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Mike Krueger | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

DFS Lineup Review - Week 5

It was a fun week to build lineups with four games projected at 50-plus points on the main slate giving us plenty of roster construction options. Ultimately, paying down at receiver and tight end and jamming in as many high-volume, high-priced running backs was the play. Some of us donkeys chose another strategy.

Here’s a look at my cash game Lineup for Fanduel in Week 5.


My favorite game environment on the slate was the Steelers-Falcons matchup with the Raiders-Chargers a very close second. So, Ben Roethlisberger ($8400), Matt Ryan ($8300), Philip Rivers ($8200) were strong considerations as was Blake Bortles ($7000) against the Chiefs. We know Bortles tends to do his best fantasy work with Leonard Fournette on the sideline and the shootout potential was a realistic outcome given the matchup. We also know Bortles can be a turnover machine and look unorthodox when delivering the ball, both of which were on full display Sunday. In the end, my two top plays were Big-Ben and Bortles and given the $1400 savings and my roster construction, Bortles was the only play.

Running Back

I’ve been using three RBs in cash games since Week 1 and that wasn’t about to stop in Week 5 with Todd Gurley ($9100), Melvin Gordon ($8700), Christian McCaffrey ($8100), James Conner ($7800) and T.J. Yeldon ($6500) all in good spots with Conner and Yeldon getting a value boost this week with their expected roles and positive matchup. The Falcons have been decimated by pass-catching running backs this season making Conner intriguing despite his poor performances the last two weeks and Yeldon was getting the starting nod with Fournette (hamstring) on the sideline.

My contrarian cash play of Marshawn Lynch ($6500), who was just 5 percent owned in cash games, seemed to have a similar touch projection as Yeldon and was a slightly better bet to find the endzone given his usage around the goaline. I was also a leary of having two Jaguars in my lineup. The $400 price savings on Gordon over Gurley came in handy and my use of Lynch allowed to me grab the high-priced receiver I wanted.

Wide Receiver

That receiver was JuJu Smith-Shuster. With double-digit targets in each of the last three games (19-11-11) and costing $1000 less than Antonio Brown ($9000) it was an easy call. It also allowed me to get a piece of the game with the highest over/under (57) on the slate.

Rounding out my receivers were a couple of mid-priced plays. Tyler Boyd ($6300) has been a consistent force in my cash game lineups the last two weeks. He’s taken over as the No.2 receiving option in the Bengals offense and didn’t project to see Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard in coverage. With John Ross (groin) being on the shelf, Boyd was an easy option in cash games.

My last receiver spot came down to Kenny Golladay ($6300), Mike Williams ($6300), John Brown ($6200) in the mid-range and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (4800) at the bottom of the barrel. Golladay seemed like the safer play of the bunch although I did have a hard time choosing between him and Brown who’s clearly become the big-play option for the Ravens. Brown’s deep ball targets are enticing but his catch 50% rate leaves me queasy making Golladay the easy call. The hindsight and possible process mistake here is not taking the $1400 savings on MVS and using that cash on an upgrade to Lynch at running back.

Tight End

The tight end position seemed straight forward this week. You’re either paying up for Zack Ertz ($7500), Travis Kelce ($7700) or paying down to Vance McDonald ($4600) who’s the clear passing option at the position for Big-Ben. Other pivots off McDonald included David Njoku ($5200), Austin Hooper ($5000) or C.J. Uzomah ($4700). Hooper and Uzomah haven’t seen the volume of McDonald and didn’t possess the ceiling either, making McDonald (80 percent owned in $50 double-ups) the logical choice.


I messed around with some McCaffrey, Gordon and Yeldon lineups but ultimately I wanted Gurley and was easily able to fit him in given my roster construction. The Rams running back now has 9 touchdowns in five games including three on Sunday. The plethora of good running back options led to him being only 60% owned, but worth every penny.


The most popular play of the week was the Titans ($3900) who seemed mispriced against the hapless Bills. Even on the road, Tennessee projected to take advantage of Josh Allen who’s only thrown for more than 200 yards once this season - Week 2 vs. the Chargers. The Jets (vs. DEN) and the Browns (vs. BAL) were other strong considerations. Both were playing at home against quarterbacks proven to be turnover prone. The Titans were my top play, but I needed the $600 savings the Browns offered me, to make this roster fit.


The key decision this week was whether or not to go with cheapie Marquez Valdes-Scantling at wide receiver or stick with a more stable commodity at the position. I chose the latter and it cost me. Swapping Lynch and Golladay for MVS (30 percent owned) and Conner would’ve netted me 25 points on this lineup and a clean sweep in double-ups and 50/50s. Not making the 2V2 swap move cost me my first losing week on Fanduel this season. I also could’ve easily played Yeldon over Lynch for the same price and found a profitable weekend. Mistakes were made.