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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 are 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, game stacks, or correlation. In large-field tournaments, our ACO (average cumulative ownership) should stay reasonably low. Please read this article and listen to Episode 619 of the podcast for more on large-field tournament strategy.

For more tournament content, check out our projections, Gary Hartman’s GPP Leverage Article (coming soon), and Saturday’s Establish The Million show with Drew Dinkmeyer and Mike Leone.


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.



Jalen Hurts ($7,800 DK, $9,000 FD) – While traveling to New England might not be the best matchup/environment in the world, it shouldn’t matter for Jalen Hurts, who has the best floor/ceiling combo of any QB on the main slate.

Anthony Richardson ($5,600 DK, $6,700 FD) – The range of outcomes is wide on the fourth overall pick, but Richardson’s $5.6K tag on DraftKings puts him in play in either cash games or GPPs in Week 1. His legs alone should give him a weekly floor; the question is how high is his ceiling? There are plenty of question marks surrounding his supporting cast, but he may be athletic enough to overcome it.

Sam Howell ($4,900 DK, $7,100 FD) – Pricing came out at the end of July, and Sam Howell was named the Washington starter on Aug. 18, resulting in the dual-threat QB being priced at the very bottom of the QB options. Howell gets a rather easy matchup with Arizona in Week 1, and should have a weekly floor due to his rushing upside.



Austin Ekeler ($8,400 DK, $9,000 FD) – Dolphins-Chargers is the only main-slate game that projects for over 50 points (51.5 implied points), and Pat Thorman notes it as an up-pace battle. Ekeler should benefit from this attractive environment, especially on full-point PPR DraftKings. He’s our highest-projected RB of the week over there.

Joe Mixon ($6,800 DK, $7,500 FD) – After an up-and-down offseason in the headlines, Mixon is back and locked in as the clear top option in the Bengals’ backfield. There’s no Samaje Perine to spell him this year, setting up a voluminous workload for Mixon. He’s a clear value this week as the ninth-most expensive DK running back, yet is projecting for the fourth-most DK points.

Jamaal Williams ($5,100 DK, $6,800 FD) – Williams, the 2022 rushing touchdown leader, certainly finds himself in a less exciting offense in New Orleans this season, but perhaps an even better situation early on. Alvin Kamara is suspended for the first three games, and rookie Kendre Miller is looking unlikely to suit up on Sunday, leaving the veteran Williams in for a massive role. Derek Carr also likes himself a good checkdown, so there could be targets coming his way as well.

Raheem Mostert ($5,400 DK, $5,900 FD) – While we anticipated looking at a three-headed Miami monster backfield, things have crystallized in Mostert’s favor heading into Week 1, with fellow veteran Jeff Wilson Jr. beginning the season on short-term I.R., and rookie De’Von Achane banged up. While it seems like Achane may play, Mostert should be the lead back in what looks like the main slate’s best game environment versus the L.A. Chargers. The Chargers have been bad against the run for a few years now.



Justin Jefferson ($8,800 DK, $9,500 FD) – While you will see a bunch of spend-up WRs on our top plays list (Ja’Marr Chase and Tyreek Hill included) and we wouldn’t blame you for playing any of them, we highlight Jefferson here. The consensus 2023 top overall player in fantasy has a juicy home dome matchup in Week 1 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jefferson went nuts at home in Week 1 last season, putting up a 9/184/2 line, the type of box score that is always in play for him.

Marvin Mims ($3,000 DK, $4,700 FD) – We’re highlighting two stone-minimum options here, starting with the rookie Mims. While he has returned to practice in a limited fashion, we remain skeptical that Jerry Jeudy (hamstring) will play in Week 1, which will set up the first Broncos draft choice of the Sean Payton era to be on the field in all 2-WR sets. He also has a ceiling as someone who profiles as a deep threat. He’s in play across the board, even if Jeudy does go.

Tutu Atwell ($3,000 DK, $5,000 FD) – The Rams are suddenly full of value with Cooper Kupp (hamstring) sidelined. Atwell earned nearly four targets per game over the Rams’ last eight games last season. It’s also a solid game environment for Atwell, Van Jefferson, and rookie Puka Nacua, as they should be playing catch-up on the road in Seattle. Nacua is the tournament option, and Atwell the cash-game one.



Mark Andrews ($6,200 DK, $8,000 FD) – With plenty of Week 1 value, you can afford to pay up for Andrews, the clear top TE on the main slate. While he is battling a quad injury, we would be surprised if he did not play. If he doesn’t, Isaiah Likely would be a top overall option. It’s a top-tier matchup with Houston.

Tyler Higbee ($4,800 DK, $5,300 FD) – As Adam Levitan will be the first to tell you, Higbee’s $4.8K DK tag is surprisingly high, yet he is still very much in play given the likelihood of him being Matthew Stafford’s top target on Sunday. We’re projecting Higbee for a whopping 7.1 targets, right up there with the likes of Tyler Lockett, Christian Kirk, and Amari Cooper this week.

Luke Musgrave ($2,900 DK, $4,500 FD) – If you’re looking for a spend-down option at tight end, look no further than Musgrave, the second-round rookie out of Oregon State. The buzz surrounding him has been non-stop all summer, and the Packers may be shorthanded with both Christan Watson and Romeo Doubs missing practice on Thursday. Musgrave should be out there for all passing downs.



Washington Commanders ($2,800 DK, $4,900 FD) – The Commanders, facing the Arizona Cardinals and either fifth-round rookie QB Clayton Tune or the recently acquired Joshua Dobbs, project very clearly as the top DraftKings value option and cash-game play this week. Seattle and Tampa Bay also project as FanDuel options.



NFL Top Plays

QB1Brock PurdyLamar Jackson
QB2Lamar JacksonBrock Purdy
QB3Patrick MahomesPatrick Mahomes
QB4Jared GoffJared Goff
RB1Christian McCaffreyChristian McCaffrey
RB2Isiah PachecoJahmyr Gibbs
RB3Jahmyr GibbsIsiah Pacheco
RB4Justice HillDavid Montgomery
RB5David MontgomeryGus Edwards
RB6Gus EdwardsJustice Hill
WR1Amon-Ra St. BrownRashee Rice
WR2Brandon AiyukAmon-Ra St. Brown
WR3Rashee RiceBrandon Aiyuk
WR4Jameson WilliamsZay Flowers
WR5Josh ReynoldsJameson Williams
WR6Rashod BatemanJosh Reynolds
TE1George KittleGeorge Kittle
TE2Sam LaPortaTravis Kelce
TE3Travis KelceSam LaPorta
TE4Noah GrayMark Andrews