WATCH: Robert Woods’ monster game in Week 10
I’m mainly a cash-game player. Cash games refer to any contest in which roughly 50 percent of the field is 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.
Each week, I’ll review my fantasy football 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.
Cash games for Week 10 got turned on their head once the Jets announced Matt Forte would sit out with a knee injury. Bilal Powell turned into a must-play (regardless of results) and ended up 86.2 percent owned in the Giant Single Entry $50 Double Up. Powell added to an already-stacked running back position and again left us scraping for quality wide receiver plays.
MY MUST PLAYS
— Powell’s $4,000 price did not reflect Forte’s injury absence. Even though I knew Elijah McGuire would mix in some, I expected a 70-30 split in Powell’s favor, as he had averaged nearly 26 touches per game in the last five games in which Forte had been out or limited. With Powell in a fine matchup with the Bucs, I wasn’t about to pass in cash. Powell’s performance didn’t really matter since he was so massively owned in cash.
— With Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall out for the Giants, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram projected for massive market shares. While Engram’s price tag relative to other tight ends was prohibitive, Shepard’s $5,500 tag at a weak wideout position was a bargain. That was especially true given the matchup, as the 49ers arguably have the worst group of cornerbacks in the NFL. Shepard checked all the boxes and was an easy lock in cash, given the context of the slate.
— Le’Veon Bell came into Sunday averaging 26.4 carries plus 4.4 catches per game over his last five. He had a fine matchup against the Colts and should have been fresh as the Steelers came out of their bye. So even in a week when the running back position was extraordinarily deep and Bell was fairly priced at $9,800, I considered him a must. His pass-catching role gives a massive floor that makes a performance like Sunday’s the bottom of his range.
MY WANT PLAYS
— Cameron Brate was nearly a must-play for me considering the Bucs’ pass-catching situation. With Mike Evans suspended and weak-armed Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, I expected a lot of two-tight end sets and a game plan that featured Brate. I also expected Brate to be the primary red-zone target, as he was second behind Evans in targets inside the 10-yard line. At just $4,100, Brate was underpriced relative to role. The only reason I didn’t consider him an absolute must-play was because of other solid tight end options such as Vernon Davis with Jordan Reed/Niles Paul out again, Kyle Rudolph against a Redskins defense that struggles against tight ends, and Austin Hooper at just $3,000.
— I played around with Matthew Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback but couldn’t land on them in lineups without also playing Adam Humphries or Garrett Celek. I simply didn’t feel comfortable with those players’ floors. So I thought the cheap quarterback decision was between Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eli Manning and Andy Dalton. I projected Manning for the most attempts, and he had the best matchup by far. This lineup didn’t have the money to move to Dalton, so I played him on my leagues team, which I put in the Edge 4-man. As usual, I was more willing to move to uncomfortable plays at quarterback than other positions.
— Antonio Brown certainly was a standout play against an inept Colts secondary, but he also was appropriately priced at $9,500. I was willing to come off Brown and down to A.J. Green in a very good matchup of his own. Green also was coming off a brutal game in which he was called weak and soft by Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and was ejected after only making one catch. Green figured to be a focal point against a Titans defense that is far easier to throw against than run. At just $7,700, Green was the cheapest he has been for a non-Jaguars game all season, so I leaned to him over Julio Jones because of concerns about Jones’ ankle and the $300 in savings.
— Corey Davis returned from a hamstring injury in Week 9 to play on 75 percent of the Titans’ snaps and 84 percent of Marcus Mariota’s dropbacks. The Titans said they expected Davis to play even more this week, so even though the matchup with the Bengals was less than ideal, Davis was a talented player and candidate to play every snap at home at just $4,000. That’s just $900 more than Humphries, a sub-par NFL strict slot receiver who was playing with Fitzpatrick. Davis ended up seeing 10 targets and was inches from a touchdown that turned into a fumble.
— The Bears D/ST certainly made sense in a wet game against Packers fill-in QB Brett Hundley. But Tom Savage is a defense’s best friend, and the fact that his own injury-ravaged Texans defense has regressed to league-worst levels isn’t helping. With the Rams highly likely to take a big lead, it was a chance for their defense to tee off on Savage. At just $600 more than the Bears, getting to the Rams D/ST was worth it, if at all possible.
— Jordan Howard isn’t a player I typically roster on DraftKings because he’s not involved in the pass game. If the Bears get behind, he has no real role. I heavily considered LeSean McCoy in this spot, but I would’ve had to play Garrett Celek over Brate. I also considered Carlos Hyde and coming down to the Bears D/ST, but I thought it was worth staying on the Rams, given Howard’s rush volume. In wet conditions and a spot in which I expected the Bears to get a lead on Hundley, Howard had a fair 20-carry projection.
Week 10 Results
I don’t have any regrets at all about playing Powell, Bell, Brate or Davis, even though they underperformed. I do think I could have gotten off Howard, given his lack of pass-game role. Regardless, getting up to the Rams D/ST made a big difference, and I certainly ran hot late to get a garbage-time touchdown from Manning. That put me over the cash lines in Double Ups.
Week 1: 149.58 points, won 92.9 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 2: 168.32, won 61.2 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 3: 95.28 points, won 25.6 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 4: 130.86 points, won 40.1 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 5: 123.26 points, won 43.2 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 6: 175.84 points, won 93.2 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 7: 137.82 points, won 61.7 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 8: 134.22 points, won 66.7 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 9: 155.56 points, won 69.0 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 10: 121.62 points, won 73.8 percent of head-to-heads.
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.