Borg’s DFS Cash Lineup Review for Week 2 (Fantasy Football)

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Every week is a different story in the NFL. Depending on which week you’re talking to me, this can be invigorating because it keeps the relationship interesting.

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 2 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.
  • I was fixated on Ja’Marr Chase from the get-go this week and it seemed like a third of the field was too. I loved this as a spot for the Bengals passing attack to get back on track and Chase’s splits against the Ravens loomed large in my mind. As someone who looks at this for a living, you can find almost any statistic to justify your reasoning to like a player.
  • At QB, it really only came down to two options: Anthony Richardson and Josh Allen. While constructions with Richardson might’ve afforded me more studs, Allen was, in my opinion, a lock from the beginning of the week. His tag ($7900) is cheaper than normal and the home get-right spot against the Raiders felt too good to pass up. While floor in cash is key, I also want to build in ceiling outcomes and Allen had the highest ceiling projection according to our DFS optimizer.

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.

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  • At RB, my pool of players consisted of Christian McCaffrey ($8900), Saquon Barkley ($8000), Tony Pollard ($7500), and Josh Jacobs ($7100) in the elite tier. On Tuesday’s show, I commented that this week felt different from Week 1 because the RBs were showing up as better plays in my first run of optimals. However, as the week wore on, I found myself dropping further and further from the $8K range to try to fit a roster with Josh Allen, Chase, and at least one other stud WR.
  • CMC was so expensive and I justified moving off him (to myself) by adding Deebo as the final piece to my lineup. I wanted equity in San Francisco’s team implied total and thought Deebo would be a massive savings with projectable touches that matter for fantasy. At $5,600, Deebo certainly paid off and I don’t regret switching off CMC for this reason.
  • Saquon was my guy early in the week. I brought up the stat that in games finishing within one score last year, he averaged 25 opportunities per game. That volume made his $8K pricetag make sense but my addition of the ARI DST was a gut punch. In the grand scheme of things, I probably should’ve ignored this. Who cares if my defense and RB collide? I’m only asking for 4-5 points from DST and I got that. In the first half of that game, I was trending toward the cash line with ARI DST cooking and Saquon and the Giants offense laying a giant turd. Things certainly changed in the second half of that game. Here is my conversation with Betz as of Friday.

  • You’re probably asking yourself… “Kyle, what the hell happened at RB? From CMC to Saquon to deciding between Pollard and Jacobs, what a sicko you must be…” Pollard’s spot against the Jets as a near double-digit favorite made him a standout play. Putting Jacobs as THE cover boy for Marvin Elequin’s article probably swayed me a bit but keep in mind, I WAS THE ONE WHO DID THAT. Woof. The in-game correlation with Josh Allen and his projectable opportunities (18+) felt solid at a slightly cheaper price point than Pollard.
  • Let’s talk about Josh Kelley ($5000) because he put up a doo-doo. However, I don’t like to zero in on just ONE player in cash. It is a constructed lineup that is dependent on staying under the $50K salary and therefore IF you add certain players, it negates others. There is a domino effect. In other words, Kelley afforded me the option to pay up at WR. Kelley’s roster percentage (61.9%) also dictated that he wasn’t what sunk lineups. Think about it… if half the field wins in a 50/50, you can guarantee Kelley was on some of those rosters. Beyond that, yes the matchup was horrible against Tennessee. Yes, I’ve never thought he was good at football. Yes, Zack Moss was cheaper, and on my radar, and I didn’t click the button. Cheap chalk RBs that open up other expensive plays are often the scapegoat of losing cash lineups. I would argue its a myriad of issues.
  • At WR, the elite WRs I considered to pair with Chase were Stefon Diggs ($8000), Davante Adams ($7600), and Calvin Ridley ($7200). As you’ll notice, a lot of expensive options at RB & WR were on the radar. ALL OF THEM you could justify in a cash lineup and that’s why I think we started to see roster percentages level out in cash in Week 2. I settled in a collective cheaper group based on the game environments.
  • In the middle tier, I considered Deebo Samuel ($5600), Puka Nacua ($4900), Zay Jones ($4700), and the super cheap rookies: Jayden Reed ($3400) and Michael Wilson ($3300). That’s actually a pretty small pool to work from but as you’ll see, the decision tree eventually led me to a final 1v1.
  • After arriving at Chase + Reed as two core WRs and a conviction to play one in my FLEX, I was left with various combinations for my RB2 spot and two WRs. Here was the salary comparisons:
    • Jacobs + Ridley + Deebo = $19,200
    • Pollard + Adams + Puka = $20,000
  • Puka was probably one of the most divisive points of the week. Betz played him in cash and I played him in my main PPR home league. But I felt more comfortable “getting up” to Deebo in cash. The Deebo/Puka call didn’t sink this lineup but that $700 savings moved me off Pollard + Adams.
  • At TE, I only considered two guys this week: Dalton Kincaid ($3300) and Luke Musgrave ($3200). Paying up for either of the injured studs (Kelce or Andrews) was not really on my radar not knowing their involvement or if they’d be on a pitch count. With Jayden Reed feeling like a key cheap piece to make this lineup work, I could not land on playing two Packers rookies in cash. I loved Kincaid’s involvement in Week 1 and pairing him with Josh Allen felt like a savvy move. “Hey, I’ll get the stack!,” he says to himself. I also took a Kincaid O29.5 receiving yards on the podcast so I figured I’d put my money where my mouth was.
  • At DST, I honestly felt uninspired by the group and mentioned this on the podcast. The best spots of the week were all quite expensive (SF, DAL, DEN) while Tampa Bay ($3200) was just over that $3K range where it started to impact the rest of my roster. As pure punt plays, I only really considered ARI or TEN.
  • The hardest decision of the week was managing how I felt about the Raiders. With Josh Allen already built in, I loved Jacobs or Adams as a bring-back not in the sense of making this a “must stack” in cash but their correlation made sense in my brain. This is my final two lineup comparisons

  • For some, this is a reason to play more than one cash lineup each week. Yes, for Week 2, you’re seeing the other side of this. However, keep in mind if I would’ve taken that route for Week 1 (where I went 100% on H2Hs), I would’ve sacrificed some of those wins. I try to present some nuance when it comes to building DFS cash lineups because there are so many more directions each person could venture into each week. I quote this a lot but “we are more open to the possibility of being almost right than being almost wrong“. When things go right, “Yay I did it!”. When things go wrong, “I almost had it but this should’ve happened”. Do you see the major difference in that results-based thinking? It is overwhelmingly bent on the self and the basis of our conclusions is myopic. We are too quick to point the finger when things go wrong at others or players. In a game-based environment, you can walk away saying “This is how I played the game. This was my process. These were the results.

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.

  • The Jacobs over Adams and the repercussions were immediately not great. I justified this by playing Adams a ton in GPPs and while he cooled off after the 1st quarter, it was the impending dominos of going with that second build that cost me: missing out on Pollard and Puka.
  • Locking in on Chase obviously is painful. I don’t really enjoy hindsight analysis because beginning your weekly rewind with “I should’ve known better” is an endless cycle that everyone gets caught up in. Chase’s first-half usage was painful: 1 reception for zero yards. In the second half, he was peppered with seven targets. He was this close to coming down with an EZ target and we would not be complaining at all. I clicked the button and locked it in. I move on. If you clicked the button for Chase, I can empathize.
  • While we’re talking TDs, let me just express some simple thoughts. If someone scores a TD, we feel vindicated. If someone doesn’t score, do they stink? That’s not really how analyzing football should work. The TE who catches a 1-yard wide-open TD is somehow “better” than the one who saw seven targets but only catches two of them? There is way more variance involved week-to-week than people realize and thus giving advice to people can be an endless feedback loop of “he scored” or “he was bad” based on the end results. I personally can move on from a week like this and go “Oh well”. I don’t have to place my emotional capital in the weekly “I should’ve” or “I wish I would’ve listened to ….” or I will forever arrive at different conclusions to justify winning and losing.
  • Ridley also was a gut punch. I was asked on Discord if the weather in JAX scared me off Ridley in cash. I responded, “Nope.” The weather did not affect the overall outcome of the game. See: Christian Kirk, who saw 14(!) targets (2nd most of the week) and someone I wrote up in Best Plays as my favorite GPP leverage play of the week.

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.

Week Cash Line DK Pts H2H Win% Note
1 138.14 156.32 100% Tyreek Goes Bananas
2 123.36 105.86 26% Chase Goes Cold

Not great and not exactly a way to follow up a stellar Week 1. I did some traveling this weekend: Georgia to North Carolina on Friday to Tennessee on Saturday back to North Carolina on Saturday night and back to Georgia on Sunday. Lots of time in the car and lots of time to think.


scott morton says:

As far as cash I have only been playing double ups. What’s the motivation to play Head up? Do they just randomly put you against a player?

Thanks for the great article.

Thomas L Hays says:

Just listened to the Tues DFS podcast, excellent as always, but…errors were made at the end by Betts. Kyle congratulated him for his second-place finish in the “Week 2 is here” contest (he finished 3rd), Betts said he was coming for the winner next week but couldn’t remember their name. Well, WeeklyHigh says bring it on! Just having fun here, this was the first tourney that I won in your league, and I am a charter member with over 100 contests. Being in first and not having Puca I think he would have beat me except the Lambs went for a field goal with 4 seconds left, incredible. Been playing Fantasy since 1986 when we had to hand grade fantasy from the paper. I do think the podcast should show more love to the 5,000 league members, I have been as high as 7th overall but the team in first overall points total is awesome and deserves some props.

On another note, it would be nice to hear the actual point totals that the ballers score in their weekly matchup, that game on the big show is great.

You guys are the best, thanks for all the good info.

pin says:

I was the one who asked about the weather affecting Ridley. I liked the response and he was in my final pool, but I ultimately moved off him as it was the only way to get Keenan Allen in my lineup (without dropping Josh Allen or Chase).

That was what ultimately saved my week. I decided I had to include Allen with Ekeler out, and including Allen then moved me off Kelley as well. My cash line-up scored 127 pts, so I just barely made it over the cash line in my double-ups and hit about 75% in my H2H.

Looking back though I was very lucky. Without Keenan and a huge game from Dell (who was my punt play WR) I would have been sunk. I had Jacobs as well, Pierce as my RB2, and Trautman at TE. Lots of snowflakes. In retrospect that was far too many “I’m sure they’ll get right this week” assumptions about players who put up low points in Week 1 – fine for a GPP mindset but way too risky for cash.

tompitt says:

Thanks for this … My honest mistake was chasing Aiyuk from week 1, learning always

Bradley Wathen says:

Love the articles throughout the week, just curious if there was a reason i missed that Keenan was pretty low owned considering the match up and no Ekeler?

mjgilley says:

First time using the optimizer this week. Took home 1st in two draftkings 10 cent gpps! Not huge money, but the DFS pass has already paid for itself!

Jacob Hopkins says:

Thanks for your transparency. I ended up going Richardson, Mccaffrey, Kelley, Chase, Ridley, Puka Nacoopa Kupp JR, Kincaid, Jayden Reed, and Commanders. I played 50 2$ head to heads with a restriction on the same person can only pick up 2 lineups. I hit 100% in week 1, and 84% in week 2. Lets keep it rolling and get right next week. If I could stop wasting all of my money on GPP’s I might actually get ahead haha.

Casey Worsham says:

First time DFS Pass-er, and I’m 5/5 in Double Ups over two weeks. Thanks for all the insight!

Destin Porche says:

you da man Kyle! Onto the next week! Here we go!

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