Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games – Wild Card Playoffs
By Ha Kung Wong Daily Fantasy Football
Week 17 worked out well 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 Wild Card weekend on Fan Duel (“FD”), Draft Kings (“DK”) and Yahoo! Daily Fantasy (“Y!”).
Jared Goff (FD $8,500 / DK $6,700 / Y! $31)
- He’s had multiple TDs in 7 of his last 8 starts and has also topped 300 passing yards in 4 of them. He’s got Robert Woods back, and Gurley loves to catch screen passes and TDs. Plus, we shouldn’t be worried about the Falcons pass defense, which only ranked 19th over the regular season.
Drew Brees (FD $8,100 / DK $6,400 / Y! $29)
- Sure, Drew Brees hasn’t been himself this season, underperforming as compared to the rest of his career. But he’s still Drew Brees playing at home in a playoff game against a Panthers defense that has allowed the 10th highest passer rating for opposing QBs and the 6th least INTs (10) this season. It’s not that I like his upside, it’s that I really like his floor.
Todd Gurley (FD $10,000 / DK $9,700 / Y! $40)
- Todd Gurley is not only the number 1 RB in fantasy, but he may be the number 1 player in the NFL as well. He’s completely matchup proof and will look to keep it going in a playoff game against Atlanta’s 20th ranked run defense.
Alvin Kamara (FD $9,100 / DK $8,600 / Y! $34)
- Kamara has the 2nd most receptions (81) for the most receiving yards (826) and 2nd most receiving TDs (5) of any RB in the NFL this season. And that’s on TOP of averaging 45.5 rush yards and 0.5 rushing TDs per game. He’s got as much upside as anyone in the playoffs.
Leonard Fournette (FD $8,100 / DK $7,400 / Y! $30)
- I think game script will dictate that the Jags play ball control and allow their outstanding defense to wear down the Bills, who, at best, will be playing with a hobbled LeSean McCoy. That means lots of carries with Fournette as the Jags look to avoid Blake Bortles turning over the ball (which he’s done 5 times in the last 2 games). Fournette has the 3rd most carries (20.6) for the 6th most yards (80) and 4th most rushing TDs (0.7) of any RB this season, and I see no reason why he wouldn’t at least hit those numbers this weekend.
Mark Ingram (FD $8,000 / DK $6,900 / Y! $26)
- Ingram has as many touches as Kamara, yet is way cheaper on every site. Perhaps he doesn’t have the PPR upside, but he’s still going to get plenty of run with the 5th most yards (1,124) and 2nd most rushing TDs (12) of any RB this season.
Derrick Henry (FD $6,500 / DK $6,000 / Y! $16)
- DeMarco Murray has already been ruled out, and Henry got 28 carries and one long catch and run TD last week against the vaunted Jaguars defense with Murray sidelined. The Chiefs defense isn’t nearly as scary, and there isn’t much other value available at RB this week.
Mike Tolbert (FD $5,100 / DK $3,600 / Y! $12)
- LeSean McCoy hasn’t practiced yet and at most will do light individual work on Friday. He injured his ankle just last week, so even if he does take the field, he’s not going to be 100% and has a high potential for re-injury. Tolbert is uninspiring, but he may carry the load and have a goal line opportunity or two this weekend, plus his price is low enough to gamble on.
Michael Thomas (FD $8,300 / DK $7,800 / Y! $32)
- Thomas is the number 1 target in New Orleans, having the 3rd most receptions (104) and 6th most receiving yards (1,245) of any WR this season. He’s averaging almost 10 targets a week, and I don’t see how he doesn’t get his fair share this weekend in what is supposed to be a tightly contested game.
Tyreek Hill (FD $7,700 / DK $6,800 / Y! $32)
- There’s a little more risk here, as Hill has built his numbers around the homerun ball, as opposed to guaranteed volume. But the homerun ball still counts, and he’s facing the Titans who are ranked only 24th against the pass.
Robert Woods (FD $7,400 / DK $6,600 / Y! $24)
- Woods is clearly Jared Goffs favorite WR target, and it shows. In his last three games with Goff under center, he averaged 7.3 receptions on 9.3 targets for 99 yards and a TD per game. If he just hits those averages, he already exceeded value by a decent margin. Plus, Atlanta is ranked 25th at defending WR1s, which makes this a relatively juicy matchup.
Ted Ginn Jr. (FD $5,900 / DK $5,200 / Y! $18)
- Maybe you want some of the Saints goodness, but don’t want to pay up? Ginn is definitely the second WR option in the game, and if the Panthers do decide to key on stopping the run game, Ginn might see more action. He’s averaging 5.5 targets per game over his last 6, and his price is low enough that the TD upside and revenge narrative vs. his former team makes him worth a gamble.
Sammy Watkins (FD $6,700 / DK $5,100 / Y! $17)
- Guess what? Watkins started slow this season, but has had a TD in 6 of his last 8 games. His floor is lower than most, but his upside is definitely higher.
Rishard Matthews (FD $5,500 / DK $4,900 / Y! $21)
- Matthews is coming off two down games, 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, Kansas City is ranked second to last in defending WR1s.
Eric Decker (FD $4,800 / DK $3,500 / Y! $15)
- Decker has seen his target share climb through the end of the season, averaging 6.4 targets over his last 5 games. He doesn’t tend to get more than about 40-60 yards, and he only has one TD this season, but his price is so low that those numbers should reach value, particularly on Draft Kings.
Albert Wilson (FD $5,200 / DK $3,300 / Y! $13)
- Toss out Week 17’s 10 receptions for 147 yards since Hill and Kelce were resting, but it does show his upside. Plus, he did garner at least 5 targets in 4 of his 5 game prior to Week 17. He’s no sure thing, but with Kelce and Hill drawing the most attention from a suspect Titans defense (only ranked 28th against WR2s), Wilson may have some opportunity and provide some cap relief.
Travis Kelce (FD $7,700 / DK $7,100 / Y! $30)
- Kelce is a stud. He has the most receptions (83) on the most targets (122) for the 2nd most receiving yards (1,038) and 2nd most receiving TDs (8) of any TE this season. Tennessee is ranked 24th defending against TEs and do not have a LB or S that can match up with him. Maybe they roll tons of coverage his way, but I doubt it will slow him down.
Delanie Walker (FD $5,800 / DK $4,700 / 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 much cheaper than Kelce.
Charles Clay (FD $5,500 / DK $4,000 / Y! $19)
- He’s averaged 5 receptions on 9 targets over his last 3 games, and will be needed more than ever is LeSean McCoy doesn’t play a full complement of snaps. The Jaguars defense is tops, but they’re only 20th against opposing TEs.
Greg Olsen (FD $5,500 / DK $4,000 / Y! $17)
- Olsen is fully healthy, but after breaking out in Week 15, had back to back quiet weeks. We know he’s good, but it’s hard to predict whether he’ll make value or not this week. But he’s so underpriced on Yahoo, that I had to consider him along with his upside.
Jacksonville Jaguars (FD $5,600 / DK $4,400 / Y! $21)
- The Bill aren’t great and will be, at best, with a hobbled McCoy. The Jaguars have the best defense in the NFL, plus the Jags will likely play ball control to slow the pace of the game down. It’s not super sexy, but this is probably the safest play on defense this week.
Kansas City Chiefs (FD $4,800 / DK $3,400 / Y! $14)
- The Chiefs defense is nowhere as good as they’ve been in the past, but they’re definitely better at Arrowhead. Plus, the Titans have a negative turnover ratio that could rear its ugly head this weekend.
Los Angeles Rams (FD $4,700 / DK $2,700 / Y! $18)
- The Rams defensive unit has been solid most of the year, and Aaron Donald is one of the best at pressuring opposing QBs. Their particularly underpriced on Draft Kings, where I would give them the most consideration.
Best of luck in Wild Card Weekend! We’ll be back next week with DFS picks for the Divisional Playoffs!