Had another great week last week here, so lets just keep that late season ball rolling. You know the drill by now. I list my favorite cash game picks for Sunday below in the order that I like them in the position. Then I give you one of the cash game lineups that I am using out of a combination of the guys listed above. With that out of the way, let's get right into the picks.
Matthew Stafford ($7,800) - Again going with the QB who is facing the Saints this week. Last week I decided not to recommend Winston, which I thought I may end up regretting, but it turned out to be right. This week I am going back to recommending the QB though. Stafford and the Lions run a different offense than the Bucs, as the Lions don't really have a run game. The Saints are still a bad defense regardless of how mediocre they looked last week. Stafford will be throwing the ball wherever he wants in this game, so expect big things here. At least 300 yards and 2 TD's is almost assured, and the upside is that of his best game all year.
Russell Wilson ($8,800) - So I probably don't need to list his stats, but I feel like doing it anyways. Over his last four games, Wilson has averaged 31.7 FanDuel points a game. Those are numbers all other QB's can only dream of averaging over a four game span. This week won't be the one where he slows down, as they face the Browns. Not much else to say other then ride the streak if you don't feel comfortable playing Stafford on Monday night.
David Johnson ($6,500) - Since becoming the starter two weeks ago, Johnson has received 24 touches in each game. The Cardinals offense has been playing at its peak lately, which is causing defenses to be spread thin trying to defend the pass. Johnson has been capitalizing on this, going for 120+ total yards in each game. That is all Johnson needs to do to return value as well, as he will see at least two receptions to go along with it. A TD may come in this game against the Eagles, but he doesn't even need to score to return his value here.
Denard Robinson ($6,300) - The Falcons defense has been awful. They don't know how to defend the run anymore, which is great news for those of us rostering Denard Robinson this week. T.J. Yeldon hasn't been ruled out yet, but he is doubtful for the game, which puts Robinson in the drivers seat for 20 carries. We saw last season when Robinson can get starters worthy work, he can be a very valuable asset. Even last week when he went for 75 yards on 14 carries he showed that potential is still in there. Factoring in this matchup against the Falcons, along with Robinson's ability, he has a great shot of going for 100+ yards here.
Jeremy Hill ($6,000) - Hill has the best matchup out of all of the guys I recommending here at the position, but does come with slightly more risk. That risk however I believe is being mitigated by A.J. McCarron being the starting QB this week. Because the Bengals know that controlling the game will be key in trying to get them to win. This means a lot of work for Jeremy Hill. The Bengals are facing the 49ers, and as I mentioned, they present the best matchup possible. Each of the past four games the 49ers have allowed 6 TD's, with at least one in each of those games. Hill will almost assuredly find the endzone here, the question just becomes how many yards is he able to accumulate in the process.
Tim Hightower ($6,300) - After a week where I couldn't find many good RB's, this week we have an abundance, especially at this price point. Hightower is the fourth guy that I feel comfortable with in this tier alone. There are other guys who are higher priced that are good plays, but with the savings you can get here, I see no reason in playing one of them. The ball will be moving all over the field on Monday night, which allows opportunity for more plays by both sides. The Saints last week gave Hightower the ball 28 times. Granted he was only able to pick up 85 yards on that big of work, but the workload is one that should be steady. I think Hightower finds the endzone in this game, and with the workload he will be getting, this makes him a safe play.
Doug Baldwin ($7,400) - I might as well say the same thing I did last week and just update the numbers. Over the last 5 weeks he is averaging 6 receptions, 103 yards, and 1.8 TD's a game. He also has 8 TD's in the last three games. Any recent stat that you use for Baldwin doesn't even do him justice for how well he has been playing. The matchup again is great here, as the Seahawks are facing the Browns. Don't overthink this, he is the top WR play, and it isn't even close for Cash Games.
DeAndre Hopkins ($8,700) - The recent slip in Hopkins play has allowed for a buying opportunity on Hopkins. Sure T.J. Yates will be his QB, but that doesn't matter to me. I have seen Yates play a competent before and I expect him to be able to get the ball out to Hopkins. I mean where else will Yates throw the ball? Remember this is a guy on the season who has over 1200 yards and 10 TD's. This week the Texans are facing the Colts, a team that is allowing teams to throw the ball all over them. This is the week we see the early season Hopkins come back.
Calvin Johnson ($8,000) - The Lions are facing the Saints this week if you didn't get that from my Stafford write-up. Last week Johnson was held to only one reception for 16 yards. Before that game though, Johnson was averaging over 90 yards a game, with 6 TD's in his last 7 games. This week expect nothing less than 90 yards and a TD, and a good shot at a lot more than that. This makes him one of the safer plays at the position.
Jeremy Maclin ($6,700) - These last three weeks Alex Smith seems to have remembered that Maclin was a teammate of his. For that span Maclin is averaging 8 receptions, 107 yards, and 1 TD a game. Last week was only 6 receptions for 68 yards, but the weather was a huge factor for that one. With the rain and bad weather, he was still able to put up a nice statline. Think about what that could have been in nicer weather. This week the Chiefs are facing the Ravens, a team that is allowing the most points to opposing WR's, and was just torched by the Seahawks.
Golden Tate ($6,900) - Most was summed up with Stafford and Johnson, so here is the Tate angle. He has been averaging 8 receptions for the past 4 games, with 3 TD's and a little over 60 yards a game. While the yardage output isn't ideal, with how much he has been seeing the ball, he is a safe play. And again factor in the Saints and you have a great play here.
Rob Gronkowski ($8,500) - Gronk is healthy again, which puts him in consideration for cash games again. He is the clear cut top option like every week when he plays. The only question is whether you can fit his salary into your team or not. I think this week you might be able to with a lot of lower priced RB's that are safe plays this week.
Benjamin Watson ($5,600) - So a lot of points will be put on the board Monday night. The Lions have allowed 10 TD's to opposing TE's this year, tied for the second most. Not only are they allowing a lot of TD's, they are also doing it every week. The 10 scores have been spread out over 9 weeks, meaning it wasn't just a couple of big games, but rather a pattern of a hole in there defense. Over the last 8 games, Watson has averaged just over 6 receptions, about 75 yards, and a TD in half of the games. I feel confident in saying that he should reach 6 receptions, 75 yards, and a TD to go along with it on Monday night.
Matt Prater ($4,500) - Finally a minimum priced kicker I can feel confident in playing this week. As I have stated with all of the other Lions picks, they will have no trouble putting points on the board. I expect a high scoring game on Monday night, with the Lions constantly getting the ball in the redzone. Because the Lions won't be able to probably finish every drive with a TD, this leaves room for Prater to kick a couple of field goals.
Kansas City Chiefs ($5,200) - Over the last 7 games, the Chiefs defense has scored over 12 points in six of those games, averaging 14.4 points per game. That alone make them a safe play, along with a top end play for this week. Now factor in that the Chiefs are facing the Ravens, and you have almost a 100% chance that they put up double digits again this week.
My Cash Lineup:
QB: Matthew Stafford
RB: David Johnson
RB: Denard Robinson
WR: Doug Baldwin
WR: DeAndre Hopkins
WR: Calvin Johnson
TE: Benjamin Watson
Kicker: Matt Prater
Defense: Kansas City Chiefs