These are the players with the best projections relative to their salaries — good plays both for cash games and large-field tournaments. While we don't want our GPP lineups to look like cash-game lineups top to bottom, there's nothing wrong with using a few chalky plays. These players, combined with passing-game stacks, tend to form the core that remains fairly consistent throughout my lineups.
RB Tony Pollard vs. CHI ($6,100)
Ezekiel Elliott is expected to sit, meaning Pollard will finally be in line for a three-down role. The one time it happened last season, he finished the week as RB1. Dallas has a very favorable matchup at home against the Bears and you'd expect Pollard to see 20-plus touches, including opportunities in the red zone. Pretty much the entire industry has been waiting for this spot, and he's going to be incredibly popular as a result. That's just another reason to roster him in cash games.
QB Sam Ehlinger vs. WAS ($4,000)
It isn't often the we see a minimum-priced starting quarterback. It's even less often that one projects as good enough value for cash games, but that's exactly what we have here. Sam Ehlingerwas sixth-round pick in 2021 out of Texas, where he rushed for 33 TDs in four years. That dual-threat ability makes him appealing enough to consider in cash games. The Colts are favored and playing at home, which doesn't hurt either. On a slate that's pretty weak at QB, you might get by with just 10 points at $4,000, and if he puts up 15-20, that's surely enough to be optimal as there isn't much cheap value at the other positions. Other Cash-Games Options QB Jalen Hurts vs. PIT ($8,300) QB Tua Tagovailoa at DET ($6,200) QB Justin Fields at DAL ($5,200) QB Sam Ehlinger vs. WAS ($4,000) RB Josh Jacobs at NO ($7,500) RB Alvin Kamara vs. LV ($7,100) RB Kenneth Walker vs. NYG ($6,500) RB Rhamondre Stevenson at NYJ ($6,400) RB Dameon Pierce vs. TEN ($6,300) RB Tony Pollard vs. CHI ($6,100) WR Tyreek Hill at DET ($8,500) WR DeAndre Hopkins at MIN ($7,400) WR CeeDee Lamb vs. CHI ($7,000) WR Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. MIA ($6,900) WR Tyler Lockett vs. NYG ($6,500) WR Chris Olave vs LV ($6,000) WR DJ Moore at ATL ($5,300) TE Pat Freiermuth at PHI ($3,900) TE Dalton Schultz vs. CHI ($3,700) TE Juwan Johnson vs. LV ($3,200), if Trautman is out TE Foster Moreau at NO ($3,100), if Waller is out TE Noah Fant vs. NYG ($2,800), if Metcalf is out D/ST Washington Commanders at IND ($2,600) Passing-Game Stacks Stacks are the centerpiece of most tournament lineups, seeking to take advantage of positive correlations between players. It rarely makes sense to use a quarterback without one or two of his pass catchers, even if the player in question scores a decent portion of his fantasy points with his legs. Ideally, a stack also includes a pass catcher from the other side of the game, hoping to take advantage of a back-and-forth shootout. (Implied team totals are listed in parentheses.) Miami Dolphins (27.5) at Detroit Lions (24) DOLPHINS Here is an interesting note as it relates to Miami's pace: Prior to Week 7, the Dolphins had the second-lowest no-huddle rate in the league at 1.7 percent. In Sunday night's win, that rate jumped to 22.6 percent as they went hurry-up on three scoring drives in the first half. The game finished with 10 more combined plays than Miami averaged this season. Not that you need another reason to like them against the Lions but three games in Detroit have averaged 76 points. Tua Tagovailoa($6,200) looked pretty good in his return from a concussion and, more important, came out of it unscathed. Plain and simple, he's clearly underpriced for such a favorable matchup, especially on a slate lacking for elite quarterbacks. Tyreek Hill ($8,500) continues to see massive volumes after another 13 targets last week. He's averaging more than 11 on the season and that's part of the reason he projects among the best point-per-dollar values at WR, which really says something considering the salary. Some of that volume has come at the expense of Jaylen Waddle ($6,700), who's drawn five or fewer targets in three of his last four. He still has big ceiling potential in this matchup, though, and he'll be less popular than Hill, which adds some appeal. Mike Gesicki($3,800) had seven targets in consecutive games and is always a threat in the red zone. He's relatively cheap and there is a lack of opportunity cost at TE this week. Raheem Mostert ($5,900)has shown enough in the passing game that he can be rostered with or without Tua. He's coming off a season-high four catches and his first TD reception. LIONS Detroit has put up at least 35 points in all three of their home games. The matchup against Miami clearly favors the passing-game as the Dolphins have a top run defense while their secondary and pass coverage rank near the bottom. We've already seen Jared Goff ($5,500) throw for four TDs twice and he has that type of upside in this matchup. Normally he's someone I wouldn't consider, but the QB position is weak, which increases the viability of the cheaper ones. This should be a great spot for Amon-Ra St. Brown ($6,900), who was not concussed last week but had to sit out based on the new protocols. The Dolphins have struggled in the secondary and St. Brown is priced less than $7K for the first time in four weeks. T.J. Hockenson ($4,900) makes plenty of sense too as Miami's defense has given up the third-most catches in the league to TEs. Taking a chance on Josh Reynolds ($5,000) or Kalif Raymond ($4,300) for leverage in large-field GPPs seems fine but I wouldn't go there in single-entry/3 max contests. I'll probably avoid the running backs with D'Andre Swift ($6,800) back healthy. I mentioned Miami's stout run defense, and although Swift has plenty of upside in the passing game, it's tough to envision a full workload for him in his first game since Week 3. He still has multiple-TD upside though and would offer some leverage paired with Tua.
Favorite Stack: QB Tagovailoa + WR Hill + WR St. Brown + TE Gesicki
New York Giants (20.75) at Seattle Seahawks (23.75) GIANTS It isn't often that a 44.5-point total will be one of my favorite stacks, but this matchup has a variety of appeal. Although it might not have a high total, the pace and play volume should be higher than most games and, with the exception of Saquon Barkley ($8,100), everyone you'd want to roster is plenty affordable. The Giants are easy to stack as they really only have a few players. Daniel Jones($5,700) is coming off his best game of the season against the Jags that saw him rush for 107 yards on his way to 31.78 DK points, proving that he does have a ceiling. This should be a good spot for Jones as Seattle's defense is mediocre at best. Saquon Barkley continues to be a workhorse after 28 touches last week for 135 scrimmage yards. He leads the NFL in touches and total yards. Wan'Dale Robinson ($4,700) caught six of eight targets for 50 yards and played 69 percent of snaps last week. He seems healthy now and looks like one of the better cheap values on the board at WR. Darius Slayton ($4,600) offers upside as the main deep threat. He caught a 32-yard TD last week and has drawn 6-plus targets in two of the last three games. Tight end Daniel Bellinger is out injured, which should give another small boost to the WRs. SEAHAWKS Geno Smith ($5,800) got it done again last week as he led the Seahawks to an upset over the Chargers. His prospects for success in this matchup may hinge on the status of DK Metcalf($6,600), who has yet to practice after injuring his knee. If Metcalf misses, you'd expect Tyler Lockett ($6,500) to draw 10 targets while Marquise Goodwin ($4,400), Dee Eskridge ($3,300)and Noah Fant ($2,800) would try to fill Metcalf's role. If he misses, though, I'd consider just avoiding the passing-game altogether; it's difficult to imagine ceiling performances. Kenneth Walker ($6,500) would make much more sense to me. Walker scorched the Chargers for 167 yards and two TDs last week. He's been very impressive and the Giants allow 5.74 yards per carry.
Favorite Stack: QB Jones + RB Walker + WR Robinson
Other Stacks to Consider QB Jalen Hurts + WR A.J. Brown or WR DeVonta Smith + WR George Pickens + TE Dallas Goedert QB Jalen Hurts + WR A.J. Brown and/or WR DeVonta Smith + TE Pat Freiermuth QB Kyler Murray + WR DeAndre Hopkins + WR Justin Jefferson QB Tua Tagovailoa + WR Jaylen Waddle + WR Amon-Ra St. Brown +/- TE Mike Gesicki QB Daniel Jones + WR Wan'Dale Robinson + WR Tyler Lockett QB Jared Goff + WR Tyreek Hill + WR Amon-Ra St. Brown + TE T.J. Hockenson QB Justin Fields + RB Tony Pollard + WR Darnell Mooney High-Priced Heroes
WR Tyreek Hill at DET ($8,500)
Hill leads the league in targets, averaging more than 11 per game. That's awfully appealing for a player who has touchdown upside every time he touches the ball. Add to that the matchup against Detroit, who have little defense and whose home games have averaged 76 points. The result is that Hill projects as the top WR on the slate in terms of point-per-dollar value.
RB Derrick Henry at HOU ($8,400)
Houston was noticeably bad against the run last week and it resulted in a huge game from Josh Jacobs. Here's a crazy stat about Henry: He's rushed for 200-plus yards three times against the Texans. We haven't seen one of his massive ceiling games yet, but this could be the spot. He touches the ball 30 times per game and he's been involved in the passing game too. It all sets up very well for Sunday. Honorable Mentions: QB Jalen Hurts ($8,300); WR Cooper Kupp ($9,600); RB Saquon Barkley($8,100) Fading the Field Every week we see at least one or two players who are popular without the backing of a top point-per-dollar projection. In some cases it even makes sense to fade a player with a strong projection, particularly when there are good alternatives at the same position and price range
RB Josh Jacobs, LV at NO ($7,500)
Fading Jacobs here isn't about not liking him. He's been incredible lately, rushing for 140-plus yards in three consecutive games. He's also been catching passes and finding the end zone, which has resulted in three consecutive games with at least 33 DK points. Those are massive numbers and if they make you want to keep rostering him, I completely understand. I'll fade for a few reasons: he's more expensive now and still going to be quite popular, while there are cheaper running backs who I'm just as interested in rostering. For example, Alvin Kamara ($7,100), on the home side of that matchup. The Smash Spot (Players in favorable spots to significantly outperform their salary.)
WR Chris Olave, NO vs. LV ($6,000)
Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry have been ruled out, which means that Olave should be in line to see big volume again. He's already drawn at least 13 targets three times this season and is coming off seven catches for 106 yards on 14 targets last week. The matchup against the Raiders has one of the higher totals on the slate and is expected to be competitive, which would add to the potential of Olave putting up a ceiling score. Honorable Mentions: RB Alvin Kamara ($7,100); WR Amon-Ra St. Brown ($6,900) The Bargain Bin QB Geno Smith vs. NYG ($5,800) QB Daniel Jones at SEA ($5,700) QB Justin Fields at DAL ($5,200) QB Sam Ehlinger vs. WAS ($4,000) RB Raheem Mostert at DET ($5,900) RB D'Onta Foreman at ATL ($5,300) WR Darnell Mooney at DAL ($4,800) WR Wan'Dale Robinson at SEA ($4,700) WR George Pickens at PHI ($4,700) WR Darius Slayton at SEA ($4,600) WR Parris Campbell vs. WAS ($4,500) WR Garrett Wilson vs. NE ($4,200) TE Noah Fant vs. NYG ($2,800), if Metcalf is out