Top Tier ($6k-Max):
Cam Newton vs. New York Giants ($6,400)
Newton is one of the safest plays most weeks and offers one of the highest ceilings, as well. At $6400 this week, he’s the fifth most expensive QB on the main slate. He’s averaging the 6th most Draftkings points per game so far this year, at 26.5. He may not be quite as attractive as some of the higher priced QBs on the slate, especially in tournaments, considering the spots that Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan are in (Atlanta is at Pittsburgh) in terms of upside, but he’s shown that he has a very high ceiling. Ryan is averaging more DK points per game thus far, though he’s had the benefit of playing the Saints defense; a game in which he scored 40.16. Newton has been better on a per game basis if we remove that ‘layup’ matchup for Ryan.
Cam had 29.6 DK points in week 3 vs. the Bengals on just 24 pass attempts. He ran the ball 10 times, twice for a touchdown, in addition to throwing one to Devin Funchess. He’s averaging 45.3 rush yards and 1 rushing touchdown per game through his first 3 games. That’s the best of any QB in the league and that’s the type of floor that makes him a great cash game play.
Blake Bortles @ Kansas City Chiefs ($5,500)
This is clearly the only choice in this tier, right? No Leonard Fournette, facing a defensive unit that can’t stop anything, against an offense that actually might put some points against a very strong Jaguar’s defense? Sounds good to me! As much as I like Cam Newton in cash games this week, Bortles may end up being my cash game QB.
The Chiefs give up 100 DK points per game to QBs so far this season… OK, not quite, but they hemorrhage yards – 328 passing yards per game given up so far, and two of the four games they’ve given up over 400; 424 to Philip Rivers and 452 to Ben Roethlisberger! They’ve allowed the 4th most completions and 8 passing touchdowns through the first three weeks. Somehow, Case Keenum was unable to find the end zone on Monday Night Football against them.
It’s easy to see how Bortles and his very attractive $5500 price tag pique my interest. I should mention that Bortles also averages 33 yards rushing per game, at a 7.3 yards per carry average. He’s a great cash AND tournament play this week.
Lower Tier :
Josh Rosen @ San Francisco 49ers ($4,700)
Here I am, again, mentioning Josh Rosen as a DFS play. Two weeks in a row suggesting that maybe you can play a guy who is now making his 2nd career start quarterbacking an offense that has scored 37 total points–yes, as in 9.2 per game through the first 4 weeks; as in, haven’t scored more than 17 points in game, and have scored 6 or fewer twice. Am I serious about this? Yeah, I am. There may not be too much to get excited about here, really, but if you’re looking to pay down, way down, at QB, this is the best play.
In San Francisco, against a pass defense that has allowed 276 passing yards per game and 11 TDs already–which trails only the Steelers (12) and Bucs (13) for most in the league–I’m willing to take a chance on a guy with a start under his belt, with David Johnson in the backfield and no pass rush coming – SF has the 4th fewest sacks – for $4700 in tournaments. I said last week that I probably wouldn’t be playing him. This week, I’ll definitely have him in some tournament lineups.
Top Tier :
Todd Gurley @ Seattle Seahawks ($9,400)
Todd Gurley is good at football. I don’t know if Jeff Fisher has ever figured that out, but I don’t know if anyone cares either…Wait, yeah, I do know – No one cares. Everyone not named Jeff Fisher (who may or may not know) knows that Todd Gurley is good at football. The Seattle Seahawks know it very well, and can’t be too excited for his visit on Sunday. Pete Carroll remembers Gurley’s last visit to CenturyLink Field. It probably kept him up at night, though I’m sure he wouldn’t admit it.
December 17th, 2017 – Week 15: Rams 42, Seahawks 7. Gurley: 152 rushing yards, Seahawks: 78. Gurley: 180 total yards, Seahawks: 149. Gurley: 4 touchdowns, Seahawks: 1. Gurley: Good, Seahawks: Not good. That’s the past though, so there’s reason for optimism if you’re a ‘Hawk, though, right?…..right?
The ‘Hawks have allowed the 6th most rushing yards in the league after four weeks, at a 4.6 yards per carry clip; that’s 7th worst. The Rams have the 5th most rushing yards so far this year, and it’s been a whole lot of Gurley. He’s 2nd in the league in rushing, only behind Ezekiel Elliott – who just burnt the Hawks for 127 rushing yards in week 3 – and his 28.3 DraftKings points per game is 2nd best at the RB position, only trailing Alvin Kamara’s ridiculous 36.3.
Kamara isn’t on the main slate this week, so it’s Gurley all alone at the top of the salary list. You just play him. The little green button with the ‘+’ in the middle of it, to the right of Gurley’s name? Yeah, just click that, move on, and sleep well.
Matt Breida vs. Arizona Cardinals ($5,700)
To say it’s been a tough start to the 2018 season for the 49ers would be a gross understatement. A totally revamped offense, both passing and rushing, was supposed to make Kyle Shanahan’s team not only ‘one to watch’, but a potential contender for an NFC playoff spot. Injuries have decimated the team – we know what’s happened, there’s no need to discuss it – but there has been a positive development: Matt Breida.
Through four weeks, Matt Breida has averaged 7.6 yards per carry, and that’s far and away the best in the league. He’s racked up 313 rushing yards; that’s 3rd best in the league. He’s caught 10 of 12 targets (83%) for another 85 yards. Sunday, he’ll face an Arizona rush defense that has given up the 2nd most rush yards in the league, only behind Detroit, and the most rushing touchdowns with 7.
It’s only fair to point out that the Cardinals have faced the most rush attempts in the league thus far, due to the fact that teams have been playing with leads against them, but the 49ers should follow the heavy-rushing trend here and use Matt Breida a lot in this game, whether to get a lead or to chase from behind. CJ Beathard playing QB wasn’t part of the San Francisco plan, clearly, but Breida didn’t figure to be this big a part either, yet here he is – the 3rd leading rusher in the NFL.
If you’re looking to save some salary, or just like playing the ‘mid-priced’ RBs as a strategy, Breida fits the bill nicely, either way, this week.
Lower Tier :
Aaron Jones @ Detroit Lions ($4,300)
There are three RBs on the Green Bay roster who get touches. Each play specific roles, but it seems fairly clear to me that Aaron Jones is the guy I want to take a chance on. I feel that at this price tag, with the potential upside he brings against the league’s worst rush defense, you have to plug him into your tournament lineups. That’s not to say that Ty Montgomery ($3800) or Jamaal Williams ($3700) aren’t reasonable tournament ‘dart throws’. I think they are. But Jones has the best chance of hitting a score capable of winning you a large tournament. Here’s why:
Jones is averaging 10.45 Draftkings points per game; Montgomery, 7.92 & Williams, 6. Jones is averaging 6.3 yards per carry compared to 4.5 and 3.4, respectively, for the other two guys, and Jones is getting touches on 41.3% of his snaps; that’s also the highest of the group.
One of these three will provide great value on Sunday, and I’m willing to bet on the highest priced one–Jones @ $4300–to provide it.
I’ll be back on Friday with my WR / TE picks. Until then, good luck with your research.