DraftKings Cash Game Lineup
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.
For the second straight week, my QB left the game early with nothing to show but a snowflake next to his name. But also, for the second straight week, I posted a great win rate. I think I played mostly well. Most weeks, your win rate is going to be decided by not who you played, but who you chose not to play. This week, I made some big fades in cash. I didn’t play Stafford, Burrow, Chase, or either of the mid $4k RBs that I figured would catch steam over the weekend. Of those fades, all of them failed, sans Chuba Hubbard, whose 16 points at his salary was awesome, but didn’t bury you if you faded him. I took a bold stance on playing Tyreek Hill over Ja’Marr Chase and that made all the difference in my win rate.
Here are my results to date.
- Week 1: Won 44.4% of head-to-heads
- Week 2: Won 92.3% of head-to-heads 🔥
- Week 3: Won 92.3 % of head-to-heads 🔥
- Week 4: Won 7.1% of head-to-heads
- Week 5: Won 92.3% of head-to-heads 🔥
- Week 6: Won 71.43% of head-to-heads 🔥
Total ROI: 20.79%
Now, let’s dive into Week 7.
I was either paying up or paying down at QB this week, not taking a middle route. I originally wanted to play Daniel Jones ($5,600), but he’s ruled out now, so I’m pivoting to Sam Howell ($5,500). Howell has only scored less than 17 DraftKings points once this season and projects as one of the few values at QB this week. He has a favorable matchup against the Giants’ 26th- ranked pass defense.
This is a pretty thin slate at running back. There are some punts you could consider, but I’ve felt most comfortable in cash when I’ve paid up for RB, unlocking the guys with locked-in volume. This brings me to Kenneth Walker ($7,000). I was expecting him to lose some work to rookie Zach Charbonnet after the bye week, but the opposite happened. In a game they were trailing, Walker played 76% of snaps, his highest total of the year. Pairing that with a favorable matchup against Arizona’s 29th-ranked run defense, Walker feels like an easy cash play.
It’s scary to fade a punt RB two weeks in a row, especially when they’re the stone minimum, but I’m not playing Zach Evans. Rams HC Sean McVay has remained noncommittal to Evans’ role, so I’m not interested, especially if he will be as chalky in cash as I suspect he will. Instead, I’m playing Isiah Pacheco ($6,100) in my other RB slot. This gives me exposure to this massive Chargers-Chiefs contest with a 47.5 game total, the largest of the main slate. Pacheco has also seen his role grow this year, so I feel great about getting an underpriced piece of this Chiefs offense in this game environment.
Figuring out Wide Receiver was the hardest part of this team construction. Almost all of the “best plays” are punts. In fact, my expected salary model thinks that every WR at or above $5,800 is overpriced. On a week like this, I think it’s prudent to not overthink it and play the best play, Cooper Kupp ($9,500).
Given the lack of value in the $5k-$6k range, I feel pretty good about playing Marquise Brown ($5,300). He’s scored 16 or more points in 4/6 games this season and has been a target hog as he ranks 9th among WRs in target share. I worry about his ceiling due to QB play, but in a week as thin as this, I’m ok playing a guy who’s likely to pay off his salary, but unlikely to win you the week.
I was always playing at least one punt WR, and while there are many viable ones, I’m playing Wan’Dale Robinson ($3,800). The thought behind not playing multiple and then getting up a tier at RB or QB is that I don’t want to limit my ceiling. I’m okay accepting that one player might lack a ceiling if that allows me to fit in other guys I feel good about. Wan’Dale saw season highs in routes, target share, and average depth of target (ADOT) this past week. He’s a lock to receive 5-7 targets, which is plenty at $3,800.
I was thrilled to see the Michael Mayer ($2,700) Monday Night Football “breakout.” We haven’t had many true punt TEs, making cash constructions more difficult most weeks. Mayer ran 67% of routes and caught five passes for 75 yards, making him a TE1 last week. Given that he’s a rookie, I think this role increase is sticky. If so, he’s the best TE at cost this week.
I rarely do this, but I’m playing Travis Kelce ($8,000) in the flex, making this a two Tight End lineup. When looking at the higher-priced guys, there was a unanimous lack of value, except for Kelce, who projects better at his salary than any other flex-eligible player in his salary range. I’m thrilled to play Mahomes’ top target in that massive Chiefs/Chargers game.
I only seriously considered playing either the Ravens ($2,500) or the Patriots ($2,100), but in order to get up to Kupp and Marquise Brown, I need exactly $400, so I’ll go with the Patriots, the most underpriced DST on the slate in my Expected Salary Model.
This slate felt really tight. There are plenty of guys I feel comfortable playing, but value was pretty thin across the board, especially at WR. I don’t often make Sunday morning pivots, but I hate leaving salary on the table, and the trio of Kupp-Brown-Patriots projects better in ceiling and in base than Allen-Flowers-Ravens, so it seems natural to make that swap.
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.