Hey guys! I hope you guys all had a great Christmas with your family. Let us see if we can make this Christmas better and make some extra money on Sunday. This is a weird slate with so many other games on other days throughout the week, but I think there are some pretty good plays. Per the usual format, I am going to divide this article into two sections. The first section will be my cash core plays. The second section will be my GPP conviction plays. Cash games are considered as 50/50s, double-ups, and head to heads. These are games where you are only trying to double up your money. In these contests, you want to play guys who have good median projections and are considered “safer” plays or have a high floor. You also should not worry about ownership in cash games as it does not matter where you finish if you are in the top half. GPP’s or tournaments are contests where a much lower portion of the field gets paid. These contests usually pay the top 20-25% of the field, with the higher you finish, the more money you will make. In GPP’s, you want to find plays that have high upside along with lower ownership that can vault you to the top of the leaderboard. In full transparency, I am mostly a cash game player with most of my volume being played in those contests, but I also do play single entry and 3 max tournaments also. I also mostly play on DraftKings and do not play much on FanDuel. My plan is to give 3 cash cores, which I think are strong plays for cash games, and then my conviction plays for GPPs.
David Montgomery (DK: 7,700) (FD: 7,800)
It is amazing how far we have come with David Montgomery, considering I was hesitant to play him in the 5k range just a few weeks ago. This price does feel gross, but Montgomery has earned it with the way he has been playing recently. He is starting to look like a completely different player than he did before. The only reason I am willing to play him at this price is because of his role and, ultimately, the matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Montgomery had 32 carries last week, which is just unreal, while also playing almost 90% of the snaps. He is also involved in the passing game. In the last 4 weeks, the jags are giving up the most fantasy points to the RB position. They have been getting gashed on the ground recently, and I do not see that changing this week against Montgomery. Even though this price tag is a little much, there is just no way I can get away from him in this spot, and I think he is a great way to start your cash lineup.
Darrell Henderson Jr. (DK: 4,500) (FD: 5,600)
With Cam Akers out this week, it opens Darrel Henderson for us at a cheap price tag. I try not to make a habit of trusting Sean McVay, but earlier this week, he did say that both Henderson and Malcolm Brown would be “heavily involved in the game plan.” I do think Henderson gets more of the carries, but I am also worried that Brown could get some of the goal-line work. But a lot of this risk is baked into the price tag. Henderson is also in a good matchup with the Seahawks, who are giving up the 10th most fantasy points to RB on the year. At this point in the week, I do feel like Henderson is going to be where I look for value in my cash lineup.
Travis Kelce (DK: 8,500) (FD: 8,800)
I am usually somebody who does not pay up for the tight end position, but on this slate, it is tough to ignore the safety and floor of Travis Kelce. At this point, paying up for Kelce is pretty much like paying up for a receiver. Kelce has had exactly 8 catches each of the last 5 weeks on double-digit targets each of those weeks. In 3 of those 5 games, he has gone over 100 yards along with scoring 4 touchdowns in those games. Patrick Mahomes is constantly looking for Travis Kelce in the end zone and uses him as his safety valve in the middle of the field. This week the Chiefs play the Falcons, who are giving up the 5th most points on the year to tight ends along with being a bottom half team against the pass. I think we're going to have plenty of money to spend on this slate, and I am planning on doing something I rarely do and locking in a lot of that salary cap on Travis Kelce in my cash lineup this week.
Giovani Bernard (DK: 4,800) (FD: 6,000)
Gio Bernard was pretty much dead for fantasy purposes until last week when he was resurrected to the tune of 25 carries for 83 yards, and a touchdown against a tough Steelers run defense. If the Bengals give Bernard the same workload this week, he could be in for a huge week against this Texans defense. The Texans give up the 2nd most fantasy points to RBs and are ranked 29th in DVOA against the run. I really like Bernard as a GPP pivot off what looks like the more popular Henderson. Henderson is projecting for almost double the ownership of Bernard and I will gladly take that ownership discount on a player who is basically the same price and in an elite matchup for running backs. I do want to note that Bernard is probably a better play on DK, but I do think he is also playable on FD too.
Miles Sanders (DK: 7,000) (FD: 7,300)
Miles Sanders is a similar play to the Bernard play in that I think he is a great GPP pivot off the more popular running backs in his price range. For example, David Montgomery is projecting for ownership in the 30% range while Sanders is projecting for sub 10% ownership, and they are in similar spots this week. The Dallas defense is giving up the 7th most fantasy points to the RB position this year, and personally, it feels like more than that every week. Since Jalen Hurts took over the starting job for the Eagles, Sanders has been playing more snaps and has been much more productive. While Hurts does take some of those goal-line touchdowns away from Sanders, I also think the threat of Hurts running opens more running lanes for Sanders. Sanders has carried the ball 14 and 17 times the last two weeks, along with running 20+ routes in those games. He is the 3 down back right now for this team, and I think he has huge upside this week and will be someone I go to in tournaments.
Diontae Johnson (DK: 6,300) (FD: 6,700)
I talked a lot on the podcast this week about how much I loved Diontae Johnson season-long this week, and I am going to double down this week as I love him just as much in DFS this week too. Johnson will be low owned as he is currently projecting for less than 10% ownership, but on the surface does look to be in a tough matchup against the Colts. If you listened to me on the pod, you know that I just think this Colts defense is completely overrated. In the last 4 weeks, they are top 10 in fantasy points allowed to the QB, RB, and WR positions. On top of being in a better matchup than most people will think, he has seen massive volume. In the last 7 games, he has received between 10-16 targets in all of them except one game. That is the volume that is hard to avoid for me at this very reasonable price tag. I believe Diontae could be in for an explosion game this week, and I do not want to miss out on it.
This is one of the rare weeks where I feel more confident in my GPP convictions than I do my Cash cores, so take that FWIW. I do think we will still get the news that could change some things as it has done in the last few weeks. So be ready to adjust your lineups with the news, and good luck this week!