DraftKings Budget Beasts

To win in DraftKings cash games you need a mix of cheap players with floor and upside. Guys like Alvin Kamara and DeAndre Hopkins are easy to identify for DraftKings. They are studs week-in and week-out. Guys like Corey Davis and Anthony Miller who come out of the blue and provide you with perfect fantasy pivot play for daily fantasy sports. Let’s dive into some of my favorite budget beasts plays on DraftKings for the main slate and make you some money.

Gardner Minshew [$5,900]

Looking back to Thursday, it wasn’t a great performance for Minshew versus the Dolphins. Throwing for 275 yards and no touchdowns was a dull performance, yet still good enough for 11.2 fantasy points on DraftKings. The great thing about Minshew in cash games is even in a bust performance, he still doesn’t kill you. 11 points aren’t anything sexy but it is steady.

In Minshew’s other games this year he’s scored 20.82 and 28.46 points. A high-end ceiling and a high floor are exactly what we want for a pay down option at quarterback.

The matchup for Minshew is enticing as well. According to most metrics, Minshew has a plus matchup versus the Cincinnati Bengals who have struggled on defense to start the year. In fact, they are allowing 16.5 points per game which is 0.6 more fantasy points per game than the league average. The Bengals have allowed in consecutive weeks 16.3 points to Baker Mayfield and 23.5 points to Carson Wentz. Both of these QBs have been struggling mightily this season, allowing those points to those two is not a great sign.

Minshew is a super cheap option considering the shootout potential of the game. The Bengals have scored 23 and 30 points in their previous 2 weeks. Considering both of these teams have horrible defense I can see a shootout arising. Look for Minshew to provide you with upside and the perfect floor.

Ryan Fitzpatrick [$5,400]

Fitzmagic baby! After an absolutely smoking hot Thursday night game versus the Jaguars I’m extremely surprised that Fitzpatrick is so cheap. Considering that Fitzpatrick has scored an average of 20.3 fantasy points per game on DraftKings he should be much higher in salary.

The best part about his cheap salary and his high ceiling is that he is going up against the leagues worst pass defenses through three weeks. The Seattle Seahawks might not even know how to play defense if we are being honest. In fact, the Seahawks are allowing 30 points per game against QBs which is 4.9 more than the average.

With Fitzpatrick coming off extra rest having played on Thursday and squaring up against the leagues worst pass defense, he should be in great shape. Fitzpatrick should flash a high ceiling of about 14 points and a major ceiling with high shootout potential.

Mike Davis [$5,700]

A starting running back with pass-catching abilities, in a check-down offense for $5,700. Am I reading that right? Yes, Yes I am. The offense is so desirable to be in for running backs. Mike Davis being so cheap for a guy that has a legitimate 20 point upside is absolutely absurd.

Last week without the services of Christian McCaffrey, Davis scored an outstanding 23.5 DraftKings points. Davis isn’t a sexy option by any means but his work in the passing game really drives his points. Last week he was targeted 9 times and caught 8 of those for 45 yards. Taking out the rushing yards that’s enough for 12.5 fantasy points. That’s already hitting his value at 2x. Give me players in daily fantasy that are going to hit 3x or 2x their salary and I’ll give you free cash in your wallet.

The matchup doesn’t seem all too exciting on paper and neither do the statistics. I’m not too scared of the stats as a whole though. The Cardinals haven’t been giving up many yards on the ground to running backs but they have been giving up points. Week 1 versus the 49ers, Raheem Mostert had a 21.1 showing. Mostert was ineffective on the ground but racked up 95 yards through the air. Exciting statistic, to say the least, I’m very comfortable with Davis’ floor for this game. The cheap salary and upside make him an almost must play on this slate.

David Johnson [$5,600]

This was my guy in redraft fantasy football leagues before the season, and I must admit, I took a small victory lap after week 1. Well, I’m still on the wagon. He’s an extremely intriguing play this week.

Its no secret just how terrible the Vikings defense is and with a struggling Texans team squaring up against them this week, it seems like a perfect “get right” game. Especially for David Johnson, although he hasn’t played terribly by any means this year he has played decent. Johnson has been passing game and touchdown dependant so far, he’s scored in consecutive weeks from week 1: 19.9, 7.0, and 12.6 fantasy points. If his floor is 7 points, that’s not horrible, again not great though, that’s 1.25x value. The goal is 2.5x to 3x.

The matchups haven’t been in favor of Johnson so far, playing arguably 2 of the 3 top defenses in the league in the Steelers, Ravens, and Chiefs. Now it’s getting easier for Johnson. Here are the running backs and their stats on how they performed versus the Vikings.

Very appealing, if you are going to give me a baseline of 13.6 points I’m going to take that all day every day. Johnsons work in the passing game paired with two offenses that are going to trade big play jabs is a great sign. This should be a coming-out party for Johnson and he’s arguably my favorite running back on the slate with huge upside and great floor.

Another thing to note is that the Texans are playing the Vikings who will be on short practice. With the coronavirus situation, their building was shut down till Thursday.

Robby Anderson [$5,400]

Why? Just why? How can DraftKings continue to not increase Anderson’s salary? 28.4, 21.9, and 10.5 points. Yes, that’s what Anderson has scored over the first 3 weeks of the DraftKings season. Pairing huge big-play upside with a cheap high-end floor is a recipe for success in cash games. Anderson is the clear cut favorite target of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Getting the number one receiver on a team at a cheap salary is huge.

Diving into the matchup is where things get exciting for me. You might look on the other side and say “they are playing the Cardinals and Patrick Peterson, that’s a tough matchup.” Well, not exactly, you see Peterson has played terrible this season. According to Pro Football Focus, Anderson has the 11th best matchup of ALL wide receivers on Sunday. Peterson has been getting torched in coverage all year, he has a PFF grade of 49 which is barely middle of the road.

According to statistics, Anderson holds a 30 percent matchup advantage on Sunday versus Peterson. I’m tossing out the first-week matchup versus the Cardinals because it was Kendrick Bourne but here is what good to above average receivers have done versus the Cardinals.

  • Week 2: Terry McLaurin – 10 Targets – 7 Receptions – 125 Yards – 1 Touchdown
  • Week 3: Kenny Golladay – 7 Targets – 6 Receptions – 57 Yards – 1 Touchdown

Those are solid numbers, with Anderson being incredibly cheap and looking like the #1 player in the offense he’s a great pay down option. With a juicy matchup and Anderson’s elite speed, he should be able to make huge plays in the secondary as you expect the Panthers to be trailing in this game often.

Jimmy Graham [$3,800]

Tight end isn’t in a great spot on DraftKings this week. Paying down might not be the best option for the position considering the canceling of the Titans and Steelers game. If you are going to pay down, who better than Jimmy Graham?

Especially now the Nick Foles is the quarterback for the Bears, you have to love Graham even more. In Foles quarter and a half of play, he quickly became one of Foles top two targets if not the top. When Foles entered a game for a benched Trubisky he immediately and repeatedly found Graham. They quickly scored a touchdown and found themselves back in a game where they were down 16 points. Graham and Foles clearly have some chemistry to start.

The opponent isn’t a great matchup for Graham. The Colts have had a decent defense all year long but have played pushovers for the most part. They have also yet to play quality tight end like Graham yet. They have played the liked of Irv Smith, Tyler Eifert, and Chirs Herndon. not exactly a murders row of opponents. I am optimistic about Graham though, they play a defense that recently lost star safety Malik Hooker.

According to Pro Football Focus, Graham actually has an 18 percent advantage in his matchup versus linebacker Anthony Walker of the Colts. Walker is rated extremely low according to PFF. He has a grade of 43 which is barely middle of the pack, it’s actually extremely below average.

For an overview of Graham’s season here are his scores through 3 weeks.

  • Week 1: 11.5 DK Points
  • Week 2: 2.8 DK Points
  • Week 3: 24 DK Points

Graham has a solid floor, 11.5, and 24 are great. With no real cheap options on the slate, I believe Graham is a must-play if you are paying down at the position.


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