Thursday, Sep 28th

Mike’s Player Grid 12.22

Mike Johnson (MJohnson86) has racked up nearly $500,000 in DFS profit as an NFL tournament player with success in all styles of contests

Welcome back to my (Mjohnson86) Player Grid. The format will vary slightly from JM’s Player Grid, as we each see things slightly differently and play in slightly different contests, but should complement his thoughts and content very well for those looking to build their lineups for the week. The format of this article will likely evolve as the season progresses but should provide a lot of value. Enjoy!!

The Core

This is a list of players that stand out to me at each position from using my “Checking the Boxes” criteria outlined in my course you can find in our Marketplace. This list is a starting point, from which I build out lineups using game theory and roster construction concepts (which we will also touch on) with the mindset being to find the best plays with big ceilings. Low ownership is a bonus, but not a must. This section will focus primarily on three positions – running back, tight end, and defense – as the other two positions (quarterback and wide receiver) tend to have more dependent tendencies which I try to attack from other angles (which we will get into in the other sections). I like all of these plays on all sites unless otherwise noted:

Running Back ::
Kenneth Walker

Not to be dramatic, but Walker appears to be one of the top running back talents in the league. He has the ability to wear down defenses and has true home run potential every time he touches the ball. This week he is fresh off a bye and is facing a Raiders defense that is 31st in the league in PFF tackling grade.

Jeff Wilson

Wilson had already taken the lead role in the Dolphins backfield and now Raheem Mostert is out as the Dolphins face a bottom-of-the-barrel Texans run defense. The biggest concern for Wilson is the game getting out of hand quickly and the Dolphins limiting his touches, but even in that scenario he could put up big numbers and score one or more touchdowns to build the lead.

Rachaad White

White is a player who profiled very well coming out of college and appeared to be taking over the Bucs backfield slowly but surely even before Leonard Fournette’s injury. Now, White is looking at a full-time role against a terrible Browns run defense.

Austin Ekeler

Ekeler checks a lot of boxes this week and his modest recent fantasy output will likely keep him from becoming too popular amongst the field. Ekeler is playing in the game with the highest total on the slate against a defense that was just shredded by the 49ers playmakers creating yards after the catch.


  • Isaiah Pacheco – This game appears to be a much greater matchup for the Chiefs passing game than running game, but Pacheco is the clear lead runner (especially with CEH now on IR) for a team projected to score four touchdowns and win by 15 points. It is rare to find a running back at a reasonable price tag who is such a big home favorite and is projected for single-digit ownership. Pacheco has 31 carries in his last two games and a very good chance for 20 touches here based on the anticipated game script.
  • James Conner – Similar to Ekeler, Conner is a clear lead running back in the highest game total of the week. Conner is also facing a Chargers run defense that is bottom-3 in the league in basically any metric. Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown return this week for the Cardinals, which should ensure offensive production from the team and give Conner more scoring opportunities. Conner is averaging 22 opportunities per game over the last two weeks as the feature back and now has an elite game environment and matchup.
  • Samaje Perine and Michael Carter also deserve discussion in this space due to their lead roles and respective situations. Perine excelled in relief of Joe Mixon last week and should have the chance for another week of heavy usage in a pass-heavy game script. Carter is the top RB for a Jets offense playing a bottom-3 defense with a likely huge QB upgrade.

Tight End ::

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