The purpose of this weekly article is to guide you to optimizing the best NFL DFS Lineups using our Optimizer, with some must have players. If you don’t have access to the Optimizer yet, click HERE and sign up for it ASAP!
Good evening Karma nation! Recap from last week was another break-even week. We had a great leverage call Saturday with Pittman Jr at single digit ownership and bringing back over four times his value. Unfortunately, we did not filter out enough John Brown shares, and he put up a donut (0). To add salt to the wound, we relied heavily on Derrick Henry Sunday and he put up an abysmal 40 rushing yards. However, on the bright side, we played Ebron with Ben enough to break even.
Week 19 starts the divisional round of the playoffs and we have four exciting games on this slate. Three games with totals over 49. I am looking at a tight end who is by far the best option and is going to be much needed. A wide receiver who is still priced too cheap and in a prime division matchup. Lastly, we are looking at an AFC matchup that has fireworks written all over it. We have reviewed, we have reflected, so lets get to optimizing!
OVERWEIGHT: (Travis Kelce) ($7,800 DK)
It was announced today Sammy Watkins was ruled out. This season Watkins has a 14.5% target marketshare (MS). It may not be much, but this now must be distributed amongst the remaining receivers and let us be honest, it will be distributed between Hill and Kelce.
So far this season Kelce leads his team with a 24.7% target marketshare. He averages 9.7 targets/game with 7 receptions/game, however, in the past four weeks he has seen an increase in both stats. In the last four weeks Kelce’s workload has increased seeing 23% more targets (12) and 10% more receptions (7.7). Kelce has also scored a touchdown in each of his last four games.
The Brown’s are fifth worst in fantasy points allowed to tight end. They are allowing 56 receiving yards and over 5 receptions per game to opposing tight ends. In my eyes I am comfortable doubling that for one of the best tight ends ever.
In Kelce’s last four weeks he has averaged 26.7 fantasy points. Our projections are showing him at 22.73 and that just a 50% percentile. Bump him up in the 75% percentile and he is showing 29.6. Do not overthink this one. He will be chalky, but this is the type of chalk you will want to eat. The game total is 57.5 and if the Browns can keep this game close Kelce will feast.
OVERWEIGHT: (Michael Thomas) ($6,700 DK)
Thomas put up a respectable 18.3 fantasy points last week against the stingy Bears secondary. The Saints controlled that game from start to finish which limited some opportunities for Thomas. Thomas still caught 5 of his 7 targets and managed to squeeze in the end zone on his routine slant route inside the 10-yard line.
In the time playing this season, Thomas leads the team with 28.8% target MS. Last week Brees seemed comfortable starting right where they left off. Thomas faces an above average cornerback, Jamel Dean, but I do not see this being an issue when you have the 2nd highest completion percentage QB throwing at him. Tampa Bay runs zone defense 65% of the time and Brees’ QB rating with Thomas in zone coverage is 99. It extremely hard to score on Tampa Bay through the run, however, the passing game is more susceptible allowing 7th most receiving touchdowns this season.
In the two previous games against Tampa Bay, New Orleans has averaged 36 points and Brees averaged 3 touchdowns/game. If this happens again, it is hard to believe Thomas would not be a part in it. DraftKings still has Thomas priced way too low in my opinion. Our projections have Thomas as the best value receiver on the slate and with Brees success against Tampa Bay I agree.
Other candidates: (Davante Adams), (Aaron Jones), (Cam Akers)
GAME STACK of the week: CLEVELAND/ KANSAS CITY
This is the game everyone is looking forward to and with much reason. This game total is 57.5 and we should expect a ton of fantasy points in this game.
With the slate being small and it being the playoffs I want to provide multiple stacking options for this game. It is up to you which one you believe has the most likelihood.
Kansas City onslaught
In this scenario you want as much exposure to Kansas City as possible. I would start with Mahomes + Kelce, since this will be chalky you are going to want to find leverage in other spots. With a KC onslaught I would look at a Demarcus Robinson, and/or Darrell Williams. Both will be low owned. To run it back since Cleveland would be down a good amount we would want to target pass catchers. Top options would be Landry, Hunt, and Hooper.
This scenario will be contrary so you will already have leverage. It looks like Baker + pass catcher + Chubb. I picture Baker peppering a target and having a few deep bombs against a KC secondary who has allowed most explosive 20+ passing plays this season. Cleveland will have had established a run game in order for this to happen which will benefit Chubb. Since we already have leverage playing more Cleveland players you’d would want to run it back with either Kelce or Hill or even both.
In this scenario I see the fantasy points being more concentrated between fewer players. I say that because I think Chubb would establish a solid run game against the 31st defensive rush DVOA. This would eat more clock taking away more opportunities for Kansas City explosive offense. The game would stay closer and when that happens you rely on your best players. Mahomes + Kelce or Mahomes + Hill.
Below is a potential lineup based on our optimizer.
Other candidates: (TB/NOS)
FADE/UNDERWEIGHT: (John Brown) ($4,600 DK)
Brown did us all wrong last week when he put up 0. The Bills put up 27 points and Brown saw 4 targets and did not catch one of them.
Baltimore’s defense has only allowed 22 passing touchdowns this season. That’s 1.3/game. They have some of the best cornerbacks the game has seen with Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, and Jimmy Smith. All three of these cornerbacks have maintained less than 1 cornerback yard/route. Baltimore runs zone defense 50% of the time. Brown has a better rating with Allen in man coverage.
It was very evident who was WR2 for Allen when he targeted Beasley 7 times last week compared to Brown’s 4. Last week Diggs and Beasley made up just under 50% of target MS and I expect much of the same this week.
Other candidates: (Mike Evans), (Ronald Jones)
The big question to ask yourself this week is will high powered offenses prevail over elite defenses? My answer is yes! I will trust a better offense over a better defense.
Have a narrative for each game. Let those narratives help you decide some players you will roster. Utilize the late swap! If you have a lineup and the chalk has failed swap out a more popular player from next game for a more leveraged player. It is ok to leave salary on the table in these instances.
Kelce has made me profit more times than once so I will stay true and continue to roster the best tight end on the slate. This means I will have a handful of Mahomes at my QB position. With my love for Michael Thomas this week I am going to have Brees as my 2nd highest owned QB this week. I will also have various stacks of the Chiefs/Browns game given the high game total. Remember do not sleep on the “other candidates”. Those are also strong plays that I will be utilizing much of.
As always, the NFL optimizer is a great tool to help increase your bankroll and make you a better player in DFS. I hope this article pointed you in a direction on where to start your builds for this week! If you ever have any questions, feel free to DM me on twitter @party_marty13 or send me a message in the discord chat and I’ll be sure to get back with you ASAP!