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Joe 2 Pro: Daily Fantasy Sports- Cash Game vs Tournament Lineup Structure

Jordy Nelson

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. What I am trying to do with the Joe 2 Pro series is bring up topics regarding daily fantasy sports that I wish I knew about when I had first started playing. There’s definitely a learning curve when you go from seasonal leagues to daily fantasy sports.

Cash Game Structure

When constructing my cash game teams, I am looking for the players with the highest floor, not the highest ceiling. You don’t need 30 points from every guy, although wouldn’t that be nice? On full PPR sites I am always favoring pass-catching running backs. You’re essentially getting two players for the price one. Le’Veon Bell, Giovanni Bernard, Matt Forte, and Andre Ellington are a few of the staples who regularly make it into my cash game lineups. I touched on market share back in Week 3 and how you can use it to pick out wide receivers and tight ends, but I also use it for running backs.

Running Backs Team Targets Targets/Game Market Share Rec Rec/G Drops RZ Targets RZ targets/game RZ Market Share
Matt Forte CHI 55 9.17 23.91% 46 7.67 0 8 1.33 20.00%
Fred Jackson BUF 39 6.5 18.48% 30 5 0 4 0.67 16.67%
Giovani Bernard CIN 27 5.4 17.09% 18 3.6 2 1 0.2 7.14%
Le’Veon Bell PIT 35 5.83 16.20% 28 4.67 2 4 0.67 10.00%
Andre Ellington ARI 28 5.6 16.09% 19 3.8 2 3 0.6 12.50%
Arian Foster HOU 24 4.8 15.09% 16 3.2 1 2 0.4 12.50%
Marshawn Lynch SEA 18 3.6 13.64% 14 2.8 0 4 0.8 25.00%
Reggie Bush DET 28 5.6 13.40% 20 4 2 4 0.8 14.81%
DeMarco Murray DAL 25 4.17 13.16% 21 3.5 1 2 0.33 7.69%
Justin Forsett BAL 27 4.5 12.56% 23 3.83 1 1 0.17 2.94%

Forte has almost 1/4 of the market share on his team and even has 20 percent market share in the red zone. Marshawn Lynch is a name I was surprised to see here, along with his 25 percent red zone market share because most people don’t see him as a pass catching RB. In the flex spot on DraftKings, I almost always play a pass-catching RB. It comes down to personal preference because I know a decent amount of people who prefer to play a WR in the flex compared to a RB.

Efficiency Matters

Each week I am always allocating the majority of my salary to the RB and QB position because they’re typically the least volatile. Some people are tempted to play the cheaper QBs, like some of the rookies because it offers a little salary relief, but I believe this is a mistake. The floor for an elite QB is often the ceiling for those less consistent QBs. RotoViz apps like the Fantasy Efficiency App and the GLSP App are tools I use on a regular basis to choose my QBs along with other positions.


These QBs (except Derek Anderson) typically find their way on to my cash game roster because of how efficient they are on a regular basis.

Volume Matters


When selecting WRs and TEs I look at market share, red zone opportunities and match ups. Volume especially matters for selecting tight ends. Sometimes selecting TEs can be difficult because of how volatile they are. Jimmy Graham usually costs an absurd amount that can leave your lineup crippled by his salary, which could lower the floor of the other players you are choosing. If I don’t pay up for the top tier TEs in cash games, I usually dig for bottom salary TEs or certain mid-range values. Guys like Travis Kelce fit that description for a few weeks, but his salary is on the rise. Delanie Walker and Greg Olsen are usually consistent options to choose because they have similar or higher market share compared to the WRs on their team.

For WRs you’ll want to pay attention to their market share, along with their efficiency. Vincent Jackson and Cecil Shorts see a lot of the market share, but aren’t very efficient with those targets.

Tournament (GPP) Structure

My GPP teams differ from cash game teams in a few aspects. I’ll create stacks with my players and I’ll take more chances on cheaper QB options since you have the advantage of putting multiple lineups into a tournament. In the DraftKings Millionaire Maker I created a Joe Flacco/Torrey Smith stack because of the great match up against Tampa Bay. I wouldn’t play Flacco or Smith in cash game, ever. The top 26 teams in the Millionaire Maker this week had QBs that were $6,700 or cheaper on their team. They also had low ownership levels. The top 26 teams all had either Flacco, Tom Brady, or Cam Newton on their team. This is where going contrarian has its advantages. Jonathan Bales touched on the benefits of a contrarian approach in my interview with him last week.

Running Back Selection

In GPPs, I’ll usually risk using at least one slot (sometimes two) on a RB who has fallen into a position where he’ll see more volume due to injury or other aspects where an increase in workload will appear. Joique Bell, Bishop Sankey and Ronnie Hillman are great examples of this from Week 6.

Wide Receiver Selection

In GPPs I’ll allocate most of my salary to WRs because I believe they’re your best shot at having games that can be difference makers for your fantasy team. In Week 4, I touched on game script. I like to try and imagine how I believe a game will play out. A good way to do this is to look at the Vegas betting lines. I tend to favor games with high projected O/U totals. While the Vegas lines aren’t concrete, they’re a great tool to supplement with your other research.


I stole this picture from Jonathan Bales’ Twitter feed because this graph plays into how I choose my WRs for GPP games. I’ll favor bigger WRs when constructing my rosters because you want the TD potential on your rosters. I don’t follow it 100 percent of the time, but it’s something of which I’m always aware. I’m also likely to take a few more chances on certain WRs in GPP games that I wouldn’t take in cash games. Andre Holmes is an example of a guy I loved for GPP play last week because he was min-salary on DraftKings and I figured he’d have a low ownership level.


I didn’t do as well in the Millionaire Maker this week as the prior week, but here is my best lineup. You’ll notice in the flex, I have Holmes. The majority of the time for GPPs, I will use a WR in the flex because I believe that’s where the most upside lies. I’ll also make a lineup where I play a TE in the flex. When I play a TE in the flex, it’s usually an elite TE like Gronk or Julius Thomas. Playing two TEs can give you an advantage because of how unique it can make your lineup. Jonathan Bales goes more in depth on playing a TE in the flex in his “Fantasy Football For Smart People” series. I double handcuffed Rodgers with Cobb and Jordy because I believed they’d have the best chance to score the TDs coming from Rodgers. I normally don’t like Mike Wallace as a GPP play, but he has 29.63 percent of the red zone market share on his team, a number I couldn’t ignore.

Don’t forget about the FanDuel and DraftKings Lineup Dominator Apps. They are very useful tools when trying to create projections for your lineups.


DraftKings is also rolling back their Millionaire Maker for the third straight week. I interviewed DraftKings pro Jonathan Bales last week about how to attack this tournament. Prior to that I also interviewed 2011 FFFC champion, Chris Prince about how he approaches large field GPPs like the Millionaire Maker.

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