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 @ackarmasports with your winning screenshots!
Top Tier: Tom Brady- Tom Brady is expensive this week, but if you want to pay up for a Quarterback in cash games then it would be wise to find the extra money and just go all the way up to TB12. Brady is a huge home favorite and although the Panthers defense is strong, the Patriots team total has climbed over a point since opening and now sits at a whopping 29.5. TB12 has averaged over over 360 yards through the air so far this season and the Panthers just got shredded by Drew Brees last week to a tune of 220 yards and 3 touchdowns. Brady is on a mission this season and has looked as good as ever.
Mid Tier: Dak Prescott- Dak Prescott is one of the top Quarterback plays of the entire week and still isn't getting any love across the industry. Dak has finished inside the top 12 in fantasy scoring each of the first three weeks and now has a home date with the Rams who were killed through the air by Brian Hoyer last Thursday night. The Cowboys are listed as 6 point home favorites, but given the way the Rams offense has looked this season I think this game has sneaky shootout potential. This is by far Dak's best matchup to date this season and if he finished inside the top 12 against the Giants, Broncos and Cardinals this could be a blow-up spot for the second year signal caller.
Low Tier: Deshaun Watson- Hey, remember when people had written off Deshaun Watson as a bust after his first career NFL start that was on the road, on a short week and behind a terrible offensive line? Oh yeah, me too! Watson silenced his critics (something he's done his whole career) and went out and hung 301 yards and 2 touchdowns on the Patriots in Foxboro. He still had two interceptions and made some rookie mistakes, but he also rushed for 40 yards on 8 carries and that obviously boosts his fantasy upside. The Titans have given up the 7th most yards per game through the air this season (275) and Bill O' Brien wasn't holding Watson back last week as he slung the ball 33 times. On Fanduel, you can easily find the money to get up to Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott. But, on Draftkings, Watson is a steal at just $5,100 and is certainly in the conversation for cash games this week.
Top Tier: Ezekiel Elliot- Ezekiel Elliot lines up in an absolute smash spot this week at home against the Rams. First, I will say that something is up with Zeke. Watching the first three games you can clearly tell that he looks slower compared to last season and some of the information over at NFL.com's NextGenStats support this theory. However, we still can use him in DFS and this is the best spot he's been in all year. The Rams have been gashed on the ground this season, they're giving up an average of 139 yards per game and have given up the most rushing touchdowns of any team (6). Zeke also has a new found passing game role this season that only boosts his fantasy value more. He's already seen 14 targets this season and has hauled in 12 of them. He's in the best spot of all the high priced studs this weekend.
Mid Tier: Leonard Fournette- Leonard Fournette got off to a hot start in week one and this is a tremendous spot for him against the New York Jets. I really wish this game was in Jacksonville because I would probably be all-in on Fournette then, but he's still a great play even though I'm concerned with the Jaguars travels schedule with them coming back from London. The Jets are giving up 133 yards per game ion the ground (6th worst in the NFL) and have already given up 4 rushing touchdowns. Fournette has seen 26, 14 and 17 carries through 3 games and if the Jags are winning they will be grinding out the clock with him in the second half. He's just a bit too cheap for me based on volume/price and he's the top choice of the mid tier options this week.
Low Tier: Chris Carson- I'm legit so excited to write about Chris Carson. If you read any of my preseason write-ups you know how much I love this guy and he has clearly been the Seahawks best running back since week one of the preseason. Carson rushed 20 times in week two and was hurt by game script in week three, though he still saw 11 carries. He also hauled in both of his targets, one of which was a touchdown catch last week against the Titans. C.J. Prosise has already been ruled out for Sunday night's game thus giving Carson the green light for increased passing game work. The biggest thing I like about the matchup against the Colts is that they are two touchdown favorites at home. By all accounts the Seahawks should be winning this game and Carson will be bleeding out the clock in the second half.
Top Tier: A.J. Green- A.J. Green was probably the easiest play of the entire year so far last week against the Packers and now he draws a road date with the Cleveland Browns. Normally we want our players to be at home, but for some odd reason A.J. Green has been much better on the road throughout his career. He averages 15+ more yards on the road and averages around a touchdown per contest. The Browns just allowed T.Y. Hilton to go wild on them last week and I can expect the same for Green this week. The Bengals, like the Browns, have not won a game yet this season and the easiest way to accomplish that is to feed AJG.
Mid Tier: DeAndre Hopkins- I really, really wanted to write-up Keenan Allen in this position but when we are talking cash games I cannot ignore the pure volume being funneled to Hopkins. One thing to note is Will Fuller is expected to return for the Texans this week and play opposite Hopkins, if anything I think this helps Nuk because the defense will at least have something else to consider defending on the opposite side of the field. Nuk is one of two wide receivers in the NFL who have played on 100% of their team's snaps so far this season and he has seen the most targets as well. I noted above that the Titans have been getting smoked through the air in 2017 and it's clear that Nuk is Watson's favorite target.
Low Tier: Tyrell Williams- My goal for this article throughout the season is to teach you the readers why certain players are cash game plays each week. I will tell you upfront that Tyrell Williams isn't the prototypical cash game play, but one of the biggest things in DFS is being able to adapt week-to-week and this is quite the spot to use him. The Eagles secondary is absolutely horrible. There, I said it. They've given up over 260 yards per game through the air this season and are sorely missing corner back Ronald Darby who they traded for before the season started. Tyrell will line up mostly against Jalen Mills who has been legit getting abused by his competitors this season. Williams is a volatile player, but he has seen 7 targets in 2/3 games this season and I personally think this game will be a shootout. This is a prime bounce-back spot for Philip Rivers, and I like both of his primary pass catchers.
Top Tier: Zach Ertz- This should come as no shock to anyone that has played NFL DFS so far this season. Ertz is seeing an average of 8 targets per game, more than a lot of WRs, and is clearly the favorite target of Carson Wentz. He found the box for the first time in week three and has hauled in 8 balls 2/3 games. You really don't see this type of volume at the Tight End position and with Casey Hayward bothering Alshon Jeffery targets should get funneled his way once again.
Mid Tier: Charles Clay- Charles Clay is pretty much the only effective weapon in the Bills passing game not name LeSean McCoy and they're going to need him this week against Atlanta. Clay has need 6+ targets in 2/3 games and the Bills figure to be passing quite a bit here as sizable road underdogs. The Falcons have a pretty strong defense, but they've given up the 12th most yards per game through the air in 2017 (245) and with Vic Beasley out the middle of the field opens up a bit more. Eric Ebron saw 7 targets against this Falcons defense last week but was hurt by drops and Clay should see a similar workload on Sunday.
Low Tier: Ryan Griffin- This might come as a shock to some people but Griffin's price has not adjusted to his new role. With the injury to C.J. Fiedorowicz, Griffin takes over as the primary pass catching tight end for the Texans. He hauled in 5 of 6 targets for 61 yards and a touchdown in week three. His floor is lower than I normally like for cash games, but the fact that his price hasn't adjusted yet makes up for it. Tight Ends can be a rookie Quarterbacks best friend and the Texans should be able to find the box a few times against the Titans.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)