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September 30, 2016

Week 4 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

Here are my Week 4 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers -3.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 Units)

I'm not yet sold on Atlanta and the Panthers have underachieved so far this year. Carolina lost at home to Minnesota last week, but it's possible the Vikings are just really good this year. Their defense has certainly been incredible early on. Matt Ryan should cool off a bit and I expect a big bounce-back spot for Kelvin Benjamin, who was held without a catch vs. the Vikings. I'll take Carolina to win by 10 or so and cover the 3.5 on the road.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Tennessee Titans +5 over Houston Texans (4 Units)

Marcus Mariota and the Titans have been less than impressive early on. DeMarco Murray has been great, but aside from that, the Titans haven't looked very good. With J.J. Watt likely out for the season, I expect this to be a close division game. Brock Osweiler has been ok through three games, but I'm not ready to crown the Texans champions of the AFC South just yet. They may win the game but I'll take the five points.

New York Giants +5.5 over Minnesota Vikings (4 Units)

The Vikings are clearly better than I thought they would be coming into the year. Sam Bradford has been pretty solid and their defense looks like it's the best in the league right now. The Giants have been in all close games through the first three weeks, and I like them to be in another one this week. Odell Beckham has been held without a touchdown so far and I like that streak to end in Minnesota. Give me the Giants +5.5.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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September 28, 2016

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 4

Every week of the 2016 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts in our weekly DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 4?

Sean Beazley: DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans, $8,400/$5,300

The pricing this week on DraftKings looks much softer than it has in previous weeks. With some of that value on the board this week, you can pretty much pay for anyone. This will make playing GPPs this week very fun.

I have a pair of teammates that I will be targeting heavily this week: DeAndre Hopkins ($8,400) and Will Fuller ($5,300). I wouldn't be opposed to a double stack with Brock Osweiler in GPPs. Recency bias and the extremely low total of 40.5 will get people off the Texans offense this week. This is a big mistake. Hopkins has 15/211/2 in two games vs. the Titans last year and I expect him to get in the end zone again this week.

The Titans released DFS favorite CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson and replaced him with Perrish Cox, who has been equally awful this season. If Fuller is matched up with Cox, he should have a monster game.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Kevin Hanson: Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers (vs. NO), $

I'm going back to the well with Gordon again (my pick in Week 3). It was a mildly disappointing performance for Gordon last week as he barely averaged two yards per carry against the Colts. That said, he did get 20 touches and score a touchdown. With Danny Woodhead injured, Gordon has a total of 47 touches in the past two games and he's a lock for close to (or more than) 20 touches every week.

MG3 was such a popular pick last week, I'm hoping a high volume of disappointed owners get off him this week. Gordon and the Chargers face a Saints defense that allowed Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to finish as the week's top-two scorers at the position.

The Chargers are four-point home favorites in a game that has highest over/under. As the 10th-most expensive back for the Sunday slate, he should easily return value and has as much upside as any running back this week.

Brendan Donahue: Trevor Siemian, QB, Denver Broncos (at TB), $5,400

In a week that I don't really love any quarterbacks at their price points, I'm looking for value and possibly no better value this week than in Trevor Siemian. In his first road game last week, Siemian put up 312 yards and four touchdowns on a Bengals D that isn't great, but certainly is better than Tampa's defense that is currently giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the season.

While I'm not expecting another 300-yard, four-touchdown performance, I am expecting a very solid performance from Siemian. And at only $5,400 this week on Draftkings, he will allow you to spend up at the other skill positions.

John Trifone: Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears (vs. DET), $3,700

Jordan Howard is this week's value play at $3,700. The Bears offense is terrible, but they're at home this week against the Lions and Howard should receive a heavy workload. In the age of the passing game, there aren't too many backs that get the volume Howard should with Jeremy Langford out, so for $3,700, he's a great lineup starter.

Dan Yanotchko: Travis Benjamin, WR, San Diego Chargers (vs. NO), $5,900

This week, I really like Travis Benjamin of the Chargers, who has a dream matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have been really bad against the pass, giving up 299 yards per game, and a 70% completion percentage. Benjamin is the Chargers WR1 with 17 receptions, 229 yards, and two scores. With his big-play ability, you have to love his opportunity this week.

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September 27, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 4 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 4 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 4-16):

1. Philadelphia Eagles (Carson Wentz): 17.72
2. Chicago Bears (Brian Hoyer, Jay Cutler): 17.26
3. Minnesota Vikings (Sam Bradford): 17.22
4. Houston Texans (Brock Osweiler): 16.70
5. Washington Redskins (Kirk Cousins): 16.62

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 4-16):

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 13.34
29. New England Patriots (Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett): 13.19
30. Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck): 12.83
31. Oakland Raiders (Derek Carr): 12.75
32. Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill): 12.36

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football QB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 4 to 16

Curious which running backs have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 4-16):

1. Green Bay Packers (Eddie Lacy): 20.39
2. Philadephia Eagles (Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles): 19.65
3. Oakland Raiders (Latavius Murray): 18.78
4. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart, Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whittaker): 18.56
5. Detroit Lions (Theo Riddick, Dwayne Washington): 18.30

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 4-16):

28. New England Patriots (LeGarrette Blount): 15.53
29. New York Giants (Rashad Jennings): 15.52
30. Miami Dolphins (Arian Foster, Jay Ajayi): 15.10
31. Buffalo Bills (LeSean McCoy): 14.90
32. Indianapolis Colts (Frank Gore): 13.72

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football RB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 4 to 16

Curious which wide receivers have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 4 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 4-16):

1. Philadelphia Eagles (Jordan Matthews): 24.29
2. Dallas Cowboys (Dez Bryant): 24.27
3. New York Giants (Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard): 24.24
4. Chicago Bears (Alshon Jeffery): 23.57
5. Washington Redskins (DeSean Jackson): 23.43

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 4-16):

28. Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones): 19.13
29. New Orleans Saints (Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead): 18.72
T30. New York Jets (Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker): 18.64
T30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson): 18.64
32. Oakland Raiders (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree): 18.56

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football WR SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 4 to 16

Curious which tight ends have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 4-16):

1. Washington Redskins (Jordan Reed): 8.79
2. New York Giants (Larry Donnell, Will Tye): 8.77
3. Philadephia Eagles (Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton): 8.38
4. Arizona Cardinals (Darren Fells): 8.15
T5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Cameron Brate): 7.85
T5. Minnesota Vikings (Kyle Rudolph): 7.85

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 4-16):

28. Cleveland Browns (Gary Barnidge): 5.46
29. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett): 5.36
30. Indianapolis Colts (Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle): 5.10
31. Miami Dolphins (Jordan Cameron): 4.53
32. Oakland Raiders (Clive Walford): 4.45

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football TE SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 4

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 4 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

TE - Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (40 percent)

Scoring a pair of garbage-time touchdowns, Miller finished as fantasy's TE1 in Week 3 with an 8/78/2 stat line against the Cowboys. Miller won't score multiple touchdowns every week, of course, and his Week 3 production was as much as he had in Weeks 1 and 2 combined.

That said, Miller is set up for success in Week 4 with a favorable matchup against the Lions. Through three weeks, no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing tight ends than the Lions. Miller is an excellent streaming option this week.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 4 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (41 percent)

Through the first three weeks of the season, only Greg Olsen has scored more fantasy points than Rudolph. In each of his first three games, Rudolph has finished with at least 65 yards and/or a touchdown and he has finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end every week.

Not only is he second behind only Olsen (27) among tight ends in targets (26), but Rudolph has a minimum of eight targets in each game. Even though the Giants have defended tight ends better this season, he gets a favorable matchup in Week 4 and is a strong streaming option.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (two percent)

After being targeted four times in each of the team's first two games, Brate was targeted 10 times on Sunday and turned those targets into five catches for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Jameis Winston threw it 58 times on Sunday after throwing 52 pass attempts in Week 2. In other words, it's possible that Brate sees a consistent stream of targets, especially with Austin Seferian-Jenkins recently released following a DUI arrest. That said, his next two matchups aren't great as the Bucs will face the Broncos and Panthers in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively.

TE - Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (10 percent)

With Donte Moncrief sidelined four to six weeks, we should see a higher volume of two-TE sets for the Colts over the next month. Since leading all tight ends in fantasy production in Week 1 with his two-TD performance, Doyle has been targeted five-plus times in the past two games with a total of 10 catches for 102 yards over that two-game span.

TE - Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (six percent)

Starting in place of the injured Antonio Gates (hamstring), Henry caught all five of his targets for 76 yards in Sunday's loss to the Colts. Unfortunately, he lost a key fourth-quarter fumble, but he's in a great spot if Gates misses another game. The Chargers will face the Saints and Raiders in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 4

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 4

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 4 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

WR - Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland Browns (21 percent)

What didn't Pryor do on Sunday? The converted wide receiver and former quarterback threw for 35 yards, ran for 21 yards and a touchdown to go along with eight catches for 144 yards on 14 targets on Sunday.

With Josh Gordon suspended for one more week and Corey Coleman (hand) out for several more, Pryor will be the focal point of Cleveland's offense in Week 4 against Washington. Pryor has double-digit targets in back-to-back games and 31 through three games.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 4 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

WR - Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens (39 percent)

In Sunday's win, Smith had eight receptions for 87 yards on 11 targets. Through three weeks, he now has 16 catches for 170 yards on 25 targets. Smith and his fellow Ravens receivers have a favorable matchup in Week 4 against the Raiders, who have allowed the most fantasy points to the position this season.

WR - Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets (34 percent)

Enunwa had only four receptions for 37 yards on Sunday, but he had a team-high 11 targets. Through three games, only Brandon Marshall (27) has more targets than Enunwa (25, 22.12 percent market share). Enunwa leads the Jets in receptions (17) and only Eric Decker (194) has more yards (183). Week 4's matchup (vs. Seattle) isn't great, but Enunwa figures to be a key component of the Jets offense for the entire season.

WR - Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (20 percent)

Beasley should be owned in all PPR leagues as the Cowboys slot receiver has shown great rapport with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. In his three games, Beasley has a minimum of five catches, six targets, 65 yards and 12.5 PPR points every week. Beasley has the 31st-most fantasy points in PPR formats (43rd-most in standard). The Cowboys face the 49ers in Week 4.

WR - Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (15 percent)

Through three weeks, Crowder has 16 catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 25 targets. That puts Crowder on a full-season pace of 85.3/933.3/10.7 on 133.3 targets. Of course, the 5-foot-8 Crowder is unlikely to score double-digit touchdowns, but he is tied with Jordy Nelson for the most red-zone targets (eight) through Sunday's games. Crowder currently has the 28th-most fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues (WR24 in PPR).

WR - Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills (one percent)

It's unclear whether Sammy Watkins (foot) will play in Week 4 after being inactive in Week 3. If he's out another week, however, Woods should lead the team's receivers in targets like he did last week. Woods had six catches for 51 yards on eight targets against the Cardinals on Sunday.

WR - Dorial Green-Beckham, Philadelphia Eagles (eight percent)

The Titans were quick to give up on the second-year, second-round receiver, but the Eagles plan to get Green-Beckham more involved in the offense. Coach Doug Pederson recently said, "... we'd love to obviously get him a little more involved from a standpoint of getting more targets thrown in his direction." DGB had just 3/33 on four targets in Week 3, but it wouldn't surprise me if he finishes the rest of the season as a top-50 receiver with upside for much better.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 4

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 4

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 4 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

RB - Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (21 percent)

Navigating the running back injury minefield can be tricky and Jeremy Langford is the latest starter set to miss multiple games. Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Langford will miss the next four to six weeks with an ankle injury.

With Langford sidelined, Howard is set to take over as the team's lead back. Howard has 12 carries for 67 yards (5.58 yards per carry) and six catches for 58 yards so far this season.

Howard gets a pair of favorable matchups in Weeks 4 and 5 against the Lions and Colts. The Lions have limited opposing running backs to the eighth-fewest fantasy points, but they have allowed opposing running backs to average 5.31 YPC this season. Meanwhile, the Colts have allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 4 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

RB - Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles (39 percent)

Earlier this summer, Philadelphia's current (and San Diego's former) offensive coordinator Frank Reich asked the following question in reference to Sproles: "How can we get this guy the football?" (And then sometimes, this happens.)

Carrying the ball only twice for negative one yard on Sunday, Sproles caught all six of his targets for 128 yards and a touchdown. On pace for close to last year's 55 catches (current pace: 53.3), Sproles is a top-25 running back early this season. (Last year, he finished as the RB25 in PPR.)

RB - Dwayne Washington, Detroit Lions (23 percent)

Washington (10) and Theo Riddick (10) split carries evenly although Riddick added seven receptions on nine targets as well. Considering the Lions were down by as much as 31-3 at one point in the second half, it's natural for Riddick to get a larger share of the workload. In games that are close, I'd still expect Riddick to lead the team's backfield in touches, but I'd expect Washington to get a little more work than he had in Week 3. More importantly, he remains the goal-line back.

RB - Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (three percent)

With Shane Vereen (torn triceps) placed on IR, Darkwa would get the start if Rashad Jennings (thumb) is unable to go in Week 4. It seemed likely that Jennings would be ready for Week 3 so it's possible that Jennings misses more time. On Sunday, Darkwa had 10 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown in addition to a nine-yard reception on Sunday.

RB - Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (12 percent)

With a three-down skill set, Dixon rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three out of four seasons and posted 30-plus catches in back-to-back seasons at Louisiana Tech. Dixon has missed the team's first three games with a knee sprain, but he has the talent to emerge as the team's lead back at some point this season. It's possible that he makes his debut in Week 4. If not, he should be getting close.

RB - Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (37 percent)

Arian Foster (groin) missed Week 3 and the Dolphins have a short turnaround as they face the Bengals on Thursday Night Football. And it appears likely that Foster will miss at least one more game.

Technically, Kenyan Drake got the start for the Dolphins, but Ajayi scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime. It would be difficult to trust any of Miami's backs, but I expect Ajayi to lead the group in workload and fantasy production.

RB - DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (11 percent)

Through three weeks, it's been a 50/25/25 split between starter Latavius Murray (40 touches) and backups Jalen Richard (20) and Washington (20). On a per-touch basis, Washington has been efficient -- 6.88 YPC and 7.0 Y/R -- and that has led to back-to-back top-36 weekly performances. Unless or until he sees an increase in usage, Washington is worth stashing on your bench.

RB - Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers (19 percent)

Fozzy Whittaker deserves to be listed as well, but it was Artis-Payne that led the team in workload (13 touches), as expected, over Whittaker (10) with Jonathan Stewart sidelined. Stewart is expected to miss a couple more weeks, but both CAP and Whittaker are relatively low-upside options.

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (21 percent)

The good news is that West has double-digit touches in all three games this season. The bad news is that he has yet to finish as a weekly top-30 fantasy running back. Through three weeks, he has 148 yards from scrimmage on 37 touches and no touchdowns. At some point, I expect Dixon to emerge as the lead guy (as mentioned above) in Baltimore's backfield.

RB - Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (one percent)

With Ryan Mathews (ankle) aggravating an ankle injury in Sunday's win over the Steelers, Smallwood handled nearly half of the running back touches (17, 48.6 percent). Productive in his expanded role on Sunday, Smallwood finished with 79 rushing yards (4.65 YPC) and a touchdown. The team has a Week 4 bye and Mathews appears likely to return in Week 5, but Smallwood should get the largest share of the workload if Mathews misses Week 5 (or any time in the future).

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 4

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 4

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 4 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

QB - Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (19 percent)

Wentz and the Eagles go into their Week 4 bye with a perfect 3-0 record and the games haven't been close (+65 scoring differential). Playing beyond his years, the rookie from North Dakota State has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in two of three weeks and has thrown five touchdowns with no turnovers. In fact, the Eagles are the only team with no turnovers yet this season.

As is typical for a rookie, Wentz is sure to have some ups and downs (eventually), but he has vastly exceeded expectations so far. A strong streaming option in favorable matchups, Wentz gets the Lions out of his bye in Week 5. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Lions.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 4 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (44 percent)

Tannehill threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns (as well as two interceptions) in Sunday's overtime win over the Browns to finish as the weekly QB10. Tannehill has now finished as a weekly top-10 fantasy quarterback in back-to-back games and would have done so in all three games had Kenny Stills not dropped a wide-open 70-yard touchdown in the opener against the Seahawks. Either way, Tannehill has thrown for 708 yards and five touchdowns (with four interceptions) in his past two games and has scored the eighth-most fantasy points early this season.

Next week's matchup isn't great against the Bengals, but they just allowed Denver's Trevor Siemian to throw for 312 yards and four touchdowns as fantasy's Week 3 QB1. Actually, the Bengals have allowed a total of nine passing touchdowns in their first three games and the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this season.

QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys ( percent)

Completing two-thirds of his pass attempts (66 of 99), Prescott has played efficiently in leading the Cowboys to a one-point loss away from a perfect 3-0 start. Finally throwing his first touchdown of the season in Week 3, Prescott has also rushed in a score in back-to-back weeks. While he uses his mobility primarily to buy more time as a passer, he has the potential to pick up fantasy points with his legs.

Prescott and the Cowboys get a favorable matchup in Week 4 against the 49ers, who have allowed more than 48 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in their past two games.

QB - Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (29 percent)

Flacco has had a favorable schedule so far this season but has yet to capitalize on his opportunities as he has finished as the weekly QB23, QB19 and QB21 against the Bills, Browns and Jaguars, respectively. Ranking near the top of the league in pass attempts (118), Flacco has thrown more interceptions (four) than touchdowns (three) in this young season.

With a top-three Week 4 matchup, Flacco faces a Raiders defense that has allowed a league-high 1,020 passing yards through three weeks. While Drees Brees (423 yards and four TDs) and Matt Ryan (396 yards and three TDs) lit them up, they played much better against Marcus Mariota (214 yards, no TDs and two INTs) in Week 3.

QB - Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears (two percent)

Filling in for an injured Jay Cutler, Hoyer threw for 319 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a loss to the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football to finish as fantasy's weekly QB11. Much of that production occurred in garbage time as the Cowboys had a commanding lead for most of the game, but the Bears have a favorable schedule over the next few weeks.

If Cutler misses another game, Hoyer will draw a start against the Lions, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks through Week 3. The Bears will then face the Colts, Jaguars and Packers in Weeks 5 to 7.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 4

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September 25, 2016

Week 3 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

So far, so good through two weeks -- 4-2 ATS. With that said, here are my Week 3 NFL picks against the spread:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -4 over Los Angeles Rams (3 Units)

This game "features" the past two No. 1 overall picks in the NFL Draft: Jameis Winston (2015) and Jared Goff (2016). Of course, Goff is holding a clipboard for Case Keenum, who has completed 53.8 percent of his pass attempts at 5.7 Y/A with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Even though they have scored a league-low nine points (all field goals), the Rams are 1-1 (appropriate for a Jeff Fisher-coached team). Despite the immense physical talent of running back Todd Gurley, he has managed only 98 rushing yards (2.72 YPC) on 36 carries through two weeks.

Gurley has talked about how it feels like he's facing 12 defenders and things may not get much better this week. The Bucs have limited opposing running backs to 2.98 YPC, fourth-lowest in the NFL, through Week 2.

I like the Bucs to bottle up Gurley once again and I trust Winston much more than I trust Keenum to make plays in the passing game. The Bucs open up their home schedule in bounce-back fashion.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 3 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Pittsburgh Steelers -4 over Philadelphia Eagles (2 Units)

Like the saying goes, you can only play/beat the teams on your schedule and the Eagles have done that. That said, their first two wins have come against the Browns and Bears, two of the bottom-three teams in my Week 3 NFL Power Rankings. In other words, they will get a real test this week against the Steelers.

Even without Le'Veon Bell, the Steelers have had plenty of success running the ball as 33-year-old DeAngelo Williams leads the NFL in rushing through Week 2. The Steelers have one of the better run defenses in the league and they will force Carson Wentz to beat them. The rookie has played incredibly well with no turnovers, but he faces his toughest test in his young career today.

Jacksonville Jaguars +2 over Baltimore Ravens (1 Unit)

All that hype. All those expectations. A team on the rise? It certainly hasn't looked that way so far as the Jags were pummeled into submission last week by Philip Rivers and the Chargers. As they return home and try to right the ship, they will host the 2-0 Ravens. This is more of a hunch call than anything, but I think the Jags play better football in Week 3 and get their first W.

The Ravens overcame a 20-0 first-half deficit against the Browns last week. Granted, they scored 25 unanswered points and won. But 20 first-half points to the Browns?! Maybe Blake Bortles and the Jaguars will score some points before garbage time this week.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 3 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Travis Benjamin is listed below as a "start" for Week 3. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 3 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Benjamin (and could only start two receivers), you should start Jones and Cooper -- and in turn, bench Benjamin.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 3:

WR - Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (vs. CLE)

With double-digit targets in each of the team's first two games, Landry has a total of 17 catches for 196 yards going into Week 3. Not only do the Dolphins have one of the highest implied point totals this week, but he gets a favorable matchup against the Browns. So far, Cleveland has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Editor's note: NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 3 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 3 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

WR - Eric Decker, New York Jets (at KC)

Brandon Marshall may be on a snap count so it could lead to a few more targets for Decker this week. Either way, Decker has been incredibly consistent. Extending his touchdown streak to six games, Decker led the Jets in receiving with 6/126/1 last week. Decker has now scored a touchdown in 15 of his past 18 games. In addition, he has 80-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 18 consecutive games.

WR - Travis Benjamin, San Diego Chargers (at IND)

Given the season-ending ACL injury to Keenan Allen, the Chargers will rely on Benjamin as their No. 1 receiver. In addition, Danny Woodhead, who led RBs in receptions last year, is out for the season and Antonio Gates (hamstring) is doubtful for Week 3. Especially if Vontae Davis (questionable) sits once again in Week 3, Benjamin has plenty of upside. Only the Saints/Falcons have a higher over/under this week than the Chargers/Colts. Catching all six of his targets, Benjamin had 115 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2 against the Jags.

WR - Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (at GB)

With Golden Tate and Jones described as 1(a) and 1(b) options, Jones is clearly the 1(a) out of the duo with 12 catches on 21 targets for 203 yards, all of which are team highs, and a touchdown. Averaging 16.9 Y/R, Jones has at least 85 yards in each game this season. The Packers have a number of key defensive players ruled out for Week 3 including cornerback Sam Shields (concussion).

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 3:

WR - Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (at GB)

Even though Jones has more targets, the good news is that Tate has a total of 16 targets (20.25 percent target share) through two games. The bad news is that Tate has turned those targets into only 54 yards on nine catches. Averaging just 6.0 Y/R, Tate's long reception so far is only 11 yards. Tate is more of a WR3/flex than a must-start WR2.

WR - Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (at CIN)

Sanders has exactly eight targets in each of his first two games, but Sanders has finished as the WR60 (or worse) with 5/49 and 3/39 lines. The Bengals have limited opposing receivers to the 12th-fewest fantasy points early this season. One of eight teams projected to score less than 20 points this week based on Vegas odds, things may not be much better for Sanders this week.

WR - Kevin White, Chicago Bears (at DAL)

Like Sanders, White has finished as the WR60+ in both of his first two games. With a total of 13 targets in those games, White had 3/34 against Houston and 4/36 against Philadephia. With a rare skill set that made him a top-seven draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, White has all of the physical tools to one day develop into a dominant (real and fantasy) receiver. For now, however, he should remain on your bench.

WR - John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (at BUF)

Finishing with 1,003 yards in his second NFL season (2015), Brown has played less than half of the team's offensive snaps (49.6 percent) through the first two weeks of the 2016 season. Targeted a total of seven times, Brown has only one catch in each game. Until Brown's role and snaps increases, I'd take a wait-and-see approach with him and keep him on the bench.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 3

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Week 3 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Charles Sims is listed below as a "start" for Week 3. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 3 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned C.J. Anderson, Matt Forte and Sims, you should start CJA and Forte -- and in turn, bench Sims.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 3:

RB - Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers (at IND)

His rookie season was a year to forget as Gordon averaged a pedestrian 3.48 yards per carry with zero touchdowns on 217 touches. Things are off to a much better start for the sophomore back. Rushing for a career-high 102 yards last week, MG3 scored his third touchdown of this young season. Finishing as a top-10 fantasy running back in both games, Gordon has scored the fourth-most fantasy points among running backs through Week 2.

With Danny Woodhead (ACL) out for the season, MG3 had a total of 27 touches in Sunday's rout of the Jaguars. Given the team's injuries on offense, Gordon should be a lock for a massive workload each and every week. Two weeks into the season, the Colts have already allowed a trio of top-10 fantasy running backs and no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs.

- Related: Gordon is my Favorite Play on DraftKings in Week 3

RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (vs. SD)

The other running back in this game has upside as an RB2 this week as well. With the 20th-most fantasy points through two weeks, Gore is averaging only 3.81 YPC but he has at least 16 touches in each game. Only seven teams allow more fantasy points to the position this season than the Chargers, who allowed the fourth-most to opposing running backs last season. As home favorites, Gore and the Colts are projected to score the third-most points this week based on Vegas odds.

Editor's note: NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 3 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 3 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

RB - Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. LA)

As a change-of-pace option to Doug Martin last season, Sims finished as fantasy's RB22 (RB17 in PPR) in 2015. With Martin (hamstring) out this week (and expected to miss a few games), Sims will lead the backfield in usage over the next few weeks. Among running backs that ranked inside the top-40 running backs last season, no running back averaged more yards per touch (6.90) than Sims. Favored by 5.5 points at home against the low-powered Rams, Sims could benefit from positive game flow, but his receiving prowess should keep him on the field regardless of the score.

RB - DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans (vs. OAK)

Through two weeks, Murray has the eighth-most fantasy points (RB4 in PPR) with 222 yards from scrimmage, an RB-high (tied with T.J. Yeldon) 12 receptions and two touchdowns. While their pass defense has been lit up by Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, the Titans will likely rely on a ground-and-pound game plan with Murray and rookie Derrick Henry and should have plenty of success. Allowing an average of 517.5 yards and 34.5 points per game, the Raiders have allowed 4.40 YPC (eighth-most) to opposing running backs so far this season.

RB - Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks (vs. SF)

Through two weeks, Michael has 25 carries for 126 yards (5.04 YPC) and five receptions for 31 yards. With Thomas Rawls out this week, the Seahawks will rely on Michael as their lead back. Nearly double-digit favorites, positive game flow should lead to a heavy workload (and perhaps multiple scoring opportunties) for C-Mike. Coach Pete Carroll said (via the Seattle Times): "He’s had 20-something carries so far. He’s ready to carry the ball 20-something times in a game. He could be fine with that."

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 3:

RB - Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (at CAR)

The Star Tribune's Matt Vensel has projected that McKinnon could handle the "65" part of a 65/35 split with Matt Asiata in Adrian Peterson's absence. Most of McKinnon's yardage will likely come between the 20's, however, as the team seems to trust Asiata more in the red zone. In fact, Asiata has a league-high three games with three-plus rushing scores since 2013. While I'd prefer not to use McKinnon or Asiata as my RB2, both are in the flex mix for me.

RB - T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. BAL)

The good news is that Yeldon had a total of 40 touches in Weeks 1 and 2 as Chris Ivory was a scratch. The bad news for Yeldon fantasy owners is that he generated an inefficient 107 YFS on those touches -- 21/39 rushing (1.86 YPC) in Week 1 and 8/10 receiving (1.25 Y/R) in Week 2. Due to his passing-game volume, Yeldon finished as the RB18 in PPR last week despite finishing as the RB46 in standard-scoring formats. With Ivory due to make his Jacksonville debut this week, Yeldon (and Ivory) should remain on your bench.

RB - Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (at SEA)

Productive in the opener, Hyde had 25 touches and scored two touchdowns as he finished as fantasy's RB5, but he managed only 3.83 YPC in Week 1. Even less efficient in Week 2 against the Panthers, Hyde averaged just 2.43 YPC and he also lost a fumble.

Things won't get any easier in Week 3 as the 49ers head north to Seattle. Only the Packers (1.84) and Vikings (2.65) have allowed fewer yards per carry to opposing running backs than the Seahawks (2.86) this season.

Facing a tough Seahawks defense, no team is projected to score fewer points than the 49ers this week based on Vegas odds. Nearly double-digit underdogs, game flow could limit Hyde's opportunities if the 49ers get down early, as expected.

RB - Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (at NYG)

Jones had 13 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown last week against Dallas as he scored the 14th-most fantasy points among running backs in Week 2. That said, the matchup isn't great for Jones in Week 3 as a road underdog against a revamped Giants defense. Not only have the Giants allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but they have allowed only 3.18 YPC to opposing backs as well.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 3

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Week 3 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Ryan Tannehill is listed below as a "start" for Week 3. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 3 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Drew Brees and Tannehill, you should start Brees -- and in turn, bench Tannehill.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 3:

QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at NO)

Through the first two weeks of the 2016 NFL season, no quarterback has scored more fantasy points than Ryan (52.2). Throwing for a total of 730 yards and five touchdowns, Ryan has finished as the weekly QB6 and QB2, respectively.

Aside from his career 5-10 record against the Saints, Ryan has played well against the Saints. In the previous 10 games (over five seasons), Ryan has averaged 329.5 passing yards with 17 touchdowns and only four interceptions against the Saints. In addition, he has thrown for less than 290 yards only once over that 10-game (five-year) span.

Granted, I was low (perhaps too low) on Ryan entering the season, but he's a top-five play at the position for me in Week 3.

Editor's note: NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 3 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 3 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

QB - Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (vs. OAK)

Starting your quarterback against the Raiders has been a profitable strategy so far this season. Through two weeks, no team has allowed more fantasy points per game than Oakland. One week after Drew Brees lit them up for 423 yards and four scores, Ryan threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns against them.

While I don't expect that type of production through the air from Mariota, the favorable matchup puts him inside of my top-12 quarterbacks for the week. Through two weeks, Mariota has thrown for 509 yards and four touchdowns and added 30 rushing yards.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs. CLE)

The NFL schedule makers did not do the Dolphins any favors by scheduling the Seahawks and Patriots on the road to start the season. But things get easier, much easier, in Week 3 as Miami makes their home debut against the Browns.

Double-digit favorites, the Dolphins have an implied point total of 25.75 based on Vegas odds; only three teams (Saints, Packers and Colts) have a higher total for Week 3. In two games, the Browns have allowed a total of 580 passing yards and four passing touchdowns.

Through two weeks, Tannehill is the QB11 and he would have been much higher on his list if Kenny Stills did not drop a wide-open 70-yard touchdown pass against the Seahawks in Week 1. Even though much of last week's production occurred in garbage time, Tannehill finished as Week 2's QB7 in fantasy and that's my ranking for him this week as well.

- Related: Tannehill was the QB in our DraftKings tournament "drafted" lineup

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. BAL)

We saw some garbage-time Jags and Bortles last week as they were blown out in San Diego and didn't score any points until the fourth quarter. There was plenty of optimism about the Jaguars heading into the season, but they have been a major disappointment thus far. (No team has a worse scoring differential and they are 31st in my NFL Power Rankings.)

Tied for the league lead in pass attempts (89) through Week 2, Bortles has thrown for 320-plus yards in each of his first two games. On paper, the Ravens have a stingy pass defense -- fourth-fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks -- but that was against the Bills and Browns. Josh McCown showed in the first half how vulnerable Baltimore's secondary can be.

Even though Bortles has finished as the QB19 and QB15 in each of his first two games, respectively, I expect him to finish as a top-10 perfomer in Week 3 as the offense starts to get on track.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 3:

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. DEN)

With a league-high 732 passing yards through Week 2, Dalton has thrown exactly 366 yards in each of his first two games. Holding Cam Newton (194) and Andrew Luck (197) to less than 200 passing yards in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively, the Broncos will provide Dalton with a stiffer challenge in Week 3. Despite passing volume, Dalton has managed to throw only one touchdown per game. Even though the Bengals are favored by 3.5 points on Sunday, they are still projected to be one of the bottom-half scoring offenses in Week 3.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (at ARI)

Shortly after Taylor threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns as the Bills put up 31 yards, the Bills fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman. While a tweet from Sammy Watkins (foot) on Saturday night suggested he may give it a go, ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that Watkins will sit on Sunday. Through two weeks, the Cardinals have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and intercepted Jameis Winston four times last week.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (at NYG)

In back-to-back losses to the Steelers and Cowboys, Cousins has thrown the ball a total of 89 times for 693 yards, but he has only one touchdown to three interceptions. Spending heavily on the defensive side of the ball in free agency, the Giants have limited opposing quarterbacks to the sixth-fewest fantasy points through the first two weeks of the season.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 3

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September 24, 2016

Week 3 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Here are my Week 3 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Giants -3 over Washington Redskins (4 Units)

The Giants are certainly one of the league's most-improved teams, and as well as they have played, you can certainly state the opposite for Washington as they have been one of the league's most disappointing teams. For all the big money spent to acquire cornerback Josh Norman, Washington has certainly not reaped the rewards as they give up 284 yards passing per game, and a 73-percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks.

The Giants are certainly going to be able to exploit that weak passing defense with their vertical passing offense led by Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard. The Giants also spent a lot of bucks on the defensive side of the ball, and so far their rush defense has been exceptional only giving up 3.3 yards per carry and 71 yards per game. I like the Giants here, and they will run their record to 3-0.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 3 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Philadelphia Eagles +4 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

I really don't think that the Eagles are totally for real, after all they have only played the Bears and the Browns, but something about this game just strikes me as funny. As interesting as Carson Wentz has been for the first two weeks, one unit that is not getting nearly enough run is the Eagles defense, which has held opposing QBs to 194 yards passing per game, and they have collected six sacks.

I know Pittsburgh is one of the elite teams of the league, but they have been pretty dreadful in passing defense so far this year. The Steelers have allowed 348 yards passing per game, and they are really struggling to get to the quarterback, as they have only collected one sack. I think Pittsburgh gets the win here, but that passing defense leaves too much to be desired, so I am certainly taking the Eagles with the points at home.

Minnesota Vikings +7 over Carolina Panthers (3 Units)

Here is another game that strikes me weird, and I am sure it has been fairly influenced by the Vikings All World running back Adrian Peterson's knee injury. That being said, the Vikings offense absolutely lit up a very competent Packers defense last week, and now Sam Bradford and Stefon Diggs are everyone's Week 2 darlings. The Panthers have been an odd team this year, as they had a very tough game in Denver, and also they let the 49ers hang around for quite some time last week.

The one thing that is overlooked is the Vikings defense, as they have only allowed 216 yards passing per game this year, they have collected seven sacks, and by the way the rushing defense is even better, only giving up 3.3 yards per carry and 73.5 yards per game. The VIkings defense will absolutely be able to keep this one close, and yes, Minnesota was a playoff team last year that was a easy field goal miss away from beating Seattle, give me the 7.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 3 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Here are my Week 3 NFL picks against the spread:

Jacksonville Jaguars +1 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

I like the Jags to get in the win column this week and beat the overrated Ravens at home. The Ravens will not have an answer for Allen Robinson and the Jags passing attack. Jags win, 30-17.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 3 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Tennessee Titans vs. Oakland Raiders, Under 47 (2 Units)

The Raiders defense has been shredded the past two weeks, but the Titans do not have the firepower that New Orleans or Atlanta had. Delanie Walker is questionable for the game with a hamstring injury and it wouldn't surprise me to see him sit out. (He missed practice Friday.) I think the Titans will go ground and pound just like they did versus the Raiders during the preseason. Titans 20, Raiders 19.

Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (5 Units)

I’d go 10 units here if I could. I like this game as much as I liked the Carolina game last week. The Eagles have beat the Browns and the Bears. Pittsburgh is clearly the better team and I expect them to win big. Steelers 38, Eagles 17.

Chicago Bears +7 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

No Jay Cutler, no defense, no win right? This is the NFL baby, and I think the Bears come to play for backup QB Brian Hoyer and shock the world and beat the Cowboys! Bears 23, Cowboys 20.

[Editor's note: "Shock the world." LOL]

Indianapolis Colts -1.5 over San Diego Chargers (4 Units), Over 51.0 (4 Units)

One more time on Andrew Luck and the Colts. I am a glutton for punishment I guess. This game should be a shootout as both teams have no defense. This is one to stack in DFS. Colts 44, Chargers 31.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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September 23, 2016

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 3

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 3 games.

Essentially, it was a draft with each of us alternating picks for the lineup. Sean had the first and odd-numbered picks; I had the second and even-numbered picks.

Below we will include analysis of each pick, but here is how the final roster shaped up:

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs. CLE), $6,200
RB - Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers (at IND), $5,800
RB - Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (at CAR), $3,000
WR - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. BAL), $7,500
WR - Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (vs. CLE), $6,600
WR - Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts (vs. SD), $4,400
TE - Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (at NYG), $6,500
FLEX - Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. CHI), $6,900
DST - Green Bay Packers (vs. DET), $3,000

Below are the players in the order they were "drafted" (with comments by both of us):

1. Sean - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars, $7,500: I wrote up Robinson as my favorite DK play this week. I absolutely love him in this matchup vs. Baltimore. Jason Verrett and the San Diego secondary shut down Robinson last week so giving recency bias I am hoping Robinson gets overlooked this week. I am projecting Robinson to be the No. 1 WR this week in fantasy. I think a line of 8-140-2 is definitely attainable.

Comments by Kevin: It's been a slow start for Robinson (nine catches for 126 yards), but he has 20 targets through two games and a more favorable matchup in Week 3. One of the most talented young receivers in the NFL, I expect bigger and better things from A-Rob both this week and the rest of the season. With lots of upside, his ownership levels should be relatively low due to his slow start. I like this pick.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 3 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 3 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

2. Kevin - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins, $6,200: Projected to score the fifth-most points (tied) based on Vegas odds, the Dolphins enter Week 3 as the biggest favorites of the week. Through two weeks, the Browns have allowed 580 passing yards and four touchdowns to rookie Carson Wentz and Joe Flacco. DeVante Parker (hamstring) was limited in yesterday's practice, but he had a strong debut (8/106) last week. The trio of Jarvis Landry, Parker and Kenny Stills should give the Browns secondary fits.

Comments by Sean: Tannehill and Dolphins stacks this week will not be sneaky. That being said, most multi-entry GPP players pick a core group of players and rotate in different QB/WR stacks. Ownership will never be too high on a QB. Tannehill has a great matchup vs. the Browns this week. Tannehill also has the ability to rush one in, which is huge. I think Tannehill should pay off this price tag.

3. Sean - Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins, $6,600: Landry is the safe WR to stack with Tannehill, but safe doesn't necessarily rule out a good GPP play. Landry should be targeted heavily as Arian Foster will miss this week's game. Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake are not backs I would trust to move the chains even in a potential blowout. I think a 10/120/1 game is quite possible this week for Landry.

Comments by Kevin: In a full-PPR format like DraftKings, I'm fine with Landry here as the option to pair with Tannehill. Landry has double-digit targets in both games and a total of 17 catches through two weeks. With Arian Foster expected to miss this week's game, the Dolphins could end up using the short passing game with Landry to substitute for some of their running game.

4. Kevin - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers, $5,800: With Danny Woodhead out for the year, the Chargers will rely heavily on Gordon (like they did last week). MG3 had a 24/102/1 rushing line last week and has a total of three scores through two weeks. In a favorable matchup against the Colts, who have allowed the most PPR fantasy points to opposing running backs, MG3 should get 20-plus touches and easily exceed value on his $5,800 salary.

Comments by Sean: Gordon is the mega chalk at RB this week facing the Colts, who just bleed yardage and points. The only thing that could worry me here is if the Colts get up big early. We could see the Chargers abandon the ground game. Given his salary and opportunity, Gordon should produce enough to pay off. I will have a lot of shares of Gordon on Sunday.

5. Sean - Phillip Dorsett, WR, Indianapolis Colts, $4,400: This game has the highest total of the slate and without Donte Moncrief this week, Dorsett’s targets should increase. T.Y. Hilton plays about 60 percent of his snaps from the slot, which could result in more Jason Verrett coverage for Dorsett, but I’m willing to take the gamble here. I will be targeting both wideouts heavily this week. The Colts defense cannot stop anyone, so I expect Andrew Luck to throw the ball 40-plus times.

Comments by Kevin: With Donte Moncrief (shoulder) out for a month-plus, Dorsett will start in two-receiver sets opposite T.Y. Hilton. At only $4,400, the speedy second-year receiver always has the potential for a big play or two and should be more involved overall.

6. Kevin - Matt Asiata, RB, Minnesota Vikings, $3,000: As weird as it feels to pick Asiata, I think the potential reward is big. The matchup isn't great and there are a lot of other cheap RBs this week including Asiata's teammate. I think his ownership level should be fairly low despite the bargain-basement price tag. Given that the Vikings trust him at the goal line and in pass protection, there could be opportunities for a score (or three) and some receptions. From 2013 to 2016, the leader in games with three rushing TDs is ... you guessed it ... Asiata (three such games). All three of those games came in an 11-game span overlapping the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Comments by Sean: Matt YOLO Asiata! We know what the negative factors are here with this play. (Matchup, less workload than Jerick McKinnon). The positive play is that this is the perfect pivot off McKinnon. It worked great last week if you faded the chalk, Danny Woodhead, for MG3. Also, I expect the ownership to be high on Stefon Diggs as well since his salary was released before the monster game on Monday night. Asiata should get all the goal-line carries as well. He could be very sneaky this week. I'm on board for $3K.

7. Sean - Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins, $6,500: My final pick was Jordan Reed. Paying up at a position most people pay down at is optimal GPP strategy. The Giants defense is one of the worst defenses vs. the TE. The Redskins are 0-2, so I think they go back to what got them to the playoffs last year; a heavy dose of Reed. Reed will be the No. 1 TE in fantasy this week.

Comments by Kevin: It's been a somewhat slow start for Reed, but he has 18 targets and 12 catches through two games. Reed is tied for the positional lead in both categories. In two games against the Giants last year, Reed had 14 catches for 194 yards on 18 targets. There is plenty of upside here.

8. Kevin - Ezekiel Elliott, RB/Flex, Dallas Cowboys, $6,900: Things haven't gone as well as most had hoped so far with Elliott, who has a total of 139 yards on 44 touches. Favored by a touchdown at home in a favorable matchup against the Bears, however, Elliott should get another hefty workload (assuming he holds onto the ball) with the potential for some goal-line opportunities.

Comments by Sean: Zeke has scored in both of his first two NFL games this year, but hasn’t looked great in either game. Perhaps wearing a full jersey is what is slowing him down this year. He is only averaging 3.3 YPC behind arguably the best O-line in football. I’m not high on Elliott this week, but game script looks good here with the Cowboys being a 7.5-point favorite. Paying up for RB this week is contrarian as well as most will spend down for the injury replacements.

9. Kevin - Green Bay Packers DST, $3,000: With the Packers and Dolphins priced the same ($3,000), the majority of owners will choose Miami in this spot. So, Green Bay's defense should be very low-owned.

Comments by Sean: The Dolphins are going to be the highest-owned defense of the week, and it's probably not even going to be close. A pivot here to Green Bay could make or break this GPP lineup as I would imagine if you are stuck on this price point, 99 percent of the players will take Miami.

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September 21, 2016

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 3

Every week of the 2016 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts in our weekly DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 3?

Sean Beazley: Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. BAL), $7,500

There is a ton of value this week giving the plethora of injuries this past week. Getting one of your top-end options correct is going to be very important this week. One of those players I really like is the Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson at $7,500.

When you look for WRs, looking at targets is probably one of the most important factors. A-Rob has 20 targets in his first two games and leads the team. Robinson was shut down last week by Jason Verrett, who I think is a top-three CB in the league, so his ownership should be lower than normal.

The matchup is great vs. the Ravens despite the Ravens giving up the least amount of passing yards in the NFL this season. I hope the casual DFS player overlooks the fact that the Ravens first two games were versus Tyrod Taylor and Josh McCown. My bold call is that Robinson is the No. 1 WR this week in DFS. Get him in your lineups.

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Kevin Hanson: Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers (at IND), $5,800

Talent? Check. Heavy workload? Check. Favorable matchup? Check. What's not to like about Gordon this week? The 13th-most expensive running back this week, MG3 offers his owners plenty of value this week. Through two weeks, Gordon has three touchdowns after failing to score any as a rookie, and he had 27 touches in Sunday's win over Jacksonville. MG3 should be one of the staples of your cash-game lineups and he has some upside for GPPs as well.

Brendan Donahue: Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers (at IND), $5,800

Even though the Chargers added Dexter Mccluster this week, I don't see him stealing too many snaps from Gordon. With Gordon getting the bulk of the work against the defense that's currently allowing the most points per game to opposing RBs, Gordon has a great chance to surpass last week's performance that returned 24 points for his owners.

John Trifone: Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers (at IND), $5,800

The Chargers continue to offer value through injuries. It's early in the week and several RB injuries this past weekend are likely to open up some great cheap options, but at this point, Melvin Gordon already looks like one of the better plays. He's averaging over 20 DK points through two games, and with Danny Woodhead's injury, Gordon should get even more usage.

He had 24 carries for over 100 rushing yards, and has another great matchup with Indianapolis coming up. Gordon has looked more like the guy that San Diego thought he would be when they drafted him, and he should get plenty of opportunities to continue that trend.

Dan Yanotchko: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (at BUF), $6,900

I really like Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals this week, as he's turned back the clock to 2009 and he gets to play the Bills. Fitzgerald has 168 yards receiving on 14 receptions on 22 targets and three touchdowns. The Bills have given up 295 yards passing per game and just look woeful in the secondary after letting Ryan Fitzpatrick carve them up.

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September 20, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 3

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 3 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

WR - Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers (49 percent)

As the team's No. 3 receiver entering the season, the 6-foot-3 speedster had some sleeper appeal. With Keenan Allen lost for the season in the opener, however, it has immediately opened up opportunities for the rest of the team's pass-catchers including Williams.

With a commanding lead (21-0 at the half and 35-0 after three quarters), the Chargers threw the ball only 25 times on Sunday. Tied with Travis Benjamin, Williams was targeted a team-high six times in the win. Williams turned those targets into three catches for 61 yards, which included an impressive 44-yard touchdown.

Williams and the Chargers receivers have a phenomenal three-game schedule upcoming with the Colts, Saints and Raiders in Weeks 3 through 5.

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WR - Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts (42 percent)

How much time Donte Moncrief (shoulder) will miss is unclear? But it seems that he will miss some time even though he hasn't officially been ruled out for Week 3 yet.

With Moncrief expected to miss time, Dorsett will move into the No. 2 receiver role behind T.Y. Hilton. The second-year speedster has played 83.6 percent of the team's offensive snaps in Week 2 after playing 72.9 percent in Week 1. Dorsett converted only one-of-five targets for 30 yards against Denver on Sunday.

The next few matchups are favorable. Not only do I expect Jason Verrett to shadow Hilton this week, but the Colts face the Jaguars and Bears in Weeks 4 and 5.

WR - Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets ( percent)

Once again, Enunwa had at least six catches. Once again, Enunwa appears on my receiver waiver-wire list.

Different than Week 1, however, the team's dynamic duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker both exceeded the 100-yard mark as well in Week 2. Through two games, Enunwa has a total line of 13/142/1 on 14 targets.

WR - Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (48 percent)

Through two weeks, Thomas has had two solid games: 6/58 and 4/56. Playing in a Drew Brees offense with a bad defense, it wouldn't surprise me if Thomas approaches 900 receiving yards on the season. (Based on his average through two games, Thomas is on pace for 80/912/0.)

WR - Victor Cruz, New York Giants (37 percent)

With the Giants often using three-WR sets, the trio of Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Cruz have all played greater than 90 percent of the team's offensive snaps. Given the durability concerns entering the season as he returned from his patellar tendon injury in 2014, Cruz has looked healthy. Cruz has a total of eight catches (on 12 targets) for 125 yards and a touchdown through two games.

WR - Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (10 percent)

Beasley is worth an add in PPR formats. Through two weeks, the slot receiver has 13 catches for 140 yards on 18 targets. Beasley's 18 targets is tied with Jason Witten for a team high. The Cowboys get a favorable matchup in Week 3 against the Bears.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 3

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 3 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

RB - Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (24 percent)

Adrian Peterson left Sunday night's game with a knee injury that has been diagnosed as a torn meniscus. While it could have been worse, Peterson is likely to miss a few games with the injury.

In his absence, it will be Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata that handle the workload. Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune projects a "65/35 split" in favor of McKinnon with Asiata getting the valuable goal-line opportunities assuming AP misses time.

On 168 career rushing attempts, McKinnon has averaged 4.9 yards per carry. The upcoming matchups aren't great as the Vikings face the Panthers, Giants and Texans over the next three weeks.

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RB - Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (27 percent)

A healthy scratch in Week 1, Ajayi had five carries for 14 yards in Week 2 as Arian Foster left Sunday's game early with a groin injury. It appears likely that Foster will miss Miami's Week 3 favorable matchup against Cleveland, but usage for Ajayi may be more committee-like even with Foster sidelined. Given Foster's durability track record, however, Ajayi deserves to be owned in all leagues.

RB - Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers (percent)

Artis-Payne has been a healthy scratch in each of the past two games, but he appears to be the favorite for touches (based on coach Ron Rivera's comments) assuming that Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) misses time.

"I've got a tremendous amount of faith in who CAP can be for us, and in knowing that you've got a good change-of-pace guy in Fozzy and a guy who can play situational football for you in Mike Tolbert," Rivera said. "CAP is a stout inside runner who runs the ball very well and has good vision. He makes good cuts, but he more plants the leg and drives straight ahead. Fozzy is more nifty, a little better lateral movement as you saw when he got outside, though he also ran inside a couple of times."

RB - Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (eight percent)

With a three-down skill set, Dixon rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three out of four seasons and posted 30-plus catches in back-to-back seasons at Louisiana Tech. Dixon sustained a left knee sprain in Baltimore's third preseason game so he may still miss a few more games.

Javorius Allen has been a healthy scratch and neither Justin Forsett or Terrance West has lit the world on fire in the first two games. SI's Peter King wrote before the season that he wouldn't be surprised if Dixon (knee) is the starter by the middle of the October.

(Me either.)

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (26 percent)

It's been a nearly even split between West (23/74, 3.2 YPC) and Justin Forsett (24/78, 3.3 YPC) through two weeks, but neither back has been all that inspiring. West has added three catches for 21 yards as well. With a couple of favorable matchups upcoming against Jacksonville, Oakland and Washington, West (and Forsett) could enter the flex discussion especially until Dixon is able to make his debut.

RB - Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (two percent)

As noted above, Asiata is the favorite for goal-line opportunities for as long as Peterson is sidelined. Even though he has never averaged four yards per carry in a season, Asiata scored double-digit touchdowns -- nine rushing and one receiving -- in 2014 when Peterson was suspended for 15 games.

RB - Dwayne Washington, Detroit Lions (one percent)

With Ameer Abdullah exiting Sunday's loss with a foot injury and scheduled to see a specialist today, Washington appears to see an expanded workload in the near future. In addition, Washington will continue to get the important goal-line touches.

RB - Fozzy Whittaker, Carolina Panthers (three percent)

With Stewart leaving Sunday's win early, Whittaker carried the ball 16 times for 100 yards and added three catches for 31 yards as well. Based on comments from Rivera (see above), however, the Panthers expect Whittaker to stay in a change-of-pace role (behind CAP).

RB - Shane Vereen, New York Giants (19 percent)

Rashad Jennings (hand) played less than half of the team's snaps last week and Vereen had more touches (17) than Jennings (14) in Week 2. Through two weeks, Vereen has a total of 127 yards from scrimmage on 20 carries and six receptions. Jennings should be ready to go in Week 3, but he has long had a shaky durability history.

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 3

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 3 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (28 percent)

Nearly overcoming a large deficit, Tannehill finished with 389 yards on 32-of-45 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions on Sunday. In addition, he added 35 rushing yards on six carries. Granted, (almost) all of that production was in garbage time, but there are a couple of reasons to be optimistic.

Not only did Jarvis Landry exceed the 100-yard mark, but DeVante Parker made his season debut on Sunday and the second-year receiver finished with eight catches for 106 yards. Tannehill has finished as the weekly QB17 and QB7 in his first two games, respectively, and was a Kenny Stills dropped 70-yard touchdown in Week 1 away from a pair of top-10 outings.

And after a pair of road games against the Seahawks and Patriots, Tannehill gets a more favorable matchup in Week 3 as the Dolphins host the Browns. The Browns have given up 25-plus points and multiple passing touchdowns in each of their past two games.

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QB - Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (29 percent)

It was far from an efficient outing (25-of-45 passing and two interceptions), but Flacco led the Ravens to a come-from-behind win over the Browns as he threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns. And while I expected more fantasy production in a favorable Week 2 matchup, Flacco has a pair of top-five matchups coming up in Weeks 3 and 4.

The Ravens visit the Jags in Week 3 and host the Raiders in Week 4. Not only have the Raiders allowed at least 396 passing yards in each game, but the two defenses have combined to allow a total of 13 passing touchdowns to only one interception through Week 2.

QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (45 percent)

Prescott showed good poise in the team's come-from-behind win on the road over their division rivals in Week 2. Prescott completed 22 of 30 pass attempts (73.3 percent) for 292 yards (9.73 Y/A) and added a six-yard rushing touchdown as well. In Week 3, the rookie gets a favorable matchup at home against the Bears, who will be playing on a short week.

QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (41 percent)

On a short week, Fitzpatrick threw for 374 yards and a touchdown against his former team to score 21.06 fantasy points. Fitzpatrick, who finished as fantasy's QB11 in 2015, will have plenty of opportunities for streamers, but his upcoming schedule is pretty brutal. Over the next four weeks, Fitzpatrick and the Jets face the Chiefs, Seahawks, Steelers and Cardinals. Three of those four teams finished among the six stingiest defenses to opposing quarterbacks in 2015.

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September 19, 2016

Look Back: Week 2 DraftKings Cash Game Lineup Review

Week 2 is in the books. Just when you think you know about the NFL, everything changes. More than any other sport, the NFL is a week-to-week league. I was very lucky again this week to just break even. My saving grace was a Fan Vice Freeroll! Don't take free rolls for granted as they could make or break a week.

Here are five thoughts about my Week 2:

  1. I was over-exposed to two games that were projected to be high scoring: NO-NYG and CIN-PIT. I had tons of Rashad Jennings, A.J. Green & Antonio Brown; not enough of DeAngelo Williams and Sterling Shepard. I expected Drew Brees to struggle on the road, but was not expecting a game like he had Sunday.
  2. Injuries were devastating again. One of my favorite Week 1 plays was Keenan Allen. He was lost for the year. This week, my favorite play was Danny Woodhead. Woodhead was having a good game as well until he got hurt. I also expected 40-plus from Carolina this week. I had a bunch of Jonathan Stewart lineups go down in flames, even the ones paired with Cam Newton and Kelvin Benjamin or Greg Olsen.
  3. The Chargers/Jaguars game was the shocker of the week for me. The Jaguars defense which many said would be promising this offseason got destroyed by Melvin Gordon and a cast of misfit receivers. T.J. Yeldon, a staple in my cash games and someone who I seemed to plug in for some savings when building GPPs, was awful. Eight catches for 10 yards! Corey Grant with the vulture TD grab in garbage time too. Extra tilting!
  4. Cheap defense strategy hurt this week as the high-end units I liked -- Carolina, Denver and Arizona -- all had big games. I elected for savings and had more shares of Baltimore, New England, Oakland and Jacksonville. Part of this was to get the high-end WRs in my lineup.
  5. Too much love for an old receiver coming off an Achilles injury. I had 60 percent exposure to Steve Smith on Sunday. It was one of those gut calls that just didn't pan out.

On to Week 3 ...

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September 18, 2016

Week 2 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jason Witten is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as my starting tight end.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Greg Olsen and Witten, you should start Olsen -- and in turn, bench Witten.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 2:

TE - Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (vs. BAL)

Targeted only twice in Week 1, it was a goose-egg performance for Barnidge in the opener. We never like to see injuries, but the injury to RG3 benefits the fantasy outlook for Barnidge, who was sensational with Josh McCown under center last season.

In the seven games that McCown had double-digit pass attempts, Barnidge racked up a total of 43 catches for 603 yards and six touchdowns on 64 targets. That's an average of 6.14/86.14/0.86 on 9.14 targets on a per-game basis.

Two of those games with McCown last season were against the Ravens last season. In those games, Barnidge had 8/139/1 and 7/91 with double-digit targets in both.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

TE - Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (at WAS)

No tight end had more receptions (nine) or targets (14) than Witten had in Week 1 against the Giants. The Giants struggle in defending tight ends, but it's clear that Witten is a trusted security blanket for rookie starter Dak Prescott. Given the volume of targets that Witten should/could get this week, he has a chance to once again finish as a top-10 fantasy tight end.

TE - Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars (at SD)

Thomas got off to a good start as he caught all five of his targets for 64 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Thomas is in a good spot this week as well. Since signing with the Jags last offseason, his best game was last year's performance (9/116/1) against the Chargers. The nine catches tied his career high and it is one of only four 100-yard games in his career.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 2:

TE - Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks (at LA)

At one point in his career, Graham was an obvious no-brainer start along with Gronk. That has no longer been the case since Graham has joined the Seahawks. After a devastating patellar tendon injury last season, it's great that Graham was active and played in Week 1. That said, he played only 17 (or 21.0 percent) of the team's offensive snaps.

His snap count is expected to increase in Week 2, but he should still remain on your bench. Not only is he still less than 100 percent, but the Rams are one of the league's better teams at defending the tight end position.

TE - Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (at MIN)

Load up Cook in DraftKings tournaments at his bargain $2,900 price tag was my thought last week. What a mistake that turned out to be!

Cook is a physical freak at the position, but he was not a major factor in the offensive game plan in Week 1. Playing roughly half of the team's offensive snaps (52.0 percent), Cook was targeted only twice and finished with one catch for seven yards.

Facing one of the best defenses in the league, the Vikings have an outstanding safety in Harrison Smith as well as athletic linebacker corps.

TE - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at ARI)

The good news: Seferian-Jenkins scored on a 30-yard touchdown. The bad news: It was his only target.

Seferian-Jenkins is the most-talented of the team's tight ends, but he played on only 28 percent of the team's offensive snaps. Perhaps as (or if) his relationship with head coach Dirk Koetter improves, ASJ will become worth considering as a starter. But it's unlikely he finishes as a top-five fantasy tight end (like last week) playing only a quarter of the snaps.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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Week 2 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Here are my Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

Miami Dolphins +6.5 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

The Dolphins are coming into this game after a tough loss in Seattle, and I expect them to keep their defensive momentum going, as they always play the Patriots well. Miami has a very good front-four, and they will look to exploit the banged-up offensive line of New England, who may be missing both starting tackles again this week. The Patriots will also be missing All-World TE Rob Gronkowski, and also their defensive captain in the middle of the field in Donta Hightower.

While this will be a game that Belichick and company find a way to get the win, this game will be close throughout all four quarters, as New England is certainly missing quite a few players.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Saints at Giants -- Over 54 (4 Units)

The Saints are really bad on defense, and apparently it was just not the Rob Ryan effect from last year, as they allowed Derek Carr to hit them up for 319 yards passing last week. Whenever these two teams get together, the scoreboard struggles to keep up, and with both high-powered passing offenses, I expect this one to be the same.

Last year the Saints outdueled the Giants 52-49, and already both Eli Manning and Drew Brees are in midseason form, as they passed for seven combined touchdowns in Week 1. I think this will be another huge offensive display, and I am going to take the points and over here.

Los Angeles Rams +6.5 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

Yes, the Rams looked downright awful on offense last week by getting shut out by the 49ers, and the usually stout defense didn't look much better. The Seahawks will be coming into this game after only putting up 12 points in the win against Miami, and now they have a hobbled quarterback in Russell Wilson (ankle).

The Rams have had the Seahawks number as of late, as they have gone 3-1 straight up in their last four matchups. I think this is a bounce-back week for the Rams, and also combined with the excitement of the first Los Angeles home game in 22 years will help propel the Rams to a close game. I think the trend continues, as Jeff Fisher always has his team ready to play Seattle.

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Week 2 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jordan Matthews is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as one of my starting receivers.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned A.J. Green, Amari Cooper and Matthews and could only start two receivers, you should start AJG and Cooper -- and in turn, bench Matthews.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 2:

WR - Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers (vs. SF)

Expected to play 35 snaps in the opener, Benjamin instead led all of the team's wide receivers in offensive snaps (52, 71.0 percent) in Week 1's loss to the Broncos. With a team-high 36.4 percent of the targets, Benjamin posted a 6/91/1 stat line against the talented Broncos secondary and finished the week as fantasy's WR13.

In a (much) softer matchup against the 49ers, the only concern for Benjamin is that it could turn into an early blowout as Carolina is favored by nearly two touchdowns. If the game gets out of hand early, however, it's certainly possible that Benjamin will have already done enough damage to have a productive fantasy outing.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (at CHI)

The only wide receiver targeted more often than Matthews (14) in Week 1 was Jacksonville's Allen Robinson (15). Matthews converted those 14 targets into seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown against the Browns. Showing good early chemistry with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, Matthews is positioned for another productive outing in a favorable matchup against the Bears.

WR - DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins (vs. DAL)

A big play waiting to happen, his lone career 200-yard game came against the Cowboys several years ago, but he's been productive against the Cowboys more recently as well. Since signing with Washington, Jackson has at least 80 yards in each game and has scored in two of three Washington-Dallas games (he didn't play in Week 17 last year). In those three games, D-Jax has a combined line of 14/302/2 (21.57 Y/R).

- Related: D-Jax was "drafted" onto our DraftKings Tournament Lineup for Week 2

WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (vs. TB)

Starting Fitzgerald early in the season has been beneficial for fantasy owners over the past couple of seasons. Getting off to a hot start in Week 1 against the Patriots, Fitzgerald had eight catches for 81 yards and two scores on 10 targets. The Buccaneers have an underrated run defense so I would expect Arizona's game plan to focus on exploiting a relatively weak pass defense.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 2:

WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (at DEN)

In a shootout against the Lions, Moncrief opened the season with six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown to finish with the 15th-most fantasy points among receivers in Week 1. In the eight games that Andrew Luck has played over the past two seasons, Moncrief has a total of six touchdowns. Moncrief was one of my favorite receivers entering the season, but expectations should be lowered in such a difficult Week 2 matchup against the Broncos. Outside my top-24 fantasy receivers for Week 2, Moncrief is still a WR3/flex for me this week, but expectations should be lowered.

WR - Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (vs. IND)

Listed as questionable on the injury report, Thomas (hip) will likely be a game-time decision for the Broncos on Sunday. If he suits up, it's unclear how effective he'll be and it's possible that he'll be used primarily as a decoy. Given the favorable matchup against a Vontae Davis-less Colts secondary, it's disappointing for Thomas' fantasy owners, but I expect Emmanuel Sanders to be more productive on Sunday.

WR - Tavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams (vs. SEA)

The good news? Austin was one of seven receivers to get 12-plus targets in Week 1. The bad news? He managed only 13 yards (on four receptions). Austin also had a rush attempt and had 15 total yards -- 3.0 per touch.

Perhaps he's more efficient in Week 2, but the matchup is terrible. In five career games against the Seahawks, Austin has a total of 45 receiving yards and 46 rushing yards.

WR - Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers (at CAR)

Not only is Smith a "sit," he's a "drop." In a week where the 49ers had the second-most offensive plays (77), Smith was targeted only six times and finished with two catches for 13 yards. That followed up a catch-less preseason where he was targeted only once. I wouldn't be surprised if Jeremy Kerley, 11 targets last week, had more production than Smith this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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Week 2 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Rashad Jennings is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Lamar Miller, C.J. Anderson and Jennings and could only start two running backs, you should start Miller and CJA -- and in turn, bench Jennings.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 2:

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (vs. NO)

While Eli Manning (as noted in my QB Start'em, Sit'em), Odell Beckham and the passing offense have a phenomenal matchup against New Orleans' inexperienced secondary, Jennings and the rushing attack do as well. In addition, only the Panthers are projected to score more points than the Giants this week based on Vegas odds.

In the season opener, Jennings carried the ball 18 times for 75 yards and added a reception for three yards. Going back to last season, he has a total of 81 touches in his past four games. With a large workload virtually guaranteed in arguably the best matchup of the weekend, Jennings is certainly a top-10 play for me this week.

- Related: I "drafted" Jennings in our Week 2 DraftKings tournament "draft"

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (at HOU)

In the season opener, Ware led the team in both rushing and receiving as he racked up 199 yards from scrimmage and a score. The 230-pound running back had three 20-yard receptions (45, 28 and 20 yards). With Jamaal Charles doubtful for Week 2, Ware should lead the team's backfield in touches and production once again.

Although the matchup is less favorable than last week's and it would be unreasonable to expect another 200-yard game, Ware is continuing to make a case for a large role even when all of the backs are healthy. Over the past two seasons (12 games) with the Chiefs, Ware has 83 carries for 473 yards (5.70 YPC) and seven touchdowns.

RB - DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CIN)

This is an obvious start for those who own him, but it's amazing how productive he has been as the featured back with Le'Veon Bell out. In Monday's opener, Williams carried the ball 28 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns and added six catches for 28 yards.

The oldest running back in the NFL, the 33-year-old continues to be an absolute must-start any time that Bell misses time. Excluding a meaningless Week 17 matchup vs. the Browns last season, here are Williams' fantasy outings in games without Bell: RB12, RB1, RB1, RB27, RB4, RB15, RB4, RB16 and RB1.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

RB - Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (vs. SF)

As noted above, the Panthers are projected to be this week's highest-scoring team. In addition, they are favored by nearly two touchdowns. Last year, Stewart (eight) had the second-most games with 20-plus carries after Minnesota's Adrian Peterson (nine).

Stewart (ankle) is listed as questionable on the injury report, but he is expected to play this week. This game should feature a heavy dose of The Daily Show. There is always a concern that Cam Newton will vulture Stewart's touchdown opportunities, but Stewart is a top-12 fantasy running back in my rankings this week.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 2:

RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (at DEN)

Getting 75 percent of the team's 24 running back touches in Week 1, Gore had 14 carries and four receptions for 78 yards from scrimmage in Sunday's high-scoring loss to the Lions. Gore should once again dominate the opportunities for the backfield, but he faces a much tougher defense on the road this week. The Broncos allowed a league-low 3.08 YPC to opposing running backs last season.

RB - Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (vs. DAL)

Washington ran the ball on a league-low 21.82 percent of the plays in a 22-point loss to the Steelers in Week 1. Returning from a shoulder injury he suffered in the preseason, Jones had just eight touches for 33 total yards. Washington is a small favorite at home this against Dallas so Washington should run the ball more often, but Jones is more of a RB3/flex option (outside my top-24 running backs) against the Cowboys this week.

RB - Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions (vs. TEN)

Both Theo Riddick and Abdullah finished as top-10 fantasy running backs in Week 1. While the Titans offense gave up two defensive touchdowns to Minnesota, their defense did an excellent job of limiting Peterson and Minnesota's rushing attack. Tennessee allowed a total of 50 rushing yards to Minnesota's backs on 24 carries (2.08 YPC).

The Titans allowed only 3.91 YPC to RBs last season (10th-lowest) and were tied with the Browns for allowing the fewest receptions (56) to RBs as well. Like Jones, Abdullah is more of a flex than RB2 option for me this week.

RB - Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (at CAR)

Like in 2015, Hyde started the 2016 season with a huge multi-TD performance. Finishing as a top-five fantasy running back with 25 touches, Hyde rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries and added two catches for five yards.

Last week, the Niners led the game wire to wire in their 28-0 shutout of the Rams. The game script won't be nearly as favorable for Hyde this week as the 49ers are double-digit underdogs and projected to score the second-fewest points of the week.

Although Hyde had three of the five backfield targets, it wouldn't surprise me if the 74-26 split between Hyde and Shaun Draughn last week is closer to 60-40 this week if the 49ers get down big early. Hyde is the highest-ranked back (RB27) among the "sits," but he's not an RB1/2 in 12-team leagues for most owners this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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Week 2 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Matthew Stafford is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Cam Newton and Stafford, you should start Newton -- and in turn, bench Stafford.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 2:

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. NO)

With three touchdowns in the season opener, Manning now has a total of 68 touchdown passes in 33 games since 2014. Only three quarterbacks have more -- Aaron Rodgers (71), Tom Brady and Drew Brees (69 each) -- during that span. If recent history (and the matchup) is any indication, Manning will add multiple touchdowns to that total this week.

The last time these two teams met, they combined to score a total of 101 points in a 52-49 shootout at the Louisiana Superdome. In that game, Manning threw for 350 yards and six touchdowns. Coincidentally, the Giants have scored 101 points in their last two matchups against the Saints as Eli has a total of 10 touchdown passes in those two games.

Based on Vegas odds, only the Panthers are projected to score more points than the Giants this week. Helping Eli's cause, the normally generous Saints defense lost their best cornerback last week in their 35-34 shootout against the Raiders.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. TEN)

Winning a shootout against a bad and banged-up Colts defense, Matthew Stafford completed 31-of-39 pass attempts for 340 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 1. In his past seven games, Stafford has thrown 20 touchdowns and one interception. As six-point favorites over the Titans, only three teams -- Panthers, Giants and Cardinals -- are projected to score more points than the Lions this week.

QB - Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (at CLE)

Appearing on my list of waiver-wire options for Week 1, Flacco makes for an excellent streaming option in Week 2. Flacco and the Ravens threw it only 33 times in a 13-7 win in the opener, but Sunday's matchup should be a higher-scoring affair.

Given up 29 points to Carson Wentz in his NFL debut last week, the Browns surrendered 270 yards and two touchdowns through the air as Wentz finished as a top-12 fantasy QB in Week 1. It may be difficult to isolate which of the team's pass-catchers to play, but Flacco is ranked inside my top-12 signal-callers in Week 2.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 2:

QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (vs. JAX)

As one would expect, Rivers' numbers without his No. 1 receiver are not nearly as good as those with his No. 1 receiver. Last year, Keenan Allen played the first eight games and then missed the final eight games with a kidney injury. Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him.

The matchup isn't terrible. In fact, Rivers threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns against the Jags last November AND was without Allen. That said, Rivers is just outside my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for Week 2 at No. 13.

QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at OAK)

Ryan threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's loss to the Bucs and finished as fantasy's QB7 in Week 1. The Raiders defense had a rough showing against the Saints, but I expect to see a better effort at home in Week 2. Most defenses have a bad showing against Drew Brees and the Saints at the Superdome. In addition, Ryan averaged just 14.53 fantasy points per game on the road last season. If you're in a standard one-QB league, I'd keep Ryan on your bench.

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at PIT)

Sacked as many times (seven) as he threw incompletions, Dalton was 23-of-30 on Sunday for 366 yards and a touchdown. All-World talent A.J. Green accounted for more than half of that production (12/180/1).

Just outside my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week, Dalton's matchup isn't terrible. In fact, the Steelers pass defense is much more vulnerable than their run defense. AJG has torched the Steelers secondary with 45/649/3 in his past five regular-season games vs. the Steelers.

Despite Green's production against their division rivals, Dalton has had limited fantasy success against the Steelers. Not only has he thrown more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (three) in his past three games vs. Pittsburgh, he has thrown for less than 250 yards in three of his past four (full) matchups.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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September 17, 2016

Week 2 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers -13.5 over San Francisco 49ers (5 Units)

Vegas expects this game to be a blowout; everyone expects this game to be a blowout. Are 13.5 points too much? Nope. In fact, I expect this game to be a 38-9 type of game.

Not only are the 49ers playing on a short week (Monday Night Football) and traveling across the country for a 1 PM start, but the Panthers have a mini-bye coming off a Thursday Night Football loss in a Super Bowl 50 rematch.

With a dink-and-dunk offense that can't (or won't) try to stretch the field, it's going to be a long day for Blaine Gabbert, Carlos Hyde, etc. Unlike last week, the 49ers won't be able to move the ball as well as they did against the Rams and I can envision plenty of three-and-outs. I expect Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart to wear San Francisco's defense down quickly.

If I could go with more than five units here, I would. This is a mortgage-your-house type of opportunity. [Please don't mortgage your house to make a bet, but you get the point.]

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Arizona Cardinals -7 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2 Units)

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again, I suppose. I went 2-1 ATS last week with the Cardinals as my lone loss. With no Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski, it seemed like a slam-dunk opportunity for the Cardinals. Granted, it's never good when Bill Belichick has five months to game plan for you, but Arizona is one of the most-talented teams in the NFL and Bruce Arians is one of the best coaches.

Fast forward one week, I expect the Cardinals to bounce back.

Since 2013 (when Arizona hired Arians), the Cardinals are 31-21 (59.6 percent) ATS and 8-5 ATS after a loss. The Buccaneers have a stout run defense, but their secondary is exploitable. With a talented trio of receivers and one of the league's best young running backs, I expect Carson Palmer to have a big game.

Jacksonville Jaguars +3 over San Diego Chargers (2 Units)

One of the more popular "sleeper" teams this season, the Jaguars opened the season with a loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. This week, they take on another talented quarterback in San Diego. That said, Philip Rivers has had more success with Keenan Allen than he has had without him. (Of course, all quarterbacks are going to be less productive without their No. 1 receiver.)

The Chargers have one of the league's best young cornerbacks in Jason Verrett, but Verrett is 5-foot-9 and Jacksonville's stud 23-year-old receiver Allen Robinson is 6-foot-3. Verrett won't shadow him on every snap, but I think he has a better game than expected given the matchup vs. Verrett.

That said, the Jaguars have two other favorable matchups with Julius Thomas, who had his best game (9/116/1) as a Jag against the Chargers last season. And with safety Eric Weddle now in Baltimore, the matchup is even better. The other favorable matchup is for T.J. Yeldon, who struggled last week with an inefficient 21/39/1 rushing line. That said, the Chargers allowed a 199-yard performance to Spencer Ware last week while being gashed at a clip of 4.98 yards per RB carry last season.

Not only do I think the Jags keep this game close, but I expect them to win the game outright.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 2 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Looking to rebound after a slow start in Week 1, here are my Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers -13.5 over San Francisco 49ers (5 Units)

San Francisco on a short week traveling across the country to face the NFC champs, who are looking to rebound after a tough Week 1 loss at Denver? Give me all the Panthers in this one. I think the Panthers will win this one in a route. This feels like one of those 5-TD games from Cam Newton. Panthers 44, 49ers 12.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Tennessee Titans +6 over Detroit Lions (2 Units)

I think the Titans can hang with the Lions here on the road and it wouldn't shock me to see them win the game. The Lions gave up three TDs last week to Indy tight ends and the Titans have vowed to get Delanie Walker the ball more this week. I think Marcus Mariota connects with Walker at least once for a TD, and the Titans defense plays well enough to keep it close. Lions 20, Titans 17.

Cincinnati Bengals +3.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (4 Units)

I like the Bengals to win this one out right in Pittsburgh on Sunday. A.J. Green is my favorite WR this week in DFS and I think he has two deep touchdowns to propel the Bengals to the W in the Steel City.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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September 16, 2016

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 2

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 2 games.

Essentially, it was a draft with each of us alternating picks for the lineup. Sean had the first and odd-numbered picks; I had the second and even-numbered picks.

Below we will include analysis of each pick, but here is how the final roster shaped up:

QB - Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (vs. SF), $7,900
RB - C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos (vs. IND), $6,800
RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (vs. NO), $5,600
WR - DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins (vs. DAL), $6,300
WR - Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (vs. TB), $5,900
WR - Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore Ravens (at CLE), $4,300
TE - Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints (at NYG), $3,900
FLEX - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers (vs. JAX), $5,200
DST - Carolina Panthers (vs. SF), $3,900

Below are the players in the order they were "drafted" (with comments by both of us):

1. Sean - Steve Smith Sr., WR, Baltimore Ravens (at CLE), $4,300: Smith led all Baltimore WRs, playing 66% of the snaps last week. He had a pretty weak 5-19 line on nine targets, but I really like this spot vs. the Browns this week. I’m not a big fan of Mike Wallace, and Breshad Perriman is nursing a calf injury that forced him to missed practice on Wednesday. (Practiced Thursday.) Value isn't as plentiful as Week 1, so finding some cheaper plays is going to be more important this week. Of the players in this price range at WR, I believe Smith is the most likely to pay off 5-6x value that you will need to win a GPP. Smith also is a good pivot off all three cheap San Diego options, and Tajae Sharpe who looked good Week 1.

[Comments by Kevin: Even though Wallace was the most productive Ravens receiver in Week 1, Smith was the most-targeted (nine) of the group. He was terribly inefficient (2.11 yards per target), but I expect him to lead the team in targets again in a favorable matchup. Worth a flier.]

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

2. Kevin - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos (vs. IND), $6,800: With a high floor and plenty of upside, Anderson will be the building block in the majority of my lineups (both GPPs and cash games). After a slow start last season, CJA averaged an RB-high 6.35 yards per carry from Weeks 7 to 17 last season and racked up a total of 139 yards and two scores on 24 touches in Week 1. Favored by nearly a touchdown at home against a soft Colts defense as the focal point of a run-heavy offense, what is not to like? The Colts surrendered four total TDs -- two rushing and two receiving -- to RBs in last week's shootout against the Lions.

[Comments by Sean: I expect Anderson to be the highest-owned RB this week. The Colts defense is horrendous. Theo Riddick was a huge weapon out of the backfield last week, and Anderson is a dual threat back in an offense that will likely be doing a lot of dink and dunking. Sign me up for Anderson.]

3. Sean - Coby Fleener, TE, New Orleans Saints (at NYG), $3,900: We saw Dak and the Cowboys attack the middle of the field all last week vs. the Giants. Part of that was to protect Dak, but also I think the Giants corners are underrated. Drew Brees spreads the ball around better than probably any QB in the league so I could see a big game from Fleener this week. I think the recency bias will draw the ownership of Willie Snead & Brandin Cooks up, while Fleener’s should be relatively low. Fleener is a very good play to get a piece of this game at a low price.

[Comments by Kevin: In a game where Brees threw for 423 yards and four touchdowns in a soft matchup for TEs, Fleener had one catch for six yards. SIX! That will scare off many. Perhaps rightfully so. That said, there is plenty of upside in another favorable matchup for opposing TEs. It wouldn't surprise me if the Saints game-planned to exploit the middle of the field with Fleener and he goes off.]

4. Kevin - DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins (vs. DAL), $6,300: A big play waiting to happen, his lone career 200-yard game came against the Cowboys. Since signing with Washington, Jackson has at least 80 yards per game with a score in two of three Washington-Dallas games (he didn't play in Week 17 last year). In those three games, D-Jax has a combined line of 14/302/2 (21.57 Y/R).

[Comments by Sean: Jackson is the ultimate GPP play. He has scored over 15 DK points in his last three games vs. the Cowboys. I’m not sure how much exposure to any of the Redskins receivers I will have this giving the Cowboys projected pace of play, and the fact that Kirk Cousins spread the ball around so well last week. I’ll trust Kevin here with his gut shot though giving that he is a Cowboys fan.]

5. Sean - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (vs. SF), $7,900: I’m trying my best to get Cam into my cash lineup this week, but it's very hard considering you want to roster one of the elite WRs as well. I will however have extra exposure to him in tournaments. He is one of the few QBs in the league who has 40-point scoring potential, and this is one of those matchups where I could see the Panthers scoring 40+ points despite facing the league's "best" defense, lol. I’m hoping that red #1 scares off some people.

[Comments by Kevin: Brees and Eli Manning could be the two highest-owned QBs, but Newton is my top-ranked QB and no QB has the type of weekly upside that he does. The 49ers play so fast and the Panthers defense is so good that I expect a lot of Niner three-and-outs to lead to a lot of Panther drives. I absolutely love the upside here.]

6. Kevin - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants (vs. NO), $5,600: Jennings didn't have a great performance Week 1, but he had 19 touches. In their past four games, Jennings has a total of 81 touches. Priced as an "average" player ($5,555 average salary per roster spot), Jennings is virtually assured of 20 touches against one of the softest defenses in the league in a game with the highest over/under of the week. While Odell Beckham obviously has a ton of upside, so does Jennings as only the Panthers are projected to score more points this week (based on Vegas odds).

[Comments by Sean: So we faded the Saints WRs with Fleener and now ODB with Jennings. This is a great pivot off extremely high-owned players. I don’t think Jennings will go as overlooked as Fleener, but he still is a great play here. If the Giants get off to a lead at home which they could, we could see Jennings with a 100-yard, 2-TD type of game.]

7. Sean - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers (vs. JAX), $5,200: I wrote up Woodhead as my favorite DK play of the week. I think Woodhead will be chalky giving the lack of value this week, but so was Spencer Ware last week. If you didn't have Ware last week in tournaments, you were behind a quarter of the field. This is an up-tempo game and I definitely think Woodhead pays off his sub-6K price tag.

[Comments by Kevin: The Keenan Allen injury means that there will be plenty of passing-game targets for other options. Of course, players like Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, etc. will see an uptick, but I think Woodhead could see a higher volume of targets as well. I found it interesting that Woodhead doubled Melvin Gordon's snaps last week despite a pair of MG3 touchdowns and a commanding early lead last week.]

8. Kevin - Carolina Panthers DST (vs. SF), $3,900: Given what the 49ers defense did against Case Keenum and the anemic Rams offense, I expect plenty to load up on the ($100 cheaper) Seahawks defense against the Rams. After losing a hard-fought battle in a Super Bowl re-match, I expect the Panthers to take out their frustrations at home. Playing with the lead wire to wire, the 49ers offense looked better than expected last week. Things won't go as smoothly if they're forced into catch-up mode early. Carolina is favored by two TDs. The Panthers scored five defensive TDs last week and there is an excellent chance they get one this week.

[Comments by Sean: The Panthers are the highest-priced defense and for good reason. They should dominate this game which should mean tee off time on Blaine Gabbert. I could see a half-dozen sacks, and a few turnovers in this one. I generally like to play cheap defenses in GPPs but I can’t argue with this one. Great spot.]

9. Kevin - Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals (vs. TB), $5,900: I debated three receivers here with the remaining money -- Willie Snead, Michael Crabtree and Floyd. I like all of them, but I think Floyd will be the lowest-owned after Larry Fitzgerald had a pair of touchdowns last week. The Bucs actually have a good run defense -- both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman averaged less than 3.0 YPC last week -- so I expect the Cardinals to throw the ball often. Floyd showed his upside last year down the stretch with five 100-yard performances over the final half season.

[Comments by Sean: Floyd will definitely be low-owned. I expect ownership under 5%. Kevin had the double pick at the end and really wanted the Panthers defense. Most will take Willie Snead at this price point, but in a GPP this could pay off going off the board.]

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September 15, 2016

2016 NFL Power Rankings: Week 2



Here are our Week 2 NFL Power Rankings:

1. New England Patriots (Record: 1-0; Last: 3)

With Tom Brady suspended and Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) inactive, things went better for Jimmy Garoppolo and the Patriots than anyone could have expected as they escaped with a road win in the desert. There is a chance that the Patriots emerge from Brady's suspension with a 4-0 record as they have three winnable home games against the Dolphins, Texans and Bills over the next three weeks.

2. Seattle Seahawks (Record: 1-0; Last: 1)

It took a last-minute touchdown from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin (31 seconds to go) to avoid a home loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. There was some worry that Wilson (ankle) might miss Week 2, but he has returned to practice and is considered a "full go" for Week 2.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (Record: 1-0; Last: 4)

Once again, no Le'Veon Bell, no problem. The oldest running back in the NFL at 33, Williams racked up 171 yards from scrimmage and scored twice in the team's MNF win. Not that it's a good thing to be without a talent like Bell, but perhaps the suspension will turn out to be a blessing in disguise -- keeping him fresh for a full season (once he returns).

4. Green Bay Packers (Record: 1-0; Last: 5)

Aaron Rodgers threw for only 199 yards, but he accounted for three touchdowns -- two passing (one to Jordy Nelson) and one rushing -- in the team's 27-23 win over the Jags.

5. Denver Broncos (Record: 1-0; Last: 8)

C.J. Anderson averaged an RB-high 6.35 yards per carry from Weeks 7 to 17 last season and he picked up where he left off in Week 1. Anderson racked up a total of 139 yards and two scores on 24 touches against a stingy Panthers defense. Inexperience at quarterback is a concern, but the Broncos will rely heavily on their rushing attack and defense.

6. Arizona Cardinals (Record: 0-1; Last: 2)

Like last season, Larry Fitzgerald has begun the year with a hot start with 81 yards and two scores, but it wasn't enough. It was a disappointing loss in the opener against a Brady-less, Gronk-less Patriots, but the Cardinals are one of the most-balanced and talented teams in the NFL.

7. Carolina Panthers (Record: 0-1; Last: 6)

After a tough loss in a Super Bowl rematch, the Panthers are this week's biggest favorites and projected to score the most points based on Vegas odds.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (Record: 1-0; Last: 7)

Even though Andy Dalton was sacked seven times, A.J. Green went off with a 12/180/1 line against the Jets as the Bengals escaped with a one-point victory.

9. Minnesota Vikings (Record: 1-0; Last: 9)

Despite a slow start from Adrian Peterson (19 carries for 31 yards), the Vikings defense scored two more touchdowns than the Vikings offense in Week 1.

10. Oakland Raiders (Record: 1-0; Last: 10)

Trailing by a point in the final minute, it was a gutsy call to go for two, but it made sense considering the amount of offense (and lack of defense) in the team's 35-34 win over the Saints.

11. Houston Texans (Record: 1-0; Last: 12)

Under-utilized in Miami, Lamar Miller carried the ball a career-high 28 times for 106 yards and added four catches for 11 yards in his Texans debut.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (Record: 1-0; Last: 13)

Overcoming a 17-point deficit on Sunday, the Chiefs set a franchise record with their largest come-from-behind victory. Accounting for nearly 200 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, Spencer Ware led the team in both rushing (11/70/1) and receiving (7/129/0) in Week 1 against the Chargers.

13. Baltimore Ravens (Record: 1-0; Last: 18)

Since leaving the Steelers for free agency after the 2012 season, Wallace set a four-year high for his long reception (66 yards) in his first game with the Ravens.

14. New York Jets (Record: 0-1; Last: 11)

The good news? The Jets sacked Andy Dalton seven times. The bad news? They still lost and have a difficult upcoming schedule with the Bills on Thursday Night Football and then four consecutive 2015 playoff teams: Chiefs, Seahawks, Steelers and Cardinals.

15. New York Giants (Record: 1-0; Last: 21)

Eli Manning threw three touchdowns as the Giants beat the Cowboys by a point. This week, the Giants host the Saints, who have surrendered 10 passing touchdowns to Manning in his past two games against them.

16. Detroit Lions (Record: 1-0; Last: 22)

Winning a shootout against a bad and banged-up Colts defense, Matthew Stafford completed 31-of-39 pass attempts for 340 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 1. In his past seven games, Stafford has thrown 20 touchdowns and one interception.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Record: 1-0; Last: 25)

2015 No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston threw four TDs in the season opener as the Bucs beat division-rival Atlanta. It was the second-most touchdown passes Winston has thrown in his young career.

18. Jacksonville Jaguars (Record: 0-1; Last: 15)

With Chris Ivory scratched, T.J. Yeldon managed only 39 rushing yards on 21 carries (1.9 YPC) against the Packers in Week 1. It seems unlikely that Ivory will play this week, but the Chargers gave up 199 YFS to Spencer Ware last week.

19. Indianapolis Colts (Record: 0-1; Last: 14)

Andrew Luck and the passing offense could be great this year. Their defense won't be.

20. Dallas Cowboys (Record: 0-1; Last: 16)

Rookie Ezekiel Elliott described his play as "average" in the opener. Not quite "average," Elliott gained just 51 yards on his 20 carries (2.55 YPC).

21. Philadelphia Eagles (Record: 1-0; Last: 30)

Rookie Carson Wentz played well (278 yards and two TDs) in his NFL debut and Wentz and the Eagles will face the Bears in prime time in Week 2.

22. Washington Redskins (Record: 0-1; Last: 17)

In Washington's MNF loss, they ran the ball only 12 times (a league-low 21.82 percent of their plays). Game flow obviously influenced that, but one of the concerns for Washington's offense this season will be their effectiveness (or lack therof) running the ball.

23. New Orleans Saints (Record: 0-1; Last: 19)

Drew Brees threw for 423 yards and four touchdowns as the Saints opened the season with a 35-34 loss. As always, it's the defense, not offense, that is the problem and the Saints have lost their best cornerback, Devin Breaux, to a fractured fibula.

24. Buffalo Bills (Record: 0-1; Last: 20)

Tyrod Taylor and the Bills offense got off to a slow start. Depending on the health of Sammy Watkins' foot, there is potential that the Bills offense underachieves all season.

25. Tennessee Titans (Record: 0-1; Last: 24)

The good news? The Titans defense did not allow any touchdowns in Week 1. The bad news? Their offense allowed two of them.

26. Miami Dolphins (Record: 0-1; Last: 26)

After nearly pulling off the upset in Seattle, the Dolphins head to New England for another tough road game. Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 300-plus yards in three consecutive (and four of his past five) games agianst the Patriots.

27. San Diego Chargers (Record: 0-1; Last: 28)

On pace for 134 catches last season before suffering a season-ending kidney injury, Keenan Allen will miss even more time in 2016 as he suffered a torn ACL in Week 1. It's a devastating blow to the Chargers offense and hopefully Allen will be able to stay healthy in 2017, but he will play only 38 total games in his first four NFL seasons combined.

28. Atlanta Falcons (Record: 0-1; Last: 27)

The Falcons ranked last in the NFL in sacks (19) last season. In Week 1, they failed to sack Jameis Winston.

29. Chicago Bears (Record: 0-1; Last: 29)

The team's offensive line struggled as Jay Cutler was sacked five times in the opener.

30. San Francisco 49ers (Record: 1-0; Last: 32)

Things went MUCH better than expected for the 49ers in Week 1. They should came back down to earth this week following a tough matchup against the Panthers in Week 2.

31. Los Angeles Rams (Record: 0-1; Last: 23)

With Jared Goff inactive, Case Keenum and the Rams generated no points and virtually no offense against the 49ers.

32. Cleveland Browns (Record: 0-1; Last: 31)

With RG3 placed on Injured Reserve, the Browns turn (back) to Josh McCown. McCown threw 12 touchdowns to four interceptions in eight games last season and he set a career high with 457 passing yards last year against this week's opponent (Baltimore).

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September 14, 2016

Week 2 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

After getting off to a 2-1 start in Week 1, here are my Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

Tennessee Titans +6 over Detroit Lions (3 Units)

The Lions were impressive in Week 1, hanging 39 points in Indianapolis to secure the victory. Tennessee was in a close game with Minnesota until two costly turnovers gave the Vikings 14 quick points. I think Detroit will still probably win the game, but I like the Titans with the points.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Cleveland Browns +6.5 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

The Browns looked pretty terrible in Week 1, but I'm going to give the Eagle defense some credit for that. The Ravens should be a softer matchup this week, and the transition from RG3 to Josh McCown should give the Cleveland offense more stability. I expect a close division game that could go either way, so I'll definitely grab the 6.5 here.

Washington Redskins -2.5 over Dallas Cowboys (3 Units)

I'm a little reluctant to give points here, but I think the Redskins are going to have a good year and I really like their offense. After getting thumped pretty well by Pittsburgh at home on Monday night, I like them to bounce back against Dallas. The Cowboys looked ok against the Giants, and I like Ezekiel Elliott to have a good game, but I don't think they'll have enough to win it. I'll give the 2.5.

Indianapolis Colts +6 over Denver Broncos (3 Units)

Denver's defense is fierce and they won't make it easy on Andrew Luck this week. That said, while the Colts defense is just atrocious, I don't know if the Broncos offense really has the fire power to exploit that fact. I also don't think it will be in the game plan to really win it on Trevor Siemian's arm. The Colts are going to play with a greater sense of urgency, coming off a loss in their home opener. I expect a close game so I'll take the 6 points.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 2

Every week of the 2016 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts in our weekly DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 2?

Sean Beazley: Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers (vs. JAX), $5,200

Woodhead outsnapped Melvin Gordon 50-23 on Sunday and had seven more touches. Even when the Chargers were up big in the game, the Chargers were using Woodhead, which is a pretty telling sign.

The Chargers will be without Keenan Allen for the rest of the season, and will need to turn to Woodhead even more in the passing game. Woodhead could see upwards of 10 targets this week against a Jags defense that gave up 105 receptions to RBs last year (third-highest in the NFL). Woodhead could even be safe in cash this week as well.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Kevin Hanson: C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos (vs. IND), $6,800

After a slow start last season, CJA averaged an RB-high 6.35 yards per carry from Weeks 7 to 17. Picking up where he left off, Anderson racked up a total of 139 yards and two scores on 24 touches as he finished Week 1 as a top-three back.

Favored by nearly a touchdown (-6) in Week 2, the Broncos should once again force feed the ball to Anderson. CJA gets a favorable matchup against the Colts, who allowed a pair (Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah) of top-10 fantasy running backs last week.

Six running backs have a higher salary than Anderson this week. That said, there is only one running back ahead of him in my PPR running backs: David Johnson, who's also the highest-priced back of the week. With plenty a high floor and plenty of upside, he'll be the building block in the majority of my lineups.

Brendan Donahue: Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints (at NYG), $5,800

Even though it's only been one week, I think the Saints have already come to the realization that they are only going to win games in shootouts this year, which is great for us in fantasy. Snead had a terrific Week 1 catching all nine targets for 172 yards and a touchdown. In last year's matchup with the Giants, Snead put up 25 points on DraftKings with 6 catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns. I see another high-scoring game between these two teams and Snead is in line for another big game.

John Trifone: Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers (vs. JAX), $5,200

If you're not playing Eli Manning and Odell Beckham in cash Week 2, you're going to be in the minority. And you should be. There are plenty of tournament options I like as pivots off Eli - specifically Philip Rivers, who everyone will be off after the Keenan Allen news. I also like Kirk Cousins in tournaments after having a sub-par performance on Monday night.

My favorite early value play, though, would probably be Danny Woodhead. He substantially out-snapped Melvin Gordon Week 1 and has better usage with Keenan out of the lineup. With DK's PPR scoring, Woodhead has a safe floor and also a fairly high ceiling in what should be a relatively fast-paced game against Jacksonville. At $5,200, he looks like great value to me.

Dan Yanotchko: T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (at SD), $4,700

This week I like T.J. Yeldon of the Jaguars going against a very bad Chargers run defense. Chris Ivory was just released from the hospital, and most likely will not play this week. Although he was inefficient, Yeldon had 25 touches -- 21 carries and four receptions -- last week and added a TD. Also, last week San Diego gave up 4.4 yards per carry and two scores as well.

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September 13, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 2

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 2 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

WR - Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans (46 percent)

Houston rookie Will Fuller (51 percent) missed our self-imposed 50-percent rule, but he would top this list if he were eligible. Instead, another AFC South rookie tops this list.

After leading college football in receptions, Sharpe generated plenty of positive buzz throughout the offseason and had a productive preseason. It was more of the same for the rookie out of UMass as he led the Titans with seven catches for 76 yards on a team-high 11 targets.

While Marcus Mariota won't throw the ball 41 times per week, Sharpe should continue to lead the receiving corps in production. Even in a conservative, run-oriented offense, Sharpe should flirt with WR3/flex production on a weekly basis with upside for more once byes start in a few weeks.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

WR - Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons (45 percent)

Both targeted eight times in Sunday's loss to the Bucs, Sanu (5/80/1) was more productive than Julio Jones (4/66/1). That obviously won't happen often (or maybe ever again), but Sanu could be a productive WR3 going forward as Jones draws the bulk of the attention from opposing defenses. In addition, Sanu (and the Falcons) gets a couple of favorite matchups against the Raiders and Saints in the next weeks before a brutal three-game stretch against the Panthers, Broncos and Seahawks.

WR - Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts (39 percent)

With Coby Fleener in New Orleans, the Colts are expected to use more three-WR sets and Donte Moncrief (68/70 snaps), T.Y. Hilton (67/70) and Dorsett (51/70) all played more than 50 snaps each as the Colts trailed the majority of their Week 1 loss. Targeted six times, Dorsett finished with four catches for 94 yards (23.5 Y/R).

One of the fastest players in the NFL, Dorsett will have plenty of big plays as two of his four receptions were for more than 30 yards each (51 and 33 yards). It's difficult to rely on him as a weekly starter, but he's worth stashing on your bench and could move into the WR3/flex range in weeks with expected shootouts.

WR - Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals (five percent)

LaFell actually led the team's receivers in snaps (55) although that was only one more than A.J. Green, who had a monster game (12/180/1) on his visit to Revis Island. LaFell had a productive outing (4/91 on four targets) and he's the team clear No. 2 receiver after AJG. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if LaFell dropped to fourth on target depth chart at some point this season once Tyler Eifert returns and assuming Tyler Boyd continues to see his role expand within the offense.

WR - Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers (eight percent)

The absence of Markus Wheaton opened up some additional opportunities for Rogers, who finished with 6/59/1 on seven targets in the team's MNF win over Washington. That said, he's the team's No. 3/slot receiver when Wheaton is healthy and has drawn rave reviews this offseason from Ben Roethlisberger and OC Todd Haley. Rogers is especially worth consideration in PPR formats.

WR - Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens (36 percent)

A vertical threat that is finally playing with a quarterback that can push the ball down the field, Wallace had a 66-yard touchdown in the season opener. Wallace finished with three catches for 91 yards and a touchdown and the Ravens get a soft matchup in Week 2 against the Browns.

WR - Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens (46 percent)

While Wallace was more productive, Smith Sr. had more targets (nine) than Wallace (six) although he turned those targets into only 19 yards on five receptions. As he continues to get back into shape following last year's devastating Achilles' injury, Smith should continue to lead the team in targets (and perhaps production). Wallace has more weekly upside, while Smith will likely have more consistency from week to week due to his volume of targets.

WR - Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers (three percent)

The Chargers receiving corps was delivered a devastating blow in Week 1. One year after Keenan Allen was lost for half of the season with a kidney ailment, he's now going to miss 15 1/2 games due to a torn ACL. The injury diminishes the fantasy outlook for Philip Rivers, but one player that gets a boost from the injury is Williams. As the team's No. 3 receiver entering the season, the 6-foot-3 speedster had some sleeper appeal and now he's virtually guaranteed of a more prominent role in the offense.

WR - Jeremy Kerley, San Francisco 49ers (one percent)

Recently acquired from the Lions, the 49ers wasted no time in featuring Kerley. (Of course, that says as much about the quality of the healthy talent on the roster as it does about Kerley.) Either way, Kerley had a team-high 11 targets in a 28-0 blowout win only two weeks after joining the club. While he won't have much value in standard-scoring leagues, he has the potential to return WR3-type value in PPR formats.

WR - Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (three percent)

With Tony Romo sidelined, Beasley may be more trustworthy than Terrance Williams (not considering running the wrong direction on his final reception) on a weekly basis. Beasley actually had more targets (12) than the team's other three receivers -- Dez Bryant (five), Williams (four) and Brice Butler (two) -- combined. Especially in deeper PPR formats, Beasley is worth a long look.

WR - Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets (one percent)

With Jace Amaro released, no Jets "tight end" was targeted in the opener. That said, Enunwa essentially operates as the team's tight end. Enunwa won't get seven catches for eight targets every week, but he played 63/71 snaps (88.73%) and he could have plenty of opportunities as defenses try to limit Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker as much as possible.

WR - Chris Hogan, New England Patriots (31 percent)

It's difficult to trust Hogan on a weekly basis, but the free-agent addition finished as fantasy's WR17 (12.0 fantasy points) in his debut with his new team. Hogan finished with 3/60/1, but he was targeted only four times.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 2

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 2

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 2 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

RB - Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (43 percent)

The Falcons did what they said they would do: Get Tevin Coleman more involved. As feared, it was at the expense of Devonta Freeman. Both backs played a fairly even number of snaps (36 for Freeman to Coleman's 32). While Freeman (15) edged Coleman (13) in touches, Coleman was more productive with 77 more total yards (117 to 40).

Showing off his big-play ability, Coleman had a 47-yard reception and four of his five receptions went for at least 16 yards. Based on his Week 1 effectiveness, Coleman should continue to get (roughly) as much work as Freeman and deserves to be owned in all leagues.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

RB - Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (35 percent)

Playing only 24 snaps in Week 1, Riddick touched the ball on half of his snaps played. The versatile back had seven carries for 45 yards and a touchdown plus five catches for 63 yards and another score in Week 1's win over the Colts. Ameer Abdullah was productive -- 120 YFS and a score on 17 touches -- as well.

Riddick is unlikely to average seven carries per game and he only scored three touchdowns in all of last season, but he should be 100-percent owned in PPR formats and is worth a look in standard-scoring leagues. With 80 receptions last season, Riddick finished as the RB18 in PPR leagues (RB38 in standard-scoring formats) in 2015.

RB - Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (eight percent)

With a three-down skill set, Dixon rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three out of four seasons and posted 30-plus catches in back-to-back seasons at Louisiana Tech. Dixon sustained a left knee sprain in Baltimore's third preseason game so he may still miss a few more games.

In the opener, Javorius Allen was a surprise inactive and neither Justin Forsett (56 yards on 13 touches) or Terrance West (38 yards on 14 touches) lit the world on fire in Week 1. SI's Peter King wrote not too long ago that he wouldn't be surprised if Dixon is the starter by the middle of the October.

(Me either.)

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (29 percent)

As noted above, West was not very efficient in the opener with 12 carries for 32 yards (2.67 YPC) and two catches for six yards. Playing nearly as many snaps as Forsett (34 snaps), West (30 snaps) got one more touch than Forsett. With West more likely to get goal-line opportunities over Forsett as well, I'd prefer him over Forsett, who is owned in 60 percent of leagues.

RB - Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (three percent)

Draughn did lose a fumble last night, but the backup to Carlos Hyde still had nine touches in their Monday Night Football matchup against the Rams. Draughn only had 36 yards, but he did score a touchdown. Given the durability history of Hyde and his sizable volume with Hyde healthy, Draughn is worth a look in all formats.

RB - James White, New England Patriots (47 percent)

With Dion Lewis on the PUP list, White will be the team's passing-game back for at least five more weeks. Getting only one carry in the opener, White converted five of seven targets into 40 yards on Sunday night. Down the stretch last season with Lewis sidelined, White finished as a top-12 fantasy running back in three of the last seven games of the season and averaged 15.26 PPR points per game during that stretch.

It would take a leap of faith to actually start White given Bill Belichick's unpredictability with allocating running back touches, but White should have a few highly productive games over the next half season.

RB - Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders (one percent)

Getting the second-most snaps (10) among Oakland's running backs after Latavius Murray (45), Richard had three carries for 84 yards, which included a 75-yard touchdown run, and had two receptions for 11 yards. Generating buzz in August, he's worth a look for those in deeper leagues.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 2

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 2

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 2 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

QB - Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (seven percent)

In his NFL debut on Sunday, Wentz completed 22-of-37 pass attempts for 278 yards and two touchdowns as he scored more than 19 fantasy points and finished as a top-12 fantasy QB against the Browns. Especially given the amount of time that he missed in the preseason, it was an impressive performance for the rookie. Looking at his numbers, here are a couple of surprises: (1) Wentz threw it 37 times despite the Eagles winning by 19 points and (2) Wentz ran the ball only twice.

On the team's first offensive series, Wentz marched the team down the field on a drive that culminated with a TD pass to Jordan Matthews so Philadelphia led the game nearly wire to wire. I expected closer to 30 pass attempts for Wentz, although the team ran the ball a total of 40 times. Given his mobility, Wentz should run the ball more often in future weeks than he did in Week 1 and that helps boost his floor given what should be some ups and downs as a rookie passer.

The Eagles go into Week 2 as 3.5-point underdogs, but the Bears secondary offers Wentz another favorable matchup.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

QB - Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (18 percent)

Excluding last year's injury-shortened season, Flacco had finished as a top-20 fantasy quarterback in each of the first seven seasons of his career and as a top-16 performer in four of five seasons from 2010-2014. Flacco got off to a slow start in Week 1 with only 12 fantasy points against the Bills as he threw for 258 yards and one touchdown. His immediate fantasy outlook is looking up though as it's Flacco's turn to face the Browns in Week 2. Like Wentz last week, Flacco has top-12 upside as a streamer in Week 2.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (31 percent)

A slow start against the stingy Seahawks defense was expected and Tannehill threw for only 186 yards and no touchdowns against the Seahawks, but he did rush for the team's only score in the game. And if a wide-open Kenny Stills did not make a brutal drop of what would have been a 70-yard touchdown (and nearly seven fantasy points for Tannehill), it would have been a much different fantasy outcome for Tannehill. (He would have had 22-plus fantasy points and finished the week as a top-10 performer.)

The matchup against the Patriots in Week 2 isn't great either, but Tannehill has thrown for 300-plus yards in three consecutive games (and four of his last five) against his division rival. Meanwhile, Tannehill is on deck for a favorable matchup against the Browns in Week 3 if you're looking a little further ahead.

QB - Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans (28 percent)

Osweiler doesn't have a great matchup against the Chiefs in Week 2, but the Texans play as fast as any team in the league and he has plenty of talented options on offense with DeAndre Hopkins and rookie Will Fuller at receiver and Lamar Miller in the backfield. There will be plenty of streaming opportunities for Osweiler down the line.

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 2

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some tight end waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 2 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

TE - Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers (25 percent)

I expected a larger volume of targets (than three) for McDonald in the opener, but he did score on one of his two receptions. That said, the Rams defend tight ends well and McDonald has another difficult positional matchup against the Panthers in Week 2.

Over his final six games in 2015, however, McDonald had 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns and he finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends over that span. As long as Blaine Gabbert remains the starting quarterback, I think McDonald could finish as a back-end TE1 in 2016.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

TE - Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers (21 percent)

James had seven targets, five catches and 31 yards in the season opener against Washington on Monday night. Only Antonio Brown (11) and DeAngelo Williams (nine) had more targets than James, but his long reception was just eight yards. A big-bodied tight end, however, James saw multiple targets inside the 10 this week and it's possible that James finishes the year with six to eight TDs.

TE - Clive Walford, Oakland Raiders (19 percent)

In a shootout with nearly 70 total points and a matchup as favorable as the one against the Saints, it was a disappointing performance for Walford, who finished with three receptions (on five targets) for 25 yards. Walford has another favorable matchup as the Falcons allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to the position in 2015 and they gave up a pair of touchdowns to tight ends in the regular-season opener against the Bucs on Sunday. I wouldn't necessarily trust Walford as a starter this week, but bigger and better performances should be in his near-term future.

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (18 percent)

Only Stefon Diggs (nine) drew more targets than Rudolph (eight), who finished with four catches for 65 yards. It's hard to get too excited about Rudolph as it was only his sixth game with at least 65 yards over 65 career games. With Shaun Hill (and eventually Sam Bradford, possible this week) under center, however, it's possible that he sees the second-most targets on Minnesota this season. (Granted, the Vikings threw the ball fewer than any other team in the league last year.)

TE - Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons (two percent)

Tamme had a productive Week 1 as he finished with six catches for 51 yards on eight targets. I don't expect those numbers on a consistent basis from Tamme, but he has a pair of favorable matchups in Weeks 2 and 3 against the Raiders and Saints and could be a good option for owners looking to find an injury fill-in for Zach Ertz (ribs). Along with the Giants, both teams finished in the top-three in terms of most fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends in 2015.

TE - Virgil Green, Denver Broncos (27 percent)

Behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, Green is no better than third in line for targets in a run-first offense with an inexperienced quarterback under center. If he finishes in the neighborhood of 80 targets (five times 16 games), however, that would have been good enough to finish 16th among tight ends last season. In other words, he has the potential to finish as a solid TE2 despite his modest Week 1 stat line (4/28).

TE - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (nine percent)

Based on talent, Seferian-Jenkins is arguably the most-talented player on this list. That said, both Luke Stocker (37 snaps, 63.79%) and Cameron Brate (25, 43.10%) saw more action than Seferian-Jenkins (18, 31.03%). The third-year tight end did catch a 30-yard touchdown in the opener, but it was his only target in the game.

ASJ is too unreliable to start in the near future, but it's certainly possible that he sees his playing time and offensive involvement increase throughout the season if he can stay out of Dirk Koetter's dog house. And if (perhaps a big if) he eventually plays 60-plus percent of the team's snaps, he could post top-12 production from that point forward.

TE - Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (27 percent)

Targeted only three times and finishing with two catches for 40 yards in Week 1, Clay is limited by Buffalo's low-volume passing offense. Depending on the status of Sammy Watkins (foot), however, Clay could become the team's top passing-game option if Watkins misses time. Initial reports by Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News suggested Watkins could be shut down for a lengthy period, but Watkins says that his foot is "fine."

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 2

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September 12, 2016

Week in Review: Week 1 DraftKings Cash Game Lineup Review

To Dak or not to Dak was the question that the majority of us faced headed into Week 1. I had two DraftKings cash lineups ready to roll, one with Dak Prescott and the other with Matthew Stafford, who was my favorite QB of the week.

Here is a review of my DraftKings cash lineup and the thought process behind the picks:

QB - Dak Prescott, $5,000: 10.28 DK points
I ended up going with Dak because it opened so much cap space in my lineup. The elite WRs that I liked -- Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins -- had great matchups, and I wanted them both in my lineup. My thought was even if Dak had a bad game around 10 DK points, I would make up the points having my WR1/2 on the slate score big points.

RB - Spencer Ware, $4,400: 35.90 DK points
Ware was the no-brain play of the week in cash. Great matchup, and should get the majority of the work in garbage time as I expected Kansas City to win big. My big regret on Ware was in GPPs. I chose to pivot my 75% exposure from Ware to T.J. Yeldon and Christine Michael. I only had 30% Ware in tournaments yesterday.

RB - Christine Michael, $3,700: 9.9 DK points
I debated on Yeldon in cash as well after the Chris Ivory news broke, but I ended up with Michael. This is another game-flow pick as I thought Seattle would handle business at home and Michael would get 20+ touches.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

WR - Julio Jones $9,400: 16.60 DK points
Ware & Julio were the two players I wanted in cash this week. This pick was self-explanatory.

WR - DeAndre Hopkins, $8,800: 16.40 DK points
The thought of having Julio & Nuk on my cash team was tantalizing. Bears defense was in shambles, Brock Osweiler has looked sharp this preseason.

WR - Marvin Jones Jr. $4,600: 12.50 DK points
The Lions passing attack is something I wanted to target since the Colts were pretty much starting a brand new secondary yesterday. I played a lot of Theo Riddick in GPPs as I thought the Stafford/Jones/Tate stacks would be among the most popular.

TE - Martellus Bennett $3,400: 4.40 points
I had Dwayne Allen penciled In all week until the Gronk news broke. I thought the Patriots would be behind and forced to throw all game. I didn't even think of Bennett to be used as a blocker to help protect Jimmy Garoppolo. This was my biggest regret of the week and the 13 point difference between the 2 players would have won me another 11 head-to-heads.

Flex - Keenan Allen, $8,000: 12.30 points
Playing Keenan Allen in cash is like playing Anthony Davis in cash while playing NBA. I was willing to take the injury risk here though as I thought giving my predicted game flow that the Chargers would be playing from behind. Allen was unstoppable all game, and would have paid off that $8K price tag if he didn't get hurt.

DEF - Titans $2,600: 4 DK points
Low total home game, Shaun Hill as the opposing QB. There was a lot to love here. The Titans defense played great, but couldn't get any measurable stats. My other cash game consideration was Arizona at $900 more. They scored 6 points so in hindsight I am happy with my pick.

Total DK points 121.48
Cash win rate - 33%
50/50 - Didn’t cash

Some more general thoughts:

  • 33 combined points for 36% of my combined cap with Julio/Nuk was not going to cut it in cash this week.
  • Week 1 Game flow tough to predict. Missed script on three games -- Miami at Seattle, San Diego at Kansas City, and New England at Arizona.
  • Dak had some big drops, Nuk dropped a TD, Keenan injury. It was a rough week overall with some bad luck.
  • Biggest regret: Allen-for-Martellus swap.

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September 11, 2016

Report: Keenan Allen has ACL tear based on initial tests

San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen missed half of last season with a lacerated kidney. Unfortunately, it looks like he'll miss even more of the 2016 season with a knee injury.

Carted off in the first half, Allen is believed to have torn his right ACL based on initial tests.

One of the reasons I was high(er than most) on Philip Rivers this season was how productive he has been with Allen in the lineup.

Through the first eight games last season with Allen, Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game (second-most to only Tom Brady). From Week 9 through 17 without Allen, Rivers averaged 14.52/G (25th-most).

So, the loss of Allen is obviously a huge blow to the fantasy outlook for Rivers. In turn, it will boost the outlook of Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams as well as tight end Antonio Gates.

Benjamin is owned in three-quarters of Yahoo! leagues, but Williams is owned in only one percent.

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Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Jets, Cardinals and Vikings

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Jets +1.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (4 Units)

The Jets have a brutal start to their season ֫— Bengals, at Bills, at Chiefs, Seahawks, at Steelers and at Cardinals. Not only do they face five playoff teams in their first six games, but the one non-playoff team is a road game against a division rival on a short week (Thursday Night Football). They are underdogs in all of their first six games.

While this should be a low-scoring affair (41.5 O/U), the Jets offense should have some success. Not only do they have one of the league's best receiver duos (Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker), Decker will likely draw a matchup versus Josh Shaw, a plus matchup for Decker. The addition of Matt Forte via free agency gives them a pair of versatile backs as well. On the other side, the Bengals will be without Tyler Eifert on offense.

The Bengals were 8-0 ATS on the road last season, but the Jets have posted an 8-3 ATS record at home in their last 11 at MetLife Stadium. As small home 'dogs, I like the Jets to get the job done at home.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Arizona Cardinals -7 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

Tom Brady? Nope. Rob Gronkowski? Nope. Rob Ninkovich? Nope. Chandler Jones? Nope. I mean, yes. Well, sort of. He's playing; just not for the Patriots.

In my opinion, the Cardinals are one of the two best teams in the NFL (along with the Seahawks). They have true balance on both sides of the ball as well as run vs. pass. At full strength, the Patriots are obviously one of the best teams in the league as well, but the dynamic changes considerably without Brady and Gronk.

The Patriots are favored in their next three games without Brady, but Jimmy Garoppolo's debut has the potential to get ugly. I like the Cardinals to win by double digits in primetime.

Minnesota Vikings -3 over Tennessee Titans (2 Units)

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the direction of the Titans. Not only do they have a young franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota, but their "exotic smash-mouth" duo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry will help take some pressure off of Mariota. In addition, their offensive line upgrades should allow them to improve on their league-worst 54 sacks allowed last year.

The loss of Teddy Bridgewater for the season was a devastating blow to an up-and-coming Minnesota team that had/has the potential go from just making the playoffs to being serious Super Bowl contenders. With last year's rushing champion and one of the league's best defenses, the Vikings will play conservative football with Shaun Hill (or Sam Bradford) under center this week (in future weeks).

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Here are my Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans -5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

Thankfully football is back, and as always the first few weeks are always exciting, and we get quite a few fun matchups to go right along with kickoff weekend. Houston will be coming into this game with a brand new quarterback in Brock Osweiler, but what really will get the job done is the rushing attack led by Lamar Miller. The Bears were gashed on the ground last year to the tune of 121 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry. The other factor that I like, is the Texans defense, and more specifically their secondary's ability to blunt opposing passing attacks. The Texans were third-best in the league last year, at only allowing 210 yards passing per game, and opposing quarterbacks completed 59% of their throws. I like the Texans at home, as the Bears are still a few years away from having a typical Chicago defense.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Atlanta Falcons -2.5 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 Units)

The NFC South has always been good for a new team to emerge and win the division, and this could be the year that either Tampa or Atlanta comes out of the back to dethrone Carolina. The Falcons are traditionally hot starters, and also they have recent history on their side, as the favorite is 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 matchups. The Falcons have retooled their passing attack, and offensive line, and I really like Matt Ryan going up against a secondary that yielded 240 yards passing per game last year and 30 touchdowns through the air. The Falcons are usually great at home, and of course all the extra excitement that opening week brings.

New York Giants -1 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

Yet another great divisional matchup, and also of course we get one of the best possible rivalry games out there as well. The Cowboys will be an interesting team this year, and they are coming into this game starting rookie Dak Prescott, who had quite the impressive preseason. That is one factor in favor of the Giants this week, and also recent trends have been good to them, as they are 3-1 against the spread vs Dallas in the last 2 years. I really like Eli Manning in the Ben McAdoo offense, and I like his triple-headed monster options of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and hopefully welcome back Victor Cruz. I just really like the New York passing attack against a very weak Dallas secondary, even though they are on the road.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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September 10, 2016

Week 1 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jarvis Landry is listed below as a "start" for Week 1. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 1 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned DeAndre Hopkins, Alshon Jeffery and Landry and could only start two receivers, you should start Hopkins and Jeffery -- and in turn, bench Landry.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 1:

WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (vs. DET)

Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 as a rookie to 64 catches in year two for 733 yards and six touchdowns. Possessing an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), Moncrief, who recently turned 23, has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season.

ESPN's Mike Wells recently wrote that "Moncrief may not lead the Colts in receiving yards or yards per catch this season, but it won't be surprising if he leads them in receptions, because he'll be the receiver Luck turns to when a play breaks down." If it weren't for Andrew Luck's injuries last season, Moncrief would have posted better second-year numbers. In fact, five of his six touchdowns came within the seven games that Luck played.

With the Colts projected to score as many points as any other team in the NFL this week, Moncrief, T.Y. Hilton, et al, are set up for highly productive weeks.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

WR - Eric Decker, New York Jets (vs. CIN)

Scoring a touchdown in 12 of 15 games, Decker's weekly production was extremely consistent: 8.1 to 15.7 fantasy points every week (11.7-plus in PPR). While he finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy wide receiver only twice, he never finished worse than WR31 in any week last season. That consistency led to a top-10 full-season finish in fantasy points scored among wide receivers. A favorable matchup for Decker against Darqueze Dennard, who is doubtful with an ankle injury, means that Decker is in store for an even better matchup in Week 1.

WR - Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (at IND)

Jones set career highs in both receptions (65) and yards (816) in his final season with the Bengals last year. While the Lions could be more balanced this year, no team threw the ball on a higher percentage of their plays in 2015. Showing good chemistry with Matthew Stafford, Jones could be in store for career highs in receptions and yards in 2016. Both Jones and fellow receiver Golden Tate are starts this week in matchups against a depleted Colts defense missing its best cornerback.

WR - Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (at SEA)

In a record-setting season, Landry hauled in 110 receptions for 1,157 yards, added another 113 rushing yards and scored a total of six touchdowns. Not only did he finish as fantasy's WR8 in PPR formats, but he was the 13th-best receiver in standard-scoring formats as well. Despite facing a stingy Seahawks pass defense, Landry is a worthy start as Richard Sherman is unlikely to shadow the slot receiver. That said, the low projected total for the Dolphins (16.75, 32nd this week) limits Landry's upside.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 1:

WR - Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (at ARI)

Missing seven games with a broken foot, Edelman still posted a career high with seven receiving touchdowns and averaged 6.8 receptions and 76.9 yards per game, both of which were also career highs. Edelman is normally a high-volume receiver playing in lockstep with future HOFer Tom Brady. With Brady suspended for the first four games of the season, it's hard to trust Jimmy Garoppolo and Edelman to be on the same page in the opener, especially against a defensive challenge as difficult as the one they face against the Cardinals.

Once Brady returns, Edelman will be an every-week WR2 (or better). This week, however, he is nothing more than a WR3.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadephia Eagles (vs. CLE)

Improving on his rookie numbers (67/872/8), Matthews finished 2015 with 85 receptions for 997 yards and eight touchdowns. Fantasy owners had expected a bigger year-over-year improvement and Matthews was inconsistent, but I do expect this year's full-season numbers to exceed last year's production. That's the good news.

A knee injury kept Matthews out of the entire preseason, but he will be ready to play on Sunday against the Browns. Rookie Carson Wentz will make the start and it'll be the fourth Eagles quarterback with whom Matthews has played. As small home favorites with a rookie under center, the Eagles should dial up more running plays than passing plays, which undermines my confidence in all of the passing-game options.

WR - Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (at TEN)

Off to great start with 6/87 (or better) in his first four NFL games as a rookie, Diggs production fizzled down the stretch with 22 yards or less in four of his final five games. Even though the Vikings drafted Laquon Treadwell in the first round of this year's draft, Diggs enters the season as the team's clear No. 1 receiver.

Given Minnesota's low-volume pass offense (32nd in pass attempts last season) and the injury to Teddy Bridgewater, Diggs should be a productive yet unspectacular fantasy option in 2016. With Shaun Hill starting this week, the Vikings should rely heavily on Adrian Peterson in what should be one of the slowest-paced games of the weekend.

WR - Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers (vs. LA)

By default, Smith seemed to have a plenty of fantasy value going into the 2016 season. With Anquan Boldin no longer in San Francisco, Smith theoretically moved to the front of the line for targets in what should be an up-tempo offense. And while he set career lows in receptions (33), targets (62) and yards (663) last season, he did lead the NFL in Y/R (20.1). Smith was a top-24 fantasy WR in each of his first four seasons (2011 to 2014) before disappointing fantasy owners (WR48) in 2015. With only one target, and no catches, in the preseason, however, Smith is not even a viable WR3 option for Week 1.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 1

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Week 1 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Ryan Mathews is listed below as a "start" for Week 1. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 1 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Ezekiel Elliott, DeAngelo Williams and Mathews and could only start two of those three running backs, you should start Elliott and Williams -- and in turn, bench Mathews.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 1:

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. SD)

With Jamaal Charles doubtful for Week 1, Ware is set to draw the start in the opener and should have a fairly large role for at least the first month of the season. Even though Reid suggested "all" running backs will have a role in Week 1, I still expect Ware to handle the bulk of the workload. On 72 carries last season, the 230-pound back averaged 5.6 YPC and rushed for six touchdowns.

Ware and the Chiefs backs get a fantasy-friendly matchup against the Chargers, who surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing backs last season. In fact, the Chargers were tied for a league-high 0.80 fantasy points per touch allowed to running backs last season.

In two games against the Chargers last season, Ware carried the ball 19 times for a total of 148 yards (7.79 YPC) and two touchdowns. Favored by nearly a touchdown at home, the game script sets up favorably for Ware to get a high volume of carries in this one.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (at NO)

Not only did Murray rank fourth in the NFL in touches (307) last season, but no other running back had as many games with 15-plus touches than Murray (15). In addition, Coach Del Rio has talked about how he wants Murray to get even more carries in 2016 than he had in 2015.

Perhaps the Raiders will need to play catch up if the Drew Brees-led Saints offense jumps out to an early lead, but the Saints are favored by only 1.5 points in a game with this week's highest point total. In fact, I think the Raiders would prefer to give Murray a heavy workload to keep Brees off the field.

If Murray gets a large workload (as expected), the Saints defense should put up little resistance. A defense that isn't much better than last year's version, the Saints allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and no team allowed more fantasy points per touch (0.80) to running backs last season.

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. CLE)

As the Eagles traded Sam Bradford to the Vikings, it transformed the status of rookie Carson Wentz from "redshirt" to opening-week starter. While the Browns defense may not pose much resistance via the air, the Eagles presumably would prefer to rely heavily on the ground game instead. Mathews has been productive, when healthy, and he averaged a career-high 5.08 YPC in his first season with Eagles. It wouldn't surprise me if Mathews gets 20-plus touches in the season opener and he has top-10 upside.

- Related: Mathews was selected in our DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 1

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (at DAL)

Durability has long been a concern with Jennings as he played the first full 16-game season of his career in 2015 and set career highs of 195 carries and 863 rushing yards. Dominating touches in the final three games of the season, Jennings racked up 419 yards from scrimmage, which led all running backs during that span, on 62 touches (third-most).

The Cowboys will try to control the clock with their run game and the Giants had their two lowest times of possession in these two divisional tilts last season. Despite the potential of a slow-paced game, Jennings should get 15 to 20 touches and is a solid RB2 in all formats. Not only did the Cowboys rank 22nd in the NFL in rush defense, but only four teams allowed more rushing touchdowns than Dallas (16) last season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 1:

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (at NYJ)

One of my favorite players in terms of full-season outlooks, Hill starts the season with a less-than-favorable matchup against the Jets. Even though the Jets will be without Sheldon Richardson (suspension) and Damon "Snacks" Harrison (free agency), they possess one of the league's stingiest run defenses. Last year, they ranked second in run defense (83.4 YPG allowed) and third in YPC allowed (3.6) and limited opposing backs to the third-fewest fantasy points. While I think backfield mate Giovani Bernard will outperform Hill, Hill may be a solid flex option for Week 1 (RB25), but he is ranked much lower than he was in my preseason rankings (RB15).

RB - Arian Foster, Miami Dolphins (at SEA)

Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen had recently said (via the Miami Herald), “We really need someone to emerge as the guy. ... We don't want to substitute. ... We really need one guy to be a three-down back, stay in there for that drive.”

That guy is Foster. In fact, Jay Ajayi is expected to be a healthy scratch on Sunday.

While Foster should get enough volume to be a potential RB2, the matchup against last year's stingiest defense to fantasy running backs bumps him down to the flex range in my rankings (currently: RB28). Based on Vegas odds, the Dolphins have this week's lowest implied team total (16.75 points).

RB - Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (vs. MIA)

In games without Marshawn Lynch, fantasy owners have seen a glimpse of what life could be like with Rawls as the full-time starter. In the six games that he has started and finished, Rawls had four 100-yard rushing games while averaging 118.67 rushing yards per game and 5.65 yards per carry.

That said, Christine Michael will get the start in Week 1 as Rawls (ankle) is eased back into a lead-back role. Here's what Pete Carroll said of Rawls role (and the manner in which he may be limited) in Week 1 (via ESPN):

"Just in the amount of plays. It’s the second preseason game for him, if you look at it that way, and we’re trying to take care of him as we’ve said all along, in every way that we can. We’re just going to watch and see how he does and how he handles it, that’s all. Just see how he handles it. That would be his only restriction, is how he’s taking the rigors of the game."

With the Seahawks being double-digit favorites in this game, it would make sense for the Seahawks to not overwork Rawls, especially if this game gets out of hand early. I don't have Michael listed as one of four starts above, but he is ranked inside my top-24 running backs and the preferred Seahawks running back in fantasy this week.

RB - Matt Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. PIT)

Jones hasn't played since suffering a shoulder injury in the second preseason game and "hasn't been hit" since then. Jones clarified that he has been "banged around" in practice, just not tackled to the ground, but the injury is just one part of the reason that Jones is outside my top-24 fantasy running backs this week. The other is the matchup. The way to beat Pittsburgh isn't on the ground -- they allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs last season -- but instead through the air.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 1

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Week 1 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Kirk Cousins is listed below as a "start" for Week 1. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 1 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Russell Wilson and Cousins, you should start Wilson -- and in turn, bench Cousins.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 1:

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at IND)

Following his slow start, Stafford averaged 21.29 fantasy points per game and posted a 26-to-5 TD-INT ratio over his final 11 games last season. During that 11-game stretch, Stafford finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback seven times. Even without Calvin Johnson, who retired after the 2015 season, Stafford will have an excellent opportunity to pick up where he left off last season.

Despite being three-point underdogs, the Lions are projected to score the 11th-most points this week based on implied team totals using Vegas odds. Facing a mediocre (at best) defense when at full strength, Stafford and the Lions get a banged-up Colts defense that will be without its best cornerback (Vontae Davis). Stafford is a top-six fantasy quarterback for me in Week 1.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (at NO)

Like the Lions, the Raiders are road underdogs (-1.5 at New Orleans) projected to score a lot of points (25.5, eighth-most) in Week 1. No team allowed more passing touchdowns (45) or Y/A (8.7) than the Saints last season. Not only did the Saints allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season, but they allowed a QB to finish as a weekly top-five performer in eight of 16 games.

Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Amari Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. With Cooper healthy and a juicy matchup, Carr is a top-five play for me this week at QB.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (vs. PIT)

Over the final 10 games of the season, few quarterbacks were as productive as Cousins, who threw 23 touchdowns, rushed for four more and threw only three interceptions. During that 10-game span, Cousins finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times and as fantasy's weekly QB1 three times. In addition, Cousins was much better at home (16:2 TD-INT ratio, 8.44 Y/A) than he was on the road (13:9 TD-INT, 6.98 Y/A).

While I don't expect Cousins to be as productive overall as he was last season, he still has a talented supporting cast — in fact, even more talented than last year's group if DeSean Jackson stays healthy all season and with first-rounder Josh Doctson added to the mix. In what should be a high-scoring affair (one of three games with 50-point over/unders) and his positive home-road splits, Cousins could easily finish as a top-12 fantasy QB in Week 1.

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. GB)

A popular name to be a fantasy bust in 2016 after a breakout sophomore campaign, one of the arguments against Bortles was Jacksonville's overall improvement and commitment to the run game. After all, much was made of last season's fantasy production that occurred while trailing (often big). Bortles may not repeat last year's top-four fantasy season and 35 passing touchdowns, but the Jags are nearly a touchdown underdog in Week 1 as they will try to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 1:

QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at KC)

One of my favorite fantasy quarterbacks for the 2016 season, Rivers was my sixth-ranked quarterback entering the season. And after Tom Brady, Rivers had scored the second-most fantasy points through Week 8 last season. (Keenan Allen missed the final eight games with a kidney injury.)

That said, Rivers draws a difficult Week 1 matchup against the Chiefs. Kansas City's defense had the second-most intercepted passes (22) and held opposing passers to the second-lowest completion percentage (57.5) last season. While Rivers did not have Keenan Allen (kidney) in either matchup last season, the Chargers scored a total of six points in their games against the Chiefs. In fact, Rivers has zero passing touchdowns and four interceptions in his past three matchups against the Chiefs.

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (at DAL)

I don't hate Eli this week, well as a Cowboys fan, I suppose I do. But from a fantasy perspective, I don't think he's the worse play of the week. That said, he is outside my top-12 weekly QBs (barely at No. 13, but still outside my top 12). Here are Manning's two games against the Cowboys last season: 20/36 (55.56%), 193 yards, no TDs in Week 1 in Dallas and 13/24 (54.17%), 170 yards, no TDs in Week 8 at home.

Manning threw for less than 200 yards in only three games, two of which were against the Cowboys, and had only four single-digit fantasy point games, two of which were against the Cowboys. Not only did he have disappointing performances against Dallas, these were New York's two games with the least amount of time of possession. Considering the Cowboys will start fourth-round rookie Dak Prescott for an injured Tony Romo, I expect them to employ a run-heavy game plan that will attempt to keep their defense (and Eli) off the field as much as possible.

QB - Andy Dalton, CIncinnati Bengals (at NYJ)

From Weeks 1 to 13, Dalton scored the fifth-most fantasy points last season. In Week 14, he injured his thumb after throwing five passes, the last of which was an interception (that led to the injured thumb that kept him out for the remainder of the season). Dalton is healthy; however, Tyler Eifert is not. In addition, the matchup isn't great as the Jets have limited opposing quarterbacks to a league-low completion rate (57.1 percent) and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the position in 2015.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (at SEA)

Tannehill has finished as fantasy's full-season QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively, from 2013 to 2015 and enters the 2016 season as the QB14 in my preseason rankings. Higher on Tannehill's full-season fantasy outlook than most, I expect the coaching upgrade with Adam Gase to have positive impact on his production. That said, he gets a brutal start on the schedule against the Legion of Boom. Seattle allowed a league-low 14 passing touchdowns last season and no team is projected to score fewer points than Miami this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 1

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September 08, 2016

2016 NFL Preseason Predictions: Seahawks over Steelers in Super Bowl LI

The 2016 NFL season kicks off within the hour.

With that said, I've made division-by-division predictions as well as postseason predictions below:

AFC East

1. New England Patriots: 11-5
2. New York Jets: 9-7
3. Buffalo Bills: 7-9
4. Miami Dolphins: 6-10

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-5
2. Cincinnati Bengals: 10-6
3. Baltimore Ravens: 8-8
4. Cleveland Browns: 4-12

AFC South

1. Houston Texans: 9-7
2. Indianapolis Colts: 8-8
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: 8-8
4. Tennessee Titans: 6-10

AFC West

1. Oakland Raiders: 9-7
2. Denver Broncos: 9-7
3. Kansas City Chiefs: 8-8
4. San Diego Chargers: 6-10

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys: 8-8
2. Washington Redskins: 7-9
3. New York Giants: 7-9
4. Philadelphia Eagles: 6-10

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers: 11-5
2. Minnesota Vikings: 9-7
3. Detroit Lions: 7-9
4. Chicago Bears: 6-10

NFC South

1. Carolina Panthers: 12-4
2. New Orleans Saints: 8-8
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-10
4. Atlanta Falcons: 6-10

NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks: 12-4
2. Arizona Cardinals: 12-4
3. Los Angeles Rams: 7-9
4. San Francisco 49ers: 3-13

Wild Card Round

(3) Raiders over (6) Broncos

Raiders host Texans in regular season and higher seed means a third matchup against division rivals and Super Bowl champs.

(5) Bengals over (4) Texans

Andy Dalton, Marvin Lewis & Co. get their first playoff win since 1990 (season).

(3) Packers over (6) Vikings

Aaron Rodgers or Sam Bradford? At Lambeau? Easy choice.

(5) Cardinals over (4) Cowboys

Perhaps Tony Romo will be back this season. Maybe he won't, and Dak Prescott exceeds expectations. Either way, the Cowboys defense is no match for Carson Palmer and their high-powered offense.

Byes: (1) Patriots, (2) Steelers, (1) Seahawks, (2) Panthers

Divisional Round

Patriots over Bengals

Tom Brady is suspended for the first four games, but the Patriots get another first-round bye and get to a sixth consecutive AFC Championship Game.

Steelers over Raiders

It's been a while (2002 season) since the Raiders have made the playoffs, but Pittsburgh has been Oakland's most common playoff opponent (six of 43 playoff games including five from 1972 to 1976).

Packers over Panthers

The Panthers (obviously) have one of the league's best defenses, but Rodgers has faced them four times in his career with at least 29 points in all four games.

Seahawks over Cardinals

The two best teams in the NFC (and perhaps the NFL) are close, but the 12th Man advantage gives the Seahawks the edge.

AFC Championship Game: Steelers over Patriots

Ben Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to four AFC Championship Games; he's 3-1. The "1"? Versus Brady and the Pats in 2004 as a rookie. Big Ben gets his revenge.

NFC Championship Game: Seahawks over Packers

Russell Wilson now gets to his third Super Bowl in his first five seasons.

Super Bowl 51: Seahawks 24, Steelers 20

Wilson has faced the Steelers once in his career -- last November and finished with 345 yards and five TDs in a 39-30 shootout. I don't expect this one to be as high-scoring, but the Seahawks win their second Super Bowl in the Wilson era.

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September 07, 2016

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 1

Every week of the 2016 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts why in our DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 1?

Brendan Donahue: Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. SD), $4,400

It's becoming more apparent that Jamaal Charles will miss Week 1 and since prices were released before the news broke, you can get his replacement, Spencer Ware, for only $4,400 this week. Ware got 11 carries or more in four games last season and he scored at least one TD in each of those four games and got you over 23 DraftKings points in two of them. As the 30th-most expensive RB on the board this week, he presents great value in cash-game formats and will allow you to spend at other positions.


Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Sean Beazley: Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions (at IND), $7,300

If you are reading this DFS advice column, you have probably read countless others, so I'm not going to talk to you about all of the same chalky plays that everyone is talking about. Dak Prescott, Marvin Jones Jr. are four players that will be very high owned, and I have all four penciled into my cash team right now. One player that I absolutely love that will get overlooked is Golden Tate. Tate has a hefty price tag at $7,300 considering his teammate Jones Jr. is $2,700 cheaper.

Here are two reasons why I love Tate for GPPs:

  1. Ownership: Unless you are going full game stack, or a QB-WR-WR Lions stack, chances are you are going to be choosing Jones Jr. over Tate. Jones Jr. will be 20-25% higher owned than Tate. There are also a lot of other flashy players in great matchups in this same price range. Randall Cobb vs. Jacksonville, Amari Cooper vs. New Orleans, and Mike Evans vs. Atlanta. The casual DFS player is not going to choose Tate over those players. I think this gets overlooked when building lineups.
  2. This is a dream matchup for Tate. The Colts defense is decimated with injuries in the secondary which should lead to plenty of opportunities for Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense. I read a great article today on defensive tendencies. I would imagine Tate sees a lot of Darius Butler (89th of 111 corners in coverage last year according to PFF) in the slot.
DraftKings offers full point per catches, and it wouldn't shock me at all to see Tate be among the league's best WRs in Week 1.

Alternating picks for a tournament lineup, Sean/Kevin did a DraftKings GPP Draft for Week 1.

Kevin Hanson: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (vs. NYG), $7,300

Even if Tony Romo weren't injured, I'd expect the Cowboys to employ a run-dominant game plan with Zeke. With a horrible defense and a rookie quarterback replacing a fragile one, the Cowboys can protect both Dak and their leaky defense by controlling the clock and LOS on offense. There is plenty of value to be had this week so it's easy to spend up, but I think Elliott's ownership will be much lower than next week given Dak's contest-minimum price tag this week. In my early Week 1 rankings, Elliott is my top-ranked fantasy running back and my bold prediction for his debut is 200 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.

[FYI: I looked it up and no rookie had more than 194 rushing yards in Week 1. Coincidentally, it was Ottis Anderson against the Cowboys.]

John Trifone: Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts (vs. DET), $6,000

There are a lot of great value picks this week -- more than there will usually be because of the long gap between when prices came out and Week 1. Guys like Spencer Ware, Dak Prescott, and Marvin Jones are all good value options. I'm going to pick two different value plays, though. I like Donte Moncrief for $6,000 and the Browns defense for $2,300 against a rookie quarterback in Philly. Moncrief should see a lot of targets in a high-scoring affair Week 1 against a bad defense. The Browns are facing a team that just traded their starting quarterback, a sign that they're essentially waving the white flag on the entire season. Those are two of my favorite cash plays for Week 1.

Dan Yanotchko: Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at ATL), $6,200

I like Doug Martin this week at home against the Atlanta Falcons. Last year Martin had a solid stat line in two games of 166 rushing yards and a TD. Not only will the Falcons start two rookies at linebacker, they gave up 105 rushing yards per game, 4.0 yards per carry, and a league-high 20 rushing touchdowns last year.

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September 06, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Tennessee Titans Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Tennessee Titans:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Marcus Mariota33650437802513.6633842.7292.2
Typical for a rookie quarterback, Mariota had an up-and-down season, but he finished as a top-six weekly fantasy quarterback in one-third (four) of his 12 games played. No team allowed more sacks than the Titans (54) last year, but they have upgraded their offensive line. With better protection and a full offseason of development under his belt, the dual-threat quarterback has plenty of upside entering 2016 especially if he runs more often.
Matt Cassel10161070.50.62305.98

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
DeMarco Murray24010447.4322300.9177.2
After leading the NFL in rushing (1,845 yards) in 2014 and signing a large free-agent deal with the Eagles, Murray rushed for only 702 yards in 2015 and set career lows in YPG (46.8) and YPC (3.6). If things go according to (the coaching staff's) plan, Murray will get the largest workload share of a run-heavy offense. Both Murray and second-round rookie Derrick Henry have looked good in the preseason.
Derrick Henry1607126.9201460.5130.2
Joining DeMarco Murray as the other half of their "exotic smashmouth" backfield, Henry possesses great speed for his size (6-3, 247). Looking dominant this preseason, Henry should see his role expand as the season progresses and it wouldn't be a shock if he's the "starter" by the end of the season.
Antonio Andrews12480.2540010

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Rishard Matthews608226000118.2
Matthews missed the final five games last season due to injury. Through the first 10 games (before getting injured in his 11th), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, both he and Tajae Sharpe should finish as top-50 fantasy receivers.
Tajae Sharpe647816.4000116.5
Even though Sharpe is only a rookie from UMass, he's an outstanding route-runner and he led college football with 111 receptions last season. Expected to begin the season as a starter, Sharpe is especially worth a late-round flier in PPR formats and it wouldn't be a shock if he led all Titans receivers in fantasy production.
Kendall Wright313412526048.7
Missing six games last season, Wright finished with 36 catches for 408 yards, both of which were career lows in terms of absolute numbers and per-game production. Missing multiple weeks in training camp and the preseason, Wright's status for Week 1 is unclear.
Andre Johnson232601.800036.8
Top-10 all-time in receptions (1,053), receiving yards (14,100) and receiving touchdowns (68), Johnson signed a two-year contract with the Titans, but isn't fantasy-relevant any more.
Harry Douglas101080.500013.8
Marc Mariani2220.10002.8

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Delanie Walker758785.2119
In his third season with the Titans, Walker blew away previous career highs in receptions (94) and yards (1,088) and tied a previous career high in touchdowns (six). Walker had 52-plus yards in each of his final 12 games of the season and due to that level of consistency, he finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 11 of 16 weeks last year. In fact, Walker and Julio Jones were the only two players to have at least 50 receiving yards in 12 consecutive games last season. While he may not repeat last year's production, he's a top-six fantasy tight end heading into 2016.
Anthony Fasano161741.325.2
Jace Amaro8850.813.3

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2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Kansas City Chiefs Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Kansas City Chiefs:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Alex Smith303466349020.57723961.7264.4
Consistent but mediocre, Smith has finished as fantasy's QB13 to QB16 in three of the past five seasons, but he's never finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback. While he has thrown three times as many TDs (61) as INTs (20) in his three seasons in Kansas City and rushed for 1,183 yards over that span, Smith has only two 300-yard passing games (in 46 games). In addition, he has 19 games with 200 or less passing yards over that span.

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Jamaal Charles1989906.5362951.8178.3
Charles (ACL) has essentially been ruled out for the opener as Andy Reid called it "a stretch for him to play" in Week 1. Assuming he misses the opener, you have to wonder how slowly he'll be worked back to his full usage rate. Before the injury, Charles averaged 18.4 touches, 108.2 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown per game in five games last season.
Spencer Ware1325815.512670.299
With Charles all but ruled out already for Week 1, Ware is set to draw the start in the opener and should have a fairly large role for at least the first month of the season. In addition, the preferred handcuff to Charles heading into the 2016 season is obviously Ware, not Charcandrick West. The 230-pound back averaged 5.6 YPC and rushed for six touchdowns on his 72 carries last season.
Charcandrick West612561.2121030.646.7
Anthony Sherman2404310.24.7

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Jeremy Maclin8410677.1280150.1
Reunited with Andy Reid, Maclin had his second consecutive 1,000-yard season as he finished with a career-high 87 receptions for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns. Finishing as a mid-tier WR2 (WR17 in 2015, WR15 in PPR), Maclin remains a solid WR2 heading into 2016.
Chris Conley29365200048.5
Albert Wilson263221.300040
Demarcus Robinson3320.20004.4
De'Anthony Thomas21602802.4
Tyreek Hill111021202.3

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Travis Kelce708895.3120.7
Kelce's 2015 numbers (875 yards and five touchdowns) were very similar to his 2014 numbers (862 yards and five touchdowns). Among tight ends, only Rob Gronkowski (2,300), Greg Olsen (2,112) and Delanie Walker (1,978) have more receiving yards than Kelce (1,737) over the past two seasons.
James O'Shaughnessy131690.821.7
Demetrius Harris11123118.3

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2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Baltimore Ravens Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Baltimore Ravens:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Joe Flacco389607437027.61426471.7286.1
Despite missing six games due to a torn ACL, Flacco had six games with 40-plus pass attempts -- only Drew Brees (10), Eli Manning (eight), Philip Rivers (eight) and Matt Ryan (seven) had more such games. While I don't expect Flacco to sling it 41.3 times per game, like last year, his supporting cast -- when at full strength -- is better than he's had over the past few seasons. And prior to last season, he had finished as a top-16 fantasy quarterback in four of the previous five seasons. In other words, he's a solid, if not spectacular, QB2 going into 2016.

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Kenneth Dixon1526694.7282270.8122.6
With a three-down skill set, Dixon rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three out of four seasons and posted 30-plus catches in back-to-back seasons at Louisiana Tech. Dixon sustained a left knee sprain in the team's third preseason game, but SI's Peter King wouldn't be surprised if he is the starter by the middle of the October. (Me either.)
Terrance West1184844.713770.486.7
Shedding 15 pounds this offseason, West had generated plenty of buzz in training camp. With Justin Forsett left off (and then re-signed to) the 53-man roster, West is set up to start (or not start) at running back in Week 1. In other words, who knows? Based on talent, Dixon is the preferred Ravens' running back to own for the full season, but the running back situation is as clear as mud.
Javorius Allen642621.2392961.270.2
Showing an ability to be productive with Justin Forsett sidelined over the final seven games of the season, Allen accumulated 629 yards from scrimmage on 133 touches (including 37 receptions) during that span. Regardless of which Ravens running back handles the early-down work (likely not Allen), Allen figures to handle the bulk of third-down snaps, which gives him a little more appeal in PPR formats.
Justin Forsett984212.5181100.269.3
Forsett broke his arm in the team's 10th game and he missed the final six games of the season. In the first nine games, however, he averaged 16.33 touches per game. The Ravens used a fourth-round pick on Kenneth Dixon, Buck Allen was productive last season and Terrance West has generated buzz early in camp. After being released (and re-signed), Forsett still figures to have a big role in Week 1, but it's unclear how the workload splits will shake out once Kenneth Dixon (knee) returns to the field.
Kyle Juszczyk240231891.226.5

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Mike Wallace568185.5000114.8
Missing the 1,000-yard milestone in each of the past four seasons, Wallace will play for his third team in as many seasons, but he has a chance to exceed expectations in Baltimore. While neither Ryan Tannehill nor Teddy Bridgewater excel in the vertical passing game, Flacco is a better match for Wallace's skill set.
Kamar Aiken556935.2000100.5
Aiken had 75 catches for 944 yards in 2015, but his production is likely to decline year over year with the addition of Mike Wallace and returns of Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman. Even so, it wouldn't surprise me if Aiken ends 2016 as the team's most productive fantasy receiver once again.
Steve Smith526754.700095.7
Postponing his retirement by one year, the obvious concerns with Smith are that he is now 37 years old and coming off a torn Achilles injury. When he was on the field last year, Smith had 46 catches for 670 yards (95.7 YPG) and three scores in his seven games played last season. Smith has made a career out of proving doubters wrong, but it's unlikely that Smith comes close to last year's per-game production.
Breshad Perriman233802.100050.6
Missing all of his rookie season and beginning training camp this year on the active/PUP list, Perriman finally made his NFL debut in the fourth preseason game. It's unlikely that Perriman makes a big fantasy impact especially early in the 2016 season.
Chris Moore91400.900019.4

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Crockett Gillmore303602.450.4
With Ben Watson (Achilles) out for the season, Gillmore should see expanded opportunities and perhaps lead the team's tight ends in fantasy points. Gillmore had a 33/412/4 stat line over 10 games last season.
Maxx Williams29276239.6
Dennis Pitta14129118.9

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2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Seattle Seahawks Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Seattle Seahawks:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Russell Wilson341502411629.69985642.9347.84
After a slow start, Wilson's production spiked down the stretch as he once again finished the full season as fantasy's QB3. Not only did Wilson rush for 500-plus yards for a third consecutive season, he finished with career-best passing numbers — 4,024 yards, 34 touchdowns, 68.1 completion percentage and 110.1 passer rating. Perhaps the Seahawks throw a bit more following Marshawn Lynch's retirement, but the dual-threat Wilson should at least finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback once again.

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Thomas Rawls23211028.413980.9175.8
In games without Marshawn Lynch, fantasy owners have seen a glimpse of what life could be like with Rawls as the full-time starter. In the six games that he has started and finished, Rawls had four 100-yard rushing games while averaging 118.67 rushing yards per game and 5.65 yards per carry. Rawls is the clear starter, but the "awakening" by Christine Michael poses at least a partial threat to Rawls' workload.
Christine Michael1285764171110.595.7
Slated for the second-largest role behind Thomas Rawls to begin the season, Michael has always possessed elite physical tools, but it appears that his maturity and leadership are starting to catch up to his athleticism. Even though Rawls (ankle) is ready for Week 1, C-Mike would instantly become a high-upside RB1 type if Rawls misses any time.
C.J. Prosise452031.1363021.867.9
The Seahawks used multiple draft picks on running backs with Prosise being the earliest (Round 3). Beginning his Notre Dame career as a wide receiver, Prosise should replace Fred Jackson as their third-down/passing-down back.
Alex Collins9380.221406.4

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Doug Baldwin759607.1000138.6
Not only did he set career highs of 78 receptions, 1,069 yards and (a league-high) 14 touchdowns last season, but Baldwin scored 11 of those touchdowns during the five-game span from Weeks 12 to 16. Baldwin, who signed an extension through 2020, will likely perform more like a WR2/WR3 in 2016 than the absolutely dominant version we saw in the second half of 2015. Over the final eight games of the season, Baldwin scored a touchdown on 19.05% of his receptions (12 of 63). Before that, the 5-foot-10 receiver scored a touchdown on 4.93% of his receptions (17 of 345) in his career.
Tyler Lockett669045.95250.2129.5
Dangerous as a returner, Lockett became more involved in the team's offense in the second half of his rookie season. While he had a couple of return scores early in the season, all six of his receiving scores occurred in the final 10 games of the season. Lockett should improve upon his rookie receiving numbers (51/664/6) in 2016.
Jermaine Kearse395584.300081.6
Paul Richardson182791.800038.7

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Jimmy Graham495735.389.1
Graham failed to make the impact that many expected. In fact, Russell Wilson's strong performance in the second half of the season mostly occurred with Graham injured. Activated from the active/PUP list, Graham (patellar tendon) may (or may not) be active in Week 1. Coming off such a significant injury, it's unclear how effective he'll be in Week 1 (if active) and beyond.
Luke Willson182271.431.1
Nick Vannett6650.48.9
Brandon Williams2250.23.7

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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 11 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 11
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.11 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Breaking out in his second season, Robinson finished with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 and scored the fourth-most fantasy points among wide receivers. In his final 12 games of the season, Robinson finished with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown (or more) in every game. Leading the NFL in 20-yard receptions (31), Robinson is one of only five players in the past decade to have a 1,400/14 season. By all accounts, Robinson looks even better going into his age-23 season.

2.02 - Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: It was a disappointing season for Dez and the Cowboys. Not only was Bryant sidelined for nearly half the season with a broken foot, but Tony Romo broke his collarbone (two times). When healthy, however, Bryant is one of the most dominant receivers in the league and only Rob Gronkowski has more receiving touchdowns than Bryant (53) since 2011.


Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

3.11 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: A top-10 fantasy receiver in 2014, Hilton disappointed fantasy owners with only 1,124 yards and five touchdowns, but Andrew Luck missed nine games. Through the first seven games, Hilton had 606 receiving yards -- only five wideouts had more. Provided Luck stays healthy, Hilton is poised for a bounce-back season and has top-10 upside.

4.02 - Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders: Not only did Murray rank fourth in the NFL in touches (307), but no other running back had as many games with 15-plus touches than Murray (15). With one of the league's best offensive lines, the team's overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows conducive to running the football. In addition, the Raiders have said they want Murray to get more carries in 2016 than he had in 2015.

5.11 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Olsen followed up his first career 1,000-yard season with another (77/1,104/7) and the durable and consistent tight end enters 2016 as a top-three tight end.

6.02 - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: Failing to score a touchdown on 217 touches and averaging just 3.48 YPC, Gordon disappointed fantasy owners as a rookie. Provided MG3 stays healthy, it shouldn't be difficult for things to go better for Gordon in year two. Gordon has looked great this preseason -- 13/81/1 rushing (6.2 YPC) and 2/49/1 receiving.

7.11 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Racking up an RB-high 419 YFS in the final three games of the season, Jennings ended the season on a positive note and it's clear that he will enter the season as the lead back. Turning 31 in March and historically struggling with durability, Jennings is worth the risk here as my flex.

8.02 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: With Keenan Allen (kidney) missing eight games, Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Appearing on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, Rivers offers plenty of upside to those who wait to draft a QB.

9.11 - Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans: Joining DeMarco Murray as the other half of their "exotic smashmouth" backfield, Henry possesses great speed for his size (6-3, 247). Looking dominant this preseason, Henry should see his role expand as the season progresses and it wouldn't be a shock if he's the "starter" by the end of the season.

10.02 - Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints: Starting opposite Brandin Cooks, Snead nearly reached the 1,000-yard mark with a 69/984/3 stat line. Snead didn't have many big games, but he had at least four receptions in 11 of 16 games. Based on my projections, Snead could give the Saints a pair of 1,000-yard wideouts in 2016.

11.11 - DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders: Washington isn't the biggest back (5-8, 204), but Oakland's GM called Washington a "complete back" shortly after the NFL Draft. Both Washington and UDFA Jalen Richard have had good camps and preseasons, but Washington is Murray's primary backup and handcuff going into the 2016 season.

12.02 - Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans: Matthews missed the final five games last season due to injury. Through the first 10 games (before getting injured in his 11th), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, both he and rookie Tajae Sharpe should finish as top-50 fantasy receivers.

13.11 - Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders: Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Amari Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. That said, Carr still finished as fantasy's QB14 overall in 2015. Going into the 2016 season, Carr is a high-upside QB2 for this team.

14.02 - Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens: With a three-down skill set, Dixon rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three out of four seasons and posted 30-plus catches in back-to-back seasons at Louisiana Tech. Dixon sustained a left knee sprain in the team's third preseason game and is expected to miss four weeks, but SI's Peter King wouldn't be surprised if he is the starter by the middle of the October. (Me either.)

15.11 - Minnesota Vikings DST

16.02 - Steven Hauschka, K, Seattle Seahawks

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2016 Fantasy Football Projections: New England Patriots Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the New England Patriots:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Tom Brady313478372429.27.226812.3280.46
Despite his four-game suspension to start the season, Brady should finish as a top-five (or better) quarterback in terms of fantasy points per game. Scoring more fantasy points than every quarterback not named Cam Newton last season, Brady threw for 4,770 yards and a league-high 36 touchdowns in 2015. Given the depth at QB (at least in terms of fantasy), pairing Brady with a high-upside QB2 is certainly a viable strategy for fantasy owners in 2016.
Jimmy Garoppolo8813910436.43.918630.472.12
Jacoby Brissett24280.10.12201.62

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
LeGarrette Blount2129128.79630.2150.9
In his 38 games (regular season and playoffs) as a Patriot, Blount has a total of 24 touchdowns. Given the week-to-week nature of the Patriots offense, the biggest challenge with owning Blount — or any Patriots running back — is that he could go from 30 carries and three touchdowns one week to two carries the next week.
Dion Lewis552481.9353411.679.9
Tearing his ACL only seven games into the season, Lewis was on pace for 1,422 yards from scrimmage, 82 receptions and nine total touchdowns. (Only four running backs had 1,400-plus YFS in 2015 although injuries played a part in that as well.) Unfortunately, Lewis had a second knee surgery and he begins the season on the reserve/PUP list.
James White672650.7363061.469.7
With Dion Lewis (knee) placed on the reserve/PUP list, he will miss a minimum of six games but it's certainly possible that he misses more than that. New England has a Week 9 bye so perhaps he returns following the bye. For as long as Lewis is sidelined, White will be the team's primary third-down back and has weekly RB2 upside in PPR formats.
Brandon Bolden20680.48600.317
James Develin360.15460.16.4

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Julian Edelman8610066.95410.2147.3
Missing seven games with a broken foot, Edelman set a career high with seven receiving touchdowns and averaged 6.8 receptions and 76.9 yards per game, both of which were career highs. Edelman has missed multiple games in each of the past two seasons and durability is my only concern with him. That said, he's a high-volume receiver playing with one of the best quarterbacks in the league when he's healthy (and when Tom Brady isn't suspended).
Chris Hogan466214.600089.7
Dubbed "7-Eleven" several seasons ago by Reggie Bush on Hard Knocks, Hogan had spent the past three seasons with the Bills and posted a 36/450/2 in 2015. With strong offseason workouts with the Patriots, it's possible Hogan scores the second-most fantasy points among the team's receivers in 2016. That said, he's no better than fourth in line for targets after Gronk, Edelman and Martellus Bennett.
Malcolm Mitchell202702.200040.2
Danny Amendola222181.5210031.8

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Rob Gronkowski75111010.8175.8
Counting 10 playoff games, Gronkowski has a total of 75 touchdowns in 90 career games. And with the exception of his seven-game 2013 season, Gronk has double-digit touchdowns in five of his six NFL seasons. If there's any concern, it's a potential slow start (based on Gronk standards) with Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension to begin the season, but Gronk is in a tier by himself atop the position group.
Martellus Bennett566895.6102.5
Bennett is at least a back-end TE1 heading into his first season in Foxboro as the Patriots will likely use plenty of two-TE sets with Gronkowski and Bennett. And if Gronk were to miss any time, Bennett would instantly become a top-five fantasy tight end during those weeks.
A.J. Derby5650.59.5

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Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 1

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 1 games.

Essentially, it was a draft with each of us alternating picks for the lineup. I had the first and odd-numbered picks; Sean had the second and even-numbered picks.

Below we will include analysis of each pick, but here is how the final roster shaped up:

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at IND), $7,200
RB - Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. NYG), $7,300
RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (at NO), $5,600
WR - Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers (at KC), $8,000
WR - Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit Lions (at IND), $4,600
WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (vs. DET), $6,000
TE - Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (at JAX), $2,900
FLEX - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. CLE), $5,700
DST - Baltimore Ravens (vs. BUF), $2,700

Below are the players in the order they were "drafted" (with comments by both of us):

1. Kevin - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys (vs. NYG), $7,300: Before the (latest) injury to Tony Romo, I expected the Cowboys to utilize a run-heavy attack similar to 2014 with DeMarco Murray. And while Dak Prescott looked as good as a fourth-round rookie could look in the preseason, it's natural to expect growing pains in the regular season. (As a Cowboys fan, I hope he picks up where he left off.) With that said, I expect Elliott to get a massive Week 1 workload as the Cowboys try to take some pressure off Dak. Plus, Elliott's ownership level may not be as high as I think it should with Prescott priced at contest minimum and likely the most-owned QB of the week.

[Comments by Sean: Elliott is the perfect double-pivot pick. Dak Prescott will be the highest-owned QB Week 1 on DraftKings since he is priced at the minimum. Also, most roster construction will be 1-2 elite WRs and cheap RBs. This is one of my favorite GPP picks.]

2. Sean - Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions (at IND), $7,200: The Colts/Lions game has the highest total of the week. I expect the Colts to win this game by a touchdown or more, which should lead to plenty of catch-up by Stafford and the Lions offense. I think the 300-yard bonus is definitely in play here as well as 2-3 touchdowns.

[Comments by Kevin: Stafford enters 2016 with the most favorable fantasy strength of schedule and the favorable schedule starts with the Colts. Not only do the Colts have some defensive issues at full strength, they are without several key defensive players including Vontae Davis, their best cornerback. A game in a dome tied for the highest over/under against a defense at less than full strength sounds good to me.]

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

3. Kevin - Marvin Jones, WR, Lions (at IND), $4,600: With or without Stafford as our starting QB, Jones is an outstanding value with 40 Sunday wide receivers priced higher. In fact, he's priced at nearly $1,000 less than the average salary ($5,555; $50,000 salary cap divided by nine starters). Without Calvin Johnson in Detroit, it's really a case of Golden Tate and Jones being a 1(a) and 1(b) to each other and there is a $2,700 price difference between the two. By all accounts, Stafford and Jones have developed excellent chemistry as first-year teammates as well.

[Comments by Sean: Jones is the obvious pair to Stafford for $2,700 cheaper than Golden Tate. Jones ownership will be in the 20-25% range while Tate's should be in the 5-8% range. I like Tate a lot more for GPPs giving the ownership, but it's really tough to pass on Jones giving how well he has fit in this offense.]

4. Sean - Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts (vs. DET), $6,000: I think Moncrief will surpass T.Y Hilton as Andrew Luck's No. 1 option this year. I'm getting on board the Moncrief bandwagon early in a great matchup vs. the Lions. I love stacking games, picking players on both teams. If the game shoots out, you will have a big advantage on the field.

[Comments by Kevin: Moncrief is one of my favorite players this year -- the WR18 in my rankings ahead of guys like Randall Cobb, Jeremy Maclin, etc. In order words, I expect a breakout from Moncrief, who just turned 23 last month and has off-the-charts physical tools. In addition, no team has a higher projected points total than the Colts this week.]

5. Kevin - Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders (at NO), $5,600: The only reason I hesitated to "draft" Murray is ownership; Murray should be one of the highest-owned running backs this week. That said, the matchup is great, the Raiders have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and I expect the Raiders to run the ball a lot this season. Murray ranked fourth in the NFL in touches last season and Del Rio has said that he wants him to get more carries in 2016. This game is tied with IND/DET for the highest O/U of the week, but the Saints are favored by only a point. The Raiders will try to keep Drew Brees off the field as much as possible.

[Comments by Sean: ] Game flow, and ownership are the reasons why I will have little exposure to Murray in Week 1. I think it is more likely that the Saints get up in this game, and the Raiders are forced to play catch up, which will limit Murray's carries. Also, Murray has been one of the most talked about RBs headed into Week 1 against the Saints, who were terrible at stopping the run. Don't underestimate the casuals just picking Murray because he has that glaring "30th" in green next to his name. Murray should be one of the top-three highest-owned RBs Week 1.

6. Sean - Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers (at KC), $8,000: As I mentioned above, the most common GPP build will be having 1-2 elite WRs. Paying down for Allen gives us some wiggle room for the rest of our lineup and it differentiates us from the rest of the field. Allen only played eight games last year, but in three of those he had double-digit receptions. Allen's ownership should be fairly low as well considering some of the comps in his same price point.

[Comments by Kevin: DraftKings utilizes full-PPR scoring and Allen is an elite PPR option. Among high-end receivers, he had the biggest difference between my standard ranking (WR13) and PPR ranking (WR6) for 2016. Allen was on pace for 134 catches last season and he will one of the most targeted receivers of Week 1 -- and the season.]

7. Kevin - Jared Cook, TE, Packers (at JAX), $2,900: A physically-gifted player, Cook has never put it all together to be a consistent producer. Playing with Aaron Rodgers, the sky's the limit when it comes to Cook's weekly upside. It wouldn't be a complete shock if he had a long touchdown, or even two, in his debut. Hopefully it'll be like 2013 when Cook had 7/141/2 in the season opener (only to follow it up in Week 2 with 1/10/0).

[Comments by Sean: Cook was going to be my next pick, but Kevin snagged him here. Cook finally gets an elite QB to play with, and this guy has a ton of talent. He is a tall vertical threat that will open up all sorts of options for the Green Bay passing attack this year.]

8. Sean - Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles (vs. CLE), $5,600: I could have went with a number of different players here, but I ended up with Mathews. Mathews will be the lead back this year and has a very good matchup vs. the Browns. The Eagles are going to need to run a watered-down offense until Carson Wentz is up to speed. That should mean plenty of easy check downs to Mathews. Mathews should be the featured goal-line back as well now that Chip Kelly's hurry-up offense is gone.

[Comments by Kevin: If I were building this roster by myself and looking to fill the remaining FLEX/DST spots, Mathews would have not made the cut. I would have gone with the Eagles DST at $3,300 leaving me with $5,100 to spend. And then I would have gone with someone like Coby Fleener at $4,900 here.]

9. Kevin - Baltimore Ravens DST (vs. BUF), $2,700: As noted above, the Eagles would have been my choice, if we had the money. Two potential benefits with the Ravens: (1) Tyrod Taylor ranked near the lead in times sacked (36, 11th-most) last season and (2) the Ravens recently signed dangerous returner Devin Hester.

[Comments by Sean: The Ravens aren't a terrible play vs. the Bills at home this week, but I prefer the Titans at $2,600. Tennessee will be playing smash-mouth control-the-clock football. The Vikings are starting Shaun Hill, who is horrible. It is also the lowest total of the week.]

I've entered this lineup into the Week 1 Millionaire Maker so good luck fighting for the second-place prize. :)

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September 05, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Minnesota Vikings:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Sam Bradford298465332519.513.521380.4203.7
With the Super Bowl champions losing Peyton Manning (retirement) and Brock Osweiler (free agency) this offseason, Bradford (unsuccessfully) attempted to get himself traded to the Broncos. With the Vikings losing Teddy Bridgewater for the season (and maybe more), however, Bradford gets a change of scenery with Minnesota. Bradford is barely draftable in 2-QB leagues as Shaun Hill will likely start the opener and no team threw the ball as infrequently as the Vikings (454 pass attempts) last season.
Shaun Hill20322261.10.8340.113.64
Hill is likely to start Week 1 for Minnesota, but it won't be long before Bradford takes over as the starter.

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Adrian Peterson306134610.7282100.6223.4
After sitting out virtually all of the 2014 season, Peterson led the NFL in carries (327), rushing yards (1,485) and rushing touchdowns (11). The Vikings will continue to ride AP as their workhorse, especially with the injury to Bridgewater. Despite his superhuman physical traits, the only concern is that he turned 31 years old in March, but I have Peterson projected for the more touches (334) than any other back.
Jerick McKinnon713482.3362841.183.6
In limited opportunities, McKinnon has been productive -- 4.9 yards per carry in 165 career rush attempts. And while Peterson is clearly the team's workhorse, McKinnon should see a larger workload than he had last year (73 touches).
Matt Asiata19720.810680.220
Zach Line5110.54320.28.5

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Stefon Diggs608135.52100115.3
Off to great start with 6/87 (or better) in his first four NFL games, Diggs production fizzled down the stretch with 22 yards or less in four of his final five games. Even though the Vikings drafted Laquon Treadwell in the first round of this year's draft, Diggs enters the season as the team's clear No. 1 receiver. Given Minnesota's low-volume pass offense (32nd in pass attempts last season), Diggs should be a productive yet unspectacular fantasy option in 2016.
Laquon Treadwell374774.100072.3
Some will knock Treadwell for his (lack of) speed, but the Vikings first-round pick is a big-bodied (6-2, 221), physical receiver with strong hands that runs good routes. Perhaps a bigger problem than his speed is Minnesota's offense, as no team threw it less than the Vikings in 2015. By season's end, he should emerge as the second-most productive fantasy receiver on the roster, but he will need to climb the depth chart before he makes an impact.
Charles Johnson284061.700050.8
Adam Thielen273241.1322041.2
Jarius Wright202540.7327032.3
Cordarrelle Patterson2150.13260.25.9

More Fantasy Football WR Resources:

Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Kyle Rudolph464513.767.3
Here's the good news: Rudolph played a full 16-game season for the first time in three years and set a career high in receiving yards. The bad news? His career high was 495 yards. Rudolph is a nothing more than a low-upside TE2.
MyCole Pruitt14150121
Rhett Ellison6670.610.3

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2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Jacksonville Jaguars Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Jacksonville Jaguars:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Blake Bortles34357742123018.5512931.5308.28
In his second season, Bortles threw for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions and ran for 310 yards and two more scores. Bortles needs to cut down on the turnovers and he's unlikely to throw another 35 touchdowns, but he was consistent in terms of fantasy production last year. Finishing with the fourth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks, Bortles was a top-10 weekly performer in 10 of 16 games last season.

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Chris Ivory1898327.2151070.6140.7
Rushing for more than 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, Ivory finished 2015 as a top-12 fantasy back (RB8 in STD, RB12 in PPR). Signing a free-agent deal with the Jaguars, Ivory will be part of a 1-2 punch with second-year back T.J. Yeldon in 2016. While his workload will decline compared to last season, Ivory should get the majority of goal-line carries and perhaps a slightly larger share of the overall workload over Yeldon. Only the Lions ran the ball on a lower percentage of plays last season, but the Jags could run the ball more often in 2016 given the team's improved outlook.
T.J. Yeldon1506383.9413241.2126.8
Missing four games as a rookie, Yeldon averaged more than 18 touches per game but finished with just two rushing touchdowns. With the team signing free-agent Chris Ivory in the offseason, Yeldon's workload will certainly decline on a per-game basis. While Ivory should get the majority of goal-line carries, Yeldon should get the majority of passing-down snaps.
Denard Robinson281260.8181300.432.8

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Allen Robinson86138510.3000200.3
Breaking out in his second season, Robinson finished with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 and scored the fourth-most fantasy points among wide receivers. In his final 12 games of the season, Robinson finished with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown (or more) in every game. Leading the NFL in 20-yard receptions (31), Robinson is one of only five players in the past decade to have a 1,400/14 season. By all accounts, Robinson looks even better going into his age-23 season.
Allen Hurns599156.5000130.5
In a breakout second season, Hurns finished with 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns. Along with teammate Allen Robinson, the two Allens were among only nine wide receivers to post 1,000/10 lines in 2015. With an improved team outlook, the Jaguars are unlikely to rank second pass-play percentage (65.02%) once again, but Hurns is a solid WR3 in 2016 fantasy drafts.
Marqise Lee252881.5212039
Rashad Greene252451.500033.5

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Julius Thomas616657108.5
Missing much of training camp and the first four games last season, Thomas did not make the impact that he or the team expected when they signed him to a lucrative free-agent contract. Thomas should post much better numbers in 2016 provided he can stay healthy, but he has missed multiple games in each of his three seasons as a starter.
Marcedes Lewis13153121.3

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2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Jameis Winston346561424125.813.5481852.9295.24
As a rookie, Winston threw for more than 4,042 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for another six scores and finished the season as fantasy's QB13. From a fantasy perspective, Winston was incrediby consistent as he never finished with less than 12 fantasy points in any week. Going into his second season, a slimmer Winston is a high-upside QB2.
Mike Glennon35330.10.10001.62

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Doug Martin25411187.6362840.9191.2
After two injury-plagued and disappointing campaigns, Martin exceeded the value of his 2015 draft slot and finished second to only Adrian Peterson for the 2015 NFL rushing title. With 1,673 YFS and seven touchdowns last season, Martin should rank near the top of the league in workload and production provided he can stay healthy.
Charles Sims1205642.4545132.2135.3
Even with Doug Martin rushing for more than 1,400 yards, Sims finished as fantasy's RB22 (RB17 in PPR) in 2015. While his ceiling is capped if Martin stays healthy for a full season once again, something Martin has done only once in the past three years, it wouldn't surprise me if Sims comes close to duplicating last year's production -- 1,090 YFS, 51 receptions and four TDs. In any games that Martin misses, however, Sims will have top-12 weekly upside.
Mike James10390.221106.2

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Mike Evans8513438.9000187.7
Although he set career highs of 74 catches for 1,206 yards, Evans had just three touchdowns (after 12 as a rookie) and led the league in drops. Not only will he benefit from the continued development of Jameis Winston, but the 23-year-old receiver has shed 10-15 pounds this offseason and has a chance to post markedly better numbers in 2016.
Vincent Jackson527705.2000108.2
Missing six games last season, Jackson had his worst season since signing with the Bucs in both absolute and per-game numbers. V-Jax finished with just 33 catches for 543 yards (54.3/G) and three touchdowns in his age-32 season. While Evans is clearly the guy in Tampa, V-Jax has some upside from his current ADP if he can stay healthy.
Adam Humphries272651.900037.9
Louis Murphy101050.500013.5
Russell Shepard8860.500011.6

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Austin Seferian-Jenkins33403358.3
Based on talent, Seferian-Jenkins should be ready to take a big step forward. Based on immaturity and attitude as well as his durability track record, however, ASJ is hard to trust. Neither logging 56 of 70 offensive snaps in the preseason finale nor yelling at coach Dirk Koetter in the same game can viewed as a positive for his outlook heading into the season.
Cameron Brate324032.253.5
Luke Stocker5380.35.6

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2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Oakland Raiders Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Oakland Raiders:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Derek Carr381595435530.614.3321150.5296.8
Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Amari Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. That said, Carr still finished as fantasy's QB14 overall in 2015. Going into the 2016 season, Carr is a back-end QB1 with some upside.
Matt McGloin711750.50.42104.7
Connor Cook23200.10.11-101

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Latavius Murray27411927.9282020.7191
Not only did Murray rank fourth in the NFL in touches (307), but no other running back had as many games with 15-plus touches than Murray (15). Not only do the Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines, but their overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows conducive to running the football. In addition, Del Rio has said that he wants Murray to get more carries in 2016 than he had in 2015.
DeAndre Washington723201.9413361.485.4
Washington isn't the biggest back (5-8, 204), but GM Reggie McKenzie called Washington a "complete back" shortly after the NFL Draft. Both Washington and UDFA Jalen Richard have had good camps and preseasons, but Washington is Murray's primary backup and handcuff going into the 2016 season.
Marcel Reece6220.1221781.529.6
Jalen Richard351510.74340.123.3
Jamize Olawale15590.83230.113.6
Taiwan Jones6270.22170.16.2

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Amari Cooper8913449.3280191
Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, but he finished with 20 yards or less in four of his final seven games. If he weren't battling a foot injury down the stretch, Cooper's rookie campaign would have been even better. With the second-year receiver at full strength now, however, I expect bigger and better things in his age-22 season.
Michael Crabtree788976.6000129.3
Crabtree tied previous career highs of 85 receptions and nine touchdowns last season and finished with 922 receiving yards, his most since 2012. Crabtree exceeded 55 yards only once in his final eight games after doing so five times in his first eight games, but he had a minimum of four receptions in 15 of 16 games. Unlikely to finish as a top-20 fantasy receiver once again (as Cooper takes a step forward), Crabtree could still perform as a WR3 in 2016.
Seth Roberts38479300065.9
Andre Holmes91371.400022.1
Johnny Holton3390.30005.7

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Clive Walford455314.781.3
OC Bill Musgrave says that Walford "has a lot of ability, so we’re looking for him to be a big part of what we do." Despite his offseason ATV accident that required surgery, Walford says he's "more comfortable" in the offense and he should easily exceed his rookie-season production (28/329/3) in year two.
Mychal Rivera201811.426.5
Lee Smith8520.68.8

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2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Cleveland Browns Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Cleveland Browns:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Robert Griffin III307476368923.812.4754162.3285.76
Going into the 2016 NFL season, few starting quarterbacks have a wider range of possible outcomes than RG3. With more scout team reps at safety than pass attempts last season, Griffin was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 when he finished as a top-five fantasy QB. While a top-five (or even top-12) finish would be an unrealistic expectation, a fresh start in a new city with a QB-friendly head coach is certainly a positive for RG3 and his outlook.
Josh McCown40634732.71.312600.537.42
Cody Kessler23210.10.11101.24

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Duke Johnson1586873585162.9184.7
Only four running backs had more receptions than Johnson (61) had as a rookie last season. Better in PPR formats (RB23 in 2015), Johnson still managed to finish as a top-35 fantasy running back in standard-scoring formats as well. I project a fairly even split in usage between Johnson (216 touches) and Isaiah Crowell (214), but I would unquestionably prefer Johnson over Crowell in either scoring format.
Isaiah Crowell2018247131140.1142.9
Finishing in the top 25 in carries (185) and rushing yards (706) yards last season, Crowell also added 19 catches for 182 yards and scored a total of five touchdowns. I prefer Johnson over Crowell, but Hue Jackson and the Browns would like to employ a run-heavy offense. But will game flow allow a run-heavy attack?
George Atkinson III12500.221408.6
Malcolm Johnson0002801.8

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Corey Coleman717955.76430.5156.5
The first receiver off the board in April's draft, Coleman is an explosive athlete and could wind up leading all rookie receivers in fantasy production. Not only is Josh Gordon suspended for the first four games, but there is no guarantee that he stays out of trouble or on the roster (although a trade appears unlikely at this point).
Josh Gordon548156.2000145.7
Conditionally reinstated with a four-game suspension to the start the season, Gordon is a high-risk, high-reward fantasy receiver going into 2016. With a suspension to start this season, it means that Gordon will now serve a multiple-game suspension in four of his first five NFL seasons. Stated differently, the last time Gordon was NOT suspended for multiple games in a season was in 2012 (as a rookie). Still only 25 years old, Gordon led the NFL in receiving in 2013 despite being suspended for the first two games of that season.
Terrelle Pryor315183.14340.290.5
Andrew Hawkins292990.900049.8
Rashard Higgins172161.400038.5
Ricardo Louis3510.30008.4
Jordan Payton3300.10005.1

More Fantasy Football WR Resources:

Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Gary Barnidge556935.2128
It was the atypical 30-year-old breakout for Barnidge last season as he finished with 79 catches for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns, all of which exceeded his NFL production from 2008 to 2014 combined. In fact, only Rob Gronkowski scored more fantasy points than Barnidge in standard-scoring formats (TE4 in PPR) last season. While he may not finish as a top-five producer once again, he enters the season as a viable starting tight end.
Randall Telfer6590.310.7
Seth Devalve5550.410.4

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Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread: RG3, Browns Upset Wentz, Eagles?

Earlier today, Sean posted his four initial Week 1 NFL picks against the spread; now it's my turn.

Here are my Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

Cleveland Browns +3.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (4 units)

The Browns are going to look like a pretty different team this year. There is a lot of hope and optimism surrounding the offense with RG3 at the helm, and especially with the upside potential that Josh Gordon will bring once he returns. The Eagles shifted expectations for their season when they traded Sam Bradford less than two weeks before the season begins. I'll reserve expectations for the Browns this year until we see them for at least a few weeks, but I like them to upset a pretty mediocre Eagles team on the road in Week One. I'll take the 3.5 and like the outright upset as well.


Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Houston Texans -6.5 over Chicago Bears (3 units)

I'm not quite sold on Brock Osweiler yet, but he was at least serviceable in Denver with flashes of some solid upside. He's got some pretty explosive weapons around him in Houston with DeAndre Hopkins and the addition of Lamar Miller. On the other hand, Chicago is one of the teams I'm lowest on entering the season. They may have a lot of trouble scoring against the Houston defense. I'm not expecting a particularly close game so I'll give the points in what should be an easy one for Houston.

Detroit Lions/Indianapolis Colts Over 51.5 (4 units)

After the Raiders/Saints game, this is the highest total on the board entering Week One, and justifiably so. The Colts defense already has some key injuries starting the year, on top of the fact that they're expected to be a pretty poor defense anyway. The Lions have talked about wanting to quicken their offensive pace even more this year, and I expect a lot of passing on both sides. We should see a shootout in this one, and even with the high total, I like the over to hit. There's a good chance both teams get to or near the 30's, and I see a 35-31 type of game.

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2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 1 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 1
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.01 - Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: The consensus top receiver in fantasy, Brown is as safe and productive as it gets. While he set career highs of 136 catches and 1,834 yards, Brown's numbers may have been even better had Ben Roethlisberger not missed time last season. Brown averaged 9.92/133.25/0.83 per game in the 12 games Big Ben played -- that's equivalent to a full-season pace of 159/2,132/13.

2.12 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie. Battling a foot injury down the stretch last season, Cooper should do bigger and better things in his age-22 season.

3.01 - Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers: Totaling 3,001 yards from scrimmage with 24 total touchdowns in his first two seasons, Lacy disappointed fantasy owners with less than 1,000 YFS and just five total touchdowns in 2015. Lacy has shed weight this offseason and a fitter version is poised to bounce back as he enters a contract season.


Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

4.12 - Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets: One of the most versatile running backs in the league, Forte turned 30 in December and signed as a free agent with the Jets this offseason. Forte averaged close to 100 yards -- 69.1 rushing and 29.9 receiving -- per game in 2015 and although he won't dominate touches in the Jets' backfield the way he did in Chicago, but he's a high-end RB2 in PPR formats.

5.01 - Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets: Scoring a touchdown in 12 of 15 games, Decker's weekly production was extremely consistent: 11.7-plus PPR points every week. While he finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy wide receiver only twice, he never finished worse than PPR WR34 last season. That consistency led to WR14 full-season finish in PPR scoring in 2015.

6.12 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Closing the season strong (35/450/1 in final four games), Ertz will obviously slow from that pace but he carries positive momentum into 2016. One of my favorite tight end targets, Ertz appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

7.01 - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: Failing to score a touchdown on 217 touches and averaging just 3.48 YPC, Gordon disappointed fantasy owners as a rookie. Provided MG3 stays healthy, it shouldn't be difficult for things to go better for Gordon in year two and he has looked great this preseason -- 13/81/1 rushing (6.2 YPC) and 2/49/1 receiving.

8.12 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Falling short of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC average, Gore had the fifth-most touches and still scored the 14th-most PPR fantasy points among running backs last season. Gore is a nice value as the 96th player off the board in this mock.

9.01 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Racking up 419 YFS -- most among running backs -- in the final three games of the season, Jennings ended the season on a positive note and will enter the season as the lead back. Despite his poor durability track record, there is plenty of upside as my RB5.

10.12 - Tajae Sharpe, WR, Tennessee Titans: The rookie from UMass is an outstanding route-runner and led college football with 111 receptions last season. Expected to begin the season as a starter, Sharpe is worth a late-round flier in PPR formats and it wouldn't be a shock if he led all Titans receivers in fantasy production.

11.01 - Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Smith is coming off a career-worst season -- 33 catches, 663 yards and four touchdowns all set or tied career lows -- even though he led the NFL in yards per reception (20.1). The 49ers are underdogs in every game from Weeks 1 to 16 (based on odds from sportsbook.ag) so there could be plenty of garbage-time production for Smith. If the preseason is a preview of what's to come for Smith (one target and no catches in three preseason games), however, it could be another disappointment for fantasy owners.

12.12 - Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: Over the final 10 games of the season, few quarterbacks were as productive as Cousins, who threw 23 touchdowns, rushed for four more and threw only three interceptions. During that 10-game span, Cousins finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times and as fantasy's weekly QB1 three times. Cousins is set up for success with a talented supporting cast — in fact, even more talented than last year's group — and a favorable fantasy strength of schedule (ninth-best).

13.01 - Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans: Matthews missed the final five games last season due to injury. Through the first 10 games (before getting injured in his 11th), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, both he and Tajae Sharpe should finish as top-50 fantasy receivers.

14.12 - Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans: Typical for a rookie quarterback, Mariota had an up-and-down season, but he finished as a top-six weekly fantasy quarterback in one-third (four) of his 12 games played. Playing behind an upgraded offensive line and with a full offseason of development under his belt, Mariota is a high-upside QB2 especially if he runs more often.

15.01 - Los Angeles Rams DST

16.12 - Cairo Santos, K, Kansas City Chiefs

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Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley): Cowboys start 1-0 under Dak Prescott

We are just three days away from the start of the 2016 NFL season. Finally.

With that said, here are my Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

Indianapolis Colts -3.5 over Detroit Lions (4 units)

This is one of my favorite games of the week. While I don't expect Andrew Luck to be healthy and play all 16 games this season behind a poor offensive line, I do expect him to put up big numbers in their home opener vs. a very average Lions defense. I think this game will be one of the highest total games of the week as well. Colts 31, Lions 24.

Green Bay Packers -5.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (4 units)

There are two teams in the AFC that everyone is talking about taking that next step this season. One of those teams is the Jaguars. (The other being Oakland.) I'm not all aboard the Jacksonville hype train. The Jaguars inexperience will show in this one against one of the league's best quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers. Packers 30, Jaguars 21.


Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Dallas Cowboys +1 over New York Giants (3 units)

We all saw how bad the Cowboys were last year without Tony Romo. From what we have seen from Dak Prescott this preseason, it already looks like they have upgraded their backup QB role. The Cowboys also have a dangerous new RB Ezekiel Elliott, who should have a big game running behind one of the top O-Lines in the NFL. I like the Cowboys at home here. Cowboys 27, Giants 23.

Chicago Bears/Houston Texans Over 44.5 (2 units)

This is one of my favorite sneaky games to target this week playing DFS. I will have more exposure than usual to the players in this game. The Texans spent a lot of money to sign Brock Osweiler and I think he shouldn't have any problem picking apart a very bad and banged-up Bears defense. Texans 34, Bears 20.

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September 04, 2016

Fantasy Football ADP: Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers in Average Draft Position

Every Sunday this offseason, we will post an update in players that have had the biggest moves — both up and down — in fantasy football average draft position (ADP) from the previous week.

With this information, we can get a better sense of changes in the collective perceptions of fantasy football owners (mock drafters); in essence, it's a version of fantasy stock up/down for players. If a player is moving up the ADP chart, it may lead us to using a higher pick than his current ADP to make sure we secure a targeted player.

Of course, a player's ADP (and movement) is just one (small) piece in determining who to draft and our strategy used to assemble a fantasy roster.

For purposes of our weekly comparison(s), we use ADP data from 12-team mock drafts from Fantasy Football Calculator.


Biggest Risers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBJameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers-8.8 (123.7 on 8/28; 114.9 on 9/4)
RBSpencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs-42.0 (138.3 on 8/28; 96.3 on 9/4)
WRTavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams-12.2 (126.1 on 8/28; 113.9 on 9/4)
TEJulius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars-11.4 (97.5 on 8/28; 86.1 on 9/4)


[Note: Negative numbers mean the player's ADP is improving (i.e., being drafted earlier) and vice versa.]

Biggest Risers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBRussell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks-9.8% (51.0 on 8/28; 46.0 on 9/4)
RBSpencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs-30.37% (138.3 on 8/28; 96.3 on 9/4)
WRMike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers-26.87% (20.1 on 8/28; 14.7 on 9/4)
TEJulius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars-11.69% (97.5 on 8/28; 86.1 on 9/4)

Biggest Fallers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBAndrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts+4.0 (47.7 on 8/28; 51.7 on 9/4)
RBDion Lewis, New England Patriots+29.6 (112.5 on 8/28; 142.1 on 9/4)
WRMohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons+25.1 (126.8 on 8/28; 151.9 on 9/4)
TEDwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts+3.9 (135.1 on 8/28; 139.0 on 9/4)

Biggest Fallers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBAndrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts+8.39% (47.7 on 8/28; 51.7 on 9/4)
RBDavid Johnson, Arizona Cardinals+90.70% (4.3 on 8/28; 8.2 on 9/4)
WRDez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys+31.62% (11.7 on 8/28; 15.4 on 9/4)
TETyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals+3.69% (84.0 on 8/28; 87.1% on 9/4)

- Fantasy Football ADP Risers/Fallers: See full grid of player changes in ADP over past week

Our 2016 fantasy football rankings:

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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 8 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 8
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, 2 Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.08 - A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Averaging a career-low 8.25 targets per game, Green saw double-digit targets in only four of 16 games in 2015. Despite a relatively low volume of targets for an elite receiver, Green finished the season with 86 catches for 1,297 yards and 10 touchdowns. With a minimum stat line of 86/1,297/10 in three of his past four seasons, Green has plenty of upside given the team's free-agent departures at receiver.

2.05 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: While few (read: nobody) saw it coming, no running back scored more fantasy points in 2015 than Freeman. Not only did Freeman rush for more than 1,000 yards, but he hauled in 73 catches, third-most among running backs, for 578 yards, and scored a league-leading 14 total touchdowns last season. Even if the Falcons want to lower Freeman's workload, he was the top-ranked player on my big board at this spot.

3.08 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: A top-10 fantasy receiver in 2014, Hilton disappointed fantasy owners with only 1,124 yards and five touchdowns, but Andrew Luck missed nine games. Through the first seven games, Hilton had 606 receiving yards -- only five wideouts had more. Provided Luck stays healthy, Hilton is poised for a bounce-back season and has top-10 upside.

4.05 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: After a disappointing season, the 235-pound Hill seems to have greater focus as he looks to bounce back in 2016. The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner recently wrote of Hill: "His razor focus and desire to return to rookie form are very real this offseason."

5.08 - Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts: In his sophomore campaign, Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 to 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns. With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), the 23-year-old has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season.

6.05 - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: Failing to score a touchdown on 217 touches and averaging just 3.48 YPC, Gordon disappointed fantasy owners as a rookie. Provided MG3 stays healthy, it shouldn't be difficult for things to go better for Gordon in year two. Even though he had offseason microfracture surgery, Gordon looked great this preseason -- 13/81/1 rushing (6.2 YPC) and 2/49/1 receiving.

7.08 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Setting career highs of 75 catches for 853 yards, Ertz was especially good over the final four games of the season (35/450/1). With the potential for more red-zone opportunities, Ertz appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

8.05 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: For the first time in his career, Jennings played all 16 games and posted career highs in both carries (195) and rushing yards (863). Racking up 419 YFS -- no RB had more -- in the final three games of the season, Jennings ended the season on a positive note enters 2016 as the clear lead back. When healthy, he'll be a solid RB2 (as this team's RB4).

9.08 - Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans: Joining DeMarco Murray as the other half of their "exotic smashmouth" backfield, Henry possesses great speed for his size (6-3, 247). Murray is the lead back to start the season, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he took over the lead-back role at some point based on how he looked this preseason.

10.05 - Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Referring to Thomas Rawls and Michael, coach Carroll described the duo as a "little 1-2 punch that we are really excited about.'' Michael has always possessed elite physical tools, but it appears that his maturity and leadership are starting to catch up to his athleticism. There is little risk, but plenty of upside, as my RB6.

11.08 - Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints: Starting opposite Brandin Cooks, Snead nearly reached the 1,000-yard mark with a 69/984/3 stat line. Snead didn't have many big games, but he had at least four receptions in 11 of 16 games. Based on my projections, Snead could give the Saints a pair of 1,000-yard wideouts in 2016.

12.05 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Why Week 8? Keenan Allen lacerated his kidney and missed the final eight games of the season. Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Assuming Allen stays healthy, Rivers is a huge bargain this late.

13.08 - Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: For a second consecutive season, Manning finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. In both seasons, Manning threw 600-plus times and exceeded 4,400-plus yards while throwing a total of 65 touchdowns. With Odell Beckham entering his third season as Manning's go-to receiver, Eli could finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback for a third straight season.

14.05 - Los Angeles Rams DST

15.08 - Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans: Matthews missed the final five games last season due to injury. Through the first 10 games (before getting injured in his 11th), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, both he and Tajae Sharpe should finish as top-50 fantasy receivers.

16.05 - Chandler Catanzaro, K, Arizona Cardinals

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September 03, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Philadelphia Eagles Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Philadelphia Eagles:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Carson Wentz338525387524.620602702.1273
With the Vikings losing Teddy Bridgewater for the season (maybe more), the Eagles traded Sam Bradford for a first-round pick (and more) to Minnesota. While Chase Daniel may start Week 1 if Wentz (ribs) is unable to go, the Eagles plan to start the No. 2 overall pick once he's healthy enough to do so. Certain to experience some growing pains, the dual-threat rookie quarterback should also have a few big games as well.
Chase Daniel22342401.40.74160.116.7

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Ryan Mathews2169727.6221630.7163.3
Struggling with durability throughout his career, Mathews has missed multiple games in five of six seasons. With DeMarco Murray now in Tennessee, Murray enters the season atop the depth chart although he was reportedly available for trade earlier this offseason. When healthy, Mathews has been productive -- 4.47 YPC over his career and 5.04 YPC in his lone season in Philadelphia.
Darren Sproles552231.5564371.483.4
Now 33 years old, Sproles finished as a top-25 fantasy running back in PPR formats (RB33 in standard) last season. It wouldn't surprise me if Sproles returned PPR flex value in 2016 despite his age. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich was the OC in San Diego last season when Danny Woodhead led running backs with 80 receptions and he says the coaches ask every week, "How can we get [Sproles] the football?"
Kenjon Barner642751.35330.139.2
Wendell Smallwood482111.46430.235
Smallwood is an intriguing late-round pick given the backs ahead of him on the depth chart: (1) Ryan Mathews, who has a questionable durability track record, (2) Darren Sproles, a 33-year-old change-of-pace back, and (3) Kenjon Barner, only 34 career rush attempts.

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Jordan Matthews8410257.6000148.1
While fantasy owners had bigger expectations, Matthews improved on his rookie numbers with 85 receptions (67 as a rookie) and 997 yards (872 as a rookie) and once again hauled in eight touchdown receptions. On a positive note, six of his eight touchdowns came in his final six games and he finished with 100-plus yards in two of his final three games. Matthews (knee) recently returned to practice and expects to be ready for Week 1.
Dorial Green-Beckham416774.900097.1
In an unexpected trade, the Titans sent Green-Beckham to the Eagles in exchange for OL Dennis Kelly. Based on his physical tools, the second-year, second-round pick should score more fantasy points than all Eagles receivers not named Jordan Matthews. In addition, it says a lot about what they expect from Nelson Agholor, the team's first-round pick in 2015.
Nelson Agholor273462.200047.8
Agholor's rookie season went much worse than anyone anticipated as the first-round draft pick finished 2015 with only 23 catches for 283 yards and one touchdown and had 35 yards or less in all but two games. The acquisition of Green-Beckham and lackluster offseason/camp/preseason for Agholor means a major jump in production is unlikely for the second-year wideout.
Paul Turner131660.900022
Josh Huff91040.500013.4

More Fantasy Football WR Resources:

Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Zach Ertz687895.4111.3
Ertz set career highs in 2015 with 75 catches for 853 yards, but he had just two touchdowns. Ertz was especially good over the final four games of the season with a 35/450/1 line during that span. Obviously, he'll slow from his end-of-season torrid pace, but hopefully Ertz can build upon last year's positive momentum. With the potential for more red-zone opportunities, Ertz appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.
Brent Celek192111.328.9
Trey Burton101210.816.9

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2016 Fantasy Football Projections: Washington Redskins Fantasy Preview

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Washington Redskins:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Kirk Cousins394584458428.614.623551.2295.86
Over the final 10 games of the season, few quarterbacks were as productive as Cousins, who threw 23 touchdowns, rushed for four more and threw only three interceptions. During that 10-game span, Cousins finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times and as fantasy's weekly QB1 three times. Cousins is set up for success with a talented supporting cast — in fact, even more talented than last year's group — and a favorable fantasy strength of schedule (ninth-best).
Colt McCoy610750.40.32-204.1

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Matt Jones25210336.6201560.6162.1
Impressive during the preseason (7.0 YPC) as a rookie, Jones had a couple of big games in the regular season -- 19/123/2 rushing in Week 2 and 187 YFS in Week 10. That said, Jones averaged just 3.4 YPC as a rookie, fumbled five times (lost four) on 163 touches and missed three games. One concern leading up to the season is that he suffered an AC sprain in Week 2 of the preseason, but it appears that Jones will be ready for the opener.
Chris Thompson472120.5473341.969
Only 195 pounds, Thompson won't assume lead-back responsibilities if Jones isn't ready for the opener. That said, the change-of-pace option could approach 50 receptions in his fourth NFL season. Last year, he had a total of 70 touches including 35 catches for 456 YFS and two scores.
Rob Kelley642431.37420.136.9
The UDFA out of Tulane, Kelley rushed for 198 yards on 38 carries (5.21 YPC) this preseason and should earn a regular weekly role for Washington. With Chris Thompson as a change-of-pace option and rookie Keith Marshall placed on IR, Kelley would also be first in line for lead-back duties if Matt Jones (shoulder) were to miss any time.

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
DeSean Jackson609965.4000132
A hamstring injury limited Jackson to just nine games last season so his overall numbers dropped to 30/528/4 after finishing with 56/1,169/6 in 2014. Over the final six weeks of the season, however, Jackson had 25 catches for 469 yards, 11th-most among wide receivers during that span, and all four of his touchdowns. With the team using a first-round pick on Josh Doctson, D-Jax remains a boom-or-bust weekly option, but he should finish with 1,000 yards or so provided he remains healthy.
Josh Doctson355503.900078.4
Many believed that Doctson was the best receiver in this year's rookie class, but it may be a season before his true impact is felt as DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are still on the team's roster. Both Garcon and D-Jax will become free agents next offseason. In addition, Doctson was just activated off the active/PUP list so he'll likely be slowly eased back into action, but his role should expand as the season progresses.
Pierre Garcon444803.500069
Washington decided to not part ways with the overpaid Garcon, but it's unlikely that he duplicates last year's production (72/777/6) in 2016 without any injuries to the team's top pass-catchers.
Jamison Crowder505202.136065.2
Crowder had 59 catches for 604 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. Generating some positive buzz this offseason, the challenge for Crowder to improve on last year's numbers will be the presence of the other weapons in the offense including first-rounder Josh Doctson.
Ryan Grant141650.700020.7
Rashad Ross5720.40009.6

More Fantasy Football WR Resources:

Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Jordan Reed798857.9135.9
Dominant in the 2015 fantasy playoffs, Reed finished as the weekly TE1 in Weeks 14, 15 and 16 as he hauled in a total of 25 catches for 333 yards and five touchdowns during that three-game stretch. On the year, only Rob Gronkowski and Gary Barnidge scored more fantasy points than Reed. Durability is the obvious concern, but I expect Reed to average the second-most fantasy points per game at the position after Gronk.
Niles Paul263251.642.1
Vernon Davis131340.918.8

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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 4 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 4
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.04 - David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Despite limited offensive touches (161) as a rookie, Johnson scored a total of 13 touchdowns -- eight rushing, four receiving and one return. Finishing as a top-five weekly performer in three of his five starts, Johnson is my top-ranked fantasy running back for 2016.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 Fantasy Football contest ($100K in prizes, $10K to 1st, FREE to enter).

2.09 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Nelson tore his ACL last preseason and then dealt with some tendinitis in the other knee early in camp, but he should be fully ready to go for Week 1 against the Jaguars. Nelson may not finish with a stat line comparable to his 2014 season (98/1,519/13), but he is still a top-eight receiver for me heading into 2016.

3.04 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: A top-10 fantasy receiver in 2014, Hilton disappointed fantasy owners with only 1,124 yards and five touchdowns, but Andrew Luck missed nine games. Through the first seven games, Hilton had 606 receiving yards -- only five wideouts had more. Provided Luck stays healthy, Hilton is poised for a bounce-back season and has top-10 upside.

4.09 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Burning many fantasy owners last season with only 794 rushing yards and a 3.6 YPC average, Hill appears intent on bouncing back from his disappointing sophomore campaign. Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner recently wrote of Hill: "His razor focus and desire to return to rookie form are very real this offseason."

- Related: Hill appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

5.04 - Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins: Setting a franchise record with 110 receptions last season, Landry had 1,157 receiving yards, 113 rushing yards and a total of six touchdowns. Even though he is/was better in PPR formats (WR8 in 2015), Landry finished as the the WR13 in standard-scoring formats last season. There is some breakout potential for second-year receiver DeVante Parker, but Landry could once again finish with triple-digit receptions.

6.09 - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: Failing to score a touchdown on 217 touches and averaging just 3.48 YPC, Gordon disappointed fantasy owners as a rookie. Provided MG3 stays healthy, it shouldn't be difficult for things to go better for Gordon in year two. Even though he had offseason microfracture surgery, Gordon looked great this preseason -- 13/81/1 rushing (6.2 YPC) and 2/49/1 receiving.

7.04 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Parker closed the season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season and a 22/445/3 line (fantasy's WR18) over that stretch. Battling a few nagging injuries over the past month, Parker has his share of durability risk, but he's a high-upside WR4 for this team.

8.09 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Unfortunately, Rivers lost Keenan Allen for the season after Week 8. Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with his go-to receiver; only 14.52/G without him.

9.04 - Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions: Better in the second half (4.7 YPC) than he was in the first half (3.6 YPC), Abdullah has some breakout potential as he sits atop the team's depth chart heading into his second season. No team ran the ball on a lower percentage of their plays last season, but the biggest concern with Abdullah is that most of his work will come between the 20's.

10.09 - Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts: Allen has struggled with durability -- 21 missed games over past three seasons. If he can stay healthy, however, Allen is poised for a much larger role within the offense given Coby Fleener's free-agency departure.

11.04 - Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans: Matthews missed the final five games last season due to injury. Through the first 10 games (before getting injured in his 11th), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, both he and Tajae Sharpe should finish as top-50 fantasy receivers.

12.09 - Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: During the final 10 games, Cousins posted a 23:3 TD-INT ratio, added four rushing scores and finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times. He won't duplicate that level of success, but he has an even better supporting cast going into 2016.

13.04 - Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Missing the 1,000-yard milestone in each of the past four seasons, Joe Flacco is a better match for Wallace's skill set than the QB at his previous two stops.

14.09 - Tajae Sharpe, WR, Tennessee Titans: An outstanding route-runner that led college football with 111 receptions last season, Sharpe may only be a rookie from UMass, but he has looked impressive this preseason.

15.04 - Los Angeles Rams DST

16.09 - Blair Walsh, K, Minnesota Vikings

- View full mock draft results here

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12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, 2.0

There are a number of viable strategies that will help lead fantasy owners to a championship. While I may start a fantasy football draft with a particular strategy in mind, it's important to maintain the flexibility to adjust based on the flow of the draft.

Regardless of your preferred strategy, the one thing that fantasy owners should do is select players that are relative values compared to their draft slots.

At the end of July, I posted my initial list of undervalued players for the 2016 season.

Not only have injuries, preseason games, depth chart moves, etc. occurred since then, but average draft position (ADP) looks different now than it did then for many players.

Keep in mind that these aren't the only players that I believe are undervalued; just 12 that I'd like to highlight. For an idea of which player(s) I'd draft over other players, please consult with my 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings.

With that said, below is a list of 12 players that I expect to exceed their current fantasy football average draft position (ADP).

[Note: Consensus ADP from FantasyPros was used as a comparison.]

QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (ADP: 82, QB11 — My rank: QB6)

This list kicks off with the same quarterback that kicked off the previous list. The +5 difference between his ADP (QB11) and my ranking (QB6), however, has grown since then (+4). Among the 100-plus "experts" tracked by FantasyPros, none have Rivers ranked higher than I do (as of Sept. 3).

Not only do I have Rivers projected to score more points than QBs like Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer, but he's going a couple of rounds after them. More fantasy points at a multi-round discount? Yes, please.

The only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers through Week 8 last year was Tom Brady. Why am I using Week 8? That's when Keenan Allen last played in 2015 due to his lacerated kidney. Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him.

Setting career highs in pass attempts (661) and passing yards (4,792) last season, Rivers has thrown at least 29 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. Along with Drew Brees, he's one of only two QBs to throw 29-plus passing scores in three consecutive seasons.

Not only did Allen miss eight games last season, but Antonio Gates missed five games last season. The addition of Travis Benjamin, who had a breakout season in Cleveland last year, gives Rivers a vertical threat to open things up underneath for Allen and Gates. Provided Allen stays healthy, it's possible that Rivers exceeds not only his QB11 ADP but my QB6 ranking as well.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 Fantasy Football contest ($100K in prizes, $10K to 1st, FREE to enter).

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (ADP: 39, RB17 — My rank: RB11)

Based on my rankings, Murray will repeat exactly what he did last season — score the 11th-most fantasy points among running backs.

Even though he struggled in fourth quarters (2.2 yards per carry) last season, Murray ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing (1,066 yards) and only three backs had more touches (307). Perhaps more impressive than his overall workload was his consistent weekly usage rate.

Murray had 15-plus touches in all but one game last season. As you might imagine, no other running back had as many 15-touch games as Murray.

Going into 2016, it's possible that Murray gets an even larger workload than he had in 2015. Not only has Coach Del Rio said that he would like to give Murray more carries, but an improved team outlook should mean more opportunities to play with the lead.

Last but not least, the Raiders offensive line is about as good as it gets. Perhaps it's not as good as the unit in Dallas, but it's close.

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: 52, RB20 — My rank: RB15)

Hill's teammate, Giovani Bernard, appeared on the previous list and is still slightly undervalued (ADP of RB27 vs. RB25 in my rankings), but Gio's ADP has climbed a bit since the end of July (ADP: RB31). In fact, Bernard has never finished the season worse than fantasy's RB21 (last season) in standard-scoring formats.

Many fantasy owners were burned by Hill, who often went towards the end of Round 1 in 2015 drafts. Exploding for 1,124 rushing yards (5.1 YPC) as a rookie in 2014, Hill managed only 794 rushing yards with a 3.6 YPC average even though he scored 12 total touchdowns.

With that said, Hill appears intent on bouncing back following his disappointing sophomore campaign. The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner recently wrote of Hill: "His razor focus and desire to return to rookie form are very real this offseason."

RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 71, RB26 — My rank: RB20)

One of five players appearing on both versions of this list, Gore fell just shy of the 1,000-yard milestone and averaged a career-low 3.7 YPC in his first season with the Colts. Now 33 years old, perhaps it's unreasonable to expect better numbers for Gore in 2016.

That said, Gore finished as fantasy's RB12 last season despite the less-than-mediocre efficiency. And Gore was much more efficient in the games that Andrew Luck started (4.11 YPC) versus those he did not (3.44 YPC). In addition, he was a workhorse as he finished fifth in the NFL in touches.

To be fair, the Colts offensive line hasn't looked good in the preseason and only the Bucs (2.6) averaged fewer YPC than the Colts (2.7) during the preseason. That said, the Colts upgraded their offensive line in the draft so hopefully that means improved blocking for Gore as the season progresses.

Assuming Luck stays healthy for the full season, Gore should exceed value at his current ADP.

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (ADP: 84, RB32 — My rank: RB24)

Far from a model of durability, Jennings finally played a full 16-game season at age 30. Now 31 years old, it's fair to wonder whether he could put together back-to-back full seasons.

If he does, however, he has a great chance to exceed his current draft position. While Jennings posted career highs in both carries (195) and rushing yards (863), it wasn't until the final three games that the team abandoned their four-game rotation and gave Jennings the lion's share of the work.

During those final three games, Jennings amassed 419 yards from scrimmage -- no running back had more -- on 62 touches. (Receivers Julio Jones, 445, and Antonio Brown, 437, were the only players with more YFS than Jennings during that span.)

One other factor working in Jennings' favor going into 2016 — only the Bucs and Lions have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule. And he gets three top-12 matchups in the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14 to 16).

WR - Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (ADP: 28, WR13 — My rank: WR10)

Willing to draft him a round earlier than his mid-third ADP, Cooper is my 10th-ranked wideout and inside my top-20 overall. Despite too many drops and dealing with a foot injury for much of the second half of the season, Cooper posted a solid rookie-season stat line of 72/1,070/6. Assuming good health and that he gets the drops under control, Cooper should easily build upon his rookie numbers. I have him projected for an 89/1,344/9 stat line in his age-22 season.

- Related: 2016 Fantasy Football Projections for the Oakland Raiders

WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 57, WR26 — My rank: WR18)

On his way to a breakout season, Moncrief scored five touchdowns in his seven games with Luck. Doubling his 32 receptions as a rookie, Moncrief finished with 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns in his age-22 season. Had Luck not missed nine games, Moncrief would have posted better numbers as he saw nearly two more targets per game with Luck (7.71/G) than with Matt Hasselbeck (5.67/G).

With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), Moncrief is poised to breakout in a big way in 2016. ESPN's Mike Wells wrote the following of Moncrief recently: "... Moncrief may not lead the Colts in receiving yards or yards per catch this season, but it won't be surprising if he leads them in receptions, because he'll be the receiver Luck turns to when a play breaks down."

WR - DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (ADP: 91, WR38 — My rank: WR24)

The fifth and final player to double-dip on my two undervalued lists, the excitement about Parker is much different now than it was then. One of the concerns with Parker is durability and recently Adam Gase compared Parker to Demaryius Thomas due to the nagging injuries with a left hamstring issue being the latest.

"We’re going to keep strengthening him up," Gase said (via the Miami Herald). “I feel like I’ve been through this with Demaryius [Thomas] in Denver. Felt like he was always hurt. One thing after the other."

That said, Parker closed his 2015 rookie season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games. During that six-game span, Parker racked up a total of 22 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns as he scored the 18th-most fantasy points among wide receivers during that stretch.

If he stays healthy for 14 to 16 games, Parker should easily exceed his WR38 ADP and he's worth the potential injury risk as a fantasy team's WR4.

WR - Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (ADP: 213, WR70 — My rank: WR46)

With their "exotic smashmouth" offense, it's two of the team's receivers that appear on this list. That said, it's not as though you will need to spend an early-round pick to get either Matthews or Tajae Sharpe, but both offer late-round value.

Speaking of Matthews, he missed the final five games with the Dolphins last season. Through the first 10 games (before his Week 11 injury), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, he is ranked inside my top-50 fantasy receivers for 2016.

WR - Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans (ADP: 174, WR58 — My rank: WR47)

Based on my projections and rankings, I slightly prefer Matthews (WR46) to Sharpe (WR47) in standard-scoring formats, but I'd rather have Sharpe in PPR formats.

Even though Sharpe is only a rookie from UMass, he's an outstanding route-runner and he led college football with 111 receptions last season. Expected to begin the season as a starter, Sharpe is one of the reasons the Titans gave up (traded) Dorial Green-Beckham, their second-round 2015 pick.

TE - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (ADP: 94, TE11 — My rank: TE7)

Ertz set career highs in 2015 with 75 catches for 853 yards, but he had just two touchdowns. Especially productive over the final four games (35/450/1) of the season, Ertz will obviously slow from his end-of-season torrid pace, but he carries plenty of positive momentum into the 2016 season.

Based on comments from Doug Pederson, Ertz should see expanded opportunities inside the red zone. If that materializes, he could vastly outperform his current ADP. Through three NFL seasons, Ertz has scored only nine touchdowns on 169 receptions and 258 targets.

TE - Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 267, TE29 — My rank: TE14)

Based on how he closed the 2015 season, McDonald could be poised for a 2016 breakout. Over his final six games, McDonald had 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns and he finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends over that span. Extrapolating those numbers over a full season equates to a stat line of 56/699/8.

Most would argue that the 49ers have the least-talented group of offensive skill players in NFL. With lighter competition for targets, McDonald has the potential to pick up where he left off last season especially if Blaine Gabbert wins the starting QB job, as expected.

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September 02, 2016

New York Giants Fantasy Preview: 2016 Fantasy Football Projections

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the New York Giants.

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Eli Manning38661245353315.918470.5305.2
For a second consecutive season, Manning finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. In both seasons, Manning threw 600-plus times and exceeded 4,400-plus yards while throwing a total of 65 touchdowns. With Odell Beckham entering his third season as Manning's go-to receiver, Eli could finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback for a third straight season.

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Rashad Jennings2359995.9282270.6161.6
For the first time in his career, Jennings played all 16 games and posted career highs in both carries (195) and rushing yards (863). Racking up 419 YFS in the final three games of the season, Jennings ended the season on a positive note and it's clear that he will enter the season as the lead back. With that said, he turned 31 in March and has historically struggled with durability.
Shane Vereen783281.4564623.6109
The bulk of Vereen's production comes as a receiver (59/495/4, all of which were receiving career highs), but he still finished as the RB38 in standard-scoring formats (RB27 in PPR) in 2015.
Paul Perkins351520.9141150.434.5
Over the past couple of seasons at UCLA, Perkins ran for 2,918 yards, hauled in 56 receptions for 443 yards and scored a total of 26 touchdowns. With Rashad Jennings having a shaky durability track record and turning 31 this offseason, Perkins could find himself with a relatively large role at some point as a rookie. That said, he will potentially find himself being a game-day inactive, especially early in his career.
Andre Williams15530.8211011.2
Orleans Darkwa12480.10005.4

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Odell Beckham102152012.23140226.6
In his young career, Beckham has averaged more than 100 yards per game (2,755 yards in 27 career games). Even though he has missed five games over his first two seasons, OBJ has exceeded the 100-yard mark in more games (15) than he has not (12). In fact, only Antonio Brown (17) and Julio Jones (16) have more 100-yard games over that span. Just as (or more) important, no player has more receiving touchdowns than Beckham (25) during his two NFL seasons.
Sterling Shepard617995.5000112.9
The Giants used a top-40 pick on Shepard, who is clearly the team's No. 2 receiver behind Odell Beckham. I could see Shepard finishing with 60-plus catches as a rookie. OBJ recently said the following of the rookie from Oklahoma: "I don't want to spoil the surprise, but he's going to be a special player."
Victor Cruz243021.700040.4
After missing more than half of the 2014 season, Cruz (patellar tendon) missed all of the 2015 season. He's returned to play in the team's final two preseason games, but he's clearly behind Beckham and Shepard and offers very little fantasy upside.
Tavarres King202501.400033.4
Geremy Davis121421.600023.8
Dwayne Harris121311312020.3

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Larry Donnell322822.945.6
Will Tye262992.343.7
Productive in the second half of his rookie season, Tye had five-plus catches in five of his final seven games for a total of 32/368/3 during that seven-game span. If he starts over Larry Donnell, Tye has upside as a TE2, but it appears that Donnell is ahead of him to enter the season.
Jerell Adams3380.25

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Detroit Lions Fantasy Preview: 2016 Fantasy Football Projections

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Detroit Lions.

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Matthew Stafford392594433628.514.9411151.4292.44
After an incredibly slow start, things turned up for Stafford, who finished as fantasy's QB9 in 2015. Through the first five games, Stafford averaged just 11.12 fantasy points per game and posted a 6-to-8 TD-INT ratio. In his final 11 games (most of which were with Jim Bob Cooter as coordinator), Stafford averaged 21.29 fantasy points per game and posted a 26-to-5 TD-INT ratio. During that 11-game stretch, Stafford finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback seven times. While Stafford has the most generous fantasy schedule (on paper), he lost Calvin Johnson to retirement this offseason.
Dan Orlovsky35330.20.21001.92

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Ameer Abdullah2159255.8272031.1154.2
Better in the second half (4.7 YPC) than he was in the first half (3.6 YPC), Abdullah has some breakout potential as he sits atop the team's depth chart heading into his second season. While no team ran the ball on a lower percentage of their plays last season, the Lions plan to be more balanced on offense this season. One drawback with Abdullah, however, is the potential to lose passing-down snaps to Theo Riddick and goal-line carries to Zach Zenner.
Theo Riddick582200.6585162.692.8
Riddick had 80 catches for 697 yards plus 133 rushing yards and three total touchdowns last season. While he's much better in PPR formats (RB18 last year), he finished as a top-40 option in standard-scoring leagues as well and could do so again in 2016.
Zach Zenner7432238560.257
Dwayne Washington301260.9216019.6

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Golden Tate9511025.85320148.2
Tate followed up a career-best season (99/1,331/4 in 2014) with another 90-catch season although he averaged just 9.0 Y/R in 2015. Tate has been highly productive in games that (the now-retired) Calvin Johnson has missed so there is some upside in his third season with the Lions. With no clear-cut No. 1 receiver, however, Tate and Marvin Jones are more of a 1(a) and 1(b) and it's not exactly clear which will turn out to be the "1(a)."
Marvin Jones7090372120133.5
Jones set career highs in both receptions (65) and yards (816) in his final season with the Bengals last year. While the Lions should be more balanced this year, no team threw the ball on a higher percentage of their plays in 2015. Showing good chemistry with Matthew Stafford, Jones could be in store for career highs in receptions and yards in 2016.
Anquan Boldin414723.300067
Signed to a one-year deal, the 35-year-old (turns 36 next month) Boldin had a 69/789/4 line last season. Unlikely to make much of a fantasy impact this season, Boldin's signing delivered a blow to the sleeper potential for T.J. Jones, who now becomes the team's No. 4 receiver.
T.J. Jones22277200039.7
Andre Roberts8980.400012.2

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Eric Ebron495684.986.2
In his second season, Ebron finished with 47 catches for 537 yards and five touchdowns. It was an up-and-down year, but he finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in half of his 14 games played. Following Megatron's retirement, the former top-10 pick should be more involved in the passing game and could finish as a top-12 fantasy tight end provided he stays healthy. That said, his status (ankle) for Week 1 appears to be 50-50.
Cole Wick121501.222.2
Brandon Pettigrew5480.68.4

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Houston Texans Fantasy Preview: 2016 Fantasy Football Projections

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Houston Texans:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Brock Osweiler364596441025.614.335980.7278.5
Parlaying just seven starts into a $72 million contract, Osweiler will lead a revamped Texans offense. Despite his limited experience and the transition to a new offense, Osweiler has some fantasy upside in an offense that should rank near the NFL lead in offensive plays run. Over the past two seasons, the Texans have run the third-most offensive plays (2,189) although only the Raiders (4.9181) have averaged fewer yards per play during that span than the Texans (5.0603).
Tom Savage7141010.50.61205.64

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Lamar Miller25912308.3484032.3226.9
Perennially under-involved in Miami's offense, Miller has been highly productive on a per-touch basis. Despite his modest workload (194 carries, 18th-most in 2015), Miller scored the sixth-most fantasy points last year and has now finished as a top-10 fantasy running back in back-to-back seasons. Given the change of scenery, Miller is poised for a huge jump in workload as the new lead back in Houston. Since Bill O'Brien has taken over as coach, only the Seahawks (1,025 carries including 221 from Russell Wilson) have run the ball more than the Texans (1,023).
Tyler Ervin793481.2221760.965
Alfred Blue5218518550.331.8
Jonathan Grimes15650.36490.214.4
Jay Prosch5130.11702.6

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
DeAndre Hopkins10515239.1000206.9
One of the best young talents in the NFL, Hopkins took another huge step forward in his age-23 season. Even with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation last season, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.
Will Fuller4473943230100.2
The first-round rookie out of Notre Dame with elite speed, Fuller put together an impressive preseason with eight catches for 144 yards (18.0 Y/R) and two touchdowns and enters 2016 as the starter opposite Nuk Hopkins. A likely boom-or-bust weekly option, Fuller may be too inconsistent to rely on him as a regular contributor in season-long leagues, but he will definitely be a frequent play in my DFS tournament lineups.
Braxton Miller303842.67630.261.5
Jaelen Strong344322.800060
The Texans used a third-round pick on Strong in 2015, but he disappointed as a rookie and Houston invested a pair of high picks in Will Fuller and Braxton Miller in April's draft. Early in the offseason, Strong generated some buzz, but he may finish only fourth among the team's receivers in targets in 2016.
Cecil Shorts182000.915025.9
Missing five games last season, Shorts finished with 42 catches for 484 yards and two touchdowns in his first year with the Texans. Shorts has now missed multiple games in all five of his NFL seasons and the Texans used two early picks on receivers -- Will Fuller (first round) and Braxton Miller (third round) -- in this year's draft. It's possible, perhaps likely, that Shorts does not make the team's final 53-man roster with Hopkins, both rookies and Strong ahead of him on the depth chart.
Keith Mumphery4380.20005

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Ryan Griffin252981.840.6
C.J. Fiedorowicz141390.718.1
Stephen Anderson101190.816.7

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Indianapolis Colts Fantasy Preview: 2016 Fantasy Football Projections

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Indianapolis Colts.

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Andrew Luck35961444823517.2582842.6346.08
It was a lost season for Luck, who missed more games (nine) than he played (seven) in 2015. And when he was on the field, he was (much) less than 100 percent for many of those games. In addition to being in a high-volume passing offense, Luck benefits from his dual-threat abilities as he rushed for 255-plus yards per year with a total of 12 touchdowns in his first three seasons. With better health in 2016, I expect a bounce-back season and a top-four fantasy finish from the Colts' franchise quarterback.

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Frank Gore2409797282181.1168.3
Falling short of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC average, Gore had the fifth-most touches and still scored the 12th-most (14th in PPR) fantasy points among running backs last season. With a healthy Luck and improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts. That said, the Colts rushing attack was anemic in the preseason -- league-worst 57.0 YPG and only the Bucs (2.6) averaged fewer yards per carry than the Colts (2.7).
Robert Turbin421721.324190150
Josh Ferguson241060.6121020.628
An undrafted free agent the Colts considered drafting as early as Round 4, Ferguson has impressed the coaching staff throughout offseason workouts. Given Frank Gore's age and cumulative workload and the lack of competition elsewhere on the roster, Ferguson has some appeal as a late-round flyer in fantasy drafts. That said, he has not impressed in the preseason, has fallen to fourth on the depth chart and CBS 4's Mike Chappell left him off his 53-man roster projection.
Jordan Todman241030.58650.321.6

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
T.Y. Hilton8113378.72130187.2
A top-10 fantasy receiver in 2014, Hilton disappointed fantasy owners with only 1,124 yards and five touchdowns, but Andrew Luck missed nine games. Through the first seven games, Hilton had 606 receiving yards -- only five wideouts had more. Provided Luck stays healthy, Hilton is poised for a bounce-back season and has top-10 upside.
Donte Moncrief7510809150162.5
In his sophomore campaign, Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 to 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns. With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), the 23-year-old has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season. ESPN's Mike Wells wrote the following last month: "... Moncrief may not lead the Colts in receiving yards or yards per catch this season, but it won't be surprising if he leads them in receptions, because he'll be the receiver Luck turns to when a play breaks down."
Phillip Dorsett476534.55310.196
One of the fastest players in the league, Dorsett, the team's first-round pick in 2015, had two or fewer receptions in 10 of 11 games played last season. While he's clearly behind T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief on the depth chart, Dorsett has some breakout potential and his production should improve considerably in his second season.
Quan Bray12144100020.4

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Dwayne Allen475736.696.9
Allen has struggled with durability -- 21 missed games over past three seasons. If he can stay healthy, however, Allen is poised for a much larger role within the offense given Coby Fleener's free-agency departure.
Jack Doyle181222.326

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San Diego Chargers Fantasy Preview: 2016 Fantasy Football Projections

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the San Diego Chargers.

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Philip Rivers415629474931.513.221440.2308.36
With 661 pass attempts (previous career high: 582), Rivers averaged a career-high 299.6 yards per game and threw 29 touchdowns despite multi-game absences by his top-two pass-catchers -- Keenan Allen (played eight games) and Antonio Gates (11 games). Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Appearing on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, Rivers offers plenty of upside at his current ADP to those who wait to draft a QB.

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Melvin Gordon24510546.6342241173.4
Failing to score a touchdown on 217 touches and averaging just 3.48 YPC, Gordon disappointed fantasy owners as a rookie. Provided MG3 stays healthy, it shouldn't be difficult for things to go better for Gordon in year two. Even though he had offseason microfracture surgery, Gordon has looked great this preseason -- 13/81/1 rushing (6.2 YPC) and 2/49/1 receiving.
Danny Woodhead1084213.8726194.7155
No running back had more receptions (80) or receiving yards (755) than Woodhead, who totaled 1,091 YFS and nine touchdowns last season. Woodhead played just three games in 2014, but Woodhead has finished as a top-24 fantasy running back in each of his past three full seasons. In fact, he finished as a top-10 fantasy running back (RB3 in PPR behind only Devonta Freeman and Adrian Peterson) in 2015.
Kenneth Farrow16670.221409.3

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Keenan Allen11813518.5000186.1
Playing only eight games last season, Allen hauled in 67 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns -- or a full-season pace of 134/1,450/8. Before sustaining his kidney injury, only Julio Jones (70) had more catches and only Jones (892) and DeAndre Hopkins (870) had more receiving yards than Allen. If he can stay healthy, the 24-year-old receiver should rank near the top of the league in targets and catches in 2016. Based on 2016 projections, only Antonio Brown and Jones are projected for more receptions in 2016 than Allen.
Travis Benjamin5082042120107.2
In spite of poor quarterback play in Cleveland, Benjamin broke out with a 68/966/5 season. With better weapons on San Diego's roster, Benjamin may be third (or even fourth) in line for targets, but the improvement in quarterback play should allow Benjamin to come close to his 2015 numbers even if he falls a little short.
Tyrell Williams325182.900069.2
Dontrelle Inman22297200041.7

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Antonio Gates596557.1108.1
Gates missed five games, but still finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 2015 at 35 years old. In fact, his 57.3 yards per game was a four-year high. If Keenan Allen stays healthy for a full season, he may average fewer yards, but he remains the favorite red-zone target of Philip Rivers and a top-12 option at the position despite heading into his age-36 season. In fact, Rivers recently stated that it's a goal to get Gates at least eight TDs so he passes Tony Gonzalez for the most all-time by a tight end.
Hunter Henry262991.840.7

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2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 6 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot:
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.06 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: One of the best young talents in the NFL, Hopkins took another huge step forward in his age-23 season. Even with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation last season, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns.

2.07 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Cooper posted a solid 72/1,070/6 stat line as a rookie, but he battled a foot injury for much of the second half of the season. I expect bigger and better things in his age-22 season.

3.06 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: While the team's quarterback situation is less than ideal, Peyton Manning posted a 9-to-17 TD-INT ratio last season. In other words, there is a good chance that DT posts comparable numbers to 2015 (105/1,304/6).

Week 1 DFS: Join my FanDuel 20-team winner-takes-all league for Week 1.

4.07 - Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders: Not only did Murray rank fourth in the NFL in touches (307), but no other running back had as many games with 15-plus touches than Murray (15). Not only do the Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines, but their overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows when it comes to running the football.

5.06 - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers: No running back had more receptions (80) or receiving yards (755) than Woodhead, who totaled 1,091 YFS and nine touchdowns last season. Only Devonta Freeman and Adrian Peterson scored more PPR points in 2015 than Woodhead.

6.07 - Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: Brees has averaged more than 320 yards per game in four of five seasons with a minimum of 32 passing scores for eight consecutive seasons. If it weren't for a missed game early in the season, Brees would have finished with his fifth 5,000-yard season of his career. And since becoming a Saint in 2006, Brees has finished as a top-six fantasy QB every year (10 seasons).

7.06 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Bernard finished as a top-16 PPR running back last season despite scoring just two touchdowns. In his three seasons, Bernard has averaged 213.33 touches (including 49.33 receptions) and 1,146.67 YFS per season.

8.07 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Falling short of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC average, Gore had the fifth-most touches and still scored the 14th-most PPR points among running backs last season. With a healthy Andrew Luck and improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

9.06 - Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns: The first receiver off the board in April's draft, Coleman is an explosive athlete and could wind up leading all rookie receivers in fantasy production. Few teams should find themselves trailing and needing to throw as often as the Browns.

10.07 - Tajae Sharpe, WR, Tennessee Titans: Even though Sharpe is only a rookie from UMass, he's an outstanding route-runner and he led college football with 111 receptions last season. Expected to begin the season as a starter, it wouldn't be a shock if Sharpe led all Titans receivers in fantasy production.

11.06 - Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants: The bulk of Vereen's production comes as a receiver (59/495/4, all of which were receiving career highs) and he finished as the RB27 in PPR last season.

12.07 - DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders: Oakland's GM called Washington a "complete back," but he at least provides this team with a handcuff for Murray.

13.06 - Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Missing the 1,000-yard milestone in each of the past four seasons, Wallace has a chance to exceed expectations in Baltimore as Joe Flacco's strong arm is a better match for Wallace's skill set.

14.07 - Los Angeles Rams DST

15.06 - Vance McDonald, TE, San Francisco 49ers: As my 13th-ranked PPR tight end, McDonald has a much lower ADP so I felt comfortable waiting with him as my target this late. Over his final six games, McDonald had 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns and he finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends over that span. Given the 49ers weak group of receivers, McDonald should be heavily involved in the passing game.

16.07 - Graham Gano, K, Carolina Panthers

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2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy QB Rankings

With the season beginning in less than a week, here are my updated top 25 fantasy quarterbacks for the 2016 NFL season:

1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
The top-scoring fantasy quarterback in 2015, Newton threw for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns. Newton has now finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in four of his five NFL seasons. No quarterback has more weekly upside than the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player as he finished as the weekly QB1 in five of his final nine games in 2015.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The loss of Jordy Nelson (ACL) for the season hurt the offense in general and Rodgers' production in particular. Rodgers completed 60.7 percent of his attempts for just 6.7 Y/A, both of which were lows since becoming a starter in 2008. Before this season, however, Rodgers finished as the QB1 or QB2 in all full seasons as a starter and should finish as a top-two performer in 2016 with good health from the team's passing-game weapons.

3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
After a slow start, Wilson's production spiked down the stretch as he once again finished the full season as fantasy's QB3. Not only did Wilson rush for 500-plus yards for a third consecutive season, he finished with career-best passing numbers — 4,024 yards, 34 touchdowns, 68.1 completion percentage and 110.1 passer rating. Perhaps the Seahawks throw a bit more following Marshawn Lynch's retirement, but the dual-threat Wilson should at least finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback once again.

4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
It was a lost season for Luck, who missed more games (nine) than he played (seven) in 2015. And when he was on the field, he was (much) less than 100 percent for many of those games. In addition to being in a high-volume passing offense, Luck benefits from his dual-threat abilities as he rushed for 255-plus yards per year with a total of 12 touchdowns in his first three seasons. With better health in 2016, I expect a bounce-back season and a top-four fantasy finish from the Colts' franchise quarterback.

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Even without Jimmy Graham last year, Brees averaged 324.7 yards per game, which was the second-highest of his career. Brees has averaged more than 320 yards per game in four of five seasons with a minimum of 32 passing scores for eight consecutive seasons. If it weren't for a missed game early in the season, Brees would have finished with his fifth 5,000-yard season of his career. Since becoming a Saint in 2006, Brees has finished as a top-six fantasy QB every year (10 seasons).

6. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
With 661 pass attempts (previous career high: 582), Rivers averaged a career-high 299.6 yards per game and threw 29 touchdowns despite multi-game absences by his top-two pass-catchers -- Keenan Allen (played eight games) and Antonio Gates (11 games). Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Appearing on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, Rivers offers plenty of upside at his current ADP to those who wait to draft a QB.

7. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
In his second season, Bortles threw for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions and ran for 310 yards and two more scores. Bortles needs to cut down on the turnovers and he's unlikely to throw another 35 touchdowns, but he was consistent in terms of fantasy production last year. Finishing with the fourth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks, Bortles was a top-10 weekly performer 10 times last season.

8. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Despite his four-game suspension to start the season, Brady should finish as a top-five (or better) quarterback in terms of fantasy points per game. Scoring more fantasy points than every quarterback not named Cam Newton last season, Brady threw for 4,770 yards and a league-high 36 touchdowns in 2015. Given the depth at QB (at least in terms of fantasy), pairing Brady with a high-upside QB2 is certainly a viable strategy for fantasy owners in 2016.

9. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
For a second consecutive season, Big Ben has led the NFL in passing yards per game (328.2/G in 2015). Even with the full-season suspension of Martavis Bryant, Roethlisberger has top-five upside provided he can stay healthy for 16 games. That said, Roethlisberger has now missed at least three games in half of his past six seasons.

10. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
Palmer set career highs in passing yards (4,671, fourth-most in the NFL) and passing touchdowns (35, second-most) in 2015 as the Cardinals led the NFL in total offense and finished second in scoring offense. With a talented trio of wide receivers in addition to one of the league's best young running backs, Palmer should finish as a top-10 fantasy QB with the upside to once again finish as a top-five fantasy QB. Through Week 16, Palmer threw for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in all but two games last season.

11. Eli Manning, New York Giants
For a second consecutive season, Manning finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. In both seasons, Manning threw 600-plus times and exceeded 4,400-plus yards while throwing a total of 65 touchdowns. With one of the league's most dynamic players as his go-to receiver, Eli could finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback for a third straight season.

12. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Amari Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. That said, Carr still finished as fantasy's QB14 overall in 2015. Going into the 2016 season, Carr is a back-end QB1 with upside.

13. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
Over the final 10 games of the season, few quarterbacks were as productive as Cousins, who threw 23 touchdowns, rushed for four more and threw only three interceptions. During that 10-game span, Cousins finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times and as fantasy's weekly QB1 three times. Cousins is set up for success with a talented supporting cast — in fact, even more talented than last year's group — and a favorable fantasy strength of schedule (ninth-best).

14. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Not only has Tannehill thrown for 4,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons, but he's averaged 225 rushing yards per season over his young career. Outperforming his current ADP (QB22) in each of the past three seasons, Tannehill has finished as fantasy's QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively, from 2013 to 2015. With Gase taking over as head coach (and some tutoring from Peyton Manning), Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside.

15. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As a rookie, Winston threw for more than 4,042 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for another six scores and finished the season as fantasy's QB13. From a fantasy perspective, Winston was incrediby consistent as he never finished with less than 12 fantasy points in any week. Going into his second season, Winston is a high-upside QB2.

16. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Typical for a rookie quarterback, Mariota had an up-and-down season, but he finished as a top-six weekly fantasy quarterback in one-third (four) of his 12 games played. No team allowed more sacks than the Titans (54) last year, but they upgraded their offensive line this offseason. With better protection from his line and a full offseason of development under his belt, the dual-threat quarterback has plenty of upside entering 2016 especially if he runs more often.

17. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
Averaging 8.0 Y/A and posting a 20:6 TD-INT ratio, Taylor averaged a mere 27.14 pass attempts per game. More than likely, the Bills will once again rank near the bottom of the league in pass attempts, but Taylor is a high-upside QB2 due to his rushing ability. Finishing as a top-10 weekly fantasy quarterback in half of his 14 starts in 2015, Taylor rushed for 568 yards and four touchdowns in his first year as an NFL starter.

18. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Before sustaining a thumb injury that essentially ended his season, Dalton was having a career-best year: 106.2 passer rating, 66.1 completion percentage, 8.4 Y/A and 25:7 TD-to-INT ratio. While Dalton is healthy again, the loss of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and several of his top weapons from 2015 means it's unlikely that he performs at that pace once again.

19. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
After an incredibly slow start, things turned up for Stafford, who finished as fantasy's QB9 in 2015. Through the first five games, Stafford averaged just 11.12 fantasy points per game and posted a 6-to-8 TD-INT ratio. In his final 11 games (most of which were with Jim Bob Cooter as coordinator), Stafford averaged 21.29 fantasy points per game and posted a 26-to-5 TD-INT ratio. During that 11-game stretch, Stafford finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback seven times. While Stafford has the most generous fantasy schedule (on paper), he lost Calvin Johnson to retirement this offseason.

20. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan has thrown for more than 4,500 yards in each of the past four seasons, but Ryan's 21 passing touchdowns were the lowest since his rookie season (2008). After finishing as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of the previous five seasons, Ryan finished as fantasy's QB19 in 2015. If there's a positive for Ryan going into 2016, it's that he should feel more comfortable with a full season of running Kyle Shanahan's offense under his belt. Then again, he didn't look more comfortable in the preseason (for what it's worth): 48.6 completion rate, 5.59 Y/A and 0:1 TD-INT ratio on 37 pass attempts through three weeks.

21. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Despite missing six games due to a torn ACL, Flacco had six games with 40-plus pass attempts -- only Drew Brees (10), Eli Manning (eight), Philip Rivers (eight) and Matt Ryan (seven) had more such games. While I don't expect Flacco to sling it 41.3 times per game, like last year, his supporting cast -- when at full strength -- is better than he's had over the past few seasons. (Of course, the group isn't yet at full strength, though.) And prior to last season, he had finished as a top-16 fantasy quarterback in four of the previous five seasons. In other words, he's a solid, if not spectacular, QB2 going into 2016.

22. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Despite all of the uncertainty about his status for the season, Fitzpatrick re-signed with the Jets on a one-year deal worth $12 million. Fitzpatrick has had his most productive seasons in a Chan Gailey offense and he threw a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes last year in his first season with the Jets.

23. Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns
Going into the 2016 NFL season, few starting quarterbacks have a wider range of possible outcomes than RG3. With more scout team reps at safety than pass attempts last season, Griffin was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 when he finished as a top-five fantasy QB. While a top-five (or even top-12) finish would be an unrealistic expectation, a fresh start in a new city with a QB-friendly head coach is certainly a positive for RG3 and his outlook.

24. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Injuries at wide receiver limited Cutler's fantasy production, but he still completed 64.4 percent of his pass attempts (second-most in his career) and averaged a career-high 7.6 Y/A. The team's top-three wide receivers -- Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Eddie Royal -- played a total of 18 games last season. Not surprisingly, Cutler averaged more than three fantasy points per game more with Jeffery (16.41/G) than he did without him (13.13/G). With a healthy supporting cast, Cutler should at least finish as a top-20 fantasy quarterback with top-12 upside.

25. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
With Tony Romo (back) expected to miss at least six games, Prescott will hope his preseason success (39-of-48 passing, 9.46 Y/A, seven total TDs and no INTs in three games) carries over into the regular season. As much as Prescott has exceeded expectations in the preseason, it certainly won't be as easy in the regular season. Not only does Dak have plenty of fantasy upside as a QB streamer and DFS option in the first half of 2016, but only Matthew Stafford and the Lions have a more favorable fantasy football strength of schedule in 2016.

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2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy RB Rankings

Here are our 2016 fantasy football running back rankings:

1. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Injuries finally led to Johnson getting a shot at the featured role, but the third-rounder out of Northern Iowa had been productive in limited opportunities before that. Johnson scored a total of 13 touchdowns -- eight rushing, four receiving and one return -- on only 161 touches last season. Finishing as a top-five weekly performer in three of his five starts, Johnson could lead all running backs in fantasy points in 2016.

2. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Should you draft Gurley first overall? Well, if you ask Gurley, you should. Although Gurley shouldn't be the first player off the board in fantasy drafts (Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown should), you could argue that he should be the first running back off the board. Despite missing the first three games of last season, Gurley finished third in the NFL with 1,106 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Despite running behind a poor offensive line with a rookie quarterback (at some point) under center, Gurley will be one more year removed from his torn ACL and could lead the league in rush attempts in 2016.

3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
With the skill set to be a true three-down back and workhorse, Elliott could not have ended up in a better situation as he gets to run behind the NFL's best offensive line. With Tony Romo (back) already set to miss the first half of the season, the Cowboys will rely heavily on Zeke and their ground game. It wouldn't be a big surprise if Elliott finished as fantasy's RB1 in 2016.

4. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
Perennially under-involved in Miami's offense, Miller has been highly productive on a per-touch basis. Despite his modest workload (194 carries, 18th-most in 2015), Miller scored the sixth-most fantasy points last year and has now finished as a top-10 fantasy running back in back-to-back seasons. Given the change of scenery, Miller is poised for a huge jump in workload as the new lead back in Houston. Since Bill O'Brien has taken over as coach, only the Seahawks (1,025) have run the ball more than the Texans (1,023).

5. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
After sitting out virtually all of the 2014 season, Peterson led the NFL in carries (327), rushing yards (1,485) and rushing touchdowns (11). The Vikings will continue to ride AP as their workhorse, especially with the injury to Bridgewater. Despite his superhuman physical traits, the only concern is that he turned 31 years old in March, but I have Peterson projected for the more touches (333) than any other back. [LA's Todd Gurley (332) is second.]

6. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Injuries at the position are obviously a huge risk with any running back and Bell missed a huge chunk of last season due to both injury and suspension. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, Bell is suspended three games (cut from four games) to start the 2016 season. A highly productive, true three-down back on the field, Bell has averaged 23.18 touches, 132.14 YFS and 0.64 touchdowns -- or more than 17 (standard) fantasy points -- per game over the past two seasons. In other words, Bell should lead all running backs in fantasy points on a per-game basis once he returns in Week 4.

7. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
While few (read: nobody) saw it coming, no running back scored more fantasy points in 2015 than Freeman. Not only did Freeman rush for more than 1,000 yards, but he hauled in 73 catches, third-most among running backs, for 578 yards, and scored a league-leading 14 total touchdowns last season. While he's shown a three-down skill set, the Falcons want to lower Freeman's workload and get second-year back Tevin Coleman more involved in the offense in 2016.

8. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Totaling 3,001 yards from scrimmage with 24 total touchdowns in his first two seasons, Lacy disappointed fantasy owners with less than 1,000 YFS and just five total touchdowns in 2015. Ceding more work than expected to James Starks last season, Lacy has shed weight this offseason and a fitter version is poised to bounce back as he enters a contract season.

9. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Coming off a second torn ACL in four seasons, Charles began camp on the active/PUP list but remains on track for Week 1. He's unlikely to appear in any preseason games, but Charles recently participated in full-team drills for the first time. In his five games last season, Charles averaged 18.4 touches, 108.2 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown per game. While Charles has never averaged less than 5.0 yards per carry, it's fair to project a slightly reduced workload given the other capable backs on the roster and his return from injury.

10. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After two injury-plagued and disappointing campaigns, Martin exceeded the value of his 2015 draft slot and finished second to only Adrian Peterson for the 2015 NFL rushing title. With 1,673 YFS and seven touchdowns last season, Martin should rank near the top of the league in workload and production provided he can stay healthy.

11. Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders
Not only did Murray rank fourth in the NFL in touches (307), but no other running back had as many games with 15-plus touches than Murray (15). Rookie DeAndre Washington may cut into Murray's workload some, but the Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines and their overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows when it comes to running the football. In addition, Del Rio has said that he wants Murray to get more carries in 2016 than he had in 2015.

12. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
The biggest issue with Ingram has been durability. The 26-year-old back has missed three or more games in four of five seasons including four games in 2015. Over the past two seasons, however, Ingram has averaged 18.84 touches, 91.32 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. Despite playing just 12 games, Ingram still finished as fantasy's RB15 (RB10 in PPR) in 2015.

13. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos
Drafted as a late first-round pick in many 2015 fantasy drafts, Anderson started slowly and spent much of the season in a timeshare with Ronnie Hillman. In the second half of the season, however, CJA was much better than both his first half and Hillman. Starting with Week 8, Anderson carried the ball 85 times for 540 yards (6.35 YPC) and five touchdowns and he enters 2016 as the team's clear lead back.

14. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
Missing four games in his first season with the Bills, McCoy averaged nearly 20 touches (19.58/G) and 100 YFS (98.92/G) per game. Assuming good health, McCoy should rank near the top of the league leaders in usage and YFS in 2016 for the run-heavy Bills.

15. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals
Disappointing fantasy owners in 2015, Hill's rushing yardage dropped from 1,124 (5.1 YPC) as a rookie to 794 (3.6 YPC) last season. That said, he did score a total of 12 touchdowns. The 235-pound Hill seems to have greater focus as he looks to bounce back in 2016. The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner recently wrote of Hill: "His razor focus and desire to return to rookie form are very real this offseason."

16. Matt Forte, New York Jets
One of the most versatile running backs in the league, Forte turned 30 in December and signed as a free agent with the Jets this offseason. Even though he missed three games last season, Forte averaged close to 100 yards -- 69.1 rushing and 29.9 receiving -- per game in 2015. Forte won't dominate touches in the Jets' backfield the way he did in Chicago, but he's a solid RB2 in 2016.

17. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans
After leading the NFL in rushing (1,845 yards) in 2014 and signing a large free-agent deal with the Eagles, Murray rushed for only 702 yards in 2015 and set career lows in YPG (46.8) and YPC (3.6). If things go according to (the coaching staff's) plan, Murray will get the largest workload share of a run-heavy offense. Both Murray and second-round rookie Derrick Henry have looked good in the preseason.

18. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
A stress fracture in his foot limited Hyde to just seven games last season, but he should benefit from playing in an up-tempo, run-heavy Chip Kelly offense. With Kelly as head coach, the Eagles are one of seven NFL teams with 1,400-plus rush attempts over the past three seasons. Provided he stays healthy, Hyde has a plenty of upside in 2016. That said, there are a couple of other concerns: (1) lack of offensive weapons to prevent opposing defenses from loading up the box and (2) a bottom-10 offensive line based on PFF's preseason rankings.

19. Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks
Fantasy owners have seen a glimpse of what life could be like with Rawls as the full-time starter. In the six games that he has started and finished, Rawls had four 100-yard rushing games while averaging 118.67 rushing yards per game and 5.65 yards per carry. Rawls (ankle) began training camp on the active/PUP list, but he has been activated from the PUP list and will be ready to play in Week 1.

20. Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts
Falling short of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC average, Gore had the fifth-most touches and still scored the 12th-most (14th in PPR) fantasy points among running backs last season. With a healthy Luck and improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

- Continue to 2016 Preseason Fantasy Football RB Rankings: 21-40

- Go back to 2016 Preseason Fantasy Football RB Rankings: 1-20

- 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Running Back Rankings

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September 01, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy WR Rankings

With only one week to go before the start of the 2016 NFL regular season, we have updated our fantasy football rankings.

Here are my updated 2016 fantasy football wide receiver rankings (standard scoring):

1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
The consensus top receiver in fantasy, Brown is as safe and productive as it gets. While he set career highs of 136 catches and 1,834 yards, Brown's numbers may have been even better had Ben Roethlisberger not missed time last season. Brown averaged 9.92/133.25/0.83 per game in the 12 games Big Ben played -- that's equivalent to a full-season pace of 159/2,132/13.

[Poll: Will it be a record-setting season for Brown?]

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
One of only two players with 3,000-plus yards over the past two seasons combined, Jones has a total of 240 catches for 3,464 yards during that span. While he's second to Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown in both stats, Jones actually led the NFL in targets (204), receptions (136, tied with Brown) and yards (1,871) last season.

3. Odell Beckham, New York Giants
In his young career, Beckham has averaged more than 100 yards per game (2,755 yards in 27 career games). Even though he has missed five games over his first two seasons, OBJ has more 100-yard games (15) than he has with less than 100 yards (12) during that span. In fact, only Antonio Brown (17) and Julio Jones (16) have more 100-yard games. In addition, no player has more receiving touchdowns than Beckham (25) during his two NFL seasons.

4. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
One of the best young talents in the NFL, Hopkins took another huge step forward in his age-23 season. Even with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation last season, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

5. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
Averaging a career-low 8.25 targets per game, Green saw double-digit targets in only four of 16 games in 2015. Despite a relatively low volume of targets for an elite receiver, Green finished the season with 86 catches for 1,297 yards and 10 touchdowns. With a minimum stat line of 86/1,297/10 in three of his past four seasons, Green has plenty of upside with a likely boost in targets given the team's free-agent departures at receiver. [As an FYI, there is the potential that Green misses a game with the birth of his first child due in the season's first month.]

Week 1 DFS: Join my FanDuel 20-team winner-takes-all league for Week 1.

6. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Breaking out in his second season, Robinson finished with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 and scored the fourth-most fantasy points among wide receivers. In his final 12 games of the season, Robinson finished with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown (or more) in every game. Leading the NFL in 20-yard receptions (31), Robinson is one of only five players in the past decade to have a 1,400/14 season. By all accounts, Robinson looks even better going into his age-23 season.

7. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
It was a disappointing season for Dez and the Cowboys. Not only was Bryant sidelined for nearly half the season with a broken foot, but Tony Romo broke his collarbone (two times). When healthy, however, Bryant is one of the most dominant receivers in the league and only Rob Gronkowski has more receiving touchdowns than Bryant (53) since 2011. Even though Prescott has looked good in the preseason, Romo's back injury knocks Dez down a couple of spots in my 2016 rankings.

8. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
Nelson tore his ACL last preseason and then dealt with some tendinitis in the other knee early in camp, but he should be fully ready to go for Week 1 against the Jaguars. Nelson may not finish with a stat line comparable to his 2014 season (98/1,519/13), but he is a top-eight receiver for me heading into 2016.

9. Brandon Marshall, New York Jets
In all but two games last season, Marshall had either 100 yards and/or a touchdown (or more) as he set a career high in touchdowns (14) and nearly missed a career high with 1,502 yards. In fact, it was the first time since Randy Moss (2003) that a receiver had at least 109/1,502/14 and only the fifth time in NFL history. Repeating last year's numbers seems unlikely, but Marshall should finish in the neighborhood of 100/1,300/10.

10. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, but he finished with 20 yards or less in four of his final seven games. If he weren't battling a foot injury down the stretch, Cooper's rookie campaign would have been even better. With the second-year receiver at full strength now, however, I expect bigger and better things in his age-22 season.

11. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Although he set career highs of 74 catches for 1,206 yards, Evans had just three touchdowns (after 12 as a rookie) and led the league in drops. Not only will he benefit from the continued development of Jameis Winston, but the 23-year-old receiver has shed 10-15 pounds this offseason and has a chance to post markedly better numbers in 2016.

12. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
In an injury-marred 2015 season, Jeffery averaged 6.0 catches and 89.7 yards per game, both of which were career highs. If he can stay healthy for a full season, Jeffery should finish as a top-10 fantasy receiver. That said, Jeffrey has now missed six-plus games in two of his four NFL seasons.

13. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Playing only eight games last season, Allen hauled in 67 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns -- or a full-season pace of 134/1,450/8. Before sustaining his kidney injury, only Julio Jones (70) had more catches and only Jones (892) and DeAndre Hopkins (870) had more receiving yards than Allen. If he can stay healthy, the 24-year-old receiver should rank near the top of the league in targets and catches in 2016.

14. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
A top-10 fantasy receiver in 2014, Hilton disappointed fantasy owners with only 1,124 yards and five touchdowns, but Andrew Luck missed nine games. Through the first seven games, Hilton had 606 receiving yards -- only five wideouts had more. Provided Luck stays healthy, Hilton is poised for a bounce-back season and has top-10 upside.

15. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
With 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of the previous three seasons, Thomas had 105 catches for 1,304 yards and six touchdowns in 2015. While the team's quarterback situation is less than ideal, which may cap Thomas' upside, Peyton Manning posted a 9-to-17 TD-INT ratio last season. In other words, there is a good chance that DT posts at least comparable numbers to 2015.

16. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints
The breakout may not have been as great as some had expected, but Cooks finished the season with a productive stat line of 84/1,138/9 as he became the youngest (22) 1,000-yard receiver in Saints history. In fact, he became the first Saints wide receiver to reach the 1,000-yard mark since Marques Colston in 2012. (Tight end Jimmy Graham exceeded 1,000 yards in 2013.) Eight of Cooks' touchdowns came in the final nine games and three of his four 100-yard games happened in December so the speedster carries plenty of momentum into his age-23 season.

17. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills
Not only did Watkins have at least 80 yards in his final six games, but he exceeded 100 yards in four of those games. During that six-game span, Watkins caught 35 of 57 targets for 679 yards (19.4 Y/A) and six touchdowns. The talent is elite; the only concerns is the run-dominant Bills offense and it took some public complaining/whining for his volume of targets to spike last season.

18. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts
In his sophomore campaign, Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 to 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns. With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), the 23-year-old has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season.

19. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
Through the first three games of the season, it was so far, so good with Cobb, who had hauled in 20 receptions for 245 and four touchdowns. From there on out, however, Cobb disappointed his fantasy owners. Over the final 13 games, Cobb averaged 47.85 YFS per game and scored only two touchdowns. That said, Cobb reportedly dealt with a shoulder injury all of last season. With Nelson back as the team's No. 1 receiver, however, it should take defensive attention off Cobb and lead to improved 2016 production.

20. Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins
Setting a franchise record with 110 receptions last season, Landry had 1,157 receiving yards, 113 rushing yards and a total of six touchdowns. Even though he is/was better in PPR formats (WR8 in 2015), Landry finished as the the WR13 in standard-scoring formats last season. There is breakout potential for second-year receiver DeVante Parker, but Landry could once again finish with triple-digit receptions.

- Continue to 2016 Preseason Fantasy Football WR Rankings: 21-40

- 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Wide Receiver Rankings

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2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy TE Rankings

The NFL preseason concludes tonight with a slate of meaningless games (from a fantasy football perspective).

(Of course, there is plenty of meaning to these games for those fighting for roster spots -- or auditioning for the next opportunity after getting cut.)

With that said, here is my updated 2016 fantasy football tight end rankings:

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Counting 10 playoff games, Gronkowski has a total of 75 touchdowns in 90 career games. And with the exception of his seven-game 2013 season, Gronk has double-digit touchdowns in five of his six NFL seasons. Gronk is one of the league's biggest mismatches and the clear-cut top option at his position. If there's any concern, it's a potential slow start (based on Gronk standards) with Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension to begin the season, but Gronk is in a tier by himself atop the position group.

2. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Dominant in the 2015 fantasy playoffs, Reed finished as the weekly TE1 in Weeks 14, 15 and 16 as he hauled in a total of 25 catches for 333 yards and five touchdowns during that three-game stretch. On the year, only Rob Gronkowski and Gary Barnidge scored more fantasy points than Reed. Durability is the obvious concern, but I expect Reed to average the second-most fantasy points per game at the position after Gronk.

Week 1 DFS: Join my FanDuel 20-team winner-takes-all league for Week 1.

3. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Olsen followed up his first career 1,000-yard season with another (77/1,104/7) and scored fourth-most fantasy points among tight ends in 2015. The durable and consistent tight end enters 2016 as a top-three tight end.

4. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce's 2015 numbers (875 yards and five touchdowns) were very similar to his 2014 numbers (862 yards and five touchdowns). Among tight ends, only Rob Gronkowski (2,300), Greg Olsen (2,112) and Delanie Walker (1,978) have more receiving yards than Kelce (1,737) over the past two seasons.

5. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
In his third season with the Titans, Walker blew away previous career highs in receptions (94) and yards (1,088) and tied a previous career high in touchdowns (six). Walker had 52-plus yards in each of his final 12 games of the season and due to that level of consistency, he finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 11 of 16 weeks last year. While he may not repeat last year's production, he's a top-six fantasy tight end heading into 2016.

6. Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints
With 50-plus catches in each of the past three seasons, Fleener should have an opportunity to exceed that production by a considerable amount. In the team's first season without Jimmy Graham, Ben Watson essentially came out of nowhere to finish as a top-eight fantasy tight end in 2015. Playing with Drew Brees and with Watson gone, Fleener could not have landed in a better spot as a free agent.

7. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Ertz set career highs in 2015 with 75 catches for 853 yards, but he had just two touchdowns. Ertz was especially good over the final four games of the season with a 35/450/1 line during that span. Obviously, he'll slow from his end-of-season torrid pace, but hopefully Ertz can build upon last year's positive momentum. One thing working in his favor is that coach Doug Pederson has said that he "fully expects" to feature Ertz in the red zone.

8. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars
Missing much of training camp and the first four games last season, Thomas did not make the impact that he or the team expected when they signed him to a lucrative free-agent contract. Thomas should post much better numbers in 2016 provided he can stay healthy, but he has missed multiple games in each of his three seasons as a starter.

9. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Gates missed five games, but still finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 2015 at 35 years old. In fact, his 57.3 yards per game was a four-year high. If Keenan Allen stays healthy for a full season, he may average fewer yards, but he remains the favorite red-zone target of Philip Rivers and a top-12 option at the position despite heading into his age-36 season. In fact, Rivers recently stated that it's a goal to get Gates eight TDs to pass Tony Gonzalez for the most all-time by a tight end.

10. Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots
Bennett is at least a back-end TE1 heading into his first season in Foxboro as the Patriots will likely use plenty of two-TE sets with Rob Gronkowski and Bennett. And if Gronk were to miss any time, Bennett would instantly become a top-five fantasy tight end with Gronk out.

11. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
Averaging a touchdown per game, Eifert finished 2015 with 52 catches for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns over 13 games and the sixth-most fantasy points among tight ends in 2015. Exceeding 53 yards in only three games with all of those games occurring by Week 5, Eifert averaged only 37.88 YPG over his final eight games played. When healthy, however, Eifert should see a per-game boost in targets given the turnover in the receiving corps. That said, durability has been an issue and Eifert (ankle) is targeting a return of Weeks 4-6 with Week 4 being "his hope."

12. Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns
It was the atypical 30-year-old breakout for Barnidge last season as he finished with 79 catches for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns, all of which exceeded his NFL production from 2008 to 2014 combined. In fact, only Rob Gronkowski scored more fantasy points than Barnidge in standard-scoring formats (TE4 in PPR) last season. While he may not finish as a top-five producer once again, he enters the season as a viable starting tight end.

13. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
Allen has struggled with durability -- 21 missed games over past three seasons. If he can stay healthy, however, Allen is poised for a much larger role within the offense given Coby Fleener's free-agency departure.

14. Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers
Over his final six games, McDonald had 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns and he finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends over that span. Given the team's lack of offensive weapons, McDonald has the potential to pick up where he left off last season.

15. Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers
A seam-stretching tight end with freakish athletic ability, Cook has averaged 47 catches for 614 yards per year over his past five seasons. While he has averaged 13.1 Y/R, he has only 15 touchdowns during that five-year span including none last season. Cook has been consistently inconsistent, but he's the most-gifted weapon the Packers have had at the position since the days of Jermichael Finley.

16. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
In his second season, Ebron finished with 47 catches for 537 yards and five touchdowns. It was an up-and-down year, but he finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in half of his 14 games played. Following Megatron's retirement, the former top-10 pick should be more involved in the passing game and could finish as a top-12 fantasy tight end provided he stays healthy.

17. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
Graham failed to make the impact that many expected. In fact, Russell Wilson's strong performance in the second half of the season mostly occurred with Graham injured. Starting training camp on the active/PUP list, Graham (patellar tendon) has since been activated, but it's unclear how effective he'll be coming off his significant injury.

18. Zach Miller, Chicago Bears
With Martellus Bennett now in New England, Miller takes over as the team's top tight end. With Bennett sidelined over the final three weeks of the season, Miller hauled in 18 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown during that span.

19. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
Missing the final three games of first season with th