With Christmas right around the corner, my free time is getting squeezed in all directions. This week I went to the bullpen to pull together the Perfect Lineup for FanDuel in Week 14. My good friend in the high-stakes market in Fantasy Baseball and Football took on the task of building this week's roster. Chris is a long time high-stakes owner with a solid feel for the games from the gambling side. His vision was the key to us winning over $70,000 in one great day in the daily baseball last August. His best accomplishment in the season long games was second overall in a season-long contest, which led to $60,000 in winnings. Here's a look at his views with my player profiles added (in blockquotes.
Rolling into week 14, a season dominated by running backs, I feel that may change. Well somewhat, as they say, adapt or die. I order to accomplish my attack plan this week I will need every dollar in savings when the upside differentiation between players is minimal.
At Quarterback, sure I see Drew Brees, Jameis Winston, and Aaron Rodgers all as viable choices. To beat the masses, I think the choice comes down to two, Eli Manning or Cam Newton. Call it a gut feeling but I see the Car/SD game becoming a shootout. Combine that and the fact when you dig deep you will see Cam has faced strong defenses all year; I will go bear with Cam Newton ($7,800).
Cam stunk up the building again last week (182/1). His completion rate has been a disaster in three straight games (42.4, 48.3, and 43.8). Over the last six games, Newton averaged 220 yards passing with only six passing TDs. This season he has two games with over 300 yards passing (SF - 353/4 and NO - 322/2). It's almost like he's gun shy has a runner in his last three games (5/7, 3/6/1, and 3/12). The Chargers are league average defending QBs with seven teams scoring fewer than 20.0 Fantasy points. QBs have 17 passing TDs vs. San Diego while averaging 284 passing yards per game. Overpriced for his 2016 season and Newton appears to have a lot of quit in him.
At running back, it is not the time to reinvent the wheel. Pencil in David Johnson ($9,800) at RB1.
Johnson is on pace to score 431.87 Fantasy points in PPR leagues, which is still below the great season of LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 (2323 combined yards with 31 TDs and 56 catches - 474.3 Fantasy points). David is on pace for 2279 yards with 20 TDs and 85 catches. He's scored over 30.0 Fantasy points in his last three starts and over 25.0 Fantasy points in seven of his last eight games. Johnson remains the safest play in daily with just as much of a chance at scoring as Zack Greinke on a cold night in Chicago. His impressive ride is tied to his now elite value in the passing game. David has a receiving TD in four straight games. Over his last six games, he has 44 catches for 439 yards with four TDs on 63 targets (10.5 per game). Miami is 12th in the league defending RBs (21.61 Fantasy points per game) with their biggest failure coming in the last two games (32.90 and 35.10). Six opponents have over 150 combined yards vs. the Dolphins with RBs scoring 10 TDs. The beat goes on, but more success running the ball by Johnson will lead to a lower ceiling in Week 14 due to a drop back in receiving chances. He may rush for 200 yards this with a pair of TDs.
RB2 is one of the spots that will make the difference this week. I think Matt Forte, Jeremy Hill, Carlos Hyde, Todd Gurley are all in play, however for the price; I see Isaiah Crowell ($5,500) being a plus value. Crowell’s price allows me to have the core I desire.
Crowell at least showed a spark in Week 12 (91 combined yards with six catches) after posting seven straight games with fewer than 80 combined yards. Isaiah has two games with over 100 yards rushing, which came in Week 2 (18/133/1) and Week 4 (16/120/1). His last TD was in Week 7 vs. the Bengals (79 combined yards with three catches). The Bengals are 23rd in the league against the RB position with two teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. The Browns had a bye week to clear their heads so Crowell could be viable as a backend filler.
Evans had his shortest game of the season last week against the Chargers (3/38 on six targets). Mike doesn't have a TD in four of his last seven games. In his other three games over this period, he has a pair of TDs in each game. Evans has four games with over 100 yards receiving (three at home). He averages 11.5 targets per game with high value in TDs (10). Mike had three catches for 39 yards on four targets against the Saints in 2015. New Orleans is 25th in the league defending WRs (168/2204/10 on 265 targets). Five WRs have over 100 yards receiving against the Saints (Amari Cooper - 6/137, Sterling Shepard - 8/117, Dontrelle Inman - 7/120/1, Quinton Patton - 6/106, and Golden Tate - 8/154/1). I'm sure he'll have plenty of targets with a very good chance at a TD or two. Mike will be a popular choice at the top end of the WR pool with this game expected to be high scoring.
WR3 will be the next position that will separate. In the lower price point area, Malcolm Mitchell, Brandon Coleman, DeSean Jackson, or any SD receiver could come in. I, however, will be using Robby Anderson ($4,700) of the Jets. With Brandon Marshall banged up and a new QB in New York, Anderson had 12 targets last week. More importantly, Robby passed the eye test last week.
At TE, I would like to use Greg Olsen ($6,400) with Cam as he’s been quiet, but his salary just doesn’t work. Delanie Walker ($6,200) might be fun but risky against Denver. I will be using Cameron Brate ($5,600). Brate checks all boxes – consistent, reasonably priced, and I feel his upside is there with a high over/under (51) for this week’s game.
Brate has three games of value (5/46/2, 7/84/1, and 6/86/1) for his low-price point. He has a TD in four of his last six games. Only twice this season has Cameron had more than five catches in his game. On the year, Brate averages 5.5 targets per game. The Saints are league average defending TDs with two teams scoring over 20.0 Fantasy points. TEs have 55 catches for 668 yards and four TDs on 89 targets vs. New Orleans. This is expected to be a wide-open game and Brate is the number two scoring receiving option on the team. His low salary should be inviting in Week 14.
Defense is always a crapshoot. This week I feel confident in the Minnesota Vikings putting up 10+ points versus Blake Bortles, who continues to make mistakes.
At kicker, I trust Robbie Gould to make the ones he should in a game I see as a battle. At $4,500, he works with my team structure. I would also have considered Roberto Aguayo, however using Evans and Brate as well, would be a huge negative correlation.
Here’s a look at Chris’s Perfect Lineup for FanDuel in Week 14: