Last Updated: October 13th at 11:44am 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 Sunday morning, if necessary.
News Note: We’ve bumped George Kittle significantly down based on Sunday morning’s Adam Schefter report. Schefter said Kittle (groin) is fully expected to play, but “there is some concern about whether he will be able to finish the game.”
News Note: Tyreek Hill is active, eliminating Byron Pringle from cash consideration. Rashad Penny is inactive, giving an already playable Chris Carson more viability.
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.
Patrick Mahomes ($7500 DK, $9200 FD) — Given the way quarterback salaries are condensed and underpriced on DraftKings, Mahomes is a standout play in one of the season’s likeliest shootouts. He’s very strong on Fanduel as well, but note he’s $1000 more than Lamar Jackson.
Lamar Jackson ($6900 DK, $8200 FD) — Massive weekly floor thanks to 10.4 rush attempts per game. The ceiling comes into play this week against a Bengals defense ranked 29th in yards per play allowed.
Deshaun Watson ($6700 DK, $8400 FD) — Watson now has 29 or more DK points in 3-of-5 games. Now comes a game environment featuring two offenses in the top-5 of yards per play.
Kyler Murray ($6500 DK, $7700 FD) — Encouragingly rushed 22 times for 189 yards with two TDs over his last three games. Kyler’s miserable TD rate of 1.9% stands to improve soon and a home matchup against a Falcons defense ranked 30th in pass defense DVOA is a nice spot for positive regression.
Matt Ryan ($6400 DK, $8100 FD) — Now has five straight 300-yard games to open the season. With a non-existent run game and bottom-barrel defense, that trend is here to stay. The Cardinals continue to play without starting CBs Patrick Peterson and Robert Alford.
Dalvin Cook ($8400 DK, $8200 FD) — Brutal matchup against an Eagles defense ranked 4th in rush defense DVOA. But Cook’s pass-game and goal-line role keeps him in play even as the cost rises. He’s 9th among all RBs in receptions and T-5th in carries inside the 5-yard line.
Leonard Fournette ($6700 DK, $7300 FD) — The salaries here are still struggling to match the usage. Uncle Lenny is handling 91% of the Jags’ RB carries and 91% of the RB targets.
Le’Veon Bell ($6400 DK, $6800 FD) — With Sam Darnold back, the entire Jets offense gets a massive boost. Yet they’re still at Luke Falk prices. Bell has handled 88% of the Jets’ RB carries and leads the entire team in targets at 6.4 per game.
Malcolm Brown ($4300 DK, $4800 FD) — Todd Gurley is doubtful, meaning Malcolm Brown will start and play a featured role. So far this season, Brown has out-snapped rookie Darrell Henderson 88-2.
Julio Jones ($8000 DK, $8500 FD) — The Cardinals allow opponents to run the 7th-most plays per game and are 28th in yards per play allowed. With Patrick Peterson still suspended, this elite setup for opponent pass games continues.
DeAndre Hopkins ($7400 DK, $8400 FD) — Although Hopkins hasn’t topped 100 yards or scored in any of his last four games, the underlying usage is there. He’s 9th in Air Yards and first in targets inside the 10-yard line. On DK, Hopkins is now only $1400 more than Will Fuller.
Cooper Kupp ($7100 DK, $7800 FD) — Kupp comes in riding a streak of four straight 100-yard games and holds a massive 28.3% target share on the season. His quick-hitting route tree fits nicely against a 49ers defense which will be putting a lot of pressure on Jared Goff.
Odell Beckham ($6800 DK, $7600 FD) — Don’t get confused and think this is an imposing matchup for the Browns sputtering offense. The Seahawks are 21st in yards per play allowed and 19th in pass defense DVOA. Beckham is the No. 7 player in this week’s Buy Low Model.
Adam Thielen ($6700 DK, $7200 FD) — The Eagles’ extreme pass funnel means we can project Kirk Cousins’ attempts in the 30-35 range. At that number, Thielen becomes a standout thanks to his target share (24%) and massive talent advantage over the Eagles woeful secondary.
Jamison Crowder ($4000 DK) — When we last saw Sam Darnold and Crowder together in Week 1, the slot man caught 17 passes. Obviously not sustainable, but Darnold and Adam Gase both have long histories of targeting slot receivers. Robby Anderson ($4000 on DK) is the more high-variance option thanks to his deeper route tree.
Travis Kelce ($7000 DK, $7500 FD) — With George Kittle and Austin Hooper such strong plays, we suspect Kelce’s ownership will stay in check. As noted in Silva’s Matchups, Kelce has drawn seven red-zone targets and scored on zero so far.
George Kittle, if healthy ($5200 DK, $6500 FD) — If salaries were released after Kittle’s Week 5 MNF performance, he’d be far more expensive. Instead, they’re stale for a matchup which sets up perfectly. Kittle shredded the Rams for 9-149-1, 5-98-1 and 4-100-0 in his last three against them. The Niners still can’t solve their WR woes. We’re monitoring the groin strain Kittle suffered during Friday’s practice. See the notes at the top of this article for more.
Austin Hooper ($5000 DK, $6400 FD) — Other than the hapless Bengals, every opponent has relentlessly pounded the Cardinals with tight ends. Hooper clearly has the trust of Matt Ryan, easily leading the team in catches (34) and is just two behind Julio Jones for the team-lead in targets.
Mark Andrews ($4800 DK, $6300 FD) — Foot and shoulder don’t seem 100%, but it’s not affecting Andrews’ on-field role. For tournaments, projects to come in far less owned than Kittle and Hooper.
Ravens ($4100 DK, $5000 FD) — Certainly overpriced as the sites continue to lower the floor at the bottom end of the D/ST scale. But the devastating injuries to Cincy’s offensive line and wideout corps have neutered this unit.
Redskins ($3200 DK, $4200 FD) — Dolphins have turned the ball over nine times and taken 18 sacks in their four games.
Chiefs ($2500 DK, $3400 FD) — Shootouts can breed big defensive scores due to the number of dropbacks. Deshaun Watson took the most sacks in the NFL last year and is T-4th in that category this year.
Jets ($1500 DK) — A D/ST hasn’t been priced this cheap on DraftKings since Week 1 of 2014. The raw expectation is low, but this slate does not have any glaring values at the position. In cash, we’re always more likely to play thin options at D/ST than elsewhere.
|1||Patrick Mahomes||Lamar Jackson|
|4||Matt Ryan||Matt Ryan|
|5||Kirk Cousins||Kyler Murray|
|1||Malcolm Brown||Malcolm Brown|
|2||Le’Veon Bell||Le’Veon Bell|
|4||Chris Carson||Dalvin Cook|
|5||Dalvin Cook||Chris Carson|
|6||Kenyon Drake||Nick Chubb|
|1||DeAndre Hopkins||Larry Fitzgerald|
|2||Jamison Crowder/Robby Anderson|
|4||Odell Beckham Jr.||Tyler Lockett|
|5||Julio Jones||Tyler Boyd|
|6||Jarvis Landry||Adam Thielen|
|7||Preston Williams||Stefon Diggs|
|1||Austin Hooper||Travis Kelce|
|2||Travis Kelce||Austin Hooper|
|3||Mark Andrews||Mark Andrews|
|4||George Kittle||George Kittle|