Borg’s DFS Cash Lineup Review for Week 8 (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 8 Cash Lineup
Draft % and cash lines this week were be from DraftKings’ $10 Single-Entry Double-Up with roughly 7,000 entries.
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 8 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 mentioned at the beginning of the week that the RBs were strong on this slate. From Day 1, Breece Hall and Alvin Kamara stood out as the best plays on the slate to me. I wrote them up in my FanDuel cash article, mentioned them on Tuesday and Friday’s podcast, and then drove it home in the Best Plays article.
- Hall was popular but I made Kamara the cover boy of the Best Plays due to his “role on a PPR site is just too valuable to pass up while his salary remains in this range. His 35.5% TPRR is insane so banking on 5+ receptions and 20+ total opportunities feels safe. The game environment also screams upside with Colts games hitting the over in 5 of 7 and their defense allowing the 3rd most points per game in the NFL.”
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 QB, after we got the news that Sam Darnold would no longer be an option, I only considered the pay-up options (Hurts & Lamar) in cash. Hurts was projecting better but with his knee brace in pre-game warmups and the fact his opponent had a much more fearsome pass rush, I sided with Lamar with the better team total. But it also came down to salary as I needed the extra $100 to round out this lineup.
- With Hall and Kamara in my lineup, deciding on a 3RB build this week was one of the true deciding factors of the week. Tony Pollard ($7500) and Christian McCaffrey ($9200) were my favorites but both were cost-prohibitive when I added in other combinations for this lineup. The cheap RBs were not that appealing to me when I compared their weighted opportunities and what they were doing points per dollar-wise. When deciding between 3RBs or a WR in the FLEX, I weigh opportunities but as you’ll see, I do factor in if the field is going the same route. RBs are safe but there is a trap I’ve fallen into penciling in TDs and expecting game flow to only go the way I envision. WRs on a full PPR site with 100+ yard bonuses are a cheat code on DK.
- Speaking of WR, the middle tier this week was projecting quite well. In my cash pool, I had a number of guys in the $4-5K range including Christian Kirk ($5900), Zay Flowers ($5600), Diontae Johnson ($5000), Tank Dell ($4900), Josh Downs ($4800), and Kendrick Bourne ($4700). The only punt option I briefly looked at was Texans WR Noah Brown ($3000) once Robert Woods was declared out. All of these guys felt like safe cash options but lacked true upside to tango with the elites of the slate. That worried me and kept eating at me while compiling this cash build.
- At TE, I really only considered two guys this week: Evan Engram ($4500) and Trey McBride ($2800). As the week progressed, McBride was looking like the prime cash play in most lineups I was seeing in Discord. The savings, the cheap PPR volume, and what he afforded me to spend at other spots made him an easy cash-play
- Perhaps the most surprising change (to most people) in my final cash lineup was NOT having the Atlanta Falcons ($2900) at DST. I talked about them all week and I think the field assumed everyone would lock them in. As a Falcons fan, I consider myself somewhat embittered when I expect something from my team. Maybe you feel the same way about yours? Maybe not but the fact Atlanta was on the road against a better head coach (sorry Mike Vrabel is such a great coach) did weigh on my thoughts. Normally we plug and play a DST against a rookie QB but Atlanta never really has had a strong pass rush and I care more about sacks than anything else when looking at a cheap DST. Turnovers will come but they are hard to predict. The Vikings ($2500) were a cheaper pivot option affording me the ability to pay up at FLEX and Brian Flores’ defense blitzes at one of the highest rates in the league. I figured Jordan Love would take 2-3 sacks and he’s a turnover waiting to happen as well. Honestly, the projection difference between these two defenses (1.4) was not enough to sway me.
- Ok, I’ll let you in on a little behind-the-scenes: I made a drastic decision with my lineup about 20 minutes before lock. I was outside… blowing leaves off the driveway and street. Maybe you’ve felt that moment where you do a simple physical task outside and yet your mind can be locked in elsewhere? The whole time I’m doing this I’m asking the question, “What if Tony Pollard fails?” I loved his price on FanDuel but on DraftKings, he was a bit expensive considering we haven’t received true ceiling games from him yet. The nagging question was transformed not on whether Pollard was a good play but “what does my lineup lack?” It’s easy to focus on what is there: the projections, the points per dollar, etc. Perhaps asking what isn’t present allows us to see paths to where our lineups could fail. This was the advice I gave myself in that mundane moment blowing leaves. Deep, right?
- My WRs were quite cashy with Diontae Johnson, Zay Flowers, and Tank Dell projecting well from a points-per-dollar perspective but they all are somewhat small, diminutive possession receivers. I lacked an alpha which I worried would bury me if the likes of Tyreek Hill, Ja’Marr Chase, Cooper Kupp, or A.J. Brown went off. Chase was leading the league in targets per game and while A.J. Brown was on fire, I already knew that I’d be happy in GPPs if the Eagles passing game went off.
- I usually remove any last-minute tinkering with my lineups but that move was the difference between cashing and not cashing. Why did I do it? Half of it was pure feeling but the rational explanation was building some upside into my lineup. As I mentioned in last week’s article, my personal preference is not to have a lineup that is 100% chalk. If the early window failed, I wanted to bake in someone lower rostered who could go off. The projections said to go with the safer lineup but sometimes you just say “screw safety. Let’s ride!”
- Tony Pollard was my RB3 and Ja’Marr Chase was my WR2 in my ranks. Both were great plays in my opinion but Chase’s upside on a full PPR site factored in. I did give a slight thought to Pollard being gamescripted out if the Cowboys got up early and boy did they. They boat raced the Rams.
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.
- Switching off of Hurts to Jackson at the end was probably a bit misguided. I rationalized it by going way overweight the field on the PHI/WAS game.
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 Double-Ups 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|
|7||117.00||117.56||53%||Andrews 2 Tuddys|