Welcome to another edition of the 2019 Confident Cash Plays Series!
Things have been going great so far with the Confident Cash Plays! The ideal lineup from our player pools have hit at least 220 points every week with a full slate! Let’s see if we can keep the momentum rolling!
If you like GPP contests, Ryan Collinsworth has a piece for you every week as well! But for now, let’s dive into this week’s Confident Cash Plays!
First things first, because what I’m about to say will shape the rest of this entire piece: the implied team points are a mess for this slate:
There are two teams implied for 43 or more points, and then a quick cliff after that. The average implied points is also nearly two points lower than just a week ago. What does this mean? It’s likely chasing the points this week is the way to go. And several good mid-priced players are likely to miss on the lower point total teams. If not, Vegas is going to be out a lot of money.
Speaking of point totals, LSU and Alabama are supposed to score nearly 100 combined points. Joe Burrow ($8,500, LSU) and Tua Tagovailoa ($8,700, Alabama) certainly seem to have a healthy level of opportunity. Yes, they could be benched in the third quarter of their respective matchups. But given that each currently averages around 35 points per game, both elite quarterbacks should have no problem posting cash-worthy numbers.
However, if you have to pick between the two, Burrow is actually the safer option of the two. Why?
|Quarterback||Week Four Price||Average FPoints/Game||Pass Completions + Rush Attempts/Game||Implied Team Points||Opponent Pass Yds/Game Allowed|
Burrow is slightly cheaper, faces an even softer passing matchup in Vanderbilt, and actually logs more total opportunities per game. On top of that, the point spread implies that LSU and Vanderbilt should be a game for longer, keeping Burrow on the field. Both should be incredibly safe options compared to virtually every other quarterback on the board, but Burrow should be the anchor this week.
There are really only two truly “cheap” options this week, but four that definitely present significant value:
|Quarterback||Week Four Price||Average FPts/Game||Pass Comp + Rush Att/Game||Implied Team Points||Opponent Pass Yds/Game|
Clearly, Kelly Bryant’s price ($7,500, Missouri) makes sense this week. South Carolina’s pass defense likely isn’t as atrocious as Alabama made them look a week ago, but it certainly isn’t their point of strength. When you mix the soft match-up with Bryant’s dual threat ability, opportunity floor, and implied team total points Bryant slots in as a pretty cashy QB this week. If you have to pivot off one of the elite quarterbacks Bryant isn’t a bad bet to meet or exceed points per dollar expectations.
However, it’s always about price, which is what makes the other three intriguing.
Dillon Gabriel ($7,000, UCF) just threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns against Stanford a week ago. Pittsburgh looks tougher on paper against the pass, but teams playing them simply haven’t thrown the ball very much. UCF doesn’t air it out a ton either, but now that Gabriel’s the clear starter on a high scoring offense the opportunity is clear. Thirty-five implied points, a likely 30-plus pass attempt total, and small rushing attempt upside makes Gabriel a potential value.
However, there’s likely no better than James Blackman ($6,500, Florida State). We’ve all heard the Florida State offensive line is horrible, but that hasn’t stopped Blackman from averaging over 24 fantasy points per game this year. He’s scored at least three touchdowns in every game this year. He’s throwing the ball nearly 40 times per game. And now he draws Louisville, a team that the oddsmakers believe will surrender 34 points this weekend.
Kenny Pickett ($5,900, Pitt) is more of a GPP play, but he offers extreme pricing flexibility to stack both Alabama and LSU receivers on your squad. Plus, he’s averaging the highest pass completions and rush attempt numbers on the entire slate this weekend. His touchdown percentage is far below expectations, so positive regression to the mean is coming.
Priority: (1) Burrow, (2) Tagovailoa, (3) Blackman, (4) Bryant, (5) Gabriel, (6) Pickett
Jonathan Taylor ($8,900, Wisconsin) is essentially impossible to fade in cash every week. Even though he’s expensive and Wisconsin’s implied points are low he’s averaging 45 points per game on an average of 20 touches. However, the only way to get him into lineups will be to utilize one of the cheapest quarterback options. It’s still likely worth it.
However, if you’re worried about dropping $8,900 on any non-quarterback Cam Akers ($7,800, Florida State), Larry Rountree ($7,700, Missouri), and Scottie Phillips ($6,800, Ole Miss) offer incredible opportunity as well:
|Running Back||Touches/Game||Average FPts/Game||Implied Team Points||Opponent Rush Yards Allowed/Game|
Akers definitely provides the safest floor for touches as he is the backbone of the Florida State offense. He would be the primary pivot back from Jonathan Taylor.
Rountree could see huge scoring opportunity given Missouri’s match-up on the ground and the implied points. He’s scored in every game so far and is starting to catch some passes as well.
Phillips hasn’t been the most efficient back so far, but Ole Miss has turned into a run first team this season, and if they’re going to beat California that’s where they’ll have the advantage. 25 or more touches is certainly possible, if not probable.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,100, LSU) is in that in-between pricing tier almost by himself this week. But he projects to be the RB3 overall this week in scoring. Why? He’s facing an injured and horrible Vanderbilt defense this week in a game where LSU should easily score 40 points. Edwards-Helaire has been the feature for LSU in every game up until late garbage time. He should be in virtually every lineup you can fit him this week.
The other cheap pairings this week are a bit more dangerous than usual, because there aren’t many easy “follow the points” players with solid weekly opportunity:
|Running Back||Week 4 Price||Touches/Game||Average FPts/Game||Implied Team Points||Opponent Rush Yds Allowed/Game|
|Christopher Brown Jr.||$5800||23.67||19.1||21||106.3|
I usually don’t suggest 1b backs high-volume committees for cash lineups, but Tyler Badie ($5,800, Missouri) is the exception. He functions as the team’s second receiving target and offers double-digit touches every week. With 37 implied points in a plus match-up, $5800 seems a bit low.
Christopher Brown Jr. is only here because of his ridiculous touch floor. The game script likely won’t lend itself to a high score given that both teams have become run first options, but Brown is a true feature back at $5,800. If he breaks one long run the rest of his volume will more than cover his price.
Ty’Son Williams, Rico Dowdle, and Isaiah Spiller are risky for my typical cash taste, but all offer incredible opportunity floors for around $5,000. Williams has become the feature back for BYU. Dowdle has been the most effective rusher in the South Carolina high volume committe. Spiller looks to be the every-down workhorse for Texas A&M in a game where they’ll be forced to rely upon him. His touch average is skewed by the first game where Jashaun Corbin (now out for the year) was the lead back.
The two cheap backs that you’ll want to alternate between in building every lineup this week will be Javian Hawkins ($4,400, Louisville) and Elijah Collins ($4,600, Michigan State) once again.
Hawkins will be relied upon heavily this weekend regardless of which Louisville quarterback is playing. Jawon Pass (primary starting QB for Louisville) hurt his foot a week ago, and even if he plays won’t be stealing carries away. And if Malik Cunningham (the backup QB) isn’t even the passer that Pass is, so if he gets the green light that could mean even more work for Hawkins. At $4,400, facing a defense allowing 170 yards on the ground each game Hawkins is a safe steal.
Collins is also facing a defense allowing over 170 rushing yards per game on the ground. He’s logged at least 18 touches in each of the past two contests. Even with a low implied point total, the touches should be some of the safest on the board and he’s only $4,600 (somehow).
Priority: (1) Edwards-Helaire, (2) Collins, (3) JHawkins, (4) Akers, (5) Taylor, (6) Phillips
Okay, so this week I’m splitting things a bit different for wide receiver. Instead of studs versus cheap pairings, it’s going to be Alabama and LSU versus everybody else. There’s just a clear steep drop in possible ceiling for individual players outside of those two teams.
Alabama & LSU
Both teams are projected to score over 40 points this week and face defenses surrendering 275 passing yards or more per game. There should be plenty of volume to go around for everyone. But let’s look at how both teams have spread their receptions around thus far:
|Receiver||Week 4 Price||Average FPts/Game||Touches/Game|
|Terrace Marshall Jr.||$7200||25.97||5.33|
|Henry Ruggs III||$6500||20.23||4.33|
That’s an insane total of 151 points per week between those seven receivers. Talk about some chalky, safe, cash options.
Jaylen Waddle has disappointed, but given his propensity to create long plays as demonstrated last year his price is still incredibly intriguing given the implied volume of opportunity this week.
Jerry Jeudy had a down week last week, but he’s still averaging nearly 30 points per game. It’s noteworthy that he was playing into the fourth quarter last week despite Alabama’s large lead. Even if Alabama gets up early, his campaign for back-to-back Biletnikoff Awards might keep him in.
Justin Jefferson has been the WR1 for the Tigers for a while now. It just took most people a while to realize this. He’s already scored four touchdowns this year and grabbed at least five receptions in every game. Jefferson should have no problem slicing up Vanderbilt and should easily cover his price in a stack with Burrow.
Devonta Smith is the obvious value among the entire group though. He’s been consistently underpriced each week and is somehow still only $6,100. He’s had at least five catches in every contest as well but is going for $1,500 cheaper than Jefferson. Smith should be in most cash lineups everywhere this week.
Terrace Marshall, Henry Ruggs, and Ja’Marr Chase are all a bit riskier given their price but should be considered given opportunity volume this week. They have just been less trustworthy week to week from a touches per game standpoint than the Jeudy/Jefferson/Smith trio.
Darrell Stewart ($6,300, Michigan State), Maurice French ($5,800, Pittsburgh), and Taysir Mack ($5,500, Pittsburgh) are all three averaging at least seven receptions+carries per game this season! The only concern here is that both teams should not reach 30 points this week in their match-ups. I typically prefer great implied volume, but given their market share numbers, I’m rotating between all three this week in my WR2 slot. Ffrench is the best value averaging eight receptions per game at $5,800.
Jonathan Johnson ($5,700, Missouri) had a big Week 1 but has dropped off since only averaging four receptions per game. However, he’s still Missouri’s go-to WR1, which given the soft match-up he’s still a value to consider.
Tamorrion Terry ($6,000, Florida State) is one of the more fun deep threats in college football. He’s almost priced out, but he’s averaging nearly five catches per game in one of the most favorable receiving match-ups on the board.
Chatarius Atwell ($4,400) is a tiny little shifty weapon for Louisville that’s seen at least three touches in every game and is coming off a four-catch, 141-yard, three-touchdown performance against Western Kentucky. There are exactly zero players on the board with that much upside at $4,400. Plus Florida State has been giving up over 300 passing yards per game.
The absolute steal of the week is potentially going to be Anthony Schwartz for Auburn at just $3000. Schwartz broke his hand in training camp, but he’s been playing through it. He’s actually been wearing a club on his hand for the past three weeks, but according to team sources should have a much less restrictive bandage now. He’s definitely more of a GPP play, but last year he averaged more than four touches per game and 11.6 yards per touch. Auburn’s receiver corps is nearly all injured in some way. His market share this week could spike and be a tourney winner.
Priority: (1) Devonta Smith, (2) Justin Jefferson, (3) Maurice Ffrench, (4) Darrell Stewart, (5) Jerry Jeudy, (6) Chatarius Atwell
And that’s all folks! Hope your teams kill it in the main slate of Week 4 College Football! Make sure to check out Devy Weekly to learn more about breakout studs every single week of the season. Please find me on Twitter @FF_TravisM to chat more about all things college football and NFL! And as always, keep living that Dynasty Life!