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Andrew Swanson | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Daily: Week 4 Walkthrough
Sunk by the Julio Jones / Matt Ryan cash stack

With stacks in cash games usually frowned upon by the DFS writing industry due to the inherit boom or bust risk that is involved with playing two or more players on the same team, most people tend to only use them in GPP contests.

But my contention is that if we as fantasy owners feel that a quarterback and skill position player on a given team have an excellent margin of safety and the ability to deliver huge performances, why would we not want the doubling effect in a cash game where our goal is to play as many “safe” players and avoid boom or bust plays?

I put this theory to work this week in a head-to-head matchup against a seasoned DFS player on DraftKings. My cash stack of choice this week was Matthew Stafford and Marvin Jones against a winless Bears team that had previously allowed 24 and 21 points to Dak Prescott and Brock Osweiler respectively.

Entering the contest Stafford had been solid on the road with two 30-point performances against the Colts and Packers, while Jones appeared to be a lock for 20 points after scoring 40 against Green Bay Week 3.

It seemed like a low risk, high reward play for two players who were priced below my perceived value of the week. As you can guess, Stafford was terrible and Jones failed to reach the 20 point plateau I predicted.

To add insult to injury, my opponent used similar logic as me and decided to go with a cash stack. But instead of busting with Stafford and Marvin, he was wise and went with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.

Need I say more?

I plan on using my cash stack strategy in a head-to-head matchup this week, with the hope of avoiding a Stafford-esque free fall.

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford
Fantasy Points: 10.2
Grade: F

Stafford’s pitiful performance on Sunday, aided by drops and mis-run routes by Golden Tate and Eric Ebron, was the lowest fantasy total for the former Georgia Bulldog under offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.

The offense as a whole was out of whack with silly penalties and ineffective first down run plays, forcing Stafford to make poor throws. The Bears played cover-2 most of the game and the Lions offense did not attack the seams well with Jones and Ebron.

Running Backs: Melvin Gordon, LeGarrette Blount
Combined Points: 32.9
Grade: B

With an ownership percentage just under 30%, Blount was a popular running back play this week due to his inexpensive $5000 salary and matchup at home against the Bills.

Entering the contest Blount reached the end zone in all three of his games this season, including a two-touchdown, 100-yard game against the Texans Week 3.

Despite all of the positive factors pointing in Blount’s favor, the bruising back from the University of Oregon was shut down by Rex Ryan’s defense in arguably the most surprising game of the week.

On a positive note, my play of Gordon at home against the Saints more than made up for Blount’s pedestrian eight points. My goal in cash games is to get a minimum of 15 points from each of my running backs, with the goal of getting a combined 40 points. I missed the target goal, but Gordon’s two TD’s and 80 total yards brought me over 30 points for the day.

Wide Receivers: Marvin Jones, Mike Wallace, Will Fuller
Combined Points: 50.2
Grade: B-

As the skill position player of the Cash Stack, Jones was negatively impacted by the poor play of Stafford and the Lions offense. The injury to running back Dwayne Washington and the subsequent lack of a running game allowed the Bears to focus on the pass, negating the effectiveness of Jones and the other wide receivers. Despite this fact, Jones did give me 12.4 points on five catches for 74 yards.

Fuller was the play of the week for me on this ticket, and someone who I targeted heavily in both GPP and cash games. A deep threat with 4.3 speed, Fuller has developed a rapport with Osweiler and continues to take targets away from DeAndre Hopkins in the passing game.

His $5,300 salary has steadily increased from his opening rate of $3,700 Week 1 against Chicago, and will likely approach $6,000 by Week 6. With Xavier Rhodes shadowing Nuk this week in Minnesota, Fuller is another great option should he be covered by the older and slower cornerback Terrance Williams.

Knowing full well that Steve Smith is the No.1 wide receiver and a favorite target for Joe Flacco, the home matchup for Wallace against a poor Oakland secondary was too enticing to pass up.

My hunch was correct, as Wallace received 10 targets in what turned out to be a fairly high scoring game. The problem is that he secured only 4 of those targets for 44 yards, and needed a late two point conversion to top double digits.

Tight End: Zach Miller
Fantasy Points: 12.1
Grade: B+

It wasn’t a stellar game for Miller, considering the fact that the Lions have been terrible against opposing tight ends this year and Bryan Hoyer has been targeting Miller heavily since taking over the starting job from injured Jay Cutler.

But in a year where tight end play has been unpredictable, receiving 12.1 points from a $2,700 tight end is a nice value in all formats.

Miller now has three touchdowns in his last two games with Hoyer under center, making him an excellent option week five against Indy.

Flex Play: Kelvin Benjamin
Fantasy Points: 12.9
Grade C-

Giving myself a C- grade for a guy who scored 12.9 points might seem harsh. But considering the matchup against the Falcons and the fact that I thought Cam Newton and the Panthers would target Benjamin heavily after last week’s zero-catch debacle, three catches for 39 yards and a score is disappointing considering his $7,100 price tag.

Mike Evans, Michael Crabtree, and Michael Thomas all posted solid games against the Falcons this year, and none of them did that after their head coach went on record stating that their focus was to get their respective player more targets.

Perhaps this is an excellent learning point in that I shouldn’t take coach speak into consideration when picking fantasy players.

Defense/Special Teams: Washington
Fantasy Points: 8

A rookie quarterback with a lackluster offensive line playing on the road against Washington team that is tough at home appeared to be a nice play this week in a cash game. I anticipated that the Redskins would force a turnover or two from rookie Cody Kessler, while holding the Browns to less than 20 points.

In a cash game I wanted a high floor, and Washington did provide me with their season average of eight points. The floor provided by them was moot because of the huge games from Ryan and Julio, but the logic was sound and in a closer H2H matchup I will consider once against playing a defense that faces off against the Browns.