For the uninitiated, playing daily games on DraftKings can be an enjoyable experience, but equally sobering is the fact that season-long knowledge does not always translate to success in the daily space. FootballGuys will bring you a series of value- and strategic-based selections from a number of seasoned daily veterans throughout the NFL season. Herein is another edition of “Tipandpick’s Tips and Picks,” where we will examine the salaries of players at each position on DraftKings and make value-based recommendations for both your cash games and tournaments.
Below you will find a list of recommended players for both formats. GPP players generally have high-upside, but are too risky for cash games; cash game players are consistent with high fantasy floors. In some instances, the value for a player is so strong, he may fall into both categories…let’s have a look.
**Trying out a mixed format this week; let me know which you like best...the detailed summary or the quick glance with notes?!**
Eli Manning (Primarily GPP, Salary: $6600). There are several NFL games in Week 8 that have shootout potential, including the Giants-Saints game at the Superdome in New Orleans. After opening the season with an 0-3 record, the Saints have found their groove, winning three of their last four and averaging nearly 26 points per game over that span; I expect them to move the ball well against this Giants defense that has not faced a top-end quarterback all season, yet has allowed the 3rd most passing yards in the league (288.3 yards/game). Assuming the Saints put points on the board (they have Vegas' 5th highest implied point total), the Giants will almost assuredly look to Eli Manning to try to keep pace; the Giants' running game is a ragtag, four-headed embarrassment through seven games, averaging only 3.8 yards per carry and less than 100 total rushing yards per game. For that reason, Manning should get plenty of action on Sunday against this Saints secondary that has allowed five different quarterbacks to throw for 295 or more yards with multiple touchdowns this season. If you are looking for a stack partner, Odell Beckham is always in play, although he does draw some tougher coverage this week in the form of Delvin Breaux, who has been a plus defender for most of the year; Rueben Randle, however, should see Brandon Browner, who is allowing an opposing QB rating of 102.9 when passes are thrown into his coverage.
Brian Hoyer (GPP only, Salary: $5300). No team in the league is running their offense at a faster pace than the Houston Texans. At 22.5 seconds per play, the Texans are averaging ~25% more offensive plays than the league average; this is evident in Brian Hoyer's starter stats--in his three starts this season, Hoyer has averaged 293 passing yards and 2.7 touchdowns. If Hoyer were to accrue similar numbers against the Titans this weekend, he would would reach GPP value quite easily. On paper, the Titans appear to be a stingy team against the pass, as they are allowing only 195.2 passing yards/game (2nd best in the NFL behind the Denver Broncos); however, a closer look at the numbers shows that the Titans are yielding 7.8 yards per pass attempt, which puts them 26th in the league. Why the discrepancy? Because the Titans are terrible in defending the run...they are 30th in the league in rushing yards allowed and give up a lofty 4.6 yards per carry. That said, the Texans lost Arian Foster to a torn ACL last week and will turn to Alfred Blue, whose 3.3 career yard per carry average cannot be relied upon to win games. For that reason, I expect to see Hoyer throw the ball 35+ times to either DeAndre Hopkins or Nate Washington, both of whom are solid stack options, should you decide to go this route.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Primarily GPP, Salary: $5200). Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets travel west to Oakland on Sunday and will face a defense that has been solid against the run this season; the Raiders allow only 3.7 yards per carry (2nd in the league) and have yielded only 83.4 rushing yards per game (3rd in NFL) to opposing running backs. Those stats would appear to lower fantasy expectations for Chris Ivory, while raising the floor (and ceiling) for the Jets' passing game. Ryan Fitzpatrick has quietly amassed some impressive fantasy numbers through seven weeks, finishing with multiple touchdowns in every game except one; he looks more comfortable in his own skin with each passing week and is even beginning to scramble when needed, as evidenced by his 34, 31, and 29 rushing yard totals over the past three weeks. Furthermore, we are well-aware of the quality of the Jets' wide receiving corps; both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker will enjoy subpar coverage by Raiders cornerbacks (D.J. Hayden and Neiko Thorpe) that rank in the bottom 10 of all coverage cornerbacks this season (ProFootballFocus). At $5200, Fitzpatrick represents a fantastic value play that literally affords some flexibility elsewhere on your GPP rosters, particularly if you tandem him with the aforementioned Decker.
Cam Newton (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $6800). A week ago, Cam Newton had his worst game of the season against the Eagles, finishing the afternoon with a 59.2 QB rating due to a sub-200 passing yard performance that was riddled with three interceptions; despite that poor effort, Newton still finished the game with ~17 fantasy points, which was good enough to reach the 3x multiplier necessary to win cash games on most weeks. That is exactly what makes Cam Newton a great cash game quarterback--even on his bad days, he still accumulates fantasy numbers due to his style of play. Newton has rushed for no less than 20 yards in every Panther game this year and has scored a rushing touchdown in 67% of those games; his receiving corps lacks immense talent, but Newton tends to find the open receiver and is effective at moving the first down markers to put the Panthers in good situations. This week, Newton will face the Colts, who are allowing an average of ~20 DraftKings' points to opposing quarterbacks this season; I expect a similar statline for Newton this week, which would be sufficient to reach cash game value at his $6800 salary.
Philip Rivers (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $6600). Melvin Gordon III is taking much of the blame this season for the Chargers not rushing the ball effectively, but the offensive line in San Diego has not done Gordon any favors; the Chargers are fielding ProFootballFocus' 28th ranked rush blocking offensive line which, along with gamescript, has caused Philip Rivers to throw the ball in enormous volume this season. Over the past three weeks, Rivers has averaged 57 pass attempts and the Chargers are throwing the ball 73.7% of the time, which has resulted in 300+ passing yards and multiple touchdowns in each instance. This week, the Chargers will travel cross-country to play the Ravens at 1 PM (EST), a practice that has not ended well for west coast teams; since 2000, west coast teams traveling to the east coast for 1 PM games have a combined record of 56-121 (hat tip to T.J. Hernandez for that one). The Vegas line also projects the Chargers playing from behind once again, which further supports another heavy role for Rivers against the Ravens. For DFS players, this could lead to solid fantasy numbers for Rivers, as the Ravens are still fairly stingy against the run (3.9 yards per carry), but have given up 20 fantasy points to every quarterback they have faced this season except Colin Kaepernick and Peyton Manning, neither of whom are good fantasy quarterbacks at this point in their careers. Expect to see Rivers throw the ball 40 times again this week and try to move the chains through a series of short passes to Danny Woodhead and Ladarius Green, while extending the field with Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson.
Andy Dalton (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $6000). No quarterback on DraftKings has a higher fantasy points per game average than Andy Dalton through seven weeks. Dalton appears to be maturing in his 5th season, having minimized the turnovers that have plagued him prior to this season (currently boasting a 14:2 TD/interception ratio). A major component of Dalton's improvement assuredly is a reflection of the talent surrounding him; the Bengals have built a team of diverse talent with complementary skill sets that keeps their opponents' defenses on their heels. The Bengals can effectively attack a defense any number of ways and will do exactly that against the Steelers on Sunday afternoon. The Steelers have been a "bend-but-don't-break" defense most of the year, having allowed the 10th most yards per game to opposing offenses, but only allowing the 7th lowest number of points; this week, however, Pittsburgh will be without Stephon Tuitt, the Steelers' star defensive end and sack-leader, which should give Dalton plenty of time to find one of his talented receivers. With the return of Ben Roethlisberger and the entire Steelers offense finally healthy (and on the field) at the same time, this game has the makings of a shootout, which not only makes Andy Dalton a cash game play, but also a viable GPP option.
|Le'Veon Bell||GPP||8300||Likely underowned; heavy usage; high ceiling; Roethlisberger is back|
|Adrian Peterson||GPP||7400||Negative recency bias; good matchup; heavy volume; underowned; high upside|
|Matt Forte||GPP||7300||Underowned on bad team; plus matchup; pass catcher; great value|
|Ronne Hillman||GPP||4600||< 2% owned; attacks weakness of GB; high upside; fair salary|
|Todd Gurley||Cash & GPP||6300||Heavy favorite; high volume; no competition|
|Justin Forsett||Cash & GPP||6100||A+ matchup; heavy volume; plus gamescript; high team total|
|Danny Woodhead||Cash & GPP||4500||Undervalued; positive gamescript; PPR sponge|
|Darren McFadden||Cash only||3800||Great salary; expected heavy volume; gamescript/PPR is solid; low salary|
|Chris Johnson||Cash & GPP||4600||Getting RB1 volume vs. worst rush D in NFL; plus gamescript; fair salary|
|Keenan Allen||GPP||7700||Target monster; no Gates = more opportunity; plus gamescript|
|A.J. Green||GPP||7600||Great matchup; potential shootout; better away from home; good value|
|Alshon Jeffery||GPP||6400||Matchup vs. X.Rhodes = better than most perceive; top talent; healthy; underowned|
|Brandin Cooks||GPP||5400||Sneads vs. DRC = Advantage Cooks; target monster; potential shootout|
|Rueben Randle||GPP||4200||Odell vs. Delvin Breaux = Advantage Randle; solid value; plus gamescript|
|Tyler Lockett||GPP||3000||Double-dip play with SEA defense; increased snaps/usage recently; plus matchup|
|Mike Evans||Cash & GPP||6800||No VJax & no ASJ = High expected volume; plus gamescript|
|Stefon Diggs||Cash & GPP||4800||WR1 @ WR2 salary; consistent high volume; plus CB matchup|
|Michael Crabtree||Cash & GPP||4700||A.Cooper shadowed by D.Revis = heavy volume for Crabtree; redzone monster|
|Nate Washington||Cash & GPP||3600||Cecil Shorts = inactive again; heavy targets; lesser coverage due to Hopkins|
|Michael Floyd||Cash & GPP||3500||No John Brown = Increased volume; value is solid at $3500; low risk|
|Jimmy Graham||GPP||5100||Increasing volume each week; high upside; low ownership; redzone monster|
|Martellus Bennett||GPP||4900||Recency bias = low ownership; healthy offense = increased output; high upside|
|Jacob Tamme||GPP||2700||Low salary = minimal risk; recent increased usage; low ownership|
|Ladarius Green||Cash & GPP||3000||No Gates = increased volume; pass-first offense; low salary = minimal risk; good matchup|
|Crockett Gillmore||Cash only||2500||Low salary = minimal risk; decent floor but low ceiling due to volume|
|Seahawks||GPP||3700||Face Cassel off 3 INT game; Cowboys are 0-4 without Tony Romo|
|Texans||GPP||3100||J.J. Watt vs. Zach Mettenberger? Sure! Low team total for TEN|
|Broncos||GPP||2900||Best defense in NFL vs. top 5 offense; high upside despite low ownership|
|Rams||Cash & GPP||3200||At home versus SF without Hyde; lowest opposing team total on entire slate|
|Panthers||Cash & GPP||3200||At home versus struggling Colts offense; consistent defense|
|Jets||Cash & GPP||2900||Away from home but should be strong against OAK; low team total|
For last-minute advice, player decisions, and injury news on Sunday morning, tune into the “NFL Gameday” webcast at 11:30 AM (EST) on RotoGrinders Live, where John “tipandpick” Lee, Justin "stlcardinals84" Van Zuiden, and Dean “Dean78904” Shavelson will analyze all NFL games every week. You can find the webcast at: https://rotogrinders.com/live. All other daily fantasy questions can be directed to John’s Twitter page at: https://twitter.com/tipandpick