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Mike’s Player Grid 17.22

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 ::

My approach to running back this week must be discussed with the backdrop of the entire slate in mind. I want to play as many of the high-end receiving options who could easily see 10 to 15 targets and whose teams are fighting for their lives as I can. Along the same notion, there is a big group of sub-$6,500 running backs who are in good matchups and/or game environments and/or have a realistic chance to touch the ball 18+ times. This list is a bit long, but my thought process this week is pretty straightforward – the list is long enough and the spots are good enough that I would be shocked if at least 2 or 3 of these players don’t put up a 20-point game and I also think all of them are likely to score at least 10-12 points…..while the high priced backs may have a couple 25-30 point games but unlikely to produce any “slate breakers”. With that in mind, I believe that tournament-winning rosters will be built with two running backs from the $5,100-$6,100 range and loaded up on explosive pass catchers. If playing fewer lineups, I would recommend whittling this list down more and what players you are using on the rest of your roster will likely have some effect on which of these guys you settle on, but my overall approach to the slate is working on the thesis that some combination of these backs will be played together on lineups that win this week.

  • Brian Robinson – Antonio Gibson is out and the Commanders are likely to lean on their running game against a porous Browns run defense.
  • Tyler Allgeier – Falcons are eliminated from the playoffs and Allgeier’s performance and snaps have been continuing to rise. This is a plus matchup where he should once again push for 20 touches.
  • Cam Akers – Akers has accounted for 45% of the Rams yards from scrimmage over the past two weeks and now faces a Chargers defense that has been hammered by running games all year.
  • AJ Dillon – Aaron Jones is likely to play, but Dillon should carry the majority of the load for the Packers backfield.
  • Leonard Fournette (DK) – Bucs season is on the line and Fournette is coming off his best game of the year and highest usage last week.
  • Isaiah Pacheco (FD) // Jerick McKinnon – McKinnon’s role is so valuable and Pacheco’s explosiveness and touch counts continue to provide a chance he spikes for a 100+ yard and 1-2 touchdown game at any point, especially against a Broncos team that has been left for dead and just gave up 147 yards and 3 TDs to Cam Akers.
  • Zonovan Knight – Knight’s role in Mike White’s starts has been opportunity counts of 17, 20, and 19. Seattle’s defense is a great matchup and Knight is the lead back on early downs and the preferred short-yardage option for the Jets.
  • D’Andre Swift – It has to happen eventually, right? RIGHT?!?!?
Side Notes/Thoughts::
  • Paying Up – If looking to pay up, Dalvin Cook, James Conner, and Saquon Barkley are the only higher-priced running backs that I could see sneaking onto my builds this week. Cook is my favorite of the bunch and I specifically would look at using him in stacks from that game as described below.
  • Dart Throws – Khalil Herbert, Boston Scott, and “SF backup RB” are all extremely cheap options in good matchups who have paths to 10-15 touches depending on game flow and coaching decisions. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of these spots produces a 14-18 point game this week.
Tight End ::

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