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Building a Draft Kings Lineup Exploiting Injuries
By Jen Ryan

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

If you have read my daily fantasy articles in the past by now you know that each week I set aside a lineup to have some fun with. I absorb so much content during the week that I like to shut my brain off to everything I have listened to and read and try to find a different approach. This week, as I was scouring over Draft Kings players and pricing I got to thinking about injuries and the opportunities they can create. What do injuries mean for another players value? Which player’s value becomes elevated by injury? After considering these questions I have concluded that this week, for me, I feel the injuries to Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson can mean big things for Keenan Allen and Mike Evans. Below is a lineup I constructed anchored by Allen and Evans. I will be playing this lineup in a $10.00 head-to-head I created, so come find me and let’s have some friendly competition.

There are seven receivers priced higher than Allen and 13 priced higher than Evans. Their cost value combined with their injured teammates made them must-plays for me this week. Both receivers have favorable matchups which gives them high upside and high ceilings.

QB – Philip Rivers - $6,600
There are a lot of things to love about Philip Rivers but the most loveable thing about him right now is the fact that he is the only quarterback in the league with over 300 passing attempts and over 200 completions. He is a true gunslinger. He will be airing it out against the most generous defense against quarterbacks. In sticking with my weekly theme of pairing a quarterback with his stud receiver I had no choice but to play Rivers here. It is a choice I feel good about.

RB – Justin Forsett - $6,100
The Ravens have the worst passing defense and what makes Forsett a nice pick here is the matchup against Chargers, who happen to be the worst defense against the run. They have allowed over 100 yards per to running backs each week with the exception of Week 1. They’ve also allowed seven touchdowns. Forsett’s matchup is as good as Rivers’ matchup is. The only thing that could sink these choices would be a low-scoring game which is not very likely.

RB – Chris Johnson - $4,600
When I clicked on Chris Johnson’s name the only thing I saw was his price tag. If I can find a running back under $5,000 with an okay matchup I usually cannot pass them up. Not only is Johnson cheap in my eyes but the matchup is a favorable one. Only the Chargers are worse against the run than the Browns. Both of my running backs will face both of the worse defenses against the run which feels like savvy corps to go with.

WR – Calvin Johnson - $7,900
I went with Johnson here mainly because I like his chances to score. The Kansas City secondary has had a hard time stopping anyone and this could very well be a big game for Golden Tate, but I have a feeling Matthew Stafford will target his go-to guy also. If he looks in Johnson’s direction in the red zone he could have a huge day. He feels like a somewhat over-priced play for me but I had the funds available to pay up for him. One thing I feel I is my biggest advantage is the matchup, as the Chiefs are the worst defense in the league against receivers.

TE – Richard Rodgers - $3,000
Rodgers is a touchdown dependent boom or bust tight end and is going against one of the best overall defenses in the league. If Randall Cobb and James Jones are held in check the field could open up for Rodgers, especially in scoring situations. He is on the cheaper side of the tight end scoring spectrum and does not play until Sunday night. I can make a last minute decision prior to the game if I think Owen Daniels or Coby Fleener/Dwayne Allen could be a better play, but I have my money on Rodgers to be the best of those three.

Flex – Jonathan Stewart - $4,100
It drives me nuts whenever Cam Newton or Mike Tolbert score from the red zone but with his low cost and the volume Stewart has been seeing I could not pass him up as a Monday night flex play. He has 20+ touches in his past two games and after starting off the season slow he finally appears to be gaining steam. Flexibility in the flex is something I preach. I will have plenty of it here once the afternoon games are complete if I choose to make a roster swap. If Stewart sees the recent volume he has been seeing and manages to vulture a touchdown away from his quarterback or oversized backup, he could have a huge day for me.

DST – Texans - $3,100
This is not the dominant Texans defense we saw in 2014. Despite the wide range of talent they have failed to repeat last season’s success up to this point. With that said I’ll take J.J. Watt and company any day against Zach Mettenberger. This could be the game the Texans defense needs to get some of their swagger back. When I add up a backup quarterback, running back committee, below average tight end, and bad receiving corps outside of Kendall Wright, I come up with the Texans DST that is a value play for Week 8.

I built this lineup with the intention to exploit injuries but it also turns out handful of my players are playing against the worst defense against their respective positions. Matchups are always important and so is opportunity. Keenan Allen and Mike Evans both have great opportunities due to their teammates’ unfortunate injuries. Their quarterbacks will focus on them more than usual this week. Having those wide outs as the anchor of my team led to, in my eyes, the construction of a well-rounded team with a ton of upside. Make sure to find my head-to-head on Draft Kings and take a shot against “JerseyJen22”.