Single-Game contests have emerged as popular NFL DFS formats this season. Essentially, you are picking five fantasy players from one game with one designated player getting a 1.5x multiplier on his overall fantasy points. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend dipping your toe in the proverbial water. It’s a great way to make these Primetime matchups even more entertaining.
For this article, we will focus on FanDuel’s Single Game Contests with strategy and advice in the corresponding write-ups. The goal is offer cash game solutions and potential tournament pivots/sleepers for each format.
The following games will be covered:
Thursday Night Football – Oakland @ San Francisco
Sunday Night Football – Green Bay @ New England
Monday Night Football – Tennessee @ Dallas
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – Miami @ Houston
Here’s what I came up with as a cash game lineup. Take note that this is based on my personal preference by using the reasoning listed below.
MVP – Derek Carr ($16000)
FLEX – C.J. Beathard ($16000) *Questionable*
FLEX – Jared Cook ($12500)
FLEX – Robbie Gould ($9000)
FLEX – Kendrick Bourne ($6000)
There are so many injury situations to consider here, meaning this lineup could drastically change as we move closer to kickoff. The main scenario to monitor comes from San Francisco QB C.J. Beathard, who reportedly has a true 50/50 chance to play. If he’s out, Nick Mullens deserves to be a FLEX in your lineup through all formats. He hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL, but he’s minimum salary on FanDuel with low opportunity cost on this single game slate.
Kendrick Bourne is my favorite cheap play of this slate, assuming Pierre Garcon misses another game. Bourne filled in beautifully for him last week, catching seven of ten passes for 71 yards. Bourne is minimum salary on FanDuel as a nice filler if Garcon is ruled out. However, if Garcon ends up playing, he’s only $7k on FanDuel, which isn’t too far of a leap while pivoting off Bourne. You could simply swap kicker Robbie Gould for his Oakland counterpart, Daniel Carlson, to gain the extra $1000 necessary to make this move.
Derek Carr goes in the MVP spot, I guess? Nobody feels great about it, but what’s the alternative? We are hoping last week’s strong showing vs Indianapolis can spill into this Thursday night draw. At least the matchup is intriguing against a San Francisco defense that has allowed the sixth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Veteran tight end Jared Cook is the leading pass catcher for Oakland, which accurately illustrates how rough this season has been for the Raiders. Cook’s status as Derek Carr’s favorite target has seemingly been cemented by the recent Amari Cooper trade. In fact, this is a crazy matchup where the tight ends from both squads could be the best receiving options for fantasy purposes. Cook is $2k less than Kittle from San Francisco, making the decision much easier.
Additional notes. If Beathard is out, I’m swapping Mullens into his spot then stacking Matt Breida (assuming he plays) and Doug Martin in my remaining FLEX spots … Jordy Nelson is a sneaky-good pick in tournaments. He was popular in tournaments last Sunday, as everyone expected a breakout performance with Amari Cooper shipped out of town. Nelson ended up with a dud of only 1.9 FP. There’s still a chance he’ll pick up the slack in Oakland’s passing game, so keep an eye on him for tournaments.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – Green Bay @ New England
MVP – Aaron Rodgers ($17000)
FLEX – Tom Brady ($17500)
FLEX – Stephen Gostkowski ($9500)
FLEX – Randall Cobb ($8500)
FLEX – Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($7500)
This should be a fantastic game to watch and play in single game DFS formats. We are looking at strong shootout potential with a loft 57 point over/under between two teams that have been generous to opposing passing attacks at times this season. My lineup obviously reflects that sentiment while stacking Tom Brady with Aaron Rodgers and several economical pieces of the Green Bay receiving corps. Randall Cobb is expected to play this week, making for a reasonable value filler at only $8500. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is my favorite cheap pick on this slate at $7500. Fellow receiver Geronimo Allison is listed as doubtful, so MVS should maintain a healthy snap rate to keep his steady stream of production with 11.5+ fantasy points in three straight.
Additional notes. If Sony Michel (questionable) ends up sitting this one out, moving Tom Brady to James White deserves serious consideration – as White would absorb more work in the backfield. This would also allow you to upgrade Randall Cobb to RB Aaron Jones while making alterations to the sample lineup above … Rodgers and Valdes-Scantling are two fixtures in my lineup. I’ll be looking to stack Tom Brady alongside them in cash games, but I’m going a different direction in tournaments.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – Tennessee @ Dallas
MVP – Ezekiel Elliott ($17000)
FLEX – Marcus Mariota ($14000)
FLEX – Brett Maher ($10500)
FLEX – Amari Cooper ($10000)
FLEX – Tajae Sharpe ($8500)
I’m all over Ezekiel Elliott as MVP of this slate. Dallas checks in as healthy home favorites (-5) following a bye, which should send plenty of volume towards Zeke. On top of that, the Tennessee offense has been frustrating this season, and it’s hard to envision Dallas getting buried early while turning to the passing game in a comeback effort … On the other side of that equation, Marcus Mariota and the Titans’ passing attack should see reasonable volume due to game flow. The Titans haven’t been able to gain much traction on the ground this season, and they’ll likely continue to rely on Mariota with the short passing game to move the chains. As for Mariota’s receivers, we are guessing between cheap options like Corey Davis and Tajae Sharpe. Sharpe’s salary is somewhat more economical, and it makes the rest of the aforementioned sample lineup work. The Tennessee WR is coming off his best game of the season with a 7-101 line on nine targets. Also, Sharpe will have easier individual matchups than Taylor while working out of the slot … We don’t know what to expect from Amari Cooper, but Dallas said that they will feature him with a heavy snap rate right away. He’s an explosive receiver that automatically becomes the best receiving option for the Cowboys. There’s a chance he’ll see some extra targets while Dallas will look to showcase their new addition (and prove his worth) in this primetime game.
Additional notes. James White is a tempting play who almost made this cash game sample lineup. He’s the preferred option of this Titans’ backfield, especially considering that game flow could force more passing attempts and subsequent targets for Lewis … Cole Beasley had a few good games before the bye week, but I am very hesitant to utilize him on Monday. We aren’t really sure what the addition of Cooper will do to Beasley’s target share, and he’ll square off against tough slot corner Logan Ryan.