The final few weeks of the regular season present new opportunities
and pitfalls that all DFS owners need to be aware of as we close
out the final quarter of the 2015 NFL regular season.
Teams like the Panthers, who have already clinched a playoff
berth and a first round bye, will likely manage their injuries
and limit players in hopes of getting healthy for a Super Bowl
run, while eliminated teams like the 49ers, Browns, and Ravens
will likely give otherwise unknown players opportunities to play
with the goal of reviewing their roster for next year.
Playoff contending teams fighting for one of the final tickets
to the postseason will remove all of the stops and will do anything
to keep their seasons alive, including extending workloads for
running backs and leaning on star skill position players.
When building DFS rosters in weeks 15, 16, and especially week
17, it is important to think of the overall outlook of a player’s
respective team when deciding where to allocate your salary dollars.
There is no doubt that Cam Newton is a solid play this week against
the Giants and Week 16 against the Falcons, but there is the threat
of him not playing a full game if the Panthers build a big lead,
especially if they fail on their bid for an undefeated season.
Conversely, Calvin Johnson has a few good match ups down the
stretch, against the Saints on the road and the 49ers at home,
but you must considering the chance of him not playing much if
his nagging knee and ankle injuries continue. The Lions have very
little to play for, and it would not be surprising to see Megatron
limited even if he starts in those games.
My goal with my final three regular season games is to target
players who are playing on playoff contenting teams with high-scoring
offenses, while mixing in a few cheap injury replacement players
to round out my squad.
The logic here is to maximize players who will see heavy workloads
and targets, while fading expensive players on teams out of contention
who may see their roles diminished. There will no doubt be players
who deliver top tier performances on out of contention teams like
the Lions, Saints, or Bears, but I would rather mitigate that
risk by focusing on teams in contention with everything on the
For my lineup review from last week, I want to dissect a losing
roster from a $3 multiplier cash game on DraftKings. This is an
example of a team with solid production from all players, but
one that did not cash because of a late minute push by Odell Beckham
Jr. on Monday Night Football.
Taylor DraftKings Points: 19.02
Taylor entered the game against the Eagles with back-to-back
27-plus point games against the Chiefs and Texans - two impressive
defenses who have been playing well. At only $5400, Taylor appeared
to be a nice value play against an Eagles team that doesn’t
have a great defense, and in game in which I thought both teams
would move the ball and score.
I decided to use a Bills stack based on this logic, and all three
of the players I picked gave me solid production for a cash game.
But Taylor failing to get the 20-25 points I anticipated was somewhat
of a disappointment, especially considering Mike Gillislee vultured
a rushing touchdown from Taylor and McCoy in the second half.
Like many DFS players, I bought into the revenge game for McCoy
as he played against Chip Kelly for the first time since the trade
that brought him to Buffalo last season. Rex Ryan is the type
of coach to stick it to other players and coaches, so it seemed
like a logical play to start a disgruntled McCoy against his old
team. McCoy had a nice game with 110 total yards and four receptions,
but missing out on Gillislee’s rushing touchdown killed
my chances of cashing, as I ended up missing the top 25 in the
contest by only 6 points.
Doug Martin against the Saints at home had the makings of a huge
game, considering the Saints have been terrible defensively this
season and Martin has scored double digit fantasy points in four
straight games. The muscle hamster did not disappoint with 81
yards and a touchdown. However, I would have liked to have seen
more than the 11 carries he received.
My wide receiving corps came through for me once again this week,
as Waktins, Brown and Lockett achieved my goal of a 20-point average
from the position. But it didn’t turn out quite like I anticipated,
and my most expensive player Brown, gave me the least amount of
production despite having a choice match up against an injury
depleted Bengals team.
The injury to Andy Dalton and the subsequent pick-six by the
Steelers defense against AJ McCarron killed the chance of Brown
having a big performance, as Pittsburgh ran away with the game.
It also did not help that DeAngelo Williams scored two rushing
touchdowns and Big Ben failed to throw a TD for the first time
in five games.
The home run play of Tyler Lockett against the hapless Ravens
saved my butt this week, as the speedster rookie from Kansas State
posted 104 yards and two touchdowns. With an ownership percentage
of less than 2%, I was a bit surprised that more owners did not
invest in Lockett considering the Ravens had been horrid against
the pass. Keep that in mind this week with the Chiefs and Jeremy
With a touchdown now in each of his last four games and a salary
of only $4500, Julius Thomas continues to be one of the best tight
end values on DraftKings and someone who has paid great dividends
for me over the past month.
Thomas is a red zone beast and Blake Bortles appears to have
found a chemistry with his new tight end. I would be shocked to
see that streak end this week with the Falcons coming to town,
the same team that just gave up 38 points to the Panthers.
If you take one bit of advice from this column this week, be
sure to play Thomas against Atlanta.
I try to target high-volume wide receivers for my flex position,
and with a decent chunk of my salary cap remaining I decided to
pull the trigger on Landry. The thought here was I figured Landry
would bounce back from his two catch stinker against the Ravens
and get tons of work in a game against his former LSU teammate
Both guesses turned out to be correct as Landry caught 11 balls
for 99 yards. However, he did fail to reach the end zone and made
a costly penalty in the fourth quarter. Overall, 20.9 points from
your flex deserves an A.
Defense: Chiefs DraftKings Points 14
I was really hoping for a defensive touchdown from the Chiefs
in what had the makings of an ugly, muddy day at Arrowhead. Although
KC did not give me that TD, they did sack Philip Rivers five times
and posted an interception, while holding the Chargers to only
I would give myself an overall grade of a B for this lineup,
considering the fact that I posted double digits from all nine
positions, including 30 points from my home run pick Tyler Lockett.
But the truth is this lineup was an F because I missed cashing
by six points, and there are no payouts for close calls.