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 was a lot of things completely up in the air leading up to roster lock this past Sunday morning. Obviously, the player pools had already been condensed due to the postponements of the Titans/Steelers and Patriots/Chiefs games, but we were all curious to see the results of the Saints COVID-19 tests after Fullback Michael Burton tested positive for COVID-19. Fortunately the best case scenario ended up happening because Burton’s positive test was actually a false positive, meaning everyone else’s tests showed up as negative, and things ended up going as planned.
After a rough Week 3, I definitely spent some extra time researching “optimal” plays for my lineup this week. In the middle of my research, I oddly felt out of place. I may be considered a fantasy sports “expert” based on the role I’m in, but in many ways, I’m just a hardcore sports fan like many of you who are reading this article and subscribe to Elite Fantasy. Yes, I have developed a lot of tools for success along the way, but when it comes to DFS NFL, we’re all kind of on a level playing field. I’ve actually had a lot of success in NFL cash games in the past few years, but NFL has definitely taken a big backseat to my primary sports of hockey and baseball, and even eSports like CS:GO and League of Legends. With this week’s NFL lineup, I caught myself looking way too closely at ownership percentages rather than playing the best plays. I have never really done that before and it makes me wonder if my change to a GPP mindset over the last couple years has really changed my cash game mindset.
With that said, let’s see how I did…
With plenty of landmines throughout today’s cash games including Kenyan Drake, Brandin Cooks, Adam Trautman, and DJ Moore, it was very unfortunate that I ended up with three big snowflakes in my lineup as well. I ended up cashing maybe 20% of my contests, which means it was an overall loss. The cash lines in the double ups ranged from 134.6 through 136.5. The cash lines in the 50/50’s ranged from 124.8 through 134.98.
Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5400)
The Seahawks have been allowing a lot of real life points AND fantasy points so far this season, and it’s hard not to like what we saw from Fitzmagic against the Jaguars. With that said, I definitely did not want to land on Fitzpatrick, but as the high ownership suggests, he was destined to be in a lot of lineups due to his very friendly price tag of $5400. I got a bit lucky with Fitzpatrick considering he did not throw for any touchdowns, but did some damage with 300 passing yards and a rushing touchdown. Very happy with this play.
Running Back: Alvin Kamara ($8000)
Felt like Kamara would be chalk throughout the week, but I do think his ownership went down a slight bit due to the COVID situation. Really difficult to say this about a guy who scored 20.9 points, but outside of an injury situation, I do think 20.9 points was around a floor point total considering how many touches/vultures took place with Latavius Murray, and a lack of touches for Kamara in the passing game, which was shocking.
Running Back: Mike Davis ($5700)
The more we see from Mike Davis, the more we get the sense that it’s more of the scheme rather than the player in Carolina. I actually don’t believe it to that degree because even the eye test tells me that Christian McCaffrey is a far more superior player than Mike Davis. I decided to stick Davis in my lineup because of the high percentage of touches he got in his the last game against the Chargers, and how a lot of those touches were through the air. This worked out beautifully even though he did lose some touches to Reggie Bonnafon after getting banged up earlier in the game.
Wide Receiver: Zach Pascal ($4400)
I left $400 on the table today because I didn’t feel like I could improve at any position. I felt very good about Pascal after reading Jeff’s cash game breakdown identifying him as the primary slot receiver in Indy. Philip Rivers LOVES feeding his slot guys. While 3 catches for 58 yards isn’t terrible, it’s a shame he couldn’t do just a little more because he led the team in targets with 8.
Wide Receiver: Tyler Lockett ($7000)
I had written a narrative about this Lockett play failing and then I accidentally deleted it. I don’t think I’m going to bother writing another narrative as this play upset me a great deal. If I would have went Metcalf for $6800, it would have cashed everything, but because I went with what I felt was the safer play, and because I didn’t think I could improve my lineup much more if I hypothetically had the $600 remaining in the bank had I went with Metcalf. Even after seeing the results, I don’t think this was a bad play, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself here.
Wide Receiver: Will Fuller V ($5900)
This is a play that probably should have helped me cash everything, and it possibly would have helped me get into the green if his last minute 4th down catch that eventually was overturned ended up being upheld. It really felt like it was a judgment call, so it was pretty shocking to see the catch get overturned, but it is what it is. The Vikings defense had been atrocious over the first three games, and it somehow got worse thanks to Harrison Smith getting ejected due to a helmet-to-helmet hit. Also very happy with this play.
Tight End: Logan Thomas ($3500)
Thomas has been getting snaps and targets left and right leading up to today’s game against the Ravens, but ended up getting 65 snaps, and only ONE target in today’s game. I had considered going with Darren Waller for $5200, but I was just very unwilling to downgrade from any of the other guys I paid up for.
Flex: Darrell Henderson Jr. ($5800)
I am a hardcore Rams fan so if there’s anything I keep up with every single week, it’s what’s going on with the Rams. Anyone saying that Henderson was a bad play here because of the “time share” with Malcolm Brown doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Henderson has clearly looked like the better player and Brown did not look as quick as he did Week 1 against the Cowboys. Even Sean McVay said that Henderson is the starter, and it pretty much showed throughout the entire Bills game where Henderson was the primary back with Brown only coming in on 3rd downs. I’m not sure what changed yesterday. Maybe we’ll hear that Henderson was a little banged up or that he liked what he saw from Brown, but my theory is something he’ll never admit to and that’s just McVay wanting to use more of Brown because of the lesser opponent and not wanting to risk Henderson getting hurt since his other dynamic back in Cam Akers is already hurt. Ultimately, Henderson was a costly play, and especially so because his ownership wasn’t as high as I assumed it would be.
Defense/Special Teams: Los Angeles Rams ($3900)
After a few weeks resorting to punt D/ST’s in my lineup, I told myself that I would pay up at D/ST if I could put together a lineup that I was happy with from top to bottom. This wasn’t necessarily by design, but I did not like many of the value options when I looked at the pricing. The Rams have been getting a lot of pressure on the QB, largely due to the best lineman in the game, Aaron Donald, so I felt very strongly about the Rams defense against the Giants. This ended up being pretty spot on as the Rams were able to keep the Giants under 10 points and sacked Jones 5 times. As always, D/ST can have a lot of variance with any team getting a pick six usually coming through in a big way.
I don’t mind my lineup this week because I feel most of the decisions made sense. Still, I’m a little annoyed by the tough luck that I’ve been experiencing throughout my lineups this season. Next week, I am considering taking my cash exposure to FanDuel to see how it goes. I’ve been primarily a DraftKings player for the last year or two, but I had always felt that FanDuel cash games were a little softer, so it’ll be interesting to see if that’s still the case in 2020.