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Joe 2 Pro: Week 1 Cash Game Strategy

First – throughout the season I post my bankroll at the beginning of every article so you can view my weekly progress. This year, my starting bankroll will be $1,000 on DraftKings and $1,000 on FanDuel. 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.

Quarterbacks

  • Drew Brees
  • Kirk Cousins

With the highest implied point total of the week, Brees should be locked in to your cash game lineups. Many people are down on Brees after last season, but he had at least 245 passing yards in 12 of his 16 starts and is due for some positive touchdown regression. We should see this against a generous Buccaneers defense that was horrendous on the road in 2017. When traveling, Tampa Bay allowed 8.8 yards per pass attempt (32nd in the league) and 3.4 touchdowns per game (32nd in the league).

With a ton of cheap RBs available, I don’t think we need to pay down at QB, but I could see the logic on Fanduel. Kirk Cousins is $900 cheaper on FD (despite a higher available salary) and has the fourth highest implied total (26 points) on the slate. The 49ers ranked 28th in pass defense DVOA last season. While they should be somewhat improved, I don’t believe they enough to slow down the Vikings arsenal.

Running Backs

  • Alvin Kamara
  • Melvin Gordon
  • Christian McCaffrey
  • Alex Collins
  • Jordan Wilkins (If Marlon Mack is out)

Last year Melvin Gordon had 78 rushing yards and a touchdown in both matchups against the Chiefs. He tacked on six receptions in their second matchup and should be a featured part of the passing game without Hunter Henry. The Chiefs ranked 32nd in rush defense DVOA and allowed the most rushing touchdowns per game on the road.

When you consider that he is priced below the suspended Mark Ingram, Alex Collins looks like a pretty nice value. The Ravens are favored by a touchdown at home and play a Buffalo Bills team that got pummeled on the ground last season. There is some minor concern that Kenneth Dixon and/or Javorius Allen eat into the workload a bit, but Collins has multi-TD upside against the defense that allowed the most rushing touchdowns last season.

Wide Receiver

  • A.J. Green
  • Keenan Allen
  • Chris Hogan
  • Jarvis Landry
  • Jamison Crowder

Some may find it surprising that I’m not all in on Antonio Brown this week. The truth is I’m expecting his ownership to be very high and I’m concerned about Ben Roethlisberger on the road. Perhaps I’m overthinking it, but I prefer to pivot to A.J. Green in a game with sneaky shootout potential. The Colts were the worst defense in the league against the pass last season and they don’t have anybody in the secondary that can match up with Green. It’s worth mentioning he’s played against Indy three times in his career and scored a touchdown in every game.

Tight End

  • Delanie Walker
  • Jack Doyle

It doesn’t make sense to pay up for the volatile TE position in cash games. Instead we are looking for cheaper options in positions to receive heavy volume or score touchdowns. This week the player that fits perfectly is Delanie Walker. He gets a juicy matchup against the Dolphins, who allowed a league high 94 receptions to tight ends in 2017.

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