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 10 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.
The general theme I am noticing for the slate this week is we MUST find our balance across lineups. This is normally the case in cash games but I am really STRESSING it this week. The highest total is 54 between the Saints and Bengals in Cincinnati and I don’t see that game going off. Atlanta and Cleveland is another high total game but in Cleveland as opposed to the faster and higher scoring Atlanta surface. All in all, there’s points out there this week but it doesn’t feel like there are many EXPLOSIVE games on the slate, which means we need just solid floor production from our picks this week.
All prices listed below are FanDuel prices and players in BOLD on the left are who we project to be the highest owned players in cash games (double check close to Sunday lock for accuracy)
|Scout Rankings||Picks of the week|
|Without a doubt I feel the Chargers have the best match-up this week and that will make many of their core players solid cash game options this week and Rivers is in a fantastic spot to hit 20 fantasy points this week.|
Philip Rivers (DK – $6,000/FD – $8,200): Rivers has a floor of two TDs in all eight games in 2018 with one impact game (424/3). Philip is on a pace for 4,472 yards and 38 TDs with two other games with over 300 yards passing. Rivers has fewer than 28 passing attempts in each of their last four games leading to the Chargers relying on their run game. In Week 5, he passed for 339 yards and two TDs vs. the Raiders. Oakland ranks to 25th against QBs with no team scoring over 30 Fantasy points. The Raiders have risk against the run (4.8 yards per rush) with RBs scoring eight rushing TDs. They do allow 8.8 yards per pass attempt with 19 passing TDs, which a great sign for upside Rivers in this matchup. Oakland tends to play better offensively at home, which should lead to a better battle on the scoreboard. Dark horse option as the Raiders continue their exit plan to Las Vegas.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (DK – $5,900/FD – $7,600): The magic of Fitzpatrick added another game to his 2018 resume. Over four and a half games, Ryan passes for 1,667 passing yards with 18 TDs while gaining 9.7 yards per pass attempt. In his four full games, he has three TDs or more in each game. Washington fell to 24th in QB Fantasy defense after struggling to defend the Falcons’ passing game (32.50 Fantasy points). The Redskins have one other disaster game (NO – 363/4) vs. the QB position. Washington tends to play better against the run, which suggests Tampa will need to score in the air in the passing game. The Bucs will have the edge over Washington’s CB in this matchup. Possible 300+ passing yards with three or more TDs.
Russell Wilson (DK – $5,700/FD – $7,700): After nine weeks, Wilson is the 16th highest scoring QB with no impact games. Russell has two TDs or more in seven of his eight games. In most of his short games, he attempted fewer than 27 passes while still lacking a pulse in the run game (24/118). Wilson is on pace for 3,818 combined yards with 36 TDs. In Week 5, he passed for 198 yards and three TDs vs. the Rams. LA sits 12th in QB Fantasy defense with two disaster games (MIn – 422/4 and NO – 346/4). The Rams allow 7.8 yards per pass attempt with 16 passing TDs allowed. A chaser game bolds well for his upside, but Seattle would like to control the clock with the run game. Either a great buy or a trap. I’ll place my bet on his career resume, which points to his best game of 2018.
|Scout Rankings||Picks of the week|
|Keeping with the Chargers theme, Melvin Gordon is someone who stands out as a solid play in cash games this week at just below 9k. Compared to Gurley for almost 2k more we should start with Gordon as a solid play this week and look to pair him with Kamara or Hunt.|
Todd Gurley (DK – 9,400/FD – $10,800): After a great eight-week run, Gurley struggled to find open space at the second level of the Saints’ defense. He finished with 79 combined yards with one TD and six catches or a season-low 19.90 Fantasy points. Todd already has 16 TDs with 37 catches and 1,230 combined yards through nine games. In Week 5, he had 113 combined yards with three TDs and four catches on 26 touches vs. the Seahawks. Seattle ranks 10th in the NFL defending RBs (1,184 combined yards with six TDs and 40 catches) while allowing 4.8 yards per catch. When forced to defend the whole field, the Seahawks’ defense doesn’t have talent on defense to slow down an impact RB. Gurley gets well north of 150 yards with multiple TD upside.
Melvin Gordon (DK – $9,000/FD – $8,900): Gordon has 138 touches in 2018 leading to 868 combined yards with ten TDs and 31 catches. If Melvin played nine games, he would have 1,116 combined yards with 13 TDs and 40 catches or 30.4 Fantasy points lower than Todd Gurley. In Week 5, he had 120 combined yards with one TD and four catches against the Raiders. Oakland struggled to defend RBs in three of their last five games (50.30, 34.90, and 40.80 Fantasy point). The Raiders are 24th vs. the RB position (1,391 combined yards with ten TDs and 28 catches) after eight games while allowing 4.8 yards per rush. Opposing teams have over 30 rushing attempts in each of their last five games. Last week Gordon was on the field for a season-high 88 percent of the RB snaps for LA. Playing great with high upside matchup.
Kareem Hunt (DK – $8,500/FD – $9,000): Hunt has been a scoring machine (12 TDs) over his last seven games, but he has fewer than 100 rushing in eight of his nine games. In his last six games, Kareem has over 100 combined yards in four games. Hunt averages 20 touches per game. Arizona allows the second-most Fantasy points to RBs with four teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points (49.10, 38.90, 33.30, and 41.00). The Cardinals allow 33.5 rushes per game with RBs scoring 13 TDs. Most teams have beaten Arizona with the run due to game score helped by the losing side of the time of possession. Kansas City is going to dominate in this game while expecting north of seven TDs. Kareem will lose some touches to Spencer Ware late in the game. Tough to leave Hunt on the sidelines, but he does need the Cardinals to fight on the scoreboard with their BB gun of an offense.
Alvin Kamara (DK – $8,700/FD – $8,800): In a big game last week, the Saints leaned on Kamara for the important snaps in the game. He finished 116 combined yards with three TDs and four catches on 23 touches. Over the last three games, Alvin has been on the field for 118 plays compared to 102 plays by Mark Ingram. Kamara is on pace for 1,834 combined yards with 24 TDs and 102 catches. The Bengals are 28th against RBs with three teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. Cinci allows 4.9 yards per rush with RBs scoring ten TDs with 51 catches. Upside matchup, but I do get the sense that this week’s game will favor Ingram at times. Kamara can do it all, but his opportunity is down to about 60 percent of the RB snaps while regaining his top-shelf salary.
Dion Lewis (DK – $4,600/FD – $5,800): The Titans have turned to Lewis over the last two games. Over this span, Dion gained 277 combined yards with one TD and ten catches on 42 touches. Tennessee had him on the field for a season-high 84 percent of the RB snaps. New England is just below league average defending RBs with two teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points (34.00 and 36.80). RBs only have two rushing TDs vs. the Patriots with plenty of success in the passing game (59/545/3 on 80 targets). Growing role while playing against his former team. Nice value play based on his rising opportunity.
|Scout Rankings||Picks of the week|
|Michael Thomas (DK – $8,100/FD – $8,600): Thomas now has three electric games at home (16/180/1, 12/89/2, and 12/211/1) with two decent showings on the road (10/129 and 7/69/1). Michael has four games with double digits targets (17, 13, 10, and 15) and three short games (4, 5, and 6) while averaging 9.9 targets per game with an incredible catch rate (88.6). He’s on pace for 140 catches for 1,760 yards and ten TDs on 158 targets. The Bengals are 28th in the NFL vs. WRs (119/1626/9 on 194 targets) with two disaster games (ATL – 21/344/2 and TB – 19/360/2). Over the last five games, five WRs have over 100 yards receiving against the Bengals (Julio Jones – 9/173, Mohamed Sanu – 6/111, JuJu Smith-Schuster – 7/111, Antonio Brown – 5/105/1, and Mike Evans – 6/179/1). Thomas should have his way in this game leading to another 30+ Fantasy points with Cinci slated to have a weak CB option (William Jackson) defending him on most plays.|
Mike Evans (DK – $7,000/FD – $7,500): Evans struggled to get open last week vs. Panthers leading to his worst game of the year (1/16), but he did have ten targets. Mike has five games with over 20 Fantasy points (7/147/1, 10/83/1, 6/137/1, 7/107, and 6/179/1) while averaging 9.75 targets per game. His catch rate fell to 60.2 percent after showing improvement over the first seven games of the year. He’s on pace for 94 catches for 1,572 yards and eight TDs on 156 targets. Washington fell to 24th in WR Fantasy defense (110/1489/10 on 161 targets) after allowing over 200 yards to WRs in four of the last five games (14/273/2, 15/211/1, 16/218, and 17/237/2). The Redskins will try to use CB Josh Norman on Evans on as many plays as possible leading to only a steady game or a fade in the daily space.
Tyler Boyd (DK – $7,500/FD – $7,800): Boyd has been special over his first eight games (49/620/5 on 66 targets) especially when considering that he went undrafted in most Fantasy leagues. Tyler has three games with over 100 yards receiving (6/132/1, 11/100, and 9/138/1) with all three games coming against NFC South opponents. Boyd averages 8.2 targets per game with more expected this week with A.J. Green injured. The Saints allow the most Fantasy points to WRs (131/1904/15 on 180 targets) with seven WRs gaining over 100 yards (Mike Evans – 7/147/1, DeSean Jackson – 5/146/2, Calvin Ridley – 7/146/3, John Brown – 7/134/1, Stefon Diggs – 10/119/1, Adam Thielen – 7/103/1, and Brandin Cooks – 6/114/1). Boyd plays mostly in the slot, which will get him favorable coverage on most plays vs. CB P.J. Williams. Possible 10+ catches for 100+ yards leaving him within a TD of an impact game.
Jarvis Landry (DK – $6,200/FD – $6,400): Landry has fewer than 70 yards receiving five of his last seven games while scoring two TDs over this span. Jarvis has three games of value (7/106, 8/103, and 10/97/1) while continuing to have a short catch rate (54.4). Landry is down to 10.5 yards per catch while being on pace for 98 catches for 1,028 yards and four TDs on 180 targets. Atlanta allows the 3rd most Fantasy points to WRs (115/1586/13 on 174 targets) with huge failure value in four games (CAR – 16/223/3, CIN – 18/238/2, TB – 17/273/1, and NYG – 14/321/1). CB Brian Poole hasn’t played well in coverage in 2018. He’ll give up some TDs while showing risk in his tackling ability. Landry should be active in this game with a TD being a very good outcome. In my thoughts at this level.
Josh Gordon (DK – $6,000/FD – $6,700): Gordon hit on a late 55-yard TD setting up his best game (5/130/1) of the season. Over the last three games, Josh has 13 catches for 272 yards and one TD on 23 targets. In his last four games, Josh has been on the field for about 85 percent of the plays run by New England. The Patriots may be motivated to test former CB Malcolm Butler who ranks as one of the worst CBs in 2018 with disaster downside in TDs and big plays. Gaining momentum with the talent to deliver a special game in this favorable matchup.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (DK – $5,000/FD – $5,400): The future for Valdes-Scantling looks bright over the second half of 2018 with Geronimo Allison done for the year and Randall Cobb continuing to battle injuries. Over the last four games, Marquez has 15 catches for 317 yards and two TDs on 28 targets. He’ll enter this week’s game as the clear WR2 for the Packers while offering big play ability. His catch rate (51.5) is short, which was the case in his college career (52.8 percent). Miami has issues at their second outside CB slot, which points to a chance at a big game. Solid plays in the season-long games while being worth a flier in the daily games in GPPs.
|Scout Rankings||Picks of the week|
|Jared Cook (DK – $4,700/FD – $5,500): Cook has been up and down all season leading to two impact games (9/180 and 8/110/2), one steady game (4/74/1), and five boring showings (4/49, 5/31, 4/20, 2/10, and 2/20). Jared averages 6.25 targets per game while being on pace to set career highs in catches (76), yards (988), TDs (6), and targets (100). With Amari Cooper no longer on the roster, Cook will be a top two receiving option for Derek Carr going forward. The Chargers held him to a short game (4/20) in Week 5. LA ranks 15th in the NFL vs. the TE position (37/369/4 on 61 targets) with the 49ers (6/125/1) and the Browns (8/63/1) having the most success. A TE has scored a TD against the Chargers in four of their last five games. Oakland’s passing game appears to be dead in the water, but they will play better at home. I expect a nice showing this week plus LA has some talent at CB forcing Carr to look for his TE more often.|
Trey Burton (DK – $3,900/FD – $6,100): Burton is the 7th highest scoring TE in PPR leagues after nine weeks despite only have one elite game (9/126/1). Trey has a TD in five of his last seven games while being on pace for 58 catches for 742 yards and ten TDs on 80 targets. The Lions are league average defending TEs (33/417/3) with no team scoring over 17.0 Fantasy points at the TE position. Chicago has the talent to have success running the ball in close, but a play action TE seems very likely in this game. Not a bad swing at this level due to his scoring ability and the Lions may at least push the issue on the scoreboard.
|Scout Rankings||Picks of the week|
|The Chiefs as heavy home favorites should be the primary play this week in cash against a bad Cardinals defense. Yes, Kansas City gives up a ton of points but the play for defenses is focused on sacks and turnovers and the Chiefs should accumulate each this week.|
Look to the Jets and Bills game as another popular play as both teams are terrible offenses and its the lowest total on the board.