DraftKings Week 16 Strategy: Expert Lineup Analysis
Week 16 Draft Kings X’s & O’s: A Strategy Discussion Of Who To Put In Your Lineup
Due to a glitch in Dan’s brain we did not do our regular H2H contest this week encompassing the Sunday and Monday games (glitch = he forgot to submit his lineup). Instead, we went H2H just using the Sunday and Monday night primetime games. As you would suspect we shared a great many of the same players, but thanks to the ultimate garbage time TDs by Mark Ingram and Alshon Jeffrey (thank you Mark for not getting the first down and sitting down so the Saints could run out the clock), Dan ended up beating me by a scant 1.22 points. Really, Dan, is that what you have to do to win?
Alright, here we are. I have to win week 16 and week 17 just to tie. I could lie down and die, but the Beaudog is a Junk Yard Dog, and while I may not have a custom Continental or an El Dorado, as Jim Croce sang, I am definitely badder than old King Kong.
So it’s a must win for me this week and Dan, to paraphrase the great Dylan Thomas (he is one of the best poets of all time), I will not go quiet into that good night, I will rage, rage, rage at the dying of the light.
Good luck Dan and Happy Chanukah and a Merry Christmas!
Dan responds: I am a movie buff, so you say Dylan Thomas and I immediately think “Dangerous Minds” and the Dylan Dylan contest. Love that movie!! I am a Bob Dylan fan so If your rage, rage, rage doesn’t work out, then just go see the “Tambourine Man” and he will make you feel all right.
Nick Re-Responds: Big Bob Dylan fan as well….just call me the Jack of Hearts…(Blood on the Tracks Album reference).
So, here we go……
As a reminder, FFCHAMPS.Com has a great tool you can use to help set up your Daily Fantasy Line Up: Just Click Here to take a quick look at the FFChamps Daily Fantasy Ranks tool. Just remember to come back and finish reading our article.
OK, back to the business at hand.
As we do every week, Dan and I will take a look at the match-ups, the player performance, the Draft Kings’ pricing and the Daily Fantasy Rank Tool, of course, to suggest players we think will give you an edge as you put your Draft Kings Roster together and hopefully help you put together that perfect lineup that can take you all the way to big cash win!!!!
Before we start, just as a reminder, while we will not usually highlight the Major Studs at each position, these players, like Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Demarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Matt Forte, Julio Jones, Rob Gronkowski, AJ Green, Antonio Brown, and Jeremy Maclin will be an integral part of your lineups. Our goal here is to also spotlight some of medium, and even, lower priced players who can nicely fill out your lineup. Thus allowing you to have that perfect combination of Studs and Value players to reach the money and ultimately take down first place.
So, while Dan and I will not specifically recommend many of these Studs in our discussion below, there are no reasons not to target them for your lineup. In fact, this week, there is some solid value amongst the STUDs: Andrew Luck is only $8,900, Tom Brady against the horrible Jets comes in an $8,000 and Matt Ryan versus the Saints and Big Ben Roethlisberger are both only $7,400. I can’t argue with you if you want to “pay up” for Le’Veon Bell @ $9,800 realize you will have to work hard to find good value (i.e. low price/high production) in the other roster slots.
That is what we are here for!
As with every week, remember to keep your eye on the injury report and active/inactive list to make sure a player you may have rostered is in fact good to go, the worst thing in daily fantasy is to have a great big zero in your lineup because a player was a late scratch.
So with this in mind, here we go!
Matt Ryan ($7,400): I am going to stay on the Matt Ryan train as he showed last week that he can still put up excellent numbers (26 points) even with his #1 guy (Julio Jones) on the sidelines. I can hear you now, yeah he did well but that was against Pittsburgh, well this week it’s even better, he gets the New Orleans Saints, ranked 26th against the pass while giving up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. At the time of this writing, word in the press is that Julio looks like he will be playing Sunday which makes Matty Ice all the more valuable, but even if Julio ends up sitting, Ryan proved he can get it done with Roddy and Harry Douglas.
DAN’S CHALKBOARD: Two bad defenses, two strong offenses, the worst division in football, played in a dome. All things considered it will probably end up being a defensive battle, haha. This game has to resemble a track meet, and either QB should hit value with upside.
Matthew Stafford ($7,000): Slinging Stafford has been up and down this year, but this week he gets the absolutely horrible Chicago Bears, who may not even show up on the field, which should make for a big week for Stafford. For only $7,000 there is no way I can fade him this week, it is just too good a match-up.
DAN’S CHALKBOARD: The first guy I noticed when scanning the quarterbacks was Stafford. Great minds think alike. He is a great play this week. Nice pick.
Tom Brady ($8,000): Tom Terrific will have a big week. Hoodie may be crazy, but he is not dumb. He obviously knows that the Jets have a good run defense and a bad pass defense. What I love the most is that hoodie is crazy and doesn’t care if he has zero balance if it turns into a victory. Look for Brady to have 40+ attempts this week and put up top QB numbers. I’ll take a QB sneak TD as well for good measure.
Nick’s Chalkboard: Really like Brady this week as well. The Hoodie always wants to put a major beat down on the Jets. Now that Dan and I have both said this, watch for 60 rush attempts and 3 passes.
Andy Dalton ($5,900): I wrote down a note for myself after last year that said take shots on Dalton. He always has good prices and he always has a week or two that he goes off. I have listened to my note this year and it has not paid off. Good thing the note said take shots and not a shot, so here I am again pulling this trigger. This time I am hitting a homerun.
Nick’s Chalkboard: I just can’t get past the red hair. But seriously, Denver is very solid against the run so I see the Bengals as having to pass if they are going to win this game and they do need to win it. Look for a ton of pass attempts from Dalton and if he can connect on a couple to AJ Green, he could have a big day, hell maybe Sanu will throw him another TD pass.
Eddie Lacy ($7,300): In five of his last seven games, Mr. Lacy has scored over 20 fantasy points and he is only priced at $7,300. Someone must have gotten into the Christmas Egg Nog over at Draft Kings cause this price is nuts. I am putting Lacy in all of my lineups this week; he is proving to be the stud everyone said he would be at the beginning of the year.
Dan’s Chalkboard: Lacy will be a great play this week. I can’t turn on the radio or TV in the Green Bay area without hearing people complain about not running the ball more and having more balance. He had a healthy 6.5 yards/carry last week and only toted it 15 times. That’s criminal. McCarthy will listen to the people and feed Lacy the rock this week. With 20 carries and 2 to 5 receptions, he can have a MONSTER day. His upside for his price tag is too great to fade, and don’t worry about the eye thing, all reports I have heard locally is that it is not a game performance concern. Still double check the injury report Friday.
Tre Mason ($4,600): Against the New York Giants and their rush defense which is giving up the 9th most points to RBs, Mason’s $4,600 salary is a great deal and leaves plenty of salary cap space. Mason has had a couple of difficult match-ups the last couple of weeks, but he is the St. Louis Rams’ RB 1 and is getting the RB 1 work load. Against the Giants on the fast track in the Dome, Mason should see a ton of carries and could be in for a big day.
Dan’s Chalkboard: Oh man. I wanted to put up Tre Mason, just to dog your G-Men a bit. That just never gets old for me. Love Mason this week and so should all of you.
Fred Jackson ($5,500): The Oakland Raiders defense has been somewhat stingy against the pass, but against the run they are not good, giving up the 6th most points to RBs in the rushing attack and the 13th most to RBs in the passing game. Last week the Old Man Jackson had 23 touches (20 rushes and 3 catches on 6 targets) against the Packers. The Bills should be playing from ahead and should again rely on their experienced RB to pound the ball and silence the crowd in the Black Hole in Oakland. While he may not be the best for GPPs he has a very high floor and is, I think, a great cash game play.
Dan’s Chalkboard: I agree with you Nick. I saw your pick and I said to myself, I am not getting on board with Jackson, he just doesn’t have the upside anymore. I think age and nagging injuries have finally caught up with the old bulldog. Against a bad Oakland run defense and his usage I agree he is a safe cash game play though.
Lamar Miller ($4,400): Miller has had a tough four game stretch where blowouts, shootouts, and good run defenses have really sunk his production. This week however he gets a Minnesota defense in the bottom third against the run. Moreover the Vikings are not a threat to blow the Dolphins out either. Miller has been the featured back and has very productive games under his belt. He should easily pay off his salary with 5 x value upside.
Nick’s Chalkboard: I really like Miller is the Dolphins can get the lead. He has not been getting the touches for the reasons Dan mentioned above and the Dolphins seem quick to move away from him. If they can get the first TD and then start giving Miller the ball, he can deliver. I am not in love with this pick, but it’s not bad.
Dan Herron ($4,300): It’s time for the Trent Richardson experiment to end. He is either a bust or will never figure out the blocking scheme in front of him. Either way, put him on the shelf and let Dan Herron live up to his nickname Boom Herron. He falls into a great matchup against the 4th worst run defense of the Cowboys. Yea there is a risk that Richardson steals 5-10 carries, but even if this happens Herron can still easily reach value.
Nick’s Chalkboard: Very solid Flex play. I also like him if TY is a bit limited with his injury as it will force Luck to look for other options in the passing game.
Matt Forte ($8,700): I know, what is he thinking, but hear me out. I guarantee his ownership will be way way down this week. 1. Detroit has a very good defense 2. Cutler is benched and 3. The Bears have been looking terrible. Well they mixed stuff up I am sure that new QB Jimmy Clausen will be looking to check down early and often. Forte is a proven talent that can go off against any team any week. If he gets 20 carries and 5 check downs he could be in for a big day. This will pay off big in GPP games. I wouldn’t risk it for this price tag in cash games though as there are safer options out there.
Nick’s Chalkboard: Dan, I may surprise you here, but I tend to agree. Forte is a beast on the field and he is a GREAT football player. I think he will see even more passes than you are putting out there and in the Draft Kings PPR format this is a sure way for an RB to drive a lineup into the stratosphere. If he was priced over $9,000 I would probably look to fade him, but at this price he could be worth the risk.
Mike Evans ($6,700): Two weeks ago, the Green Bay Packer secondary was exposed by the Atlanta Falcons, and this week, rookie phenom Mike Evans should have a big day. Evans has 9 touchdowns in the last 7 weeks and always seems to be dancing around the end zone. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will undoubtedly look to put up a ton of points to make up for last week and Tampa Bay will be chasing points. Evans should be in the forefront of this effort and should benefit as a result.
Dan’s Chalkboard: Green Bay is coming out blazing and this could lead to some nice garbage time stats for Evans. I can get on board for this pick.
Calvin Johnson ($8,700): Normally by this time in the season Calvin Johnson’s price tag would be sky high. This year however, his injuries and some only human performances have kept Megatron’s price tag in a reasonable range. Three weeks ago, against the Bears, Johnson went off with 11 receptions on 16 targets and two touchdowns. With the Bears recent performances and their increasing disarray, there is no reason not to expect Johnson and Stafford to light them up again.
Dan’s Chalkboard: My only concern is a blowout by half effecting usage in the third and fourth quarters.
Odel Beckham Jr. ($9,000): I know he is expensive and will be very difficult to fit into the roster and ultimately I may not be able to use him. My plan is as follows: If DeMarco Murray ends up on the bench or extremely limited this week, I will use Joseph Randle in the lineup for only $3,000 in the flex which should leave me the salary cap space to load up Beckham. His match-up is a little challenging this week, given the Rams front seven and their pass rush which may make things difficult for Eli to get him the ball, but the Rams secondary is not great and they are giving up the 11th most points to WRs and the 9th most points to WR1s. Beckham is a WR1!!! End of story. Come on Dallas, rest Murray, you are going to need him in the playoffs.
Dan’s Chalkboard: I think it is the Giant blood running through you this week that is blinding you. Beckham is a stud, no question about that. However, the Rams are playing fantastic defense lately and putting tons of pressure on opposing Quarterbacks. A great front line and constant pressure will turn the future superstar into Clark Kent for the weekend. He can’t make plays if the ball doesn’t leave the QBs hand. His price is too high, and he is a risk this week because of Bad Eli and the Rams rush, not because of his talent.
Jordy Nelson ($7,700): This is the easiest pick of the week for me. Jordy was embarrassed last week after a couple of drops cost the Packers the game. Jordy has a ton of pride and he will bounce back in a BIG way this week. I am sure that Rodgers will be looking to pick up Jordy’s confidence as well so they can be running full stride come playoff time.
Nick’s Chalkboard: And you talk about my Giant Blood, you frozen Green Bay Packer person you, you must have Cheddar in your veins. But I love Nelson this week as well, this season he has been following up down games with some huge one. Lock it up.
A.J. Green ($8,200): I am pushing all in this week on the Dalton/Green stack. They will have to throw the ball early and often to keep up with the Broncos offense and they are at home with playoff and a home playoff game on the line. Dalton only blows up in big games in the playoffs, not big games that get them in the playoffs.
Nick’s Chalkboard: I do like AJ this week, if the Bengals are going to make it into the playoffs he has to perform and even if Dalton falters, Green can still have a huge game. I like the pick Dan, and just because I am totally into risking it all on one game of pitch and toss (obscure reference to Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”), let’s rack up a side bet: Odell versus AJ???? Let me know.
Marquess Wilson ($3,800): I like Wilson this week not in spite of the Cutler benching but because of it. This always happens, the back-up QB has been practicing all year with the backup WR and they know each other’s timing and are comfortable with each other. Clausen will look Wilson’s way more than Alshon Jeffries and Michael Bennett out of sheer habit this week. It is worth the shot for only $3,800 even if they have the Lions’ defense to contend with.
Nick’s Chalkboard: I liked your pick of Wilson last week and ended up using him in several lineups. While he didn’t light it up, he was definitely in the game plan and I also like your back-up QB and back-up WR logic. For $3,800, he is definitely worth a shot in a couple of GPP lineups.
Dwayne Allen ($3,800): Allen seems completely recovered from his injury and is again one of Andrew Luck’s first looks in the Red Zone. Last week he had 2 catches on 4 targets and a touchdown. This week he gets the Dallas Cowboys who are giving up the most fantasy points to TEs and have already given up 10 touchdowns to TEs this year. At his price, I will take a touchdown and whatever else he can put up.
Dan’s Chalkboard: The way tight ends are going this year you really have to look at who has the best chance and gets the most opportunities in the red zone and go that route. This perfectly describes Allen.
Travis Kelce ($4,600): Kelce finally got into the end zone, I think someone kidnapped Fasano. Kelce caught 5 of his 6 targets and had 59 yards to go along with the TD for 16 fantasy points. The Steelers are giving up the 12th most points to tight ends and game manager Alex Smith will most likely be looking for his big TE again this week.
Dan’s Chalkboard: Sign me up for “Baby Gronk” this week too.
Rob Gronkowski ($7,000): If I am not stacking Dalton/Green then I am stacking Brady/Gronk. I am certain that the Pats are going to pass a ton this week and Gronk is Brady’s favorite target. Do the math. Volume = Points = $$$$.
Nick’s Chalkboard: Above you signed on for “Baby Gronk”, I am signing up for the real thing here. Give me the Gronk!!!!!
Julius Thomas ($4,800): He has been a bit touchdown dependent this year, but he has also scored a bunch in the red zone. He is back from injury and Cincinnati has been exploited by tight ends this year. He is at a reduced price and worth the risk this week.
Nick’s Chalkboard: I cannot argue with the logic, just what the Broncos are doing. The last two weeks they have put Thomas out there and he has been completely ignored. If Peyton gets back to his normal self and Denver decides to pass instead of run inside the 10 yard line, then Orange Julius looks good. If not it could be another very frustrating day.
New England Patriots ($3,300): The Patriots put up 20 fantasy points last week and 12 the week before. They should be able to lay a few sacks on Geno Smith, and Geno should be good for a couple of interceptions/fumbles. I can’t see the Jets putting up more than 10 points versus Bill Belichick who loves to crush his AFC East rival, especially in the Jets own house, and if one of those turn overs turns into a pick six, the Patriots could definitely put up another 20 pointer.
Dan’s Chalkboard: Any defense vs the Jets I am good with. A proven and well coached defense like the Patriots against the Jets I am great with. Nice pick.
Oakland Raiders ($2,200): This is strictly a bargain pick. I have no problem trusting the Raiders at home against the Bills to put up 5-10 points as a defense. The Bills’ are not going to blow anyone out and if the Raiders can get in the end zone, then fantastic. The money it saves for other positions is well worth it in my book. If you have the money to pay up for a defense then my favorites are the Packers, Patriots, and Rams.
Nick’s Chalkboard: Done and Done. I have already put the Raiders into a couple of lineups to save money.
That is what we have for this week. We both hope that some of our picks will help you out. Remember with a little research and creativity you can create that perfect lineup that takes down the big bucks in this week’s HUGE, SPECTACULAR, end of season $3 Million Guaranteed contest.
Good Luck This Week!!
Perry04 & Beaudog (woof!)