Borg’s DFS Cash Lineup Review for Week 14 (Fantasy Football)

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I often share that each week in DFS is its own multiverse; you cannot compare what happened last week and use the same exact criteria in evaluating your decisions.

However, some weeks feel crystal clear in the approach. As I’ll outline this week, it felt like 4-5 plays in cash were essentially “made for you” by the NFL scriptwriters.

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 14 Cash Lineup

Draft % and cash lines each week will be from DraftKings’ $25 Single-Entry Double-Up with roughly 5,000 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

Cash Locks (In My Opinion)

  • In our Week 14 DFS Best Plays (which comes out on Saturdays for DFS Pass subscribers only), I shared the pool of players and this week was blatantly obvious who the top plays were.
  • CMC was in my lineup from the get-go. “The workload, consistency, the highest team implied total on the slate… yeah he’s in and ranked as my RB1 even factoring in salary.” You might look at the lineup and say, “hey, wait a second? Doesn’t that guy have a snowflake next to his name?” After taking his first carry 72 yards and unfortunately getting vultured by teammate Jordan Mason on the next play, it was a relatively quiet day for McCaffrey despite totaling the most rushing yards on the day. Read that again: he was the leading rusher of Week 14 with 145 rushing yards and potentially disappointed some managers. But the context of the RB position and roster percentage on this slate tells a bigger story. Here are the roster percentages in that $25 Double-Up among RBs:
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Player Salary Roster % DK Points
Zack Moss $5,900 78.25% 9.6
Christian McCaffrey $9,200 69.18% 19.3
Alvin Kamara $8,200 46.03% 13.5
Clyde Edwards-Helaire $4,200 23.52% 8.8
Joe Mixon $6,100 15.51% 21.5
Bijan Robinson $6,500 6.81% 29.8
  • The teaching point here is that while 19.3 might be disappointing relative to what you might’ve expected after that first monster run, 19.3 raw points is still massive. If you somehow came into H2Hs or Double-Ups without CMC and instead played Moss + Kamara + CEH, you were likely starting behind the eight-ball.
  • Zack Moss once again didn’t deliver but the principle I shared last week: ““You just don’t gain anything in 50/50 & H2H formats ignoring Zack Moss. … If your cash lineup fails this week, it will not be because of Moss regardless of what he does. You can expect 75+ percent of the field to play him.” Moss hit 78% here and the savings and popularity of Moss unlocked lineups in every single format. The only potential pitfall of Moss is that it could’ve kept you from plugging in Mixon from the same game or perhaps you went after the correlation of Ja’Marr Chase in that game.
  • The CLE DST was in and we shared on Friday’s podcast they were a virtual lock. The late news of Trevor Lawrence magically appearing in this game presented some late worries but we were paying for a chalk DST that also happens to rank #1 in EPA per play as a home favorite. The Ravens were tempting for a hot second but I stayed the course with Cleveland.
  • Rashee Rice was projecting so well at his price point ($5400) and his usage over the last two weeks as KC’s main target (31% target share) ahead of Travis Kelce (19%) made him a lock for me. With over 60% of the field playing him as well, it seemed like the right call. He was the WR1 for both Betz and myself in our Best Plays and one of the true building blocks for cash on this slate. The only reason you might’ve gotten off him is… well, I am not sure. Chalk is often a negative word in DFS. Perhaps a good exercise is to unpack why a player is popular. You might have personal bias against them for various reasons but writing down the reasons why a player is popular needs to be part of your weekly process. Here, I’ll do it for you:
    • He is Mahomes’ WR1 based on target share, targets per route run.
    • The Chiefs were a home favorite with a healthy 25+ team implied total.
    • At $5400, he needed to get 10-12 fantasy points to pay off at his price tag. Is that doable? Is there room for a ceiling game?
    • He seems like he would be a popular play based on the other WRs and industry chatter.

Gut-Wrenching Decisions

My goal in this section is to discuss the pool of players I considered for cash and how I arrived at my final lineup.

  • I truly only considered two QBs this week: Justin Fields or Brock Purdy. Honestly, it was close to a coin flip and the end result shows it almost didn’t matter.
  • With CMC and Moss locked in my cash lineup for the 2nd week in a row, the projections were loving the 3RB builds I was ending up with. Alvin Kamara ($8200), Bijan Robinson ($6500), and Joe Mixon ($6100) were my favorites to add to the mix. I knew Kamara would come at the expense of a higher-tier WR so I put him on the back burner knowing the Saints’ injuries would need to be sorted out. Bijan was showing up as the clear points per dollar winner among those three but I fought against it internally as a Falcons fan while also gasping at the thought of playing two Falcons in cash. Imagine.
  • When we received news that Isiah Pacheco would be out, Clyde-Edwards Helaire ($4200) looked like a tempting free square to add to the lineup to free up salary elsewhere. I don’t blame anyone for going there and CEH was ranked in our top-5 RBs in Best Plays. However, there was a KC quote that disturbed me. CEH was named the starter but would split carries with Jerick McKinnon. Being named a “starter” in the NFL is honestly just an honorary title. Splitting the carries was the signal to me
  • At WR, Drake London ($4600) was shaping up to be one of the better values on the slate. His salary had slowly descended to a point where he was forgotten. Maybe someone at DraftKings forgot to do their job. Beyond the juicy matchup against the Buccaneers, this dome game was screaming for scoring opportunities and Desmond Ridder was one of the sneakier plays I pointed out earlier in the week. In fact, from the First Look article to the Pace of Play to the Best Plays, I somehow brought up Ridder’s name in every single article. London went from salary saver to the most important piece in my cash lineup with a true ceiling game at home. However, as I was watching the Falcons game at my brother’s house, I just knew this team would blow it as soon as we took the go-ahead TD. Pain.
  • The 3rd WR position was one of the toughest comparisons I had on this slate. Among the elites, Keenan Allen ($8600) and Amon-Ra St. Brown ($8200) were tempting but with the salary allocated to Kamara, both of them fell out of contention. In the middle tier, Ja’Marr Chase ($7600), Michael Pittman Jr. ($7200), and D.J. Moore ($6500) all were in the mix. Moore was the most alluring as a CHI stack would’ve felt so right. Getting up to Moore without sacrificing the value and projections I had elsewhere was looking like a lost cause. I decided to lean into the CHI stack for tournaments and as the slate breaker of the week I brought up on Friday’s podcast. Garrett Wilson ($5500) was popping in the “he gets a lot of targets for this salary” but the nagging worry was… Zach Wilson. Would I be happy if Wilson finished 6-for-40 and other elite WRs on this slate buried me while also missing out on Kamara?
  • If Kamara was going to fit in my lineup alongside CMC, I needed to punt at WR. Jaxon Smith-Njigba ($4100) was a favorite early in the week but with news of Geno Smith‘s groin injury going south, it was tough to trust my hard-earned money with Drew Lock. Jonathan Mingo ($3500) was arguably the most attractive punt but as a road dog against a fearsome Saints defense, I hated the setup with Bryce Young. Mingo left me with $300 to play around with I could either use to upgrade DST, TE or find another WR to work with. Betz brought up Zay Jones ($3700) as a potential add with Trevor Lawrence coming into the mix again. With Christian Kirk out of the way, Zay had a clearer path for 5+ targets when I started adding up my overall weighted opportunities. To be honest, I didn’t love it. But I also didn’t want to tinker with other parts of my lineup.
  • TE was one of the final decisions I made for this lineup. Isaiah Likely ($3500) was my TE1 factoring in salary but at a certain point, I just couldn’t get up to him in salary. He was my cover boy on the First Look article based on his role and his salary. Brevin Jordan and Cade Otton ($3100) were the final two I had in my pool and while Jordan was listed as TE4 in my best plays, I hated the HOU/NYJ game environment. Otton correlated with Drake London and I’ve had a soft spot for Otton for a while.
  • My initial run on Friday had this as the final two lineups. I wrote to Betz: “this 2nd lineup with Bijan + Garrett Wilson is blowing my other one away” so I was pretty happy going into a busy weekend with the family

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.

  • Ignoring the projections was probably a bit emotional on Sunday. The overwhelming thought I had, “I don’t want to get buried by Kamara.

2023 Results

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. The volume of my H2Hs differs each week due to my feeling of the slate and my weekend activities with my family. Every week I will also post the “cash line” from the $25 Double-Up from DraftKings.

These are Kyle Borg's DraftKings Cash Lineup Results through Week 14.

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