TipAndPick's: Tips and Picks, DK Edition

Cash game and GPP selections for DraftKings

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.

TIPS...

In order to help you build winning rosters, let's walk through some of the observations that I have made while doing my research for DraftKings this week. As you build out your lineups on DraftKings, try to consider the following commentary, which revolves around game strategy and how we will want to take advantage of what the masses are doing when they construct their own lineups.

CONDENSED VERSION. This week, Tips and Picks will feature the same tables that you have become accustomed to, but the written commentary is cursory due to work-related travel. The traditional format with more extensive player summaries should return next weekend.

...AND PICKS

Let's take a deeper look into some of the players who I will be targeting for my cash game and tournament rosters this weekend. A short summary follows each respective table to fill in the gaps that led to the respective recommendations; that text represents only an overview of the methodology and rationale that goes into each recommendation.

QUARTERBACKS

NAME OPPONENT SALARY CROWD EXPOSURE CASH RANK GPP RANK NOTES
Patrick Mahomes II ARZ $7200 11% 1 9 8 straight 300+ yard games = consistent.
Marcus Mariota NE $4700 5% 2 5 Punt cash option. Should be asked to throw often.
Ryan Fitzpatrick WAS $5900 9% 3 2 TB QBs' numbers helped by their sorry defense.
Philip Rivers @OAK $6000 10% - 1 Every skill player on LAC can catch TD passes.
Russell Wilson @LAR $5700 2% - 3 Gamescript should force additional volume.
Blake Bortles @IND $4900 2% - 4 4 of last 5 QBs vs. IND scored 20+ FPs.
Matt Ryan @CLE $6200 5% - 6 Quietly averaging 4.4x this salary.
Jared Goff SEA $6100 8% - 7 Rams offense is nothing but upside.
Alex Smith @TB $5300 4% - 8 Undervalued given the plush matchup.
Andy Dalton NO $5800 4% - 10 Implied gamescript favors pass-heavy approach.

QB OVERVIEW:

CASH

  • You have two choices for cash games at the quarterback position: Punt with Marcus Mariota or pay the premium for Patrick Mahomes II. With Mariota, you are taking a somewhat of a chance because Mike Vrabel does not like to throw the ball, as evidenced by the Titans' dreadfully low 52.5% passing ratio (31st in NFL). That said, the Titans may not have a choice if Tom Brady is able to jump out to an early lead and force Mariota to keep pace with 30+ pass attempts. Because of the implied gamescript and his running prowess, Mariota has a floor that is in the 12-15 point range, which should be sufficient for cash games at his $4.7K salary. On the high end, you can just pay the premium, roster Patrick Mahomes II, and hope for his 9th consecutive 300-yard passing game. In the middle, you could feasibly split the difference with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who continues to build stats on the heels of his team's horrible defense, but preference goes to one of the aforementioned quarterbacks for the reasons referenced.

GPP

RUNNING BACKS

NAME OPPONENT SALARY CROWD EXPOSURE CASH RANK GPP RANK NOTES
Mike Davis @LAR $4300 11% 1 12 Should see bellcow role without Carson.
Melvin Gordon III @OAK $9000 23% 2 2 Has everything in his favor vs. poor OAK defense.
Dion Lewis NE $4600 29% 3 11 Implied gamescript favors usage. Revenge narrative.
Aaron Jones MIA $5000 10% 4 5 Play RBs from large home favorites.
Mark Ingram II @CIN $4500 6% 5 3 Last week was an anomaly. He should rebound.
Kareem Hunt ARZ $8500 24% - 1 Scored in 8 straight. 8 TDs over past month.
Todd Gurley SEA $9400 30% - 4 Highest upside player in NFL as 10-point home fave.
David Johnson @KC $6800 9% - 6 New OC restored DJ's fantasy value last week.
Leonard Fournette @IND $6300 4% - 7 If he's healthy, take the discount while you can.
Nick Chubb ATL $5500 5% - 8 20 touches per game since Hyde trade.
Alvin Kamara @CIN $8700 18% - 9 Price point is painful, but upside is omnipresent.
LeSean McCoy @NYJ $4500 3% - 10 Who else is going to move the ball for BUF?

RB OVERVIEW:

CASH

  • The running back position is flush with options this week. At the high end, you can roll with Melvin Gordon III in a perfect game against the Raiders. Or you can punt the position with Mike Davis and/or Dion Lewis, both of whom are seeing extensive snaps in their respective backfields and should get extended action in the passing game this week, too, due to implied negative gamescripts. Elsewhere, Aaron Jones feels relatively safe as a 10-point home favorite who is seeing the majority of touches out of the Packers' backfield. Lastly, the world has soured on Mark Ingram II in New Orleans, but his poor game last week was more about the Rams not having an answer for Alvin Kamara than spelling doom for Ingram's future in the organization.

GPP

  • Kareem Hunt will be my highest-rostered player in Week 10 because of his continued heavy usage in all aspects of the Chiefs offense and his matchup against a Cardinals team that is allowing 30.9 fantasy points per game to the position (2nd worst in the league). With eight touchdowns over the past month, Hunt is underpriced by approximately $1K when compared to Todd Gurley (who incidentally, is an excellent GPP option as a 10-point home favorite coming off the worst game of his 2018 campaign). On the other side of the field in Kansas City, David Johnson is a compelling option for tournaments because of his increased usage last week under new Offensive Coordinator, Byron Leftwich; Johnson should begin to take his 2016 form if used properly and this matchup could not be better, as the Chiefs allow the most fantasy points per game to running backs in the entire league. Lastly, do not ignore LeSean McCoy despite what-is-becoming the worst season of his career; the Bills are projected to score a pair of touchdowns and with what they are putting on the field, it is hard to conceive McCoy not playing a major role in that effort. At $4.5K, he needs 60-80 rushing yards, a few receptions, and a score to hit 4x value on DraftKings.

WIDE RECEIVERS

NAME OPPONENT SALARY CROWD EXPOSURE CASH RANK GPP RANK NOTES
Michael Thomas @CIN $8100 23% 1 6 Unstoppable chemistry with Brees.
Jarvis Landry ATL $6200 11% 2 1 Averaging double-digit targets in 2018.
Maurice Harris @TB $3900 7% 3 13 TB DEF: 2nd friendliest to WR position.
Keenan Allen @OAK $7100 15% 4 2 Last 39 catches: No TD. Regression forthcoming
Jermaine Kearse BUF $3500 3% 5 12 McCown at QB should restore volume-based value.
Mike Evans WAS $7000 12% - 3 Bounce-back spot after 1/16/0 disaster in last.
Josh Gordon @TEN $6000 9% - 4 No Gronk should boost Flash's upward trend.
Davante Adams MIA $7800 11% - 5 100 yards and/or a score in 7 of 8 games.
Doug Baldwin @LAR $5200 5% - 7 Should see additional volume due to gamescript.
Allen Robinson DET $5000 3% - 8 GPP sleeper. No Darius Slay only helps upside
Calvin Ridley @CLE $5900 4% - 9 Leverage from Julio's inflated ownership and price.
T.Y. Hilton JAX $5700 4% - 10 Will Ramsey chase him into the slot?
John Ross NO $3900 7% - 11 Half the price and ownership from Tyler Boyd.
Julio Jones @CLE $8300 14% - 14 Last week's TD restored confidence in JJ.
Dede Westbrook @IND $4700 2% - 15 Stack with Bortles and load up elsewhere.

WR OVERVIEW:

CASH

  • Averaging 3x this week's salary, Michael Thomas is the luxury cash game play at the wide receiver position in Week 10. If you can afford him, his floor is substantial against the Bengals, who allow the 5th most fantasy points to wide receivers. In the mid-range, you could do worse than rolling with either Jarvis Landry or Keenan Allen, both of whom should see 8-12 targets in their offenses and are due for some positive touchdown regression. To save salary, Maurice Harris and Jermaine Kearse are both excellent options. Harris is coming off a monstrous 10/124/0 performance that resulted when Paul Richardson Jr (shoulder) went down early against the Falcons last week; Harris should see continued heavy usage with Richardson on the I.R. and the matchup against Tampa Bay's secondary is pristine. At the Meadowlands, Jermaine Kearse should benefit from Quincy Enunwa getting shadow coverage from TreDavious White, which should force Josh McCown to find Kearse (and/or Chris Herndon, see below). And we should not discount the fact that McCown is a better quarterback than Sam Darnold at this point in their respective careers, which also boosts Kearse's scoring floor at only $3.5K.

GPP

  • Coming off a game that saw him compile 10 targets against only 2.6 fantasy points, crowd exposure to Mike Evans should be minimal despite a stellar matchup against a Redskins squad that allowed Julio Jones into the endzone for the first time in eternity. With early reports that Rob Gronkowski will be sidelined, Josh Gordon's upside is increased because Tom Brady will have to redistribute Gronk's six targets per game to other receivers; Gordon should line up across from former Patriot, Malcolm Butler, who currently grades in the bottom 10% of coverage cornerbacks on ProFootballFocus. Allen Robinson makes a quiet return to the field this weekend against a Lions secondary that will be without its best cornerback, Darius Slay; when fully healthy, Robinson has multiple touchdown upside and is offered at a fraction of the cost of other WR1s with similar upside. Lastly, in this week's Tips and Picks video, I discussed why you might want to consider John Ross as a leverage play away from the masses who are getting in line to roster Tyler Boyd in A.J. Green's absence and if you watch the video, you might wonder who I recommend pairing with Blake Bortles? Dede Westbrook is a prime option at only 2% ownership, but one could make a case for Donte Moncrief, who makes his return to Indianapolis after the Colts let him walk in free agency in the off-season.



TIGHT ENDS

NAME OPPONENT SALARY CROWD EXPOSURE CASH RANK GPP RANK NOTES
David Njoku ATL $4200 12% 1 4 Only one stinker with Mayfield under center.
Chris Herndon BUF $3100 3% 2 10 Enunwa-White shadow = targets for Herndon.
Jimmy Graham MIA $4600 8% - 1 MIA LBs cannot cover the TE position.
Jordan Reed @TB $4400 7% - 2 While Vernon pass protects, Reed will be targeted.
Travis Kelce ARZ $7000 15% 3 Upside is there, but you will pay for it this week.
C.J. Uzomah NO $3700 2% - 5 Loss of A.J. Green should increase role.
Trey Burton DET $3900 9% - 6 Scored in 4 of last 5 efforts.
O.J. Howard WAS $5300 8% - 7 Fresh off 2-TD game, price is elevated.
Jack Doyle JAX $4300 12% - 8 Discount will only last until he scores.
Austin Hooper @CLE $3800 4% - 9 CLE: Allowed 2 TDs to Kelce last Sunday.

TE OVERVIEW:

CASH

  • The tight end position is not stocked this weekend. For cash games, David Njoku appears to be the best option because he continues to see steady action with Baker Mayfield at quarterback (except for Week 8 where Njoku mysteriously disappeared from the box score). Priced at $4.2K, Njoku needs 4-6 receptions to get close to cash game value at a position that is unpredictable as they come in DFS. If you want to punt the position to pay up for a player you like elsewhere, Chris Herndon is a possibility. Herndon has seen an uptick in action in the Jets' passing game because of injuries to wide receivers and Sam Darnold's struggles to find healthy receivers in deeper routes. This week, journeyman Josh McCown will get the start against an underrated Buffalo defense, which should only help Herndon's fantasy prospects, particularly with Robby Anderson (ankle) like to sit and Quincy Enunwa dealing with shadow coverage from TreDavious White.

GPP

  • The Redskins' offensive line is a wasteland. Their only healthy offensive lineman is their center and the remainder will be a makeshift lineup that should get additional blocking help from Vernon Davis. Assuming the veteran, an excellent blocker, is asked to carry that load, it could mean that Jordan Reed is finally freed and could achieve GPP value on his modest $4.4K salary; Reed is averaging eight targets per game over the past month, but has not amassed a lot of fantasy production largely due to sharing a receiving workload with Davis. Elsewhere, C.J. Uzomah is an intriguing option without A.J. Green, Travis Kelce continues to be the class of the position (but he will cost you a premium), and Jack Doyle is probably too cheap given his role in the Colts offense.

TEAM DEFENSES

NAME OPPONENT SALARY CROWD EXPOSURE CASH RANK GPP RANK NOTES
Jets BUF $3400 15% 1 2 BUF: Allowing 15.6 FPPG against in 2018.
Buccaneers WAS $2000 6% 2 5 Punt option against depleted WAS O-line.
Bears DET $3600 8% - 1 Lions were gashed by MIN defense last week.
Packers MIA $3100 9% - 3 Osweiler on the road in the cold? Sign me up.
Chiefs ARZ $3300 9% - 4 16-point spread. Rookie QB. Arrowhead.
Chargers @OAK $3500 7% - 6 Nothing about the Raiders is scary these days.
Patriots @TEN $2700 6% - 7 Titans are ungood despite beating Dallas on MNF.
Rams SEA $2400 14% - 8 Underrated. Playmakers could force upside.

TEAM DEF OVERVIEW:

  • The Buffalo Bills are "strategically" not naming their starting quarterback, but we know it will either be the erratic rookie, Josh Allen, or the future unemployed quarterback, Nathan Peterman (Sunday AM update: It's Matt Barkley, who has not thrown a football in this league in two years. Thus, the analysis stands.). Neither option matters against an underrated Jets defense that returns Trumaine Johnson at home on Sunday. The Bills are allowing opposing team defenses to average 15.6 fantasy points per game this season, which may not be a realistic expectation for the Jets, but double-digit fantasy points are well within the range of expectations. On the lower end of the salary scale, the Buccaneers are a punt option against the Redskins, who will be without 80% of their starting offensive line and a quarterback in Alex Smith, who does not instill fear in the hearts of defensive coordinators. Yes, the Bucs are terrible, but if you want to jam Todd Gurley into your lineups, saving salary at defense is not a terrible idea. For GPP options, the Bears demonstrated last week why they have the highest upside of any defense in the league and the Packers will host Brock Osweiler at Lambeau, which could turn ugly in a hurry.