NFL Week 10 2018: Veteran’s Day Salute

DK cash week 10 11.11.18

I’d like to start this week by thanking all of our veterans. It is because of you that we can have the opportunity to play a silly game like DFS for money. The week 10 main slate on DraftKings turned out to be a fairly low scoring event. The large field double up on took 129 pts to cash. My lineup missed the mark a little bit this week but wasn’t a total dud. I locked in pretty early on Kareem Hunt as my building block as I loved his matchup but he didn’t really hit home. Was a bit of a kick in the teeth to see Spencer Ware vulture a TD from him. I had toyed with paying down the rest of the spots at RB to secure higher in WR’s but reminded myself that for cash I want to prioritize the RB position as I’ve had my worst weeks when I don’t do that. Todd Gurley is as consistent as they come so I decided to lock him in.

One of my biggest mistakes of the week was playing Dion Lewis. Not because he was a bad play but because I let another analyst sway me towards him because of his conviction but that only lies upon me for not diving deeper into it. I had a gut feeling that Belichek would sell out to stop the guy he let walk and he was pretty much stonewalled all day even with the Titans beating them soundly. Along side Gurley, Michael Thomas has become almost a weekly must play due to his insane catch rate (as I talked about on the podcast) and a great matchup against the Bengals. To get the high price guys in such as Hunt, Gurley, and Thomas I had to play some thinner values which put me on Vannett at TE. When Sammy Watkins was ruled out I though Chris Conley would be a good value at $3200 but it turns out that KC just concentrated their touches to the studs. I also liked the play of Valdez-Scantling because of his increased usage and the absence of Randall Cobb. I don’t think that was a mistake. The other punt play I made was at DEF with the Bucs which I was fine with knowing Alex Smith doesn’t have an explosive play in his arsenal and the injury bug that has decimated his offensive line.

My cash lineup was good enough to win 21/40 H2H’s but considering the rake that makes it a loser. The other thing that dragged it down was it didn’t have enough to cash the double ups. Thankfully I came out ahead this week due to a couple of decent tournament lineups which took down our weekly friends 9-man tournament and another one that was good enough for 1204th in the Millionaire Maker. I haven’t played that tournament every week but I had a good feeling about Mitch Trubisky again facing a Lions D that was missing its top 3 corners and getting a healthy Allen Robinson back. I only wish I had stacked it a little more as they were low owned. I had A-Rob (only 2% owned) in one of them and Miller (another guy I talked about on the pod) in another. The league lineup was a bit contrarian because I paid up for 3 top end RB’s while the MM lineup was more balanced but paying up for Bears D and a middle tier TE in Hooper made this one unique. Overall I had a nice return on the day and am ready to battle again in week 11!

MM tourney 11.11.18

NFL Week 9 2018: Riding the wave

DK cash week 9 11.4.18

Another week in the book for the 2018 season. We have reached the point in the year where the information that we have to go on is current year and good enough to make real decisions. It is the heart of the bye weeks which makes for a narrower pool of players to consider, making each decision more critical. For those of you in the same boat as me you have settled in to a process. This week I identified my desire to play Cam Newton at QB very early. Before I had even read and articles or looked at any metrics I knew that I would lock him in against the terrible Tampa defense that just leaks points to opposing offenses. The next player that I locked into was Travis Kelce. He was the only top end TE on the slate and had a great matchup against the Browns. I’ve messed around with a few TE situations where I made really big leaps to play a cheap play and that experience made me want to lock in a stud in a blow up spot.

The next step in my process was to figure out my RB situation. It has become hard not to lock on to Todd Gurley at this point. He has a floor that starts at most players ceilings and was priced down from the past 2 weeks. Alvin Kamara was priced down to reflect having Mark Ingram back in play but in a game with a total that started off at 60 was going to lean towards a game script where Kamara would have to go off. To get the highest priced QB, RB, and TE into a lineup I was going to have to search for some value. Nick Chubb had the lead back role and an avenue to get himself 20 touches for $4500 which is hard to find. Going against a Chiefs team that scores by the bunches would lead his team to need to speed things up. After some trade deadline action Sutton popped as someone who would be in line for more targets and had displayed a red zone threat so was easy to play at $3900. Originally I was on DJ Moore and Golladay but when Steff Diggs was ruled out I decided to swallow a punt play in Treadwell so that I could get up to Kupp who as Jared Goff’s security blanket was sure to have a reasonable floor and ceiling within his range. There were a couple D’s at $2300 that I could live with but the Bronco’s pass rush against a Texans O-line that was having trouble keeping Watson on his feet made sense.

I don’t really have much regret with this lineup. I feel the sacrifice on Treadwell was worth it to get to Kupp which was the only real decision I was weighing in the hour before the slate kicked off. I won 24/35 H2H’s and easily cashed my double up as well this week. Had minimal tournament success but I didn’t play as many this week so I booked a win on this slate. I really want to spend some time working on building tournament lineups as I feel my cash building is pretty solid. Feeling good and ready to move on to the next week!

Week 8 NFL 2018: Halfway Home

DK cash week 8 10.28.18

Coming into week 8 I had a bit of confidence in my process as I had started to build wins in cash. As opposed to last week, this week we had a lot of different lineup construction options that made sense. After some early season losses I had decided that I would work to prioritize the running back position as that is where the touches are most predictable and along with that I wanted to get the best at the position as often as possible. Todd Gurley has proven to be the best back in the game but to get him in I would have had to sacrifice at the other spots and I really liked the matchups for KareemĀ  Hunt and James Conner. I locked those 2 in and chose to see where I could get. Steelers D was a no-brainer this week at $2300 versus a rookie QB in a divisional road game. I tinkered with Joe Mixon who also had a great matchup but when Phillip Lindsay ended up as a viable option to get the full workload for Denver I decided to go with him so I could balance the lineup a little better.

Odell Beckham became a very attractive option with a low price for him of $7500. I was also pretty sure I wanted Woods in a game with a 56.5 O/U and an expanded role with Cooper Kupp still sidelined. Anthony Miller came into play when Allen Robinson was ruled out and vaulted him into a starting role for $3400.

This brought me down to trying to settle on a QB/TE pairing. There were a lot of QB’s that I could have lived with but not a lot of TE’s in the sub-$4000 category. I boiled it down to Jared Goff/OJ Howard or Aaron Rodgers/CJ Uzomah. Ultimately I went the Rodgers route because I felt he had a higher floor and ceiling than Goff and the two TE’s both had dream matchups against teams ranked bottom 2 against the position. Uzomah ends up with zero catches on four targets and Rodgers had a floor game. Had he gotten one more possession (thanks a LOT TyMont!) he likely gets the 300 yard bonus and Gurley doesn’t get his which changes the script on my week entirely for the positive.

Results for this week had me winning 17/35 H2H’s but the 153.94 was good enough to cash both single entry double ups I played. Overall I had a small loss on the slate as I still struggle to put a good tournament lineup together. Perhaps a little more work on that part of my game.

How did you do this week?

Week 7 NFL 2018: The Grind Continues

DK cash week 7 10.21.18

Coming into week 7 I was riding a little higher. There were a few tough weeks in a row and then week turned the tide as the research starts to pay off now that we have good information on all of these teams. As the pricing on these slates gets tighter, the edge goes up to for those of us who are putting in the extra work. This was an interesting slate to approach being only 10 games and missing many of the high priced superstars that we like to play. As I dug in it became apparent that locking in Gurley at $9800 was the key to starting any lineup for cash. David Njoku was the only TE that made sense to me this week because there was no way I was getting up to Ertz at $7100 and I wanted a piece of the passing game in the CLE-TB matchup.

When the Browns traded Carlos Hyde it gave way to a full boat load for Nick Chubb making him a solid start at depressed pricing. I originally wanted to put Zeke Elliot in my lineups but his price would prevent me from getting Adam Theilen in who has become the most consistent player in the league at WR this year. I also wanted to get a piece of Robert Woods who was going to see more slot work with Cooper Kupp out for the week. When we learned that Theo Riddick would be out it led us to Kerryon Johnson at $4200 and made fitting the 2 higher priced WR’s a workable solution.

Then it came down to fitting a QB another WR and a defense. Defense is always last for me. I thought I could get a reasonable floor out of Beathard but should have looked for a little higher ceiling than a backup QB on a short week playing against the best team in the NFC. After getting peppered with targets the previous couple of weeks I was comfortable with Taylor Gabriel. It turns out that Trey Burton finally stepped into the role many were predicting preseason for the Bears which cut into the underneath passes for Gabriel.

This lineup was good enough to win 20 out of 30 H2H’s and end up in the money for both large field double ups it was entered in. Just missed out on the money in tournaments but game allocation heavier on cash allowed us to book another winning week as we inch our way back up for the year. The research is paying off and having an edge makes it more comfortable to continue playing a higher volume of cash.

Week 6 NFL 2018: On the Right Path

 

DK cash week 6 10.14.18

As the weeks go on, the pricing gets tighter making every decision even more crucial. Staying on top of news and doing the research will put us at an advantage over a fair amount of our opponents. When I started out my process this week I quickly zeroed in on two plays that I really liked. Julio Jones against an awful Tampa defense who is garnering a huge target share and share of air yards, whose price had dropped to $7900. Second, Jameis Winston at $5800 in a game with a huge total against an Atlanta defense that is racked with injuries. Knowing he would have to try to keep up with his own defenses deficiencies made him a no-brainer. Melvin Gordon has been very solid this year and at almost $2000 cheaper than Todd Gurley he became the high end RB that I decided to build around. I had considered McCaffrey but his touchdown equity is too low to justify at that price.

I’ve been building around three RB’s in cash so TJ Yeldon’s price and role made sense to me at $6400 and Tevin Coleman became enticing when Freeman was ruled out. These roles are not as appealing as they might look on the surface and will need to reconsider moving forward. To fit a high end WR with a high end RB I would have to spend down at TE making Uzomah the best play in my mind. Reports came out that Joe Haden would be shadowing AJ Green which really made Tyler Boyd pop to me as likely to get a lot of looks and opportunity in a game that was one of the higher totals of the slate. Keke Coutee fit in the build and I liked him based on the targets he has been getting in that offense over the last few weeks. It didn’t work out but I don’t think it was a mistake. When it comes to the defense I know everyone was targeting the Cowboys or the Bears. I didn’t want to play Dallas since I was playing Yeldon and Chicago didn’t fit. Chargers facing a rookie QB was a play I was comfortable with.

Overall, I won 26 of 30 H2Hs which was one of the better weeks so far. The process is improving and should position me well for the heart of the NFL season. Keep grinding folks!

Week 5 NFL 2018 – Righting the Ship

DK cash week 5 10.7.18

After 3 straight losing weeks that could have been winners when it boiled down to my final decision of the week went bad I really dug in and got back to the basics. I had not been prioritizing the running back position in my cash lineups and was determined to correct that. With pricing tight it was going to be difficult to fit three high priced RB’s in the lineup without finding value. I had decided pretty early to lock in James Conner as the anchor of lineup because Atlanta has been convulsing points to opposing RB’s and this was just good to pass up. I really liked Christian McCaffrey and his passing game usage so I pinned him as my second RB. TJ Yeldon was some nice value that I had been considering but when Green Bay was down two WR’s (Cobb and Allison out), it became vital to lock in on Valdes-Scantling at $3300 in a starting role playing in a game with a 50 point expected total. Getting that value allowed me to get a third high-volume, high-priced RB in Gordon who has been consistently good this year and had a nice matchup against the Raiders.

The rest of plays kind of fell in place based on available money left to spend and what the models on FantasyLabs were showing. Marvin Jones was popping as a top value at WR and I wanted to have another piece of the ATL-PIT game so Vance McDonald was enticing. I should have considered Austin Hooper more but I let recency bias keep me off of him after he had disappointed the week before. Matthew Staffod made sense at QB as he looked to have a safe floor playing in a game that had a high total and being at home. He could have had a much better day if not for 2 goal line TD rushes from Blount. The Lions defense really started making sense to me with Aaron Rodgers being limited by having to use so many rookie WR’s and Davante Adams being banged up even though he ended up playing. Cooper Kupp was the WR who fit as the last piece and I really like his floor as Jared Goff has a nice chemistry going with him. He would have likely gotten the 100 yard bonus if he hadn’t been concussed.

This week got back on track as I booked a small win. Took down 22 out of 30 H2H’s and cashed the one double up I played. Had zero success in tournaments this week which is what limited the total upside. Need to consider throwing the cash lineup in a tournament or two each week. Got the needle pointing in the right direction now so I’m excited for week 6.

How are you doing? Do you have any questions or comments? We love any feedback that you can give. We appreciate all of our listeners and followers on social media!

Week 4 NFL 2018 – Missed Opportunities

DK cash wk4 9.30.18

It can be easy to get frustrated playing a game that for all intents and purposes only has 17 opportunities in a year and having to wait a full week to redeem yourself when you’ve missed the mark. After week 3 I was chomping at the bit and glad to be able to get back to my normal routine in regards to research and lineup building.

  • Opportunity and matchups locked me onto Gio Bernard against the Falcons D that funnels to pass catching backs and Sterling Shephard who got the dream matchup against a Saints D that has been throwing up points to #2 WR’s this year.
  • I was also fairly locked into Mel Gordon going against a SF team that isn’t good against the run and in a bit of turmoil with the loss of their QB.
  • I liked Sony Michel with Rex Burkhead going to IR which gives him a clear path to the lead back role in New England.
  • With Allen Robinson facing a bad Tampa secondary and his 25.6% target share I felt he had a safe floor.
  • There were not any TE’s that I loved this week so I decided to punt at that position which turned out to be a mistake.

The crux of this week for me turned out to be the QB/WR decision where I was stuck between Andy Dalton & Michael Thomas or Deshaun Watson and Julio Jones. My initial look of the week really liked the games for CIN/ATL and NO/NYG better than the HOU/IND game. Some recency bias of getting burned by Julio last week is what ultimately got me off that direction. I don’t feel terrible about my lineup as whole. Thomas just had a clunker. This week had a lot of high scoring, almost like week 1 so 170.08 didn’t stack up well enough.

I’m thinking that I need to weigh my $ spend on the premium priced players towards the RB’s in cash as I should have been on Kamara. The week resulted in only a 22% win rate in cash which makes 3 bad weeks in a row. Had I gone the other way at QB/WR it would have been a positive return. What this tells me is that I am on the right path and will be piecing things together the right way more often than not. As of Sunday evening I was feeling a bit tilted but this is why we manage our bankroll and don’t get too high or low as we could just as easily run of 3 winning weeks in a row when we know our research is good, or hit a jackpot in a GPP with a lineup that goes nuts.

Speaking of GPP’s, if you listened to the podcast last week you heard me tout Mitchell Trubisky as a candidate for a breakout game based on some of the deeper research I did looking at passing zones both from the player side and the defensive side. Now, I couldn’t have known he would go off the way he did, but we are playing for outcomes in a range and he lined up to be a good tournament play. I did play a couple of Trubisky lineups this week but unfortunately 1 piece of 9 doesn’t solve the puzzle and I missed some of the other homeruns this week. Next time I uncover a play like this that I know will be super low owned I will make more lineups to give myself a chance at putting it all together. Looking forward to week 5 as the tighter pricing and data gets the more our research will give us an edge.