DFS Roundtable: Cash Quarterbacks

Pretend I asked you to build me two and only two "hard cash" (50/50 or double-up) lineups - one for DraftKings, one for FanDuel. Who would be quarterbacking these rosters and why?

Pretend I asked you to build me two and only two "hard cash" (50/50 or double-up) lineups - one for DraftKings, one for FanDuel. Who would be quarterbacking these rosters and why? Remember: this is cash play, so we're looking primarily at floor (and perhaps chalk ownership) here. Do you love the same guy on both sites, or do you see a glaring mis-valuation somewhere that makes you want to mix up your exposure?

Jason Wood: Based on Steve Buzzard's fantastic ownership projections, we can surmise that the "chalk" quarterbacks this week on FanDuel are Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, and Cam Newton. All four are projected with 10%+ ownership rates. Among that quartet, I think all four could be fruitful, but I'm most comfortable with Brady. He is coming off two clunkers, gets Rob Gronkowski back, and needs to beat Pittsburgh to re-secure control of the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs. I know it can be dangerous building cash lineups with "narrative" as part of the rubric, but no quarterback has earned our trust in big games more than Brady.

Turning our attention to DraftKings, Steve projects a more balanced quarterback ownership, with just three players – Wilson, Newton and Roethlisberger – eclipsing the 10% ownership mark, but another 4 quarterbacks topping 7% ownership (Garoppolo, Brees, Rodgers and Brady). Based on the salary differential, I lean SLIGHTLY to Newton ($6,400) on DraftKings, because he's a full $1,200 less than Brady.

Justin Bonnema: The answer for me on both sites is Roethlisberger. I think Patriots at Steelers is the best game on the slate and I'm buying all the chalk associated with it. Roethlisberger is on an absolute tear lately. He has 14 passing touchdowns and 1,682 yards over his last 5 games, easily making him the highest-scoring quarterback over that stretch. He just dumped 506 yards on the Ravens, which according to his profile page makes him the first quarterback in NFL history with three games of 500+ yards. Now he gets the Patriots at home, whose defense has improved over the stretch but not so much that we should care. This game has all kinds of playoff implications for seeding, and I think both offenses will have their foot on the gas while both defenses run out of gas. I'm all in on Roethlisberger and will also have some Brady.

Dan Hindery: On DraftKings, I am looking at Newton as my cash-game quarterback. He is underpriced at just $6,400. Over his last 8 games, Newton has averaged 8.7 PPG just as a runner and has at least 5.0 rushing points in each of those outings. To hit his cash game value, Newton will need to score roughly 20 points. If you pencil him in for 8 points as a runner, he only needs 12 passing points to get there. He should be able to do that fairly easily at home against a poor Green Bay pass defense that has allowed 9 passing touchdowns and 835 yards over their last 3 games. Even subtracting all of the points scored from rushing, the Packers have allowed an average of 23.13 points per game to DeShone Kizer, Jameis Winston, and Roethlisberger over the past 3 weeks.

On FanDuel, Newton is still very much in play and one of my top choices for all the reasons listed above. However, I am looking to get Travis Kelce or Rob Gronkowski into my cash game lineup and thus my top choice is Nick Foles at just $6,000. The matchup is ideal for Foles: the New York Giants have given up 21+ points to 6 of the previous 10 quarterbacks they have faced and 15+ to 9-of-10 (only Alex Smith in a *wind storm failed to hit 15 points). Against a depleted Giants secondary, Foles will have a surplus of weapons to work with now that Zach Ertz has cleared concussion protocol. I prefer Foles and an expensive tight end to paying up at quarterback and settling for a low-to-mid-priced tight end.

Justin Howe: I don’t see ideal stability of value on DraftKings or on FanDuel; the top Vegas QBs are priced a little higher than I’d like. It’s not egregious, but it’s enough to make me consider using Aaron Rodgers on DraftKings at a reasonable $6,800. Ultimately, though, I’m sure I’ll utilize Roethlisberger at $6,700 (DK)- and $8,000 (FD). His range of outcomes is fairly wide – Bill Belichick defenses perform unpredictably – but he’s the offensive engine right now and throws to 3-4 especially dynamic targets that generate yards and scores. He’s exceptionally stackable, too, with both high-cost, high-volume weapons (Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell) and discounted splash-play artists (JuJu Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant, the tight ends). Considering the recent history and the matchup, it’s puzzling he’s not a $7,000/$8,400 QB this week. Stacking him with Bell and Smith-Schuster, by the way, is a favorite GPP superstack of mine.

Chris Feery: I’ll be mixing things up for cash game purposes on both sites, but my two choices share one characteristic in common: they’re cheap and afford you the flexibility to build a strong lineup around them.

On FanDuel, Nick Foles sticks out like a sore thumb at the bargain-basement price of $6,000. While it’s true that we don’t know exactly what we’re going to get with Foles at the helm for the Eagles, he’s a solid backup that could waltz in and start for a handful of the league’s teams. He’s had the entire season to fully digest the system, and head coach Doug Pederson has full confidence in him. I share Pederson’s enthusiasm, and there’s nothing to suggest that Foles won’t be able to do some damage against the porous defense of the New York Giants.

On DraftKings, the answer for me is Cam Newton at the affordable price of $6,400. As Dan pointed out, Newton is getting it done with his legs, and he has the privilege of facing off with a Green Bay Packers club that has been struggling to contain opposing signal callers. There’s no such thing as a lock when we’re talking about DFS, but I have a world of confidence that Newton will reach cash game value this week.

Danny Tuccitto: I don't play on FanDuel, so I'm going to give my answer for Draftkings, and then extrapolate to FanDuel based on Austin Lee's eVALUator tool.

OK, my answer for Draftkings is the consensus in this roundtable: Newton. According to my math, he has the highest probability of achieving 3x value among quarterbacks at 60 percent. At $6,400, that means 19.2 points, a threshold that Green Bay has allowed in 6 of their past 9 games; with the three exceptions being Joe Flacco, Case Keenum, and Mitchell Trubisky. In addition, Newton also has the third-highest floor on the slate at 13.2 points, behind only the much higher-priced options of Tom Brady ($7,600) and Russell Wilson ($7,300).

Extrapolating to FanDuel, I prefer Roethlisberger over the trio of Newton, Foles, and Rodgers. Based on eVALUEator, Newton is overpriced compared to DraftKings, so he's out. Meanwhile, Foles and Rodgers, although highly ranked, are stepping into situations that are too high-variance for my liking in cash games. I can easily envision both Green Bay and (especially) Philadelphia resorting to run-based game plans this week.