The Daily Spin – NFL Cash Game Selections – Week 3

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte September 21, 2019 06:52

The Daily Spin – NFL Cash Game Selections – Week 3

I love the fall each year when football season arrives. As Jeff will tell you, I do not need much of an excuse to get out for a weekend to do a little bit of travelling, but football season brings up fun and unique opportunities every year to go to new and fun places where I get to catch up with friends that I may not have seen in years. Last week was the first trip for me this fall as I spent the weekend out in Colorado for two football games. The first stop was Boulder, Colorado, home of the University of Colorado, where my alma mater, Air Force was taking on the Buffaloes for the first time in 45 years. It’s a game I had been waiting for since joining the cadet ranks back in 1996. It seemed like such an obvious rivalry game that it just did not make much sense to me as to why it was not on the schedule. Of course, if you know anything about the two schools, you understand that culturally, they stand in diametric opposition to one another and the bitterness between the two schools spilled over during the Vietnam War as cadets were treated to insults and harassment when visiting Boulder for the games.

Times have certainly changed now, but even these days, many of the older grads still remember the animosity around the games and those ghosts have always lingered around the Academy football team. It was with great excitement that I saw that the rivalry was to be renewed in Boulder this fall. I made plans to meet up with my sponsor family’s son from my days at the Academy (every cadet is assigned a local family in the area to spend time with during their years at school) who was also a UC grad. If you ever get the chance, regardless of your politics, Boulder is a beautiful college town to visit. It is so picturesque and has such a great little downtown full of excellent restaurants, shops and bars around Broadway and Pearl Street. Folsom Stadium is right in the middle of campus and we walked over Saturday morning from the Hotel Boulderado, an old treasure of a hotel in the middle of town.

The game lived up to the hype. The weather was perfect, 80 degrees and sunny. The game went back and forth with Colorado jumping out to a quick 10-0 lead before Air Force scored the next 23 points to take a 13 point lead with 10 minutes left in the game. Colorado tied it up in the last minute, but Air Force scored on the first play of overtime and then held the Buffaloes out of the end zone on the ensuing possession, after which a huge celebration erupted in our little corner of the stands as the players hugged one another, shook hands with the Colorado players and then moved to our corner where the band played the 3rd verse of the Air Force song, which still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it after a game:

Here’s a toast to the host
Of those who love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those who gave their all of old
Then down we roar to score the rainbow’s pot of gold.
A toast to the host of men we boast, the U.S. Air Force!

It was a great feeling for Air Force fans leaving the stadium and excitedly texting friends, family and fellow grads around the world to share in the moment together. I heard from people all over the world that afternoon. It’s my favorite part of being a football fan. It’s such a silly thing to hold us together and yet there it is every fall, giving me an excuse to make new memories with old friends. I also have to say that I have never been around a more gracious group of fans after the game. On the street, in restaurants, near the hotel, it did not matter where we went that afternoon, countless Colorado fans stopped by to share congratulations after the game. Everyone went out of their way to be kind to the Air Force fans in town. While the politics of Boulder versus the Academy are not likely to be settled anytime soon, it was nice to see old feelings set aside for a day on the football field.

On Sunday, I woke up and put my cash game lineup together and left for Denver to catch up with a friend from business school who happened to be in town for the Bears/Broncos game and had an extra ticket. NFL games have their own special energy to them. My friend Mike treated it like we were back at Burning Man together, visiting different camps as we approached each group of tailgaters. I trailed along and within minutes, Mike would ingratiate himself with the hosts of each group and across the board people shared their alcohol and BBQ with us, invited us over to watch the afternoon games on big flat screens attached to their RVs and treated us like old friends. It helped that this was all before the game so nobody was a loser yet for the day other than yours truly, as the Vikings gave away a winnable game to the Packers.

The game experience in Denver is always fun. There are certain cities that are particularly devoted to their team each year and Denver supports the Broncos no matter how good or bad they are each year and they most certainly are bad this year. The game slogged along for the first 55 minutes with little to keep anyone interested and then went haywire in the last few minutes as both teams had the game in its grasp, blew it, got it back again, blew it and then finally the Bears pulled off a gut punch of a win on a last second, 53 yard field goal from its rookie kicker.

All the while, I spent my day monitoring my cash game team and had mostly resigned myself to the fact that it looked like a second straight losing week, which would be really upsetting considering that we just launched the new site with the optimism that the success we’ve had would continue moving forward. I kept telling myself that it was still early in the season and to stay calm and that things always even out over the long haul. I really did believe that my team was dead by the middle of the second set of games on Sunday. In looking at my team, I was kicking myself over a couple of clear mistakes that I had no excuse for.

TJ Hockenson looked so good in the first week of the season against the Cards that I was surprised to see him so cheap for Week 2 and thought that even if he only had 4-6 targets and 4-5 catches, that would still work fine for hi $3k salary. He caught one ball on three targets for 7 yards…a total disaster and he was not heavily owned at all. The lesson here is to be cautious with new toys, especially at a position like TE where we really want to know where a player fits into an offense before taking a risk on using them in a cash game. He could certainly rally back this week and play well, but rookie TEs are rarely immediate stars so I need to be smarter about my decisions in these situations, especially early in the season.

The other dumb decision that I made was in using Julian Edelman against the Dolphins. I knew the game script would likely go against him, but I figured he would still get 7-8 targets and had a decent floor for the week. I did not count on Antonio Brown jumping in and carving out 8 targets right away which obviously hurt Edelman’s production in a blowout win. That won’t be an issue moving forward with Brown’s departure, but I should have done a better job of factoring it in with my decision.

Yet, late in the day, I started to close the gap between my team and the cash line. I doubled down at TE and used Kelce as my flex play. I paid up at QB to get another smash effort out of Lamar Miller and then late in the day, I got the miracle play that I needed to get me over the top as Cooper Kupp broke free on a long pass against the Saints and took it to the 1 yard line which got him over 100 yards and clinched the bonus points. It was just enough to get 90% of my teams into the money for the week (would’ve been 100% had he not been ruled down at the 1) with most of my teams hanging on by a thread to double up for the week. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I walked out of the stadium, having gotten back onto the winning track again.

Week 2

Lamar Jackson 6700 33.88
Alvin Kamara 8200 7
Josh Jacobs 4700 9.9
Tyrell Williams 4400 15.6
Cooper Kupp 6000 20.6
Julian Edelman 6900 9.2
TJ Hockenson 3000 1.7
Travis Kelce 7300 26.7
Houston 2800 10
TOTAL 134.58


The other plays here should have been pretty obvious. Houston was the ‘must play’ defense for value last week against a rookie making his first NFL start. Jacobs and Williams were priced before each had a big game last Monday night and Kamara had a juicy match up in a high point total game before losing Drew Brees to a first quarter hand injury. I was really pleased that my investment with Jackson paid off. I was definitely tempted into dropping down to Big Ben which would have secured the loss, but I felt really good about the spot for Lamar and the Ravens and it is always nice to have that extra upside available for a couple of players to help offset some poor efforts from others.

To read the entire article, become a premium member of Football Insider Edge by clicking here, or on the JOIN NOW button on the homepage
Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte September 21, 2019 06:52

Log In

Our Partners