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Prepare for the 2024 Season

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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, 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 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 237 of the podcast for more on large-field tournament strategy.

 

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”.

 

QUARTERBACK

Ben DiNucci (Seattle – $12,200) – The two teams that have the most to play for this week just happen to have the league’s highest-end QBs and the two that we’ve most often picked for cash games in Ben DiNucci and A.J. McCarron. DiNucci and Seattle play the last game of the weekend, so they will know what exactly they have to play for based on what St. Louis does on Saturday, but either way, they need to go out and play to win. Seattle continues to be a pass-first, big-time offense that can support many wide receivers alongside DiNucci, who has the most passing yards in the league by a whopping 600 yards.

A.J. McCarron (St. Louis – $11,400) – Despite missing a game a couple of weeks ago, McCarron checks in at No. 2 in the league in passing yards. He will lead a Battlehawks team that not only needs to win this week but needs to score as many points as possible for tie-breaker purposes. This sets up McCarron as possibly the safest play of the week, and we love going to him in cash or GPPs. Another week separated from the shoulder injury, McCarron is set up for a huge game in a plus matchup with Orlando.

 

RUNNING BACK

Jacques Patrick (San Antonio – $8,800) – Patrick continues to be priced up about $1,000 each week (he was $7,700 last week), but he is still a good $1,900 behind top-priced RB Abram Smith. In reality, Patrick should be the priciest RB on the slate between San Antonio’s motivation to win as well as Patrick’s bellcow role of the past few weeks. He’s coming off of another monster performance where he went for 20/80/1 on the ground while adding 5/50/0 through the air on seven targets. You can feel very confident in firing up Patrick in the XFL’s final regular-season week.

Devin Darrington (Orlando – $5,700) – With Jah-Maine Martin inactive last week, Darrington took over a bellcow role for Orlando, playing a monstrous 50-of-56 snaps for an 89.2% share. While the level of confidence in playing him will depend on JMM’s status this week, Darrington has done enough and is cheap enough to consider regardless. He was incredible last week, putting up 133 yards on the ground on only 16 carries while finding the end zone.

Leddie Brown (Arlington – $4,900) – De’Veon Smith, a name that may look familiar to readers of this article, missed practice on Thursday and is trending downward both in role and his potential availability for Sunday. Brown displayed some impressive receiving chops in Week 9, catching six balls for 69 yards, while he also out-snapped Smith 48 to 35. At only $4,900, Brown is an option for you this week. It’s worth noting that Arlington is also still fighting for their playoff lives, as they have a chance at missing if San Antonio wins and they lose. 

 

WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END

Hakeem Butler (St. Louis – $10,700) – Did Hakeem Butler have a goose egg last week on DraftKings? Yes, he did. Do we care? No, not really. Butler still played on 100% of snaps, and his value has never been tied to his target share — but rather his size and red-zone presence. Butler is still tops in the league in TD receptions and will get to be a top target on the offense we’re most bullish on in Week 10.

Darrius Shepherd (St. Louis – $9,700) – If Butler is the boom-or-bust player, and Ateman has turned into the up-and-coming “too cheap” player, then it’s Darrius Shepherd who has been Steady Eddy for the Battlehawks. Shepherd has posted between 18 and 29 DraftKings points in three of his last four games, putting up another 6/60/1 line in Week 9.

Marcell Ateman (St. Louis – $4,900) – While Butler’s on-field production trended downward last week, Ateman’s continued to improve. He’s also vastly underpriced at only $4,900, so he’s set up as major GPP chalk this week. However, we’re still very interested in cash games, as Ateman is coming off of a big 7/99 game on a whopping 11 targets last week, and also benefits from the offense we can’t wait to click on.

Jahcour Pearson (Seattle – $11,300), Juwan Green (Seattle – $6,800) – Per usual, it’s not a Top Plays article without Seattle receiver representation. And while Pearson is far and away the most expensive WR on the slate, he proved once again in Week 9 why that is, as he put up a huge 7/115/1 receiving line on eight targets. Green, meanwhile, did not follow up his massive Week 8 performance with an impressive box score, but he remains underpriced and is a pivotal member of the prolific Seattle passing game.

 

DEFENSE

St. Louis Battlehawks ($4,900)

Arlington Renegades ($4,000)

 

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LAST UPDATED7/25/2024 4:40:48ET

 

UFL Top Plays

PosRankDK
QB1Adrian Martinez
QB2A.J. McCarron
QB3
RB1Jacob Saylors
RB2John Lovett
RB3Matthew Colburn II
RB4
RB5
WR/TE1Jontre Kirklin
WR/TE2Deon Cain
WR/TE3Saiosi Mariner
WR/TE4Steven Mitchell
WR/TE5Justin Smith
WR/TE6Hakeem Butler
WR/TE7Marcus Simms
WR/TE8Marquez Stevenson
WR/TE9
WR/TE10
DST1Stallions
DST2