This week was a tough one to build cash in my eyes. I didn’t love a ton of value throughout the slate, especially at the wide receiver position. Considering I started the week wanting to play Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey, it looked like we needed to make some tough choices. Let’s walk you through how I went about building this week and see what went right and wrong in NFL Cash Lineup Review Week 9!
This was one position that I decided somewhat early that I would need to spend less than I really wanted to. All told, Josh Allen was probably my favorite play. His price had been depressed by some roller coaster games lately. I always want to attack Seattle’s pass “defense”. It’s historically bad and the salary didn’t match the upside. I needed just about every dollar I could think of and I went all the way down to Drew Lock. I know some in the Discord were skittish after the Jimmy G disaster last week. Still, Lock had good upside at his price and only needed about 18 to hit 3.5x. We ran into an absolute ceiling game from him, but this is a perfect example of why cheap quarterbacks can be worth it.
Others Considered – Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr, Justin Herbert
The first player in my Core Four this week was Dalvin, and it’s not hard to see why at this point. The man is on a different level and the matchup was phenomenal. I think it speaks to the lack of value folks felt safe with this week that he was under 60% in my cash games. I expected him to be stone chalk and feared fading him all week.
As I mentioned, I would have loved to pair him with a drastically under-priced CMC. That just didn’t seem possible in cash in any safe format. I would have had to make serious sacrifices to the rest of the lineup and that’s the GPP route, not the cash.
I really only considered four other backs – Chase Edmonds, James Conner, Justin Jackson and DeeJay Dallas. Since these backs were in similar pricing tiers, I planned on picking one of Conner and Edmonds. After that, I then figured I would pair that choice with either Dallas or Jackson. Edmonds was the choice because A. I felt he would be over 40% rostered (he was) and B. I felt he had a potentially even better matchup. We talked about it multiple times this week in Discord. Every Steelers player had a path to failure. I thought Conner was at the bottom of that list, but the game script was ugly for Pittsburgh. Edmonds was frustrating, but well over 20 touches for under $7,000 isn’t something we did wrong. The result just stunk. Either choice in this tier turned out to be poor.
The cheaper tier turned out to be terrible but thank goodness Jackson was around the second-chalkiest player in cash. There’s just nothing we could do with this one. He was hurt either in warmups or the first play of the game. That’s terrible luck. I got worried about Dallas as the week went on. The presence of Travis Homer and Alex Collins led me to think it could be a three-headed monster. They mostly were and I believe the right choice was made. If Kalen Ballage had a good game in Jackson’s stead, I’m thinking Jackson would have been great here. The other two backs past Cook bit us, but the process was sound for NFL Cash Game Review Week 9.
I feel a little lucky here. I got this position wrong as far as chalk, but I didn’t come back to bite me. When trying to fit the Cook and CMC combo, I had no receiver over $5,100. That was uncomfortable, as I knew the group of Julio Jones, Keenan Allen, Stefon Diggs and Tyler Lockett would draw attention. As it turned out, Julio was over 60% and I’m still surprised he was higher than Cook. I knew he would be popular with the Broncos missing corners and Calvin Ridley being out, but goodness. Sticking with Diggs as a target that I honed in on early was important to me. At least if I couldn’t play Allen, I got the biggest piece of the passing game.
Mavin Jones was a player I though would be much higher that he was. I’m not sure he was over 22% and I know that he’s had a tough season so far. The matchup against the rough Minnesota secondary led me to think he’d be chalk without Kenny Golladay. Fortunately he scored since he only caught two other passes on the day.
The star of the day was Jerry Jeudy. He was not popular at all because Noah Fant drew plenty of folks to him in a smash matchup. Fant missed some time due to injury but he busted in the spot. Jeudy did not and had his best game as a pro, going 7/125/1 and lighting the Atlanta secondary up. Jeudy was about as low as I wanted to go salary-wise this week.
Others Considered – Tyreek Hill, D.K. Metcalf, Diontae Johnson
It seems like the same song and dance every week. I wanted to play Travis Kelce, but you have to save some salary somewhere. Once we dropped down to under $5,000, Fant was my favorite target in a vacuum. Atlanta has been crushed by tight ends all year and Fant was getting healthy. It turned out that my favorite structure was playing Jeudy and I didn’t want Lock, Jeudy and Fant all together. I settled on Evan Engram. He was at his lowest price of the season, and had seen 19 targets the past two weeks. Additionally, Golden Tate was out. Engram was a player I felt didn’t have to have a score to have a 12 DK game. Something as simple as a 6/60 line would have worked fine. He finished with a 5/48/1 on another 10 targets.
Others Considered – Hunter Henry, Logan Thomas, Hayden Hurst
I only had two options in mind this week for cash – The Giants or Washington. There was simply not a chance on this planet that I was paying the highest salary for a defense in site history for the Steelers. I will never, ever pay $4,900 for a defense. Past that, I wanted relatively cheap chances for sacks and turnovers and both my targets fit the bill. Washington faced Daniel Jones and is a top-five DVOA defense. On the flip side, the Giants defense is better than folks realize and faced Kyle Allen. Now maybe the Giants got a bit lucky since Allen was hurt and Alex Smith threw three picks. Still, it’s a strong lesson to not get excited about expensive defenses.
The biggest takeaway for me is to not be afraid of cheaper quarterbacks. Sure, you won’t get 30+ DK from a player that is just $5,200 very often. Playing Lock this week left any avenue I wanted basically open to me. I’m usually willing to go cheaper at that position to fit Cook, Diggs, etc… into a cash lineup especially when it gives my backs a clear path to 60+ touches combined.
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