WEEK 7 CASH GAME LINEUP REVIEW
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:
It was easy to feel really good about cash-game lineups this week. There were grossly underpriced players with incredibly high ceiling/floor projections. In situations like this, I think it’s important not to overthink things. Was there going to be a lot of overlap in lineups? Sure. Were a lot of our opponents going to make mistakes? Of course. By being solid in Week 7, we were able to turn a profit.
MY MUST PLAYS
- Todd Gurley was roughly 85 percent owned in double ups on DraftKings this week. That’s what happens when you have a supremely talented workhorse back coming off a bye, playing at home, facing the league’s worst run defense and costing only $5000. If you didn’t take advantage of this mispricing in every single one of your cash-game lineups, you need to reevaluate your process. We’re not going to find an easier play all year.
- It’s relatively rare that I consider a D/ST a must-play and don’t even consider coming off them. But I loved this spot for the Rams, as discussed in Leverage and on the podcast. The Browns were coming off an emotional overtime loss to the Broncos and were a lock to let down on the road against a rested and talented Rams front. Josh McCown came into the game taking the third-most sacks in the league and the Rams had posted the third-most sacks.
Using the Rams D/ST with Gurley also gave me a nice correlation play. Since I was so confident about how this game would go, the two assets would work hand in hand. The D/ST ensures the Rams have a lead and that means more volume for Gurley in a lead-protecting role.
- Devonta Freeman came into Week 7 averaging 27.2 touches over his previous four games. He is the no-doubt passing-down, feature and goal-line back. He was facing a Titans defense that fared far better against the pass than the run this year. I wasn’t about to fade a player that is such a lock for volume in a reasonable matchup.
- I talked about why Lamar Miller was an easy play in Leverage. The philosophy change in Miami under Dan Campbell was real, yet Miller’s $4600 price tag didn’t reflect it. Again, it comes back to volume. Give me a talented, clear-cut feature back who reasonably projects for 20 touches while playing at home for under $5000 and I will roster him. It certainly made it easier that Miller’s per-touch numbers throughout his career have been truly excellent (career 4.82 YPC).
- The wide receiver spot was the toughest one of the week. I really liked the spot for Donte Moncrief, who was scheduled to see Brandon Browner and came in averaging 8.1 targets per game. I also wanted exposure to this Colts pass game that I thought was set up for a “get well” spot at home against the Saints. They had a team total of 29 points. Add in Moncrief’s very reasonable $5200 price tag and I started building my three-WR set with him.
MY WANT PLAYS
- Tight end was supposed to be easy this week because we had Antonio Gates at home against the Raiders for $5000. Once his knee injury made it clear we couldn’t use him, I was lost. I thought about Ladarius Green, but as of noon ET Sunday I thought Gates still might play on passing downs and in the red zone. Going to Green also would have left me in a dead zone at WR in terms of salary. I had Jordan Reed in for a while, as I wrote about him in Leverage and thought it was a great spot. But once we got the Jeremy Maclin news, I knew I wanted to roster Travis Kelce. Although the common complaint about Kelce’s usage is fair, he was still averaging 6.5 targets per game and was among the tight end leaders in routes run. With Maclin out, I thought it was safe to bump Kelce’s target projection up to eight.
- I knew I was going to either use Philip Rivers or Carson Palmer at quarterback. I had Rivers with a slightly higher projection (as discussed in Episode 22 of the Edge), but it was very, very close. I ended up going with Palmer because I just couldn’t figure out a way to get Larry Fitzgerald into my lineup and still feel good about everything else. So even though I liked Fitzgerald a lot, I thought I could soak up some of that love by rostering Carson.
- I really struggled with the last two wideout spots. I had $13,300 left to spend. In hindsight, I should have gone Julio Jones ($9100) and Stefon Diggs ($4200), which would have maxxed my salary. But after much deliberation, I decided I wasn’t in love with having two Falcons when they’re on the road as a short favorite. I also liked Willie Snead more than Diggs (see below). Not sure how many times I’ve gotten burned by avoiding RB/WR from the same team this year, but it seems like a lot. So I “settled” for DeAndre Hopkins, the target king.
- My last decision came down to Stefon Diggs or Willie Snead. Once Diggs was announced as the starter, this one became very close. The Saints had a far higher team total, Snead’s yardage prop at offshore books was higher and the models I use had Snead with both a higher floor and a higher ceiling. The Vikings also had six wideouts active – I didn’t think it was a stone lock that Diggs would play a team-high 80.0 percent of the snaps. Note that Snead also played 80.9 percent of the snaps, saw seven targets and dropped a touchdown. I don’t have too many regrets about this decision.
WEEK 7 RESULTS
It was certainly a really good week. If I had gone Stefon Diggs over Willie Snead and Julio Jones over DeAndre Hopkins, it would have been a massive week. But this 181.3 score was good enough to get me into the money in all double ups as the cut line was in the low/mid 170s there. I did play the Thursday slate this week, fading the SF/SEA game completely and using my Sunday lineup as my Thursday lineup as well. I don’t have exact numbers on this, but I believe my win rate was higher on the Thursday slate. That makes sense, as using players from that game likely resulted in poor lineup construction for my opponents.
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: 175.98 points, won 65.4 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 4: 141.84 points, won 84.2 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 5: 153.80 points, won 68.4 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 6: 120.90 points, won 12.1 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 7: 181.30 points, won 78.5 percent of head-to-heads.