Borg’s NFL DFS Cash Lineup Review for Week 9 (Fantasy Football)
Cash comes down to being on the right side of one or two plays.
I was punching myself for NOT playing Travis Etienne Jr. this week. I wanted to be slightly different from the field and through the early games, I looked like the fool. Let’s just say I was not too happy with DFS.
The plays this week were pretty narrowed across the industry.
- Allen or Fields?
- Rhamondre + 2 more RBs
- Joshua Palmer
Honestly, there were 5-6 RBs I was into. So if you didn’t get Joe Mixon into your lineup, I apologize. I didn’t either.
The goal if this article is neither to boast or wallow in “shoulda, woulda, couldas” but rather give a transparent look at my thought process for the week. Hopefully, this will help DFS 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, my thought process behind this lineup construction, and at the bottom, I will post my weekly results including ROI and H2H record to stay accountable with you.
If you’re wanting to go back to the drawing board, we did an overview podcast before the season on DFS Cash Game Strategy. I also published an article on DFS Strategy for Beginners and another entitled: How to Approach Each Position in DFS & Gain an Edge.
Week 9 Cash Lineup
The Thought Process
Let’s work from early week locks to where I made my final decisions.
Cash Locks (In My Opinion)
- In our DFS Best Plays article (which comes out every Saturday), I shared the pool of players that were basically locked from the beginning of the week. I think this is part of the DFS process so many people don’t understand: you can’t fit everyone in a lineup. Josh Allen (my top-ranked QB) AND Tyreek Hill (my top-ranked WR) were not in my lineup. It’s about the lineup construction as a whole.
- From the beginning of the week, I only considered two QBs: Allen & Justin Fields. Allen I had ranked as my top QB BUT his salary became prohibitive once I started putting in actual projections. The $3200 savings from Fields went so much further as I kept plugging away my cash lineup, something we brought up on Friday’s podcast. The only way I survived not having Joe Mixon in my lineup was Fields. It was a top 1% outcome and certainly not something I projected by any means. It was much simpler: dude is cheap and runs the ball.
- Here’s what I wrote in Best Plays: “Fields will end up being 40+ percent in cash but if you can find the savings, Allen is averaging 30+ DK points per contest. Keep in mind that although Allen clearly projects as the best play on the slate, his stacking options (Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, & Dawson Knox) all should have relatively tame roster percentages in cash.” In other words, I wasn’t afraid of Allen in cash because relatively few people would be stacking Bills in cash.
- At WR, Joshua Palmer and Chris Godwin were locked in early in the week due to their projected target shares. Palmer’s price and opportunity were highlighted early on in the First Look article. In Best Plays, I wrote that Godwin’s “price, his role in the offense, and the Buccaneers’ desire to throw over and over again make him an easy cash pick for me“.
- I never really wavered from the Panthers. The Carolina DST was terrible. I scored more pts than them BUT it afforded me the opportunity to pay elsewhere which is all I care about knowing the field was going to be on them.
- By far, the hardest decision point this week was at RB. I mentioned that I liked a bunch of different guys this week but by Friday, it came down to five: Austin Ekeler, Joe Mixon, Travis Etienne Jr., Rhamondre Stevenson, and Kenneth Walker III. Four of them were in Betz’s DraftKings cash picks article and Walker was someone I kept coming back to. Mixon was in early in the week until (wait for it) a conversation in the car with one Jason Moore. We discussed Mixon’s inefficiency and the downside considering how much Cincinnati would throw. I decided I would play Mixon in GPPs. That worked out ok.
- Ekeler became a priority play once Keenan Allen was looking doubtful to play. He was averaging 7.6 receptions per game which is unheard of at RB. Between the expensive options of Josh Allen, Tyreek Hill, and Ekeler this week, the Chargers RB won out as the play.
- Once Damien Harris missed multiple practices in a row, it was hard ignoring Rhamondre at that price. He’s been way too involved in the passing game and I liked his chances of getting in the end-zone.
- It finally came down Etienne and Kenneth Walker. My text with Betz went as follows” “i know im supposed to play Etienne… but right now im bleh… I’m pretty close. My contrarian self doesn’t want Etienne. Not saying that’s right… He’s run hot for sure. In fades, I have the case for why I’m not huge in GPPs.” I made my stance knowing Walker’s volume and the matchup against a Cardinals team he shredded three weeks ago were on the table. But also it gave me a slight edge in the afternoon window to be able to pivot if I was behind.
- Etienne scored twice and I thought I was buried.
- Walker’s second TD put me over the edge in a lot of H2Hs and helped me differentiate from the field. I thought he’d be more 25-30 percent in cash, not 13%. For what it’s worth, I beat Betz by one point (eyebrow raise) this week.
- At WR, Betz finally wore me down about Amon-Ra St. Brown. The drop in salary mixed with his guaranteed target volume felt good. With Betz running so hot (now 9-for-9 cashing in double-ups this year), I decided to remove my bias and trust the Sun God. The only other WRs in my pool by Friday: Zay Jones ($4100) and DJ Moore ($5800).
- With a terrible TE slate, punting the position became clear. I liked Robert Tonyan ($3800), Evan Engram ($3200) Foster Moreau ($3200), and the Lions punt combo of James Mitchell/Brock Wright ($2500). Tonyan was projected the best but I couldn’t find the salary to get up that high. While going stone min felt fun, I also was at risk of a zero. The $800 from Moreau down to the Lions was only going to be spent paying up from the Carolina to Tampa Bay DST. Once Waller was declared out, Moreau felt like the safest but most boring play possible in cash.
- For reference, here were the two final lineups I labored through.
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.
- I never really picked apart the low-end outcomes for Amon-Ra or Godwin. The targets felt so safe and if you told me those two would combine for 19 targets, I would probably sign up again.
- Locking in on the Panthers so early probably wasn’t optimal. But nearly 50 percent of the field was in too so it didn’t really hurt me.
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.
|Week||DK Pts||H2H Win %||Note|
|1||147.02||65%||All the Chalk Hits|
|2||106.90||46%||Trey Lance Pain, Mark Andrews Salvage|
|3||122.86||77%||Mack Hollins FTW|
|4||90.26||10%||Jonathan Taylor Nose Dive|
|5||208.06||100%||This Lineup Could Do No Wrong|
|6||134.26||32%||The Mike Evans Let Down|
|7||194.64||93%||Joe Burrow + the Top-3 RBs|
|8||—||—||OFF for Family|
|9||162.92||83%||Justin Fields Goes Bonkers|
I take a week off and come back to get over the cash line thanks to Fields and Kenneth Walker‘s second half.