Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games – NFL Wild Card Weekend
By Ha Kung Wong Daily Fantasy Football
Happy New Year, everyone!
Well, we’ve finally made it to the playoffs! And you know what that means…time to win more DFS cash!
So before we get to winning you bragging rights and DFS cash, remember, the point of this article is not just to give you one lineup for each site, it’s to give you examples of one or two POSSIBLE lineups. Getting exposure to a few different lineups is always a good idea, so don’t forget to mix and match additional lineups from my suggestions below. Trust me, it’s a lot more fun that way AND you’ll improve your chances of cashing!
So without further to do, here are my favorite cash lineups for FanDuel, Draft Kings, and Yahoo! DFS, plus a few others suggestions you might consider for your lineups.
Let’s get to winning you some CASH in the 2016 NFL Wild Card Weekend!
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 2.5 fantasy points per $1000 spent.
- For Draft Kings, try to target at least 3 fantasy points per $1000 spent.
- For Yahoo! Daily Fantasy, try to target at least 0.7-0.8 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 NFL Wild Card Weekend contests, along with they’re prices on Fan Duel (“FD”), Draft Kings (“DK”) and Yahoo! Daily Fantasy (“Y!”).
Again, to encourage some diversity in your lineups, I’m giving you two sample lineups for FanDuel this week.
In the Wild Card Weekend, I’m interested in primarily two teams on offense — the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants.
That means I like Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Jesse James (as a TE punt play since Ladarius Green is now unlikely to play), Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings. Why the Steelers and Giants?
Well, I’ve walked through a breakdown of the Dolphins @ Steelers, but the bottom line is that the Dolphins have 20th ranked defense per DVOA on Football Outsiders and have struggled in pass coverage as well as stopping the run. And don’t forget that Ben loves being at home, as he averages of 2.95 TDs and 339.05 yards per game at Heinz Field. As for Bell, well, there’s nothing more to say other than he’s the chalk play of the week. Find a way to fit him in your lineup. Plus, the Steelers defense isn’t so hot either, leading to this game having the highest over/under of any game this weekend (46), meaning that there should be plenty of motivation for the Steelers to keep to foot on the gas, in addition to getting revenge for the Week 6 drubbing in Miami.
As for the Giants, the Packers defense is the 23rd ranked defense per DVOA and are operating with a skeleton crew in the secondary. They’re likely to get Damarious Randall back from a knee injury, but look to be without Quinten Rollins who’s suffering from a neck injury and concussion. In fact, the Packers defense gave up 22 TD passes over its last 10 games. So, in short, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some offensive production from Eli and the Giants receivers. OBJ, in particular, is clearly Eli Manning’s favorite target, as he has the 2nd most targets in the NFL (169). And honestly, the Packers run defense isn’t any good either. They gave up a total 950 rush yards and 9 rushing TDs, allowing 4.68 YPC, to opposing RBs over its last 10 games. I think Perkins has the better floor as he has the edge on volume, but Jennings still has the higher TD potential as he’s been used fairly consistently on the goal line. Plus, both are extremely cheap, allowing you add in Le’Veon Bell.
Why not the Packers? Well, I don’t hate the play, it’s just that the Giants are the 2nd ranked defense by DVOA and have been playing inspired defense in the secondary with Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins and Domnique Rodgers-Cromartie. The only issue with the Giants pass defense is at TE, as they are 26th defending against TEs per DVOA. But although I’m avoiding Aaron Rodgers, I don’t mind Jordy Nelson or Jared Cook. The Cook analysis is simple, he’s surged over the last three weeks averaging just over 4 receptions and about 60 yards per game and is the only Packers pass catching option with a plus matchup, in addition to being pretty cheap. As for Nelson, he has the most receiving TDs (14) in the NFL, he’s had double digit targets in 6 of his last 9 games, and he’s had at least 100 yards or a TD (and sometimes both) in 7 of his last 9 games. Plus, Nelson has at least 6 receptions in 6 straight games and scored a TD in 11 regular season games this year.
As for Russell Wilson, well, the Lions have the WORST pass defense in the NFL per DVOA on Football Outsiders. I prefer Roethlisberger if you have the money, but don’t have an issue with a pivot to Wilson if you’d prefer not to stack Eli with too many Giants. Wilson can be inconsistent, but he’s been hot of late with 8 TDs to only 1 INT over his last 3 games, and he’s only thrown 3 INTs in 8 home games this season. I don’t like any of the Seahawks receivers though, as I don’t have much faith that one or the other will garner the majority of targets, but I do like Jimmy Graham if you can fit him in your lineup, as the Lions are ranked 29th at defending opposing TEs.
In the same game, Golden Tate has the #Revenge storyline, plus he’s also had at least 6 targets in 13 of 16 games this season, plus he’s averaging almost 7 receptions per game over his last 6. He shouldn’t be shadowed by Richard Sherman, and the Seahawks pass defense isn’t the top 5 defense it used to be. In fact, it’s just 13th by DVOA. And his price is pretty low for a team’s WR1.
I’ll admit that Amari Cooper is a little more of dart throw with upside. He was Connor Cook’s most targeted receiver when he came in to relieve Matt McGloin, and we’ve seen his play making ability after the catch earlier in the year. If you don’t like Cooper here, I don’t mind pivoting to Jarvis Landry, just based on volume and recent performance alone.
I like two defenses this week — the Houston Texans and the Oakland Raiders. Basically, they’re both battling each other in probably the least exciting Wild Card matchup of all time, as both offenses are putrid, particularly since the Raiders will be starting rookie QB Connor Cook in his first NFL start EVER, and Brock Osweiler is, well, Brock Osweiler.
So take your pick, whichever you’re more comfortable with or whichever you can afford.
On Draft Kings, you’ll note that I took Kenny Stills and Anquan Boldin at WR and Latavius Murray at RB. The price is right and the matchups also help.
Stills is the second most targeted player by Matt Moore, only slightly behind Jarvis Landry. He’s averaging 6 targets and a TD a week from Moore. Again, his price is rock bottom and his floor and ceiling are reasonably high.
I’m not super jazzed about Boldin, but he’s reliably averaged just over 4.5 receptions per game over his last 7, and has 3 TDs over that span. He’s also 3rd in the NFL in redzone targets (22) and tied for 2nd in redzone receptions (14). For a full PPR site like Draft Kings, the receptions aren’t a bad floor to have with the TD upside, especially for the ultra-low cost. Plus, Boldin has some experience playing out west in Seattle while he was with the 49ers, which means at least he won’t be thrown by the atmosphere.
I’m also not thrilled about Murray, but he’s so ridiculously cheap on Draft Kings, that I don’t have an issue taking a flyer on him. Coach Jack Del Rio did note that he wanted Murray more involved, in large part to take some pressure off Cook and to play a little ball control, so I think he’s worth it as an RB punt play.
Feel free to use any of the players that I’ve selected on one site in any other site if you have cap space.
In addition to the above, here are few other suggestions for players to use:
- QB Aaron Rodgers vs. NYG (FD: $8600 / DK: $7900 / Y!: $39)
I don’t think he’s a chalk play in a tough matchup, and would prefer Roethlisberger if you’re going to pay top dollar at QB, but he’s been hot of late and he’s playing at home, so I understand the play.
- RB Zach Zenner @ PIT (FD: $6200 / DK: $4500 / Y!: $15)
He’s cheap, he’s the starting RB and he might fall into the endzone. I still prefer Perkins though if you want to go cheap, but I’m OK if you want to take a chance here.
- TE Eric Ebron @ SEA (FD: $5700 / DK: $3900 / Y!: $17)
In Week 16, where nothing went right for the Lions, Ebron still got his with 8 receptions for 93 yards. He’s had at least 4 receptions in each of his last 5 games, and it looks like Matt Stafford’s finger injury (although no longer on the injury report) is making him throw short to Ebron more and more often.
- TE C.J. Fiedorowicz vs. OAK (FD: $5300 / DK: $4200 / Y!: $16)
- TE Jesse James vs. MIA (FD: $4500 / DK: $3000 / Y!: $11)
He’s minimum salary and he’ll be starting now that Ladarius Green is unlikely to play. Decent TE punt play if you don’t want to pay up, or need room to fit in Bell.
Good luck everyone, and I hope you all win DFS Cash in the Wild Card Weekend!