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Mike Krueger | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

DFS Lineup Review - Week 12

There was a lot to like at running back this week which became enhanced early Sunday morning with the news Alex Collins would be out for the Ravens. We also had a free square on Fanduel at the tight end position with Cameron Brate and his cheap salary filling in for the injured O.J. Howard. Some people were smart enough to take it.

Here’s a look at my cash game Lineup for Fanduel in Week 12.


Even with Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Jared Goff off the main slate there was plenty to like a the quarterback position. Andrew Luck ($8400) and Ben Roethlisberger ($7900) were viable options but really there wasn’t much reason to consider anyone but Jameis Winston ($7500) and Lamar Jackson ($7400). Both QBs were roughly $1000 cheaper than Luck and offered just as much floor and upside as Big Ben at a cheaper cost. Even though I liked Jackson (played him on DK), Winston felt slightly safer given we know how pass-happy the Bucs are and he certainly has a leg up in the experience department over the rookie. It was easy to figure Jackson wouldn’t duplicate his 27 rushing attempts from last week, but 10-15 carries was certainly in the range of outcomes giving him a solid floor, especially if he could find the endzone. Both quarterbacks paid off their salary and each finished with 22 fantasy points. Even I couldn’t screw up the QB position this week.

Running Back

What I could do is screw up the running back position in a week were virtually all the good plays posted tremendous scores. How is that even possible!?!

Melvin Gordon ($8900) was an early week lock for me for all the obvious reasons. The matchup against the Cardinals was positive with Arizona giving up the 4th most fantasy points to the position (now 2nd) and his goaline role remains one of the most predictable in the league. Late in the week, we got word that Gordon had to convince the team to let him play against their better judgement, so given the uncertainty; it didn’t make sense to play Gordon in cash games. A pivot to Saquon Barkley ($9100) at a similar price was obvious which is exactly what I did… until we got news Sunday morning that Collins would be inactive and Gus Edwards ($5300) would be handling the bulk of rushing duties for a Ravens team projected to be playing from ahead most of the game against the lowly Raiders. Getting Gus in my lineup wasn’t a bad call, but doing so at the expense of Barkley, my top running back play, was a serious mistake.

I really liked the situation for Marlon Mack ($7000) who seemed underpriced for his matchup against an inferior Dolphins team that was top five in fantasy points allowed to the position. While Mack isn’t involved in the passing game as much as we’d like, his TD expectation in this contest was increased in a game the Colts were favored by 8.5 points.

Wide Receiver

Outside of Odell Beckham Jr. ($8500) who was in a terrific matchup against a decimated Eagles’ secondary there really wasn’t a lot to like at the high-end of the wide receivers this week… which is fine since I typically like to scour the mid-range and low-end in order to fit in higher-priced running backs. But, since there were so many running backs to love in every price range, it made it easy to fit in Beckham, or Antonio Brown ($8500) if you preferred. Beckham was the highest owned WR at a 68 percent clip and became easy to fit with all the cheap RBs in play.

I really liked the matchup for Julian Edelman ($7400) this week against a Jets defense that gives up a lot of short-to-intermediate catches to slot receivers. He was my preference over others in this price range that included Keenan Allen ($7700) and Mike Evans ($7900) who I also had high interest in. Tyler Boyd ($6800) seemed underpriced given I projected the Bengals to be playing from behind most of the day and T.Y. Hilton was also under consideration given he was playing at home with the Colts having a high team total of 30.5.

I expected D.J. Moore ($5800) to see a couple extra targets with Devin Funchess on the shelf and really liked his upside given it seems he’s in the process of ascending to the No.1 wide receiver role on this team. Given his low cost, he was the second wide receiver I locked into my lineup early in the week along with Edelman.

Tight End

I had Cameron Brate ($4000) just like the rest of the DFS population… or 66.8 percent to be exact, until I decided to get cute on Sunday morning. Brate was simply a salary saver in a good game environment who expected to see more volume than normal with O.J. Howard out for the remainder of the season. Brate paid off his salary with an early TD, meaning I need my high-priced TE, George Kittle ($7500) to smash. I certainly liked Kittle and Zach Ertz ($7600) and them head and shoulders above all other tight ends on this slate. I actually preferred them both to wide receivers in this price range like Allen, Boyd and Hilton. I would’ve played Ertz over Kittle but I didn’t have the salary as this lineup left zero dollars on the table but felt very comfortable with the San Francisco tight end. As it turs out, Kittle busted for his price, scored less than Brate while Ertz was the highest scoring tight end of the week. Perfect.


I expected James Conner ($7900) to resume his workhorse role after being given a light workload for the Steelers Thursday night game in Week 10 and suffering from game flow issues in Week 11 against the Jaguars. Nick Chubb ($7500) was also in consideration given I projected the Browns to win this game and his goaline role was secure. I didn’t like Conner as much as Barkley and Mack making him the ideal player to drop from this lineup in favor of Gus. However, I got all excited with the idea of using the $3800 savings from Barkley and upgrading both the WR and TE positions, instead of just swapping out Conner for Gus and upgrading one of the variable positions. I didn’t process the late-breaking news very well and certainly know better than to blow up my lineup late in the week, especially when simpler pivots are available. Dumb.


I typically pay down at defense at this week was no exception. Even on the road, the Browns were mispriced facing a woeful Bengals team missing their catalyst on offense (A.J. Green). Many agreed as Cleveland was 26.5 percent owned and the highest owned defense in this double-up. If you could find the salary, the Ravens ($5000), Chargers ($4900) and Colts ($4400), were other outstanding options.


This marks the third straight week I ended up on the wrong side of my key decision point. This week it was a 3v3 with Saquon Barkley, Keenan Allen, Cameron Brate in one corner vs. Gus Edwards, Odell Beckham Jr., and George Kittle in the other corner. Even though my process was sound in wanting to play three running backs, this was definitely a process mistake in coming off Barkley (the safer RB play) and moving up for a higher priced players (Beckham, Kittle) at more variable positions (WR & TE). Had I stuck with my initial Barkley lineup I would’ve gained 23.9 points which would’ve been bubbling in double-ups and 50-50s and at the very least would’ve returned my investment and likely made a small profit. As it stands, Week 12 was a complete zero, moving my results to 7-5 and a three-week losing streak. After this disaster, I’m most definitely ready to move…

On to Week 13…