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 on 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:
MY MUST PLAYS
- Brandon Marshall was an easy play for me at $6200, especially once Eric Decker (knee) was ruled out. He was a lock for eight targets against one of the league’s worst secondaries and the Jets were playing way up in pace against Philly. A lot of people felt the same way, as I saw Marshall in a ton of my H2H matchups and he was also 29.6 percent owned in the Milly Maker – second only to wideouts (behind Antonio Brown 32.8 percent).
- I typically have a few defenses at each price point that I’m willing to ride with in cash. It’s my most flexible position. For example, in Week 1 I wanted to use the Jets D but I was willing to come off them for a far lesser D (Jaguars) in order to get to the position player I wanted. But this was a rare week where I didn’t feel comfortable riding with anything less than Seahawks D. At home, with an 0-2 record, with Kam Chancellor back and against Jimmy Clausen. It was just too perfect.
- Even before Marshawn Lynch popped up on the injury report, I preferred Adrian Peterson as the top RB play of the week. He projected to have a much tighter hold on the market share of the Vikings’ yards and red-zone opportunities than Lynch, who has to share with Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham. That’s not to say I didn’t like Beast Mode in Week 3 – if he was healthy I would have at least considered pairing him with Peterson. But once we knew Lynch wasn’t 100 percent and we also knew the Seahawks could win this game without him, it was easy to get off him in cash.
- I had Bilal Powell in the original iteration of this lineup. But once DeMarco Murray (hamstring) was scratched Sunday morning, I moved off Powell and on Ryan Mathews. Always a fan of Mathews’ natural ability – it’s not very far below DeMarco’s – I was happy to saddle up the injury-prone feature back in a spot where I knew he’d get 15-18 touches at just $3300. Darren Sproles got far more inside runs than I thought he would (11, including a tilting 1-yard TD plunge), but game flow allowed Mathews to finish with 27 touches.
- Through the first two weeks, Donte Moncrief had played on 75.8 percent of the Colts snaps and seen 19 targets. After facing the top-tier defenses of the Bills and Jets, now he got to face the bottom-tier Titans. Priced at just $4800, Moncrief was an easy play in a game I thought Andrew Luck would bounce back big.
MY WANT PLAYS
- I actually didn’t feel like I absolutely had to have Rob Gronkowski this week. It had nothing to do with his projection and most everything to do with the gap between him at $7400 and the rest of the tight end corps. He’s also more valuable in formats that weight touchdowns more heavily than full PPR with yardage bonuses. Travis Kelce ($5000), Greg Olsen ($4800), Eric Ebron ($3300) and Coby Fleener ($300) were all considerations that would have saved a ton of salary – way more than coming off the top RB or WR for a mid-range option. In the end, I felt comfortable with my lineup that included paying up for Gronk and has massive touchdown projection.
- I had Antonio Brown as the top cash-game play of the week at wideout. But I thought Randall Cobb wasn’t far behind and $1600 cheaper. I preferred to come off Brown down to Cobb than come off Gronk any of my other main plays. Hopefully Cobb comes through big for me/us tonight.
- I knew I wanted to go cheap at quarterback, as I do most every week on full-PPR DraftKings. The options I considered were Ryan Fitzpatrick, Nick Foles, Tyrod Taylor and Marcus Mariota. I thought the Jets might have a bit of a hangover off the Monday night win at Indy, so I didn’t want both Fitz and Marshall in my lineup. I talked last week about how having both Sam Bradford and Jordan Matthews was almost disastrous in Week 2. I was a little scared of Tygod going on the road for the first time and had a ton of him in GPPs. And going up to Mariota would have cost me one of my core plays – it wouldn’t have even worked if I went down to Dion Lewis instead of Jonathan Stewart. So I regretfully ended up on Foles, who had a big team total of 25.5 and was playing at home against the defense that has been most favorable against fantasy quarterbacks for the last year (when compared to salary expectation).
- I thought Jonathan Stewart was a lock for 18 touches at home as a double-digit favorite against a bad defense. It’s the same formula we used last week to get on Mark Ingram. In hindsight, the problem with the Stewart play is that he’s not a featured player at the goal-line or in the pass game. That’s not the case for the other guy I considered for this spot, Devonta Freeman – who excels in the pass game and established himself against the Giants in Week 2 as a preferred goal-line option for the Falcons. Ultimately, I thought the touch projection was similar yet Stewart was at home against the far, far softer defense. It was the decision that changed the week for me. Note that my lineup maxed out salary, but I’m always fine with leaving $300 on the table as I would have with Freeman at $4600.
WEEK 3 RESULTS
I very, very rarely stray from the group of cash-game plays I suggest in my Leverage column each week. This week I strayed, warming to both Foles and Stewart on Saturday/Sunday. No excuses though, as sometimes those last-minute moves end up paying off – Ryan Mathews certainly did. Ultimately, the results were not good even though I think I still have a chance to get into the black with a nice performance from Cobb tonight.
Week 1: 160.34 points, won 87.5 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 2: 125.26 points, won 45.0 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 3: 140.68 points, winning 37.6 percent of head-to-heads (pending Randall Cobb).