DFS Cash Game Breakdown 2020 Week 1
Lamar Jackson, BAL
The biggest decision to make at the start of any cash game build is how to approach the elite guys. Lamar Jackson, Christian McCaffrey, and Michael Thomas make up the trinity of fantasy difference-makers from last year. By PPR points per game, Jackson had the best fantasy season by a quarterback ever with his 1,206 rushing yards and seven scores. McCaffrey's season was top-five all time as well. Michael Thomas was great but didn't crack the top-10 receivers making him the odd man out if you can afford two of these guys.
Cam Newton, NE
If you can't afford to pay the premium on last year's MVP, Cam 'Discount Lamar Jackson' Newton is always a fine backup plan.
Newton averaged 7.6 carries for 39.1 yards and .5 touchdowns per game from his first NFL game through 2018. That's nearly two passing touchdowns generated via his legs per game.
As a passer, Newton had a career-year in 2018 by a number of metrics. His 67.9% completion rate was most notable as the Panthers offense transitioned to short and intermediate throws. That season should help him move seamlessly to the New England scheme and shred the Dolphins in Week 1.
Christian McCaffrey, CAR
Do whatever you have to in order to get Christian McCaffrey in your lineups. His 116 receptions in 2019 were second only to Michael Thomas. He also topped 1,000 yards and added four scores. CMC is an RB1 and a WR1. His $10,000 price tag on both DraftKings and Fanduel is worth it.
Antonio Gibson, WAS
Betting on a rookie in a truncated offseason might sound like a GPP-style risk but Washington has no other choice but to feed Antonio Gibson. Washington has lost all of their top four running backs from last year:
Adrian Peterson - 211 carries, 23 targets
Derrius Guice - 42, 9
Chris Thompson - 37, 58
Wendell Smallwood - 22, 13
That's 312 carries and 103 targets (19.5 and 6.4 per game) on the table. Gibson won't take all of the work but his usage as a receiver at Mephis and Day 2 draft capital suggest he'll get the first shot. That's enough to buy into at his rock-bottom price, even in cash games
Davante Adams, GB
Davante Adams was a dominant receive on the level of Michael Thomas or DeAndre Hopkins when healthy last year. He saw 29% of Green Bay's targets while dealing with a toe injury. The team then jettisoned 132 targets with Jimmy Graham and Geronimo Allison walking in free agency. They made no efforts to replace them. Adams will challenge Thomas as the No.1 receiver but comes at a massive discount on all sites this week.
Calvin Ridley, ATL
DraftKings and Fanduel got their Calvin Ridley price wrong for Week 1. Both operators kept him in the mid to low 6K range despite playing in the ideal game environment. The Falcons play at home, indoors, in a game with a 49-point total. They're also slight underdogs. No team passed the ball more than the Falcons last year and they're set to keep that trend going in Week 1. Ridley gives you cheap access to a potential barn burner.
Chris Herndon, NYJ
Because we want to get CMC, Jackson, and Adams in the lineup, paying up at tight end is a no-go. Instead, dig as a deep as I'm comfortable with by rostering Chris Herndon. Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims missed much of camp with injuries and neither appear to be 100% healthy ahead of Week 1. That leaves Jamison Crowder and Herndon as the two standing receiving assets for Sam Darnold to target. Herndon, who head coach Adam Gase raved about in camp including naming him the clear starter weeks ago, should be funneled targets as the Jets play at a constant deficit versus the Bills.
Hayden Hurst, ATL
Hayden Hurst is slightly more pricey than Herndon but does play in a better game on a better offense. He also joins a Falcons team that is missing 97 targets, 18 of which came inside the opponent's 20, from last year due to Austin Hooper's departure. Hooper is less proven than Herndon but undoubtedly has more upside.
New York Jets
The Jets are only $2,100 on DraftKings and face Josh Allen. Allen fumbled the ball 14 times last year (third-most) and was sacked 38 times (ninth-most). New York's defense is lacking talent at most levels but that rarely stops Allen from turning the ball over or taking a few sacks.