Sunday, Feb 12th — Late
Bye Week:

Mike’s Player Grid Thanksgiving

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 a special Thanksgiving Player Grid. I hope you all are having a fun and successful DFS season and look forward to keeping our roll going down the home stretch. Enjoy!!

General Outlook/Thoughts

  • This slate is very different from a “normal” main slate, or even a “normal” short slate like the Sunday Afternoon Only slate, so I’m going to present things at the running back position slightly differently than usual. Given the nature of the slate, it is especially important to consider situations and how things play out in conjunction with each other. As such, I think evaluation of the RB position is critical and starting there helps you build the rest of your roster. I will list the RBs in consideration from each team and talk about their situation and benefits, followed by “how” I would look to use each of them – as none of the situations are really spots that I think you “have to stay away from”.
  • This slate is also very unique in the sense that there were two games on Sunday (DET @ NYG and DAL @ MIN) that featured teams who played this last week – which brings up several interesting things to consider when making decisions.
Running Back ::
Rhamondre Stevenson
  • I saw something on Twitter this week (sorry I don’t remember where or who said it) that said Rhamondre was basically “Rondale Moore plus 15 carries per game”, and that comparison really hit home. Looking at the stats, it checks out. He is averaging just under 7 targets per game and just over 15 carries per game over the last five games. Now he faces a Vikings defense on a short week that was shredded by the Dallas RBs to the tune of 236 total yards and 4 TDs. Adding to Rhamondre’s value is the fact that he is in the last game of the day, giving you some late swap flexibility if needed.
    • Damien Harris – Harris has clearly fallen behind Stevenson in terms of the pecking order and usage, but he finally looked healthy and explosive against the Jets and, as noted, is facing a Vikings defense that got torched by RBs last week. 

How I’d play them:: Both RBs are viable for any lineup. If not playing either NE RB, you probably want to be using MIN D because the Pats offense has likely fallen flat on its face.

Tony Pollard
  •  Pollard has had an incredible run of late, and a short-week matchup against the Giants shouldn’t necessarily be the spot we expect him to slow down. Pollard is the RB1 in points per game over the last month yet is priced as the RB3 on Draftkings, significantly lower than the top two. The “risk” here is that he is somewhat big play dependent and should be very popular. 
    • Ezekiel Elliott – As noted in the Patriots discussion, the Cowboys running game produced in a huge way against the Vikings last week. Elliott appears to be taking a complementary role to Pollard at this point, but he is still the preferred goal line back and will see a healthy dose of touches due to how much the Cowboys feature their RBs.

How I’d play them:: Both RBs are viable for any lineup. If not playing either DAL RB, I’ll likely be building the lineup around the Dallas passing game and/or playing the DAL DEF.

Devin Singletary
  • Singletary is the lead RB on a team with one of the highest implied team totals of the season, and will rightfully draw a lot of attention. Buffalo kicked SIX field goals in Week 11 against the Browns, as they struggled to finish off drives. This week against a Lions defense that ranks 26th in the NFL in red zone defense, I would expect the Bills to be much more successful. With that in mind, it seems like it will be hard to keep Singletary off any rosters that do not include Josh Allen – as a 4+ TD game from Buffalo seems highly likely, and if Allen isn’t having a 3+ TD game, then Singletary is likely getting in on the action.
    • James Cook – Cook might end up as the “sneaky play who ends up not so sneaky”. He has looked very good recently and saw a lot of work last week especially once Buffalo got ahead. Ironically, he makes sense on rosters that have other BUF pieces as well because if he is excelling then the Bills have probably built a really big lead.

How I’d play them:: Kind of outlined it already:

  • Singletary or Allen – BUF won’t “fail”
  • Cook and Singletary (or Allen) – Cook likely needs BUF already smashing before he hits, so at that point, either Allen or Singletary is also likely having a very good game.
Dalvin Cook
  • Cook has been acting as the clear lead RB and is playing at home on a favored team. Even in last week’s throttling by the Cowboys, Cook averaged nearly seven yards per carry; he was just game scripted out. The Patriots are beatable on the ground.

How I’d play him:: Viable as a solo play or used with MIN D or a NE bring back.

Saquon Barkley
  • Barkley has the most secure workload and is likely the most talented back on the slate. However, due to loose pricing, he’s unlikely to have too low of ownership despite playing on the team with the lowest implied team total on the slate. This is an interesting case, as we saw Antonio Gibson basically break the slate a couple of years ago in a similar situation and the Cowboys run defense was being roasted by everyone less than a week ago.

How I’d play him:: If Saquon is paying off his price tag and making it worth playing him over the cheaper RBs that are in good spots, he’s probably putting up the type of game that is forcing Dallas to open things up offensively. With that in mind, I will use Saquon in lineups that feature at least two Cowboys players.

Jamaal Williams
  • You’re basically betting on TDs here, as Williams has only broken 100 rushing yards once all season and hasn’t been targeted in the passing game in over three weeks. That said, he leads the NFL in touchdowns with 12 in 10 games so it isn’t impossible to imagine him having a solid game – although he’s very unlikely to bury you for fading him.
    • D’Andre Swift – Swift makes a ton of sense if you think the Bills get out to a big lead and force the Lions to pass more. While his usage of late has been frustrating, it appears the Lions have settled into some “roles” and Williams’s lack of pass game work is very telling. Also, in the four games since Swift returned from injury the Lions are 3-1 with the only loss being against the Dolphins in a game the Lions led for the first three quarters – so we really haven’t seen a situation where the Lions are left with no choice but to throw. In the three Lions wins, they have had more rushes than pass attempts in every game – which seems unlikely to be possible this week.

How I’d play them:: Swift with multiple BUF pieces. Williams probably won’t make the cut for me.

Tight End ::

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