DraftKings Plays – Week 17
Pat Thorman suggests a lineup for use in cash games on DraftKings, and gives thoughts on upside plays to use in tournaments.
DraftKings Plays – Week 17
The players in the cash games lineup are chosen primarily with strong salary value, significant projected touch volume, and favorable matchups that occur in games with a high Vegas over/under. While not every selection will meet each threshold, the quest for a high statistical floor will be a common theme.
Cash Games Lineup
QB: Cam Newton ($7,500) at Atlanta Falcons (47.5)
Against the Falcons in Week 11, Newton scored the fifth-most points among quarterbacks. He also ran for 30 yards on five carries, as his dual-threat ability began to reemerge – culminating in back-to-back 12-carry games. He’s fantasy’s QB2 during the last three weeks he’s played, and Carolina has run the most plays in the league over the past month.
RB: C.J. Anderson ($7,000) vs Oakland Raiders (48)
He led all running backs in PPR points and targets (10) last week. Since facing the Raiders in Week 10, Anderson leads the league in handoffs and has seen the fourth-most targets. He’s second only to Le’Veon Bell in scoring, by less than 10 points. He’ll get an Oakland team that doesn’t travel well and allows the third-most points to running backs.
RB: Matt Asiata ($5,000) vs Chicago Bears (44)
He’s the RB11 in PPR leagues since Jerick McKinnon was lost for the season. Asiata has caught the fourth-most passes among running backs during that time, and is well known for his red zone prowess. He’ll face the hibernating Bears, who’ve allowed 5.0 yards-per-carry and seven touchdowns over the last month.
WR: Randall Cobb ($7,300) vs Detroit Lions (47)
The Packers should struggle on the ground against the second-ranked run defense (+67.2), and will rely on quick passes due to the Lions’ eighth-ranked pass rush (+24.9) and Aaron Rodgers’ potentially decreased mobility (calf). Lined up in the slot, Cobb will be a well-positioned outlet when he gains quick separation against Detroit’s worst cover cornerback, Cassius Vaughn (-3.5).
WR: Roddy White ($6,300) vs Carolina Panthers (47.5)
The last time these teams met (Julio Jones was in the lineup), White hauled in eight of 12 targets for 75 yards and a score. In his last six games against the Panthers, White’s averaged seven catches on 10.8 targets, for 92.8 yards and a touchdown per contest. Atlanta is projected to score 25 points and, especially with Steven Jackson likely to sit out, will rely heavily on their top two pass catchers.
WR: Marques Colston ($5,600) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (46.5)
Colston will primarily match up against Leonard Johnson, who is Tampa’s worst coverage cornerback – which is saying something. He ranks 87th-“best” at his position (-6.4), and gives up roughly seven inches and 30 pounds to the Saints’ slot receiver. Coltson is the WR19 in PPR leagues since Brandin Cooks was lost for the season, and has played his best football of the year in the last two weeks (+2.6).
TE: Mychal Rivera ($3,300) at Denver Broncos (48)
The Raiders won’t score much (17 projected points), but Rivera will be busy. He’s seen the third-most targets among tight ends since Week 8. The last time he faced the Broncos, who allow the seventh-most points to tight ends, he hauled in six of eight targets for 64 yards and a touchdown. He should easily return value on the 21st-highest tight end price tag.
FLEX: Alfred Morris ($4,600) vs Dallas Cowboys (49)
Dallas has allowed the ninth-fewest rushing yards, but still grade as the ninth-worst run defense (-20.9). We know that it’s been about ball-control. We also know that Morris, who’s just the 23rd-most expensive running back, is a far better performer when Robert Griffin III is behind center. He’ll be playing, but the Cowboys’ starters won’t be for a full game – despite the lip service they’ve given to the media.
DEF: Baltimore Ravens ($3,300) vs Cleveland Browns (39)
Sure, their secondary is a hot mess – but undrafted Connor Shaw is unlikely to capitalize. The Ravens boast the fourth-ranked run defense (+58.2), and eventually Shaw will have to make something happen. Considering that Baltimore’s pass rush grades as the best in the league (+62.8), that’s a recipe for defensive points. The Browns just want this season to be over, and it is – all except for the screaming.
Total Salary: $49,900
Le’Veon Bell is expensive – very expensive ($9,500). But the way Week 17 shakes-out, with cheap options widely available, it’s not impossible to work him into a lineup. He’s head-and-shoulders above any other option at his position in projected workload and scoring. He faces a Bengals team that’s allowed the fifth-most points to fantasy running backs, in a game with the third-highest over/under of the week (48). He’s also averaging 26.6 points in his last six games, and scored 47.5 PPR points the last time he faced the Bengals. Forty-seven-point-five.
Let’s look at a handful of inexpensive players who can make salary cap room for Bell, or Odell Beckham Jr. ($9,600) – who’s set to treat Bradley Fletcher like an ant under a magnifying glass.
Eli Manning ($7,100) is the 14th-most expensive quarterback and is playing in a matchup with the highest over/under (52.5). He let us down back in Week 6, but it’s easy to forget that it was his first outing without Rashad Jennings – who excels in the passing game. Jennings is back and Andre Williams is a little less raw as well. Oh, and Beckham saw a career-low three targets in Week 6. That will probably change this time around.
Robert Griffin III ($5,700) is the 22nd-most expensive quarterback and has turned his season around. He’s again using his legs to pile up fantasy points and has a legitimate stable of weapons at his disposal. Dallas has soft spots all over their defense and, as mentioned, a questionable amount of motivation. RGIII has a big ceiling and a solid floor this week.
Firing up Chase Daniel ($5,000), who will start in place of Alex Smith, takes a leap of faith – but at least it’s not an expensive one. The Chargers allow the 11th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and have holes all over their beat-up secondary. He probably won’t blow the doors off, and RGIII is preferable and not much more expensive, but Daniel should pay off his price.
Some juicy matchups for (cheap) wideouts include:
Charles Johnson ($4,600) vs Kyle Fuller – Although he saw a team-leading five targets, Johnson was quiet Week 16, as Teddy Bridgewater attempted just 26 passes. Expect things to pick back up against the 109th (and worst) graded coverage corner (-17.5), who just wants his rookie season to be over.
Marquess Wilson ($4,300) vs Josh Robinson – Xavier Rhodes will likely shadow Alshon Jeffery, leaving Wilson with the far easier draw and additional targets. Robinson’s received just two positive coverage grades since Week 7, and ranks 89th among cornerbacks during that time (-5.4).
Paul Richardson ($3,300) vs Janoris Jenkins – When Russell Wilson lit up the Rams, Doug Baldwin was his weapon of choice and will deservedly get attention this week. But Richardson is coming on, has already caught a couple on Jenkins, and Jermaine Kearse now is out of the picture. The rookie should pop one this week.
Dez Bryant ($8,500) can pile up points in a matter of drives, let alone quarters – so he’s not completely off the table if you’re trying to diversify a tourney lineup. But it might be safer, not to mention far less cost prohibitive, to throw a dart at Terrance Williams ($3,500).
His biggest issue has been a meager workload, with only 4.1 targets per game. That should change because the Cowboys can’t rest everybody this week. He caught two touchdowns in Week 16, including a 46-yarder from Brandon Weeden – from whom he’ll again be seeing some targets once the studs are put back in the barn.
In a week where tight end is a wasteland, Coby Fleener is one of the few standouts. The Colts can’t really improve their playoff lot, but would like to get their offense on track. Dwayne Allen won’t play and they’ll take it easy on Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. Fleener will play a prominent role against a Titans’ defense that’s been burned when faced with quality tight ends.
In his last five games against the Patriots, Scott Chandler ($3,500) has averaged 4.4 catches on 7.0 targets, for 65 yards and 0.6 touchdowns. Against everyone else it’s 2.9 catches on 4.6 targets, for 33.5 yards and 0.2 touchdowns. New England will most likely be resting their top defenders in the second half. Do with this information what you will. Godspeed…
Drew Brees (17.32) – Death, taxes, and Brees coming up small in 2014 when Fantasyland goes all-in.
C.J. Anderson (27.80) – Pushed this lineup across the finish line late on Monday night …barely.
Joique Bell (16.70) – Spent the first quarter Joiquin’ his fantasy owners around, before finishing with a productive day.
Jarvis Landry (10.10) – Nearly twice the targets of Wallace, but half the fantasy points …and one-thirteenth his aDOT (0.8 vs 10.6).
Marques Colston (14.00) – Solid, if unspectacular.
Donte Moncrief (2.50) – A spectacular disaster.
Rob Gronkowski (15.10) – Death, taxes, and Gronk Smash.
Tre Mason (15.30) – “Game Flowed” = 25 yards on two carries with five minutes left in the second quarter.
Green Bay Packers (16.00) – The Josh McCown Turnover Machine only spit one out this week, but did produce seven sacks.
Total Points Scored – 134.82