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October 30, 2016

Week 8 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 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Atlanta Falcons -3 over Green Bay Packers (3 Units)

Both Eddie Lacy and James Starks are out and while they may get more from Knile Davis and/or Don Jackson, we should see a pass-heavy approach from the Packers. Over the past season and a half, Aaron Rodgers hasn't been himself and it appears that he will be without Randall Cobb on Sunday. Meanwhile, I expect Desmond Trufant to shadow Jordy Nelson, who only had one reception last week in a game that three Green Bay receivers had double-digit receptions.

On the other side of the ball, the Falcons will be without Tevin Coleman and I think that is an issue as their dynamic backfield duo of Devonta Freeman and Coleman creates mismatches for opposing defenses. But Matt Ryan is playing the best football of his career and the Packers top-three cornerbacks will be out. Stopping (or slowing down) Julio Jones seems like an impossible task.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Arizona Cardinals (3 Units)

One year after posting a 15-1 regular-season record and getting to the Super Bowl, it's been a brutal start to the season for the Panthers (1-5). Like the Panthers, the Cardinals have disappointed compared to last season and preseason expectations. I certainly have some concerns about the Panthers on the back end even though Carson Palmer has not played as well this season. But after tying the Seahawks in a 6-6 defensive slugfest last Sunday night, the Cardinals face a well-rested Panthers team coming off their bye. I'll give the points as I expect the Panthers to get their second win of the season this week.

New York Jets -2.5 over Cleveland Browns (3 Units)

The Jets are bad, worse than anyone expected going into the season, but part of their struggles can be attributed to their brutal schedule to open the season. Of course, the other part is largely due to Ryan Fitzpatrick's propensity to turn the ball over.

That said, the Browns have one of the league's worst defenses and the Jets have the ability to exploit both run and pass matchups. Not only have running backs averaged 4.68 YPC (187/876/7) against them, but only the Panthers (8.64 Y/A) have allowed more yards per attempt than the Browns (8.63 Y/A).

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Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

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 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Indianapolis Colts +3 over Kansas City Chiefs (3 Units)

The Colts have been somewhat resurgent as of late, and they will head into this game at home facing the Kansas City Chiefs, who are middling as well at 4-3. I always like the Colts at home on the fast track and the Chiefs haven't been that great against the pass this year. Kansas City allows 257 passing per game to opposing quarterbacks, they have only compiled eight sacks so far this year, and if it wasn't for that stinker by Ryan Fitzpatrick, they would only have four picks.

Recent history has also not been kind to the Chiefs as well, as they are 1-4 against the Colts and the number in their last five games. I will take the Colts at home, as they will get back to .500.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New York Jets -2.5 over Cleveland Browns (3 Units)

The Jets have certainly started slow this season, but that is because the schedule has not been easy with the first seven games, and now they get an easier task going against the winless Browns. This game will come down to being won on the ground, as the Jets have one of the best rushing defenses in the league that allows an average of 74.9 yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry.

The flip side is that the Browns have the second-worst rushing defense in the league, as they allow a whopping 139.9 yards per game, and 4.7 yards per carry. I would look for a heavy dose of Matt Forte, and they will limit the amount of throws for Fitzpatrick. I like the Jets on the road.

Minnesota Vikings -5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

The Bears are bad, and they have an even worse relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler, who recently said "they have no choice but to start me." I am thinking that even with a broken arm, John Fox wishes that Brian Hoyer could start for him instead of Cutler.

The Vikings will be able to make this game very one-dimensional, as they excel at stopping the run by only allowing 81.7 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry. I also will look for the Vikings to attack the Bears through the air, as the Chicago secondary gives up 243 yards passing per game, and allows a 67-percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks. I think the Vikings get back on track here on Monday night, as the Bears are pretty hapless.

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October 29, 2016

Week 8 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.

With that said, here are my Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Detroit Lions vs. Houston Texans, Over 46.0 (3 Units)

Matthew Stafford has been great this year, and seems to be among the top quarterbacks in the league under Jim Bob Cooter. The offense can certainly put up points. On the other side, Brock Osweiler has been a big disappointment and has not justified his contract. Still, he's mostly struggled against great defenses like Seattle and Denver -- teams most quarterbacks struggle against. He hasn't been nearly as bad against poor or mediocre defenses, and I like him to have a good game against Detroit. I think this game goes in the 50's and I like the over.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Arizona Cardinals (5 Units)

The Panthers may already be out of playoff contention at 1-5, but if they're going to get back into it, it has to start this week. Carolina is at home in a must-win game and we have yet to see the team that went 15-1 and made the Super Bowl last year. I'll take Cam Newton and the Panthers to start righting the ship and I'll give the three here.

Philadelphia Eagles +5.5 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

The Cowboys look like the real deal as Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have taken the league by storm. The Eagles have certainly been overachievers to this point in the season, but their defense is legit. I like the Cowboys to win the game but Philly to cover.

Minnesota Vikings -5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

I don't like to give points to road favorites and especially not when the team is not particularly good offensively. That said, there are exceptions to every rule. The Vikings were the league's last remaining undefeated team until they got pretty well-dominated in Philadelphia last week. Chicago is getting Jay Cutler back this week, but at this point, I think that's a clear downgrade from Brian Hoyer. Cutler is turnover prone and the Vikings defense has been incredible. I don't expect a close game on Monday night in Chicago.

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

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Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

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 8 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Jets -2.5 over Cleveland Browns (2 Units)

Josh McCown will be back this week, which should give a huge boost to the Browns offense, but I like the Jets on the road here. I think Ryan Fitzpatrick is very sneaky in daily fantasy leagues this week, and I love the stack with Brandon Marshall. The Jets are better than their record indicates. Poor QB play is the reason why they have struggled, and what better place is there than a matchup with the Browns. Jets 23, Browns 17.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New Orleans Saints +2 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

I'm picking against both of the teams from the Sunday night stinker last week. The Saints are much better at home than they are on the road. Drew Brees will go overlooked in DFS because of the Seahawks D, but I think the Saints will have no problem moving the ball on Sunday. My bold prediction is 400/4 for Brees. Saints 34, Seahawks 27.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Arizona Cardinals (4 Units)

The Panthers at home coming off a bye are in a great spot Sunday. Cam Newton has struggled this year, and the Arizona D has been pretty good, but this is just one of those hunch games. I think Carolina is going to get back on track and crush the Cardinals. Panthers 30, Cardinals 16.

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

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Week 8 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, Michael Crabtree is listed below as a "start" for Week 8. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 8 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 Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton and Crabtree and can only start two receivers, you should start Jones and Hilton -- and in turn, bench Crabtree.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 8 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 8:

WR - Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (at ATL)

Regardless of whether he's listed/eligible as wide receiver or running back in your league(s), Montgomery is worth a start this week. Due to the injuries in Green Bay's backfield, Montgomery has seen his usage rate skyrocket recently and he's set up for another high volume of work in Week 8.

Getting only two touches in the first four games of the season, Montgomery has exactly 10 receptions in back-to-back games for a total of 164 yards on 25 targets. In addition, he has 12 carries for 66 yards including 9/60 rushing in last week's game. It's certainly possible that Montgomery approaches the 19 touches he had last week once again.

Green Bay's other receivers should benefit from the team's best cornerback, Desmond Trufant, likely shadowing Jordy Nelson as well. For Montgomery, however, his fantasy floor gets a boost from his rushing stats and the matchup (from a fantasy running back standpoint) is outstanding as only six teams, two of whom are on bye, have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Falcons.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (at ATL)

Like Montgomery, Cobb got some work as a rusher in Week 7 with five carries for 21 yards. With or without the carries, however, Cobb has been heavily involved in the passing game over the past three weeks.

During that three-game span, Cobb has 9/108/0 (11 targets), 7/53/1 (11 targets) and 11/95/1 (15 targets), respectively. A pass-heavy approach and a few carries gives Cobb a strong fantasy outlook for Week 8.

WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (at CAR)

Here's the bad news first: Fitzgerald has finished as the weekly WR36 (or worse) in four his past five games. In his other three games, however, he has finished as a top-12 fantasy performer. Compared to the team's other receivers, Fitzgerald is the one for whom we can safely project a steady volume of work.

Not only does he have double-digit targets in four of seven games, but he has a minimum of seven targets in every game this season. On the year, Fitzgerald has 71 targets (10.14/G) and a total of five touchdowns. Fitzgerald has 25.45 percent of the team's targets; no other Cardinals receiver has more than 16.13 percent.

So far this season, the Panthers have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. In their past three games, the Panthers have allowed five receivers to score double-digit fantasy points (standard scoring).

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at TB)

With six touchdowns in seven games, Crabtree has been consistent -- nine-plus fantasy points in all but one game. On the year, he has scored the seventh-most fantasy points among receivers. Crabtree has double-digit targets in three of the past five games. Projected to score the sixth-most points based on Vegas odds, both Amari Cooper and Crabtree are ranked inside my top-10 Week 8 fantasy wide receivers.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 8:

WR - Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (at IND)

It's been a disappointing season for Maclin and his fantasy owners. Through Week 7, Maclin has scored the 52nd-most fantasy points among wide receivers (50th in PPR formats).

Maclin has had some great matchups and yet has finished with less than 50 receiving yards in three of his past four games. Over the past five weeks, Maclin has finished, as follows, in weekly fantasy production: WR46 (at HOU), WR61 (vs. NYJ), WR36 (at PIT), WR56 (at OAK) and WR52 (vs. NO).

The Colts have bled fantasy points to both running backs and tight ends, but they have been stingier against wide receivers -- fifth-fewest FPA to the position. Even though the Chiefs are on the road, this sets up to be Spencer Ware and perhaps Travis Kelce game more than a Maclin one.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL)

Only the Bears are projected to score fewer points this week than the Eagles, who head to Dallas for the Sunday Night Football matchup. Outside of Week 1 (7/114/1 on 14 targets), Matthews has finished no better than the weekly WR28 and he's coming off his worst performance (3/10 on four targets) of the season. Matthews is more of a WR3 or flex option this week than a WR2.

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

Benjamin averaged 7.8 targets per game over the team's first five games, but he has just five targets in each of the past two games. In those two games, he has a total of seven catches for 71 yards and no touchdowns. In fact, he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2.

On the other hand, Tyrell Williams had a season-high 10 targets in Week 7 and he now has a pair of 100-yard games over the past three weeks. Considering the Broncos have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, it would be unrealistic to expect a productive outing for Benjamin (or Williams) this week.

WR - Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (at CAR)

As noted above, Fitzgerald is the clear leader among the team's receivers. Nearly halfway through the season, Floyd has yet to finish any better than the weekly WR29. On average, he has finished as the weekly WR47.

Floyd had five catches for 65 yards on seven targets last week, but the team was without John Brown. With Brown set to return this week, Floyd's volume will most likely be too low to trust his as a top-24 fantasy receiver.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 8

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Week 8 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, Jacquizz Rodgers is listed below as a "start" for Week 8. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 8 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, Spencer Ware and Rodgers and can only start two running backs, you should start Zeke and Ware -- and in turn, bench Quizz.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 8 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 8:

RB - Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (vs. SD)

Both C.J. Anderson and Booker had big games against the Texans on Monday Night Football. Booker rushed 17 times for 83 yards and a score and added a four-yard reception while CJA gained 107 yards with a score on 16 carries.

With Anderson placed on Injured Reserve, however, Booker will dominate touches in the backfield going forward even though he had seen his workload expand on a weekly basis for much of the season. Since Week 3, Booker's percentage of carries has increased every week: 17.39% (W3), 21.88% (W4), 25.00% (W5), 31.25% (W6) and 48.57% (W7). With the potential to rank near the NFL leaders in RB touches from Weeks 8 to 17, Booker has also been productive on a per-touch basis (4.78 YPC).

Getting a fantasy-friendly matchup in Week 8 against the Chargers, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, Booker is a top-seven fantasy running back this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks (at NO)

The workload has been there for Michael, who has a total of 85 touches -- 77.98 percent among the team's RBs -- in his past four games. In a tough defensive battle against the Cardinals last week that resulted in a 6-6 tie, Michael struggled on a per-touch basis (59 yards on 19 touches). Before that, however, Michael had a total of 284 YFS and five touchdowns in his previous three games and finished as a top-12 weekly producer in each game.

Even though the Seahawks are on the road this week, the Seahawks are projected to be one of the top-five scoring teams of the week based on Vegas odds. Plus, the matchup couldn't be any better as no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season than New Orleans.

In addition, no team has allowed more touchdowns (12) to running backs than New Orleans, who has also allowed the highest rate as well. Running backs have scored a touchdown on 6.99 percent of their carries. (San Diego is second in that statistic at 5.80 percent.)

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

With Jamaal Charles already ruled out this week, it should be some Ware and some more Ware against the soft Colts run defense. Over the past two seasons with the Chiefs, Ware has 167 carries for 895 yards (5.36 YPC), 21 catches for 290 yards (13.81 Y/R) and nine total touchdowns. Averaging 18.3 touches per game, Ware has scored 19-plus fantasy points in three of six games this season. On the year, he ranks eighth in fantasy points scored among running backs (10th in PPR).

As noted above, the Chiefs are projected to score the third-most points this week so a Ware touchdown (or two) is certainly possible (likely). The Colts have allowed the fifth-most YPC (4.83) to opposing RBs and the fourth-most Y/R (10.05). In addition, no team has allowed more receiving touchdowns (four) to RBs. The Colts have allowed six top-10 (eight top-17) weekly fantasy RBs in seven games.

RB - Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. OAK)

In back-to-back games, Rodgers has exceeded the 100-yard rushing mark on a total of 56 carries in addition to having six receptions as well. With both of Tampa's top-two running backs still sidelined, Rodgers should once again get 20 or more touches in a plus matchup against the Raiders.

While quarterback Jameis Winston had 50-plus pass attempts in back-to-back games earlier this season, the Bucs have been much more committed to running the football in their past two games. As noted in my Week 8 Fantasy Football QB Start'em, Sit'em, the Bucs have run the ball on 54.9 percent of their plays over the past two games. The Raiders have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 8:

RB - Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (vs. MIN)

From Weeks 3 to 6, Howard finished as a top-24 weekly fantasy running back and averaged 13.68 fantasy points over that four-game span. During that four-game stretch, Howard rushed for 308 yards (4.89 YPC) on 63 carries, added 12 catches for 119 yards and scored two touchdowns.

With Ka'Deem Carey healthy now, however, Howard has seen his workload decrease over the past two weeks. After getting 19 touches in Week 5 against the Colts, he had 17 and seven in Weeks 6 and 7 against the Jaguars and Packers, respectively. Meanwhile, Carey had two carries in Week 5, nine in Week 6 and 11 in Week 7.

In a difficult matchup against the Vikings, who have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, with his usage rate going in the wrong direction, Howard isn't worth the risk even in a week with six teams on bye. In addition, the Bears are projected to be the lowest-scoring team based on Vegas odds this week.

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL)

On the season, Mathews has averaged 12.33 touches per game, but his weekly volume has been inconsistent. With a pair of lost fumbles over the past three games including one that essentially cost the Eagles a win in Detroit, Mathews could see a lower-than-average usage rate this week.

Over the past three weeks, Mathews has 16 touches (64.0% of RB usage) in Week 5, nine touches (42.86%) in Week 6 and 14 touches (62.5%) in Week 7. (Mathews lost fumbles in Weeks 5 and 7.) Not only did he see a dip in touches on an absolute and relative basis in the game following his first lost fumble, Mathews played only 21 percent of the snaps in Week 6.

It's certainly possible that Mathews sees another dip in usage/snaps this week following last week's lost fumble. Perhaps you have no other choice considering six teams are on a bye, but Mathews is just outside my top-24 fantasy running backs (RB26) for the week.

RB - Knile Davis, Green Bay Packers (at ATL)

On a short week, Davis had just two carries in his first game as part of the Packers organization. With additional time to get familiar with the offense, Davis will see more work this week as coach Mike McCarthy has essentially said so. McCarthy recently said of Davis: "[H]e's part of the game plan. I think the extra time he spent with Ben Sirmans [RB coach] over the weekend, getting ready. So, yeah, I like what he brings to the table. ... He's making progress."

In a favorable matchup against the Falcons, there are worse lottery tickets than Davis if you're desperate at the position. I'd rather take a wait-and-see approach, however, and he could be a viable start next week in another plus matchup (Colts) depending on how much his workload increases this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 8

Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 8 DFS Resources:

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Week 8 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, Kyle Rudolph is listed below as a "start" for Week 8. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 8 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 both Rob Gronkowski and Rudolph, you should start Gronk -- and in turn, bench Rudolph.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 8 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 8:

TE - C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (vs. DET)

In his first three games this season, Fiedorowicz was a non-factor. In those games, he had a total of two catches for seven yards on four targets. Since then, however, his role has expanded considerably.

Through Monday Night Football against the Broncos, Fiedorowicz has four-plus catches in four straight games. In his past three games, Fiedorowicz has a minimum of seven targets per game. In the four games from Weeks 4 to 7, Fiedorowicz has a total of 19 catches for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 27 targets.

Perhaps his rate of production will slow ... eventually, but this week's matchup sets up for another productive game. With six teams on bye, Fiedorowicz is a viable streaming option this week against the Lions, who allow the third-most fantasy points to the position.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. OAK)

Over his past four games, Brate had 10/113/2 on 18 targets in the first two and just 4/67/0 on six targets in the past two games. In a game with an over/under a tad shy of 50 points, there should be plenty of offense for both teams and the matchup is favorable for Brate. So far this season, the Raiders have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

TE - Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (vs. KC)

Over the past two weeks, Doyle has four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown against the Texans (weekly TE6) and nine catches for 78 yards and a score against the Titans (weekly TE3). With Dwayne Allen out for another week, Doyle should be the team's top-targeted tight end once again.

If there's a concern with Doyle, however, it's that the Chiefs have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the position this season and only one tight end (Jesse James, TE12 in Week 4) has finished as a top-12 fantasy TE against the Chiefs in 2016. In addition, both Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett are expected to return this week to provide Andrew Luck with more talented options in the passing game.

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (at CHI)

So far this season, Rudolph has seven-plus targets and finished as a top-12 weekly tight end in five of six games. Rudolph had just five catches for 55 yards last week, but he had a season-high 11 targets. Rudolph is on pace for a career-best 69/776/8 and 128 targets this season.

With 24.49 percent of Minnesota's targets, Rudolph has the largest target share at the position aside from Carolina's Greg Olsen (26.43%). The matchup this week isn't great as the Bears have limited opposing tight ends to the 10th-fewest fantasy points this season, but Rudolph's volume makes him a mid-tier (or better) TE1 in almost any matchup this season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 8:

TE - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL)

Since returning from a two-game absence, Ertz has finished as the weekly TE19, TE31 and TE26 over his past three games, respectively. During that three-game span, he has a total of five catches for 73 yards and no touchdowns and exactly three targets in each game.

At some point (hopefully soon for Ertz owners), he will become more involved in the passing offense and more productive. But given the past three duds, I prefer to be a week late than (perhaps several) too early. In one league with 11 offensive starters, I've actually benched Ertz in favor of Jimmy Graham and Fiedorowicz this week.

TE - Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (vs. MIN)

The volume for Miller has been excellent -- 44 total targets and 6.29 per game. That has allowed Miller to score the seventh-most fantasy points among tight ends (third-most in PPR formats) through the first seven weeks of the 2016 NFL season. That said, Miller & Co. get a difficult matchup against the Vikings in Week 8. No team is projected to score fewer points than the Bears (based on Vegas odds) and the Vikings have limited opposing tight ends to the ninth-fewest fantasy points this season.

TE - Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints (vs. SEA)

In a difficult matchup against the Chiefs last week, Fleener had just two catches for 44 yards on two targets. Fleener has had some big games, finishing as a top-two fantasy tight end twice over his past four games, but he has less than three fantasy points in three games this season as well. Given the challenging matchup and his up-and-down season, Fleener is just outside of my top-12 fantasy tight ends for Week 8.

TE - Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (vs. PHI)

Historically, Witten has been productive against the Eagles with six-plus catches in six of his past eight games over the last four seasons including 7/56 and 6/43 in 2015. Since his hot start in Week 1 (9/66 on 14 targets), however, Witten has finished outside the weekly top-15 fantasy tight ends in his other five games this season. With the Eagles allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Witten isn't a strong consideration in standard-scoring formats, especially with Dez Bryant set to return this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 8

Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 8 DFS Resources:

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Week 8 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, Derek Carr is listed below as a "start" for Week 8. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 8 with him as my starting quarterback.

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

In other words, if you owned both Aaron Rodgers and Carr, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Carr.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 8 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 8:

QB - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. OAK)

Even without their top-two running backs healthy, the Bucs have been run-heavy (54.9 percent of plays) over the past couple of games -- both wins. While I still expect another heavy workload for Jacquizz Rodgers, this matchup could lead Winston to throw it more often. Earlier in the season, Winston had back-to-back 50-attempt games.

With the Bucs having their bye already, Winston has played six games and been highly productive in three of them. In the three games where he didn't finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback, they were mostly poor matchups -- ARI, DEN and CAR.

When given a favorable matchup, however, Winston has generally exploited them -- Falcons (QB5, Week 1), Rams (QB5, Week 3) and 49ers (QB6, Week 7). This week, Winston and the Bucs will face a Raiders secondary that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

In addition, the Raiders have allowed three games of 350 passing yards and three-plus touchdowns. The only other team to allow more than one 350/3 games is Carolina (two).

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at NO)

With the exception of a Week 4 matchup against the Jets (309 yards, three TDs and no INTs), Wilson has thrown for 270 yards or less in his other five games with a combined two touchdowns. TWO!

While he's on pace to throw a career-high 552 pass attempts this season, Wilson's rushing production has been nearly non-existent. Through six games, he has 22 carries for 33 yards (1.5 YPC). Much of that has to do with the injuries (knee, ankle, etc.) he had sustained earlier this season that would have sidelined the typical quarterback.

Either way, Wilson has finished as the QB4 in his game against the Jets and QB14 against the 49ers in Week 3. Other than that, he has finished as the QB22 (or worse) every week.

The good news is that if you've been disappointed by another slow start for Wilson this season, he gets an incredibly soft matchup against the Saints to help him begin a second-half breakout again. The Saints have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

The only concern is that the Seahawks (Christine Michael) should have a lot of success running the ball and perhaps that reduces the production that Wilson will have through the air. I still expect Drew Brees to put up more points at home than a Seahawks defense would typically allow so perhaps that forces Wilson and the passing offense to keep up.

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

In an underrated way, Dalton has been playing well this season. The only quarterbacks (min: 100 pass attempts) that are averaging more yards per attempt than Dalton (8.39 Y/A) this season are Tom Brady (9.94) and Matt Ryan (9.62).

Even though Josh Norman (concussion) is expected to play on Sunday and shadow All-World receiver A.J. Green, Dalton will get a more-involved Tyler Eifert this week. Limited in his return last week, Eifert should be much more involved in Week 8.

Only the Falcons (28.0), Patriots (27.25) and Chiefs (26.5) are projected to score more points than the Bengals (26.25) this week based on Vegas odds. While it's a better matchup for Cincinnati's backfield than their passing attack, Dalton should finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback for a fourth consecutive week.

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (at TB)

The Bucs pass defense has been solid (17th-most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks), but their past four matchups were against the Rams, Broncos, Panthers (game Cam Newton missed) and 49ers. In Weeks 1 and 2 against Matt Ryan and Carson Palmer, respectively, they allowed 24-plus fantasy points, 300-plus passing yards and multiple touchdowns to both.

Even though they haven't faced any QBs that fantasy owners would have started over their past four games, the Bucs are still allowing 7.80 Y/A, eighth-most, and 5.21 TD percentage, seventh-most, this season. The Bucs have a relatively tough run defense, top-10 in terms of YPC allowed to opposing running backs, so I think we see enough passing volume for Carr to have a nice game.

In terms of weekly consistency, it's been an up-and-down season for Carr. Through seven games, Carr has finished as a top-eight fantasy QB in four games and as the QB20 (or worse) in three games including each of the past two. On the season, however, Carr has the fifth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks and he has posted a 13:3 TD-INT ratio.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 8:

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

Once again, Rivers has had to deal with a disproportionate share of injuries, but he continues to produce in spite of that. On the season, he has scored the 10th-most fantasy points while throwing for 2,022 yards, 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions in seven games.

In fact, Rivers has thrown for 320-plus yards in four of his past five games. The exception? Week 6 vs. Denver (178 yards). Of course, all QBs struggle against the Broncos defense.

Denver is allowing 193.1 passing yards per game with four passing touchdowns allowed and five interceptions. The only two quarterbacks to exceed the 200-yard passing mark against them this season was Andy Dalton (206) and Matt Ryan (267).

If you're a glass-half-full person, Rivers will have both of his Denver matchups out of the way after this weekend and he gets the best fantasy playoff schedule -- Panthers, Raiders and Browns in Weeks 14 to 16.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (vs. NE)

Since a Week 1 matchup against his former team (Baltimore), Taylor has finished as a top-15 fantasy quarterback in six consecutive weeks including the first time he faced the Patriots (QB14 in Week 4). Given the injuries among the team's skill-position players, however, it's hard to imagine Taylor doing much better than that QB14 performance he had the first time around. His rushing ability -- 271 yards and two TDs in seven games -- provides fantasy owners a floor to go along with plenty of upside, but there are at least 12 better options this week than Taylor.

QB - Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL)

After a pair of top-12 performances in his first three games, Wentz has not played as well lately. Over the past three games, he has more turnovers (four) than touchdowns (three). In addition, he has back-to-back games with less than 200 passing yards and has finished as the QB29 in both weeks.

The matchup isn't as challenging this week against the Cowboys, who allow the 13th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but Wentz should remain on your bench this week. Only the Bears are projected to score fewer points this week based on Vegas lines.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 8

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October 26, 2016

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 8

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 8?

Sean Beazley: Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks, $

You're either a narrative guy, or you’re not. I don't go out of my way looking for a narrative game (revenge, birthday, homecoming, etc.), but there are some that just fall into your laps each week. This week, we get the Jimmy Graham “Revenge” game after being discarded by the Saints front office and traded away to Seattle.

Graham gets an extremely soft matchup with the Saints pass defense, who is among the worst in the league. This game is also in New Orleans which is always a good sign for some extra points. Each week, TE is usually a spot to plug in someone for $3,500 or less to get some savings, so Graham could come in at a pretty low ownership percentage, which is ideal for tournaments. Fire up Graham everywhere this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Kevin Hanson: Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos, $3,700

If anything, the drawback to owning Booker this week will be his increased ownership levels following Monday night's performance (17/83/1 rushing). Playing more snaps than "starter" C.J. Anderson, Booker also had more touches (18) than CJA (16). While I don't expect him to out-snap, out-touch Anderson this week (or most weeks), his role in the offense had been steadily increasing before his big game in Week 7.

Since Week 3, Booker's percentage of his team's carries has increased every week: 17.39% (W3), 21.88% (W4), 25.00% (W5), 31.25% (W6) and 48.57% (W7). Productive this season on a per-touch basis (4.78 YPC) and a favorable matchup to exploit this week, Booker offers plenty of upside and cost relief for owners looking to fit in high-priced studs elsewhere.

- Related: Booker topped my list of waiver-wire adds at RB this week

Brendan Donahue: Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos, $3,700

Denver said before the Texans game that they wanted to get Booker more involved in the offense and they were true to their word. Booker ran the ball 17 times for 83 yards and a touchdown and actually out-snapped C.J. Anderson 35 to 28. His talent is obvious on the field and I think he at the very least keeps a 50/50 share with Anderson going forward and at just $3700 this week against a Chargers defense that ranks 30th vs opposing RB's on the year, he is a great value play on DK this week.

John Trifone: Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $8,100

Evans isn't cheap this week, but he's also not quite in the Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, A.J. Green range yet, and he should be. With Vincent Jackson done for the year, Evans is an absolute target monster. He's had between 11-18 targets in each of his last five games with Week 1 being his only game that wasn't double digits (seven). Jameis Winston is still a young quarterback and he locks onto his favorite target more than a veteran might. In a PPR format like DK, Evans is a tough fade -- even at $8,100.

Dan Yanotchko: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts, $

This week, I am going with T.Y. Hilton of the Colts as I think his ownership will be a little less than Mike Evans of the Buccaneers. Hilton has been a true workhorse all year, 45 receptions on 76 targets for 689 yards receiving and four touchdowns . The Colts get the Chiefs on the fast track at home in Indianapolis, and the Chiefs do allow 257 yards passing per game, and surprisingly they only have gotten eight sacks. This means Andrew Luck might actually live another week behind that offensive line.

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 8 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 8 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 TEs (Weeks 8-16):

1. San Diego Chargers (Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry): 8.56
2. Los Angeles Rams (Lance Kendricks): 8.41
3. Baltimore Ravens (Dennis Pitta): 8.36
4. Kansas City Chiefs (Travis Kelce): 8.30
5. New York Giants (Will Tye, Larry Donnell): 8.23

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 8-16):

28. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett): 6.11
29. Tennessee Titans (Delanie Walker): 6.06
30. Cincinnati Bengals (Tyler Eifert): 5.90
31. Miami Dolphins (Jordan Cameron): 5.87
32. Detroit Lions (Eric Ebron): 5.79

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football TE 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 8 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 8 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 8-16):

1. Denver Broncos (Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas): 25.28
2. Miami Dolphins (Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker): 24.93
3. San Francisco 49ers (Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley): 24.83
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mike Evans): 24.77
5. Los Angeles Rams (Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Brian Quick): 24.29

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 8-16):

28. Baltimore Ravens (Mike Wallace, Steve Smith): 21.75
29. Green Bay Packers (Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery): 21.21
30. Oakland Raiders (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree): 21.19
31. Kansas City Chiefs (Jeremy Maclin): 20.80
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns): 20.47

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 RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 8 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 8 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 RBs (Weeks 8-16):

1. Oakland Raiders (Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington): 20.26
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Doug Martin, Jacquizz Rodgers): 20.13
3. Cincinnati Bengals (Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard): 19.71
4. Arizona Cardinals (David Johnson): 19.67
5. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 19.64

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 8-16):

28. Seattle Seahawks (Christine Michael): 17.26
29. Detroit Lions (Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, Dwayne Washington): 16.94
30. Philadelphia Eagles (Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles): 16.49
31. Minnesota Vikings (Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata): 15.84
32. Washington Redskins (Matt Jones, Chris Thompson): 14.67

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 QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 8 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 8 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 8-16):

1. Houston Texans (Brock Osweiler): 18.40
2. Los Angeles Rams (Case Keenum, Jared Goff): 17.94
3. New York Jets (Ryan Fitzpatrick): 17.85
4. Minnesota Vikings (Sam Bradford): 17.69
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jameis Winston): 17.54

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 8-16):

28. New England Patriots (Tom Brady): 15.25
29. Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford): 15.09
30. Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers): 14.92
31. Cincinnati Bengals (Andy Dalton): 14.65
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 14.63

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football QB SOS

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

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October 25, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 8

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 8 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (30 percent)

With Dwayne Allen -- and receivers Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett -- sidelined, Doyle finished with nine catches for 78 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets in Week 7. Doyle now has four touchdowns on the season including scores in back-to-back games and has the third-most fantasy points through Week 7. While Allen is expected to miss multiple games, Doyle gets a difficult matchup in Week 8 against the Chiefs, who have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (22 percent)

One week after finishing with two catches for 50 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles, Davis caught all six of his targets for 79 yards. In the two games that Jordan Reed (concussion) has missed, Davis has finished as the weekly TE7 and TE5, respectively. With Reed expected to miss another game, Davis remains a viable starting option available in about three-quarters of fantasy leagues.

3. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (seven percent)

Through last night's Monday Night Football matchup against the Broncos, Fiedorowicz now has four catches in four straight games. During that four-game span, he has a total of 19 catches for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 27 targets. With a favorable matchup in Week 8 against the Lions, who allow the third-most fantasy points to the position, Fiedorowicz is a viable streaming option this week.

4. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31 percent)

Since getting a total of 18 targets in back-to-back games against the Broncos and Rams, Brate has only three targets in his two most-recent games against the Panthers and 49ers. Over that four-game span, he has a total of 18 catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

5. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (27 percent)

I expected more from Clay in Week 7 than two catches for 29 yards, but he had five catches in each of his previous three games. Over his past four games, Clay has a total of 201 receiving yards. He has yet to score a touchdown this season, but he has finished as a top 10-18 fantasy tight end in the past four weeks.

6. Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles Rams (one percent)

The Rams have a bye following their Week 7 loss to the Giants in London, but Kendricks has been a bigger part of the passing offense over the past couple of weeks. In his past two games combined, he has a total of 17 targets, 12 receptions, 89 yards and a touchdown. In fact, he has five-plus receptions and seven-plus targets in three of his past four games. He's at least worth a look in deeper leagues.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 8

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 8

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 8 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns (41 percent)

Unlikely to return from his hand injury, Coleman may not be able to practice this week, according to coach Hue Jackson. That said, it appears that he isn't too far away from returning to the field.

Before the injury, Coleman had a 5/104/2 performance on eight targets against the Ravens in Week 2. Over the next four weeks, the Browns face the Jets, Cowboys, Ravens and Steelers.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (18 percent)

Given the injuries at running back for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers dropped back 58 times (including two sacks) and targeted Adams a season-high 16 times. It was an unusual night as three different Green Bay receivers recorded double-digit receptions and none were Jordy Nelson, but Adams led all receivers in fantasy points last week with a 13/132/2 line.

We shouldn't expect 56 pass attempts from Rodgers every week, but the injuries to Eddie Lacy (IR) and James Starks (multiple weeks) should lead to a higher pass-run split than would otherwise be the case. On the season, Adams has a total of five touchdowns and the 20th-most fantasy points among wide receivers so far.

3. Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (36 percent)

With 7/108 on nine targets in Week 7, Crowder now has at least nine fantasy points in three consecutive games and five of his past six. On the season, Crowder has the 21st-most fantasy points in standard-scoring and 20th-most in PPR-scoring formats. The upcoming matchups aren't great -- CIN, bye, MIN -- so maybe Crowder comes back down to earth, but he is worth an add in all leagues, especially PPR formats.

4. Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets (32 percent)

Enunwa had a productive outing (13.3 fantasy points, WR13) in a favorable matchup, but the disappointing news is that he had just two receptions on four targets, both of which were season lows. Before last week's performance, Enunwa had finished outside of the top-40 weekly fantasy receivers in four consecutive games. He does have at least 17-percent target share in all but one game, however, and the next couple of weeks give the Enunwa and the Jets (and his fantasy owners) incredible matchups against the Browns and Dolphins, respectively.

5. Brian Quick, Los Angeles Rams (seven percent)

Quick has a bye in Week 7, but then he gets several plus matchups against the Panthers, Jets, Dolphins and Saints over the next four weeks. Posting season highs in targets (eight) and yards (92) on four receptions in London, Quick now has five consecutive games with 50-plus yards.

6. Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals (12 percent)

The good news is that LaFell has been a scoring machine over the past three weeks. The team's No. 2 receiver has scored in each game with a total of four touchdowns over that span. One thing that is good for the Bengals (and Andy Dalton's fantasy outlook) is the return of Tyler Eifert. That said, it isn't a favorable thing for LaFell's fantasy outlook as the tight end has thrived in the red zone and LaFell has finished as the WR57 on average in games that he hasn't scored.

7. Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (14 percent)

Before the team's bye, Funchess had two receptions for 28 yards and a touchdown on a season-high six targets. After playing less than 40 percent of the team's offensive snaps in Weeks 4 and 5, Funchess played on 55.6 percent of the snaps in Week 6. With Kelvin Benjamin likely to draw shadow coverage from Patrick Peterson, the big-bodied second-year receiver could to see an expanded role in the passing offense in Week 8.

8. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (two percent)

Lee has yet to score a touchdown this season, but the other receiver drafted in the second round with Allen Robinson had seven catches for 108 yards on eight targets, all of which were season highs, in Week 7. In Week 6, Lee had 6/61 and he now has six-plus targets in five consecutive games.

Given how poorly Blake Bortles has played this season, the Jaguars have not taken the step forward many had anticipated. At least in terms of fantasy production, that could lead to more garbage-time opportunities for Lee and the team's pass-catchers.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 8

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 8

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 8 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (36 percent)

Both C.J. Anderson and Booker had big games against the Texans on Monday Night Football. Booker rushed 17 times for 83 yards and a score and added a four-yard reception while CJA gained 107 yards with a score on 16 carries.

While it's the first time that Booker (18) had more touches than Anderson (16) and won't likely be the norm when both backs are healthy, Booker has seen his share of the workload steadily increase up to this point.

Since Week 3, Booker's percentage of carries has increased every week: 17.39% (W3), 21.88% (W4), 25.00% (W5), 31.25% (W6) and 48.57% (W7). In addition, Booker has been productive on a per-touch basis (4.78 YPC).

With a fantasy-friendly matchup in Week 8 against the Chargers, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, both CJA and Booker will be viable starts this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins (12 percent)

With Matt Jones losing a fumble, it was Thompson that saw the largest share of work in Washington's backfield in Week 7. Thompson had a season-high 19 touches -- 12 carries and seven receptions -- for a total of 113 yards from scrimmage. On pace for 50 receptions, Thompson has finished as a top-33 fantasy running back in five of seven weeks and has scored the 31st-most fantasy points among running backs this season.

Washington and Cincinnati play in London this week and the Bengals have allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

3. Ka'Deem Carey, Chicago Bears (two percent)

Carey has a total of 19 carries for 98 yards (5.16 YPC) and one reception for nine yards in his past two games. This week, Carey (11) out-touched rookie Jordan Howard (seven touches). With the workload for Carey and Howard going in opposite directions, it's certainly possible (or likely) that Carey leads the team's backfield in usage once again. That said, the Bears get a tough matchup on Monday Night Football against the Vikings.

4. Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (20 percent)

Asiata led the Vikings in touches (18) in Week 7 with 12 carries for 55 yards and six catches for 25 yards on eight targets. It was the second game in a row that he has at least 17 touches. While the Bears have been more generous to fantasy receivers than running backs, the Vikings are 5.5-point favorites this week so we should see a heavy dose of Asiata and Jerick McKinnon.

5. Knile Davis, Green Bay Packers (36 percent)

With Eddie Lacy placed on IR and James Starks out several weeks following knee surgery, the newly-acquired Davis has an opportunity to get a sizable workload in one of the better offenses in the league. It's unclear how much larger his role will grow for the Week 8 matchup against the Falcons, but Atlanta has allowed six touchdowns -- five rushing and one receiving -- to running backs in their past two games.

6. Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( percent)

Not only did Jacquizz Rodgers get 26 carries for 154 yards, but Barber rushed 12 times for 84 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers on Sunday. With Doug Martin (hamstring) sidelined, Quizz has a total of 62 touches in his past two games. It's unclear how much more time, if any, Martin will miss, but the Bucs have a few favorable matchups coming up against the Raiders, Falcons and Bears over the next three weeks.

7. Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (48 percent)

In games that he has played, Ivory had a season-low five carries on Sunday for 48 yards (9.6 YPC) and he now has 36/123/1 rushing through four games played. Ivory and T.J. Yeldon have a near identical split in usage. Since Ivory made his Jaguars debut in Week 3, he has 41 touches and Yeldon has 40.

8. DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (29 percent)

Not only did Latavius Murray (turf toe) return from a two-week absence, but Murray had a season-high 20 touches (64.52-percent RB usage rate). In addition, it was the most for any Raiders running back this season. Washington did get the second-most touches (six), but it will take (another) injury to Murray for Washington to become fantasy-relevant in 12-team leagues. If Washington (5.11 YPC) continues to be more efficient than Murray (3.98 YPC), it's possible earns a larger role down the stretch.

9. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (46 percent)

Expected to form a 1-2 punch with DeMarco Murray, it's been more of a 1-1 punch with Murray and more Murray. Murray has more than 20 touches in five consecutive games and a total of 166 through Week 7. That puts him on pace for 379 touches for the season. As productive as Murray has been this season, he has struggled with durability in the past.

Henry has seen his role diminish with only one carry in Week 7 and four or fewer touches in three of the past four games. For now, the talented second-rounder is purely bench stash, but there would be enormous upside if anything were to happen to Murray.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 8

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 8

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 8 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. , Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (38 percent)

In back-to-back favorable matchups, Smith has thrown just 22 and 24 pass attempts against the Raiders and Saints, respectively. With a couple of touchdown tosses against the Saints, Smith scored the 10th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks this week.

There is always the possibility that a Smith-led offense will employ a run-heavy offense despite a fantasy-friendly defensive matchup and disappoint his fantasy owners. That said, Smith has four favorable matchups on the horizon against the Colts, Jaguars, Panthers and Buccaneers. In other words, he's a viable streaming option every week over the next month, especially considering that the number of teams on bye increases this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (19 percent)

With Geno Smith (torn ACL) knocked out of Sunday's game early, the Jets turned back to the guy that Smith had replaced. In relief of Smith, Fitzpatrick completed nine-of-14 pass attempts for 120 yards and a touchdown and (perhaps more importantly) no interceptions. With Smith out for the season, Fitzpatrick gets two exploitable matchups against the Browns and Dolphins over the next two weeks. The last three QBs to face the Browns have finished as the weekly QB2, QB4 and QB7, respectively, and only one starter facing the Browns finished worse than the weekly QB13 this season.

3. Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans (14 percent)

Osweiler has yet to finish any better than the weekly QB16 this season. On the year, he has as many interceptions (eight) as touchdowns (eight) and he is averaging only 219 passing yards per game. Following Monday night's difficult matchup against the Broncos, however, things get much easier for Osweiler and the pass offense going forward. Over the next eight weeks, the Texans face the Lions, Jaguars (twice), Raiders, Chargers, Packers and Colts in addition to their bye in Week 9.

4. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (24 percent)

In a low-scoring week for fantasy quarterbacks, Tannehill managed to finish the week as the QB13 despite throwing for 204 yards and one touchdown. His 16.36 fantasy points were the second-lowest total for the QB13 in the first seven weeks of the season.

Before this week, Tannehill had finished as the QB25 or worse for three consecutive weeks and he has a bye in Week 8. That said, Tannehill gets a favorable matchup against the Jets coming out of his bye. The Jets have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

5. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (48 percent)

In his past two games, Wentz has completed only 27 (54.0 percent) of 50 pass attempts for 317 yards (6.34 Y/A) and one touchdown. With three turnovers -- two interceptions and a fumble lost -- on Sunday, Wentz has now scored less than eight fantasy points in back-to-back games. Next week's matchup against the Cowboys isn't great, but it's certainly not as difficult as Sunday's matchup against the Vikings was.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 8

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October 23, 2016

Jay Ajayi becomes 4th RB to rush for 200-plus yards in back-to-back games

Before Week 6, Miami Dolphins second-year back Jay Ajayi had just 31 carries for 117 yards (3.77 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. Things were different in Week 6 as the ex-Boise State Bronco ran wild for 204 yards and two scores on 25 carries.

While it was fairly obvious that Ajayi would remain in a lead-back role even though Arian Foster had returned from a multi-week absence last week, nobody could have expected him to be as productive in Week 7 as he was last week.

But he was.

Ajayi ran for a career-high 214 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries and added a two-yard reception. Over the past two weeks, Ajayi has a total of 54 carries for 418 yards and three touchdowns plus two catches for five yards.

Now the fourth running back to reach the 200-yard rushing mark in consecutive games, Ajayi joins Hall-of-Famers Earl Campbell and O.J. Simpson (twice) as well as ex-Dolphin Ricky Williams.

Going forward, I've moved Ajayi my top-20 running backs in my rest-of-season fantasy rankings.

Six teams will be on bye in Week 8 including the Miami Dolphins and their lead back deserves some rest. Following the bye, Ajayi and the Dolphins will face the stingy Jets run defense in Week 9.

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Week 7 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 7 NFL picks against the spread:

Tennessee Titans -3.5 over Indianapolis Colts (3 Units)

I like the Titans for a number of reasons, but mostly for two reasons -- their ability to rush the ball (and Indy's inability to stop it) and their ability to get to the quarterback (and Indy's inability to prevent that). Andrew Luck has been sacked a league-high 23 times and the Titans rank fifth in the league with 18 sacks.

On the other hand, only the Bills and Cowboys have more rushing yards per game than the Titans. Meanwhile, the Colts rank 25th in the NFL against the run (117.7 YPG, 4.8 YPC). Not only are we seeing a rejuvenated DeMarco Murray, but quarterback Marcus Mariota has displayed his dual-threat abilities with 60-plus rushing yards in each of the past two games.

If the Titans can get an early lead, they can control the clock with their running game and then pressure Luck as the Colts try to come from behind. I think the Titans win this one by a touchdown.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Minnesota Vikings -3 over Philadelphia Eagles (3 Units)

Eventually, the Vikings will lose a game. While they have had their fair share of injuries on offense, their defense has been been playing lights out. With Mike Zimmer getting an extra week to prepare coming off their bye, it's not going to be easy for Carson Wentz & Co. to end their two-game slide. Wentz has been playing beyond his years and he's shown already that he can be the long-term answer, but the Eagles have issues on the offensive line and I expect the ferocious Vikings pass rush to get to the rookie early and often. While he hasn't turned the ball over much this season, he could look like more like a rookie this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1 over San Francisco 49ers (3 Units)

At one point, the Bucs were giving the 49ers points, but they are now one-point underdogs. Both teams will be without their starting running backs -- Carlos Hyde and Doug Martin. Without Martin in Week 5 (Tampa had a Week 6 bye), the Bucs gave Jacquizz Rodgers 30 carries and he gained 101 yards. I don't expect Rodgers to get as many carries, but I do expect him to be more efficient against a 49ers team that has allowed five consecutive 100-yard rushers this season. I'll take the point, but I expect the Bucs to win this one outright.

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Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

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 7 NFL picks against the spread:

Indianapolis Colts +3.5 over Tennessee Titans (3 Units)

The Colts have been one of the stranger teams this year, as they have really struggled out of the gate, and the Titans have certainly been a very nice surprise, as they have the chance to be over .500 for the first time in a long time after Sunday.

I think this will be the game that gets the Colts back on track, as they certainly have history on their side. The Colts have really run over the Titans as of late, as they have posted an impressive 8-1 record against the number in their last nine games overall. This is a game that should actually feature a nice aerial duel, as Marcus Mariota has been on fire as of late. The one thing I do like though is that Andrew Luck should be able to take advantage of a Titans secondary that allows 236 yards passing per game. I am going with the points play here, and look for Indy to get back on track.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1 over San Francisco 49ers (3 Units)

The 49ers are just a bad team, and even turning to Colin Kaepernick didn't help matters any as they were blasted by Buffalo last week. Tampa will be coming into this game off a bye, and I foresee them just running all over San Francisco, as they have the worst rushing defense in the league. The 49ers cannot stop the run, as they allow a whopping 174 yards per game, and 5.0 yards per carry to opposing running backs. I know that Tampa is down two backs on the depth chart in Doug Marin and Charles Sims, but Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for 101 yards against Carolina, and added five receptions to boot. The Bucs will be able to control the clock, and in the end, the 49ers are just a really bad team

New England Patriots -7.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (4 Units)

It is unfortunate that the Steelers will be without Ben Roethlisberger for this game, as he and Tom Brady always put on one of the better shows when they go head-to-head. The Steelers will be very limited in what they can do, and you can be certain that Bill Belichick will be geared to stop Le'veon Bell, and force Landry Jones to beat them through the air.

The Steelers also have a really bad pass defense, as they allow 294 yards passing per game, and get virtually no pressure on the quarterback, as they have only compiled eight sacks. I think Brady will go off huge in this game, as he seems to always throw the ball a ton against Pittsburgh.

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

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October 22, 2016

Week 7 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, Mike Wallace is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 7 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 Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Wallace and can only start two receivers, you should start Jones and Cooper -- and in turn, bench Wallace.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 7 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 7:

WR - Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens (at NYJ)

The volume of targets has been there for Wallace, who has seen 30 targets in his past three games. With Steve Smith Sr. out again this week, 60 Minutes should be busy in Week 7 as well. Averaging 2.10 fantasy points per touch, Wallace gets a soft matchup against a burnable Jets secondary.

Provided Joe Flacco is active, the Ravens should try to push the ball down the field as only the Raiders (nine) have allowed more 40-yard receptions than the Jets (eight). Among teams left to play this week, the Ravens and Jets allow the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers through Week 6. The Jets have allowed a league-high 71.79-percent catch rate to opposing wide receivers and 84/1,209/8 (14.39 Y/R) to the position.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at SF)

You don't need me to tell you to start Evans, but I will anyways. And part of that is because I have Evans ranked higher than Odell Beckham Jr., who just posted a career-high 222 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6. That's how much I like Evans this week. Both Julio Jones and A.J. Green have phenomenal matchups, but it wouldn't surprise me if Evans finished as the WR1 this week. Either way, I have him ranked as a top-three option.

Before the bye, Evans had nearly a 30-percent target share (29.56 percent) and that should increase with Vincent Jackson placed on IR. Before the bye, Evans had double-digit targets in his previous four games with an average of 13.25 per game over that span. Evans is averaging 89.8 yards per game and has scored a touchdown in four of five games this season.

The 49ers have been middle of the road (17th-most) in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers, but only the Ravens (12) have allowed more receiving touchdowns to opposing wideouts than the 49ers (10). But their mediocrity in FPA to receivers can be partly attributable to allowing five consecutive 100-yard rushers. With Doug Martin out for another week, Evans has a legitimate chance to get 15-20 targets this week even though I expect Jacquizz Rodgers to have a good game as well.

WR - Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at JAX)

Normally, I wouldn't list Cooper on this list as he's fairly obvious to start every week, but the second-year receiver has been dominant over the past couple of weeks with a great matchup upcoming. While Cooper has nine-plus targets in five of six games, he has a total of 25 targets that have resulted in a total of 16 catches for 267 yards and a touchdown in the past two weeks.

So far this season, the Jaguars have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Not only is Cooper a strong start this week, but Crabtree is a viable WR2 for fantasy owners this week as well.

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

Landry has only one touchdown this season, but the high-volume receiver has at least seven catches in all but one game so far this season. No receiver has a higher team target share than Landry (31.32 percent). The matchup isn't necessarily great, but Landry had a total of 18 catches on 25 targets in his two games against the Bills last season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 7:

WR - Will Fuller, Houston Texans (at DEN)

With DeAndre Hopkins more of a fringe WR2 type this week, it's impossible to trust Fuller in such a difficult matchup. Ex-Broncos (and current Texans) quarterback Brock Osweiler has struggled especially in difficult matchups. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season than the Broncos.

Since Week 2, the only receiver to finish as a top-30 performer against the Broncos is A.J. Green (WR30 in Week 3). Some of the other top receivers that they have shut down during that span are T.Y. Hilton (4.1 fantasy points in Week 2), Mike Evans (5.9 in W4), Julio Jones (2.9 in W5), etc. Start Hopkins and Fuller at your own risk this week.

WR - Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (vs. SEA)

Floyd has scored a touchdown every other game this season, but he has finished no higher than the weekly WR29 in any week this season. Through six games, Floyd has only 14 catches (2.3/G) and 192 yards (32.0/G). Even though John Brown won't play this week, it's hard to trust Floyd against the stingy Seahawks pass defense.

WR - Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (vs. WAS)

Tate is coming off his best game of the season and he actually set a career high in receiving yards (165). Before his 8/165/1 outburst in Week 6, however, Tate had a total of 17/134/0 in five games. With talented corners on the perimeter, Washington could slow down Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. and it wouldn't surprise me if Anquan Boldin has a solid game this week. Maybe Tate will surprise me and put up back-to-back big games, but he is outside my top-30 fantasy receivers this week.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. MIN)

Matthews joins the other "Mathews" and Zach Ertz as the team's top skill-position players to appear on the sit'em side of our weekly Start'em, Sit'em. Since his 7/114/1 outing in Week 1 on 14 targets, Matthews has scored a solid but not spectular 6-8 fantasy points every week. That means that he has finished in the WR28-WR42 range in each of those games. Based on my rankings, I expect more of the same (WR35 in my Week 7 rankings) as the Vikings defense should be able to slow down the Eagles this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 7

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Week 7 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, Hunter Henry is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 7 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 both Rob Gronkowski and Henry, you should start Gronk -- and in turn, bench Henry.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 7 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 7:

TE - Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (at ATL)

With or without Antonio Gates active, Henry has been productive. Henry has exceeded 60 yards in four consecutive games, scored a touchdown in three consecutive games and he posted a season-high target share (27.59 percent) in Week 7 against the Broncos. Over the past three weeks, Henry has finished as the weekly TE3, TE3 and TE4, respectively.

Gates returned in Week 5 and even had a 20-percent target share last week so I think that Henry can continue to be productive going forward. That said, Gates isn't fully healthy so I'd prefer Henry over Gates this week. Both tight ends have a favorable matchup against the Falcons, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (at DET)

Unfortunately, Jordan Reed (concussion) will miss another game this week. That opens up a tremendous opportunity for Davis. Getting the start in Week 6, Davis finished with two catches for 50 yards and a touchdown (weekly TE7). No team has allowed more touchdowns (seven) to tight ends and only the Browns and Panthers have allowed more fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at SF)

Prior to Tampa's Week 7 bye, Brate had just one catch for 38 yards on three targets against the Panthers. Before that, however, Brate had five catches in back-to-back games and a total of 113 yards and two touchdowns on 18 targets over that two-game span.

While he may not get eight-plus targets like he had in Weeks 3 and 4, Brate gets a nice stretch of favorable matchups starting this week with San Francisco, who has surrendered the 12th-most fantasy points to the position this season.

TE - Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (at NYJ)

Bad news first: Pitta has yet to score a touchdown this season. With that said, here's the good news: Pitta has eight-plus targets in four of his past five games. During that five-game span, he's averaging 6.2/51.2 on 8.6 targets per game. So far this season, Pitta ranks second among tight ends in receptions (34) behind only Greg Olsen (39) and sixth in yards (295).

The Jets pass defense is a mess. Not only do they allow a 71.2-percent completion rate and 8.8 Y/A, both second-most in the NFL, they have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. They have allowed the sixth-most receptions (33) and seventh-most yards (390) to the position on the year.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 7:

TE - Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints (at KC)

In his past four games, Fleener has alternated between road and home games. Like with Drew Brees and the Saints offense in general, the splits have been pronounced with Fleener. In his two home games, Fleener has 7/109/1 (overall TE2) in Week 3 and 6/74/1 (TE2) in Week 6. In his previous two road games, Fleener had 2/29 (TE31) in Week 2 and 3/19 (TE28) in Week 4. (He was on bye in Week 5.)

Brees, Fleener and the Saints head to Kansas City this weekend to face the Chiefs. Considering the general road-split downgrade and the difficult matchup (Chiefs allow sixth-fewest fantasy points to TEs), Fleener is outside my top-12 fantasy tight ends for Week 7.

TE - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. MIN)

Ertz is back, I suppose. If you own him, it may feel like he hasn't yet returned. In those two games since returning to the field, Ertz has a total of four catches for 59 yards on six targets.

Facing the suffocating Vikings defense, the Eagles are projected to score the third-fewest points this week; only the Texans (at DEN) and Browns (at CIN) are projected to score fewer. This may not be the week that Ertz bounces back to what his fantasy owners expected when they drafted him.

TE - Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (at ATL)

The good news is that Gates had more than 20-percent target share last week and that the Falcons bleed fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The bad news is that Gates is less than 100 percent and has admitted so. Given how productive Gates has been in the red zone over his career, it wouldn't surprise me if he scored a touchdown (or two) in this expected shootout, but I do think he is a TD-dependent option this week and I'd prefer Henry over Gates.

TE - Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons (vs. SD)

Even though the Falcons are projected to score the most points in Week 7, Tamme isn't a viable option at TE this weekend. After exceeding 50 yards with eight targets (20%-plus target share) in back-to-back games to begin the season, Tamme has less than 30 yards in four consecutive games. In fact, he has averaged just 12.0 yards per game during that span with three yards or less in two of those four games. Over his past three games, Tamme has drawn only 5.41%, 3.57% and 7.32% of the team's passing targets.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 7

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Week 7 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, Jacquizz Rodgers is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 7 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 DeMarco Murray, Melvin Gordon and Rodgers and can only start two running backs, you should start Murray and MG3 -- and in turn, bench Rodgers.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 7 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 7:

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

Clearly the lead dog of the team's exotic smashmouth offense, Murray (76.67 percent of RB usage) has 138 touches -- 114 carries and 24 receptions -- through six games. Not only is the overall volume high, but Murray has a minimum of 18 touches every week and 21-plus touches in four consecutive games.

While I expected Derrick Henry to see his workload expand as the season progressed, some others thought that he may actually lose his featured-back role to the rookie at some point. It's actually gone in the opposite direction -- Henry has 27 combined touches in his first three games and only 14 touches in the past three games.

At this point in the season, Murray is an obvious start. I list him here, however, because he is the RB1 in my Week 7 rankings for the first (perhaps only) time this season. The Titans are projected to score the sixth-most points this week based on Vegas implied point totals and Murray gets a soft matchup to exploit.

Only the Saints have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. The Colts have allowed 4.95 yards per carry (fifth-most) to opposing running backs, 352 receiving yards (fourth-most) and a total of nine touchdowns (tied for second-most) -- five rushing and four receiving -- to the position. In addition, the Colts have allowed seven top-16 fantasy running backs in only six games.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (vs. SD)

In our Week 7 DFS Round Table post, Freeman was my choice as favorite DraftKings play for Week 7. Here's what I wrote earlier this week: "Freeman (59.44% of team's RB usage) is getting the larger share of the workload than Coleman (38.33%). Not only does Freeman have a minimum of 15 touches in all six games this season, but he has five targets in three of the past four games. So far this season, no team has allowed more receptions to RBs than the Chargers (54) and only the Saints (10) have allowed more TDs to RBs than the Chargers (nine)." Freeman is a top-four running back in both standard and PPR-scoring formats for Week 7.

- Related: We paired Freeman with Tevin Coleman in our DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 7

RB - Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at SF)

Playing a starting running back against the 49ers has been a profitable strategy in both season-long and daily fantasy this season. Allowing 140 yards and three touchdowns to LeSean McCoy last week, the 49ers have now allowed five consecutive 100-yard rushers. Only the Redskins (5.22 YPC) have allowed more yards per carry to opposing running backs than the 49ers (5.13) this season. And only the Saints (10) have allowed more rushing touchdowns to RBs than the 49ers (nine).

Before the bye, Rodgers filled in for Doug Martin and Charles Sims (IR) as the starter. Rodgers had 30 carries for 101 yards and five catches for 28 yards in that game against the Panthers. While I don't expect 35 touches for Quizz this week, he should dominate touches (20-plus or so) as Martin (hamstring) had an injury setback and will miss (at least) another game.

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. NO)

As noted a few times above, the Saints defense is not good against the run. (Or in general, for that matter.) Therefore, Ware and Jamaal Charles are both starts this week. Favored by nearly a touchdown at home, only the Falcons are projected to score more points this week than the Chiefs.

Like in last week's blowout win against the Raiders, it's certainly possible that Ware sees another massive workload. Ware had 24 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown plus two catches for 32 yards even though Charles had 11 touches last week. On the season, Ware has averaged 5.32 YPC and 17.77 Y/R.

RB - Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (at MIA)

Assuming that McCoy misses this week's game, Gillislee should handle the bulk of the team's running back workload in Week 7. One report suggested that McCoy would miss multiple weeks, but he is listed as a game-time decision this week. The good news is that the Bills play at 1 PM so we will have plenty of time to adjust, if necessary. During their current four-game winning streak, the Bills have run the ball on 51.72 percent of their plays and there is no reason for them to deviate from their run-heavy approach as road favorites in Miami.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 7:

RB - Matt Forte, New York Jets (vs. BAL)

The Ravens rush defense is one of the best in the league and they have allowed the following rushing stats to opposing running backs: 110/393/2 (3.57 YPC). They've also limited opposing backs to only 6.76 Y/R; the league-average is 7.96 Y/R to opposing running backs.

After getting 59 combined touches in the first two games of the season, Forte has seen his usage decline to 17, 16, 14 and 10 over the past four weeks, respectively. All four of those games have been double-digit losses and this week's game is a pick'em, but Forte's involvement in the passing game has been dwarfed by that of Bilal Powell.

Over the past four weeks, Powell has 28 targets that he has converted into 21 receptions for 148 yards. During that same span, Forte has been targeted only nine times and those targets have resulted into 25 yards on seven receptions.

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (at JAX)

After missing the past two games with turf toe, Murray is expected to return this week even though he is listed as questionable. Given how the workload was allocated prior to his injury, Murray deserves to remain on your fantasy bench. In his four games played, Murray had 15, 14, 11 and 10 touches, respectively.

Not only was his volume heading in the wrong direction before the injury, he has been less efficient (4.30 YPC) than both DeAndre Washington (5.34 YPC) and Jalen Richard (6.10 YPC) this season. More than anything, this is a running back situation to avoid for Week 7.

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

Effective on a per-touch basis (60 yards on nine carries) in a favorable matchup against the Redskins, Mathews had just nine total touches last week. Mathews may get a larger workload this week, but it won't be easy to produce. The Vikings have allowed running backs to average just 3.51 YPC, fifth-lowest in the NFL, and only one rushing touchdown.

RB - Arian Foster, Miami Dolphins (vs. BUF)

Foster returned from a multi-game absence last week, but he had just five touches for 15 yards. Meanwhile, teammate Jay Ajayi ran wild (25/204/2) and finished as the week's top-producing fantasy running back. Perhaps the workload differential won't be so vast between these two backs in Week 7, but I would expect Ajayi to maintain his current lead-back role this week (and perhaps for the rest of the season).

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 7

Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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Week 7 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, Marcus Mariota is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 7 with him as my starting quarterback.

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

In other words, if you owned both Tom Brady and Mariota, you should start Brady -- and in turn, bench Mariota.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 7 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 7:

QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. SD)

Ryan is coming off extremely difficult road matchups against the Broncos and Seahawks in back-to-back weeks and still leads all fantasy quarterbacks in points scored this season. In fact, Ryan played well (or much better than expected) in those games as he threw for 602 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception. Not only was Ryan's production season highs allowed by both defenses in terms of passing yards, he vastly exceeded what other quarterbacks have done -- Broncos (+61 over second-most) and Seahawks (+74).

Now Ryan comes home to Atlanta to face a Chargers defense that is much more vulnerable to the pass. The Chargers have allowed 300-yard passers in four of six games and the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Last but not least, no team has a higher implied Vegas total this week as well.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

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

It's been a boom-or-bust season for Rivers, who has three top-eight weekly performances and three QB20 (or worse) performances. And even though Rivers and the Chargers are road underdogs, he is a top-three fantasy quarterback in my Week 7 rankings as well. Immediately preceeding a 178-yard performance against the stingy Broncos pass defense last week, Rivers had a three-game streak of games with more than 320 passing yards.

In what is likely to be a shootout (highest over/under), Rivers should throw around the yard early and often as the Bolts try to keep up with the high-powered Falcons offense. In addition, only the Lions have allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

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

Like with Rivers, Stafford has provided fantasy owners with inconsistent production, but the good times (four top-10 weekly finishes) have outnumbered the bad (two QB20+ outings). In fact, Stafford has thrown three-plus touchdowns in four of six games so he has finished as a top-four weekly quarterback three times already this year. Stafford and Drew Brees are the only two quarterbacks with three top-four weekly outings so far this season.

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

Things have gone much differently for Mariota in his past two games (QB1 and QB4, respectively) compared to his first four games (QB15, QB18, QB30 and QB30, respectively). In favorable matchups against the Dolphins and Browns, Mariota threw three touchdowns and ran for at least 60 yards in both games.

Mariota gets another favorable matchup this week against the Colts (ninth-most FPA to QBs) and the Titans are tied with the Lions for the sixth-most projected points based on Vegas odds. Especially if he continues to run, Mariota has enormous upside and is a top-five fantasy quarterback for me this week.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 7:

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (vs. SEA)

If you own Palmer, you've been highly disappointed with the output you've been getting. In his past three games played, Palmer has thrown 120 total pass attempts, but he has scored an average of only 9.14 fantasy points per game. In a favorable matchup against the Jets last week, Palmer threw for a season-low 213 yards and finished as the weekly QB19. Over his past three games, Palmer has thrown more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (two). With the Legion of Boom coming to town, this isn't the week to expect improved production and Palmer should remain on your bench.

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. LA)

Averaging just 14.54 fantasy points per game, Manning has just one top-12 fantasy performance this season although that occurred last week. Manning had a season-best performance last week against the Ravens as he threw for 403 yards and three touchdowns. On the year, Eli has as many turnovers -- six interceptions and two lost fumbles -- as he has passing touchdowns (eight). Perhaps Eli, Odell Beckham Jr. and the Giants string together back-to-back strong performances, but he is outside of my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for Week 7.

QB - Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. MIN)

Things won't be easy for Wentz and the Eagles offense this week. Not only do they face the Vikings suffocating defense, but Minnesota is coming off a bye with an extra week to prepare for the rookie quarterback. Wentz has played extremely well early in his career and the future is bright, but only the Texans and Browns are projected to score fewer points this week than the Eagles. As my QB24, Wentz is barely a starter in a 12-team, 2-QB league.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 7

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Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

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 7 NFL picks against the spread:

San Diego Chargers +6 over Atlanta Falcons (4 Units)

I think the Chargers offense has enough fire power to keep this game close. I think Philip Rivers has a big game here connecting with his TEs for three scores. Atlanta is coming off a tough loss at Seattle where they were absolutely jobbed on a non-PI call. I think they win the game, but I'll take the points. Falcons 27, Chargers 24.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Arizona Cardinals -1 over Seattle Seahawks (5 Units)

This line is way too low in my opinion. The Seahawks are known for defense, but I believe the Cardinals D is actually better than Seattle’s. I think we will see a healthy dose of David Johnson, and the Cardinals win this game pretty easily. Cardinals 24, Seahawks 13.

Philadelphia Eagles +3 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

I think the Eagles win the Bradford Bowl on Sunday. The Eagles defensive line is their strength, while the Vikings have injury issues currently. I think the Eagles D gets to Sam Bradford causing two to three turnovers and a possible defensive score. Eagles win an ugly game at home. Eagles 19, Vikings 17.

Cincinnati Bengals -10 over Cleveland Browns (4 Units)

Terrelle Pryor is a game-time decision, and my money is on him sitting Sunday since he missed practice on Friday. Pryor has been Cleveland’s only consistent option this year. The Bengals got embarrassed by the Patriots last week, and will look to rebound vs. a terrible Browns defense. Fire up all Bengals skilled-position players in DFS this week. Bengals 41, Browns 16.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints, Under 50.5 (4 Units)

The Saints are not the same team on the road, which is a proven fact. Their defense is among the worst in the league, and this game just sets up perfectly for what Andy Reid and the Chiefs want to do. I think the Chiefs will control the line of scrimmage and run the ball down the Saints throat leading to long drawn out scoring drives. Chiefs 26, Saints 16.

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

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October 21, 2016

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 7

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 7 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 - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars ($6,200)
RB - Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons ($5,900)
RB - Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons ($4,900)
WR - Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7,800)
WR - A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals ($8,600)
WR - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,300)
TE - Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts ($2,500)
FLEX - Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills ($3,000)
DST - Minnesota Vikings ($3,700)

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

1. Sean - Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers ($7,800): There are so many WRs that I want to play this week in this price range, and I think it will be the chalk build with so many cheap options at RB this week. Evans target average goes up from 8.5 with Vincent Jackson to 12.5 without him. Jackson is on IR, and Evans has a great matchup vs. the 49ers. Evans should be a top-three WR this week.

Comments by Kevin: I love Evans this week! Evans has double-digit targets in four consecutive games, five receptiosn every week and a touchdown in four of five games. Like in Week 2 (17 targets), Evans has shown to be a type of receiver that could approach 20 targets in a given week. Since last season, Evans is tied with Antonio Brown for most 15-target games (four) behind Julio Jones (seven). With V-Jax out, this could easily be another 15-target game for Evans in a favorable matchup against a bad and fast-paced 49ers team. It wouldn't surprise me if Evans finished with 100-plus yards and two scores this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Kevin - Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons ($5,900): Freeman is my favorite, or one of my favorite plays, this week and here's part of what I wrote in our DFS Round Table post: "Freeman (59.44% of team's RB usage) is getting the larger share of the workload than [Tevin] Coleman (38.33%). Not only does Freeman have a minimum of 15 touches in all six games this season, but he has five targets in three of the past four games. So far this season, no team has allowed more receptions to RBs than the Chargers (54) and only the Saints (10) have allowed more TDs to RBs than the Chargers (nine)." As home favorites in the game with the largest over/under and this week's highest Vegas implied total, Freeman is a safe play with enormous upside.

Comments by Sean: This is the highest total game of the week, and San Diego’s defense is pretty bad. This is a game I will be stacking. I won't make the mistake this week to leave Matty Ice out of my Falcons stack like I did when they faced the Panthers. Freeman is priced in the middle of the pack still, and could get overlooked with everyone wanting to jump on board the Julio Jones express. I love Freeman for both cash and tournaments.

3. Sean - Jack Doyle, TE, Colts ($2,500): Doyle comes in at the minimum of $2,500. Dwayne Allen will be out this week, which should increase Doyle’s targets. There is a concern that that Colts offensive line is so bad that Doyle will be left in to block, but It also could mean Andrew Luck is forced to throw quick short passes. Tennessee is very aggressive blitzing on defense, which could lead to a lot of quick check downs to Doyle. For the minimum, I think Doyle is a great play who could push to be a sneaky top 5-7 TE this week.

Comments by Kevin: Based on salary, Doyle should easily exceed value. The Colts have shown a propensity to target their TEs, especially in the red zone, so Doyle has plenty of upside. Even with Dwayne Allen in the lineup, we saw that upside in Week 1 when he led all tight ends in fantasy production. Aside from the concern noted above by Sean about possibly keeping him in to block often, the other concern is a possible high ownership.

4. Kevin - Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars ($7,300): Robinson has underperformed compared to expectations this season with his most recent outing in a favorable matchup (Chicago) being a complete dud (3/49). Ownership levels should be very low considering some of the other high-priced receivers in great matchups. That said, A-Rob has 17 TDs in his past 20 games, a favorable matchup against the Raiders and double-digit targets in three of five games this season. Could this be the week that he breaks out with a monster game?

Comments by Sean: The Raiders rank last in the NFL in yards allowed in the air this year, and what's even more amazing is that they have played some pretty inept passing attack teams (Titans, Chiefs, Ravens) this season. Robinson should absolutely eat against this secondary.

5. Sean - Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars ($6,200): I think Andy Dalton will be the highest-owned QB this week as he has the safest floor facing the Browns, but if the Bengals get up big we could see them take their foot off the gas. As noted with A-Rob, the Raiders have the worst pass defense in the league. If this game shoots out, Bortles could be a top-three scorer this week.

Comments by Kevin: Given the upside of the QBs priced right below Bortles (Marcus Mariota, Dalton, etc.), many could skip right over Bortles. We have seen a lot of fantasy QBs have big games against the Raiders and Bortles scored the fourth-most fantasy points last season so the upside is there even if he is off to a relatively slow start this season.

6. Kevin - Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons ($4,900): I expect Freeman to be a popular pick in all contests this weekend, but Coleman could be very low-owned. For $600 less, you could get Jacquizz Rodgers, who should get a monster workload (35 touches in Week 5 before the bye) and has an ideal matchup against the 49ers (five consecutive 100-yard rushers allowed). Given the other injuries at RB in Buffalo, San Francisco, etc., there are plenty of bargain-basement options at the position.

It's not common that you could (or should) roster two running backs from the same team in a GPP, but I think both backs could be in store for a big game. Back in Week 3, the duo finished as the top-two weekly RBs in a favorable matchup against the Saints. In a less favorable matchup against the Broncos in Week 5, the duo finished as a pair of top-eight PPR RBs. I'd expect less than one percent of lineups to have both backs in the same lineup and Coleman could be less than 5%-owned overall.

Comments by Sean: The Freeman/Coleman combo has worked in the past for Atlanta. If you are going to fade Julio, then this is a perfect leverage play to get extra exposure to the Falcons skilled players. Coleman disappointed many owners last week, so I expect his ownership to be low. This is a high risk/reward play.

7. Sean - A.J. Green, WR, Bengals ($8,600): Well, we have three of my favorite WRs plays this week in this GPP lineup. All three have the upside to be the days No. 1 scorer. It also would not be a horrible strategy to play all three of them as a core and rotate in some of the low-value plays. I have two concerns this week with Green, which will probably lead me to be a little underweight on him. The blowout factor mentioned above, and the possible return of goal-line machine Tyler Eifert. Green still has enormous upside and should not be overlooked this week.

Comments by Kevin: Green has a pair of 170-yard games this season in great matchups against the Jets and Dolphins. This week, he gets a great matchup against the Browns. It's certainly possible that this is one of those 30-point fantasy outings for Green. My main concern is that the Bengals jump out to an early lead as 10-point favorites and we see a lot of the running game this week, but I still like AJG a lot.

8. Kevin - Mike Gillislee, RB, Bills ($3,000): Assuming that LeSean McCoy is out this week (one report suggests a multi-week absence, another says that he'll be a GTD), Gillislee is going to be one of the chalk plays at running back this week. Priced at only $3,000 in a soft matchup against the Dolphins, the Bills should continue to utilize a run-heavy game plan with Gillislee. Obviously, Gillislee is a talent downgrade from McCoy, but the Bills have 135 rush attempts for a league-high 847 yards (6.27 YPC) and seven TDs in their past four games since making a change at offensive coordinator.

Comments by Sean: LeSean McCoy missed practice again today with a hamstring injury. If he is out, Gillislee will be one of the most popular value plays of the week. You really only need about 12-15 points here from him to pay off, and given the workload he will see, he should have no problem paying that off.

9. Kevin - Minnesota Vikings DST ($3,700): With enough salary left to select any defense, I'm going with my top-ranked fantasy defense of the week. The Vikings have a minimum of 8.0 DK points in all five games and double-digit fantasy points in four of those five games. Not only do the Vikings have four defensive TDs, they have 19 sacks, seven interceptions and five fumble recoveries this season. They have also limited opposing offenses to 16 points or fewer in all games. With the Eagles dealing with issues on the offensive line and coming off their bye, they are in a good spot despite being on the road.

Comments by Sean: Defenses are a crap shoot each week basically because anyone can return a kick for a TD or get a couple of defensive scores. I really don't like paying up for them in tournaments because of this. I'd rather use my cap space on players where I can predict point totals better. I won't have much exposure to Minnesota D this weekend.

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October 19, 2016

Week 7 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.

With that said, here are my Week 7 NFL picks against the spread:

Green Bay Packers -8 over Chicago Bears (5 Units)

I'm not sure what's wrong with Aaron Rodgers of late, but I'm sure he's heard the chatter and the Johnny Manziel comparison on ESPN's First Take. The Packers have been confusing as a whole, as they have not played up to the championship contender level that was expected of them this year. The Bears coming to town is a good way to start righting the ship. After a bad loss to Dallas last week, I like a big bounce back in the prime time Thursday night game. I'll give the eight points and like the Packers to win big.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New York Giants -3 over Los Angeles Rams (3 Units)

I liked this game better at 2.5 but I'll still take the Giants at minus three. This one will be played in London, so there's no real home field in the game. The Giants have been up and down but I like them to build on their comeback win over the Ravens this past week. At 3-3, they need this one against a very beatable Rams team. Case Keenum has been better than expected this year so I'm expecting some regression as the Rams should continue to flummox us with wins in games like Seattle on the road and losses to the marginal NFL teams.

Washington Redskins +1 over Detroit Lions (4 Units)

Washington has been rolling after an 0-2 start and I'm not getting off the train just yet. A win at Detroit would be their fifth in a row, and I think they get it. The Lions have some key injuries on offense and Theo Riddick and Eric Ebron are still not practicing as of Wednesday. Both teams should still be able to put up some points, but I like the Redskins to win on the road.

- 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 7

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 7?

Sean Beazley: DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans ($7,200)

One of my favorite DK plays this week is Titans RB DeMarco Murray. Murray is the fourth-highest priced RB this week, and has an extremely favorable matchup vs. the Colts. Murray has had 20-plus touches in each of his last four games, and I expect another heavy workload for him this week.

Last week, DeMarco was the chalk, and he disappointed many owners. This week, I think he will get overlooked. David Johnson is only priced $200 higher than Murray and is coming off a great game In prime time. I think the majority of players will click DJ’s name even with the bad matchup over DeMarco in an elite matchup.

I would estimate ownership being 10-15% higher on DJ this week. Recency bias at its finest, and this is the week to capitalize. I think DeMarco will be the highest-scoring RB this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Kevin Hanson: Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons ($5,900)

One of my GPP strategies will be to start both Freeman and Tevin Coleman in the same lineup. Normally it wouldn't make sense to pair running backs from the same team in the same GPP lineup, but the Falcons are home favorites with the highest implied point total of the week. The duo has shown that they have the potential to BOTH perform as top-eight PPR running backs in the same week twice in their past four games.

With all that said, Freeman (59.44% of team's RB usage) is getting the larger share of the workload than Coleman (38.33%). Not only does Freeman have a minimum of 15 touches in all six games this season, but he has five targets in three of the past four games. So far this season, no team has allowed more receptions to RBs than the Chargers (54) and only the Saints (10) have allowed more TDs to RBs than the Chargers (nine).

Brendan Donahue: DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans ($7,200)

Murray is the clear workhorse in Tennessee and is even getting more carries as the year goes on as evidenced by his 73 carries and seven catches over the past three weeks. With that type of volume and talent going against the 30th-ranked defense against opposing RBs this year, I think Murray has a chance to be the top-scoring RB of the week. At $7200, I think he's as safe an option to build a lineup around.

John Trifone: Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans ($6,000)

At $6K, Mariota is one of the cheaper viable quarterback options this week and he's got a great matchup at home against the Colts. He's rushed for over 60 yards in each of his last two games and has thrown six TDs and rushed for one in those games. Mariota should easily pay off value but also has tremendous upside, and as a lower-cost option, will allow you to spend up in other spots.

Dan Yanotchko: Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,000)

This week, I really like Allen Hurns going up against the worst pass defense in the league, the Oakland Raiders. Hurns is due for a breakout game, as he has complied 200 yards on 20 receptions, but he has been targeted 38 times in those five games. The Raiders allow 313 yards passing per game, and 12 touchdowns as well, so Hurns is a great add this week.

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 7 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 6 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 TEs (Weeks 7-16):

1. New York Giants (Will Tye, Larry Donnell): 9.43
2. Washington Redskins (Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis): 9.12
3. San Diego Chargers (Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry): 9.06
4. Philadelphia Eagles (Zach Ertz): 8.26
5. Dallas Cowboys (Jason Witten): 8.16

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 7-16):

28. Tennessee Titans (Delanie Walker): 6.50
29. Indianapolis Colts (Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle): 6.37
30. Denver Broncos (Virgil Green): 5.90
31. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett): 5.42
32. Miami Dolphins (Jordan Cameron): 5.03

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football TE 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 7 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 6 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 7-16):

1. Dallas Cowboys (Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley): 25.77
2. Chicago Bears (Alshon Jeffery, Cam Meredith): 25.41
3. Washington Redskins (DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder): 25.32
4. Philadelphia Eagles (Jordan Matthews): 24.98
5. Minnesota Vikings (Stefon Diggs): 24.92

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 7-16):

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns): 22.20
29. New York Jets (Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa): 22.13
30. New England Patriots (Julian Edelman): 21.78
31. Oakland Raiders (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree): 21.63
32. Kansas City Chiefs (Jeremy Maclin): 21.57

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 RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 7 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 6 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 RBs (Weeks 7-16):

1. Cincinnati Bengals (Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard): 20.11
2. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 20.04
3. Green Bay Packers (Eddie Lacy): 19.87
4. Dallas Cowboys (Ezekiel Elliott): 19.72
5. Philadelphia Eagles (Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles): 19.68

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 7-16):

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Chris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon): 17.00
29. Minnesota Vikings (Jerick McKinnon): 16.90
30. Seattle Seahawks (Christine Michael, Thomas Rawls): 16.88
31. Indianapolis Colts (Frank Gore): 16.38
32. Washington Redskins (Matt Jones, Chris Thompson): 15.86

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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October 18, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 7 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 6 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 7-16):

1. New York Giants (Eli Manning): 18.52
2. Houston Texans (Brock Osweiler): 18.31
3. Minnesota Vikings (Sam Bradford): 18.30
4. Washington Redskins (Kirk Cousins): 18.28
5. Philadelphia Eagles (Carson Wentz): 18.04

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 7-16):

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 15.25
29. Denver Broncos (Trevor Siemian): 15.21
30. Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck): 14.90
31. New England Patriots (Tom Brady): 14.19
32. Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill): 13.93

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football QB SOS

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

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 7

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 7 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (34 percent)

With or without Antonio Gates in the lineup, Henry has been highly productive over the past four weeks. With more than 60 receiving yards in each of those games, Henry has also scored a touchdown in three consecutive outings. During that four-game span, Henry has a total of 18 catches (on 24 targets) for 290 yards and three scores.

The good times should continue to roll for Henry with a couple of favorable matchups coming up. Henry, Gates and the Chargers next face the Falcons, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position this season. After Atlanta in Week 7, the Chargers get a rematch against the Broncos and Henry just had a 6/83/1 line against them on Thursday Night Football last week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19 percent)

Prior to Tampa's Week 6 bye, Brate had just one catch for 38 yards on three targets against the Panthers. Before that, however, Brate had five catches in back-to-back games and a total of 113 yards and two touchdowns on 18 targets over that two-game span.

While he may not get eight-plus targets like he had in Weeks 3 and 4, Brate gets a nice stretch of favorable matchups with San Francisco, Oakland and Atlanta next up on the schedule. All three of those teams rank in the top-12 most fantasy-friendly defenses to opposing tight ends this season.

3. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (24 percent)

Since firing their offensive coordinator, the Bills have won four consecutive games in large part to their success in the running game. With Sammy Watkins (foot) sidelined, however, Clay has emerged as a more integral component of the passing game.

In each of his past three games, Clay has a minimum of five receptions. While he has yet to score a touchdown this season, he gets a fantasy-friendly matchup against his former team (Dolphins) in Week 7. The Dolphins have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

4. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (four percent)

Davis has the potential to make for an excellent Week 7 streamer for Greg Olsen or Jason Witten owners -- both tight ends on bye in Week 7. With Jordan Reed (concussion) out in Week 6, Davis got the start and was productive with a 2/50/1 performance.

Given Reed's troubling history with concussions, it's certainly possible that this turns into a multi-game absence for him. If so, Davis and Washington's tight ends get a favorable matchup against the Lions, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

5. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (one percent)

Fiedorowicz has gone from barely used (two catches for seven yards) in his first three games to finishing as the weekly TE7, TE13 and TE3, respectively, over the past three weeks. During that three-game span, he has 14 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Following a Week 7 matchup against the Broncos, Fiedorowicz has a great schedule in the second half.

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 7

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 7 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. Kenny Britt, Los Angeles Rams (13 percent)

Britt scored his first touchdown, and second, on Sunday, but he has been consistently productive all season. With a minimum of 67 yards in five of six games, Britt now has a total of 30 catches for 492 yards and two scores.

From 1999 to 2007, it was an annual tradition for the Rams to have one (or two) 1,000-yard receivers every year with Torry Holt and/or Isaac Bruce. Not only is Britt on pace to become the team's first 1,000-yard receiver in nearly a decade, he's currently on pace for 1,312 yards. Only four other receivers in franchise history have ever reached the 1,300-yard mark.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (45 percent)

Not only has Beasley scored double-digit PPR fantasy points in every game this season, he has been productive in standard-scoring formats as well. Through Week 6, Beasley has scored the 19th-most fantasy points (15th-most in PPR) and has averaged 5.5/64.8/0.5 per game during that span.

The team is on bye in Week 7 and Beasley's weekly production will likely dip once Dez Bryant returns (likely following their bye), but he's worth picking up in all formats and league sizes. While Tony Romo (back) may be ready to return following the bye, Dak Prescott is playing well and Beasley has shown plenty of chemistry with the rookie signal-caller.

3. Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns (39 percent)

Coleman had 104 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2 and has missed the past four games with a broken hand. Although he hasn't yet been cleared to practice, he will immediately become a WR3 (or better) once he's able to return.

4. Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets (47 percent)

On the season, Enunwa is averaging 5.0/56.0 on 7.33 targets per game, but he had his lowest number of targets (five, 14.71% target share) in Week 6. He now has finished outside the top-40 fantasy wide receivers in four consecutive weeks. With Eric Decker (shoulder) out for the season and better matchups on the horizon, however, we should expect more production going forward.

5. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (one percent)

Lining up often in the backfield and getting three carries, Montgomery had a team-high 12 targets, 10 catches and 98 receiving yards. With no other catches this season, we obviously shouldn't expect double-digit receptions from Montgomery every week, but Davante Adams (concussion) is unlikely to play on a short week against the Bears. In addition, James Starks (knee) will miss roughly a month.

6. Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills (22 percent)

Over the past four weeks, Woods has a minimum of six targets every week and five-plus catches in three of four games. While he has converted 20-of-30 receptions into 210 yards and a score during that span, Woods has exceeded 51 receiving yards only once this season. With Sammy Watkins sidelined, Woods is the team's top receiving option albeit in a run-dominant offense.

7. Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers (25 percent)

With Colin Kaepernick taking over as quarterback, it's certainly a positive for Smith. With the Blaine Gabbert under center, the speedster was virtually invisible. In Kaepernick's first game, Smith had a 25-percent target share for only the second time this season. (In the previous two games, he was targeted on 8.7 and 3.23 percent of Gabbert's pass attempts, respectively.)

Smith turned his seven targets into three catches for 76 yards and a touchdown and finished the week as a top-10 fantasy receiver. While I wouldn't expect another top-10 finish, the 49ers face the Buccaneers in Week 7. Tampa has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.

8. Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (29 percent)

Even though he has three or fewer receptions (and four or fewer targets) in each of his past three games, Crowder continues to be productive. The diminutive receiver has now finished as a top-30 wide receiver (standard scoring) in four of his past five games.

Crowder and the Redskins receivers have a favorable matchup in Week 7 against the Lions, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers.

9. Anquan Boldin, Detroit Lions (20 percent)

Boldin reached the 50-yard mark for the first time in Week 6, but the veteran wideout has a minimum of four catches in five consecutive games. In addition, he has scored a touchdown in three of those five games. With the bulk of bye weeks on the horizon, Boldin provides some consistent bye-week production.

10. Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (19 percent)

Here's the good news: Matthews has 70-plus yards and/or a touchdown in three consecutive games. In those games, he has finished as the weekly WR32, WR28 and WR11, respectively.

What's the bad news? Even though he has a 100-percent catch rate during that stretch, Matthews has only nine targets in those three games. Unless his production is followed by an increase in volume, it's unlikely that he continues to maintain his recent level of production.

11. Brian Quick, Los Angeles Rams (nine percent)

Quick had a season-high five catches in Week 6, but he now has 50-plus yards in four consecutive games. Over that four-game span, the ex-Appalachian State receiver has 12 catches for 234 yards and three touchdowns. While I'd prefer Britt or Tavon Austin over Quick, he's worth a look in deeper leagues.

12. Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens (four percent)

Perriman had a season-high eight targets in Week 6 and turned those targets into three catches for a season-high 48 yards. If Steve Smith Sr. misses another game, Perriman is a deep-league flier in Week 7 versus a poor Jets secondary that allows a league-high 9.2 yards per pass attempt.

13. Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans (three percent)

Coming off his best game of the year, Wright is unlikely to come anywhere close to his Week 6 production (8/133/1 on nine targets). While his upcoming matchups won't all be as good as his last week's against Cleveland, Wright and the Titans receivers have a favorable schedule upcoming -- Colts, Jaguars, Chargers, Packers, Colts (again) and Bears.

14. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (14 percent)

With Jordan Reed (concussion) sidelined, Garcon had a season-high 11 targets last week. He turned those 11 targets into six catches for 77 yards. As noted above, Washington gets a top-five fantasy matchup this week against the Lions.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 7

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 7 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (30 percent)

Clearly, you shouldn't expect a 200-yard, two-TD game every week from Ajayi. That said, Ajayi has now been usable in three of the past four weeks as he has finished as the RB25, RB38, RB17 and RB1, respectively. Given that Arian Foster (hamstring) returned in Week 6 but had just five touches, it wouldn't surprise me if Ajayi once again dominated backfield touches in Week 7 and perhaps even longer if he continues to be effective. That said, the Dolphins have a bye in Week 8.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (43 percent)

Following Jacksonville's bye, Ivory had 11 carries for 32 yards and a touchdown and added two catches for three yards. While it wasn't an efficient performance, he did get nearly twice as many touches (13) as teammate T.J. Yeldon (seven). Ivory now has 13 touches in two of three games since returning from an undisclosed condition that sidelined him for the first two weeks of the season. Perhaps difficult to trust as a starter, Ivory (and Yeldon) have a favorable matchup in Week 7 against the Raiders, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

3. Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (27 percent)

After getting 20-plus touches in three of the first four games, C.J. Anderson has a season-low 14 touches in back-to-back games. In terms of workload share with CJA, Booker has gone from 25.5 percent of the touches (28 of 110) in the first four games combined to 37.8 percent (17 of 45) over the past two games.

While I'm not sure that his share will increase to much better than a 60/40 split as long as both backs are healthy, Booker could certainly maintain his current usage rate going forward. In addition, the volume of overall RB touches should increase considering the Broncos have back-to-back losses.

4. Dion Lewis, New England Patriots (25 percent)

It's unclear when Lewis might return, but Lewis has shown how productive he can be in a Tom Brady-led offense. Once he returns, he's likely to get the majority of passing-down snaps sooner rather than later. Lewis is technically eligible to return now, but a return following their Week 9 bye is probably the most-likely scenario.

5. Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (23 percent)

After missing the previous three games, Doug Martin (hamstring) is expected to return against the 49ers in Week 7. If he does, he gets a great matchup against a team that has allowed a 100-yard rusher in five consecutive games. If he doesn't, Rodgers should get another massive workload.

Before the bye, Quizz had 30 carries for 101 yards and five catches for 28 yards against the Panthers. Either way, Rodgers will fill the change-of-pace role once Martin is healthy considering Charles Sims was placed on Injured Reserve.

6. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (28 percent)

Terrance West has been highly productive with three strong performances since the Ravens have released Justin Forsett. In those three games, West has 55 carries for 295 yards (5.36 YPC) and three touchdowns plus six catches for 30 yards. In other words, Dixon's opportunity to take over as lead back may only come from an injury to West.

In Week 6, West had 27 of 35 RB touches. Appearing in only his second NFL game since sustaining a preseason knee injury, Dixon has the talent to create a larger role as the season progresses.

7. Bilal Powell, New York Jets (37 percent)

So far this season, only Matt Forte (72.5 percent) and Powell (27.5) have RB touches for the Jets. After getting only eight combined touches in the first two weeks of the season, Powell has double-digit touches in three of his past four games.

If Forte were to miss time, Powell has plenty of upside all league formats. With Forte healthy, however, Powell has been useful in PPR formats with 11-plus fantasy points in three of his past four games. During that four-game span, Powell has 21 receptions for 148 yards on 28 targets.

8. DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (45 percent)

With Latavius Murray (toe) out another week, Washington had a team-high and season-high 10 carries for 49 yards against the Chiefs. Washington has been efficient (5.341 yards per carry) and has been a deeper-league flex option as a top-38 performer in four of the past five weeks. Once Murray returns, Washington will likely get a lighter workload, but he's worth owning in all league sizes.

9. Dwayne Washington, Detroit Lions (11 percent)

Not only is Ameer Abdullah on Injured Reserve, but Theo Riddick and Dwayne Washington were inactive in Week 6. The only two running backs to get touches for the Lions in Week 6 were Zach Zenner (77 yards on 16 touches) and newly-signed Justin Forsett (five yards on five carries).

Washington did participate in a limited practice on Friday of last week before being declared inactive so it's possible that he returns for next week's matchup against the Redskins. The Redskins have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

10. Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins (eight percent)

Thompson has been productive so far this season -- RB33 in standard, RB29 in PPR. Thompson has not had any big games, but he has been consistently productive. He has finished as a top-40 weekly running back (standard scoring) in all but one game this season. Thompson is worth a look by owners in deep(er) standard leagues as well as 12-team PPR leagues.

11. Zach Zenner, Detroit Lions (one percent)

Depending on the health of the rest of the backfield, Zenner may be in line for another heavy workload. Against the Rams, he gained 58 yards on 14 carries and added 19 yards on two receptions. As noted above, the Lions have a favorable matchup against the Redskins this week.

12. Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (17 percent)

Asiata had a season-high 17 touches in a lopsided win over the Texans prior to his Week 6 bye. It was the first time that he had more than eight touches in a game this season, but Asiata now has a touchdown in back-to-back games. Considering Week 5 was the first time he rushed for more than 15 yards in a game this season, Asiata remains a TD-dependent boom-or-bust option.

13. Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins (one percent)

Even though Matt Jones has exceeded 100 rushing yards in two of the past three games, Kelley could see his role in the rushing attack continue to expand as the season progresses. The UDFA had five carries for 59 yards, both of which were season highs, against the Eagles in Week 6.

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 7

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 7 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (27 percent)

Bad news first: Smith failed to exploit a favorable matchup against the Raiders. Part of that lack of fantasy production should be attributed to the run-heavy game plan (40 of 64 offensive plays were runs) in the team's double-digit win on an inclimate weather day. While Smith completed an efficient 19-of-22 pass attempts (86.36 percent) for 224 yards (10.18 Y/A), but he failed to reach nine fantasy points.

Going forward, Smith has a number of favorable matchups to (potentially) exploit. Most immediately, Smith and the Chiefs will host the Saints, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Following that matchup, he faces the Colts, Jaguars, Panthers and Buccaneers -- all of whom rank in the top half in terms of favorable matchups to the position.

Of course, the concern is that the Chiefs will take the air out of the ball in any game where they have a commanding lead. As we are about to enter the heart of the bye weeks, however, Smith provides streaming value as a fringe top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback nearly every week from Weeks 7 to 11.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears (20 percent)

While Hoyer failed to throw a touchdown, he extended his streak of 300-yard passing games to four. Not only is that the longest such streak this season, but Philip Rivers is the only quarterback with a three-game streak of 300-yard games. There is a quick turnaround this week, but the Bears will face the Packers, who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. At some point, the Bears may turn back to Jay Cutler, but Hoyer is a potential plug-and-play for owners in need of a starter this week.

3. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (eight percent)

Starting for the first time this season, Kaepernick was a better fantasy -- than real -- quarterback as he completed only 13-of-29 pass attempts for 187 yards. That said, the dual-threat quarterback scored a total of 18.08 fantasy points and nearly finished inside the top-12 (QB14) fantasy quarterbacks in Week 6. In the next three weeks, the 49ers face the Buccaneers, have a bye and then get the Saints. Kaep has plenty of upside in both of those matchups vs. leaky NFC South secondaries.

4. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (31 percent)

In his past four games, Fitzpatrick has thrown just two touchdowns and 10 interceptions. It's been a brutal stretch of matchups for Fitzpatrick (and he was even benched at the end of Monday night's loss to the Cardinals). Coach Todd Bowles has said that Fitzpatrick will continue to start and it's about to get better (from a schedule standpoint) with Baltimore, Cleveland and Miami up over the next three weeks.

The Ravens haven't allowed a lot of yards (260 or less in their first five games), but Eli Manning threw for 403 yards and three scores against them in Week 6. In addition, they have allowed a total of 12 passing touchdowns in five games since Week 2. Meanwhile, the Browns and Dolphins have allowed the third- and 15th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, respectively.

5. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (29 percent)

The good news is that Flacco has thrown 40-plus pass attempts in five consecutive games and has averaged 46.2 over that five-game stretch. The bad news is that he has only two passing touchdowns over his past four games (186 pass attempts) and he has finished as a top-15 fantasy quarterback only once this season despite several favorable matchups.

But, if you're in need of a streamer, Flacco is worth a roll of the dice against the Jets. The Jets have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points this season to the position.

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October 16, 2016

Week 6 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 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Arizona Cardinals -7.5 over New York Jets (3 Units)

The Cardinals have been a disappointment so far this season, but they got a win to improve to 2-3 with Carson Palmer sidelined with a concussion last week. Coming off a Thursday Night win, the Cardinals got a mini-bye and face a Jets pass defense that allows opposing quarterbacks to throw for 9.2 Y/A, a 118.6 passer rating and a 71.7 completion percentage, all of which are the worst in the NFL. I expect the Cardinals to light up the Jets, with or without Darrelle Revis, for roughly 30-plus points on Sunday.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Seattle Seahawks -6.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 Units)

It's tough to play in Seattle and the high-flying Atlanta offense will have its stiffest test to date against the Seahawks and their 12th Man. Matt Ryan & Co. escaped Denver with a win last week, so I think they are better than their doubters may believe. With the Seahawks coming off a bye, however, it's good timing for Russell Wilson, who has battled ankle and knee injuries early this season, and Jimmy Graham has back-to-back 100-yard games prior to the bye.

Washington Redskins +3 over Philadelphia Eagles (3 Units)

In many cases, you go throw out records in divisional matchups. The Eagles are a Ryan Mathews fumble away from a 4-0 start under rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, who threw his first NFL interception on his last NFL pass attempt. In general, one of my favorite plays is a home underdog and especially so in a divisional matchup so I'll take Washington and the points at home even without Jordan Reed.

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Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

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 Dan Yanotchko's Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Jacksonville Jaguars +1.5 over Chicago Bears (3 Units)

The Jaguars have not totally made the leap that most projected this year, but they are finally showing signs of being competent on defense, especially against the pass. The Jaguars have actually been sort of a no fly zone team, as they have only allowed opposing quarterbacks 199 yards passing per game, and they have also compiled 11 sacks so far this year.

I also like them coming into this game refreshed off of a bye week, and I think the two-headed monster of Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon will spell trouble for a Bears front-seven that gives up 118 yards per game, and 4.0 yards per carry. I like this young frisky Jags defense going up against backup Bears QB Brian Hoyer this week, even if they are on the road.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Philadelphia Eagles -3 over Washington Redskins (4 Units)

The Eagles so far have been one of the surprise teams of the year, and I think they will get back on track this week with a trip to Washington. Washington has struggled on offense this year, and it doesn't get much better on Sunday, as they will be facing one of the league's most complete units.

The Eagles defend both the pass -- only allowing 194 yards per game and they can pressure the quarterback with 14 sacks in four games -- and is also masterful against the run. They only allow 73 yards per game and 3.9 yards per carry on the ground. On the other hand, Washington is very bad against the run, as they allow 130 yards rushing per game, and 5.1 yards per carry to opposing running backs. I like the Eagles on the road here, as their defense will be able to carry them through.

Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 over Oakland Raiders (3 Units)

While amazing as it sounds, the Raiders look up and find themselves in first place in the AFC West heading into this game, but I don't think it will last long. First off, the Raiders have been historically bad against KC in Oakland, as the Chiefs have posted a mind boggling 10-3 record against the spread in their last 13 visits to the Alameda County Coliseum.

The Raiders have also been getting quite lucky, as their defense is statistically one of the worst in the league on both sides of the ball. The Raiders allow 122 rushing yards per game, and 4.9 yards per carry to opposing running backs. But wait, it gets worse, as they allow opposing passers to average 331 yards per game, and they certainly can't pressure the QB with only seven sacks on the year. I think the Chiefs, after a bye, will smash their rivals on the road.

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Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

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 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 over Oakland Raiders (5 Units)

Andy Reid is 15-2 after the bye week. The weather is supposed to be ugly Sunday with rain and high winds, which should favor Kansas City’s style of offense. Kansas City 24, Oakland 19.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Seattle Seahawks -6.5 over Atlanta Falcons (4 Units)

Atlanta has been one of the biggest surprises if the NFL this season, and Seattle at times has looked like they should be picking in the top 5, not challenging for a Super Bowl. I believe Seattle eats on Sunday. Fire up all Seahawks in DFS this week. Seattle 38, Atlanta 21.

Houston Texans -3 over Indianapolis Colts (5 Units)

The Colts have been dominated at both lines of scrimmage this year. I expect a big game from Lamar Miller, and I think the Texans D will be able to put loads of pressure on Luck and get some sacks/turnovers. Houston D is one of my favorite fantasy options this week as well. Texans 27, Colts 17.

Miami Dolphins +7.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

Ben Roethlisberger is a different QB on the road than he is at home. The Steelers defense can be beat, and this is a must-win game for the Dolphins if they want to get back into the wildcard race. I think the return of Arian Foster will be the difference to keep this one close. Steelers 26, Dolphins 20.

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October 15, 2016

Week 6 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.

With that said, here are my Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Cincinnati Bengals +9 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

This is really just a case of the line being too large in my opinion. The Patriots are pretty clearly the best team in the league with Tom Brady back, and the angry-Brady narrative will likely lead to the Pats spreads being more inflated than normal. It's tough to bet against them, but the Bengals are a pretty good team, and there's just too many ways that they cover nine points. It's possible they keep it fairly close - it's also possible they're trailing much of the game and sneak into a back-door cover. Either way, I think there's too much value on the Bengals getting nine not to take them.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Miami Dolphins +7.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

This is another line that's too high. Miami has not been good - in fact they've been one of the worst teams in the league. They're coming off a bad loss to the Titans at home, while the Steelers are coming off a big 31-13 win over the Jets. It's a week-to-week league, though, and Ben Roethlisberger has historically been much better at home than on the road. I like Le'Veon Bell to have a huge game, but I think Miami bounces back from last week and keeps this one close.

San Francisco 49ers +9 over Buffalo Bills (5 Units)

Ok - I know this is my third game taking a ton of points - but this line is perhaps the most egregious of them all. The Bills have gotten hot since firing their offensive coordinator, with big wins over the Cardinals and Patriots. Last week's win over the Rams was more expected, but they've clearly been playing pretty well of late. The 49ers, on the other hand, have been going in the wrong direction since a Week 1 thrashing of the Rams and have made the switch to Colin Kaepernick. Buffalo is likely to win the game, but I think the quarterback switch gives the 49ers a bit of a spark, and this one won't be decided until late. Take the nine.

Washington Redskins +3 over Philadelphia Eagles (5 Units)

The Redskins have righted the ship since an 0-2 start, and have an important division game at home this week. Carson Wentz finally threw his first interception in the final minute of the game last week, and the Eagles suffered their first loss of the year. Although they've been quite impressive, I expect some regression from Philadelphia. The defense looks legit, but Wentz is likely to make a few more mistakes. I don't think the level they've played at in the first four games of the year is truly reflective of how good they are. By season's end, I think Philly will be a more middle-of-the-road team, and Washington will be the team on top of the division. I like the Redskins to win at home outright - even without Jordan Reed, who is likely out with a concussion, so I'll certainly take the three.

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October 14, 2016

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 6

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 5 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 - Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. ATL), $6,9000
RB - Lamar Miller, Houston Texans (vs. IND), $6,600
RB - DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (vs. KC), $4,200
WR - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (at CHI), $7,800
WR - Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (vs. LA), $7,200
WR - Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers (at MIA), $4,700
TE - Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks (vs. ATL), $4,900
FLEX - Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (at SEA), $4,800
DST - Jacksonville Jaguars DST (at CHI), $2,700

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

1. Kevin - Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars: In our DFS Round Table post this week, Robinson was my choice. I think he's a great option in both GPPs and cash games. Priced on DraftKings as the WR7, A-Rob goes into Week 6 as the WR2 in my rankings. After leading the league with 14 touchdown receptions last season, Robinson got three TDs in his two games prior to the bye and has double-digit targets in three of four games. It wouldn't surprise me if this is the first week of the year that he goes over 100 yards and scores.

Comments by Sean: I'm a huge A-Rob fan. I went all-in Week 3 when they faced the Ravens and was rewarded with two scores, and a boost to my bankroll. He has a great matchup vs. the Bears so I am on board with this play. I think this is a very good game to stack as well.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Sean - Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks: Now is the time to get on board the Jimmy Graham Express. Two consecutive games with eight or more targets, and over 20 DK points in each of them. The Seahawks have a very good matchup vs. the Falcons. I think Graham has another 20-plus point week.

Comments by Kevin: Graham has finished as a top-five fantasy TE in back-to-back weeks before Seattle's bye and gets a phenomenal matchup this week against the Falcons. Based on some of the tight ends priced around him (e.g., Delanie Walker at $5,500 and Martellus Bennett at $4,900 as examples), Graham will likely be relatively low-owned with plenty of upside. I like this pick.

3. Kevin - Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks: Despite the injuries that Wilson has dealt with earlier this season (yet not missed any time), I like the fact that he had his bye last week. Before the bye, Wilson had his best game of the season (23/32, 309 yards, three TDs). With the emergence of Graham, Wilson has as much upside as any quarterback this week.

Comments by Sean: Kevin stole my pick here. I absolutely love Russell Wilson this week. Everyone will want to get a piece of the Saints/Panthers game, but I think Wilson could be the highest-scoring QB of the week. Wilson also comes with a 1K savings over Drew Brees.

4. Sean - DeAndre Washington, RB, Raiders: Everyone will be off DeAndre this week after his poor performance vs. a very bad Chargers defense. Latavius Murray missed practice again on Thursday and his status is still up in the air for this week's game. Even if Murray is able to go, Washington will still likely see 10-12 touches. This is a great spot for a bounce back.

Comments by Kevin: In our "draft" last week, I wasn't crazy about Washington, but I like him more this week than last. His ownership should be much lower than last week and he has shown the ability to be productive on a per-touch basis (5.48 YPC this season). If the Raiders go with a hot-hand approach, Washington has as much potential as Jalen Richard to develop the "hot hand" this week.

5. Kevin - Lamar Miller, RB, Texans: Miller had just nine touches in last week's 18-point loss to the Vikings. Before that, however, he had a minimum of 22 touches in each of the first four games with an average of 26.5 over that stretch. In a favorable matchup against the Colts, who have allowed the third-most PPR points to opposing running backs this season, Miller could be in store for a massive (and much more efficient) workload. At his $6,600 price point, I love the upside.

Comments by Sean: Miller might go overlooked this week as well giving the recency bias after his bad game vs. Minnesota last week. He is in a very good spot this week vs the Colts, and I expect the Texans to be able to move the ball at will vs. them.

6. Sean - Marvin Jones, WR, Lions: His production has dipped since his red hot start, but I like him a lot here in tournaments this week. I would expect ownership to fall in under 7% for him this week as the majority of players will be paying up for RBs this week. Jones is also in a weird price point surrounded by Dez Bryant and Alshon Jeffery, two receivers that I don't expect people to be playing either. The Lions play better at home, so I think Jones will be back to getting his targets and points.

Comments by Kevin: Jones is coming off a sub-par performance (4/37/1 on five targets) last week, but he had 74-plus yards in each of his first four games including games with 118 yards and 205 yards. I'm on board with Jones this week.

7. Kevin - Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons: The duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have exactly 1,000 YFS through five games. With just shy of 40 percent (39.87%) of the RB touches, Coleman has a total of five touchdowns and most of his production has come in the receiving game (17/313/1). Coleman has shown what he could do in a tough matchup (last week vs. Broncos) and I think he should be very low-owned given the tough matchup this week.

Comments by Sean: Sadly, this will be the first time I played Tevin Coleman on a full slate this season. This is the perfect complementary play to go alongside the Russell/Graham stack. If you think Seattle is going to go off this week like I do, then Atlanta will be playing from behind which should lead to a ton of garbage time targets for Coleman. Coleman should be able to hit value this week.

8. Sean - Sammie Coates, WR, Steelers: I was stuck with the final two picks this week. I like Coates spot this week, and he isn't nearly as high priced as he should be giving the fact that he has solidified himself as the team's No. 2 WR. Coates missed practiced today with a hand injury, which might be one of the reasons why he dropped so many passes last week! If Coates doesn't play, I would 2v2 swap him and my D with Michael Thomas/Titans D.

Comments by Kevin: I loved Coates last week. The leader in 40-yard receptions this season, Coates is a big play waiting to happen. My only concern with him this week is the expected spike in ownership, but his salary is great (assuming that he plays).

9. Sean - Jacksonville Jaguars, DST: Defenses are such a crap shoot each week. I tend to play roughly 5-7 defenses each week in my GPP lineups. I usually only play defenses at home, but from time to time I will roll the dice on a small road dog. This play will be under 3% owned, and it could be the difference in a big pay day.

Comments by Kevin: Brian Hoyer has three consecutive 300-yard, multi-TD games, but he's Brian Hoyer. I like Hoyer actually from a fantasy perspective this week, but did I mention that he's Brian Hoyer. I have no qualms with taking a defense facing the great Brian Hoyer.

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October 13, 2016

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 6

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 6?

Sean Beazley: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs ($6,300)

Roster construction last week was cheap RB and pay up for WR. This week, I expect it to be the exact opposite as there are so many high priced RBs in great matchups. Cam Meredith will likely be one of the highest-owned players to get those stud RBs in. I think this week a more balanced approach will be key to differentiate yourself from the pack. One of those targets I like this week is Jeremy Maclin. Maclin is priced outside the top 20 this week, and he gets a very juicy matchup vs. the Raiders, who can’t stop anyone. Maclin has had success in the past vs. the Raiders (12/149/3 last season) and I think he has top-five upside this week. Fire him up in GPPs.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Kevin Hanson: Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,500)

There are plenty of players that I considered, but I absolutely love Allen Robinson this week. While there are six other receivers priced higher than A-Rob, the third-year wideout is my second-ranked receiver after Antonio Brown ($10,000) this week. The volume of targets has been there for Robinson, who has double-digit targets in three of four games. After leading (tied) the league with 14 touchdowns last season, Robinson has three touchdowns in his past two games before the bye. That said, the immensely talented receivers has yet to have that monster game that he's capable of producing and it wouldn't surprise me if it happened against a beatable Bears secondary that just gave up 10/171/1 last week to T.Y. Hilton.

Brendan Donahue: Sammie Coates, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,700)

While I don't expect Coates to duplicate exactly what he did last week, he is certainly trending in that direction. In the past two weeks, he has 12 catches for 218 yards and two touchdowns on 19 targets. He actually had a few drops last week that cost him an even bigger day and an easy touchdown, but Ben Roethlisberger is clearly gaining confidence in him. In a great matchup against the Dolphins defense that ranks 29th against WRs, he is a great value at only $4,700.

John Trifone: Robert Woods, WR, Buffalo Bills ($4,200) and Cam Meredith, WR, Chicago Bears ($4,100)

My DK pick this week is going to go back to some value options and I'm going to give two WRs in the same range: Robert Woods for $4,200 and Cam Meredith for $4,100. Woods is coming off a poor game, catching only two of his six targets this past week. However, he's got a good matchup coming up and is the Bills top wideout option with Sammy Watkins out. His performance this past week should keep his ownership down.

Meredith also has a good matchup at home against the Jags this week. He played almost the entire game, replacing Kevin White's role, and the presence of Eddie Royal and Alshon Jeffrey on the field did not hurt his production. In the limited time he has played, he's been heavily targeted and made the most of his opportunities. Both wideouts are great value options to open up your lineup to some of the more expensive guys.

Dan Yanotchko: Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans ($6,600)

This week, I really like Lamar Miller of the Texans, as he has a great matchup against the Colts. Miller has averaged 74 yards per game, and added 14 receptions as well, as I believe he will be focal point of their offense this week. The Colts have allowed 109.6 yards per game, 4.6 yards per carry, and five touchdowns on the ground. This week will be a breakthrough for Miller, against a really bad Colts front seven.

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October 11, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 6 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 6 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 TEs (Weeks 6-16):

1. Washington Redskins (Jordan Reed): 9.37
2. New York Giants (Will Tye, Larry Donnell): 8.94
3. Minnesota Vikings (Kyle Rudolph): 8.68
4. San Diego Chargers (Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry): 8.35
5. Dallas Cowboys (Jason Witten): 8.33

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 6-16):

28. Denver Broncos (Virgil Green): 5.94
29. Cleveland Browns (Gary Barnidge): 5.82
30. Oakland Raiders (Clive Walford): 5.45
31. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett): 5.04
32. Miami Dolphins (Jordan Cameron): 4.49

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football TE 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 6 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 6 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 6-16):

1. Dallas Cowboys (Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams): 25.46
2. Washington Redskins (DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder): 25.36
3. New York Giants (Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz): 25.04
4. Philadelphia Eagles (Jordan Matthews): 24.83
5. Minnesota Vikings (Stefon Diggs): 24.77

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 6-16):

28. Miami Dolphins (Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker): 22.17
29. Los Angeles Rams (Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin): 22.13
30. New England Patriots (Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan): 21.73
31. San Diego Chargers (Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams): 21.28
32. New York Jets (Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa, Eric Decker): 20.51

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 RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 6 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 6 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 RBs (Weeks 6-16):

1. Philadelphia Eagles (Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles): 20.31
T2. Cincinnati Bengals (Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard): 19.85
T2. Oakland Raiders (Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard): 19.85
4. Green Bay Packers (Eddie Lacy, James Starks): 19.43
5. Arizona Cardinals (David Johnson): 19.02

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 6-16):

28. Chicago Bears (Jordan Howard, Jeremy Langford): 17.00
29. Minnesota Vikings (Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata): 16.97
30. Miami Dolphins (Arian Foster, Jay Ajayi): 16.59
31. Washington Redskins (Matt Jones): 16.35
32. Indianapolis Colts (Frank Gore): 15.98

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 QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 6 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 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 6-16):

1. Minnesota Vikings (Sam Bradford): 18.98
2. Washington Redskins (Kirk Cousins): 18.90
3. Houston Texans (Brock Osweiler): 18.80
4. New York Giants (Eli Manning): 18.04
5. Philadelphia Eagles (Carson Wentz): 17.80

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 6-16):

28. Cleveland Browns (Cody Kessler, Charlie Whitehurst): 14.89
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 14.87
30. Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck): 14.28
31. New England Patriots (Tom Brady): 14.01
32. Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill): 13.16

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football QB SOS

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

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October 09, 2016

Week 5 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 5 NFL picks against the spread:

Dallas Cowboys vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Under 45.5 (3 Units)

So far, the Dak Prescott "era" (until Tony Romo returns, anyways) has gotten off to a great start -- only a one-point loss away from a perfect 4-0 start. Prescott has yet to turn the ball over and has accounted for five touchdowns -- three passing and two rushing. The Cowboys have scored 24-plus points in three consecutive games (WAS, CHI and SF), but they face their toughest test of the season against the Bengals. And they are likely to be without Dez Bryant for another game.

On the other side of the ball, the Bengals are without tight end Tyler Eifert for another week. They obviously have an All-World talent in A.J. Green, but Andy Dalton has yet to throw multiple touchdowns in a game this season. And aside from the Broncos (206 passing yards and no touchdowns), Dalton has not faced any other elite secondaries. This game is shaping up to be a 21-17, 24-20 type of game.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Denver Broncos -4 over Atlanta Falcons (4 Units)

What a week it was Matt Ryan and Julio Jones! Coming off a 500-yard passing and 300-yard receiving game last week, expectations should be greatly lowered for Week 5. The Broncos have allowed only one 200-yard passer (as noted above -- Dalton, 206 yards) and have held Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and Jameis Winston to less than 200 yards so far this season.

Even though Paxton Lynch will get the start, the duo of Emmanuel Sanders (17/205/3 in pas two games) and Demaryius Thomas (90-plus yards in three consecutive games) have been productive. The Falcons continue to struggle to get to the quarterback. After ranking last in the NFL last season with 19 sacks, they are tied with the Giants with a league-low four sacks this year.

And while a clean pocket will certainly help a rookie quarterback, we should expect to see more C.J. Anderson this week. CJA had 47 touches in the team's first two games and just 35 in the past two games. I like the Broncos to win by a touchdown this week.

Green Bay Packers -7 over New York Giants (3 Units)

Before their bye, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers showed that their offense can be explosive with four first-half touchdowns. They nearly allowed the Lions to come back, but I expect them to keep their foot on the gas pedal longer this time around. Historically, Rodgers is nearly flawless at Lambeau -- 51-13 W-L, 143:26 TD-INT ratio and 110.2 passer rating.

The Packers will force Eli Manning and Odell Beckham to be one-dimensional. Not only is Rashad Jennings (thumb) likely to miss another game, but the Packers have limited opposing running backs to just 2.0 yards per carry. I do expect better results from OBJ this week, but I'm not sure it'll be enough.

With the Packers getting an extra week to rest, which should come in handy considering some of the defensive injuries they were battling prior to the bye, and the Giants playing on a short week (played Monday), I'm comfortable giving the touchdown.

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

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Week 5 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, Martellus Bennett is listed below as a "start" for Week 5. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 5 with him as my starting tight end.

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

In other words, if you owned both Jordan Reed and Bennett, you should start Reed -- and in turn, bench Bennett.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 5 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 5:

TE - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (at DET)

Ertz has missed the past two games (and a bye), but he was targeted seven times in the opener and finished with six catches for 58 yards. If there's any concern with Ertz this week, it's that he is returning from a multiple-game absence following his injury, but he has been practicing in full.

The matchup couldn't be more perfect. Not only have the Lions allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, but they have surrendered a total of six touchdowns to the position in four games. In addition, they have allowed a top-10 producer every week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (vs. HOU)

Only Carolina's Greg Olsen has scored more fantasy points among tight ends than Rudolph, who has finished as the weekly TE11, TE10, TE6 and TE4, respectively. On pace for 76/884/12, Rudolph has scored a touchdown in all three games with Sam Bradford and he has a minimum of seven targets in every game this season.

Of course, he won't score every week and the matchup is not good. The Texans have limited opposing tight ends to the third-fewest fantasy points this season. Moreover, they have allowed just 7.67 Y/R to the position. Only the Eagles (7.17 Y/R) have allowed less and no team has limited opposing tight ends to a lower catch rate (46.15 percent).

With all of that said, Rudolph should remain one of the most heavily targeted tight ends this week. Not only has he shown a great rapport with Bradford, but Stefon Diggs is listed as doubtful.

TE - Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (at IND)

One week after leading all tight ends in fantasy points, Miller had just three catches for 31 yards, but he scored a touchdown and finished as the weekly TE11. In Brian Hoyer's two starts, Miller now has 11 catches (on 12 targets) for 109 yards and three touchdowns. With Kevin White placed on IR, perhaps Miller seems more targets in Week 5 than he had last week. White -- not Alshon Jeffery -- leads the Bears in targets this season and he has had 23 of them from Hoyer over the past two weeks.

TE - Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots (at CLE)

In fantasy terms, it has been boom-or-bust for Bennett this season. Here's Bennett's game log: 3/14 (TE38), 5/114/1 (TE2), 2/10 (TE33) and 5/109 (TE6). With Tom Brady back from suspension, perhaps this is the week that Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) returns to form.

That said, Bennett is a viable starting option as well as no team is projected to score more points than the Patriots and a shift from being the league's run-heaviest team to more pass-oriented with Brady back should be expected.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 5:

TE - Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts (vs. CHI)

Allen had four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Since then, however, he has finished with 35 yards or less and outside of the top-20 weekly fantasy tight ends every week. During that three-game span, he has just seven catches for 80 yards and no touchdowns.

TE - Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (at LA)

With Sammy Watkins out in Week 4, Clay converted five-of-seven targets into 47 yards. With Watkins on IR, Clay may see a similar volume of targets, but it's unlikely that he has a big game. On the season, he has 12 catches for 114 yards and has yet to finish any better than a weekly TE18. Meanwhile, the Rams have allowed the second-lowest catch rate (51.72 percent) to tight ends and the eighth-lowest Y/R (9.13) to the position.

TE - Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (at SD)

In the past two games (with Antonio Gates sidelined), Henry has a total of nine catches for 137 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. In the first two games (with Gates active), Henry had one catch for 20 yards. With the injuries on the roster, it's possible that Henry maintains a significant role as a pass-catcher going forward. That said, Gates (hamstring) is likely to return this week and perhaps that reduces Henry's role in the short term.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 5

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October 08, 2016

Week 5 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

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 5 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans +7 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

This feels like a weird game, and I know the new US Bank stadium is a really tough place to play, but this game still feels closer than a touchdown. The Texans do come into this game boasting one of the best passing defenses in the league, as they only allow 163 yards per game, one touchdown through the air, and they have also compiled 11 sacks so far as well. I know the Vikings just pasted the Giants on Monday night, but Sam Bradford may be without his best weapon in Stefon Diggs for this game. The Texans have enough aerial firepower to catchup, and I think they will keep this one close.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New York Jets +7.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been horrible and the Steelers are coming off of a shellacking of the Chiefs at home. What is to say that they won't win by 30 again?

The the Jets still have a magnificent front-seven that only gives up 3.1 yards per carry and 70.3 yards per game, so they should be able to slow Le'Veon Bell. The Steelers are also not that great against the pass, as they allow 317 yards passing per game, and they have only accumulated five sacks so far on the year. Now I think the Steelers will win this game, but with the passing attack the Jets bring to the table, I think they will get the back-door cover.

San Diego Chargers +3.5 over Oakland Raiders (3 Units)

The Chargers have been woeful about closing out teams this year, as they should actually be 3-1 rather than 1-3 so far. Do you know what the other woeful thing that there is in this game though? The answer is the Oakland Raiders defense, of course. The Raiders allow 326 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks, and they also get limited pressure with only five sacks. They are also one of the worst in the league at stopping the run as well, as they give up 134 yards per game, and a whopping 5.1 yards per carry. This rivalry goes back so far, and this is a game that I see the Chargers taking on the road.

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Week 5 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, Steve Smith is listed below as a "start" for Week 5. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 5 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 A.J. Green, Jarvis Landry and Smith and can only start two receivers, you should start AJG and Landry -- and in turn, bench Smith.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 5 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 5:

WR - Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (vs. CLE)

Minus a suspended Tom Brady, the Patriots were the league's most run-heavy team (51.59 percent) in the first quarter of the season. With Brady's suspension over, however, that's about to change and perhaps no player will benefit more than Edelman.

Through the first four games of the season, Edelman has averaged 4.75 catches for 49 yards per game with no touchdowns. In those games, he has finished as the WR35, WR39, WR47 and WR87, respectively, and 55 receivers totalled more fantasy points.

In his past 16 games played with Brady, however, Edelman has a total of 119 catches for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns (on 176 targets). Based on Vegas odds, the Patriots have this week's highest implied total. And while a blowout may be a concern, let's not kid ourselves -- Brady, Belichick & Co. aren't going to take their foot off the gas after last week's home shutout loss.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (vs. ATL)

Only Miami's Jarvis Landry (34.09%) has greater share of his team's targets than Sanders (33.60%). With eight-plus targets in every game this season, Sanders has 13 in each of the past two games. In those two games, Sanders has 17 catches for 205 yards and three touchdowns. Sanders' production hasn't come at the expense of Demaryius Thomas, who has a minimum of 90-plus yards in three consecutive games.

Perhaps the Broncos dial up more runs than they have over the past couple of weeks (50.8-percent pass in Weeks 1/2 vs. 56.7-percent pass in Weeks 3/4) with Paxton Lynch expected to start, but Sanders (and Thomas) remain strong options. While the Falcons have talented corners, they have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (at DET)

Matthews had just 2/19/1 on three targets in their blowout win over the Steelers before their bye, but Matthews had a total of 22 targets in the team's first two games. This week's matchup is about as favorable as it gets. The Lions rank 32nd in Football Outsiders DVOA against the pass and they have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. Matthews is a high-end WR2/back-end WR1 this week.

WR - Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens (vs. WAS)

It took a couple of weeks, but Smith is looking healthy and re-emerged as the team's go-to receiver. With eight catches on 11 targets in each of the past two games, Smith has a total of 198 yards and a touchdown in those games. Washington has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.

WR - Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. NYJ)

Technically, Coates is my WR27 in this week's rankings. Typically, I only list top-24 options in this section, but Coates has emerged as a viable WR3/flex option and he has plenty of upside this week. The other reason I list him here is that he is owned in only 31 percent of Yahoo! leagues in case you need a bye-week replacement.

No receiver has more 40-yard receptions than Coates (five); Julio Jones (four) is second. Surprisingly, the big-play receiver has yet to score a touchdown, but he has a total of 282 yards (19th-most in NFL). While Coates is second to Jones in Y/R this season, no team has allowed more Y/R to opposing wide receivers than the Jets (16.6 Y/R).

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 5:

WR - Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (vs. PHI)

Earlier in the week, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said, "Tate's going to ... have a huge week." Um, ok. Maybe Tate will, but I'm taking a wait-and-see approach before inserting him into my starting lineup. I'd rather be a week late than (many weeks?) too early.

With Calvin Johnson retiring, it seemed as though Tate -- not Marvin Jones -- would be the 1(a) receiver for the Lions. With only 17.11 percent of the team's targets, Tate has barely been the No. 3. While he has more targets (26) than Anquan Boldin (24), he is third among the team's receivers in catches (14) and fifth on the team in receiving yards (95).

While he may not finish outside the top-60 fantasy receivers like all other games this year, the team's matchup against the Eagles isn't great. Coming off their bye, the Eagles have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season.

WR - Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens (vs. WAS)

Starting his tenure in Baltimore with a bang, Wallace has turned into a TD-dependent fantasy option. Scoring three touchdowns in the first two games, Wallace finished as a top-10 fantasy producer in both of those games. With no touchdowns in the past two games, Wallace has finished outside the top-40 weekly fantasy receivers each week. Wallace has less than 45 yards in three consecutive games and Smith (see above) is clearly my favorite Ravens receiver to play this week.

WR - Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts (vs. CHI)

The bad news is that Dorsett had just one catch last week. The good news is that it was a 64-yard touchdown. Of course, you can't bank on a one-catch wide receiver finishing as a top-20 receiver (WR16 last week) every week.

It's not a bad matchup against the Bears; in fact, it's a good one. But even with Donte Moncrief out, Dorsett has just four and three targets in Weeks 3 and 4, respectively. More of a dice roll than anything, Dorsett is little more than a flex option until we see more involvement from the second-year speedster.

WR - Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at CAR)

Even though Jameis Winston has thrown the ball an NFL-high 177 times through four games, Jackson has only 12 catches (on 27 targets) for 137 yards and no touchdowns. Yet to score more than 4.4 fantasy points in any game, Jackson has the 86th-most fantasy points among wide receivers. With only 14.7 percent of the fantasy points scored among the team's wide receivers, Jackson (15.61%) is third behind fellow receivers Mike Evans (27.75%) and Adam Humphries (16.76%) in target share. V-Jax doesn't belong on your bench, however; he belongs on your league's waiver wire.

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Week 5 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, Devonta Freeman is listed below as a "start" for Week 5. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 5 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 Le'Veon Bell, C.J. Anderson and Freeman and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and CJA -- and in turn, bench Freeman.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 5 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 5:

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (vs. WAS)

To be clear, I prefer Kenneth Dixon long-term (e.g., for the rest of the season). Even though Dixon (knee) is set to make his NFL debut, I expect (more) big things from West in Week 5. With Justin Forsett released, West ran wild last week with a 23/113/1 rushing performance and scored the eighth-most fantasy points among running backs for the week.

West gets a favorable matchup to exploit in Week 5. The former Towson State product faces a Washington defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. In addition, no defense has allowed a higher yards-per-carry average to running backs than Washington (5.12 YPC).

If you own West, start him with confidence.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (at DEN)

Despite a relatively poor Week 1 outing, Freeman has a minimum of 15 touches in all four games this season despite getting only 54.55 percent of the team's running back touches. The dynamic duo of Freeman (RB13 so far in 2015) and Tevin Coleman (RB12) have all but two of the team's running back touches and there is some concern (see below) for Coleman's ability to play a full allocation of snaps this week.

While Freeman has averaged 16.5 touches per game, it's not unreasonable to expect 20-plus this week. Despite the relatively tough matchup, Freeman is a viable RB2 (perhaps borderline RB1 this week).

RB - Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (at IND)

Howard handled a massive workload in Week 4 and produced for the Bears and his fantasy owners. The rookie out of Indiana gained 111 yards on 23 carries and added three catches for 21 yards. In his past two games, Howard has a total of 224 yards from scrimmage.

The workload should be there this week as Jeremy Langford is listed as doubtful and Howard gets a favorable matchup. Through a quarter of the season, the Colts have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

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

If "slow and steady" wins the race, then Gore is your guy. The offensive line has continued to have its share of issues and Gore is once again averaging less than 4.0 YPC. The good news, however, is that Gore has a minimum of 16 touches in all four games and a total of 43 in the past two games.

Gore has finished as a top-15 fantasy running back in three straight games. As a home favorite, the Colts are projected to be a top-five scoring offense this week based on Vegas odds.

RB - DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (vs. SD)

One year after Latavius Murray had more 15-touch games than any player in the NFL, his usage has declined every week: 15, 14, 11 and 10 touches, respectively. With Murray (turf toe) ruled out for Week 5, it will likely be Washington that leads the backfield in touches. After Murray (45.46 percent), Washington (25.46 percent) is second on the team in usage, but Jalen Richard (20.91 percent) is not far behind. If there's any concern with Washington this week, it's that he forms a committee with Richard and the team goes with a hot-hand approach.

That said, Washington has been effective on a per-touch basis. Not only has he averaged 6.68 YPC on the season, but he has averaged over 6.0 YPC in three consecutive games. On the other hand, Richard has averaged just 4.0 YPC in the past three games.

In addition, the Chargers are about as good of a matchup as any on the slate. Surrendering the third-most fantasy points to the position, San Diego has allowed a total of eight running back touchdowns -- six rushing and two receiving. There could be plenty of scoring opportunities as this game features the highest over/under of the week and only the Pats, Steelers and Packers are projected to score more points than the Raiders.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 5:

RB - Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (at DEN)

Due to elevated risks, it's perhaps not the wisest of moves for Coleman (sickle cell trait) to play in Denver's high altitude. (Of course, I suppose you can argue that playing this game we love in general isn't the wisest move for a player's long-term health.) That said, Coleman says that he will play yet stay in communication with the team's doctors throughout the game. With an approximate 55/45 split between Freeman and Coleman this season, I wouldn't be surprised if Coleman's workload is scaled back some this week. At the moment, Coleman is ranked outside of my top-24 fantasy running backs.

RB - Rashad Jennings and Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (at GB)

It appears that Jennings (thumb) will miss another game this week. Regardless of which Giants running back draws the start this week, he (all of them) should remain on your fantasy bench. Not only have the Packers allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but they have limited them to just 2.0 YPC (64/128/1 rushing) this season.

RB - Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (vs. TEN)

With Arian Foster listed as doubtful for Week 5, Ajayi should get the largest share of work in Week 5. Since Foster was hurt in Week 2, Ajayi has had five, seven and six carries, but it seems like he could get a larger share this week. That said, the Titans have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. In other words, Ajayi is nothing more than a flex option this week.

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Week 5 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, Carson Wentz is listed below as a "start" for Week 5. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 5 with him as my starting quarterback.

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

In other words, if you owned both Ben Roethlisberger and Wentz, you should start Big Ben -- and in turn, bench Wentz.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 5 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 5:

QB - Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (at DET)

It has been a perfect 3-0 start in Wentzlvania and the games haven't been all that 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 games 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. Only the Falcons have allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Lions this season. One other positive for Wentz is the that Zach Ertz (ribs) will return in Week 5 and the Lions have really struggled defending tight ends. I expect the good times to continue to roll for last year's No. 2 overall pick.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs. SD)

A top-three fantasy quarterback through the first quarter of the season, Carr has finished as a top-eight weekly fantasy quarterback and scored 22-plus fantasy points in three of his four games. Only three teams -- Patriots, Steelers and Packers -- are projected to score more points this week based on implied point totals from Vegas odds.

In four career games versus the Chargers, Carr has thrown a total of eight touchdowns and only two interceptions and the Chargers have just lost their best cornerback, Jason Verrett, for the season. Surrendering the 11th-most fantasy points to the position, the Chargers have allowed 300-plus passing yards in three of four games and the fifth-most passing yards this season.

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

The other quarterback in this game is a viable start as well. The Chargers have been hit hard by the injury bug this season. Not only have they lost Verrett, they lost Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead to season-ending ACL injuries in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively. Despite the injuries, Rivers is the QB10 going into Week 5 and has thrown for 320-plus yards in back-to-back games.

Even though the Chargers are underdogs in this game, it's the only game with an over/under above 50 points and San Diego is still projected to score the 10th-most points this week. In addition, the Raiders have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. While they have allowed only one passing touchdown in their past two games, they have allowed a weekly QB6 (or better) in three of four games this season.

QB - Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears (at IND)

In a week with Drew Brees, Blake Bortles and Russell Wilson all on bye, Hoyer is a viable streaming option this week. In fact, if you were forced to start him over the past two weeks, you were happy with the results. Finishing as the QB11 and QB7 in his two starts, Hoyer threw for 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns in each game. Part of that is due to volume as Hoyer has a total of 85 pass attempts combined in those two games. The Colts secondary is healthy now, but they are coming off a trip to London without a bye.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 5:

QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at DEN)

Not only is Ryan the top-scoring fantasy quarterback at this point of the season, but he has yet to finish outside the top-eight weekly fantasy quarterbacks. Ryan has thrown for a league-best 1,473 yards and 11 touchdowns with career and league highs in completion percentage (72.1), Y/A (10.52), passer rating (126.3) and TD% (7.9). Despite what seemed to be a difficult matchup last week, Ryan threw for 503 yards and four touchdowns against the Panthers.

That said, his numbers will eventually come back down to earth and this week's matchup is as tough as it gets. Through four weeks, the Broncos have limited opposing passers -- Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston -- to 206 yards or less. In addition, they have given up only two passing touchdowns while intercepting five passes.

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

Stafford has had a relatively inconsistent start to his season: QB4, QB20, QB2 and QB29. The matchup this week isn't great as Jim Schwartz, Stafford's former head coach, has the Eagles playing great defense. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season and they held Ben Roethlisberger to less than seven fantasy points in their past game. In Big Ben's other three games, he has finished as a weekly top-12 performer. With some other streaming options having favorable matchups this week, Stafford is outside the top-12 of my fantasy quarterbacks in Week 5.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (at BAL)

Cousins has thrown zero, one, two and three touchdowns, respectively, in his first four games this season. So, perhaps he's due for four this week? And Cousins has scored at least 17.32 fantasy points in each of his past three games.

That said, the Ravens have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Even though they have surrendered eight touchdowns over their past three games, they have held three of four quarterbacks to under 200 passing yards including Blake Bortles and Derek Carr in back-to-back games. In addition, only the Broncos (5.58) have held quarterbacks to fewer passing yards per attempt than the Ravens (5.97).

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Week 5 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

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 5 NFL picks against the spread:

Denver Broncos -5 over Atlanta Falcons (4 Units)

The Falcons have scored 35 points in three straight games. Two of those games were vs. awful defenses (Oakland and New Orleans) and last week vs. an overrated Panthers defense. This week, they play the Broncos on the road. I think the Broncos defense will be able to put a lot of pressure on Matt Ryan and the Denver corners will do a better job at stopping Julio Jones this week. I think C.J. Anderson is a very sneaky target in DFS this week. I think he sees the end zone twice Sunday. Broncos 27, Falcons 17.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Cincinnati Bengals -2 over Dallas Cowboys (5 Units)

The Cowboys may be 3-1, but they have yet to play a team that is as good as the Bengals are. The Bengals come in at 2-2, but their losses were vs. elite AFC competition (Denver and Pittsburgh). I think this is the first hiccup in Dak Prescott’s young career. Next week at Green Bay will be Prescott’s biggest test to see if he can bounce back after an ugly perfomance. The Bengals defense will be a great low-owned option that has enormous upside. I think this game gets out of hand early. Bengals 30, Cowboys 16.

New York Giants +7 over Green Bay Packers (5 Units)

The Packers haven’t been that lights-out juggernaut offense that we have seen in the past. Yes, they laid like 4 first-half touchdowns on the Lions, but couldn't do anything in the 2nd half. This is the perfect rebound game for Eli Manning and the Giants. I think Odell Beckham finally has a big week and the Giants shock the Packers on the road. Giants 26, Packers 23.

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Week 5 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.

With that said, here are my Week 5 NFL picks against the spread:

Detroit Lions +3.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (5 Units)

The Eagles have been unbelievable in the first quarter of the season. What looked like a lost year, after trading away their starting quarterback a few weeks before the season began, Carson Wentz and the Eagle D has come to the rescue. They're 3-0 coming off a bye going on the road to a thus far mediocre Lions team. Detroit has had some injuries, but I like the small home dog here. Philadelphia isn't going undefeated this season, and even though they're coming off a bye, Detroit needs a bounce-back win. I think they get it this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Washington Redskins +4 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

The Ravens are coming off a heart-breaking loss to the Raiders, 28-27 in Week 4. The Redskins, on the other hand, are trying to build off back-to-back wins against the Giants and Browns. Washington was one of my favorite offenses coming into the year, and they've shown just how many weapons they have. Jordan Reed still looks like the primary target for Kirk Cousins, but they have a dangerous receiving corps all around with guys like DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garcon, etc. If they can establish Matt Jones in the running game, I like them to win this game outright, so I'll certainly take the 4 points against a Ravens team that has overachieved thus far.

Cincinnati Bengals -2 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

I don't often like small road favorites, as they are historically a pretty terrible bet. Still, they don't all lose, and I like the Bengals to go into Dallas and get the win this weekend. Cincinnati has not gotten off to a hot start, but their two losses on the year have been at Pittsburgh and to the defending champion Denver Broncos. They're much better than a .500 team, and should take care of the Cowboys this weekend.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears, Over 48 (4 Units)

I love Andrew Luck to have a big game this weekend at home against Chicago. On the other side of the ball, Brian Hoyer and Jordan Howard should feast on a banged-up and terrible Colts defense. I like the Colts to win here, but there should be a lot of scoring on both sides, so I am expecting this game to easily go over the total.

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October 07, 2016

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 5

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 5 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:


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

1. Sean - Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets: Marshall may be part of my GPP core this week as I think he is in a great spot this week vs. the Steelers on the road. The Jets should be playing catchup this week, which should lead to a surplus of targets headed towards Marshall. With Eric Decker out last week, Marshall led the team with 12 targets. I think Marshall could be a sneaky top-three WR option this week.

Comments by Kevin: Despite the volume (22 targets) in his past two games, Marshall has been somewhat disappointing. In fact, Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown more interceptions (nine) than Marshall completions (seven) during that span. Not only does Marshall have a career-low catch rate (41.0 percent), but he has a TD/target rate of only 2.564 percent compared to 7.3+ percent in each of the past three seasons. In other words, it would not surprise me if he caught a TD (or two) as that percentage regresses closer to his career average (5.323 percent).

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Kevin - Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots: During Tom Brady's four-game suspension, Edelman has averaged a 4.75/49 line with no touchdowns. Yawn! In his past 16 games with Brady, however, Edelman has racked up 119 catches (on 176 targets) for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not only do the Patriots get Brady back this week, no team is projected to score more points this week as the Browns are tasked with slowing down a pissed-off Brady. As the 18th-priced receiver for DraftKings main slate of Sunday games, Edelman should easily exceed value (for the first time this season).

Comments by Sean: This will be the cheapest you will get Edelman all season. He is in a great spot vs. the Browns in the classic F.U. spot in Brady’s return. If Brady shows any sign of rust, he will look towards Edelman early and often. He makes for a safe GPP play who should have a floor in the 15-20 point range.

3. Sean - DeAndre Washington, RB, Raiders: This backfield has been up for grabs all season. Latavius Murray had had a decreased workload each week and now he is expected to miss this week's game. I’m rolling the dice with Washington over Jalen Richard. I have had success targeting San Diego’s run defense this season.

Comments by Kevin: I prefer this pick in cash games, not GPPs. I don't hate it; I just don't love it. Here's the good news: Washington has been highly efficient on limited touches (6.68 YPC), Latavius Murray (turf toe) is considered doubtful for Week 5 and the Chargers have allowed eight RB touchdowns (six rushing and two receiving) in four games. The bad news? It's been close to a 50-25-25 split with Murray, Washington and Jalen Richard so (close to) a 50-50 split is possible for Washington and Richard, which could cap Washington's ceiling.

4. Kevin - Todd Gurley, RB, Rams: To modify an old series of antacids commercials, how do you spell disappointment? G-U-R-L-E-Y. Even though Gurley has a league-high 90.91 percent of his team's RB touches, the über-talented second-year back is facing 12-men boxes (or so it seems). Given his struggles (a brutal 2.63 YPC), he should be fairly low-owned this week. From a talent standpoint, however, there is always the chance that he busts out for 150 yards and two scores regardless of matchup, but he has a more favorable matchup compared to the past few weeks.

Comments by Sean: I have heard a lot of talk about Gurley this week. I am just not that excited with the play this week, or playing any Rams in DFS for that matter. Gurley is only averaging 2.6 YPC this year, which is by far the worst in the NFL among qualifying backs. If I make 100 lineups this week, I'll probably only have 1 percent exposure to Gurley (this lineup ... haha). Much better options in this price range and below.

5. Sean - Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Jets: As discussed with Marshall, I like the Jets passing attack this week. Pittsburgh has given up nearly 300 yards of passing in every game this year, which bodes well for a QB at pretty much minimum salary. I think Fitz is more than likely to hit that 4x his price point that you want in GPPs on DK (20 points) than Tom Brady (30 points).

Comments by Kevin: You can't spell "Ryan Fitzpatrick" without an "INT." With a one-to-nine TD-to-INT ratio over his past two games, it can only get better for Fitzpatrick, right? Compared to his salary, however, there is certainly upside and I don't mind this choice.

6. Kevin - Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons: With Tevin Coleman saying that he will play this week, it's not clear how much work he'll get. Considering his health condition (sickle cell anemia), it would be wise to not play given the elevated (no pun intended) risks. What I'm hoping is that Coleman is "active" but not a major part of the action. Even with a 55-45 split in workload so far this season, Freeman has 66 touches (16.5/G) through four games. Assuming the Falcons are playing in catch-up mode and Coleman plays less (than usual), Freeman could get 20-plus touches including a ton of targets on Sunday.

Comments by Sean: At first look, Freeman is a terrible play vs. the league's best defense. But if you really dig deeper, this is a brilliant GPP play. Tevin Coleman’s status is up in the air still for Sunday which could lead to Freeman seeing the bulk of the work. The one place you can attack this defense is with pass-catching backs. Freeman is very cheap giving the opportunity he should see this week.

7. Sean - Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: After the Freeman pick, we were left with a good chunk of change left. I didn't want to pay up for TE this week, so by spending 4K or less on TE and even taking a top-tier defense, it would leave us with a very odd price point for this spot. So, I went with Brown here. Obviously you don't need to know why you should play AB84. If you solely look at roster construction this play fits in perfectly with Fitz & Marshall. The QB-WR1-Opposing WR1 is one of my favorite ways to stack games.

Comments by Kevin: With such a high floor and ceiling, it's always a good idea to own Brown. Only the Patriots are projected to score more points this week than the Steelers. I agree with Sean about the QB with both WR1's being a great GPP stack. Here's a stat I find interesting: Sammie Coates has a league-high five 40-yard receptions with no touchdowns. (That almost seems impossible.) Meanwhile, the Jets have allowed a league-high 16.6 Y/R to opposing WRs. At $3,600, Coates is a nice roll-the-dice GPP play this week as well.

8. Kevin - Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles: The only concern with Ertz is his return from a multi-game injury. Assuming he plays a full complement of snaps, however, Ertz is in a great spot against the Lions. In GPPs, you want upside and Ertz provides that. Only the Falcons have allowed more fantasy points to opposing tight ends and the Lions have allowed six touchdowns to the position.

Comments by Sean: I wrote up Ertz as one of my favorite plays in our DFS Round Table post for Week 5. Detroit is horrible vs TEs and I will have plenty of Ertz this week.

9. Sean - Miami Dolphins DST: The Titans offense has been pretty bad this year. They aren't allowing a lot of sacks, but Marcus Mariota has thrown some costly INTs and D/STs have already scored three touchdowns vs. them this year. If the game is played Sunday, the conditions will be sloppy so I would expect another low-scoring game.

Comments by Kevin: I'm fine with this. D/STs are so hit or miss since defensive scores are so important. It's unclear where or when this game will be played due to Hurricane Matthew, but the Titans have shown a propensity to allow big plays to opposing defenses.

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October 05, 2016

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 5

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 5?

Sean Beazley: Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles, $3,500

One guy that I will be heavily targeting this week is Eagles TE Zach Ertz. Ertz should be 100 percent ready to go this week versus a Lions defense that just bleeds points to TEs. Last season, they were the worst unit versus the position, and this year they are allowing on average 6-64-1.5. This is 21.4 DK points. Ertz is only $3,500 so he more than pays off this value.

Ertz should be somewhat low-owned this week as well considering the increase in ownership that Rob Gronkowski will have with Tom Brady back and the weekly chasers targeting Jordan Reed. Ertz’s price point is perfect given that I expect the recency bias to fall as well on players like Kyle Rudolph, Zach Miller, and Hunter Henry (if Antonio Gates is out), who all scored touchdowns last week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Kevin Hanson: Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, $6,700

During Tom Brady's four-game suspension, Edelman averaged a 4.75/49 line with no touchdowns. Not only do the Patriots get Brady back this week, but they get a favorable matchup against the Browns. In his past 16 games with Brady, Edelman has racked up 119 catches (on 176 targets) for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns. As the 18th-priced receiver for DraftKings main slate of Sunday games, Edelman should easily exceed value (for the first time this season).

Brendan Donahue: Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears, $5,200

Howard was given the lead role in the Bears backfield last week and may have just won the job going forward even when Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey come back from their injuries. John Fox said in his post-game interview that the Bears will "continue riding Howard," which certainly makes sense as he ran for 111 yards on 23 carries and caught three balls for 21 yards against the Lions. With a good matchup against a bad Colts defense this week, he is still priced too low on Draftkings at only $5,200 and should have a rather high floor with the potential to be a top-five RB this week.

John Trifone: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts, $7,300

There are always a ton of guys to like on DK, both for value and matchup-based situations, regardless of price. I typically go with a value guy for my recommendation, but this week, I'm going to go with Andrew Luck. At 1-3, the Colts absolutely need a win at home against the Bears this week. Luck has been solid from a fantasy perspective — the Denver game aside, which any quarterback is going to struggle with. He hasn't had that huge game yet, though, and this is an absolutely prime spot for him to get it. I don't mind going for more value at quarterback, but on raw points, I like Luck to blow up this week. I'm expecting 350+ yards with 4 TDs.

Dan Yanotchko: Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, New York Jets, $5,100

This week I like — and don't laugh — Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Jets at Pittsburgh. Take away his horrible interceptions, and he has averaged 252 yards per game, and has added 60 yards rushing as well. The Steelers have been bad against the pass, allowing 317 yards per game, and a 64-percent completion rate to opposing QBs. I like his value and he's less than Brian Hoyer this week.

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October 02, 2016

Week 4 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 4 NFL picks against the spread:

Arizona Cardinals -7.5 over Los Angeles Rams (4 Units)

With a 2-1 record going into Week 4, the Jeff Fisher-coached Rams are due to for a loss. Seriously though, they are not as good as their record suggests. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are not as bad as their 1-2 record suggests.

Todd Gurley scored a pair of touchdowns last week, but his 3.15 YPC average was a season high. Through three games, the talented back has been bottled up for a less-than-mediocre 2.90 YPC on the season. Arizona should be able to limit Gurley's production and force Case Keenum and a weak group of pass-catchers to try to beat them.

Winning four of their past five head-to-head matchups, the Cardinals have held the Rams to an average of 8.25 points in those four wins. Three of those four victories were by a margin of 17-plus points. In addition, the Cardinals have posted an impressive 16-6 ATS record following an ATS loss. All signs point to the Cards getting back on track this week.

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.

San Diego Chargers -3.5 over New Orleans Saints (3 Units)

Season-ending injuries to key offensive players, such as Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead, weaken the offense's potential in 2016. That said, Philip Rivers & Co. get an exploitable matchup against the Saints this week. Ranked 31st in the NFL in total defense so far this season, the Saints have posted the worst or second-worst team defense numbers in four of the past five seasons.

The Chargers have done a good job of bouncing back from straight-up losses as they have covered six consecutive times under that scenario. In addition, they are 6-1 ATS in their past seven games overall.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Atlanta Falcons (2 Units)

The Panthers lone (regular-season) loss in 2015 was in Atlanta, but I look for them to bounce back in a big way following their 1-2 start. Unlike the Vikings, who were able to apply lots of pressure on Cam Newton, the Falcons have one of the league's least-potent pass rushes.

On the other hand, Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense have looked spectacular, but they have faced shaky defenses. The upcoming three games against the Panthers, Broncos and Seahawks will be a true measure of how potent their offense is.

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

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October 01, 2016

Week 4 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Here are my Week 4 NFL picks against the spread:

Pittsburgh Steelers -5 over Kansas City Chiefs (5 Units)

I whiffed pretty bad on the Steelers last week on the road vs. Philly. I think the return of Le'Veon Bell will give this team a shot in the arm. Pittsburgh at home is a whole another animal. I think they win big. Steelers, 32-20.

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.

Arizona Cardinals -7.5 over Los Angeles Rams (4 Units)

After an embarrassing loss to the Bills, I think Carson Palmer & Co. will put a whooping on the Rams this week. I think Palmer will throw for 3-4 TDs this week in the win, so if you are looking for a sneaky DFS play, Palmer is your guy. Cardinals, 38-16.

Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans, O 41 (3 Units)

My favorite stack this week in DFS is with the Texans. I will be all in on this offense on Sunday. The Titans do not have a match for DeAndre Hopkins. On the other side, I think the loss of J.J. Watt will hurt the Texans D. I think the Titans should have success on offense. Texans 27, Titans 24.

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

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Week 4 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Here are my three Week 4 NFL picks against the spread:

Seattle Seahawks -1 over New York Jets (4 Units)

The test gets even tougher for the Jets this weekend, as they are coming off a six-interception game from Ryan Fitzpatrick, and they only get to face one of the best defenses in Seattle. The Seahawks certainly have not lit the world on fire offensively as of yet, but this has not been necessary as Pete Carroll has the Seattle defense playing very well on both sides of the ball. The Seahawks rush defense has limited opposing ballcarriers to 3.5 yards per carry, and 87 yards per game, while the Legion of Boom has only allowed 163 yards passing per game and a 57.1% completion percentage to boot.

The Jets will be very challenged this game, as they will be missing Eric Decker, and Brandon Marshall is certainly not 100 percent. I like Seattle on the road to right the ship offensively, and the Jets will struggle again on the offensive side of the ball.

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.

Houston Texans -5 over Tennessee Titans (3 Units)

I really don't think that the Texans are as bad as they showed last game against the Patriots, as it was a short week, in Foxboro, and going against the best game planners in the league right now. The Texans did receive some bad news, as they have placed All-World defensive end J.J. Watt on injured reserve, but the still have plenty of great players on their defensive line.

History has not been kind to the Titans in recent years, as they have only scored 12 points combined in their last two games against Houston, and also they are 0-5 against the spread as well. Houston will be able to limit Marcus Mariota, as they allow a league-best 151 yards to opposing quarterbacks, and only a 55.3% completion percentage. This will be a Brock Osweiler gets-back-on-track game, and I look for the Texans to continue their dominance of Tennessee.

Detroit Lions -3.5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

I have to say that I am pretty amazed about how bad the Bears actually are, and they will be missing two key offensive starters in Jay Cutler and Jeremy Langford. The Lions have been dominant when it comes to the number lately, as they have gone 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games.

The Bears have also been really bad on the defensive side of the ball, as they have allowed opposing rushers to go for 142 yards per game, and a robust 4.0 yards per carry. The Bears have also been very generous to opposing passers, as they allow a 67% completion percentage, and they have only sacked the quarterback four times this year. I like the Lions on the road, as I think Chicago just has too many holes in it's roster right now.

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

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