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NFL DFS Cash Game Plays

by Justin Bailey
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

It’s hard to believe that we’re in the final week of the NFL regular season. I’ve rather enjoyed writing this column for Rotoworld and I hope that it was able to help you win some money along the way of this 17 week journey. Week 17 in DFS is always an interesting one because you need to pay attention to which teams may rest their starters because they cannot advance further in the playoff hunt. The first team that comes to mind for me, is the Washington Redskins. There were already talks of them potentially resting some starting players. This makes players like Jordan Reed an unnecessary risk for cash games, despite him being an excellent play in normal weeks. To me, it’s more about avoiding players on teams that have made the playoffs, but can’t improve their position than it is about using players on teams that are eliminated from the playoff race. Feel free to use those players unless we hear otherwise about potential playing time. I’d like to thank everyone for reading my content this year. Now, let’s get to Week 17!


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Matt Ryan ($7,600): For as many weeks as I can remember, the “pick on the Saints defense” strategy has led to my writing up a QB facing the Saints and that trend will continue into Week 17 despite Matt Ryan being “meh” for the majority of the season. For $7,600, he only needs 15.6 points to hit value for your cash team. The Saints’ defense hasn’t budged in terms of Football Outsiders’ adjusted DVOA standings. They still rank 32nd in pass DVOA and rank 32nd in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted average fantasy points allowed (aFPA) metric to opposing QBs. The Saints have allowed two or more passing touchdowns in four of their last five games and they’ve surrendered the most passing touchdowns (43) on the season while allowing a league-high 7.8 yards per attempt. The Falcons also have the week’s highest implied team total at 28.5 points.


Eli Manning ($7,500): It may not feel great rostering Eli Manning after his putrid performance against the Vikings, but he was without his prized possession in Odell Beckham Jr. This week I may feel a little more comfortable turning to Eli, given he gets OBJ back, he’s at home where he averaged nearly 300 passing yards per game this year and Vegas has given this game one of the weeks’ highest over/unders at 50 points. I was really excited at the fact that these two teams rank top-two in terms of pace of play, but this may not be the case with Chip Kelly out of town. However, I still do like Eli in this spot against an Eagles’ defense that ranks 31st in schedule-adjusted aFPA to opposing QBs and the Giants have scored 89 percent of their touchdowns (4for4) via the pass – the highest percentage among all teams.


Devonta Freeman ($8,800): Just like you can target the Saints through the air, you can also target them on the ground and Devonta Freeman is one of my favorite plays on the week. He hasn’t exactly been lighting up the stat sheet with 129 yards on 47 carries, so while the efficiency has been lacking, the volume and the matchup are both there. The Saints rank 29th in rush DVOA, 32nd pass DVOA against RBs and 30th in schedule-adjusted aFPA to opposing RBs. Freeman boasts the second most carries  (43) and rushing touchdowns (10) from inside the red zone and Freeman has 58 red zone looks (rush or target) this season, which is more than the Falcons’ WRs and TEs combined.


DeAngelo Williams ($8,200): For the second week in a row, I’ll be headed back to the DeAngelo Williams well. This putrid Cleveland defense ranks28th in rush DVOA and they’re allowing 4.6 yards per attempt. The Vegas lines would also suggest that this game sets up well for Williams, as they’re 10-point favorites. Williams has seen 22.6 touches per game in the last five games, while scoring six touchdowns in that same span. He’s one of the few trustable fantasy commodities on this Steelers roster outside of Antonio Brown. His red zone usage is perhaps my favorite reason for rostering him. D-Will leads the league with 10 rushing touchdowns inside the five-yard line and he’s second in rush attempts with 16. Williams’ volume, price and matchup make him a great play against the Browns.


Odell Beckham Jr. ($8,900): You can make a case for any of the top-tier WRs that are playing on Sunday. Julio Jones and Odell Beckham JR are essentially 1a and 1b for me. Both WRs have elite matchups and dominate market share for their respective teams, but OBJ comes in $400 cheaper than Julio, so I’ll be using that as my tiebreaker. If you have the spare $400, I’d side with Julio.  Prior to the Week 15 game against Carolina, OBJ topped 100 yards receiving in six straight games, while scoring five touchdowns in five of those six games. The Eagles rank 29th in schedule-adjusted aFPA to opposing WRs and 23rd in pass DVOA against No. 1 WRs. As the primary receiving threat on this team, OBJ should be in for a fine Sunday.


Michael Floyd ($6,500): This may be a case where people are scared off by the perceived tough matchup against Seattle, but I don’t think I am all that worried. Outside of Richard Sherman, this defense can be exploited. The other two corners for this team are DeShawn Shead and Jeremy Lane and both corners received negative coverage grades from Pro Football Focus.  Carson Palmer threw up a 363-3-1 line in Seattle last time these teams squared off and Michael Floyd was the biggest benefactor of that game with a 7-113-2 receiving line. Since Week 8, Floyd has seen 21 percent of the Cardinals’ market share, which trails only Larry Fitzgerald, but Floyd has been the most productive WR on this team in that span in terms of fantasy points and real football production. At  $6,500, I think Floyd makes for a more than serviceable WR3 for your team.


Zach Miller ($5,900): Zach Miller has been quite consistent when he has been a full time player in this offense. Since Week 14, Miller has seen six or more targets in every game, while catching five or more passes and topping 55 yards in every game in that same span. In that three-week span, Miller has run 86 pass routes and he’s been targeted on 23.3 percent of those routes.  With Alshon Jeffery out for the year, the Bears don’t really have that many options to rely on overall, and Miller has been a factor in this offense, as he leads them with 21 percent market share over the last three weeks. It’s also a great matchup on paper as the Lions rank 30th in pass DVOA against TEs and 32nd in schedule-adjusted aFPA to opposing TEs. Miller didn’t practice on Wednesday as he’s battling a toe injury, so be sure to keep an eye on that.


Zach Ertz ($5,700): It may feel like chasing points, but it’s not chasing points if the player is still a good play and that’s exactly what Zach Ertz is against the Giants. He’s priced fairly cheap at $5,700 and since Week 10, Ertz leads the Eagles with 22 percent market share and red zone targets (5).  It’s a solid matchup on paper as the Giants rank 27th in schedule-adjusted aFPA to opposing TEs and 24th in pass DVOA against TEs. He has also been red-hot as of late with 37 targets in the last three weeks, with five or more receptions in three of those games. Ertz is one of my favorite TE plays on the slate.

Justin Bailey
Justin Bailey has been working with Rotoworld since 2015. His stat-forward analysis can also be found on FantasyLabs and 4for4. Follow him on Twitter - @justinbailey32.