Welcome to the DFS NFL Cash Game Breakdown, where Mans breaks down everything you need to know (and plenty of things you probably don’t!) to build safe, high-floor lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel!
SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE:
FD CASH CORE 4: Mark Ingram, Tyler Boyd, Sammy Watkins, Evan Engram
DK CASH CORE 4: Josh Jacobs, Tyler Boyd, Sammy Watkins, Evan Engram
FD GPP CORE 4: Ben Roethlisberger, Derrick Henry, Juju Smith-Schuster, Travis Kelce
DK GPP CORE 4: Ben Roethlisberger, Alvin Kamara, Juju Smith-Schuster, Darren Waller
REMEMBER: Ted Schuster will be in the DFS NFL Chat Room at 11am ET-1pm ET to help you set lineups, review the Inactive Report and pass along any updates that we have.
Week one is always chaos. I really don’t like that the salaries all come out a month ahead of time; there is value literally everywhere, and there is a treasure trove of players who didn’t even make the team polluting our player pool. We also are guessing at some of the roles certain players will have within the nature of the teams and offenses. Contests are also littered with people that have no idea what they are doing and are just throwing trash at the wall and hoping it sticks. In week one, sometimes the shit sticks.
I went back and reviewed my week one performances over the last four years (couldn’t find anything pre-2015 unfortunately), and I have had just one profitable week one in that span, and that was in 2015. But, we survived last week despite Jameis Winston completely soaking the bed sheets and the Lions thinking throwing the ball 1200 times on the road against a one-dimensional defense instead of running Kerryon Johnson was a good idea. I will take it.
What I loved seeing last week was not one but TWO of our Elite Fantasy subs hitting a six-figure payday in tournaments, including a win of the FanDuel $44 Bomb. Our RB breakdowns were right on point last week, but what really put some of you over was the recommendations of Mark Ingram, Marquise Brown and Evan Engram. No matter what side of the fence you fell on last week, we’re ready to get back to an even playing ground here in week two.
Before I get to the breakdown for this week, I want to remind each of you again that this season we are offering DAILY DFS NFL Coaching Sessions held every day (except Sunday) by our team. From lineup review to lineup preview, our analysts are here for you each and every day with live advice. If you miss any of the Coaching Sessions, we have each of them transcribed for you and Jesse’s amazing weekly review piece that outlines all of the highlights (and lowlights) of the week. Here is a quick review of what content we offer each week:
Monday – Lineup Review w/ Taylor Canevari
Tuesday – QB Coach w/ Vlad Sedler
Wednesday – RB Coach w/ Ted Schuster
Thursday – WR Coach w/ Tyler Buecher
Thursday Night – Primetime Livestream w/ Corey Parson & Benny Ricciardi
Friday – TE Coach w/ Benny Ricciardi
Friday Night – NFL NOW Livestream w/ Tommy G & Jeff Mans (Hey, that’s ME!)
Saturday – DST Coach w/ Thad Houston
Saturday Night – Lineup Coaching w/ Jeff Mans (Hey, that’s me AGAIN!)
Sunday – NFL NOW Livestream w/ Draftcheat & Brian Healy (10am ET)
Sunday – Lineup Lock Chat w/ Ted Schuster (11:30am ET)
You will also notice a new look for this year’s DFS NFL Cash Game Breakdown. We’ve now taken all of the stats that I reference in the articles and made sortable tables for you guys to look at, gain context of and use for your own further research purposes. The cumulative price tag on the data in this article ALONE would cost you each $320 per month. But that is how we roll. We’re never going to stop getting better. One good week will not get us too high, and one bad week will never get us too low. There is a lot of money to be made out there, and we have our wallets ready.
This week’s big decisions revolve around how you treat two situations. The first is obviously the Patriots and their 20-point favorite status against the Dolphins, who gave up 59 points to Baltimore last week. Speaking of the Ravens, they get another awful defense in the Cardinals which could allow Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews and company rolling. Just to be clear, we are not going to STACK either the Patriots or the Ravens in cash games. Do we have to have exposure to either of them? Keep reading young grasshopper.
The RB position once again seems to be very cut and dry, while both QB and WR are confusing. Like last week though, I think how we handle the WRs this week will ultimately sink or swim our lineups. If you’ve paid attention to the injury report all week, you know where we are going to be targeting. If you haven’t, what is wrong with you? Luckily, I have you covered in the all-new Cash Game Breakdown! Let’s get to it…
Here is the DFS NFL Cash Game Breakdown for Week 2:
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins – Hot. Air temperatures of 93 degrees with a heat index of 105 in Miami during this game. I don’t like using RBs in these types of conditions unless they are value options, and we are not expecting a high volume of touches.
|NAME||TEAM||OPP||DVOA TOTAL||DVOA PASS||DEF VS QB||TOTAL OLINE||PASS OLINE||TIME TO THRW||PACE||ATTS PG||INT AIR YDS||CMP AIR YDS|
WEEK 2 DFS NFL QB BREAKDOWN
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs ($9000/$7500) – The question we will have to ask ourselves is whether we want to take $1500 of value out of either our RB or WR pool in order to lock in Mahomes. There’s no questioning how good of a matchup this is for the Chiefs, as this Raiders defense was among the worst in the NFL in 2018 and lost their two best defensive backs to injury last week in CB Gareon Conley (neck) and S Jonathan Abram (IR-shoulder). Last season, Mahomes didn’t throw for over 300 yards in either meeting against Oakland, but he did average 288 yards per game and threw for six total TDs. It’s evident the reigning NFL MVP is even more comfortable in this offense this year, which makes his projected stat line downright scary.
Tom Brady, Patriots ($7800/$6400) – Brady is fresh off of 341 yards, 3 TD performance against the Steelers last week and is now facing a defense that gave up 59 points to the Ravens. Brady is the safest QB on the board this week, but we will need the Dolphins to at least show up in order to keep the Patriots offense throwing. With Antonio Brown likely playing the tandem of Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon behind him, this Patriots passing offense is downright scary.
Andy Dalton, Bengals ($7100/$5400) – Really like the DK price here. We had been waiting to see exactly what this Zac Taylor offense would be, and it was eye-opening, to say the least. The Bengals threw 51 times (2nd most) on the road, against a tough pass defense in a game that was close throughout. A deeper look reveals Cincinnati also led the NFL in pass attempts per game and yards this preseason. Being at home against a terrible pass defense and possibly without their lead RB in Joe Mixon means the Red Rifle will likely again be firing all over the field on Sunday.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens ($8200/$6700) – Jackson is coming off a huge week against the Dolphins last week and has another tasty matchup against the Cardinals at home this week. I don’t have huge expectations for him since it will make more sense for the Ravens to run all over Arizona and thus limit Jackson’s fantasy points. His big-play arm and ability to use his legs along with a high expected ownership put him on our cash game radar here this week.
Don’t Forget About…
Jacoby Brissett, Colts ($6000/$5000) – How is he still priced this low? I’d feel better about Brissett if he were at home this week, but at this price, I can take it at face value. The Colts used the run against the Chargers last week but will have a tougher time against the Titans here this week. T.Y. Hilton has done work against Malcolm Butler in the past, and the chemistry between Brissett and Hilton in week one was fantastic. The Colts have the offensive line for Brissett to sit back, wait for his receivers to turn around these Titans CBs and make big throws downfield. Though he didn’t run much last week, he does have that ability to get loose and pad his numbers with his legs.
Favorite GPP Play…
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers ($7600/$5800) – I really love Big Ben to bounce back at home this week against a Seattle defense that has some trouble at CB. Be sure to check on the status of star WR JuJu Smith-Schuster before committing to Ben this week, as JuJu was nursing a sore toe. As bad as the Steelers offense looked on the road against the Patriots last week, it will drive their ownership down quite a bit in a matchup that appears difficult but a deeper dive shows is quite beatable. At this price, at home against a defense that Andy Dalton threw 418 yards against and under 10% ownership, Roethlisberger is my GPP QB here in week two.
|NAME||TEAM||OPP||DVOA TOTAL||DVOA RUSH||DEF VS RB||TOTAL OLINE||RUSH OLINE||EVADED TKLS||BRKWYS||OPP SHARE||RZ TOUCH||GZ TOUCH|
WEEK 2 DFS NFL RB BREAKDOWN
Mark Ingram, Ravens ($7500/$6000) – Make no mistake about it, the Cardinals are the worst defense against the run in the NFL. They rank 9th worst in DVOA against the run now, but that is only because Detroit completely abandoned the run in the second half. The Ravens are two TD favorites at home against the Cardinals, and if their offense performs even close to how they did against the Dolphins, there will be running the entire second half. Ingram managed over 100 yards & 2 TDs on just 16 carries a week ago and could easily hit that or more here this week.
Derrick Henry, Titans ($7500/$6000) – Don’t expect another 75-yard TD reception from Henry, but he definitely is in line for another heavy workload against the Colts this week. The Chargers tore this Indianapolis defense apart a week ago for 125 yards on the ground on just 21 total carries. That was a 6.1 YPC between three RBs. Nevermind the 7-100-2 they gave up to Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson combined in the passing game. It’s obvious that without DT Corey Liuget and S Derwin James this year, the Chargers defense will struggle against the run. I thought the Titans would be slow out of the gate myself without LT Taylor Lewan, but that surely wasn’t the case last week. In a half-point PPR setup, Henry gets a pretty nice boost in his projection. If he continues to be even a minor factor in the passing game, his value in both half and full point PPR will rise to that of the second-tier DFS NFL RB.
Dalvin Cook, Vikings ($7900/$7200) – My RB Coach (Ted Schuster) told me Cook is not going to be chalk this week. I am pretty stunned to hear that, but then again, nothing surprises me with DFS ownership anymore. This Vikings running game is challenging the Cowboys for the best in the NFL. When the Packers released DT Mike Daniels in the preseason, it was a peculiar move in that it has left them pretty weak in run stoppers up front. This was not exploited by the Bears in week one, but Kubiak and company will certainly not let this slide here in week two. While there is no way the Vikings only throw the ball 10 times as they did against the Falcons last week, the goal in Minnesota is to get Cook the ball in his hands 20+ times every week. On the road in a big divisional game, I anticipate that being the case and Cooks easily amassing 100+ total yards with a very strong opportunity for hitting pay dirt.
Matt Breida, 49ers ($5600/$5200) – Tevin Coleman is out for this game, leaving Breida and my arch-nemesis Raheem Mostert as the 49ers RBs against the Bengals. Breida will carry a bigger chunk of the load though, as Kyle Shanahan said during the week that “nothing will change” with Breida at the helm. Even if Mostert cuts into the workload, Breida will be the one involved in the pass targets, which pads his cash game viability. At this price, all we need from Breida is 80 total yards and four catches to give us our 2x return.
Josh Jacobs, Raiders ($6500/$4700) – Jacobs proved that he indeed will be the Raiders workhorse RB this season, logging 24 touches in week one. The advantage here is the DFS pricing was out before his first game, and thus, we are getting the rookie RB at a pretty significant value here this week. The Chiefs were dead last in DVOA against the run last season and gave up the most fantasy points to RBs. The Jaguars ran for 5.2 YPC last week against these Chiefs so it doesn’t appear they have made many improvements in 2019. If Oakland can keep it close, Jacobs will score more and more. But even if they get blown out, which is possible, Jacobs should be able to return value for us at this price.
Don’t Forget About…
Adrian Peterson, Redskins ($4800/$3400) – Here is your extreme value play of the slate at the RB position. Derrius Guice has been placed on IR, and the Redskins haven’t made any moves this week to bring in another RB. So, it will be Peterson’s backfield with Chris Thompson mixing in on passing downs. Sure, he’s old as dirt, but as the great poet Toby Keith once wrote and sang, “I may not be as good as I once was, but I am as good once, as I ever was.” That is AP this week. The Cowboys did allow 12 YPC to the Giants last week so it is plausible Peterson can rack up 4.0, which produces 3x return for us quite easily with his expected usage rate.
Favorite GPP Play…
Kerryon Johnson, Lions ($6600/$5700) – I am kind of cheating here, to be honest with you. Kerryon grades out well above our cash game usage line here this week so you totally can use him in either contest format. But nobody is on him despite the Lions heavy run volume and the Chargers awful run defense. As I wrote above in the Derrick Henry writeup, the Chargers are going to have problems all year in stopping the run. Last week, the Lions really messed up by throwing the ball so much early in the second half, and I expect them to correct this at home this week.
|NAME||TEAM||OPP||DVOA TOTAL||DVOA PASS||DEF VS WR||PASS CVG||TGT SHARE||AIR YD SHARE||ADOT||CATCH%||SEPERATION||FPTS PER TGT|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||JAX||MIN||0.0||0.0||47.1||27.0||0.00||0.11||0.00||0.74||4.00||0.00|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||CLE||TEN||0.0||0.0||45.1||23.0||0.00||0.38||0.00||0.55||2.70||0.00|
WB/CB MATCHUPS (BASED ON PFF RATINGS – % Rating Difference 2019)
1) JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers → Jamar Taylor, Seahawks – 34%
2) John Brown, Bills → Janoris Jenkins, Giants – 30%
3) Randall Cobb, Cowboys → Jimmy Moreland, Redskins – 27%
4) Donte Moncrief, Steelers → Tre Flowers, Seahawks – 22%
5) Zay Jones, Bills → DeAndre Baker, Giants – 21%
6) Julian Edelman, Patriots → Minkah Fitzpatrick, Dolphins – 17%
7) Davante Adams, Packers → Xavier Rhodes, Vikings – 17%
8) James Washington, Steelers → Shaquill Griffin, Seahawks – 16%
9) Antonio Brown, Patriots → Xavien Howard, Dolphins – 16%
10) Cooper Kupp, Rams → P.J. Williams, Saints – 15%
WORST COVERAGE CORNERBACKS- WR MATCHUP (Mans Model)
1) P.J. Williams, Saints → Cooper Kupp, Rams
2) K’Waun Williams, 49ers → Tyler Boyd, Bengals
3) LaMarcus Joyner, Raiders → Sammy Watkins, Chiefs
4) Buster Skrine, Bears → DaeSean Hamilton, Broncos
5) Eric Rowe, Dolphins → Antonio Brown, Patriots
6) Janoris Jenkins, Giants → Zay Jones, Bills
7) Steven Nelson, Steelers → DK Metcalf, Seahawks
8) Byron Murphy, Cardinals → Marquise Brown, Ravens
9) Ugo Amadi, Seahawks → JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers
10) Desmond King, Chargers → Danny Amendola, Lions
11) Tre Flowers, Seahawks → Donte Moncrief, Steelers
12) DeAndre Baker, Giants → John Brown, Bills
13) Jaire Alexander, Packers → Adam Thielen, Vikings
14) Bradley Roby, Texans → Chris Conley, Jaguars
15) Trae Waynes, Vikings → Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers
WEEK 2 DFS NFL WR BREAKDOWN
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers ($8100/$7500) – I was worried about a toe injury that he suffered late in the game Sunday night against New England, but it appears as though he is totally fine. As I mentioned with Roethlisberger, the Steelers aren’t this bad, especially on offense. JuJu only played 90% of snaps because of his toe and the Steelers being down so big to the Patriots last week. But he still generated 8-6-78-0. As unimpressive as that is, it projects to a 128-96-1248 stat line for the year. If we ramp up his percentage of snaps, it’s even better. We know that JuJu is going to produce at a super high level this season, and that comes with some huge performances. Seattle doesn’t have the legion of boom anymore, and what is left more resembles the legion of gloom. They rated sixth-worst in pass coverage last week at home against the Bengals, and both Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin rated in the bottom third in the NFL in coverage according to PFF last year. JuJu gonna EAT ya’ll!
Sammy Watkins, Chiefs ($7400/$7200) – The new WR1 for the Chiefs is coming off his best game as a pro last week against the Jaguars. It was obvious Watkins was faster and in perfect sync with QB Patrick Mahomes, which makes this breakout game feel so much more real. He’s going to be real popular obviously this week, but that is rightfully so. The Raiders lost Jonathan Abram to IR this week and might be without CB Gareon Conley, which leaves an already poor defensive backfield, thin.
Tyler Boyd, Bengals ($6300/$6500) – Good Lord, do I love this FD price here this week. Does everybody expect John Ross to just assume the WR1 role here in Cincinnati because he had a real good week one? It is true Ross and rookie Damion Willis played “ahead” of Boyd last week, as Willis logged the most snaps (69), Ross second (63) and Boyd third (61). While that may shock some of you, this is actually a real good thing for Tyler Boyd. It appears as though head coach Zac Taylor wants to keep Boyd in the slot WR role, which will give him less overall snaps but also keeps him in premium matchup situations on every down. This week, he draws 49ers trash heap K’Waun Williams, who was 14th worst coverage CB in the NFL last year. GUARANTEE: Every week on the Elite Sports Show on SiriusXM, I give out a guarantee for this week in the NFL. This week, I guarantee that Tyler Boyd catches a TD against the 49ers.
Cooper Kupp, Rams ($6800/$6000) – All of the Rams receivers are in play against this pretty pathetic Saints secondary. Marshon Lattimore is their best CB, but even he is quite beatable at this point. Lattimore will be lining up against Brandin Cooks the most with plenty of Robert Woods too. Kupp, meanwhile, will draw the single worst CB in the NFL in P.J. Williams. In his two games against the Saints (also with P.J. in coverage), Kupp has gone for 11-8-116-0 & 6-5-89-1 (got injured in 4th quarter of the last game). He got 10 targets in the first game of the season to solidify his stature as Jared Goff’s safety blanket.
John Brown, Bills ($6300/$5200) – It’s strange to say, but Brown is no longer just a one-dimensional deep play threat in this Bills offense this year. Brown played 86% of snaps, generated 10 targets and made seven receptions last week against a very tough Jets secondary. This week, he draws a lousy Giants secondary with a matchup against my 12th worst rated CB in DeAndre Baker. Brown is running more intermediate routes in Buffalo, which makes him much more likely for a higher target total and vastly improves his quality of target.
Don’t Forget About…
Tyrell Williams, Raiders ($5900/$4400) – Once again, these salaries were locked in before the Raiders shocked the world and beat up on the Broncos on Monday night. Tyrell Williams showed the world he indeed could be a legit WR1 for Derek Carr and do it against a very strong defense. The Raiders will likely be trailing much of this game, which means more pass attempts for Carr and more target opportunities for Tyrell the Gazelle. Williams caught a TD in week one of 2018 against the Chiefs then went for 12-6-71-0 against them in Week 15 while still with the Chargers.
Favorite GPP Play…
Mecole Hardman, Chiefs ($4700/$4800) – You don’t get an opportunity for a player with this much upside in this potent of an offense at this price point very often. There are folks that worry about how much DeMarcus Robinson will factor in, but I really don’t see that happening. I’m sure Hardman won’t have as big of a role as Tyreek, but he was brought here to literally fill the Tyreek Hill role. Also, earlier this week, Tyreek himself tweeted his blessing to Mecole (below) to “hold it down” for him while he is out. Don’t forget about how brittle Sammy Watkins has been throughout his career too so there is always that chance that not only will Hardman be the Chiefs WR2, but maybe even the WR1.
|NAME||TEAM||OPP||DVOA TOTAL||DEF VS TE||SLOT%||TGT SHARE||AIR YD SHARE||ADOT||CATCH%||SEPERATION||FPTS PER TGT|
WEEK 2 DFS NFL TE BREAKDOWN
Travis Kelce, Chiefs ($8000/$7300) – He’s going to be the top choice at TE pretty much every week so get used to it. This week, Tyreek Hill is gone, and while we are all speculating whether it will be Mecole Hardman or DeMarcus Robinson, the very likely scenario is more targets for the All-Pro TE. Last season, the Raiders finished dead last in DVOA against the TE and surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to the position. Last year, Kecle racked up 22-17-230-2 against the Raiders in two games, and without Jonathan Abram to help slow him down, we can surely expect similar numbers on Sunday.
Darren Waller, Raiders ($5400/$3300) – Waller generated a whopping 31% target share last week against the Denver Broncos, and that has the DFS community abuzz. The matchup this week is even better, as the Chiefs were the eighth-worst DVOA against the TE last year while also giving up the most fantasy points to the position. Jared Cook had a game of 8-7-100-1 for the Raiders against these Chiefs last year, and with Waller’s obvious physical skills and Oakland in passing situations all afternoon, I think he gets close to that number here.
Evan Engram, Giants ($6400/$5200) – Another team that is hurting as far as pass target options, the Giants might only have three active receivers suiting up on Sunday. Engram had 14 targets a week ago, and that was with a healthy Sterling Shepard active. The Bills are tough against the TE position with safety Micah Hyde usually locking in on them so I am not expecting another huge game from him this week. Ideally, the Giants will move him around the formation by splitting him out wide and in the slot to keep the defense off-balance.
Delanie Walker, Titans ($5900/$3500) – Walker went for 6-5-55-2 against the Browns in week one. Hunter Henry had 5-4-60-0 against the Colts in week one. We can’t count on a touchdown, let alone a multiple TD game, out of Walker this or any week, but what we do want to know is how likely he is gonna get us to the 2x threshold we seek. The Colts were fourth-worst in DVOA against the TE a year ago, and Walker has averaged seven targets per game against them with Marcus Mariota as his QB.
Don’t Forget About…
Mark Andrews, Ravens ($5200/$3400) – I am taking a bit of a leap here but stick with me. Yes, Andrews basically split snaps with Hayden Hurst in week one but a deeper dive shows that Andrews had a 64% snap share during the first three quarters against the Dolphins. Andrews racked up an Impressive 8-8-108-1 stat line against the Dolphins last week but as I have said, that matchup isn’t a fair comparison to any others in the NFL. Except, possibly the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have never been able to stop the TE position and this years version with Budda Baker guarding them appears to be a complete wasteland. Andrews price is up after his big week one but I don’t see a lot of folks using him in DFS this week.
Favorite GPP Play…
George Kittle, 49ers ($7100/$6800) – The middle ground between Kelce and Engram, Kittle has little downside, which is perfect for our GPP needs. It was good to see him targeted 10 times last week in his first regular-season game with Jimmy Garoppolo since his breakout of 2018. The Bengals secondary is well below average, and their safeties are absolutely atrocious. This gives Kittle nice leverage, especially on the Kyle Shanahan drag routes that the 49ers love to call to pick up first downs.
New England Patriots ($4900/$3700) – A team that is 20-point favorites and won’t break the bank is always a good DST play. The Dolphins offensive line is completely ruined now with Laremy Tunsil in Houston and his replacement Julien Davenport out for the season with a broken knee bone that he suffered in practice on Thursday. This game is going to be a massacre, and the Patriots DST could wind up being a 15+ point generator this week.
Baltimore Ravens ($5000/$3800) – Expensive but at home against a rookie QB and a horrible offensive line. The Cardinals did put up 27 points last week against the Lions, but they needed five quarters to do it. Arizona also allowed five sacks, five deflected passes, two forced fumbles and one interception. The Ravens should be able to get double-digit points here in this matchup.
Dallas Cowboys ($4700/$3300) – Last week, an Eagles team that lost DT Malik Jackson sacked Case Keenum once, hit him eight times and deflected six passes. The Cowboys are going to completely terrorize this offensive line and Case Keenum all afternoon. This is an elite defensive unit for far below that price on DK this week.
Denver Broncos ($4500/$3900) – Who knows the Chicago Bears offense more than their former defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio? The Broncos defense laid an egg in their first game with Fangio, but we can take that price decrease and use it to our advantage. As bad as the Broncos defense was last week, the Bears offense was even worse. Mitch Trubisky throwing into traffic and no RBs differentiating themselves does not bode well for the future.
Pittsburgh Steelers ($3500/$2400) – If you are in the market for a near minimum priced DST this week, the Colts are a solid option, but the Steelers grade out slightly better. For whatever reason, the Patriots always have Pittsburgh’s number and really laid a whopping on them last week. But the Seahawks offense is slow, run-heavy and a lot less efficient on the road than at home.