Back to the Future: Week 11 Cash Game Lineup Review

Those who don’t know the past are doomed to repeat it. One of the best ways to improve is to analyze what you’ve done previously. Large field tournaments that pay out a million dollars are quite sexy but the smart play for most DFS players are cash games (H2H’s, 50-50’s, Double Up’s). Cash games are the best way to build up your bankroll. Below is a look back at my cash game lineup from Week 11 in order to be better in Week 12. An accurate analysis can provide a foundation for future winnings. 

This was a very interesting week as there were no 9K Running Backs and no 8K Wide Receivers. There were not a lot of clear cut studs in prime spots on the main slate. This lineup construction was tough because I was looking to go against my normal M.O. of paying down at TE and QB. This put me into unchartered waters with my cash lineup.

I scored nearly 159 points and won 91% of my head-to-heads. I also cashed in 78% of my GPPs (though i only played in nine $3 contests this week as I spent most of my allotted money to H2Hs).

LOCKED-IN

Tom Brady (QB) – My lineup construction was going hinge on what I decided to do at Quarterback. The decision was between Brady and Ryan Fitzpatrick. I finally decided on Brady because I projected him as a Top-5 raw scorer on the week and didn’t want to miss out on that. Just as importantly, I didn’t see anyone that I absolutely had to have if I paid down for Fitz. Playing against the porous Raiders defense and being Tom Brady, this looked like a big eruption spot. Plus, the Patriots stayed in Colorado all week to get acclimated to the elevation. This told me that they were locked in.

Bruce Ellington (WR) – All year, second tier WRs have torched the Arizona Cardinals. At the stone cold minimum of $3,000 it is hard for Ellington to fail, but then again his quarterback is Tom Savage. Ellington has had 18 targets in the last two games so this is not exactly a punt play.

Jamison Crowder (WR) – In a projected high-scoring game at a $4,300 price tag and having been targeted 24 times in the last two games, he was a no-brainer for me.  He has a fairly safe floor, with the potential for upside if he can get into the end zone.

Travis Kelce (TE) – As Al Zeidenfeld says, “Are the New York Giants playing this week? If so, does the opponent that they are playing employ a Tight End? If so, then play said person. Period. End of Story.” That was highly profitable last week with Garrett Celek, a bad DFS Tight End. This week, the flow chart Giants face arguably the best Tight End in the NFL. Travis Kelce should have a field day in this game. Without having RBs or WRs that I feel the need to pay up for, I decided to do something different – pay up for a TE.

Rex Burkhead (Flex) – I typically stay away from Patriots running backs like they are the plague, but his recent usage and price were too good. He is involved in the pass game and the Raiders are not good defensively.  He doesn’t need to do much to return value – provided he gets some targets. But, Belichick laughs at fantasy football players.

DECISIONS

Alvin Kamara (RB) – I wanted Mark Ingram but I didn’t have enough money to get to him. Still, I didn’t feel too bad about ending up with the explosive rookie that has scored 4 touchdowns in the last 3 games. I ended up going overweight on Ingram in GPPs. This might be a little bit of the regret factor as I didn’t play Ingram as much as I wanted and then he had 3 touchdowns.

Kareem Hunt (RB) – His usage and production has been declining lately. However, the wind was supposed to be a major factor in this game and would lead to more a ground-game. Additionally, the Chiefs were a heavy favorite so I figured Hunt would get a lot of usage. Finally, most of the experts that I trust the most were saying that he was a cash game lock. If nothing else, he would be a blocker for me.

Michael Crabtree (WR) – I wanted Marqise Lee again but with the possibility of inclement weather and the already built-in concern for Quarterback Blake Bortles, I passed on Lee.  I have used Crabtree a lot in the last two years in my cash game lineups so he is like a security blanket so to speak. Though, I am never comfortable roster players against the Patriots.

Los Angeles Chargers (DST) – I wanted the Jaguars but couldn’t get to them (though I am very overweight on them in GPPs). The Chargers are a nice consolation prize playing at home against a brand new starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. The Chargers get a lot of pressure on quarterbacks and should have a field day against Bills.

REVIEW

This was a good week for me mainly because of my choice of defense. Fortunately, the Saints running backs both went off which was good for cash and GPPs. I even played both in the same lineup in a number of my GPPs. It would be curious to see if things would have been different if Kansas City hadn’t laid an egg against New York. As I said earlier, I didn’t really love the Hunt play but he was the highest owned in the Millionnaire Maker. He was a popular play and I didn’t lose any ground in cash because everyone else had him. I completely faded him in GPPs, which helped me turn a nice profit.  Crabtree didn’t do as well as I thought he would. Certainly, in retrospect, it would have been great to play Keenan Allen instead. I have played him a lot during my DFS career in cash games. He has been struggling this year. Even though he was as cheap as he’s been, I really didn’t consider him. Looks like I will have to pay a premium for him again in the coming weeks. Brady would have been an even better play if Oakland had put up any kind of fight. Finally, what the what is Buffalo thinking?!? Buffalo has hung Tyrod Taylor out to dry all year and then make a bad decision at the wrong time to go with a rookie quarterback. Bills got just what they deserved for that move. Full disclosure: Taylor was my quarterback all last year for my championship season-long team.

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