Welcome to the start of the DFS season. Some of you may have played in a slate that used the Thursday night game, but the biggest DFS games start on Sunday. I will be giving my cash game advice (50/50 games, double ups, and head to heads) for all 17 weeks this season, just like last year. Each Saturday morning you can find that weeks picks, so I will always be excluding the Thursday night game. I am doing this because I don't like playing in a slate that includes the Thursday night game for one reason. That reason is because of injuries. By the time the Thursday night game kicks off, you may not know the status of a couple of key players, and if someone sits who wasn't looking like he would, that would have potentially opened up a nice value for his backup.
Again these picks are geared toward cash games. One thing to remember with your cash game picks is that you are not trying to be contrarian. If there is a guy who seems like he will be in a lot of lineups, don't shy away from him for that reason, do that in your big tournaments. I will give you a few options at each position, and then at the end say who I am going with for my main cash game lineup. It is best to play multiple lineups in cash games for hedge reasons, but I always have one lineup that I will use more than the others. Now how about we get into the picks. Players are listed by position, and then ordered by the ones I like most.
Dak Prescott ($5,000) - Don't overthink this pick. Prescott is clearly the top QB for cash games this week, and it really isn't even that close. The savings that you get for playing a QB at the minimum price comes in handy when you want to spend up at other key positions like receiver. This goes back to my theory at the beginning, just because something is a chalk play doesn't mean you go against it. What you need to do is go with it to not fall behind the rest of your competition. It won't be hard for Dak to make value, as all he needs to do is score over 10 FanDuel points, which can be accomplished by throwing for 150 yards, rushing for 20, throwing 1 TD, while still throwing 2 INT's. That is such a low bar that it seems near impossible for him to reach it.
Matthew Stafford ($7,400) - If you don't feel as comfortable starting a rookie QB in your week one cash game lineups, Stafford is the next best alternative. In a game that is looking like it will be a shootout, Stafford comes in at a nice bargain. Over his last 8 games last year, Stafford at this price point would have exceeded his value in each of those games, averaging 21.8 points per game. Sure he doesn't have Calvin Johnson anymore, but this offense will still throw the ball, and strive without him.
Lamar Miller ($7,600) - Miller had been held hostage by the Dolphins coaching staff over the last few years. Rarely did you see them trust Miller to give him a full workload. Now that Miller is a member of the Texans, all of that can be thrown out the window. Miller is going to be the workhorse back in Houston, and what better way to announce that to the world then against a bad Bears defense? Miller should torch this defense scoring a TD and rushing for over 100 yards, while also adding in some production in the passing game as well.
DeAngelo Williams ($7,100) - Over the last eight weeks last year (the time when Bell went down and he became the starter), Williams was a force averaging 18.8 FanDuel points per game. He scored 8 TD's over that stretch, and looks to be in line to put up another big performance to start this season. The Redskins had a middle of the road defense against the run last year, which means that Williams should have no trouble doing his thing. I fully expect to see Williams post over 100 total yards and at least 1 TD in this game.
Spencer Ware ($5,400) - I am putting this one here with a big disclaimer. If Jamaal Charles is playing on Sunday, avoid at all costs. If Charles doesn't play though, Ware presents the best value at the RB position. While last year it was Charcandrick West who was the lead back, all indications out of Kansas City is that Spencer Ware is the lead back who will be seeing the goalline work as well. Again monitor the Jamaal Charles situation closely to see if this is a worthwhile play or not.
Antonio Brown ($9,300) - Brown is going to see himself in this article in a lot of weeks. He is built for DFS cash games. What you get with Brown is a high volume and high production. Unlike other high volume players like Jarvis Landry and Julian Edelman, Brown racks up the yards and TD's. Not much else needs to be said here. If you have the space, plug him in your lineups.
Julio Jones ($9,000) - Another high volume player who has big upside with yards and TD's. The matchup for Julio Jones here, while great, doesn't even factor into this decision. Last year we saw that not having a servicable receiver opposite of Jones doesn't hurt his value one bit. In actuality, Jones's value increased due to Matt Ryan recognizing Jones was the only player he could trust to throw the ball to outside of Devonta Freeman. This week if Jones puts up less than 7 receptions for 120 yards and a TD I will be surprised.
Doug Baldwin ($6,700) - I am sure you don't need me to point out what Baldwin did to end last season, but I am going to do it anyways. Over the last 8 weeks last season Baldwin averaged just under 21 FanDuel points per game. While Baldwin is sure to experience regression in his TD numbers from last year, that might not happen right away. Thomas Rawls is going to be limited this week, as well as Jimmy Graham. All signs are pointing to this offense continuing its slightly more pass balanced offense we saw to end last year. Considering all of these factors, Baldwin should see the same opportunities he saw last year, providing him ample opportunity to still put up some solid numbers to start the year.
Marvin Jones Jr. ($5,500) - This is just too low of a price point for Marvin Jones. He is set to be the number two receiver for Matthew Stafford, and as I said earlier, this game is looking like it could be a shootout. Even if Golden Tate's injury isn't going to hold him back this week, there will be plenty of targets to go around. Jones provides something that will be missed by the departure of Calvin Johnson, a big redzone target. I think Jones will find his way into the endzone in this game, and if that happens, he will easily provide value for you.
Jordan Reed ($7,400) - Over Reed's last five games last year (including the playoffs), he averaged just under 21 FanDuel points per game. That is some crazy production to come out of the TE position, and puts him in the rarefied Rob Gronkowski territory. And even better than Gronk, he is fully healthy and cost $1,300 less. This is sure to be a high scoring game, and with the connection we saw Reed had with Cousins last year, a TD should easily be in the cards.
Coby Fleener ($5,400) - As a cheaper alternative if you are paying up for QB, Coby Fleener finds himself in an ideal situation. Fleener is a better option than Ben Watson was last year, and even Watson was putting up some good numbers. The Raiders defense, while much improved, is still vulnerable to the Tight End. We also know that the Saints defense hasn't improved, forcing them to throw the ball even more when they are down by 14 at half.
Dustin Hopkins ($4,500) - My kicker will always be the cheapest starter with the highest implied point total according to the betting lines. This weak that minimum priced kicker is Dustin Hopkins, who will be kicking for Washington in their possible shootout against the Steelers.
Seattle Seahawks ($5,000) - This was a tougher week to find lower priced defenses in good matchups, so why not just pay up for one of the best? The Seahawks are playing the Dolphins, a team that has a starting running back in the aging Arian Foster, a hurt DeVante Parker who might not play, and the pedestrian Ryan Tannehill at QB. The Seahawks should find no problem forcing a few turnovers and keeping the Dolphins from finding the endzone twice.
Minnesota Vikings ($4,600) - If you can't fit the Seahawks into your lineups this week, the Vikings are a nice alternative. The Vikings were a top ten scoring defense last year on FanDuel, and now have a solid matchup in the Titans. This game has slow moving all over it. That isn't a bad thing though as the Vikings should easily be able to keep the Titans from scoring. If the Vikings offense can get a few TD's though, this will force Mariota to throw the ball, almost assuring a few interceptions along the way.
My Cash Lineup:
QB: Dak Prescott ($5,000)
RB: Lamar Miller ($7,600)
RB: DeAngelo Williams ($7,100)
WR: Antonio Brown ($9,300)
WR: Julio Jones ($9,000)
WR: Marvin Jones Jr. ($5,500)
TE: Jordan Reed ($7,400)
Kicker: Dustin Hopkins ($4,500)
D/ST: Minnesota Vikings ($4,600)
Good Luck to everyone in week one, and remember to check the inactives on Sunday morning to see if a guy you are playing is out, or if you can take advantage of someone getting a start.