For our second week in FanDuel, we'll take some lessons from the first week and try and diversify our approach. A somewhat successful first week worked because I was able to hit high on my larger investments, mitigate losses on my cheaper guys, and find one undervalued player who overproduced greatly. What kept me from further glory was investing too heavily in an underperforming tight end and defense, with both players failing to return even a modicum of expected production.
We can't project out such unexpected production, but we can try and minimize our risk in investing in those positions. Here are three potential lineup strategies, including my lineup choices for Week 12.
Strategy One: RB Heavy, Everything Else Light
Adjusting for matchups, average score, and average positional salary, DeMarco Murray, Matt Forte, and Arian Foster are our top three backs for the week. Given Foster's injury woes -- he's currently projected as a gametime decision against the Bengals -- Murray and Forte are the clear-cut top tier in my rankings for the week. They carry a hefty price tag, which means we'll search for good value in our other positions.
At wide receiver, Anquan Boldin and Roddy White have provided steady if unspectacular production at a minimal cost. Matchups with Washington and Cleveland -- with White presumably avoiding Joe Haden -- project positively. Kenny Stills at $5,900 is a high-risk, high-reward play this week; with Brandin Cooks out for the year, Stills' profile as the boom or bust WR in New Orleans could change to something more consistent. Even if that's not the case, spending only $5,900 for a chance at Stills' occasional big production is worth the investment, considering the other WRs at his price point are Cordarrelle Patterson or Louis Murphy.
With my remaining budget, I'll look to find decent production for cheap cost. Colin Kaepernick's inconsistent season has made him a problematic play, but a matchup against the woeful Washington secondary and a cheap salary fit perfectly for our goals. At tight end, I'll avoid a heavy investment in one of the top tier guys and start Austin Seferian-Jenkins, an unsexy and risky pick that doesn't cost too much per point at $5,100. Kicker and defense, my two most difficult positions to project consistently, are cheap options with some upside.
I'm playing this team in the $60K NFL Squib, with an entry fee of $1.
Strategy Two: WR Heavy, Risky RBs
The elite wide receivers provide a consistently high floor, with a constant chance for fantastic projection. This lineup will try and corral the market on the WR1s while looking for high-reward, cheap RB plays. Jordy Nelson faces a Vikings secondary that just got torched by Jay Cutler and his physical WRs. Josh Gordon is fresh off his suspension and definitely not a player I kept on my bench for 12 weeks, rendering me incapable of looking at his return rationally. He's looking to get 11 missed weeks of production in one game against the eminently burnable Falcons. Dez Bryant comes off his bye hoping to follow up on his 158 yard, two score game against a Giants team missing Prince Amurkamara and possibly Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
With $25,700 allocated to my wide receivers, I'll have to find cheap, risky plays to flesh out the rest of the squad. Colin Kaepernick, covered earlier, is a good bet for a decent return on your investment. At RB we have two young players trending upward; Tre Mason is fresh off a 113-yard performance against the Broncos, while Isiah Crowell just saw one-third of his backfield committee get cut. At $5,600 and $5,500, respectively, both are cheap enough to take the risk.
Coby Fleener will be a popular pick for most of my teams this week, as Dwayne Allen looks less and less likely to suit up this week against the Jaguars. At $5,400, he's a midtier tight end with a chance at upper-echelon production. Rounding out the team is Mason Crosby, at $4,900, and the Colts defense, relatively expensive at $5,600 but worth an investment with a matchup against the generous Jaguars offense.
I'm playing this team in the $80K Sun NFL Snap #3 for $2.
Strategy Three- Stacking QB/WR, Matching Upsides
Combing the first two approaches, we land on our final lineup for the week. Here, I'll look to capitalize on the recent production of the Josh McCown and Mike Evans connection by playing both against a below-average Bears defense. With the remaining money, I'll pair one elite WR or RB with one of the upside plays from our other lineups. Murray will partner with Mason, while Stills is matched with Jeremy Maclin.
Rounding out the lineup, we have Fleener (who I suspect will be on a great deal of teams, good or bad) and Shayne Graham, kicking at home for the Saints. The St. Louis Rams are a troublesome pick, but even mediocre production against a struggling San Diego offense will provide a solid return on investment.
I'm playing this team in the SB Nation League for $5.
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