For the uninitiated, playing daily games on DraftKings can be an enjoyable experience, but equally sobering is the fact that season-long knowledge does not always translate to success in the daily space. Footballguys will bring you a series of value- and strategic-based selections from a number of seasoned daily veterans throughout the NFL season. Herein is another edition of “Tipandpick’s Tips and Picks,” where we will examine the salaries of players at each position on DraftKings and make value-based recommendations for both your cash games and tournaments.
Below you will find a list of recommended players for both formats. GPP players generally have high-upside, but are too risky for cash games; cash game players are consistent with high fantasy floors. In some instances, the value for a player is so strong, he may fall into both categories…let’s have a look.
TIPS AND PICKS
Let's take a deeper look into some of the players who I will be targeting for my cash game and tournament rosters this weekend. A short summary follows each respective table to fill in the gaps that led to the respective recommendations; that text represents only an overview of the methodology and rationale that goes into each recommendation. If you have questions about any of the recommendations or the process that led to them, please email me at email@example.com.
Quarterbacks: There is not much to like at the quarterback position for cash game this week, as was debated on this week's edition of the PowerGrid. On my spreadsheet, Mitchell Trubisky tops the list of value candidates with a plus matchup against the Lions and priced at only $5.4K; however, it's tough to trust Trubisky especially if you want to consider rolling with David Montgomery in cash games because that would be nearly $11K invested in a shady Bears' offense. Instead, give consideration to Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau against the dysfunctional 3-7-1 Philadelphia Eagles. Green Bay has a top-five implied team total and Rodgers has 24+ DK points in 6 consecutive games, which is the type of consistency we seek in cash game formats. If salary is a concern, Jared Goff is offered at a $1K discount from ARod in a game against the Cardinals in a game that is quite likely to shoot out; he has his full arsenal of talented receivers for the first time in several weeks.
Running Backs: As 10-point home favorites against the one-win Jaguars, the Vikings should lean heavily on Dalvin Cook throughout this contest. Cook has compiled 8 consecutive games with 22 or touches and trails only Derrick Henry (270) in total touches this season (238). Cook could be the most highly rostered running back on the slate, so slot him into your lineups and move on from there. If you have excess salary, Austin Ekeler merits consideration in all formats. Ekeler returned with a vengeance last week after missing nearly two months with a hamstring injury--he compiled 25 touches, including 11 catches, last week against the Bills and played in 72% of the team's offensive snaps. Some will argue that Bill Belichick will try to take away Ekeler, but the Patriots no longer have the personnel to run this kind of scheme, especially with Keenan Allen lurking in the background. Elsewhere, Myles Gaskin and David Montogomery represent mid-priced options who are in plus matchups. Gaskin looks to gain the lion's share of touches out of the backfield with injuries pervading the Dolphins' secondary running backs; as the biggest favorites on the Vegas board, the Dolphins could lean heavily on Gaskin. Meanwhile, DMont gets a the matchup of the week agains the Lions, who have allowed more fantasy production to opposing running backs than any team in the league.
Wide Receivers: There are plenty of cash game options at wide receiver this week. Topping the list is Davante Adams at home against the Eagles. Adams is to 2020 as Michael Thomas was to 2019--the best wide receiver on the board. Every week. The caveat with Adams is that the opportunity cost is likely too high and you will probably have to skip over his hefty $9K salary and look to alternative receivers. A notch down from Adams is Allen Robinson, who is affordably priced at $6.7K; ARob has 31 targets over the Bears' past 3 games, including 13 last week in Mitchell Trubisky's return to a starting role. In the mid-$5K range, Robert Woods and his former teammate, Brandin Cooks, are squarely in play for cash game formats. Cooks may be the best play of the week in cash games with Will Fuller V missing the rest of the season due a PED suspension; meanwhile, Woods has quietly collected 15 and 12 targets on back-to-back weeks and is evolving into Jared Goff's favorite target. At the lower end, Denzel Mims is a fantastic cash and GPP play against the Raiders. The second-round draft pick is playing excellent football despite shoddy quarterback play for most of the season and benefits from Sam Darnold's presence for the second consecutive week; Mims has eight target in three consecutive weeks and should benefit from a plus gamescript as 8.5-point underdogs against the visiting Raiders. Last up is another Texan, Keke Coutee, who also benefits from Will Fuller V's suspension. Coutee's ceiling is likely limited as a short ADoT receiver, but he should enjoy ample opportunity moving the sticks at a meager $3.5K price point.
Tight Ends: We are all spending at other positions, so the move will be to punt at tight end in cash games this week. There are multiple options below $3.5K, including Jordan Akins who I touted on the PowerGrid, but Kyle Rudolph and Anthony Firkser have evolved into the optimal plays at the position (for cash game formats). Both players benefit from injuries to a teammate (Irv Smith and Jonnu Smith) and should have scoring floors in the neighborhood of ~ 10-DK points. Their opponents (Jacksonville and Cleveland) rank in the bottom-10 in defending the position and have allowed 8 touchdowns to tight ends in their previous 10 (combined) games. Choose the one that fits best in your lineup and focus on other positions.
Team Defenses: Akin to what was described with tight ends, punt the defense position for the n'th week in a row. DraftKings has certainly tightened up salaries on defenses this year, maxing out the best defenses in the mid-$4K range. This week, the Dolphins are $4.4K against the Brandon Allen-led Bengals and the Packers are priced at $3.8K against the dreadful Carson Wentz 2020 Tour; while both defenses are attractive, paying nearly double the cost of another defense is not merited in this format. Take the discount and roll with the Lions against Mitchell Trubisky or the Jets at home against Derek Carr. The Lions pop as the best value on the board with nearly 3x projected value, while the Jets have been hot of late with 9-DK points against the Dolphins last week and 8-DK points against the Chargers a week prior.
Quarterbacks: At $7.6K, Kyler Murray is going overlooked in a game with sneaky shootout potential against the Rams. Murray's receivers are all projected to be on too few rosters and the matchup-proof DeAndre Hopkins is priced as cheaply as he has been all season. Here, it's possible to pay up to be contrarian and there is no duo with higher upside on this somewhat lackluster slate. In Chicago, we already went through why Mitchell Trubisky could be a solid GPP play, so he appears in this space to make it official. Trubisky can be paired with any of three receivers (Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, and Anthony Miller) and the most any of those stacks will cost you is just north of $12K. At the low end of the salary spectrum, Mike Glennon started higher on my DFS radar this week, but a bit of value opened up and relegated him to tournament-only formats. Like Trubisky, Glennon can be had at low percent-rostered to differentiate your lineups and has an implied gamescript that merits serious consideration as 10-point underdogs. Add in several unnoticed receivers and the Jacksonville passing game represents a prime gamestack to go alongside the crowd favorite, Dalvin Cook.
- Sleeper: In the midst of a dreadful 2020 campaign that has been hampered by injury, Sam Darnold is a sneaky deep flyer for tournaments on Sunday. Coming off a year that saw Darnold hit 20+ DK points in one-third of his starts, Darnold has surpassed 20-DK points only once this season despite fielding a far superior set of receivers. He gets the nod here because all three of his primary receivers (Brashad Perriman, Jamison Crowder, and Denzel Mims) will be overlooked and merit consideration against the Raiders in their home stadium. Target about 6-9% of your tournament lineups with Darnold and run those stacks back with Devontae Booker or Darren Waller for the gamestack.
- Fade: It is always tough to recommend fading a player that you know will resonate with the masses, but that is the definition of a fade candidate. Simply put: All Seahawks players are too expensive this week. This game has a low (by 2020 standards) Vegas total and you can bet that the Giants will do everything possible to prevent a shootout scenario where they have no chance with Colt McCoy under center; they did exactly that last week against the Bengals in a 19-17 slog. Seeing Seattle divvy up significant opportunities to Carlos Hyde, David Moore, and Jacob Hollister on Monday night, there is bona fide reason to avoid many of the Seahawks' key players on a week where salary is limiting.
Running Backs: Full disclosure: Devontae Booker is entirely cash game-viable now that Josh Jacobs has been announced as inactive with an ankle injury. Booker should get the majority carries out of the Raiders backfield in a game where Las Vegas is projected by oddsmakers to win by almost double-digits. It is also worth noting that several of the cash game options described above should also be in consideration for tournament formats. As deeper options, Kareem Hunt gets some attention at Tennessee in an implied pass-heavy gamescript that should favor his role. In Houston, David Johnson is making a quiet return after stablemate Duke Johnson Jr struggled immensely in his absence. Because DJ is priced almost identically to crowd favorites Devontate Booker and David Montgomery, Johnson will likely go overlooked in tournament formats despite carrying similar upside to both Booker and Montgomery. Lastly, and it honestly pains me to write it, Frank Gore has to be in consideration for tournament. The 972-year old running back is only $4.4K and has seen an uptick in action since LaMichal Perine was injured a few weeks ago; Gore is as unexciting as it gets, but only needs to fall into the endzone to reach 4x value on his pedestrian salary.
- Sleeper: Reports around D'Andre Swift's health are somewhat confusing (lingering concussion effects or a virus?), but he is officially inactive which should open the door for both Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson to get the majority of looks against Chicago on Sunday. Peterson is the 1A back, but Kerryon seems to be getting the bulk of action on third downs and in the passing game. If you are considering rolling with a Mitchell Trubisky stack, running it back with Kerryon Johnson is not the worst idea at a negligible percent-rostered number.
- Fade: A combination of salary and excessive popularity project James Robinson to the top of the list of fade candidates for the running back position in Week #13. JRob is the fourth most-expensive running back on the charts this Sunday and is playing for a Jaguars team slated to score a hair above 20 points. JRob would need to secure almost all of the Jags' touchdowns and be heavily involved in the passing game to justify his salary and price point in a game where the Jags are likely to throw more than run. Fade the masses, save the salary, and look elsewhere at the position.
Wide Receivers: My favorite tournament position, wide receiver is chock-full of options this week and should likely occupy the majority of your flex positions in tournament lineups. At the top, Nuk Hopkins, Michael Thomas, and Julio Jones are elite receivers priced too cheaply. Each receiver has had their own respective issues of late, but each continues to carry as much upside as any receiver on the slate. None are projected to be on more than 5% of rosters, which makes each of them attractive in their own right. At Seattle, Sterling Shepard is going entirely overlooked despite coming off substantial targets over the past month (32); Shepard could easily capitalize during garbage time of an anticipated blowout and is destined for positive scoring regression after scoring once in 41 receptions this season. As far as cheap flyers are concerned, secondary receivers on teams with plus passing game prospects round out the list. Josh Reynolds continues to be overlooked despite receiving 31 targets over the past month; his role has evolved within this offense and the masses have not yet appreciated that reality. Similarly, Breshad Perriman's film has looked excellent of late; it's unclear if he can continue to shine under Adam Gase and company, but he has recently flashed the skillset that many thought he possessed when he was drafted in the first round of the 2015 draft. At the bottom of the salary scale, Zach Pascal is intriguing against the Texans at only $3.5K as the Colts' leading redzone receiver this season and Darnell Mooney is sneaky good in single coverage across from Allen Robinson facing double-coverage at half ARob's price.
- Sleeper: All Jaguars receivers are in play for large-field tournaments, but Keelan Cole gets attention this week due to a perfect combination of salary, percent-rostered, and recent usage. Cole is leading all Jags receivers in targets over the past three weeks and should benefit from a pass-heavy gamescript as 10-point road 'dogs against the Vikings. Cole also returns punts and the occasional kickoff, so pair him up with Mike Glennon for $8.6K and hope that they connect for a touchdown (or two). They represent just the type of differentiation you need to make Dalvin Cook a strong (and correlated) play when he is slated to appear on a third of all tournament rosters.
- Fade: For all the reasons outlined to fade Russell Wilson above, fade DK Metcalf this week--he will be in the top five of percent-rostered at his position despite ranking around 30th most likely to deliver 4x value on his salary. Metcalf is a special receiver, but this is a poor spot to load up on him. Max out your exposure around 5%.
|Robert Tonyan Jr||PHL||$3,700||6%|
Tight Ends: The highest-upside tight end on a slate that lacks Travis Kelce, Darren Waller is always viable despite single-digit output in three of his previous five games. The Jets have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends in their previous five games, so Waller could surprise at percent-rostered rates less than half of what we saw just a week ago. In the $3K range, Bob Tonyan and Tyler Higbee make the list at low exposure; Tonyan continues to be Aaron Rodgers' second option in the passing game and Higbee has been overlooked despite displaying three-touchdown upside earlier this season. Lastly, Jordan Akins is borderline cash game-viable with Will Fuller V suspended, but Jonnu Smith's scratch drops Akins to this spot due to the fact that he does split snaps with Darren Fells. That said, Akins has been running far more routes than Fells and is an excellent tournament option rolling into Sunday, especially now that he seems to be losing steam with regards to popularity--get him in at least 20% of your tournament lineups.
- Sleeper: Jonnu Smith was announced at out with a knee injury, which lifts Anthony Firkser to GPP contention at DraftKings' $2.5K minimum price tag. Firkser gets a plum matchup against the Browns, who have allowed four touchdowns to opposing tight ends in the month of November and trail only two teams in points allowed to the position (Atlanta and Chicago). Firkser needs only to find the endzone to hit 4x value on his salary, which is a real possibility given that the Titans have the second-highest implied team total on the Vegas boards (29.5-points). SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Firkser has caught fire since the article was finished. He likely is going to finish on somewhere around 20% of GPP rosters today. You should be overweight on that number. That said, if you are looking for a true sleeper, the best I can offer this morning is Robert Tonyan Jr, who is likely to be found on < 5% of rosters and seems to be the #2 receiver on the Packers' pass-loving offense.
- Fade: Unlike last week where Travis Kelce and Darren Waller were present on over half of GPP lineups, there will only be 2-3 tight ends with double-digit percent-rostered numbers in Week #13. Of the higher-rostered options, Dallas Goedert is the one you're recommended to fade on Sunday. Goedert does get a plus gamescript as 8.5-point underdogs, but Zach Ertz is slate to return from a multi-week absence which should pull attention away from Goedert as the primary tight end. Philadelphia has the third-lowest implied team total, which limits the upside of all Eagles' skill players, including Goedert.
Team Defenses: Only the Lions have a double-digit likelihood to score 4x value on their salary at the team defense position in Week #13. This effectively means that your defensive distribution should be varied this weekend. Of the options that top the list, the Raiders are attractive against a Jets offense that has given up on their 2020 prospects and are counting on the Trevor Lawrence lottery at this point in the season. Both defenses in the Chargers-Patriots game bring a bit of upside to the table at low exposure--Cam Newton has not impressed in over a month while Justin Herbert could be effectively schemed by defensive mastermind Bill Belichick. Not for the weak of heart, the Bengals are worth a few flyers (no more than 8% overall) against the Dolphins because we have seen Ryan Fitzpatrick lay an egg at inopportune times across his career.
- Sleeper: On a restricted salary week, we should be looking to any situation where salary can be saved. Certainly, the Chargers, Jets, Lions, and Patriots are viable options for tournaments, but the Giants are going to be on almost zero rosters and we should not be so short-sighted to recognize that the Seahawks offense has appeared average in recent weeks. The Giants have approximately a 7% chance of hitting 4x value on their salary, so you should have at least that much in your GPP portfolio despite how that pit in your stomach.
- Fade: Like Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf, the Packers defense is too expensive. At $3.8K, only the Dolphins have a higher asking price, but Miami's defense is averaging almost twice Green Bay (9.3 DK points per game versus 5.5 DK points per game) and there are literally 10 different defenses with more projected points that the Packers. Fade Green Bay and spend the salary somewhere more predictable.