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Four-Down Duel: Greener Pastures?

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

Last week I got some feedback that the new format for this column – one 50/50 or Heads Up and one tournament style lineup – was liked better than past formats. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Here are this week’s lineups:

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.

A.J. Green, CIN, $8300 – Josh Gordon, Stephen Hill, Santonio Holmes, Torrey Smith and Danny Amendola/Julian Edelman in no particular order. What do they have in common? They’ve all torched the Bills without Jarius Byrd or Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore is back at practice but shouldn’t play. Meanwhile, Byrd is disgruntled, and even if he does play should have some rust. Most people will pass on Green based solely on his “less-than-elite” play since Week 1. He’ll bring it this week.

Rob Gronkowski, NE, $6800 – Would it be that crazy if we found out that Gronk was healthy a week or two ago but with the undefeated record the Patriots held him back? Now with a loss and facing an undefeated team at home, it looks like he’ll be in the lineup. He’s almost $2000 less than Jimmy Graham ($8700) so I’ll save the money and hope he’s back.

Keenan Allen, SD, $4500 – Yes, a lot of other players in your league will have him given his production the past two weeks. The floor has become pretty high here, and the price is too good to pass up.

Reggie Wayne, IND, $6900 – Father Time still seems like he hasn’t caught up to Wayne. Picking on the San Diego defense is grabbing the low hanging fruit at this point. Plus, wait for my quarterback….

Andrew Luck, IND, $8700 – The people who come up with the prices on FanDuel are pretty crafty considering the high price tag on Luck. He has done little to this point in the fantasy world given his lofty preseason expectations. The Chargers defense is horrible while the offense is pretty good. That could spell a shootout, which would keep Luck throwing in the fourth quarter and likely lead to his best fantasy performance of the season.

Zac Stacy, STL, $4900 – Look, I hate the matchup. That said, everything at this point points to Stacy not only being the starter but getting at least 15 touches a game going forward. This price is very low, so it won’t take a lot for him to give you an ROI and most likely something more.

Jamaal Charles, KC, $9400 – The safest picks at running back this week are Adrian Peterson and Charles. Given their matchups (Oakland and Carolina), this is a pretty easy call. Plus, Charles catches his fair share of passes, which tilts thing in his favor even more with FanDuel’s 0.5 PPR scoring.

Cincinnati Defense, $5300 – The Bengals are going up against Thaddeus Lewis, a banged up C.J. Spiller and Steve Johnson, who has been a no-show the past two weeks. That’s good enough for me.

Phil Dawson, $5200 – The 49ers are at home and the Arizona defense seems like the type to bend and not break, which could lead to a bunch of field goal attempts for Dawson.


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.

Mike Glennon, TB, $5500 – I know he’s a rookie, but you have to admit he has a big arm and great wide receiver tandem in Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson. The Philadelphia defense has been terrible this season, and the Bucs have had two weeks to prepare.

Trent Richardson, IND, $7600 – I know about the YPC, having heard it for over a season now. However, I don’t trust the Chargers defense and this could be the week Richardson breaks out with his new team. He’s had a few weeks to grasp the offense and finding the end zone twice this week wouldn’t surprise me.

Marques Colston, NO, $6700 – Colston hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1, and he hasn’t had a 100-yard game yet this season. However, the Saints march (sorry) into New England and Bill Belichick is notorious for taking out the other team’s best player. There isn’t a doubt at this point the Saints best option would be Jimmy Graham. Therefore, there’s a good chance Colston sees more 1-on-1 coverage and has a big game.

Montee Ball, DEN, $4900 – None of the other running backs on his team are injured, and Ball managed just one carry for one yard last week, so there’s plenty of risk involved with this pick. But this week is a completely different story, as the Broncos are favored by 26.5 points over the hapless Jaguars. That means Ball could get 15-plus carries in the second half, assuming this plays out as Vegas sees it. Before last week’s close game, Ball had eight, 11, 14 and eight touches the previous four weeks. While his team could be ahead in a blowout, he’s going to go 100 percent trying to prove himself for more playing time.

Garrett Graham, HOU, $5100 – I see his price skyrocketing after this week given that Owen Daniels will be out for an extended period. Couple that with the fact Matt Schaub and his interception-itis will be looking for safe throws, especially in the red zone, and Graham should be a steal at this price.

Vincent Jackson, TB, $7200 – Again, the Eagles defense is terrible, and with another week to heal his ribs Jackson could be in for a huge game. I also love to pair up my quarterback with at least one receiver in daily games.

Calvin Johnson, DET, $9000 – Obviously, go another direction if he doesn’t play. Even if Megatron is active, the injury plus being covered by Joe Haden is going to turn off people the same way a girl at the local watering hole belching louder than any man would. I was a tad worried about Johnson’s value when facing the Cardinals and Patrick Peterson earlier this season, but Calvin alleviating those worries by taking it to the house for a 72-yard touchdown catch early in the game. I get the idea the Browns are fine with Haden taking him in single coverage, which could be a mistake, more than once.

Steven Hauschka, SEA, $5400 – Like the Denver/Jacksonville tilt, this Seattle/Tennessee game is supposed to be blowout. That means if you want to buck the trend and find another “sure-thing” past Matt Prater ($5800), Hauschka is a good option.

St. Louis Rams Defense, $5200 – I know this is a long shot, but I can’t see many people taking the Rams as a defense this week. This isn’t really about the Matt Schaub pick-six streak; instead it’s the fact that Schaub just hasn’t shown much confidence throwing the ball. Name a time when Schaub has been healthy over the last few seasons when there was any doubt about his status as the starter? Hopefully Cortland Finnegan is back, too.

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Good Luck!

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Kevin Payne plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: Fanduel: kevinccp, Draft Kings: kevinccp, Fantasy Aces: kevinccp, Yahoo: kevinccp.