Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games – Week 1
By Ha Kung Wong Daily Fantasy Football
It’s been a long offseason, but we’re ready for Week 1 of the 2018 NFL Season! Which means that we’re getting ready for Week 1 of Daily Fantasy Football!! Woohoo, can’t wait!
Before I get started, I want to thank all of you readers who have returned this year and welcome all the new readers! I’ve been doing this for a long time, but this column is going into its fourth year, so thanks for continuing to check in! It’s much appreciated! OK, on with the show.
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. And that’s never been more true than in the first week of the season when we have very limited data. 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 Week 1 of the 2018 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.
And this year, I’m trying something different. I’m going to list out all my favorite plays at each position and also provide you with a few sample lineups on each site. You’re welcome. 🙂
So, without further to do, here are my suggestions for the Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games for Week 1 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.
Drew Brees (FD: $8400 / DK: $6800 / Y!: $33)
- Tampa Bay had the worst defense per DVOA in 2017 and did little to improve. Plus this game has the second highest over/under (49.5) of any game this week and Brees at home is money.
Kirk Cousins (FD: $7600 / DK: $6500 / Y!: $35)
- San Francisco’s defense is looking vulnerable with Rueben Foster suspended and Malcolm Smith with a balky hamstring. Cousins has terrific weapons around him with Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph, and like his upside.
Andy Dalton (FD: $6800 / DK: $5800 / Y!: $25)
- Need to save some money at QB? How about an improved Bengals offense against a Colts defense that was the 5th worst in the league in 2017 per DVOA? Dalton is no superstar, but having AJ Green does wonders when the opposition is essentially swiss cheese.
Case Keenum (FD: $6300 / DK: $5100 / Y!: $25)
- And my favorite value play is the Vikings former QB now in Denver with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to throw to against a completely imploded Seahawks defense at home in the Mile High city.
Alvin Kamara (FD: $8700 / DK: $8500 / Y!: $37)
Ezekiel Elliott (FD: $8300 / DK: $7700 / Y!: $34)
Melvin Gordon (FD: $8100 / DK: $6800 / Y!: $31)
Kareem Hunt (FD: $8000 / DK: $6900 / Y!: $33)
Leonard Fournette (FD: $8000 / DK: $7100 / Y!: $30)
Christian McCaffrey (FD: $7500 / DK: $6400 / Y!: $25)
- HC Ron Rivera said McCaffrey could be inline for 25-30 touches per game. Then he backed that up with a ridiculous amount of work in the preseason. I love the upside here, specifically in all PPR sites.
Alex Collins (FD: $6700 / DK: $5600 / Y!: $26)
Peyton Barber (FD: $5600 / DK: $4100 / Y!: $14)
- Ronald Jones already looks like a bust, or at least not ready for primetime, so why not punt with a starting RB on the cheap? Besides, Ryan Fitzpatrick is behind center, so running the ball might be the Bucs best bet.
UPDATE – Ronald Jones INACTIVE for Week 1. Barber is now more than a punt, he’s one of my core plays for DFS.
The #Bucs are making second round pick RB Ronald Jones inactive for what would’ve been his season debut.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 9, 2018
Matt Breida (FD: $5000 / DK: $4600 / Y!: $10)
- Poor Jerick McKinnon will have to count his $4.2 million from sidelines as he’s out for the season with an ACL tear. So old-timer Alfred Morris will start, but I like Breida for his discounted price and reception upside if you need another punt play.
Antonio Brown (FD: $9000 / DK: $8600 / Y!: $39)
Michael Thomas (FD: $8500 / DK: $7800 / Y!: $37)
AJ Green (FD: $8400 / DK: $7300 / Y!: $31)
Keenan Allen (FD: $8000 / DK: $7500 / Y!: $36)
Adam Thielen (FD: $7600 / DK: $6900 / Y!: $29)
Stefon Diggs (FD: $7400 / DK: $6300 / Y!: $28)
Larry Fitzgerald (FD: $7300 / DK: $6600 / Y!: $26)
Chris Hogan (FD: $6700 / DK: $6100 / Y!: $23)
- By far my favorite WR play this week as the Patriots have only 3 TOTAL WRs on the roster, and Hogan is sure to be the #2 target in what promises to be a shootout against the Texans that has the highest over/under (51) this week.
Jarvis Landry (FD: $6600 / DK: $5500 / Y!: $24)
Kenny Stills (FD: $6000 / DK: $4700 / Y!: $17)
Danny Amendola (FD: $5100 / DK: $4200 / Y!: $12)
Keelan Cole (FD: $4500 / DK: $3800 / Y!: $11)
- Need a punt play? Marqise Lee is out for the season with an injury, leaving Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook as the best options at WR. Cole is way cheaper and has looked better in the preseason, so I like him for the upside.
Rob Gronkowski (FD: $7900 / DK: $6900 / Y!: $31)
Jordan Reed (FD: $5800 / DK: $4000 / Y!: $19)
- If he stays healthy, Reed can be the next Travis Kelce with Alex Smith under center. Plus Arizona typically struggles against opposing TEs.
David Njoku (FD: $5300 / DK: $3400 / Y!: $12)
- Looks like he’ll take a step forward in the revamped Browns offense and looked great in the preseason.
Baltimore defense vs. BUF (FD: $4800 / DK: $3800 / Y!: $20)
- A solid top 10 defense against Nathan Peterman, otherwise known as the 5 interception wonder? Yes, please.
New Orleans defense vs. TB (FD: $4600 / DK: $3600 / Y!: $17)
- Ryan Fitzpatrick is the turnover master and the New Orleans defense is also top 10 in the league. If you want to mix it up, give the Saints a shot.
Good luck everyone, and I hope you all win DFS Cash in Week 1!