Borg’s DFS Cash Lineup Review for Week 1 (Fantasy Football)
I started writing this article a few years ago. Call it selfish reflection or accountability with DFS Podcast listeners or somewhere in between.
I try to be as transparent as possible sharing my thought process as well as my weekend happenings with my family to let you know that my real life overlaps with this life we call fantasy football. While I totally get the appeal of shutting yourself off in the basement with a computer grinding spreadsheets and looking for every edge possible for a Sunday, my Friday and Saturday schedule with my family kind of makes my DFS Process a bit more jumbled. If you are the type of person that needs a template, I wrote an article highlighting the DFS Weekly Strategy & Schedule I try to follow.
The goal of this article is neither to boast nor wallow in “shoulda, woulda, couldas” but rather give a transparent look at my thought process for the week. Hopefully, this will help DFS & Betting Podcast listeners and DFS Pass subscribers get a deeper window into the ups and downs of playing DFS and help you in your selections each week. On Tuesdays, Betz and I review our cash lineups, and this week we’ll give some common overreactions we see and hear.
For cash, I specifically play 50/50s, Double-Ups, and H2Hs on DraftKings. I’ll share my unfiltered gut reaction, and the thought process behind this lineup construction, and at the bottom, I will post my weekly results including the cash line and H2H record to stay accountable with you.
If you want to go back to the drawing board, we did an overview podcast before the season on DFS Cash Game Strategy + Creating Player Pools. I also published an article on DFS Strategy for Beginners and another entitled: How to Approach Each Position in DFS & Gain an Edge.
Week 1 Cash Lineup
Draft % and cash lines each week will be from DraftKings’ $25 Single-Entry Double-Up with roughly 7,000 entries. This is a slightly elevated price point from the $1, $5, and $10 double-ups and I think gives a solid idea each week of double-up roster percentages.
The Thought Process
Every week I’ll move from where I started on Tuesday to where I landed on a Sunday.
Cash Locks (In My Opinion)
- In our DFS Best Plays article (which comes out on Saturdays for DFS Pass subscribers only), I shared the pool of players that were basically locked from the beginning of the week.
- The Washington Commanders defense should’ve been locked in everyone’s lineups at the beginning of the week. While searching for other higher-upside DSTs for tournaments was the right play, I could not fathom going in a different direction in cash. They ended up near 75% rostered, something we mentioned on the podcast.
- At WR, Tyreek Hill was locked in from Day 1. He was the cover boy of the DFS Best Plays article. The projection, the matchup against a vulnerable Chargers secondary especially on deep plays, and the ceiling were all things I noted on the Podcast and in the articles. But the statistic that looms in my mind with Tyreek is that he is the best road fantasy WR… of all time.
This statistic just won't go away… every year I update it and every year, the dude just continues to crush this split.
55th(!) road game of his career and his splits now look like averaging
17.9 fppg, 8.7 tgts, 90.2 rec yards, & 0.8 TDs. B-nanas https://t.co/TjgEbr0KoU
— Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) September 11, 2023
- Punting at the TE position became the easy clear strategy once stud RBs and WRs became part of my build. Did I lock in a person early in the week? Not really. It was between Hayden Hurst ($3000) and Luke Musgrave ($2900). Either would do fine but as you’ll see, news can change things.
My goal in this section is to discuss the pool of players I considered for cash and how I arrived at my final lineup.
- At QB, it really only came down to two guys: Anthony Richardson and Justin Herbert. I’m a sucker for the Chargers so I tried to make sure I removed my bias as much as possible. Richardson’s savings ($1300) helped go a long way as you’ll see.
- At RB, I had a group of about 4-5 guys I considered by Saturday. Austin Ekeler ($8400) was the only one in the elite tier. His projection obviously was strong and the game environment was clearly the best. Joe Mixon ($6800) and Aaron Jones ($6300) were my favorites in the middle tier. While names like J.K. Dobbins ($6600) were tempting, it’s hard for me to click the button on an RB that lacks a major pass-catching profile. They either need to be the lone person in the backfield or be so dirt cheap. Mixon vs. Jones ended up being in the final lineup comparison.
- I think one of the tougher decisions for the field was what to do with the cheap RBs: Raheem Mostert ($5400), Jamaal Williams ($5100), and Brian Robinson Jr. ($5100). Raheem Mostert was in my top-5 RB plays but locking in Tyreek so early in the week made it hard to have two Dolphins in case the game went south. I did briefly consider when the news came out that De’Von Achane would be inactive but to be real, I’ve been burned by Mostert in the past in Week 1. Yes, DFS is all about removing our bias but I’m not going to sit here and claim I can be subjective sometimes.
- Chris Olave versus Jamaal Williams was probably the hardest. Williams being the only guy in a backfield with his TD equity at home overcame any major matchup concerns with Tennessee (although that matchup was rough). I’m an Olave guy through and through and on my two main home league redraft teams, he’s on both. Calvin Ridley and Olave were at the same price point and Ridley’s projection and the JAX passing game looked like one of the better values on both sites this week. Giving me some in-game correlation with my QB was definitely a push in that direction. We always say “No one correlates better than a player in that same game”. Since 2014, the opposing WR1 has a correlation coefficient of 0.38 with the QB according to Fantasy Labs. That won’t always work out but Ridley’s salary was something I highlighted and assumed would only go up from here.
- My WR pool outside of Tyreek consisted of Justin Jefferson ($8800), Ja’Marr Chase ($8100), Chris Olave ($6500), Calvin Ridley ($6500), Deebo Samuel ($5500), and Marvin Mims Jr. ($3000). In order to get up to JJetts or Chase, Mims felt like a must-play and it looks like the field felt that way with 36% going that route. When the Broncos elevated two WRs from the practice squad, that was signal Jerry Jeudy would be officially out.
- Justin Jefferson‘s projection and ceiling is what won out for me. For cash, we are building for median projections (which JJetts was the highest on the slate) but we also are building in ceiling outcomes. Jefferson’s home splits are off-the-charts and having both Jefferson and Hill in a lineup is something I probably wouldn’t be able to do much this year.
- I had Hayden Hurst in until Saturday evening. Hurst is quite possibly the least sexy pick you could have in your lineup although his projected targets with Adam Thielen banged up (and old!) along with D.J. Chark being out made him palatable. When the news came out Saturday night that Mark Andrews would be inactive, I gladly jumped at the proposition to roster a TE (Isaiah Likely) that I loved clicking the button for in Best Ball and that is way more talented than Hurst. Oh, and he was the same price. The Ravens team implied total also loomed large in my mind hoping they would crush the Texans. Punting at TE is one of the least risky things you can do in DFS especially if there are no high-priced options that week the field is on. With no Kelce or Andrews, punting was in. It was in vogue people. Likely’s 1.4 fantasy points didn’t bother me at all knowing over half the field rostered him. Musgrave and Hurst ended up being much better plays but Likely did not cost me a thing in the grand scheme of things. I never blame punt plays if my lineup ends up failing. Their salaries are that low for a reason. I wrote an article a few years ago on How to Execute the Punt Play in DFS if you need more strategy.
- Here is my final lineup comparison. This is a simple spreadsheet I make comparing salaries, % of budget, and projections each week.
Mistakes Were Made …
Every week I’ll highlight my biggest mistakes which range from not weighing low-end outcomes to assuming, to not thinking, and ultimately moving away from plays I started with. We’ve all been there… stay water. Don’t try to justify yourself or make things sound better than they were. You made a decision, now deal with it.
- Being fixated on Mixon was probably a bit too much. While it did lead me to remove Chase from consideration, it could’ve been better. The usage was fine, but the game script was not. Did you see the Bengals getting waxed like that?
- I mean Hurst being my cash TE all week long and then switching at the last moment was likely to bite me in the butt.
Each week I’ll post my head-to-head (H2H) win percentage here to give you an idea of what type of week I had. Keep in mind there are varying price points, competition, and players who take my H2Hs in the lobby that have no rhyme or reason. Every week I will also post the “cash line” from the $25 Double-Up from DraftKings.
|Week||Cash Line||DK Pts||H2H Win%||Note|
|1||138.14||156.32||100%||Tyreek Goes Bananas|
Oh, and my weekend? Had some great family time including floating down the river in North Georgia. I actually locked in my DFS lineups as I was riding the bus to our drop-off point. Life + DFS can work.