S DFS Daily Optimal Lineup Strategy 2015 week 12 | Fantasy Football
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Building a Draft Kings Lineup Around the Rookie Knock of Opportunity
By Jen Ryan

(Lineup Tool: http://www.footballdiehards.com/fantasyfootball/dailygames/Lineup-Generator.cfm)

It is that time of the week for me where I build my fun, outside-of-the-box daily fantasy lineup. The Matthew Stafford/Calvin Johnson stack was very kind to me on Thanksgiving and I am hoping to carry some of that success into Sunday. As I looked through the matchups and Draft Kings’ pricing I began to wonder about rookies. This late in the season you have to figure some teams may start to give a hard look to some of the players they drafted. Some of these teams could start to “mail it in” as a friend recently mentioned to me. It is only a matter of time before the San Diego Chargers start to evaluate what they have in Melvin Gordon.

As I continued thinking about rookies and evaluation I began to think even more about rookies who had opportunity knock on their door last week. The light bulb went off in my head to remind me that the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons with both be without their starting running backs this week. The next men up for both teams are rookies Javorious Allen and Tevin Coleman. Lucky for me, both are priced very cheap which has allowed me to break the bank on other positions. Below is a lineup I constructed around the knock of opportunity for both rookie running backs.

QB – Brian Hoyer - $5,000
I am probably not alone in this but I feel great about Brian Hoyer this week. The New Orleans Saints used their bye week to say bye-bye to Rob Ryan, in his words. They did not, however, say bye-bye to their secondary, who have been awful this season. I went bargain shopping with my rookie running backs and with Hoyer also. Besides, it is almost always my style to pair a quarterback with his stud receiver.

WR – DeAndre Hopkins - $9,100
The second-highest priced receiver behind Julio Jones found his way into my daily lineup again this week. How do you not pay up for this player, especially after his successful trip to Revis Island? He has the same soft matchup that his quarterback has this week and it is hard to imagine what Hopkins can do at this point. We talk about floor and ceiling a lot in daily fantasy. Hopkins floor has become the ceiling most receivers hope for and his ceiling does not seem to exist. The sky is truly the limit for him and I love him every week, especially this week at home against the New Orleans Saints.

WR – Mike Evans - $7,400
Jameis Winston made it clear that there was enough pie last week for everyone to have a piece when he threw five touchdowns to five different players. In Evans’ past five games he has one game with less than 15 points giving him a cushy floor to work with. Vontae Davis may or may not suit up this week but regardless, Vincent Jackson is back and the Colts will have to account for him. The velocity the Tampa Bay offense is playing with makes Evans worth paying up for this week.

WR – Eric Decker - $5,800
You assumed I was going with Brandon Marshall here because of my natural gravitation towards the revenge game narrative, didn’t you? This week I am going against my own superstitions and going with Eric Decker, my candidate for the most underrated WR2 in football. The truth about Decker is he has not had a bad fantasy game all season. He has just two games where he has not scored but in those games he has a minimum of 80 yards. He is consistent, statistically always a threat to score, and remains under $6,000. Decker feels like a great play this week.

TE – Jordan Reed - $5,100
Reed is my top tight end this week as he faces the second-worst defense in the league against the position. Division matchups are always intense, especially for two teams in a terrible division who are both fighting for a spot to the dance. I know the injury-prone label will always follow Reed but at some point we need to refer to him as the elite tight end that he is. He is a WR1 trapped inside of a tight end body. Kirk Cousins targets him often and almost always looks his way in the red zone. A multi-touchdown game from Reed could certainly put me in the money.

Flex – Gary Barnidge - $4,800
I am not usually one to play two tight ends but then Johnny Manziel had to go pop a bottle of champagne and force my hand. There is some sort of old man secret sauce between Josh McCown and Barnidge and I will not ignore it. The Ravens, for their part, have only allowed tight ends in the end zone twice. I cannot say for sure if Barnidge will remain in my flex come kick off but I have a bad feeling if I do take him out he will defy expectations yet again and make me pay for it. His teammate Travis Benjamin is on my flex radar also.

DST – Bengals - $3,000
Case Keenum probably should be in the official league concussion protocol but the Rams seemed to care little about the fact that Keenum was clearly concussed last week. Regardless of who starts for the Rams this week the Bengals feel like a great option. The Rams have no respectable quarterback or receivers. The Bengals will not have any trouble stacking the box and stuffing Todd Gurley. The Ravens held him to 66 yards on 25 attempts and I see no reason why the Bengals won’t do the same and dominate as a DST option this week.

I will need a dose of luck to cash out on this lineup this week but I look at it as an opportunity to load up on my receivers and tight ends. Opportunity has knocked for these two rookie running backs this week. I just have to hope they blow the hinges off the door.