Welcome to this new weekly column! Each week I’ll bring you a mix of DFS plays that I like for cash and tournament games. I won’t be focusing too much on the elite plays such as Christian McCaffery, Lamar Jackson and Michael Thomas instead, I’ll look for value in matchups that have the potential to be high scoring and return good points to dollar ratio. If we can find that we can open up our lineups to be built better. Through the season I’ll also review my previous weeks plays so you can judge for yourself how good my takes are.
Matt Ryan – $6700
Seattle travels to Atlanta and is slightly favoured at -1.5. Despite adding A.J Terrell (Clemson) at cornerback, the Falcons should be an easy team to pick on defensively. If the Falcons fall behind expect Matt Ryan to become pass-happy. The Seahawks look set to have an average pass rush after ranking bottom three in sacks in 2019 and doing little to address the position. With targets including Jones, Ridley and Hurst, racking up yards shouldn’t be a problem.
Phillip Rivers – $6000
Rivers will make his Colts debut in Jacksonville and it should be a fun one for him to remember. This Jaguars team has made it pretty clear they intend to be in the running for a high draft pick next year and the days of ‘sacksonville’ are long gone. The Colts boast one of the leagues very best offensive lines and Phillip Rivers should have all the time he needs to carve this defence apart. Favoured by 8, this one has the potential to be done early.
Tyrod Taylor – $5600
The Bengals travel cross country to take on the Chargers with new quarterbacks on show for both teams. Tyrod has always had a safe rushing floor and no team in the NFL gave up more yards per game to the position than the Bengals. Allowing over 30 yards per game. The Bengals defence doesn’t look to have improved a whole lot this offseason but their weapons on offence should keep the game alive and Tyrod still running and throwing into the fourth quarter. This is a great play to unlock salary elsewhere.
Josh Jacobs – $6800
Don’t expect me to feature Josh Jacobs in this column too often. Until I see otherwise I firmly believe his passing upside is pretty low. In DraftKings full PPR we want as many catches as possible. That said, this Panthers defence looks woeful and the coaching staff know it, spending all seven 2020 draft picks on that side of the ball. Josh Jacobs should be able to rack up yardage with minimal problems. Jacobs will more than likely be one of the chalk plays of the week.
Zac Moss – $4400
Buffalo beat reporters have remarked that Moss looks the more likely back for goal-line work and has distanced himself from Singletary as the better pass catcher in team practices. Yet to play a down in the NFL we don’t know whether this will translate. But at close to the minimum price, we may not see Moss this cheap again. Buffalo take on a Jets defence that has lost Jamal Adams to Seattle and for the second straight year, will be without linebacker, CJ Moseley. At home, favoured by 7, this shouldn’t be a problem for Buffalo. Don’t be surprised if Moss picks up the hundred-yard bonus. I’d be more confident playing him in tournaments than cash games.
Antonio Gibson – $4000
The Gibson hype train has been slowly building all offseason, accelerating after Derrius Guile’s release and going into turbo when veteran Adrian Peterson was cut. It may be too late to grab Gibson at a bargain price in season long, but DraftKings priced him up at an appetising $4000. For that price, if Gibson returns 10-12 points you’d have achieved value. Gibson’s ceiling is much higher though and in full PPR this is a no brainer for me. Washington offensive coordinator, Scott Turner, was a part of a Panthers coaching staff who knew what damage can be done by throwing to a running back. Antonio Gibson may not be Christian McCaffery, but at the minimum price for running backs, we shouldn’t be afraid of gambling on his upside.
DK Metcalf – $5800
An argument could be made for either Tyler Lockett or Metcalf here, but Lockett is priced at $6500 so pivoting to Metcalf helps free up more money to pay up for those stud running backs. It’s worth reiterating that Atlanta was one of the worst teams in the league at defending the pass last year and have done very little to strengthen their secondary. In a dome, with Russell Wilson intent on showing he can cook, Metcalf can smash.
Henry Ruggs – $5100
Henry Ruggs looked set for a lot of opportunities even before Tyrell Williams landed on season-ending IR. Now after a strong camp this price may be the lowest we see him for a while. Raiders beat reporters have been strong in their convictions that Ruggs will see plenty of targets and I’m happy to take their word with the lack of preseason games. This play is a bit risky for cash games but has plenty of appeal for tournaments.
DeSean Jackson – $4900
This one is pretty straightforward. An eagles team struggling with injuries facing off against a very poor secondary. Most of the training camp hype fell on Jalen Reagor and it sounds like he’ll be on the field soon, but week one is too soon for his injury. In the 2019 opener, Jackson went 8-154 and two touchdowns, on nine targets. Scoring 38.4 points on DraftKings. A repeat performance would be very good for us.
Chris Herndon – $3300
Buffalo are a strong defence and last year ranked third against TE’s. This play is taking that into account and looking at two points that outweigh it. Firstly, the opportunity. The Jets have struggled with injuries to pass catchers all offseason and that looks to carry into the season. Jets beat writers have raved about the connection between Darnold and Herndon and the Jets will need that connection on the field as there are very few other choices. Secondly, the price. Herndon is priced at a frankly egregious $3300 in the same area as non-fantasy relevant Jason Witten and Jesse James. Look for the Jets to feed the ball to Herndon often and if he gets into double figures in DraftKings PPR format, he’ll have returned enough points to dollar value to keep us happy.
Robert Tonyan – $2500
This play isn’t for the faint-hearted. Definitely not advisable for a cash game lineup but perhaps if you’re playing a large field tournament and need to open up some money for a stud RB, then maybe this is what you’re after. According to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic, Tonyan will start the season as the top pass-catching tight end. Without a preseason there’s not a whole lot to back this up but we do know that Green Bay failed to add any receivers to what was already a deeply average group behind Adams.