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.
This was my kind of slate because we had clear paths to a stars-and-scrubs construction. Thanks to Jaylen Samuels, we had direct access to Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, or both. I ended up playing two lineups because I couldn’t decide between Russell Wilson/DJ Moore vs. Matt Moore/Chris Godwin. I also thought it was really thin at the bottom of defense and tight end, so I was OK with spreading out exposure at those positions a bit.
MY MUST PLAYS
— At just $4,000, Jaylen Samuels was one of the best plays we’ve had on DraftKings in recent memory. With both James Conner and Benny Snell out, we could project Samuels for at least 80% of the Steelers’ RB touches. Most importantly, Samuels is one of the best pass-catching RBs in the NFL, and the Colts’ defensive scheme forces throws underneath. He was 83.5% owned in the massive $25 Single Entry Double Up.
— Christian McCaffrey plays literally 100% of the snaps, is the primary option at the goal line and has a 19% target share. Even at $10,000, I never was passing on this floor/ceiling combo. Especially since we had Samuels plus a bunch of $4K-range WRs at our disposal.
— Mike Williams has been among the league leaders for opportunity relative to lack of production. He had seen five targets inside the 10-yard line and was 12th in the entire league in Air Yards. Yet Big Mike had zero touchdowns and zero 100-yard games. It was a perfect intersection of price ($4,600) and projected opportunity.
— Jarvis Landry’s matchup was neutral, but he had a solid seven-target projection at just $4,500 with Chris Harris expected to shadow Odell Beckham. I also knew Landry has access to a ceiling as simply a good, athletic player. I certainly preferred him to Danny Amendola, who needs volume to find a ceiling and can’t be counted on to sustain the 25% target share he saw in Weeks 7-8.
MY WANT PLAYS
— Dalvin Cook was the fifth player I used in both lineups. In what I expected to be a close game, I expected Cook to handle at least 80% of the RB touches in a very good matchup. That’s more than he’s seen this season, so there was some risk there. I played with lineups that had Le’Veon Bell, Nick Chubb and Josh Jacobs. But I just didn’t feel the need to get more salary space given how strong the bottom end of WR was.
— The big 2v2 I couldn’t decide on was Russell Wilson and DJ Moore vs. Matt Moore and Chris Godwin. In hindsight, it’s a no-brainer, of course. Wide receiver production has a wide range even at the top end, Wilson was the obvious best QB play on the slate, Moore was atop the Buy Low model and Matt Moore is, well, Matt Moore. I really wanted some exposure to the Bucs’ wideouts, and I had the 2v2 projections quite close.
— At tight end, I only considered Jack Doyle, Greg Olsen and Zach Ertz. Cam Brate’s rib injury, Jonnu Smith’s lack of underlying usage and the price on Darren Waller/Travis Kelce put them out of play. I obviously preferred to get to Ertz but didn’t think he was worth sacrificing off Cook for. Olsen’s underlying usage has been strong, and Doyle got a nice bump with TY Hilton out. I was fine to take some exposure to both.
— Regular readers know I am always looking to pay down at D/ST when possible. The Redskins were an acceptable play at $1800 thanks to Josh Allen’s mistake-prone style. I preferred the Steelers’ highly aggressive pass rush at home against a Colts team that has shown a tendency to crater without TY Hilton before. So again, I was happy to get some exposure to both.
Week 9 Results
The Russell Wilson team ended up being the best one I’ve had all season, winning 96.3% of its head-to-heads. So it’s a bit of a punch in the gut that I couldn’t stick with that one for all my cash action. It’s also a reminder we can have two teams projected very close to each other and they can end up 54.62 points apart. All that said, it’s always good to book a win even if I left a lot on the table in a week that could have been huge.
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.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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.