Welcome back for Week 7 of Cash Game Cornerstones. It’s kind of a strange week for cash. Teams we like to target like the Chiefs, Chargers, Falcons, Giants, Steelers, and Packers are all off of the main slate. This slate sets up perfectly for GPP’s but there’s not a lot of plays that are really super comfortable in the mid-range so I think this week sets up for a stars and scrubs approach.
C.J. Beathard: DK $4,800
I told you this week was uncomfortable for cash so let’s kick things off with Beathard. This play is more about what Beathard allows you to get into your lineups than what I really expect from Beathard.
Beathard is super cheap on DraftKings and is facing a Rams defense that ranks middle of the pack in DVOA but has been lit up by Kirk Cousins and just gave up over 300 yards to Case Keenum last week.
The 49ers have some weapons to work with, with speedster Marquise Goodwin getting healthy, the same can be said for explosive back Matt Breida and SPARQ freak Tight End George Kittle. I think it’s likely the 49ers are trailing in this game which should set Beathard up for close to 40 pass attempts. Vegas certainly agree as they’re currently 10 point home underdogs but do post a solid 21 point implied team total.
Beathard is no stiff either and he has 4 rushing touchdowns in just 8 career starts, including one on Monday night.
It likely won’t be pretty and you’re not gonna want to watch but I like Beathard’s odds of exceeding value on Sunday.
Baker Mayfield: FD $7,100
On Fanduel the grossness continues. Baker has pretty much been a disappointment for fantasy purposes but luckily he gets a match-up with a Buccaneers defense that can’t stop anyone.
The Bucs rank dead last in Football Outsiders DVOA against the pass and have allowed the most yards per play in the league. The state of the Buccaneers secondary is downright embarrassing and the teams have allowed a 300-yard passer in every game this season.
Tampa Bay did fire defensive coordinator Mike Smith this week but it’s hard to imagine the new coordinator making significant changes in only a week–play Baker with confidence this week.
Todd Gurley: DK $9,600
The benefits of playing a cheap quarterback like Beathard are that he allows you to more comfortably fit in an absolute stud like Gurley.
The 49ers have a solid run defense but that doesn’t matter to a beast like Gurley. The Rams offensive line leads the league in adjusted line yards and with that space to operate Gurley takes advantage.
Gurley has been a scoring machine with 10 touchdown’s already this season. With 28 touches inside the 10-yard line, Gurley leads the NFL running backs by a landslide in fantasy points scored.
I’d expect him to the Rams running back to find his way into the box again Sunday as the Rams have a slate high 31 point implied team total.
Ezekiel Elliott: FD $8,400
Zeke is the Cowboys best offensive player. There’s a lot of things that I feel fairly confident coach Jason Garrett doesn’t understand about the modern NFL but at least, for the time being, he’s aware of how special Zeke is. THE Ohio State product has accounted to 50 percent of the Cowboys offensive touches this season.
The Redskins defensive front ranks a paltry 28th in adjusted line yards. Most specifically they’ve really struggled up the middle where only the Lions (who Zeke already crushed) rank worse. As you can see in the NextGen Stats Carry Chart below, Zeke does a lot of his damage between the tackles.
Zeke has scored 5 touchdowns in just 3 career games against the Skins and I’d expect him to tack on another one on Sunday.
Nick Chubb: DK $3,600 / FD $4,800
The Browns decided Friday was a good time to trade away Carlos Hyde. I have no idea why this had to wait until Friday but that’s Browns for you and here we are.
Nick Chubb is pretty much free this week. You should play him everywhere.
Fellow running back Duke Johnson is also in play but I’d definitely prefer him only in Draft Kings GPP’s.
Adam Thielen: DK $8,600
At this point, I probably don’t need to add much analysis to give you a reason to play Thielen. Just go look at his game log.
The Vikings have really struggled to get anything going on the ground this season. Luckily their coaching staff is smart enough to realize that their best odds of moving the ball fall on the right arm of Kirk Cousins. Thielen has been the biggest beneficiary of the QB upgrade in Minnesota. Thielen has double-digit targets and at least 100 yards receiving in every game this season.
From a match-up perspective, Thielen is in a great spot as well this week. The Jets secondary is banged up with outside corner Trumaine Johnson, slot corner Buster Skrine, and Safety Marcus Maye all expected to miss this week. The Jets have given up either 100 yards or a touchdown to fellow slot men Dede Westbrook (9/130), Jarvis Landry (8/103), Golden Tate (7/79/1), and Chester Rodgers (4/55/1).
Jarvis Landry: FD $6,500
It’s been pretty ugly if you’ve been playing Landry on a weekly basis. Landry has been targeted at least 10 times in every game that Mayfield has played for the Browns. Unfortunately, many of the passes have been off the mark and it has resulted in some extremely inefficient box scores for Landry.
Landry ranks second this week in Josh Hermseyer’s Air Yards Buy-Low Model and he’s in a prime bounce-back spot. As I mentioned with Mayfield above, the Bucs have been getting smashed via the air this season. Only the Eagles have allowed more receiving yards to opposing lead wide receivers.
David Njoku: DK $4,200 / FD $5,700
Are we really loading up on Browns pass catchers? I told you this slate was gross.
I think at this point we’ve established that the Bucs are bad at pass defense but they’re REALLY bad against tight ends. The Bucs have allowed a league-high 98.9 yards receiving to opposing tight ends. Njoku has received 12, 10, and 7 in three starts with Baker Mayfield under center.
From a talent perspective, there aren’t many tight ends in the league that can match-up with Njoku. Njoku is a freak athlete that ran a 4.62 40 at 6’4″ 246 pounds at the combine and PlayerProfiler.com lists his most comparable player from a metrics perspective as Travis Kelce.
It’s a little uncomfortable but I think I’m okay with multiple Browns in my cash game lineups this week.
Buffalo Bills: DK $2,300 / FD 3,400
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t love paying up for defense in cash games. The Bills are basically free on both sites this week. For as terrible as the offense has looked the Bills defense has looked somewhat serviceable this season. The Bills D has generated multiple sacks in every game this season and forced multiple turnovers in four straight games.
The Colts can’t run the ball and I’d expect another 40 to 50 pass attempts for Andrew Luck this week which should generate plenty of opportunities for the Bills.