NFL Sunday is upon us, and a ripe 12-game slate awaits on DraftKings. I mainly happen to be a cash game player (roughly the top half of their field gets paid out) versus a tournament player (roughly top 20 percent get paid on a scale), so below I’ll provide you with some of the safest players on this slate that are on my radar:
Ben Roethlisberger ($6,700) at NO — Big Ben is the most expensive QB on the slate, and has his known struggles on the road. The numbers are really exaggerated, though, as he averages just 0.7 DKFP less on away from home this season. Ben needs a big game against the last ranked defense in DKFP allowed to QB this season.
Andrew Luck ($6,200) vs. NYG — Luck didn’t have to do much in a 23-0 win over the Cowboys last week, but it drove his salary down for a more favorable matchup against the Giants. Prior to last week, Luck was averaging over 25 DKFP at home — look for a bounce-back.
Nick Foles ($4,700) vs. HOU — Foles was terrific in the win over the Rams, completing 77-percent of his passes for 270 yards. He failed to reach the end zone, but look for that to change against a banged up Houston defense. Can’t beat the price tag here on Foles.
Ezekiel Elliott ($9,000) vs. TB — Zeke was on an absolute tear with 25-plus DKFP in all five games from Week 10 on. That streak came to a halt in Indianapolis last week, but even in a shutout loss, Elliott still got 25 touches and scored almost 20 DKFP. That speaks to his insanely high floor. Look for a big bounce-back against a terrible Tampa defense back in Dallas.
Christian McCaffrey ($8,800) vs. ATL — There are two was to look at this play. With Cam Newton out, the offense could struggle and the Panthers could limit CMC’s touches to preserve him. But if Carolina does try to grind out this win, they’re going to feed McCaffrey the rock plenty of times against a defense he scored over 30 DKFP against in Week 2 (thanks to 14 catches).
Saquon Barkley ($7,900) at IND — Barkley struggled last week against Tennessee, but not enough to warrant dropping his salary a massive $1,500. Still averaging 25.8 DKFP on the season, Saquon is simply too cheap for any matchup. As mentioned, Elliott still scored 20 DKFP in this matchup last week without seeing the end zone.
Nick Chubb ($7,300) vs. CIN — The Browns have moved all the way to double-digit home favorites against a Bengals’ squad with none of their key players. Chubb’s been one of the most featured backs in the NFL since the coaching changes in Cleveland, so look for him to dominate one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL (26th in DKFP allowed to RB). Chubb got them for 27.8 DKFP on the road back in Week 12.
Bargain Bin — Week 16 gets a bit messy with all the inactives, so here are the values I’m looking at (in no particular order): Elijah McGuire ($4,700), Kalen Ballage ($3,700), Theo Riddick ($4,100), Tevin Coleman ($4,800), Alfred Blue ($4,500), Jamaal Williams ($5,400), Marlon Mack ($5,500).
Monitor Injuries — Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins and T.Y. Hilton are all banged up and questionable to play. With a lot of injuries at WR, make sure you follow the news leading up to this slate to make sure plays are safe.
Michael Thomas ($8,100) vs. PIT — Thomas makes for a nice security blanket because we know he’s playing. He’s been much better at home this season, averaging 25.7 DKFP at the Superdome.
Robert Woods ($6,600) vs. ARI — The Rams could wind up without Todd Gurley, and even if he plays he projects to have a limit role (by Gurley’s standards). That could lead to more work for a trusty WR option like Woods. Woods has scored double-digit DKFP in every game this season outside of Week 1.
Robby Anderson ($4,500) vs. GB — Anderson’s been a beast since Sam Darnold returned from injury, bringing in 11-of-18 targets for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games. The Packers rank 25th in DKFP allowed to WR this season, and look to have practically given up on their season.
Chris Hogan ($3,300) vs. BUF — Josh Gordon’s departure from the Patriots leaves a big role open on the outside. New England became reliant on Gordon, as he played 92-percent of the snaps in the loss to the Steelers. Hogan’s the logical option to see increased targets, while Patterson and Dorsett should also see their role’s grow.
Zach Ertz ($5,900) vs. HOU — Ertz’s price tag is driven down with Carson Wentz out, but Foles still looks his way often enough — 30 targets in Foles’ three starts. Houston ranks just 25th defending TE, while Ertz averages TEN more DKFP at home than on the road — 23 per game in seven home games.
Evan Engram ($4,600) at IND — With Odell Beckham Jr. out, Engram’s been a favorite target for Eli Manning. He’s topped 75 yards in consecutive games, and seems to finally be finding his stride. Indy ranks just 22nd against TE.
C.J. Uzomah ($3,300) at CLE — If you need to pay down, well, Cincinnati has to throw the ball somewhere. Short dump offs to the TE would seem to make sense with virtually no WR available.
Dolphins D/ST ($2,700) — We just can’t trust this Jacksonville offense, particularly on the road. The Jags are averaging just 11 points per game with Cody Kessler starting, and Miami is averaging nine DKFP on D/ST at home.