the Chargers, Chiefs, Rams, Saints and Panthers off the main slate
we had a good idea this might be a low-scoring fantasy week and
that scenario played out in a big way. Cash lines around 105 FD
points were common in double ups, well below the norm.
We had a couple mispriced players on Fanduel that were projected
to be widely owned. I faded one of them and made a mistake at
tight end but still found enough good plays to turn a profit.
Here’s a look at my cash game Lineup for Fanduel in Week
The Patriots Ė Steelers game was sure to attract a lot
of interest this week given it was the highest game total (52.0)
on the main slate and featured a couple of high-powered offenses.
Tom Brady ($7900) was fresh off a 358-yard 3 TD performance, reasonably
priced and $700 cheaper than Ben Roethlisberger ($8600) making
him an obvious choice for cash games. My initial lineup build
had Josh Allen ($7600) penciled in at quarterback who was averaging
over 100 rushing yards in his previous three games and faced a
neutral matchup at home against the Lions.
Speaking of rushing ability, Lamar Jackson ($7700) was also under
consideration given his prime matchup against the Buccaneers but
given the Ravens run-heavy approach, they didnít project
to take advantage of the Bucs weakness in defensing passing quarterbacks.
That made Brady the safest bet given the quality of the offense
and the game environment. Many others felt the same way as Brady
was the most popular quarterback in cash games and 33.2 percent
owned in this $5 double up. Dak Prescott was noticeably owned
(10.9%) but I didnít really like this spot for Dallas on
the road facing a Colts defense that does a decent job taking
away deep sideline passes and big plays in the passing game.
Ezekiel Elliott ($8800) was an early-week lock for me. His involvement
in the pass game and goaline role was matched only by Saquon Barkley
($9400) on this slate and I preferred the DALĖIND game environment
over the TENĖNYG slop fest. Zeke was also $600 cheaper making
him the easy call for my high-priced running back.
I had a choice to make at the second running back slot. I liked
the setup for Joe Mixon ($7800) who was sure to see a good amount
of volume for the Bengals against a leaky Raiders run defense
but I also liked the idea of Leonard Fournette ($8200) in a bounce
back spot at home against a Redskins team devastated by injury
with reported frustration and tension on the defensive side of
the ball. David Johnson ($7400) was under consideration as well
given his matchup against the Falcons defense thatís given
up the second most receiving yards to running backs. However,
the Cardinals offense has looked down right awful at times, and
I slightly preferred the Jeff Driskel-led Bengals at home than
the Josh Rosen-led Cardinals on the road.
At the cheap end, Jaylen
Samuels ($5500) was intriguing as a salary saver. I projected
him to see 10-15 carries and 4-6 targets in a game I figured would
skew more towards the pass. In the end I chose to go with Mixon
whoís volume and goaline role seemed more secure and I wasnít
really in love with the high priced wide receivers, so the salary
savings wasnít a big need. I couldíve used the Sameuls savings
to upgrade at tight end but I didnít want to prioritize the TE
position while weakening myself at running back. Thatís a general
process rule for me that I couldíve gone away from this week.
More on that belowÖ
Brown ($8600) and JuJu
Smith-Schusterr ($7800) were obviously good plays but I really
had no idea who the better option was given we didnít have a good
idea how the Patriots would scheme their defense. Bracket coverage
on either of the Steelersí primary wide receivers was in play,
so letting price be the deciding factor was easy and I still got
a solid piece of this game.
I really liked this spot for Julian Edelman ($7200) as Pittsburgh
has struggled covering the slot receiver at times, including allowing
Keenan Allen to post a 14-148-1 line that saw a linebacker in
coverage on multiple occasions on the Chargers best receiver.
I favored Edelman over Amari Cooper ($6600) who was the most popular
wide receiver play on the slate (75.9% owned). Cooper just posted
a 10-217-3 line the week before to go along with a monster game
in Week 12 and was obviously underpriced but his projection wasnít
all that different from Edlemanís and I much preferred the
NE-PIT game environment. I also felt like Cooper was going to
have a tougher time hitting the higher end of his range of outcomes
given the way the Colts play defense. This decision could easily
have sunk my lineup but Cooperís 6.3 FPts was a key factor
to my success on the slate.
With Odell Beckham Jr. ruled out, Sterling Shepard ($5200) became
my low cost wide receiver option that allowed me to squeeze in
the three running backs I wanted to play. I wasnít expecting
much and thatís exactly what I got.
My tendency is to pay down at tight end or on occasion, pay all
the way up if roster construction calls for it. Given I didnít
like the majority of high-priced wide receivers this week, it
might have been a mistake to punt with Vernon Davis ($5300) who
was playing with Josh Johnson at quarterback in an ugly game environment
with a 36.0 total. I messed around with a couple lineups that
included Jared Cook ($6300) and Jaylen Samuels over Vern and Dalvin Cook but didnít feel comfortable coming off Dalvin or Mixon.
Eric Ebron ($6500) was the most popular play at the position (47.7%
owned) with Rob Gronkowski ($6900) a distant second at 12.8 percent
As usual, Iím trying to jam in three running backs into
my cash lineup and Fanduel did us a favor this week by underpricing
Dalvin Cook ($6200) at home against a Miami defense thatís
given up the 5th most fantasy points to running backs, making
Cook an easy choice for the Flex spot. I did have volume concerns
for the Vikings main ball carrier even though it seems heís
been the back of choice ever since the OC change a couple weeks
ago. Those fears were realized as Latavius Murray ($5200) was
involved in the offense early on, but thankfully the Vikings took
a run-heavy approach piling up 34 carries which included 19 for
Cook Ė more than enough to gouge the Dolphins defense for
a 136 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Bears ($3700) fit nicely into my lineup construction and
seemed mispriced even against Aaron Rodgers who very rarely commits
mistakes. I needed to drop down to the Cowboys ($3400) in my Samuels
–Jarrod Cook build but once I made the decision to stick
with the Dalvin lineup, I wasn’t going to go stray below
the Bears. If I had the salary to pay up, the Bills ($4200) and
Vikings ($3900) were on the radar.
I feel somewhat fortunate to get away with Vernon Davis being
in my lineup on this low-scoring week, but I stuck true to my
process of prioritizing the running back position in lineup builds
over the more volatile wide receiver and tight end positions and
it paid dividends. I was on the right side of Amari Cooper which
wouldíve been a death sentence to this lineup. As it stands,
Iím now 10-5 on the year in double-ups and 50-50s and looking
forward to the home stretch.