DFS Cash Game Strategy: 2023 Guide

DFS cash games most often refer to double-up, 50/50 or head-to-head contests.

By nature, cash games are easier to win than GPP tournaments. They require less points, more people win, they entail less player volatility and they don’t require as much game theory. You can freely roster studs without having to worry as much about ownership and who your competitors are drafting.

In short, you don’t need to get fancy. You need to find players with a good probability of getting high volume.

This makes cash games appealing for players who have a lower tolerance for losing. But cash games can be a grind and they’re getting increasingly competitive. More than ever, you must adapt your style to maximize win probability.

Below are fundamental cash game tips to help you become more consistent during the 2023 NFL season.

NFL Cash Game Basics

  • The strategy for winning cash games is meaningfully different than the strategy for prospering in DFS GPP (guaranteed price pool) contests.
  • NFL football is a game of variables. On a week by week basis, almost anything can happen. But winning cash games regularly nonetheless requires that you choose players who are reasonably consistent. Your goal is to minimize inevitable variance. Unlike GPPs, it doesn’t matter if your cash game entry wins first place or last place in the money, you win the same amount regardless. Hence, you don’t want risk. You want safe.
  • High-risk/high-reward players aren’t suited to cash games. Your goal is to pick as many players as you can afford with high consistency. That means, players with the highest percentage chance of exceeding their expected fantasy point floor.

Ownership and Upside in Cash Games

  • Ownership matters little in cash games. Pick the most consistent players, period.
  • Of course, you still want upside (decent ceilings). If all your players do is hit their floors you won’t win. That said, those who discount the importance of floor in cash games tend to be gamblers who rely too much on luck.
  • Consider a case where you’re choosing between two similarly-priced players:
    Player A: Floor: 12 / Ceiling: 27
    Player B: Floor: 9 / Ceiling: 31
    In cash games, other things equal, player A is generally the play despite the 15% greater upside of player B. Again, we’re seeking production certainty as opposed to boom-bust players. Consistency is key.

Look for Value

  • Study how to find value in NFL DFS. Build your lineup from the ground up with the best high value players you can find at each position. Then fill in the blanks with the best players you can given the salary remaining. This should get you winning more consistently than a stars and scrubs lineup that forces you to use $2,500 or $3,000 players to plug remaining roster slots.
  • If you need help with finding value while organizing your lineup, DFS Hub can help you with its free NFL Lineup Builder.
  • In a cash game, you want every player to be able to score over 16 fantasy points on average. You also want a high degree of certainty that your players will score those points. You must identify the players within your budget that offer the highest floors ( [FloorL4] ) and the most chance at exceeding their floor.
  • The cash line is usually a bit under 150. If you consistently score 150 fantasy points (three points per dollar of salary), you’ll be a profitable cash game player.
  • People often wonder which position is best for the FLEX slot in cash games. The answer is, the player with the best combination of high floor and low salary.
    • That often means a running back, given their relatively higher consistency of touches, but not always.
    • Our research shows that RBs who play score above 10 points about 30% more often than WRs
    • Players who replace injured starters are a great way to hit value in cash games because the salaries are so low.

Other Cash Game Factors

  • Think about contest selection:
    • The higher the entry fee, the lower the rake.
    • Big single-entry double-ups are the most profitable cash games.
      • The large field smooths out scoring volatility, meaning the minimum score to cash is more consistent each week.
      • If you play a 1,000 entrant double-up instead of a 10 entrant contest, you’re much less likely to be beat by luck (namely, 5 other guy’s luck in a 10-man contest).
      • The entry limit minimizes the impact of sharks, lowering the score required to cash by as much as 5 FPs.