Borg’s DFS Cash Lineup Review for Week 3 (Fantasy Football)
Do you need a breather? It’s vital to grasp just how wild this weekend was for the NFL. Beyond Miami’s 70 points and Raheem Mostert single-handedly destroying a few of my home leagues, the DFS streets and the cash line this week were wild. For a league that started off fairly slow in terms of scoring for the first two weeks, Week 3 was a stark reminder that anything can happen.
Just to give you a picture of how insane it was… In the $25 Double-Up that I use as a standard for this weekly article, the top team scored 280(!) and would’ve placed 9th in the Milly Maker. As you’ll see, I scored higher than any other week in cash… and yet what the field is doing is what ultimately matters in a format where you need to be better than 50% of the field.
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 3 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 Week 3 DFS Best Plays (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.
- Count me 3-for-3 for my cash lock of the week failing. It’s almost comedic at this point that the player I thought projected the best for their price point would be the downfall of my lineup. Tony Pollard scored 18.1 DK points but the decision to lock him in early felt like it pigeon-holed other decisions. The run out wasn’t great considering the Cowboys somehow lost(?!) to the Cardinals and backup RB Rico Dowdle scored a red zone TD. I felt fine about the projection and if you told me beforehand he would hit 122 rushing yards, I would’ve been happy.
- At QB, come on… was there really anyone else on your radar than Kirk Cousins? 67% is insane for a QB and while I might’ve flirted with the idea of Patrick Mahomes, I figured that Cousins was not an area to get cute. It essentially “zero-ed” out that variable from H2Hs in my opinion.
- At WR, Tank Dell felt like the “skeleton key” that unlocked the rest of cash lineups. The field felt the same way being rostered over 50 percent. The role in a pass first-offense at his price felt like a must. I highlighted how C.J. Stroud was on a historic pace in terms of dropbacks to start a career.
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 RB, my pool of players consisted of Tony Pollard ($8000), Travis Etienne ($6900), and Raheem Mostert ($6000) at those price points. All three had valid point but locking in Pollard
- A lot of this slate (in my opinion) was piecing together the correct cheap guys. You could construct your lineup with Zack Moss ($5500), Joshua Kelley ($5400), and Jerome Ford ($4800) but I didn’t love the thin plays if I rostered two of them. I was burned by Kelley in Week 2 but the LAC/MIN game was juicy and the LAC offensive line had the upper hand according to the OL/DL analysts I trust.
- At WR, I was able to fit in ALL 3 of my Best Plays which is a rare feat. All five of those WRs went bananas (including my man Keenan Allen!) but the top-3 were fairly easy to come to a conclusion with. Big Mike Williams was on our radar from the beginning of the week to our Friday show. Call me a sucker for the Chargers or just point your finger at DraftKings for pricing him so low. Seriously, $6K was way too cheap.
- The big debate all week was Justin Jefferson or Tyreek Hill. You couldn’t really poke holes in either. The $300 savings from JJets to Tyreek was a factor but when news started trending that Jaylen Waddle would be declared out, Tyreek’s projection and target share felt even more solid. I wanted a piece of the Miami offense which began to put Mostert out of my view of consideration.
- I never put much stock into DST. Outlier performances are hard to forecast and spending down gives you access to more salary for positions like WR that do have a true ceiling on a full PPR site. I wrote in our Best Plays article: “The Bills against Sam Howell OR the Jets at home in a gross total. Do you play $100 more for upside and sacks OR the low-scoring environment in terrible weather?” It really came down to that $100. I loved the Bills the entire week citing how Sam Howell had the highest % of pressures turned into sacks in the NFL. As you can see from my final two lineup decisions, this was the point where I diverted. “A DST should not be your biggest squabble”, I told myself at the time…
- At TE, I usually prize punting the position. Travis Kelce ($7200) made that a difficult task with the fear of not having the team with the highest team implied total in my lineup. I brought up in our Discord the fact that 2TE builds were viable this week if you wanted to punt the position. In terms of punting, Zach Ertz ($3500), Durham Smythe ($2900), and Commanders backup Cole Turner ($2700) were the options on my radar. I knew Smythe would be a popular play and while Tyreek was already in my lineup, I dove deeper into his actual role. It was strong considering they rarely asked him to pass block and he participated in the highest route % of any TE in football. The savings was nice from Kelce and Ertz down to Smythe and I figured it was another area I didn’t need to make a mistake by getting cute with Turner. I’ve been a big fan of Turner mentioning him as a Nasty Boy on the Dynasty Podcast but the Commanders other backup TE (John Bates) was just as involved last week including a down the field reception that I watched on TV seared in my mind. Punt TEs do not make-or-break a lineup but departing from a chalky punt TE (42%) is a tough mental exercise to overcome.
- The FLEX position was the hardest to get my head around this weekend. In builds with the Bills, I kept finding myself $100 short of players I felt comfortable with. With $5300 left over, I did not love any of the projections as Nico Collins ($5300) would’ve given me one too many Texans in cash. Dropping down felt gross with tons of money left over making me a bit uncomfortable. Adam Thielen ($3900) was on the radar in terms of pure targets but did I really want to punt with Tank Dell, Thielen, and perhaps Smythe? Also, could I really play an old dude like Thielen? Christian Kirk and Zay Flowers ($5400) were both $100 more and two players I felt way more comfortable with in terms of their offense. However, I knew that $100 could only be found in one place… dropping from BUF to NYJ. Sad times.
- Ok, this came out of left field but Browns WR Elijah Moore ($4700) emerged late in the weekend as someone who was popping. Elijah Moore you ask?! His short area aDOT targets made him a gadget player in the offense but did you know he saw 16 targets through the first two weeks? A 23% target share is nothing to shy away from. I ultimately sided with players in better game environments over projectable targets but when I added up the Ertz + Moore targets, it was more than Smythe + Kirk.
- A little peek behind the curtain. Here is my progression of messages with Betz on Sunday morning.
- 8:38 AM- “Kinda like having Ertz + Moore + Bills DST”
- 8:46 AM- “I’ll check in after church”
- 10:57 AM- “I like that Ertz + Pollard gives me late swap options too”
- 12:26 PM- “i hate having a chalky AF cash lineup”
- Pain. This is my final two lineup comparisons that I went back-and-forth with until 30 minutes before lock.
- This week is an excellent teaching point that no slate is the same. We enter a different context and enter “playing field” every time we turn the page for DFS. You can learn from last week and it will have a ton of descriptive details worth jotting down but it is not prescriptive at all for the following week. Don’t overcorrect and don’t abandon your process because you ended up on the wrong side of a 1v1 swap.
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.
- Digging my heels on Joshua Kelley over Zack Moss was not great process. Neither are #goodatthegame in my opinion but not being open to the idea of being wrong on Moss in my player pool.
- The projectable targets versus two points of projection conversation was tough to stomach. Both are valid and usually they are congruent. In this case, I sided with roster percentage and *not making a mistake rather than being aggressive.
- I develop my own process for creating a cash pool, write articles, record podcasts, and hop in our Discord but ultimately the hardest part for me is wanting to get different in cash. Perhaps it’s a selfish endeavor or a quest to be my own person. It’s a struggle because I walk the line of going my own way (which sometimes is galaxy-brained) and trying to remember the field (which sometimes is the right path).
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|
|3||166.98||162.68||29%||The Field Goes Wild|
Two weeks in a row with subpar results definitely hurts. We had some DFS Pass subscribers win some life-changing money including someone turning $110 into $121,000(!) which is just nuts. Still a great weekend with the family including these hot new It’s Football Time shirts!
BREAKING SOURCE: Football Time is upon us. pic.twitter.com/WwJcAnTyUv
— Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) September 24, 2023