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 highlighted Ty Montgomery in Leverage and got even higher on him as the week went along. James Starks suffered a concussion in a car accident and Christine Michael (illness) missed a bunch of practice. The Packers’ coaches talked up getting Montgomery 20 touches and announced him as the starting running back. In freezing cold conditions, I expected a lot of runs and short passes from Aaron Rodgers – who was nursing a calf strain anyway. I did have some concerns about using Montgomery in the cold because of his sickle cell trait, but when the Packers called up QB Joe Callahan instead of a RB I figured they were confident in his health – they only had two tailbacks active. That made me feel good about using him in cash formats. With Montgomery’s background as a wide receiver, using him in a full-PPR setting like DraftKings is more optimal.
- I’ve been jamming in both Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson for cash games for a few weeks running now. As I’ve repeatedly stated in this space, it’s very difficult for them to smash salary-based expectation but their absurd touch projection leaves a massive floor. That’s something I think is worth paying for in cash games, especially when there weren’t any quarterbacks or wide receivers I was excited about. I did briefly consider saving $1,200 by going from DJ to LeSean McCoy, but the touch projection for Johnson was significantly higher and the Cardinals’ quotes about getting DJ some records swayed me.
- I did not want to play Kenneth Dixon, who was the Ravens’ primary back in Week 14 because they got behind big to the Patriots. As noted in Leverage, beat writers still expected Terrance West to be the starter and primary red-zone back. I felt far more comfortable with the touch projection of Kenneth Farrow, the rookie filling in for Melvin Gordon. By pairing Philip Rivers with Farrow, I (hopefully) locked up all the touchdowns for the Chargers in a good-weather home game against a Raiders’ defense which ranked 23rd in points per game allowed. In cash games, I’m almost always going to take the volume of a cheap RB (Farrow was $4,400) rather than a risky wide receiver such as Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson or Mike Wallace.
MY WANT PLAYS
- My first instinct was to roster Tyrod Taylor, but the low-volume, weather and possible blowout made me a bit uneasy. So I thought the safe play was to go to Philip Rivers, who had reached at least 15 DK points in 10-of-13 games this year. He was at home, playing in pristine weather, facing a defense which was 21st DVOA vs. the pass and bottom-five in a bunch of other pass defense metrics. In a tough week for quarterbacks, I decided to just take the relatively cheap, safe floor at $6,200.
- Regular readers know I’ve been trying very hard to make sure my tight end has 20-point outings in his range of outcomes every week. So there was no way I was going to min-priced Jermaine Gresham and resisted the urge to go to min-priced Ryan Griffin once C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) was ruled out. Antonio Gates wasn’t a real option as I didn’t want three Chargers in my lineup. Ladarius Green’s projected usage was fine, but he was a bit thin for me given Ben Roethlisberger’s road splits. So I was happy to find myself on Kyle Rudolph, who had seen 30 targets across his previous three games, was playing in a dome and had one of the best possible tight end matchups against Indy.
- I did not feel good about J.J. Nelson at all and faded him fully in GPPs. It just didn’t make sense to be heavy on a 160-pound speed receiver playing with a quarterback who can’t throw outside the numbers anymore. But in order to jam in Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson, we have to make sacrifices. So with Michael Floyd cut and John Brown (sickle cell) presumably still on a snap count, I projected Nelson for at least 80 percent of the snaps against the Saints. Given that usage, there was no way I could play someone like Marqise Lee over Nelson.
- Once you decide to play David Johnson at $10.1K and Le’Veon Bell at $9,800, you know some very cheap guys will be necessary. I was fine with Aldrick Robinson at $3,400 even with Mohamed Sanu (groin) back. As always, I like to think about how roles will change when a player is out or returns. While Taylor Gabriel is an explosive player, I thought his role would be the same no matter which Falcons WRs were healthy. He’s a gadgety player who will get his 5-6 touches. So with Julio Jones (toe) out, I expected Aldrick to be an every-down player opposite Sanu. So given that projected usage, the matchup against San Francisco and the talent we know he has based on #preseason, Aldrick was worth the risk at $3,400.
- My favorite D/ST of the week was the Chiefs by a wide margin. However, I would have had to go down to Delanie Walker or Ladarius Green from Kyle Rudolph to make them fit. I also could have gone down from Philip Rivers to Colin Kaepernick or Tyrod Taylor. In the end, I’m never going to move off a position player I feel good about in order to get on a D/ST. The scoring is just too volatile at the D/ST position. It helped that there was a bit of weather in Baltimore and the spiraling, pass-happy Eagles were down to their third-string right tackle.
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. Click here for recap.
Week 13: 133.74 points, won 53.1 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 14: 178.36 points, won 90.7 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 15: 153.34 points, won 89.0 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.