I am mainly a cash-game player. Cash games refer to any DraftKings contest in which roughly 50 percent of the field gets paid out, such as head-to-head, double up or 50/50. For more on what I look for in cash games, check out this primer or the positional looks for quarterback, running back and wide receiver.
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 and give you my thought process.
Injuries to popular plays and underperforming stars were the stories of Week 8. It created a very low-scoring situation for cash games, one where you really only needed something around 125 DraftKings points to have a good week. In weeks like this, one player (Broncos D, Derek Carr, Amari Cooper) makes all the difference.
MY MUST PLAYS
- Devontae Booker was in an ideal spot for a cash-game running back. He was at home as a big favorite on a run-centric team, he projected for goal-line plus pass-catching work and he projected to be in the game if his team fell behind. Booker was also priced at just $3,700 due to C.J. Anderson’s injury. This was as easy a play as it gets for cash and everyone knew it – Booker was a whopping 92.9 percent owned in the big $25 double up on DraftKings.
- With Tevin Coleman (hamstring) sidelined, I projected Devonta Freeman for 22-26 touches. He was another three-down plus goal-line back at home, and the GB/ATL game projected as one of the highest scoring of the week. I was a little worried about the hip injury that Adam Schefter mentioned Sunday morning, but Freeman did practice in full on both Thursday and Friday and was not on the final injury report. At $6,800, I wasn’t going to pass on this spot.
- I was surprised Mike Evans’ price didn’t jump ahead of Week 8. He was coming off a two-TD game and was averaging 6.3 catches for 105.3 yards on 12.6 targets in the last seven without Vincent Jackson. Evans was also facing a Raiders secondary which came in ranked 28th in yards per catch allowed and 30th in pass yards per attempt allowed. Evans’ oft-poor catch rate and history of struggling with aggressive double teams were perhaps a case for a tournament fade, but he was a lock in cash for me.
- I expected the Browns to beat the Jets. How would they do it? It would have to be through the air as the Jets are elite in virtually every rush defense metric. The easiest way to get cheap exposure to the Browns pass game was with Gary Barnidge at just $3,300 – especially with Josh McCown under center. In seven games with McCown last year, Barnidge averaged 6.1 catches for 86.1 yards and 0.86 TDs. So even though I loved Jimmy Graham, I actually thought the floor/ceiling projections were pretty similar and Barnidge costed $2,100 less.
- I originally had Ty Montgomery in as my third WR. When news surprisingly broke around 1:30 p.m. that Montgomery wouldn’t play due to his illness, I made the easy pivot down to Davante Adams. Adams proceeded to play the Montgomery role, serving as an extension of the run game to the tune of 12-74-0 on 14 targets. It’s been proven repeatedly ever since Eddie Lacy/James Starks went down that this role in the Packers offense is a must-play in PPR formats like DraftKings.
MY WANT PLAYS
- Jameis Winston was $700 over the minimum, playing at home and facing a Raiders defense which had given up seventh-most fantasy PPG to quarterbacks. He was clearly a strong play. In hindsight, perhaps Derek Carr at $5,900 was a stronger play given the Bucs’ funnel defense and the Raiders’ better weaponry. But I never really considered Carr, in part because he was on the road and in part because using Winston gave me a higher ceiling with Evans.
- For most of the week, the final three spots in my lineup consisted of Jacquizz Rodgers, Julio Jones and the Saints D/ST. I made a late change to Spencer Ware, T.Y. Hilton and Cardinals D. It prevented me from having three Bucs in my lineup and also balanced me out a bit – $9,600 for Julio, who only had double-digit targets in two games this season – was a lot to swallow. As for Ware, I thought his touchdown expectation was far higher than Rodgers’ in this spot against a Colts defense which ranked dead last DVOA against the run. We knew Jamaal Charles (knee) was inactive, leaving the Chiefs with only two RBs active. Unfortunately, Ware sustained a concussion and left the game early.
- Coming down from Julio to Hilton may have been a mistake. With Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett back in addition to Jack Doyle’s emergence, the usage floor was lowered. Of course, we’ll never know as Hilton sustained a hamstring injury early in the game and wasn’t the same after.
- This was a bad week for cash-game defenses. Perhaps the optimal play was to simply pay up for the Broncos at home against a pass-heavy team, but I wasn’t going to jam them in at $3,700 given the volatility of the position. I was actually fine with having the Saints for $1,700 less or the Browns at $2,500, but ended up on the Cardinals mostly because they zeroed out my lineup. It’s obviously not the right way to select a player for my lineup and it’s certainly a regret.
Week 1: 100.38 points, won 7.3 percent of head-to-heads. No recap available.
Week 2: 160.0 points, won 87.0 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 3: 182.26 points, won 94.5 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 4: 131.12 points, won 42.5 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 5: 149.70 points, won 60.9 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 6: 169.48 points, won 75.5 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 7: 183.12 points, won 76.7 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 8: 109.3 points, won 21.7 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.