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.
Adrian Peterson, MIN, $9100 – Typically when I start my H2H or 50/50 lineups, I immediately put in the bargain players I’m targeting for the week. This week, however, I slotted Peterson in immediately. The only thing that’s going to prevent a 20-plus point day against Chicago is an injury. The Bears have been riddled by injury and gave up big days to Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham last week. This week the Bears have to deal with the best running back in the league who looked great last week.
Eli Manning, NYG, $6500 – The price is right here and we just saw Colin Kaepernick have one of his better passing games of the season against the Redskins porous defense. Eli should flirt with 300 passing yards and a couple touchdowns at a minimum.
Victor Cruz, NYG, $6500 – I’ll match up Eli with his best weapon. Hopefully a trip to Washington will help cure Cruz’s one-game slump. Prior to the game with Dallas, Cruz had double-digit targets in three consecutive games, something he should have again this weekend.
Giovani Bernard, CIN, $6900 - Looking at the landscape of fantasy running backs this week, it seems like everyone has some flies either through health concerns or matchups. Bernard has had a week off and goes against a suspect San Diego defense that Jamaal Charles just shredded. The price seems like a good deal considering Bernard’s upside.
Brandon Marshall, CHI, $9100 – Marshall has been an absolute beast over the past month. Outside of a dud against Baltimore, he has three out of four outings with 20-plus Fanduel points. The Minnesota defense doesn’t scare me at all, and I like that this game is indoors as you won’t have to worry about weather.
Kendall Wright, TEN, $6000 – Wright has turned into one of the more consistent wide receivers over the past handful of weeks. Despite his improved production, Wright’s price hasn’t spiked too much. He has at least 11.3 Fanduel points in each of his last three games and hasn’t had fewer than 69 receiving yards in his last seven games. Look for another solid performance this weekend.
Jordan Cameron, CLE, $5700 – I know he has done little lately, but I think the lack of production can be largely attributed to Jason Campbell not targeting him. Cameron has an outstanding matchup this weekend as the Jaguars have given up a ton of fantasy points to tight ends this season, and Brandon Weeden will be back under center for the Browns.
Jacksonville Jaguars Defense, $5100 – Call me crazy, but the Jags have two solid defensive performances over their last three games and will get the turnover machine known as Brandon Weeden. Look for them to be one of the sneakier plays this week.
Phil Dawson, SF, $5000 – He’s at home and the 49ers offense has come to life over the last few weeks. Dawson has hit his last 13 field goals and is 10-for-11 at home this season.
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.
Josh McCown, CHI, $6100 – This recommendation has a lot to do with the weapons at McCown’s disposal rather than his skill set. McCown has a nice matchup against the Vikings and has held his own after being thrust into the starter’s role. He has a 7.5 YPA and if Peterson has the type of day I think he will, McCown may have to throw a lot.
Alshon Jeffery, CHI, $6200 – Jeffery has been a little disappointing as of late, as he hasn’t scored over his last three games and only had 42 receiving yards last game. Hopefully that makes owners avoid him -- a big day could be in the cards if Minnesota doubles Brandon Marshall.
Pierre Thomas, NO, $6100 – Obviously I’ll feel a lot better about Thomas if Darren Sproles is ruled out for this game. At first glance, Thomas doesn’t have a great matchup going into Seattle, but the Seahawks are 20th in the league with 4.2 yards per attempt for rushing. Bank on everyone being afraid of the matchup.
Ben Tate, HOU, $6200 – Given the way the Texans have played, no one is giving Houston a chance in this game. I think that makes Tate a great contrarian play this week. Knowshon Moreno just piled up 224 rushing yards (6.1 YPC) against the Patriots, and the emergence of Dennis Johnson should be motivation enough for Tate to put forth a monster effort. Guarantee he’s less than five percent owned in all tournament formats.
Eric Decker, DEN, $5800 – I keep going to this well, I know. But coming off the goose egg, no one is going to be on Decker in tournament play. He had five catches for 71 yards the last time these two teams met and the good corners from the Chiefs will be all over Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas.
Dwayne Bowe, KC, $5300 – This game should see Alex Smith throwing a lot and he looked all the way at Bowe for his touchdown catch last week. In a 0.5 PPR format, don’t be surprised if he has eight-plus catches this week.
Ladarius Green, SD, $5100 – Green has quietly become a part of the San Diego passing game, racking up two straight games of 80 receiving yards and scoring a long touchdown last game. Most will target Antonio Gates when considering a tight end from the Chargers, which is why you might want to consider Green for your tournament entry.
Alex Henery, PHI, $5100 – I get the feeling the Arizona defense will bend but not break this weekend. Philadelphia will be able to move the ball with Foles under center and coming off the bye but most will want to avoid the matchup considering what the Cardinals did to the Colts last week.
Indianapolis Colts Defense, $5000 – No one is going to pick the Colts here after Carson Palmer lit them up last week. However, the Colts return home to face Ryan Fitzpatrick, who can be turnover prone. I love taking a home defense, and the Colts have their backs against the wall after a blowout last week.