Since the crew seemed to appreciate the lineup review from the podcast last week, I’ve decided to write up my cash game lineup every week moving forward. It should help me a little bit, but most importantly it should help the group with reasoning behind my plays. This concept isn’t groundbreaking but we’ll go by position as I outline who I played and why. Hopefully NFL Cash Lineup Review Week 7 not only helps heading into Week 8, but we continue to learn for the rest of the year.
There were a ton of options that I loved this week. Typically, I will spend as low as I can at QB in cash games because that production is easiest to replicate regardless of salary tier. On a normal week, Joe Burrow would have been my cash game QB. His price at $5,500 was insanely low for the spot and the volume he had. However, we had so much volume open up that it became easy to spend up. With Burrow out and Teddy Bridgewater not carrying any buzz in the industry, it seemed easy to get out of the lower tier.
In the middle tier, Justin Herbert caught my eye against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, along with Matthew Stafford in a projected shootout. Herbert went absolutely nuclear and looks like a total stud so far. Stafford had volume concerns coming in to this game, but I would have overlooked them with projected game script. Same as the low tier, it was easy to get off of those guys because the chalk was Kyler Murray.
We talked about how safe he is with his rushing production and we saw it last week. We also saw it Sunday night as he easily eclipsed 30 DK once again at over 50% in most cash games. When you know a player like that is A. chalky and B. easy to afford, you just plug him in and keep moving. I started the week with Burrow but ended with Murray, which was the play in cash.
I preach it all the time in Discord and in direct messaging but usually one of the first critiques I offer on lineups is to have three running backs in it. They are the backbone of cash games and the first part of my build every. Single. Week. Typically, you want to walk into you cash games with guaranteed touches and you mostly want backs with pass catching ability so your pick isn’t game-scripted out.
Alvin Kamara was in the majority of all my lineups this week and was a lock in cash games. He’s everything we look for in a cash back. He had the matchup in his favor and was practically a lock for at least five receptions (he finished with eight) since the Saints were down their top two receivers. A back that can score 22 DK without a touchdown is the type of back you want.
I also wanted to lock in Aaron Jones, but an injury made that impossible. That injury combined with Joe Mixon being out presented the first major choice. Gio Bernard was an easy play for me in cash. Mixon is one of the heaviest-usage backs in football and Gio excels at pass catching. So Bernard was going to control the run game with no real threat behind him for touches and if Cincy got blown out, he’d rack up receptions. I figured he easily had 3x ability and he ended with 4x.
The choice was playing Gio, Jamaal Williams of the Packers or potentially both. My mind was made up early to play Gio because I didn’t need the salary relief of both Gio and Williams together and I bought into the A.J. Dillon hype. That was totally unfounded as Williams was the man for the Packers. Fortunately, Gio and Williams finished within one point of each other and that choice did not cost me.
My third running back became Kareem Hunt. He has no concerns about volume, catches passes and had a great matchup. It was an easy pivot to him from Jones, given Hunt was $400 cheaper. I was a bit surprised to see he wasn’t super popular in cash. I felt he was underpriced.
Other backs I considered were Chris Carson, James Conner, Justin Jackson and Ronald Jones. Carson was vastly underpriced and you had a piece of the late hammer, Conner was a volume king, Jackson was way too cheap and Jones had been hot. I felt Hunt was going to be most popular of that $6,000-$7,000 group and if I dropped to Jackson, I may as well team up Gio and Williams. I usually want to shoot for about 60-ish touches from the three backs I play. This week, the backs combined for over 60 DK points, which is really hard to complain about.
Well, we’ve come to the first big mistake. I strongly underestimated the popularity of Davante Adams, as he hovered between 30-50% in my contests. To be frank, it was a silly error and Stix had it exactly right in his article. With Jones out, Adams was THE weapon in the Green Bay offense. Like Murray, it was quite easy to afford him and the matchup didn’t worry me all week. We’ll get to where I made the error later in the article.
Instead, I went with Kenny Golladay as my highest investment. We have watched the Atlanta secondary get smacked all year long and Golladay had a streak of either 100 yard games or a touchdown coming into the week. He continued it and was perfectly fine for his price, but still fell way short of Adams’ production.
Diontae Johnson was in the Core Four and he was just way too cheap for his role in the offense. Once again, he was a target magnet with 15 (!!) and even I didn’t expect it to be quite that high. The two touchdowns certainly helped and Johnson was someone I locked into early in the week. His injuries the past three weeks crushed his price and I expected this game to be high-scoring.
With a good chunk of salary left, Terry McLaurin someone else I locked in my lineups around Thursday. There was no reason for him to be under $6,000 and the Dallas defense has shown literally nothing all season long. McLaurin is basically QB-proof and unless he’s in a very difficult matchup is in play every single week.
There were a lot of receivers in consideration this week. Anyone in the Seattle/Arizona game was in the mix…there were a ton. When it’s a 12 game slate, it’s hard to narrow down the WR pool. There were endless combos this week with salary savers at RB on the board. You just want to chase volume and matchups in these slots, and that’s what we did outside of Adams.
This position was absolutely brutal in my eyes. The high end had George Kittle and Travis Kelce, but there was zero need to pay up. Kittle had the Patriots and you knew he was the focal point of their defense and Kelce had weather concerns to some extent.
I dropped down the salary rung pretty quickly. Austin Hooper was locked in until he had his appendix out. That left a tougher call. We could turn to David Njoku or Hunter Bryant for Cleveland and I really felt that whichever one I played, the other would produce more. Well, needless to say, I played Njoku. He was fine for his salary but Bryant really went off.
Others I thought about was Rob Gronkowski and Hunter Henry. Ultimately, I decided that I didn’t fully trust Henry with Keenan Allen back healthy. Herbert seemingly found every player on the roster but Henry, so that bullet was dodged. Gronkowski scored again, but the Bucs offense is healthy and I didn’t trust him enough either. It became a game of spending as little as I could, past Bryant. Typically, that’s how I treat TE as well unless an expensive one is in a smash spot.
This is what ultimately cost me playing Adams. I liked the Buccaneers defense since the second they got put on the slate. I thought the Raiders would be without the entire starting offensive line. When they were allowed to play, I should have cooled off on them.
I overestimated how Andy Dalton could keep the Cowboys afloat, because the Washington defense was very chalky. When a defense is over 60% and they score 17 points, that sets you behind the eight ball. The $1,200 difference between the Bucs and Washington was the difference between Golladay and Adams. The field scored 60-ish DK with those two players, I scored 26. That simple 2v2 mach was what kept me off a 100% cash rate this week.
Some folks hear “the process was right but the result was wrong” and think it’s a cop-out. Heck, I used to as well. However, it really is true. This lineup put up almost 190 DK points. In most weeks, that’s going to crush cash games. Even last week, I scored 177 and never had a sweat in cash past halftime of the first set of games. If you’re crossing 170 DK in cash, you’re almost always going to be right. Adams and Washington going off was an elite result, and I commend those who played it. There’s a tinge of disappointment as there always will be when I miss cashing in some, but I’m already excited for Week 8.
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