Daily Optimized Lineups: Week Ten



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As part of our expanded focus we partnered up with FanDuel, a true leader in the daily fantasy sphere to provide an incredible experience from research, to play, all the way through to winning. Between DLF and FanDuel we fully expect our readers to have the best daily fantasy football experience on the internet. As part of that experience we at DLF felt it might be of particular interest to our readers to provide them with an optimized lineup that they should be able to plug into a Head to Head or 50/50 game and fully expect to win some money.

Here are some thoughts for week ten:

Quarterback – Mark Sanchez – $6,600

When Nick Foles went down on Sunday, you could hear an audible grown across the nation as Mark Sanchez was brought in to head the Eagles offense. Many people, not just fantasy owners, tend to have a bad view of Sanchez’ skill set based on his time with the New York Jets. However, Sanchez was a pretty highly skilled college player who proved to be very efficient at getting the ball into the hands of the playmakers on USC’s squad at that time.Unfortunately for him, he ended up getting drafted by the Jets who have been an offensive black hole for many years now. Truth be told, when Sanchez came into the game he actually performed pretty darn well, throwing for 202 yards and two touchdowns in roughly three quarters of work, outperforming his opposing quarterback in the game, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played all four quarters and threw for only one more yard than Sanchez. This week the Eagles face a Panthers defense who is giving up the eighth most fantasy point to quarterbacks this season. This is due in large part thanks to Carolina giving up the fifth most passing touchdowns per game this season with roughly two touchdowns given up a game. Based on Sanchez’ price and the upside presented before him in this game, he makes for a very nice play.

Projected Stat Line – 26 completions for 280 yards and two touchdowns

Follow-Up – Nick Foles – ($8400) – Foles presented us with a heartbreaking injury on Sunday, going down in the first quarter of the game. By that point he had luckily thrown for a touchdown, so he did give us a few points but he had such a great opportunity to do so much more. By scoring 8.06 points he had a dollars per point of $1,042 which is obviously far from what was expected. When factoring in he only played one quarter, he actually didn’t do so bad. It still hurt a lot, though.

Running Back – Marshawn Lynch – $8,300

I have Lynch as the top running back option this week by a pretty large margin. This week, Lynch faces the New York Giants defense giving up the eighth most fantasy points to running backs this season. What’s real tasty here is the Giants have given up an average of 152 rushing yards per game over the past three games, which places them dead last in the league in that category. Additionally, the Giants are giving up the fifth most rushing touchdowns per game this season making a score for Lynch a very high possibility. Meanwhile, on the offensive side of the ball, Seattle is the second leading team in the NFL in terms of rushing yards per game and the Seahawks are scoring the fourth most rushing touchdowns per game in the NFL with at least one touchdown coming on the ground per game. I expect Seattle to lean heavily on its run game against the Giants in an effort to eat up the clock and walk away with a win.

Projected Stat Line – 22 rushes for 90 yards and one touchdown, three receptions for 45 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Follow-Up – Jamaal Charles – ($9,000) – Jamaal Charles had a decent day against a highly suspect New York Jets defense and was able to find the endzone in order to make his outing even more appealing. Charles’ 15.8 point made his dollars per point a decent $570. While not incredible, it was a week in which you had to pay more for points with six teams on bye.

Running Back – Charles Sims – $4,800

[inlinead]For those of you who read the ORANGE Report or checked out my Rookie Draft Board during the off-season, you’ll remember I was very high on Charles Sims coming into the NFL Draft this season. He is a very talented running back who has a knack for finding holes, bursting through them and extending the play. He is also very good at catching the ball out of the backfield, making him a nice multi-dimensional play and keeping him on the field more. I don’t expect Sims to blow up the week and be the top performing player in the NFL, but he should easily outperform his price tag while allowing up to boost our player profile at other positions this week. Sims is also a nice play as many of your run of the mill NFL fans won’t know much, if anything, about him and will pass over a nice value play in favor of more expensive players with less upside. While a lot of Sims’ appeal is in GPP plays this week he also holds some nice value in 50/50 and head to head games as he should very easily slot right in on passing downs, which Tampa Bay should have plenty of this weekend, and should see a decent amount of opportunities in a rotation, any of which he has the skills with which to take it to the house on any of his opportunities.

Projected Stat Line – 12 rushes for 65 yards, four receptions for 45 yards

Follow-Up – Jeremy Hill – ($5200) – As I stated last week, I loved this play and Hill proved why. He had a great outing, far outpacing his $5200 price tag by scoring 28.8 points on the day. This performance pegged his dollars per point value at $180 per point, the lowest value on this metric we’ve seen all season in this column. I’m very pleased with this call as it should have allowed any readers who played him to finish in the money in 50/50s and likely in head to head games as well.

Wide Receiver – Jeremy Maclin – $8,700

Just as last week, any time you take a Philadelphia quarterback you almost are required to play Maclin as well given the fact he is such a huge part of their passing attack. This week, Maclin faces the Panthers who are giving up the eighth most fantasy points to wide receivers. The Eagles, meanwhile, are throwing the fifth most passing yards per game in the NFL. Philadelphia is also completing the third most passes in the NFL, something very important to consider in fantasy games such as FanDuel that award points per reception. The big selling point here, beyond Maclin’s continued production over the past few weeks, is the fact if you pair Sanchez and Maclin together, you’re looking at some significant jumps in points if the two hook up for a touchdown or two.

Projected Stat Line – Seven receptions for 135 yards and one touchdown

Follow-Up – Jeremy Maclin – ($8,400) – Just as I’m suggesting playing Maclin this week, last week was basically no different. Sure, the stack with Nick Foles didn’t work out as well as I had hoped due to Foles’ injury, but Mark Sanchez was able to step up and save the day with a significant number of completions and even a touchdown to Maclin. Maclin’s 30.8 points were a huge boost to our lineup and put his dollars per point value at roughly $272 dollars which is an excellent deal by any standard. If you played Hill and Maclin as I suggested, it’s highly likely you made some money last week.

Wide Receiver – Antonio Brown – $9,100

It’s tough to deny. Antonio Brown has been on fire and has been a big reason for Ben Roethlisberger’s dramatic value boost over the past two weeks. Once again this week you need to pay for, and collect, talented players who are able to consistently produce and have a high likelihood of finding the end zone – Brown is the very definition of that kind of player. Brown and Steelers are facing a New York Jets team that ranks 22nd in the league in terms of surrendering fantasy points to wide receivers this season. This is due almost exclusively to the fact that the Jets are the absolute worst in the NFL in allowing passing touchdowns to opposing offenses with roughly three touchdowns being allowed through the air each game this season. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh sits atop the NFL in passing touchdowns per game over the past three games and is third in the NFL in passing touchdowns per game over the entire season. Similarly, the Steelers are the top passing yard producer per game in the NFL over the past three games and the fourth best in the NFL over the entire season. With Brown being such a weapon for the Steelers, I fully expect him to have a very nice day and in the end that’s exactly why we’re paying so much for him aren’t we?

Projected Stat Line – Eight receptions for 140 yards and one touchdown

Follow-Up – DeAndre Hopkins – ($6900) – DeAndre Hopkins was another great call here as he had an excellent game. He ended up pulling down six receptions for 115 yards and one touchdown. This performance well outpaced his value for the game and should have made anyone who played last week’s lineup in a GPP some money as well.

Wide Receiver – Kelvin Benjamin – $6,700

Benjamin gets his first chance to shine under the lights of Monday Night Football this week and I expect him to step up in a big way with several key indicators lining up in his favor this week. First, we already can guess the Panthers will be playing from behind and will need to pass the ball a significant amount of the time in order to even stay in the game and avoid being blown out. Second, the Eagles are giving up the third most passing touchdowns per game this season with roughly two touchdowns coming through the air each game. Third, teams understand the best way to move the ball on the Eagles is to pass, so much so that Philadelphia is the sixth most passed on team in the NFL this season with roughly 37 completions being thrown against their defense per game. Finally, when opponents complete passes against the Eagles they are gaining a significant amount of yards with each catch. Philadelphia is giving up the second most yards per completion over the past three games and the third most yards per completion over the season. Given the fact Benjamin is the Panthers deep threat in the passing game this bodes well for him given the fact this is clearly one of the Eagles weakest areas to defend against. Look for Benjamin to introduce himself to a national audience and at least keep the Panthers respectable in a likely blowout.

Projected Stat Line – Four receptions for 75 yards and one touchdown

Follow-Up – Anquan Boldin – ($6,300) – Boldin was exactly the kind of play we were looking for last week, outperforming his value and catching the eye of his quarterback all game long. Boldin put up his second best game of the season against the Rams last week and his previous best game, ironically (or not), was also against those same Rams. Boldin put up 18.3 fantasy points which put his price per point at a value-rich $344 dollars per point for our third wide receiver. This play also likely moved you up quite a few ranks in a GPP game and made you even more money if played in conjunction with the rest of last week’s suggested lineup.

Tight End – Heath Miller – $5,300

While I’m not a super huge fan of Heath Miller normally, I don’t dislike the guy, either. He just has a way of showing up when you least expect him and disappearing when you expect him to have a nice matchup. I’m hoping he bucks that trend I’ve noticed as he actually has a pretty nice matchup this week against a Jets defense giving up the second most fantasy points to tight ends this season. As mentioned above, the Jets also have a very nasty habit of giving up passing touchdowns to their opponents as well. Given the higher profile of Martavis Bryant as of late, the Jets would be wise to key in on him more coming into this game. If that indeed occurs, look for Ben Roethlisberger simply to change gears and target his reliable tight end a few more times, one of which just may happen to be in the endzone. Just as Travis Kelce was the play last week and was able to perform well, look for the Steelers to realize this as well and get Miller back in the game plan for at least this week.

Projected Stat Line – Four receptions for 70 yards

Follow-Up – Travis Kelce – ($5400) – Travis Kelce was able to find his way into the endzone last week which really boosted his vale for us. If not for a lucky Anthony Fasano touchdown, Kelce might have been able to increase this value for us even more, but so is life. Nonetheless, Kelce scored 14.7 fantasy points for his second best game of the season, which put his dollars per point at a nice $367 value. Kelce nicely rounded out our lineup last week and made for a great week minus the early Foles injury.

Kicker – Dan Bailey – $5,200

What? Paying more for a kicker? Yeah, well we have some extra money left over after a few high upside value plays that I like. Bailey should be given plenty of opportunities to score points against a Jacksonville defense that is woefully unprepared to put up much of a fight against Dallas’ offensive attack. Bailey should easily get a few extra points and may even be able to sneak in a few field goals as well.

Projected Stat Line – Two field goals, three extra points

Follow-Up – Randy Bullock – ($4800) – As normal, kickers just love to mess with our lineup and prove once again why this position is nearly impossible to predict. Bullock missed a 39-yard field goal but did get us three extra points. If I could allocate this money elsewhere and just abandon this position all together I would.

Defense – Denver Broncos – $5,300

One of the higher priced options this week, I expect the Denver Broncos to pick up right where our Seattle pick last week did against the Oakland Raiders and provide a challenging opponent for the 0-8 struggling team. Denver is averaging five sacks per game this season, which is the fifth best average in the NFL. Additionally, in a game where Oakland is bound to fall behind early, Denver will be able to defend against the pass at which point the sacks should really start to stack up.

Projected Stat Line – 13 points against, six sacks and two interceptions

Follow-Up – Seattle – ($5,500) – Seattle was able to put up some nice points for us with a solid 14-point performance. This score put their dollars per point total at a healthy $393 value which is easily one of the better defensive calls we’ve made this season. The values we were able to identify elsewhere in the lineup allowed us to pay a little more for a defense with a great matchup which was able to deliver some bonus points for us.

George Kritikos will now present his picks and recap for the week in the following section of this article. Good luck George!

Quarterback – Matt Ryan – $7,800


Ryan is the exact type of player I go after. He has a modest price (12th at the position) and one of the best matchups this week against Tampa Bay, among the league leaders in every statistic allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Ryan had three touchdowns in his start earlier this season, so there is some recent success to base a projection upon. Expecting a repeat may be a bit much normally, but against this defense, I don’t think it is very far off.


Projected Stat Line – 24 completions, 290 yards, three touchdowns


Follow-Up – Colin Kaepernick ($7,800) – Kaep was a disappointment as he managed just one touchdown pass and was held to just 14 yards rushing. This should have been an easy matchup but turned into his worst performance since week two. There is a reason many DFS players avoid him like the plague.


Running Back – LeSean McCoy – $7,700


No one expected it to be this late in the season and McCoy to be stuck on just one touchdown for the year. Against Carolina, the league leader in rushing yards and second in touchdowns allowed to running backs, McCoy is a value price for an elite commodity with a chance to have a truly exceptional game. And with Mark Sanchez at the helm, we could see McCoy surpass 20 carries for the fifth straight week.


Projected Stat Line – 25 rushes, 140 yards, three catches, 20 yards, one touchdown


Follow-Up – Marshawn Lynch ($8,200) – Lynch came through with his highest scoring game of the season. With two rushing touchdowns and over 140 total yards (including 78 receiving yards), he had a field day against a mediocre Oakland defense. While this was not the way I expected Lynch to get his points, I’m just worried about the total.


Running Back – Ronnie Hillman – $7,400


Hillman has gone four straight games with either 100 yards rushing or a touchdown, giving him a level of consistency since taking over for Montee Ball. Against the aforementioned Oakland defense, Hillman should show his versatility and continue his high level returns. I anticipate twenty plus touches and a lot of garbage time offense as the Broncos leap out to a substantial lead quickly.


Projected Stat Line – 19 rushes, 105 yards, four catches, 35 yards, two touchdowns


Follow-Up – Jeremy Hill ($5200) – Hill proved to be a huge value as he managed over 150 yards and a touchdown. At this price, it is hard to find a viable option much less this much production. After Thursday’s game however, perhaps this was an anomaly more than a true breakout.


Wide Receiver – Antonio Brown – $9,100


With seven games with at least seven catches, including three double digit reception efforts, Brown is as consistent as they come. With a plus matchup against the Jets’ secondary (they allow the fourth most yards per catch), Brown should continue his three game streak of at least nine catches and 90 yards. Ben Roethlisberger should have a field day here so it is best to get a piece of the action and this is the elite part of it.


Projected Stat Line – Ten catches, 120 yards, one touchdown


Follow-Up – Jeremy Maclin ($8400) – Even with a quarterback injury, Maclin had 158 yards receiving and two touchdowns on six catches. With a couple of long balls, Maclin carved up a Houston secondary that is worst or second worst in receptions, yards, or touchdowns allowed to wide receivers. When you go after an elite price, this is the type of return you hope for.


Wide Receiver – Julio Jones – $8,000


Remember all that talk about the terrible Tampa Bay pass defense? Well, apply it here. With each of Jones’ past eight games featuring at least four catches and 55 yards, there is a really safe floor here. I expect Ryan and Jones to rekindle the chemistry from earlier in the season (nine catches, 161 yards, two touchdowns) and provide a great combo for DFS players.


Projected Stat Line – Eight catches, 120 yards, one touchdown


Follow-up – DeAndre Hopkins ($6,900) – Despite what the Houston coaching staff called an ineffective passing game, Hopkins was able to deliver. He tied his season high with six catches and fell one yard short of his high with 115 yards with a touchdown. Slowly, Hopkins has taken over the number one receiver spot but with the recent quarterback change, I’m not buying again for at least a week or two.


Wide Receiver – Justin Hunter – $5,400


The bane of many DFS players, Hunter has an interesting matchup against a Baltimore secondary that just lost their only good cornerback in Jimmy Smith. Already giving up the most yards to wide receivers, Baltimore will be hard-pressed to keep Hunter from breaking a long catch and run. The price is good for a long-shot like Hunter and he could deliver a solid outing for the fourth time in five weeks.


Projected Stat Line – Four catches, 85 yards, one touchdown


Follow-Up – Rueben Randle ($6400) – Unfortunately, I gambled on the wrong Giants’ receiver last week. While four catches for 49 yards is ok, that’s not what you want at this price and after seeing what Odell Beckham was able to do across the field from Randle. The Giants’ passing game has been high volume since Rashad Jennings went down so it could revert back to an up and down attack, making any receiver difficult to bet on.


Tight End – Heath Miller – $5,300


Going back to the terrible Jets’ defense, they have already allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends, worst in the NFL. Miller has had an up and down season but has performed best against suspect secondaries; all of his best games have occurred against bottom five pass defenses. That’s what we have here, so I’m willing to buy low and hope for a strong game.


Projected Stat Line – five catches, 55 yards, one touchdown


Follow-Up – Julius Thomas ($7800) – A lackluster two catches for 33 yards were only saved by a touchdown catch, his tenth of the season. At this price, it is a disappointing performance, especially against a New England defense that has been terrible at defending the tight end position.


Kicker – Mason Crosby – $4,800


Not all that worried about kickers, but Crosby is a pretty consistent one. Going against a Chicago defense that is allowing the second most points to kickers is an added bonus. The Packers should be able to put up points easily against the battered Bears defense.


Projected Stat Line – two field goals, three extra points


Follow-Up – Brandon McManus ($4600) – Just three extra points is a lackluster effort from McManus. Add in a missed field goal opportunity and that would have at least been a decent day.


Defense – Atlanta – $4,500


More Atlanta, I know. Tampa Bay has a new quarterback, an unsettled running game, and a coaching staff that is just plain bad. The Atlanta defense is not good but they had their best game against Tampa Bay earlier this year so it’s cheap and why not?!


Projected Stat Line – 13 points allowed, three sacks, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions


Follow-Up – San Diego ($4700) – San Diego was awful against a resurgent Miami offense. Getting negative points from a defense? Enough said.


Have fun everyone and be sure to visit our daily fantasy partner, FanDuel.