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December 31, 2016

Week 17 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 17 NFL picks against the spread:

Miami Dolphins +9.5 over New England Patriots (4 Units)

Happy New Year to all, and as always, Week 17 gives us divisional matchups, but most of the playoff questions have already been answered. The Patriots will either be the No. 1 or 2 seed, so I really think with Tom Brady and Malcolm Mitchell hobbled, you will see the starters exit the game in the 3rd quarter. The Dolphins have been the Patriots kryptonite at home, as the Patriots are 0-4 against the number in their last four trips to Miami. I think the Patriots will win this game, but winning by 9.5 will be a tall order on the road.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 17 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Denver Broncos -1.5 over Oakland Raiders (5 Units)

This is a series that the Raiders have had the best of in the last few years, but I think Denver will rise up and play this one hard for pride. The Raiders were dealt a stunning loss in losing quarterback Derek Carr to a broken leg last week. The Raiders will enter this game with backup Matt McGloin facing the league's best passing defense that only gives up 187 yards per game. The Broncos have also been great against the number in recent history as well, as they have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. The Broncos will load up the box, so they won't be gashed as bad as they were by the Raiders earlier this year, and I will give the points here.

Detroit Lions +3.5 over Green Bay Packers (3 Units)

This is definitely the marquee game of the week, as the winner guarantees their ticket to the playoffs. The Packers have been on a roll as of late, and Aaron Rodgers is just one game shy of his prediction to run the table. I really like the Lions at home though, due to the fact that they get a Packers passing defense that gives up 265 yards passing per game, and 30 touchdowns on the year. Both of these defenses will have problems stopping the pass, and I have a feeling that the last team to get the ball will win this game. As a berth in the postseason is on the line, I suspect this one will be close, and give me the home 'dog here, even though I think Green Bay will win.

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Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 17

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 17 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 - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. GB), $6,000
RB - Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (at SF), $5,800
RB - Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CAR), $4,900
WR - Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (at SF), $7,200
WR - Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (vs. GB), $6,600
WR - Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (at DET), $5,700
TE - Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (at DET), $3,100
FLEX - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (vs. NO), $8,400
DST - New York Jets (vs. BUF), $2,300

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

1. Sean - Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks ($7,200): The Seahawks have one of the easiest matchups on the slate with a game vs. the 49ers. The Seahawks are one of the playoff teams with something to play for. With Tyler Lockett out for the rest of the year, Baldwin should get peppered with targets. He is very likely to be one of the highest-owned WRs this week, but I think he could 4-5x his price. I will have at least 30% exposure this week.

Comments by Kevin: Baldwin exploded for 13/171/1 on 19 targets against the Cardinals in Week 16. While he may not match last week's career-best numbers, the matchup against the 49ers is about as good as it gets and Baldwin had a nearly identical line (8/164/1) the first time he faced the Niners this season. In a week full of many meaningless games, the Seahawks can earn a first-round bye with a win and Falcons loss.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 17 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Kevin - Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,900): One of my favorite plays of the week, as noted in our Week 17 DFS Roundtable post, Rodgers is set up for a massive workload. Not only is Doug Martin (four-game suspension) out again, but Charles Sims was placed on IR this week. Earlier in the year, Rodgers had 35 touches against the Panthers when both Martin and Sims were out. While I don't expect 35 touches, it's possible that 'Quizz sees in the neighborhood of 25 touches as home favorites and one of seven teams projected to score 25-plus points based on implied totals from Vegas odds.

Comments by Sean: When Doug Martin and Charles Sims were out earlier this year, we saw Rodgers get around 30 touches per game. Carolina has absolutely nothing to play for here, and while the Bucs are pretty much drawing dead, they do have a shot so they will be all over this one. Rodgers, like Baldwin, will be popular I believe, but he should pay off his price given the volume.

3. Sean - Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions ($6,000): The Lions/Packers game is the chalk game to stack this week. It's a winner-take-all, and it's the prime time hammer. Taking Stafford over Aaron Rodgers gets you almost $2K of savings, which I think is significant given I think each QB has the same ceiling.

Comments by Kevin: Playing in the final game of the week (and regular season), Stafford and the Lions are small home underdogs against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in a win-and-in matchup. Speaking of matchups, it's good for Stafford as the Packers have allowed an NFL-high 8.0 yards per pass attempt and only the Browns (33) have allowed more passing touchdowns than the Packers (30). Earlier this season, Stafford threw for 385 yards and three touchdowns against Green Bay.

4. Kevin - Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions ($6,600): With a minimum of five catches in nine of his past 10 games, Tate has averaged 6.8/86.6 on 9.4 targets per game over that stretch. Not only should he see steady volume in a fantasy-friendly matchup (only Titans allow more DK points to opposing WRs) with plenty of real football significance, but he has shown upside with four top-five PPR finishes during that 10-game span.

Comments by Sean: If I am playing Stafford, I am definitely pairing him with Tate. Tate has had double-digit targets in three of his last four. It wouldn't surprise me here to see Tate flirt with 10+ receptions in this one especially if the Lions are playing from behind. My only fear here is the Lions get ahead and control the clock like they did vs. the Saints earlier this year. I won't have all my eggs into this game like I did that one.

5. Sean - Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers ($5,700): Jordy Nelson will likely be the highest-owned WR of the week. He is off a monster game so you have the recency bias, plus he is in a killer spot vs. the Lions. Jordy should see a majority of Darius Slay which is why I am going heavy Adams. Slay isn't a shut-down corner by any means, but Rodgers isn't afraid to spread the ball around. Adams has 30-point upside and should be 15-20% less owned than Jordy.

Comments by Kevin: With more from the running game these days, Adams now has six consecutive games with five or fewer receptions. That said, Adams has four 100-yard games in his past 10 and a total of 10 scores this season. Given how often Aaron Rodgers looks his way in the red zone, Adams has enormous upside and should be much less-owned than Jordy this week.

6. Kevin - Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks ($5,800): If you started Rawls in DFS or season-long leagues last week, he let you down even before he departed with a shoulder injury. Rawls will be good to go in Week 17 and the matchup means that Rawls could turn even a reduced workload into 100 yards and a score or two. Rawls didn't play in the first matchup, but Christine Michael had 20/106/2 in that game for the Seahawks. Unless you're Todd Gurley, who doesn't run for 100 yards against the 49ers? The only concern here is a potential blowout early or the Falcons establish a big lead early over the Saints. Either scenario could keep Rawls on the sidelines in the third and/or fourth quarters.

Comments by Sean: I got burned by Rawls last week big time. I had a couple of lineups in the 190 range with Rawls as my lone bust. I am not afraid to go back to the well here. The 49ers get destroyed in every aspect of the game. The Seahawks should cruise in this one which should lead to plenty of Rawls touches late.

7. Sean - Jared Cook, TE, Green Bay Packers ($3,100): I think the TE lock of the week will be Travis Kelce. Kelce has dominated the position this season. Given our team is pretty much chalk spots/players, I am going a little off the board here with Cook. Pairing Adams/Cook and fading Jordy could be extremely profitable if Rodgers has a big game. The Lions have been better vs. TE lately, but at one point this year you were just locking in opposing TEs vs. them.

Comments by Kevin: Cook is the boom-or-bust type play that makes sense for GPPs. Typically I roster him in his "bust" weeks, however, so I typically have limited exposure. Given the matchup, this has the potential to be one of his "boom" weeks.

8. Kevin - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($8,400): Active after a two-game absence, Jones had a mediocre 4/60 on seven targets in a 17-point win last week. Putting in a full practice on Friday, Jones should be more involved in a potential shootout against Drew Brees and the Saints. No team is projected to score more points this week than the Falcons and Jones has GPP-winning upside when healthy.

Comments by Sean: Another player that burned me last week was Jones. For whatever reason, the Falcons just don't look to Julio in the red zone, which means his production is basically reliant on long pass plays. Atlanta still has a shot at the No. 2 seed so It's pedal to the medal for the Falcons. I think the Ryan/Julio stack will be very low-owned even with a great matchup vs. the Saints.

9. Kevin - New York Jets DST ($2,300): The Jets have been a massive disappointment this season, but there is reason for some Week 17 optimism. That reason, of course, is E.J. Manuel. With Tyrod Taylor on the bench, the Bills will roll out the former first-round bust out of Florida State on Sunday. At their price point, I'm willing to roll the dice on the Jets defense this week.

Comments by Sean: There are a lot of defenses I like this week. One of those defenses for GPPs is the Jets. You get them at 1K savings off the rest of the ones I like, and they get a good matchup vs. E.J. Manuel, who will probably be rusty. This is a GPP play only as the Jets have been destroyed in recent weeks.

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December 29, 2016

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 17

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 17?

Kevin Hanson: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Carolina Panthers ($4,900)

The great (and not-so-great) thing about Week 17 is that it's more difficult to figure out than any other week on the year. That said, there should be an abundance of value plays by the time Sunday rolls around. During other weeks, there are some value plays become extremely chalky.

Following a surprise inactive status for Doug Martin, Rodgers led the team in both usage and production -- 15/63/1 rushing and 2/15 receiving -- in Week 16. With Martin now suspended four games and set to be inactive on game day, Rodgers will dominate early-down work with Charles Sims assuming a change-of-pace role.

Not only are the Bucs six-point home favorites this weekend, but only the Falcons and Patriots are projected to score more points based on implied totals using Vegas odds. Rodgers won't get the 35 touches he had in his first matchup against the Panthers in Week 5 (with Martin/Sims out), but I could see 20-plus touches this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 17 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Sean Beazley: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers ($5,500) and DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans ($6,500)

Week 17 is a tricky week to play because of all the meaningless games for playoff teams. It is important to keep track of all the news before 1 PM. These picks are purely speculation at this point, because they are from two playoff teams who have nothing to gain from a win on Sunday.

DeAngelo Williams ($5,500) -- Mike Tomlin has said that Le'Veon Bell is a candidate for rest on Sunday, and it makes complete sense to me that he sits. We just saw the Raiders Super Bowl dreams crumble last week when Derek Carr broke his leg. An injury to Bell would clearly hurt the Steelers chances to push forward in the playoffs.

We have seen what DeAngelo has done in the past as the lead back. He gets a dream matchup at home against our favorite punching bag defense, the Cleveland Browns. If Bell is out Sunday, I will be locking DeAngelo in on nearly 100 percent of my tournament teams. His price is far too low to what we can expect him to score.

DeAndre Hopkins ($6,500) -- Had Randy Bullock made that kick Sunday night, I would have been 100% Hopkins this week in a winner-take-all matchup vs. the Titans. The Texans have the division wrapped up, so I do think there will be some key players resting like Lamar Miller. I do think Nuk plays though, because the Texans really need to get this passing attack figured out before the playoffs start. This is the perfect spot to iron out the kinks versus the Titans, who get torched by opposing WRs.

John Trifone: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers ($7,700)

Week 17 has a lot of uncertainty right now. We're still waiting to find out who exactly will be resting, who will be taking a look at rookies, who may start the game but not finish, etc. Some we know, much we will find out later in the week. At this point, I think Aaron Rodgers is as safe a bet to give you a great floor and high ceiling. He's expensive, but you know what you're getting with Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. They need to win at Detroit to clinch the division, and the Lions pass defense has been the worst or among the worst most of the year. I think Rodgers is worth the hefty price tag this week.

Dan Yanotchko: Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions ($6,600)

This week you have to take guys that have something to play for, so I like Golden Tate of the Lions. He has a great last-four split with 378 yards on 34 receptions on 40 targets. The Packers give up a ton of passing yards per game with 265 and 30 touchdowns to boot. I look for a shootout in the dome, with the winner going to the playoffs.

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December 24, 2016

Week 16 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 16 NFL picks against the spread:

Green Bay Packers -7 over Minnesota Vikings (4 Units)

One of the hotter teams in the NFL at the moment, Aaron Rodgers has played himself into MVP discussion. Historically, Rodgers has been dominant at home in December. In his past 12 December home games, the Packers are 12-0 and Rodgers has compiled a 30:2 TD-INT ratio in those games.

Meanwhile, Ty Montgomery has given them production on the ground as he's coming off a 16/162/2 performance in Week 15. The Vikings defense has been less stellar more recently as they have allowed 4.52 yards per carry (eighth-most in the NFL) from Weeks 8 to 15 after holding their opponents to just 3.74 YPC (26th) in Weeks 1 to 7.

Minnesota's offense has had their challenges as well and Adrian Peterson won't play this week after returning to the field in Week 15. With the ability to control their own destiny if they win out, I like Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau to take care of business.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New York Jets +17 over New England Patriots (2 Units)

Clearly the Patriots are better than the Jets. A LOT better than the Jets. And this game could easily turn into a blowout. That said, 17 points to any team is a lot. Even though I expect the Patriots to win easily, I think the Jets get the cover.

Pittsburgh Steelers -6 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

One of the better modern-day rivalries, this is typically a hard-fought battle. Given how Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers play at home (vs. the road), I think the Steelers are able to score a lot of points in this one. On the other hand, the Ravens have a lot of question marks outside of their elite run defense. That said, Le'Veon Bell is outstanding as a receiver out of the backfield so even if he's slowed somewhat as a runner, he should have a major impact as a receiver.

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

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Week 16 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 16 NFL picks against the spread:

San Diego Chargers -4.5 over Cleveland Browns (4 Units)

I think this one is almost too good to be true, but looking at this Cleveland defense I can't justify them hanging close with the Chargers. The Browns have been historically bad this year, and this is probably their best shot to win a game as they have Pittsburgh to finish up the season. The Browns just can't stop anyone as they allow 155 yards rushing per game and 4.8 yards per carry, and they allow opposing passers 245 yards per game and 31 touchdowns. I just think the Chargers have too much for them, and also RG3 looked really bad in his return. I just don't think the Browns will win a game all year, and San Diego should easily win big here.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Los Angeles Rams -4.5 over San Francisco 49ers (3 Units)

I know the history trend is always to take the 49ers anytime they are playing the Rams, but this week for the Rams at home will be different, as the 49ers are playing some really awful ball right now. The 49ers have one of the worst rushing defenses in memory, as they allow 176 yards rushing per game, and also 5.0 yards per carry. I think the Rams game plan will be to run Todd Gurley about 600 times this game, as they might not even let Jared Goff attempt a pass. I also like the ability of the Rams front four to get pressure on Colin Kaepernick, and they will be able to bottle up Carlos Hyde. In a game that is unwatchable, I like for Gurley to have his breakout game for the fantasy championships.

Detroit Lions +6 over Detroit Lions (4 Units)

I think this game is pretty simple, as Dallas has nothing to play for, and the Lions have everything to play for. The Cowboys have home field throughout the playoffs sewn up, and I think this will be a rotation game where Ezekiel Elliot will see a lot less touches. The Lions have traditionally had good luck against the Cowboys, as they have gone 4-1 against the spread in their last five. The main reason I like Detroit, is that they can attack a weak Dallas pass defense that allows 265 yards passing per game, a 68% completion percentage, and 23 passing touchdowns on the year. We all know the Lions are the king of the comeback this year, and they will certainly be within a touchdown of the Cowboys.

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

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Week 16 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 16 NFL picks against the spread:

Pittsburgh Steelers -6 over Baltimore Ravens (5 Units)

Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown at home? Yes please! The Ravens defense is good, but Ben rolls at home. This game is for the AFC North crown, and I think the Steelers lay the smack down on the Ravens. Ben has a four-TD game in the win. Steelers 37, Ravens 20.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New Orleans Saints -3 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5 Units), Over 52.0 (4 units)

I'll take Drew Brees and the Saints at home vs. the Bucs in this one. I believe Brees and the Saints offense has a monster game. I like the over in this one as well. I like the Bucs to keep pace. I like Mike Evans/Cameron Brate for DFS. Saints 37, Bucs 30.

Houston Texans -1.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (5 Units)

Houston technically doesn't need a win here to win the division, but a win gives them some outs just in case they lose to Tennessee next week. I like that Tom Savage is starting this week and I think he gets DeAndre Hopkins the ball a lot. The Bengals have nothing to play for at this point but possibly Marvin Lewis’s job. I think they fall short here. Texans 24, Bengals 21.

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

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Week 16 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 16 NFL picks against the spread:

Washington Redskins -3 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

The Redskins had an opportunity this past weekend at home vs. Carolina that they let slip away. I don't think that happens again this weekend as they travel to Chicago. I like Kirk Cousins to have a big game and Washington to win this one pretty handily.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Carolina Panthers +3 over Atlanta Falcons (4 Units)

The Falcons are clearly better than I've given them credit for all year, but I think they get beat by the Panthers on the road this week. Carolina has blown a lot of games late this year but are clearly better than their record would indicate. I think they play well again this week against their division rival and finish the season strong.

Minnesota Vikings +7 over Green Bay Packers (4 Units)

The Packers have been awesome of late, and Aaron Rodgers has been terrific. They have gotten back into the division hunt and now control their own destiny to win the NFC North, which I think they'll do. Minnesota has fallen off, but they will be looking to bounce back from an absolutely embarrassing loss to the Colts at home last week. Packers win the game but seven is too many points.

Indianapolis Colts +3.5 over Oakland Raiders (5 Units)

The Colts are coming off one of their best games of the year, going into Minnesota and winning easily. Cold December weather may slow down Andrew Luck and the Colt offense at some point, but that won't be the case this week in Oakland. Two high-powered offenses should give us a high-scoring affair here. I'll take the Colts with the outright upset so I'll take the 3.5.

New York Jets +17 over New England Patriots (4 Units)

This is just way too big of a spread. The perception of the Jets is just so low, but they still have guys looking to make a roster next year and they're not just going to roll over against the Patriots. This game is the last real meaningful game they will play this season because it's against their hated rival. The Patriots should win easily, but too many ways this one plays out that end within 17 points. I like the Jets side.

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

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Week 16 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, Philip Rivers is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 16 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 Rivers, you should start Brady -- and in turn, bench Rivers.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 16 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).

Week 16 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

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

Reaching the 300-yard mark in only one of his past seven games, Rivers has also failed to finish as a top-12 weekly quarterback in nine consecutive games. And while he has thrown multiple touchdowns in seven straight with a total of 16 during that span, he has also been a turnover machine with 14 interceptions in those seven games.

There is reason for optimism in Championship Week, however, as Rivers and the Chargers head to Cleveland to face the winless Browns. Not only have the Browns allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year, but no team has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in more games this season than Cleveland (11).

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

With back-to-back disappointing performances, Carr completed just 17-of-41 for 117 yards and no touchdowns in Week 14 and 19-of-30 for 213 yards and a score in Week 15. In what is expected to be a shootout against Andrew Luck and the Colts, Carr should have a have a bounce-back performance in Week 16. In fact, the Raiders are projected to score the second-most points this week based on implied totals from Vegas odds.

Meanwhile, the Colts have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. And that's after allowing just one passing touchdown to five passes intercepted over their past three games. Of course, that dominance is primarily due to the matchups against the likes of Bryce Petty, Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (at CHI)

Second in the NFL to only Drew Brees, Cousins is averaging 311.4 passing yards per game and has seven 300-yard games this season. With the exception of Week 5 against the Ravens, Cousins has either thrown for 300-plus yards and/or accounted for multiple touchdowns. Due to that consistency, Cousins has finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback in seven of his past eight games.

Week 16 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (at SEA)

The good news is that Palmer has thrown for 300-plus yards in two of his past three games and multiple touchdowns in five consecutive games. In fact, he has finished as a top-three weekly quarterback in both of those 300-yard games.

That said, Palmer and the Cardinals head to Seattle this week to take on the Seahawks, who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Even without Earl Thomas, it's a difficult matchup, especially on the road at CenturyLink. In fact, only the Jets and Broncos are projected to score fewer points this week than the Cardinals.

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at HOU)

The good news is that Dalton gets back A.J. Green this week. The bad news is that it is unclear what we should expect from AJG and Dalton will miss Tyler Eifert, one of the league's best tight ends and red-zone weapons. In addition, the Texans have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position, which makes Dalton a poor streaming option this week.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at DAL)

Scoring the eighth-most fantasy points through Week 15, Stafford has been up-and-down this season. While Stafford has seven top-10 weekly performances, he has also finished as the QB20 or worse in five games this season including three of his past five. During that five-game span, Stafford has thrown for multiple touchdowns in just one game with a total of only four passing touchdowns over that stretch. Only five teams are projected to score fewer points than the Lions this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 16

Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 16 DFS Resources:

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Week 16 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, Bilal Powell is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 16 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, Le'Veon Bell and Powell and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Murray -- and in turn, bench Powell.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 16 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).

Week 16 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (vs. SF)

A few players -- DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, etc. -- could earn the dubious honor as well, but Gurley has arguably been the biggest first-round fantasy football bust of the 2016 season.

Despite the high cost on draft day, there has been little to show for it. With double-digit fantasy points in only four of 14 games, Gurley has yet to exceed 85 rushing yards any week and has averaged just 55.6 per game on the season.

If you somehow advanced to Week 16 with Gurley as your first-round pick, the good news is that he could finally deliver for his owners with a soft matchup against the 49ers. San Francisco has allowed the most fantasy points to the position and 5.11 yards per carry and 22 touchdowns to the position, both of which are league highs.

Even worse (or better from Gurley's standpoint), the 49ers have allowed a 100-yard rusher in 11 of their past 13 games. Stated differently, the 49ers have allowed 12.94 percent (11 of 85) of the 100-yard rushing games this season.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

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

In a season where little has gone right for the Bears, Howard has been a bright spot. Heading into Championship Week, the ex-Hoosier has racked up the seventh-most yards from scrimmage (1,348) and has been even better more recently.

Since Week 8, Howard has a minimum of 15 touches and 99 YFS in seven straight games. During that seven-game span, Howard ranks fourth in the NFL in touches (152) and YFS (868).

Granted, the Bears are home underdogs this week, but Howard has a plus matchup. Washington has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. In addition, only three teams have allowed more yards per carry (4.52) and combined touchdowns (18) to running backs this season.

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (vs. IND)

In the 12 games he has played, Murray has finished outside the top-30 fantasy running backs in only one game (RB52 in Week 4 at Baltimore). So, in other words, Murray has a minimum of seven fantasy points in 11 of 12 games this season.

Finishing as the RB30 last week, Murray should bounce back in a plus matchup against the Colts. Not only have the Colts allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, but only the Patriots are projected to score more points this week than the Raiders. It wouldn't surprise me if Murray, who has averaged a rushing score per game this season, found the end zone once again.

RB - Bilal Powell, New York Jets (at NE)

With Matt Forte (knee) active last week, Powell once again dominated touches. In his past two games, Powell now has 61 total touches -- 45/229/2 rushing and 16/112 receiving.

Even though the Jets are 17-point underdogs and projected to be the lowest-scoring team of the week, according to implied totals from Vegas odds, Powell should be heavily involved in the passing game and get 20-plus touches once again as Forte is listed as doubtful for Saturday's game.

Week 16 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (at PIT)

One week after carrying it twice for just two yards, West erupted for 77 yards on 13 carries and added four catches for 45 yards against the Eagles in Week 15. The 122 yards from scrimmage and 17 touches were five-week highs.

It's possible that he has another productive game, but it's difficult to know whether West or Kenneth Dixon will get the larger share of the workload and we've seen the Ravens abandon the run even in games where they are successfully running the ball. Therefore, West and Dixon are both flex options as opposed to RB2 starts.

RB - Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CAR)

Since returning from injury, Coleman has scored three touchdowns in four games. That said, he has averaged just 3.62 yards per carry and 5.2 yards per reception over that four-game span. Meanwhile, the Panthers have allowed the third-lowest yards per carry (3.58) to opposing running backs this season and Coleman had just 19 yards on eight carries earlier this season against Carolina.

RB - Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (at KC)

In two games with the Broncos, Justin Forsett has nine and 14 touches, respectively. Meanwhile, Booker has just five and eight touches in those same games and has failed to finish as a top-50 fantasy running back in both games. Before Forsett was signed, Booker had averaged 20.5 touches over a six-game span including 25 the first time against the Chiefs. Forsett is a solid flex option and Booker is completely off the fantasy radar.

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Week 16 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, Dontrelle Inman is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 16 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 Jordy Nelson, T.Y. Hilton and Inman and can only start two receivers, you should start Jordy and Hilton -- and in turn, bench Inman.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 16 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).

Week 16 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

WR - Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)

Whether you call him a running back or a wide receiver, Montgomery is worth a start. It would be unreasonable to expect another 16/162/2 rushing performance, but more than reasonable to expect double-digit touches and a productive outing for a third consecutive game.

As far as the matchup goes, the Vikings have been much worse against the run over the past half-season or so than they were at the beginning of the year. From Weeks 1 to 7, the Vikings allowed 3.74 yards per carry (26th-most) and no running back exceeded 56 rushing yards. From Weeks 8 to 15, they have allowed 4.52 YPC (eighth-most) and six running backs have at least 70 rushing yards against them.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (at JAX)

Hopkins has just one 100-yard game this season and it was all the way back in Week 2. In addition, the matchup this week is challenging as the Jaguars have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. That said, the quarterback change to Tom Savage gives the passing offense a shot in the arm and a reason for Hopkins owners to be optimistic. Last week, Savage peppered Hopkins with targets and Nuk finished with eight catches for 87 yards on 17 targets.

WR - Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (at CLE)

Inman has a minimum of 43 yards in eight consecutive games, but he has averaged 4.6 receptions and 67.0 yards per game over that span. While his streak of games with a touchdown ended last week at three, Inman and the Chargers receivers get a plus matchup against the winless Browns. The Browns have allowed 14.01 Y/R and 10.76-percent touchdown rate, both of which are fourth-most, to opposing receivers this year.

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

During the team's past five games, Tom Brady has targeted Edelman a minimum of 11 times in every game for an average of 13.4 per game over that span. That has allowed Edelman to post consistent receiving numbers -- a minimum of six catches and 73 yards in six consecutive games.

In their first matchup in Week 12, Edelman had eight catches for 83 yards on 11 targets. Not only have the Jets allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, but no team is projected to score more points this week based on implied totals from Vegas odds.

Week 16 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

WR - Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)

With only one target last week, Cobb put up a goose egg against the Bears. Over his past seven games, he has only one game with more than 41 receiving yards and has averaged 3.0/31.7/0.3 on 4.1 targets per game during that span. At this point, Cobb is only the fourth-best wide receiver option on his own team after Jordy Nelson, Ty Montgomery and Davante Adams.

WR - DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (at BUF)

It's been an up-and-down (mostly down) season for Parker. The second-year receiver has a total of just six catches for 65 yards on 10 targets in his past three games combined. Even though Matt Moore threw four touchdowns last week, he threw only 18 pass attempts. Given the lack of volume and production recently, Parker isn't anything more than a low-floor, TD-dependent WR4.

WR - Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland Browns (vs. SD)

In two starts by RG3 in Weeks 14 and 15, Pryor has one catch for three yards and four catches for 19 yards, respectively. Obviously, fantasy owners were hoping for more. Not only have the Chargers allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to receivers this season, but I'd expect Casey Hayward to also shadow Pryor as well. In addition, Pryor will need surgery this offseason for a torn ligament in his finger.

WR - Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (at NE)

The good news? Marshall ended an eight-game streak of single-digit targets with 11 in Week 15. The bad news? He converted that volume into one catch for 16 yards. With Bryce Petty (still) under center, I'd (still) prefer Robbie Anderson over Marshall among the Jets wide receivers. With a league-low implied total of 13.5 points this week, however, the Jets could struggle to generate much offense on Saturday.

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Week 16 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 16. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 16 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 Greg Olsen and Rudolph, you should start Olsen -- and in turn, bench Rudolph.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 16 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).

Week 16 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (at GB)

Over his past four games, Rudolph has three games with double-digit targets and a minimum of eight during that span. That volume has led to a total of 27 catches for 266 yards and a touchdown over the past quarter season. In a favorable matchup against the Packers, who have allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, I would expect another high-usage and productive game from Rudolph.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

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

With two weeks to go in the season (and likely his career), Gates is two touchdowns behind Tony Gonzalez for the most-ever by a tight end. Not only could Philip Rivers look to force an end-zone target or two into Gates' direction, the Browns have been atrocious when defending tight ends. No team has allowed more fantasy points to the position and only the Lions have surrendered more touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at NO)

Speaking of tight end touchdowns, Brate has scored a touchdown in five of his past eight games. During that eight-game span, Brate has a total of 36 catches for 422 yards and five touchdowns and he's a strong TE1 for Week 16. Start him with confidence.

Week 16 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

TE - Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (at PIT)

Pitta had a breakout performance in Week 13 with 9/90/2 on 11 targets against the Dolphins. For much of the season, Pitta has been heavily-targeted although the fantasy production didn't match. Over his past two games, however, Pitta has just 4/18 on five targets and 2/16 on two targets. Pitta should remain on your bench this week as he had just 2/14 on three targets against Pittsburgh earlier this season.

TE - Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)

One of the most inconsistent tight ends in the NFL, Cook is coming off a 6/85 performance against the Bears and a top-seven weekly outing. Since returning from a multi-week absence, Cook has finished as the weekly TE1, TE51, TE28, TE37 and TE7, respectively. Stated differently, he has 85-plus yards in two of those games and less than 20 yards in the other three.

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

Barnidge had a seven-game streak with at least 37 receiving yards from Weeks 2 to 8, but since then, he has failed to exceed 35 yards in any game. Over his past six games, Barnidge has averaged just 3.11 fantasy points per game.

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December 23, 2016

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 16

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 16 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 - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs. IND), $6,800
RB - Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (vs. SF), $6,500
RB - Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (at BUF), $5,600
WR - Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at NO), $8,500
WR - DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (vs. CIN), $5,200
WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (vs. IND), $6,100
TE - Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (at CLE), $4,400
FLEX - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN), $4,600
DST - Chicago Bears (vs. WAS), $2,300

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

1. Sean - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($8,500): Evans has been held to single-digit scores the past three weeks, and one of those games was versus this same Saints defense. I think he is in a great position for a bounce-back spot in a game which is expected to be very high-scoring. My only concern here is ownership. Le'Veon Bell is not on this slate, and David Johnson has a tough matchup on paper vs. Seattle on the road. This could lead to the reverse of what we have seen the past few weeks where it was popular to jam in high-priced RBs.

Comments by Kevin: Evans has three disappointing performances in a row, but we have have seen him have monster games with huge target totals. With OBJ/AB not playing on the Sunday main slate and Julio/AJG coming back from injuries, Evans is the top main-slate WR by a considerable margin for me.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Kevin - Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams ($6,500): Not only have the 49ers allowed the most fantasy points to the position, but running backs have averaged 5.11 YPC with 22 rushing scores, both of which are season highs (by a wide margin). In addition, the 49ers have allowed 11 100-yard rushers on the year plus two more had at least 100 yards from scrimmage. Gurley has yet to exceed 85 rushing yards in any game and he's averaging just 55.6 per game this season, but it wouldn't surprise me if he exceeded the 100-yard mark with a few receptions and perhaps a touchdown on Saturday.

Comments by Sean: You know a defense is bad vs. the run when a RB is coming off a four-point week and his price increases $2,000! There is no reason to get cute here. Jam Gurley in your lineup and watch the point totals rise.

3. Sean - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans ($5,200): I am more excited for a Week 17 showing in a potential winner-take-all game vs. the Titans secondary. I would be 100% locked in with Hopkins at anything below $7,000 next week. I would hope that he would have a bad game here vs. the Bengals, so people wouldn't jump on board with me, but at this price, you can't overlook him this week. Hopkins had 17 targets last week in a comeback win vs. Jacksonville. Tom Savage is the new QB and he looked ten times better than Brock Osweiler. I think the QB play makes the difference here and Nuk has a massive day.

Comments by Kevin: The QB switch gives Hopkins owners some reason for optimism and the high volume of targets last week (17) is a huge positive as well. At his price point, he's more than worth the gamble.

4. Kevin - Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers ($4,400): Gates has been up-and-down this season and was a disappointment last week. The Browns are terrible against tight ends as they have allowed the position a total of 72 catches (second-most in NFL), 782 yards (second-most) and eight TDs (second-most). I expect Philip Rivers to target Gates heavily in the red zone.

Comments by Sean: The touchdown Antonio Gates narrative. I was all aboard last week with 40% exposure in GPPs. There are a few TEs I like better that are cheaper than Gates this week so I probably won't have 40% this week, but I should have a decent amount again. Gates gets a great matchup vs. Cleveland who basically can't stop anything.

5. Sean - Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins ($5,600): This is a huge game in Buffalo this week. With a win Rex Ryan could potentially save his job. Miami needs to keep winning to secure a spot in the playoffs. Without Ryan Tannehill, I expect the Dolphins to let Ajayi shoulder the load. The Bills run defense has been shredded in recent weeks. We have seen the enormous upside that Ajayi has this season. I think Ajayi will be under owned this week in tournaments.

Comments by Kevin: Ajayi isn't one of the first players that I'd want to put in this lineup, but I think Sean makes some good points. He has shown upside, Buffalo has allowed some very big games to opposing running backs, Ajayi should get tons of usage and his ownership level should be low. He could turn out to be a perfect GPP play.

6. Kevin - Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders ($6,100): Crabtree has averaged 5.5/61.9/0.6 per game this season and he's averaging nearly double-digit targets (9.88/G) over his past eight. In an expected shootout, Crabtree has a ton of upside this week and could be the third among this game's wide receivers in terms of ownership after T.Y. Hilton and Amari Cooper. I will certainly stack this game in many of my GPP lineups.

Comments by Sean: Picking the right Raiders WR this year has been extremely difficult for me this season. Crabtree had outscored Cooper in 7/14 games this season. Split right down the middle. The Colts secondary is beatable. Vontae Davis is starting to look more and more like Darelle Revis each week. That's not a good thing. I will be hedging this week and playing probably equal shares of both Oakland wideouts.

7. Sean - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars ($4,400): Andy Reid and the Chiefs didn't attack the Titans corners last week the way I thought he would. BLAKE Bortles is arguably the worst starting QB in the league, but this Titans secondary is very bad. Robinson continues to get peppered with targets each week and at his price tag of $4,600, it's very tough to pass on him in tournaments. I definitely will have my fair share of A-Rob this week.

Comments by Kevin: If you owned Robinson in season-long leagues, few players were bigger disappointments (although several in this lineup could give him a run for his money). There are three things to like this week, though: (1) his talent level, which has been true every week, (2) the matchup vs. TEN (32nd in FPA to WRs) and (3) the sub-$5,000 price. The potential to smash value is there even with Blake Bortles throwing him the ball.

8. Kevin - Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders ($6,800): After the Falcons, no team has averaged more points per game this season than the Raiders. Based on Vegas odds, only the Patriots are projected to score more points this week. Carr has plenty of upside in what should be a shootout against Andrew Luck and the Colts and pairs well with Crabtree. I will certainly have a lot of exposure to both QBs and all the key skill players in this game across my GPP lineups.

Comments by Sean: I didn't leave Kevin with much after the Robinson pick, so it was either punt QB or punt D. Kevin elected to punt D which is how I would have played it as well. Carr gets a great matchup vs. the Colts at home. The Colts are still in the playoff hunt, so they do have something to play for. This game is a great one to consider a game stack in GPPs this week.

9. Kevin - Chicago Bears DST ($2,300): The Bears may give up a fair amount of points to Washington, but due to their heavy pass volume, there will be opportunities for sacks/INTs and the Bears have actually scored double-digit fantasy points in two of their past three games.

Comments by Sean: Of the choices left, the Bears make the most sense. The Redskins are coming off a short week where they played like crap. All it takes is one Defense/Special Teams TD to really make this unit pay off.

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December 21, 2016

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 16

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 16?

Kevin Hanson: Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams ($6,500)

As disappointing as the season has been for Gurley, he has a great opportunity on Saturday. Even though Gurley struggled in Week 1 against the 49ers, no team has been more generous to opposing running backs this season.

Not only have the 49ers allowed the most fantasy points to the position, but running backs have averaged 5.11 YPC with 22 rushing scores, both of which are season highs (by a wide margin). In addition, the 49ers have allowed 11 100-yard rushers on the year plus two more had at least 100 yards from scrimmage.

Gurley has yet to exceed 85 rushing yards in any game and he's averaging just 55.6 per game this season, but it wouldn't surprise me if he exceeded the 100-yard mark with a few receptions and perhaps a touchdown on Saturday.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Brendan Donahue: Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets ($6,000)

In the past two games that Powell has taken over as the lead back for the Jets, he has scored 27.2 and 37.9 points on DraftKings. I don't see that role changing this week both due to the injury to Matt Forte and the game plan as 16-point underdogs to the Patriots. In a blowout loss last week, he caught 11 passes on 12 targets for 78 yards and that could very well be the same situation this week, giving him a very safe floor and a huge ceiling if he is able to put any of those targets into the end zone.

Sean Beazley: Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,000)

I think the Titans could be in for a let-down game after their big last-minute win vs. the Chiefs last week. I've been burned on the Jags call pretty much all year, but I'm not going to miss out on that one time they go off. I don't play high stakes often, but I'm rolling out Blake Bortles in the $50 Chop Block this week on DK. The Titans pass defense is awful, and I think this game could be a shootout. I’m on the fence about pairing him with Marqise Lee or Allen Robinson or just playing him naked. He is the stone minimum on DK which allows you to get pretty much whoever you want. I believe Bortles gets the 300-yard bonus and a couple of scores this week.

John Trifone: Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams ($6,500)

It only took until Week 16, but it might be Todd Gurley's week this week. He's facing the 49ers 32nd-ranked rush defense at home after recently calling out his offense and contributing to getting Jeff Fisher fired. Gurley should be in for a heavy workload and should be able to put together his best game of the year. He's a good RB choice this week at $6,500.

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December 18, 2016

Week 15 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 15 NFL picks against the spread:

Atlanta Falcons -14 over San Francisco 49ers (3 Units)

The Falcons will be without Julio Jones on Sunday, but they should still be able to put up plenty of points with the 1-2 rushing attack of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. So far this season, the 49ers have allowed 170.8 rushing yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry, both of which rank dead last in the NFL. Despite the big number, I could easily see the Falcons winning this game by more than two scores at home.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

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

Melvin Gordon has been such a focal point of the team's offense this season and he's going to miss this week's game, but I like the Chargers to at least keep this game close at home. Earlier this season, Philip Rivers completed 21-of-30 for 359 yards (11.97 Y/A) and four touchdowns in a three-point loss in Oakland. Rivers has too many interceptions this season and 13 of them in his past six games, but I like the Chargers getting points at home in a division game.

Arizona Cardinals -3 over New Orleans Saints (2 Units)

It's been a rough two-game stretch for Drew Brees, who has zero touchdowns and six interceptions in his past two games. While I don't expect another three-INT game this week, this is a difficult matchup on the road against the Cardinals. Meanwhile, David Johnson has been as consistently productive as any player in football this season with 13 consecutive games of 100-plus yards from scrimmage. The next closest player is Ezekiel Elliott (10 such games).

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Week 15 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 15 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans -4.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (5 Units)

The Texans are in control of their own fate in the AFC South. I think they beat the Jags at home with ease on Sunday. Blake Bortles looks horrible under center for the Jags. Texans 27, Jags 17.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Tennessee Titans +6 over Kansas City Chiefs (5 Units)

This may sound like a homer pick, but I do think the Titans have a shot in Arrowhead on Sunday. All the talk this week has been Alex Smith vs. a gross Titans secondary; but the Chiefs can be beaten in the air as well. The Titans O-Line is good enough to stop the KC pass rush. Titans lose; heart-breaker late. Chiefs 29, Titans 27.

Baltimore Ravens -5.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (5 Units)

I'm loading up on the Ravens D in DFS this week. The Eagles will be without playmaker Darren Sproles, which means they will need to rely on rookie Carson Wentz. I think the Ravens D will find the end zone twice and Joe Flacco has a big game as well. Ravens 41, Eagles 16.

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Week 15 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 15 NFL picks against the spread:

Kansas City Chiefs -6 over Tennessee Titans (3 Units)

This is the week to separate the wheat from the chaff, and although I really love what Tennessee has done this year, I think showing up on the road at Arrowhead after an emotional win against Denver will be too much. The Chiefs have found a potent passing attack lately as Jeremy Maclin has returned to action with the recent discovery of Mr. All Purpose, Tyreek Hill. The Titans can certainly be exploited on the back end, as their secondary has given up 275 yards passing per game and 22 touchdowns on the year. I think the Chiefs just have too many weapons with Travis Kelce, Spencer Ware, Hill and Maclin so I really love KC at home in this one.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Oakland Raiders -3 over San Diego Chargers (3 Units)

This game is quite the rivalry, and sadly it could be one of the last times we can say that it's San Diego vs. Oakland, as in the coming years it could be Los Angeles vs. Las Vegas. The Chargers have great personnel, but they have just lost way too many games as a result of the injury bug, and emerging star Melvin Gordon is the most recent to join this list. The Raiders were embarrassed by the Chiefs last week on Thursday night, and I have the hunch that a team being embarrassed (and getting four extra days to prepare) will do well the next week. The Raiders will be able to move the ball against a Chargers secondary that allows 261 yards passing per game, and 18 touchdowns on the year. I think the loss of Gordon will be too much, and the Raiders need this game in the worst way.

New England Patriots -3 over Denver Broncos (4 Units)

I really think that this is the lowest spread that the Patriots have had this year since the return of Tom Brady this season. (Oh and by the way, according to the Giants/Steelers game two weeks ago the ideal gas law exists ... because of, you know, science.) I know that everyone thinks that Brady will be coming out and throwing the ball all over the field, but I really think that the game plan will be similar to the AFC title game against the Colts, which was to pound the ball on the ground. The Broncos can certainly be had on the ground, as they allow 127 yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry, while having surrendered 12 touchdowns on the year. The Patriots will also be able to make the Broncos play one-dimensional, and force Trevor Siemian to beat them through the air, as they only allow 90.2 yards rushing per game. This will be revenge for last year's AFC title game, and I look for the Pats to keep on rolling.

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December 17, 2016

Week 15 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 15 NFL picks against the spread:

Baltimore Ravens -5.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (4 Units)

I've been picking on the Eagles for a while now and it's mostly worked out. They've been pretty bad since the hot start to the season. They'll be without playmaker Darren Sproles this weekend against what is already the league's best rush defense. The Ravens need to keep winning if they're going to edge out the Steelers for the division. I like them to bounce back after a tough loss at New England.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Indianapolis Colts +5 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

Both teams are desperate for a win down the stretch and the Vikings are getting Adrian Peterson back this week. He's more of a big name than a real difference maker at this point though. The Colts are without wide receiver Donte Moncrief, but I think Andrew Luck keeps this one close anyway, and the Vikings offense is a pretty weak unit. I like a close game here, so I'll take the points.

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

This is more of a number play, but a December division game with the home team getting points seems like a good spot to take. Although their records may indicate otherwise, these two teams aren't that far apart. The Chargers have had some tough losses and the division is just loaded this year, so someone has to come in last. I like the Chargers to get Antonio Gates involved in pursuit of the TE touchdown record, and like the Chargers for the outright upset.

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Week 15 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, Tyrod Taylor is listed below as a "start" for Week 15. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 15 with him as my starting quarterback.

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

In other words, if you owned both Matt Ryan and Taylor, you should start Ryan -- and in turn, bench Taylor.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 15 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).

Week 15 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

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

Cousins has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in seven consecutive games with an average of 22.13 fantasy points per contest over that stretch. Going back to Week 2, Cousins has finished as a top-15 weekly quarterback in all but one game (Week 6 vs. the Eagles).

This week, Cousins is behind only Atlanta's Matt Ryan in my quarterback rankings. In addition, only the Falcons are projected to score more points this week than the Redskins (using Vegas odds).

On the season, Cousins is averaging 311.15 pass yards per game with 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Counting a pair of rushing touchdowns, he has accounted for multiple touchdowns in eight consecutive games.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

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

With a season-low two rushing yards last week, Taylor ended a streak of 11 consecutive games with a minimum of 25 rushing yards and an average of 41.6 per game over that 11-game span. In addition, Taylor had a rushing score in five of his previous six games.

While we shouldn't expect prolific passing statistics from Taylor (and Buffalo's run-heavy offense) in any given week, he gets a fantasy-friendly matchup against the league's most generous defense to opposing quarterbacks. In addition, improved health from Sammy Watkins is another positive for the outlook of his passing numbers.

As double-digit favorites, the Bills are projected to score the seventh-most points this week, according to Vegas odds. Given his favorable matchup and ability to make plays with his legs, Taylor is worth a start over some typical high-end QB1's with difficult matchups -- Tom Brady (at Broncos), Andrew Luck (at Vikings), etc.

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (vs. NO)

Palmer hasn't played great, but he has multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games and five of his past six. During that stretch, he has thrown a total of 13 touchdowns to eight interceptions.

Not only do the Saints allow the 11th-most fantasy points to the position, but they will be without their best cornerback (Devin Breaux) this weekend as well. Among the teams left to play this week, only the Falcons and Redskins are projected to score more points than the Cardinals.

Week 15 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

QB - Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at CIN)

With a notable home-road split, Big Ben has averaged just 231.14 passing yards per game in his seven games away from Heinz Field this season with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. Scoring single-digit fantasy points in four of those seven, he has averaged just 12.76 fantasy points on the road this year.

Meanwhile, the Bengals have allowed only two passing touchdowns in their past four games combined and no more than 13.26 fantasy points in any of those games. Roethlisberger is just outside of my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week at No. 14.

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

Manning has now thrown for less than 200 yards in three consecutive games and in five of his past nine games. Over his past seven games, he has averaged just 214.57 yards per game.

While the Lions have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, they have been much better lately. They have not allowed a top-12 quarterback in any of their past six games and during that span, they have as many passes intercepted (seven) as they have allowed passing scores (seven).

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at NYG)

The other in this game has an even more difficult matchup. Only the Broncos have allowed fewer fantasy points this season than the Giants. When playing at home (or at a neutral site), the Giants have held all but one opposing quarterback to a QB20 (or worse) finish with the exception of Cousins in Week 3.

The Lions have won eight of nine and Stafford has a 15:3 TD-INT ratio in those games. Even though he has a pair of top-10 fantasy performances in consecutive games, this matchup is more difficult than his recent matchups and all but one of those past nine games were played in a dome -- six at home, at New Orleans and at Minnesota.

With a dislocated middle finger on his throwing hand, a more challenging matchup and playing outside of a controlled environment in December, there are enough reasons to downgrade Stafford and keep him on your bench this week.

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Week 15 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, Tevin Coleman is listed below as a "start" for Week 15. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 15 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, DeMarco Murray and Coleman and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Murray -- and in turn, bench Coleman.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 15 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).

Week 15 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - Bilal Powell, New York Jets (vs. MIA)

Dealing with a torn meniscus, Matt Forte may play on a short week against the Dolphins as he's considered to be a game-time decision. Even so, I'd expect Powell to get the majority of work if both are active on Saturday night.

Powell had a massive 34 touches last week against the 49ers and posted a 29/145/2 rushing line to go along with five catches for 34 yards. The matchup isn't nearly as favorable this week as the 49ers have one of the worst run defenses in the league, but the duo of Forte and Powell combined for 148 yards from scrimmage on 23 touches against the Dolphins in Week 9.

If Forte sits, Powell is a borderline RB1 this week. If he's active, Powell remains a solid RB2.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

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

Coming off his best game of the season, Hyde rushed for 193 yards and scored 26.0 fantasy points against the Jets in Week 14. Hyde had just one catch and one target, but he scored his second receiving touchdown in the past three games as well.

We are unlikely to see a repeat performance of last week, but one thing is for sure, Hyde should see lots of volume in a favorable matchup. With a minimum of 18 touches in four consecutive games, he has averaged nearly 20 touches per game on the year and the 49ers have shown a commitment to run the ball even in games where they trail by a lot.

With the 2016 season nearing a close, the Falcons have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. They have allowed a total of 16 touchdowns -- 11 rushing and five receiving -- to opposing running backs on the year.

RB - Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (vs. SF)

Even though I expect a bounce-back game from Devonta Freeman, Coleman should be productive as well. The second-year back out of Indiana had a pair of touchdowns last week as the Falcons blew out the Rams. A big play waiting to happen, Coleman has scored nine times on 110 touches -- or roughly one touchdown per every 12.2 touches.

While Hyde has a great matchup, Coleman's is even better. Not only have the 49ers allowed the most fantasy points to the position, no team has allowed more yards per carry (4.99) to opposing RBs or more rushing touchdowns (19) to the position. In addition, the Falcons are projected to be this week's highest-scoring team using implied totals from Vegas odds.

Related: The Coleman/Freeman duo is a great play on DraftKings this week

RB - Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins (vs. CAR)

Even though he isn't much of a factor in the passing game, Kelley should get a heavy workload with a minimum of 14 carries in six consecutive games since taking over as the starter. During that six-game span, he has averaged 80.3 rushing yards per game and scored a total of five touchdowns. Considering the Redskins are home favorites and projected to score the second-most points this week, Kelley could get a few goal-line opportunities this week.

Week 15 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (at BAL)

While Darren Sproles has already been ruled out for Week 15, it's hard to trust Mathews in a tough matchup. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Ravens this season. Only the Cardinals (3.18 YPC) have allowed fewer yards per carry to the position than the Ravens (3.48) and they have surrendered just four rushing scores to running backs. Meanwhile, the Eagles are one of just six teams with an implied total under 18 points this week.

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

In his three games prior to Week 14, Booker had 24, 24 and 18 carries, respectively. Last week? Three. Even worse, he averaged just one foot per carry as he gained only one yard against the Titans. Booker had been anything but efficient, but he finished as a top-20 fantasy running back in the previous three weeks due to sheer volume. In his past six games, Booker has a total of 98 carries for 267 yards -- or 2.72 yards per carry.

Booker should get more touches this week (than he had last week), but Justin Forsett had nearly double the number of touches (nine) that Booker had in his debut with Denver. Considering Kubiak's history with Forsett, who already had familiarity with Kubiak's offense, it's certainly possible that the workload gap even widens this week as well.

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

West had a Booker-like rushing performance with two carries for two yards against the Patriots last week although he added four receptions for 24 yards. It was the third time in seven games that West had single-digit touches even though he has the same number of games with 16-plus touches during that span. That said, Kenneth Dixon had a season-high 19 touches last week and has 17-plus in two of three games so I'd trust Dixon much more than I'd trust West this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 15

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Week 15 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, Tyreek Hill is listed below as a "start" for Week 15. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 15 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 Odell Beckham, Larry Fitzgerald and Hill and can only start two receivers, you should start OBJ and Fitz -- and in turn, bench Hill.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 15 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).

Week 15 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (vs. NO)

Fitzgerald had three catches for 12 yards last week in Miami and both of those were season-low totals for the 33-year-old veteran receiver. Before last week's disappointment, however, Fitzgerald had double-digit receptions in three of five games. In fact, Fitzgerald is averaging double-digit targets on the season.

Even though he was having an up-and-down season, the Cardinals released Michael Floyd following a DUI arrest after last week's game and J.J. Nelson has big-play ability but is inconsistent. So, in other words, Fitz should see 10 to 15 targets in a matchup where the Cardinals are expected to put up plenty of points.

Among the teams left to play this weekend, only the Falcons and Redskins are projected to score more points than the Cardinals, according to Vegas odds. And as much as Drew Brees has struggled over the past two weeks (zero touchdowns and six interceptions), it wouldn't surprise me if the Saints were able to put plenty of points this week as well.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at SD)

Crabtree is listed as questionable on the injury report, but he's fully expected to play this week. Crabtree had four catches for just 21 yards last week and now has less than 30 yards in three of five games, but a bounce-back performance should be expected.

Earlier this season, Crabtree had a 3/47/1 performance against the Chargers, but Casey Heyward is now shadowing and will likely shadow Amari Cooper. In other words, I like Crabtree as much as or even more than Cooper this week. In fact, I have both just inside my top-10 fantasy wide receiver rankings this week.

WR - Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. TEN)

Even with Jeremy Maclin back in the lineup and Travis Kelce exploding with four consecutive 100-yard games, Hill is a viable WR2 this week against the Titans. The matchup is great as no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season the Titans.

One of the fastest players in the league, Hill has a pair of return scores in his past three games. But the explosive receiver also has 50-plus receiving yards in five consecutive games and six of his past seven in addition to 11 carries in his past eight games. Even as Maclin gets healthier, Hill should maintain a significant offensive role.

WR - Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (vs. CAR)

As noted above, Washington has one of the two highest implied totals for Week 15. While his targets have been somewhat inconsistent, Crowder had double-digit fantasy points in six of his previous seven games prior to last week's 2/37 dud. Even though he's far from the biggest receiver, Crowder had 80-plus yards and/or a touchdown in each of those seven games. The matchup this week is favorable as the Panthers have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, which means Crowder is a viable WR2 this week.

Week 15 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

WR - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (at HOU)

It would be an understatement to say that Robinson has had a disappointing season. As bad as the season overall has been for AR15, it's been even worse recently. Here are his fantasy points scored over the past three weeks: 2.4 (WR83), 3.1 (WR69) and 1.7 (WR82), respectively. To be fair, the matchups were tough, but he doesn't have a great matchup this week either as the Texans have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this year.

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

In his past six games, Cobb has a total of 21 catches for 222 yards -- or 3.5/37.0 per game -- and two touchdowns on 28 targets (4.67/G). Despite playing with Aaron Rodgers in a favorable matchup against the Bears, Cobb is a distant third, at best, behind Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams when it comes to Green Bay receivers that I'd start. Considering the historically cold temperatures expected in Chicago for Sunday's game, you can do better than Cobb this week.

WR - Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers (at WAS)

Scoring less than two fantasy points in consecutive games, Benjamin has two (or fewer) receptions in three consecutive games. Since beginning the season with a bang (6/91/1 and 7/108/2 in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively), Benjamin has finished as a top-24 fantasy wide receiver in only one of 11 games -- WR23 in Week 12. With Josh Norman likely to shadow the under-performing wideout, it'd be foolish to expect a bounce-back performance to happen this week.

WR - Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (vs. MIA)

Marshall is expected to be on a "pitch count," but he has been brutal either way. Marshall has 45 yards or less in four of his past five games and clearly Robbie Anderson (double-digit targets in back-to-back games) is Bryce Petty's BFF. Not only does Marshall have single-digit targets in eight consecutive games, but he has scored just one touchdown during that span.

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Week 15 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, Cameron Brate is listed below as a "start" for Week 15. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 15 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 Travis Kelce and Brate, you should start Kelce -- and in turn, bench Brate.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 15 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).

Week 15 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

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

Once again, Rudolph is one of the most-targeted tight ends in the league. In his past three games, Rudolph has 10, 12 and eight targets, respectively, and a combined 19 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown during that span. In those three games, he has a minimum of 23.53-percent target share. In other words, those are of three of his four most-involved games since Week 4.

Over their past five games, the Colts have defended tight ends better with no top-12 weekly finishes over that stretch. That said, they have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season so I expect Rudolph to get plenty of opportunities on Sunday.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (vs. OAK)

Gates had a five-week span with a minimum 20-percent target share, but then he had a total of four targets in two games (and worse, one of those was a goose egg). Last week, however, Gates caught five-of-nine targets (25-percent share) for 61 yards against the Panthers. With a top-12 matchup against the Raiders, Philip Rivers should once again look Gates' way early and often.

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

Brate has a minimum of four catches and 40 yards in three consecutive games and in five of his past six. Going back to Week 8, Brate has scored in four of seven games. During that seven-game span, Brate has a 31/349/4 line on 40 targets.

The Cowboys have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to oppposing tight ends this season. Brate, who has averaged 8.41 fantasy points per game in his past seven, could be in store for another solid outing.

Week 15 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

TE - Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (vs. PHI)

Here are Pitta's last six games: 2/14, 6/26, 3/30, 3/34, 9/90/2 and 4/18. One of these was clearly unlike the others and Pitta gets a difficult matchup this week agains the Eagles, who have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. It is highly unlikely that he bounces back in such a tough matchup.

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

If Pitta has a tough matchup, Fleener's matchup is even more difficult. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. It would be surprising if Drew Brees were to have three terrible outings in a row, but the future Hall-of-Famer has zero touchdowns and six interceptions in his past two games. While Fleener is coming off a one-catch, six-yard performance as well, I have much more confidence in Brees' ability to bounce back than I do Fleener's.

TE - Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (at BUF)

Barnidge has a better, not great, but better matchup than either Pitta or Fleener. Of course, that's obvious considering Pitta and Fleener have the worst two matchups at the position this week.

That said, Barnidge has no more than three catches, five targets or 27 yards in any of his past five games. Granted, he did score his only touchdown this season in one of those five games, but those five games have featured five of his six lowest yardage totals on the year. He had zero in Week 1 against the Eagles with RG3 under center.

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December 14, 2016

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 15

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 15?

Sean Beazley: Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills ($5,900)

I really like Sammy Watkins this week in GPPs. I had 20% exposure to Watkins in tournaments last week and will probably have a little more this week as he gets a great matchup vs. the Browns. This is an offense you can definitely stack with Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy as well. Many may be off the Tyrod train this week, but I am all aboard. Watkins appears to be healthy finally and he has as much upside as any WR in the league giving his deep play potential. I could see a 8/140/2 type of game from him this week vs. the Browns.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Kevin Hanson: Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons ($6,700/$5,000)

Last week, I went with Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas as a double-WR stack against the poor Titans pass defense and both WRs reached the 100-yard mark on a combined 30 targets. Many of my tournament lineups this week will feature a pair of Falcons running backs against the woeful 49ers run defense. (Virtually all of my lineups will have one, if not both, of these two backs.)

The 49ers have allowed 10 100-yard rushers in their past 12 games with Jordan Howard (32/117/3) and Bilal Powell (29/145/2) doing plenty of damage in Weeks 13 and 14, respectively. No team has allowed more yards per carry (4.99) to opposing running backs, who have also rushed for 19 touchdowns and added three more receiving scores.

With Freeman coming off a disappointing performance in their blowout win, that will hopefully keep his ownership down slightly. Especially if Julio Jones plays (at less than 100 percent), I could see the Freeman/Coleman duo racking up 200-300 YFS, 5-10 receptions and a couple of touchdowns in this dream matchup.

Brendan Donahue: Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs ($5,700)

Hill's speed was on display on national TV last Thursday night and it seems like KC is figuring out what kind of weapon they now have in Hill. Over his past five games, he has caught at least four balls and had at least 52 receiving yards and scored double-digits on DK in each so he is starting to establish a decent floor. Within those five, he's also had three games where he's scored over 20 points with a high over 32.5 so he's also establishing a really high ceiling. This week he gets the Titans, who have given up the most points to opposing WRs so he's a must-play for me this week at just $5,700.

John Trifone: Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens ($3,800)

The clear value play at running back, Dixon is coming off a good game against the Patriots Monday night. He out-touched Terrance West with 11 carries and eight receptions, and should continue to see increased usage. Salaries came out before Dixon's good game, so I wouldn't overthink it. He's a solid option and the low price tag will help get in some of the higher-priced guys.

Dan Yanotchko: LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots ($5,000)

This week I have LeGerette Blount of the Patriots going up against the Denver Broncos. Last year the Broncos hit Tom Brady 20 times in the AFC Championship Game, and this year the Broncos are soft against the run. They allow 127 yards per game, 4.2 yards per carry, and 12 touchdowns on the year, and have allowed a 100-yard rusher in their last three games. Blount has an impressive four-game split -- 66 carries, 351 yards and two touchdowns. They are going to play this game like the Colts, run them into the ground.

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December 11, 2016

Week 14 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 14 NFL picks against the spread:

Green Bay Packers +3 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

It would be an understatement to call the Packers season up to this point a disappointment. With a 6-6 record going into Week 14, the Packers would be on the outside looking in if the playoffs were to begin now.

Of course, they don't (begin now).

Green Bay will host the Seahawks this weekend and then play their division foes over the final three games. If they take care of business, there is a good chance they will make the playoffs.

Over the past few weeks, Aaron Rodgers has played better -- 291.0 YPG, eight TDs and no INTs in past three games -- and Jordy Nelson has a minimum of 91 yards in five of his past six games. In addition, Jordy has scored a touchdown in five of those six games. With Earl Thomas out and a group of talented pass-catchers at Rodgers' disposal, I think they pull off the upset at Lambeau (or at least keep it within a field goal).

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Carolina Panthers Pick'em over San Diego Chargers (2 Units)

What a year as it has been for the Panthers and what a start to last week's game! After benching the reigning MVP to start last week's game due to a dress code violation, Derek Anderson threw an interception. It didn't get much better from there as the Panthers were blown out 40-6.

The Panthers have allowed 75 points in their past two games to the Raiders (35) and Seahawks (40) and Luke Kuechly (concussion) will miss a third consecutive game. Essentially playing only for pride at this point in the season, Cam Newton and the Panthers could bounce back as Philip Rivers and the Chargers make the cross-country flight for a 1 p.m. game.

New England Patriots -6.5 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

Without Rob Gronkowski for the rest of the season, Tom Brady may not carve up opposing secondaries on a weekly basis. And the Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league. That said, I trust him (without Gronk) much more than I trust Joe Flacco (with all of his weapons).

Historically, Flacco has played well against the Patriots and he's coming off his best game of the season, but the offense has otherwise struggled all year. Baltimore ranks 24th in the NFL in yards per offensive play (5.138) just ahead of the Browns (5.136).

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

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Week 14 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 14 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers Pick'em over San Diego Chargers (5 Units)

I love this rebound spot for Cam Newton and the Panthers. I think Cam finishes the week as the top fantasy QB as well. The Panthers get Luke Kuechly back as well which will be a huge boost to a defense that has been struggling. Panthers 37, Chargers 24.

[Note: Kuechly has been ruled out for Week 14.]

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Los Angeles Rams +6 over Atlanta Falcons (5 Units)

Even if Julio Jones goes this week, he will be extremely limited or a decoy, as reported. The Rams have played decent at home this year, and I think they find a way to upset the Falcons here. I think Jared Goff has a multi-TD game and the Rams D gets to Matt Ryan. Rams 23, Falcons 17.

New York Giants +3.5 over Dallas Cowboys (5 Units)

The Cowboys are bound to trip up before the playoffs and this is the perfect spot. I think Odell Beckham has a big game in prime time and the Giants upset the Cowboys. Giants 24, Cowboys 23.

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

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Week 14 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 14 NFL picks against the spread:

Pittsburgh Steelers -3 over Buffalo Bills (3 Units)

This should be a fun game, as the forecast is calling for snow showers in Buffalo with possibility of decent winds, so the ground games will be crucial here. The Steelers have been stout against the run this year, as they only allow 92 yards per game on the ground, and I think the focus will be for them to keep LeSean McCoy in check. On the other side of the ball, the Bills have not been playing great against the run all year, as they allow 116 rushing yards per game and 4.1 yards per carry. The Bills have also been torched as of late by opposing quarterbacks in Blake Bortles and Derek Carr, and I suspect Ben Roethlisberger will be able to add his name to the list. This is a gotta-have-it game for the Steelers, and I expect them to carry through.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Cincinnati Bengals -5.5 over Cleveland Browns (4 Units)

In yet another game that is said to feature a good amount of snow, I really love the Bengals coming into town and being able to run the Browns right off the field in the return game of RG3. Cleveland has the second-worst rushing defense in the league, as they allow 140.6 rushing yards per game and also 4.5 yards per carry. Last time they played the Bengals, Jeremy Hill went for 192 total yards. With Rex Burkhead mixed in, Hill will see a lot of work in this one. The Browns are just as awful against the pass, as they have let opposing quarterbacks go for 259 yards per game and 28 touchdowns on the year. This will be quite the running back feature game, and I also expect Tyler Eifert to shine as well, so I will take the Bengals on the road here.

New York Giants +3.5 over Dallas Cowboys (3 Units)

This is the rematch in primetime people are loving, as it an old NFC rival Giants-Cowboys game, with the fact that the Giants were the only blemish on the Cowboys record on the year so far tossed in for good measure. Everyone is still waiting for the other shoe to drop on Dallas, and I really think they may have a difficult time on the road this week. The Cowboys secondary is certainly suspect, as they allow 276 yards passing per game, and opposing quarterbacks have a very high 70-percent completion percentage against them as well. The Cowboys also struggle to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and the secondary has struggled in forcing turnovers, as they only have picked off four passes all year. Again this is another game that could feature some weather elements, and I think Dak Prescott will struggle in the wind. I like the small dog at home here.

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

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Week 14 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Here are my Week 14 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans +6.5 over Indianapolis Colts (4 Units)

This is a huge game in deciding who will win the division, as both teams are tied along with Tennessee at 6-6. The Titans have a tough matchup against the defending champion Broncos, so there's a reasonable chance that the winner of this game will claim sole possession of the division. I'd still favor the Colts to win the game, but I'm not swayed by their massive Monday Night win over the Jets -- a game in which New York was just an embarrassment on both sides of the ball. I like Houston to keep this one within a touchdown so I'll take the 6.5.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Cleveland Browns +5.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (4 Units)

I just don't know, as bad as the Browns are, if they're going to go winless for the season. They have some solid athleticism at the skill positions, and RG3 is finally back. This is likely his last chance to make a case that he's a starting quarterback in the league. Cincinnati is on the decline so I like Cleveland at home to get the upset victory in a close game.

Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

Blake Bortles is terrible and has had just an awful season. The stat about having more pick-sixes than career wins has been out there all week, and I think the Jags will be extra motivated to win this one. It's a home game, Minnesota has a pretty weak offense without a good run game, and Jacksonville actually has a good pass defense. This one is more about the number than win or lose the game, but I'll guess it's a close game and I'll take the Jags with the points.

Green Bay Packers +3 over Seattle Seahawks (4 Units)

A December game at Lambeau that the Packers are underdogs in and need to win to stay in contention? And they still have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback? I'll take the Packers. I'll fully admit my bias toward Rodgers -- I'm not a Packer fan, but at least for a stretch, he's the best QB I've seen. Seattle just lost Earl Thomas, which is a big blow for them. I think the Packers find a way to eek this one out and get the W.

New York Giants +3.5 over Dallas Cowboys (3 Units)

The Giants handed the Cowboys their only loss way back in Week 1. Neither team is the same at this point, but the Giants have a chance to prove that game was not a fluke. Some think they are a flawed 8-4 team, and the loss of JPP doesn't help, but I like them to show up at home this Sunday night. The Cowboys are the NFC favorite for sure, but they don't have to go 15-1 to prove that. This is a very losable game for them, and I like the Giants to upset them.

Baltimore Ravens +6.5 over New England Patriots (5 Units)

In one of the last remaining good rivalries in the NFL, this is a great matchup on Monday night. There is no love lost between these two teams, and it's an important game with playoff implications. For the Patriots, it's about hanging on to the 1 seed after a Raider loss on Thursday. For the Ravens, it's about staying in top of the division to secure a playoff spot, which they may need to do with both wild card teams currently coming out of the AFC West. With the loss of Rob Gronkowski, I think the Patriots are a little less explosive offensively, and I like a close finish with a possible upset. Too many points, so I like the Ravens.

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

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December 09, 2016

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 14

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 14 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 - Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (vs. NYJ), $5,800
RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. WAS), $4,000
RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (at CLE), $5,800
WR - Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (at TEN), $5,700
WR - Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers (at CAR), $6,100
WR - Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (at TEN), $6,000
TE - Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (vs. DEN), $4,400
FLEX - David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (at MIA), $9,800
DST - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. NO), $2,400

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

1. Sean - Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles ($4,000): This is a must-win game for the Eagles Sunday as a loss certainly eliminates them from the playoff race this season. The Redskins run defense is pretty mediocre so I expect the Eagles to rely on the run game heavily. I won't go overweight on Mathews because he is a huge injury risk, but I definitely will have him on a bunch of teams this week. I can see a 20-point week out of Mathews.

Comments by Kevin: After missing a couple of games with a knee injury, Mathews is ready to return on Sunday. I almost never roster Mathews (when he's healthy), but it would certainly make sense for the Eagles to feed Mathews and establish the run game after Carson Wentz slung it 60 times in Week 13.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Kevin - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals ($5,800): Certainly, the efficiency leaves a lot to be desired. That said, the volume and matchup gives Hill as much upside as virtually any running back this week. Hill has 18-plus touches in three consecutive games with 25 touches in last week's win and only the 49ers and Falcons have allowed more DK points to opposing running backs this season. Even though the Bengals are on the road, they are favored by 5.5 points against the winless Browns and I could see Hill getting another 20-25 touches with the possibility for a score (or two).

Comments by Sean: I’m a little hesitant to roster a RB who over the past two games has 35 carries for only 54 yards. Hill would need 64 carries this week to reach that 100 yard bonus! His price also increased $1,500 this week despite the gross YPC. With all this being said, Hill does have a great matchup vs. the Browns. I’ll bite on this play this week, because both Baltimore and Philly have pretty solid run defenses.

3. Sean - David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals ($9,800): Johnson’s price is almost $10K, which is absolutely crazy, but he is deserving of this price considering how he has played this year. Larry Fitzgerald’s production has dipped as the season has progressed, which has led to more work for DJ in the pass game. Johnson has had double-digit receiving targets in his last three games. The wheels will off the DJ bus eventually, but I am going to ride him until it happens.

Comments by Kevin: You have spend money to make money? No player is priced higher than Johnson this week, but the stud running back has 33-plus DK points in three consecutive games and at least 27 DK points in all but one game since Week 5. With double-digit targets in three consecutive games, Johnson, like Le'Veon Bell, is one of those rare players that could get the 100/100 (double-bonus) line in any given week.

4. Kevin - Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos ($5,700): While he had a 7/162/1 line in Week 12, Sanders has been frustrating to roster. That said, the volume has been there. Twelve wide receivers have at least a 25-percent share of their team's targets; two of them play for the Broncos. In fact, Sanders (28.64%) ranks second in the NFL in that category behind Tampa's Mike Evans (31.05%). Assuming that Trevor Siemian is the starter, I think both Sanders and Thomas can take advantage of the favorable matchup — Tennessee allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Comments by Sean: You don't have to sell me on picking WRs vs the Titans. Kevin and I both wrote up Broncos players in our roundtable this week. There are a couple of things that worry me early in the week. First being Trevor Siemian’s status. I expect him to go this week, but if he doesn't I won't have as much Manny this week. Also, the Titans did just come off a bye week. They have had two weeks to game plan and fine tune their D.

5. Sean - Tyrell Williams, WR, San Diego Chargers ($6,100): This is my favorite game of the week to target as I think this will be the highest-scoring game of the week. I absolutely love Cam Newton in a bounce-back spot after an embarrassing loss vs. the Seahawks last week. Cam will probably be my highest-owned QB in GPPs this week. Since I expect the Panthers to go nuts on offense, I believe the Chargers will have to throw the ball a lot. Williams is Rivers favorite option and I think he has a 7/120/1 type game this week.

Comments by Kevin: The good news is that Williams played nearly the entire game despite his shoulder injury and is practicing in full this week. Not only has Williams scored in four consecutive games, but he has double-digit targets in three of six and 100-plus yards in three of eight games. Williams should be able to reach value at his price point and there is some upside as Philip Rivers should throw more often than he did last week (26 attempts).

6. Kevin - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos ($6,000): Even though Sanders has the second-highest target share in the NFL this season, Thomas has double-digit targets in six of his past seven games. As noted above, the matchup is great and due to the volume for both receivers, I think both can be productive.

Comments by Sean: It looks like Kevin is going in the direction of a Denver stack this week with DT. I do have some concerns as noted above. In a GPP though, I am on board with the play.

7. Sean - Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans ($4,400): Giving the roster build of having exposure to two Denver WRs, we are hoping for a shootout in this game. I’m going to come back with Delanie Walker as he is the Titans best threat In their passing attack. I think the Denver corners will have an easy time shutting down Rishard Matthews, Kendall Wright, and Tajae Sharpe. Walker has as much upside as any other TE on this slate.

Comments by Kevin: I'd like for Walker's target volume to be more consistent, but I'd expect a higher volume of targets for him this week given the matchup. It's certainly tougher to beat the Broncos on the outside. And even though he has 50 yards or less in three of his past four games, Walker has scored a touchdown in three games during that stretch.

8. Kevin - Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers ($5,800): Kaepernick was benched after throwing for only four yards and burned plenty of owners last week, but he gets another shot in a favorable matchup. Before last week, Kaepernick had finished as a top-eight weekly quarterback in four consecutive games. While I wouldn't roster him in cash games (head-to-heads, 50/50's, etc.), the upside remains just as high as ever in tournaments. With Thomas and Sanders dominating team targets, I could see both having productive PPR performances without Trevor Siemian having a monster game, but I considered him here as well.

Comments by Sean: Taking Thomas/Sanders at $12K off our salary we are hoping for roughly 50 points in tournaments. If we get that 50 then Siemian is a lock as well. It would suck to hit the nuts in a game stack and not have the QB. Kaepernick has more upside than Siemian, but I’d rather take the play that makes more sense based on our roster build.

9. Kevin - Tampa Bay Buccaneers DST ($2,400): Based on remaining salary, there aren't/weren't a lot of choices to fill our defense. The Bucs have been playing better defense during their four-game winning streak, they play at home and Drew Brees and the Saints are not as prolific of an offense as on the road as they are at home.

Comments by Sean: Tampa D has played better than expected this year. I’ll have a few shares of Tampa D this week as Brees does struggle on the road at times.

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December 08, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 14 to 16

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

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

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 14 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.

Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 14-16):

RankTeamTeam ScheduleAverage PointsFantasy Playoffs
1San Diego ChargersTeam Schedule10.1630.48
2Chicago BearsTeam Schedule9.5428.62
3Buffalo BillsTeam Schedule9.1827.54
4Dallas CowboysTeam Schedule9.0327.1
5Carolina PanthersTeam Schedule8.6125.83
6Houston TexansTeam Schedule8.5225.55
7Cleveland BrownsTeam Schedule8.4625.37
8New York GiantsTeam Schedule8.3925.17
9San Francisco 49ersTeam Schedule8.3224.95
10Tampa Bay BuccaneersTeam Schedule8.1224.37
11Detroit LionsTeam Schedule8.0424.12
12Minnesota VikingsTeam Schedule8.0224.05
13Atlanta FalconsTeam Schedule7.8823.63
14Cincinnati BengalsTeam Schedule7.823.4
15Kansas City ChiefsTeam Schedule7.6723
16Arizona CardinalsTeam Schedule7.6522.95
17Pittsburgh SteelersTeam Schedule7.6322.88
18Los Angeles RamsTeam Schedule7.5822.75
19Washington RedskinsTeam Schedule7.5522.65
20New York JetsTeam Schedule7.221.6
21Philadelphia EaglesTeam Schedule7.1821.53
22Oakland RaidersTeam Schedule7.1521.46
23New England PatriotsTeam Schedule6.8320.48
24Indianapolis ColtsTeam Schedule6.6920.07
25Jacksonville JaguarsTeam Schedule6.6619.98
26Denver BroncosTeam Schedule6.4219.27
27Green Bay PackersTeam Schedule6.3819.15
28Miami DolphinsTeam Schedule6.1918.57
29Baltimore RavensTeam Schedule6.0818.24
30Seattle SeahawksTeam Schedule5.9917.98
31New Orleans SaintsTeam Schedule5.8917.67
32Tennessee TitansTeam Schedule5.8117.42

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 14 to 16

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

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

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 14 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.

Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 14-16):

RankTeamTeam ScheduleAverage PointsFantasy Playoffs
1Atlanta FalconsTeam Schedule25.9277.76
2Washington RedskinsTeam Schedule25.5276.55
3San Diego ChargersTeam Schedule25.476.19
4Denver BroncosTeam Schedule25.1975.57
5San Francisco 49ersTeam Schedule24.9274.75
6Oakland RaidersTeam Schedule24.6974.07
7Seattle SeahawksTeam Schedule24.5873.73
8New York JetsTeam Schedule24.3172.94
9Los Angeles RamsTeam Schedule24.2872.85
10Tampa Bay BuccaneersTeam Schedule24.2772.81
11New York GiantsTeam Schedule23.9271.77
12Chicago BearsTeam Schedule23.7471.21
12New Orleans SaintsTeam Schedule23.7471.22
14Minnesota VikingsTeam Schedule23.7171.12
15Carolina PanthersTeam Schedule23.5870.74
16Miami DolphinsTeam Schedule23.5670.69
17Detroit LionsTeam Schedule23.470.21
18Philadelphia EaglesTeam Schedule23.3169.94
19Buffalo BillsTeam Schedule23.2369.69
20Arizona CardinalsTeam Schedule23.0969.28
21Pittsburgh SteelersTeam Schedule22.6768.02
22Dallas CowboysTeam Schedule22.5967.77
23Baltimore RavensTeam Schedule22.567.51
24Cleveland BrownsTeam Schedule21.8765.62
25Cincinnati BengalsTeam Schedule21.8265.47
26Kansas City ChiefsTeam Schedule21.6865.03
27Houston TexansTeam Schedule21.5764.72
28New England PatriotsTeam Schedule21.3864.14
29Jacksonville JaguarsTeam Schedule21.0963.27
30Tennessee TitansTeam Schedule20.7762.32
31Green Bay PackersTeam Schedule20.7162.14
32Indianapolis ColtsTeam Schedule20.3861.13

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 14 to 16

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

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

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 14 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.

Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 14-16):

RankTeamTeam ScheduleAverage PointsTotal Points
1Los Angeles RamsTeam Schedule21.5164.54
2Carolina PanthersTeam Schedule21.3163.92
3Cincinnati BengalsTeam Schedule21.0763.21
4Atlanta FalconsTeam Schedule20.6862.03
5Buffalo BillsTeam Schedule20.5161.53
6San Diego ChargersTeam Schedule20.2860.83
7New York JetsTeam Schedule20.0260.06
8San Francisco 49ersTeam Schedule19.3157.94
9Cleveland BrownsTeam Schedule19.2957.87
10Oakland RaidersTeam Schedule18.9656.89
11Kansas City ChiefsTeam Schedule18.9156.74
12Indianapolis ColtsTeam Schedule18.7756.3
13Tampa Bay BuccaneersTeam Schedule18.6956.06
14Houston TexansTeam Schedule18.655.81
15Chicago BearsTeam Schedule17.9253.75
16Tennessee TitansTeam Schedule17.9153.74
17Minnesota VikingsTeam Schedule17.8953.66
18Arizona CardinalsTeam Schedule17.753.1
19Baltimore RavensTeam Schedule17.3652.07
20New Orleans SaintsTeam Schedule17.0151.03
21Dallas CowboysTeam Schedule16.9250.75
22Jacksonville JaguarsTeam Schedule16.8750.6
23Philadelphia EaglesTeam Schedule16.7950.37
24Pittsburgh SteelersTeam Schedule16.5949.76
25New England PatriotsTeam Schedule16.549.51
26Miami DolphinsTeam Schedule16.4749.4
27Seattle SeahawksTeam Schedule16.2548.75
28Denver BroncosTeam Schedule15.9647.89
29Washington RedskinsTeam Schedule15.6246.86
30Green Bay PackersTeam Schedule15.3546.04
31New York GiantsTeam Schedule15.2945.87
32Detroit LionsTeam Schedule15.2745.8

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 14 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 14 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.

Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 14-16):

1San Diego ChargersTeam Schedule18.5955.78
2Carolina PanthersTeam Schedule18.254.61
3Oakland RaidersTeam Schedule18.1254.37
4Chicago BearsTeam Schedule18.0554.16
4Tampa Bay BuccaneersTeam Schedule18.0554.16
6San Francisco 49ersTeam Schedule18.0354.08
7Denver BroncosTeam Schedule17.9253.75
8New York JetsTeam Schedule17.7953.38
8Buffalo BillsTeam Schedule17.7953.36
10New York GiantsTeam Schedule17.7153.14
11Minnesota VikingsTeam Schedule17.6953.08
12Houston TexansTeam Schedule17.5352.58
13Los Angeles RamsTeam Schedule17.3652.08
14Atlanta FalconsTeam Schedule17.2551.76
15Arizona CardinalsTeam Schedule17.0751.22
16Washington RedskinsTeam Schedule17.0251.07
17Cleveland BrownsTeam Schedule1751
18Dallas CowboysTeam Schedule16.6249.87
19Cincinnati BengalsTeam Schedule16.5649.68
20New Orleans SaintsTeam Schedule16.5249.57
21Baltimore RavensTeam Schedule16.4149.22
22Pittsburgh SteelersTeam Schedule16.3749.12
23Kansas City ChiefsTeam Schedule16.348.89
24Miami DolphinsTeam Schedule16.1648.49
25Seattle SeahawksTeam Schedule16.1448.41
26Detroit LionsTeam Schedule16.0148.02
27Philadelphia EaglesTeam Schedule15.5546.65
28Jacksonville JaguarsTeam Schedule15.5146.54
29Tennessee TitansTeam Schedule15.3846.13
30Indianapolis ColtsTeam Schedule15.3746.1
31New England PatriotsTeam Schedule15.0945.27
32Green Bay PackersTeam Schedule14.643.8

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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December 07, 2016

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 14

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 14?

Sean Beazley: Trevor Siemian, QB, Denver Broncos ($5,100)

I am targeting a QB this week who is near minimum salary facing a defense that has giving up 21 or more points in seven straight games. That QB is Trevor Siemian at $5,100. Siemian is out of a walking boot, and from early reports is on track to play vs. the Titans this week.

The Titans did release CB Perrish Cox, who was one player we all loved to target in DFS, but their backups are just as bad. This team makes mediocre QBs like Matt Barkley look like Hall-of-Famers. I’ll be running a dozen-plus Siemian GPP stacks this week as I think they will be pretty much unowned.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Kevin Hanson: Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, WRs, Denver Broncos ($6,000/$5,700)

In his past seven games, Thomas has double-digit targets in six games. Meanwhile, Sanders has a minimum of nine targets in five consecutive games. Both of these wide receivers dominate team targets so they should combine for roughly 20 or so in a great matchup against the Titans. This year, the Titans have allowed 173 catches (5th-most in NFL) for 2,227 yards (3rd-most) and 14 touchdowns (tied, 7th-most) to opposing wide receivers. Based on their bargain salaries, Thomas (19th-most expensive WR) and Sanders (23rd-most) should easily exceed value with plenty of upside.

Brendan Donahue: Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers ($5,800)

Yes, I am going with the guy who set an NFL record last week by actually being sacked more times than he had yards passing in the game. I am willing to chalk that performance up to the weather. This pick might even have more to do with who the Niners are playing, as the Jets defense not only got torched by the Colts but looked disinterested while they were out there. Again, if you can overlook last week's performance, Kapernick was performing as a top-three fantasy QB over the previous four weeks and while he might not be the safest play, I am willing to take a chance on him for tournaments this week at just $5,800 at home vs. the Jets.

John Trifone: Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers ($4,900)

The Jets defense on Monday night was absolutely terrible. With nothing left to play for and Bryce Petty taking over at quarterback for the last four games, I expect the 49ers and Hyde to have plenty of opportunities to put up fantasy points. When healthy, Hyde has been a workhorse back, and I think a 100-yard game and a touchdown is well within his range of outcomes. He could score multiple TDs, but certainly has a safe floor with upside. For $4,900, he's a strong play his week.

Dan Yanotchko: Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals ($6,100)

This week I like Andy Dalton of the Bengals, as he has the best possible matchup in the Browns. Dalton last two 300-yard games were 332 yards last week against Philly and 308 in Week 6 vs. Cleveland. The Browns passing defense is really bad allowing 259 yards per game, 28 touchdowns and they only have eight interceptions and 17 sacks on the year. It will definitely be raining points for the ginger.

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December 06, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 14

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 14 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (40 percent)

In three of his past four games, Fiedorowicz has failed to score at least five fantasy points. That said, he continues to see a steady volume of targets his way.

Since Week 4, Fiedorowicz has a minimum of five targets in every game and an average of 7.11/G over that nine-game span. And in the past three games, he's averaged 8.33/G. During that nine-game span, the third-year tight end has averaged 4.78/51.78/0.33 per game.

Fiedorowicz gets a favorable matchup this week against the Colts, who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. In his first game this season against the Colts, Fiedorowicz had a 6/85/1 line on seven targets and finished the week as fantasy's TE3.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers (23 percent)

Green's playing time continues to expand and the first-year Steeler had six catches for 110 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets in Week 13. With the team looking for a pass-catcher to step up beyond Antonio Brown (and Le'Veon Bell), Green could/should be that guy down the stretch.

3. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (33 percent)

Through Week 12, Pitta had zero touchdowns (despite being one of the most-targeted tight ends in the league). Through Week 13, he now has two. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't score another touchdown the rest of the season. Joe Flacco has only three multi-TD games this season. That said, he should continue to see a steady dose of targets in one of the league's most pass-happy offenses.

4. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts (29 percent)

Allen saw Pitta's two touchdowns and raised him a score. Turning three-quarters of his targets into touchdowns, Allen finished Monday Night Football with a 4/72/3 line against the Jets. Allen had five catches for 49 yards on six targets in Week 12. Of course, Allen won't score three touchdowns in a game again this season, but he remains a TD-dependent option going forward.

5. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (37 percent)

Davis now has five catches in back-to-back games as Jordan Reed missed Week 13 against the Cardinals. Davis has a minimum of 47 yards in six of his past seven games -- the miss was a Week 11 goose egg against the Packers. Especially if Reed misses another game, Davis will be a back-end TE1/high-end TE2 despite another difficult matchup against the Eagles.

6. Jermaine Gresham, Arizona Cardinals (three percent)

The upside with Gresham isn't great, but he now has five catches in back-to-back games, touchdowns in two of his past three games and six-plus targets in three of his past four games. With injuries (Rob Gronkowski and Reed) at the top of the position, Gresham is at least worth a look for those in dire need at the position.

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 14

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 14 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots (29 percent)

Productive in Weeks 11 and 12, Mitchell scored a total of three touchdowns in those two games, but he had a total of only nine targets and no more than 14-percent target share in either of those two games. Week 13 was different. Mitchell had eight catches and 10 targets, both of which were season highs, and a 21.74-percent target share.

Not only is Rob Gronkowski out for the rest of the season, but Danny Amendola is now dealing with a high-ankle sprain. With the Pats running more three-wide sets with Gronk out and Mitchell gaining the trust of Tom Brady, he is a must-add for those in any league size.

2. Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns (48 percent)

Since returning from his multi-game absence, Coleman has only 13 total receptions in four games with no more than 41 yards in any of those games. That said, he has 31 targets (7.75/G) and RG3 is likely to get the Week 14 start and down the stretch.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

3. Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (20 percent)

Inman had just two catches and five targets, both of which were seven-game lows, but he finished with 49 yards and a touchdown to score double-digit fantasy points in his second consecutive game. Even though the absolute number of targets were a seven-game low, Inman now has at least 20-percent target share in four consecutive games.

The Chargers receivers get a favorable matchup in Week 14 against the Panthers, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, and then the Raiders and Browns in Weeks 15 and 16.

4. Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals (16 percent)

In the first two games since the A.J. Green hamstring injury, LaFell had nine targets in each game but only 32 and 38 yards, respectively. Last week, LaFell had fewer targets (seven), but he was much more efficient and productive (5/95/1). Dealing with a Grade 2 hamstring tear, it appears that AJG is still a week or two, if not more, away from returning.

5. Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (46 percent)

Floyd had only three catches for 18 yards on Sunday and he now has 31 yards or less in three consecutive games. That said, the good news is Floyd had eight targets (18.6-percent target share, his highest since Week 3) and scored a touchdown Sunday. In addition, he's re-emerged as the clear No. 2 receiver after Larry Fitzgerald in the Cardinals offense.

6. Ted Ginn Jr., Carolina Panthers (23 percent)

Ginn now has three-plus catches and 40-plus yards in seven consecutive games and touchdowns in each of his past three. During that span, however, he has an additional six carries so has at least five touches in six of his past seven games. That said, he has no more than seven targets in any of those games and remains a TD-dependent fantasy option.

7. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (32 percent)

Garcon had seven catches for 78 yards on Sunday and he now has at least six catches and 67 yards in four of his past five games. If tight end Jordan Reed misses another game in Week 14, Garcon will be in the WR3 mix.

8. Will Fuller, Houston Texans (43 percent)

One week after hauling in four catches for 60 yards, Fuller had five catches for 59 yards against the Packers. It's hard to trust any of Houston's receivers, primarily due to Brock Osweiler's struggles, but there is some upside with the explosive rookie receiver.

9. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (37 percent)

Lockett had five catches for 63 yards on six targets and a 75-yard touchdown run to have his best performance of the season. He now has six targets (16-percent target share) in three of his past five games. Dangerous in the open field, Lockett's talent warrants a larger offensive role (although it's hard to count on it) and the Seahawks get a favorable matchup in Week 14 against the Packers.

10. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (11 percent)

Lee had just three catches for 34 yards in Week 13 against the Broncos, but the good news is that he continues to see heavy volume in the pass game. Lee now has a 20-percent share in three consecutive games and in four of his past five. In fact, he now has at least six targets in 10 of the 11 games since Week 2. Unfortunately, the Jags have a couple more tough matchups on the horizon with Minnesota in Week 14 and Houston in Week 15.

11. Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons (38 percent)

After four consecutive top-15 weekly performances, Gabriel finished as fantasy's WR55 in Week 13, but he actually had a season-high six targets. Over his past five games, the speedster has 18/315/4 receiving with 3/51/1 rushing. Depending on the status of Julio Jones (turf toe) and Mohamed Sanu (groin), both of whom were dealing with injuries at the end of Week 13's loss to the Chiefs, Gabriel could see similar volume in Week 14.

12. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (16 percent)

Since Week 5, Thielen has 39 catches for 512 yards and three touchdowns on 53 targets over eight games. Better in PPR formats, Thielen has now finished as a top-35 PPR wide receiver in four consecutive games.

13. Dorial Green-Beckham, Philadelphia Eagles (eight percent)

Green-Beckham now has double-digit targets in back-to-back games. With Carson Wentz throwing it 60 times and Jordan Matthews sidelined on Sunday, it's disappointing that DGB had just four catches for 29 yards on his 10 targets. Matthews should return this week, but DGB should see 6-8 targets.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 14

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 14 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (46 percent)

Even with the Ravens winning by 32 points on Sunday, Dixon had just six carries and backfield mate Terrance West (13) had more touches than Dixon (10). The good news, however, is that Dixon actually ran for a season-high 56 yards (9.3 yards per carry) and he has exceeded 6.0 yards per carry in three of his past four games.

Over that four-game span, Dixon has rushed for 183 yards on 31 carries (5.90 YPC) and he has four-plus receptions in three of those games as well. While Dixon has been effective on a per-touch basis, one of his concerns is that West is more likely to get the goal-line opportunities and West scored a pair of touchdowns on Sunday.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (23 percent)

Gillislee missed Week 12 with a hamstring injury and he's a clear second to LeSean McCoy on the depth chart. That said, he is starting to see a steady rise in workload and he's been highly productive in the red zone.

Not only does Gillislee have a minimum of eight carries in each of his past four games, but he now has six touchdowns in his past seven games played. With a minimum of 7.2 fantasy points in four consecutive games, Gillislee has finished as a top-15 weekly performer in three of those four weeks.

The Bills have a pair of fantasy-friendly matchups coming up against the Steelers and Browns. Both teams rank among the top-six in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs this season.

3. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (45 percent)

Expected to be part of a 1-2 rushing attack with DeMarco Murray, it has been more of a 1-1 attack with Murray followed by some more Murray. That said, Henry now has eight-plus carries in three of four games. (Of course, the exception was a Week 11 goose egg.)

In his most recent game (Week 12 before their bye), Henry had eight carries for 60 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. Henry now has two touchdowns in his past four games and the team has talked about getting Henry more involved in short-yardage situations.

4. Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 percent)

Sims is eligible to return from IR this week and the team plans to activate him in time to return for Sunday's game against the Saints. Sims has been productive in a third-down, change-of-pace role for the Bucs and Doug Martin has historically struggled with durability. The Bucs get a pair of matchups against the Saints (Weeks 14 and 16) and the Cowboys (Week 15) in the fantasy playoffs.

5. Justin Forsett, Denver Broncos (six percent)

With Devontae Booker struggling with efficiency (3.29 YPC or worse in five consecutive games) and Kapri Bibbs sent to IR, the Broncos claimed Forsett off waivers. Considering Forsett had the best season of his career playing for Gary Kubiak in Baltimore, it's possible that he earns some opportunities sooner than later. That said, he hasn't been all that effective with the Ravens or the Lions this season.

6. Rex Burkhead, Cincinnati Bengals (five percent)

Burkhead lost a fumble last week, but he had 12 touches -- eight carries and four receptions -- for 66 yards. The Bengals get a favorable matchup in Week 14 against the Browns, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs after the 49ers.

7. Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (44 percent)

Scoring his second touchdown on the season, McKinnon had 55 yards from scrimmage and a score on 14 touches on Sunday. He now has 12-plus touches in three consecutive games. Adrian Peterson may or may not return this season, but both McKinnon and/or Matt Asiata lack upside as the Vikings are averaging a league-low 3.0 YPC this season.

8. Shane Vereen, New York Giants (three percent)

Designated as the team's player to return from IR, Vereen is eligible to return in Week 14 and is expected to resume practicing on Wednesday. Vereen is worth a look in PPR formats.

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 14

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 14 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

1. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (23 percent)

Coming off his best game of the season, Flacco threw for 381 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in Sunday's win over the Dolphins. Even in a 32-point victory, he threw it 47 times. Only the winless Browns and the Packers, who had been decimated by injuries at running back, have thrown it on a higher percentage of their offensive plays than the Ravens this season.

The Ravens are touchdown underdogs to the Patriots on Monday Night Football so Flacco should drop back to pass 40-plus times once again. Even so, Flacco has thrown for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in only four of 12 games despite ranking second in the NFL in pass attempts (497) behind Drew Brees (500).

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

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

Bad news first: Smith has thrown for zero or one touchdown in five consecutive games. More bad news: Smith failed to take advantage of this exact matchup the first time around: 19-of-22 for 224 yards and no TDs (8.86 fantasy points, QB28).

The good news is that he's likely to get back Jeremy Maclin, who has sat out the past four games. In addition, his next two matchups against the Raiders and Titans are favorable. Both teams have ranked amongst the top-12 most generous defenses to fantasy quarterbacks this season.

3. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (48 percent)

After completing just one-of-five pass attempts for four yards, Kaepernick was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert. As disappointing as that was for anyone that had started him or played him in daily fantasy, Kaep will remain the starter heading into Week 14.

Assuming that he is also the finisher in Week 14 against the Jets, he may be in consideration in Week 15 against the Falcons. The matchup is favorable this week, but I wouldn't play him with my playoff life/lives on the line this week or in DFS cash games.

But I will have a few shares of him in DFS tournaments this weekend. Before last week, Kaepernick had finished as fantasy's QB8 (or better) in four consecutive weeks.

4. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (32 percent)

Wentz has not been great, or even good, lately. In his past five games, the rookie out of North Dakota State has thrown three touchdowns and eight interceptions. That said, Wentz has thrown 43-plus pass attempts in four of his past six games including 60 on Sunday. In addition, he has a minimum of 15 fantasy points in three consecutive games.

Wentz was horrible the first time these two teams met, but the Redskins have allowed a top-12 weekly QB finish in their past five of six games with Week 10 (Sam Bradford, QB13) being the lone exception.

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December 04, 2016

Week 13 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 13 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Giants +6 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

The Giants have rebounded from a three-game losing streak to win their past six games. Granted, their level of competition has been low (Browns, Bears, Rams, etc.) during that winning streak, but Eli Manning has thrown multiple touchdowns in five of those six games. While the Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers play better at home, I do think that the Giants can keep this game within a touchdown. Pittsburgh's pass defense ranks in the bottom half of the league in yards per game (263, 23rd) and yards per attempt (7.4, 21st).

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Buffalo Bills +3 over Oakland Raiders (3 Units)

I love what the Raiders have done so far this season and think they are for real. As a fan of an NFC team, I'm actually "rooting" for the Raiders to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 51. That said, I like Tyrod Taylor, LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins to be able to score some points and to keep this game within a field goal. Not that they are necessarily looking ahead, but the Raiders will face all three of their division rivals on the road in the final four weeks and have a short turnaround as they face the Chiefs this upcoming Thursday.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins, Under 40.5 (3 Units)

The Dolphins are on a six-game winning streak powered by Jay Ajayi, but they will face the league's best rush defense as the Ravens allow 74.9 rush yards per game. On the other hand, Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense leave a lot to be desired. Only the Brock Osweiler-led Texans and Jared Goff-led (or Case Keenum-led) Rams have scored fewer touchdowns per game than the Ravens. It looks like the Dolphins could very well be without DeVante Parker, who has stepped up recently, so I could see this game being a 20-17 or lower-scoring type of game.

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Week 13 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 13 NFL picks against the spread:

Atlanta Falcons -5.5 over Kansas City Chiefs (3 Units)

This week, the Chiefs have another massive road test flying out to the East coast to take on the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. The Chiefs are coming off a big emotional divisional game against the defending champions, and I think they will be due for a let-down this week. The Falcons have exactly the right personnel available to attack the Chiefs, as Kansas City's secondary has been like a sieve this year to opposing wide receivers. The Chiefs allow 261 yards passing to opposing quarterbacks, and they also have given up 20 touchdowns through the air as well. I really like the Falcons at home in the dome, and having Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Taylor Gabriel to go against a Chiefs team that will be without Jeremy Maclin again.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Miami Dolphins +3.5 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

The Dolphins will certainly have a test this week to see if they are truly for real, as they are coming into this game winners of their last six ball games. The Ravens lead the AFC North for now, and one would think that the Ravens at home with the best run defense in the league will slow down Jay Ajayi. Over the last six games, Ajayi has been on fire, as he has posted the following split 730 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns over that span. Also, don't sleep on the Dolphins passing offense, as they have emerged with dual threats in Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker, and you can certainly exploit the Ravens secondary that gives up 223 yards passing per game and 20 touchdowns. I think this will be a close game overall and when in doubt, take the points as always.

Chicago Bears +2 over San Francisco 49ers (4 Units)

Outside of Cleveland of course, this game features the two other worst teams in the league, and well, I think, this one is more for draft positioning than anything. Although the Bears have lost two starting quarterbacks this year, Matt Barkely did a credible job last week in his first start, and if it wasn't for the backup receivers having the drops, they would have beaten Tennessee. The Bears have also found a bright spot in running back Jordan Howard, who over the last four games has posted a stat line of 414 yards rushing, two touchdowns, and also hauled in eight catches for 114 yards as well. Howard has the dream matchup against a 49ers defense that allows 171.8 yards rushing per game and 5.1 yards per carry. I know a lot of people love Colin Kaepernick this week, but the Bears are better than the Niners at home.

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Week 13 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 13 NFL picks against the spread:

Detroit Lions +6 over New Orleans Saints (5 Units), Over 53.5 (5 Units)

The Saints are great at home, and score a ton of points in the dome. The Lions have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, so I expect Drew Brees and the Saints offense to eat. I think the Lions can keep pace with them as well. As I mentioned in our DFS Roundtable and our joint picks this week, I am going to be targeting a lot of players from this game. Saints 37, Lions 33.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New England Patriots -13 over Los Angeles Rams (5 Units)

The loss of Rob Gronkowski, I think, will end the Super Bowl dreams for the Patriots this year, but they should have no problem beating the Rams. The key in this one will be Pats QB Steve Grogan. I think he hits Stanley Morgan on a couple of deep scores … On a serious note, Jeff Fisher is the worst. The player I like the most in DFS this week is Dion Lewis. I think he finds the end zone twice. Patriots 34, Rams 14.

Arizona Cardinals -2 over Washington Redskins (5 Units)

I've lost so many “units” on the Cardinals this year, so why not another max bet placed on them?! Carson Palmer’s play has significantly dropped off this year, but they still have David Johnson to run the ball. I think DJ has a big game and the Cardinals D has a big game shutting down the 'Skins. Cardinals 23, Redskins 16.

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Week 13 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 13 NFL picks against the spread:

Kansas City Chiefs +5.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 Units)

The Chiefs are coming off an impressive come-from-behind victory in Denver last week and have set themselves up for a playoff run. They'll need to continue playing well down the stretch, and with Jeremy Maclin ruled out, we should see a good bit of Tyreek Hill. I like a close game that the Chiefs may win outright, so I'll grab the 5.5 here.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Denver Broncos -3.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (4 Units)

The Broncos late loss to Kansas City last week means they'll have some work to do if the defending champs want to make another run at it. Rookie Paxton Lynch will be the starter, and while the Jags pass defense has been good this year, I have more confidence in Lynch this week than I do in Blake Bortles against the Broncos the way he has been playing this year. I don't think the Jags score enough here, and Denver is too good in a very winnable game to let this be the game that kills their playoff hopes. I'll go against the grain and take the small road favorite to cover.

Cincinnati Bengals -2 over Philadelphia Eagles (3 Units)

The Eagles may have a bright future with Carson Wentz at the helm, but the future is not now. After a great start, Philly has regressed to what they really are. They're a middle-of-the-pack team with a solid defense but very weak offense. They have injuries at the running back and wide receiver position, and may have to rely on Dorial Green-Beckham as their No. 1 receiver this week. I think these are two pretty comparable teams and with home field alone, I like Cincy by three or so. I'll give the 2.

New York Giants +6 over Pittsburgh Steelers (4 Units)

We're all waiting for the Steelers to rise up to be the team to challenge New England and potentially come out of the AFC, but at 6-5, they need to secure a playoff spot first. I expect an offensive game, but the Giants defense has been getting better and better as the season goes on, and I think six points is too much. The Giants offense should be able hang in with Pittsburgh, and the Steelers should win the game, but I see less than a touchdown as the difference.

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December 03, 2016

Week 13 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, C.J. Fiedorowicz is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 13 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 Jimmy Graham and Fiedorowicz, you should start Graham -- and in turn, bench Fiedorowicz.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 13 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).

Week 13 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

TE - C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (at GB)

As much as the Texans offense, particularly the pass offense, has struggled this season, Fiedorowicz has emerged as a steady and consistent option. The third-year tight end now has a streak of eight games with at least five targets and he's averaged 6.88 per game over that stretch with a line of 4.63/52.75/0.38 and 7.53 fantasy points per game.

The matchup this week is favorable as the Packers have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points this season. On the year, only the Bills and Buccaneers have allowed more Y/R to opposing tight ends than the Packers (13.2 Y/R). Over their past four games, they have allowed four tight ends to exceed six fantasy points.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers (at CHI)

With the exception of his first start, Colin Kaepernick has consistently targeted McDonald, who has six-plus targets in five consecutive games. In his past four games, McDonald has finished as a top-four weekly tight end twice. In his past four games, he has a minimum of 46 yards each week and a total of 240 yards and two touchdowns.

There are a number of top tight ends out this week. Not only will Rob Gronkowski miss the next two months following back surgery, but Jordan Reed has been ruled out as well and Delanie Walker is on bye. While it's hard to trust any of San Francisco's wide receivers on a weekly basis, McDonald is certainly a viable streamer this week and he's owned in only 19 percent of Yahoo! leagues as of Saturday morning.

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

Over his past five games, Brate has scored a touchdown and finished as a top-12 weekly tight end in three of those games. In addition, he has five-plus targets in four of those games. With less than 50 yards in four of those five games, Brate is a TD-dependent option at tight end, but Jameis Winston often looks his way in the red zone and he's just inside my top-12 tight ends this week.

Week 13 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

TE - Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (vs. MIA)

Even though Pitta ranks fifth among tight ends in targets (74) this season, he has finished as fantasy's weekly TE14 (or worse) in nine consecutive games. During that span, he has scored an average of 3.31 fantasy points per game in standard-scoring formats.

In addition, Pitta's volume of targets has decreased recently with just 19 (4.75/G) over his past four games compared to 8.14/G in the first seven games of the year. Pitta gets a favorable matchup as the Dolphins allow the 11th-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, but the likelihood that Pitta is able to exploit it is fairly low.

TE - Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (vs. HOU)

In typical Cook fashion, he went from being fantasy's top-scoring tight end one week to the TE50 the next. In Week 11 against the Redskins, Cook had six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. In Week 12, he had one catch for seven yards on two targets. With a matchup against the Texans, typically stingy against opposing tight ends, Cook is merely a roll of the dice in DFS tournaments than anything more than that.

TE - Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (at NYJ)

A viable streamer at times this season, Doyle has scored the 14th-most fantasy points among tight ends (12th-most in PPR formats) on the year. That said, Doyle has exactly two targets in back-to-back games and three of fewer in three of his past four games. With Dwayne Allen back for the past three games, neither tight end is reliable enough to trust as a starter in 12-team leagues.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 13

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Week 13 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, Jamison Crowder is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 13 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, Larry Fitzgerald and Crowder and can only start two receivers, you should start Jones and Fitzgerald -- and in turn, bench Crowder.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 13 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).

Week 13 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

WR - Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (at ARI)

What a season it has been for Crowder! Crowder has finished as a top-33 fantasy wide receiver in seven consecutive games and in nine of his past 10. On the year, Crowder has actually been better in standard-scoring formats (11th-most fantasy points) than he has in PPR formats (14th-most).

Either way, he has vastly exceeded expectations.

During that 10-game span since Week 2, he has scored less than 8.8 fantasy points only once (Week 4) and he has averaged 10.85 per game over that stretch. And he's been even better over his past five games with three 100-yard outings with a total of 31 catches for 442 yards and three touchdowns on 41 targets.

With Jordan Reed out and Tyrann Mathieu doubtful, it helps Crowder for different reasons. Reed's absence could/should lead to more targets and Mathieu's absence improves an otherwise difficult matchup.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (vs. DET)

Thomas is coming off a 9/108/2 game, but he has been consistent despite being a rookie playing in a spread-it-around type of offense. Thomas has a minimum of four catches and 40 yards in every game this season. There are only three players that have 11 games of 4/40 this season: Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald and Thomas.

Since Week 3, Thomas has an average of 6.1/75.0 on 8.1 targets per game with seven TDs in nine games so there is plenty of upside in addition to his established floor. With no team is projected to score more points this week and given how well Drew Brees and the Saints offense play at home, all of the Saints should be popular plays in daily fantasy this week.

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

With Rob Gronkowski (back surgery) out for two months, Edelman should be peppered with targets by Tom Brady all game long. That's what happened with Gronk sidelined two weeks ago when Edelman had a season-high 17 targets (44.74% target share).

In fact, Edelman now has double-digit targets in back-to-back games. Not only does Edelman have seven-plus catches in three consecutive games, but each of his three highest weekly yardage totals this season have come in those three games.

Expecting him to get double-digit targets (12 or so) in a plus matchup (vs. LA, 8th-most FPA to WRs) for a team with the second-highest implied total from Vegas odds, Edelman could finish as a top-10 receiver this week.

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (vs. BUF)

Crabtree was limited in practice this week by an ankle injury, but he's a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 this week. Crabtree has been a little boom-or-bust lately. Over his past five games, Crabtree has 8/96 or better in three games, but only 27 and five yards in the other two games. That said, the two duds were against tough pass defenses (Denver and Houston). During that five-game span, Crabtree has averaged 10.6 targets per game.

Week 13 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

WR - Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers (at SEA)

Benjamin began the season with a bang -- 13/199/3 in his first two games. Since then, his best weekly finish has been the WR23 (last week). During that nine-game span, Benjamin has averaged 3.89 catches and 59.67 yards per game and has scored just two touchdowns. Even though he doesn't always shadow, I'd expect Richard Sherman to shadow Benjamin as he's the team's clear-cut WR1, which makes Benjamin more of a fantasy WR3 this week than a must-start.

WR - Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (vs. HOU)

Over his past four games, Cobb has finished as fantasy's WR34, WR59, WR28 and WR68, respectively. With the running back on the roster getting healthier, the Packers were more run-pass balanced last week than they have been in a long time. Against the low-powered Texans offense, Aaron Rodgers may not need to sling it all over Lambeau Field either.

When he has recently, however, Cobb has not been as big of a factor in the passing game as he was earlier in the season. In the first six games of the season, Cobb had 20-percent target share five times. Since then, however, he's been at 4.76, 14.55, 11.63 and 18.42 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the Texans have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.

WR - Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (at BAL)

It seems as though DeVante Parker (listed as "questionable") will miss Sunday's game against the Ravens. “Right now, this moment, we got to make sure we have a plan in place if he doesn’t make it,” [OC Clyde] Christensen said.

Parker's absence would give Landry a boost, but the previously target-dominant Landry has gone from double-digit targets in each of his first four games to an average of 6.29/G since then. Part of Landry's diminished role in the passing game has been due to Parker's increased role, but the team has transformed themselves into a run-first team lead by Jay Ajayi.

Right now, Landry is ranked in the 35-40 range of my wide receiver rankings. Assuming Parker sits, he'd get bumped up to the 25-30 range, but he'd still be outside of my top-24 wideouts for Week 13, making him a WR3.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 13

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Week 13 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, Latavius Murray is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 13 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, Melvin Gordon and Murray and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and MG3 -- and in turn, bench Murray.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 13 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).

Week 13 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

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

With the exception of Week 7 against the Packers, Howard has a minimum of 15 carries in his other seven games since Week 4. During that span, he has four 100-yard rushing games and the odds of him rushing for 100-plus yards this week is high.

Not only have the 49ers allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, but no team has allowed more yards per carry to opposing running backs than the 49ers (5.18). The Raiders are a distant second at 4.61 YPC to RBs. In addition, the 49ers have allowed RBs a league-high 14 rushing touchdowns and a total of 17 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the 49ers have allowed eight 100-yard rushers this season.

Given the teams injuries and/or suspensions on offense, we should see Howard get north of 20 carries and possibly 25 touches in this game provided it remains close.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

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

Ware hasn't been great recently with 60-70 rushing yards and no touchdowns in his three games since returning from a concussion. That said, Ware has 16, 19 and 19 touches, respectively, and I would expect Kansas City to try to control the clock as much as possible against the high-powered Falcons offense on the road. Regardless of whether Jeremy Maclin suits up or not, the Chiefs aren't built to win shootouts.

As far as the matchup goes, it's favorable for Ware. Only the 49ers (see above) and the Browns (on bye) have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season. No team has allowed more receptions to opposing running backs than the Falcons and Ware has multiple receptions in six consecutive games and even had a 7/129 receiving line in Week 1.

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (vs. BUF)

Since missing a couple of games earlier in the season, Murray has a minimum of 16 touches in five consecutive games. During that five-game span, he carried the ball 80 times for 299 yards (only 3.74 YPC). That said, Murray has scored six touchdowns and added 16 receptions for 142 yards on 22 targets over that stretch.

Far from efficient, Murray's volume (19.2 touches per game over his past five), role as a receiver and opportunities near the goal line make him a top-12 play this week. Only five other teams are projected to score more points than the Raiders, who are three-point home favorites.

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

In many weeks, Hyde is a mid- or back-end RB2 in my rankings, but he's solidly inside the top-10 this week. It's not often that the 49ers are favorites and even though they are on the road this weekend, San Francisco is currently a two-point favorite against the Bears.

Even in losses, Chip Kelly has shown his commitment to the running game. Provided this game stays close or that 49ers play with a lead, Hyde could see 25-plus touches.

And while the matchup may not look great on paper as Chicago has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, the team has been decimated by injuries and/or suspensions. I currently have Hyde projected for 21 touches, 91 yards and a touchdown.

Week 13 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

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

The matchup against the Dolphins isn't great, as they have limited opposing running backs to the 13th-fewest fantasy points this season. More concerning for West's outlook, however, is the role (or specifically the rise of it) for Kenneth Dixon. The Ravens have said they would get their fourth-round rookie more involved -- and they have.

Not only did Dixon have one more touch than West last week, but he played more snaps (31 to 23) than West as well. In addition, the Ravens have the fourth-lowest run-to-pass play percentage in the NFL this year. With the trend not favorable for West, it's hard to trust him as anything more than a flex option at this point.

RB - James White, New England Patriots (vs. LA)

If I were to start a Patriots running back, it would be LeGarrette Blount. In fact, the Blount is flirting with RB1 territory in a game where the Patriots are expected to blow out the Rams. If I were to start two Patriots running backs, it would be Blount and Dion Lewis. Since returning to action, Lewis has had five and six carries in addition to roughly 14 percent of the team's target share. On the other hand, White has maintained a role as a receiver (10/85/1 on 15 targets), but he has zero carries in his past two games.

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

Even with Chris Ivory ruled out this week and Yeldon active last week, it's unlikely that he sees a large enough workload to warrant RB2 consideration. With Ivory leaving early last week, Yeldon had just six carries for 17 yards and one three-yard reception on two targets. Meanwhile, Denard Robinson had 13 carries for 39 yards and he's expected to get a sizable workload this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 13

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Week 13 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, Colin Kaepernick is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 13 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 Kaepernick, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Kaepernick.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 13 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).

Week 13 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

QB - Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (at CHI)

If you need a Week 13 streamer, Kaepernick is available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues as of Saturday morning. But at this point, Kaepernick has become much more than just a weekly streamer in a favorable matchup.

Since San Francisco's Week 8 bye, few quarterbacks have been more productive than Kaepernick. During that four-game span, Kaepernick has scored a minimum of 19.44 fantasy points every week, averaged just shy of 25 per game as he finished no worse than fantasy's QB8 in any of those four weeks.

In a week where Drew Brees accounted for a total of five touchdowns, San Francisco's dual-threat quarterback actually led all signal-callers in fantasy points as he just missed a 300/100 game by a mere four passing yards. Kaepernick threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 10 times for 113 yards to score 33.14 fantasy points.

Taking over as the starter in Week 6, Kaepernick has 46 carries for 373 yards and a touchdown in six games. From his rushing stats alone, Kaepernick has averaged 7.22 fantasy points per game. Those rushing numbers both buoy his fantasy floor and maximize his fantasy ceiling.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (at OAK)

With a minimum of five rush attempts in every game except Week 2, Taylor has averaged 7.0 carries for 44.78 yards since Week 3. In addition, he has rushed for a score in four of his past five games.

Taylor threw a season-low 18 times last week for 166 yards and a touchdown, but he still managed to score over 20 fantasy points due to his 7/38/1 rushing line. In fact, he has thrown for less than 200 yards in five of his past seven games yet he has finished outside the top-15 weekly fantasy quarterbacks only once during that span.

While Sammy Watkins is supposedly still dealing with a broken bone in his foot, he is expected to play on Sunday and he had three catches for 80 yards in his return last week. Because of the concerns about his foot, I wouldn't start Watkins at wide receiver this week, but his presence gives Taylor a boost. In addition, the Raiders have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at NO)

It's been more than a month since Stafford has finished as a weekly top-15 fantasy quarterback. Over his past four games, Stafford has finished as fantasy's QB19, QB17, QB23 and QB24, respectively. That said, they were four challenging matchups -- Texans, Jaguars and Vikings twice.

While the Saints are playing better defense lately, this week's matchup is more favorable than any of his previous four. Even though the Lions are six-point underdogs, they have the 12th-highest implied total based on Vegas odds in what is expected to be a shootout (highest over/under of the week).

Week 13 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

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

After throwing just five touchdowns in his first five games this season, Manning has thrown multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games and in five of his past six. That means that Eli has also scored a minimum of 17 fantasy points in those five games with multiple scores.

During the team's six-game winning streak, however, Manning has thrown multiple interceptions three times and he has failed to throw for more than 257 yards in five consecutive games. Over his past five games, he's averaging just 222.8 passing yards per game.

While they haven't faced many elite quarterbacks (and even Andrew Luck sat last week with a concussion), the Steelers have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

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

Palmer has thrown for 300-plus yards and/or multiple scores in five consecutive games. That's the good news. The bad news is that he has just one top-12 performance since Week 3 to show for it.

Not only does Palmer have six interceptions in his past four games combined, but the Cardinals offensive line has struggled to protect him. Only the Browns (104) and Colts (90) have allowed more QB hits than the Cardinals (88) this season. Until further notice, Palmer more of a QB2 than a QB1.

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

The Jags have numerous injuries on offense with Chris Ivory and Allen Hurns already ruled out and Julius Thomas doubtful (likely out). Over their past five games, Bortles has thrown multiple touchdowns every week although much of his production continues to come in garbage time to salvage an otherwise poor performance.

One way that I could see Bortles having a productive day is on the ground like last week when he ran eight times for 81 yards, but no team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Broncos.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 13

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December 02, 2016

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 13

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 13 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 - Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. CAR), $6,300
RB - Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (at NO), $5,800
RB - Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (at CHI), $5,300
WR - Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (vs. KC), $8,700
WR - Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (vs. DET), $6,900
WR - Marquess Wilson, Chicago Bears (vs. SF), $4,000
TE - Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks (vs. CAR), $5,500
FLEX - Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (at ATL), $4,700
DST - Pittsburgh Steelers DST (vs. NYG), $2,800

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

1. Sean - Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks ($5,500): There are a lot of great options with a very high price this week which is going to naturally lead to buying low at the favorite TE position. Paying up for TE is contrarian for tournaments and I expect ownership to be low as Seattle played awful last week vs. the Bucs. They have a home date with the Panthers, who struggle vs. the pass. I think Graham will be peppered with targets here and will be the No. 1 TE of the week. Graham has already had a 30-point week this year, and I think he has a good chance in this one.

Comments by Kevin: Rob Gronkowski will miss two months following surgery and Jordan Reed is more likely than not to sit in a tough matchup against Arizona. Sean starts the "draft" with my top-ranked TE of the week and later I select my second-ranked TE for week as well. The offense, especially the offensive line, looked horrible last week, but Graham has three 100-yard games on the season and has as much upside as any tight end playing this weekend.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Kevin - Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers ($5,300): The one-win 49ers are often underdogs, but that's not the case this week even though they are on the road. That tells us a lot about the opponent. On paper, it appears to be a tough matchup for Hyde as Chicago surrenders the third-fewest DK points to RBs, but the defense (and offense, for that matter) has been decimated by injuries. The other RB (Jordan Howard) in this game will be one of the most popular on Sunday's slate, but Hyde should get 20-plus touches including a few receptions, close to/more than 100 yards and perhaps a score.

Comments by Sean: The Bears defense might be worse than the 49ers defense. They are dealing with a ton of injuries. Colin Kaepernick will probably be the popular pick of the week in this matchup, which should keep ownership down on Hyde as QB/RB1 is not a good correlation play. I haven't played a lot of Hyde this year, but have no problem firing him into a bunch of GPPs this week.

3. Sean - Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions (at NO): The Saints have the worst defense against pass catching RBs in the NFL. Drew Brees eats at home, which should lead to a lot of passes by Matthew Stafford in catch-up mode. Riddick is my favorite DFS RB of the week. I think he is extremely safe giving his work in the passing game and if he finds the end zone, he could crush value.

Comments by Kevin: The Saints can put up points in a hurry, especially at home on the fast track, so the Lions could be playing from behind for the majority of this game. Or at least be forced to try to keep up with the high-powered Saints offense. Riddick was a bit of a disappointment last week with his five catches going for only 13 yards, but he has double-digit targets and 70-plus receiving yards in two of his past four games. It wouldn't surprise me if we see something similar this week from Riddick.

4. Kevin - Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints ($6,900): The biggest concern with Thomas is that he is coming off a 9/108/2 game and no team is projected to score more points this week in the game with the highest over/under. In other words, his ownership level will be very high as owners load up on Saints players and Thomas specifically. Unlike, say, Brandin Cooks, he's established a floor with a minimum of 4/40 in every game. Since Week 3, he has an average of 6.1/75.0 on 8.1 targets per game with seven TDs in nine games so there is plenty of upside for the ex-Buckeye.

Comments by Sean: As I mentioned above, the Saints offense rolls at home. The difficult decision this week is rostering the correct Saints skilled position player. Cooks had a goose egg last week, which actually should increase his ownership this week as many people will be on him for the bounce back. Then we have the Saints TEs, who match up well vs. Detroit's awful TE defense. We also have Willie Snead, who draws an elite matchup vs. Quandre Diggs, who is one of the worst slot corners in the league. All of these guys are in play. Thomas has been Brees' rock though in the red zone, so I’m on board with the play. I just won’t have as much Thomas as I would in other weeks.

5. Sean - Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks ($6,300): We have our exposure to the Saints/Lions game already so I’m ok going with a player in a different game. Russell Wilson’s price is extremely low given how well he has been playing as of late. I am willing to write off the Bucs game last week. Wilson has as much upside as any QB on this slate, and he will be extremely under owned.

Comments by Kevin: I liked Wilson a lot last week -- and was burned, as were many owners. Wilson had scored 25-plus fantasy points in three consecutive games before his 12-point dud (151 passing yards, no TDs, two INTs) last week. The offensive line remains a concern, but it's great to see a more mobile (read: healthy again) Wilson start to run more often. Wilson now has eight rush attempts in back-to-back games and he set a season high with 80 rushing yards last week. Due to his dual-threat abilities, Wilson always has a shot at being a top-three producer in any given week.

6. Kevin - Marquess Wilson, WR, Chicago Bears ($4,000): Wilson had 8/125/1 last week and could have had an even better outing. Given the injuries and/or suspensions to the offense, Wilson has been thrust into a prominent offensive role and he could remain the team's most useful option in the passing game until Alshon Jeffery returns. Several will try to chase points, but he provides some salary relief and should exceed value in a favorable matchup against a woeful 49ers defense that is all-around atrocious.

Comments by Sean: Having two players in a game with a total of 43 is extremely risky. That being said, neither team is great on defense and the 49ers have been beaten through the air in recent weeks. If SF gets ahead, our team looks good with Hyde at RB, and Wilson in catch-up mode. Wilson is probably the Bears No. 1 option moving forward In the pass game.

7. Sean - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($8,700): The only question I will have this week in regards to Julio is, how much is too much Julio? Julio is my No. 1 overall play on this slate. He has a great matchup vs. Kansas City and I believe he should shatter his value this week. Of all the players in Julio’s range and higher, I like Julio to outscore all of them. I think we could see another massive week out of him where if you don't play him, you could be sunk in tournies.

Comments by Kevin: In 10 games since Week 2, Jones has more than 100 yards -- including a 300-yarder -- in six games and 35 or less in four games. (None in between 36-99 -- although he fell into that range in Week 1.) There is obviously tremendous upside with Julio every week and I expect him to once again go over the 100-yard mark this week.

8. Kevin - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs ($4,700): Perhaps Jeremy Maclin returns this week, but it's possible they ease him back in. Either way, Kelce is a difference-making tight end that now has seven-plus catches for 100-plus yards in three of his past five. In a matchup against the high-powered Falcons offense, the Chiefs may end up throwing a little more often than usual and Kelce is my TE2 for the week.

Comments by Sean: Kelce will be extremely low owned especially if Jeremy Maclin is able to go this week. I think many will just avoid this situation completely, unless they are buying the Tyreek Hill game, which I am not. Kelce, like Graham, is one of the rare TEs who has 30-point upside and this game could be a shootout given how bad Kansas City’s pass defense is.

9. Kevin - Pittsburgh Steelers DST ($2,800): The Steelers are six-point home favorites and Ben Roethlisberger has great home-road splits. If the Steelers put up big offensive numbers, it's possible that the Steelers have plenty of opportunities for sacks and interceptions. In their past four games, Pittsburgh's defense has 16 sacks and four interceptions. Evevn though Eli Manning has multiple TD passes in five of his past six games, he is vulnerable to multi-INT games with three of them during that same six-game span.

Comments by Sean: Defense looks to be tough this week unless you are paying up for one of the elite options. I am going to be spread all over the place on D this week. It’s a crap shoot, but Pittsburgh does fit in with the types of D’s I like to target.

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December 01, 2016

Thursday Night Football Fantasy Football Projections: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

We are hours away from the start of Week 13, a potential do-or-die situation (in terms of their fantasy lives) for fantasy owners as Week 14 begins the playoffs in most fantasy leagues.

Tonight the Minnesota Vikings will host the Dallas Cowboys, who are four-point road favorites.


Below you will find our Week 13 fantasy football projections for the Dallas Cowboys:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Dak Prescott20.431.42411.50.43.6160.418.84
Playing beyond his years yet within himself by not trying to do too much, Prescott has been incredibly consistent despite being a fourth-round rookie starter. During the team's 10-game winning streak, Prescott has scored a minimum of 17.48 fantasy points every week and averaged 21.31/G over that stretch. And since Week 3, Dak has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in all but one game (Week 6 in GB, QB13). Even with Ezekiel Elliott scoring double-digit rushing touchdowns so far this season, Prescott has five rushing scores on the year to go along with an 18:2 TD-INT ratio.

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Ezekiel Elliott24.61170.92.3230.120
Not only does Elliott lead the NFL in carries (243) and rushing yards (1,199), but he's averaging 21.6 rushing yards per game more than Le'Veon Bell (87.4/G), who ranks second in the NFL in that category. With more than 90 rushing yards every week since Week 3, Zeke also has three multiple-score games over his past four. While the Vikings allowed only 3.71 YPC to opposing running backs through Week 7, they have been much more generous over their past five games (4.68 YPC allowed to RBs).
Alfred Morris2.9110.10.2101.8
Lance Dunbar0.30.701.19.801.05

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Dez Bryant4.4660.600010.2
Since returning in Week 8, Bryant has averaged 80.0 yards per game with four touchdowns in five games. The matchup isn't great as the Vikings have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers and there's always the chance that Dez is not targeted as much as his fantasy owners would like given the team's run-heavy offense. That said, he remains a borderline WR1/WR2 in Week 13.
Cole Beasley5.155.40.40.10.608
With the exception of Week 10, Beasley has 50-75 yards in every game this season. In fact, he has 50-59 yards in six of his past seven games. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I have Beasley projected to finish in that same 50-59 range once again.
Terrance Williams1.215.70.10002.17
Brice Butler0.8100.10001.6

Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Jason Witten4.449.30.26.13
There isn't a ton of touchdown upside with Witten, but he sees a consistent volume of targets from Prescott. Witten now has less than 50 yards in seven of his past nine games and is more of a TE2 this week for me.
Gavin Escobar0.76.300.63

Below you will find our Week 13 fantasy football projections for the Minnesota Vikings:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Sam Bradford26.637.42641.40.311015.66
Losers in five of their past six games, Bradford has averaged 37.2 pass attempts per game this week. With only six pass touchdowns in those six games, Bradford is a low-ceiling option. With 16-plus fantasy points in only one of those six games, Bradford has averaged only 11.88 per game over that span. Bradford is a low-end QB2 in 2-QB leagues for this week.

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Jerick McKinnon13.444.40.21.610.206.66
The good news is that McKinnon has more than half of the team's rush attempts in back-to-back games. The bad news is that he has averaged just 2.58 YPC since Week 5 with no rushing scores. While Matt Asiata hasn't been more efficient than McKinnon, he's a better bet for the goal-line carries and third-down work.
Matt Asiata8.328.80.41.510.506.33
Asiata has rushed for a total of 87 yards in his past four games combined, but he has scored in three consecutive games. He's a TD-dependent play every week.
Zach Line12.700000.27

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Stefon Diggs7.988.50.30.30.9010.74
After sitting out on Thanksgiving, Diggs is a high-end WR2 assuming that he's active in Week 13. In his past four games, Diggs has racked up a total of 40 catches for 357 yards and a touchdown on 49 targets. With 13-plus targets in three of the four games (or the one where he wasn't shadowed by Patrick Peterson), Diggs should see double-digit targets once again.
Adam Thielen4.347.30.30.54.406.97
With Diggs out, Thielen had eight catches on 11 targets, both of which were season highs, but he finished with only 53 yards. He has at least 40 yards in six of seven games.
Cordarrelle Patterson4.540.80.30.5306.18
Charles Johnson0.44.900000.49
Jarius Wright0.32.700000.27
Laquon Treadwell0.34.200000.42

Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Kyle Rudolph4.342.30.57.23
Rudolph's target share has been a bit inconsistent lately -- three, eight, three and 10 over his past four weeks, respectively. That said, I expect Rudolph to see another high volume of targets in another fantasy-friendly matchup against the Cowboys, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Rhett Ellison1.713.601.36

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