had weeks to stew over prices and with the early release of salaries
by the daily platforms, there was plenty of value on the Week 1
slate, making it relatively easy to create a lineup with the potential
for a high score. With the Saints offensive stars and value running
Conner ($5K) being popular plays and delivering the goods, you
needed a relatively high score to be in the money in most cash games.
Here’s a look at my cash game lineup for Fanduel in Week 1.
My considerations at QB included boiled down to Drew Brees and
Philip Rivers. While I thought the Bucs-Saints game had shootout potential
(Fitzpatrick was No.12 in my QB rankings) I couldn’t pass
up the opportunity for Rivers who was facing a Chiefs secondary
that gave up the 3rd most fantasy points to QBs last season, was
missing S Eric Berry and was scrambling during final cuts to find
cornerback help. Yes, Rivers was downright ugly last season in
the two meetings with his division foe (464-1-6), but the positives
easily outweighed the negatives. Rivers was my 3rd ranked QB heading
into week and he came at a $900 discount from Brees.
Once it became clear that Le’Veon
Bell was going to miss Week 1, James
Conner became a virtual lock for cash game rosters. He was
60-70% owned in most of the double-ups and 50-50’s I participated
in and was basically a must-play even if you weren’t high on him
for the week. His chances of a blow-up game were relatively good
given his expected workload for a team that likes to feature one
running back and if he’s not on your roster, you’re essentially
buried. I messed around pairing Conner with Melvin
Gordon ($8100), Leonard
Fournette ($8000), Alex
Collins ($6700) and Christian
McCaffrey ($7500) but ultimately found the savings elsewhere
(see below) to land on my true target, Alvin
While I was somewhat concerned about Kamara getting vultured
at the goaline by Mike
Gillislee, it wasn’t enough to come off the insanely efficient
Kamara who’s truly a threat to score every time he touches the
ball. With Saints missing Mark
Ingram and playing musical chairs at the position over the
last two weeks, Kamara seemed like a good bet for 20+ touches
at home, in a game with shootout potential.
My wide receiver pool was fairly deep this week with A.J.
Diggs and Michael
Crabtree all under consideration given their price and matchup.
My biggest debate was choosing between Green and Thomas. Both
were in my top tier with Green ranked slightly higher. Given Thomas
and Kamara were easily projectable to be the most used players
in the Saints offense this week, I didn’t have problem with both
being on my roster despite some perceived negative correlation,
but ultimately it was the deciding factor in a coin-flip decision.
Hogan appeared to be in a great spot, at home with the Patriots
searching for stable options at the position making him easily
projectable for 7-8 targets and good bet for a score given his
redzone usage. Sanders at $6300 seemed like an incredible value
given his increased usage in the slot this pre-season and was
an easy call over Crabtree who cost $300 more.
I considered Rob
Gronkowski ($7900), Jordan
Reed ($5800), Jack
Doyle ($5600), Ricky
Seals-Jones ($5100) and Ryan
Griffin ($4700) at tight end this week. With Colts being thin
at wide receiver and tipping their hand with their TE usage during
the pre-season (23 TE catches), Doyle appeared to be a safer play
with locked volume over the lower-priced RSJ and Griffin who still
had bigger question marks about their usage. The savings on Doyle
over Gronk ($2100) also fit my roster construction best, allowing
me to get up to Kamara at running back instead of being “stuck”
with Melvin Gordon.
With Fanduel ditching the kicker position this year (yes!) it
makes sense to roll with a running back in the Flex position for
cash games whenever possible. The position is less volatile than
wide receiver and much easier to predict usage and volume.
I was able to exploit my tight end and defense savings (see below)
into allowing me to roster David
Johnson who had a high usage expectation against the Redskins.
With his wrist injury behind him, considerable work in the passing
game and playing at home, it made him a slightly better option
even at a $600 premium over Fournette.
I wouldn’t normally roster a defense against my running back
but the Browns seem incredibly mispriced at $3K given their newfound
pass rush ability (Myles
Garrett) and the propensity for Roethlisberger to take sacks
and toss picks. There were a lot of viable options on the slate
but ultimately, with Pittsburgh playing without Bell and Cleveland
playing at home, it made sense to save money at a volatile position
and go with the Browns over my other main considerations the Ravens
($4800) and Vikings ($4500).
With Chargers/Chiefs, Saints/Bucs games both going nuclear, and
Conner crushing his value, this was a high-flying week in DFS.
If you weren’t pushing 160 points, it was tough to cash
in double-ups this week. I was fortunate enough to land on Kamara
over Fournette (hamstring) and get a late score from Johnson,
otherwise my bank account would have suffered.