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FD Building Blocks

Week 17 FD Building Blocks

Week 17

Well, we were close. We were all over the Texans with a Watson stack as primary and David Johnson in our secondary. The problem? It was one of the rare weeks where a QB + RB + WR stack won. We needed Watson and Johnson, so our Watson + Akins core didn’t stack up.

It’s the end of the regular season this week. Lots of moving pieces. It will be more important than ever to tune in to ‘First Sip’ tomorrow morning at 11am. Make sure you like the Facebook page so you’re alerted when it goes live.

Let’s start with some lineup build thoughts. Because of all the different team situations – starters resting, some without anything to play for, some with everything to play for – we have some clear value situations. That means we’re very likely to see a stars and scrubs lineup. So, one way we can differentiate is by being more balanced, or, at minimum, finding some pivots off some of the chalk. Let’s see what it looks like.


Lamar Jackson will be popular. The Ravens have reasons to play to win and he’s facing Cincinnati. I may end up looking to Baltimore DEF instead though.

Watson again should be popular and will need to put up points to keep up with the Titans. He does make a nice stack with Henry, but I’m not as likely to go here two weeks in a row, especially since he may be the most popular QB of the week.

Rodgers (and Adams) will be very popular. It’s exactly the type of stack that is made possible by all the value options.

Brady has something to play for and, as always, isn’t very popular. If I go this route, I’m likely to go naked… just play Brady without any of his receivers. Just a couple weeks ago we saw that lead to success. Even without a ton of stars, Brady used to spread the ball around. Now he has four legitimate receiving stars, making it even harder to pick one or two to stack him with. Take Brady and you get access to all the passing points, even if he spreads it around. I may end up going to the running game here instead though.

Every time we think it’s a Henry week, Tannehill seems to go off. Not this week though. I’m banking on Henry trying to get 2,000 yards against the Texans terrible rushing defense.

Allen could sit or only see limited time. And we know Mahomes is sitting. I don’t have any interest in their backups.

Murray is interesting and has reason to play, but with the Rams missing several starters, he may not have the ceiling game we need from him.

Cousins is interesting. He gets a bad defense and Mattison is the chalk this week. That means we can get Cousins at lower ownership than he deserves. But then what do about Mattison? Go back to the QB + RB + WR stack?

Trubisky is getting some attention. His play has deserved it, but I’m staying away in this game with Green Bay.

Right after Trubisky is Rivers. He feels expensive for his low-ceiling, but, at the same time, he’s somehow only $100 more than Mariota. Colts need to win to have a chance and the matchup is great. A Rivers + Hilton stack is nice leverage off of a popular Taylor pick.

Staying away from Mariota and Carr – could get one half from each of them.

Staying away from Stafford.

Andy Dalton is getting zero attention this week. I’ve seen his receivers getting some love, so it makes sense that Dalton would get some love too… however, as I said last week, the Cowboys routinely disappoint in these must-win games. They didn’t last week, but that just enables an even bigger letdown this week. Look for the Cowboys to lose to the Giants and the Eagles to beat Washington. It’s like clockwork. If you’re not as cynical as me though, and want to target this game, Dalton makes a ton of sense since he’s being so overlooked. Even Daniel Jones on the other side is an okay play.

Mayfield is hard to figure out. Steelers have nothing to play for, Browns need to win. They like to lean on the run and he may not need to score a ton of points. He does get his receivers back this week though. I’d rather go to Rivers or Dalton in this same price range I think.

I don’t want to play Drew Lock, but I have to mention him here. He’s needs a strong showing and he’s playing a Raiders team who is eliminated. At $6,800 we could do a lot worse, but…

Also at $6,800 is Tua. This is an interesting spot against a Bills team that could let up as the game goes on. And, of note, Fitzpatrick is out due to COVID, so it should be Tua’s game the whole way. Doesn’t need a monster game to pay off this salary. People aren’t likely going to cheaper QBs this week, so this is a way to differentiate.


Running back is pretty easy this week. Cook out, Mattison in. Henry going for 2,000 yards. After that, a little tricker. Let’s attack this section by thinking about popularity first.

Kamara out, Lat Murray out, Ty Montomery in. But don’t forget about Taysom Hill. Montgomery is the minimum price here and is awfully tempting, but he still needs 13.5 points to pay off. I’ve seen a lot of good, chalk RBs fail to hit 13.5 points this year. I think there is more negative to this play than positive, so given the ownership attention, it’s an easy fade for me.

Next is Mattison. Only $500 more than Montgomery. And he’s been pretty consistent when filling in for Cook. I’ll have Mattison in one of my top-two lineups. Only question is if one of those lineups goes to Cousins will I also include Mattison. If a third of the field has Mattison, it makes sense to go with the leverage of a QB + WR + WR stack instead, at least in one lineup.

Next is Henry. His monster price tag and those value options above him are keeping his ownership somewhat in check, but he’ll still be top-three in ownership. With all the value on the slate, it’s too easy to add Henry. He needs 25 to 30 points and is capable of that in any game. And he’s facing a terrible run defense. Just lock him in.

Mentioned Taylor a bit already. He has a good matchup too but $8,400 is starting to feel a little pricey for him. He’s only hit value at that salary once this year. I’m likely to fade him in a week where we need to find some ways to differentiate ourselves. If you go this route, add the Colts DEF for some leverage.

If you’re following along, we have a clear path to potentially fading three of the four most popular RBs this week. So we can target another top-end guy to pair with Henry or we can focus on top-end WRs and a cheaper QB. Now we have a ton of options to set ourselves apart.

Next up, David Montgomery. On paper, makes a lot of sense. He’s hitting close to 3x this price in the last four or five weeks, including once against Green Bay already. Note, that was a receiving TD in that game. It’s likely the Bears will be playing from behind, meaning we’ll need to see Montgomery get his points through the air. That’s the fade case for him too, but we’ll see if we have enough solid options below him to pivot too.

Gaskin getting some attention for the same reasons I talked about Tua as a decent option. Coming off a huge game, he makes a lot of sense here. Cheaper than Montgomery and better game script. He makes a nice pairing with Miami DEF.

Now let’s talk about some unpopular options.

Gordon gets some love from me against the Raiders with nothing to play for. He’s relatively cheap at $6,800, Lindsay is out, and Gaskin just ran all over the Raiders. Pretty nice pivot off some of the earlier options.

The next one that I have any interest in is Aaron Jones. He probably won’t make it into my primary, because it’s likely a Rodgers + Adams game, but if they jump out quick against the Bears he can definitely hit value. Makes sense in at least one lineup where you’re fading all the Rodgers + Adams love.

JK Dobbins is being ignored. Ravens need to win. Concern is Gus Edwards getting a lot of work too, but he has the talent to pay off this salary at near-zero ownership.

Ronald Jones isn’t getting much attention in a game where he should be the featured back. It’s been Brady, Brady, Brady… it’s the NFL, could be a Ronald Jones three-TD game instead this week.

I don’t have any interest in Malcolm Brown with so many Rams starters missing the game.


Adams, Jefferson, Ridley, Cooks. Clear top-four this week. Hard to ever fade Adams. Jefferson makes a lot of sense, especially if going away from Mattison, as he’s playing for some rookie records. Ridley will get volume if he plays the full game, but it’s easy to see this game getting out of hand and the Falcons sitting their players down with their season already over. Ridley is an easy fade for me here. Cooks is an obvious stack with Watson on the other side of Henry if you go that way, but I may prefer Coutee at a much cheaper price and much lower ownership. He’s so popular though, that I’m likely to look elsewhere. Even perhaps a Jefferson + Thielen stack instead.

Beyond those, I have some interest in coming back to Hilton after a couple down weeks.

Also interested in going back to Marvin Jones after he disappointed the world last week. Especially in a Cousins + Jefferson stack.

Hardman is worth a look this week with the Chiefs resting starters. Only takes one play for him to pay off, if Henne can connect with him.

Gallup/Lamb/Cooper all worth a look this week, but I’m probably staying away.

Very little attention on the Bucs WRs if you want to try to peg one or two.

Tim Patrick interesting if you want to try out a Lock lineup. I’m more likely to go to Gordon here though.

Not much else I love at WR this week.


I don’t like any of the usual suspects that don’t have anything to play for – Kelce, Waller, Kittle.

That leaves Mark Andrews standing out to me as the play this week. He hasn’t hit 3x value, but I’ll take the upside his talent brings in a game the Ravens are trying to win.

If you go cheaper, Hockenson, Fant, Jonnu Smith, Akins are okay picks.

If you go way off the grid and want to target someone with under 1% ownership, Gronk, Everett/Higbee, Tonyan, Schultz.


Browns and Colts are popular. I don’t love the Colts pick this week – as I said last week, the Jaguars seem to hang around and ruin good DEF plays. I don’t love the Browns, even playing against Mason Rudolph.

I’m likely to stick to the Ravens or Dolphins here. Perhaps the Bucs to pair with Ronald Jones, although I worry about them letting their foot off the gas.

Vikings are intriguing in a stack with Mattison. Stafford is still banged up and the Lions just got trounced. Minnesota is no juggernaut, but easy to see point potential here.

The Lineup Build

I’m going to have two main lineups – one with Mattison, one fading him. I’ll have Henry everywhere.

For my fade lineup, Cousins + Jefferson + Jones. Henry is in and I like either Gordon or Ronald Jones to add, with my preference going to a Jones + Bucs DEF stack.

For my other lineup, Mattison + Vikings DEF. And I’ll probably make this a Rivers + Hilton stack. It never feels great to play Rivers, but it’s Week 17. If you want to get away from that, my preference, in order, is Rodgers, Cousins, Rivers, Tua, Dalton, Brady.

I’ll also be playing around with my lineups to see how Adams fits or if an Aaron Jones pivot makes sense.

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