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Mike Krueger | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


DFS Lineup Review - Week 3
9/24/18


Early in the week it appeared weíd be struggling to find value at the running back position but by the weekend Jay Ajayi, Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette had been ruled out, opening up Corey Clement, Latavius Murray and your favorite Jaguars running back (T.J. Yeldon or Corey Grant) as value plays. Yeldon and Grant werenít really options for cash games as Murray was in an ideal spot, projected to be the lead back for a team at home favored by 16.5 points. What could go wrong?

Quarterback

Knowing that I wanted to jam in two high-priced running backs, roster construction was leading me away from Patrick Mahomes ($8900) and towards Deshaun Watson ($7700) or Jimmy Garoppolo ($7400). Early in the week I had the 49ers QB penciled in, but my desire was to move up to Watson if I could find the cash as he was my No.2 ranked quarterback on the week. Watsonís matchup against a mediocre Giants defense missing CB Eli Apple and pass rusher Olivier Vernon; plus his rushing ability gave him a higher floor even though Garoppolo had a plus matchup on the road against a weak Chiefs secondary.

Running Back

Once Dalvin Cook was ruled out on Friday, Latavius Murray ($5200) became a lock in cash lineups on Fanduel. His TD expectation was high, his team was a massive double-digit favorite and while you could question his usage in the pass game, he was cheaper than T.J. Yeldon ($6100) and Corey Clement ($5800) with basically the same touch projection. While the result was bad, Murray was a good play in this format and given his popularity (80-90% owned) he didnít hurt you cash games.

My continued desire to use three running backs on Fanduel is driven largely by the usage and TD expectation of Alvin Kamara ($8700) and Todd Gurley ($9300). With Mark Ingram on the sidelines, Kamara is such a usage beast in the Saints offense that even on a half-PPR site like Fanduel, heís worthy of a $9K price tag. Plus, his matchup against the depleted Falcons defense that funnels targets to the running back was too good to pass up. The $500 savings led Kamara (65%) to be owned twice as much as Gurley (33%) in cash.

Wide Receiver

The running back position was an easy call this week, but I waffled and debated on the wide receivers through Saturday night. At the high end, Michael Thomas ($9000), Julio Jones ($8700) and Odell Beckham Jr. ($8300) were my main considerations. I had Julio ranked the highest in this group and tried to fit him in, but since all were in the same tier, I was able to pivot to the cheaper Beckham without too much worry. This allowed me to get up to Watson over Garoppolo at QB. This is a good reminder to trust your projections and tiers and not try and force a player into your lineup. Had I stuck with Julio, I wouldíve weakened my lineup at the quarterback position and likely suffered in the results.

Tyler Boyd ($4700) was the key value play at the wide receiver position this week. His 9 targets in Week 2 with A.J. Green in the lineup was a good indication that his role was growing. We got lucky with Green leaving in the 3rd quarter due to injury, but Boyd had already been involved in the offense up to Greenís departure and was on his way to reaching value.

My biggest debate was between Emmanuel Sanders ($6900) and Will Fuller ($7200). Both were in the same tier for me with Sanders being ranked slightly higher at No.16 and Fuller at No.22. Fullerís splits with Watson at quarterback are very consistent and while we tend to think of him as a deep play threat on light volume, itís becoming clear that Watson is narrowing his scope to his threats on the outside and ignoring the slot position. Fuller has 20 targets over the last two weeks and while I played around with different lineups to fit him in, I ultimately stuck to my process and rostered Sanders who I thought had the best matchup of the Broncos receivers against a defense missing itís top cornerback Jimmy Smith (suspension).

Tight End

Roster construction led me away from the top tight ends, leaving my two obvious choices for value. George Kittle ($5800) was in a great spot with the 49ers in an expected shootout on a team with a limited and banged up receiving corps and Eric Ebron ($5500) was destined to see an increased snap rate after Jack Doyle (foot) was ruled out on Friday. Ebron obliged with 11 targets but the results were less than impressive.

Flex

Todd Gurley is the definition of a workhorse back. His snap percentage, touch rate (25-22-28) and goaline usage through the first three weeks are why you want to make room for him in your lineup. Gurley will be off the main slate next week as the Rams host the angry Vikings defense on Thursday night football.

Defense

I typically donít pay up for defense given the volatility at the position but we had some high priced defenses that were definitely worth considering this week. Minnesota ($4900) and Chicago ($4300) were my favorites with the Vikings in a great spot to crush the Bills who appeared to be more like a JV team through two weeks. Khalil Mack has single-handedly made the Bears into a top tier option and he put another display this week (5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF).

However, needing a value option, the Cowboys ($3400) against a Seattle offense that had been bleeding sacks and the Dolphins ($3700) with their underrated secondary at home facing the Raiders were comfortable options. With same amount of boxes being checked for each, I opted for the home team.

Results

Combing through the results of 50/50s and double-ups on Fanduel, Iím somewhat surprised how few of the sharps opted not to jam in both Kamara and Gurley. Most opted to pay up at tight end for Travis Kelce / Zach Ertz and Defense with Minnesota and use Giovani Bernard as a third RB. Once Murray become an obvious value, I felt more comfortable locking in the two RB studs and going for value at the more volatile Tight End and Defense positions. Both approaches worked with varying degree of success if you landed on the right WR plays.

Thank you Tyler Boyd.