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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).
The blocks I like to check for my QB include a good matchup 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 Russell Wilson ($8,600) Wilson has such a high floor due to his running ability (and the inability of the rest of the team to run) he makes a very safe cash play. The Sea Hawks are 10 point favorites against the 49ers, who are ranked DVOA 30th against the pass.
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 Todd Gurley II ($8,500) While Gurley hasn’t been ultra-efficient this season, he’s making up for it in volume, averaging over 20 touches a game. This game features the highest O/U on the slate at 53.5 points and the Saints come in ranked 26th DVOA against the run.
RB Tevin Coleman ($6,200) Coleman disappointed last week but should see another day as a bell-cow running back in a much better match-up. With Devonta Freeman banged up, Coleman has received 42 touches over the last two weeks and will face a Tampa Bay’s 27th ranked defense. Be sure to check on Freeman’s status before game time.
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 T.Y.Hilton ($7,500) With Hilton it’s pretty simple. When he’s at home on the turf, in a good matchup, you use him. If he’s on the road or in a bad matchup, you do not use him. On Sunday he gets to face the 26th ranked Titans pass defense in a game with a nice 45.5 O/U.
WR Alshon Jeffery ($7,100) The NFL is more narrative driven than most other sports (probably due to small sample size) and Jeffrey gets to face his former team in a “revenge game.” Most WRs don’t like playing for the Bears, who have given up some big games against opposing #1 WRs, ranking 26th in that metric. Jeffery also has four TDs in his last three games.
WR Demaryius Thomas ($6,800) While the Denver QB situation is far from ideal, Thomas matchup against the woeful Raiders pass defense more than makes up for it. They’re ranked 32nd against the pass, 31st to opposing #1 WRs and are allowing opposing QBs a 114 passer rating.
Statistics show that TEs on teams favored at home, with a Vegas implied total of 22 or more points has the best chance to return the highest value.
TE Tyler Kroft ($5,700) While the Browns have been pretty good against the run (1st DVOA), they’ve been bad against the pass (24th), terrible against TEs (32nd) and particularly awful against Kroft himself, who burned them for a 6/68/2 line earlier in the season, good for 21.8 FanDuel points.
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 Adam Vinatieri ($4,700) Vinatieri checks all the blocks and he’s cheap.
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 Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,800) The Brett Hundley era has not started off well for Green Bay. The young QB has thrown seven INTs against just four TDs and has lost three fumbles since Aaron Rodgers was injured.