Sunday, Feb 11th — Late
Bye Week:

Mike’s Player Grid 9.22

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 ::
Austin Ekeler

Ekeler is one of less than a handful of running backs with a truly elite role. His pass game usage is phenomenal, with 28 targets over the last two weeks, and Mike Williams and Keenan Allen will both miss this game, making Ekeler a near-lock for double-digit targets. The matchup is very good here and it would be surprising if Ekeler scored under 20 fantasy points, while having a very good shot at 30.

Aaron Jones

For fantasy purposes, targets are worth about 2x what a carry is worth. Using that knowledge, over the last two weeks Jones has “opportunity” totals of 30 and 28. The Packers desperately need a win, have clearly acknowledged Jones needs to be a focal point of their offense, are playing in the highest game total of the week, and are facing the worst defense in the NFL.

Travis Etienne

Etienne has a perfect skill set for a running back in fantasy football and has a great matchup against a defense that Alvin Kamara (who is very similar stylistically) just torched. Etienne is being treated as a bell cow and is underpriced for that role and matchup.

Kenneth Walker

Talent, volume, matchup, game environment. He checks all the boxes and we probably haven’t seen his best work yet. Walker is now being treated as a top-3 dynasty RB yet is priced this week as the RB11 on Draftkings.

Josh Jacobs

If we went “Men In Black” on the field and erased everything from last week when the Raiders completely fell apart, what would the perception of Josh Jacobs at $7,300 be? Three consecutive 30+ point games and elite usage. This is a non-prohibitive matchup and the Raiders are likely to get Jacobs back up to his 22-25 touch range he had prior to last week’s disaster.


  • Rhamondre Stevenson – He is a home favorite running back and Damien Harris missed the full week of practice. Stevenson has had “opportunity counts” of 30, 27, 29, and 29 in his last four games. Rhamondre looked Mac Jones in the eyes and told him “look at me, I’m the captain now” for this Patriots offense.
  • Antonio Gibson/Deon Jackson:: Gibson’s role and usage have improved recently and JD McKissic will miss this week, leaving Gibson for all of the passing down work. His price is still low and he is an explosive player that could easily play 65% of the snaps if the Vikings passing game goes off as I expect. Gibson is a “with MIN passing game” option for me. Jackson has smashed when given the chance this season, and with JT ruled out and Hines traded he should get all the run he can handle this week. The Patriots run defense has struggled and the Colts will almost certainly look to use Jackson heavily as a receiver again, giving him a safe floor and a very strong price considered ceiling, even as a road underdog with a low implied team total. Jackson is a “unique with Rhamondre” or “have to find salary to fit pricey game stack” option for me.
  • Joe Mixon – Mixon is a tough one for me this week. His price on Draftkings is lower than it has been all year and he is absolutely due for some touchdown regression at some point. However, this Bengals offense is playing on a short week and looked dreadful without Ja’Marr Chase on Monday night. Likewise, the Bengals have been trending so pass heavy of late that it’s hard to see a true ceiling from Mixon outside of the touchdowns all flowing through him. I can’t rule him out just yet, but in a fragile spot with a questionable ceiling at high ownership, it’s going to be hard for me to pull the trigger. I’ve laid out some pretty strong cases for all of the backs listed above, which makes it hard to justify Mixon.
Tight End ::

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