As enticing as Christian McCaffrey ($10,500) and Michael Thomas ($9000) are, rostering all of the safest assets can be tricky in DFS on FanDuel. While they offer the best floors, they require fantasy gamers to punt other positions because of their high salaries. The best way to do this is by identifying “lineup makers.” These cheap DFS options give us the lineup flexibility necessary to afford the best plays on the slate. Here are some lineup makers this week based on advanced stats, metrics and analytic player profiles.
Brian Hill, RB: $5900
The cash game lock button play of the week is Falcons running back Brian Hill. With an above-average Speed Score, Burst Score and Agility Score, Hill has the makings of a solid three-down workhorse against the Carolina Panthers.
Dating back to his college days as a Wyoming Cowboy, Hill has operated as the engine of the offense before, evidenced by his 34.2 percent (79th-percentile among qualified running backs) College Dominator Rating and 7.8 percent (55th-percentile) College Target Share. He even had more rushing yards than current Bills quarterback Josh Allen had passing yards in their final collegiate season together.
A sub-$6000 running back set up for 20-plus touches without Devonta Freeman, Hill will be the chalk in DFS this week.
J.D. McKissic, RB: $5800
Ty Johnson has still not yet cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol. When he exited Detroit’s Week 10 matchup with Chicago, J.D. McKissic stepped into a featured role. He received 16 total touches, yet only turned in 55 scoreless yards against a fierce Chicago Bears front.
While DFS gamers shouldn’t expect much ground efficiency from the 186-pound McKissic, he excels as a pass-catcher. His 30.6 percent College Target Share ranks in the 99th-percentile of college running backs.
With Jeff Driskel at the helm again, the Lions will be trailing the Cowboys for a majority of the game. That sort of Game Script would thrust the dynamic McKissic onto the field, making him an intriguing play in FanDuel’s 0.5-PPR format.
John Brown, WR: $5900
The highly-volatile John Brown has been anything but that in 2019. Last week, he extended his streak of at least 50 receiving yards in every game, a feat no one other than Michael Thomas has accomplished this season. The problem is he hasn’t hit his ceiling since Week 1.
That should change this week, as Brown dropped 83 yards and a touchdown on this Dolphins team in Week 7. With Miami actually trying to win now, this game should be sneaky competitive. That will force more drop backs for Josh Allen, and more targets for his favorite receiver, who ranks No. 6 in both Total Target Distance and Completed Air Yards.
With that usage and 98th-percentile speed, Brown is a high-floor and massive-ceiling option at a cheap price.
Tyler Boyd, WR: $5900
Inexpensive volume is always the best way to raise the floor of a cash lineup. Tyler Boyd is the definition of inexpensive volume, seeing at least six targets in every game this season and at least 10 in five games.
That usage should continue with A.J. Green still not back from his preseason ankle injury, and Alex Erickson struggling with an injury last week as well. Erickson has been stealing targets and slot snaps from Boyd in recent weeks, so his absence raises Boyd’s floor. The Raiders also rank 28th against wide receivers in FanDuel fantasy points, so Boyd should be a cash game staple this week.
Deebo Samuel, WR: $5600
With Emmanuel Sanders exiting Week 10 early with a rib injury, Deebo Samuel saw season-highs in routes, targets, receptions and yards. George Kittle also won’t suit up this week, so Samuel will enjoy a solid target share against a weak Cardinals secondary.
Check out Deebo Samuel on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
Samuel is a versatile athlete possessing a 118.5 (85th-percentile) SPARQ-x score. He’s capable of utilizing his athleticism all over the field, as he was a force as a receiver, rusher and returner at South Carolina. He has flashed that versatility throughout his rookie season as well, with five rush attempts for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Kyle Shanahan should continue manufacturing touches for his dynamic rookie, especially with the 49ers being down their top two weapons.
Eric Ebron, TE: $5200
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and Eric Ebron was certainly greased in Week 10. After meeting with head coach Frank Reich about his role, Ebron saw his highest Snap Share and ran the most routes of his season. He also saw a massive 12 targets, yet only hauled in five of them.
With T.Y. Hilton still out, Ebron’s should continue to see high target totals. Plus, his Catch Rate will rise with Jacoby Brissett back under center. The Jaguars are stronger on the perimeter with A.J. Bouye, so Brissett should funnel targets to his tight end duo.
Greg Olsen, TE: $5100
Greg Olsen has found the Fountain of Youth, having a strong season at age 34 despite coming off a season-ending foot injury. Olsen is also fresh off a 10-target game and currently ranks No. 8 or better in Target Premium, Average Target Distance, and Receiving Yards.
This game has a 49.5-point total, which is tied for the second-highest on the slate according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Olsen should dominate intermediate routes in this potential shootout.