Kenneth Le goes over his cash game thought process as he goes player-by-player in his DraftKings cash game lineup review.
A lot of you guys might be wondering why I’m here with a DFS NFL article. I may be known as the “hockey” guy or even the “eSports” guy after my COVID influenced eSports tear earlier this year, but I actually got my first taste of Fantasy Sports in my early teens playing Fantasy Football.
With that said, I’m far from what you would consider a “Fantasy Football Analyst” and especially so when compared to the very talented analysts we have at Elite Fantasy. Nevertheless, I consider myself as someone very confident in the way I dissect available information, and I’ve historically performed very well in my season-long NFL home leagues, and have consistently finished in the GREEN in DFS.
Over the next 17 weeks, I am going to be playing cash games on either DraftKings or FanDuel, and I will break down my thought process when deciding which players to roster in my lineup.
It should be noted that I am a big believer in playing only on one site when it comes to cash games. When I first started playing DFS, I used to be the guy who would play on four different sites on every slate, and I quickly realized that I can easily cash on one site, but not cash on the other, which makes everything a wash. When you consider how high the rake is on the big sites like DraftKings or FanDuel, you can easily understand that going 1-for-2 in your cash games is going to be detrimental in the long run. I definitely want to point out that this does not include player-friendly sites like SuperDraft, where the rake is much lower, bonuses are bigger, and where you’ll sometimes even see overlay.
Remember, with SuperDraft, new users get a 50% deposit bonus (up to $600) by using promo code “Elite” on www.superdraft.io.
I won a few 50/50’s but ultimately, I didn’t win more than what I entered, and in my eyes, that’s definitely considered a loss. The cash lines definitely varied across the different contests, but I feel the most common cash line was in the 157-159 range, which is very frustrating because I made a few different plays that I probably shouldn’t have made, and if I would have went any of a number different directions, I would have crushed everything. But one thing I implore ALL of you guys to do is to ALWAYS play the largest Single Entry Double Up contest on DK, and that’s the Massive $5 Single Entry Double Up that has over 21,000 entries. It tends to be one of the softest Double Ups you can possibly enter, and the sharks aren’t able to enter more than one contest.
Oh, and it should be noted that even though I didn’t cash most of my contests with this lineup, it was actually more than enough to cash the $5 Milly Maker contest, and a few other GPP contests like the $3 Play Action, which says a lot about the wacky lineups that a lot of people are trying to put together in the low dollar MME contests.
Quarterback: Russell Wilson ($7000)
Settling on Russell Wilson was actually a tougher decision than you’d imagine, but that’s only because of the many different playable options at QB. Even though QB is often times considered to be an easy player to choose, I feel it can be really difficult because there’s usually at least five very viable options, and only one roster spot you can use. Some of the guys I kept going back and forth on included Lamar Jackson ($8100), Drew Brees ($6800), Cam Newton ($6100), and Philip Rivers ($6000) for various different reasons, but I happened to make the right choice with Wilson. The Falcons secondary is absolutely atrocious, and Wilson was able to tear them apart.
Running Back: Boston Scott ($4800)
Can’t really kill myself for this one considering Scott happened to be the highest owned player in all my cash games, but I can’t help but think that if Miles Sanders wasn’t hurt, I wouldn’t have gone this route, and probably would have landed on chalk Josh Jacobs. Scott’s pass catching ability from 2019 is a big factor into my wanting to roster him, and likely many others on DraftKings given DK has PPR scoring. This ended up being a bad play, but didn’t hurt as much considering his ownership even went over 50% in a lot of contests.
Running Back: Chris Thompson ($4000)
Yeah, this is the play where I went with my gut and it failed me completely. There’s absolutely no one to blame but myself. My reasoning for playing Thompson was due to my assumption that the game script would call for Jacksonville to have to pass a lot to come from behind. Also, I liked the Jay Gruden connection as Gruden knows Thompson very well from his days in Washington, and is the one running back who he knows how to create a game plan for (all of the other running back options are new). Beyond that, the PPR factor on DK really swayed me. But here’s a tweet from Tyler Buecher earlier today that should keep me in check moving forward…
The problem with receiving specialists is the week to week volatility. Good luck to waiver wire chasers trying to find the next 8-catch outing by Hines: pic.twitter.com/LJthkrGQ3B
— Tyler Buecher (@TylerBuecher) September 13, 2020
Wide Receiver: Michael Thomas ($9000)
With the best receiver in the NFL at only 9% ownership, just insert the crying emoji because this is the play that ultimately cost me. Thomas averaged over 35 points against the Bucs last season, and all of those games were with Teddy Bridgewater. Plus, I am so high on Thomas that I feel like he’s able to get his share of catches even if he gets double teamed, like in many situations last season. I felt so strongly about my other players that I ended up paying up for Thomas when at one point I had a cheaper option in Chris Godwin, with a lot of other improvements in my lineup (e.g. Josh Jacobs).
Wide Receiver: Davonte Adams ($7300)
When Jeff Mans says someone is his “absolute #1 overall WR” on his board, and you see he’s less than $8000, it was basically a lock and load. There were so many moving parts in my lineup, but Adams was a guy who was always in there. He somehow was able to exceed expectations with his 14 catch, 156 yard, and 2 TD performance.
Wide Receiver: D.K. Metcalf ($5800)
I don’t always pair my QB with a WR in cash, but it just made a lot of sense here with Metcalf having a juicy matchup against the weak Falcons secondary, and priced at only $5800. I felt there was a very big drop off after Metcalf at the WR position, and in retrospect, I was pretty accurate with that. Most of the other options had a little too much risk and/or tougher matchups to justify playing.
Tight End: Jack Doyle ($3600)
Given my relatively pricey receivers, I felt like I had to go with a cheaper TE option, and I settled into Doyle who became a very popular option among the #EliteMafia for a number of reasons. The game script actually should have helped Doyle more than it actually did, but it seemed like Rivers ended up using Parris Campbell more as his Keenan Allen rather than Doyle as his Antonio Gates.
Flex: Todd Gurley ($6100)
I definitely need to mention that I wanted Josh Jacobs in my lineup in every way imaginable, but after pivoting a bit, I ended up not having the funds necessary to roster him. Trying to figure out what I could have done differently, I think I probably was more likely to find room to fit Jacobs than to pivot off of Thomas just because there wasn’t anyone else at WR that I trusted as much as I trusted Thomas (didn’t want to touch Julio against the Seahawks secondary, Godwin with Brady under center, and Hopkins on a new team in the SF air). I felt fairly comfortable with Gurley because I believed he would be getting nearly ALL of the touches for the Falcons in what should have been a high scoring game (it was). My reasoning with this is that Gurley is on a one year contract for the Falcons, and unlike the Rams, they don’t have anything to lose if he does happen to get hurt. It looked really good in the first half, where he did get the vast majority of the touches, and plowed in for a touchdown, but after the Seahawks got out to a huge lead, it ended up being a lot of Brian Hill in the back field as the pass catching back when the Falcons trailed by double digits for most of the second half. I get the sense that Gurley is going to end up being a very good DFS option throughout the 2020 season, but if the Falcons D continue to be this bad, the entire DFS world might tilt if Gurley’s constantly on the bench when the Falcons trail big.
Defense/Special Teams: New Orleans Saints ($2400)
The Saints were far from being even a top 5 choice as my DST, but that’s just how the math worked out. I had $2500 left to choose a defense, so that left me with the Panthers, Vikings, Seahawks, Saints, Falcons, Jaguars, Browns, Bucs, Jets, Cardinals, Dolphins, or Redskins as my options. It really came down to either the Saints or Seahawks for me, but I went with the Saints because I just didn’t think Tom Brady would have a good first game. The arm strength just isn’t there and I just didn’t trust him in a new scheme with no practice outside of a few scrimmages. I feel pretty good that this play worked out, but defenses can be quite random
Week 1 is always one of the toughest weeks to create lineups because there’s ultimately a lack of information. With zero preseason games this year, there was an even greater lack of information than what we’re usually working with. Still, I make no excuses for the mistakes made with my lineup, and I’m going to actively work at making sure that these lineups are going to profit in the long run.