Melvin Gordon (RB) – Gordon was also a chalky play. He had 18 carries and 6 targets for 18.9 DK points against a very stout Denver defense. Going against the Dolphins, it looked like he would get plenty of opportunities.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR) – He was targeted 13 times in week 1. Against an absolutely terrible Colts defense and with David Johnson being out, Fitzgerald looked to be the man for the Cardinals. One highly respected expert even suggested that it wasn’t crazy to think that he might get targeted 20 times. Even though his price had increased from $5,900 to $6,500, he was still a no-brainer for me. I felt very confident that he would get a bunch of targets and would also strike gold in the end zone.
Keenan Allen (WR) – He is a target magnet who hauled in 5 catches against the “No-Fly Zone” defense of the Denver Broncos on Monday night. He should have a quite the game against the terrible secondary of the Miami Dolphins. His $5,800 price tag was a steal.
Julio Jones (WR) – The Falcons/Packers game had the highest projected total of the day. His new O.C. has promised more red zone targets for the man that no defense can stop one-on-one. Green Bay has a poor secondary. I usually do not pay up for an elite wide receiver in cash games but I thought he had the highest floor of anyone this week and potential for the highest ceiling, as well.
Joe Flacco (QB) – This was the toughest decision for me. I really wanted Tom Brady but there was no way to get to him without getting rid of Julio Jones and blowing up my lineup. If Brady hadn’t put up such a clunker the week before I probably would have gone with him this week. But I figured that if even the great Tom Brady could drop a 10-point performance then the outcomes are not that crazy and I should go for a lower-priced QB. Once I decided to pay down, the only other QB that made sense was Phillip Rivers. He was actually the guy I wanted other than the big four of Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. But I didn’t want three Chargers in my cash lineup. It would also probably have put me on the Chargers DST. To give me less exposure to one game, I decided to go with Flacco.
Jacquizz Rodgers (FLEX) – The quiz show was practically a lock for me. I typically play a running back in the flex because you can most accurately predict their touches (carries). Even though Tampa Bay has an explosive passing game, I figured the Rodgers would get plenty of opportunities. In the five games that he was the featured back last year, he averaged 21 carriers and 2 receptions per game. Chicago didn’t have a defense that scares many teams.
Charles Clay (TE) – I did not like this play but Carolina was not strong last year against the tight end position. Clay is oftentimes a forgotten man on a Bills team that is very limited in its’ passing game. At $3,000, it is hard to go against someone that has decent touchdown equity. I also strongly considered Jared Cook, Coby Fleener and Austin Hooper who were all getting a good deal of buzz from the experts. I felt that Clay had the safest floor (though he probably also had the lowest ceiling).
Steelers (DST) – I was on the Jaguars until news broke of Sam Bradford not playing. Case Keenum is not exactly a quarterback to elicit confidence and the Steelers have an aggressive defense. I wanted the Ravens but couldn’t get to them without drastically altering my lineup.
RECAP – I went into Sunday fairly confident that I had a cash lineup that I wanted. The only player I didn’t like was Flacco but I could live with the Quarterback that had the most passing attempts last season playing at home against the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately, I only won 39% of my H2H’s. It was one of my worst performances since I started playing DFS. I ran into way too many Kareem Hunt and JJ Nelson lineups. I also lost a bunch of 1 and 2-point matchups.
If I am looking at my lineup from a results-oriented 20/20 hindsight vision, I would have played Brady, the Ravens and paid down for J.J. Nelson instead of Larry Fitzgerald. I had a ton of Nelson in GPP’s but didn’t want double exposure to the Cardinals offense in a cash game. I thought Fitz was safer. I would make that call 100% of the time if I am looking at my thought process and why I made that decision. I absolutely believed Fitz would have a big PPR game against the hapless Colts. The other play that would have led me to would have been Tyreke Hill as a Flex play, which is what I did in a lot of GPP’s. I also had Kareem Hunt in some GPP’s but wasn’t sold on him as a lock going against an Eagles defense that is decent against the run. Hill would not have helped my lineup. The guy that I really wanted was Adam Thielen but when Bradford was ruled out, I had to move off of him as a Flex consideration. All-in-all, I put way too much confidence in Fitzgerald and it sunk me this week. He is a future Hall of Famer and one of the good guys in the history of the NFL but his time might be gone when it comes to DFS.
Each week, thousands of DFS players are burdened with the “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda”, but we can’t be stressed by this. Having a trustworthy process and believing in your research is a long-term +EV.