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 typically try to avoid players facing the Patriots as they’re capable of doing strange things to opponents. They operate creatively with a different gameplan each week, so there’s always risk. But I still felt Bilal Powell was a must-play with Matt Forte (shoulder, knee) out. Powell is a talented three-down plus goal-line back with elite pass-catching skills – the exact kind of running back I want to roster on full-PPR DraftKings. So even though rostering a running back on a 16-point underdog didn’t feel right, Powell’s pass-game usage and the Patriots’ tendency to give up receiving yards to RBs in bunches made sense.
- I really loved the spot for Matt Barkley and the Bears pass game. As noted in my weekly WR Target Projection article, he had been playing at an elite level for the last month and was now facing a Redskins’ defense that has quietly been bleeding points to QBs for the last five weeks. Cameron Meredith had emerged as Barkley’s favorite target and had the best matchup among the Bears WRs. In the slot I knew he’d avoid Josh Norman and square off a lot with inept Redskins’ slot CB Kendall Fuller. So at just $4,700, Meredith was a must.
- Jordan Howard had equally as strong of a matchup as Meredith. The Redskins had sunk to 26th DVOA against the run and were in the bottom-five of just about every other run defense metric. At home with a three-down plus goal-line role and elite matchup, I thought Howard was simply far too underpriced at $6,300. It also didn’t scare me to have two Bears in my cash lineup for two reasons. First, the correlation between a RB and WR from the same team is not very negative at all – they can help each other by getting first downs and sustaining drives. Second, having two players from the same team caps your ceiling a bit due to touchdown cannibalism, but that’s a far bigger concern in tournaments than cash games. It’s also not as big a concern in DraftKings’ scoring system because the full-PPR scoring and yardage bonuses make touchdowns less important.
- If Ty Montgomery had been the Packers feature back all year, I felt he would cost around $8,000. He just fits so well riding side-saddle with Aaron Rodgers while also showing vastly improved skills as a pure runner. Despite pregame speculation, I did not expect Christine Michael to cut into TyMont’s role at all. So in a home game against a crumbling Vikings defense, I thought he was a must at just $5,900. I never really considered playing David Johnson at $9,200 in Seattle or LeSean McCoy’s 20-touch projection at $9,000. I thought I could get similar usage from the three backs I played for far cheaper and all were in good matchups. That decision obviously hurt me a lot.
- I knew that the matchup for DeAndre Hopkins was difficult and thought his ceiling was a bit low for GPPs, but I did think Tom Savage would be able to play well. His history in Bill O’Brien’s offense combined with some strong preseason performances led me to believe he’d be more competent and aggressive than Brock Osweiler ever was. With Lamar Miller (ankle) out, I thought the Texans’ run game was likely to struggle. It added up to a nice spot for Hopkins at just $5,200.
- Vernon Davis had averaged 12.9 DK points in the three previous games Jordan Reed had missed. He also had a good matchup against a Bears defense which had sprung leaks against tight ends with all their injuries/suspensions. I also considered getting up to Cameron Brate or Delanie Walker, but didn’t see them as big enough upgrades to come down off anyone in my lineup.
MY WANT PLAYS
- Paying up at QB is not something I typically do and I liked both Matt Barkley and Aaron Rodgers at discounts. But I played Barkley in my Main Event lineup so I went with Drew Brees in cash. The Bucs are a team capable of playing stout run defense and I thought a very pass-centric gameplan from Sean Payton was likely. We also had Brees at home with a healthy arsenal of weapons. Without Le’Veon Bell available on the main slate and David Johnson in a road matchup I deemed too tough, I had plenty of cap space to afford Brees.
- I have a bias toward Julio Jones and it cost me here. I thought he was a steal at $8,100 against a Carolina team he’s destroyed and I thought his toe was healthy enough to be in on nearly every snap. If it wasn’t, why not keep riding the strong play of the secondary receivers and let Julio get healthy? In hindsight, Julio was a pretty big mistake as Matt Ryan’s target net is wide, Julio’s red-zone usage has been drastically down this year and there was a chance he could aggravate his toe. If I could go back, one change I would have made in my roster is T.Y. Hilton and Patriots D over Julio and Chargers.
- Speaking of Chargers D/ST, it was simply a no-brainer matchup play against the worst QB in the league in Robert Griffin III. I preferred them to the Titans due to better talent and the Packers due to a more mistake-prone QB – one who holds the ball too long consistently.
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. Click here for recap.
Week 16: 111.36 points, won 20.1 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.