Select Page

Our Best Ball Subscription is live. Find your edge now!

Claim Your Free Bets From ESPN Bet

Bet $10, Get $150 in bonus bets from ESPN BET when you use promo code ETR to sign up.

Must be 21+. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. First-time depositors only.

I decided to focus my cash game attention on FanDuel again this week. The scoring system (half-PPR, no bonuses) there and pricing structure ($60K cap vs. $50K cap) certainly necessitates a change in strategy. It’s also a setup where our opponents can hang themselves easier, as I noted at the bottom of last week’s article.

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.



 

This was a typical Week 18 slate. We had cheap RBs thrust into volume for non-motivated teams. And we had elite WR options in clean spots. 

 

MY MUST PLAYS
* The optimal setup on FanDuel (and DraftKings) this week was very clear. We had a ton of strong cheap RB options, and the best WR plays of the week happened to be expensive. I thought anyone who didn’t take the value at RB and play two of the elite WRs was making a mistake.

FanDuel was slightly different than DraftKings because FD included the BUF-MIA. But even with Tyreek Hill on the slate, I was never fading Justin Jefferson at just $9000. Pocket passer Nick Mullens was back under center, the Lions are a massive pass funnel, and it was an excellent game environment.

 

* The Browns were clear on their intentions for Week 18. With nothing to play for, they’d rest all their starters.

But they only had three running backs active: Jerome Ford, Kareem Hunt, and Pierre Strong. Ford and Hunt are the top-2 RBs for the playoffs, so I fully expected a monster Strong workload. As a very athletic back with pass-catching ability, he was a lock at near-min $4600.

 


MY WANT PLAYS
* Jordan Mason ($5700) was a “must” for much of the week. But then the Eagles scratched D’Andre Swift, opening up a very cheap Kenny Gainwell ($4900). And the Chiefs decided to go with only CEH and La’Mical Perine at RB.

In the end, I didn’t think Eli Mitchell (injury-prone veteran) or Jeremy McNichols (lack of trust) would play very much at all. That left Mason with a very strong projection playing in the KShanny scheme with capable backup Sam Darnold. 

 

* I didn’t consider Tyreek Hill ($9500) a “must” because CeeDee Lamb ($10000) and Amon-Ra St. Brown ($8800) were so strong. But I did prefer Tyreek over Lamb straight up – we had Tyreek ahead by 0.1 in projection – and Tyreek saved $500. With Jaylen Waddle (ankle) out and the Bills defense so banged up, it was an excellent spot.

 

* I only considered four tight ends: Trey McBride ($6700), Dallas Goedert ($6100), Jake Ferguson ($6000), and Johnny Mundt ($4500). I was going to play a Goedert team if Chrisitan Kirk ($4000) was active. 

But once Kirk was deemed inactive, I decided to take the Mundt savings and use that money to upgrade at wide receiver. Mundt is playing a version of the TJ Hockenson role and had the elite matchup against the Lions pass defense I described above. 

 

* Quarterback is such an important decision on FD each week because they are the most reliable touchdown scorers in a very TD-heavy scoring system. So I did not consider any of the “punts” like Nick Mullens here, whereas Mullens was the clear best QB on DraftKings. 

The only QBs I considered on FanDuel were Dak Prescott ($8700) or Josh Allen ($9500). I did not think Jalen Hurts ($9000) was a cash option with DeVonta Smith out and the Eagles possibly pulling starters if the Cowboys got a big lead. 

I would’ve been fine playing Dak if needed, but I certainly preferred the rushing ability and rushing TD upside of Allen. By going down to Mundt, Allen wasn’t hard to fit. 

 

* Zamir White was severely underpriced on FanDuel yet again. He has the full-blown Josh Jacobs role: When the Raiders are leading he gets the workhorse rushing role, and when they’re losing he’s shown an ability to earn 5+ targets. 

With the Raiders playing the string out hard for interim coach Antonio Pierce, another 20+ touches at just $6500 for Zamir was well within the meaty range of outcomes. Throw in that it was a home game against the lifeless Broncos and I did prefer Zamir to Aaron Jones ($6800) and James Conner ($7300) given costs.

 

* I had no real plans to play Chris Olave this week. I thought he was fine, but with AJ Terrell back and Taysom Hill always lurking in the red zone, I wasn’t excited about it. 

When min-priced Christian Kirk was scratched, I was struggling at the third WR spot. Olave was the one who fit and still gave me the construction I wanted to play. So it was a “last guy in and he has a ceiling, how bad can it be” kind of play. 

 

* I don’t like to punt at D/ST on FanDuel, but this week was an easy exception. There were so many backup QBs starting that it because easy to find a cheap one. My favorite was the Raiders ($3700) against Jarrett Stidham, but this lineup only had enough money for Chargers ($3300) against Blaine Gabbert. 

Note that one reason the Chargers D/ST projected so well is because we still had a high projected pass rate on the Chiefs. In the past, Andy Reid has not changed his offensive philosophy in these spots. And of course, the best way to generate D/ST points is through outsized quantity of dropbacks from bad QBs. 

 

Week 18 Results
Pierre Strong wasn’t as owned as I thought he’d be, so losing him to injury hurt. Eli Mitchell played far more than I thought he would, burying Jordan Mason. And the Dak-CeeDee combo smoked the Allen-Tyreek side. Given all that, I’m thrilled to emerge with a solid win. The difference was Chris Olave getting there on just three targets, and people who didn’t play Justin Jefferson or CeeDee Lamb hanging themselves. 


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
Week 16: 136.0 points, won 94.3% of head-to-heads (FanDuel)
Week 17: 94.06 points, won 16.0% of head-to-heads
Week 18: 125.56 points, won 70.8% of head-to-heads (FanDuel)

* Note: Win percentages do not include ties.