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 Week2:
- How about that NFL trade deadline! It was more like NBA or MLB with the number of players that changed teams. It would be natural to try to take advantage of Jay Ajayi leaving Miami or Zeke Elliott’s suspension. While I’ll have my shares of Kenyon Drake and Alfred Morris in GPPs, I think it’s a big mistake to use them in cash, as we’re looking for safe options.
- The spate of recent QB injuries don’t just effect the injured QBs, but also all of the receivers and backs. Keep this in mind when evaluating them for your line ups. It doesn’t mean we can’t use these players on teams like the Texans, Cardinals, Packers, etc., just don’t expect the same level of production from them.
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 Dak Prescott ($8,200) With the exception of last week’s game during which was essentially a monsoon, Dak hasn’t scored fewer than 17.12 points all season. He’ll square off against a Chiefs team ranked 20th against the pass in DVOA in the highest projected scoring game on the slate. Kansas City plays man defense 63.5% of the time, which should open some running lanes for Dak.
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 ($9,100) Yes Gurley is expensive, but he’s worth it. He’s fifth in the NFL in rushing with 627 yards and 5 rushing TDs. Just as important, he’s caught 27 passes for 293 yards and another 3 TDs. He’ll face a Giants defense ranked 24th against the run and 22nd against pass catching RBs.
RB Mark Ingram ($7,900) In the three games since Adrian Peterson has been traded, Ingram has scored 14.9, 19 and 27.5 points on FanDuel while being targeted 16 times. Meanwhile, the Bucs are ranked 20th against the run and 25th against RBs out of the backfield in a game with a 50 point O/U.
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 Michael Crabtree ($7,100) Crabtree is tied for second in the NFL with 6 TDs on 51 targets (he accounts for over 25% of his team’s air target yards.) Meanwhile, Miami is ranked 28th in the NFL against the pass.
WR DeVante Parker ($6,100) Jay Cutler is back (and if you watched Matt Moore struggle badly, that’s actually a good thing) and so is his favorite receiver, Parker. He averaged nine targets a game before he was injured and gets to take on a Raiders defense ranked dead last against the pass.
WR Devin Funchess ($6,100) I’m going to take advantage of the Panthers trading Kelvin Benjamin and use Funchess, a very similar possession receiver. Funchess has been seeing 8-10 targets a game with Benjamin and should have a double-digit target floor against the Falcons.
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 Vernon Davis ($5,400) Barring a minor miracle, oft-injured Jordan Reed will miss this game. In the five games Reed has missed, Davis has been on the field for 90+% of the snaps four times and has scored double-digit fantasy points three times.
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 Mike Nugent ($4,600) Nugent checks all my 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.
D Philadelphia Eagles ($5,200) Denver’s offense has been struggling so badly that the coaching staff has decided to go with Brock Osweiler, who was cut by the Browns, at QB.