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. For more what I look for in a cash-game lineup, check out this primer.
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:
- The first guy I put in my lineup was Davante Adams. I projected him for 100 percent of the snaps in an Aaron Rodgers offense against a talent-deficient Bears defense. He was mispriced at $4400 thanks to Jordy Nelson’s injury. Adams ended up playing 58-of-60 snaps and led the team with eight targets. He missed value (shoot for 2.5x salary, so Davante needed 11.0 points to “make value”), but it’s a play I’d make 100 times out of 100.
- Julio Jones was the next guy I knew I had to have. The Eagles have a classic “funnel” defense, meaning they are very good against the run but are atrocious against the pass. I didn’t think the addition of Byron Maxwell would change that, even if the Eagles used him in shadow coverage. I also thought Roddy White is done, the Falcons have no tight end and Leonard Hankerson is wildly unproven. Using opponents of the Eagles also makes sense because the pace is so fast.
- Next, I put in a correlation play of Chris Ivory and the Jets D. I consider Ivory an elite runner, the Browns a sub-par run defense and the Jets were a 4-point favorite at home. These are near ideal conditions for a running back cash-game play. Ivory became an even stronger play when Zac Stacy was surprisingly announced as a healthy scratch at 1130am Sunday morning, leaving only passing back Bilal Powell active at the running back position. As for the Jets D, I had to get off them on my final lineup – more on that later.
- Stevie Johnson was another easy “funnel” play. The Lions are elite against the run but have a ton of questions in the back end. If you followed the offseason news closely, you knew Johnson would take over the old Eddie Royal role and a lot more. At just $3700 and a near-lock for six-plus targets, he was an easy cash-game play.
- I struggled with my other RB spot. I didn’t want to play Eddie Lacy because I already had Davante Adams and I hate capping ceilings – even in cash. Running back and wideout from the same team have a solidly negative correlation. But after talking with a bunch of smart people, I was convinced that in a spot where we project the Packers to score so many points, it’s OK in cash games to make the play. It certainly helped that Adams was so cheap. I preferred Lacy’s spot to that of similarly priced Jeremy Hill and C.J. Anderson.
- I knew I wanted to go cheap at quarterback, it was just a question of whether I’d go with Tyrod Taylor or Sam Bradford. I decided that eating the extra salary was worth it in order to get exposure to the game with the highest total of the week. I also knew Taylor was a poor bet to his the 300-yard bonus while I thought Bradford had a great shot at it.
- The two chalk tight-end plays were Greg Olsen and Martellus Bennett. I had no problem with Olsen at all, I just needed the extra $1000 that I saved by going to Bennett. Thankfully, that one worked out big for me.
- If I stuck with Jets D, I would have only had $6900 to spend on a flex spot. I thought about DeMarco Murray ($6700), but didn’t want him with Sam Bradford. I wanted to get to Jordan Matthews but I couldn’t do it as he was $7200. So I hesitantly went down to Jags D at home against Carolina, even though I hate using underdog defenses in cash. That allowed me to get to Brandin Cooks ($7100) who I really liked in a matchup with overrated Patrick Peterson. A great trend is quarterbacks and wideouts as underdogs in games with a total over 48 – something Cooks fit. I also like using wideouts with low aDOTs (average depth of target) in cash games because the catch-rate is higher. Cooks, Jarvis Landry, Stevie Johnson, Jordan Matthews are examples of this. When faced with a decision of sacrificing to get a WR upgrade or D/ST upgrade, I’ll always go WR in cash.
A good target for a typical cash-game lineup is 125 DraftKings points. So obviously, the 160.34 that this lineup put up was great. I won 87.5 percent of my head-to-heads easily cashed in all double-ups. Hopefully I’ll run this hot every week in cash.