Hot Cash From the King of Spice

Take Care Y’all’s Chicken

“Ya feel me?” I feel ya, Marshawn. I know in my heart of hearts that many who will read this know struggle. I come across folks from all walks of life in my day job. If I asked some of them to talk about their financial wellbeing, they would likely lament the bevy of obstacles that have presented themselves in the last two years. Some, including me, would curse the darkness that has surfaced in the desperate faces around us. December isn’t as joyous as it was when we were younger. With tinsel and holly comes a mountain of pressure and daunting expectations. Most of us are not well.

Taking care of our mentals, as Beast Mode would colloquialize, is a staggering test in today’s climate. Financial struggles are incendiary to stress, anxiety, and depression. I know about struggle. I also have gone through periods of my life where the future was bleak and left me fearful that there was little reason to hope or expect my situation to improve. I also know about privilege, about blessings. A simple step back to assess the landscape makes it obvious that I am incredibly fortunate to have what I do.

I might not be lighting the world on fire with remarkable success, but there’s a glowing optimism that drives me forward. I have a beautiful family that understands and loves me for the person I am. I have a home with pets that cling to us like velcro. I have a stable career with healthcare benefits. I have hobbies and interests that stimulate me to take on new challenges on a whim. A person without these things isn’t lesser. I wear my privilege on the outside. I acknowledge where I didn’t need to climb as high of a mountain as someone else to get where I am. We are equals seeking equality of opportunity.

Take care y’all’s chicken. I watched that presser when Marshawn Lynch stared into the camera and actually spoke to his audience through the media. “Take care of your money…because that shit don’t last forever.”

DFS is one source of income I never banked on before. It used to be a hobby that would sporadically reward me for simultaneous sharpness and luck. Nowadays, luck comes a little more freely. “Luck is where hard work meets opportunity,” according to Vince Lombardi. DFS puts stress on that adage. I’d say that luck comes to the doorstep of those who leave the porch light on. Keep plugging away. If you practice an interest enough, you will get better at it. DFS cash games every NFL Sunday are a rollercoaster, but I, along with a few others, have adapted ourselves to be impervious to motion sickness.

Week 14 Cash Plays

I have a slightly different view from the consensus on how to build winning cash lineups. Instead of focusing on players with a “high floor,” I instead focus on their expected workload. These players often have that safe floor as a result of the VOLUME of opportunities, but they also have a higher likelihood of returning the 3x+ value that most cash games require to end the day above the pay line. A smart cash player has to always consider ceiling as a part of the equation, just maybe weighted lighter than if building for a GPP. I ask myself the same question every time: Does this player’s expected volume of opportunities (EVO) have high odds of accomplishing 3 points per salary dollar, divided by 1,000 (x=3[y/1000]).

KEY INGREDIENT*** — SECRET INGREDIENT*

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 14: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates his rushing touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter at AT&T Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Quarterbacks

Gold-Plated

PATRICK MAHOMES: VS LAS VEGAS ($8,000)

It wouldn’t have mattered if Mahomes was $10k in Week 10 against the Raiders: he was going to be the best play on the board, coming in at 39.2 points on DK. That was in Vegas and the Raiders have only further unraveled from that point. Arrowhead will be rocking, especially looking for the Chiefs to punish the Raiders for their victory lap around the stadium on the team bus last year. Don’t be afraid to spend up to get Mahomes any week, especially with a chance to sew up the AFC West against a very weak defense.

Rocking the Suburbs

DAK PRESCOTT: @ WASHINGTON ($6,700)***

The Saints didn’t make it easy on Dak last week. He dinked and dunked 40 passing attempts, only hitting 12.2 fantasy points. Washington has played better defensively of late but is still having trouble covering good receivers (of which Dallas has three). Injuries to Elliott and Pollard also add impetus to Dak putting the offense on his back to put this division away for good. I expect a very big fantasy day for this year’s Alex Smith Award winner.

Under the Table

TAYSOM HILL: @ NY JETS ($5,600)

My mind was boggled last Thursday night. The Mormon Missile was terrible. Dallas picked him off four times, two more interceptions were dropped, and a strip-sack was narrowly averted after the replay showed Hill’s arm was barely moving forward. He still managed to score 27.7 points. The Jets defense is among the worst in the NFL in every category. The return of Alvin Kamara also puts immense stress on the defensive front seven. There will be no reason Taysom Hill won’t produce for fantasy, even if you have to fade his chalk in GPP and watch the game through your fingers with a puke bucket nearby.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – OCTOBER 31: Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints stands on the field during a NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Caesars Superdome on October 31, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Running Backs

Gold-Plated

ALVIN KAMARA: @ NY JETS ($7,900)***

The Jets are bad against every offensive position but are historically abysmal against opposing running backs. They are still an average of nearly 10 FPPG worse than the next-worst team, at 35 PPR points allowed per game. The key to this has been their utter inability to cover pass-catching running backs. Do you see where I’m going with this? Kamara is the best receiver at his position not named Christian McCaffrey. He will be as chalky as all hell, but there’s no reason to fade him whatsoever.

Rocking the Suburbs

ANTONIO GIBSON: VS DALLAS ($6,000)

I’m very nervous about the Cowboys this week. Their baboon of a coach, Mike McCarthy, gave Washington a bunch of bulletin board material by guaranteeing victory. The No-Namers are already led by one of the most inspirational figures in sports, Riverboat Ron Rivera. They also have been feeding their stud back Gibson a gluttonous mound of touches the last couple of weeks. Volume pays the bills and Gibby has already ripped the Cowboys apart a couple times in his young career.

Under the Table

D’ONTA FOREMAN: VS JACKSONVILLE ($5,100)

This is a hunch, but I think Mike Vrabel loves the way Foreman runs. He’s the kind of running back that thrives on a team run with the Belichick mentality. His 109 rushing yards in Week 12 will go a long way to ensure he keeps his pre-bye workload into this game against the pitiful Jags. I also put a high probability on Foreman scoring his first touchdown of the season on Sunday.

Wide Receivers

Gold-Plated

TYREEK HILL: VS LAS VEGAS ($8,500)

Yes, I was actually disappointed that Cheetah only scored 27 points against the Raiders in Week 10. He scored twice early on but finished the game with 83 receiving yards on 10 targets. It was good, but it could have been so much better. I have him for 140 yards on nine receptions and at least one touchdown this time around. It’s his stable target volume that keeps him on the Cash list any time he is on the Main Slate.

Rocking the Suburbs

MICHAEL GALLUP: @ WASHINGTON ($5,500)***

Washington’s defensive backs are very slow, have stiff hips, and have terrible ball skills. This equates to receivers getting huge chunk plays on vertical routes. Gallup isn’t merely a field stretcher. His speed, body control, and hand-eye coordination are all elite and will pose major issues for the No-Named defense. At only $5.5k, the supposed “third option” for Dak Prescott is my best value play on the slate.

Under the Table

JOSHUA PALMER*: VS NY GIANTS ($3,000)

The NFL is an 18-week war of attrition. The COVID pandemic has added even more uncertainty to weekly roster decisions. The Chargers will likely be without top receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams this week, putting the Tennessee rookie, Palmer and second-year pro, Jalen Guyton in Justin Herbert’s crosshairs. Palmer is more inclined to score a touchdown this week as the bigger body. He is a raw version of Mike Williams, which I can see as endearing to his quarterback.

KANSAS CITY, MO – OCTOBER 10: Buffalo Bills outside linebacker A.J. Klein (54) looks to tackle Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) in the third quarter of an NFL football game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs on Oct 10, 2021 at GEHA Filed at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Tight Ends

Gold-Plated

TRAVIS KELCE: VS LAS VEGAS ($7,400)***

Without a doubt, I was ecstatic to get Kelce back on the Main Slate this week. All of the primetime games and bye week left me yearning for a great spend-up lock in the tight end dystopian wasteland. I did hit big on George Kittle last week (he’s another good one this week) and now look to lock in the immense positional advantage of Kelce against a reeling Raiders team. Kelce is a cornerstone player in all of my builds.

Rocking the Suburbs

EVAN ENGRAM: @ LA CHARGERS ($3,500)

Crazy, right? Yes, I still call Engram “Old Stone Hands.” What I have also noticed is Engram remaining a healthy asset for the most pathetic team in the NFL (in my opinion). Casting away a garbage offensive coordinator has liberated the Mississippi tight end to actually run routes down the field. His target volume has been steady, which gives me less pause this week against a Chargers defense that quite literally forces their opponents to funnel plays to the middle of the field.

Under the Table

DONALD PARHAM JR: VS NY GIANTS ($2,800)

With the dearth of healthy receiving options for the Chargers, many will overlook Parham. He has been nothing more than a random red zone tall guy most of the season, but I am optimistic that they will use his unique size and skillset to attack the Giants. We’re digging deeper for a cash game than usual here, but sometimes you need that tall, dart throw tight end posting up in the end zone to put you over the pay line.

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