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Joe 2 Pro: DFS Cash Game Strategy, Week 4 – Pick Your Poison

Brandin Cooks

If you missed my first article introducing the “Joe 2 Pro” series, you can read it here. It gives a brief overview on how to attack daily fantasy sports without feeling like you’re drowning, and what I plan to cover in this Joe 2 Pro series.

Every week in daily fantasy sports I seem to be asking myself the same question whenever I am trying to fill my lineup with wide receivers. Who has the best match-up? Do I start player A over player B? I like this guy’s match-up better, should I start him? Often we look at what defense this player is up against as a whole. Maybe we should be taking it one step further? Not only looking at the defense, but looking at the corner who is staring them in the face.

Every week Mike Clay at Pro Football Focus publishes an article matching up an offense’s WR with the opposing cornerback they’re going to be facing. This can be useful when trying to select WRs for our DFS team. Combining this tool with market share among WRs that I mentioned in my Week 3 Joe 2 Pro article can give us an even better idea of who we should starting for our DFS team.

Appetizing Week 4 Match-ups

Randall Cobb has run 99 percent of his routes from the slot this year. This would match him up with Isiah Fay. Fay has been targeted six times and has allowed four receptions for 46 yards. This doesn’t sound all that impressive for the offenses that have faced him, but the Bears haven’t faced an elite quarterback and WR combination yet this year. At least not one that can compare to Cobb and Aaron Rodgers. Cobb has around 20 percent of the market share on the Packers and 33 percent market share inside the red zone. The combination of Cobb and Rodgers could be too much for Fay to handle this week, as QBs have a 129.2 rating when throwing in Fay’s direction. If Cobb isn’t on your radar this week, maybe he should be.

The Saints are marching into Jerry World this weekend and this typically ends up being a fairy-tale ending for opposing offenses when they face the Cowboys’ secondary. Brandin Cooks is the most targeted Saints WR at 21 percent market share among all Saints pass catchers, 42 percent market share if you include only the WRs, and a market share of 66 percent in the red zone, with one less target than Jimmy Graham. Cooks isn’t only being targeted the most, but he’s out-snapping all other Saints WRs as well. Cooks has only run 28 percent of his routes from the slot so I’ll just highlight the outside corners for the Cowboys. It sounds like Morris Claiborne will play this weekend, and this is good news because he’s been targeted 15 times and allowed 10 receptions for 225 yards and three touchdowns while only forcing one interception, and allowing a QB-rating of 121.5. On the other side we have Brandon Carr, who has allowed seven receptions on 17 targets and one TD, while allowing QBs to have a rating of 88.4 when throwing his direction. Cooks is reasonably priced across the industry and I don’t say this often, but I think Cooks is a must-play this weekend.

The Patriots have been rather not Patriot-esque this year, but you know who hasn’t missed a beat? Julian Edelman . . . he’s had at least six receptions and 80 yards in every game this year. He’s been on the field for 90 percent of the Patriots snaps this year, and the next-highest WR is Brandon LaFell at 52 percent. Among the WRs he’s seeing a very high 45 percent market share. Other than Rob Gronkowski, Edelman is the only Patriots receiving threat to have more than one red zone target, he’s currently leading the team with six. PFF has him matched up with Marcus Cooper, who has been targeted 19 times, allowing 13 receptions for 207 yards and two TDs and QBs having a rating of 139.6 when throwing his direction. At this point, Edelman is one of the most reliable receiving options for your DFS cash games.

 Week 4 Cash Game Thought Process

There’s a plethora of teams on bye this week and there’s a few new rookie QBs who have stumbled into a starting job. Teddy Bridgewater is replacing an injured Matt Cassel and Blake Bortles is finally stepping in for an underachieving Chad Henne. While I love the prospects of these QBs and their inviting match-ups, I don’t love them enough to risk putting my cash game bankroll in their hands. Their low salary makes it tempting as it allows you to load up everywhere else. However, I don’t want to sweat all of Sunday afternoon as I put dollar-bills in the hands of a few kids who are barely younger than I am.1 Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick, and Drew Brees are all reasonably priced this week. The RotoViz GLSP App can help put things into perspective. While they’re only projections, I still find this app useful when constructing my DFS teams. As I mention in episode 16 of RotoViz Radio, the floors of these elite QBs that I pay up for are essentially the ceilings of these value QBs that we are trying to put our money on. I won’t be surprised if these rookies pull together solid games, but I’m saving them for the GPPs.

GLSP_Projections_-_QB_-_RotoVizTB_Fotor_Collage

When it comes to the WRs this week, I’m going to have a blend of the WRs that I mention above if my roster allows it after I select my QB and RBs. I might have to get a hold of Nicholas Sparks to pitch an idea for his next love story because I can’t get away from Justin Hunter. He’s all I can think about lately. I fall asleep counting all of the TDs I wish he would’ve caught already this season. He’s reasonably cheap across the industry, Kendall Wright has a mere one more target over him this season and Hunter has the most TD upside on the Titans. Jake Locker  is likely to miss this week, which is OK with me because if Zach Mettenberger were to get the start, he and Hunter had a little bit of chemistry in the preseason. Mettenberger was responsible for the 64-yard TD pass to Hunter that started to sky-rocket his ADP this year. Mettenberger might actually even be an upgrade to Locker. Davis Mattek has you covered on Mettenberger right here. However, if the Titans decide to start Charlie Whitehurst over Mettenberger I’m going to be a little more hesitant to plug Hunter into my lineup.

I’ve mentioned in my previous articles how much I love pass-catching RBs and I don’t plan on straying away from that. We just watched Le’Veon Bell carve up a Panthers front-seven that typically plays pretty tough. Bell has entered the realm of being match-up proof and I will have some exposure to him on DraftKings and FanDuel this week. Other RBs I plan on utilizing include Lamar Miller, Donald Brown, and the slumping Eddie Lacy.

Against the Cowboys, whether it’s on DraftKings, FanDuel, or both, I think there should be some exposure to Jimmy Graham this week. Outside of Cooks, he’s the most reliable receiving option on that team. Graham’s price isn’t as outrageous as it sometimes is as he’s only $7,500 on DraftKings and $8,200 on FanDuel. We just saw Jared Cook put up a respectable game against the Cowboys, and before that Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker combined for 186 yards and three touchdowns against them. Leave some room on your roster for Graham this week if you can.

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  1. I’m 23 for whatever that’s worth.  (back)

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