Sometimes it can be difficult to decide which quarterback to start in your cash game lineups. There could be two or three quarterbacks who all have good matchups and you want to start them all but you can’t. Once you make the decision on which one you’re going to start, try and get exposure to the quarterbacks you didn’t start by making an effort to roster their biggest pass catching weapons. Doing this will allow you to capture some of the quarterbacks’ value that you didn’t roster.
Let’s take last week for an example. You may have been trying to decide between Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston and Blake Bortles. Say you decided on Bortles, now you should look at the Seattle and Tampa Bay pass catchers and see if any of them are good values for you. For Seattle, you would look at Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. For Tampa Bay, you would look at Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. You would have gotten Baldwin at a cheap price, and realized that Evans and Jackson weren’t good values, but Seferian-Jenkins was cheap as well. Rostering these two players would have given you some exposure to Seattle and Tampa Bay without rostering their quarterbacks. The Baldwin play would have worked well and made up for the poor play of Seferian-Jenkins.
This is something I like to do a lot, because it gets me onto players who are likely to have big games if their quarterbacks play like I am expecting them to. There is a reason that a specific quarterback was a consideration for a cash game play, and getting one of their pass catching options at a good value can be a way to get some of that non-rostered quarterbacks points without rostering them like you wanted to.
Russell Wilson ($7,000) has been on a rampage for the past month. Everyone has seen him going off and averaging four touchdowns a game over the last four games. Wilson’s hot streak started around the time the Marshawn Lynch started sitting out games. The Seattle game plan switched with Lynch out and Seattle not knowing what it had in Thomas Rawls. Now with Rawls out as well, you can expect Seattle to be passing even more. Wilson has the ability to take control of the game with his passing, he just hasn’t been asked to do that until the game plan changed. This week, I think the game plan shifts even more in favor of Wilson throwing the ball, which raises his projected floor and ceiling, and he’s got a soft matchup with Cleveland.
When Matthew Stafford ($6,100) faces a team ranked 21st or lower against quarterbacks, he averages 32 DraftKings points per game. This week he faces the worst team in the league against quarterbacks, the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have given up multiple touchdown passes in all but three games this year (Jameis Winston twice and Brandon Weeden). Stafford has multiple touchdown passes in four of his last five games, while exceeding his salary expected points per game in all five. This is an excellent matchup to use Stafford as a cash game quarterback.
Carson Palmer ($7,000) has exceeded his salary expected points per game in every single game this year. That’s really hard to do. That means this week he’s expected to score at least 17.8 DraftKings points. He’s only been below that mark once this year (Week 12, 17.4 points). His game against the third-worst pass defense in Philadelphia is a soft one that he’ll be able to take advantage of. The last time Palmer faced Philadelphia was Week 8 of last season and he had 329 yards with two touchdowns. When teams face Philadelphia they tend to have a higher pace of play than usual and that should only help Palmer be an even better cash game play.
Adrian Peterson ($7,100) has a lot of factors pointing towards a big game for him this week. He’s playing at home, as a big favorite, while getting the majority of the carries, getting the goal line work, and against a team that is tough against the pass. He also has historically been very good against Chicago. In his past four games against Chicago he’s gone for more than 100 rushing yards in all of them. In his two most recent home games against them, he’s had games of 154 rushing yards with two touchdowns and 211 rushing yards with no touchdowns. This game has the makings of a big one for Peterson, and you should try and find a way to get him into your cash lineup.
It was reported last Sunday morning that Tim Hightower ($3,900) would take over the Mark Ingram role in the New Orleans offense while C.J. Spiller’s role would remain the same. That is exactly what happened with Hightower getting 28 carries on 71 percent of the snaps to Spiller’s three carries on 18 percent of the snaps. This looks to be the case going forward. Hightower should receive enough workload to pay off his salary, while getting the goal line work as well. I’m not expecting a high ceiling on Hightower, but he only needs around 12 points to be happy with his production, something that he should easily be able to do this week against Detroit.
Theo Riddick ($4,000) is another rare guy who has exceeded his salary expected points per game in every game this year. That’s a result of two factors. One, it appears the DraftKings pricing algorithm for running backs doesn’t value backs who get a majority of their points through the air. Second, Riddick’s salary has been low all year. If there was a game to get Riddick into your cash lineup, this is the week. Detroit is a three-point underdog, which means that Detroit should be down, which should lead to more snaps and targets for Riddick. I think Riddick is a sneaky cash game play this week.