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I play around 60% of my action each week in “cash games.” Cash games refer to any contest in which roughly 50% of the field gets paid out, such as head-to-head, double up or 50/50. I try to get as much head-to-head action as I can every week and then supplement that with other cash games.

Each week, I’ll review my cash-game lineup in this space. Sometimes I’ll lose, but hopefully I’ll win more often. Either way, I’ll post it here and give you my thought process.



I again came into this week with an open mind on which site to play cash on. My first instinct was FanDuel as I knew I wouldn’t have to decide between a bunch of dusty WRs. But I also thought the soft-ish RB pricing of CMC/Kyren on DraftKings would set me up well. 

So I ended up playing both sites this week as a bit of a hedge. I thought Josh Allen was the best QB play on FanDuel with Matthew Stafford a close 2nd. But the exact opposite was true on DraftKings.

I thought CMC-Kyren-Zeke was the best three RBs on DraftKings, but CMC-Zeke-Gibson was the best trio on FanDuel. I could not fit Jaylen Waddle on DraftKings with Tyreek Hill (ankle) out, but he was a lock on FanDuel. 

I typically don’t like to play both sites as it’s time-consuming and I think my clarity is better when I focus on one. That said, sometimes it makes sense and I think this was one of those weeks.

I’ll focus on FanDuel for this article. At the bottom I’ll make a few quick notes on DraftKings and post my team.  

 

MY MUST PLAYS
* Christian McCaffrey was a whopping $10500, which may have scared some people off. But even at that pricetag, he was still our best salary-adjusted value on the entire slate. As much as I loved Kyren Williams, I was never playing him at $9600 over CMC. The touchdown expectation, floor, pass-game role, natural ability, and offensive scheme all favored McCaffrey. CMC was a lock on DraftKings as well at $9200.

 

* Given how expensive CMC was, I knew I’d have to find some value at wide receiver. The good news is that on FanDuel there were two very strong WR plays in the $6K range. 

With Christian Watson (hamstring) out and the Packers facing arguably the NFL’s biggest pass funnel in the Bucs, I was never fading Jayden Reed at $6100. He’s the Packers best wideout, gets a lot of layup targets, and also gets some carries. Reed was a lock on DraftKings as well at $4900 there.

 

* The Chiefs’ undisputed No. 1 WR at just $6500? Yes please. As noted here, Rashee Rice finally got himself into a full-time role last week. The Chiefs’ target tree is very flat and not sticky week-to-week, so I didn’t think Rice was a lock up at $6100 on DraftKings. But given the setup on FanDuel, it was impossible to fade him.

 

* Regular listeners know how I feel about Ezekiel Elliott’s game at this point in his career. But I can’t deny that any running back playing 95% of the snaps with an elite pass-game role at $6500 is a strong play. Regardless of opponent or skill level. 

On DraftKings however, we had to choose between one of Zeke or Antonio Gibson. I certainly preferred Gibson’s game, but even with Brian Robinson (hamstring) out I knew the usage would be a bit unpredictable. So I went Zeke there as well, jamming in three of the best RB roles in the league right now (CMC, Kyren, Zeke).

 

* On Fanduel, Antonio Gibson was just $5600. That is sub-cheap levels, borderline free. Even with him likely losing goal-line and base-back work to Chris Rodriguez, and his pass-catching style fitting better on full-PPR DraftKings… Gibson was still a must on FD. Simply too cheap for the projected role and game environment. 

 

* I thought Tyreek Hill (ankle) was going to gut it out and play. But when he was surprisingly scratched about 90 minutes to go, I knew I had to get Jaylen Waddle in. It has been obvious, even in the short stretches Tyreek has been forced to the sideline this year, that Waddle feasts when out there as the alpha. Even against the Jets’ elite pass defense, I considered Waddle a lock on FD at jus $7000. But at $7400 on DraftKings, i did not think he was playable in cash. 

 

MY WANT PLAYS
* I looked at both Josh Allen and Matthew Stafford at QB. On DraftKings, paying down at QB is more viable because they make up a smaller percentage of your score. On FanDuel, the expensive QBs that can run for TDs should be valued higher. So given that there was enough value to get to Allen on FD, that’s what I did. Note that the Bills came into this game thinking they’d need to win out to make the playoffs, and in those spots Allen can put his Superman cape on. More running, and more running around the goal-line. 

 

* Before the Tyreek Hill news, I was set to play Elijah Moore at WR3 with Falcons D/ST and Dalton Kincaid at TE. The Waddle news forced me to go down to punt TE in Tucker Kraft, up from Moore to Waddle and down from Falcons D to Bears D

I considered Waddle a must (see above), so even if I was a little uncomfortable with Kraft I didn’t really have a choice. I’m almost always willing to play it a bit thinner at tight end, where floor/ceiling combos are so much lower. Kraft, of course, was subbing for Luke Musgrave in an incredible matchup at just $4700. With Dawson Knox back, I didn’t feel overly compelled to jam Kincaid – if Trey McBride was only $5600 that would’ve been a different story. 

As for D/ST, Bears have been one of the NFL’s better units over the last month. Against statue-esque Joe Flacco in a bit of weather, I was fine with it. Not excited, but fine. Flacco has a long history of pick-6s, and we know the Browns are willing to drop him back a ton of times. 

 

Week 15 Main Slate Results
I ended up running into the stone-cold nuts on FanDuel, which was a great feeling as we near the end of a disappointing season. I was really happy with my decision to jam Jaylen Waddle even though I already had a lineup I liked in. But the bottom line is that anytime I have six “musts,” I feel really good about my chances. And when choosing which site to play each week, that’s really what I’m looking for: How many plays do I see that if my opponents don’t play them, they are drawing really thin against me?

As for DraftKings, perhaps I should’ve prioritized Rashee Rice a bit more. I also may have reached for too much ceiling in Rashid Shaheed, and didn’t consider Brock Purdy over Matthew Stafford enough. So I feel fortunate to emerge with a win on DK this week. Here’s what I played on DK:

 


Year-To-Date Results
Week 1: 132.7 points, won 51.5% of head-to-heads
Week 2: 126.34 points, won 63.6% of head-to-heads
Week 3: 166.98 points, won 59.8% of head-to-heads
Week 4: 169.12 points, won 75.2% of head-to-heads
Week 5: 107.62 points, won 5.5% of head-to-heads
Week 6: 140.22 points, won 49.1% of head-to-heads
Week 7: 124.98 points, won 51.2% of head-to-heads (FanDuel)
Week 8: 79.58 points, won 10.3% of head-to-heads (FanDuel)
Week 9: 113.88 points, won 56.3% of head-to-heads (FanDuel)
Week 10: 92.76 points (original team), won 8.2% of head-to-heads. 131.16 points (late swap), won 100% of head-to-heads (FanDuel)
Week 11: 107.96 points, won 31.0% of head-to-heads (FanDuel)
Week 12 Thanksgiving: 134.54 points, won 82.8% of head-to-heads (FanDuel)
Week 12 Main: 147.90 points, won 79.6% of head-to-heads (FanDuel)
Week 13: 169.36 points, won 95.8% of head-to-heads
Week 14: 134.32 points, won 40.4% of head-to-heads
Week 15 DK: 161.62 points, won 68.9% of head-to-heads
Week 15 FD: 157.16 points, won 93.4% of head-to-heads

* Note: Win percentages do not include ties.