There were a few bumps along the road, but Week 13 went as close to plan as I could have hoped. A couple mistakes and lessons learned along the way, but we live to play another day!
My plan to finish this season is to play two cash lineups a week in head-to-heads, starting with 25 $1 buy-ins for each lineup. You’ll have to take my word for it, as I can’t post my team before the games start, but you can check out my weekly primer each week, where I put my favorite plays.
Who I wanted as core players
I felt strongly about Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins at quarterback, so I split my two cash lineups between the two. And that decision set me on a path to have two fairly unique cash lineups for this week.
The only players I had on both teams were Keke Coutee and Jarvis Landry. I felt good about their floors and prices. I split my running backs up with Austin Ekeler, James Robins, Myles Gaskin and David Montgomery. I felt that all four came out as strong plays around the same value based on usage and price.
The Rams and Vikings receivers along with Davante Adams were all solid plays, so it came down to price and exposure. I ended up not playing Justin Jefferson of that group, but instead went with Adam Thielen, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Adams.
Who to pay up for?
Dalvin Cook was tempting, but his price compared to backs I felt would get similar workloads in decent matchups kept me from paying up for him. Instead, I went with James Robinson and Austin Ekeler. Robinson paid off as he usually does, while Ekeler underperformed while Justin Herbert was Belichick’d.
Ultimately, the biggest pay up was for Adams and $9,000 is quite the chunk to give up for a receiver. But, we all know his upside along with his high floor as Rodgers top target. He’s pretty much a free space in the lineup and if you can make him fit, he’s going to help you.
Coutee was the value play I went all in on and that turned out to be my best per dollar play of the day. Knowing that a great quarterback like DeShaun Watson would be without Will Fuller and Randall Cobb to throw to had me land on Coutee and stick with him. Unfortunately, I took that same thought process and went to Jordan Akins as well.
Myles Gaskin and David Montgomery were the two value running backs I liked the most and they helped me build my best lineup with Adams. In the end, paying up for the second-tier backs wasn’t the optimal play this week, but in hindsight there’s not a lot to learn from that.
Tight ends are annoying
Someday I’ll get tight ends right, but today wasn’t that day. Robert Tonyan didn’t go off, but he ended up scoring a touchdown, which made him a great pick in my book. He was no Darren Waller, but who is?
Jordan Akins was the one play where I went out on a limb and quickly broke that limb and fell hard to the ground. Anthony Firkser was the chalk play at the same price, but I just didn’t feel good about the Titans tight end usage of late. And, I also projected the Titans to win and run instead of get swamped and pass. But, Akins was likely the wrong process pick.
D/ST, keep it cheap
I had way too many defenses that I liked this week and ended up going with the Seahawks and Bears. The Seahawks did fine while the Bears were torched by Matthew Stafford. I believe I’ve been torched by the Bears defense more than any other D/ST in DFS, and that’s on me.
Learn from my mistakes
The Akins play was sloppy, but at least he was a punt play at his rock bottom price. It’s better to be cheap and sloppy than the opposite. My biggest mistake may have been too much diversity between my two teams. Yes, going with two teams is my way of mitigating bad losses, but at the same time it hurts possible gains.
This is a question a lot of DFS players ask themselves and one that probably doesn’t have a good answer. If I had played only my Rodgers/Adams team, I would have come close to sweeping my head-to-head matchups. Of course, if I’d gone the other way, I would have had a worse day. I think you get the picture.
A lot depends on how good you feel about a core group of players. if you have 4-5 players that you are going to have on every team you build, just go with one team and try for the bigger payday. If you just can’t find that group, maybe split up a couple teams. I believe my problem is that I can talk myself into 15 core players and I need to work on finding ways to carve that core down.
Team 1 — 157.54 points — Won 65 percent
Team 2 — 180.54 points — Won 95 percent
Team 1 — 133.68 points — Won 80 percent
Team 2 — 121.92 points — Won 34 percent
Team 1 — 160.62 points — Won 88 percent
Team 2 — 155.52 points — Won 80 percent