Last Updated: January 11th at 3:20pm ET
Editor’s Note: We may not write up every player we consider to be a top play. Be sure to consult the chart at the bottom of the page. This page will be updated once on Saturday before lock, if necessary.
You don’t have to play cash games to understand why it’s important to grasp them. Players we consider for cash are the ones we believe are the most underpriced, have the best floor/ceiling combo and feature a relatively tight range of outcomes. In other words, these are the best plays on the board once price, slate context and positional depth is accounted for. Those sound like pretty good options for GPPs as well.
The optimal GPP lineup will mix some of these cash-type plays with higher-variance options in correlated lineups. In cash games (where roughly 50% of the field gets paid out), we don’t worry about ownership or game stacks or correlation. In large-field tournaments, our ACO (average cumulative ownership) should stay reasonably low.
With all that said, these are our Top Plays considering the following factors: Median projection, matchup, upside and value. Ownership is not considered here. Generally speaking, these players are what we consider to be “head-to-head and 50/50 considerations.” They are listed in price descending order (NOT ranked by “best play”). At the bottom, you’ll find suggested rankings by site once salary is accounted for.
Lamar Jackson ($8400 DK, $9400 FD) — Finally priced as the most unique fantasy asset we’ve ever seen… but is still underpriced. Jackson scored 30 or more DraftKings points in 8-of-15 games this season. Little reason to come off Jackson or Mahomes in cash games as they stand in a tier alone.
Patrick Mahomes ($7500 DK, $8600 FD) — Makes a little more sense on DraftKings where he projects for the 300-yard bonus and is slightly cheaper. But either way it’s a pristine matchup for the man who was 4th in yards per attempt this year and 2nd last year. The Texans were 24th in yards per attempt allowed.
Dalvin Cook ($8000 DK, $8000 FD) — Much more in play on Fanduel, where he’s actually $200 cheaper than Aaron Jones. Cook’s stranglehold on the lead back duties and elite pass-game role help mitigate the more difficult matchup.
Aaron Jones ($7400 DK, $8200 FD) — Jamaal Williams (shoulder) returns and will steal anywhere from 20%-35% of the RB touches. Still, Jones’ massive red-zone role, efficiency, elite matchup and plus pass-catching ability keeps him firmly in play. That’s particularly true on DraftKings, where he’s $600 cheaper than Dalvin Cook.
Damien Williams ($6000 DK, $6900 FD) — As we discussed in this space Week 17, it’s Damien’s backfield now. Spencer Ware/Darell Williams are on IR, the Chiefs would healthy scratch LeSean McCoy if they could and they don’t trust Darwin Thompson to play extended snaps.
Raheem Mostert ($5800 DK, $6700 FD) — Risky play with poor pass-game role and Tevin Coleman/Matt Breida both ready for more work. But, Mostert has established himself as the no-doubt goal-lie back.
Tyreek Hill ($7600 DK, $7900 FD) — Ideal setup for big-play Tyreek against a Texans defense which bleeds big plays. He hit them for 5-80-2 while playing just 28 snaps due to a shoulder injury in Week 6.
Davante Adams ($7800 DK, $8400 FD) — A slightly better fit on DraftKings thanks to full-PPR. Has seen at least 10 targets in nine of his last 10 games.
Emmanuel Sanders ($5700 FD) and Deebo Samuel ($5200 DK) — Fine plays on both sites thanks to clear-cut roles and a flammable Vikings secondary. We’ve listed them where they are cheaper here.
Marquise Brown ($4400 DK, $5300 FD) — Low floor as Brown’s likeliest target projection is in the 3-5 range. But big ceiling as Hollywood appears as healthy as he’s been all year and the Titans have struggled badly to contain perimeter speedsters.
Sammy Watkins ($4300 DK, $5200 FD) — Hasn’t scored a touchdown or topped 63 yards since Week 1. But still firmly in play thanks to weak WR slate and game environment. Watkins will play at least 80% of the snaps with the overwhelming favorite to lead the slate in pass yards (Patrick Mahomes).
Travis Kelce ($6400 DK, $7500 FD) — At least nine targets in five of his last six games. Still waiting for a big touchdown regression game — Kelce was 2nd in the NFL in targets inside 10-yard line with 12 but scored just two times from there.
George Kittle ($6200 DK, $7400 FD) — Standout matchup for the NFL’s most efficient pass-catcher. Given pricing at RB and WR, playing a tight end in flex this week is definitely viable.
Mark Andrews ($5600 DK, $6800 FD) — A solid tier below Kelce/Kittle and priced too close to them to be a strong cash consideration. But leads Ravens in market share of air yards and Titans allowed the third-most fantasy points to tights this season.
Ravens ($3600 DK, $4800 FD) — Only $200 more than 49ers on Fanduel. If Titans can’t play their preferred Derrick Henry 30-touch style, there will be lots of opportunities for Ryan Tannehill errors.
Chiefs ($3200 DK, $4200 FD) — An improved defense and one which always performs better at Arrowhead. Deshaun Watson took the sixth-most sacks in the league this season.
49ers ($3000 DK, $4600 FD) — Time off projects to be big for this unit as they’ll get back Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander, albeit in limited roles. 49ers DL vs. Vikings OL is Thorn’s No. 2 mismatch of the week.
Packers ($2800 DK, $4400 FD) — Thorn’s No. 1 mismatch is Packers DL vs. Seahawks OL. Russell Wilson took 48 sacks this season, tied with Matt Ryan and Kyler Murray for most in the NFL.
|1||Patrick Mahomes||Lamar Jackson|
|2||Lamar Jackson||Patrick Mahomes|
|3||Jimmy Garoppolo||Russell Wilson|
|4||Deshaun Watson||Deshaun Watson|
|1||Damien Williams||Damien Williams|
|2||Aaron Jones||Dalvin Cook|
|3||Dalvin Cook||Aaron Jones|
|4||Raheem Mostert||Raheem Mostert|
|1||Deebo Samuel||Tyreek Hill|
|2||Davante Adams||Davante Adams|
|3||Tyreek Hill||Deebo Samuel|
|4||Stefon Diggs||Emmanuel Sanders|
|5||Marquise Brown||Marquise Brown|
|6||Sammy Watkins||Sammy Watkins|
|7||Emmanuel Sanders||Stefon Diggs|
|8||Corey Davis||Tyler Lockett|
|1||Travis Kelce||Travis Kelce|
|2||George Kittle||George Kittle|
|3||Mark Andrews||Mark Andrews|
|4||Jacob Hollister||Darren Fells|
|5||Darren Fells||Jacob Hollister|