The Daily Spin – NFL Cash Game Edition – Wildcard Round

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte January 9, 2021 04:22

The Daily Spin – NFL Cash Game Edition – Wildcard Round

I finished off the 2020 regular season strong, finding a way to the winner’s circle on Sunday even though it was not easy and I likely made at least one or two mistakes along the way. It was a profitable regular season for me overall and though there were some ups and downs and a few close calls, generally, I felt good overall about my plat throughout the season. With COVID hitting so many players all year and teams forced to make changes at the last minute almost every week, it took every last bit of energy and thought on Sunday morning to make sure I had a competitive lineup in play.


Week 17 Team
Lamar Jackson 8000 25.22
Derrick Henry 9400 39
Jonathan Taylor 7400 41.4
Curtis Samuel 5300 22.1
Laviska Shenault 4200 24.6
Ceedee Lamb 5200 9.6
Evan Engram 3700 3.7
Ty Montgomery 4000 14.7
Browns 2500 3
49700 183.32


In building my lineup for the week, there were a few layups, a couple of coin flip decisions and a position group that I struggled with. Defense was probably my easiest pick. With the Steelers sitting so many starters and having nothing to play for, I knew the Browns would be chalky with needing to win to get into the playoffs. At 2500 and high ownership expected, it was an easy put so I locked them in all week and never really wavered.

At RB, I was on Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor all week. You never like to predict that a player is going to rush for over 200 yards, but with Henry needing to get to 223 and having a dream matchup against a team where he had back to back 200+ yard games, I was never fading Henry against the Texans. With Miami losing, the Titans clinched a playoff spot before the game, but I knew they would still want the home game and division crown so that was not going to deter me at all.

At the other RB spot, I had Taylor locked all week at home against the Jags. He was red hot going into the game and the Colts needed the win to get to the playoffs. I definitely did not expect to get 200+ yards out of both RBs, but that’s the power of going after the top names, especially in the late season games with so much on the line. He finished his rookie year very strong and even managed to outscore Henry. Getting the right slate breakers onto your roster can cover up so much for any mistakes along the way or plays that do not work out well which is usually why the stars and scrubs approach is the right way to play it in NFL for all formats.

When the Saints lost their RB room by Saturday, it made Ty Montgomery a great play at minimum salary. The Panther are not strong against the run, the Saints did not have much for other options outside of Taysom Hill, the the WR group was still banged up. Plus, we’ve seen Ty Mont catch the ball out of the backfield and put up some big fantasy games back in Green Bay, so to me, he was far superior over guys like Rodney Smith or Ty Johnson, who I specifically excluded, but who did get talked up in cash games. I also knew he would be heavily owned so that if he did end up having a 20+ point day, I would be in big trouble if I faded him so he became my third RB for the day. Late in the game, with the Saints ahead, he finally started to get increased touches and did break 100 yards, though he was quiet catching passes so I did not really gain or lose ground with the play, which was the goal all along for the price.

At TE, I knew I was paying down after locking in Henry and Taylor. I settled on Evan Engram early in the week for the price. The Cowboys are awful at defending the TE and Engram had seen a good number of targets leading into the game. He caught a 14 yard pass early which was encouraging and then…..nearly nothing the rest of the game. Considering that he was in an early game and that not many owners used players in the early games, this was not encouraging. I got the salary savings, but the dismal production hurt. I had not issue with the play. Irv Smth did not do much either so it was just disappointing given the matchup and importance of the game.

QB was a spot where I went back and forth a bit before lineup lock. Deshaun Watson was primarily in my builds all week, but I slowly gravitated over to Lamar Jackson by Sunday. The big reason for me to make the switch was that Jackson needed exactly 92 yards to get to 1000 yards for the season. I thought that there was a very good chance he would get to 100 yards, giving him an incredibly high floor for the week. I asked myself, what are the chances he gets to 92 yards, but not 100 yards? Probably low. Of course, he came up just short and then was pulled from the game when the Bengals blew a chance to keep it just close enough to get Jackson another drive. He had solid numbers for the week, though I was really hoping it would be a 30+ point effort for him. Watson put up slightly higher numbers, but it was just a few points, so it did not end up being a concern. I did also consider paying down for Kirk Cousins, but I stuck with what I felt was a pretty sure thing in Jackson.

Wide Receiver was a tough positional group for me. My funds were tight so I tried my best to get balance from the last three players. I wanted Brandin Cooks, but that would have forced me to punt for two WRs so the lowest I ended up going was for Laviska Shenault who played great and caught not one, but two TDs on the day. For the last two spots, I had three names in mind: Ceedee Lamb, Curtiss Samuel and Marvin Jones. Obviously, I missed out on a slate breaker in Jones which hurt, especially since he played early and had some ownership. My decision there had more to do with Matthew Stafford’s health then Jones himself. After seeing Stafford leave the Bucs game very early and then not be questionable all week for a meaningless game, I thought there might be a better than average chance he would not play four quarters and if that was the case, I would not want Jones at all, even against a soft defense like Minnesota.

Curtis Samuel was excellent yet again and had a really outstanding, somewhat under the radar season for the Panthers as he had over 100 yards receiving against the Saints. I knew he would be a risk for me since he would not be very heavily owned, but I liked that he would be worked into the running game, though it did not pad his numbers much in this game. It was a volume play for me as I was figured about 8 targets and 3-5 carries and it worked out great for the price. I missed on Ceedee Lamb. I liked his spot against the Giants with James Bradberry on Cooper. We’d seen it play out the first time these teams played where Cooper was shutdown and Lamb had 11 targets. Unfortunately, Dalton missed Lamb in the red zone badly and he dropped another pass late that could have led to a score and he just could not get the big play I needed. With him and Engram starting slow, I thought I was in trouble early, but my team roared to life late in the day and I was able to cross the cash line again successfully, completing a winning season with four wins over the last five weeks with my only loss coming by just a couple of points in Week 15. It was a fun season and I continue to learn and evolve. I hope that the regular season worked out for you as well now that we get ready to start the playoffs.

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QB DK 50000 FD 60000
Lamar Jackson 7800 15.6% 9300 15.5%
Josh Allen 7500 15.0% 9000 15.0%
Ben Roethlisberger 6100 12.2% 7500 12.5%
Drew Brees 5700 11.4% 7800 13.0%


Lamar Jackson – For the Sunday slate, Jackson is my top play, but if you are doing the full six game slate, by far I prefer Allen given the heavy volume in the passing game with touches rarely going to RBs near the goal line. With Jackson, we get a high floor QB that is likely to post 70+ rushing yards. Given how both teams can put up points, he has 30+ point upside and although the Ravens were dispatched easily in the divisional round by the Titans last year, Jackson still posted an impressive 35.9 points.

Josh Allen – Allen took massive steps forward as a QB this year, throwing the ball better than ever, but still running effectively on the ground. The Bills do not have much of a run game to speak of and the Colts rank 9th in stopping the run so this should be a game where Allen is throwing the ball often to keep the chains moving. He’s got All-Pro WR Stefon Diggs and burner John Brown back so that combined with his running ability make him my top QB play of the week.


RB DK 50000 FD 60000
Derrick Henry 9200 18.4% 10200 17.0%
Alvin Kamara 8500 17.0% 9000 15.0%
Jonathan Taylor 7900 15.8% 8800 14.7%
David Montgomery 6900 13.8% 8400 14.0%
JK Dobbins 6600 13.2% 6800 11.3%
Ronald Jones 5500 11.0% 6700 11.2%
Cam Akers 5100 10.2% 6100 10.2%
James Conner 5000 10.0% 6200 10.3%
Nyheim Hines 4700 9.4% 5600 9.3%


Derrick Henry – Henry is tough to squeeze in this week and Baltimore is 12th against the run so I am less likely to use him this week even though he has been very good against the Ravens in his last two starts, rushing for 133 yards this season and 195 yards in the playoffs last January. The price was considerably better in both of those games and with Diggs, Kamara and Michael Thomas still out there, I just do not think I can squeeze Henry onto my team this week.

Alvin Kamara – Kamara is likely to play this week and now that the playoffs are here, the Saints will be riding him aggressively. We are still not sure how good Michael Thomas will be on Sunday in his return from injury and the last time we saw Kamara, he was crushing Minnesota for six TDs. When these teams met this season, Kamara had 25 opportunities and generated 25.3 DK points.

Ronald Jones – Jones should be the lead back for TB this week and he was very good this season posting over 1100 total yards and 8 TDs. He’ll get 15-20 touches this week and though Washington is tough against the run, he’s quite affordable for the volume he’ll receive.

Cam Akers – Akers is back to full health and has taken over the lead role for the Rams. In his last four starts, Akers has 94 touches and has been a decent fantasy play overall. We still do not know who is going to start at QB for the Rams though if Goff is in there, I like Akers more since the Seahawks will not be able to sit on the run all day.

James Conner – Though his touches are not always easy to predict, James Conner has a nice matchup against the Browns this week who rank 19th against the run. His touches have dwindled a bit, but he did rush for over 100 yards against the Browns early in the season. He makes the list as he’s seen 13 targets over the last two weeks which adds considerably to his floor.


WR DK 50000 FD 60000
Stefon Diggs 7700 15.4% 8700 14.5%
Michael Thomas 6400 12.8% 6800 11.3%
Diontae Johnson 6200 12.4% 7000 11.7%
Marquise Brown 5400 10.8% 6300 10.5%
Corey Davis 4800 9.6% 6400 10.7%
John Brown 4700 9.4% 5700 9.5%
Michael Pittman 3500 7.0% 5100 8.5%


Stefon Diggs – Diggs had by far his best season as a pro this year averaging 10.5 targets per game with over 1500 yards receiving. He’ll have fun this week taking on his old teammate in Minnesota, Xavier Rhodes who I am sure has had many competitive battles in practice with. Diggs is priced about $1000 too low this week and will likely by the chalkiest play of the weekend in all slates.

Michael Thomas – We still need to hear for sure whether or not Thomas will play Sunday, but if he does, the price is right at $6400 for a player who is only one year removed from breaking the single season catch record. Thomas should see 10 targets if he’s playing on Sunday and we know he has a very high ceiling in the game goes especially well which we need when we pay up.

Marquise Brown – This game should have plenty of fireworks as the Titans were destroyed through the air last week against the Texans. With the Titans able to put up a lot of points, I expect Lamar Jackson to have to throw more often that normal to keep up with a shootout. Though Brown is not a heavy volume guy, he’s scored at least 12.5 DK points in his last six games. After watching Brandin Cooks against this defense a week ago, I think Brown could have similar production this week.

Corey Davis – Davis was terrible last week. He dropped so many of the 11 targets that cam his direction it almost felt purposeful, but 11 targets is still fantastic and I think that will be the idea here again this week. Davis ended up with just under 1000 receiving yards this season, but he was better than other recent seasons of note.

John Brown – Brown returned to action last week and plowed through then for over 70 yards and a TD. If he is feeling healthy, this price is a steal. He’s got great vertical speed to stretch the field in a game that is expected to be high scoring.


TE DK 50000 FD 60000
Mark Andrews 5200 10.4% 7000 11.7%
Logan Thomas 4900 9.8% 6400 10.7%
Eric Ebron 3700 7.4% 5500 9.2%


Mark Andrews – The Titans rank last in the league in defending the TE and the Ravens will need to throw the ball during this game against a strong Tennessee offensive attack. He caught five passes for 96 yards and a TD earlier in the year when these teams played previously so I would anticipate the Ravens looking to exploit this matchup again.

Logan Thomas – Thomas has seen his role increase substantially over the last part of the season with 49 targets over the last five games. Alex Smith has always relied on his TEs to move the chains and Thomas has finally found a QB that can take advantage of his athleticism. Tampa Bay ranks 25the against the TE this season and Washington will likely need to throw the ball when they fall behind.

Eric Ebron – I think Ebron offers a lot of value this week. Cleveland ranks 28th this season against the TE and the Browns have barely practiced all week. Ebron averages about 6 targets per game and had over 550 yards and 5 TDs on the season. He hit double digit fantasy points in eight of fifteen games this season so there is a great chance for him to hit value again this week.


DEF DK 50000 FD 60000
Bucs 3400 6.8% 4300 7.2%
Seahawks 2700 5.4% 3600 6.0%
Washington 2400 4.8% 3700 6.2%


Bucs – Tampa Bay has the 5th ranked defense in the league and will clamp down on a Washington offense that is struggling with a banged up QB running the offense. The Bucs should be able to put a lot of pressure on Smith who will struggle when Washington falls behind.

Seahawks – Seattle has been strong on defense over the last two months and has only given up 32 total points to the Rams all season. If Jared Goff does not start, the Seahawks are a layup on defense and should be an automatic play. Jamaal Adams expects to play through his injury.

Washington – Washington has been a good punt all season. They have one of the best defensive fronts in the league and should be able to put some big hits on Tom Brady like they’ve done to others all season. Though I do not think Washington will win, they likely will not get blown out either and should be able to give us 5-6 DK points as a floor.



Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte January 9, 2021 04:22

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