Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games – NFL Conference Championships!
By Ha Kung Wong Daily Fantasy Football
Divisional Playoffs was solid once again as we cashed on most of the lineups we suggested, meaning we’re still cashing at over a 75% rate this season! We got a really short slate for the Conference Championships, 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.
This week, since there are only 2 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 Conference Championships on Fan Duel (“FD”), Draft Kings (“DK”) and Yahoo! Daily Fantasy (“Y!”).
Tom Brady (FD $9,000 / DK $7,700 / Y! $40)
- I know that the Jaguars are the best pass defense in the league, but Brady is still the most reliable QB left in the Conference Championships. And Brady is not limited to one or two weapons, as he has Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and a plethora of pass catching RBs, I’d expect Brady to take the lid off and go nuts. Over his 35 postseason games (including this year’s Divisional Playoffs), Brady has averaged 269.5 pass yards, 1.9 TDs and only 0.9 INTs. Since he’s trended up over the years, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t at least get close to those numbers, even with the vaunted Jaguars pass defense on tap.
Tom Brady is STILL on another level! pic.twitter.com/kTJi9Cwy0l
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 11, 2018
Blake Bortles (FD $7,600 / DK $5,000 / Y! $29)
- I know Bortles wasn’t good in the regular season, and was particularly bad in the last two games of the regular season with 5 INTs. But he’s avoided turning the ball over now in two postseason games, and averaged 150.5 passing yards, 61.5 rush yards and a TD. It’s not eye-popping, but against the Patriots 21st ranked pass defense, and with the significant potential that he’ll be playing from behind, he’s a solid value pick if you don’t want to pay up for Brady.
Leonard Fournette (FD $8,500 / DK $7,200 / Y! $35)
- I’ve actually discussed Fournette a lot in my breakdown of the AFC Conference Championship, and all of that applies here. Plus he broke out huge with 109 yards and 3 TDs against the Steelers. As far as RBs this week, you need guaranteed volume. The Pats, Vikings and Eagles all have multiple backfield options. Fournette is as close as you can get to a bell cow back in the Conference Championships, particularly against the 30th ranked Patriots run defense.
Dion Lewis (FD $7,700 / DK $8,100 / Y! $28)
- 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. The Jaguars ranked 1st against the pass, but only 22nd against the run, which implies that Lewis could get a huge amount of run.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 30, 2017
Latavius Murray (FD $6,900 / DK $5,700 / Y! $20)
- 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 19 carries over his last 4 games and is averaging almost a TD a game over his last 9.
Latavius Murray forced four missed tackles! pic.twitter.com/2YjM1O0sqe
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 15, 2018
Adam Thielen (FD $7,400 / DK $7,400 / Y! $28)
- 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. The Eagles pass defense is solid, but I suspect Thielen should get plenty of targets, even when ailing, which is great for both half-PPR and full-PPR sites.
UPDATE – With reports coming out that Thielen will be playing through “plenty of pain” and has a “slight fracture” in his lower back, I’d now shy away from paying up for him this week. You’re welcome to play him on one or two lineups, but stick to Diggs for the majority.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 21, 2018
Stefon Diggs (FD $6,700 / DK $6,900 / Y! $23)
- is there really anything to say about Diggs that we don’t already know? He was hero in the Divisional Playoffs, but even without the heroics, he had 5 of 9 receptions 76 yards. He’s actually still affordable on all sites, so go ahead and play him.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 15, 2018
Danny Amendola (FD $6,400 / DK $5,500 / Y! $14)
- The Jaguars defense is the best in the country, and we already noted that their 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 Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski likely to get most of the attention, I like Amendola as a low cost upside play, particularly after his big 11 of 13 for 112 yards. He’s a particularly good deal on Yahoo.
Chris Hogan (FD $6,100 / DK $5,000 / Y! $20)
- Hogan didn’t have the numbers Amendola had in the Divisional Playoffs, but he was rusty coming off an injury, and he did get a TD. Again, the Jaguars have a formidable pass defense, but they can’t shut down everyone.
Nelson Agholor (FD $6,200 / DK $4,800 / Y! $16)
- I really don’t want to play any of the Eagles WRs because I just don’t trust Foles, but Jeffrey is likely to get shadowed by Xavier Rhodes, so if you’re going with an Eagle, I like Agholor. Plus, the price is pretty low, so he won’t have to do much to meet value.
Marqise Lee (FD $6,100 / DK $4,400 / Y! $16)
- The Jaguars are likely going to have to throw and the Patriots are ranked 26th defending WR1s. Lee looks like the top target in Jacksonville, particularly after his team leading 6 targets in the Divisional Playoffs.
Rob Gronkowski (FD $8,400 / DK $7,900 / Y! $34)
- Do it. Just force him into your lineups. Gronk has gotten at least 1 TD in 6 straight postseason games with the Pats, and has averaged over 10 targets in those games. Brady loves him. Brady loves him in the endzone. And you should too.
Kyle Rudolph (FD $6,100 / DK $4,500 / Y! $17)
- If you want to go 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. Plus, the Eagles are only 17th defending opposing TEs.
Minnesota Vikings (FD $4,900 / DK $3,800 / Y! $11)
- The Vikings are still the 2nd best defense in the league. Foles has been mediocre to bad in every appearance after his first against the Giants. I think the Vikings are your best chance for a few sacks and turnover. On Yahoo, they’re ridiculously underpriced.
Sometimes you just can’t fit everyone you want into your lineup. In that case, I don’t mind using one of the following as dart throw punts to fill out your lineup:
- Jay Ajayi – He’s better than Blount and tied a season high 15 carries and had a season high 5 targets with the Eagles in the Divisional Playoffs.
- Jerrick McKinnon – Got at least 10 touches in 11 of his last 13 games, and is always a pass catching threat with TD upside.
- Dede Westbrook – Most snaps of any Jags WR (69%) in the Divisional Playoff game, and we know that the Jags will have to throw at some point.
Best of luck in the Conference Championships! We’ll be back next week with DFS picks for the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl!