster for more than just this season, but when that’s the greatest weakness on the Seahawks, I expect the Panthers to attack with Olsen relentlessly throughout the game. Olsen snagged 7 passes for 129 yards and a TD the last he met the Seahawks. Seattle will try and game plan for him, but the track record and upside is definitely there.
Travis Kelce vs. NE (FD: $6600 / DK: $5100 / Y!: $23)
- Everyone was on the Kelce bandwagon early in the year. Heck, he even picked up the nickname “Baby Gronk”. Unfortunately, Kelce was anything but consistent throughout the year. He picked it up huge, though, against the Texans and if Maclin doesn’t go this week due to the high ankle sprain he’s suffering, there’ll be even more looks to go around.
Arizona vs. GB (FD: $4800 / DK: $3800 / Y!: $14)
- Arizona has been lights out on defense this year. But will a lack of Tyrann Mathieu spell the end of this defense? I don’t think so, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cardinals tally 3+ sacks.
Denver vs. PIT (FD: $5300 / DK: $3900 / Y!: $13)
- Let’s face it. The Denver defense is the reason why they’re alive in the postseason. They’ve been terrific against the pass and run. And now they face a banged up Big Ben, likely without Antonio Brown and almost certainly with 3rd string running backs in the backfield. At home. The Steelers have the second lowest implied team total this week (21.5) and Broncos are favored by 6.5. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben threw a pick or two in desperation in the 4th quarter, so feel free to get on board.