Creating a lineup for DFS can be extremely overwhelming when you have every single player at your disposal. You’ll see one guy and immediately want him, then you’ll see someone else and you’ll start to over-think all the possible scenarios . . . looking into all the advanced stats or home/away splits that you can get your hands on. I’m guilty of doing that more than I care to admit. Hopefully these articles will help you, as much as they help me, with putting your mind at ease and making these lineup decisions a little easier.
DraftKings/FanDuel Plays & Fades
Quarterback – Top-Tier
Peyton Manning– This might sound obvious telling you to play Manning among the top-tier quarterbacks, but he’s one of the safest picks you can make week in and week out. His Week 1 matchup with the Colts is bound to be high scoring with an O/U of 55. In the last eight games of 2013, Manning reached 16 or more fantasy points in over 85 percent of his games, while topping 20+ points in 75 percent of them. Even with Welker out, Manning has no shortage of weapons at his disposal. If you don’t want to pay up for Manning, Andrew Luck comes in at discounted price who also makes for an optimal play given the caliber of a QB that Luck is, and how many points we expect to see put up.
Colin Kaepernick- Even with Kaepernick not looking great this preseason, I am not too concerned about him. This Dallas Cowboys defense is atrocious. They gave up the second most FPPG to QBs last year. The 49ers are also missing some key pieces on the defensive side of the ball. Tony Romo may be able to put up some points in this game, forcing the 49ers to stray away from their run-based offense. In DFS I love having some exposure to running QBs because they often have some of the highest floors. I like Kap as a cash game and GPP play this week.
Geno Smith- If you’re really looking to save some of your salary at the QB position, I really like Smith here. I would feel a little nervous if you’re putting a decent amount of cash on him for your cash games, but I certainly love him as GPP play. I heavily utilize the RotoViz GLSP App when I am constructing my DFS rosters. It helps paint a picture of potential outcomes with a low, median and high projection.
Smith has an optimistic projection that would make me feel comfortable rolling him out in my lineups. His rushing ability should help give him a high floor. Oakland also gave the fourth-most FPPG to QBs last year. I think an Eric Decker and Smith stack could be a great play for very minimal salary.
Quarterback – Fade
Cam Newton- There are just too many red flags for me to play Newton this week. He’s being bothered by his rib and ankle injury this week, he also didn’t practice on Wednesday. For his price the gamble isn’t worth it when you consider the other options available to you.
Running Back – Top-Tier
Jamaal Charles- Despite Charles’ hefty price tag this week, I still want to get some exposure to him in my lineups. With Dwayne Bowe suspended for the first week, I think the Chiefs are going to rely on Charles even more heavily. The Titans gave up the second-most FPPG to running backs last year. With Charles being a threat on the ground and through the air, he shouldn’t disappoint, even for his steep price. A discounted top-tier play I’d also take is Matt Forte. I’m always going to favor pass-catching RBs on full PPR sites like DraftKings.
Andre Ellington- Get Ellington while the gettin’ is good. I think this could be the last time you see his price-tag this cheap. I am eagerly waiting to see how effective he is against this poor San Diego defense. Once again–pass-catching RB. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ellington with over 150 total yards. The Chargers were middle of the pack in FPPG against RBs, ranking 13th in FPPG, but with Ellington finally receiving the lions share of the carries and a dual threat, I’m all in on him this week. I am also a fan of Joique Bell against the Giants Monday.
Fred Jackson- With the news that the Bills are throwing in C.J. Spiller as their return man, I love Jackson this week, even more so than I already did.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 4, 2014
Anybody rushing against the Bears defense last year was basically an auto-play. They gave up 26.6 FPPG to opposing RBs last year. With Jackson shaping up to be a three-down back, his price-tag is one of the most appealing options out there. I’d be putting Jackson in cash game and GPP lineups.
Running Back – Fade
C.J. Spiller- While I love his counterpart this week, I hate Spiller this week. Even against the Bears this week, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him in my lineups. The only exception could be if you’re looking to go contrarian in your GPPs. He’s a hard-pass in all cash game lineups.
Wide Receiver – Top-Tier
Demaryius Thomas- Once again, I am seeking major exposure to this Colts and Broncos game. Thomas is the top receiving option on this Broncos squad. He reached 20 or more points in 58 percent of his games last year. Making him a great cash game play and just as good of tournament play. The Colts gave up 31.4 FPPG to opposing WRs last year, and this game has the making of shootout potential. Normally you’d want to limit your risk and not stack players in a cash game, but if you wanted to stack Manning and Thomas in a cash game, I wouldn’t be opposed to it.
Eric Decker- One of the main reasons I like Decker is because he is always a threat in the red zone. Using the Lineup Dominator App, Decker has a projection of 14.4 points. If Decker finds the end zone, I think he will top that projection. Five receptions for 80 yards and a TD sounds like a likely outcome to me, which would put him 19 points. Oakland gave up the fifth-most FPPG to WRs last year and D.J. Hayden will not be playing the first six games of the season. There’s many reasons to like Decker this week.
Justin Hunter- Hunter has been a favorite of RotoViz for redraft leagues, but I also like him for DFS lineups in Week 1. He is one of their primary red zone threats. Kendall Wright sees a lot of volume, but rarely sees the end zone. Hunter had a strong preseason and has put on some weight during the offseason. I think Hunter would make for a great gamble in GPPs, but I would be less likely to throw him into my cash games. I also think Marqise Lee and Emmanuel Sanders make for great options this week.
Wide Receiver – Fade
Calvin Johnson- I’ll always consider Johnson a tournament play because he’s an extraordinary player, but his price for cash games is not appealing to me when you consider the other elite options in the WR class. I’d rather use A.J Green or Dez Bryant at the discounted price.
Tight End – Top-Tier
Jimmy Graham- Graham should see some exposure in some of your lineups in both cash games and GPPs. He’s cheaper than majority of the elite WR options, yet he often puts up comparable numbers or straight up outperforms them. Tight end is volatile position and Graham can offer you an advantage by securing him at the TE position with how often he is used. With an O/U of 51.5, this game is set to have some high scoring. Graham topped 20-plus fantasy points in seven games last year, there are not many TEs that fall into that production. Against the Falcons he combined for 145 yards and two TDs in two games last year. He also has an outstanding outlook according to our GLSP App.
Julius Thomas- The Colts were actually seventh best against TEs last year. Only allowing three total TDs all season, but one of them happened to go to Thomas. Thomas is one of the more consistent TEs and there’s a relatively small price to pay to roster him. He had 12 games of double-digit fantasy points in 2013. I’ll also refer back to the O/U of this game at 55. Thomas always has a chance to find the end zone as well.
Ladarius Green/Travis Kelce- I may be cheating here by putting Kelce and Green together, but I like both plays this week for their bottom-barrel price. The Cardinals were dead last in allowing 17.1 FPPG to TEs last year. Despite having 60 fewer receptions than Antonio Gates last year, Green only had one fewer TD than Gates. For their low prices I’d be willing to roll the dice on Green in both cash games and GPPs. Then we have Kelce. The Chiefs are without Dwayne Bowe, and Anthony Fasano is more of a blocker than he is a pass-catcher. The Titans allowed the ninth-most FPPG to TEs last year and Kelce is coming off of a strong preseason. Kelce and Green make for strong punt options at TE.
Tight End – Fade
Jordan Cameron- By default, Cameron turns into the preeminent receiving option for the Browns. The Steelers were middle of the road, allowing the 18th most FPPG to TEs–but the Browns QB situation looked like a jumbled mess in the preseason. Cameron has also been battling a shoulder injury. Cameron will likely see the majority of targets among Browns receivers as he was one of Hoyer’s favorite targets last year. However, if I’m not taking Graham at TE, I’m likely punting at TE this week.
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