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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 Week11:
- This is the time of year when some teams start to give up or quit on their coaches. The Giants secondary (after multiple suspensions by their coach this season, looks to have quit. The whole Dolphins team, as well as the Bills, also seem to have given up after questionable deadline trades. We can use this to our advantage in DFS.
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 Ryan Fitzpatrick ($6,400) I know, he burned some people last week, but hear me out. The Dolphins pass defense has been awful (31st ranked in DVOA), and as I previously mentioned, they seem to have given up. This game is expected to stay close and Fitzpatrick gets his #1 weapon, Mike Evans, back from suspension.
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 Melvin Gordon ($7,800) While the specter of a time share is real, the Bills have surrendered 492 yards rushing in the last two games, since they traded Marcel Darius. Gordon should get plenty of touches against 31st ranked DVOA rush defense in a game the Chargers are favored to win by four.
RB Jordan Howard ($7,400) This game is expected to be played under bad weather conditions and the Bears really don’t have much else offensively. Detroit is fair against the run (18th DVOA), but this game is expected to remain within a field goal, by Vegas.
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 Mike Evans ($7,800) While I don’t normally stack cash games, I think this is too good of a spot to pass up. As previously mentioned, Miami ranks 31st DVOA against the pass but they’re also ranked 26th against opposing #1 WRs. (They’re 28th against opposing #2s, so feel free to use DeSean Jackson in your GPPs.)
WR Sterling Shepard ($6,500) Eli Manning essentially has two competent receivers to throw to and Shepard is one. Kansas City is ranked 22nd against the pass but 29th against opposing #1 WRs. With the Giants ten point underdogs, expect them to have to rely on the passing game.
WR Jeremy Maclin ($6,000) While Maclin isn’t very exciting, finally healthy, he’s scored at 12.8 and 13.8 FanDuel points the last two weeks. Green Bay is ranked 23rd DVOA against the pass and 27th against opposing #1 WRs.
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 Travis Kelce ($7,500) In his last 16 games, Kelce has 92 receptions for 1257 yards and six TDs. Only three TEs in the history of the NFL have bettered those numbers over the course of a full season. The Chiefs, with a VEgas implied total of 27.5 points face the 29th DVOA ranked Giants.
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 Wil Lutz ($5,00) Lutz checks all the blocks and is 18/22 on the season.
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 Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,600) I’m not a fan of paying this much for a defense, but in a bad weather game against turnover prone DeShone Kizer and the win less Browns, sign me up.