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James Davis

Daily Fantasy Football Cash Game Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Week 7 - 10/20/19

Welcome back for another week of NFL analysis! It was a tough week for DFSR, as we posted our first losing week of the season - breaking even on FanDuel and losing on DraftKings. But that's football, right? DFSR still marches on with an 8-3-1 record in cash game so far this season, and in spite of a number of fantasy-relevant teams being on byes, week 7 is shaping up to be a nice bounceback. Let's get started!

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Josh AllenJosh Allen FD 7700 DK 6500
Opponent MIA
Proj Points FD - 22.76 DK - 23.55

Allen is coming off a bye following a Week 5 win over Tennessee. And with the extra rest he walks into a total dream matchup against the Miami Dolphins. The latter is easily the worst team in the league having been outscored by 138 points this season, almost twice as much as the next worst team. They are an unmitigated disaster and, among other bad things, are allowing the 3rd-most DraftKings scoring to opposing quarterbacks this season. They could easily be allowing the most, but teams are often beating their brains in by the fourth quarter and take their foot off the gas.

That being said, it hasn’t all been gravy for Allen this season. Despite the Bills being 4-1, Allen’s completion percentage is still hovering in the low 60%’s and he’s thrown more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (5). This isn’t a trend likely to continue and it’s worth noting that four of those picks were against a very good New England defense. This should be a cake matchup and Allen’s to-date stats still have him coming a little cheaper than the top-tier arms. He also brings big-time running abilities, ranking fourth in QB rushing yards despite playing a whole game less than the group above him.

Kyler MurrayKyler Murray FD 7700 DK 6700
Opponent NYG
Proj Points FD - 21.44 DK - 22.6

We talked at length about Kyler Murray last week as a cash play, specifically around the idea that it stood to reason his touchdown passes were likely to increase relative to a game-by-game average. That being said, we didn’t think it would all start to correct right away. He threw three TDs against the Falcons in a big game with 340 passing yards. He’s the seventh overall fantasy quarterback despite *still* having four fewer touchdowns than anyone higher than him on the list. He’s second overall in QB rushing yards which is even more impressive considering he’s bested only by a historic dude in Lamar Jackson above him. This week he’ll face a Giants’ team ranked 28th in DVOA against the pass. The game has a 49.5 total with the Cardinals 3-point underdogs. It’s easy to like Murray again at these prices and though the team is bad he’s had little trouble accruing fantasy points in this offense.

Russell WilsonRussell Wilson FD 8500 DK 6600
Opponent BAL
Proj Points FD - 21.91 DK - 22.49

Russell Wilson is the 4th-most expensive quarterback on DraftKings. Um, ok. He only has a 73% completion percentage, 14 TDs to 0 INTs and 3 rushing touchdowns this season. No biggie. Imagine if the Seahawks actually decided to settle on just passing the ball in a game. It’s the only thing “holding him back”. Wilson’s 189 passing attempts are the fewest in the top 15 of quarterback scoring this season. This is simply ridiculous for where he ranks as a fantasy scorer. I don’t love the FanDuel price simply because you can get similar upsides with the two guys above, but on DraftKings, take the savings and consider him for cash.

Running Backs

Running back is pretty tough this week. After several weeks of fairly obvious chalk plays, week 7 is shaping up to be anything but. With the value plays of the past now clocking in as $1,000 more expensive than they had been, and plenty of big names off the main slate, we have our work cut out for us. Let's have a look.

Leonard FournetteLeonard Fournette FD 7900 DK 7000
Opponent CIN
Proj Points FD - 19.51 DK - 21.08

Sometimes a guy is an overwhelming chalk play, and doesn't deliver. The public gets off the play, and we're left with a solid value option. I think that's where we are with Fournette right now. The price is certainly aggressive on FanDuel, but I think we're getting a steal on DraftKings. In the last three weeks Fournette has averaged 24 carries and 5.5 targets, which is just absurd for a running back in a league plagued by passing and running back by committee situations. Jacksonville hasn't been the most dynamic offense (which explains Fournette's lack of touchdown production in spite of the huge usage), but getting this level of usage is just not common. Throw in a fantastic match-up with Cincinnati, who has the sixth worst DVOA against the run this year and the 2nd worst DVOA overall, and I think you've got yourself a great cash game play on DraftKings. Heck, given some of these other options, I could see rolling with him on FanDuel as well.

Chris CarsonChris Carson FD 7600 DK 6500
Opponent BAL
Proj Points FD - 17.43 DK - 19.1

At first this looks like a weird play. Grabbing a running back against Baltimore, with their great defense and their clock gobbling rushing attack? Well, it hasn't exactly played out that way this year. Baltimore has actually just been a hair better than Cinci at defending the run, ranking 8th worst in the league in non-adjusted DVOA against the run. Chris Carson, meanwhile, has assumed the entire running back load in Seattle with Rashaad Penny banged up - registering an average of 24+ carries and 3+ targets over his last three games. The Seahawks are 3.5 point favorites in a game with a 50.5 total, meaning this should be essentially a perfect game script for Carson to do his thing once again.

David JohnsonDavid Johnson FD 7400 DK 7800
Opponent NYG
Proj Points FD - 16.26 DK - 18.57

In a lot of ways, David Johnson has continued along the trends we've become accustomed to. He's still not a great ball-carrier on a yards per carry basis, but he does enough in the passing game that he's probably still a little bit cheap relative to his production. It's sort of a case where the sum of the parts adds to a greater whole than you might think, where he's not exactly a good running back, and not exactly a good receiver, but when you take the whole package together you have something solid. You also love to see him punching in two touchdowns last week. With the Cardinals just 3 point dogs in a game tied for the 2nd highest total on the slate, their production has to come from somewhere. And in a week where running back is questionable at best, I think you can run DJ out there once again.

Saquon BarkleySaquon Barkley FD 8600 DK 8900
Opponent ARI
Proj Points FD - 21.46 DK - 22.84

This is so far from a play I would normally want to recommend, but there is a lot working in Barkley's favor this week. It's still not 100% clear that he will play, but with Jonathan Hilliman being cut this week, I'd say it's far more likely than not. Still, I'd normally be super cautious before deploying a running back returning from a high ankle sprain, so what gives? Well, as is often the case in NFL DFS, it's the price and the match-up. Barkley is about 5% cheaper than he was to start the season, and he's got a fantastic match-up with the fast paced Cardinals. Is this where you'll want to invest your highest salary of the week? I can't say so definitively just yet, but I will say that if you can count on Barkley for his full run our lineup optimizer sees him as an absolute no-brainer here. Follow his injury situation through the week before counting on him, though.

A brief overview of the rest:

If you just go down the list of running backs by price on FanDuel, there are just question marks all over the place. A quick exercise:

Dalvin Cook: Just disappeared in a game where the game script should have favored him. I still don't mind the play, but it's expensive.

Alvin Kamara: Basically a more expensive David Johnson, and a brutal match-up with Chicago and their top 5 run defense.

Aaron Jones: Full on time share.

Wide Receivers

Cooper KuppCooper Kupp FD 7800 DK 7400
Opponent ATL
Proj Points FD - 17.8 DK - 21.15

Despite an off week against an excellent San Francisco in Week 6 in which he saw only six targets and finished with a 4/17 line, Kupp still ranks as the league-leader in targets on the season. He’s the third-best DraftKings wide receiver on the season behind Chris Godwin and Michael Thomas and this week draws an excellent matchup. Atlanta ranks second to last in DVOA against the pass this season with only the historically bad Dolphins worse. The Falcons’ cornerbacks are bad across the board so basically everything is an advantageous matchup and I suspect we see the Rams feed the ball to Kupp akin to what we saw basically every other week except last one. Kupp is the fifth-most expensive WR on DraftKings this season which appears nuts when you consider the volume. From a full-PPR perspective, this feels like a fairly easy play.

Tyler BoydTyler Boyd FD 5600 DK 5600
Opponent JAX
Proj Points FD - 12.83 DK - 16.16

Even on a bad team, there’s a lot to like about Tyler Boyd going into this week. He’s tied for third in the NFL in targets with 59 and has a respectable 68% conversion rate. He’s seen double-digit targets in four of the first six weeks and I don’t mind targeting WRs against a Jacksonville secondary now definitively without Jalen Ramsey going forward. Boyd does the worst matchup of the remaining group against D.J. Hayden in the slot, so that could eat into some of the volume. But considering the target share on the season, the FanDuel price is something like a mistake.

After these guys, there are certain situations we will be monitoring leading into Week 7. If Christian Kirk returns I think he’d instantly slot in as a cash game play against the Giants. At $5600 on FanDuel and $5000 on DraftKings, I think we’d be looking at a solid floor considering he’s the best per game target receiver in Arizona when healthy. Along those same lines, if Kirk sits again, Larry Fitzgerald would once again be a strong cash game play for similar reasons.

While D.J. Chark has been a somewhat popular option over the last few weeks and has paid off well with the performance, I don’t mind taking a cheaper flyer with Dede Westbrook on DraftKings. The latter leads the Jags in targets and does have three red zone targets as well. The yards haven’t been there, but in full PPR I do like the $4000 price tag against the Bengals.

Tight Ends

Austin HooperAustin Hooper FD 6600 DK 5300
Opponent LAR
Proj Points FD - 13.1 DK - 16.23

Well, Hooper was the highest owned tight end going into week 6, and promptly put up 21.7 fantasy points. He converted all 8 of the balls thrown his way into 8 receptions for 117 yards and a touch, and was every bit as important to the Falcons offense as he has been all year. This week he'll be in the game with the highest total on the slate, facing off against a Rams defense that has looked like a shell of the force we saw last season. The Rams went from having a -3.1% DVOA (good) against the pass last year to an 18% DVOA (bad) against the pass this year, and given the lack of price movement, this is one of the easier plays on the board.

The non-Hooper division: First things first - I will be playing Austin Hooper in cash games this week barring some unforeseen emergency. If something does happen to Hooper, there are at least a couple of respectable back-up options.

Mark AndrewsMark Andrews FD 6700 DK 4900
Opponent SEA
Proj Points FD - 13.11 DK - 15.64

Andrews has dealt with various injuries throughout the season, but week in and week out he gets pretty much the same opportunity. He'll get 7-9 balls thrown his way, including a few red zone targets, and can convert those into anywhere between 30-100 yards and the odd touchdown. If this seems like faint praise, it really isn't when you're looking at tight ends this season. Now he's essentially as expensive as Austin Hooper, and I don't think you want to go off chalk and grab Andrews against Seattle, but if he finally gets fully healthy we could absolutely see a few huge weeks out of him, especially if opposing teams sell out on the run.

Also considered, for upside: Darren Waller. We were saying the same things about Waller that we are about Hooper, and it's really just one tough week against Chicago that has thrown cold water on Waller's great start to the year. Grabbing him fresh off of the bye looks pretty solid here.

Defense / Special Teams

49ers49ers FD 5000 DK 4100
Opponent WAS
Proj Points FD - 9.26 DK - 9.26

BillsBills FD 5500 DK 4300
Opponent MIA
Proj Points FD - 9.81 DK - 9.81

It's been a question every single week this season, and I don't see that changing going forward: Is it worth it to pay up at defense? In many seasons past it was a laughably bad decision to chase some high priced defense that had padded their fantasy point totals by scoring a bunch of defensive touchdowns, but this year honestly feels different. With these terrible teams in existence, it kind of throws everything off.

Miami's -46.1% DVOA would be the worst of the century (and probably further, I just got bored of looking at lists) if the season ended today, and they're forecast to score 11.5 points this week. The Redskins and their -24% DVOA would be the worst in many of the last 20 NFL seasons, and things are only getting worse as they cruise down their QB depth chart. These two defenses are legitimately good, as well, both ranking in the top 3 in terms of overall defensive DVOA this season. If you're hunting for a high floor, it's hard to imagine not finding it with either play.

VikingsVikings FD 3800 DK 3100
Opponent DET
Proj Points FD - 6.69 DK - 6.69

If you just can't find the savings to play the top teams, I don't mind playing Minnesota here. Detroit has looked feisty at times, but the Vikings are still boasting a top 5 defense, and the Lions have a basically league average offense. Stafford could also be running hot this season, as his receiving corp is nothing to write home about, and his 61.3% completion rate is his worst since 2014. He's taken 7 sacks over his last 2 games, and I think the interceptions will rise if his completion percentage stays down. There's some risk here, but I think it's worth it if you can get a substantial upgrade elsewhere.


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