WATCH: ADAM LEVITAN 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.
This was an obvious three-RB week in cash games. As I noted in the open of Leverage, there were more quality options at the top of the RB position than on any slate I can remember. I also knew I wanted to have one of the QBs from the shootout in New Orleans. The lineup flowed easily from there.
MY MUST PLAYS
- As noted in last week’s Usage Article and Target Projections, Cameron Meredith has stepped seamlessly into the flanker role for Kevin White. Not only is Meredith a reasonable talent, but Brian Hoyer relentlessly targets that position. So even though the Jags play better pass defense than run defense, I was more than comfortable with Meredith, because he came in with 15 targets on his 80 snaps since White went down. At $4,100 and a need to pay for three of the top-tier RBs, Meredith was a lock.
- With Markus Wheaton (shoulder) out and Sammie Coates (hand, finger) extremely questionable, Le’Veon Bell’s projected role was even larger than usual. He’s become the ultimate floor play for cash games as a dominant runner, pass-catcher and goal-line back. On top of that, DraftKings has been underpricing elite RBs relative to elite WRs all year. For example, Bell was $200 less than Kelvin Benjamin, $700 less than A.J. Green, $900 less than Odell Beckham and a whipping $2,100 less than Antonio Brown. Bell’s guaranteed touches are far more valuable than any wide receiver could be.
- LeSean McCoy was a no-brainer at $6,900 given a home matchup with the 49ers. And a lot of people knew it too, as McCoy was 42.9 percent owned in the big $5 Double Up on DraftKings (Le’Veon Bell was 44.3 percent). The Niners are the perfect storm for an opposing RB because they’re #notgood, give up a massive amount of plays to opponents and also yield positive game scripts to opposing running backs. Throw in a McCoy revenge narrative against Chip Kelly and a three-down plus goal-line role, and we had another lock.
- When Jimmy Graham is healthy and being used correctly, he’s not really a tight end. He’s essentially a wide receiver who is a legit threat to be the primary read on every pass play and go over 100 yards. So I thought of Graham as a receiver priced at $4,900 instead of a mid-range tight end. And as discussed in Leverage, the home matchup coming out of a bye against a Falcons team that struggles to defend TEs was a virtually ideal spot. I thought Delanie Walker was also a fine cash-game play, but Graham being priced $600 cheaper made it an easy call.
MY WANT PLAYS
- I knew I was going to play one of Cam Newton or Drew Brees as the situation was just too good. Brees at home with a full arsenal of healthy weaponry vs. a Panthers secondary down to street FAs or Newton in a must-win spot at 1-4 vs. the Saints historically bad secondary. I really thought it was very close between the two, but sided with Newton for the rushing upside. As explained in Leverage, I thought Cam would run a lot in this spot… and was ultimately proved wrong.
- Once I locked in Le’Veon Bell and LeSean McCoy, my third RB spot came down to Jordan Howard, Lamar Miller, Christine Michael and DeMarco Murray. I quickly scratched off Michael as he’s not the Seahawks’ pass-down back and the Falcons were at least a threat to get a lead. I scratched off Murray as I couldn’t find a way to afford his $7,700 salary if I was playing Newton and Jimmy Graham. And I chose Howard over Miller for a slightly better price, and the usage I described here and here. As it turned out, Ka’Deem Carey played far more than I expected and was fortunate to get the TD out of Howard.
- This is where it started to get hairy for me. I had Sammie Coates, Michael Thomas and Texans D locked into my final three roster spots for most of the week. Then it became clear Coates was unplayable in cash due to his hand injury. My first pivot was down to Golden Tate after hearing how Tate’s role would change with Theo Riddick & Eric Ebron both out. If I had stuck with that, I would have finished with a score high enough to win some tournaments. However I didn’t stick, moving to all the way up to Randall Cobb. He had a nice on-paper matchup in Lambeau against a Cowboys defense playing without slot CB Orlando Scandrick and I projected him for 3-6 carries with the Packers having no backup RBs behind Eddie Lacy.
- I wouldn’t have gone up from Coates/Tate to Randall Cobb if I didn’t have a pivot off Michael Thomas. So when news broke that Will Fuller (hamstring) was unlikely to play, I put in Jaelen Strong. In hindsight, it was a dumb move to come off Michael Thomas and leave myself zero exposure to the Saints in that spot. Regardless, I then had to come off Strong after the games started because I was worried Fuller was going to end up playing. It was a massive mess that left me going to Brice Butler – who I thought was in a really good spot but still preferred to use in GPPs due to the low floor.
- Of course, by swapping from $3,000 Jaelen Strong to $3,500 Brice Butler, I had to find some salary. I wasn’t going to come off Randall Cobb, so the only other place in my lineup playing late was the Texans D. My only option was the Colts D. Under no other circumstance would I have rostered Colts D, but their result vs. other Ds this week shows how volatile the position is.
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.
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.