Cracking FanDuel Week 12

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

Sunday Morning Update

A lot of news to get to that has changed over the last 24 hours.

1) The Broncos have no eligible quarterbacks to play this week, leaving Kendall Hinton as the starting quarterback in Denver. The question is whether the Saints defense becomes a must play defense? While the expected points are low for the Broncos, the opportunities for defense come from sacks, interceptions, and touchdown upside. It seems like a potential mistake to pay up to $4,800 at the Saints position.

2) Kalen Ballage will miss this week, and Austin Ekeler was activated off of IR. Ekeler is in play in GPP's, but is not cash game viable due to the lack of guaranteed role.

3) Jonathan Taylor is out, which puts Nyheim Hines firmly in play for cash games. I expect him to be popular in cash games, but not sure that is the right move. Hines has the most volatile touches in Indianapolis, and it very easily could be Jordan Wilkins seeing the bulk of the workload increase due to Jonathan Taylor being out. In GPP's or on PPR sites, Hines is in a great spot due to his receiving ability.

Fading Dalvin Cook?

One of the key decisions in cash games is whether to fade Dalvin Cook in cash games. The more that I've thought about it, the more that I'm considering doing it. At $11,000, even if he has 100 yards and 2 touchdowns, he is only hitting 2x value. There is nothing I can say that is bad about Cook, he is in a good matchup, the Vikings are missing some key offensive players, and he is likely a lock for 25 touches, but he's overpriced. To feel really good about Cook, he is likely going to need to score 25-30 points, and at the very least he will need 22 to be acceptable due to the risk that you're forced to take at other positions. By playing Cook, it can work out, but it takes on more risk as you have to take some players that you otherwise might not be comfortable with, whether it is the Jets defense, lower end wide receivers, or forcing you to go Darren Waller over Travis Kelce.

The gap between Kelce and Waller seems to be bigger than most are giving credit for it. Kelce has topped 100 yards in each of his last three contests and has scored five touchdowns in his last six games whereas Waller has been under 40 yards in three of his last four games. For $900 additional salary, Kelce seems like a must play this week even though Waller has been finding the end zone frequently (4 TD's in last 6 games) and is in a good spot this week.

Final Decision: I'm fading him this week in cash game plays. Playing Kelce is a priority for me this week, and with Julio Jones out, Calvin Ridley sees a significant upgrade and should become cash game viable. Playing the roster below seems to be safer and does not need to take on the risks of Waller and Cole Beasley that were in the previous cash game lineup.

Cash Game UPdate- Projected for 135.9


  • Kansas City (at TB) – 29.5 points
  • Buffalo (vs LA Chargers) – 29.25 points
  • Las Vegas (at ATL) – 28.5 points
  • Cleveland (at JAC) – 28 points
  • Indianapolis (vs TEN) – 27.5 points

Recap of Last Week

The primary cash lineup snuck into the cashing position in almost all of my 50/50’s and double ups last week, after Dalvin Cook added some late points.

What went right?

What went wrong?

  • Taking Lamar Jackson over Deshaun Watson. There is still a belief out there that Jackson will snap out of this season and start reverting back to last season. That does not appear to be the case, and he does not appear to be a cash game play moving forward.
  • Tee Higgins as a must start player. This one was tough, as it would be easy to blame the Joe Burrow injury as to why Higgins did not produce, but he was struggling prior to this. I’m not sure there is anything to be learned here other than rookie wide receivers are volatile.
  • The whole fantasy world missed on Jakobi Meyers last week as he was one of the most popular plays in cash last week due to having 31 targets in three games. Expect this from New England this season which is just inconsistent production moving forward. Damiere Byrd appears to be the most popular this week, but it’s difficult to trust any Patriots receiver in cash as it very well may go back to Meyers.


Quarterback Dilemma

The quarterback position is likely the most difficult play this week and surely the least clear cut. There are as many as five contenders this week to be considered as cash game viable.

Patrick Mahomes II- Mahomes is in a great spot this week especially in a GPP format. Kansas City likely will not be able to run the ball against this elite Tampa Bay run defense, yet they’re still projected to score 29 points against the Buccaneers this week. This should mean a lot of yards very similar to what we saw last week where Jared Goff threw for 376 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Rams all but abandoned the running game early on. Mahomes is as safe as they come as he has topped 20 FanDuel points in all but one of his games this season, but the only question will be whether he has the upside at his price to match some of the cheaper players.

Josh Allen- Josh Allen continues to get under looked as a fantasy star. Allen has topped 25 FanDuel points six times this season which is outstanding, the problem with Allen is that when he doesn’t do this he has had 18 or less in four contests this season. There is definitive risk here for the quarterback, but the matchup is a good one facing off against a Chargers defense that largely has not been tested since Week 6 as they have faced Gardner Minshew, Drew Lock, Derek Carr, Tua Tagavailoa, and Joe Flacco and are still allowing the 9th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. There is risk here, but in terms of upside, Allen has some of the highest upside on the slate.

Taysom Hill- It’s hard to get a gauge as far as whether Taysom Hill will be an every week contributor in fantasy football this season based on his one performance in which he ran for two touchdowns to salvage an otherwise weak stat line. The floor is the lowest of this group, but at just $7,300, he has upside that none in this price range has as he could very easily be the top fantasy producer of the week. The matchup is an intriguing one as Denver has not faced many mobile quarterbacks, but they did allow big games to both Cam Newton and Sam Darnold rushing as both quarterbacks topped 75 yards and found the end zone.

Matt Ryan- This one largely depends on Julio Jones, as if he is out, this would change the outlook for Ryan and lessen his ability to be considered a cash game play. However, if Julio plays, this one has all the makings of a stellar performance from Ryan as the Raiders secondary has been one of the worst in football this season. Allowing the 5th most passing yards per game, the Raiders have struggled mightily with speed out of the slot as we saw last week with Tyreek Hill having a big game as converted safety Lamarcus Joyner could not keep up. This is a great spot for Ryan to potentially throw for over 300 yards and multiple touchdowns.

The Pick?- As of now, we are going with Patrick Mahomes II. There is enough value on this slate and not enough top end plays particularly at the running back position to justify not going with Mahomes. The Chiefs should be throwing from the absolute start of the game until the final whistle due to the lack of rushing opportunity in this one.

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