FanDuel NFL Cash Game Lineup Advice: Super Wild Card Weekend (2020)
The NFL playoffs are finally here, and we’ve reached the Wild Card Weekend. Au contraire, it’s now the Super Wild Card Weekend! Adding an extra team per conference gives us three games per day this weekend, and only one team gets to enjoy the spoils of a bye week.
You have a choice to make when you play DFS this weekend. Both FanDuel and DraftKings are offering up individual slates per day and the full slate of all six games. For the sake of this article, I will be selecting players for the entire weekend on FanDuel. If you’re crafting a lineup for just one day, note that each player’s salary remains the same across the different slates.
One aspect of lineup construction I’ve harped on throughout the season has been keeping your most expensive late player in the FLEX spot. If you are building lineups in the all weekend contests, you must put a Sunday player — or your latest Saturday player — in this spot. As we’ve seen all season, the only thing predictable about COVID-19 is its unpredictability. Always keep your ability to pivot open.
Here are some of the players that I’m considering for cash games this weekend:
Josh Allen (BUF): $9,000 vs. Indianapolis Colts
No matter the format, whether it’s DFS, FFPC playoff contests, or just a home playoff league, Allen is going to be popular. Right out of the gates, Allen gets an opponent that has allowed the third-most passing yards and the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over the last four games.
Over the last 10 games, the Bills are second in the league in points scored. Per Rich Hribar over at Sharp Football, “No passer attempts a higher rate of his passes on first down than Allen (48.8%) where he completed 72.0% of his passes for 8.9 yards per pass attempt. On all other downs, Allen completed 66.6% of his passes for 7.0 Y/A.” Over their last 10 quarters of football, the Bills have scored 121 points — thoughts and prayers to the Colts defense in this one.
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT): $7,500 vs. Cleveland Browns
Only the Jacksonville Jaguars passed more than the Steelers this season. Over the last three games, the Steelers lead the league in passing plays, as they’re throwing the ball 70.16% of the time. Since Week 10, the Browns are eighth in rush defense DVOA. For a Steelers offense that cannot (and will not) run the ball effectively, expect Big Ben to be throwing early and often. The Steelers are the fifth in the NFL in passing rate with a lead and fourth in the NFL in passing rate with a lead in the fourth quarter, per PFF.
This Browns defense just allowed Mason Rudolph to throw for 315 yards and two touchdowns last week in a must-win game. That was in Cleveland. This game is in Pittsburgh. Big difference.
J.K. Dobbins before and after the bye week. pic.twitter.com/NGRQqfQpnC
— Sam Wallace (@SWallace_FF) January 6, 2021
As you can see, his usage and workload have increased significantly throughout the year. Dobbins led the league in yards per carry (6.01), and over the last three games, he’s totaled 62%, 53%, and 51% of the offensive snaps in the backfield. He’s becoming the clear lead back in Baltimore, and he’ll get a Titans defense that ranked 22nd in DVOA against pass-catching running backs and 16th in DVOA against the run.
Derrick Henry (TEN): $10,200 vs. Baltimore Ravens
Deciding to play the king is arguably the first and most important decision you need to make this weekend. Here’s a simple suggestion: Play him. Figure out the salary elsewhere because there’s more value in other areas.
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) January 7, 2021
Stefon Diggs (BUF): $8,700 vs. Indianapolis Colts
Diggs is probably my favorite receiver on the slate, and he’ll be as close to a cash-game lock for me as possible. The health and availability of receiver (and rapper) Cole Beasley will factor in, too, and it could result in an even bigger workload for Diggs. Over the last four games, Diggs led the NFL in receiving yards and catches (which he also did for the entire season). He was fourth in yards per route run during the year, and he’ now gets the Colts heavy zone defense. His current receiving yard props are set at 90.5 yards. Jam him in.
Diontae Johnson (PIT): $7,000 vs. Cleveland Browns
Johnson is simply too cheap for the volume he receives in this offense. Excluding Week 17, the game Big Ben sat out, and Week 14, the game where Tomlin benched Johnson, the receiver has had seven-straight games of double-digit targets, and he racked up at least six catches in all of them. He’s the Steelers WR1 against a defense that hasn’t exactly been stellar against the pass.
Diontae Johnson averages 18.8 Draftkings points per game in games he doesn't leave in the first quarter that Big Ben starts.
— Eliot Crist (@EliotCrist) January 7, 2021
Logan Thomas (WAS): $6,400 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to tight ends and are ranked 20th in DVOA against tight ends. Over the last four games, Thomas leads the team in receiving yards, targets, receptions, and yards after the catch. His 250 air yards are second on the team over that time span. Thomas led all tight ends in routes run per drop back this season, and he did so by a substantial margin. If the Football Team wants to pull off an upset this weekend, Thomas will need to be a big part of it. Expect Alex Smith to look his way as often as possible.
Washington Football Team D/ST: $3,700 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Take this one with a grain of salt (or a shot of liquor), but I just don’t believe that the Football Team is an eight-point dog at home against Tom Brady and the Bucs. It’s going to be fairly cold (34°F at kickoff) with 10 mph winds that make it feel like 27°. The Football Team’s defense is anything but cold, however. Since Week 11, Washington has given up just 21 total second-half over the course of seven games. In their last two games, Washington has shut out their opponents in the second half. Washington generates pressure at the seventh-highest rate in the NFL, and they were sixth in the league in sacks. They have also allowed the second-fewest passing yards this season. Tampa Bay throws at the third-highest rate in the league.
This Washington defense is playing its best football of the year, and with Mike Evans potentially limited or unavailable, the Bucs offense could be a bit dampened. Brady has found succeeded against Jack Del Rio’s defenses in the past, however, so this isn’t for the weak at heart. Additionally, both teams are in the top-10 for total pace, and the Bucs third in pace when leading by seven or more. While that could mean more plays to generate sacks and turnovers, it could also mean more chances to score against Washington’s defense.
Other notables: Seattle Seahawks DST: $3,600 vs. LAR.
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