Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games – Week 5
By Ha Kung Wong Daily Fantasy Football
I hope you followed my advice in past weeks for your cash games, because if you did, you won money. But now I’m back to help you out in Week 5 of the 2016 NFL season!
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 Week 5 contests, along with they’re prices on Fan Duel (“FD”), Draft Kings (“DK”) and Yahoo! Daily Fantasy (“Y!”).
There’s plenty of QBs to pick from, but I don’t tend to take too many chances at QB for cash games because they’re so important for anchoring your team’s performance, so I’ll give you three “safe” choices, then one that’s more of a gamble if you’d prefer to take chances on QB and spend money at the other positions.
And just so you know, I really wanted to recommend the Denver Broncos pass offense against the porous Atlanta Falcons secondary, but with Trevor Siemian’s status up in the air, it’s hard to recommend any QB, WR or TE in Denver, so I’ll be playing it safe this week.
UPDATE – Oct. 8, 2016 – With Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch now a sneaky cheap QB play against a porous Falcons secondary. I’ll play it safe though and not pay up for Thomas or Sanders.
Broncos' rookie first-round pick Paxton Lynch will start Sunday vs Falcons, as @MikeKlis reported. Trevor Siemian not quite ready.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 8, 2016
Philip Rivers @ OAK (FD: $8300 / DK: $6900 / Y!: $38)
- The Raiders essentially don’t have a pass defense. They allowed the most passing yards per game (326) this year of any team in the NFL. Plus, this game has then highest over/under at 50 points with the Raiders favored by 3.5, meaning there will be plenty of scoring and Rivers will likely need to pass a lot to stay competitive. As I’ve mentioned, Rivers has developed terrific chemistry with Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams and rookie TE Hunter Henry, but last week also took advantage of Dontrelle Inman. With all those options and no one to stop them, I think Rivers is a safe pick for points.
Derek Carr vs. SD (FD: $8100 / DK: $6800 / Y!: $38)
- The Chargers secondary have been mildly resurgent this year, but they’ve now lost top corner Jason Varrett for the season due to an ACL injury. And even with Varrett healthy, the Chargers defense allowed the 6th most passing yards per game (290) this season. As I mentioned above, this game has the highest over/under of any game this week, and Derek Carr has been nothing short of extraordinary under center this season. Plus, with Latavius Murray unlikely to play this week, there may be even more pressure on Carr to carry the offense.
Carson Wentz @ DET (FD: $7500 / DK: $6400 / Y!: $34)
- I admit, I didn’t think Carson Wentz would be this good so quickly in the NFL, as he’s been solid locating receivers, tallying an impressive 5 TDs in three weeks without a single interception. But I’m not making that mistake twice. Wentz had two weeks to prepare for the Lions, who have allowed the highest passer rating of any defense to opposing QBs (120.2) and allowed the second most TDs to opposing QBs (12) this year. Plus, top move TE target Zach Ertz is returning this week. Fire up Wentz and enjoy the discounted price point.
Brian Hoyer @ IND (FD: $6000 / DK: $5500 / Y!: $27)
- As I’ve mentioned previously, Brian Hoyer isn’t anything special. But he’s been consistently solid in his two starts with 317 passing yards and 2 TDs in Week 3 and 302 passing yards and 2 TDs in Week 4. The Colts secondary have been a revolving door at cornerback, and although they get some starters left, they’ve been middle of the road at best. And they just gave up on Antonio Cromartie. Thus game is tied for second highest over/under at 48 with IND favored by 4.5, so I see Hoyer having to go pass heavy to keep the Bears competitive. For the cost, Hoyer is a steal this week.
As usual, RB is a position where I want some “guaranteed” volume. And by that, I mean we need 10+ touches to even be considered. So here are my thoughts.
David Johnson @ SF (FD: $9000 / DK: $7900 / Y!: $39)
- No matter what happens to the rest of the Cardinals offense, David Johnson always gets his. For example, when the Cardinals were shut down by the Vikings in Week 3, David Johnson didn’t let them down. Other than being a good floor, he has terrific upside as well, particularly with this favorable matchup against a subpar San Francisco run defense. The 49ers have allowed 140.5 rush yards per game this year, the worst in the NFL. And now with no Carson Palmer behind center, the Cardinals will be even more dependent on the ground. Johnson is expensive, but there’s plenty of upside here.
Melvin Gordon @ OAK (FD: $7700 / DK: $7000 / Y!: $33)
- The Raiders allowed the second most rush yards per game (134.5) and the fifth most fantasy points to opposing RBs this year. With Danny Woodhead out of the picture, Melvin Gordon’s snap rate went up to 87% in Week 3 and it remained consistent in Week 4. Gordon is starting to look like the guy the Chargers wanted last year when they drafted him, and the matchup makes him an excellent value once again this week.
Jordan Howard @ IND (FD: $7200 / DK: $5200 / Y!: $21)
- Jeremy Langford is still on the shelf due to injury, and Jordan Howard has taken full advantage of his opportunity 111 rush yards on 23 carries and 21 receiving yards on 3 receptions in Week 4. This week, Howard gets the Colts defense, who have allowed the 4th most fantasy points to opposing RBs this year. Howard’s ability to catch passes in comeback mode and his volume of carries makes his floor relatively safe, while providing TD upside for a reasonable price.
Terrance West vs. WAS (FD: $6400 / DK: $4800 / Y!: $17)
- The Baltimore Ravens finally figured out that Justin Forsett really wasn’t that good, and made him a healthy scratch in Week 4, thus handing the reigns to Terrance West. West didn’t disappoint, as he amassed 113 rush yards and a TD on 21 carries. Head coach John Harbaugh won’t commit to West as the lead back, but rookie RB Kenneth Dixon is just coming off injury, so I’d be shocked if West doesn’t at least get 75% of the carries this week. In addition, the Redskins allowed the 3rd most rush yards per game (133.0) and 2nd most fantasy points to opposing RBs of any team in the NFL this year. Looking for value at RB? Here you go.
Jerick McKinnon vs. HOU (FD: $6200 / DK: $4000 / Y!: $22)
- And if you want even more value, look no further than Jerick McKinnon. We know that Adrian Peterson is not coming back anytime soon, but there was concern when Matt Asiata was named the starter for Week 4. Turns out it didn’t matter, as Asiata garnered only 6 yards on 6 carries with a vulture TD, while McKinnon completely out-snapped and out-played him with 18 carries for 85 rush yards and a TD, adding 3 receptions from 5 targets for 10 receiving yards. Houston has the 2nd best pass defense in the NFL this year, but they also allowed the 6th most rush yards per game (125.3). So when Sam Bradford gets shutdown over the air, you can bet we’ll see a heavy dose of McKinnon.
Remember, in DFS, you not only want yards, you want receptions, though its more valuable in Draft Kings, which is a full PPR, than FanDuel, which is a half PPR. So with that in mind, here’s my thoughts for WR plays.
Antonio Brown vs. NYJ (FD: $9600 / DK: $9800 / Y!: $40)
- Antonio Brown is expensive on all sites, but he’s simply money in the back. He’s had total targets of 11, 11, 18 and 5 over the first four weeks of the season, and he only saw 5 in Week 4 because the Steelers were so far ahead. Not to worry, though, because he caught 4 of those 5 targets for 64 yards and 2 TDs. The Jets allow the seventh most receiving yards per game (304.8) to opposing receivers, and you can bet Brown will see a chunk of that this week.
A.J. Green @ DAL (FD: $8700 / DK: $8900 / Y!: $36)
- A.J. Green is also a target monster, as he saw 13, 8, 11 and 12 targets over the first four weeks. In Week 3, the next closest pass catcher had only 4. And in Week 4, Green caught 10 of 12 targets for a whopping 173 yards and a TD. Without Tyler Eifert on the field, no one has stepped up so far this season, and Eifert might have just had a setback on his road to recovery. Dallas is a middle of road pass defense, but Green is going to get his regardless.
Brandon Marshall @ PIT (FD: $6900 / DK: $7100 / Y!: $34)
- It looks like Eric Decker is unlikely to play in Week 5, meaning Brandon Marshall will be the primary target for Ryan Fitzpatrick without distraction. The Jets are bound to be behind throughout the game and Marshall has seen his targets grow each week (8, 9, 10 and 12). And you may not know this, but Pittsburgh has allowed the 4th most receiving yards per game (320.8) this year.
Michael Crabtree vs. SD (FD: $6900 / DK: $6900 / Y!: $27)
- First of all, see Derek Carr for why this is a good matchup for the Raiders passing attack. Secondly, Crabtree has been ridiculously targeted over the first four weeks (9, 5, 11 and 12). I absolutely see Crabtree picking where he left off in Week 4 when he had 7 receptions for 88 yards and 3 TDs. He might not get all those TDs this week, but the receptions and yards are for real.
Travis Benjamin @ OAK (FD: $6500 / DK: $6500 / Y!: $26)
- First, see Philip Rivers above for why I like the Chargers passing attack. Now add the fact that without Keenan Allen, Benjamin is Rivers’ go to guy and that the Raiders have allowed the most yards to opposing WRs per game (332.8) this year. OK, you can go ahead and lock him in now.
Quincy Enunwa @ PIT (FD: $6200 / DK: $4600 / Y!: $18)
- See Brandon Marshall. But you want to pay a little less and you want to separate yourself from the masses you say? Well, Quincy Enunwa has seen targets of 8, 6, 11 and 7 over the last four weeks, and without Decker, he’s a clear WR2 in a pass heavy (but turnover heavy) Jets offense. You’re welcome.
- UPDATE – Enunwa has a knee injury, but recent reports say he’ll be OK to go. But keep a close eye on this just in case you need to switch up your lineup. At this point, I don’t like taking chances, so I would have a plan B available.
Zach Ertz @ DET (FD: $5600 / DK: $3500 / Y!: $20)
- It’s easy to forget about Zach Ertz since he’s been on the shelf with a rib injury since his Week 1 performance grabbing 6 of 7 targets for 58 yards. But he had a full practice on Wednesday, so he’s back. Plus, the Lions allow the 2nd most fantasy points per week to opposing TEs. Vroom vroom.
Cameron Brate vs. CAR (FD: $5600 / DK: $2900 / Y!: $14)
- Since taking over for Austin Sefarian-Jenkins as the primary TE in Week 3, Cameron Brate has caught 5 of 10 for 46 yards and 2 TDs and 5 of 8 for 67 yards. He’s on Jameis Winston’s radar and the Panthers have allowed the 4th most points to opposing TEs this year. Brate is a particularly good deal on Draft Kings or Yahoo!. On Fan Duel, I’d prefer Ertz for the price.
Kyle Rudolph vs. HOU (FD: $5500 / DK: $3600 / Y!: $18)
- Congratulations Kyle Rudolph on the twin babies born on October 4! And congratulations on being Sam Bradford’s best bud over the last three weeks. Rudolph has seen an amazing 8, 10 and 7 targets since Bradford took over and has had a TD in EVERY GAME. Houston has the 2nd best pass defense in the NFL this year, but Rudolph will be a safety valve and is sure to see heavy volume.
Minnesota Vikings vs. HOU (FD: $4800/ DK $3400 / Y!: $19)
- OK, I’m totally sold. The Vikings defense is for real. They’ve totaled 11 takeaways and 15 sacks over first 4 games of the season. Texan’s QB Brock Osweiler has had 6 INTs to just 5 TDs over the same period. Minnesota is at home and on a roll. Need I say more?
Philadelphia Eagles @ DET (FD: $4600 / DK $2900 / Y!: $18)
- I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Eagles defense is really good. They’ve totaled 10 sacks, 3 INTs and 3 fumble recoveries in just three games. And they’ve been efficient at limiting scoring as well (10, 14 and 3 points). Plus, I bet you didn’t know that the Eagles have allowed the least amount of fantasy points to opposing QBs in the NFL this year. They’re a particularly good deal on Draft Kings.
San Francisco 49ers vs. ARZ (FD: $4100 / DK $2600 / Y!: $13)
- So this, again, is not for the feint of heart. And I’ve been burnt recommending the 49ers defense before. But this week, they’re playing Arizona Cardinals sans Carson Palmer. That’s right, backup QB Drew Stanton will be behind center. Stanton who threw 2 INTs in relief of Palmer in Week 4 against LA. Stanton who has 18 career INTs to just 12 career TDs. Stanton who’s going to make the 49ers defense a nice value in DFS this week.
UPDATE – Oct. 8, 2016
And for those who don’t follow my Twitter account, here are some other cash plays that developed over the week:
- Jacquizz Rodgers – RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ CAR – Both Doug Martin and Charles Sims are out this week, so Rodgers will take over as the primary ground option. And head coach Dirk Koetter has a lot of confidence in Rodgers’ ability to handle the load. The Panthers defense doesn’t scare me anymore and Rodgers is dirt cheap.
- Will Tye – TE – New York Giants @ GB – Larry Donnell has been ruled out due to a concussion, leaving Tye as the clear cut TE1. He’s shown propensity to get volume in the past, so there’s some potential here if you’re looking to punt at TE.
- Paxton Lynch – QB – Denver Broncos vs. ATL – See above.