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Mike Krueger | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

DFS Lineup Review - Week 8

What a difference a week makes. In Week 7, we had to make lineups without any options from Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Kansas City and Cincinnati. This week, they were all in play on the main slate and Fanduel finally gave us a decision to make on Todd Gurley who saw a significant price bump.

Here’s a look at my cash game Lineup for Fanduel in Week 8.


There were a number of good quarterback options all within $800 of each other. At the top end, Aaron Rodgers ($8600) and Jared Goff ($8500) were squaring off in a game with a total of 57 points. I was hesitant to use Goff given he was the most likely of my QB considerations to come up empty in the TD department, especially considering Gurley’s usage inside the 10-yard line. Rodgers was my top quarterback play of the week but given we like to pay down at the position in order to fit in top tier running backs and receivers, my eyes shifted to Jameis Winston ($7800) who was also in a high-total game (54.5) and commanding an offense that ranks high in air yards and pass attempts per game. Knowing the Buccaneers would be accommodating in giving up points to the Bengals, Winston was in an ideal game script spot and easily became my favorite quarterback based on price. Andy Dalton ($7800) at the same price was a brief consideration but I had Winston with a higher projection making him the easy call.

Running Back

After seven weeks, Fanduel gave us a decision to make on Todd Gurley ($11000). I mentioned last week, that I’d continue playing Gurley until his price got to $11K… and here we are. I messed around with some Gurley lineups but never got comfortable enough at the wide receiver position and with four cheaper backs sticking out as great plays; it made sense to fade Gurley in cash games.

James Conner ($8000) and Kareem Hunt ($8100) were in similar spots, both playing at home, getting the bulk of their team’s touches at the position and coming with high a TD expectation. Hunt had already torched the Broncos for 175 yards and a TD back in Week 4 and Denver had allowed 200-yard rushing days to Isaiah Crowell and Gurley. Conner was coming off back-to-back weeks with 100-plus rushing yards with 2 touchowns and facing a Browns defense that ranks top five in fantasy points given to the position. While I also considered Joe Mixon ($7800) who had similar projections and an attractive matchup, these two were locks and their $3000 price difference made fading Gurley an easy call.

Wide Receiver

Wide receiver was a bit tricky this week and easily the position where I spent the most time comparing price to projections. The Buccaneers pass defense has been atrocious making A.J. Green ($8800) and Tyler Boyd ($6800) attractive targets. With Boyd’s price sticking out like a sore thumb and the Bucs getting abused by slot receivers, he became my one lock at the position. That left me with $14000 to spend at the other two wide receiver slots meaning I could go with a star and scrub approach or something a little more balanced. My best balanced option included Robert Woods ($7600) and Chris Godwin ($6400) but I wasn’t comfortable with Godwin’s low usage and really wanted to jam in Davante Adams who was my No.3 ranked wide receiver of the week. I also liked Antonio Brown ($8800), but didn’t feel comfortable enough with the punt options bellows $5400 to fit him or Green on this roster. I was slightly concerned that Adams may not see as many targets given the Packers were getting Geronimo Allison ($5700) and Randall Cobb ($6100) back from injury but felt the game environment and Adams high TD probability outweighed his usage concerns.

I was intrigued by Byron Leftwich taking over as offensive coordinator in Arizona and had hopes the offense as a whole might show some signs of life, especially against a 49ers secondary that’s been below average for the first half of the season. That being said, Christian Kirk ($5400) was still an uncomfortable punt play - a salary saver needed to facilitate my roster. Given his target totals and production over the last three weeks, he felt safer than Martavis Bryant ($5300) was also under consideration and was expected to see a bump in opportunities with Amari Cooper shipped off to Dallas. I also liked Courtland Sutton ($5300) but didn’t trust the Broncos offense enough to have two of them on my roster.

Tight End

Last week I wrote… “David Njoku ($5700) was an early-week lock in my roster and he never moved.” Ditto for this week. With Njoku’s price unchanged and facing a Steelers defense that’s been friendly to the position, you might think the Browns would actually gameplan some options for their freakishly athletic tight end. Instead, he got zero targets. Was this Hue Jackson’s contribution to the offense this week? Anyway, Travis Kelce ($7300) was an obvious play at the high end, but he wasn’t going to fit my roster construction. I liked O.J. Howard ($5800), Vance McDonald ($5300) and C.J. Uzomah ($5400) in roughly the same price range as Njoku and could’ve used the $400 savings to upgrade my Defense but didn’t feel comfortable dropping down to McDonald given he’s still sharing time with Jesse James and my projection for Njoku was higher.


If you’ve read these roster breakdowns the last few weeks, you know that I’ve been jamming in three running backs in cash games. Nothing changed in Week 8 as we had some great options at the position. Phillip Lindsay ($6500) was set for a role increase with Royce Freeman on the sideline with a knee injury. We knew Devontae Booker ($4900) would still be involved, especially on third downs but Lindsay is the better talent and I expected him to give the Chiefs fits… and he did. Lindsay out-touched Booker 21 to 13 and had two 20-yard plays called back on penalties. We also got word Sunday morning from the Broncos beat writers that Lindsay would be removed from special team duties given his expected role increase on offense. I had Lindsay locked into my lineup, but that tipped the scales in my Lindsay - Kerryon Johnson ($6900) debate. Johnson saw his role increase last week with Theo Riddick on the shelf and we expected a similar lead-role workload from the Lions RB in Week 8. His matchup against the Seahawks was a little tougher and I preferred the KC-DEN game environment making Lindsay a comfortable pick for the Flex spot.


I held my nose and clicked the Browns defense ($3100) as they were the only punt play I was comfortable with. Gregg Williams’ defense is aggressive which can lead to turnovers and sacks and while I didn’t really like this matchup, Big-Ben has a history of throwing picks and doesn’t mind holding onto the ball longer than he should, resulting in sacks. If I had the cash, I would’ve jumped up to the Cardinals defense ($3400) with the Steelers ($3800) and Bengals ($3700) also on my radar.


While Gurley popped for his typical 30.5 fantasy points, it was the right call to fade him in cash games given the strong performances from Conner, Mixon and Lindsay. Only Hunt was a worse play on a point per dollar basis. Most owners were on the same page as Gurley was only 10-12 percent owned in the cash games I participated in, down from his 90 percent ownership level last week.

I got the expected performances out my running backs and Boyd turned in an above average score, doing most of his damage in the first half. My concerns about Adams’ usage came true as the Packers used seemingly every wide receiver they had available leading Adams to run only 25 routes, a season low. This is a situation we need to monitor going forward as Adams probably outperformed his expectation given he only saw 7 targets. The tilt was real when Winston got benched towards the end of the third quarter but I also ran good with a late touchdown from Kirk who was sitting on 1 catch for 14 yards well into the fourth quarter. I was a couple points above the cash line before the Kirk TD so it’s likely I would’ve been profitable without the score, but as it turned out, it was a comfortable finish in the green.

On to Week 9…