Kenneth Le goes over his cash game thought process as he goes player-by-player in his DraftKings cash game lineup review.
Remember, throughout the season, 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.
There’s something about my lineup construction for Week 3 that felt just way too easy. After dedicating a lot of my week to eSports contests with some big hits in CS:GO and League of Legends, I began my lineup construction Friday night, and it was like everything just slotted in perfectly. Once Sunday came along, I had one big decision to make at QB where I’d either go with my gut, or go with the chalk. Ultimately, that one decision decided my fate when it was all said and done.
The end result was a complete dud as I did not cash any of my entries. The cash lines in single-entry double up contests varied between 133.8 through 136.3 while the cash lines in 50/50 contests varied between 129.4 and 133.18. If you have a limited bankroll, I highly suggest for you to stick with the $1-$5 100 or 200 lineup 50/50s that are posted on DraftKings. If you want to play for higher stakes, then yes, you’ll have to expand to those $25+ single entry double ups.
The thing that has really become very apparent to me and is that the margin for error for cash games on DraftKings is super thin. One mistake tends to be enough to decide whether or not you win or lose money on any given week. If you’ve read my first two articles, you would have definitely seen my many documented mistakes, but it never ended up with a loss as bad as this week. Yes, the difference between 126.58 points and 136.3 points isn’t too bad, but it’s horrible when you see the one big mistake I ended up making.
Quarterback: Cam Newton ($6700)
We basically kick off the position-by-position lineup review by dissecting the play that ultimately made me lose all my entries. Kyler was not only a Core 4 play, but he also had 50+ percent ownership throughout all DraftKings cash game contests. I was well aware that Murray would be very popular (though, not that popular), but I decided to go with Cam on a gut call. There’s no possible way that Cam can be considered a bad play considering the matchup against the Raiders. The Raiders had a short week thanks to playing on Monday Night Football and had allowed the 4th most passing yards and 5th most rushing TDs. I went about this knowing that Cam wouldn’t be too close to Kyler in ownership, but could leverage this play to separate myself from the pack even more. Well, the ownership ended up working against me because Cam ended up having a terrible game mixed in with some bad touchdown luck. My theory that the Pats would dominate this game was definitely not wrong, but Cam only threw one short touchdown pass with Rex Burkhead earning two touchdowns through two separate “GREEN ZONE” carries.
But why not Kyler? Well, it’s not that I hated Kyler, but I just liked Cam more. I’ve always had success going with my gut, but my football gut hasn’t exactly been too accurate. In the end, Cam scored 12.18 while Kyler scored 24.7. The 12.52 point swing was more than enough to swing ALL of my entries.
Running Back: Mike Davis ($5100)
I was a little surprised that Davis ended up with so little ownership. The way my salaries ended up being divided, I knew that I’d have to play around three players that would be considered “punts”. At RB, I gave some thought to either McKinnon or Jeff Wilson (who came through for me in my one GPP lineup), but felt Davis would get plenty of touches, and probably even contribute to the passing game like we saw when he came into the game for McCaffrey the previous week. As it turns out, Davis ended up playing a bigger part of the passing attack than what we even saw from McCaffrey with Teddy Bridgewater at center. Not sure why that is, but I am sure that there are less eyes on Davis than there are on McCaffrey when those two are coming out of the backfield.
Running Back: Miles Sanders ($6400)
Sanders was the chalk running back of the day, with ownership going well past 60 percent in all contests. It made sense for a number of reasons, but most of it was a combination of how good he looked in his return to the lineup Week 2 against the Rams, and the glorious matchup against a Bengals team that had allowed 210 yards and 3 TDs combined to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt the previous week. I honestly did not watch any of this game, but it was disappointing to see the lack of usage from Sanders in the passing game, and see the play calling constantly leaning to putting the ball in Carson Wentz’s hands. Wentz just hasn’t looked right this season, and judging by today’s 2 INT’s now pushing his INT total to six, I’m thinking Sanders’ lack of touches didn’t do the Eagles any favors.
I’ll take the 14.7 points, but in reality, this could have and should have been a much better day.
Wide Receiver: Calvin Ridley ($7200)
Ridley was not my top WR play even though he was the most expensive WR in my lineup. I really wanted DeAndre Hopkins, who had 40+ percent ownership, but was also $700 more expensive than Ridley. After a stellar 1st quarter and easy 100 yard performance, Ridley just didn’t get any more touches as the Falcons decided they’d rather give the Bears every opportunity in the world to come back and win the game. While his 19.7 points was nothing to complain about, well, my lineup that WAS cashing kept fading away during the late games when Kyler was plastering Hopkins with passes. Hopkins ended with 26.7 points, which was an even 7 points more than Ridley.
Wide Receiver: Allen Robinson ($6200)
$6200 for A-Rob made him a cash game lock for me. He was able to take advantage of the Falcons secondary throughout the game, and was probably aided by Mitchell Trubisky being replaced by Nick Foles in the second half, which sparked the Bears come back. This play, ultimately should have won me all of my cash games. Robinson had very little ownership for someone who ended up with 31.3 points. Then again, it probably didn’t help that Tyler Lockett, who had double the ownership of Robinson, ended up going off with 40 points.
Wide Receiver: Darius Slayton ($4900)
With Sterling Shepard going on injured reserve, and half of the 49ers roster in the infirmary, I felt very good about playing Slayton in this spot. He was consistently getting targets from Daniel Jones and just felt like the perfect punt play at WR. Unfortunately, even though he received 7 targets, the Giants couldn’t really do much with their passing game throughout the game. I had no real regrets with this play because there were very few viable options at this price range that I’d consider as alternatives.
Tight End: Logan Thomas ($3700)
Definitely did not like the TE pool this week, and definitely was looking to play another punt at the position with no Kelce/Kittle in play. At around 30-40% ownership, Thomas did end up being one of the chalkier plays at TE, and I was okay with his performance (7.1 points). He is consistently getting targets from Dwayne Haskins, and was facing a Browns team that has been struggling to stop opposing TEs.
Flex: Jonathan Taylor ($7000)
The 2nd chalkiest RB of the day was Taylor, who definitely disappointed. You would think that a 36-7 blowout would benefit the #1 running back, but in this case, it apparently contributed to Frank Reich giving more touches to Nyheim Hines and even Jordan Wilkins. This play definitely did not hurt me, and given the matchup against the Jets combined with the high number of touches we saw from Taylor in the Colts first game after losing Marlon Mack for the season, he just felt like a lock button play at RB.
Defense/Special Teams: New York Giants ($2700)
I am probably not the only person in the world who absolutely hates playing defenses in fantasy football. The Giants were NOT the play this week and targeting against Nick Mullins was an absolute fail. The Giants were one of the more popular D/ST plays this week thanks to their cheap price point, but I probably should have given more thought to using perhaps the Bengals defense at $2600, which were the only other team that I could even think of playing in this situation. We’ve seen Carson Wentz have to deal with a lot of pressure throughout the first two games, leading to numerous sacks, and INTs allowed. With the Bengals earning 7 points on DraftKings, the 9 point swing would have been enough to help me cash all my entries. Of course it would have.
While I don’t hate my overall approach to these cash games, I obviously hate the result. Cash games in 2020 are definitely a lot tougher to win on a constant basis than they were in 2015-2018, so that’s something to consider; however, it’s no excuse to not cash more than half of the time. With 14 weeks remaining in the regular season, there’s plenty of time to improve, and limit the big mistakes that end up costing me these cashes.