This article is designed to highlight my favorite cash game building blocks. Cash games are the staple of our optimal blueprint and should be anchoring your bankroll. Cash games are classified as head to head contests, 50/50s and double ups. Good luck in your contests this week and remember to tweet us @dfs_karma with your winning screenshots!
Top Tier: Matthew Stafford- Matthew Stafford has been in unreal form this season and is averaging over 350 yards per game over the last 3 weeks. He gets a massive funnel defense in the Browns, who rank 1st in the NFL in run DVOA, but 28th in pass DVOA. The Lions haven't shown the ability to be able to run the ball anyways, and Ameer Abdullah had two fumbles in their last game. I expect the Lions to come out hot on Sunday, and even if they are winning they will continue to throw even in the red zone.
Mid Tier: Josh McCown- Some people are probably laughing at me already...but Josh McCown is a legitimate fantasy Quarterback. He's averaged just north of 20 fantasy points per game over the last 4 games and now he gets a date with the Buccaneers who rank 31st in pass DVOA. The Bucs secondary has been slaughtered all season and I fully expect McCown to have success Sunday as well.
Low Tier: Ryan Fitzpatrick- This is incredibly close between Fitzmagic and Eli Manning, but I'm going to take the guy at home. I am a bit worried about him going up against his former team, but it's still a Jets secondary that I'm not scared of. He will be without Mike Evans, but Fitz is still priced like a backup instead of a guy starting in a game with sneaky shootout potential. The Jets rank 21st in pass DVOA and Fitzmagic won't be afraid to attack his former teammates.
Top Tier: Le'Veon Bell- Le'Veon Bell needs no introduction and I think you all know he is a virtual lock for cash games every week. The Colts are one of the worst defenses in the NFL and they continue to lose guys due to injury. They can't stop anyone and Vegas is all over this game with tons of action coming in on the over. Steelers onslaught this week.
Mid Tier: Carlos Hyde- El Guapo! I've said this a few times this week and people look at me like I'm crazy...Carlos Hyde is third in the NFL among Running Backs in targets and has been getting extreme passing game work since C.J. Beathard took over as QB. The Giants just got murdered at home by the Rams, they have seemingly given up on their coach and now they have to travel cross country for this game. I love the volume I'm seeing from Hyde at his price, and if this game is close he will see a big time carry increase.
Low Tier: Bilal Powell- Chalk, chalk, chalk, chalkity chalk! Bilal Powell is going to be the chalk of the century this week in cash games but for good reason. He has historically smashed when Matt Forte has been out seeing 20+ touches and this game has shootout potential. He has big play ability, and is under-priced due to the late injury news. Lock him in for cash games and then differentiate in tournaments will be my strategy this week.
Note: Jordan Howard and Leonard Fournette are also cash game viable and two of my favorite players on the entire slate, all the studs are in good spots this week. Don't get cute.
Top Tier: Antonio Brown- Just like his teammate, Antonio Brown is in a smash spot this week against the lowly Colts. They're giving up the most plays in the NFL of 20+ yards and it's not even close...AB will murder them. They have nobody with a prayer of keeping up with him and I will be paying up for both Bell and Brown in my cash game lineup this week.
Mid Tier: Golden Tate- This is going to be the preferred stacking option with Matthew Stafford. Marvin Jones is also fine and could be used in this section, but I think that Tate gets the edge as he won't be seeing Jason McCourty coverage at all in this game. It's obvious, Stafford is in such a good spot that you have to feel the same about his pass catchers.
Low Tier: Mohamed Sanu- Sanu is just too cheap. He's averaging 7 targets per game over the last 3 games and is in a game with the highest O/U on the slate at 53. He's seen his role in the offense solid under Steve Sarkisian and has been seeing some red zone usage as well. I LOVE Julio Jones in tournaments, but you can't beat Sanu's price in cash games as a way to get cheap exposure to a high total game. The Cowboys rank just 19th in pass DVOA and I expect the Falcons to be throwing early and often.
Top Tier: Evan Engram- Evan Engram just keeps scoring touchdowns. He's scored in each of the last 3 weeks and he is literally 1 of 2 players that Eli Manning can throw to. He's dominating targets with 22 over the last 2 games and the 49ers defense ranks 27th in pass DVOA. He's expensive, but if you can fit him in go for it.
Mid Tier: Austin Seferian-Jenkins- ASJ #Revenge! I'm really not a huge #RevengeGame narrative guy, but if there ever was a guy to take a revenge narrative seriously I think it would be ASJ. He publicly came out pretty much said how much he dislikes Dirk Koetter, and I don't know how you can't root for this guy. He's having an amazing comeback season and is finally clean after years of alcohol abuse. He gets to show the team that gave up on him what they are missing and we all know that McCown loves to look for his Tight Ends. Oh yeah, did I mention how bad the Bucs secondary is? Oh, okay. Just checking.
Low Tier: Garrett Celek- This is a pure salary saving punt play as Celek checks in pretty much minimum priced across the industry. This game should be close with two terrible teams squaring off and I'm projecting him for 6 targets. The Giants have been the NUTS spot for Tight Ends, and have given up a touchdown to the position in every game this season. You don't need much from Celek at his price, and Beathard really doesn't have many options to throw to.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)