50/50 or Heads Up
In 50/50 or Heads-Up contests, you should aim for a lineup that has a higher floor over a higher ceiling. If you're in a 50/50 contest, the top half of all entries finishes in the money, meaning you don't have to pick a high-ceiling lineup that shoots for the moon. I build these lineups with the players I need regardless of their price while including my rationale for those picks.
Peyton Manning, DEN, $10,400 – I got cute last week going with Folk and while I still think my reasoning was right, the results weren’t there. The Washington defense should give clinics on how not to tackle and I think four or more touchdowns is likely to happen here.
Le’Veon Bell, PIT, $7000 – I like Bell’s price considering there are 11 runnings backs with a higher price tag. Bell has a nice matchup going into Oakland and has gotten at least 19 touches in each of his three starts.
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI, $7100 – I was tempted to put Fitzgerald on the “Tournaments” section considering I don’t think he’ll be used by a lot of people due to his injury and lack of production lately. However, Fitzgerald has had 10 days to heal and there are reports that he’s back at 100 percent. He’ll be at home against the Falcons who have given up 14 passing touchdowns and just got torched by Vincent Jackson.
Joseph Randle, DAL, $5700 – Obviously, this pick assumes the Cowboys give DeMarco Murray another week of rest while handing Randle the starting nod. It’s a nice matchup against the Lions who have given up a league-worst 5.1 YPC this season. While Phillip Tanner got the goal line carry last week, Randle should be able to do enough to provide a solid ROI, especially if he can find the end zone.
Rob Gronkowski, NE, $7,600 – Jimmy Graham’s status is still up in the air, and I think Gronk will get a ridiculous amount of targets (17 last week) again this weekend. Provided Gronk doesn’t suffer any setbacks between now and Sunday. This is an easy call.
Eric Decker, DEN, $6500 – Decker is at least $1500 less than either Demaryius Thomas or Wes Welker and I’m not exactly sure why. I love to pair up my quarterback with one of their main targets and again the Redskins defense is terrible.
Seattle Seahawks Defense, $6000 – I keep going to the well, and hopefully Brandon Browner won’t get tripped by the turf monster at the one this week. It’s pretty simple: the difference between the Hawks defense and the cheapest priced defense is $1000, or less than two percent of your budget.
Dan Bailey, DAL, $5000 – He’s among the cheapest priced kickers, and unlike defenses, I think there’s a lot more randomness at the position. The Cowboy should be able to move the ball and Bailey is used to kicking in a dome.
Kris Durham, DET, $4600 – Getting down to the last spot on my roster I had to find a cheap wide receiver. Given the rest of my roster I’m fine with gambling a little here. That being said, Durham has received at least eight targets in each of the last three games and teams will be focused on Calvin Johnson after he beat three defenders for a jump ball the last time Dallas visited.
For tournament lineups, you have to look at upside and use some “outside-the-box” picks if you want to cash. Remember, I probably wouldn’t use this lineup completely as there is a lower floor here with a lot of players. A mix of studs with a few of the cheaper options listed below could net you the top overall prize.
Carson Palmer, ARI, $6500 – As I mentioned with Fitzgerald, Palmer has had 10 days to prepare for the Falcons (who aren’t known for their defense), and The Cardinals QB has some excellent receiving options. The Falcons have given up 7.8 YPA, the 26th worst mark in the league.
Fred Jackson, $7100 – This pick is predicated on C.J. Spiller sitting out this week in an attempt to get healthy. Quietly, Jackson has five rushing touchdowns this season while working as the Bills’ goal line back. Even if New Orleans gets out to a big lead, Jackson should still get his touches in the passing game.
Zac Stacy, STL, $5800 – With Sam Bradford (torn ACL) out for the season, no one is giving the Rams a chance in this game. Stacy has taken over in the Rams’ backfield with 21 and 18 touches over the last two games, and he should get a similar workload this week. Stacy could be checked down to a lot with a new quarterback as well, and the young running back had a receiving touchdown last week.
Michael Floyd, ARI, $5900 – If you’re going to gamble on Carson Palmer, you might as well gamble on Floyd. He has the making of a future star at the position and I’ve rehashed enough my opinion of the Falcons’ defense.
Marques Colston, NO, $6400 – I almost put Colston into the “50/50, Heads Up” lineup because I think he’s pretty safe this week against the Bills. Buffalo has given up 15 passing touchdowns (worst in the league) and Colston could be the top receiving option if Jimmy Graham is out. I think people will shy away from Colston since he hasn’t scored since Week 1 and has a total of three catches for 26 yards over his last two games.
Anquan Boldin, SF, $6400 – There are few better matchups for a wide receiver this week, and with teams focused on Vernon Davis, the time seems right for Boldin to put up a big game. Plus, other owners will likely shy away from him after looking over his last three games. During that span he has no touchdowns and has less than 30 receiving yards in two of those three contests. As with most of the Jaguars games this season, don’t be surprised if this one gets ugly.
Andrew Quarless, GB, $4500 – He’s the lowest priced tight end this week and will get the starting nod with Jermichael Finley sidelined. The Packers shouldn’t have trouble scoring and Quarless should face soft coverage with the Vikings focused on Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin.
New Orleans Defense, $5100 – This might be the most improved defensive unit in the league under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, and the Saints have had two weeks to prepare for the Bills. It’s a home game for the Saints and thing could get out of hand. A lopsided lead for the Saints would lead to Thaddeus Lewis throwing the ball a lot, which could lead to an interception or two.
David Akers, $5100 – Akers has at least two field goal attempts and three extra points in all three games at home this season. I think the Detroit game against the Cowboys this week could be a shootout, which is why I like the kickers on both sides of the ball.
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