This was a very interesting week. We only had one running back over $8,000 and some of the heavier chalk we’ve seen maybe all year. The pay line was very low this week with a huge amount of busted chalk and it likely only took one or two big plays to make the difference. This week might also lead us to another line of thinking with builds moving forward, so let’s look at NFL Cash Lineup Review Week 10!
It become somewhat evident early in the week that it was going to be best to spend up at this position. Normally, I do the exact opposite but we usually don’t have a starting running back at minimum price. With options like Kyler Murray and Josh Allen in the highest O/U game of the slate, the path was there to choose one. The expectation was most folks playing 50/50 this week would lock in Kyler, and we were right. That was why I made the rare exception of including him in my Core Four.
I also considered Jared Goff in this range, as he was $1,500 cheaper. The first two finished about a point apart in DK scoring and Allen would have had the lead if not for last second heroics for Kyler. Goff managed to throw for 300+ yards but ran into a floor game with touchdowns, throwing zero. This week was a good reminder of the floor for Kyler. He flirted with 4x and only threw for one touchdown because the rushing production is so ridiculous for him.
Others Considered – Carson Wentz, Ben Roethlisberger
This was honestly one of the easier weeks to fill the two running back spots. Christian McCaffrey was ruled out after the slate released, leaving Mike Davis at minimum price. The matchup was terrible. However, I did think there was a fairly easy route for 12-16 DK in receiving. We also knew that he was going to be uber chalk and in cash, it’s always best to eat the free square. Was Davis good? Nope, but it didn’t really matter in cash lineups because everyone had him. Once a player goes above about 75%, that shouldn’t be a barrier to finding green regardless of what happens.
The first player into my cash was Aaron Jones. Now this was a disappointing effort. Just like Davis, the score he put up truly didn’t matter at this ownership. I just can’t believe he barely generated over 90 yards and didn’t find the end zone in this matchup. He was far, far too cheap and the field easily recognized that. Hence, over 80% of the field rostered him and they should’ve.
After those two slots, it got interesting. Duke Johnson started in my Core but I came off him as we got later in the week. The weather started to become a concern and the O/U dropped by more than five points. When it drops that much we need to make note. Duke had plenty of touch upside but I started to really get skittish on that game environment. The field went that way in part due to salary and in part due to being trained to play three running backs.
Another set of backs that I had in mind was Nick Chubb, Miles Sanders and Antonio Gibson. I just didn’t trust Gibson for cash and figured if he laid an egg, ownership wouldn’t save him. Sanders was appealing and underpriced, and would have smashed had he found the end zone. He also wasn’t super popular so it didn’t make a difference either way.
Chubb was the one I wanted the most and he did run for over 120 yards and scored. It should have been two, but he was unselfish and made the right play for real life. Chubb ducked out on a breakaway run so the Browns could run out the clock. What it came down to was knowing that Kareem Hunt could cap Chubb’s upside. They did split carries almost evenly, so that threat was real even though Chubb still paid off.
Others Considered – Alvin Kamara
I felt like wide receiver was jam packed this week and was one of the reasons I opted to play four for maybe the first time in cash. Stefon Diggs was in the Core Four and he played well, going over 100 yards and scoring. That’s about as much as we can ask from any receiver. He also helped us go 4/4 in our prop bets, so this is a Diggs Stan Zone.
The biggest decision came next because I was stuck between Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds. I LOVED both of them and was struggling mightily to decide. I wasn’t super convinced Reynolds was cash viable unit seeing Stix write him up and talking with him. Once he convinced me to spend down at receiver, Reynolds was the play. I was using one of the Rams receivers against that Seattle secondary, period. I won’t stack two receivers from the same team in cash so Kupp was out. That left me with a decent amount of salary for the remaining spots.
One aspect I felt I needed with playing Reynolds was stability. I had floor plays in Kyler, Jones, Davis and Diggs. Reynolds was an atypical play so Diontae Johnson made up the difference. Once again, Johnson saw double-digit targets. That’s been a consistent facet of his game every single time he was healthy. He went nuts and 6% and honestly, that was a massive difference. I felt from the time I wrote Game by Game that he was at least $1,500 too cheap. The Steelers have three good receivers but Johnson has been a rock when he’s healthy.
That meant I had a flex spot left and this was a big deviation for me. Michael Thomas was a play I just couldn’t get by. He was under $7,500 and that felt criminal. I know he’s had a terrible season by his standards but this felt like an incredible buy-low play. I couldn’t quite get to Kamara in a way I felt comfortable, so he was out. The play many would have thought of was Keenan Allen, who I was lower on than most this week. He’s playing more outside this season and had a tougher matchup when not in the slot. Allen did score more than Thomas, but that move didn’t particularly hurt. I’ll be intrigued to see how the snaps for Allen breakdown later in the week.
Others Considered – Robert Woods, Christian Kirk, Davante Adams, Brandon Aiyuk, DeAndre Hopkins, Jalen Reagor, Jakeem Grant
This position was a mess, as usual. I knew I wouldn’t spend up with no Travis Kelce or George Kittle. It was easy to look at spending down and I started the week with Austin Hooper as nearly a lock in cash under $4,000. With the weather knocking me off that game, I decided to take a shot with Dallas Goedert. He was pushing 40% so that’s what a lot of folks thought. I figured that coming out of the bye week, Goedert would be able to at least hit double-digit DK points. He missed that, but there was not a good play to be had at the position this week. It was mostly who fit into every other portion of the lineup.
There was quite a few options here. My main focus was the Saints defense since they were pretty cheap and had some major upside. San Francisco is quite banged up on the offensive side and quarterback Nick Mullens has a propensity for turnovers. On the more expensive side, I did like the Eagles for many of the same reasons. Fortunately they were a luxury and I didn’t pay for that flop. The cheapest side I liked was the Rams but I didn’t trust them in cash against the Seattle offense. I had a healthy share in GPP and that helped a good bit.
Even though this isn’t the best proof of the argument, I do believe that on DraftKings playing four receivers makes sense maybe more than ever before. Diontae might actually be the best example. He and Duke were $200 apart. If Diontae only catches five passes for 50 yards, that’s 10 DK points and is likely about as bad as it would get for him. If Duke doesn’t score, he probably needs at least 3-4 receptions and some combo of 60-70 scrimmage yards. I’m starting to believe that four receivers is more than viable in cash and jamming in three backs isn’t always the best plan. This is of course slate-dependent, but it’s something to keep in mind.
79.1 DK points for $26,600 which was right about 3x return and a little over half the score.
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