While regular season fantasy is over, the DFS season continues. With wildcard weekend upon us starting with the Chiefs vs the Texans this afternoon, it is time to get yourself ready. As I was doing during the regular season, I am going to be providing my top cash game picks for you. Because it is such a small slate with only four different games, I will be providing 2 to 3 guys at each position I feel safe with to use in cash games this weekend. As usual I will also supply one of my cash game lineups for you guys to look at. So let's get right into those picks now.
Kirk Cousins ($8,000) - The salary on Cousins just isn't rising as fast as it should be. In his past 10 games, Cousins has averaged 22.34 FanDuel points a game. Those are elite numbers at the QB position, which makes it surprising that he has the 4th highest QB salary this weekend. The Packers secondary just isn't the same without Sam Shileds, who appears like he will miss this weekend. That means DeSean Jackson has a better chance of breaking one of his patented long TD's in this game. Also with teams not knowing how to stop Jordan Reed, can we expect that the Packers know how either. In such a sort slate, with the other top QB playing in terrible conditions, Cousins becomes the safest QB out there.
Alex Smith ($7,100) - I may end up kicking myself for this one, but with this salary it is the right move. Regardless of what Smith has done in the postseason previously, he is so consistent and at a cheap price that you have to strongly consider using him here. While week 1 numbers don't hold much weight this late in the year, he did post just over 22 points against the Texans that week. More comforting then that is the fact that in the past 10 games he has only had less than 14.5 points twice, and those totals were 12.54 and 13.42, numbers that won't kill you. All you need out of Smith is for him to not kill you, and that is exactly what you will get. My guess is that he goes for his usual 17 points and moves on.
Before I get into my two picks at the Running Back position, let me just say that I don't trust any of these players, as the two guys I wanted to play, Marshawn Lynch and DeAngelo Williams, are already ruled out this weekend. That leaves us with these next couple of guys to go with.
Jeremy Hill ($6,700) - It just feels wrong writing about Jeremy Hill as a safe cash game option, but that is what the wildcard round has reduced us to. The two games that Hill faced the Steelers weren't good, going for a combined 76 rushing yards, but I am optimistic it will be different this time. Last time the Bengals fell behind early, which forced them to abandon the run. Excluding that one game, the last five games Hill has averaged a little over 18 rushing attempts a game. Clearly the Bengals are wanting to pound the football with Hill, and that shouldn't be any different here. As long as the Bengals don't let the game get out of hand, near 20 touches for 80 yards and a TD can be a statline that is expected.
Eddie Lacy ($6,000) - Again this goes to show how bad the position is.The Redskins have the worst run defense out of the teams playing this weekend. Over the last five weeks the Redskins have allowed 5 rushing TD's. Lacy for the last 7 weeks has been a bit hit or miss, but he has been more hit than miss. Over that span he is averaging 10.8 FanDuel points a game. While that isn't great, in only one of the games he saw less than 11 rushing attempts. In this game I think the Packers know they need to sustain a run game to get the game going, and that means relying on Eddie Lacy. My guess is somewhere around 18 touches for a combined 90 yards and a TD.
I don't trust Peterson for cash games here. He is still ailing, and the cold weather is not good for someone who is nursing an injury. He was also stuffed by the Seahawks earlier in the year. He is a GPP play only for me.
Antonio Brown ($9,500) - Yes I know how high the salary is on Brown, but you need to play him in your cash game lineups. I think that it is a near lock that Brown catches 10 receptions for over 100 yards and a TD in this game. By not playing him you are putting yourself behind here. While in the two games against the Bengals he has only had 13 receptions for 134 yards and a TD, there is a reason for it. The first game was when Roethlisberger first came back from his early season injury, and was rusty. The second games was because DeAngelo Williams stole two TD's at the goaline in that game. Well Roethlisbeger is fully healthy, and the RB of choice is now Fitzgerald Toussaint. Yeah Brown will see plenty of targets to get his numbers.
A..J. Green ($8,300) - You know who has played great against his opponent this year? Yeah that's right, A.J. Green has lit up the Steelers so far, accumulating 17 receptions for 250 yards and 2 TD's. Just like Brown felt like a lock for 100+ yards and a TD, I think Green is firmly in that territory as well. Because of how unpredictable the RB position is going to be, I want to know for certain I am getting production out of my WR's to make up for anything they may lack. I am also not worried about McCarron being under center, as the second game that Green had against the Steelers was when McCarron came on for an injured Andy Dalton, who proceeded to find Green for a long TD.
Doug Baldwin ($7,300) - Okay so there are really only two receivers that I fully trust this weekend, but Baldwin is the next closest one for me. Before last weeks blowout of the Cardinals, Baldwin had 11 TD's in a span of 5 games. If it weren't for the weather, Baldwin would be a surefire cash game play for me in the same tier as the two guys before him. The one thing that I am going to bank on with this pick is the fact that teams can't go games without still throwing the ball around 50% of the time, especially a RB deficient Seahawks team. While there may be some ugly drops out there, I think that the volume that he will receive can be enough for him to make him a safe play this weekend.
Jordan Reed ($7,400) - He is by far the top option at the position for cash games, and it isn't close. He is starting to run into the Gronkowski problem of trying to fit his salary in with the rest of the guys. Just know that before the meaningless game last week, he had three consecutive weeks of 22+ FanDuel points. The Packers defense is struggling currently to stop people, and really no team has found an answer to trying to stop Jordan Reed yet.
Cooper Helfet ($4,500) - Not much to say here other then if I am not going with Reed in a cash game, I am getting out with the cheapest option possible. Helfet actually provides us an interesting option to go with, as last week he was on the field for nearly 75% of the snaps. That should happen again this week as Luke Willson has already been declared out, leaving Helfet as the starting TE. All Helfet needs to do is catch a few passes, with one of them being for a short TD. That isn't impossible, and with the weather, I think a decent possibility of happening.
Mason Crosby ($4,500) - He is at the minimum price here, and isn't playing in terrible conditions. Really its a toss up anyways with these guys, so that was my rationale.
Kansas City Chiefs ($5,100) - They are the only defense I am considering this weekend. They have been the highest scoring defense on FanDuel that is playing this weekend, and are facing a Texans team that could implode on themselves here. I know that Brian Hoyer has been decent this year, but just remember that this is not the same defense he faced in week 1. Hopkins will be shadowed by Marcus Peters all day, and probably have another saftey over the top for help as well. This then leaves other average pieces to try and beat the Chiefs, and I like those chances.
My Cash Lineup:
QB: Kirk Cousins
RB: Jeremy Hill
RB: Eddie Lacy
WR: Antonio Brown
WR: A.J. Green
WR: Doug Baldwin
TE: Cooper Helfet
Kicker: Mason Crosby
Defense: Kansas City Chiefs
And for fun I feel like making my picks for each game, so here it goes:
Chiefs beat the Texans 19-11
Bengals beat the Steelers 27-20
Vikings beat the Seahawks 23-20
Redskins beat the Packers 24-17
There you have it. Good luck this weekend, and remember to cheer for my Vikings on Sunday afternoon!