DraftKings Cash Game Lineup: Week 14
Welcome to a weekly series where I provide you with what I think is the optimal cash game lineup. All prices, fantasy points, and analyses are based on DraftKings’ DFS platform. If you are unfamiliar with what cash games are, or if you are interested in my basic strategy, click here.
Mistakes were made last week. I had arguably my worst week in cash. The good news is that I know what went wrong. First, my lineup was too close to the optimal. The problem with this was that most of my opponents had an almost identical lineup, and it all came down to the CIN-KC game. The Burrow/Perine stacks outdid Mahomes, and I went from a big winner to a big loser by roughly a 4-point loss margin in most of my head-to-heads.
The second mistake was playing Harrison Bryant and Chase Claypool. The optimizers loved them, but I did not. Those two combining for 9.2 DK points (albeit on just $6,500 total salary) put my lineup away. This week, I’m sticking to what I know and delivering the people what they want: the best cash lineup article of the week.
A lot of people will play Joe Burrow ($7,000) in cash, but Tyler Huntley ($5,500) is the better play in my opinion. Last year, in the five games Huntley played all or most of the game when Lamar Jackson was hurt, Huntley averaged 17.4 points. Last week, after Lamar left the game, Huntley scored 16.6 points. Huntley has proven that he is capable in Lamar’s absence and he should be an easy 3x that leaves salary to spend elsewhere.
Derrick Henry ($7,900) is a lock at this point to go off when he plays the Jaguars.
Derrick Henry vs. Jags since his epic Week 14 breakout in 2018:
17-238-4 rushing, 47.8 fantasy points
17-44-1, 1-2-0 receiving, 11.1 FPts
19-159-2, 1-16-0, 28.0 FPts
25-84-0, 8.4 FPts
26-215-2, 2-7-0, 35.2 FPts
29-130-3, 31.0 FPts
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) December 6, 2022
There are some fair concerns about his efficiency and the Titans as a whole, but the underlying usage metrics are insane. Henry leads the league in carries with 258, which extrapolated over 17 games would result in 366 carries. That kind of volume at a sub-$8k salary is just too enticing to pass up.
D’Andre Swift ($5,800) is finally back on top of the Lions’ backfield.
Took literal months. But the #OurLions have finally done it. D'Andre Swift is on top. RBs yesterday:
* D'Andre Swift 39 snaps, 22 routes, 20 opportunities
* Jamaal Williams 23 snaps, 9 routes, 11 opportunities
* Justin Jackson 16 snaps, 10 routes, 6 opportunities
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) December 5, 2022
I think there’s optimism that his role continues to grow as well. He significantly leads teammate Jamaal Williams in efficiency, averaging 1.4 Y/A and 0.9 Y/T more than Williams. Swift is the better talent and his efficiency is so good that even a slight lead in opportunities will deliver great results, especially at his salary.
Draftkings significantly raised Amon-Ra St. Brown’s salary from $7,100 last week to $7,800 this week. While I think he’s probably priced properly now, his role is so insane that he’s still a must-play in cash. He crushes in both volume and efficiency, ranking second in target rate and fourth in yards per route run. He’s the perfect high-floor, high-ceiling player, the exact prototype we search for in cash.
Garrett Wilson ($5,900) is still wildly underpriced given his role as of late. Since Mike White took over, (albeit a small sample size of just two games), Wilson has racked up 22 targets and averaged 26.8 points. While that number will surely come down as the season progresses, it goes to show the elite upside he has when paired with even a semi-competent QB. Until DK starts getting aggressive with his salary, he’s an auto-play in cash.
Perhaps no player has a higher volume floor than Chris Godwin ($6,700). Since Week 4, Godwin has averaged an insane 10.7 targets per game. The Bucs have been playing from behind a lot, leading to a league-high 67.04% pass rate. Godwin leaves something to be desired with his efficiency, but his floor is massive, so he makes my cash lineup this week.
Did we witness Greg Dulcich’s ($3,400) breakout game last week? The rookie TE amassed a career-high 8 targets en route to a 14.5-point showing, his highest so far. He’s flashed his upside, but does he have the floor? I’m betting that he does. Unlike other weeks, we don’t have a ton of quality punt TE options, so he’s the best TE value on the slate.
I considered about 10 players here. No joke. I finally settled on James Cook ($4,600). Cook finally took over the backfield last week, receiving 1 more attempt and 4 more targets than Devin Singletary, the starter. Most projections have Singletary taking back that lead role this week, but I don’t agree. A rookie taking the majority of opportunities from a four-year starter on a short week doesn’t seem like an accident. Even if he can just keep the receiving role, Cook will end up as one of the top plays on the slate. If he keeps both, he might be the guy you need come Sunday.
The majority of cash lineups will roll out the Steelers DST ($2,800) and while the play is fine in theory, it doesn’t fit with my cash construction. Playing Huntley eliminates PIT from my DST pool and once I fit in every other player, I was left with the Giants DST ($2,400). As I’ve stated numerous times, I don’t think we’re very good at projecting DST outcomes, so I’ll play whatever DST I can afford after filling out the other eight positions on my roster.
I’m sticking to my process and intuition and playing the best plays, even if the optimizers disagree. Huntley is the obvious cash QB, while Swift, Wilson, and Godwin are all severely underpriced given their roles. Throw in a few more volume kings like Henry and Amon-Ra and I feel great about this team.
Here is the final lineup:
Jacob White is an avid fan of all things NFL, particularly fantasy football and the Chicago Bears. He is currently studying Economics at Wabash College where he hopes to learn the skills to further his career in the sports entertainment industry. He specializes in redraft, DFS, and best ball, where he routinely finishes at a profit, including a 2020 13-0 finish on the high-stakes KFFSC platform. You can find him on Twitter @FF_JacobWhite for additional advice on all things football and the semi-occasional homer tweet.