If you’re looking for the players who are going to win you that big tournament, this isn’t the place to look. I like to play it safe. I’m not a big risk taker. By nature, I never have been. That’s why I like to play the cash games on DraftKings. I play some of the big tournaments, but most of my weekly action is in the cash games. Cash games are any of the games where around half of the entries win and the other half go home empty-handed.
I like to play a bunch of low-entry fee head-to-head matchups and double-ups. That way I can get close to my real return or my true winning percentage. I know I’m not going to win every single head-to-head I enter, but if I can win more than 55 percent of them I’ll be in the money for the week. If I can do this week over week, by the end of the season I should have made myself a nice chunk of change.
I also like knowing that even on a bad week, I’m not going to lose all of my head-to-head matchups (hopefully). I keep my risk level low by looking for guys that have a high fantasy floor and are the best value. Running backs who I know are going to be rushing the ball a lot or wide receivers and tight ends who are going to be getting a ton of targets, and are playing weak defenses. I know this isn’t the “flashy” way to play daily fantasy but like I said before, I’m not a big risk taker. I’m trying to find the guys who are the best deals. Here are a few players I think are going to have the best values with the smallest risk this week.
The New York Giants have been allowing an average of 345 passing yards per game so far this season. That makes me want to take a hard look at Tyrod Taylor ($5,800) this week. Taylor has been a huge fantasy surprise this season, and it helps that he has some rushing ability as well. Those are just free fantasy points in my mind. Taylor also likes to spread the ball around since his seven passing touchdowns have gone to six different pass catchers.
With the Giants allowing so many passing yards, Taylor should have no problem hitting his value, especially if he tacks on some yards rushing. It’s been reported that Sammy Watkins is unlikely to play this week, and that makes me want to take a look at Percy Harvin ($4,600) and Charles Clay ($3,300) as potential Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) plays, but they are not guys I want to play in my cash game lineups.
If you’re going to pay up at quarterback this week, Andrew Luck ($7,800) is the guy you want to get. Luck’s price has dropped $500 since the start of the season so you’re getting him cheaper than you usually would. The start of the season hasn’t been an easy one for Luck with games at Buffalo, against the New York Jets, and at Tennessee. Luck has been a steady performer so far this year with 20 rushing yards, around 250 passing yards, and five total touchdowns over three games.
This week against Jacksonville is the week I expect him to cross the 300-yard passing mark and get those extra bonus DraftKings points for you. Reports of a shoulder injury scare me a little bit, but the reports also say Luck is a lock to play this week. Tom Brady and Ryan Tannehill have both had better than 350 yards passing and two touchdowns when they played Jacksonville in the past two weeks. If Luck can get to those numbers, which I think is likely to do, he’ll have value for you this week.
Andy Dalton ($5,900) looks to have a nice matchup on paper, but when you dig a little deeper you’re probably not going to want to roster him. Dalton has had back-to-back three-touchdown games so far this season. He only had one three-touchdown game all of last season. I think Dalton has been hitting his ceiling these past two games and is due to pull back this week.
Kansas City looks to be a softer matchup, until you realize that the past two games have been against Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, two quarterbacks who have much more talent than Dalton. My guess is Dalton has around 245 passing yards, one touchdown, and about a 60 percent chance for a second touchdown. I’m not saying he’s going to have a bad game, but I think there are more valuable options available this week.
Karlos Williams ($3,400) is an easy, no-brainer value play for me this week. With LeSean McCoy all but ruled out for the week as of press time, Williams is going to be the main guy getting the work out of the backfield with no competition from anyone except maybe Tyrod Taylor. Williams is leading the league with 7.75 yards per carry on the season and has a touchdown in every game so far. Williams will have to do very little to be valuable at such a small salary this week. He has to be a lock to be in your cash game lineups because of how cheap he is and his expected workload lets you have tons of extra salary to pay-up for more expensive players.
If reports of Andrew Luck’s shoulder injury make you a little hesitant to start Luck, you should look closer at Frank Gore ($4,700). Gore hasn’t been used as much as we thought when the season started, but we also thought Indianapolis would be ahead more often, which would mean more clock-killing runs by Gore. The only time Indianapolis has been playing ahead late in a game was with about 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter against Tennessee last week.
This week’s matchup with Jacksonville should see Indianapolis with a lead early in the game, and that should lead to more Gore runs in the second half. Gore should see his biggest workload of the season so far in this game, and for a cheaper salary this week, he won’t have any problems being a good value.
One thing I want to make note of here is that I would normally not recommend to stack a quarterback and running back from the same team in your cash lineups. I’ve recommended Luck and Gore, as well as Taylor and Williams. I would normally not plan on playing these two positions from the same team on the same roster for your cash games. They tend to take points away from each other since there are only so many plays in the game. These are rare circumstances. Let me explain.
Pairing Luck and Gore together this week could work for you because Indianapolis is expected to score more than 30 points. There should be enough fantasy goodness to go around, but if Indianapolis was expected to score in the low-20s, I would say pick whichever player works best for your lineup. As for Taylor and Williams, both are relatively cheap, and don’t need as many fantasy points to have value. It only costs you $9,200 of your salary cap to roster these two players. Julio Jones, for reference, costs $9,300 this week. Playing these two cheaper players opens you up to have more studs at higher salaries. Again, these two situations are rare and not normally something I would recommend doing.