Last Updated: January 4th at 3:30pm 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 afternoon, 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.
Drew Brees ($6600 DK, $8500 FD) — Somehow playing arguably the best football of his life at age 40. Since 2014, averages 24.54 DK points at home vs. 17.68 on the road. Cheaper on DraftKings.
Josh Allen ($6500 DK, $7800 FD) — Ideal matchup in ideal conditions. Texans are near bottom of virtually all pass defense categories and struggle to defend the deep ball. Allen is cheaper on Fanduel, where he’s $700 less than Drew Brees.
Dalvin Cook ($7800 DK, $8000 FD) — Shoulder appears to be 100% for the first time since Week 13. Expect a near every-down role for a player who saw nearly 20 carries plus five targets per game when healthy this season.
Alvin Kamara ($7400 DK, $8200 FD) — Very strong floor thanks to at least four catches in 10 of his last 11 games. Needs touchdowns to find a ceiling, but Saints are clearly the team likeliest to score the most touchdowns on the slate.
Devin Singletary ($6000 DK, $6200 FD) — Played on 96% of the snaps in a crucial Week 16 game and then was given Week 17 to rest. Legit shot at 100% of the snaps Saturday. Extremely cheap on Fanduel. Gets nod over Miles Sanders thanks to the threat of Boston Scott, Jordan Howard and Sanders’ Week 17 ankle sprain.
Sony Michel ($4600 DK, $6700 FD) — Part of a 3-man backfield, but still has at least 18 carries in three straight games. Lack of pass-game role hurts on full-PPR DraftKings, but the pricetag there is an eye-opener.
Michael Thomas ($9300 DK, $8900 FD) — Laughably cheap on both sites given likeliest outcomes. Vikings have no one who can contain the NFL’s single-season receptions record holder.
DeAndre Hopkins ($7700 DK, $8300 FD) — Very difficult matchup against Tre’Davious White and a Bills defense determined to stop the pass. But we can expect double-digit underneath targets if Will Fuller (groin) sits.
Julian Edelman ($6500 DK, $7000 FD) — Says his knee and shoulder injuries are feeling far better this week. If so, 10+ short-area targets are in the meaty part of his range.
DK Metcalf ($6100 DK, $6200 FD) — Best place to attack Eagles is at perimeter CB — particularly with Ronald Darby down. Metcalf’s box score from the last meeting was ugly, but he left at least three catches on the field due to drops.
John Brown ($6000 DK, $6500 FD) — Fast track in Houston sets up nicely for Brown as a stack partner with Josh Allen or as a standalone piece.
Corey Davis ($3800 DK) — A DraftKings-specific punt. With Patriots focused on AJ Brown/Derrick Henry, Davis has some paths to a spiked target share.
Dallas Goedert ($5200 DK, $6700 FD) — We are expecting to get word on Zach Ertz’s status sometime Saturday. It’s possible Ertz is limited if active, but Goedert would not be a “must” in that scenario. He would still be in play.
Jared Cook ($4900 DK, $6500 FD) — Volume a concern, but Cook’s usage on his targets has been outstanding. Consistently lining up wide and running deep routes down the field. A fine pivot off Goedert.
Josh Perkins** ($2900 DK, $5500 FD) — The ** means Perkins is only in play if Zach Ertz (kidney) is inactive. With Ertz inactive in Week 17, Perkins played on 58-of-74 snaps, including 33 from slot or wide. He ran 33 routes on 40 Carson Wentz dropbacks. If Ertz is out, we are fine with playing Goedert and Perkins together on DraftKings, especially in cash.
January 4 330pm ET TIGHT END UPDATE: Zach Ertz (kidney) is expected to play Sunday. We expect him to be limited to pass downs, which significantly lowers his floor/ceiling combo. We also have the risk of aggravation, which is a major concern for cash. Ertz being active means we can only project Josh Perkins for 10-20 snaps in median outcomes, making him extremely thin now. Dallas Goedert remains our No. 1 TE play with Ertz likely to be limited, but Goedert is no longer a “must.”
An easy pivot off Perkins on DraftKings is to Darren Fells. Both Will Fuller (groin) and Jordan Akins (hamstring) are inactive, clearing out plenty of opportunity for the red-zone specializing Fells. Fells’ backup is seldom-used Jordan Thomas. Fells does not profile for a high volume of catches, but we think he has as chance to play 100% of the snaps with a strong red-zone role at just $3000 on DraftKings. He’s a punt to help fit Saints studs in cash.
As for the Texans wideouts, we expect them to mostly run “11” personnel featuring DeAndre Hopkins, Kenny Stills, Darren Fells and either DeAndre Carter or Keke Coutee. We lean slightly toward Carter seeing more playing time, but it’s not strong enough to feel comfortable with him in cash. Carter is worth a look in large-field GPPs.
Patriots ($3400 DK, $4600 FD) — This defense has the tools to make life difficult for both AJ Brown and Derrick Henry. Slightly cheaper on Fanduel, where the Saints actually cost more.
Saints ($3000 DK, $4700 FD) — Can arguably project Kirk Cousins for most dropbacks on the slate. Vikings have the playoffs’ No. 10 offensive line among 12 teams, per Brandon Thorn.
Texans ($2600 DK, $4100 FD) — Josh Allen’s wildly aggressive, streetball style makes him a high-ceiling fantasy option and one that can be streamed against. Better play on DraftKings.
|1||Drew Brees||Drew Brees|
|2||Deshaun Watson||Russell Wilson|
|3||Josh Allen||Deshaun Watson|
|4||Tom Brady||Josh Allen|
|1||Alvin Kamara||Alvin Kamara|
|2||Devin Singletary||Dalvin Cook|
|3||Dalvin Cook||Devin Singletary|
|4||Sony Michel||Miles Sanders|
|5||Miles Sanders||James White|
|1||Michael Thomas||Michael Thomas|
|2||John Brown||John Brown|
|3||DK Metcalf||DK Metcalf|
|4||Julian Edelman||Cole Beasley|
|5||Corey Davis||DeAndre Hopkins|
|6||DeAndre Hopkins||Greg Ward|
|7||Kenny Stills||Tyler Lockett|
|1||Dallas Goedert||Dallas Goedert|
|2||Darren Fells||Darren Fells|
|3||Jared Cook||Jared Cook|
|4||Dawson Knox||Jacob Hollister|
|5||Josh Perkins||Dawson Knox|