Week 1 NFL Flowchart – DraftKings Cash Contests

Week 1 NFL Flowchart – DraftKings Cash Contests

If you have been following along with me here on this beautiful Saturday morning on the eve of the first NFL Sunday of the year, you are fully into the DraftKings zone. If you haven’t been, I would recommend you checking out the Introduction to the NFL Flowchart (GPP Version) and the Week 1 NFL Flowchart (GPP).

If you are reading this, then that means you are still looking for more NFL content and I applaud you. Luckily, you have come to the right spot. I started playing Cash Games consistently last season. I had a winning result in the Large Double Up contests (going 11-6 on the year before I succumbed to appendicitis in the Vegas hospital for 2 weeks). I think a huge part of this success was entering the right contests. If you are just starting out playing cash games, I would try and enter into the biggest SINGLE ENTRY contests that you can. There are $5, $10, and $25 offerings with more than 5,000 entrants and that’s where I would start. If you want some more cash action I would recommend posting $1, $2, and $3 H2Hs in the lobby (minimizing your opponent limit to 1). The sharps/pros can’t go below the $5 limit, so max out the other thresholds before jumping up in stakes.

The philosophical approach to Cash Games is completely different than everything I outlined in the two articles above. In Double Ups we literally are just trying to beat half of the field, we get no benefit for finishing first vs. finishing right above the bubble. For this reason, we can throw ownership out the door, and focus in on safe floor plays with projectable offensive roles. We do not need to get different, and we do not need to take stretches on players. This is where a lot of the field will fail.

With this being my first time writing The Flowchart for cash games, I am not too sure if it’s always going to have the same look and feel each week. There always seems to be a specific narrative/build that takes shape every weekend, so I will try and keep The Flowchart flexible to that. For this week, I think the pathway is pretty clear.

Week 1 Cash Game Locks

The easiest button to press this week was Christian McCaffrey at $8500. When healthy, this guy doesn’t often come below $10k so if we aren’t going to buy the discount and play him in Week 1, when will we? High ceiling, safe floor, game script independent…CMC has it all.

After Allen Lazard was ruled out for the week, Aaron Jones quickly became my 2nd lock of the week. There was already an argument to be made that Jones was going to compete for the most targets on the Packers and now without their WR1 and a jumbled up cast of WRs left, I think its great to bet on Jones.

There is an argument to be made that Jalen Hurts is not a lock this week at QB. I agree with this and made a few lineups without him. However, nothing gave me better access to more of the elite studs than Hurts. I think there is viable options above him, but I do not think you need to go any lower.

Tight End and Defense Options

We completely faded Travis Kelce in the GPP Flowchart, and I think we did it in a pretty crafty way, but I don’t think there’s much argument against him in cash. Routinely above $8k all last season, Kelce comes in low this week and could really go off for the Chiefs in the highest total game of the week.

If we aren’t going to pay up at TE, I think it makes the most sense to drop all the way down. Irv Smith Jr. should be out on the field a ton against the Packers as we get our first glimpse of the Vikings new offense. All signs point to more passing so getting a TE who splits out wide for $3400 seems too good to be true.

I don’t claim to be anything special when it comes to defense. The Commanders have a matchup with the Jaguars, who could be better this year, but who also could just be the same ‘ol Jaguars. Meanwhile the new-look Dolphins get a matchup with New England where there’s reports of offensive discontinuity coming out of camp just a few days ago. I’m sure Belichick turns the train around eventually, but it could be a dicey Week 1.

Wide Receiver Plays

None of the big-name WRs really stuck out to me this week when looking at the projections. I’m sure we will see some big scores, but I’d rather target the pricing mismatches at RB and fill in our WR with mid- and low-tier options. Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. are the two highest WRs I think we need to target this week. Both of these guys will kick off as touchdown favorites in their Week 1 matchups, and both can easily pay off their price tags. I’d expect these two to be priced quite a bit higher later in the week.

Romeo Doubs, George Pickens, and Jahan Dotson are three rookie WRs who are scattered through the $3k range. Jahan Dotson appears to be in the WR2 driver’s seat for the Commanders, but its TBD on how great of a seat that is with Carson Wentz passing the ball. George Pickens balled out in the pre-season and could challenge Chase Claypool for WR2 duties right out of the gate. If he’s not starting, I do feel confident we will get a good smattering of Pickens in this game. Romeo Doubs I am least confident of in this group, but at $3000 there’s not a lot at risk here. He did catch 2 TDs in the preseason and with the absence of Lazard you would think he will cycle in for the older Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb on Sunday.

The Final Piece to the Puzzle

As we’ve already discussed, this has felt like a 3 RB week since the initial projections came out. A lot of times in cash games I am willing to go with this build due to the safety that we have with the floor. In GPPs I almost exclusively play 4 WRs. Joe Mixon is a guy who is projecting very well and should get a lot of work in the Bengals first game against the Steelers. He was a TD machine last season and we will need more of that on Sunday.

Saquon Barkley is probably my favorite option when accounting for price on this slate. I am fully on 2019 offseason Saquon train and I am rooting for him to get back to his workhorse form. $6100 is far too cheap if that happens against the Titans. Speaking of workhorses, Najee Harris is going to be on the field A LOT on Sunday. He had multiple 100% snap share games as a rookie and there’s no sign of that changing this season. Plug him in and know that you have a solid floor in your lineup.

That does it for the cash game flowchart this week! I hope you have enjoyed this new offering this year and I would love to hear feedback on it. I personally think playing cash games has made me a better GPP player because it allows me to play the chalk and not be anchored to it in tournaments. Hopefully you will find the same effect!

For those of you who are long-time readers of The Flowchart, welcome to it’s new home Momentum Labs! We launched just under 2 months ago and are focusing on building tools, analysis, and community around the NBA Top Shot and NFL All Day products. We are also going to building out the Fantasy Sports aspect to our website, and in the first year here The Flowchart will be a main feature. Don’t worry The Flowchart will ALWAYS BE FREE! But if you are interested in any of the other Web3/NFT Fantasy Sports games and want to have access to projections for OTM RumbleThe Owner’s Club, and MomentRanks Play then upgrading to a Premium subscription might just be for you!


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