S DFS Daily Optimal Lineup Strategy 2015 week 18 | Fantasy Football
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Wildcard Weekend Daily Fantasy: Viva Las Vegas
By Jen Ryan

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

It is kind of crazy that Wildcard Weekend is here already, isn’t it? Time flies when you’re playing fantasy. I will only have a few more opportunities to have fun with my out-of-the-box daily lineups so I really want to make it count. The slate is small this weekend and will shrink right before our eyes. I am going back to the basics for this one and recalling all of the tidbits and research notes I learned in the very beginning and this brought me to Las Vegas. The Vegas lines are my personal starting points when I am building my lineups. I have DraftKings open on one tab and the lines on another. The more points your individual players score the more likely you are to win some money. This weekend two of the games have lines above 40. Both the Pittsburgh/Cincinnati game and the Washington/Green Bay game are at 45 points. Below is a lineup I built with this projected high-scoring contest with the exception of defense. As to not negatively impact any of my offensive players I went with a defense from one of the low-line games.

QB – Ben Roethlisberger - $7,200
It is hard not to love Big Ben this weekend. DeAngelo Williams has been declared out and the running back duties will be in the hands of third-stringer Fitzgerald Toussaint. I think Roethlisberger has a shot to throw 50 passes. Pittsburgh is favored by two points which translates to a shootout for me. I am expecting the over to hit and for Roethlisberger to throw for at least two touchdowns and to hit the 300-yard bonus.

RB – Alfred Morris - $3,700
The running back position in general is a bit of a struggle for me this weekend. It would have been easy to throw the attention to the lines out the window and just pay top dollar for Adrian Peterson but I do not like any players from that game this week. I am going with Alfred Morris from the Redskins because Green Bay has the 21st-ranked run defense Morris had 36 carries over his final two games. I am banking on The Redskins giving him 15+ carries and for Chris Thompson and Pierre Thomas to do little with their opportunities. If Morris can sneak into the end zone he will out-perform his low price tag.

RB – James Starks - $3,600
I am going with Starks here because of his pass-catching upside and because I am not a big believer in Eddie Lacy. This is another game where Vegas is telling us it is going to be a shootout because they have Washington favored by a point. If we see a decent amount of no huddle and back and forth play between these teams then I am leaning on Starks to have more production than Eddie Lacy.

WR – Antonio Brown - $9,600
Antonio Brown’s work speaks for himself. There is not much for me to say but I am going to go ahead and explain my love for him this week. He is my top overall player and the top priced overall player. As I mentioned with his quarterback, there will be a ton of throwing in this game. Brown is a matchup proof target monster who is a threat from anywhere on the field. I am expecting double-digit targets, a score, and the 100-yard bonus from Brown.

WR – A.J. Green - $7,500
I am working with players from four teams so there is going to be a decent amount of opposing players. If I am going with Antonio Brown it makes sense for me to plug in A.J. Green as well. Again, Vegas is telling me this will be a shootout and I have nodded my head in agreement. What helps Green’s cause is the Pittsburgh Steeler’s 30th-ranked pass defense. He just took six receptions for 132 yards and a score when he faced the Steelers in Week 14. I am looking for an encore.

WR – Markus Wheaton - $3,700
I can sum up my Wheaton choice with one stat: over his past six games he has either a touchdown or 50 yards in five of them. He is catching steam at the right time and I am looking for him to put it together and give me the 50 yards and the score this weekend.

TE – Jordan Reed - $6,300
Over Reed’s past four games he has no less than four receptions and no less than 45 yards in each. He also has five touchdowns over that timeframe. He has been incredibly consistent and he is very much flirting with the title of best tight end behind Rob Gronkowski. Kirk Cousins looks to him first, throws to him even when defenders are all over him, and Reed produces. He is matchup proof and there is simply no one on the Packers who can cover him. He will be the X-factor in this game and I am looking forward to using him again next weekend.

Flex – Marvin Jones - $3,700
Marvin Jones is similar to Markus Wheaton in the sense that he is not the top receiver on his team but he has the upside to produce top-receiver numbers. He has shown there is chemistry between him and A.J. McCarron and has played a consistent complimentary role to A.J. Green. He has hauled in at least four receptions in his past five games. A touchdown will separate him from the rest of the receivers in his price range.

DST – Seahawks - $4,100
I was not going to put in a defense from one of the high Vegas line games so I went with the best defense on this weekend’s slate. There will be sub-zero feeling temperatures in Minnesota and I cannot imagine this game even coming close to the 39 point line. If the Seahawks can sack Teddy Bridgewater and generate a turnover or two they will be a solid play. If they can get a defensive score, they will be a great play. All of the defenses on this weekend’s slate are similarly priced so I decided to go with the best.

Vegas almost always gets it right. The bookmakers’ odds are on point and they are a great place to start when building your lineups. You probably do not want the quarterback from the game with the lowest line in any weekend but you should go after a quarterback and receiver with a high point total and a close spread. These are things I look for to gain an edge when making tough choices between players. Wildcard Weekend presents two games with lines below 40 and two games with lines at 45. I am taking a shot on those high-line games and hoping that Vegas got it right this week.