Matt Ryan

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 a certain volume of head-to-head action every week and then supplement that with other cash games if my head-to-heads don’t get picked up.

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.

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Like most of you, I had an Allen Lazard lineup I liked going into Sunday. But after it was clear Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling would play, there was literally no RB or WR under $5000 I truly wanted to play. And in weeks like this, I’ve struggled historically.


* Leonard Fournette was one of the easiest layups of the season. He handles 90% (or more) of the Jaguars’ RB touches on a weekly basis and had one of the best possible matchups for a running back against the Bengals. Yet Fournette was only priced at $7,000, well off the $9,000-plus we’d see for Christian McCaffrey in this spot.
  • Coming off a bye, T.Y. Hilton was completely healthy. He was also on his preferred turf while facing a funneling Texans defense with a pair of injured CBs. So at just $5,900 in a very weak WR pool, Hilton was a must.


* As DraftKings continues to condense QB pricing while simultaneously keeping it relatively underpriced, I find myself in the $6K range far more often. This week, I would have been fine with Matt Ryan, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson. I knew there was some downside to Ryan due to his brutal offensive line facing Aaron Donald and the Rams defensive line, but the paths to Ryan going over 300 yards again were clear. Either he would play well and exploit a messy secondary, or he would pile it up in garbage time. Ryan also was the only one of the quartet who fit in this lineup.
  • Dalvin Cook was a borderline must as fantasy’s second-best asset behind only McCaffrey. I expected Cook’s snap rate and touch share to rise in a tight, important division game. The only reason I have him as a “want” here is because I played with Saquon Barkley lineups. But once the Lazard play was off the board, saving the $900 was a no-brainer.
  • I really wanted either Barkley or Chris Carson as my RB3. But without Lazard, there was no way that was happening. So I narrowed it down to Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray and Kerryon Johnson. I preferred Freeman as the best pass-catcher of the group and the one in the best game environment.
  • I knew I’d have to pick three WRs from the $5K range in this lineup structure. Hilton (above) was easy. I had a ton of trouble separating between Robert Woods, Kenny Golladay, Tyler Boyd, John Brown and Brandin Cooks. I ended up going with Boyd and Golladay as I had them with the highest target projection floors. I hedged a bit by playing John Brown in my 1 p.m. only lineup.
  • I really didn’t want to play Hunter Henry as his Week 6 statline was extremely inflated by an outlier game flow. Darren Waller, Mark Andrews, Austin Hooper and Evan Engram all stood out as strong plays. But with the salary cap so tight, I couldn’t find my way up to that range. So I settled for Henry as a play who was simply too cheap for his talent.
  • As always, I’m looking to pay down at D/ST in cash. This week’s option was clearly the $2,000 Colts, who had a home game against sack-prone Deshaun Watson. Getting Darius Leonard back certainly helped this unit.

Week 7 Results

It would be easy look back and say, “Matt Ryan and Lamar Jackson/Josh Allen/Jared Goff were really close, I just got unlucky.” Or “Devonta Freeman vs. Latavius Murray was a tough one, unlucky.” Or “Kenny Golladay over John Brown, so close.” Unfortunately, our job is to parse through these close decisions and make the right call based on a variety of factors. The bottom completely falling out of Atlanta was something I simply didn’t put into enough of their range, and I paid the price.

Year-To-Date Results

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.

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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.