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Mike Krueger | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


DFS Lineup Review - Week 15
12/17/18


With the Chargers, Chiefs, Rams, Saints and Panthers off the main slate we had a good idea this might be a low-scoring fantasy week and that scenario played out in a big way. Cash lines around 105 FD points were common in double ups, well below the norm.

We had a couple mispriced players on Fanduel that were projected to be widely owned. I faded one of them and made a mistake at tight end but still found enough good plays to turn a profit.

Here’s a look at my cash game Lineup for Fanduel in Week 15.

Quarterback

The Patriots Ė Steelers game was sure to attract a lot of interest this week given it was the highest game total (52.0) on the main slate and featured a couple of high-powered offenses. Tom Brady ($7900) was fresh off a 358-yard 3 TD performance, reasonably priced and $700 cheaper than Ben Roethlisberger ($8600) making him an obvious choice for cash games. My initial lineup build had Josh Allen ($7600) penciled in at quarterback who was averaging over 100 rushing yards in his previous three games and faced a neutral matchup at home against the Lions.

Speaking of rushing ability, Lamar Jackson ($7700) was also under consideration given his prime matchup against the Buccaneers but given the Ravens run-heavy approach, they didnít project to take advantage of the Bucs weakness in defensing passing quarterbacks. That made Brady the safest bet given the quality of the offense and the game environment. Many others felt the same way as Brady was the most popular quarterback in cash games and 33.2 percent owned in this $5 double up. Dak Prescott was noticeably owned (10.9%) but I didnít really like this spot for Dallas on the road facing a Colts defense that does a decent job taking away deep sideline passes and big plays in the passing game.

Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott ($8800) was an early-week lock for me. His involvement in the pass game and goaline role was matched only by Saquon Barkley ($9400) on this slate and I preferred the DALĖIND game environment over the TENĖNYG slop fest. Zeke was also $600 cheaper making him the easy call for my high-priced running back.

I had a choice to make at the second running back slot. I liked the setup for Joe Mixon ($7800) who was sure to see a good amount of volume for the Bengals against a leaky Raiders run defense but I also liked the idea of Leonard Fournette ($8200) in a bounce back spot at home against a Redskins team devastated by injury with reported frustration and tension on the defensive side of the ball. David Johnson ($7400) was under consideration as well given his matchup against the Falcons defense thatís given up the second most receiving yards to running backs. However, the Cardinals offense has looked down right awful at times, and I slightly preferred the Jeff Driskel-led Bengals at home than the Josh Rosen-led Cardinals on the road.

At the cheap end, Jaylen Samuels ($5500) was intriguing as a salary saver. I projected him to see 10-15 carries and 4-6 targets in a game I figured would skew more towards the pass. In the end I chose to go with Mixon whoís volume and goaline role seemed more secure and I wasnít really in love with the high priced wide receivers, so the salary savings wasnít a big need. I couldíve used the Sameuls savings to upgrade at tight end but I didnít want to prioritize the TE position while weakening myself at running back. Thatís a general process rule for me that I couldíve gone away from this week. More on that belowÖ

Wide Receiver

Antonio Brown ($8600) and JuJu Smith-Schusterr ($7800) were obviously good plays but I really had no idea who the better option was given we didnít have a good idea how the Patriots would scheme their defense. Bracket coverage on either of the Steelersí primary wide receivers was in play, so letting price be the deciding factor was easy and I still got a solid piece of this game.

I really liked this spot for Julian Edelman ($7200) as Pittsburgh has struggled covering the slot receiver at times, including allowing Keenan Allen to post a 14-148-1 line that saw a linebacker in coverage on multiple occasions on the Chargers best receiver. I favored Edelman over Amari Cooper ($6600) who was the most popular wide receiver play on the slate (75.9% owned). Cooper just posted a 10-217-3 line the week before to go along with a monster game in Week 12 and was obviously underpriced but his projection wasnít all that different from Edlemanís and I much preferred the NE-PIT game environment. I also felt like Cooper was going to have a tougher time hitting the higher end of his range of outcomes given the way the Colts play defense. This decision could easily have sunk my lineup but Cooperís 6.3 FPts was a key factor to my success on the slate.

With Odell Beckham Jr. ruled out, Sterling Shepard ($5200) became my low cost wide receiver option that allowed me to squeeze in the three running backs I wanted to play. I wasnít expecting much and thatís exactly what I got.

Tight End

My tendency is to pay down at tight end or on occasion, pay all the way up if roster construction calls for it. Given I didnít like the majority of high-priced wide receivers this week, it might have been a mistake to punt with Vernon Davis ($5300) who was playing with Josh Johnson at quarterback in an ugly game environment with a 36.0 total. I messed around with a couple lineups that included Jared Cook ($6300) and Jaylen Samuels over Vern and Dalvin Cook but didnít feel comfortable coming off Dalvin or Mixon. Eric Ebron ($6500) was the most popular play at the position (47.7% owned) with Rob Gronkowski ($6900) a distant second at 12.8 percent owned.

Flex

As usual, Iím trying to jam in three running backs into my cash lineup and Fanduel did us a favor this week by underpricing Dalvin Cook ($6200) at home against a Miami defense thatís given up the 5th most fantasy points to running backs, making Cook an easy choice for the Flex spot. I did have volume concerns for the Vikings main ball carrier even though it seems heís been the back of choice ever since the OC change a couple weeks ago. Those fears were realized as Latavius Murray ($5200) was involved in the offense early on, but thankfully the Vikings took a run-heavy approach piling up 34 carries which included 19 for Cook Ė more than enough to gouge the Dolphins defense for a 136 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.

Defense

The Bears ($3700) fit nicely into my lineup construction and seemed mispriced even against Aaron Rodgers who very rarely commits mistakes. I needed to drop down to the Cowboys ($3400) in my Samuels –Jarrod Cook build but once I made the decision to stick with the Dalvin lineup, I wasn’t going to go stray below the Bears. If I had the salary to pay up, the Bills ($4200) and Vikings ($3900) were on the radar.

Results

I feel somewhat fortunate to get away with Vernon Davis being in my lineup on this low-scoring week, but I stuck true to my process of prioritizing the running back position in lineup builds over the more volatile wide receiver and tight end positions and it paid dividends. I was on the right side of Amari Cooper which wouldíve been a death sentence to this lineup. As it stands, Iím now 10-5 on the year in double-ups and 50-50s and looking forward to the home stretch.

On to Week 16…