Borg’s DFS Cash Lineup Review for Week 6 (Fantasy Football)
After a week hiatus, we are back reviewing the Week 6 cash lineup process.
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 6 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 6 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.
- I know everyone has a different process and I’m not knocking anyone because I make mistakes all the time. But I cannot fathom strolling into the cash streets this week without Raheem Mostert. 84% of the field agreed in this Double-Up but I guess the leftover 16% wanted to get cute?!? When a player projects to be this popular, taking a stand is necessarily shrewd thinking when you consider the opportunity cost and what the player you roster in Mostert’s place has to do. That player either needs to match or outscore or you are buried. I wrote on Saturday: “I’m expecting 60+ percent in double-ups but he needs to be approaching 75% based on his role, this offense, their team implied total (30), and the matchup. The Panthers rank dead last in expected points per rush attempt and rush DVOA. He’s averaging 2.4 red zone carries a game and three receptions highlighting that you don’t necessarily need a monster long run but I mean… c’mon, this is the Dolphins. Big plays happen.”
- Ja’Marr Chase was a lock from Day 1 considering his role (coming off 19 targets), the matchup (SEA was dead last in fantasy points allowed to WRs), and the fact his price was still not as elevated as I would’ve thought. I get that some people feel burned by Chase because it’s happened a few times this year that he didn’t absolutely smash. When 2/3rds of the field is playing him, realize he would not be the one who sunk your cash lineup.
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 might’ve gone back-and-forth at QB all week when in hindsight, it seemed like it didn’t really matter. Gardner Minshew II ($5000) and Matthew Stafford ($6100) were the only two guys I considered at their cheap price tags. I would not have faulted anyone for going with either. I wrote: “What does that $1,100 afford you? That is the question worth exploring in your builds but don’t view Gardner as simply a punt play. 15+ points from him and you’d be happy although more might be on the table knowing he runs a little“. I eventually sided with Stafford, the Rams pass rate, the higher team implied total at home, and the awesome matchup against a porous Cardinals defense.
- My RB pool apart from Raheem Mostert was vast this week. Honestly, this might’ve been the most wide-open RB cash landscape of the year. As much as I love Christian McCaffrey, he was so expensive in a terrible game environment. I quickly X-ed him out by Wednesday. David Montgomery ($7300) was in my top-5 RB plays but I shared a note about the context surrounding his price tag: “Montgomery is expensive as the RB2 in salary on the slate which is the only thing prohibiting him from being in builds according to the optimizer.” Perhaps this is a good moment to reflect on “Top Plays” and how they work. This is the RB pool we shared for DraftKings cash:
- I add this note in every single week: “These are simply in order of favorite core players. You obviously won’t be able to fit all in a cash lineup and there are salary tradeoffs for paying up at each position.” While Montgomery might be showing as #2, the combination and projection of Montgomery needed context of an entire lineup. Betz felt the same way and ended up with Kyren Williams in his final cash lineup instead of Monty. Here was our conversation that AM:
- I had Travis Etienne Jr., Alvin Kamara, and Kyren Williams all in my lineup at one point. However, I think the real conversation this week was whether to dive into Chuba Hubbard ($4300) or D’Onta Foreman ($4400). Both saved you a ton of salary affording you the ability to jam in another WR stud (hello Cooper Kupp!) and it came down to preference. Playing two RBs in the same game is usually a no-no in fantasy but there were a couple of factors that superseded that principle. Frank Reich publicly came out saying Hubbard would be the clear lead back while Foreman being inactive the week before scared me. Hubbard also had more pass-catching chops and Bryce Young had shown a bend towards checking the ball down. Both the Bears and Panthers are just plain bad teams so whether it was a luckbox or not, I sided with Hubbard who was in top plays.
- At WR, apart from Chase, I wanted to fit in another stud. Tyreek Hill is always on the map but his price also was leaving me shorted in a couple of places. With Raheem Mostert locked, I thought the field might not play Tyreek as much as they should. I fear Tyreek always in GPPs but in cash, if other WRs were going to be rostered more, then he couldn’t “hurt” me as much. He was rostered under 10 % in this Double-Up making his 30+ point week somewhat irrelevant in cash.
- Cooper Kupp was my #2 in Best Plays after returning with a 32% target share in Week 5 and looking like his true alpha self. At $9,000, he was expensive and I tried pivoting to a more balanced build but it came down projections winning the day.
- At WR, I actually preferred Calvin Ridley ($6700) for much of the week with his Week 1 dominating performance against the Colts ringing in the back of my mind. His splits against Cover 3 were impressive but those are such small sample sizes that the $1300 savings down to Christian Kirk ($5400) was a much easier pill to swallow. I wanted a Jaguar in my lineup as that game environment was one I highlighted in the Pace of Play article.
- I kept arriving at Josh Downs ($4100) as a cheap WR with the type of target share I love in cash. Robert Woods ($3800) was the only other name I briefly looked at. There weren’t many cash viable WRs in the sub $5K range this week. Punting with Minnesota 3rd stringer Brandon Powell ($3000) was vaguely on the map but once I considered his floor and the projections for my lineup, I did not feel comfortable. There was enough value at QB and RB this week that punting a WR position was not necessary.
- At TE, Logan Thomas was pretty much in the entire week. Was I excited about it? Nah. I knew the floor was dust but his popularity along with the savings felt like a simple cog in the wheel. Kyle Pitts was the same price, in the same game, and a player I obviously believe in much more talent-wise than an old dude like Thomas. My Falcons bias creeps in a bit too much so I decided to remove it and not deal with the pain that is Pitts. I did briefly look at Evan Engram for $1,000 more but with Kirk already in, I felt like it was overkill in the Jaguars department.
- At DST, there were a number of routes you could’ve gone this week creating relatively flat roster percentages among the field. Knowing this point, I “punted” locking in a DST until an hour before lock. It is the last thing I think about with my cash builds and the salary savings to pay up at QB & WR was more important in my process. The Patriots ($2600) were an early consideration while the Browns ($2200) were a favorite punt option. I toyed with builds for a while where Cleveland was in but I kept finding that $500+ was leftover. I even had a moment where I had Minshew in and enough salary leftover to lock in the 49ers, who were my #1 DST against P.J. Walker. But paying up for DST is not my preferred way to allocate funds so switching to Stafford and a Lions ($2700) defense with an elite pass rush felt better. How did I get to the Lions? Well, they were in the afternoon window which gave me late swap ability if needed.
- Here was my final two lineup comparisons. It came down to a 3v3 swap: Minshew + Monty + Robert Woods or Stafford + Chuba + Kirk and the projections won out. The ability to late swap with Stafford + Kirk + Lions also was a bonus.
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.
- Logan Thomas feels like such a square play. I went with not making a mistake as opposed to being aggressive. It is a trade-off when playing amongst a group of people that get sharper and sharper as time goes by.
- Apart from Kupp balling out, getting the TDs from Downs and Kirk is probably what saved this lineup. I didn’t love playing Downs but knowing that the field did not have other cheap WRs to bring to this street fight, I figured he was good chalk and protection against Minshew at QB.
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|
|4||152.92||169.72||92%||AOC & The Studs|
We’ll keep this train rolling knowing that every week in DFS is different. The decision tree creates so many different branches and thus blaming one player or one event does not get to the core of cash lineup building.