“Buy or Bye”™ – Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Week 1 2023 Cash Games
By Ha Kung Wong
In 2022, we were over 70% for cash lineups again and we’re back with more Daily Fantasy Football advice for Cash Games for Week 1 of the 2023 season!
As usual, before we get to winning you more bragging rights (and DFS cash), remember, the point of this article is not just to give you one or two lineups for each site, it’s to give you examples of a few 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!
And as we did last year, we’re also adding our top two player prop picks to help you win even MORE money!
Let’s get to winning you some CASH in Week 1 of the 2023 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.
As per usual, I’m going to provide you with a few sample lineups on each site and give you a few notes to consider. You’re welcome.
So, without further to do, here are my suggestions for the Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games and player props for Week 1 contests, along with they’re prices.
- For those new to this column, note that I never advocate against you paying up at any particular position for DFS. We all know that the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey are probably going to have the most consistent upside in terms of potential fantasy points from week to week. But remember that DFS is a salary cap game. You can feel free to sprinkle high priced players into your lineups, but you can’t pay up at every position because there’s simply not enough salary to go around. I try my best each week to provide my thoughts on how you might want to balance your cash lineups in terms of points potential and salary.
- My approach to DFS in Week 1 is to rely on at least one solid RB to anchor my team, since we have so little information on the teams in their current 53-man incarnations. And for this week, I’ve also noted that there’s plenty of value in the WR ranks this week, so I have no problems paying top dollar at other positions, in particular at TE.
- The “Free Square of the Week”™ is Raheem Mostert. With Jeff Wilson Jr. recently put on IR and rookie De’Von Achane still recovering from a shoulder injury, it’s pretty clear that Mostert will carry the load. And guess what? Mostert gets to face the Chargers who were 28th versus the run last year. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry last season in Miami and should be able to do at least this year with an expanded opportunity. I love plugging him in for his dirt-cheap pricing across industry.
- The Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers game has the highest over/under of the weekend (50.5), so I’m in on most of the skill players here, particularly Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen for the Chargers and Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and the aforementioned Raheem Mostert. Herbert in particular had a slightly down year last season, but over his career has the most pass attempts per game of any active QB (40.1). With pass attempts come opportunity, and the Dolphins only had the 27th ranked pass defense last season. He’s by favorite QB play based on upside and value.
- Trevor Lawrence made huge strides last season with the 7th most passing yards and 6th most passing TDs in the NFL and is set up to really breakout this season, particularly with an improved offensive line and the addition of Calvin Ridley. He’s priced right and faces a very unproven Colts team, so I like his value.
- As I mentioned, I like paying up for a premium RB, and you don’t get more premium than Christian McCaffrey. His high involvement in the passing game gets him a nice floor, particularly for full PPR sites like Draft Kings, and you already know he get plenty of touches in San Francisco. I would be surprised if he doesn’t at least break 100 total yards and a TD.
- I also like Joe Mixon as a proven quantity in Cincinnati, being priced down as well as facing a Browns defense that’s much better defending the pass (5th) than the run (25th), particularly with Joe Burrow still questionable with an injury. I could see the Bengals leaning a little more on Mixon to control Burrow’s workload.
- I really like the value you get from Chris Olave in Week 1 as he’s priced 12th on FanDuel and 15th on Draft Kings and is the WR1 against the Titans who had the worst pass defense in the league last year.
- T.J. Hockenson is my favorite TE of the slate. There’s no Kelce because the Chiefs play on Thursday, so it really comes down to Mark Andrews or Hockenson, and Hockenson is cheaper and has the better matchup against the Bucs who had just the 24th ranked pass defense in the league.
- On defense, I love taking value and paying down, and mysteriously, one of the top defenses of the weekend, the Denver Broncos Defense, is almost minimum salary on Yahoo. On Draft Kings and FanDuel, I prefer the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense, which is essentially paying all the way down yet still providing some sack upside.
- UPDATE (9/10/23) – With Christian Watson ruled out, Romeo Doubs is playing, but he’s likely not worth a punt at Flex with what’s reported to be limited snaps. With Cooper Kupp out, might be OK punting with Van Jefferson at Flex.
Good luck everyone with your Week 1 Cash Lineups, and I’ll see you next week for some Week 2 Cash Lineup suggestions!