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Four-Down Duel: Going Gonzo

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.

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, $10400 – I get the feeling Manning might be a little motivated after he didn’t comment on his relationship with Colts’ owner Jim Irsay.

Tony Gonzalez, ATL, $6800 – The ageless wonder has the fifth highest price among tight ends, but I think he’s got a great shot at finishing as the top point producing at the position this weekend. Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has already stated Gonzalez will be heavily involved in an offense missing Julio Jones and likely Roddy White. The Falcons defense has been terrible so Matt Ryan should target Gonzalez well over 10 times.

Eric Decker, DEN, $6500 – I like to pair up my quarterback with at least one of his receiving options and Decker is the lowest priced of the three Broncos receivers. As has been the case every week, Vegas expects Denver to score the most points once again.

Demaryius Thomas, DEN, $8200 – There are a couple of cheap running back options I like this week based on matchups which will let me pair up Thomas as well as Decker with Manning. I could have gone with Wes Welker here, but I think Thomas still possesses more upside.

Keenan Allen, SD, $4500 – If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. These contests are about floor and Allen’s is the safest probably out of anyone on the site given his price.

Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC, $6500 – For this pick it’s all about the matchup, as the Chargers are 29th in the league giving up 4.8 YPC. Plus, San Diego is working on a short week and has to travel across the country. The Jaguars haven’t abandoned the run yet and I don’t expect them to this week.

Ryan Mathews, SD, $5800 – I didn’t think I would be writing about Mathews for the rest of the season, but it appears he’s back to being the lead runner for the Chargers. I’m not worried that both my picks at running back are playing in the same game, as both have good matchups. The Jaguars are just ahead of San Diego, ranking 28th against the run with a 4.8 YPC mark.

Kansas City Defense, $6000 – This is the highest-priced defense but it’s not that big of a difference considering the cheapest defense is only $1000 less. It’s the perfect matchup for the Chiefs who are home against a reeling Texans team who will likely start T.J. Yates or Case Keenum.

Matt Prater, $5600 – Prater won’t be in the friendly confines of Denver, but he’s kicking in a dome with Peyton Manning seemingly primed to put up a big number. Prater is an easy call.


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.

Nick Foles, PHI, $7200 – I still think Foles will be overlooked by many despite playing roughly six quarters of outstanding football the past two weeks. The over/under for Cowboys vs. Eagles is projected to be 0.5 points lower than the Broncos/Colts game. Foles has some outstanding weapons at his disposal and has flashed the ability to score some fantasy points with his legs.

DeSean Jackson, PHI, $8200 – If I’m going to go with Foles, I’ll pair him with Jackson. Dallas has some solid corners but people were worried about Jackson’s matchup against Darrelle Revis, too. I still don’t trust the Eagles defense, which helps the fantasy value for Jackson as the offense will have to put a lot of points on the board.

Adrian Peterson, MIN, $9400 – I realize this isn’t much of an outrageous pick considering he’s probably the best running back in the league. However, Peterson’s coming off a mediocre game where he had 83 yards from scrimmage and no touchdowns. I think the Vikings rely heavily on him with Josh Freeman making his first start and AP goes for around 20 points this week.

Jermichael Finley, GB, $5900 – Finley comes in as the 11th most expensive tight end, but he has the potential to easily be in the top-5 in terms of point production. With Randall Cobb injured, there’s speculation Finley could line up as a wide receiver and let Jarrett Boykin work in the slot. Joe Haden will likely match up with Jordy Nelson helping Finley’s value even more.

Giovani Bernard, CIN, $6500 – Bernard would be a much easier pick if he wasn’t still splitting duties with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Still, this matchup looks solid for the rookie, as the Lions are terrible against the run with a 5.4 YPC mark, the worst in the league. He’s also averaging over four catches per game and almost 40 receiving yards over his last four games.

Green Bay Packers Defense, $5200 –While the Packers will likely be without Clay Matthews once again this weekend, the Green Bay defense should still be in line for a big game with Brandon Weeden coming into town. Weeden threw an awful pick last week and the Browns don’t have much of a running game at this point.

Mike Wallace, MIA, $6400 – The Bills defense has gotten healthy over the last two weeks, but Buffalo’s secondary still struggles to stop the other team’s top wide receiver. Wallace has been something of a boom or bust player this season; that’s the type of guy you want to gamble on in the tournament format.

T.Y. Hilton, DEN, $5500 – Like Wallace, Hilton has been one of those boom or bust players this season. Again, this should be a high scoring game and the Broncos have looked very vulnerable against the pass the last two weeks.

Kai Forbath, WAS, $5000 – Forbath made his first appearance last week, finishing with three fields goals and an extra point. He was extremely accurate last season and makes for a good discount buy.

FanDuel/RotoWire $2,000 Week 7 Contest

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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.