The Daily Spin – NFL Cash Game Focus – Week 15

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte December 15, 2018 06:13

The Daily Spin – NFL Cash Game Focus – Week 15

As I sat in a Buffalo Wild Wings in downtown Seattle on a rainy Sunday afternoon, it seemed like my recent run of wins was about to be punctuated with an ugly loss. For the first time all season, Philip Rivers would not throw for two touchdowns. Courtland Sutton was a total chalk bust. The two ultra chalk RBs of the week played well, but obviously did not provide separation and while Christian McCaffrey did everything that I had hoped for, Zeke Elliott was tearing apart the Eagles which mostly offset CMC’s big day. Keenan Allen started hot with a TD on the first drive of the game for the Chargers, but did not do a lot the rest of the way. Eric Ebron erupted before halftime in his game, but then went silent the rest of the way. To top it all off, my extreme confidence in Amari Cooper against a a depleted Eagles defense was looking awfully foolish after he finished the first half with just a single catch for 27 yards. Considering that Cooper ended up being owned in only the middle single digit range, I felt like I must have really missed something in my research since there was so little attention paid to Cooper, although with Zeke’s popularity at 50-60% and people sticking to the hard and fast rule of never playing a RB/WR together, I would not have expected too high of a number, just a bit higher than 5-8%.

The second half of the Eagles/Cowboys game turned the whole day around. It’s amazing what a great performance in DFS will do to my spirits. Never would I have ever expected to be a Cowboy fan in public, but there I was, leaping off my bar stool screaming, ‘How ’bout them Cowboys?!?!!!!’ as Amari scored his second of three TDs, vaulting my team from nearly dead to up close to the top of the leaderboard for cash games. I went from feeling like a complete idiot, to a cocky SOB in about a 5 minute time span. I was the first to ridicule the Cowboys for making the move to get Cooper as the 1st Round pick seemed like a big price to pay, but after the last couple of months in Dallas, his career has been resurrected and it is looking like the Cowboys will end up fleecing the Raiders as that pick falls further and further down the board with each Cowboy win.

However, we can’t let the celebration last too long. With Week 15 now upon us, we have but three weeks left in the regular season and I do not want it to end on a bad note. These last few weeks always get interesting as teams battle for playoff position or fall completely out of contention. Starters are in and out of the lineup and some have mentally already checked out. The guys that you think would be leading your teams are often not the ones that rise up late in the season. Many times, it is a 3rd string running back in a high volume situation for a good team or a wideout who suddenly is pushed into a starting role after trades and injuries push him up from the practice squad.

Before we jump into the picks this week, I have to admit that this week is going to be a challenge. Most weeks, by Thursday night, things start to shake out and I begin to feel really comfortable with the build process for the week. That feeling has not hit me yet. Maybe it is from some uncertainty around a couple of injuries or perhaps the fact that we are losing out on the the Rams, Eagles, Chargers, Chiefs, Saints and Panthers. Whatever it is, the dirt cheap options that open up the rest of the team have not presented themselves as of yet which means that things are about to get interesting this weekend. I feel like we are getting close to bar time and we could end up going home with a 9 or potentially a 3, but we are not going to know it until it is far too late to turn back the clock.

The challenge for the week is in the WR corp. With the way that the stud RBs are performing at this point in the season, it is nearly impossible to play a cash lineup without one of the big names anchoring your team. That seems to be the case again this week even though our options are down to Zeke and Saquon up top. I’ve built some balanced teams that fade them both, but my guess is that 80-90% of teams are going to have one or the other this week and rightfully so. For the Cowboys, once they realized that Zeke is good at football and started giving him 30 opportunities a week, they’ve won five straight games. Amazing. For the Giants, with OBJ nursing a quad injury and being on the shelf for another week, Saquon becomes the centerpiece for the Giants who are still playing hard down the stretch even though their season is essentially over with no hopes of making the playoffs. It’s difficult to imagine either player being held to less than 25 points this week if they see the volume we expect this week.

This is where we run into problems as owners this week. If you pay $9k or more to get one of these two players (or both) on your team for the week, that automatically means you will need to drop down at the WR position to fill in at least slots with punt plays. Most weeks, that does not seem to be an issue as there are a few names that generally stand out with either a great matchup or an expectation of increased volume due to an injury. However, this week, there just are not any clear cut names to plug in where we won’t be worried about a little risk. Courtland Sutton bombed last week, but at least he was 50-60% owned which meant that it did not immediately kill our chances. This week, unless I have totally misread the trends, there are not going to be any WRs in the low $4k or high $3k range that people gravitate towards in the same way. The risk this week is going to be that we end up in a situation like we did with Amari last week, but without the talent to match. This may end up being the most challenging week of our season so if you are the type that looks for reasons to play bigger or smaller, here is your warning from me to keep things on the lighter side this week. I actually think this is a great week for GPP play as there are fewer names that will be wildly owned so it should not be as much of a struggle to build diverse lineups where your upside is not entirely controlled by just one or two lower owned players.

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte December 15, 2018 06:13

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