Last week, we had a pretty obvious cash construction thanks to all of the values that the early salaries provided us. This week, there’s no such luck and the pricing is definitely tighter. The purpose of this article each week will be to give a pay-up option and a cheap option for cash at each position. I’m not going to bore you with anything else, let’s get to it.
If you’re going to pay up, you might as well pay all the way up and go with Drew Brees ($7,200). The Saints are implied for nearly 30 points as 10 point favorites. Teams don’t win because they run, they run because they’re winning. Brees has the advantage of Alvin Kamara ($9,500) in the backfield. He’s just as likely to score on a reception as he is on a rush, which raises Brees’ floor. Oh, and he has some guy named Michael Thomas ($8,600) who’s a halfway decent WR. If you can find the salary, pay up for exposure to that game.
As the 8th highest QB salary on the main slate, I’m going to call Jared Goff ($6,300) my “pay down” option. He’s affectionately known as Goff GOAT around the Jones household and is in essentially the same spot as his counterpart in New Orleans. They’re favored by almost 2 TDs and implied for 29.25 points. Set up for elite production at a $900 discount, I’ll take it.
I think it’s ok if you fade the $9,000 running backs, Alvin Kamara ($9,500) and Todd Gurley ($9,200). That will afford you two guys from the middle tier and allow you to pay up at the QB or WR.
Melvin Gordon ($7,400) is one of the guys that you need in just about any format. He’s a bit of a polarizing guy in the sense that some will argue that he isn’t “talented”. I don’t care. I’ll take the opportunity he gets over perceived talent every day of the week, and Gordon has that. No RB saw more work in the passing game and just six players at any position saw more targets than him. Gordon is a cash game lock this weekend.
James Conner ($6,700) is in Le’Veon Bell’s role, performed about as well as you could expect, and is at least $2,000 cheaper than Bell would be. Mike Tomlin has no issue whatsoever with swapping out running backs. We saw it with De’Angelo Williams in the past, and we’re seeing it again with Conner. He’ll have to get over $8,000 for me to consider not playing him in cash.
Kenny Golladay’s ($4,800) rapport with Matthew Stafford seems to grow with every drive. The concern might be that he’s technically the WR3 in Detroit, but the Lions ran 3 WR sets at the third highest rate in the NFL last season. Looking over the box score, he saw 4 more targets (12) than Marvin Jones ($6,200) did against the Jets. He also accounted for six first downs, which led the team. Until the price on Golladay catches up to his usage, he will be a value in DFS.
There’s not a real good argument against any of the top six salary WRs. If you have an argument against Antonio Brown ($8,800), I’d love to hear it. Brown saw 16 targets last week and had 93 yards on 9 catches to go along with a touchdown. He was in on 83-of-84 snaps. Should I keep going? Probably not. If you played AB on every slate this year, you’d rarely be disappointed. The matchup is nothing to be scared of. Fire up AB.
Zach Ertz ($6,100) is going to land on the right side of variance more often than not given his usage. Ertz scoring less than 10 points on 10 targets is the outlier of all outliers. Somewhat surprisingly, Ertz is actually a touch better (1.3 PPR Points) with Nick Foles than Carson Wentz over the past 2+ seasons. I’m thinking they make a concerted effort to get him the ball. If you have the salary, paying up for Ertz in cash is in play this week.
All of that being said, there’s not much of a chance I pay for Ertz in Week 2. George Kittle ($3,800) is $2,300 cheaper. That’s the difference between Antonio Brown and Golden Tate. Not that there’s anything wrong with playing Tate most weeks, but you’d take AB over him 100 times out of 100. He saw 118 air yards in the first week of the season. Some of that usage may have been due to Marquise Goodwin’s injury. Considering he’s still sidelined as of Thursday’s practice, there’s at least a shot he misses Sunday’s game.