Cracking FanDuel: Week 9

A weekly overview on cash game strategy, bankroll strategy, and sample cash game lineups.


Each Sunday Morning check back here to see if there are any updates to the primary cash game lineup.


    • New Orleans (vs ATL) – 31.75 points
    • Tampa (vs ARI) – 28.75 points
    • Indianapolis (vs MIA)- 27.25 points
    • Kansas City (vs TEN) – 27.25 points


Kenny Rogers has a famous quote from his song the Gambler, “You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, and know when to run”. This may be a week for cash games you simply don’t play. It is a hard thing to do when there are only 16 real cash game weeks in a season, but the reality is that with the amount of overlap that is going to be in cash games this week, it is going to make things extremely difficult.

By all accounts, Christian McCaffrey even at his $10,500 price point is going to be far and away from the most popular player on FanDuel this week. What this does, is it severely limits the player pool for the rest of your lineups to be built. What this ultimately does is it leads to cash games being decided by one or two players which are often your third receiver, second running back, and or your defense. This makes it incredibly difficult to have an edge over your competition.

Below is Devin Knotts' cash game strategy for Week 8 as well as his cash game lineup.



This is a week where if you want to fade Christian McCaffrey, play GPP’s, it is that simple. McCaffrey will be 50%+ in cash games this week and could get as high as 80%+. We get questions all the time, stating, “If he struggles, then I’ll win my cash games”, and the answer to that question is yes you will, but is it more than 50% chance that he will struggle? Ultimately, the upside is not worth the risk as all you are doing is doubling your money in a cash game format. There’s a reason he is going to be as popular as what he is going to be this week.


  • Both James Conner and Benny Snell are once again both out for Pittsburgh this week. The good news for Pittsburgh is that they should get Jaylen Samuels back this week which will be much needed as Trey Edmunds is Pittsburgh’s only other running back. Edmunds did see 12 carries last week, but Samuels still saw 21 touches out of the backfield mostly as a receiver with 13 receptions.
  • The Giants are severely limited in their options this week as Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard are both out, which leaves Saquon Barkley and Golden Tate as the only two reliable options for the Giants. Both are good plays this week.
  • Adam Thielen has been ruled out after re-aggravating his hamstring injury last week. This makes Stefon Diggs an excellent play for anyone who is playing on the Sunday all-day slate.
  • Jacoby Brissett will miss this week with a knee injury as the team will start Brian Hoyer. Hoyer looked ok, but this is not a situation where FanDuel missed the pricing. They had been preparing for this news and Hoyer is priced up at $7,100 which makes it a little bit tough due to his potential lack of volume. Marlon Mack may be the biggest beneficiary of the news.
  • Andy Dalton was benched for rookie Ryan Finley. At just $6,300, Finley is cheap, but and was not bad in the preseason completing 73% of his passes, but should not be in cash game consideration this week. At $6,300 if you want to throw him into a GPP, by all means, go for it, but with Cincinnati being a 10 point underdog at home, there are better options.
  • Matt Ryan will start this week after missing the previous game with an ankle injury. This is great news for the Saints players who are already projected to be the highest-scoring team of the week. Ryan will make this game more competitive and keep the Saints pushing forward on offense.
  • Le’Veon Bell is questionable with a knee injury. It looks like he is going to be good to go, but something to keep an eye on as the weekend progresses. If he were to be unable to go, Bilal Powell could get some consideration at the minimum price.
  • Kareem Hunt returns from suspension which is only noteworthy as he will likely eat into some of Nick Chubb’s touches this week.


Kansas City Chiefs Defense

There aren’t many defenses to like this week, but this Chiefs defense is improving and getting healthier. At just $3,700, they get Chris Jones and likely Frank Clark back which should significantly increase the outlook of their pass rush. Also, with Patrick Mahomes II back, this will help increase the defensive upside as this is a game in which Kansas City will score points on Tennessee forcing the Titans to move away from their typical run-based offense. Cleveland will also be popular in cash, but the worry there is that Buffalo will run the ball so often that it limits the upside of sacks and interceptions.

Christian McCaffrey-

At this point in the season, it is hard not to play Christian McCaffrey. Yes, the price is expensive, but McCaffrey is facing a Green Bay team that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs on the year, and as of late have been even worse. Last week, they allowed 216 yards and two touchdowns to the Chargers. McCaffrey is matchup-proof as, over his last three games, he has faced three of the most difficult fantasy matchups in the NFL and has put up 19.7, 25.5, and 36.1 points in those contests. He is the clear top guy on the board.

Michael Thomas-

In year’s past, we seemingly had multiple cash game options every week at the top of the wide receiver position. However, with Odell Beckham and Julio Jones having down years, DeAndre Hopkins not on this slate, and Antonio Brown out of the league, it only leaves Michael Thomas as the safe cash gameplay at the top of the receiving board. In what is projected to be the highest-scoring offense of the week, building around Thomas seems like the right move this week. Thomas has 89 yards or more in each of his last five contests and with Drew Brees back will significantly help him in the red zone which had been the one area of concern this season.

John Brown-

There are two players in the NFL this year that have caught over 50 yards in every game this season. Those two players are Michael Thomas who is to be expected and John Brown. For some reason, FanDuel refuses to raise his price as he is just $5,800 and provides great value that is much needed throughout this slate. There always is a perceived risk due to this offense being a low volume passing offense, but as of now, Brown is the only contributor who is consistent as Cole Beasley has turned into a red-zone receiver, and no other receiver on their roster has more than 10 receptions on the season.

Key Fade

Lamar Jackson

Adding a new section this week which is the key fade of the week. For me, this week, I’m fading Lamar Jackson, and the rationale is really simple. So much of his value comes from his legs and he is the most expensive quarterback on the board. With Jackson being a late addition to the injury report with an illness, there is some risk that the team may take a more conservative game plan this week against the Ravens.



  • QB Jameis Winston- TB, $7,900
  • RB Jaylen Samuels- PIT, $6,200
  • RB Christian McCaffrey- CAR, 10,500
  • WR- D.J. Moore, CAR, $5,800
  • WR Michael Thomas, NO, $8,700
  • WR John Brown, Buf, $5,800
  • TE Rhett Ellison, NYG, $4,900
  • Flex RB- David Montgomery, $6,400
  • TD Kansas City Chiefs, $3,700


  • QB Jameis Winston- TB, $7,900
  • RB Jaylen Samuels- PIT, $6,200
  • RB Christian McCaffrey- CAR, 10,500
  • WR- D.J. Moore, CAR, $5,800
  • WR Michael Thomas, NO, $8,700
  • WR John Brown, Buf, $5,800
  • TE Eric Ebron, IND, $4,900
  • Flex WR- Golden Tate, NYG, $6,300
  • TD Kansas City Chiefs, $3,700


  • QB Matt Ryan, ATL, $7,500
  • RB Jaylen Samuels- PIT, $6,200
  • RB Christian McCaffrey- CAR, 9,700
  • WR- Marquise Brown, BAL, $5,300
  • WR Michael Thomas, NO, $8,700
  • WR Russell Gage, ATL, $4,700
  • TE Eric Ebron, IND, $4,900
  • Flex RB- Saquon Barkley, $8,600
  • TD Cleveland Browns, $3,500

Any questions on your cash game lineup or feedback on the article? Send me a message on Twitter below.

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