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.
Once LeSean McCoy (hamstring) was ruled active, my lineup came together pretty easily. I had three RBs (DeMarco Murray, Jacquizz Rodgers, Spencer Ware) ranked a cut above the rest. I also had a small pool of WRs I was interested in for cash games: Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Mike Evans, Golden Tate and Tyrell Williams. It was just a matter of making it all fit.
MY MUST PLAYS
- I was playing Spencer Ware even before the Jamaal Charles news came out on Friday. As explained in Leverage, Ware out-snapped Charles 40-15 and out-touched him 26-11 in Week 6. Given that Charles clearly isn’t himself and Ware is very, very #good, it only made sense for him to dominate the workload once again. And given that he was home and the goal-line back in a very conservative offense against arguably the league’s worst defense, it was a lock play at $5,800.
- We knew that the Colts had the league’s No. 32 (dead last) DVOA rank vs. the run. We also knew that DeMarco Murray is a game-flow independent three-down plus goal-line back who had at least 21 touches in five straight games. The Titans were also at home and projected to score 26.25 points. This is as optimal a situation as we can find for a cash-game running back. I wasn’t about to overthink it.
- As mentioned repeatedly in this space, I don’t ask many questions about cheap running backs who project for a lot of volume. That’s especially true when they project for goal-line and pass-down work. So with Jacquizz Rodgers at $4,300 and a legit candidate for 25+ touches (he got 35 in the Bucs’ previous game), I wasn’t about to parse through details about his talent level. He went from a “want” for me to a “must” after LeSean McCoy (hamstring) was announced as active. Before that, it was a close call.
- I’ve been talking about the Browns’ expansion-caliber defense all season. So I wasn’t about to miss a chance to roster one of the game’s best wide receivers against them, especially after Joe Haden (groin) was ruled out. It was also a get-well spot for A.J. Green and a reminder not to worry about game logs too much. Green was coming off two bad games, but they were in tough spots at DAL and at NE. In soft spots against NYJ and MIA earlier this year, Green had predictably crushed.
- As explained in last week’s target article, I projected Mike Evans to see the most volume of any receiver this week. That was partly due to Vincent Jackson (knee) being out and partly due to the 49ers’ pace. With Evans down at $7,800 with this kind of matchup and target projection, I considered him a must.
MY WANT PLAYS
- With Theo Riddick (ankle) and Eric Ebron (ankle) both out, the target concentration in Detroit’s pass-happy offense was again tightened. With both of those guys out in Week 6, Golden Tate, Anquan Boldin and Marvin Jones combined for 80 percent of Matthew Stafford’s targets. So Tate was a borderline “must” play for me, but I did consider going to Tyrell Williams over him. In the end, rumors that Josh Norman would shadow Marvin and Tate’s lower aDOT/better catch rate pushed me onto him over The Gazelle.
- I had Cameron Brate in for $2,900 at tight end for most of the week. But with Jacquizz Rodgers and Mike Evans both in my lineup, I did not want to have three Bucs on the road. If they were home I would have been OK with it, but I thought there was at least some (albeit small) chance the Bucs would go up to San Francisco and lay a big egg. So I simply moved to Vernon Davis at the same price, who I highlighted in last week’s usage article. He ran a pass route on 35-of-35 Kirk Cousins dropbacks in Week 6 and was facing a Lions’ defense which is arguably the best possible matchup for a tight end. They had given up 19 TDs to the position in their previous 22 games.
- I wanted to have some exposure to Atlanta in this home spot against a Chargers’ defense playing without top CBs Brandon Flowers and Jason Verrett. But I couldn’t find a way to fit Julio or Matt Ryan without tanking the rest of my lineup. So I went with Andy Dalton at quarterback, my favorite of the low-priced QBs this week thanks to a home matchup with the aforementioned Browns. By rostering Dalton with A.J. Green, I gave myself a big ceiling which is important when playing a large volume of head-to-head games. Unlike in 50/50s, a 95th percentile lineup in H2Hs is far better than a 60th percentile lineup.
- With the above players in, I only had $2,500 left for defense. That was fine by me, as I considered the Titans D/ST one of the best plays of the week. The Colts had allowed Andrew Luck to get sacked a league-high 23 times coming in and were on the road playing without LG Jack Mewhort. Luck also came in with 16 interceptions in his last 13 games.
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.
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.