Fantasy Football: Best Wild Card Weekend DraftKings Cash-Game Plays (DFS)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Jan 5, 2018

Leonard Fournette should be anchoring your DFS lineups during wild-card weekend

Welcome back to the DraftKings cash-game article. It’s going to be different than it has over the next two weeks, as we have a much smaller slate, so it changes how we have to look at players. You might see some players in here who would never sniff your cash-game lineups, but I promise you, I’ve combed through every game searching for the best values at each position.

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As usual, I need to remind those who are here for the first time that these players may not be good tournament plays, as we’re just looking for the best values on the board. When we talk about cash-games, we’re referring to 50/50’s, double ups, and head-to-head matchups. You aren’t always going to play the players with the highest projections, because the players with the highest ceilings may also come with some of the lowest floors. In cash games, you want high-floor players who offer very little risk. I’ll attempt to give values at each price-point, which will allow you to create a combination that you like.


Jared Goff (vs. ATL) $6,700
He’s the perfect example of a player who you shouldn’t be using in many tournament lineups this week, but one who can find his way into cash lineups if you so choose. The Falcons have remarkably allowed at least 11.1 fantasy points to every quarterback they’ve played this year, giving Goff an extremely-high floor while at home. The Falcons have allowed just two quarterbacks to score more than 20 points, though, which is why Goff remains a better cash-game play. I’ll be playing the quarterback below in my lineups, but if you don’t like him, you should consider Goff.

Alex Smith (vs. TEN) $6,300
Here’s my cash-game quarterback for the week. Smith and the Chiefs are likely going to have trouble moving the ball on the ground against a Titans front-seven that’s allowed just one running back more than 77 rushing yards this season, and it was MVP-candidate Todd Gurley. They’ve also allowed just four rushing touchdowns on the season, so look for the Chiefs to gameplan to beat them through the air. There have been nine quarterbacks to total 15 or more fantasy points against them, which is solid, but which ones didn’t? DeShone Kizer, Jacoby Brissett (twice), Blake Bortles (twice), Jay Cutler, and Blaine Gabbert. Now, does Smith belong in that conversation? No.

Running Backs

Leonard Fournette (vs. BUF) $7,400
If there was one player on this slate you should feel extremely comfortable with, it’s Fournette. This is the reason they drafted him – for situations like this. The defense will take care of the Bills offense, and the Jaguars need to feed the beast. The Bills not only allowed the most rushing touchdowns to running backs this season (18), but they also allowed the most yards to them (1,796). It’s also not as if they got better against the run as the year went on, either. They have now allowed 18 rushing touchdowns in their last 10 games (15 RBs, 3 QBs), which is more than any other team allowed over their entire 16-game season. He’s locked into both cash and tournament lineups.

Tevin Coleman (at LAR) $4,100
There’s rumblings coming out of Atlanta that Devonta Freeman is dealing with a knee injury that he sustained during their Week 17 win over the Panthers. It’s causing him to miss practice time, which is kind of a big deal, especially when they’re playing a day earlier (Saturday), and he has Coleman right on his back. The matchup is a great one, as the Rams have allowed eight 20-point PPR running backs this season. Coleman had been seeing anywhere from 8-13 combined carries/targets as of late, a number that should rise with Freeman banged up. At just $4,100, take advantage of the situation. We also need to save some money in order to fit Kelce into lineups.

Note: Todd Gurley is a great play, but his price restricts a lot of what we’re trying to accomplish on this short slate. 

Wide Receivers

Michael Thomas (vs. CAR) $7,800
He’s Mr. Consistency, as he’s now totaled at least 65 yards in 10 of his last 11 games, including five games with more than 90 yards. He was removed from the injury report, as he was dealing with a hamstring injury over the last two weeks, yet was still able to post 13 catches for 160 yards during that time. He’ll match-up with James Bradberry again, the cornerback he’s beat in each of the last two meeting with these two teams. In their first meeting, Thomas tagged him for 7/87/1, and then returned to post 5/70/1 in their second meeting. When paying up for a wide receiver, you can’t afford to miss, and Thomas gives you the safety that you want.

Cooper Kupp (vs. ATL) $5,800
It’s been a little disappointing with Robert Woods back, but that should change in this matchup against the Falcons. The duo of Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant on the perimeter is much more intimidating than slot cornerback Brian Poole, which is who Kupp will line up across from on Saturday. On the year, Poole has allowed a ridiculous 84 percent catch rate in his coverage. To give you an idea as to how bad that is, there isn’t another full-time cornerback who allows more than a 78 percent catch rate in coverage. Because of that, even if Kupp tops out at six targets, he’s likely to haul in at least five of them, en route to a safe play for a middle-priced wide receiver.

Albert Wilson (vs. TEN) $3,300
Here’s a player you wouldn’t have seen here during the regular season. Wilson has found his way on the cash-game radar because of the small slate, especially when we want to pay up at tight end and running back. Wilson has been heavily involved in the offense since Week 12. Since that time, he’s averaged 6.7 targets per game. To keep things in perspective, Tyreek Hill averaged 7.0 targets per game this year. Wilson’s caught at least three passes in five of the last six games, and dominated in Week 17 against the Broncos to the tune of 10/147/0. The best part about rostering him is that he’s near minimum price, which allows us to fit in some of the bigger names we want.

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce (vs. TEN) $7,100
He’s the play at tight end this week. Don’t get cute, don’t overthink it, just play him. The Titans have allowed at least seven receptions to four different tight ends, and another three tight ends to total at least five receptions. Of all the tight ends who saw at least six targets against them, Tyler Kroft was the only one who didn’t finish as a top-10 tight ends. When looking at Kelce’s game log, you’ll see that he’s hit at least seven targets in all but three games this year. Pair him with Smith and expect great results.

Charles Clay (at JAX) $4,000
If you can’t fathom paying up for Kelce, Clay isn’t a bad cheap option. The matchup against the Jaguars isn’t ideal, as they allowed the fourth-fewest yards to tight ends this season, and allowed just four touchdowns to them all year. But knowing that LeSean McCoy is going to be out or limited against the Jaguars is huge, because they’ll need to throw more than they’d like. Even with McCoy in the lineup, Clay has seen 27 targets over the last three weeks. Unless you believe Kelvin Benjamin will be able to pull something off against Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, Clay will be the No. 1 target in the passing game.

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.


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