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 but hopefully I’ll win more often. Either way, I’ll post it and give you my thought process.
I had a hard time spending the entire salary cap this week. There were amazing cheap plays at QB (Kirk Cousins), RB (Jordan Howard, Carlos Hyde), WR (Terrelle Pryor) and TE (Zach Miller, Hunter Henry). The issue for me was figuring out which ones to leave out and where to pay up.
MY MUST PLAYS
- I led Leverage with Kirk Cousins because he was in the exact spot I look for in a DFS quarterback. At home, out of the division, working with a soft run game and playing as a favorite. The fact that Cousins has consistently shown a very high ceiling at the NFL level made it even easier. I never really considered moving off him. The only other option I thought was realistic was Cam Newton, but going on the road in the division is not a spot I like to invest. At just $1,500 over minimum, Cousins was locked.
- As noted in the intro, we had a ton of really strong cheap value this week. It made it very easy to fit the best cash-game player on the planet, Antonio Brown. As noted last week in this space, anytime I don’t have to strain to get Brown I like to do it – as long as the matchup is reasonable. A home game against the Chiefs with risk-taking CB Marcus Peters on one side and Phillip Gaines (knee) out more than fit the bill.
- I didn’t love the spot for Terrelle Pryor. After he went absolutely crazy last week as the only real player on the Browns, I expected the Redskins to be completely focused on him with Josh Norman plus safety help. I also expected the Redskins to be far more prepared for any Wildcat snaps than the inept Dolphins were. That said, I still thought Pryor was a must play in my cash-game lineup because of his $4,300 price, true physical freak ability and role as the Browns’ clear-cut No. 1 WR. Pryor also correlated well with my lineup because if Cousins went off, Pryor would be getting a lot of targets.
- As I noted on Twitter, Le’Veon Bell played 95% of the snaps and touched the ball 26 times in his first game off suspension last year. I expected similar usage in his first game off suspension this year. Futhermore, Eli Rogers (toe) was out and Markus Wheaton was playing his way down the depth chart. I projected Bell to be used a lot as a receiver, something he’s very capable of and something that brings a huge ceiling in a full-PPR format. As for David Johnson vs. Bell, it was very close just like Zach Miller vs. Hunter Henry and Jordan Howard vs. Carlos Hyde. I went with Bell over DJ simply due to the better matchup and playing out of division.
- With Jeremy Langford (ankle) and Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring) inactive, Jordan Howard projected for an every-down role against a Lions rush defense which ranked dead last in YPC allowed and 27th in rush defense DVOA. That included pass-down work, as he had shown capable hands while catching six balls in the first two weeks. I try not overthink things and fade running backs like this in cash when they cost $3,700.
- Carlos Hyde wasn’t benefitting from any injuries around him, but he was certainly mispriced. This was a guy averaging 21.3 touches per game, leading the NFL in red-zone carries and at home in a game I expected the 49ers to play well enough to win. So although I had a bit of hesitation due to Dallas’ slow pace and ability to scheme above their defensive talent level, Hyde was just too cheap given the spot and his role. The cheap RB value typically comes from injuries, so this was one I had to come around on before realizing it was a must.
MY WANT PLAYS
- I certainly liked Jordan Reed, Greg Olsen and Travis Kelce at tight end. But I thought Zach Miller and Hunter Henry had similar expectations to those higher-priced guys at just $200 over minimum $2,700. So I couldn’t bring myself to come off them when such a great bargain was staring me in the face. As for deciding between the two, I had them with nearly identical projections. I decided to go with the player in the literal best matchup a tight end can have – home against the Lions. I also thought with two offensive linemen out for the Chargers, Henry could be asked to block slightly more.
- At about 12:30pm ET on Sunday, I had a lineup of Cousins, Melvin Gordon, Hyde, Antonio, Will Fuller, Pryor, Zach Miller, Le’Veon and Texans D in. Obviously, that would have given me a virtual sweep of head-to-head games as Fuller and Texans D combined for three TDs. However, I decided to swap out Gordon for Howard as I didn’t feel right about not having the Bear given the situation described above. That created a domino effect which forced me up to Hopkins from Fuller and then down to Jets. It’s a reminder that each decision isn’t in a vacuum – it’s all intermingled. Anyway, as discussed on The Edge I didn’t think the expectation for DeAndre Hopkins vs. Will Fuller was all that different but the price difference was $3,100. Playing him was a big mistake as I shouldn’t have forced a play I didn’t really like just because I had the salary.
- As mentioned above, I was on Texans D/ST all week. But I didn’t have a huge problem going down to the Jets as I thought their defensive line would manhandle the Seahawks’ offensive line – especially with Russell Wilson’s (knee) mobility limited.
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.
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.