DraftKings NFL Cash Lineup Advice: Week 1
The 2019 NFL season kicked off on Thursday night with a little bit of a yawner between the Packers and Bears, but after that little appetizer, we are ready for the main course of NFL DFS with a big main slate on Sunday.
To me there is not a purer form of the game that requires more skill than playing in a 50/50, Double Up, or Head-to-Head matchup. Cash games require identifying the value to squeeze every dollar of salary out of your lineup while finding players that have a high floor to go along with some upside potential. Oh, and volume of touches and targets rule the world!
Week 1 is one of the most difficult weeks to navigate as we have barely seen the starters play at all in the preseason. We also don’t truly know exactly what players will do who changed teams or what new coaches play tendencies will be. This article will focus on building a cash game lineup for the DraftKings 12-game Sunday slate.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF): $5,800 @ TB
Truth be told, I’m not 100% certain which quarterback I will be rostering in cash games on DraftKings this week yet. The four names I have listed here make up the group of signal-callers that I’m considering which includes both sides of the 49ers/Buccaneers matchup in what should be a close high-scoring affair, and a couple of young quarterbacks who offer a high floor due to their rushing ability. At the moment, Garoppolo fits my cash game lineup build the best as he faces a Bucs’ defense that ranked 30th against the pass last season in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) according to Football Outsiders. That ranking was well deserved as they surrendered an average of 274 passing yards (28th), 8.2 yards per pass (32nd), and 2.1 TD passes (29th) per game.
- Jameis Winston (TB): $6,600 vs. SF
- Lamar Jackson (BAL): $6,000 @ MIA
- Kyler Murray (ARI): $5,600 vs. DET
Dalvin Cook (MIN): $6,000 vs. ATL
Cook is expected to be one of the highest owned players on the slate as a small home favorite against the Falcons. The Vikings have spoken of their re-commitment to the run this season, and they get a potentially favorable matchup to see it through. The Falcons struggled to stop the run last season ranking 30th DVOA while allowing 4.68 YPC (23rd) to running backs. Cook could also get involved in the passing game against a defense that allowed the most receptions and second-most receiving yards to opposing running backs last year.
Chris Carson (SEA): $5,700 vs. CIN
Typically, a good formula to follow when finding running backs is to see which teams are at home and are a significant Vegas favorite. That formula brings us to Carson who is the lead back on a run-heavy Seahawks team that is nearly a double-digit favorite at home against the Bengals. The Bengals ranked 26th DVOA against the run last season while yielding 4.94 YPC (31st) and 0.9 rushing TDs (25th) to running backs for the year. I typically don’t like to roster running backs on DraftKings who don’t offer much in the passing game, but there are rumors circling that Carson will see an uptick in his targets this season as he was efficient with his 27 targets last season converting them into 22 catches for 162 yards (7.4 YPC).
- Nick Chubb (CLE): $6,400 vs. TEN
- Leonard Fournette (JAX): $6,100 vs. KC
- Kerryon Johnson (DET): $5,800 @ ARI
Chris Godwin (TB): $6,200 vs. SF
I was one of the early members of the Chris Godwin fan club last season. As the hype on him his picked up a lot of speed this offseason, I still have my seat on the Goodwin Express. Godwin and the Buccaneers draw a great matchup to start the season playing at home in a potential shootout against the 49ers. The 49ers allowed 13.6 yards per reception (27th) and 1.7 TDs (32nd) per game to wide receivers last season. Godwin should see increased volume with the departure of DeSean Jackson and his expected role, playing mostly out of the slot.
Tyler Boyd (CIN): $5,800 @ SEA
There is mixed reaction to how A.J. Green’s absence will affect Boyd. Of course, the loss of Green for the first few weeks of the season should result in more targets going Boyd’s way, but it also means there will be more defensive attention focused on the Bengals’ new No. 1 wideout. I’ll take the volume and worry about the efficiency later. This week, he will face a Seahawks’ secondary and pass defense that doesn’t cause much concern assuming Boyd continues to do most of his work out of the slot. The game script could have the Bengals throwing a lot as a near double-digit Vegas underdog. Remember, volume is king!
- Odell Beckham (CLE): $8,100 vs. TEN
- Mike Evans (TB): $7,900 vs. SF
- Adam Thielen (MIN): $6,800 vs. ATL
- Tyler Lockett (SEA): $6,000 vs. CIN
- Dede Westbrook (JAX): $4,800 vs. KC
Evan Engram (NYG): $4,800 @ DAL
There is a nice spread of tight end options at various price points on the Week 1 slate. I find myself going right in the middle with Engram. Engram should be one of the primary targets for Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense this season with a depleted wide receivers corps that is without Beckham on the team and without Golden Tate for the first four weeks due to a suspension. In four games without Beckham last season, Engram averaged 5.5 receptions for 80 yards and scored once for 16.2 DraftKings points per game. The Giants could have a game script that forces them to pass against the Cowboys who ranked 19th DVOA against the tight end position last season.
Ravens (BAL): $3,800 @ MIA
I don’t often look to pay up at D/ST, but this matchup just seems too juicy to pass up. The Ravens always have demonstrated an opportunistic defensive approach and they will open the season with a road tilt as a touchdown favorite against the already tanking Dolphins. The Ravens’ defense should get some chances for big plays with Ryan Fitzpatrick’s willingness to take shots slinging the ball downfield while facing a weak offensive line that just got weaker with the trade of Laremy Tunsil.
- Jets (NYJ): $3,100 vs. BUF