Borg’s DFS Cash Lineup Review for Week 7 (Fantasy Football)
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 7 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 7 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 won’t spend too much time on Kenneth Walker III ($7000) because he was locked in from the beginning of the week and $1000 too cheap for this slate without other top RB options. Once we got the news that Zach Charbonnet was likely out, KDubs was in against a porous Cardinals run defense. I knew he’d be chalky so fading him was a dangerous proposition not worth the risk. It’s like Raheem Mostert last week: he’s chalky but a great play that wasn’t worth getting cute with when the field is at 80%
- Marquise Brown ($5300) was too cheap given his role. For the second week in a row, he was a disappointment but his target share is going to continue to show out as we move forward. There is just no real competition in Arizona and correlating him with a locked-in Kenneth Walker III was probably the exact same line of thinking you might’ve had. Do we second-guess that? Nah. With almost 50% of the field played Brown along with Walker, just assume half the field was in the same boat. The other options in this range (Diontae Johnson– $5000 or Zay Flowers– $5700) both hit double-digits so if you played those instead of Brown, you likely had a leg up heading into the late window.
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 want to first say that this was a tough slate with scores lagging for most of the day. Did you stare at your lineup in the late window and ask yourself, “how the heck am I going to hit 100 points?” The chalk players (Kupp, Brown, Musgrave) all failed and Kenneth Walker III was fortunate to get over that 100-yard bonus.
- On a lower-scoring slate, having at least one differentiator was the key because your roster percentages likely led you to “move along with the herd”. I can’t stand that happening in DFS and it is one of the tenets of my approach. There are times to buy into roster percentages and others where taking a stance somewhere is what makes or breaks a lineup. Sometimes I am completely wrong. But for my personal psyche and wiring, I have to make a decision that is my own. I cannot point at others (“You told me to play this person!”) or rest in what everyone else is doing. Call it stubborn or a relentless bend towards being my own person. On certain days, it is tough to live this way because it often leads me to take the road less traveled in decisions, timing, and approach.
- At QB, there were a couple of tiers to choose from: Patrick Mahomes ($8300), Geno Smith ($6000), Jordan Love ($5800), and Russell Wilson ($5400). While Mahomes would’ve been a smash, I found my lineups punting off multiple players and that made me feel uncomfortable on this slate. The value with the lower QBs was allowing me to pay up at WR (Cooper Kupp) and the stat I brought up on the show stayed with me: Russ was #1 in expected fantasy points per dropback against zone coverage this year. With the Packers playing zone 80% of the time, I was smitten. Ah, I love stats, and yet it stinks when one Tweet or one comment can sway you. Regardless, Russ’ price was palatable.
- At RB, pairing someone with Kenneth Walker III was a tall task. I liked a number of guys including Josh Jacobs ($7400), Jahmyr Gibbs ($6300), Isiah Pacheco ($6100), and Jerome Ford ($5100). Other than Jacobs, all of those guys did well. Gibbs projected the best but there was some fear that he would be used as a between-the-tackles runner as opposed to Alvin Kamara-lite. I wanted a Chief in my lineup as having at least one player on the team with the highest team-implied total is usually a must for me. Jacobs fell off the wayside when I compared what moving up from Pacheco would cost me. It didn’t allow me to add Mark Andrews in my builds and as you’ll see, that stubbornness was the story of this cash lineup. I also was a bit worried Jacobs on the road with a backup QB would end up with fewer targets as Davante Adams had his squeaky wheel narrative at play.
- Cooper Kupp is going to receive a number of poop-related puns this week. Was he due for a dud? Maybe. But with 56% of the field playing him, I won’t place the blame solely on him. Yes, any player eating up 19% of your salary needs to pay off or your lineup is likely sunk. The combination of Kupp + punt WRs + Hollywood Brown was a common one I was seeing in our Discord channel. The fear of not having Kupp was strong enough that toying around lineups with him not in it was not really on the radar. I was fortunate to cash despite his presence.
- Wan’Dale Robinson ($3800) was the cheap WR of the week for me. Did I care how much he scored? Not really. Knowing a cheap WR is also going to be played by at least 1/4 of the field allows you the freedom to punt this off to pay up at other positions. Joshua Palmer ($4800) was projecting extremely well at this price point. He also dominated target share against the Chiefs in their last two matchups. There weren’t a ton of mid-tier WRs I was interested in making this pairing a common construction in lineups other than Tyler Lockett ($6000).
- This was the first week where a decision at TE had drastic consequences. We usually punt off the position and move on with the salary savings but as I mentioned on Friday’s podcast, the two elite TEs (Kelce & Andrews) were two of the best plays on the slate. Travis Kelce ($8000) was my clear TE1 while I had Mark Andrews ($5700) as TE2 when you adjusted for salary. I wanted to get one of those in my lineup because their ceiling outcomes were going to be a problem especially if the field thought cheapos like Luke Musgrave ($3300) or Michael Mayer ($2700) could compete.
- While I briefly looked at Musgrave in a lineup, Andrews was really the only differentiator and his two TDs were the key to my lineup. These cheap TEs could put up 7 points but on this slate, you wouldn’t be happy knowing there was a real possibility of Kelce or Andrews to put up 20+. This is why it is so vital to approach every slate as its own thing. This is a different multiverse for next week and we can’t use the same exact approach as last week.
- At DST, the Chiefs ($2400) seemed like one of the easier calls of the week. DraftKings adjusted their price way too much given what this team had done so far. At home as a favorite against the pass-happy Chargers, there was room for turnovers. The only other defenses in my cash pool were the Giants ($3000) or the Ravens ($2500) who also both smashed. It was just a matter of salary and I used up all $50K.
- I usually don’t discuss late swap as the lineup I arrive with is most often the one I finish with. However, this slate did have an important piece of afternoon news that shifted some of my thinking. D.K. Metcalf being declared out did open up the possibility to jump on board either Tyler Lockett ($6000) or Jaxon Smith-Njigba ($3900). That would’ve involved swapping off Joshua Palmer and using the salary to get up elsewhere. However, because I paid for Mark Andrews earlier, my options to swap felt limited. I decided to stay but JSN was a real temptation because I love him as a player.
I wanted to give a little more behind-the-scenes of how I “weigh” opportunities and targets. I personally stat out each player (along with triple referencing from other sites) to arrive at how many rush attempts and targets each RB/WR/TE receives. Targets are worth 2.5x a rush attempt so I use a multiplier while also slightly adjusting for favorites and game environment. It’s not a perfect number but it does give me another decision point when comparing projections, points per dollar, and weighted opportunities.
Here are the two final lineups I went back and forth with: A 3v3 of Gibbs/Musgrave/Lockett or Pacheco/Wan’Dale/Andrews. The numbers would’ve suggested that I went to the former as it slightly outpaced in both projections and weighted opportunities. But I am a stubborn man sometimes and my conviction to go with Andrews as a difference-maker on the slate along with the
In the end, both lineups would’ve cashed but I chose the one with Andrews to give myself someone different than most of the field.
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.
- Not being open to paying up for Mahomes might’ve been a mistake. I didn’t love Russ’ ceiling outlook but figured 17+ points would get the job done. I was floored seeing him at less than 5% in this contest. I figured he’d be closer to 20%. That is one of the bigger takeaway points for me: don’t assume others won’t pay up at QB. This year the lower-tier guys (Sam Howell, Desmond Ridder-types) have done so well and won Milly Makers. However, on any given week, the high-priced guys like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes can outdistance themselves like no one else. They are worth paying up when considering the opportunity cost.
- Wan’Dale was probably an airball from the start. I wish I would’ve had $100 more to get up to JSN because that is a player I actually love and with the possibility of D.K. Metcalf being out in the late window, I should’ve given myself more leeway to be able to switch onto that build rather than playing a low ceiling WR on a weak offense early and not having the ability to change later.
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|
Whew, that was a close one. In DFS, I can’t glory in myself when things go right because my decisions are based on statistical conviction and the outcomes on players performing on an NFL field, not me. Seriously, we play a game behind a computer screen or phones. Celebrating these athletes for what they do is where I choose to hold my praise to not puffing up whatever I luckboxed into.
Hopefully, Week 7 was kind to you!