CASH Game Strategy Reminders
The first thing to discuss with regards to cash games is contest selection. What? Yes, contest selection matters for cash games as well. Let's walk through the type of cash game contests that I would focus on for NFL DFS.
Find large Contests.
The 11 man double-ups might seem great as 5/11 will place and you only have to beat 6 people. Then you really notice the chalk and that two or three "pros" have the exact same lineup minus one player. It's not that all of them are sharing lineups, but its that they've done this long enough that they have a trusted process that will lead them to the same spot. Can you beat them? Yes. Is it annoying to sweat in an 11 man contest? Yes. Go for the larger contest. Sort by the size of the contest descending and then go from there.
- 50/50's.... Simple math, they're the best in terms of the pay-line with 50% of the field cashing. You aren't pulling back a full 2x but you will want to target the largest 50/50's you can find.
- Double-Ups ... Same logic here on the size of the contest, find the bigger ones and preferably the ones with SINGLE ENTRY into them.
- 3-man ... Some will enjoy a 5 man contest or even the 10 man leagues, but one alternative to the normal cash games will be the 3 man contests. Look for ones that arent full close to lock as those generally will give you better variance on the players in them.
BALANCE, BALANCE, BALANCE
- Remember to focus on trying to get a balanced lineup in cash games. We take a little less risk with game stacks in cash, but like tournaments we are seeking the best plays each week. Sometimes with cash we get suckered into playing "must own" plays and when there isn't obvious value it really makes things risky. Try to focus on a balanced lineup each week with guys who are going to come through.
IDENTIFY WEAK POSITIONS
- Each week look at the rankings and determine if the top ranked players are premium players or not. For example, if you don't see Gronkowski, Ertz, Kelce, etc. listed as top TE plays then it's likely a position to pay down for that week.
WEEK 8 CASH GAME PLAYS
Each week we are going to post these CASH game plays early in the week. It's often a good indicator of the early week rankings but things will change with late week injuries or late scratches. Monitor the Optimizer and Scout Rankings for updates as the week moves on.
All prices listed below are DraftKings prices.
Picks of the week
Ben Roethlisberger - $6,100 Andy Dalton - $6,200 Aaron Rodgers - $6,400 Andrew Luck - $6,300
This is a week we are going to pay up a little bit on DraftKings at Quarterback but none of these guys should kill our salary cap this week as all are in very good spots. Luck and Rodgers both have the bonus of playing in the nice California weather and Ben and Dalton are at home in spots against bad teams with Andy Dalton being the lucky guy to face off against the Bengals this week. Andy Dalton (DK – $6,200/FD – $7,800): Dalton came up short last week (148/1) in what looked to be a favorable matchup. Over his last three games, Andy passes for fewer than 250 yards in each game with four combined TDs and two Ints. His struggles last week even led to a trip to the bench. This week Dalton faces the worst defense in the league against QBs. Tampa allowed over 300 yards passing to five of their six opponents with QBs averaging three TDs and 8.8 yards per attempt per game. An exciting matchup, but Fantasy owners will be skittish to throw another dart at a QB with tends fall short of expectations. Aaron Rodgers (DK – $6,400/FD – $8.600): Rodgers is well on his way to set career highs in passing attempts (677), passing completions (416), and passing yards (5,325), but he’s trailing his best success in TDs (on pace for 32 TDs). Aaron passed for over 400 yards in his last two starts (442/3 and 425/2). The Rams allowed two passing TDs in each of their last five games with Vikings delivering the only impact game (422/3). The Rams will be playing at home for the first time since Week 4, which sets up a great high scoring matchup. Rodgers will need to throw to win this game, and he should be chasing on the scoreboard. Viable at the top end of the QB position with a couple of his injured WRs returning this week. Ben Roethlisberger (DK – $6,100/FD – $8,400): Roethlisberger has four games with over 300 yards passing and three games with three TDs. So far this year his failure in passing TDs came in his three games vs. division opponents. In Week 1 in poor weather, Ben passes for 335 yards with one TD and three Int vs. the Browns. Cleveland allowed six rushing TDs in the last two games, which led better than expected success over this span in passing TDs allowed (2). One QB has one impact game (438/4) against the Browns. The Steelers tend to be a much better offense at home, which gives Roethlisberger a chance at an impact game.
Picks of the week
Todd Gurley - $9,800 Joe Mixon - $7,300 Kareem Hunt - $7,100 James Conner - $7,500 David Johnson - $6,700 Phil Lindsay - $5,200 Nick Chubb - $4,700
Todd Gurley remains a cash game staple and until his price is well above 10k on DraftKings you should continue to play him in cash there. This brings us to the Joe Mixon, Kareem Hunt, James Conner tier for our second RB this week and of the three Mixon and Conner are really going to be determined based upon your QB choice this week as both are guys to fade if you go with their counterpart at Quarterback this week. Hunt is at home vs a Denver defense who has struggled defending the run this year and should be very much considered a chalk play this week. Todd Gurley (DK – $9,800/FD – $11,000): Last week Gurley was on the field for a season-low 59 percent of the Rams snaps, but LA still found a way to get him three TDs with 86 combined yards and four catches. Over the last three games, Todd gained 425 combined yards with eight TDs and ten catches. His success in TDs (14) puts him on pace for 32 TDs on the year. Green Bay is 10th in the NFL defending RBs (780 combined yards with six TDs and 23 catches). The Packers have been very good defending RBs in the passing game (23/177 on 32 targets), but Gurley is the first elite back they've faced all year. Stud back with huge scoring ability while offering explosiveness in all areas of the game. More of the same with the TDs being the key to his payoff value. Joe Mixon (DK – $7,300/FD – $7,800): This week Mixon has a salary $200 less than James Conner, but he averages about seven fewer Fantasy points (16.54) over his five full games than Conner (23.67). The Bengals give Joe 20 touches per game while underperforming slightly in the passing game (16/100/1 on 24 targets). Tampa struggled in three games vs. RBs in Fantasy points allowed (NO - 43.00, PHI - 32.20, and CHI - 32.90). The Bucs allow 4.0 yards per rush with RBs scoring six TDs. Two teams have beat Tampa in the passing game from the RB position (NO - 9/112/1 and CHI - 7/121/1). A nice matchup in what should be a wide open game. In the mix at this level despite lacking an elite resume in 2018. Kareem Hunt (DK – $7,100/FD – $8,100): Hunt quickly moved to 6th in RB scoring after two elite games (195 combined yards with one TD and two catches and 141 combined yards with three TDs and five catches). Kareem has a TD in six straight games with more action in the passing game in his last two starts (5/105/1 and 5/55/2). In Week 4, he beat the Broncos for 175 combined yards with one TD and three catches. Denver struggled with RBs in three of their last five games (34.00, 39.00, and 38.90 Fantasy points). On the year, RBs gain 5.0 yards per rush vs., the Broncos with nine TDs. The Jets and the Rams combined for 593 rushing yards in two games with three TDs. Kansas City has one of the top offenses in the game, and Hunt is a rising piece to their pie. His favorable salary and matchup will be tough to ignore on Sunday. Phillip Lindsay (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,500): With Royce Freeman battling an ankle issue, Lindsay should be in line for a step up in chances in Week 8. Last week he had 15 touches, which led to 96 combined yards with one TD and one catch. Over the first six games, Phillip averaged 12.5 touches per game. I expect between 15 and 18 chances per game over the next couple of weeks while losing targets to Devontae Booker in the passing game. In Week 4, Lindsay had 79 combined yards with one TD and two catches against the Chiefs. Kansas City allows the second-most Fantasy points to RBs with four teams scoring over 33 Fantasy points. Solid floor with upside, but his success relies on better QB in Denver. Kerryon Johnson (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,900): Johnson played the stud part at RB in Week 7, which led to 179 combined yards with two catches on a season-high 21 touches. Even with his success, Kerryon still lost carries to LeGarrette Blount and some chances in the passing game to Ameer Abdullah. He did have a season-high in snaps (50 percent). Seattle is about league average defending RBs with failure in yards allowed in three games (188, 156, and 176). RBs gains 4.7 yards against the Seahawks with five TDs. Without a full ride in catches and goal-line carries, Johnson will be a tougher start as his salary rises.
Picks of the week
Top: Antonio Brown - $8,500 Davante Adams - $7,900 Robert Woods - $6,800 Juju Smith-Schuster - $7,400 Mid Range: TY Hilton - $6,300 Kenny Golladay - $5,600 Doug Baldwin - $5,500 Value Jordy Nelson - $4,700 Larry Fitzgerald - $4,400 Chester Rodgers - $4,200 Courtland Sutton - $3,800
Davante Adams (DK – $7.900/FD – $8,600): Adams is the second highest scoring WR after seven weeks. Davante has two straight impact games (9/140/1 and 10/132/2) while receiving 42 targets over his last three outings. Over his last five games, Adams has a floor of seven catches while averaging one TD per game. The Rams dominated WRs in three games (OAK – 5/43, ARI – 7/55, and SF – 4/35) while also showing disaster downside in two other games (MIN – 25/338/3 and DEN – 13/230/2). CB Marcus Peters has coverage talent, but he can also be beat for big plays and TDs. Game score shines toward another huge outing in catches and targets while a TD at the minimum should be expected. Jordy Nelson (DK – $4,700/FD – $5,300): Nelson moved to WR1 in Oakland with Amari Cooper gift wrapped to the Raiders. He struggled in his last game (2/6 on three targets), which came after a nice three-game stretch (15/264/3 on 16 targets. Jordy only has 31 targets over six games. WRs have 95 catches for 1,101 yards and seven TDs on 128 targets vs. the Colts with one disaster game (26/340/2). An interesting player this week as his targets should come in as his season high with a chance at TD. Robert Woods (DK – $6,800/FD – $7,600): Woods has five catches or more in each of his last six games while averaging 8.3 targets per game on the year. Over his last five games, Robert has over 100 yards receiving in three games (10/104/2, 5/101/1, and 7/109). The threat of Gurley does create some one-on-one matchups on the outside, which gives Woods a chance to hit on some long plays. Viable swing at this level as I expect one of the Rams’ WRs to pay off this week. The Packers have risk in their secondary and Goff will expose that flaw in this game. Doug Baldwin (DK – $5,500/FD – $6,400): In Week 6, Baldwin showed a pulse (6/91 on eight targets) for the first time all year. Over the last three games, Doug was on the field for 79.4 percent of the plays for the Seahawks. The Lions are 6th in the league vs. WRs (60/870/7 on 89 targets) with one poor game (GB – 19/297/2). CB Nevin Lawson doesn’t have a great NFL resume while playing above his previous success in his career so far in 2018. Only a flier until Seattle shows that they need to throw the ball to win. Taylor Gabriel (DK – $5,100/FD – $5,500): As expected, Gabriel came up short against the Patriots (3/26 on four targets). In his previous two starts, Taylor gained over 100 yards (7/104/2 and 5/110). On the year, Gabriel averages 6.3 targets per game with two catches over 40 yards. The Bears’ offense is trending upward in passing value, which is a positive for Taylor is this favorable matchup. A quick, shifty player who tends to lack opportunity in most games. More of a piece of Mitchell Trubisky than a plug in and play. Golden Tate (DK – $6,000/FD – $7,100): After a fast start to the year (28/389/4), Tate dribbled his way through to two short games (5/42 and 4/36). Golden averages 9.5 targets per game while being a career-high pace in catches over 20 yards (21). This game will be against his former team, which will add some extra motivation. Seattle played well vs. WRs in three of their last four games (DAL – 11/110/1, ARI – 9/82/1, and OAK – 10/62) while showing failure in two games (DEN – 18/243/2 and LAR – 14/235/1). The only WR with over 100 yards receiving against the Seahawks in Week 1 (Emmanuel Sanders – 10/135/1). Matthew Stafford has underachieved in TDs, but he does have the talent to produce a winning game with Tate being a piece of a winning outcome.
Picks of the week
Travis Kelce - $6,600 C.J. Uzomah - $3,500 George Kittle - $5,500 Jared Cook - $5,000 Eric Ebron - $4,900
With Running Back being a little bit thin this week we have a potential value opportunity here to go double Tight End. Travis Kelce should be considered on par with a solid WR this week and at $6,600 he is clearly the top TE this week at home vs Denver. CJ Ozomah is the value play that is tough to pass up as week after week after week we have seen value in attacking the Bucs with TE's. Travis Kelce (DK – $6,800/FD – $7,300): Kelce has five catches or more in each of his last six games highlighted by a four-game stretch (7/109/2, 8/114. 7/78/1, and 5/100). He’s on pace to set career highs in catches (87), receiving yards (1,286), and targets (137). In Week 4, Travis has seven catches for 78 yards and a TD vs. the Broncos. Denver allowed fewer than six Fantasy points to TEs over their last three games to move them to 20th in the NFL in TE Fantasy defense. They also struggled to defend the TE in Week 1 (SEA – 4/116/1). KC has plenty of weapons on offense with Kelce ranking high in opportunity. I’d love to get him in this week as I expect a TD with a chance at 100+ yards receiving. Jared Cook (DK – $5,000/FD – $5,900): Cook has been a special player in his two home starts in LA (9/180 and 8/110/2). Over his other four games, he scored fewer than ten Fantasy points in each game (4/49, 5/31, 4/20, and 2/10) while averaging only 4.5 targets. In his best two games, Jared had 25 combined targets. With Amari Cooper no longer on the roster, Cook has a chance to be a top two option in the passing game for the Raiders. Indy sits 25th in the NFL defending TEs with one disaster game (PHI – 12/146/1). The Colts did hold the Patriots’ TEs to a reasonable game (6/75) while facing weak options at TE in three of their last four games (HOU, NYJ, and BUF). Possible double-digit targets leading to a mid-teen score without a TD. I’m going to place my bet here based on the Colts allowing 39 points per game over a three-game stretch before last week. C.J. Uzomah (DK – $3,500/FD – $5,400): Over the last four games with starting snaps, Uzomah has 11 catches for 116 yards and one TD on 12 targets. He barely had value in the season-long games in his last two starts (11.4 and 9.3 Fantasy points in PPR leagues). Tampa allows the most Fantasy points to TEs (40/538/4 on 50 targets) with TEs scoring a TD in four straight games. The Bucs last five opponents scored over 15 Fantasy points. His matchup gives him a chance at a TD and upside in chances, but his resume says proceed with caution. O.J. Howard (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,800): Howard has nine catches for 129 yards and one TD on 13 targets in his last two games after missing a game with a knee issue. Tampa had him on the field for two-thirds of their plays last week, which fell in line with his opportunity over the first three games of the year. Cinci had huge problems with TEs in four of their seven games (IND – 12/124/1, BAL – 8/74/1, PIT – 14/129, and KC – 6/112/1). Look for Tampa to exploit this weakness with their TEs in this matchup. An excellent chance at a TD with an uptick in catches and yards.
Picks of the week
Bengals - $2,500 Steelers - $2,300 Redskins - $2,700
Every defense this week is seemingly cheap. The Bears are at 4100 at the top but not exactly a spot that we should feel inclined to lock them into our lineups, so this is a great spot to take one of the value defenses facing some sketchy Quarterback/offense situations. Bengals -- The Bengals at home against turnover prone Jameis Winston provide a nice value at $2,500 to get sacks, turnovers and a potentially blowout game where the defense could even score one.