Building a Cash Game Lineup
Last week, we went through the basics on how to build a GPP lineup. The lineup we had built didn’t do very well, but that’s typical for a GPP lineup. You’re trying to build something that can get first, but in doing so you’re building something that could also get last given the correlated plays. We were extremely close to actually building a phenomenal lineup had we went with Kenny Britt/Amari Cooper instead of Tavon Austin/Michael Crabtree and Philadelphia defense instead of the Rams. Those 3 moves would’ve increased out points from 110.1 to 177, which would’ve easily gotten you in the money everywhere. It’s small plays that can make or break a lineup and we just missed last week.
This week we’re going to talk about how to build a cash game lineup. Cash games are where 50% of the field gets paid out. These can be Double Ups, 50/50’s and Head-to-heads. If you’re unsure what those are please refer back to my earlier articles. I typically will have 2 cash lineups that have the same group of core players with 1-3 players that are different just to give myself a little more safety and not going all in on one lineup. I’ll take those two cash lineups and enter them across several different cash contests. In these types of contests you’re trying to build a lineup that can finish in the top 50%. In a 100 man contest, 50th place gets the same as 1st place and we have to keep that in mind. Creating a lineup with the highest floor is what you want to do in a cash game and there are certain strategies you can employ to accomplish this.
When looking at the quarterback position, I’m either looking for someone who can run or someone who can consistently throw for over 300 yards, getting us the three point bonus on DraftKings. You have to remember a 30 yard run by Marcus Mariota is the same as Drew Brees getting that 300 yard bonus so I typically try and go with the running quarterback in a good matchup. For a running back, I’m looking for volume and workload. I’m looking for guys that are guaranteed a ton of work and are consistent at putting up fantasy points. Finding running backs who catch passes out of the backfield is also a great way to create a high floor with DraftKings PPR scoring format. Wide receiver and tight end is extremely similar. You want safe players that produce consistent targets and receptions. Players like Jarvis Landry and Cameron Meredith see a ton of targets and will most likely hit their expected projection.
When building your cash lineup you typically don’t want to stack players, but you certainly can if you feel confident in it. Before Ben got hurt, people would stack him and LeVeon together because you know those two are most likely going to be involved on almost every touchdown the Steelers score. You’re limiting your upside possibly, but you’re creating a solid floor. I typically don’t like to roster a quarterback and wide receiver together given how correlated they are, but if I feel really confident in a play I’ll definitely do it.
Let’s take a look at my cash lineup for the week and how I got to it.
QB - Marcus Mariota ($6000)
RB - DeMarco Murray ($7200)
RB - Jacquizz Rodgers ($4300)
WR - Allen Robinson ($7300)
WR - Jarvis Landry ($6800)
WR - Tyrell Williams ($4400)
TE - Dennis Pitta ($4000)
Flex - Melvin Gordon ($6400)
D/ST - Bengals ($3600)
I first went with Marcus Mariota as my quarterback for many different reasons. First of all he’s facing the Colts defense and they’re atrocious. They’re in bottom 5 of almost every defensive category. Mariota has a high floor because of his ability to run and also has big upside with multiple 30 points games in his career. He’s my favorite quarterback this week with his cheap price, but if I was going on the expensive end I would go with Matt Ryan at home against a banged up Chargers defense.
At running back I went with DeMarco Murray and Jacquizz Rodgers. Pairing Mariota and Murray could possibly limit my upside a bit, but that’s fine given this matchup. Lamar Miller absolutely destroyed the Colts last week and I fully expect Murray to do the same. This should be a high scoring game and having the two Titans who are almost guaranteed to be a part of every touchdown is fine by me. Jacquizz is a cheap guy that will be highly owned in cash because his expected workload. He had 30 carries in his last start and with Doug Martin out and it’s likely he will do the same against the bad 49ers defense and fast paced game.
At receiver I went with Robinson, Jarvis Landry and Tyrell Williams. All of them are in ideal matchups, especially Allen Robinson going against one of the worst pass defenses in the league in Oakland. Robinson is the 11th priced wide receiver this week but should produce top 5 numbers. Landry is a guy I like to go after every week in cash because his floor is so high. Tannehill throws the ball to him over 10 times a game and with his short routes, he usually catches them. He’s in line for 6 and 70 yards almost every week and I love that in a cash game wide receiver. Tyrell is my cheap guy this week going against the Atlanta Falcons who are in the middle of the pack in pass defense. Tyrell should see at least 7 targets in this game considering the Chargers will be forced to keep up with the Falcons and for a guy at $4400 I’m fine with that. At the flex I went with his teammate in Melvin Gordon. I like to roster running backs in the flex if I can because of their usually guaranteed workload and more consistency. I don’t usually roster two pairs of teammates, but in this case I really like it. The Chargers are going to be forced to keep up with the Falcons. Now that Melvin Gordon catches passes and is going to be on the field whether they’re winning or losing, I think he makes sense this week. At defense I think you can’t go wrong with the Bengals this week. The Browns are awful and we all know it.