I am mainly a cash-game player. Cash games refer to any contest in which roughly 50 percent of the field gets paid out, such as head-to-head, double up or 50/50. I try to get as much head-to-head action as I can every week and then supplement that with other cash games.
Each week, I’ll review my cash-game lineup in this space. Sometimes I’ll lose, but hopefully I’ll win more often. Either way, I’ll post it here and give you my thought process.
The big decision in cash this week was whether to play Christian McCaffrey ($10,500). This was not like in Week 9, when we had the lock value in Jaylen Samuels at $4,000, the top of the WR pool was weak and McCaffrey was home as a favorite. This time, CMC was $500 more with a fistful of viable cheap RBs looking at big workloads. Still, his floor/ceiling combo in cash always is going to be very much in play.
MY MUST PLAYS
— Michael Thomas’ price ($8,300) once again did not match his outrageous floor/ceiling combo even if he had a tough matchup. Of course, Thomas had one of the best possible matchups at home against the Falcons. His target share and catch rate are ideal for DraftKings’ full-PPR, 100-yard bonus scoring.
— Once LeSean McCoy was scratched, I considered a finally healthy Damien Williams a must. The floor was raised without the threat of McCoy catching a hot hand. Williams’ strong pass-game skills and role in a Patrick Mahomes offense was worth closer to $6,000, not $4,900. I preferred Williams to Ronald Jones ($4,300) for game-flow independence and three-down ability.
— David Montgomery had a lot going for him. His role has been trending up in a big way, Mike Davis was waived Saturday and Matthew Stafford (back) was scratched. Montgomery hit 20 touches in a large portion of his range and had direct access to 30 touches against one of the league’s worst defenses.
MY WANT PLAYS
— At quarterback, I was fine with any of Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Jameis Winston or Ryan Tannehill. Once I decided not to play McCaffrey, I clearly had enough money to pay up. I certainly thought Jackson was the best raw play, but I thought there was value in having exposure to the Bucs’ pass game without having to choose between Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
— Speaking of exposure to an ideal matchup, I wanted some of the Cardinals’ pass game. Since I don’t play Larry Fitzgerald, the only real option was Christian Kirk. Thankfully, he was underpriced at $5,200. I considered Jarvis Landry in that range as well, but preferred Kirk for game environment and matchup.
— One of the reasons this week was so tough was because of all the RBs who were in play. I played with McCaffrey, Ronald Jones, Jaylen Samuels and Devin Singletary in my final spot. In the end I decided the other RB options (coupled with the strength at the top of the WR pool) were enough to come off CMC at $10,500 on the road. Samuels’ pass-catching floor was appetizing even at an elevated tag. In hindsight if I knew both Tony Brooks-James and Terrell Edmunds would be playing significant snaps, Samuels would’ve been an easy fade.
— Once I decided to go with Winston, I felt fine dropping down from Mike Evans/Chris Godwin to Davante Adams. We simply don’t get chances to play Adams at $6,900 at home — it certainly helped that top physical Panthers CB James Bradberry was inactive.
— I really only was considering Steelers and Browns defenses for most of the week. Then we got the Matthew Stafford news, and I wanted to get up to the Bears at $3100 if possible. One of the considerations for not playing McCaffrey was the ability to make upgrades at WR (Christian Kirk over AJ Brown), TE (Mike Gesicki over Rhett Ellison), RB (Jaylen Samuels over Ronald Jones) and D (Bears over Steelers/Browns).
— I certainly liked the situation for Travis Kelce, but he wasn’t going to fit my preferred constructions. On the cheap end I only considered Rhett Ellison, Mike Gesicki and Jonnu Smith. I was fine going with whichever one of those fit.
Week 10 Results
I was lucky to run into a career game from Christian Kirk because I certainly made some mistakes. Playing Jameis Winston with Lamar Jackson just $500 away and paying $6,300 for Jaylen Samuels in a meh matchup with competition for work being the most egregious. Still, I was happy I jammed in Damien Williams considering he ended up touching the ball 24 times at $4,900 in an explosive offense. I was also happy with my decision to take on a little risk for a cheap price on Davante Adams.
Week 1: 139.42 points, won 23.7% of head-to-heads.
Week 2: 132.52 points, won 54.3% of head-to-heads.
Week 3: 180.74 and 164.04 points, won 75.9% of total head-to-heads.
Week 4: 152.0 points, won 77.7% of head-to-heads.
Week 5: 239.6 points, won 86.8% of head-to-heads.
Week 6: 122.62 points, won 27.0% of head-to-heads.
Week 7: 116.16 points, won 26.9% of head-to-heads.
Week 8: 169.66 points, won 82.2% of head-to-heads.
Week 9: 203.42 points and 148.8 points, won 70.1% of total head-to-heads.
Week 10: 157.82 points, won 63.8% of head-to-heads.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is adamlevitan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.