I have good news and bad news regarding my post from last week. The good: the lineup that I posted tied for 802nd place out of 114,000 entries, putting me in the 99 percent+ category. It turned a $25 tourney entry into $200. The bad news is that not enough people read the post or heeded my advice! And I'm pretty positive now that I went and tooted my own horn, that this weeks' lineup could turn into a dumpster fire. But I've done my homework again, and feel good about the lineup that I'm trotting out in the FanDuel $1.75M NFL Saturday tournament.
An obvious but important observation to note in playoff DFS; far less players to choose from than in normal weekends. With a smaller player pool, I see two very different approaches to success. Option 1 is going for the highest floor possible, not risking any lineup crushing goose eggs from longshot players. Spend wisely and feel good that every position has a good shot at producing. Option 2 is the "combo" lineup, meaning you pay up for the obvious studs, and roll the dice on a few cheap lotto tickets, and pray. Option 2 is more popular in the big tourneys/GPPs because of the number of entries and odds, but after my own tinkering and valuations, I'm going with Option 1. I think there are good values at every position that can be relied upon, and an awful lot of upside exists with these "safe" options. Let's get to the lineup, and please feel free to tweet me @mcgallop10, and leave a comment below with a thank you or SHUT UP Mike after Sunday's games.
Cam Newton, QB CAR $8300
This first pick pretty much dictated my strategy. Cam's legs are back and give him a reliable floor, and his play of late coupled with the deteriorating Arizona defense give him arguably the highest upside at QB. All at a reasonable price tag.
Jeremy Hill, RB CIN $7400
I don't care that Hill will probably have 90 percent ownership in this tourney. With A.J. Green slapped with a doubtful tag, the Bengals only chance of beating Luck and company is to ride their rookie horse into the ground. The Colts couldn't stop the Titans "rushing game" last week for crying out loud.
Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR $6500
Guess who is the NFL leader in rushing yards over the last five weeks? And the once staunch Cardinals rush defense has also been hemorrhaging yards and TDs of late, making Stewart a great bet for 15-20 touches and a TD. I also like this as an alternative to a traditional QB/WR stack. I think if you own Cam, you have to play Stewart this week as well. I'm not worried about DeAngelo Williams stealing more than 5-7 touches.
Antonio Brown, WR PIT $9200
100 percent ownership almost a guarantee, but who cares. You pay up for the best WR in the league vs. one of the worst secondaries in the league. With no Le'veon Bell available this week, Brown could literally push for 15-20 targets.
Martavis Bryant, WR PIT $5600
This is your DFS version of a fantasy "hand cuff." If I'm the Ravens, I'm bracketing Brown with double/triple teams all day knowing that the Steelers other offensive weapon is injured. I don't see Josh Harris doing much against the Ravens front seven, which should lead to 40+ attempts for Big Ben. If Brown gets all that attention, then my man 'Tavis is going to bust a big one.
Torrey Smith, WR BAL $7100
Torrey and Steve Smith Sr. switched roles a few times this year. Torrey was supposed to be the WR1, but Smitty took those honors for the first two months of the year. Well it's been "Torrey time" of late, and I expect that to continue. I think Flacco plays well in this one, and will lean on his speedster WR1 against the slow, aging secondary of the Steelers.
Greg Olsen, TE CAR $6400
TE is down right depressing this week in DFS. I think Olsen's ownership will be high, and for good reason; the Cardinals defense refuses to acknowledge the existence of opponent TE's. This also completes my Carolina stack, which I'm loving because of momentum. Us Giants fans know what momentum can do leading into the playoffs, and the Panthers and Cardinals have been heading in the opposite direction for the last month.
Justin Tucker, K BAL $4700
Tucker is a big game kicker with a big leg. I think this game is close throughout, with the Ravens being able to consistently move the ball. At this price, I love Tucker's floor and potential upside.
Indianapolis Colts, DST $4800
Andy Dalton is a QB to attack in DFS when he's on the road. Andy Dalton on the road, AND missing A.J. Green....AND in a playoff game???? Sold.
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