DFS: Fanduel Week Seven, The Nick Chubb Effect

The news the Browns and traded RB Carlos Hyde to the Jaguars and will start RB Nick Chubb ($4,800) on Sunday against the Buccaneers had a major impact on the DFS lineup building for this Sunday. Chubb is a bargain basement price and set to be the featured back in a game is projected to score 51.5 points, the second highest on Sunday. When the news broke, we knew we had to completely re-think our lineups.

We learned of the trade right as this article had been submitted. Our friend Mike Woellert of 4 for 4 direct messaged us. Woellert writes a weekly column on WR vs. CB matchups that we frequently feature in this column. The Browns are also the team he follows the closest. Woellert told us the Browns are likely to use Chubb heavily as a pass catcher against the Buccaneers league-worst pass defense. Chubb instantly became a must play.

With the insertion of Chubb into our lineups, we all of sudden had money to spend elsewhere. Like a flap of butterfly wings, Chubb effectively transformed everything. This meant we needed more time for research to set the best possible lineups for this Sunday.

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With Chubb, we are now using a few players that we did not previously plan to use and few are will be excluded. We have decided to keep all of the information from our original article and make notes of how Chubb changed things when appropriate.

Before we get into this week, let’s take a quick look back to last week. For the third week in a row, our DFS Main Slate lineup fell just short of the cash in the GPPs we played it in. Last week, we can attribute the failure to WR Calvin Ridley getting injured, putting too much faith an RB Marshawn Lynch when he had limited practices with injuries, and the Bears Defense performing shockingly poor against Dolphins backup QB Brock Osweiler.

If you had Osweiler stacked with WR Albert Wilson, we would have thought you were crazy, but you may have laughed all the way to the bank with a million dollars.

Despite all of that, I personally still had a winning week. By the end of the Sunday afternoon games, my bankroll was up about 50% for the season. That’s because over the last couple weeks while my Main Slate lineups have just missed the green line, I have cashed in my morning and afternoon tournaments.

My lineups for the morning and afternoon often use many of the same players as my Main Slate, but depending on the situation, those slates allow me also to utilize many of the alternative players that are discussed in this article.

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This week, I will show you how I vary my play from the Main Slate to the morning and afternoon. Variance has allowed me to overcome issues that set me back in the Main Slate because those players were not all used in the other lineups.

Before we get into breaking down the players for this week, I want to give a shout out to Alvin Lange of Fansided. The two of us have bounced a lot of info and thoughts off of each other all week. If you take nothing else from this article, I hope you realize the importance of collaboration in just about everything you do in life, including building DFS lineups.

Getting information from multiple sources makes you more knowledgeable, and in DFS that makes you a better player. To win at DFS, you shouldn’t build a lineup based on every scenario the information you gather provides. The trick is to for you to decide what is the best knowledge and the most likely winning scenarios, usually not an Osweiler/Wilson stack against the Bears defense, and then take your shot by playing in a few different tournaments.

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Hopefully, you win and if you do that is fantastic! If you don’t, you still had fun and your protected your bankroll to try the next week again with new information.

The addition of Chubb actually reduced the lineups I’m are playing this week from four to three. I’m more confident in the three that I decided to play and have taken the money I would have spent on the fourth lineup and are paying up for three slightly more expensive tournaments. They will be provided at the end of the article. If breaking news creates another opportunity that I did not previously see, I may play a fourth lineup or alter what I have.

Let’s break this week down!

QB

QB Baker Mayfield (CLE, $7,100, 8.6% projected ownership on FantasyPros) has the best possible matchup. The Tampa Buccaneers are dead last against defending the pass with an average of 355.8 yards a game. They also tied for the league high of 16 passing TDs allowed.  The last five QBs against the Bucs have thrown for at least 334 yards, and 4-of-5 threw for at least three TDs. Despite the matchup, C.J. Beathard was our original QB in the Main Slate because he is $700 cheaper. Chubb allows for Mayfield in the much better matchup and creates a nice stack. More Clevland players will be added to that stack.

Alternative QB

QB Jameis Winston (TB, $7,800, 5.2%) was our QB last week against the Falcons, and he did not disappoint. Winston completed 30 of 41 passes for 395 yards, four TDs. Unfortunately, we had Winston stacked with WR Mike Evans (TB, $7,800, 27.9%) and DeSean Jackson (TB, $6,700, 1.4%). Winston managed to throw four TDs without finding Evans or Jackson once in the end zone. That’s just bad luck.

Winston faces a Browns secondary that is decimated with injuries. Cornerback E.J. Gaines is in the concussion protocol. Gaines became the starter when CB Terrance Mitchell broke a wrist two weeks ago.

Winston has also been very constant of late.

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“During the last 12 full games that Winston has played, he’s now totaled 3,771 yards with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions,” according to Mike Tagliere in his weekly column The Primer for Fantasy Pros. “Over a full 16-game season, that would amount to 5,028 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. The comparison we can use from the 2017 season would be Tom Brady who threw for 4,577 yards and 32 touchdowns. Bottom line, Winston has been pretty dang good, even if he has made a few mistakes.”

QB C.J. Beathard (TB, $6,400, 11.8%) has averaged 20.5 FanDuel points in his first three games. His lowest score came on Monday against the Packers where he completed 16 of 23 passes for 245 yards and two TDs; he also scrambled three times for 21 yards for a total score of 18.9 points. Beathard’s low marks a near 3 X performance. This week Beathard faces a Rams defense which is average against the pass. The game has the highest predicted over/under of 52.5 points. The Rams are favored by 10 points, but that sets up a game script where Beathard will likely have to air it out. Now that we are using Mayfield in our Main Slate, Beathard will be used in the afternoon slate.

RBs/Flex:

RB Todd Gurley II (LAR, $10,200, 66.9%) is the most expensive player on the board by $1,900 because he has been the most consistent performer. The last two weeks he has scored over 30 FanDuel points and has touched the ball an average of 28 times per game over that stretch. That includes two weeks ago against the Seahawks six best run defense when he scored 31.3 FanDuel points. Gurley faces the 49ers 13th best run defense, and the Rams have the highest predictive score of 31 points. The offense runs through Gurley, and Gurley will likely have another big week if the Rams meet expectations.

RB Ezekiel Elliott (DAL, $8,400, 36.8%) has a tough matchup against the Washington Redskins sixth-best run defense that has only allowed an average of 90.2 rushing yards a game, and five rushing TDs on the season. Nevertheless, Elliott always has a heavy workload and is the second highest projected RB on the Main Slate behind Gurley on both FantasyPros and 4 for 4 with an average projection of 18.3 points between the two. Chubb has allowed us to use both Gurley and Elliott on the Main Slate.

RB Nick Chubb (CLE, $4,800, 58.3%) is at an extremely low price and will have a huge workload in a matchup that is better than it appears at first glace. The Bucks do have the fifth-best rush defense has allowed just 84.2 rushing yards a game and five rushing TDs. The Bucs, however, are the eighth worst at defending pass catching RBs. Tampa Bay has allowed on average 66.6 receiving yards and 0.6 TDs per game on eight targets to RBs. If Chubb is heavily used as a pass catcher, as Woellert suggested, he could have a huge day.

Alternative RBs

RB Kerryon Johnson (DET, $6,500, 3.5%) should see an uptick in both total touches and pass catches with teammate RB Theo Riddick out with a knee injury. The Dolphins have the 12th worst rush defense with an average of 118.2 yards per game allowed. Miami is most vulnerable to RBs is through the air. They are third-worst in defending pass-catching RBs having allowed an average 7.2 catches for 64.0 yards a game. Put it all together,” The Dolphins have now allowed at least 22.8 PPR points to every backfield they’ve played, including 32.8 or more points in three of their last four games,” Tagliere wrote.

RB T.J. Yeldon (JAC, $6,800, 0.3%) remains the primary back for at least this week with RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) out. While there is some concern the addition of Carlos Hyde could eat into his workload it likely will not happen this week and if it does it will be extremely minimal. Prior to last week’s 8.5 points, FanDuel performance against a good Cowboys run defense, Yeldon had two consecutive games of scoring more than 20 points (21.5 vs. NYJ, 22.2 vs. KC).

Yeldon while likely be somewhere between those performances this week against the Texans that have the 10th best run defense with an average of 95.8 yards allowed a game and have surrendered just one rushing TD on the season. Yeldon will be used in the morning slate that does not have either Gurley or Elliott. He was not originally planned to be used but fits in because of Chubb.

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RB Peyton Barber (TB, $6,100, 1.5%) had 13 carries for 82 yards on 13 carries and caught all four targets for 24 yards and a TD against Atlanta last week. Barber could easily repeat that performance this week against the Browns. Cleveland has allowed a fourth-worst 138.2 yards, and seventh worst 7.5 targets for 46.7 yards a game to RBs.

RB Raheem Mostert (SF, $4,900, 0.3%) is an afternoon Flex play to afford Gurley and Elliott. Mostert had 12 carries for 87 yards against the Packers on Monday. We will be lucky to get similar production this week, but it’s worth a shot.

RB LeSean McCoy (BUF, $6,200, 4.9%) is not a particularly exciting play considering the Colts held the Jets RBs to 99 yards and no TDs on 29 carries after linebackers Darius Leonard and Anthony Walker returned injury in Week 6. However, McCoy’s workload has been increasing. McCoy has averaged 24.5 total touches over the last two weeks. With that workload, there is a good chance he exceeds the value, and he fits into my Sunday Million lineup.

Note: Barber is no longer being used in any of our lineups with changed made with the addition of Chubb.

WRs

WR Adam Thielen (MIN, $8,700, 48.1%) is currently the best and most dependable WR in football. He has averaged 13.5 targets a game, 1.5 targets more the WR Antonio Brown. Thielen has scored a TD in four of six games and had at least six catches and 100 yards in every game this season

Thielen will likely keep things rolling against this week against Jets CB Buster Skrine.

“He should feast once again in this matchup against Buster Skrine,” wrote Mike Woellert for his WR vs. CB matchup column at 4 for 4. “Skrine has been responsible for a score and has given up over 200 yards receiving, resulting in him allowing 14.8 yards per reception. He’s also allowing 9.4 yards per target and 1.85 fantasy points per target.”

WR Damion Ratley (CLE, $5,100, 0.1%) is being used in the Main and Sunday Million slates because we see the potential that his stack with Mayfield could create a similar result as the Osweiler/Wilson stack had last week. Most will stack Mayfield with WR Jarvis Landry (CLE, $6,500, 34.7%) which is a very solid move. However, with With WR Rishard Higgins out (MCL), Ratley received an opportunity last week against the Chargers and caught six of eight targets for 82 yards.

He could easily match that again this week, and if he gets a TD, he will be a great play. Ratley will face CB Brent Grimes which he has five-inch height and advantage on. Woellert messages us that it is an excellent matchup for Ratley. The best part is Ratley has a 0.1% projected ownership which makes him the type of player that could win you the Sunday Million tournament. Ratley was added to Main Slate with Chubb and is part of the reason why Elliott can be played with Gurley.

WR Marquise Goodwin (SF, $5,500, 2.4%) is healthy, dirt cheap, coming off a phenomenal performance, projected for low ownership, has a great matchup, and is an excellent stack with Beathard. What more could you want? Answer) Actually perform this Sunday.

Goodwin caught four of five targets for 126 yards and two TDs against the Packers on Monday. The only drawback to the performance was his low targets. His targets should go up now that he is healthy and coming off a strong performance. As mentioned, the game script will likely require a heavy passing against the Rams. Goodwin also looks to have a good matchup against CB Troy Hill.

“Troy Hill has struggled in coverage and has been the weak link of the secondary thus far,” Wrote Woellert.”Hill is getting burned deep and is giving up 16.6 yards per target, while Goodwin averaged 25.2 yards per target last week. Hill is also yielding 2.3 fantasy points per target.”

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Alternative WRs

WRs Brandin Cooks (LAR, $7,500, 25.3%), Mike Evans (TB, $7,800, 27.9%) DeSean Jackson (TB, $6,700, 1.4%), and Robert Woods (LAR, $7,700) are all also in great positions this week.

WR John Brown (BAL, $6,500, 10.3%) will likely join the ranks of several number two WRs who have had great performances against the New Orleans Saints this season. While Brown is coming off a disappointing four target game against a good Titans pass defense, his performance this week should be more in-line to four previous weeks where he averaged ten targets a week. Brown has a stellar matchup against CB Ken Crawley. “Brown might be receiving the lock button for me this week,” wrote Woellert.

“The New Orleans defense is 32nd in aFPA (adjusted fantasy points allowed by position with schedule bias removed) to opposing WRs and Brown should draw Crawley in coverage for most of his routes. Crawley is allowing a 75 percent catch rate and 15.8 yards per reception. He is also yielding 11.8 yards per target, while Brown’s average depth of target (aDOT) is an absurd 19.7. Crawley has already allowed four touchdowns and is yielding nearly 2.8 fantasy points per target.”

TE

TE David Njoku (CLE, $5,700, 34%) has the best possible matchup. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are dead last defending the pass and TEs. The Bucs are so bad against TEs that have allowed an average of 16.9 FanDuel points a game, that 2.1 higher than the Steelers who are the next worst. Njoku caught seven of 12 targets for 55 yards and a TD last week against the Chargers. Njoku has also had 18 receptions in the previous three games.

Alternative TE

TE Eric Ebron (IND, $6,800, 7.4%) has essentially become a WR in the Colts offense. Over the last four games, he has caught 23 of 43 targets for 249 yards and four TDs. He will likely continue to be heavily targeted this week despite playing a Bills defense that has greatly improved against TEs from a year ago. Ebron is the third-highest projected TE on both 4 for 4 and FantasyPros. He will be used in the morning slate and is another change made with the addition of Chubb.

TE George Kittle (SF, $6,400, 9.6%) has become a big part of the 49ers offense. He has averaged just over six receptions a game for 71.5 yards and has one TD. Kittle is the fourth-highest projected TE on Sunday. He is a good stack with Beathard in the afternoon slate.

Defense

The Jacksonville Jaguars Defense ($4,400, 34.8%) has underwhelmed so far this season, that should change this week against a Houston Texans offense that allowed the Buffalo Bills defense to score 15 FanDuel points last week. The big reason is QB Deshaun Watson is banged up with a sore chest which affects throwing, and he has gotten sacked 25 times, the most in the NFL by four. Watson has also been intercepted a fifth-worst seven times. The Jags are in a good position to add another four or five sacks and an interception or two. All of that adds up to a high potential for a defensive score.

Alternative Defense

The Indianapolis Colts Defense ($4,100) against the Bills have the same highest projected score as the Jaguars of 7.5 points on 4 for 4 and make for good variance in using them in the morning slate.

The Baltimore Ravens Defense ($3,400) will be the one to use in the afternoon slate. The Ravens still lead the league in points allowed (77), and sacks (26). At this price, they are a value no matter who they are playing.

 

Dan McLellan’s Best Main Slate and Sunday Million Lineup: Feel free to use many of the same players, but please apply your own research, logic, and strategy and alter this in some way.

 

Morning Lineup:

Afternoon Lineup:

Listen In: Every Sunday at 12:30 eastern, I join an experienced group of NFL DFS players at wblzmedia.com. Together we build our own Sunday Million lineup. It’s a great example of hearing how the thought process that went into this article plays out in real-time.

Play on FanDuel: If you want to give DFS a shot on FanDuel, use the link to signup. Once you deposit and pay $10 in the paid contest, you will get an extra $25 and I get $20.

Dan’s Rankings:

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