WATCH: LINEUP REVIEW
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.
MY MUST PLAYS
- I thought the Raiders’ pass game was in a perfect spot from a matchup perspective. As noted in Leverage, the Panthers’ stout front funnels opposing game plans to their inexperienced secondary. Although Carson Palmer and Colin Kaepernick were considerations for cheaper, I though Carr had the best floor from an efficiency standpoint and was seriously underpriced at $6,100. Since this was a cash lineup and not GPP, I did not feel the need to pair Carr with a receiver – especially since Amari Cooper has shown a low floor for a guy priced at $7,700. Cooper came into Sunday with more than six catches in a game just twice all season.
- I’ve talked a bunch about how Le’Veon Bell is now expensive but still not overpriced. The same thing can be said for David Johnson. Even at $8,900, this is another all-world running back who is dominant in the pass game. It was a perfect matchup for DJ as well because the Falcons are extremely weak against receiving RBs. I was always rostering Johnson in DraftKings’ PPR format because I didn’t want to pay up for Julio Jones (vs. Patrick Peterson) or Odell Beckham (low floor at $8,800). Antonio Brown was on the Thanksgiving slate.
- With Christine Michael cut and C.J. Prosise (scapula) out, the Seahawks’ backfield belonged to Thomas Rawls. He had also shown recent improvements in the pass game and the Bucs’ once-stout run defense had sprung leaks. To be honest, Rawls was not a play I thought too hard about even though he was on the road with a bad offensive line. Perhaps I should have.
- In a week devoid of strong WR plays, the spot for Tyler Boyd was impossible to ignore. Before A.J. Green’s hamstring injury, the rookie was a strict slot receiver playing on 67.2 percent of snaps. With Green out, I projected Boyd closer to 90 percent of the snaps – including some on the outside. And with top Ravens CB Jimmy Smith sidelined, it was a no-brainer to play Boyd at just $4K given his change in role.
MY WANT PLAYS
- Julian Edelman was a “must” play for me most of the week when I thought Rob Gronkowski (chest) and Chris Hogan (back) would sit. He became merely a “want” play once that duo was declared healthy. Still, I expected an extremely pass-heavy game plan from the Patriots against a Jets defense that was 30th DVOA vs. the pass and 2nd DVOA vs. the run. And with Edelman coming off a 17-target game, I expected Tom Brady to be looking at his favorite target often. Edelman’s lack of TD upside and extremely low aDOT makes him thin for tournaments, but he’s a high-floor cash-game play in the right situation.
- It was clear that DeVante Parker had turned a corner, as mentioned in last week’s target article. So I thought this was a chance to get Miami’s No. 1 WR in one of the best possible matchups at home against San Francisco. I did heavily consider a 2v2 with Terrelle Pryor and Will Tye over Parker and Kelce, but I didn’t want to punt at tight end. More on that below.
- One leak I’ve been trying hard to plug is rostering tight ends with really poor ceilings – even in cash. I’ve been repeatedly burned over the years by just “punting” at the position with guys who project for 3-6 targets and no yardage upside. So names like Will Tye and Cam Brate were ones I was trying to avoid. I couldn’t find the money to get up to Delanie Walker or Jimmy Graham, so I settled for a thin play at tight end but one with upside in Travis Kelce. Note that DraftKings has been adjusting prices due to matchup for a while now, which meant Kelce was only $4,000 after being priced at $5,600 two weeks ago because he was facing the Broncos. Even in that difficult matchup, Kelce’s ceiling dwarfed those other punt plays.
- I thought it was close between Jay Ajayi, LeSean McCoy and Melvin Gordon. I left that spot open in a lot of my lineups until the end to see which RB would fit. I slightly preferred McCoy and Gordon due to their pass-game role being far superior to Ajayi’s. In the end, I was perfectly fine with Gordon zeroing out my lineup as he had a legit shot at 100 percent of the Chargers RB market share when the team had an implied total of 24 points. Gordon was averaging 26.1 touches per game over his previous nine.
- Once Jay Cutler (shoulder) was ruled out and Matt Barkley was named the Bears starter, I was pretty certain I was playing the Titans D even though they were on the road. Not only has Barkley been extremely mistake-prone in his limited NFL opportunities, but the Bears were missing a ton of other pieces including starting offensive linemen, Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Zach Miller. The only other defense I truly considered was the Bills, but paying $3,800 for a defense is not something I typically do in cash lineups.
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. Click here for recap.
Week 9: 135.04 points, won 47.8 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 10: 147.90 points, won 54.1 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 11: 131.88 points, won 45.6 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 12: 134.10 points, won 86.3 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.