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Every week during the NFL season, I’ll be sharing my FanDuel cash game (50/50’s, Double Ups and Head to Head) line up. Cash games are a great way to build up your bankroll without as much risk as Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) tournaments.
For those unfamiliar with cash games, roster construction differs in some ways than GPPs. In GPPs, our line up needs to finish in the top 15% or so to simply cash, so we’re looking for those boom or bust players to roster with our studs, to stay under the salary cap. In cash games, we merely have to finish in the top 45-50% with a score of about 120, which usually gets us there, so we look to replace those boom or bust layers with much safer players, who may lack the high ceiling to help win a GPP who can be reasonably expected to return 2X value (if a player’s salary is $6,000, then we’d need him to score 12 fantasy points).
Before I get into my LU for the week, some general thoughts going into Week10:
- There are quite a few backup QBs playing right now, due to injuries and demotions. Some, like Ryan Fitzpatrick, are OK but others are pretty bad. Keep in mind that when you use a player on one of these teams, you’re also buying a piece of that QB. If you use a receiver, you’re expecting the QB to throw him catchable passes and if you use a RB, you’re expecting that the QB can play well enough to keep opposing safeties out of the box.
The blocks I like to check for my QB include a good match up with a bottom 10 pass defense, a high Vegas implied total and for him to be on the team that is the slight favorite. Ideally, we want a mobile QB, as those rushing yards provide a nice floor. Finally, check the weather reports for strong winds or torrential rains.
QB Josh McCown ($7,400) McCown has been good this season and is currently 10th in passer rating and 12th in passing yards. He’ll face the perfect defense for a QB, the 31st DVOA ranked Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game the Jets are favored to win.
At the RB position, I’m looking for most of the same blocks to check. I’m also looking for a three down back, but they’re becoming rare and are usually expensive, so I often settle for a two down back (but not a committee RB) who also handles short yardage duties.
RB Le’Veon Bell ($9,400) If you’re a football fan, you know how good bell is and this season he’s carrying the heaviest workload of his career at 24.3 carries a game. On Sunday he gets the Colts 32nd DVOA ranked rushing defense on the road, where he’s enjoyed better splits throughout his career, in a game the Steelers are favored to win by 10 points.
RB Carlos Hyde ($6,700) Hyde is the only RB in the NFL with double-digit goal line carries and 50 + targets. The reason he’s comparatively cheap is that he’s not getting a lot of carries, since the 49ers keep falling behind this year. That should not be a problem on Sunday, as Vegas expects a close game.
For WRs, I’m looking for the same things I’m looking for in my QB, but I’m looking for them to be slight underdogs. I also look for a receiver who’s the QBs #1 target. Targets lead to points, so the best way to ensure your receivers return value is to ensure they get plenty of opportunities. I also avoid rookies until they prove themselves. Coaches are conservative and a rookie has to earn the coach’s trust to make it onto the field and then earn the QB’s trust to start getting targets.
WR A.J. Green ($7,900) Green did some very un-Green like things last week and got thrown out of the game. This week he’ll try to atone for his actions against the Titans and their 22nd DVOA ranked pass defense. Green is simply much too cheap here.
WR Golden Tate ($7,400) The Lions simply cannot run the ball and the Browns stop the run well. What the Browns can’t stop is the pass, ranking 28th vs 1st against the run. The Browns are particularly bad against slot receivers, ranking 26th against the position where Tate runs most of his routes.
WR Sterling Shepard ($5,700) Through attrition, Shepard is the Giants #1 WR right now. Meanwhile, Shepard’s opponents the 49ers are ranked 27th DVOA against the pass, 24th against opposing #1 receivers and 31st against WRs running their routes from the right side of the field.
Statistics show that TEs on teams favored at home, with a Vegas implied total of 22 or more points have the best chance to return the highest value.
TE Kyle Rudolph ($5,400) While this hasn’t been Rudolph’s best year, he’s still seeing plenty of targets, 32 in the last four games combined. The Redskins are ranked above the league average against the pass in general, they struggle badly against opposing TEs to the tune of 31st in the NFL
Kickers are a crapshoot, but these four blocks will help tremendously: high Vegas total, favored to win (he’ll be more likely to kick 4th quarter FGs if the team is winning rather than be sitting on the bench, watching his team go for it on 4th down), playing at home and playing in a dome.
K Chris Boswell ($4,800) While he’s on the road, Boswell checks the others, he makes 90% of his field goals and he’s affordable.
Defenses aren’t that difficult. They score their point primarily with sacks, turnovers and defensive TDs. Therefore, I target teams with bad QBs and look for defenses with a strong pass rush and/or secondary. Bad QBs throw more interceptions and hold the ball longer, leading to more sacks.
DEF Detroit Lions ($5,300) I normally don’t like to spend up here, but nobody has thrown more interceptions than Cleveland’s DeShone Kizer (11) and his backups have thrown another six. Sign me up.