I have been doing this series for three years in a row and each year I continue to learn and progress as a DFS player. If you’re new to this series, I’ll give you a brief rundown of what I aim to do with this article. First – throughout the season I post my bankroll at the beginning of every article so you can my weekly progress.
This year, my starting bankroll will be $16,000. I don’t do this as a way to brag, plenty of other people are playing with much more than I am. I do this as a way to show how your bankroll can go through some valleys and peaks throughout the season. Experienced players aren’t winning 100 percent of the time. We face losing weeks like everyone else. The important thing is to be profitable at the end of Week 17. You need to look at this as a marathon and not a sprint. Second – this article is simple. I primarily run down my entire cash game thought process for the week. I won’t list plays for the sake of listing them. If I know early in the week who I am starting at QB, he’s the only guy I’ll mention.
2015 Season Results
Now, let’s get to my Week 1 cash game strategy.
Call me old-fashioned, but there’s only one person I am looking to shower with love for the opening weekend. That man is Dak Prescott. Times are a-changin’ and paying up for QB in cash is no longer the norm. Much like streaming QBs in season-long can be a strong move, a similar strategy can be used in DFS with cheap QBs – if you find the right situation. Prescott had a strong preseason, completing 78 percent of his passes for 454 yards and five touchdowns, along with two rushing TDs. For $5,000 on DraftKings and FanDuel, we don’t need him to be outstanding to pay off his price tag. Just 12-to-15 points is the threshold we’re looking for at minimum salary. I think that’s more than attainable, and I won’t be surprised if Dak hits the 17-to-21 point range.
With one position filled by min-sal Prescott, it will make paying up for David Johnson ($7,500 DK – $8,800 FD) much easier. I haven’t been able to fit him in on FanDuel because I am paying up for Antonio Brown, among others. However, the Monday night games aren’t a part of DraftKings main slate (which is odd), so you don’t need to worry about fitting in AB. According to Fantasy Labs Trends Tool, when a RB averages 15 to 24 attempts and is a home favorite of at least a field goal, they average 15.39 DraftKings points. The Cardinals are six point favorites at home and projected for almost four touchdowns against the Patriots. I’m not too concerned about Chris Johnson or Andre Ellington, mainly because I believe DJ will also be getting the goal-line touches.
If you’re playing in the Thursday slate on DraftKings, you’ll be able to roster DeAngelo Williams. He’s not included in their main slate, however, he is in FanDuel’s main slate, and I currently have him plugged into my placeholder lineup. Williams crushed in the absence of Le’Veon Bell last season, and he’s going to have the whole backfield to himself once again. The volume is the main thing I am targeting here, but looking at the RotoViz Game Splits App, D-Will averaged 17.8 rushing attempts and 21.31 PPR points per game without Bell. It also doesn’t hurt that the Steelers are three point favorites in a game with a projected 50 over/under. Also, who doesn’t love some Monday Night Hammer action with your players? Let’s goooooo!
I’d expect Latavius Murray to be highly owned in cash games and for good reason. The combination of price ($5600 DK – $6600 FD), opportunity, and matchup makes him an appealing play across the board. There are some skeptics who question the possibility of the game script getting out of hand, along with DeAndre Washington eating into his workload. The Raiders and Saints game is currently sitting at a 51-point over/under, with the Saints as a small one point favorite. Vegas believes the game will remain close, and I agree. I don’t believe the Raiders offense will have much trouble moving the ball against the Saints defense. In 2015 Murray led the Raiders with 70 percent of the market share of carries inside the red zone, along with converting four of his eight carries inside the 5-yard line for a touchdown. Touchdowns are crucial for our DFS teams, and the matchup against the Saints could provide him with plenty of scoring opportunities.
OK, Rashad Jennings is NOT a sexy play by any means, by I am strongly considering him as an RB2 or flex play on DraftKings for $5,400. The Giants released Andre Williams, which makes Jennings their primary goal-line back. My biggest concern with this game is the pace of play from Dallas. They ran the slowest offense in the league last season, running a play every 29.95 seconds. Targeting Dallas can be a frustrating time when they’re running the clock near zero almost every time they hike the ball. Ryan Mathews can also be considered in the same price range as a four point home favorite against the Browns.
Last, but not least, we have another player who is going to open up plenty of cap space for our team. With the pessimism around Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware is projected to receive the majority of work for the Chiefs. For $4,400 on DraftKings and $5,400 on FanDuel, he’s one of the best values on the board. The Chiefs are favored by a touchdown at home and without anyone competing with for red zone work, Ware makes a strong play in all formats.
Given the salary savings with Prescott and Ware, I will have a healthy mix of the top-tier WRs on both sites. Those WRs are Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham JR, and DeAndre Hopkins. On FanDuel, it’s entirely possible to fit three of those four WRs on one team, if one of them is Hopkins. That is the route I am taking for FanDuel cash games.
After the elite, we’ll have to dig around in the mid-tier, and one of the guys I am looking at is T.Y. Hilton for $7,500 on DraftKings (also an excellent price on FD.) We can’t look at Hilton’s numbers last season because Andrew Luck was out after Week 9. Hilton is projected to run half his routes against Nevin Lawson, who graded as PFF’s 102nd overall corner among 118 qualifiers. The Colts and Lions game is another one with a projected over/under of at least 50 points.
On DraftKings, I also think you can take a hard look at Randall Cobb for $7,600. Having Jordy Nelson back should help his numbers. When Nelson suits up, Cobb averages 18.46 fantasy points, compared to 12.68 when Nelson isn’t on the field. His targets stay right around eight per game, but he averages more receptions (5.69 to 4.94), and more yards (80.44 to 51.81), per the RotoViz Game Splits App. Cobb should also be running his routes mostly against rookie corner, Jalen Ramsey.
Another popular play is going to be Marvin Jones for $4,600 on DraftKings and $5,500 on FanDuel. The Lions were one of the most pass-happy teams in the league last year, and that trend should continue. In 2015 the Lions scored 83 percent of their touchdowns inside the red zone via the pass, via 4for4. If this game shoots out like Vegas projects it too, Jones should have no issue paying off his price tag.
On FanDuel, I’ll be leaning towards either Jordan Reed for $7,400 or Coby Fleener for $5,400. If you plan on playing three top-tier WRs on FanDuel, I don’t think you can make room for Reed. Given the volatility of the TE position, I typically pay down at TE. Despite talk of Fleener’s struggles trying to grasp the Saints offense, I still plan on plugging him in against Oakland. The Raiders gave up the fourth-most FPPG to TEs when adjusted for strength of schedule, per 4for4. The $5,400 tag is going to negate some of the risks when it comes to Fleener.
On DraftKings I honestly believe you just plug in Dwayne Allen for $3,200 and don’t think twice. If Allen goes 3-60, you’re more than happy. It’s a supreme matchup against a Lions team that ranked 29th in pass DVOA against TEs and 29th in schedule-adjusted average fantasy points allowed.