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.
Nick Foles, PHI, $8600 – On a strange week where I’m going to steer clear of Peyton Manning and Drew Brees given health/matchup concerns, I’m going to turn to Foles. The Dallas game is looking more and more like a fluke and he’s been one of the most consistent quarterbacks outside of that game. He gets a Redskins defense that can’t tackle or defend the pass. Plus, the Eagles and Redskins totaled 60 points back in Week 1, so I’m expecting a high-scoring game.
DeSean Jackson, PHI, $7900 – Reading this column, you know I love to pair at least one receiving option with my quarterback each week. With Foles as my QB, I’m going with D-Jax at wideout. Riley Cooper ($7000) has vastly outperformed Jackson the past two weeks, but I still think the greater upside is with Jackson. If anything, Washington will have to pay closer attention to Cooper, which should open things up more for Jackson.
Darren Sproles, NO, $5100 – Sproles returned from missing a game due to a concussion last week, finishing with 88 yards from scrimmage while catching seven passes and scoring two touchdowns. The price is way too cheap here, even though I’m not thrilled about his matchup. Selecting a discounted Sproles will allow me to spend elsewhere.
Andre Brown, NYG, $6500 – I really thought we would see Brown and Peyton Hillis split carries evenly last week. Instead, Brown dominated the workload with 31 touches for 119 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. He could evolve into one of the few featured backs in the league, and despite his lengthy injury, Brown appears 100 percent. Don’t expect his price to stay this low for much longer.
Calvin Johnson, DET, $10,200 – Out of all of the high priced players on FanDuel, Johnson seems to be the one you can trust the most from week to week. While Pittsburgh looked decent on defense last week, the Steelers have been atrocious for much of the year. I’ll save some money in other places and go with a sure thing here.
Torrey Smith, BAL, $6300 – I talked about Smith last week, and I’m moving him into this lineup as I think he’s now one of the safer plays at receiver. He had a touchdown last week and narrowly missed another one in a game where the wind played a factor. While it could be similarly windy conditions this week, he’s up against a Bears defense decimated by injuries.
Jordan Reed, WAS, $5900 – As I said earlier, this Eagles vs. Redskins matchup should be one of the higher scoring games of the week, so I want to grab some action on the underdog side of the ball. Opposing teams should be keyed in on Pierre Garcon, which will open up the middle of the field for Reed. The Redskins breakout tight end has three solid outings over his last four, and I like him even more given the tough matchups for Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham.
Texans Defense, $5000 – One of the more disappointing defenses this season, I expect the Texans to right the ship against the Raiders this weekend. Terrelle Pryor has been an interception machine over his last four games while playing hurt, and there’s a chance rookie Matt McGloin makes his first NFL start. The Texans still have a good pass rush and will be playing at home in a nice matchup.
Phil Dawson, SF, $5000 – Dawson came through last week, and I think San Francisco has a much better offensive showing against the Saints this weekend. He’s at the lowest price for a kicker and won’t have to worry about weather, which makes him an easy selection.
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.
Case Keenum, HOU, $6600 – Remember what Foles did to the Raiders a couple of weeks ago? Keenum took a step back last week, but he still has an 8.1 YPA and 7:0 TD:INT ratio since taking over at quarterback for the Texans. The price is fantastic and he shouldn’t have any trouble throwing to Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins this week.
Chris Ivory, NYJ, $6400 – It’s apparent the Jets have gone back to “ground-and-pound,” and Ivory has been getting most of the carries over the last three weeks. He has topped 100 yards twice in the pas three weeks and should continue to see a heavy workload. While the Bills defense has been much better this season, Ivory can still be a good play due to the potential volume he could see.
Andre Ellington, ARI, $6000 – Ellington’s breakout Week 8 seems like something of a distant memory after a mediocre follow-up performance. The good news here is that Ellington did see double-digit carries for only the second straight game and he has a great matchup going against the Jaguars. Gamble on Ellington breaking a long one for a score in tournament formats.
Cecil Shorts, JAC, $5800 – Given his favorable matchup and the absence of Justin Blackmon, Shorts had a disappointing game last week. Patrick Peterson could give him some trouble, but Shorts should see plenty of targets and is a cheap option at wide receiver.
Eric Decker, DEN, $5800 – I debated back and forth, and honestly, you could put Decker in any lineup this week at his price. Brandon Flowers likely shadows Demaryius Thomas and Manning will take whatever the defense gives to him. Decker has fives games this season with at least 11.2 Fanduel points and has a high of 25 points, which shows his upside.
Mike Wallace, MIA, $6100 – I’m still not overly impressed with the San Diego defense, and I think most will shy away from Wallace after his tough matchup against Darrelle Revis. This week should be much easier sledding for Wallace and the Dolphins looked much better offensively throwing the ball Monday night.
Vernon Davis, SF, $6200 – Again, I think Davis is another player most won’t consider after his dud last week, but his lack of production was really due to San Francisco playing it safe with the new concussion protocol. He showed no signs of a concussion as of Wednesday and appears to be on track to take the field Sunday. I expect Colin Kaepernick to be better in the passing game and he could have to throw a lot if /when the Saints put up some points.
Ryan Succop, KC, $5500 – Matt Prater is a weekly play at kicker given his offense and home environment. But this week I’m taking a look at Succop, who has the thin-aired environment and is 17-for-17 from under 50 yards this season.
New York Jets Defense – The Jets are coming off a bye week and going up against an offense that looked lost against a below average defense last week. There’s word that Jets coach Rex Ryan tapped into his brother Rob as to what the Saints did in their game against the Bills (a game where their defense was top-5 that week).
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