Taylor shares the DraftKings Cash Game lineup she used on Sunday, and breaks down where it went right and where it went wrong!
Football is back and, man, does it feel good. I hope everyone had a fun, but most importantly, profitable week one of the NFL season. I was right about some things yesterday, but wrong about even more. The only way to turn being dead wrong into being profitable is to go back, review, and learn from the process. Each week, I will be going full transparency with you guys, sharing my cash lineup, the process behind it, as well as tracking it’s win % in large field, single entry double ups. Aside from putting the pressure on me to not field a complete garbage lineup each week, I’m hopeful this piece and taking the time to sit down and truly review why I went where I went will help not only you guys, but myself, in perfecting the process. Without further ado, here’s what happened in Week 1….
As soon as salaries were released back in early August, I knew I was playing Kyler Murray in cash Week 1, or I thought I knew. As the weeks passed and we saw Kingsbury’s DespAIR Raid offense sputter into exile, I questioned more and more whether the correct decision was to start a rookie QB, in a complex offense, against a solid front 7, in his first career start. As my love for Murray lost traction, Carson Wentz seemed to the obvious choice. Former MVP candidate, long removed from injury, fun new weapons like DeSean Jackson, and a killer matchup against arguably the worst team in football (we now know that honor belongs to the Miami Dolphins, but it’s fine.) $5700 for Carson Wentz was a steal and I loved the floor and ceiling that his offence and price brought to the table. Admittedly, if I was so confident in Wentz, I should have at least considered stacking him, but just could not find a roster construction I liked with using one his pass catchers. Fast forward to today, DeSean Jackson in cash would have made me look like a genius, but logic told me DeSean Jackson + Cash Games didn’t mesh and I don’t regret the process, only the result. The only other QB I considered riding with yesterday was Jameis Winston, but at $6600 and priced as the QB 3 on the slate, I had to really try push myself into that price range on a week where pricing was so soft. Additionally, he scared me. Jameis is full of ceiling, surrounded by some of the best talent in the game, but the guy is reckless. As much as I wanted exposure to that game, I knew I could get it elsewhere.
On any given week of the NFL season, we are clamoring for some type of value at the running back position. Whether it be due to injury, suspension, or just fantastic matchups, we scrape the bottom of the barrel looking for an edge. What threw me off this week was the horrific pricing on the backs in some of the best spots. By Saturday night I had narrowed down my pool running backs to Dalvin Cook, Austin Ekeler, Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb and Chris Carson. I was pretty dead set on using Cook in cash, and most of my other lineups as well. The $6000 price tag was an insult to a guy who I truly believe finishes the year as a top 5 back. As we saw, Minnesota wants to run and they want to do it early and often. With an injured Diggs, I felt it was one less guy vying for targets and just further solidified the need for Dalvin in cash. Cook was the first guy into every single lineup I made across all sites yesterday. When it came to Ekeler, I saw a big question mark in Justin Jackson. Who was the goal line back? What were the splits going to be? Will they NEED Ekeler in the passing game against a super weak Indy D? Ultimately I felt too many questions surrounded him, and decided to pass. Regrettably. When it came to Fournette, I stand by my decision. There is no way I could have foreseen the injury Nick Foles, and if he had stayed in the game, I do believe coverage would have been different as well game script. I ran pretty bad there. With Chubb, it really came down to which I felt more comfortable with between him and Carson. Both home favorites, both in sufficient offenses, but one offense leaned much more heavily toward the run, Seattle. Seattle had less passing options, made it clear they wanted to run, lacked a big bodied red zone target, and won their last 10 home openers, outscoring their opponents by 230+ plus points. Additionally, Cinci finished as a bottom 3 rush defense in 2018, while Tennessee finished top 3, as far as DK points allowed to running backs. The argument for Carson was just overwhelming.
The wideout position was a mess for this week as I truly had a hard time narrowing any kind of pool, and outside of Chris Godwin was literally up in the air until 30 minutes before lock. I knew I wanted a piece of the SF TB game, and while Godwin was going to be the highest owned, it was for good reason. Excellent matchup, high total, and priced at $6200, much less than his counterpart, Mike Evans. Godwin was the epitome of a cash game play. The other two spots really had me guessing. I considered paying up for Odell Beckham, who I was sure was going to torch Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler. I then considered Tyler Lockett, but ultimately didn’t feel great about his volume after going over all the reasons I loved Chris Carson. However, the pricing led me to the other side of that game. If I was so sure Seattle would control the game, it made sense to bring it back with a reasonable priced Tyler Boyd. With the AJ Green injury, Boyd was in a for a monster target share. After 3 catches on the first drive, I felt pretty great about it, but didn’t check my calendar to see it was John Ross day. This was a thin play on my part, and a mistake I won’t make again. The total was low, the pace of play was slow, and ultimately a bad decision on my part. Dede Westbrook pretty much fell into my lineup, although I was hesitant to pair him with Fournette. The Kansas City D is so inept, that I ultimately felt it would be okay and really just needed to play Dede as an ownership block. Again, the Foles injury really played a part in capping the ceiling on this one.
Probably my biggest regret of the week is getting off Evan Engram. Every lineup I made, aside from my cash lineup, had Engram slotted in at the tight end spot. I loved his volume without Beckham, I thought the game would stay relatively close, but in the end, feared his touch down equity. I ended up on Kittle simply because I had the money. I truly don’t think either of these guys was the wrong answer, as Kittle had 2 touchdowns called back by penalty, but again, just ran bad. I was too afraid to leave $1000+ on the table, and it cost me.
I don’t have a lengthy reasoning for this other than Sea D fit in my salary parameters and I loved the correlation with Chris Carson. Additionally, I thought Dalton would make a few more mistakes, especially without AJ Green. Sea D was the floor play, and I just took the safety.
Overall, I didn’t love this lineup rolling into the day and I do have regrets. Ultimately, it cashed every single entry double up I entered, but it was close. Week 1 often feels like playing touch down bingo, as we don’t have a ton of info to go off, so I am definitely looking forward to being able to make more informed decisions in week 2.
2019 Cash Lineup Record: 1-0