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Week 11 Cash Game Cornerstones

David Johnson Arizona Cardinals

Welcome back to week 11 of Cash Game Cornerstones! If you’ve been playing cash games on Draftkings this year you’ve probably noticed some changes to prior years.  First of all the quarterback pricing is has been way different.  Aside from Pat Mahomes quarterbacks just aren’t priced above $7k anymore.  This means that all of the quarterbacks are priced in a very narrow range.  When picking your cash game quarterback you’d better pick correctly because with the increased scoring across the NFL so many of these guys are smashing their prices on a weekly basis, throwing the traditional 3x value threshold out the window.

The average point total of NFL games has spiked to 48 points as opposed to the historical number of 44, we’ve seen a significant bump in DFS scoring as well.  In combination with the overall DFS community getting sharper and cash games more efficient, it’s no longer safe to just lock in players that have a safe floor but now we need guys that have the ability to crush their price tags on a weekly basis.


Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,600) – This play certainly carries some risk.  Fitzpatrick turned the ball over four times last week and the Bucs failed to score a touchdown.  That said Fitzmagic still moved the ball effectively and finished with 406 passing yards.  In games, Fitzpatrick has started this season and not been benched he’s finished with 19.7, 26, 31.1, 34, and 45.2 DK points.

From a match-up perspective, there’s nothing particularly scary about a match-up with the G-men who are returning home after playing in the Bay on Monday Night.  The Bucs have shown zero ability to run the ball effectively and have a wide variety of pass-catching weapons that the Giants just don’t have the personnel to match-up with.  The Bucs defense is also atrocious so I think it’s reasonable to expect that the Bucs are going to have to put up some points here to keep up.  The floor isn’t as safe as we’d like but at his price, Fitzpatrick has the chance to absolutely smash value.

Running Back

David Johnson ($7.500) – Early in the season DJ got off to a really slow start due to a combination of poor offensive line play, an inept quarterback, and horrendous play calling.  However, under new OC Byron Leftwich, the Cardinals are doing a better job of getting DJ in space & the results have shown up in the box score as DJ has at least 100 scrimmage yards since the switch.  A home match-up against a Raiders team that has allowed the 29th most yards from scrimmage to RBs this season is as good as it gets for DJ.  

Had Johnson not gotten off to such a slow start he’d easily be priced in the mid to high $8k’s in this spot.  DFS is all about match-ups and value and we have both of those going for us here so fire up David Johnson as a cash game cornerstone this week.

Wide Receiver

Kenny Golladay ($5,800) – Golladay had been unusually quiet until finally finding pay dirt late in last Sunday’s game and finished with 6/78/1 with a whopping 13 targets.  Since trading away Tate, BabyTron has played 142 of the Lions 148 offensive snaps (96%).  Now the Lions are facing a home match-up with the Panthers and are likely going to be without Marvin Jones who has missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with a knee injury.   With a dearth of reliable pass catchers, there is simply nowhere else for the targets to go.  If Jones sits I think it’s realistic to pencil Golladay in for 10 targets with the potential for more if game script breaks his way.

In games this season where Golladay has received at least seven targets he’s produced DK point totals of 19.8, 19.8, 17.3, and 20.9. The targets will be there this week I have little doubt that Golladay will produce.

Tight End

Zach Ertz ($6,600) – I searched really hard to find a cheap tight end that I trusted enough to put in this spot but I just couldn’t find one.  My general roster construction almost always leaves me paying less than $4k for a tight end on Draft Kings but it’s pretty barren down there this week.

Jared Cook’s volume fluctuates week to week and that team is a dumpster fire and the Cardinals are decent against tight ends.  Jordan Reed has been bad all year and that offense just lacks fantasy appeal.  Ben Watson isn’t running enough routes.  C.J. Uzomah has 3 catches combined the last two weeks.  Ricky Seals-Jones is viable but if I’m playing DJ I’m not sure I want to Cardinals in my lineup.  Jonnu Smith is intriguing but you’re basically banking on him scoring in three straight weeks after not being utilized most of the season.

Ertz heads to the Superdome, the Coors Field of the NFL, coming off a 13 catch performance against the Cowboys.  On the season Ertz has double-digit targets in 7 of 9 games and found the end zone in the two games where the targets weren’t there.  At a tight end position where so many guys have a floor of pretty much zero, Ertz gives you a high floor and a mega high ceiling.

Ertz basically gets WR1 volume but isn’t priced like it.  If you look at DVOA and fantasy points allowed to the position it’ll look like a tough match-up for Ertz but there’s a lot of noise in those numbers, especially at the tight end position.  The Eagles/Saints game projects as the highest scoring game on the main slate with a 56 point implied total.  The Saints have been very stingy against the run this year which should lead to a few more pass attempts to Carson Wentz this week and despite the addition to Golden Tate, I’d still expect Ertz to be his go-to target.


Arizona Cardinals ($3,100) – The most important thing to look for when picking a defense is the ability to create pressure.  The Cardinals have the 4th highest adjusted sack rate in the NFL and are facing off against a Raiders offensive line that has allowed the 25th highest adjusted sack rate on the season.

On offense, the Raiders are banged up.  Marshawn Lynch is out. Martavus Bryant is out.  Jordy Nelson is questionable but looks like a long shot to play.  That leaves the Raiders with Doug Martin at running back and a three-wide receiver set of Brandon LaFell, Seth Roberts, and I guess Dwayne Harris.  To say that’s not exactly scary is an understatement.  Not to mention we are definitely not afraid of Derek Carr who doesn’t push the ball deep down the field.

Other Thoughts

Drew Brees is very much in play if you can squeeze him in.  The Eagles are missing multiple pieces in their secondary.

Andrew Luck and Marcus Mariota are both under-priced in what is potentially a shootout at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Eli Manning is playable this week but it’s still gross (especially on Fanduel).

Dion Lewis is in a great bounce-back spot after failing as the chalk last week.

Saquan Barkley squares off against a Tampa Bay defense that’s allowed four straight 100 yard games. If he’s potentially going overlooked I absolutely love him in tournaments.

Michael Thomas is in a smash spot against an Eagles defense that is missing their top corner, Ronald Darby. Thomas is viable in all formats.

T.Y. Hilton is overdue for one of his patented monster games where he goes bananas for something like 7/150/2.  He’s my favorite GPP play of the week.

If I’m punting at tight end it’ll probably be with Jonnu Smith. I actually ended up playing him and Mariota in cash last week and that worked out okay so might go back to the well again.

The Steelers skill position players are all under-priced in what is not as scary of a match-up that it used to be against the Jags.

It’s looking murky but if we get a clear indication that the Ravens are going to start Lamar Jackson and get confirmation that he’ll be the man and not rotating with RG3 he’s a very interesting play at $4,700.

DeAndre Hopkins isn’t being talked about enough across the industry for a guy that might get 12+targets against a bad Redskins secondary.

Thanks for reading and best of luck this week!

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