Bye Week:

Mike’s Player Grid 14.22

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 ::

I’m really not a fan of the running back situation this week, as the top options based on my criteria are all very pricey and also rate slightly lower than the usual top options. My preferred way to build on Draftkings this week will be with cheaper options at running back and hoping they can get me 15-20 points while using the extra salary to load up on high-upside passing game pieces.

Dalvin Cook

He checks all the boxes we want and the attention that Minnesota’s passing game will receive from the field should keep his ownership in check.

Christian McCaffrey

CMC’s role in games without Elijah Mitchell is, by far, the best role in fantasy football.

Derrick Henry

Henry is basically two different players in Titans wins and losses. This week the Titans are favored against a Jaguars team that Henry has demolished over the years. 25+ touches seems very likely in this spot with a solid matchup and potential for some big plays.

Per my comments above, these first three RBs I like much more on Fanduel than on Draftkings. Their prices are less prohibitive there and allow much better builds around them. That’s not to say that they can’t be played on Draftkings, but it takes a specific type of build to make it work.

Tony Pollard/Ezekiel Elliott

Pollard and Elliott should both have solid workloads until the game gets out of hand. Pollard’s explosiveness and the matchup allow him to have a much higher ceiling than Elliott. He is underpriced for his recent performance on both sites. The duo has combined for 42 and 57 DK points in two of the last three weeks, making them viable to play together in this matchup in smaller field contests and also making it likely that the production isn’t an even split and one of them posts a 4x or better score while the other disappoints. The biggest concern here would be a situation where the Texans implode very early and give Dallas short fields that give touchdowns but limit yardage and receptions, while also allowing the Cowboys to put both of these guys on ice early.

D’Andre Swift

Swift appears to be trending in the right direction with his usage and health, as he took control of Detroit’s backfield in last week’s win over Jacksonville. If Swift is truly taking over the backfield, he’s drastically underpriced. Even if he simply maintains half of the usage, he gets a ton of work in the passing game and has the explosiveness and game environment to pop off for a big game.

D’onta Foreman

Foreman is a battering ram facing a run defense that has been battered lately. He has 100+ rushing yards in four of his last six games and is the short-yardage back for the Panthers.


  • Rachaad White/Leonard Fournette – The matchup dictates that the Bucs should throw the ball a lot and the Tampa running backs will likely catch a lot of balls like the 12 they combined for on Monday night. It wouldn’t take much for one of them to fall into the end zone and, along with their 5 to 7 points from receptions, be in easy striking distance of a 20-point DK game. As I said earlier, I prefer paying down at RB this week to spend up on receivers, so this option (while seemingly having a lower ceiling) opens up some things.
  • Isiah Pacheco – 15+ touches in four straight games. Very likely in a positive game script. Facing a “run funnel” defense and an offense that struggles to sustain drives, therefore increasing Kansas City’s expected play volume. 20 touches for Pacheco seems very reasonable in this spot and with how he has popped on film this year, I will be surprised if he doesn’t have a big game before the season ends.
Tight End ::

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