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Cesar Becerra

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

*Cesar Becerra*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

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Point Guard

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

Tj McConnell
Draftkings: $5,000
Fanduel $6,700
Tj McConnell has been on fire over his last four games averaging over 32 DK points in 28 minutes since JJ Redick has been sidelined. Today Redick is expected to miss again, and Jerryd Bayless is questionable so McConnell could continue to pick up the slack for the Sixers guards. When both Bayless and Redick are off the court, McConnell holds a 27.4 assist usage percentage. His price is a little elevated given his recent 45 point performance a week ago, but he’s primed to get close to 30 minutes today.

Donovan Mitchell
Draftkings: $7,800
(SG) Fanduel $8,000
Rodney Hood has already been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. When Hood is off the court, Mitchell has a team-high usage rate of 29.4% and an assist rate of 20.4% second behind only Ricky Rubio. Mitchel is averaging over 33 minutes per game and is currently averaging 1.1 DK points per minute. He faces a Hawks defense that allows opposing point guards to score 4 points above-projected points total.

Shooting Guard

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

Malcolm Brogdon
Draftkings: $5,000
Fanduel: $6,300
Brogdon will return tonight after missing Saturday’s contest for personal reasons. He should be well rested and expected to resume his 30-34 minutes. For the year, Brogdon is averaging .78 fantasy points per minute and is going up against the Suns who play at one of the league’s fastest pace. The Bucks are projected to score just under 110 points so that should open the door for Brogdon to chuck up 3’s.

Wayne Ellington
Draftkings: $5,300
Fanduel: $4,800
Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, and Hassan Whiteside have all been ruled out for tonight’s contest against the Rockets. In situations when all three of those players are off the court, Ellington has been the primary beneficiary. In 185 minutes played, Ellington has seen the biggest boost in minutes (185) and usage (22.9%). Ellington is averaging .75 fantasy points per minutes and should be in line to start and could see upwards of 30 minutes.

Small Forward

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

Andrew Wiggins
Draftkings: $6,100
Fanduel: $6,200
Jimmy Butler and Jamal Crawford have been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Clippers. When both are off the court, Wiggins leads the Timberwolves with a 28.9% usage percentage and is second in offensive rating (112.5). This game has the second highest over-under so there should be plenty of opportunity for Wiggins.

Nemanja Bjelica
Draftkings: $3,000
Fanduel: $3,600
As I mentioned above Butler has already been ruled out, and Bjelica got the spot start for Butler when he didn’t play the last game. Bjelica played 26 minutes on Saturday and scored 8 points with 6 rebounds and 2 assists. He’ll be one of the highest owned players on the slate given the matchup, price, and game flow against the Clippers.

Power Forward

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

Kelly Olynyk
Draftkings: $4,800
Fanduel: $4,500
I already talked about the Heat players who have been ruled out, that list included Hassan Whiteside. With Whiteside out, that opens up a spot in the frontcourt for Olynyk to get more minutes. He’s averaging just under 1 fantasy point per minute (.95) and is in an uptempo game against the Rockets.

Trey Lyles
Draftkings: $5,300
Fanduel: $5,400
Trey Lyles has seen upwards of 24 minutes in both of the past two games. Lyles is averaging just over 1 fantasy point per minute (1.01) and faces the Blazers who leave have allowed opposing power forwards to score +2.22 points above salary expectations. The Nuggets are 3 point favorites over the Blazers and Lyles should see 25 minutes tonight.

Center

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Sleepers for 1/22/18

Clint Capela
Draftkings: $6,600
Fanduel: $7,700
More of a play on Draftkings than Fanduel because of his extremely affordable price, Capela should benefit from Whiteside being off the court tonight. Capela continues to play right around 30 minutes a night and is averaging over 1 fantasy point per minute (1.31). With no Whiteside protecting the rim, Capela should be in store for a double-double tonight, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him pass 40 fantasy points.

Marcin Gortat
Draftkings: $5,100
Fanduel: $4,700
Since I gave you a DK play with Capela, I thought I’d give you a Fanduel play at center with Gortat. Gortat has struggled over his last three games failing to reach 20 Fanduel points in each, but tonight he has a good opportunity to bounce back. His salary has dipped below $5,000 on Fanduel, and he faces the Mavericks who allow opposing centers to score 2.19 points above salary expectations.

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots


 

We’ve arrived at the Conference Championships and are down to four teams fighting for a chance to hoist the Lombardi trophy. For Brady, it’s just another ordinary January, but for the rest, this is a chance to put their stamp on a franchise that took a chance on them when no other team in the NFL would.

Unfortunately Championship weekend also signals the end of the DFS football season until late August. I’m assuming Draftkings will continue to run out single-game slates, but I haven’t played those, so I’m not sure if I’ll be playing. Because there are only two games this week, I’m going to run through my write up a little differently. Opposed to going position by position, I’ll break down both championship games and write off my favorite plays for the games. But before I do that, I wanted to go over some strategies I like to employ when playing only two game slates.

I’ve had some pretty good success over the past two season with the two-game prime time slates. They’re entertaining because you’re able to keep a close eye on each game and every play matters. Ownership is easier to predict, and the focus should be more on getting the best players into your lineup opposed to finding players with low ownership. Sure if you want to fire away multi-entries in the $4 Final Four with $400K + entries you can get crazy with playing a less than 10% owned player, but that’s not the ideal strategy for two-game slates.

The key to playing two-game slates is trying to figure out what the game flow of each game is going to be. We usually use Vegas lines to give us an idea of how the experts think the game will play out, but for two games slates, we need to combine that with our opinions of how the game script is going to go. You should always take a stance on whether you think a game total is too high or too low, but it’s important to set your lineup up with positive correlation to ensure you get the most out of your lineup.

You’ll see a lot of lineups this weekend with game stacks and even team stacks. We’ll likely see several lineups with people rostering all of the offensive Patriots and bringing it back with some Jaguars in hopes of accumulating all of the points in that game. The best way to do that is by running through the game script scenarios:

I.e., If the Patriots score 28 points, I think Brady will account for 3 touchdowns and their running back [Lewis, Burkhead, White] will account for the 4th touchdown. If the Pats score early, that opens up the passing defense to play Prevent Defense, which creates throwing lanes over the middle for Bortles. That’s a general idea of how I generate game stacks; the tricky part is finding which players have the highest touchdown equity and playing them in your lineups. I’ll do my best to break down how I see these two games playing out, but you should come up with your theory of the games this week and play lineups accordingly.

Jaguars (19.5) at Patriots (27) | NE [-9] | Over/Under 46.5

New England Patriots (27)

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots

* News *

T. Brady – limited on Thursday (hand) – expected to play
R. Burkhead – limited on Thursday (knee) – expected to play

For the second consecutive week, the Patriots have the best Vegas numbers of all the teams on the slate. They are the largest favorites (-7), have the highest implied total (27), and have the highest game total (46.6). The difference from last week is that the Pats are not going up against the mediocre Titans defense again. They are going up against the Jags who ranked fourth DVOA in total defense, and first in passing defense, per Football Outsiders.

The Jags are coming off of a week where they allowed the Steelers to put up 42 points and 545 total yards (462 pass, 83 rush). That is only the second time the Jags defense has allowed more than 40 points this season (44 to 49ers and 42 to Steelers). While this defense is far from one that offense would like to face, they are far from unbeatable.

A very detailed article by Warren Sharp of Sharp Football Analysis broke down the secret to beating the Jaguars pass defense and essentially blueprinted the Patriots game plan. This is a must-read for anyone trying to figure out how the Patriots will attack this Jaguars defense. Check out the article here. Onto DFS.

You are surely going to want to get your exposure to the Patriots offense. But the question is where? As a team with an implied total near four touchdowns, that generally bodes well for Tom Brady ($7,700). But as a big home favorite and in a matchup against a defense that funnels offensive production to running backs, which also bodes well for the New England running backs. So which way should you go?

After reading Sharps article is crystal clear the best way to attack the Jags is over the middle with at most two wide receiver sets. They have a strong defensive line and secondary but are average at linebacker. That opens things up for Gronk and the running backs. So I’m looking to build Brady stacks with Gronk ($7,900) and one, possibly two of the New England running backs. Brady and Gronk are the top plays on the board and I will have them on 70% of my lineups.

Unfortunately, the New England running back situation is far from a clear picture. Dion Lewis ($8,100) is the slates highest price running back and has done exceptionally well over the past four weeks, scoring five touchdowns during that span. But with the news that Rex Burkhead ($5,400) will likely return for the first time in three weeks, it could eat away from Lewis’ production. On top of Burkhead’s return, we saw last week James White ($4,900) eat into Lewis’ production by scoring two touchdowns against the Titans.

I don’t have a problem with playing any one of these running backs with Brady because they are all capable of catching the ball. I still think Lewis will get the majority of the workload even with all three backs active. Even though Burkhead may return I strongly think White will have more opportunity over him because he was productive with his touches last week and the Pats are likely to ease Burkhead back into action. I really like White for the savings he brings, and I’m leaning toward a hard fade on Burkhead simply because on two-game slates you have to take a stand on questionable players.

I’d rank them Lewis, White, Burkhead.

I don’t mind pairing one or two of these running backs with Brady because I am likely not to stack Brady with any one of his wide receivers. As Sharp’s article pointed out, the best way to target the Jags is over the middle and with the running backs. I don’t like picking on Ramsey or Bouye on the corners. If I had to rank the Pats receivers

I’d go Chris Hogan ($5,000), Brandin Cooks ($6,100), Danny Amendola ($5,500). But none of these come close to Gronk.

Last week, the Jags allowed Steelers tight end Vance McDonald to a team-high 10 catches. Imagine what Gronk will do if he’s funneled with 16 targets that McDonald saw last week. Gronk is might be the best play of the entire slate.

PATRIOTS PLAYS:
T. Brady, R. Gronkowski, D. Lewis, J. White, C. Hogan, B. Cooks

Jacksonville Jaguars (19.5)

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots

* News *

L. Fournette – limited on Thursday (ankle) – expected to play
T. Gipson (FS) – missed practice on Thursday (foot) – expected to play

On the Jags side of the ball, we have a few intriguing options, starting with the quarterback. Don’t throw up, but Blake Bortles ($5,000) is a popular punt play that is worthy of your consideration. NFL coverage on every station has bashed Bortles’ inconsistent play, but somehow he has gotten the Jags to the AFC championship game. In his two playoff games, Bortles has completed only 53% of his passes and has thrown for a combined 301 yards with 2 touchdowns. Those numbers are a far cry from what you’d like to see from a quarterback in a championship game, but Bortles has added some production with his legs to make up for his lack of production through the air. In the past two games, Bortles has 123 rushing yards on 15 attempts (8.2 YPC). The added rushing production has made him rosterable considering his minimum priced salary.

Now Bortles faces the Patriots defense that ranked 21st DVOA during the regular season but isn’t as bad as their ranking suggest. The Patriots haven’t allowed a quarterback to throw for 300 yards since week 6. However, even though the Patriots are much improved, if the game script goes as Vegas and several other analysts suggest, Bortles could be looking at plenty of garbage time opportunities to reach his value at only $5k. Even if the Jags manage an early lead, it bodes well for Bortles because he owns a passer rating of 103 when playing with a lead.

If I’m playing Bortles or trying to find a Jaguar receiver to create a game stack with I’m rostering Dede Westbrook ($3,900) or Marquise Lee ($4,400). Despite only seeing 9 targets combined last week, Westbrook and Lee still played over 65% of the snaps last week. Since the Jags got their full receiving corp healthy, Lee and Westbrook have led the way in snaps and targets, while Keelan Cole ($3,500) and Allen Hurns ($3,300) have split time in the slot. Although the best way to attack the Patriots secondary is receivers in the slot, I still prefer Westbrook and Lee over Cole and Hurns because they are more likely to be on the field.

My rankings for the Jags receivers are Westbrook, Lee, Cole, and Hurns.

The real focal point of the Jags offense is their running game. Leonard Fournette ($7,200) is the lone back on the slate that doesn’t have to worry about touches. Fournette is the only running back that is guaranteed to touch the ball over 20 times. He’s also the lone back that doesn’t have to share touches with anyone. The issue with Fournette is that he could suffer from a negative game script. If the game goes the way Vegas projects, that could limit Fournette’s rushes, and he has only averaged 3 receptions over the past four games. On top of that, Belichick gameplans to take away the opposing offenses’ best player and that means Fournette will likely see 7 to 8 men in the box. The positive side of rostering Fournette is that you get nice touchdown equity. Despite averaging a modest 4.4 YPC last week, he accounted for 3 of the 5 offensive touchdowns. It’s worth noting that the Patriots have only given up 5 rushing touchdowns on the year and last week held Derrick Henry 2.3 YPC. The matchup and negative game script make me cautious in rostering Fournette this week despite his $1,500 drop off from last week.

JAGUARS:
B. Bortles, D. Westbrook, M. Lee, L. Fournette *only if you are fading Brady and stacking with Jags DST*

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

 

 

Vegas.

Vikings (20.75) at Eagles (17.75) | MIN [-3] | Over/Under 38.5

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

Unlike the AFC game, the NFC game isn’t your traditional top offense meets a top defense. These two teams were the top seeds in the NFC, but the Eagles aren’t the team that earned them the number 1 seed. This game features two unlikely quarterbacks and two teams that rank in the bottom 10 in pace of play and the rank as the top 2 defenses DVOA per Football Outsiders.With two relatively unproven quarterbacks and two very good defenses, it explains why the game total sits at 38.5. Both teams are expected to play really conservative and focus on protecting the ball long enough for their defense to make a play to win the game.

Philadelphia Eagles (17.5)

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

* News

D. Ellerbe (LB) – returned to practice on Thursday (hamstring) – questionable

For the second consecutive week, the Eagles come in as home underdogs. They did just enough to win the game last week but have their hands full with the number 1 defense in the league. The Vikings’ defense ranks 1st overall, 4th against the pass, and 5th against the run. Going up against such a dominant defense, it’s no secret why they have the lowest implied total on the slate. So how will the Eagles attack this dominant Vikings defense?

There’s no double they will miss Carson Wentz. Nick Foles ($4,800) is the lowest priced quarterback on the slate. He’s had four starts as the Eagles starting quarterback but has really only played three full games. If we remove week 17 where he was rested, Foles is completing 62% of his passes and has thrown for a combined 626 yards (215 YPG), while throwing 4 touchdowns to 1 interceptions. At first glance, those numbers don’t seem half bad when considering his price tag. But those numbers are inflated from his start against the Giants. If we remove the Giants game, Foles numbers drop to a 61% completion percentage with 409 yards (204 YPG) and 1 touchdown and 1 interception. In 4 starts, Foles has yet to surpass 250 yards in any game. Even last week when he did a good job managing the game, Foles did not find the end zone. In all but one start this year Foles has yet to top 10 DK points and now going up against this stingy Minnesota defense that held Drew Brees to 62% completion percentage and picked him off twice. It’s not a good spot at all for Foles.

As you’d expect the matchup is just as bad for the Eagles receivers. Last week Alshon Jeffery ($4,600) led the receivers in targets with 5, followed by Torrey Smith ($3,000) with 4, and Nelson Agholor ($4,800) with 3. The three receivers combined for 10 catches and 124 yards (12.4 YPC) on 12 targets. If those were numbers from one receiver, we might be able to justify playing this combo receiver, but it’s not. This week they go up against Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Terrence Newman, all of which have a PFF grade higher than 78. Like Nick Foles, I’m not touching these Eagles wide receivers. If there is any receiver I have a slight interest in, it’s Torrey Smith. Smith offers some value because he is $3,000, plays more than 60% of the snaps, and doesn’t have to face Rhodes. On top of that, Smith still has the potential to catch a deep ball for a 60-yard touchdown. Agholor could become an essential part of the passing game with Jeffery presumably being locked up by Rhodes, but at $4,600 I rather take a shot at one of the Jags receivers given that their role is a little more stable.

I always love me some Zach Ertz ($5,300), but he disappointed last week with only 3 catches on 5 targets, and the Vikings rank 2nd in DVOA against tight ends. This season the Vikings have only allowed two tight ends to pass 50 yards and score more than 9 DK points. If I’m playing the Vegas narrative that the Eagles will be trailing in this game, Ertz is the only pass catcher that I would trust from Philadelphia’s offense.

Perhaps the most trusted Eagle this week is Jay Ajayi ($5,200). It’s only a matter of time before Doug Pederson realizes that Ajayi is the most talented back on their roster. Last week Ajayi led the team in touches with 15 carries and 3 receptions for 99 yards. Unfortunately, like the Patriots situation, Ajayi is splitting time with two other running backs. LeGarrette Blount ($3,700) is their goal-line back, and Corey Clement ($3,000) is their third-down back that gets work out of the passing game. Ajayi got 54% of the running back touches last week and is also explosive enough to break one, but after watching the Vikings front seven slow down Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram to 3.2 YPC last week, you can’t help but be hesitant about the entire Eagles offense. Kamara was able to get behind the secondary and score a 14-yard touchdown, so maybe Clement can get some of that same luck. It’s not a matchup-proof situation for these running backs, but it’s a two-game slate, you need to get risky sometime.

EAGLES PLAYS:

J. Ajayi, Eagles Defense, Z. Ertz

Minnesota Vikings (20.75)

Draftkings NFL Championship Round: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

* News

A. Sendejo (FS) – limited practice on Thursday (concussion) – expected to play

A. Thielen – missed practice on Thursday (back) – Probable

The Vikings have the second highest implied total on the slate at 20.75. It’s not pretty, but that’s what you get when you have 3 top 5 defenses in the league in the final 4. The Eagles also have good defensive metrics DVOA (2nd total, 7th pass, 3rd rush). The biggest concern is how the Vikings will stop the Eagles defensive line. The Eagles relentless defensive line has 5 of PFF top 30 pass rushers with Brandon Graham (91.6), Fletcher Cox (90.7), Vinny Curry, (84.7) Tim Jernigan (82.7)and Chris Long (91.8). Their defensive line is among the best in the league and matches up well against the offensive line of the Vikings (offensive line average grade via PFF is 57.28). The Eagles are also allowing 10 fewer points per game at home opposed to on the road this season. Despite this line and home-field advantage for Philadelphia, I still like some Vikings again this week.

Case Keenum ($6,600) was able to salvage a poor fantasy day with a miracle catch by Stefon Diggs. Fortunately for Keenum, he has the best wide receiving corps left in the playoffs with Adam Thielen ($7,400) and Stefon Diggs ($6,900). Fortunately for Minnesota, the most exploitable hole in the Eagles defense is their secondary as they ranked 21st in aFPA to wide receivers, per 4for4. So the recipe for success for Keenum is to get the ball into their playmaking receivers quickly. Keenum is not a safe bet by any means because of the Eagles defensive line tendency to put pressure on the quarterback, but he has some upside with the talent he has surrounding him. I just can’t justify not spending the extra $1,100 to get Brady.

The Vikings receivers are where I would like to get exposure to this game. The Eagles secondary gave up 100 yards to Julio last week and also allowed for Sanu to go for 50 yards on 3 catches. According to PFF, the cornerback worth exploiting is Jalen Mills who has given up a league-high 9 touchdowns. Mills is not a pushover by any means, but he ranks the lowest (75) of their other two cornerbacks Patrick Robinson (89.7) and Ronald Darby (83.2). It’s difficult to say who will see Mills the most either Thielen or Diggs, especially after last week when Thielen spent the most time outside of the slot than he had all season. Part of that was due to a season-high in snap count by Jarius Wright ($3,000) who played a season-high in snaps and caught 3 of his 6 targets. I’m growing more and more confident about each of these receivers matchup this week, especially Diggs who I think should see the majority of Mills. My rankings for the Vikings receivers are Diggs, Thielen, Wright.

The Vikings running backs have done better at home than on the road, averaging 13.21 DK points at home opposed to 9.51 DK points on the road. Jerick McKinnon ($5,100) was slightly better on the road averaging 10.71 points while Latavius Murray ($5,700) averaged 8.47. In the 4 road game where the Vikings were favored, McKinnon also outscored Murray 11.65 to 8.3. In a backfield that is an actual 50-50 split, I’m torn 50-50. I feel like the game script should favor McKinnon with the Vikings moving the ball with dump-offs and screens to the running backs in hopes of slowing down the pass rush. But I’m hesitant in going all-in McKinnon over Murray because Murray has a higher floor and higher touchdown equity. Over the past two games, Murray has out-touched McKinnon 42 to 23 and has outscored McKinnon 3 to 1. Murray is the goal-line back and gets almost all of the work in the early downs. In a game that should be slow paced and slugged out, Murray could touch the ball 25 times.

VIKINGS PLAYS:

S. Diggs, J. McKinnon, A. Thielen, L. Murray, Vikings Defense

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Divisional Round

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Divisional Round

Next week will feature a small two-game slate with the Conference Championships. This week’s NFL Divisional round is the final four-game slate of the NFL season. We have some exciting games this week on both the NFC and AFC, so let’s dive in.

Vegas

The Vegas numbers this week features a little bit of everything. We have the Patriots as the team with the best Vegas data, and we have two games that feature pretty close spreads in Minnesota and Philadelphia.

As I mentioned above, the Patriots are the clear front-runners for this week with an implied team total of 30.25. The Vikings (25.25), Steelers (24.25), Falcons (22), and Saints (20.75) round out the top 5.

The Patriots are also featured in the game with the highest game total with the over/under sitting at 47. But unfortunately, the Patriots dominate that game with as 13.5 points favorites over the Titans (16.75), which makes the game not ideal for stacking in hopes of a two-way shootout.

The Saints (20.75) at Vikings (25.25) is not far behind with a game total of 46. The Vikings are favored by 4.5 points at home so that game if any, seems most likely to shoot out between the two teams.

The other two games Falcons @ Eagles and Jaguars @ Steelers both have a game total sitting at 41. The Steelers (24.25) are 7.5 point favorites at home, while the Falcons (22) are the only road team favored this week by 3 points.

Injuries aren’t expected to play a significant role this week. But DeMarco Murray has already been ruled out for the second consecutive week, and Antonio Brown is fully expected to be back on the field for the Steelers. Be sure to follow our News page at Lineup Labs for any last minute news.

Quarterbacks

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Divisional Round

Case Keenum ($6,100) – Sitting in the mid-range of quarterback pricing, Keenum is my cash game play this week. He’s $900 cheaper than Brady at the top, and $1,100 more expensive than Blake Bortles. Keenum hasn’t exactly set the world on fire over his past four games but comes into the week with the second-best Vegas data of all quarterbacks. Keenum has thrown at least two touchdowns in four of his last six games and is averaging over 30 attempts during that span. The Saints pass defense is respectable with Marshon Lattimore (4th via PFF), Ken Crawley (28th via PFF), and (PJ Williams 83rd via PFF) at cornerback, but they have also given up 58.38 DK points over the past two weeks to Cam (28.66) and Winston (29.72). Over the last two games, the Saints have given up a total of 712 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, and 69 rushing yards and a touchdown. Keenum also gets the benefit of having an extra week to prepare and playing the game at home in an indoor stadium. I like the savings with Keenum.

Tom Brady ($7,000) – Brady is in a class of his own this week. With the highest projected team total at home against the best possible matchup in the playoffs. Brady is almost a sure bet to lead the quarterbacks in scoring. The reason why he’s a tournament play for me is that I’d rather use the savings at wide receiver this week. There’s not much convincing I need to do to justify playing Brady at home in the playoffs.

Running backs

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Divisional Round

Le’Veon Bell ($9,600) – As the case last week with Todd Gurley, this week atop the running back pricing, Bell is hugely overpriced from the other running backs and in a far from the ideal matchup. Bell is $1,800 more expensive than the second highest priced back Kamara ($7,800) yet; he’s still the best bet to reach value with the highest floor and ceiling. This week Bell comes in averaging over 20 DK points for the month and faces a Jags defense that forces opposing offenses to run the ball. The Steelers are a home favorite (-7.5) going up against the Jags defense that picked off Ben Roethlisberger 5 times in their matchup this season. With Antonio Brown potentially playing decoy out on the field, the Steelers could continue to force the ball to Bell who has at least six passing targets in his past seven games. Bell should be in line for 25-30 touches this week in a game that will likely feature terrible weather. According to CBS Pittsburgh, the game temperature is likely to sit in the teens at the start of the game and could see snow flurries and wind speeds near 20MPH. If that weather holds up, there’s no reason why the Steelers would test the Jags secondary and avoid giving the ball to Bell.

Devonta Freeman ($5,900) – Despite only getting two receiving targets last week and averaging 3.7 yards per carry, Freeman was able to turn in an atrocious game into a modest one on the road against the Rams. While I generally don’t like playing running backs on the road, Freeman comes into play as a top 3 projected running back to reach value this week. Freeman has actually produced better on the road than at home this season and has had two of his best games on the season on the road against the Bucs (33.4) and Lions (25.8). At a sub $6,000 price, I like playing Freeman as a favorite going up against the Nick Foles led Eagles who could turn the ball over, which would lead to a shorter field for Atlanta. Freeman should expect to see anywhere from 18-23 touches this week.

Dion Lewis ($6,600)/James White ($4,300)/Rex Burkhead ($5,700) – It’s worth monitoring the Patriots running back situation. Both White and Burkhead returned to practice this week, and the Pats are fully expected to have their trio of running backs available. If Burkhead plays, he is expected to be limited. When he was in the mix, White saw a drop off in playing time with Lewis being the early down backs and Burkhead working out of the passing game. If they all are active, I’d only consider playing Lewis for salary relief. But if only Lewis and White are active I don’t mind playing White because of the work he could see in the passing game and his cheap price tag.

Wide Receiver

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Divisional Round

Brandin Cooks ($7,000) – From the high priced range, I like Brandin Cooks this week a tad bit more than Adam Thielen ($7,600) for the savings. Cooks is a cheaper way to get exposure to Brady and has been a target monster for the Patriots passing attack this season. Cooks will be facing Adoree’ Jackson who ranks 39th via PFF, but we saw last Tyreek Hill have success against the Titans secondary last week. It’s also worth monitoring if Chris Hogan will play. He’s expected to but if he misses that should bump up Cooks’ target projection.

Mohamed Sanu ($5,700) – Sanu continues to remain involved in the Falcons passing attack over the past four games. In his last four games, Sanu has 30 targets and 17 receptions for 200 yards. He’s affordable under 6K and only needs 5 for 70 to reach value for you. He should see a lot of Jalen Mills who’s a decent cornerback, but if Ronald Darby shadows Julio Jones, Ryan could force more targets Sanu’s way.

Nelson Agholor ($4,800) – Agholor has seen an uptick in production since Nick Foles took over at quarterback for the injured Carson Wentz. He’s seen his market share of targets rise, while Alshon Jeffery has seen his targets decrease. In three games with Foles as the quarterback, Jeffrey has 14 targets to Agholor’s 19. Agholor has upside to make a big play anytime; he’s on the field so one big catch could give you all need to make value.

Tight End

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Divisional Round

Zach Ertz ($5,800) – Ertz has been one of the few Eagles players whose production has not faltered since Nick Foles took over for Wentz. In the first two full games with Foles under center, Ertz has 25 targets and 15 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown. On top of that, Ertz has five targets within the red zone with Foles under center. Of course, Gronk is viewed as the top tight end option on the board, but Ertz has been just as productive as Gronk this season. If Ertz is going to continue to be fed with targets, it almost makes him a lock and play with a $1,300 savings from Gronk.

Delanie Walker ($5,000) – Walker is coming off of a nice game against the Chiefs in the Wild Card round. He saw 8 targets and 6 catches for 74 yards. Who knows, he may have even added a touchdown if Mariota didn’t do that touchdown pass to himself within the 5-yard line. He’s the number one receiver for the Titans, and if the game script goes as Vegas thinks it will go, Mariota will be throwing quite a bit. Walker could potentially see double-digit targets, and if he catches 7 for 70, he doesn’t kill your lineup.

Defense

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Divisional Round

Minnesota Vikings ($2,900) – The chalky plays are going to be the Steelers and the Eagles. I like saving the salary and taking a shot with the Vikings defense. The Saints running backs showed last week that they could be stopped and the Vikings defense is better than the Panthers. Defense is so volatile, so I will almost always look for the team that offers up the most value per dollar.

 

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Wild Card Round

*Cesar Becerra*

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Wild Card Round

We’ve made it through another NFL season! I hope you had as much fun as I’ve had during the NFL. But don’t put the brakes on the train quite yet! We still got a few more weeks of NFL DFS, and it doesn’t get any juicier than this Wild Card Week. Put your favorite recommendations from the article below in our lineup optimizer and hit calculate. You can let it fill in the rest of the spots for you or choose your personal favorites from the NFL Player Lab.

 

Pricing is INCREDIBLY tight this week with very little value across the board and plenty of places we’d want to spend money. Barring any last minute breaking news, there isn’t many core value plays to help open up your lineup like we saw in week 17. Let’s get into our breakdown.

** Demarco Murray has been ruled out ** Bump up Derrick Henry for touch projections.

Vegas

We have four games on the slate, and they are Falcons at Rams (48), Saints at Panthers (47.5), Titans at Chiefs (44.5), and Bills at Jaguars (39.5). ATL/LA and CAR/NO both have respectable game totals that you would like to target, while the BUF/JAX game leaves a lot to be desired with a total below 40 points.

The Rams and Saints lead the way with implied team totals of 27.5. The Chiefs (26.5) and Jags (24) aren’t far behind. It’s interesting how none of these games have a spread less than a touchdown. The Rams and Falcons have the closest spread at 5.5, but that line started at 5, which indicates betters are putting more money on the Rams and the line could push the Rams to up over a touchdown favorite. Per usual, check back with Vegas Insiders on Sunday morning for the latest Vegas data.

Quarterbacks

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Wild Card Round

Cam Newton ($6,500) – Cam is the safest play for cash games on this short four-game slate. Cam has a rushed the ball 50 times over his last four games and had accumulated 239 yards (4.8 YPC) with a touchdown. What’s more encouraging is the red zone opportunity Cam is getting rushing the ball. Cam has 12 red zone rushing attempts over these same four games, which shows that if the Panthers get down to the goal line, there’s a good chance Cam is going to score. This matchup is far from ideal as the Saints’ corners are far more talented than the Panthers receivers. But If Cam can get give you 11 DK points through the ground and another 220 and a touchdown through the air you’ll be satisfied he didn’t kill you like he killed many in Week 17.

Drew Brees ($6,400) – By this point in the season, it’s been well documented that Brees doesn’t have the same ceiling as he’s had in the past. But considering he’s implied to score a slate-high 27.5 points and is a home favorite, I don’t mind using Brees as a hedge to the Saints running backs. The Panthers ranked 4th in the league to opposing running backs and 22nd in aFPA to opposing QB (32nd aFPA vs. WR). This screams pass funnel, and I like a Brees pivot off the two-headed monster in the backfield for New Orleans.

Marcus Mariota ($5,500) – Mariota is my value play worth considering. The Chiefs are an 8.5 point favorite (tied for slate high) so that could force the Titans to throw more than they would like. Murray has already been ruled out, so I will be interested to see if they work Henry and Mariota out of the Wild Cat formation, which could increase Mariota’s rushes. The Chiefs ranked 23rd in aFPA to opposing Quarterbacks, so if Mariota is given the opportunity, he should be able to reach his value at $5.5K.

QB Rankings:

Newton

Brees

Goff

Ryan

Mariota

Smith

Bortles

Taylor

 Running Back:

 Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Wild Card Round

Todd Gurley ($9,700) – Gurley is the most expensive player on the slate. While the matchup seems far from ideal with the Falcons ranking 1st in aFPA to opposing running backs, Gurley is in a prime spot to reach value based on his ability to catch balls out of the backfield. The Falcons allowed the most receptions (107) and fifth most receiving yards (802) to running backs this season. Gurley finished in the top 5 of both categories and should eclipse 150 total yards. Gurley also benefits from being a home favorite with a team projected to score the most amount of points on the slate. Gurley might be too expensive for some in cash games given the excess of running back options. But he’s a prime candidate to be the highest scoring player on the slate with 68.5 DK points in his last two games.

Leonard Fournette ($7,400) – Fournette is the matchup play of the week. He’s a home favorite going up against the Bills defense that ranked dead last in aFPA to running backs during the regular season. Fournette also comes in as the fifth highest-priced running back and is the most affordable of the stud running backs. Fournette has 14 receptions in his past four games, but only has 129 yards (9.2 YPC). He doesn’t have the reception upside as Gurley, Kamara, McCoy, or Hunt but that’s why he’s priced lower.

Derrick Henry ($6,000) – With DeMarco Murray out, Henry is in line for another heavy workload day considering the Titans like to run their offense with a run-first mentality. Henry touched the ball 29 times for 117 yards and one score. Those numbers look great on the box score, but when you factor in that Henry only got two targets last week, it could be a little deceiving. If you erase the one catch Henry had for a 66-yard touchdown; you’re looking at a running back that had 5.1 DK points on 28 touches. This is extremely worrisome when you also factor in that the Titans are 8 point underdogs on the road and only implied to score 18 points. Henry might be the best point per dollar play in terms of touches, but the matchup is far from ideal.

RB Rankings:

High Tier

Gurley

Hunt

Fournette

Kamara

McCoy

Mid-Range

Henry

McCaffrey

Ingram

Freeman

Value:

Coleman

Tolbert * If McCoy is out *

Wide Receiver

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Wild Card Round

Michael Thomas ($7,800) – Thomas has 55 targets in the past six games, averaging just over 9 targets per game. In that same span, Thomas has 39 catches (70% catch rate) for 492 yards (82 yards/game) and 3 touchdowns. Thomas is going up against the Panthers who ranked 32nd in aFPA to opposing wide receivers. See Adam Levitan’s tweet below for the most recent production for WR’s 1 against the Panthers secondary. Thomas is the safest high priced option, but will likely need to score to reach value.

Robert Woods ($6,600) – Since I’m likely going to play Thomas in my lineups, I’m probably going to avoid the other chalk wide receiver Tyreek Hill ($6,800). And if I’m staying in that price range I like pivoting to Woods. Since returning from a shoulder injury that kept him out for 3 weeks, Woods has regained his spot as the primary receiver in the Rams offense. In his two games back, Woods has received 15 targets and has turned that into 9 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. While the production isn’t great, with two full weeks to prepare for this game, expect Sean McVay to work Woods back into the passing game plan. I love getting exposure to Woods mainly because I’m not rostering Goff but I will be rostering Gurley and Woods to get all the exposure of the Rams passing game.

Eric Decker ($3,500)/Corey Davis ($3,600) – Value is really tough to come by on this slate, and you’ll likely need to find a receiver close to min salary to be happy with your lineup. I prefer Decker over Davis and Albert Wilson ($3,300). Let the others flock to Wilson and inflate his ownership because of his 19 targets in the past two games. However, it’s worth noting that last week he played with the Chiefs B-Team, so he was given all the targets (11). I like Decker over Davis because Davis hasn’t been the same since returning from injury. In the past four games, Decker is out targeting Davis 32 to 26 while playing the same amount of snaps (76%). The Chiefs ranked 26th in aFPA to opposing wide receivers, and Decker leads the wide receivers in targets in their last four games.

WR Rankings:

High

Thomas

Julio

Woods

Hill

Funches

Mid-Range

Sanu

Ginn

Matthews

Kupp

Value

Decker

Davis

Tight End

 Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Wild Card Round

It’s really difficult to find the salary to pay for Travis Kelce ($7,100). You have to decide if you want Kelce or a top-tier wide receiver but unfortunately, that forces you to play value wide receivers, and I see more value at the tight end position than a receiver. Because we’re so limited in value, this could be a week that we see two tight ends in a lot of lineups.

Delanie Walker ($4,700) – Walker is a nice mid-range tight end that could find his way in your lineups. He has 29 targets in his past four games and has turned that into 16 catches for 131 yards and one touchdown. This week he goes up against the Chiefs who rank 13th in aFPA. Walker would need to find the end zone to make value, but he has a respectable floor compared to the other options.

Austin Hooper ($2,900) – Hooper will be a popular value option at tight end. He doesn’t do anything that wow’s the box score (13 targets in last four games). But he’s a value play below $3K that will see 2-6 targets and is going up against the Rams who ranked 20th in aFPA to tight ends. It’s nothing special, but at least you won’t be the only one rostering him this week.

Marcedes Lewis ($2,500) – Again like I said, value is scarce, so I’m giving you an extra tight end I’m considering. Lewis is not a target monster by any means (8 in last four games). But I’m encouraged by his team market share of receiving touchdowns (23.8%), which is second among all tight ends behind Kelce. In the red zone, Lewis has a 40% touchdown rate per target (4 TDs to 10 targets). At 2.5K all he needs is to catch a touchdown. It’s a shot in the dark, but that’s how you have to build lineups this week.

TE Rankings:

Kelce

Walker

Olsen

Clay

Lewis

Hooper

Defense

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Wild Card Round

Los Angeles Rams ($2,700) – The Rams are the best defense for value playing at home against a Falcons team that is only implied to score 21 points. They are cheap enough to take a risk on and have the second highest sack percentage (9%) on the slate behind the Jags (11%).

DST Rankings:

Jags

Rams

Chiefs

Bills

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 17

* Cesar Becerra *

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 17

As I prefaced the article last week, the final two weeks of the NFL season are often the toughest to digest from a DFS perspective. Last week we didn’t see any teams rest any of their star players, but this week we have an entirely different scenario. We’ve already received reports that the Steelers, Rams, Eagles, Chiefs, and potentially the Vikings and Jaguars are all resting their starters.

We have a few teams like the Vikings, Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks, Patriots, Steelers,  Ravens, Chargers, Titans, and Bills all still fighting for either their playoff lives of their playoff positioning. Here is a thorough look at what the Week 17 playoff scenarios look like.

 

Vegas

As you’d expect with all the late news about teams sitting their star players we’ve seen a lot of movement within the Vegas lines. The largest line movement of the week was a 10 point swing with the 49ers going from +6.5 underdogs to a -3.5 favorite. The following are the biggest shifts in the Vegas lines Browns (+14.5 to 7), Colts ( +o to -5.5), Cowboys (+1 to -3), Seahawks (-7.5 to -10), and Jags (+5 to +3).

Despite the line movements, there are still seven teams that are more than a touchdown favorite, the Patriots (-16.5), Vikings (-13), Seahawks (-10), Ravens (-10), Chargers (-7.5), Steelers & Saints (-7). Most of these teams also sit with the highest implied team total starting with the Patriots (30). Followed by Saints (28.25), Vikings (26.25), Ravens (25), Lions (24.74), Chargers (24.75), Falcons (24.5), Seahawks (24.25), and 49ers (23.25).

There aren’t many games with incredibly high over/under with only two games sitting with a game total over 45, (NO @ TB 49.5) and (ATL @ CAR 45). There are 8 games  (CIN @ BAL 40), (CHI @ MIN 39.5), (WAS @ NYG 39.5), (DAL @ PHI 39), (ARI @ SEA 38.5), (KC @ DEN 38.5), (CLE @ PIT 36.5) with game totals of 40 points or less, which leaves game stacks hard to come by for this slate.

This data was taken as of Friday afternoon, but as always, you should always check back at Vegas Insiders on Sunday morning.

Quarterbacks

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 17 - Lineuplabs.com

Russell Wilson (DK $6,900) – Wilson might be the safest play at quarterback this week, and unfortunately, he doesn’t come cheap as he is the highest priced quarterback on the slate. But with all these secondary players playing this week, there is a ton of value on this slate. Wilson checks the all the boxes you would ask for during week 17. He has a decent team total (24.25), is playing as a home favorite, and is playing for their playoff lives. He’s facing the Cardinals who rank 8th in aFPA, but Wilson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league following the Seahawks’ bye this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo (DK $6,700) –  At this point, nothing else can be said other than Jimmy G is the GOAT. He is coming off of a week where he destroyed the best defense in the league by completing 70% of his passes. He has exceeded his value in 3 of his first 4 starts with the 49ers and now faces the Rams who will likely be rolling out second stringers. The matchup doesn’t look great on paper (Rams rank 5th in aFPA vs. QB), but the 49ers offense is white hot right now and if the Rams most of their starters, look for Garoppolo to have a field day to ride into the offseason with a perfect 7-0 record as a starter.

Patrick Mahomes (DK $4,700) – After the news broke that Andy Reid was going to rest Alex Smith in the final regular season game, Mahomes immediately became the best value play at the quarterback position. During the preseason, Mahomes completed  63% his 54 passes for 390 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also showed his athleticism that we saw so much in college with 8 rushes for 44 yards. I’ve noted in the past that the Broncos secondary is not as scary as they used to be (16th in aFPA) and have allowed the second-most passing touchdowns in the league (29). Mahomes will be the chalk for people paying down at QB

Cash:

R. Wilson, J. Garoppolo, C. Newton,  P. Mahomes, K. Cousins, P. Mahomes

GPP:

(all of above), M. Stafford, P. Rivers, T. Taylor, M. Ryan, J. Brissett

Running backs

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 17 - Lineuplabs.com

Alvin Kamara (DK $7,900) – With the news that Bell and Gurley are sitting the high tier at running back is very thin. I also expect Kareem Hunt (7,600), Leonard Fournette (7,100), and potentially Melvin Gordon (7,400) to all sit or be very limited so I will be staying away from them. That makes Kamara my favorite high priced back. Kamara has seen his price dip below 8k for the first time since in five weeks, which is appropriate given that he hasn’t met salary expectations in 3 of the last 4 games. This week the Saints still have an opportunity to clinch the division and are going up against the Bucs who rank 21st in aFPA against running backs. Kamara already destroyed the Bucs back in week 9 when he put up 32.2 DK points and totaled 2 touchdowns with 152 yards.

Kenyan Drake (DK $7,200) – I surprisingly haven’t heard many people talking up Drake this week, so it seems that I will be overexposed to the field this week. Drake has crushed value in 4 of his past 5 games and last week he only got 13 touches because of the game flow. This week the Dolphins are at small underdogs (+2.5) at home against the Bills. The Bills are dead last in aFPA, and Drake smashed them two weeks ago for 23.3 DK points and 113 total yards with one score. Drake is coming in as a sneaky tournament play. I’m not sure if I can play him in cash given the uber chalk  Dion Lewis is $400 cheaper, but I like him as a pivot for tournaments.

Derrick Henry (DK $5,500) – Henry is finally expected to work as the Titans’ featured back with DeMarco Murray expected to either be limited or inactive with an MCL sprain. Football fans have long been waiting for the former Heisman trophy winner to get a full workload and he appears in line for that against the Jags who have a run funnel defense, ranking 25th in aFPA vs. running backs and 9th in aFPA vs. quarterbacks. Henry is the chalk for value running backs this week.

Cash:

A. Kamara, D. Lewis, M. Ingram, C. McCaffrey, D. Henry

GPP:

(all of above), K. Drake, E. Elliott, C. Hyde, A. Collins, J. Williams

Wide Receivers

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 17 - Lineuplabs.com

Julio Jones (DK $8,200) – Julio comes in as the chalk this week at wide receiver.  He’s averaging at least 7 targets the past 16 games and is going up against the Panthers who rank 30th in aFPA. In Julio’s first time facing the Panthers, he went off for 20.8 DK points with 6 catches for 118 yards. In a must-win game for the Falcons, look for Matt Ryan to force feed Julio like he did last week against the Saints. Julio will be the highest owned receiver, but I don’t mind pivoting to Keenan Allen against the Raiders (22nd aFPA vs. WR) if you’re willing to eat the ownership on Julio.

TY Hilton (DK $5,900) – Hilton is the other chalk wide receiver. He’s coming off of a 6 catch, 100-yard performance against the Ravens who are a top 10 team against defending wide receivers. Hilton now gets the Texans who are dead last in aFPA to wide receivers. Earlier this season Hilton torched the Texans for 37.5 DK points on 5 catches for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hilton has 29 targets in the past 4 weeks of tough matchups (Baltimore (12), Broncos (7), Bills (4), & Jags (6). He is 48 yards shy of his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard season, so I expect Brissett to feed him the ball.

Randall Cobb (DK $4,700) – With the reports that Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson will be out week 17, that makes Cobb the new number 1 target for Brett Hundley. Cobb has 29 targets in the past 3 weeks, and the supporting cast will feature Geronimo Allison (3,200) and Michael Clark (3,000). Cobb should be a lock to see double-digit targets and goes up against the Lions who rank 26th in aFPA.

Cash:

J. Jones, K. Allen, A. Green, T. Hilton, M. Goodwin, D. Baldwin, M. Jones, M. Thomas

GPP:

(all of above), J. Crowder, R. Anderson, R. Cobb, J. Doctson, W. Fuller, D. Amendola

Tight End

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 17

Rob Gronkowski (DK $7,000) – Gronk earns a $2M bonus if he accomplishes either of these stats. 11 catches for 80 on the season or 116 yards to reach 1,200 for the season. #NarrativeStreet.

Greg Olsen (DK $5,600) – Greg Olsen has seen a total of 18 targets in his last two games since returning from injured reserve. In that span, he has 12 catches for 143 yards and 1 touchdown. This week he faces the Falcons in a pivotal game for the Panthers to clinch the division. Olsen could see anywhere between 6-10 targets against the Falcons who rank 14th in aFPA.

Vance McDonald (DK $2,700) – In the past two games where McDonald was active, he has seen 11 targets for 8 catches and 104 yards. McDonald has worked his way into becoming the primary pass catcher over Jesse James and faces the Browns who rank 27th in aFPA to opposing tight ends. In a game that doesn’t feature Ben, Brown, or Bell, Landry Jones could check down to McDonald often.

Cash:

R. Gronkowski, G. Olsen, J. Doyle, C. Clay

GPP:

(all of above), J. Graham, E. Ebron

Defense

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 17

Seattle Seahawks (DK $3,400) – I like the Seattle defense to step up big at home in a must-win game against Drew Stanton. They aren’t quite the same legion of boom that they were a few years ago, but they are coming off of their best performance of the season (20 DK points) with 3 turnovers. Stanton hasn’t been awful but did throw 2 interceptions last week against the putrid Giants secondary.

Cash:

Patriots, Seahawks, 49ers

GPP:

Ravens, Vikings, Chiefs

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 16

*Cesar Becerra*

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 16

We’re down to the final two weeks of the regular season, that means that we’ll have to monitor team reporters much closer than we usually would have to on Sunday morning. We could see instances where teams that have already clinched playoff berths/bye rest regulars. And we can also see a situation like the Packers where Aaron Rodgers was placed on IR after Green Bay was eliminated from postseason contention.

This applies more next week (week 17) than this week. But we could see a case where the Eagles get a little conservative if they clinch a first-round bye (PHI clinch a first-round bye with Vikings loss on Saturday). Let’s dive right in.

With no more Thursday Night or Sunday Night games, we are left with two Saturday games and two Monday Night games this week, but none of those games are on the Draftkings main slate. The Draftkings main slate features a 12-game slate and is Sunday only games.

Vegas

The Draftkings main slate has only one game with a game total over 50. The Falcons visiting the Saints line is currently sitting with a 52.5 over/under. The next games with the highest game totals are the Rams at Titans (48), Seahawks at Cowboys (47), Bills at Patriots (47), and Panthers at Bucs (46.5). Outside of those five games, no other game has a total over 45 points.

Regarding implied team totals, they are headlined by several of the teams I mentioned above. The Pats (29.75) and Saints (29) lead the way with over a four-touchdown implied total, but the Panthers (28.25), Rams (27.25), and Chiefs (27) are not that far behind. Some other teams with decent team totals are the Cowboys (26), Chargers (24.5), Lions (24). The Falcons (23.5) and Jags (23) round out the top ten of teams with the highest implied total.

In terms of game script, we have three teams that are double-digit favorites. The Pats are 12.5 points favorites at home against the Bills. The Chiefs are 10.5 point home favorites against the Dolphins. And lastly, the Panthers are 10 points favorites over the Bucs (this line is very interesting because the line initially opened at Panthers (-4) and has since moved 6 points). Outside of those huge favorites, the Chargers (-6.5), Bears (-6.5), and Rams (-6.5) all opened up as more than a touchdown favorite, but have since dipped below.

All this Vegas Data was taken as of Wednesday night, so I strongly suggest checking back on Vegas Insiders on Sunday morning.

Quarterbacks

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 16

Quarterback pricing is relatively even this week. The top 11 quarterbacks are all priced within $1,000 of each other with Russell Wilson ($7,000) leading the way and Dak Prescott ($6,000) rounding out the lower 6k range.

Drew Brees ($6,500) – It’s tough to choose between the top 5 priced quarterbacks, they are all in pretty good spots. I think due to recency bias Cam will be the most popular among that tier. I’m hedging from the slightly higher owned Cam for a cheaper Drew Brees. I like Brees for the $300 savings from Newton and the fact that his game has a higher game total (52.5 vs. 46.5) as well as a closer spread (-5.5 vs. -10). The Falcons and Saints games have traditionally turned into a shootout over the last three seasons, and Brees has crushed each time. Brees is a perfect 3 for 3 at exceeding his salary at home against the Falcons in their last 3 meetings at the Superdome. I know that the Saints have transitioned to a running team with their 2-headed monster, but I like taking my chances with Brees against Atlanta who ranks 20th against QB in aFPA. I get it that Cam has the safer floor, but when Brees is in the right matchup, he has the highest ceiling of any QB in the league.

Dak Prescott ($6,000) – There’s no mistake about it, Prescott has been awful without Zeke. But now the Cowboys finally get Zeke back after a six-game suspension, so that brings Prescott and the Cowboys offense back into play. Prescott is a home favorite facing a Seahawks defense that ranks 15th in aFPA to opposing QBs. The matchup is far from ideal, but if you’re looking to take a flyer on a quarterback with nice rushing upside, Prescott is your guy. I don’t like him as much as the next guy I mention, but if you’re looking at this salary range, I like his rushing upside.

Kirk Cousins ($5,400) – Yes, this is a bad matchup on paper against the Denver Broncos. But the Broncos aren’t the same feared defense that they were in the past. The Broncos rank in the bottom 5 in the league in passing touchdowns allowed (26) on the season. They still rank atop the league in passing yardage allowed (189) but are at the bottom 6 in the league in interceptions forced (8). Teams are throwing the least against the Broncos (418 attempts), yet 6 of the last 7 QBs to face the Broncos have met salary expectations. The lone exception is Josh McCown who was injured early in the game. I’m not saying you should start Cousins with 100% confidence, but Cousins is at his lowest price of the season and should air it out at least 30 times. Cousins has had some big games at home this season, so I think I’ll take a flyer on him for tournaments.

Cash:

C. Newton, R. Wilson, D. Brees, A. Smith, T. Brady

GPP:

(all of above) K. Cousins, D. Prescott, B. Bortles, M. Stafford

Running backs

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 16

Kareem Hunt ($8,400) – Everyone will pay up for Gurley after his 48 point eruption game. Gurley is always in play, so I won’t write him up for the rest of the season.  But a pivot off Gurley to save a few hundred bucks is Hunt. Hunt is only a $600 discount, so it’s nothing too crazy, but Hunt is slowly starting to look like how he started off the season. In the last two weeks under a new play caller, Hunt has absolutely smashed. Hunt in his last two games, Hunt has 24 and 25 carries in each game. In those two games, Hunt has 12 targets and 10 receptions totaling 73 yards. Overall he’s scored 3 touchdowns in his last two games, and now he faces the Dolphins who rank 29th in aFPA to opposing running backs. Hunt is a huge home favorite (-10.5) and in another nice spot this week.

Devonta Freeman ($6,500) – Barring any news about Tevin Coleman, Freeman is shaping up to be the highest owned running back on the slate. Freeman is coming off of his best game of the season where he touched the ball 27 times and totaled 194 yards with one rushing touchdown. Freeman’s workload is expected to remain the same, and he’s facing the Saints in which he has killed throughout his career. The Falcons are road underdogs, but this game should stay close, and Freeman could see another 5 targets in a game that has the highest potential to shoot out.

James White ($4,100) – Searching for value, we might have to land on the headache of the Patriots backfield. It’s always a mystery with what Bill Belichick will do with his trio of running backs, but this week we get some clarity. Rex Burkhead will be inactive, and Mike Gillislee ($3,900) is expected to be active for the first time in 5 weeks and should see all the goal-line work. That leaves Dion Lewis ($6,000) and James White ($4,100) in store to get the work in before the Pats reach the 5-yard line. White has seen a fair share of snaps with 45% over the last two games and has also received the most targets in the past four games (15). White figures to see an improved role out of the backfield and will continue to get targets. I like taking a flyer on him at his $4,100 price tag over Lewis.

Cash:

T. Gurley, K. Hunt, D. Freeman, M. Gordon, G. Bernard, A. Kamara, C. McCaffrey.

GPP:

(all of above), E. Elliott, L. McCoy, L. Fournette, P. Barber, J. White

Wide Receiver

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 16

A.J. Green ($6,700)Michael Thomas ($7,600) is likely the highest owned receiver and for a good reason. A.J. Green is a nice pivot off the high priced Thomas. Once again, Green finds himself below 7k, but this time he’s a much better matchup than last week. Green faces the Lions defense that ranks 24th in aFPA to opposing wide receivers. Erasing last week’s tough matchup with Xavier Rhodes, Green is still seeing close to double-digit targets on average and is seeing 30% of the team’s targets. Green has had a somewhat disappointing season so far, but he always has the potential to go off for 20+ points. Green should come in at single-digit ownership and would be a nice pivot off the heavily owned Thomas.

Larry Fitzgerald ($6,800) – Fitz has 10 targets in 2 of the last 3 games for the Cardinals. This week Fitz goes up against the Giants secondary that is very depleted. The Giants rank 31st in aFPA to wide receivers and the Cards are home favorites. Fitz is a bit discouraging considering that Drew Stanton will be under center, but Fitz will continue to see the majority of the targets from the receiving corp.

Josh Doctson ($3,500) – A value GPP shot in the dark is Josh Doctson. I mentioned in the quarterback section that the Broncos rank in the bottom 5 in the league at allowing passing touchdowns. If you are going to take a shot with Cousins, you should consider stacking him with Doctson. Doctson may not be the possession receiver that Jamison Crowder ($5,000) is, but Doctson leads the team with 33% touchdown percent in the red zone. Doctson doesn’t have a safe floor but has a pretty decent ceiling. If he could find the end zone and catch 3-4 balls, he’ll smash value.

Cash:

M. Thomas, K. Allen, J. Jones, A. Green, L. Fitz, J. Crowder, C. Kupp, R. Matthews, D. Thomas, K. Cole, D. Westbrook,

Gpp:

(All of above), T. Hill, J. Landry, D. Funches, M. Evans, D. Bryant, M. Jones, M. Goodwin, J. Gordon, P. Richardson,

Tight End

Eric Ebron ($3,300) – Ebron has been pretty good since the beginning of November. In his last 7 games, Ebron has 40 targets (5.7/gm) and has 32 catches. That’s good enough for an 80% catch rate. During that span, Ebron also has a pair of touchdowns. This week Ebron is going up against the Bengals who rank 29th in aFPA. In a slate that has very little value, I like Ebron to save some salary.

Antonio Gates ($2,500) – Hunter Henry was placed on IR earlier this week, which signals more opportunity for old man Gates. Gates is the bare minimum and provides salary relief to the roster in studs at other positions. Last week Gates caught his lone red zone target for a 10-yard touchdown. At $2,500 you don’t need much to get four times salary.

Cash:

T. Kelce, E. Ebron, A. Gates, G. Olsen, T. Kroft

GPP:

(All of above), R. Gronkowski, G. Celek

Defense

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 16

Carolina Panthers ($3,100) – The Panthers have been on a tear their last two games creating turnovers. In the previous two games against the Packers and Vikings, they have accumulated 9 sacks, 2 fumbles, and 5 interceptions. This week they are huge 10 point favorites at home against the Bucs who are allowing defenses to outscore their implied points projection every time in the past 3 weeks.

Cash:

Panthers, Jacksonville, New England, Kansas City,

Gpp:

(all of above) Arizona, Washington

 

Draftkings NFL Cash and GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 15

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 15

We have arrived to the Draftkings championship week. If you are fortunate enough to earn a seat, good luck to you as 200 entries compete for the $2 million top prize. The Draftkings main slate is a unique one this week with only 11 games. There are two games on Saturday along with the usual Thursday Night, Sunday Night, and Monday Night games that are not on the main slate. On top of that, we have six teams (Steelers, Patriots, Jags, Eagles, Rams, and Vikings) potentially able to clinch a playoff berth this week. Let’s dive right in.

Vegas

As a polar opposite of last week’s Vegas stats, this week features three teams that are double-digit favorites. The Saints are a massive 16 point favorite against the Jets. The Vikings are 11 point favorites at home against the Bengals, and the Jags are 10.5 home favorites against the Texans. Outside of these three teams, the Eagles (7.5) and Ravens (7.5) are road touchdown favorites, rounding out the largest spreads of the week.

There are a few games worth targeting this week, starting with the Pats at the Steelers, which has a slate high 53 game total. The Rams at Seahawks, Jets at Saints, and Packers at Panthers all have nice game totals over 47. Outside of those games, there aren’t any games with totals over 45.

As far as implied team totals, the Saints are the clear front-runners with an implied total of 31.75 points. The Pats have the second-best total of 28 points. The Vikings (26.5), Jags (25), Steelers (25), Panthers (24.75) and Seahawks (24.75) round out the top 5 highest implied team totals.

All this Vegas data was taken as of Wednesday night, so I strongly suggest checking back on Vegas Insiders on Sunday morning.

Quarterbacks

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 15

Cam Newton (DK $6,400) – Cam comes into week 15 as one of my favorite quarterbacks of the week. He’s the 6th highest priced quarterback and has a really good matchup at home against the Packers (29th aFPA vs. QBs). We saw Deshone Kizer light up this same Packers secondary last week and scored 19.26 DK points, that’s about Cam’s floor. Cam performs much better as a home favorite opposed to as a  home underdog, and that is the situation he finds himself in this week. His team’s implied total is in the top 5 of the slate (24.75) and I expect this game to be a lot closer than most anticipate. I also love Cam’s rushing upside. Since week 6, Cam has rushed the ball more than 9 times in all but two games. Cam has a nice floor with his rushing upside and has a good ceiling of close to 30 points.

Drew Brees (DK $6,500) – An interesting pivot off Cam would be to pay the extra $100 to get to Drew Brees. Brees isn’t the same Brees we’ve grown to know with the Saints offense constantly throwing the ball 40+ times. Because of the Saints dynamic rushing duo, Brees has failed to meet salary expectations 5 of the last 6 games. Brees has only met salary expectation at home twice this season. All this points to a sneaky gpp play with Brees going up against the Jets funnel defense as they rank 32nd in aFPA to QB’s and are 7th in aFPA to RBs. Brees’ floor is much lower than Newton, but his ceiling always makes him appealing for tournaments.

Blake Bortles (DK $5,700) – Scraping the bottom of the barrel for a value QB is really difficult this week. With the limited number of games, there is a limited number of value quarterbacks on the slate. I’m more than likely going to stay in the midrange ($6,000 – $7,000). But if you are really looking for value, I would say take a look at Bortles. Bortles is coming off of two really decent games in which he combined to throw for 577 yards with 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions (46.58 DK points). This week he faces a horrible Texans defense that ranks 30th in aFPA to opposing quarterbacks. Believe it or not, I may have talked myself into playing Bortles as I’m writing this.

Cash:

C. Newton, C. Keenum, B. Roethlisberger, R. Wilson, B. Bortles

GPP:

D. Brees, T. Brady, A. Rodgers, J. Goff

Running Backs

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 15

Le’Veon Bell (DK $9,300) –  Finally we get the opportunity to roster Le’Veon in the main slate. Bell is the highest priced back, $700 more than Kamara, and at this point, it doesn’t matter. He’s in a league of his own, and the upwards of $9,000 price tag doesn’t scare me. Bell has been priced over 9K almost every game this season and has smashed nearly every week. The past three games, Bell is averaging 33.66 DK points and is averaging over 25 touches per game. Although Bell has only carried the ball more than 20 times once the last three weeks, he’s still seeing double-digit targets and has converted that to over 270 receiving yards in the last three games.

Kenyan Drake (DK $5,800) – Kenyan Drake has been absolutely smashing since Damien Williams went down in week 12. Drake has taken over the Dolphins backfield and has produced better than Gase could have expected. In two games without Williams, Drake is playing 85% of the snaps, has 91% of the rushing attempts and has accumulated 234 yards with 1 touchdown and 8 receptions. He has accumulated 53.4 DK points in those two games. This week he goes up against the Bills defense that ranks 32nd in aFPA to opposing running backs and just got lit up by old man Frank Gore for 130 yards. Drake is the chalk this week.

** It’s worth checking William’s practice status as he is pushing to get back on the field. **

Jerick McKinnon (DK $4,800) – There isn’t a free square value play like there was last week with Gio Bernard, but this week McKinnon might rank as my favorite. McKinnon is the same price as Samaje Perine, who undoubtedly comes with a safer floor given that Washington isn’t utilizing a running back committee but I still like McKinnon. McKinnon is starting to separate himself from Latavius Murray, having played more snaps (53% to 46%) and received more of targets (18 to 8) in the past 4 weeks. Murray still sees the majority of the rushing attempts (60:43), but DK’s PPR format helps make McKinnon more valuable. McKinnon is a huge home favorite against the Bengal who rank 30th in aFPA allowed. I do have some hesitation that if the Vikings get out to a big lead, it could mean more of Murray pounding the ball opposed to McKinnon catching the ball out of the backfield, but I think this game is closer than most anticipate.

Cash:

L. Bell, T. Gurley, K. Drake, G. Bernard, S. Perine, L. McCoy

GPP:

A. Kamara > M. Ingram, L. Fournette, K. Williams, J. Ajayi, J. McKinnon, C. McCaffrey

Wide Receivers

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 15

Michael Thomas (DK $7,400) – Outside of Antonio Brown ($9,100) the next best receiver to hit cash game value is Michael Thomas. He’s one of six active receivers averaging over 10 targets per game in the past month and this week he has a nice matchup against the Jets. The Jets rank 28th in aFPA to opposing wide receivers, and Thomas leads the team in targets with 125 on the season and 9.6 targets per game. Thomas has the better matchup than Hopkins at $7,700 and Thielen $7,600.

Devin Funchess (DK $6,600) – The other highest owned receiver along with Thomas might be Funchess. Funchess has either scored a touchdown or reached the 100-yard bonus each of his last 4 games and now gets one of the best matchups you could ask for against the Packers. The Packers are the worst team in the league against opposing wide receivers, and this game could very well shoot out if Aaron Rodgers suits up. Funchess leads the team in targets (39) since the Panthers traded Benjamin. You don’t always have to pair Cam with any of his receivers because of Cam’s rushing upside, but Funchess would be the ideal stack if you do.

AJ Green (DK $6,500) – AJ Green has seen a crazy price drop and is all the way down to $6,500. Green is a top 5 receiver in the league, and I’ll always be interested in Green at this price point. The problem is that Green is going up against the Vikings who rank 6th in aFPA to opposing wide receivers and will see a lot of Xavier Rhodes. Green may be a risk for cash games considering there is Funches around that price range. But I love getting exposure to him at his price in tournaments.

Jordy Nelson (DK $6,300) – The ghost of Jordy Nelson. He’s had a terrible year, but with the news that Aaron Rodgers could return, that could mean an uptick in targets for Nelson. Unfortunately, his price actually increased above $6,000, so he doesn’t come as much of a bargain. But he should come in at single-digit ownership, which makes for a nice tournament flyer.

Cash:

A. Brown, M. Thomas, D. Funches, A. Green, M. Goodwin, A. Jeffrey, R. Anderson, D. Westbrook

GPP:

A. Thielen, B. Cooks, D. Adams, J. Crowder, D. Baldwin, P. Richardson, R. Matthews

Tight End

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 15

Zach Ertz (DK $6,000) – This week we don’t have the value that we had last week with Ertz missing the game making Trey Burton a plug and play. We’re still waiting to hear if Ertz will play this week, but if he does, he’s substantially cheaper than Gronk ($7,300). Even without Wentz, Nick Foles is a formattable backup quarterback. It doesn’t get much better than a matchup against the Giants who rank 26th in aFPA to tight ends. If Ertz is active, he should be considered the top play at tight end.

Jimmy Graham (DK $4,900) – Graham is an even bigger discount from the high priced tight ends. You can’t deny Graham’s red zone market share, and the matchup against the Rams should be a game that is back and forth. The Rams are respectable against tight ends (12th aFPA), but last time these two faced off Graham went for 15.7 DK points. The sub $5,000 price tag seems reasonable to me.

Vernon Davis (DK $3,900) – Davis might be my favorite punt play. He’s taken over the starting tight end job with Reed being placed on IR. The issue is he’s been relatively quiet the last four games only catching 7 balls for 117 yards. The bright side is that last week he saw his targets jump back up to 7 against the Chargers and he was able to find his way into the end zone. Below $4,000 against the Cardinals (18th aFPA vs. TE), I’ll take my chances here if I need salary relief.

Cash:

R. Gronkowski, Z. Ertz, J. Graham, V. Davis

GPP:

E. Engram, D. Walker, G. Olsen, C. Clay, A. Seferian-Jenkins

Defense

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 15

Minnesota Vikings (DK $3,500) – The top five priced defense are all in positive spots. Of the five, I like the Vikings the most given their $1,000 salary savings from the Jags. They’re up against the Bengals who just got embarrassed by the 4-9 Bears. The Vikings are coming off of a disappointing loss and should look to rebound as huge home favorites.

Miami Dolphins (DK $2,700) – If Tyrod Taylor is ruled out on Sunday, that could leave Joe Webb starting for the Bills. Joe Webb showed some potential in the preseason, but the Dolphins defense just put out their best performance of the season beating the Patriots on Monday Night Football. Check the news on Taylor. If Taylor is out I wouldn’t mind taking a flyer on Miami.

 

Draftkings NFL Cash and GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 14

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 14

Week 14 is not a pretty slate by any means. This week marks the fourth week in a row that we will be without the Steelers offense and will also be missing the Patriots, Saints, and Falcons. There’s a lot of value found at the running back position, so depending on what you do at that position, it will help you differentiate your lineup. Let’s dive into it.

Vegas

Since Vegas lines have become such a huge part of the DFS community and are where most DFS players start their research, I decided to write up a portion outlining the big Vegas numbers. All Vegas totals will be taken from Vegas Insider page on Wednesday.

As if Wednesday night there is no current game lines on the Lions at Bucs and Colts at Bills. Outside of that, this week doesn’t feature any game with a huge spread. The Chargers are the biggest favorite of the week (-6) but still are within a touchdown. The Cowboys (-4), Chiefs (-4), Packers (-3.5), Titans (-3), Texans (-3), Rams (-2.5), Jags (-2.5), Vikings (-2.5), and Jets (-1) are all very marginal favorites this week.

This week doesn’t feature a lot of teams with extremely high team totals. There are nine teams currently implied to score more than three touchdowns, headlined by the Chargers with a team total of 26 points. The Chiefs (25.75), Rams (25.25), Titans (23.5), Texans (23.5), Cowboys (22.75), Eagles (22.75), Bengals (22.25), and Packers (22) round out the teams implied to score more than 21 points.

In regards to game totals, there are three game totals over 45 points. The Eagles at the Rams lead the list with a 48 over/under, followed by KC @ OAK (47.5), and LAC @ WAS (46). Of these three games, the Eagles and Rams game has seen the largest total movement with a 3 point drop from the opening 51 game total.

As with every week, check pack the Vegas Insider page on Sunday morning to get the latest Vegas data.

Quarterbacks

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 14

Quarterbacks are very thin this week on the Draftkings main slate. We will be without Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Ben Roethlisberger. Yikes.

Alex Smith (DK $6,500) – I feel like I am chasing my tail after Smith’s 23.48 point performance last week. But I expect most people to flock to Smith due to recency bias and the favorable matchup he has this week against the Raiders. Smith is going up against a Raiders defense that ranks 25th in the league in aFPA. The Raiders are riding a two-game winning streak to put them back into contention for first place in the AFC West, but have faced pedestrian quarterbacks the last two weeks. They held both Geno Smith and Paxton Lynch in check. But before that, they were lit up by Brady (28.6 FP), Cutler (27.4), Taylor (16.7), and Alex Smith (28.68). A lot is riding on this game so Smith will look to snap the four-game losing streak and regain the lead in the West. One stat worth noting if you are playing Smith, with the field, Smith has failed to meet salary expectations 4 of the last six times he was priced at $6,000 range.

Russell Wilson (DK $6,200) – At $6,200 this is the lowest price we’ve seen Russell Wilson since November of 2016. That’s insane when you consider the fact that Wilson leads all quarterbacks in scoring after his bye week. Wilson has been smashing as of late, accumulating at least 24 points in 8 of his last 10 games. Now, this week he’s priced down severely because of his tough matchup on the road against the Jaguars. The Jags rank 1st in the league in aFPA this season and are even more dominant at home than on the road. The Jags have allowed an average of 11.61 Draftking points to opposing QBs at home. When you factor that defense dominance with Wilson’s home/road splits, it doesn’t look like an ideal situation for Wilson. It’s just tough for me to write off Wilson given his production the past 10 games and his dramatic price difference. Wilson is an ideal GPP play to hedge off the field.

Jimmy Garoppolo (DK $5,500) – The lower tier is where I will likely land on quarterbacks this week. Jimmy G got his first start last week and certainly passed the eye test. Although he didn’t throw a touchdown and only scored 11.52 DK points, he completed 70% of his passes and missed the 300-yard bonus by only 7 yards. Outside of that, he looked poised under Shanahan’s offense and was able to cut through the Bears defense with just half a playbook. Now Jimmy G finds himself as a road dog against the Texans who rank 30th in aFPA. The Texan’s defense has struggled this season once JJ Watt went down and this figures to be a close game. I think this game has sneaky shootout potential and like how Garoppolo’s savings round out my lineup.

Cash:

A. Smith, J. Garoppolo, M. Stafford (If active), J. Winston

GPP:

R. Wilson, C. Wentz, J. Goff, B. Gabbert

Running Backs

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 14

Running back offers a lot of value and the top tier running backs are all in difficult spots.

LeSean McCoy (DK $7,200) – McCoy is the only running back of the top five priced backs that is expected to exceed his implied projected point based on salary. Unfortunately, as I write this, there is no line out for this game due to the Bills not naming their QB starter. But I expect to be a slight favorite at home, which benefits McCoy. McCoy has a seen his price drop to the low $7,000 for the first time since September of this season. He’s received 15 targets in the last four weeks and figures to see more check downs if Perriman is under center. The Colts rank 30th in aFPA to opposing running backs, which is why I boost McCoy slightly over Gurley for the price savings. McCoy is still a wait and see based on the Vegas line, but I like him in the higher tier.

Lamar Miller (DK $5,800) – I mentioned earlier that I like this game as a sneaky shootout. Lamar Miller is in theory in a good spot. He’s a 3 point home favorite and is going up against a 49er defense that ranks 31st in aFPA this season. I would note that Miller has only carried the ball more than 20 times once in his last six games and has yet to eclipse the 100-yard mark this season. The 49ers have only allowed 100-yard rushers to 3 running backs (Gurley, Elliott, and Peterson) this season, so their ranking may be a little misleading.  I do like that Miller is averaging more at least 3 targets the last four games, but he hasn’t entirely been efficient with those opportunities. Miller is a decent cash gameplay if you need the salary relief from the top tier and want to differentiate from the value plays I’ll talk about next.

Giovani Bernard (DK $3,100) – The free square of the week. Bernard is the chalk running back this week assuming Mixon is out this week. He is near minimum price and was slashing through the Steelers defense on Monday night. There’s not much more to say here other than Bernard is near min salary and has 20+ touch upside against a Bears defense that is banged up on the defensive line. If Mixon is out, just lock Bernard in and eat the massive ownership.

Cash:

G. Bernard, T. Gurley, M. Gordon, L. McCoy, L. Miller, R. Barber (Doug Martin inactive), J. Howard

GPP:

K. Hunt, S. Perine, M. Lynch, A. Morris

Wide receivers

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 14

Wide Receivers are where you will more than likely differentiate your lineup. There are good plays at the top and in the mid-range.

DeAndre Hopkins (DK $8,500) – Hopkins is a target monster and is going up against the 49ers who rank 16th in aFPA. Hopkins has received more than 10 targets in 7 of the last 8 games. He’s exceeded value in all but one game this season and should have a big game against the 49ers secondary. If you’re paying up for any wide receiver, don’t over think it.

Josh Gordon (DK $5,500) – Every real football fan was watching Gordon last week to see if he would show any signs of the superstar he was when he first came into the league. Well if you ask me, Gordon looked a bit rusty and had some issues catching some of the balls but saw a significant amount of targets. Last week Gordon went up against a tough Chargers secondary and still saw 11 targets. This week he has what comes across as a dream matchup against the Packers who rank 32nd in aFPA. Gordon will likely be heavily owned given his talent level and his good matchup, I’m just not sold on him yet. I also don’t see how Corey Coleman ($4,100) who led the team in receiving before Gordon was activated completely disappears with 0 catches. I understand why people are on Gordon, but I might be lower than the field on him. 

Sterling Shepard (DK $5,300) – I think he’s my preferred pivot off Gordon. Before his injury that sidelined him for 3 weeks, he was averaging 12 targets in week 7 and 8. Last week he disappointed with only 3 catches, but that was with Geno Smith under center. Now he’s $1,700 cheaper, in a good matchup, and has Eli Manning back under center. He’s going up against the Cowboys who rank 25th in aFPA allowed to wide receivers. I like the Giants to keep this game close, so I expect Shepard to get the volume he saw before he got hurt.

Trent Taylor (DK $3,300) – My favorite punt play at wide receiver. With Jimmy Garoppolo he came up big in what Kyle Shanahan called his “Michael Jordan game given he was puking before the game last week. Sickness and all, the rookie came away with catching 6 of his 6 targets for 92 yards and looked like Julian Edelman for Garoppolo early last year.

Cash:

D. Hopkins, L. Fitzgerald, A. Green, A. Thielen, J. Gordon, G. Tate, S. Shepard, E. Sanders

GPP:

K. Allen, T. Hill, D. Bryant, D. Adams, M. Crabtree, S. Diggs, C. Coleman, G. Tate, M. Goodwin, D. Thomas,

Tight End:

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 14

A lot of value opens up at tight end this week. As always you can be contrarian by paying up for the studs like Kelce, but this week the way to go for cash games is down at the barrel.

Stephen Anderson (DK $3,200) – Anderson had a breakout game last week against the Titans filling in for Bruce Ellington and Cj Fiedorowicz. Anderson saw 12 targets and caught 5 of them for 79 yards and a touchdown. Anderson was a wide receiver in college and is a freak athlete and will figure to see work out of the slot this week. It’s worth monitoring if Will Fuller will play this week as that may eat into some of his targets. But Anderson should be a popular value play.

Trey Burton (DK $2,900) – Zach Ertz is in the concussion protocol. At this point there isn’t much being reported other than Ertz is with the team. IF Ertz is inactive, this opens up a ton of value at tight end, and Burton will almost be another lock and play. When Ertz missed week 9 against the Broncos, Burton filled in with 2 catches for 41 yards and a touchdown pass.

Cash:

T. Kelce, J.Witten, S. Anderson, T. Burton (Ertz), A. Seferian-Jenkins

GPP:

H. Henry, K. Rudolph, C. Clay, J. Graham

Defense

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 14

Cincinnati Bengals (DK $3,300) – I like the Bengals this week as a home favorite against a team that has an implied total of 16.25.

New York Jets (DK $3,300) – The Broncos offensive line is vulnerable right now. That means Leonard Williams will have several opportunities to get to Trevor Siemian.

Cash:

Bengals, Packers, Jets

GPP:

Jaguars, Titans, Vikings

 

Draftkings NFL Cash and GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 13

Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 13

Week 13 is upon us and brings one of the toughest Draftkings slate of this season. There are four quarterback changes this week. Jay Cutler and Jameis Winston are returning from injury, while Jimmy Garoppolo and Geno Smith are getting their first starts of the season. This is a widely spread out slate, which means I expect ownership to be spread out across the positions.

Vegas:

Since Vegas lines have become such a huge part of the DFS community and are where most DFS players start their research, I decided to write up a portion outlining the big Vegas numbers. All Vegas totals will be taken from Fantasy Labs Vegas page on Wednesday.

This week there are no games with an over under above 50. There are four games bunched together with a total of over 47. Pats @ Bills 48.5, Panthers @ Saints 48, Eagles @ Seahawks 47.5, and Vikings @ Falcons 47. Aside from those four games, there are another four games with respectable totals between 44 and 46 points.

The teams with the highest implied total are the Patriots (28.5), Chargers (28.25), Saints (26), Rams (26), Raiders (25.75), Titans (25.25), Jags (25.5), and Falcons (25). There are a few games at risk of being a blowout and the Chargers headline the list as a two-touchdown favorite at home against the winless Browns. The Jags are the second largest favorite (-10) at home against the Colts. The Raiders (-9.5), Patriots (-8.5), Titans (-7), and the Rams (-7) are also a touchdown favorite. It’s worth targeting running backs at home as big favorites this week.

I encourage you to check out Vegas Insiders page on Sunday morning to see if there are any drastic changes to these game totals. Of course, Lineup Labs subs have access to this information in the player pool. Let’s dive into the slate.

Quarterbacks

Draftkings NFL Cash and GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 13

Philip Rivers (DK $7,000) – As I mentioned at the top of this article, ownership is going to be widely spread out, especially at the quarterback position. Of all the quarterbacks on the DK main slate, Rivers may be the most popular for cash games. He’s a two-touchdown favorite with a team implied to score the second-most points on the slate against a Browns team that rank 28th in aFPA. Rivers is coming off back to back good games, in which he met his salary expectation, but that was back when his salary was below $6,000. Now he’s seen a price jump of $2,100 and is a risk for a negative game script. On the bright side, the Chargers play distribution is 59% pass to 41% run, so there’s a good possibility if the Chargers do score 28 points, Rivers will be in a position to rack up all those points. It’s always worth noting when teams are two-touchdown favorites that If they get up to a big league, they could lean heavily on the running game to kill the clock.

Jameis Winston (DK $5,600) – I will be watching Winston’s ownership very closely up until lock time. Winston returned to practice on Wednesday and was announced as the starter. That news suddenly led to move the Bucs to a 1 ½ point favorite on the road against the Packers. The Packers rank 30th in aFPA and were just ripped apart by the Steelers and Big Ben who projects very similar to Winston. The Bucs have a relatively low team total of 22, but they have had no running game all season long, which has led to the second most distribution of pass plays with a 62% – 37% mark. Winston was up and down earlier in the season, but that was mostly due to his price averaging over the $6,000 mark. Now he’s the lowest he’s been all season with a $5,600 price tag and in a good matchup. The one limitation to follow is the question of how healthy he truly is. I’m ranking Winston as my favorite points/dollar play at QB.

Blaine Gabbert (DK $4,700) – There’s enough value plays this week at quarterback to give you an option of not paying up for QB. Blaine Gabbert might be someone worthy of your considerations given his performances in his last two starts. In two starts this season, Gabbert has completed 61% of his passes and thrown for 498 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. That’s been more productive than expected given his mid 4K price range. What’s been most impressive about Gabbert’s stats is that he did it against good defenses (Jags and Texans), so while the Rams defense is probably not a matchup you want to pick on, Gabbert has been put to the test already this season. What I like most that is in Gabbert’s favor is that he’s a touchdown underdog. The Rams can put up points with the best of them so it wouldn’t surprise me if they jump to an early two-touchdown lead. That leads to a positive game script for Gabbert and more garbage time fantasy points. At $4,700 he only needs 16 points to reach value. He’s exceeded that mark in both of his starts so far.

Cash:
J. Winston, M. Mariota, T. Brady, C. Newton,
GPP:
(above), P. Rivers, J. Goff, D. Carr

Running Backs

Draftkings NFL Cash and GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 13

Todd Gurley (DK $8,200) – Whenever Gurley does not figure to be the highest owned running back, I always want to consider him at least. Gurley is one of the running backs that has a high floor and higher ceiling, and he’s 4th in the league in touches. This week his team has an implied total of 26 points and are a touchdown favorite on the road. While the on the road aspect is not ideal, Gurley does not have home, and road splits so you can still safely project his volume. The Cardinals are rank worse against the pass (16th aFPA) versus against the run (6th aFPA), but Gurley sees enough volume to be still viable. Gurley has received 18 targets the past three weeks and has converted 13 of those into catches for 141 yards. Gurley is my favorite running back of the top tier given his floor and ceiling combination over Alvin Kamara.

Leonard Fournette (DK $7,800) – My next favorite back after Gurley is Fournette. Fournette is a massive 10 point favorite at home against the Colts who rank 30th in aFPA. Fournette is similar to Gurley where he sees the bulk of the team’s rushing touches and doesn’t have share snaps like the duo in New Orleans. The last time Fournette was a home favorite he failed to meet salary expectations, but this game script figures to be heavily in favor of Fournette. I also like that Fournette has seen more than 3 targets out of the backfield since returning from injury. I’m close to hitting the lock button on Fournette.

Jordan Howard (DK $6,500) – In the midrange there are a few running backs with favorable matchups starting with Howard and Carlos Hyde (DK $5,900). Both are receiving over 60% of the running back snaps and have accounted for over 60% of the team’s rushing yards. Howard comes into this matchup as a 3 point home favorite against the 49ers defense which ranks dead last in aFPA to running backs this season. Last week the game script significantly affected Howard’s production, but this game figures to be better for Howard.

Marshawn Lynch (DK $4,800) – I haven’t played Lynch all season, but if I will, it will be this week. Lynch is a huge home favorite (-9) and is facing the Giants who have already given up on the season and rank 27th in aFPA to RBs. The Raiders receiving staff is greatly depleted with Amari Cooper unlikely to play due to a concussion and Michael Crabtree unlikely to play due to suspension. That could lead to the Raiders running the ball more than their 61% – 39% distribution on the season.

Cash:
T. Gurley, L. Fournette, J. Howard, C. McCaffrey, M. Gordon, J. Williams (if active)
GPP:
(All of above), L. McCoy, Saints RBs, A. Peterson, D. Booker,

Wide Receivers

Draftkings NFL Cash and GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 13

DeSean Jackson (DK $4,700) & Mike Evans (DK $7,100) – The top receivers of the week for me are both receivers from the Bucs. As I mentioned in the QB section, I love Winston returning this week, and this also correlates to both of his receivers. The Packers have been absolutely torched by opposing wide receivers and rank 31st in aFPA, averaging nearly 29 points per game. Mike Evans is a lock for double-digit targets, and Jackson has shown that he has a higher floor this season and is no longer just a deep threat. Oh, and did you see what Antonio Brown did last week? All in on the BUCS offense!

Cooper Kupp (DK $6,400) – Kupp stepped up last week for the Rams after an injury to Robert Woods left an opening as the second receiver in the Rams offense. Kupp received 11 targets, the most he’s received all season, and turned that into 8 catches and 116 yards. He runs the majority of his routes in the slot and will likely avoid Patrick Peterson with him likely to shadow Sammy Watkins. The best way to attack the Cardinals secondary is in the slot of by targeting anyone not being covered by Peterson. So Kupp should be popular in the mid 6K range.

Davante Adams (DK $6,400) – My preferred pivot off Kupp is Davante Adams. Adams has emerged as the Packers primary receiver since Brett Hundley took over for Aaron Rodgers. Adams leads the team in targets since week 6 with 52 and is averaging over 8 targets per game. He’s been priced very cheap this season and is now at his highest price of the season, so that’s not exactly ideal, but he sees a lot of volume, and the Bucs are last in the league in aFPA to wide receivers. He’s a nice way to get exposure to the Packers offense.

Cordarrelle Patterson (DK $3,400) & Seth Roberts (DK $3,700) – As I mentioned in the Lynch write up, the Raiders will be without their top two receivers creating an opening for both Roberts and Patterson. These receivers are in a good matchup against the Giants who rank 25th in aFPA and just put Janoris Jenkins on IR. On the season these two haven’t been target as much with only 65 targets between for receivers. Roberts has 38 targets, while Patterson has 27. Patterson leads Roberts in targets per snap (9.4% to 7.6%). Last season, Roberts was a target monster in the red zone, but that has changed with the addition of Jared Cook this offseason. Both are worth consideration for GPPs. I think I like Patterson more than Roberts just for the upside that he has to break a slant for a 50 yard gain, but it’s really a coin flip.

Higher Tier Receivers Worth Playing(Above 7K):
K. Allen, B. Cooks, A. Thielen, D. Hopkins, M. Evans

Mid Tier ($5,000 – $7,000):
D. Funches, T. Hill, D. Adams, C. Kupp, R. Anderson, L. Fitzgerald, M. Sanu, D. Thomas, M. Lee

Value (Sub $5,000):
E. Sanders, D. Jackson, Z. Jones, D. Westbrook, J. Gordon, S. Roberts, C. Patterson, R. Cobb, D. Inman

Tight End

Draftkings NFL Cash and GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 13

Jared Cook (DK $5,400) – Cook will likely be the most popular tight end on the slate with the Raiders wide receivers out. He’s much safer than Patterson and Roberts as Carr has targeted him at least 5 times in all but one game this season. It also turns out that he’s in a great matchup against the Giants who rank 32nd in the league against tight ends. Cook is a safe way to get exposure to the Raiders offense without hurting the floor of your lineup.

Hunter Henry (DK $4,700) – I love me some Hunter Henry this week. Tight end is a position where I don’t like to overthink it and often just follow the flowchart. Who’s playing the Browns? Who’s their leading tight end? Play that tight end. That is Henry this week. Henry has entirely taken over the tight end job over Gates and played 76% of snaps last week, bringing his snap percentage to 65% on the season. He’s also out targeting Gates 44-30 and has 10 targets in the last two weeks. The only thing keeping me from locking in Henry is that I like Cook quite a bit this week.

Cash:
J. Cook, H. Henry, T, Kelce, B. Watson, D. Walker

GPP:
(All above), R. Gronkowski, J. Thomas (#RevengeGame)

Defense

Draftkings NFL Cash and GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 13

Denver Broncos ($3,000) – The Broncos are road favorites against the Dolphins who are implied to score 19 points and are getting turnover prone Jay Cutler back. The Broncos have been really disappointing this season, but they have seen their price decrease to $3,000 for the first time since they played the Patriots. The Dolphins are nowhere near the Patriots, and the Broncos should feast.

Cash:
LAR, DEN, TEN
GPP:
(All above) LAC, TB, MIA, BALT