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Mike Krueger | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

DFS Lineup Review - Week 13

A free square opened up late in the week with the news of Kareem Hunt being released by the Chiefs making lineup construction fairly simple. Spencer Ware became a cheap RB option that allowed you to fit one or two running back studs along with a high-priced receiver. This popular construction lead to a lot of lineup overlap but the amount of quality running back plays along with a plethora of options at receiver gave us enough differentiation to make cash games worth playing.

Here’s a look at my cash game Lineup for Fanduel in Week 13.


On Fanduel, the quarterback position was easy. Jameis Winston ($7500) was an early-week lock and while I briefly considered Cam Newton ($8700) or paying up for Patrick Mahomes ($9500) the savings to Winston was an easy path to take. Carolina has given up the 6th most fantasy points to quarterbacks and with the Buccaneers defense equally as bad, this was a positive game environment with DFS options at every skill position. Winston was only 45.9 percent owned in this $10 double-up which may have been a bit of an anomaly as his ownership was pushing 60% in other cash games I participated in.

In the same game, Cam Newton was an equally good play with perhaps a higher ceiling giving his rushing ability especially around the goaline. Mahomes is always in play given he’s making a run at 50 passing TDs for the season and he figured to have more on his plate with the Chiefs running game taking a serious blow late in the week. The Raiders also play a lot of man coverage in the secondary which opens up running lanes for the quarterback, which Mahomes took advantage of to the tune of 52 yards on the ground.

Running Back

We had a lot of running back options to choose from at various price levels but those options were condensed down to four plays by the end of the week. With the ability to only play three running backs in your lineup, decisions had to be made. In early lineup builds, Kareem Hunt ($8900) was a lock, facing a Raiders defense that has given up the most rushing TDs to running backs. Todd Gurley ($9800), Christian McCaffrey ($8800) and Aaron Jones ($7600) were also great plays and the unlocked value of Spencer Ware late, gave you the ability to fit two of them in your lineup. I chose to go with Gurley and Jones which appeared to be the least popular pairing as most opted to take the savings with McCaffrey for a McCaffrey-Jones-Ware trio.

I had some minor concerns with Gurley’s usage as he injured his ankle against the Chiefs in Week 11, but coming off a bye and not being listed on the final injury report gave me enough confidence to use him over McCaffrey who was in a great matchup against on the worst defenses in the league. Gurley (19.1% owned) and the Rams got off to a slow start and looked to be going through the motions for much of their game against the Lions until they turned it on in the fourth quarter. Gurley trolled his fantasy owners by avoiding the endzone with roughly four minutes left in the game and the Lions out of timeouts, but later pounded it in from the goaline, capping his two-TD day and finishing as the top scoring RB on the slate.

I was a little concerned with Jones, given Mike McCarthy’s aversion to giving him a full workload in the past and being slow to come around to the fact that his most explosive player at the position needed a usage bump. However, Jones was in a great spot – at home against a Cardinals defense that’s struggled to stop the position and it seemed McCarthy had turned the corner on getting his best running back on the field with more regularity. With the weather a little dicey and the Packers favored by two touchdowns, this should have easily been a 100-yard, 1 TD day for Jones with the upside for more. Instead, Jones finished with 11 carries, 36 yards, 1 TD; 4 catches, 16 yards while splitting time almost evenly with Jamaal Williams. The Packers lost and Mike McCarthy was sent packing.

Wide Receiver

I messed around with some Tyreek Hill ($8400), Adam Thielen ($8100) combos but in the end, I couldn’t get comfortable with having the inconsistent Corey Davis ($5900) in my lineup. Instead, I choose a trio that seemed to be quite popular – Hill, Robert Woods ($7300) and Chris Godwin ($5400). Godwin and his projected role increase with DeSean Jackson out and in one of the best game environments of the week was an early-week lock in my lineup. I projected him for 6-8 targets and his low cost made it easy to fit in the most explosive playmaker (Hill) at the position. Woods was the safest mid-range option, and I slightly favored him over Kenny Golladay ($7300) given the quality of the Rams’ offense. I strongly considered Thielen but given the uncertainty of Diggs’ health and facing a Bill Belichick defense that routinely schemes to take away the team’s best player, I faded Thielen Sunday morning.

Tight End

Travis Kelce ($7800) was head and shoulders the best play at the high-end but he wasn’t going to be a viable option given my lineup construction. My decision really came down to Eric Ebron ($5600) who was projected to be one of Andrew Luck’s main targets with Jack Doyle out or taking a flier on Matt LaCosse ($4700) which would’ve allowed me to get up to Thielen at the wide receiver position. In the end, the target and usage projection for Ebron was too much to ignore and made the most sense over the relatively unknown Denver tight end. LaCosse posted a goose-egg while Ebron saw a whopping 16 targets from Luck.


Spencer Ware ($5200) was a no-brainer, salary saver that gave you a starting running back on one of the best offenses in the league, facing a putrid defense lacking any playmakers. We assumed Ware was going to share time with Damien Williams but Ware was going to have a lead role in the offense and have a high TD expectation which was more than enough to lock him into lineups, especially at his low cost. The free square was 93.2 percent owned in this double-up.


The Packers ($4400) were the highest owned defense in cash, but I typically play in the shallow end of the pool at the position and this week was no exception. Being limited to $3200 or less, I had to choose between the aggressive defense of the Browns ($3200) or the Cardinals ($2800) who’ve shown the ability to pressure the quarterback on occasion. Neither was in an ideal spot so I chose to go with Cleveland as Deshaun Watson tends to be susceptible to sacks and turnovers as he extends plays outside the pocket. The Bears ($4800), Seahawks ($4600), and Texans ($4400) were on my list at the high end. I ended up using Houston over on Draftkings.


After three straight losing weeks, it’s nice to stop the bleeding. With roster construction fairly straightforward, there weren’t too many big decisions to be made. I did have a couple 2v2s to consider… I was trying to fit in both Gurley and McCaffrey but wasn’t comfortable coming off Tyreek Hill for Corey Davis but as it turned out, that would have been the optimal lineup for my roster construction as the combo of Christian McCaffrey-Corey Davis over Aaron Jones-Tyreek Hill would have netted me an extra 21 points. As it was, I was well within the cash line this week for double-ups and 50/50s, but was on the wrong side of the bubble in tournaments. I’ll take it.

On to Week 14…