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.
MY MUST PLAYS
- I thought the Browns would show up in this letdown spot for the Cowboys. Obviously, I was very wrong. But regardless, I had to have Ezekiel Elliot and Dallas’ freakishly dominant offensive line against Cleveland’s 31st-ranked DVOA rush defense because of his touchdown expectation. The Cowboys had an implied team total of 28 points, third-highest on the slate (behind only Packers and Saints). Given their run-first style, Zeke was very likely to score a bunch of those touchdowns.
- With Spencer Ware (concussion) out, Charcandrick West would only be backed up by newly re-signed Knile Davis. I expected West to handle at least 80 percent of the Chiefs’ RB snaps and RB touches. In the five games West played on 80 percent of the snaps last year, he averaged 20.16 DK points per game. So with a game in Arrowhead against the Jaguars, I expected really good game flow for West. I was also able to pair him in a correlation play with the Chiefs D/ST.
- Speaking of the Chiefs D/ST, this was a rare instance where I considered a defense a must. The Chiefs’ aggressive, risk-taking scheme is perfect for fantasy and they perform far better in Arrowhead. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are among the most pass-happy teams in the league and Blake Bortles is among the most mistake-prone QBs in the league. So it was a perfect storm: A quality pass rush and aggressive secondary against a bad quarterback who would be dropping back a ton and dealing with a poor offensive line.
- With Ben Roethlisberger (knee) active, I raised Le’Veon Bell’s projection significantly. Not because he’d see any extra touches, but because I thought he was more likely to get red-zone opportunities and unstacked boxes. At just $7,700 and with an elite pass-catching plus goal-line role, I needed him. Unfortunately, that kept me from rostering Melvin Gordon (whose spot I discussed in Leverage). In hindsight, a home favorite out of division vs. a road RB in a rivalry game for $1,400 more should have been easy. Regrets.
- If you followed the news closely, you knew Ty Montgomery was cleared from his sickle cell issue and working as the Packers lead running back. As noted in Leverage, the RB/WR hybrid role had seen 39 targets across the last three games. So Montgomery’s usage projection was massive in this spot as the pass-catching back and lead runner. The Packers were also at home against a weak Colts defense. I thought Montgomery was similar to getting Jarvis Landry except with increased volume and rushing floors – and for $1,300 less.
- Going into the week, I thought Antonio Gates was completely done. But that’s why I don’t get into talent evaluations when making DFS decisions – I have a lot of biases and frankly am not an NFL scout. It’s similar to the Melvin Gordon situation in that looking at usage and market shares is a lot more repeatable and reliable than talent judgments. So with Hunter Henry, Travis Benjamin (knee) very limited and the Chargers projected to score around 26 points, Gates for $3,000 was simply too cheap.
MY WANT PLAYS
- When the 1 p.m. ET games kicked off, I thought Randall Cobb (hamstring) would be out. That meant Davante Adams would be the no-doubt No. 2 WR in a game I expected Aaron Rodgers to throw 45 times. When it was revealed that Cobb would be active, I thought about going down to Michael Thomas at $400 cheaper. But since I didn’t have Rodgers, I wanted to make sure I had significant exposure to that unique Packers spot. So I decided to stick with Adams, especially since the Packers are in 3-WR sets as often as any team in the league.
- I debated my QB/WR3 spot right up until lock. I really wanted to get Aaron Rodgers given the unique situation, but I wasn’t able to come off Le’Veon Bell or Chiefs D to make it work. So the pairing I had all week was Colin Kaepernick/Donte Moncrief. In the end I decided I could soak up a lot of Moncrief’s equity with Andrew Luck, and Moncrief’s market share was in doubt with Dwayne Allen and T.Y. Hilton both healthy. So I went with Luck and Tyrell Williams, who has clearly taken over as the Chargers’ top wideout and major red-zone threat.
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. Click here for recap.
Week 8: 109.3 points, won 21.7 percent of head-to-heads. Click here for recap.
Week 9: 135.04 points, won 47.8 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.