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.
Peyton Manning, DEN, $10,600 – He’s the most expensive quarterback but considering there are eight other quarterbacks within $2,000 of Manning’s price (or less than four percent of your budget), I’d pay for him here. The Chargers defense can’t stop anyone and Rivers should be able to put up enough points to keep Manning throwing in the second half.
Reggie Bush, DET, $8500 – Bush has been fantastic for the Lions this season, and he’s coming off an extra week of rest that was probably needed. He faces a banged up Bears team this week that has looked atrocious on defense. The last time these two teams met Bush had 173 yards from scrimmage and a score totaling 25.3 points on FanDuel.
Eddie Lacy, GB, $6800 – While I’d like to see him used a little more in the passing game, you have to love what Lacy has done since the Packers bye week. He has at least 97 yards from scrimmage in five straight games and has scored in his last three games. The Packers could run more this week with Seneca Wallace at quarterback, and Wallace may check down to Lacy more as the backup quarterback. Believe it or not, he’s the 15th highest-priced running back this week.
T.Y. Hilton, IND, $6000 – I had him in this lineup last week and see no reason to remove him at this price. He’s a big play threat every time the ball is thrown his way. My only concern is that Cortland Finnegan is back for the Rams’ defense.
Eric Decker, DEN, $6200 – With Manning as my quarterback, I always want to pair him up with at least one of his receivers. Both Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker are $2,000 more than Decker, so I’ll take the cheapest of the three. This also allows me to afford another piece of the Denver offense as part of my lineup below.
Kendall Wright, TEN, $5200 – Wright reminds me a lot of Hilton -- every time he touches the ball he can make a big play. Wright has been remarkably consistent in the FanDuel format, as his worst game over his last seven was last week’s with 8.4 points. He has a great matchup against the Jaguars, and I think Wright takes a long one to the house this week.
Julius Thomas, DEN, $6500 – This gives me two out of Peyton’s four best receiving options. Thomas has been back at practice, and after last week’s bye, his ankle injury shouldn’t be a concern. Again, the Chargers defense is nothing special and the Broncos should put up over 30 points.
Phil Dawson, SF, $5000 – He’s at the cheapest price available with a home matchup in what could turn out to be a field-goal fest between two stout defenses. Carolina’s defense has been good, but the Panthers haven’t faced much stiff offensive competition. San Francisco is coming off a bye and should be able to move the ball enough to get within field-goal range for Dawson, especially with some of their wide receivers returning.
Indianapolis Defense, $5100 – I’m not sold on Kellen Clemens and the Colts’ defense is much improved over last season. None of the defenses seemed to stick out this week, and the rest of my lineup forced me to go with a cheap option in the Colts.
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.
Eli Manning, NYG, $6400 – We just saw Nick Foles manhandle the Raiders. Now it’s Eli’s turn (with an extra week to prepare, mind you) to welcome Oakland to town. There might not be a better trio of receivers than the Giants big three of Victor Cruz, Hakim Nicks and Rueben Randle, and with a price tag $4000+ less than his brother, you’ll be able to spend at other positions.
Rashad Jennings, OAK, $5700 – I strongly considered putting Jennings in the 50/50 lineup, as he could be in line for a lot of work this weekend. This recommendation is based on the notion that Darren McFadden will be out this weekend. Jennings had a monster game against Philadelphia and the only concern here is that he loses goal-line work to Marcel Reece.
Darren Sproles, NO, $5100 – Sproles was back at practice Wednesday, and I think he’ll be largely ignored after his bomb last week. This game has the second highest over/under total for the week, so the Saints should have no problem putting points on the board. Dallas’ defense outside of the Philadelphia games hasn’t looked like anything special.
Victor Cruz, NYG, $7000 – If you’re going to go with Eli, you might as well go with the Salsa dancer. Cruz is dealing with a sore neck, which could make people shy away from him. However, Giants coach Tom Coughlin assured everybody that Cruz’s absence from practice was just precautionary and the wideout should be fine for the game. If Riley Cooper can light up the Raiders’ secondary, surely Cruz can do some damage this week.
Torrey Smith, BAL, $6200 – I love Smith this week. While the touchdowns have been hard to come by, the yardage has been there. This week he gets a Bengals defense that is missing Geno Atkins, which will hurt their pass rush. Keep in mind, Leon Hall is on injured reserve, meaning the Bengals will also be without their shutdown cornder. A long touchdown to Smith is a good possibility Sunday.
Mike Brown, JAC, $5200 – We get so see what life without Justin Blackmon looks like and it starts with Brown lining up opposite of Cecil Shorts. Brown should see an uptick in targets. He has had games of 11.8 and 14.5 FanDuel points the two games before last week’s bye. There’s a good chance Jacksonville falls behind once again and Brown cashes in on some garbage time production.
Antonio Gates, SD, $5600 – Gates has turned in a decent season considering his age and injury concerns over the past few seasons. He’s been pretty quiet over the last few games, though, which has deflated his price tag. As a result, he makes for a sneaky play in a game that should see Philip Rivers throw a lot of passes.
Jay Feely, ARI, $5200 – The Cardinals should be able to move the ball on the Texans. Feely is 14-for-15 on field goal attempts this season and hasn’t missed at home.
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