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.
Week 2 Recap
Heading into the afternoon slate, I thought I was pretty dead. Richardson left early with an injury and so did Montgomery. Kelce flopped. But then, Puka and Robinson went on to give me over 60 points, propelling me to a 92.3% head-to-head win rate. I felt great about this lineup and it paid off. In hindsight, playing Kelley, who I’m not convinced is a good NFL running back, against one of the NFL’s best run defenses was probably not necessary, but if that’s the biggest mistake I made in cash, I’ll take it. To wrap up Week 2, here are my cash results dating back to Week 1
- Week 1: Won 44.4% of head-to-heads
- Week 2: Won 92.3% of head-to-heads
Total ROI: 30.91%
Now, here’s what I’m paying in Week 3.
I always find making cash lineups easier when I’m able to find a good punt option at QB, but I don’t think there are any good candidates. Based on some great WR values (which I’ll get to later) and a fantastic matchup against Chicago, Patrick Mahomes ($8,300) feels like the best play. Chicago might have the worst defense in the NFL and Mahomes is so reliable, but at the same time, provides an elite ceiling.
Tony Pollard ($8,000) has one of the best roles in the NFL and one of the better matchups of the week. Dallas is likely to blow out Arizona, meaning Pollard will get a ton of carries. He also possesses one of the better receiving roles, as he ranks 4th among all RBs in target share. Pollard has an elite ceiling and floor, making him the easiest cash-click this week at just $8k.
Many cash lineups will feature Jerome Ford ($4,800), but I have concerns about the aforementioned Titan run defense. This leads me to pay up again at RB for Travis Etienne Jr. ($6,900) who probably has the most favorable matchup among RBs. He gets Houston, who ranks 32nd in defensive rush DVOA by a wide margin. He’s also seemed to fend off rookie Tank Bigsby, as he’s captured a dominant 76% snap share. He’s another great floor option with a huge ceiling this week.
I’ve gone back and forth between Calvin Ridley ($7,200) and Chris Olave ($7,000), but finally settled on Ridley, because I had the salary available and he has more upside. Even though he flopped last week, he still earned 8 targets but wasn’t able to corral many of them. I expect him to see similar volume against a much worse team in the Texans, but this time, convert those opportunities into more points.
One of the benefits of DraftKings releasing main slate prices on Mondays is that the players who play on Monday Night Football (MNF) either become great values or terrible values, depending on how the game plays out. One of the biggest winners from MNF was Adam Thielen ($3,900). Although I question his upside and talent at this point in his career, he seems to be his offense’s first option, posting 11 targets in Monday’s contest. It’s quite likely that Carolina find themselves in a negative gamescript against the Seahawks, boosting Thielen’s opportunities.
Another value who emerged from MNF was Amari Cooper ($5,700). Even before the game was played, I had him bookmarked as a likely cash play, and that was proven to be correct after he caught 7 of his 10 targets for 90 yards. While QB Deshaun Watson hasn’t looked great, Cooper looks fantastic, getting open consistently all game. I think he’s one of the most underpriced players on this slate and a cash lock.
I wanted to include Mark Andrews ($6,000) in my cash lineup, but couldn’t find the salary to do so, and thus I’m setting on Zach Ertz ($3,500). In full transparency, Zach Ertz looks awful out there. However, Arizona either doesn’t see this or doesn’t care as they’ve been practically force feeding him the ball. His 31% target share is miles ahead of the next closest TE. This is without a doubt the grossest cash play I’ve ever made, but he’s a certainty at an uncertain position.
I was expecting DraftKings to be much more aggressive with Tank Dell’s ($3,600) salary, but they were not, so I’m capitalizing. Tank saw his role increase massively between Weeks 1 and 2, showing that the coaching staff trusts him more and sees him as a valuable part of this offense. The Texans have a tough matchup against the Jaguars as I’ve already mentioned, leading me to believe Houston will once again be forced to throw the ball a ton, giving Dell more opportunities.
I haven’t spent this much on a DST in a long time, but the Buffalo Bills ($2,900) have a great matchup and I had just enough salary to get up to them. Their opponent, Washington, might be a bad team that just hasn’t been tested yet, and Buffalo will be a battle. They project as one of the best points per dollar play, too.
This was one of the tougher cash slates, but I’m happy with how the lineup turned out. One of my priorities was to play a lineup that projects well but has the upside to return an 80%+ win rate. I think I’ve done that this week.
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.