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NFL DFS: Week 14 Perfect DraftKings Lineup

Take a trip through the mind of Senior Fantasy Football Expert Shawn Childs as he attempts to construct the perfect Week 14 DraftKings lineup!

Week 14 is the DraftKings $10 Million Final with 180 entries. Here’s a look at the 20 prizes:

1st $2 million
2nd $1 million
3rd $750K
4th $500K
5th $350K
6th $200K
7th & 8th $150K
9th & 10th $100K
11th to 15th $80K
16th to 20th $62.5K

This group of Fantasy owners will be playing in a one-day tournament with each team taking home a minimum of $15,000.

Over the last two seasons, I’ve made the DraftKings and Fanduel final. Unfortunately, I never came close in 2016.

This week when building my Perfect Lineup for DraftKings, I’ll have my eyes on winning this event.

My thought process to take down this title would be playing players with favorable matchups this week while showcasing a high level of play in 2016 and over the last couple of weeks. Based on this, I must roster David Johnson even with huge salary ($9,800).

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.

The next step is finding the value at QB. This QB must be playing well while offering upside in one or more of his recent games. I would also like to see his opponent have the ability to score. The only QB I see that fits the bill in Week 14 is Jameis Winston ($6,700). The Bucs have won four straight games to get into the playoff hunt.

Winston has led to the Bucs to six wins in his last eight games including four straight. His two losses over this stretch came at home in two high scoring affairs (OAK - 30 to 24 and ATL - 43 to 28). Jameis has two TDs or fewer in each of his last four games. He has three games with over 300 yards passing and four games with three TDs or more. In 2015, Winston passed for only 389 yards and two TDs in two games against the Saints. New Orleans is 23rd in the league against QBs with seven teams scoring over 20.0 Fantasy points in 4-point TDs leagues. Six teams have over 300 yards passing vs. New Orleans with 19 passing TDs. The Saints can be beat in close for rushing TDs so Jameis may lose a TD chance or two to Doug Martin on the ground.

I would like to find a cheaper QB, but I must take what the board gives me. This also forces into rostering Mike Evans ($8,900). Evans has the resume to make this roster, but he will also force me to find value at multiple roster spots.

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.

My other option at QB was Russell Wilson ($6,600). His TD production fell short of my threshold for this week’s roster plus he’s playing on the road.

Wilson had his ninth game of the season last week with one TD or fewer. After 12 games, Russell only has 13 combined TDs after delivering 35 TDs in 2015. His only two games of value passing the ball (NYJ - 309/3 and NE - 348/3) came on the road. Last season he had 284 combined yards and two TDs vs. the Packers on the road. Green Bay is 20th in the league against the QB position with three disaster games (DET - 385/3, TEN - 305/5, and WAS - 375/3). Russell has the talent and personnel to deliver a winning score against a defense with some downside risk.

After three players, I only have $4,100 in salary left for each remaining roster slot. I know I must cheat the TE position and find a value defense. By rostering Winston and Evans, I’m pot committed to Tampa in this game. I make sense to buy more insurance to protect the downside of Evans by adding TE Cameron Brate ($4,100). His salary falls into my range perfectly.

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.

At defense, I’m going to take a chance on the Buffalo Bills ($2,500). They’re playing at home against a top offense. Twice this season on the road, the Steelers have underperformed offensively leading to bad losses (PHI – 34-3 and Miami – 30-15). The Bills have a solid pass rush with an upside run game. I’m sure I’ll be against the grain here.

Now, I have $4,500 per player to fill my last four roster spots. I'm tempted to roster Todd Gurley ($5,000).

I can tell you this, Gurley is going to be a great pick in 2017 as no Fantasy owner will want to pay full price for his poor 2016 season. Todd has fewer than 90 yards rushing in each game with only four TDs (one in his last seven games). He continues to be on the field for about two-thirds of the RB action in LA. The Falcons allowed the 2nd most Fantasy points to RBs with five teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. RBs have 16 TDs against the Falcons with huge risk defending RBs in the passing game (94/799/5 on 118 targets). It's time to get your Gurley on, and I expect a solid 20-point game. I'll stick my neck and say he hits on a long TD in the passing game.

Gurley doesn’t fit the needed profile, but he does have a favorable matchup.

At RB2, I’m tempted to play Tim Hightower ($4,500). Mark Ingram returned to practice on Friday, so Tim doesn't have a clear path to full-time snaps.

After playing well in four of his five previous games. Hightower was a losing donation in Week 13 (nine combined yards with a catch) while being on the field for only 13 plays. Mark Ingram doesn't look healthy, and he did come off the field last week with a toe injury. This week Tim should be back in the mix for high-value snaps with scoring and pass catching ability. A King can be beaten by a Queen, but only a wise man knows when to play his pawns. I expect 100+ combined yards with a handful of catches, but I'll step back my predictions if Ingram crawls his way back into the mix.

Hightower could be a complete bust, and many will shy away based on his poor game in Week 13.

With Mohamed Sanu out this week and Julio Jones battling a toe injury that may lead to a missed game, I’ll take a chance on Taylor Gabriel ($4,300).

Gabriel hasn't had starting snaps in any game in 2016. Over the last five games, Taylor has 18 catches for 315 yards and four TDs with only 24 targets. The Falcons top two WRs are listed on the injury report this week so Gabriel may have his best opportunity of the season. The Rams have struggled with two small WRs with quickness (John Brown - 10/144 and Adam Humphries - 9/100). Low volume receiver with big play ability if he gets into the open field.

Ted Ginn Jr. ($4,000) is trending upward, which fits perfect for this week’s thought process.

Ginn has a TD in three games in a row. Over the last seven games, Ted has 32 catches for 423 yards and three TDs on 49 targets. His success projected over a full season would lead to 73 catches for 967 yards and seven TDs. He's done all of this with Cam and the Panthers' offense struggling. The Chargers have risk at CB behind Casey Hayward so Ginn should be active in this game with Benjamin drawing the tough matchup.

With my last selection to finish my team, I'm taking another shot Willie Snead Jr. ($5,200).

Snead, along with multiple Saints' players, had a short game in Week 13 (2/38). It was his sixth straight game with fewer than 60 yards receiving. Over this stretch, Willie averaged 6.6 targets per game. He's score a TD (2) in only one game in his last nine games. The Bucs' weakest CB Vernon Hargreaves plays in the slots giving Snead a favorable matchup. His path points to minimal explosiveness unless Michael Thomas can't play this week.

Snead is a pure gamble based on his recent play. I want to buy a piece of the Saints' passing game, and he's the only WR I can afford. It looks like Michael Thomas will play, which is another strike to this thought process.

Here’s a look at my Perfect Lineup for DraftKings:

If I decided to fade David Johnson, I could add more to this roster:

This roster would give me a chance at 15 to 20 Fantasy points at each position except defense with multiple players offering upside.


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