Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games – Divisional Playoffs!
By Ha Kung Wong Daily Fantasy Football
Wild Card Weekend was BIG TIME as we cashed on almost all the lineups we suggested, meaning we’re still cashing at over a 75% rate this season! We got short slate for the Wild Card Weekend, but don’t worry, we got you covered.
We all know that DFS is a great way to prove you have serious football IQ and earn you bragging rights among your friends (and if you’re like me, among your family as well!). And heck, if you win cash, that’s just gravy, right? (No need to answer that question, it was totally rhetorical. I know you all like cash. And gravy.)
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!
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, this week, since there are only 4 games, we’re going to do something a little different. I’ll make my suggestions generally per position, and then I’ll provide a couple sample lineups for the Divisional Playoffs on Fan Duel (“FD”), Draft Kings (“DK”) and Yahoo! Daily Fantasy (“Y!”).
Tom Brady (FD $8,800 / DK $7,000 / Y! $41)
- It probably doesn’t matter much with the Patriots sitting at 13.5 point home favorites, but I’d expect Brady to take the lid off and go nuts. Over his 34 postseason games, Brady has averaged 267.5 pass yards, 1.9 TDs and only 0.9 INTs. Since he’s trended up over the years, I’d see that more as a floor against the Titans 25th ranked pass defense. He’s my favorite QB of the slate.
Tom Brady is STILL on another level! pic.twitter.com/kTJi9Cwy0l
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 11, 2018
Case Keenum (FD $7,600 / DK $6,100 / Y! $29)
- If you want to save a little cap space, Keenum is a viable alternative. He’s been solid this year and has no weather concerns at home in a dome. In 15 games, Keenum managed to throw for the 12th most TDs (22) while only throwing 7 INTs. This promises to be a close game with the second highest over/under (46.5) and a relatively narrow spread of 4.5 for the Vikings, which insures that Keenum should remain active throughout. Plus, the Saints have been better on defense than expected, but are still just 16th against the pass.
Case Keenum finished in the top 10 of PFF grades pic.twitter.com/YMemSw2hsR
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 10, 2018
Le’Veon Bell (FD $9,400 / DK $9,600 / Y! $40)
- Bell is as close to a must-play as possible this week. I know he’s expensive, but you just can’t fade him in light of the matchup. The Jaguars ranked 1st against the pass, but only 22nd against the run, which implies that Bell could get a huge amount of run. In addition to the fact that Bell has the most carries (321) for the 3rd most rush yards (1,291) and 3rd most rushing TDs (9), while also have the most receptions (85) for the 4th most receiving yards (655) of any RB in the league, and you have a recipe for a high-floor plus high-ceiling that has to be in your lineup.
Dion Lewis (FD $7,600 / DK $6,600 / Y! $22)
- The Titans actually have a decent run defense, but Lewis has been amazing over the last couple weeks. In the last 3 weeks of the regular season, he’s averaged 96.3 rush yards, a rushing TD, 25.7 receiving yards and .67 receiving TDs per game. Rex Burkhead is likely back, so he might lose some goal line work, but Burkhead isn’t 100% and Lewis is just too good to sit.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 30, 2017
UPDATE – Looks like Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee may not play, which would make Dion Lewis a must-start. Keep a close eye on their status and play accordingly.
Patriots’ RBs Rex Burkhead (knee) and Mike Gillislee (knee), both listed as questionable for tonight’s Divisional Playoff game against the Titans, are not expected to play, per league sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2018
UPDATE 2 – Confirmed that Burkhead and Gillislee are INACTIVE.
Patriots inactives: CB Johnson Bademosi, DT Alan Branch, LB David Harris, WR Kenny Britt, OL Cole Croston, RB Mike Gillislee, RB Rex Burkhead. https://t.co/WNstWFNc7H
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 13, 2018
Latavius Murray (FD $6,800 / DK $5,400 / Y! $21)
- Latavius Murray has quietly returned to prominence in Minnesota. Dalvin Cook derailed him at the beginning of the season and it looked like Jerrick McKinnon might do so after that, but he’s the clear lead back now. He’s has at least 20 carries over his last 3 games and is averaging almost a TD a game over his last 8.
The Chicago Bears struggled to bring Latavius Murray down today pic.twitter.com/vls6OB0O4p
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 31, 2017
Jay Ajayi (FD $6,900 / DK $4,600 / Y! $18)
- I don’t think Ajayi is a game winner, but he’s certainly an affordable option that, in light of Foles being under center, SHOULD see more run against a Falcons defense that has allowed the 13th most rushing yards of any team this season. And he’s really really cheap on Draft Kings.
Derrick Henry (FD $6,500 / DK $7,300 / Y! $21)
- DeMarco Murray has already been ruled out again, and Henry has now got back-to-back solid games in relief, with 28 carries and one long catch and run TD against the vaunted Jaguars defense and 23 carries for a whopping 156 yards and TD against the Chiefs in Wild Card Weekend. Sure, maybe the Patriots blow out the Titans by half time leaving less opportunity on the ground, but keep in mind that the Titans were behind by 18 against the Chiefs at the beginning of the second half and Henry still got plenty of run. His price appears to have been adjusted on most sites, but not on FanDuel, so feel free to use him to free up cap space.
Derrick Henry earned the highest grade among HBs in the Wild Card round pic.twitter.com/4MwKHhlJ8F
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 11, 2018
Julio Jones (FD $8,800 / DK $7,900 / Y! $35)
- I actually prefer not to pay up for a WR this week, as they rarely meet value, and I’d much rather find a way to squeeze in Le’Veon Bell at RB, but if you want to spend up at WR, I’d go for Julio Jones. Jones had a nice game against the Rams catching 9 of 10 for 94 yards and a game sealing TD, which is in line with what he’s done for at least the least half of the season. Some of that is skewed by a ridiculous the Bucs in late November, but he’s been fairly reliable and should be heavily involved if the Falcons hope to steal one against the No. 1 seed Eagles, who are only 17th against the pass.
Julio gonna Julio. pic.twitter.com/CygQIBwtcp
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 7, 2018
Brandin Cooks (FD $7,700 / DK $7,000 / Y! $23)
- I’m not a huge Patriots fan, I swear, but I don’t mind using a Pats mega-stack this week in DFS. Cooks had an encouraging Week 17 where he tied his season high in targets and caught 5 of 11 for 79 yards and TD. He’s facing the Titans who are ranked only 24th against the pass and I suspect Brady won’t be slowing down. I particularly like his discounted price on Yahoo.
Adam Thielen (FD $7,600 / DK $7,600 / Y! $29)
- Did you realize that Thielen had the 5th most receiving yards of any WR this season? And almost all of that came from Case Keenum. Marshon Lattimore is good, but Thielen tends to play out of the slot more, which means Lattimore shadowing Stefon Diggs instead. I suspect the Thielen should get plenty of targets in this one, which is great for both half-PPR and full-PPR sites.
Alshon Jeffery (FD $7,200 / DK $5,500 / Y! $18)
- I really don’t want to play any of the Eagles WRs because I just don’t trust Foles, but Jeffrey is clearly the No. 1 WR in Philly and he has a plus matchup against an Atlanta defense that is ranked 25th at defending WR1s.
Martavis Bryant (FD $6,700 / DK $5,000 / Y! $15)
- The Jaguars defense is the best in the country, and we already noted that they a weakness against the run. But did you know that against opposing WRs, they’re weakest against WR3/4? Sure, being ranked 11th against these WRs isn’t a huge deal, but with Antonio Brown ailing, JuJu Smith-Schuster certain to draw more defensive attention, I like Bryant as a low cost upside play.
Ted Ginn Jr. (FD $5,900 / DK $5,800 / Y! $12)
- Last week I suggested Ginn as cheap exposure to a solid Saints passing offense. This week they face a much more intimidating Vikings defense, but I suspect they’ll still have to throw the ball a significant amount and Thomas is certain to get the most defensive attention. Ginn appears to continue being the second WR option in the game, and he proved that catching 4 of 6 for 115 yards and TD in the Wild Card game against the Panthers. As I mentioned previously, he averaged 5.5 targets per game over his 6 game prior to that, so it looks like he’s going to continue getting consistent looks. He looks like a decent value play, particularly on Yahoo where he’s almost minimum price.
Mohamed Sanu (FD $5,800 / DK $5,700 / Y! $18)
- I think the Eagles run defense is much better than we think and that the Falcons will need to take to the air to be successful. So, in addition to Jones, I also like Sanu. He was 4 for 8 for 75 yards in the Wild Card game, and he was averaging 7.3 targets per game over the last 6 games of the regular season. There’s risk involved since the Eagles are ranked 1st against WR2s, but I think he makes a fine value play.
Rishard Matthews (FD $5,500 / DK $4,500 / Y! $19)
- Matthews is coming off three down games now, but in his previous 5 games, he was averaging almost 70 yards per game and had 3 total TDs. I suspect the Titans will play from behind, so I think Matthews should get his fair share of opportunity. Plus, the Patriots are ranked 26th against WR1s.
Corey Davis (FD $5,400 / DK $3,400 / Y! $11)
- You need to get value somewhere, and Davis may be your best shot, at least on Draft Kings where he’s particularly cheap. Everyone thought that the rookie would be a big part of the Titans offense, and he did receive 7 targets in the Wild Card game, so he’s certainly trending up. And as I mentioned above, I suspect the Titans will need to go to the air at some point to catch up. On FanDuel, I just pay up for Matthews, who I think still remains the WR1, but he’s worth a cheap punt play on both Draft Kings and Yahoo, where he’s almost minimum price.
Rob Gronkowski (FD $8,500 / DK $7,100 / Y! $32)
- Do it. Just force him into your lineups. Gronk has gotten at least 1 TD in 5 straight postseason games with the Pats, and has averaged an eye-popping 10.8 targets in those games. Brady loves him. Brady loves him in the endzone. And you should too.
Delanie Walker (FD $6,200 / DK $5,000 / Y! $22)
- Walker is Mariota’s number 1 target. He doesn’t flash tons of upside, but he has the 3rd most receptions (74) on the 3rd most targets (111) for the 4th most receiving yards (807) of any TE this season. He has a great floor and is a cheaper pivot from Gronk.
Kyle Rudolph (FD $5900 / DK $4,700 / Y! $17)
- If you want to go even cheaper, then I don’t mind considering Rudolph. He’s a big redzone target for Keenum and has the 2nd most receiving TDs (8) of any TE this season. He’s particularly underpriced on Yahoo.
Pittsburgh Steelers (FD $5,300 / DK $3,800 / Y! $16)
- Basically, this is all about picking on the weakest QBs this weekend. Blake Bortles looked terrible last week, and he threw for 5 INTs in the 2 games before that. There’s a decent chance the Jags turn it over at least once during the game, and the Steelers are still the 9th ranked defense in the league this season.
Atlanta Falcons (FD $4,400 / DK $3,500 / Y! $16)
- And continuing the theme, Nick Foles also is mediocre at best. He’s had two down performances in a row, throwing an INT in both, plus he’s fumbled the ball at least once in each of his starts this season (though they were recovered by the Eagles, that’s more due to chance than skill). The Falcons are a surprisingly solid defense this year, so I have no problem saving cap space with them.
Minnesota Vikings (FD $4,600 / DK $2,900 / Y! $13)
- I’m not as excited about this one, and certainly wouldn’t use them on FanDuel in light of the price, but the Vikings are still the 2nd best defense in the league, playing at home. It’s possible that Brees, Ingram and Kamara light them up, but I think the Vikings at least have a chance for a few sacks and turnover. On Draft Kings and Yahoo, they’re priced very aggressively and may be worth the savings.
Best of luck in the Divisional Playoffs! We’ll be back next week with DFS picks for the Conference Championships!