a relatively low scoring Week 15, we hopped to the other end of
the spectrum in Week 16 with the cash line hovering in the low 130s
in double ups. Lineup construction was fairly obvious with paying
down at quarterback and jamming in a couple high priced running
backs a common practice. However, I broke the norm and felt more
comfortable paying up at quarterback while still able to afford
the running back corps I wanted.
Here’s a look at my cash game Lineup for Fanduel in Week 16.
We typically like to pay down at quarterback given the range
of outcomes isn’t as wide as other positions and with Nick Foles ($6000) being a viable cheap option, it was no surprise
he was the highest quarterback owned in cash games – 45.3
% in this $25 double up. The matchup against the Texans was fine
but I wasn’t really sold on Foles given his weak performance
against the Rams in Week 15 and felt his chances of a dud were
greater than others realized.
Once DeAndre Hopkins was declared a go and given I had the salary,
I was more comfortable going with Deshaun Watson ($8000) in the
same game facing a weak Eagles secondary that had given up 794
passing yards in its two previous games. The Texans were also
going to be without Lamar Miller at running back so I projected
a few more pass attempts for Watson in this contest. He was my
No.4 ranked quarterback on the week with Foles checking in at
Dak Prescott ($7300) was also wildly popular (35.4 percent owned),
playing at home against a Buccaneers defense that we’ve
pick on all season long. Knowing that I was paying for Zeke at
running back, I didn’t want to stack my cash game roster
with an average offense that plays ball control and projected
to be run-heavy, making Prescott a relatively easy fade.
We had a plethora of running back options at every end of the
price spectrum. At the high end, Todd Gurley ($9600) was quickly
eliminated due to injury concerns but we still had Christian McCaffrey
($9300), Saquon Barkley ($9000) and Ezekiel Elliott ($8800) all
in play with Elliott being the obvious lock given the quarterback
questions in Carolina and workload/blowout risk from Barkley on
the road against the Colts. Elliott was in a prime spot, at home
facing a Buccaneers defense that’s given up five 100-yard
rushing games this season so it’s no surprise he was the
highest owned running back on the slate, hovering around 90% in
Nick Chubb ($7900) was also a lock for me, given his dominant
role in the offense and facing a putrid Bengals defense that’s
given up more fantasy points to running backs than Tampa Bay.
While I liked Barkley’s pass game role more than Chubb,
I felt more comfortable with Chubb’s game environment and
had both with a similar TD expectation. Chubb’s $1100 savings
made this an easy call.
My only lock at the receiver position this week was Robby Anderson
($5900). His low cost and increased role over the last two weeks
made him an easy choice for cash games. His 40 percent ownership
also gave you some security in case a dud occurred. By locking
in Anderson, I was able to either pay for a stud like Davante Adams ($8500) or Michael Thomas ($8300) and pair him with a cheap
play, or stick in the middle range and ride out Week 16 with balance
at the position.
In the 7K range I liked all of T.Y. Hilton ($7700), Robert Woods
($7500) and Julian Edelman ($7000) who projected to be the lead
targets in the passing game for their respective teams. With locking
in a safe choice like Edelman into my lineup, I prioritized Hilton
who I figured had a little more upside than Woods. Both receivers
had similar matchups and with T.Y. historically posting his blowup
games at home, I gave him the nod over Woods. Woods ended up outscoring
Hilton by 8.1 FD points.
My biggest mistake this week was not giving enough consideration
to Zach Ertz ($7400). I did feel like there was something to the
narrative that Foles wasn’t as locked onto to Ertz as Carson Wentz has been and did feel the projection between Evan Engram
($5700) and Ertz was similar. Ertz finished Sunday with 16 targets,
12 catches, 110 yards and 2 TDs. Doh! The $1700 savings went a
long way into getting the receivers I wanted, making Engram the
My main decision at running back/Flex was on Alvin Kamara ($8100)
vs. Jamaal Williams ($5800) / Elijah McGuire ($5700). I wanted
to get a piece of the Steelers – Saints game so I messed
around with multiple Zeke-Chubb-Kamara lineups but couldn’t
get comfortable enough at the wide receiver position enough to
make it work. In the end, I prioritized Williams who figured to
get the bulk of running back duties for the Packers who only had
Kapri Bibbs in a backup role but didn’t project to see a
ton of action given he was just signed earlier in the week. Paying
down also left me with an extra $2300 to use at the wide receiver
and tight end position.
There were a number of good defenses to consider this week. At
the high end, the Rams ($4900), Vikings ($4600) and Patriots ($4300)
were all in good spots but my roster construction lead me to the
cheap end of the spectrum. I wanted to get up to the Saints ($3500)
or Cowboys ($3700) but didn’t want to sacrifice Engram at
tight end to do so. That left me with the Eagles-D ($3200) who
was at home facing Watson who has a tendency to take more sacks
than normal. The correlation of Eagles-D and Watson in the same
lineup may seem odd but it does have paths to be profitable as
defensive TDs will lead to the quarterback (Watson) getting the
ball back immediately and in theory lead to more passing attempts
for the quarterback.
The decision not to pay down for Foles could’ve been costly
but it probably wouldn’t have improved my lineup as I would’ve
used the extra cash to simply replace similar scoring wide receivers.
I really wasn’t on Zach Ertz which would’ve been the
best place for me to upgrade so it was it nice have Watson outscore
Foles by a few points and post the second highest quarterback
performance on the slate. The balanced approach at wide receiver
and prioritizing Engram at tight end instead of punting the position
led me to a comfortable win in Week 16, pushing my record to 11-5
in cash games this season.