Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 9


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Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 9

The league’s been a little brutal the last couple of weeks in terms of predictability, at least for me it’s been.

In Week 8, when dudes like Mike White, Davis Mills, Geno Smith, and Cooper Rush are all top-12 QBs, it’s gonna be a tough week. In addition, Jimmy Garoppolo and Justin Fields found their way into the top-5 for the week, so Week 8 was a joke for our purposes.

I did have Josh Allen (QB1) profiled along with Joe Burrow (QB10) and

Carson Wentz (QB11). But Jalen Hurts (QB25) was brutal and Patrick Mahomes (QB17), Taylor Heinicke (QB19), Teddy Bridgewater (QB22) were lame. Jared Goff (QB30) was repugnant and I need a pass on Matt Ryan (QB31), since I didn’t know Calvin Ridley would not play.

At RB, it was another weird week. I did profile Joe Mixon (RB2) and Darrell Henderson (RB5), and Cordarrelle Patterson (RB11) was good. But Damien Harris (RB21), Zack Moss (RB25),

D’Andre Swift (RB32), and Ezekiel Elliott (RB27) were quite lame. But not as lame as Dalvin Cook (RB39). And certainly, David Johnson (RB72) will be the worst inclusion of the year. He was dirt cheap, but never again with the Texan backfield.

The WR spot treated me a little better with AJ Brown (WR1) Michael Pittman (WR2), and Adam Thielen (WR13) profiled, but Ja’Marr Chase (WR26), Stefon Diggs (WR23), and Diontae Johnson (WR22) were only okay. Jerry Jeudy (WR53) was a disappointment, and DeVonta Smith (WR93) was a catastrophe.

I guess it was a good week for high-end calls, at least, with TJ Hockenson (TE1) leading the TE mentions. Unfortunately, in a week where Brevin Jordan, Jesse James, Geoff Swaim, and Jordan Akins were top-10 guys, “good” picks such as Hunter Henry (TE30), Tyler Higbee (TE25), and Kyle Pitts (TE35) flopped as did cheap option Ricky Seals-Jones (TE37).

This all means we’re due for a strong week, so let’s get to it. As usual, I’m only listing players who stand out to me based on matchup, cost, upside, sneakiness, etc.


Josh Allen (Buf, vs. — $8300 DK, $9900 FD) — A top-3 value on both sites, he’s the #1 value on FD. He was surprisingly stifled last week against Miami - and he was still the QB1 for the week with 29.5 FP. He’s thrown up 29+ FP in three straight and in four of his last five, and the terrible Jaguar defense just allowed freaking Geno Smith to lead the league with a 128.3 passer rating last week. Over the last four weeks, QBs are completing 74% of their passes against this defense for 8.7 YPA. Allen will eat as long as they want him to eat. But make sure you check on this covid situation in the Bills’ QB room.

Jordan Love (GB, at KC — $4400 DK, $6000 FD) — He’s the #1 value on DK and #3 on FD. Look, I think it’s going to be a struggle for Love, but I also think he will run 4-5 times and that he will hit 3x return with at least 30 yards rushing and 175/1 passing. That’s not too much to ask given his raw talent and a deep receiving corps.

Tyrod Taylor (Hou, vs. — $5000 DK, $6900 FD) — He’s the #2 value on DK, but only the #9 on FD. Tyrod totaled 40.1 FP in just six quarters of action before injuring his hamstring in Week 2, and the Dolphins have given up multiple TD passes to QBs in six of their last seven games. Taylor has actually owned Miami in his career, and he should like the fact that they play a lot of Cover 1, which, per our Wes Huber, is a coverage shell that Taylor has beaten for 67% of his TDs in his career. The man coverage Miami plays also leaves them more vulnerable to running QBs like Taylor, and they give up 4.6 YPC to QBs the last four weeks.

Joe Burrow (Cin, vs. Cle — $6800 DK, $7600 FD) — I don’t love-love Burrow at his pricing, but he does come in as a top-3 value on both sites. Burrow has hit 20+ FP in five straight with 2 TDs or more in every game and 3 TD passes in three straight. Burrow also threw 3 TD passses in both games against the Browns last season with 722 total passing yards. Our guy Wes Huber has noted that Burrow does well in the TD department against the coverage shells the Browns run, so with Cleveland strong against the run, this could be a 3-4 TD game for Burrow.

Note: I’m ranking them in order of my favorite plays, mainly for cash games.

Not the best values, but I do like them this week:
Derek Carr (LV, at NYG — $5900 DK, $75000 FD) — He’s not a great value on either site, but he is top-6 on DK. The Giants defense played better last week, but they’re a zone-heavy team like the Eagles, against whom Carr completed 91% of his passes last week. Carr has thrown for 315+ yards in nine of his last 11 full games dating back to last season, and the Giants gave up 20+ FP to opposing QBs in five of their first six games before holding down the struggling Patrick Mahomes and Sam Darnold the last two weeks. Carr won’t have Henry Ruggs, but he still has enough weapons to get you

Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott (Dal, vs. Den — $7000 DK, $8200 FD) — Easy call here as Zeke is the top value on DK and the #2 value on FD, thanks to a great matchup and situation in Dallas, where he’s usually a lot better, averaging 4.7 YPC in his career (4.3 on the road). Elliott is coming off his worst fantasy output of the season (11.3 FP) since Week 1, but he still saw 20+ touches for the fifth straight game. He’s looking good here with them as nine-point home favorites against an injury-ravaged Broncos’ run defense that had been crushed in recent weeks. Over their last four games, they are giving up 4.8 YPC and 26/124/1 rushing to RBs along with 5.8/59.5/.5 receiving, good for 33 FPG.

Cordarrelle Patterson (Atl, at NO — $7000 DK, $6300 FD) — It’s not a good matchup overall, but since he should be a huge key to their offense, he’s still a top-6 value on both sites. A lot of that has to do with his role in the passing game. He ran 18 routes last week and was split out wide on 10 of them. I expect the Saints to focus on stopping Kyle Pitts, perhaps with top corner Marshawn Lattimore. Per Wes Huber, Patterson leads all Falcons’ WRs 0.55 FP/Rt against Cover 1, which the Saints run at the second-highest rate in the league.

Damien Harris (NE, vs. Car — $6000 DK, $6600 FD) — I’ve listed him here several times, and he’s done well, but it’s a little scary how he’s only at around 50% of the snaps most weeks, and he’s bringing nothing to the table as a receiver with just 3/14 receiving on four targets in the last four weeks. But the Pats are a good bet to put the struggling Sam Darnold in a chokehold, and to that point, they’re 4-point road favorites. Harris looks destined for another 80+ yard game with a TD, minimum.

Zach Moss (Buf, at Jax — $5300 DK, $6000 FD) — He’s not easy to trust, but he is a top-10 value on both sites, and his upside is tangible, since the Bills are 14.5 road favorites. Moss has outsnapped Devin Singletary nearly 2-to-1 over their last three games (131 to 75), and Moss is clearly the Bills’ goal-line back, as he’s played 19 of the Bills’ 23 offensive snaps in goal-line situations, compared to just 5 for Singletary. The Jags have consistently given up rushing TDs in goal-to-go situations, so Moss is likely to score.

Not the best values, but I do like them this week:

Wide Receiver

Jerry Jeudy (Den, at Dal — $5000 DK, $5800 FD) — I didn’t list him here last week, but I got a little too excited about Jeudy last week in his first game back. He had only the third-highest snap share (72%) last week with only four targets (15% share) and 4/39 receiving, but Noah Fant is out, and Courtland Sutton will have to deal with a lot of top corner Trevon Diggs. Dallas is a plus matchup in the slot, and they have given up 9/105/1 to Chris Godwin, 4/108 to Keenan Allen, and 10/198 to Kadarius Toney in recent weeks. Jeudy did look good last week and should be ready for a larger role. I would not be surprised at all to see Jeudy get 10+ targets, so he looks like a nice value.

Jarvis Landry (Cle, vs. — $5100 DK, $5900 FD) — Tough to trust after a bad game last week with a couple of bad drops and a fumble, but that does also make him sneaky, and he’s the clear top target here with 18 targets the last two weeks. Over the final five games last season after OBJ tore his ACL, Landry averaged 19.2 FPG, and now OBJ is gone. The Bengals offense should make them take to the air more than usual, and slot WRs Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios combined for 10/97/1 receiving last week against the Bengals, who give up the 10th-most FPG out of the slot with CB Mike Hilton struggling a bit.

Bryan Edwards (LV, at NYG — $4100 DK, $5300 FD) — He’s a top-5 value on both sites, and the top value on DK. I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to say he’s a safe bet to deliver 12 PPR points this week, given the circumstances. Edwards will get a nice bump in usage with Henry Ruggs gone and Edwards has actually run the most routes per game (33.6) among Raiders WRs this season. Edwards is both a downfield and red zone threat, so there are many paths to 3X return against a Giants secondary giving up the eight-most PFG to outside WRs this season.

Kadarius Toney (NYG, vs. Oak — $5200 DK, $5700 FD) — He’s a much better value on FD, top-6 actually. I don’t need much to be sold on Toney, and our Wes Huber likes the matchup from a coverage perspective, and against the youngster Nate Hobbs. I could absolutely see a 6-catch game from Toney, and he’s a major threat to take it all the way when he touches it.

Not the best values, but I do like them this week:

Marquise Brown (Bal, vs. Min — $6000 DK, $7200 FD) — He’s only the 9th best value on DK and 15th on FD. It helps that Rashod Bateman was added to the injury report after missing Friday’s practice (groin). Brown has been money all year and when he’s not, he’s just missing big plays. He’s at 19+ FP in five of his seven games, thanks to his downfield production, and the Vikings gave up 80+ receiving yards to three different Cowboys with a backup QB making his first start last week. The Vikings are down CB Patrick Peterson and now start the beatable duo of Breshad Breeland and Cam Dantzler. They’re giving up the sixth-most FPG (40.4) to WRs, but the most FPG to outside WRs.

Stefon Diggs (Buf, at Jax — $7700 DK, $7600 FD) and Emmanuel Sanders (Buf, at Jax — $5600 DK, $6500 FD) — They are not values this week, and Cole Beasley could spoil things for these two, but Beasley has missed all but Friday’s practice (limited) this week (ribs). Obviously, after Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf combined for 18/185/2 receiving in this matchup last week, things are looking good for both. Sanders is the better value and he’s way sneakier, since he put up a goose egg on four targets last week. He should also see more of CB Tyson Campbell, who is a player you want to target. The Jaguars are giving up the fifth-most receiving yards per game (192.3) to WRs and 15/171/1 per game to WRs the last four weeks.

Justin Jefferson (Min, at Bal — $7500 DK, $7600 FD) — He’s not even remotely a value, and there may be a downside if they shadow him with Marlon Humphrey. Of course, I was worried about Humphprey against Jefferson’s old teammate Ja’Marr Chase a few weeks ago, and Chase roasted him. If he’s not on Humphrey more than half the time, then Jefferson can feast - and he is due. This looks like a throw-ball game for Kirk Cousins, and Baltimore opponents are adding over 7 attempts to their average when they play them. They’re also giving up 8.26 YPA (fifth-most) and 313.7 YPG (most) through the air.

Brandin Cooks (Hou, at Mia — $6100 DK, $6800 FD) — He’s pricey, so he’s not a great value, but Cooks has a real chance with Tyrod Taylor back and the matchup good. Cooks posted 10/182 receiving on 12 targets in just six quarters with Taylor earlier this season, and Taylor and Cooks could easily feast on this Cover 1 secondary featuring a pair of veterans who are struggling in Byron Jones and Xavien Howard. The Dolphins are giving up the fourth-most FPG to outside WRs (19.3) and the third-most yards per game to outside WRs (95.3) on the season.

Tight Ends

Tyler Conklin (Min, at Bal — $3000 DK, $5200 FD) — Our guy Greg Cosell has liked Conklin on film lately, and he has double-digit FP in consecutive games with 8/128 receiving on 12 targets. The Ravens are also giving up the most FPG (19.5) to the position after C.J. Uzomah got them for 3/91/2 receiving the last time out. I like the Vikings to be playing from behind and throwing more than usual, as well.

Albert Okwuegbunam (Den, at Dal — $2600 DK, $4500 FD) — Due to the late news that Noah Fant will not play, Albert O is the top TE value on the board on both sites because of a good matchup and incredibly low pricing. Okwuegbunam himself is questionable (knee), but Fant last week had a season-worst 2/8 receiving on four targets due to Albert O’s return. I think Dallas will do very well on offense this week, so we’re looking at some garbage time production for Albert O, and the Cowboys just gave up 5/57 receiving to Tyler Conklin in Week 8. They also give up the fifth-most FP/T, the sixth-most YP/T, and the 11th-most EPA per target against TEs.

Not the best values, but I do like them this week:

Dallas Goedert (Phi, vs. LAC — $4500 DK, $6200 FD) — He’s a top-5 value on both sites and the #3 value on FD. The Chargers have a lot of problems in the secondary with injuries, but they’re also giving up the most YP/target to TEs on the season and Goedert has reached 70+ receiving yards in each of his first two games without Zach Ertz. The Chargers had given up 15+ FP in five of their first six games before limiting the Patriots TEs last week.

Mike Gesicki (Mia, vs. Hou — $4900 DK, $6500 FD) — He’s a top-12 value on both sites, but keep in mind his projection isn’t totally indicative of his upside, since I can’t project him to catch 7-8 balls, yet he easily could. The Texans right now surrender the sixth-most FPG (16.7) to the position, the third-most FP per target and EP per target, and they had given up five TDs to the position in Weeks 4-7 playing the Rams last week. As we know, LA does not make it a point to get Tyler Higbee the ball. But with DeVante Parker out, Miami will do just that with Gesicki.

Primetime Players

Cooper Kupp (LAR, vs. Ten — $9400 DK, $9400 FD) and Robert Woods (LAR, vs. Ten — $6400 DK, $7100 FD) — Kupp is expensive and Woods has a foot issue, but this matchup is as good as it gets for these guys. The Titans are giving up a league-high 16.5 catches and 216.0 receiving yards per game to WRs, including the most FGP to slot WRs.

Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer John Hansen has been an industry leader and pioneer since 1995, when he launched Fantasy Guru. His content has been found over the years on,, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded