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December 09, 2015

Michael Crabtree, Raiders agree to 4-year extension

The Oakland Raiders and wide receiver Michael Crabtree have agreed to a four-year extension, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

According to Rapoport, the deal is worth $35 million, of which nearly $19 million is guaranteed.

Crabtree and rookie Amari Cooper have given second-year quarterback Derek Carr one of the more productive wide receiver duos in the league this year.

Going into Week 13, Crabtree has scored the 14th-most fantasy points in both standard- and PPR-scoring formats and he has a total of 66 catches for 760 yards and seven touchdowns.

On pace for 1,013 yards, Crabtree and Cooper could give the Raiders a pair of 1,000-yard receivers for the first time since Jerry Rice and Tim Brown did so in 2001. Either way, the Raiders haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Randy Moss (2005).

Both Crabtree and Cooper have a difficult matchup in Week 14 as the Broncos have allowed the fewest fantasy points to the position this season.

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2015 Fantasy Football: Week 14 Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings

With 10 catches for 153 yards and three touchdowns this week against the Titans, Jaguars second-year receiver Allen Robinson became the third player in franchise history to reach the 1,000-yard milestone and the first to do so since 2005.

Scoring the fourth-most fantasy points among wide receivers entering the season's final quarter, Robinson now has a total of 65 receptions for 1,080 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.

Just as impressive as his overall numbers, Robinson has been incredibly consistent this season. Robinson has scored at least 11 fantasy points standard-scoring (and 16-plus in PPR) formats in eight consecutive games.

Robinson and the Jaguars receivers will face the Colts this week.

So far this season, the Colts have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. The first time Robinson faced the Colts this season, he finished with four catches for 80 yards on 12 targets.

Here are some more fantasy football notes on wide receivers:

  • With a stat line of 5/128/1 against the Browns last week, Bengals receiver A.J. Green extended his streak to five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to begin his NFL career. Green now has a total of 70 catches for 1,037 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. Green and the Bengals will face the Steelers, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

  • With Rishard Matthews (ribs) sidelined last week, Dolphins rookie DeVante Parker had another productive outing on Sunday. Following up a 4/80/1 performance against the Jets in Week 12, Parker had three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Ravens. In their past five games, the Giants have allowed 19 total touchdowns to wide receivers and four 100-yard receivers.

  • Extending his streak of 100-yard games to five, Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. finished with a 6/149/1 stat line against the Jets on Sunday. Not only does that tie a franchise record, but OBJ has two of the three four-game streaks in club history. On the year, OBJ has a total of 78 receptions for 1,154 yards and 10 touchdowns. Beckham will look to extend the streak to six games against the Dolphins, who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.

  • Generally inconsistent, Buffalo's Sammy Watkins has had two huge games in a row. While he was only targeted four times, Watkins finished with three catches for 109 yards and a touchdown against the Texans. In Week 12, Watkins had six catches for 158 yards and two scores. With 100-plus yards and at least one score in three of five games, Watkins gets the league's most favorable matchup for wide receivers in Week 14.

  • It's been a remarkable four-game stretch for Seattle's Doug Baldwin. During that span, he has finished as a top-five fantasy receiver in three weeks and has racked up a total of 24/433/6. Before this hot streak, Baldwin had 36 yards or less in six of eight games. A top-five outing may not be in the cards for Baldwin, but he has a top-five matchup against the Ravens in terms of fantasy points allowed to the position.

Below you find my Week 14 Fantasy Football WR Rankings:

1. Odell Beckham, New York Giants (at MIA)
2. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (at CIN)
3. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (vs. NE)
4. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. PIT)
5. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. IND)
6. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (at STL)
7. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (at CAR)
8. Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (vs. TEN)
9. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears (vs. WAS)
10. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. NO)
11. Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (at CIN)
12. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (vs. OAK)
13. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (vs. MIN)
14. Eric Decker, New York Jets (vs. TEN)
15. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (at TB)
16. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills (at PHI)
17. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (at GB)
18. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (at BAL)
19. Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. SD)
20. Danny Amendola, New England Patriots (at HOU)
21. Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (vs. NYG)
22. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (at JAX)
23. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (vs. OAK)
24. DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins (at CHI)
25. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (vs. DAL)
26. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. NO)
27. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. BUF)
28. John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (vs. MIN)
29. Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. IND)
30. DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (vs. NYG)
31. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (at DEN)
32. Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at DEN)
33. Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (vs. MIN)
34. Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. PIT)
35. Travis Benjamin, Cleveland Browns (vs. SF)
36. Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers (at CLE)
37. Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (at STL)
38. Brian Hartline, Cleveland Browns (vs. SF)
39. Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams (vs. DET)
40. Brandon LaFell, New England Patriots (at HOU)
41. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (at JAX)
42. Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens (vs. SEA)
43. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (at ARI)
44. Dorial Green-Beckham, Tennessee Titans (at NYJ)
45. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (at BAL)
46. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (vs. DAL)
47. Steve Johnson, San Diego Chargers (at KC)
48. Ted Ginn, Carolina Panthers (vs. ATL)
49. James Jones, Green Bay Packers (vs. DAL)
50. Cecil Shorts, Houston Texans (vs. NE)

More Week 14 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 14 DFS Cheat Sheets:

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2015 Fantasy Football: Week 14 Fantasy Running Back Rankings

Since missing Weeks 4 and 5, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy has a minimum of 68 rushing yards in seven consecutive games and at least 17 carries in six of those seven.

During that seven-game span, McCoy has averaged 20.43 touches per game and has scored a minimum of 10.4 fantasy points (standard scoring) in every game.

In addition, McCoy has a minimum of 8.6 fantasy points in all 10 games played this season and has yet to finish worse than the weekly RB27. In those 10 games, he has finished as a top-12 fantasy running back six times.

With exactly 112 rushing yards in three of his past five games, McCoy has averaged 97.6 rushing yards per game over that span.

Facing his former team, McCoy will obviously be (extra, if possible) motivated to stick it to Chip Kelly.

The Eagles defense has been extremely generous to fantasy running backs since Week 7.

In those six games, they have allowed three 100-yard rushers including a 235-yard game by Doug Martin and a 100-yard receiving game by Patriots running back James White last week. During that six-game span, they have allowed nine running backs to finish as a weekly top-20 performer.

One (other) running back not so happy with Kelly is the free agent that replaced McCoy: DeMarco Murray, who led the NFL in rushing last season for the Cowboys.

One week after gaining just 30 yards on 14 carries against the Lions, Murray carried the ball eight times for 24 yards and played on 14 snaps in Week 13's win over the Patriots.

After Week 3, Murray had expressed frustration with his workload. Starting in Week 4, Murray had a five-game streak with 20-plus touches. Since then, however, his workload has decreased each week: 17 touches (Week 11), 14 (Week 12) and eight (Week 13).

At this point, I'd feel just as confident starting Ryan Mathews, who appears likely to return from a concussion this week, as I would Murray.

Mathews has been productive on a per-touch basis with an average of 5.69 yards per carry on the season. With no more than 11 touches in his past five games, Mathews has scored a touchdown and has finished as a top-20 fantasy running back in four of those five weeks.

Here are some more fantasy football notes on running backs:

  • Seattle's Thomas Rawls has taken the opportunity created by Marshawn Lynch's injuries this season and made the most of them. In two separate three-game stints with 15-plus carries each game, Rawls has exceeded 100 rushing yards in four of those six games. In those six games as the primary back, Rawls has 779 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns. The Ravens have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but Rawls remains a clear-cut top-10 fantasy running back even in tough(er) matchups.

  • Baltimore rookie running back Javorius Allen was the top-scoring fantasy running back last week as he rushed for 63 yards on 17 carries and caught 12-of-13 targets for 107 yards and a score. This week's matchup is difficult as the Seahawks have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, but Allen is assured a massive workload (24.0 touches per game over past three), which should at least keep him on the RB2 radar despite the matchup.

  • Cincinnati's Jeremy Hill has been running the ball well lately. One week after setting a season high with 86 rushing yards on 16 carries, Hill carried the ball a season-high 22 times for 98 yards and a touchdown against the Browns in Week 13. This week's matchup is difficult as the Steelers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but Hill has now finished as a top-16 fantasy running back in three consecutive games.

  • After back-to-back 100-yard games, Green Bay's Eddie Lacy was punished for missing curfew ahead of his Thursday Night Football matchup against the Lions. In his few opportunities (five carries and one reception) that night, Lacy had a total of one (yes, just ONE) yard from scrimmage. Fantasy owners burned last week may be a bit untrusting this week, but comments from coach Mike McCarthy this week are positive. McCarthy said, "I think Eddie's been rejuvenated ... and I look for him to have a very good week of practice, and I look for him to be productive Sunday."

  • San Francisco's Shaun Draughn gained only 36 yards on his 13 carries last week, but he scored his first touchdown of the season and he continues to be a key part of San Francisco's passing game. Draughn has a minimum of 18 touches in four consecutive games and a total of 22 receptions during that four-game span. While he's averaged 10.13 fantasy points per game in standard-scoring formats, Draughn has been a top-16 (or better) PPR running back in all four of those games.

Below you find my Week 14 Fantasy Football RB Rankings:

1. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. NO)
2. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (at PHI)
3. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (at ARI)
4. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (vs. ATL)
5. Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (at BAL)
6. DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (at CIN)
7. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (vs. MIN)
8. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (at CAR)
9. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (vs. WAS)
10. Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (vs. NYG)
11. Chris Ivory, New York Jets (vs. TEN)
12. Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams (vs. DET)
13. Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (at CLE)
14. T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. IND)
15. Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys (at GB)
16. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. PIT)
17. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (vs. DAL)
18. Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (vs. SEA)
19. Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (vs. OAK)
20. Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (at DEN)
21. LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots (at HOU)
22. Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (at JAX)
23. Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. SD)
24. Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. SD)
25. Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. BUF)
26. DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. BUF)
27. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos (vs. OAK)
28. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. PIT)
29. Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears (vs. WAS)
30. James White, New England Patriots (at HOU)
31. Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers (at KC)
32. Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions (at STL)
33. James Starks, Green Bay Packers (vs. DAL)
34. Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (at CHI)
35. Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. NO)
36. Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans (at NYJ)
37. Tim Hightower, New Orleans Saints (at TB)
38. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. BUF)
39. Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (at STL)
40. Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns (vs. SF)
41. Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers (at KC)
42. Alfred Blue, Houston Texans (vs. NE)
43. C.J. Spiller, New Orleans Saints (at TB)
44. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (at CHI)
45. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (at MIA)
46. Bilal Powell, New York Jets (vs. TEN)
47. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns (vs. SF)
48. Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers (vs. ATL)
49. Shane Vereen, New York Giants (at MIA)
50. Chris Polk, Houston Texans (vs. NE)

More Week 14 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 14 DFS Cheat Sheets:

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2015 Fantasy Football: Week 14 Fantasy Quarterback Rankings

It was a slow start to the season for the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson.

In his first nine games this season, Wilson finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback only twice: QB9 (Week 2) and QB11 (Week 10). During that nine-game span, Wilson averaged a very mediocre 15.8 fantasy points per game and threw multiple touchdowns only once.

Since then, however, Wilson has been a different, and dominant, fantasy quarterback.

Against the 49ers, Steelers and Vikings, Wilson has scored a minimum of 25 fantasy points in each game and has finished as the QB3, QB1 and QB3, respectively.

During that three-game span, Wilson has an 11:0 TD-to-INT ratio and he threw more touchdowns than than he had in the first nine games combined. And while Wilson has had success running the ball (450 rushing yards), he scored his first rushing touchdown of the season on Sunday.

Wilson may not extend his streak of top-three weekly finishes, but he's set up for success in Week 14 with a favorable matchup. The Ravens have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

Famous Jameis: From Waiver Wire to Starting Lineup

Owned in just 43 percent of Yahoo! leagues as of Wednesday afternoon, Winston, recommended in my waiver-wire post, is certainly a viable starter in Week 14.

Over his past five games, Winston threw five touchdowns against the Eagles in Week 11, but a total of only two touchdowns in his other four games combined. And while he isn't the most mobile of quarterbacks, Winston has five rushing scores this year including four in his past six games.

Winston has averaged 17.26 fantasy points per game on the season and has scored at least 12 fantasy points in all 12 games this season. Yet to throw for 300 yards in any game this season, Winston has thrown at least 200 yards in all but one game this season, which has given him a solid floor to his level of production.

Not only have the Saints allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but they have allowed nearly five points per game more than the team that has allowed the second-most (Eagles).

In their past eight games, the Saints have allowed 317.75 passing yards and 3.5 touchdowns per game. Over their past six games, they have allowed 29.06 fantasy points per game.

With four of the past five quarterbacks finishing as the weekly QB1 or QB2 in their matchup against the Saints, Winston has legitimate QB1 overall upside against the league's worst defense.

Here are some more fantasy football notes on quarterbacks:

  • Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for a minimum of 334 yards in each of his past four games. Even though he left one of those games early and came off the bench in another, he has averaged 383.25 yards and thrown a total of 10 touchdowns during that span. The matchup is difficult as the Bengals have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to the position, but if Roethlisberger throws for at least 334 yards once again, he'll become only the second quarterback in NFL history to do so in five straight games.

  • There are only eight quarterbacks in NFL history that have thrown for 334-plus yards in four consecutive games. Big Ben isn't the only to do so this season; San Diego's Philip Rivers has as well. Earlier in the season, Rivers finished as a top-10 weekly quarterback in five consecutive games. Since then, however, he has finished as the QB19, QB27, QB4 and QB29, respectively. And in two of his past three games, he has scored 6.08 fantasy points or less. The QB27 game was against the Chiefs, this week's opponent.

  • Vastly exceeding preseason expectations, Jacksonville's second-year quarterback Blake Bortles has scored the seventh-most fantasy points this season and he's coming off his best performance of the season. On Sunday, Bortles threw for 322 yards and five touchdowns and scored 32.78 fantasy points. It was his seventh top-10 weekly finish this season and he gets a top-10 matchup this weekend against the Colts, against whom Bortles threw for 298 yards in Week 4. [No quarterback has a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule in the fantasy playoffs.]

  • Despite missing no games, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has scored only the 20th-most fantasy points this season. The yardage has been there as he ranks fifth in the NFL in passing yards (3,481), but he is tied with Kirk Cousins with the fewest passing touchdowns (17) among 3,000-yard passers so far this season. In addition, he's tied with Bortles for the most interceptions thrown (13) within that same group. Making matters worse, Ryan has to face the Panthers this week (and in Week 16 as well).

  • Cincinnati's Andy Dalton has been more consistent than he's been in the past with nine top-12 weekly performances in his 12 games played this season. On the year, he has scored the fifth-most fantasy points with 28 touchdowns -- 25 passing and three rushing -- to only six interceptions. One of the three games in which he finished outside of the top-12 weekly quarterbacks, however, was against the Steelers, this week's opponent. Two of Dalton's six picks happened that week, but the Steelers have allowed 300-plus yards in three of their four games since that first matchup.

Below you find my Week 14 Fantasy Football QB Rankings:

1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (vs. ATL)
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (at HOU)
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. DAL)
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at BAL)
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at CIN)
6. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (vs. MIN)
7. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (at TB)
8. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. PIT)
9. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. IND)
10. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (at PHI)
11. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. NO)
12. Eli Manning, New York Giants (at MIA)
13. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (vs. TEN)
14. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at STL)
15. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (at NYJ)
16. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. SD)
17. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs. NYG)
18. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at KC)
19. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs. WAS)
20. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (at DEN)
21. Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (vs. NE)
22. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns (vs. SF)
23. Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos (vs. OAK)
24. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at CAR)
25. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (at CHI)

More Week 14 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 14 DFS Cheat Sheets:

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2015 Fantasy Football Playoffs (Weeks 14 to 16): TE Strength of Schedule (SOS)

With many fantasy football leagues conducting their playoffs from Weeks 14 to 16, hopefully that means a congratulations is in order if you're reading this.

If you're curious which players have the best, or worst, fantasy schedules during the fantasy postseason, we have done the math for you.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule isn't the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 14 waiver-wire post), a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 14-16):

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (Julius Thomas): 10.13
2. Miami Dolphins (Jordan Cameron): 9.90
3. New Orleans Saints (Benjamin Watson): 9.69
4. Denver Broncos (Vernon Davis, Owen Daniels): 9.49
5. Oakland Raiders (Clive Walford): 9.47

Five least favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 14-16):

28. Chicago Bears (Zach Miller): 6.82
29. Philadelphia Eagles (Zach Ertz, Brent Celek): 6.82
30. Washington Redskins (Jordan Reed): 6.40
31. Tennessee Titans (Delanie Walker): 5.88
32. Buffalo Bills (Charles Clay): 5.75

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

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December 08, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Playoffs (Weeks 14 to 16): WR Strength of Schedule (SOS)

With many fantasy football leagues conducting their playoffs from Weeks 14 to 16, hopefully that means a congratulations is in order if you're reading this.

If you're curious which players have the best, or worst, fantasy schedules during the fantasy postseason, we have done the math for you.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule isn't the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 14 waiver-wire post), a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 14-16):

1. Houston Texans (DeAndre Hopkins): 25.98
2. San Diego Chargers (Stevie Johnson): 25.52
3. Washington Redskins (DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon): 25.21
4. Kansas City Chiefs (Jeremy Maclin): 24.70
5. New England Patriots (Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell): 24.58

Five least favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 14-16):

28. Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones): 20.93
29. Green Bay Packers (Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, James Jones): 19.94
30. Pittsburgh Steelers (Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant): 19.60
31. Carolina Panthers (Ted Ginn): 18.01
32. Oakland Raiders (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree): 16.80

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

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2015 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 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.]

WR - DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (29 percent)

With Rishard Matthews (ribs) sidelined, Parker had another productive outing on Sunday. The first-round rookie out of Louisville followed up a 4/80/1 performance against the Jets in Week 12 with three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Ravens.

Parker and the Dolphins face the Giants this week and while the G-Men are middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers, no team allows more passing yards per game than the Giants (315 Y/G). And in their past five games, the Giants have allowed four 100-yard receivers and a 19 total touchdowns to wide receivers.

WR - Dorial Green-Beckham, Tennessee Titans (14 percent)

It was a career-best game for Green-Beckham on Sunday as he finished with five catches for 119 yards and a touchdown. While he may not have any more 100-yard games over the final quarter of the NFL season, DGB should be more involved in the red zone. Last week's touchdown, however, was his first since Week 3.

WR - Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers (26 percent)

Wheaton followed up a career 201-yard performance with a solid 3/50/1 outing against the Colts on Sunday Night Football. Along with Antonio Brown (8/118/2) and Martavis Bryant (4/114/1), the Steelers top-three receivers all finished inside the top-24 fantasy wideouts for Week 13. Wheaton would have WR3 value this week if Heath Miller (ribs) misses another game.

WR - Brian Hartline, Cleveland Browns (two percent)

Hartline has been quietly productive with three solid outings in a row: 6/77, 8/74 and 8/83. Better in PPR formats, Hartline has finished as a top-30 option in PPR formats in four consecutive games. The Browns receivers have a solid matchup against the 49ers this week and it's possible that they will be without Travis Benjamin, which should keep the targets heading Hartline's way.

WR - Ted Ginn, Carolina Panthers (36 percent)

Ginn has at least eight targets in five of his past six games and he has averaged exactly 8.0 targets per game over that span. While he struggles with drops, Ginn has averaged a tad more than 50 yards per game during that span and he has a total of three touchdowns in his past two games.

WR - Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (46 percent)

Funchess has only three catches for 32 yards on seven targets in his past two games combined. In addition, Funchess played only one-third (27-of-81) of the team's offensive snaps against the Saints on Sunday. That said, he has now scored a touchdown in three of his past five games.

WR - Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (20 percent)

Lockett set career highs with seven catches and 90 yards in Sunday's win over the Vikings. One of the most dangerous weapons in the open field, Lockett has become more involved in the passing game lately. Over his past six games, Lockett is averaging 3.8 catches for 49.7 yards and 0.5 touchdown per game. Given the nature of the Seahawks offense, however, it's hard to trust anyone other than Doug Baldwin among the team's receivers.

WR - Seth Roberts, Oakland Raiders (four percent)

With Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree clearly ahead of Roberts in the pecking order for targets, Roberts is better in dynasty than re-draft formats, but he's worth a look in deeper seasonal leagues. Roberts had four catches for 51 yards against the Chiefs on Sunday and now has at least 50 yards in three consecutive games and in four of his past five. During that five-game span, he is averaging 59.2 yards per game.

WR - Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans (46 percent)

In a week where Marcus Mariota scored the second-most fantasy points among QBs, it's obviously disappointing for Wright to finish with just three catches for 28 yards on four targets. Even though he has only played nine games this season, Wright has not exceeded 50 receiving yards since Week 3. I'd much rather have DGB than Wright going forward.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 14

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2015 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 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.]

RB - James White, New England Patriots (26 percent)

In Week 11, White scored 16.6 fantasy points and finished as the weekly RB7 as he scored two touchdowns on only four touches -- two carries for 14 yards and two receptions for 32 yards. After last week's dud (six yards on five touches), White had a season-high 12 touches that included 10 catches (on a team-high 13 targets) for 115 yards and a touchdown.

Given the injuries to Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, White should have more productive outings down the stretch even if Tom Brady isn't targeting him 13 times per game. Of course, it's difficult to predict touches for New England's backs on week-to-week basis. In addition to the team's injuries, however, drops by their healthy pass-catchers should keep the door open for more consistent usage for White even if doesn't become Dion Lewis, 2.0.

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (47 percent)

Playing only 14 snaps against the Patriots on Sunday, DeMarco Murray has "adressed frustrations" with owner Jeffrey Lurie about his role within Chip Kelly's offense. In his past two games, Murray has 14 carries for 30 yards and eight carries for 24 yards and no receptions in either game.

When Mathews (concussion) returns, likely this week based on his comments today, it's not out of the question that he leads the backfield in touches. Mathews had scored in four of his previous five games played and he has finished as a top-20 weekly fantasy running back in five of his last seven games.

RB - Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (29 percent)

With the 39th-most fantasy points among running backs in standard-scoring formats, Riddick has the 19th-most in PPR formats. No running back has more receptions than Riddick (55 for 507 yards) and only Danny Woodhead (570) has more receiving yards. Except for Week 1, Riddick has a minimum of three catches in every other game. In addition, he has at least five catches in eight of 12 games this season.

While he's a worthwhile addition in standard leagues, he's a must-add in PPR and half-PPR leagues. No team's backfield has a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than the Lions in the fantasy postseason (Weeks 14 to 16).

RB - Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (44 percent)

While he only accumulated 55 total yards on his 19 touches against the Cowboys last night, the important thing is the 19 touches. After getting single-digit touches in back-to-back games, that was his second-highest workload since Week 2 (22 touches). Meanwhile, Alfred Morris got only six carries (for 12 yards). While coach Gruden said that Alf's involvement was "just the way the game played out," it's possible that Jones gets a larger share of the workload going forward although there is plenty of risk with either back.

RB - Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans (48 percent)

His fantasy playoffs schedule -- Jets, Patriots and Texans -- is far from favorable, but Andrews continues to get double-digit touches every week. Andrews has a minimum of 10 touches in all 10 of his games played this season. With consistent volume, Andrews has finished as a top-24 fantasy running back in four of his past six games. Rookie David Cobb also had 13 carries last week as well, but Andrews was more productive.

RB - Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28 percent)

Far from spectacular, Sims has at least been very consistent with a top-50 weekly finish in all 12 of his games this season and he has finished as a top-30 back in six of his past 10 games. Averaging roughly 10 touches per game, Sims has scored the 29th-most fantasy points this season. Both Sims and Doug Martin have a top-five schedule down the stretch with matchups against the Saints, Rams and Bears through Week 16.

RB - Bilal Powell, New York Jets (seven percent)

Targeted 13 times on Sunday, Powell finished with eight catches for 91 yards and a score plus six carries for 17 yards. In his past three games, he has nearly as many receptions (15) as carries (16) and he's racked up 232 YFS on his 31 touches over that span. Powell's numbers will typically be better in games where the Jets are playing from behind, like on Sunday, and they are favored by more than a touchdown against the Titans in Week 14.

RB - Chris Polk, Houston Texans (three percent)

Polk rushed for 61 yards on 12 carries and caught an 11-yard touchdown, but it was the first time since Week 4 that he reached four fantasy points in a game. Even though Alfred Blue had only four carries for 14 yards this week, he had 73 touches in his previous four games combined. Polk is worth a look in deep leagues, but I'd much rather have Blue over Polk going forward.

RB - Dan Herron, Indianapolis Colts (11 percent)

In his first game back with the Colts, Herron gained just 24 yards on five touches -- two carries and three receptions. As the backup to Frank Gore, recently described as being "beat to crap" by coach Chuck Pagano, Herron could be in line for significant workloads if something were to happen to Gore. Either way, he should approach eight or so touches per game down the stretch even if Gore remains healthy.

RB - Robert Turbin, Dallas Cowboys (seven percent)

One of the players that has been a pleasant surprise for Dallas (minus two lost fumbles last night) has been Darren McFadden, who has amassed 166 touches in his past seven games. Given his durability track record and massive workload, it's far to question McFadden's ability to hold up down the stretch. If he can't, Turbin would likely be in line for huge workloads behind the Cowboys' talented offensive line.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 14

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2015 Fantasy Football Playoffs (Weeks 14 to 16): RB Strength of Schedule (SOS)

With many fantasy football leagues conducting their playoffs from Weeks 14 to 16, hopefully that means a congratulations is in order if you're reading this.

If you're curious which players have the best, or worst, fantasy schedules during the fantasy postseason, we have done the math for you.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule isn't the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 14 waiver-wire post), a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 14-16):

1. Detroit Lions (Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick): 22.12
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (T.J. Yeldon): 21.86
3. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 21.76
4. Miami Dolphins (Lamar Miller): 20.61
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Doug Martin, Charles Sims): 20.45

Five least favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 14-16):

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (DeAngelo Williams): 16.15
29. Denver Broncos (Ronnie Hillman, C.J. Anderson): 15.97
30. St. Louis Rams (Todd Gurley): 15.62
31. New England Patriots (LeGarrette Blount, James White): 15.61
32. Baltimore Ravens (Javorius Allen): 13.55

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

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2015 Fantasy Football Playoffs (Weeks 14 to 16): QB Strength of Schedule (SOS)

With many fantasy football leagues conducting their playoffs from Weeks 14 to 16, hopefully that means a congratulations is in order if you're reading this.

If you're curious which players have the best, or worst, fantasy schedules during the fantasy postseason, we have done the math for you.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule isn't the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 14 waiver-wire post), a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 14-16):

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 19.15
T2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jameis Winston): 19.14
T2. New Orleans Saints (Drew Brees): 19.14
4. Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford): 19.13
5. Indianapolis Colts (Matt Hasselbeck, Andrew Luck): 18.80

Five least favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 14-16):

28. Carolina Panthers (Cam Newton): 15.82
29. Cleveland Browns (Johnny Manziel, Austin Davis): 15.82
30. Cincinnati Bengals (Andy Dalton): 15.53
31. Oakland Raiders (Derek Carr): 15.01
32. Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger): 14.62

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

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2015 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 waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 14 and the fantasy playoffs (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

QB - Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (44 percent)

In a 42-39 shootout with the Jaguars, Mariota completed 20 of 29 pass attempts for 268 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. It was the second consecutive game in which Mariota has thrown for three scores and he now has six games (out of 10) with multiple passing touchdowns this season.

But it was Mariota's dual-threat abilities that made Sunday his best fantasy performance of the season. Going into this week's game, Mariota had only 137 total rushing yards, but he had nearly as much against the Jags. Mariota rushed nine times for 112 yards and a score to finish with a season-high 35.92 fantasy points.

Mariota now has a minimum of 18 fantasy points in three consecutive games and in four of his past five. During that five-game span, he has a pair of games with at least 33 fantasy points. His fantasy playoff schedule (NYJ, NE and HOU) isn't great, but Mariota has been playing well and he has tremendous upside especially if he begins to run more often.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (35 percent)

Taylor completed only 11 pass attempts on Sunday, but he threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns and added 28 rushing yards and a fourth touchdown against the Texans. With three passing touchdowns in back-to-back games, Taylor has scored at least 26.24 fantasy points in each of those games. Due to his dual-threat abilities, Taylor has a solid floor and plenty of upside. On the season, he has 63 rush attempts for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

Perhaps he won't score 26-plus fantasy points for a third consecutive game, but Taylor is set up for the success to continue in Week 14. Only Jameis Winston has a more favorable matchup as the Eagles have allowed the second-most fantasy points this season. The Eagles have allowed a total of 18 passing touchdowns in their past five games alone.

QB - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (40 percent)

Over his past five games, Winston threw five touchdowns against the Eagles in Week 11, but a total of only two touchdowns in his other four games combined. Yet to throw for 300 yards in any game this season, Winston has thrown for less than 200 yards only once this season. And while he isn't nearly as mobile as the quarterbacks listed above him, Winston has five rushing scores this season including four in his past six games.

On the season, Winston has averaged 17.26 fantasy points per game, which is supported by his consistency. Winston has scored at least 12 fantasy points in all 12 games this season. There may be no better streamer on the waiver wire than Winston, who has the most favorable matchup of the week in Week 14.

Not only have the Saints allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but they have allowed nearly five points per game more than the team with the second-most. In their past eight games, the Saints have allowed an average of 317.75 passing yards and 3.5 touchdowns per game. Over their past six games, they have allowed 29.06 fantasy points per game.

QB - Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (31 percent)

Throwing for a mere 162 yards on Sunday, Smith still managed to score 24.78 fantasy points (11th-most) this week. Not only did Smith throw for two touchdowns, but he ran for another score. It was the sixth time in 12 games that Smith has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback this season.

Smith may lack the ceiling of others on this list, but it's rare that he has an awful performance. Smith has finished as the weekly QB19 or better in all but one game. With no turnovers since September (Week 3), Smith's rushing stats (326 yards, 27.17/G) helps to boost his floor.

With the seventh-most favorable fantasy strength of schedule down the stretch, Smith faces the Chargers, Ravens and Browns in Weeks 14 to 16, respectively.

QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (44 percent)

Fitzpatrick has scored 25-plus fantasy points in back-to-back games as he threw for a season-high 390 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants on Sunday. With the 12th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks this season, Fitzpatrick now has accounted for at least two touchdowns in all but one game that he has finished this season. In Week 14, the Jets will face the Titans, who allowed 652 passing yards and eight touchdowns to Derek Carr and Blake Bortles in their past two games combined.

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December 06, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football: Week 13 Fantasy Quarterback Rankings

Given the relative lack of talent at wide receiver after the season-ending injury to Kelvin Benjamin, few could have imagined the season would go this well for Carolina's Cam Newton.

Not only are the Panthers the lone unbeaten team at 11-0, but the only quarterback to score more fantasy football points through Week 12 than Newton (241.34) is New England's Tom Brady (258.8).

With the help of the team's defense, who returned a pair of Tony Romo interceptions for touchdowns, Newton threw for only 183 yards with no touchdowns on Thanksgiving in Dallas. He did, however, rush for a score.

Before last week's modest fantasy performance, Newton had finished as fantasy's top-scoring quarterback in two of his previous three games and a top-six fantasy quarterback in three consecutive games.

On the season, Newton has four weekly top-three finishes including his first game against the Saints in Week 3. In that game, Newton threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns and added 33 rushing yards for a score as well.

No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Saints. Over their past seven games, the Saints have allowed 315.86 passing yards and 3.29 touchdowns per game. It should be another long day for the Saints defense.

Here are some more fantasy football notes on quarterbacks:

  • As noted above, no quarterback has more fantasy points than Tom Brady this season, but the injuries continue to mount for the Patriots. It appears likely that Brady will get Danny Amendola back this week, but he will be without stud tight end Rob Gronkowski for this week and perhaps/likely longer. With such a favorable matchup this week against the Eagles, who have allowed five passing touchdowns and 45 total points in back-to-back games, Brady and the Patriots offensive machine shouldn't miss a beat this week.

  • There was plenty of confusion about Ben Roethlisberger's placement into the league's concussion protocol, but he is good to go for his Week 13 matchup against the Colts on Sunday Night Football. In his past three games, Big Ben has thrown for 334 yards (vs. OAK), 379 yards (vs. CLE) and 456 yards (at SEA) for an average of 389.67 Y/G.

  • Not only do the Dolphins rank first in the NFL in passing-play percentage (67.56 percent) this season, but they have been even more pass-happy in their past three games (72.32%). With the firing of offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, there should be more run-pass balance going forward, but they best way to exploit this week's matchup is through the air. The Ravens have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. In his past three games, Tannehill has thrown seven touchdowns and only two interceptions.

  • No quarterback has a more favorable fantasy football strength of schedule through Week 16 than Kansas City's Alex Smith. Here are his upcoming opponents: OAK (sixth-most fantasy points allowed to QBs), SD (14th-most), BAL (second-most) and CLE (fifth-most). Not only does Smith have the 14th-most fantasy points through Week 12, but he has finished as a top-19 fantasy quarterback in all but one game this season. It wouldn't surprise me if he finished among the top-12 quarterbacks from Weeks 13 to 16.

  • Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is coming off a season-high four-TD performance against the Dolphins last week. Excluding the game in which he left early, Fitzpatrick has accounted for multiple touchdowns in nine of the 10 games he has finished this season. On the year, he is just behind Smith in terms of fantasy points scored (QB15) and he has a great matchup this week against the Giants, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Below you find my Week 13 Fantasy Football QB Rankings:

1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (at NO)
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (vs. PHI)
3. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. IND)
4. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (at STL)
5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at MIN)
6. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at CLE)
7. Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. NYJ)
8. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs. SF)
9. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (vs. CAR)
10. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (at NYG)
11. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs. BAL)
12. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (vs. DEN)
13. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at TB)
14. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (at TEN)
15. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs. KC)
16. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (at OAK)
17. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (vs. JAX)
18. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. ATL)
19. Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos (at SD)
20. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (vs. HOU)
21. Matt Hasselbeck, Indianapolis Colts (at PIT)
22. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (vs. DAL)
23. Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (at BUF)
24. Matt Schaub, Baltimore Ravens (at MIA)
25. Blaine Gabbert, San Francisco 49ers (at CHI)

Note: Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford played on Thursday night so they are removed from these rankings.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 13 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 13 of the 2015 NFL season:

Kansas City Chiefs -3 over Oakland Raiders (3 units)

Arguably, the Chiefs have been the hottest team in the NFL over the past month or so. Not only have they won five consecutive games, but they have won those five games by an average margin of nearly 20 points per game (19.8/G). Last week's win over the Bills (30-22) was their closest game during that stretch.

During that six-week stretch (five wins and a bye), only the Panthers (17 in six games) have more takeaways than the Chiefs (14 in five games). During that same span, the Chiefs have NOT turned the ball over at all. Every other team has turned the ball over at least three times during that span.

One big concern is the loss of Justin Houston (knee), who will miss this week's game, but I think the good times continue to roll for the Chiefs.

Arizona Cardinals -5 over St. Louis Rams (3 units)

In his past 26 starts, Arizona's Carson Palmer has won 22 games. Not only does the Palmer-led offense rank first in total offense (410.0 YPG), but they rank first in the NFL in scoring offense (32.3 PPG) as well. And even though the Rams have one of the most talented running backs (Todd Gurley), they don't have much else as they rank second to last in both total and scoring offense.

Arizona will be without Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, but you could argue that David Johnson is an upgrade at running back. Granted, (Chris) Johnson ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing (814 yards), but he has averaged just 2.51 yards per carry in his past three games combined. Despite his limited opportunities, Johnson has scored eight touchdowns -- four rushing, three receiving and one return -- on only 54 touches.

Meanwhile, Gurley rushed for 146 yards in his first matchup against the Cards in Week 4, which began his four-game streak over 100 yards. Since that streak, however, Gurley has rushed for only 219 yards on 70 carries (3.13 YPC) over his past four games. I expect the Cardinals to force someone other than Gurley to beat them on Sunday.

Washington Redskins -4 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

As a Cowboys fan, it has been a disappointing season. As Buggin' Out would say, Tony Romo has broken has collar bone two times. As bad as the NFC Least has been, the Cowboys have decided to wait to put Romo on season-ending IR as they currently stand only two games out of first place at 3-8.

On the other hand, Washington is in first place despite having a losing record (5-6). They have certainly been inconsistent and they have their share of holes, but they have been playing reasonably well lately. In addition, they have been tough to beat at home. They are 5-1 straight up at home and 0-5 on the road.

Perhaps one positive is that Matt Cassel has already had an opportunity to play in this offense and the team had an extended break since their loss to the Panthers. (Of course, the negative is that he's Matt Cassel.) Washington has had the Cowboys number as they have covered 15 of their past 20 against Dallas and the Cowboys are 1-9 ATS on Monday Night Football.

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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, Jacob Tamme is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 13 with him as my starting tight end.

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

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

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 13:

TE - Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars (at TEN)

From Weeks 7 to 11, Thomas had a total of just 69 receiving yards, but he exploded for a 9/116/1 stat line on 10 targets against the Chargers in Week 12. And even though he had just 28 yards in Week 11, he now has a touchdown, eight-plus targets and a top-10 weekly finish in consecutive games.

With Allen Hurns (concussion) ruled out for Week 13, Thomas and Allen Robinson should both see plenty of targets on Sunday. The Titans have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

TE - Scott Chandler, New England Patriots (vs. PHI)

With Rob Gronkowski (knee) ruled out for Week 13 and potentially longer, Chandler takes over as the primary pass-catching tight end in the Patriots high-scoring offense. Targeted by Tom Brady 11 times in Week 12, Chandler finished with five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. While the matchup is better for the team's receivers than Chandler, the Eagles have allowed a total of 10 passing touchdowns and 90 points in their past two games.

TE - Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints (vs. CAR)

With the eighth-most fantasy points among tight ends this season, Watson has been quiet over his past three games: 5/60 (TE18), 3/19 (TE36) and 4/53 (TE22). That said, Watson has a minimum of five targets in seven consecutive games and an average of 7.29/G over that stretch. In addition, Watson has exceeded 50 receiving yards in five of six games with an average of 77.5/G during that span.

TE - Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons (at TB)

With Leonard Hankerson placed on Injured Reserve, Tamme should remain a prominent player in Atlanta's passing attack. Tamme has at least five catches and more than 60 yards in three of his past four games. During that four-game span, he has a total of 22 catches for 249 yards and a touchdown on 31 targets.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 13:

TE - Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (vs. HOU)

Clay had three top-12 weekly outings in his first four games, but none since then. Since Week 5, his average weekly finish among fantasy tight ends is TE28 and he has averaged 2.83 fantasy points per game over that span. The outlook for Clay does not improve much this week either as the Texans have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2015.

TE - Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins (vs. BAL)

Against the Jets on Sunday, Cameron had two catches for 13 yards on three targets. Unfortunately for Cameron and his fantasy owners, it was just another typical day for Cameron. Cameron now has 34 yards or less in every game since Week 3 and he has two or fewer catches in six consecutive games. In a tough matchup against the Ravens, who have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Cameron should remain on your bench or league's waiver wire.

TE - Vernon Davis, Denver Broncos (at SD)

The matchup is favorable as the Chargers have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, but it's hard to trust that Davis can take exploit it. There was at least some optimism when he was traded to the Broncos, but he has done virtually nothing in Denver. Since being acquired by the Broncos, Davis has a total of 10 catches for 97 yards and no touchdowns in four games.

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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, Eric Decker is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 13 with him as one of my starting receivers.

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

In other words, if you owned both Julio Jones, Allen Robinson and Decker and started just two receivers, you should start Jones and Robinson -- and in turn, bench Decker.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 13:

WR - Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. IND)

Bryant extended his streak of games with a touchdown to three games with a score against the Seahawks and now has six touchdowns in six games this season. A big play waiting to happen, the second-year receiver is averaging 18.85 Y/A and he also has the NFL's longest reception both this season (94 yards) and last season (88).

Despite playing only one full game in his past three games, Ben Roethlisberger has averaged 389.67 passing yards per game over that stretch. In fact, the Steelers have the most passing yards (1,281, 427.0/G) in the NFL over a four-week stretch (Weeks 9 to 12) despite having their bye in Week 11.

The Colts have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. In addition, the Steelers are projected to score the third-most points this week based on Vegas odds.

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

Landry had a career game last week against the Jets with 13 catches on 16 targets for 165 yards and a touchdown. It was only the second 100-yard game of Landry's career. The chances of him duplicating last week's 13/165/1 line is slim, but he has a great matchup this week against the Ravens, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. Even in standard-scoring formats, I have Landry inside my top-12 fantasy receivers for the week.

WR - Danny Amendola, New England Patriots (vs. PHI)

After missing last week's game, Amendola is questionable for Sunday's matchup against the Eagles, but it appears that he will be ready to go. It's a tremendous opportunity for him to exploit as the Eagles have allowed 10 passing touchdowns in their past two games alone and no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.

With Rob Gronkowski ruled out for this game and Julian Edelman out for several more weeks, Tom Brady will look for Amendola early and often. In his past two games, Amendola has 19 catches on 23 targets for 196 yards.

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

Decker has been incredibly consistent as the No. 2 receiver along side Brandon Marshall this season. Not only has he scored a touchdown in eight of 10 games played, but Decker has a minimum of 59 receiving yards seven straight games and a minimum of four catches in nine straight. The Giants rank last in the NFL in passing yards allowed (309/G) this season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 13:

WR - Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (vs. CAR)

Cooks had just 5/35 last week against Houston, but he had been highly productive in his previous three games -- 265 yards and five touchdowns. Earlier this season, Cooks had seven catches for 79 yards against the Panthers and finished as fantasy's WR39 that week. With Josh Norman expected to shadow Cooks, it could be another week where Cooks finishes outside the top-24 fantasy receivers for the week.

WR - Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills (vs. HOU)

Here are the past four games for Watkins: 8/168/1 (WR3 in Week 9), 3/14 (WR77 in Week 10), 3/39 (WR55 in Week 11) and 6/158/2 (WR2 in Week 12). That's the dilemma for Watkins owners every week. Good luck trying to figure out whether you're going to get a 3/14 or 6/158/2 type of game?

The Texans have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. In addition, they have not allowed a 100-yard receiver since Week 4.

WR - Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. ATL)

The Falcons allowed four 100-yard receivers in their first four games: Jordan Matthews, Odell Beckham and DeAndre Hopkins. Since Week 6, however, only two receivers have exceeded 50 yards: Willie Snead (55 yards in Week 6) and Quinton Patton (70 in Week 9). Only the Broncos have limited opposing wide receivers to fewer fantasy points than the Falcons so it'll be hard to trust the boom-or-bust Jackson this week.

WR - Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (vs. SEA)

The past four games have not gone as well for Diggs as his first four NFL games went. With a minimum of 6/87 in each of his first four games, Diggs racked up 25 catches for 419 yards and two touchdowns. In his past four games, however, Diggs has exceeded 46 yards only once and has a total of 15 receptions for 185 yards and no touchdowns.

The Seahawks have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. Considering how much of a non-factor Mike Wallace has been, I would expect Richard Sherman to shadow Diggs instead of Wallace.

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December 05, 2015

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, C.J. Anderson is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel very 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 DeAngelo Williams, Chris Ivory and Anderson, you should start Williams and Ivory -- and in turn, bench Anderson.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 13:

RB - C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos (at SD)

It has been a disappointing season for Anderson and his fantasy owners, but he is coming off a season-best performance against the Patriots. Scoring 27.3 fantasy points in Week 12 (only Adrian Peterson had more), CJA carried the ball 15 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns and added four catches for 40 yards. It was his second 100-yard game and top-five fantasy finish in his past five games.

Over the past six games, however, Anderson's backfield mate Ronnie Hillman has a total of 100 touches (16.67/G). Regardless of who's the "starter," both backs figure to get a sizable workload on Sunday. And the matchup is ripe (for both backs) to exploit. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season than the Chargers.

RB - David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (at STL)

Not only was Chris Johnson placed on short-term IR, but Andre Ellington (turf toe) has also been ruled out for Week 13. While (David) Johnson has been productive on a per-touch basis this season, he'll get his opportunity to shoulder the load as an every-down back this week.

The third-rounder out of Northern Iowa has a total of 54 touches on the season, but he has scored eight touchdowns -- four rushing, three receiving and one return. In their past four games, the Rams have allowed four top-16 weekly running backs.

RB - Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (at MIN)

With Marshawn Lynch sidelined for at least a few more weeks, Rawls will carry the load for Seattle's rushing attack. Rawls has 15-plus touches in five games this season and he has scored double-digit fantasy points in four of them including last week's win over the Steelers. In his past two games, Rawls has 54 combined touches for 336 yards from scrimmage and three scores.

The Week 13 matchup against the Vikings isn't great as they allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but Rawls finished as fantasy's RB11 against the Steelers last week. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs than Pittsburgh.

RB - Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (at CHI)

Since becoming the lead back for the 49ers, Draughn has exactly 20 touches in three consecutive games. Draughn is averaging just 3.4 YPC and he has yet to score a touchdown, but he has a total of 17 receptions over that three-game stretch as well.

Finishing as the RB22, RB27 and RB22, respectively, in standard-scoring leagues, Draughn has been better in PPR formats -- top-16 each week. After back-to-back tough matchups against Seattle and Arizona, respectively, Draughn gets a more favorable matchup this week against the Bears.

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (at CLE)

It's been a disappointing season for Hill, but he rushed for a season-high 86 yards on 16 carries last week against the Rams. Although he gained just 45 yards on the ground in Week 12, he scored two touchdowns in that game so he has now finished as a top-16 fantasy running back in consecutive games.

Hill had just 52 yards on 15 carries in his first matchup against the Browns, but it is a better matchup than his last performance shows. The Browns have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 13:

RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (at PIT)

Over the past four weeks, Gore has been an absolute workhorse -- at least, in terms of touches. In those four games, Gore has 25, 29, 19 and 21 touches. Gore had his bye during that stretch, but the only back with more touches in his games 8 to 11 was Peterson (105). In the two games since his bye, Gore had one favorable matchup (at ATL) and one tough matchup (vs. TB), but he has gained only 58 yards on his 33 carries (1.76 YPC) in those two games.

Given his age (32) and cumulative workload, it's no surprise that he's "beat to crap," but the matchup this week will make it tough for him to get back on track. The Steelers have been the league's stingiest fantasy defense to opposing running backs in 2015, as noted above.

RB - Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers (vs. DEN)

The good news is that Gordon has averaged 18.0 touches per game over his past four games. The bad news is that he hasn't produced as anything more than a RB3/flex. With an average of 6.15 fantasy points per game over that stretch, MG3 has finished no better than RB25 in any of those four games. With 170 touches (143 carries and 27 receptions) on the season, he's perhaps due -- or long overdue -- to score his first NFL touchdown, but the matchup this week isn't great.

Ranked second in the NFL in rushing defense (84.7 YPG allowed), the Broncos have allowed just 3.15 yards per carry to opposing running backs this season. In addition, they have allowed only one 100-yard rusher all season (Jamaal Charles, Week 2).

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (vs. NYJ)

Exceeding 15 touches in only one game this season, Jennings has averaged 12.0 touches per game. As a comparison, Jennings played only 11 games last season, but he had a total of 197 touches (17.91/G).

Not only has Jennings scored single-digit fantasy points in seven consecutive games, but he has 5.1 fantasy points or less in four of his past five. Meanwhile, the Jets have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs and rank first in the NFL in rushing defense (84.4 YPG) this season.

RB - Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns (vs. CIN)

Even for those in 20-team leagues, Crowell wouldn't be more than a flex option. In his past two games against the Steelers and Ravens, Crowell has a total of 13 carries for two yards. In fact, here is his rushing yardage in his past five games: 9, 14, 38, -5 and 7 yards, respectively. Even though his five-game high (38 rushing yards) came against this week's opponent, there is little-to-no upside with Crowell.

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

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Week 13 Fantasy Football: 6 Undervalued Players in PPR Leagues

Week 12 Results
QBsRBsWRsTEsTotal
-42.9-36.0-0.5+8.5-70.9
YTD Results
QBsRBsWRsTEsTotal
+32.9+99.9-80.9+11.2+63.1

* Stats are based on players recommended (compared to options listed to start those players over).

[View all of my Week 12 picks here.]

Best of the week -- Gary Barnidge +8.5: Let’s just say it wasn’t a great week for me. This was the only pick that actually had a net positive, which is a bit discouraging. However, Barnidge did have a solid game while Jason Witten struggled.

Worst of the week -- Brian Hoyer -42.9: Hoyer didn’t turn in an awful performance, but I expected a better outcome against the Saints defense. However, this large negative discrepancy has to do with how well Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson played, each putting up top-three performances.

Runner up -- Matt Forte -20: Just a bad pick …

Quarterback

Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins
FantasyPros ECR – 13

Tannehill has been average, at best, for most of the season, but he also has played a lot of tough matchups. This week, he gets the Ravens defense who rank 26th in efficiency and 31st in FPA to QBs. This is setup for Tannehill to finally break out with a big game and deliver a top-eight performance.

Consider starting him over:
- Drew Brees – ECR 12. Hard to like any QB against that Panthers D.
- Eli Manning – ECR 11. The Jets D isn’t exactly a good matchup either …

Running Backs

C.J. Anderson – Denver Broncos
FantasyPros ECR – 19

Anderson has been more effectively recently and is getting more looks as a result. Ronnie Hillman will continue to be involved, but I think Anderson is slowly regaining a grasp on the lead role. This week, the Broncos get a less than daunting Chargers run defense. They rank dead last in run efficiency and give up the third-most points per game to RBs. In fact, they give up the most FP/touch to RBs, better sweetening the pot. This is setting up nicely for a top-15 finish.

Consider starting him over:
- Javorius Allen – ECR 14. The matchup looks good on paper, but the Dolphins still have a lot of talent up front. And I wouldn’t exactly be scared of the Ravens WRs, so I expect them to stop the run and force them into a one-dimensional offense, daring the WRs to try and get separation.
- Demarco Murray – ECR 11. Hasn’t cracked 100 yards rushing in five straight games, although his receiving production is keeping him relevant. But who trusts this offense, IN NEW ENGLAND, a week after the Pats suffered their first loss of the season?

Alfred Blue – Houston Texans
FantasyPros ECR – 32

For as daunting of a matchup as the Bills should be (on paper), the fact is they have not been very good against the run. They rank 30th in efficiency, and while they are 14th in FPA to RBs, they are giving up the third-most FP/touch to RBs. We know the Texans like to lean on the run game and let their defense control the game, so expect Blue to get close to 20 touches.

Consider starting him over:
- Frank Gore – ECR 29. The Steelers rank ninth in run defense efficiency and give up the second-least points to RBs.
- Latavius Murray – ECR 24. Tough matchup. The Chiefs are on fire and rank fourth in FPA to RBs.

Wide Receivers

Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
FantasyPros ECR – 16

While the Chiefs have been on quite a run recently, they are still struggling to contain opponents No. 1 WRs. They rank 30th in efficiency against WR1’s, giving up 30 yards more than the average defense against the same position. On top of that, they give up the second-most points per game to WRs in general, so Cooper is in for a big game.

Consider starting him over:
- Eric Decker – ECR 15. More of a gut feeling than anything else.
- Allen Robinson – ECR 10. Tennessee is actually solid against the pass.

Danny Amendola – New England Patriots
FantasyPros ECR – 21

This is obviously dependent on Amendola playing, but if he does, he is in a great position to produce. He would be the primary target with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman out, and the Eagles are awful against opponents WR1’s, ranking 31st in the league. Not to mention, this is a bounce-back game for the Pats, which is usually a dangerous proposition for opponents.

Consider starting him over:
- Dez Bryant – ECR 18. Tony Romo’s out again, and the Redskins are really good at home.
- Eric Decker – ECR 15. See above.

Tight End

Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings
FantasyPros ECR – 14

Rudolph has been more involved recently, which was expected all season given his talent and Norv Turner’s love for the TE position. Averaging nine targets over the last two games, I expect Bridgewater to continue looking Rudolph’s way. The Seahawks defense has traditionally been vulnerable to TEs under Pete Carroll, and that trend continues this season. They rank 29th in efficiency and FPA to TEs. This sets up well for Rudolph to put up a big game.

Consider starting him over:
- Jason Witten – ECR 12. See Bryant, Dez.
- Ben Watson – ECR 11. Panthers defense is just nasty.

Thanks for reading and good luck in Week 13!

Check out my full Week 13 Fantasy Football PPR Rankings and follow me on twitter @rw11687.

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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, Jay Cutler is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel very 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 Tom Brady and Cutler, you should start Brady -- and in turn, bench Cutler.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 13:

QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (at NYG)

Fitzpatrick is coming off a season-high four-TD performance against the Dolphins last week. Excluding the game in which he left early, Fitzpatrick has accounted for multiple touchdowns in nine of the 10 games he has finished this season. Through Week 12, Fitzpatrick has scored the 15th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks and has a favorable matchup in Week 13.

Only the Saints and Ravens have allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Giants. Beginning with 511 yards and seven touchdowns from Drew Brees in Week 8, the Giants have allowed a top-12 fantasy quarterback and a minimum of 18 fantasy points in four consecutive games.

QB - Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at MIN)

In his first nine games of the season, Wilson threw a total of 10 touchdowns. In his past two games combined, he has eight passing touchdowns including five last week against the Steelers. Wilson had just one top-12 weekly finish in the first eight games of the season, but he has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in three consecutive weeks. Even better, he has finished as the QB3 and QB1 in Weeks 11 and 12, respectively. The Vikings have limited opposing quarterbacks to the seventh-fewest fantasy points this season, but Wilson has been playing so well that he remains a strong QB1 option this week.

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at CLE)

With the fifth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks this season, Dalton was more consistent than usual as he began the season with six consecutive top-12 outings. Since then, he has alternated between finishing inside and outside of the weekly top-12 quarterbacks. Regardless, he's having his best season as a pro with career highs in completion percentage (65.7), passer rating (105.3), Y/A (8.2) and touchdown percentage (6.4) in addition to a career low in interception percentage (1.7).

The Browns have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. In his first matchup against the Browns (Week 9), Dalton threw for 234 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Dalton will likely be without Tyler Eifert, who is listed as doubtful, but the Bengals are projected to score the fourth-most points this week based on Vegas odds.

QB - Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs.SF)

Cutler has thrown only one touchdown in his past two games, but he had a string of six solid performances before that. During that six-game stretch, Cutler scored a minimum of 17 fantasy points each week while posting an 11:3 TD-to-INT ratio. Based on Vegas odds, the Bears are projected to be one of the five highest-scoring teams this week.

Not only have the 49ers allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but their defense has been much more fantasy-friendly on the road. In five road games, they have allowed 23.22 fantasy points per game and three top-three weekly finishes.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 13:

QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at TB)

Through Week 12, Ryan has only the 18th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks and he has finished as a top-eight weekly quarterback only once (Week 3) this season. Averaging more than an interception per game, Ryan has thrown multiple touchdowns in only four of 11 games this season. Even though Ryan threw for a season-high 397 yards and two touchdowns against the Bucs in Week 8, Ryan is just outside my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for Week 13.

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

With the sixth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks this season, Rivers has thrown for 3,512 yards (319.27/G), 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 11 games. Only Tom Brady has thrown for more yards than Rivers so far this season. That said, Rivers has been a bit inconsistent this season and the matchup isn't ideal.

Rivers has finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in seven-of-11 weeks and as the QB19 or worse in the other four weeks. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Broncos allow they have allowed 17.41/G over their past four games (compared to 8.17/G in their first seven).

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

Carr has thrown for at least 289 yards, three touchdowns and finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback in four of his past six games. In fact, he has finished outside of the top-10 weekly quarterbacks in just one of his past six games. Prior to allowing three touchdowns to Tyrod Taylor last week, however, the Chiefs had allowed a cumulative 4:12 TD-to-INT ratio from Weeks 6 to 11.

QB - Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (at NE)

After sitting out the past two games, Bradford is expected to start for the Eagles on Sunday. In his past four games, however, Bradford had averaged just 254 yards with a total of three touchdowns and four interceptions. Even if Bradford and the Eagles fall into catch-up mode early against the Patriots, it's hard to trust him even in 2-QB leagues. Bradford is outside my top-24 fantasy quarterbacks for Week 13.

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

Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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December 02, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 13 to 16

Heading down the final stretch of the 2015 NFL season, we have a strong sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. For this week and next week, we will continue to make a weekly update of our strength of schedule tables for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule isn't the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 13 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 13-16):

1. Kansas City Chiefs (Alex Smith): 18.85
2. Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill): 18.50
3. Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford): 18.46
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 18.15
5. Denver Broncos (Brock Osweiler, Peyton Manning): 17.52

Five least favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 13-16):

28. New York Giants (Eli Manning): 15.65
29. Oakland Raiders (Derek Carr): 15.46
30. New Orleans Saints (Drew Brees): 15.37
31. Tennessee Titans (Marcus Mariota): 15.11
32. Atlanta Falcons (Matt Ryan): 14.15

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2015 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 13 to 16

Heading down the final stretch of the 2015 NFL season, we have a strong sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. For this week and next week, we will continue to make a weekly update of our strength of schedule tables for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule isn't the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 13 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 13-16):

1. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 21.99
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Doug Martin, Charles Sims): 20.77
3. Detroit Lions (Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Joique Bell): 20.10
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (T.J. Yeldon): 19.83
5. Kansas City Chiefs (Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware): 19.76

Five least favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 13-16):

28. New England Patriots (LeGarrette Blount): 16.22
29. St. Louis Rams (Todd Gurley): 16.09
30. Baltimore Ravens (Javorius Allen): 15.87
31. Tennessee Titans (Antonio Andrews): 15.74
32. Atlanta Falcons (Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman): 15.69

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

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2015 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 13 to 16

Heading down the final stretch of the 2015 NFL season, we have a strong sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. For this week and next week, we will continue to make a weekly update of our strength of schedule tables for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule isn't the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 13 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 13-16):

1. Baltimore Ravens (Kamar Aiken): 25.65
2. New England Patriots (Danny Amendola): 25.18
3. Houston Texans (DeAndre Hopkins): 24.85
4. Dallas Cowboys (Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams): 24.56
5. Chicago Bears (Alshon Jeffery): 24.51

Five least favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 13-16):

28. New Orleans Saints (Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead): 20.47
29. Oakland Raiders (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree): 20.11
30. Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones): 19.52
31. Carolina Panthers (Ted Ginn): 19.28
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson): 19.17

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2015 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 13 to 16

Heading down the final stretch of the 2015 NFL season, we have a strong sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. For this week and next week, we will continue to make a weekly update of our strength of schedule tables for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule isn't the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 13 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 13-16):

1. Carolina Panthers (Greg Olsen): 10.78
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (Julius Thomas): 10.29
3. Denver Broncos (Vernon Davis, Owen Daniels): 10.08
4. Detroit Lions (Eric Ebron): 9.63
5. Miami Dolphins (Jordan Cameron): 9.36

Five least favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 13-16):

28. Atlanta Falcons (Jacob Tamme): 6.43
29. Philadelphia Eagles (Brent Celek, Zach Ertz): 6.22
30. Washington Redskins (Jordan Reed): 5.88
31. Buffalo Bills (Charles Clay): 5.77
32. Tennessee Titans (Delanie Walker): 5.43

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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December 01, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football: WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 13

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

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

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 13 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

WR - Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (35 percent)

Baldwin has a minimum of six catches in three consecutive games and he has posted two monster games within that span: 7/134/1 (WR5 in Week 10) and 6/145/3 (WR1 in Week 12). While it would be unrealistic to expect more of those types of games for Baldwin, he is getting a consistent volume of targets and the season-ending injury to tight end Jimmy Graham should only help him maintain a level of usable consistency.

WR - DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (five percent)

Parker had four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets in Week 12 against the Jets, which was by far his best game as a pro. With Rishard Matthews (ribs) likely to miss multiple games, Parker should have a bigger opportunity down the stretch although the first-round rookie is obviously a better option in dynasty formats. That said, Parker has a pair of quality matchups against the Ravens and Giants in Weeks 13 and 14.

WR - Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (10 percent)

Inman had five catches on nine targets, both of which were season highs, for 65 yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars in Week 12. Inman now has 50-plus yards in back-to-back games and five-plus targets in three consecutive games. Inman's role should continue to expand within one of the league's most pass-heavy offenses.

WR - Rueben Randle, New York Giants (37 percent)

Randle has yet to finish as a top-20 fantasy receiver in any given week and he has only finished as a top-30 producer only twice this season. That said, Randle has averaged 4.0/53.7/0.4 and 8.03 fantasy points per game since Week 3. Through Week 12, Randle has the 38th-most fantasy points among wide receivers and should continue to produce top-40 numbers.

WR - Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans (47 percent)

Playing only a little more than half of the team's snaps, Wright was targeted seven times in his return from an MCL sprain, but he converted only two of those targets into receptions for 19 yards. As he returns to full health, he'll play a larger percentage of the team's offensive snaps and should see close to seven to 10 targets per week. Going forward, he should be a WR3/WR4 type.

WR - Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers (12 percent)

It was a career game for Wheaton as he racked up nine catches for 201 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks on Sunday. In his previous five games, Wheaton had eight, 16, five, minus two and 18 yards, respectively. As opposing defenses focus on slowing down Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, there may be some opportunities for Wheaton to have a few solid games down the stretch. That said, he's no better than the team's fourth option on offense behind Brown, Bryant and DeAngelo Williams.

WR - Seth Roberts, Oakland Raiders (one percent)

Roberts had a career game last week with six catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns against the Titans. It's likely that he has already had his best game of the season, but Roberts does have 54-plus yards in three of four games. The exception during that stretch is a five-yard outing. Clearly the third-best option in the passing game behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, Roberts is a better option in dynasty than re-draft formats.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 13

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2015 Fantasy Football: RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 13

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

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

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 13 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

RB - Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (28 percent)

With exactly 20 touches in three consecutive games, Draughn has finished as a top-27 fantasy running back in each of those games and much better in PPR formats (RB16, RB15 and RB15, respectively). In those three games, Draughn has 17 catches on 21 targets.

It's unclear whether Carlos Hyde (foot) will return this week or even this season, but given the state of the 49ers franchise, there is obviously no reason to rush Hyde back. And after a pair of challenging matchups (Seattle and Arizona), Draughn's next two games are much more fantasy-friendly -- at Chicago in Week 13 and Cleveland in Week 14.

RB - David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (24 percent)

Earlier in the season, Johnson was capitalizing on his limited opportunities. With only 27 touches in his first five games, Johnson scored six touchdowns -- three rushing, two receiving and one return.

With injuries to Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, however, Johnson's workload is on the rise and he's expected to get the start in Week 13, at least. Given his talent, the third-rounder out of Northern Iowa should/could maintain the lead-back role for the remainder of the season for the league's highest-scoring offense.

RB - Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans (50 percent)

Andrews now has double-digit carries in six consecutive games and over that six-game stretch, he has finished as a top-24 fantasy running back three times. Even though rookie David Cobb should see his workload expand, I still expect Andrews to post top-40 numbers over the remainder of the season. That said, his next three matchups are difficult -- Jaguars (third-fewest fantasy points to RBs), Jets (fifth-fewest) and Patriots (13th-fewest).

RB - Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (24 percent)

Leading NFL running backs in receptions (55), Riddick moves up this list for those playing in PPR formats. On the season, Riddick is nearly an RB1 in PPR formats (RB15). As a comparison, he's the RB38 in standard-scoring formats. Riddick has a minimum of five catches in seven of his past 10 games and a minimum of 50 receiving yards in five games during that span. In addition, Riddick has finished as a top-21 PPR running back in six of his past seven games and a top-10 producer three times.

RB - Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (48 percent)

With a yearly minimum of 1,074 rushing yards and a total of 25 rushing scores in his first three seasons, Morris is having his worst NFL season -- a career-low 3.6 yards per carry and zero touchdowns. In addition, his workload has been inconsistent.

Here are Alf's past four games -- four carries for 10 yards (Week 9), 15 for 92 (Week 10), two for zero (Week 11) and 23 for 78 (Week 12). There's no guarantee that Morris gets another heavy workload this week, but the matchup is favorable against the Cowboys, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

RB - Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (17 percent)

Ajayi had just three carries for six yards (and four catches for 52 yards) in Week 12, but Lamar Miller had only five carries for two yards. The duo has combined for exactly 15 touches in back-to-back games and the team's offensive coordinator was the latest Dolphins coach to get the axe. One of my favorite running backs going into the draft, Ajayi could get more work down the stretch. Ajayi has been productive on a per-touch basis: 6.0 YPC on his 18 carries and 12.5 Y/A on his six receptions.

RB - Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (27 percent)

Against the Eagles on Thanksgiving, Bell had seven carries for 25 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 57 yards. Since returning from a multi-game absence, Bell has single-digit touches in four of five games and 25 rushing yards in four of five games as well. With Ameer Abdullah getting a total of 30 touches in the past two games and Riddick's role as a receiver out of the backfield, Bell is third in preference of the team's running backs, but he should finish as a top-40 or top-50 fantasy running back the rest of the way.

RB - Robert Turbin, Dallas Cowboys (seven percent)

Although Darren McFadden had just 14 touches in the team's blowout loss at home on Thanksgiving, he has a total of 151 touches in his past six games. Given his durability track record and massive usage rate, it's fair to wonder whether or not he will hold up down the stretch. If he were to miss time, Turbin would have an opportunity for significant work behind one of the league's best offensive lines.

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November 30, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football: QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 13

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

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

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 13 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

QB - Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (28 percent)

Averaging 17.04 fantasy points per game, Smith has scored the 13th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks going into Monday Night Football. On Sunday, he threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns and added 35 rushing yards to score 21.7 fantasy points. While he may not have as much upside as other quarterbacks on this list, Smith is safe, finishing only one week outside of the top-20 fantasy quarterbacks this season.

Boosting his upside, however, Smith has a great schedule down the stretch. Three of Smith's next four opponents have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points (through Sunday) to opposing quarterbacks -- Raiders (sixth-most) this week, Ravens (second-most) in Week 15 and Browns (third-most) in Week 16.

QB - Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (42 percent)

Mariota completed only 17-of-37 pass attempts in a loss to the Raiders on Sunday, but he threw three touchdowns as well as he scored 19.42 fantasy points. It was the third time in four games that Mariota scored at least 18 fantasy points.

In each of those three 18-point outings, Mariota has thrown the ball at least 35 times. The Titans will likely trail in many of their games, which should lead to some passing-game volume as well. Even though he ran the ball just once for seven yards on Sunday, Mariota had five rush attempts in each of his previous two games and he has plenty of upside due to his dual-threat abilities.

QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (23 percent)

Fitzpatrick threw for 277 yards and a season-high four touchdowns against the Dolphins in Week 12. Including rushing scores, he now has multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games and has averaged 19.66 fantasy points over that stretch. Fitzpatrick gets a favorable matchup on the road versus the Giants, who have allowed an average of 19.33 fantasy points per game this season.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (34 percent)

The Chiefs had been playing excellent pass defense recently, but Taylor threw for a season-high 291 yards and three touchdowns at Arrowhead on Sunday. With 46 rushing yards as well, Taylor scored a season-high 26.24 fantasy points and finished with his first 20-point performance since Week 5.

Even though he averaged 12.19 fantasy points per game in his previous three games, his rushing ability (56/290/2 in 2015) should provide a solid floor for Taylor. While his Week 13 matchup against the Texans isn't great, Taylor faces Philadelphia and Washington -- two plus matchups -- in Weeks 14 and 15, respectively, which gives him plenty of upside for streamers.

QB - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (43 percent)

Throwing for 245 yards and a touchdown against the Colts on Sunday, Winston scored only 14.5 fantasy points in Week 12. With 18-plus points in four of his previous five games, Winston had finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback in those four 18-point games. Since Week 5, Winston has thrown 10 touchdowns, rushed for three more and has only turned the ball over three times during that stretch. Not only has he played better over the past month-plus, Winston has scored at least 12 fantasy points in every game this season.

QB - Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (43 percent)

After six consecutive games with a minimum of 17 fantasy points, Cutler has posted modest outings in back-to-back games. One of those two games was against the Broncos, who have the league's stingiest pass defense. That said, Cutler has three plus matchups -- San Francisco, Washington and Tampa Bay -- over his next four games through Week 16.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (23 percent)

Cousins has been a bit inconsistent this season; here are his last five games: 30.18 (QB1), 10.68 (QB25), 28.96 (QB1), 6.68 (QB26) and 22.18 (QB9 through Sunday's games). In the three good games, he has exceeded 300 passing yards in each game and accounted for 10 touchdowns -- eight passing and two rushing -- with only one turnover. In the two bad games, he has averaged 212.0 passing yards with two total touchdowns and four turnovers. For those looking ahead to Championship Week (Week 16), however, Cousins will face the Eagles, who have allowed 10 passing scores over the past two weeks to Jameis Winston and Cam Newton (five each).

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November 29, 2015

Week 12 NFL Power Rankings

1. New England Patriots (Record: 10-0; Last: 1)The defending Super Bowl champs carry an unblemished 10-0 record into Denver for Sunday Night Football against the league's top-ranked defense. Of all the teams that Tom Brady has faced at least five times during the regular season, the Broncos are the only team against which Tom Brady does not have a winning record (5-5, .500).

2. Arizona Cardinals (Record: 8-2; Last: 2)Although they are not unbeaten, no team is more complete than the Cardinals. Arizona ranks in the top-nine in the NFL in rush offense (9th), pass offense (4th), rush defense (7th) and pass defense (9th). In addition, they rank first in yardage differential.

3. Carolina Panthers (Record: 11-0; Last: 3)With a pair of pick-sixes of Cowboys (injured again) quarterback Tony Romo, the Panthers remained unbeaten this season and have now won 15 consecutive regular-season games going back to last season.

4. Cincinnati Bengals (Record: 8-2; Last: 4)After beginning the year with a perfect 8-0 record, Andy Dalton and the Bengals have lost back-to-back primetime games. With 315 yards and two touchdowns, Sunday's loss wasn't (only) Dalton's fault, but he is now 4-9 in regular-season night games.

5. Denver Broncos (Record: 8-2; Last: 5)It's unclear when (or if) Peyton Manning will play his next game this season, but Brock Osweiler played well in his first start (20-of-27, 250 yards, two TDs).

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (Record: 6-4; Last: 6)Playing with his own injury (foot), Ben Roethlisberger replaced an injured Landry Jones against the Browns and threw for a season-high 379 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Antonio Brown has a total of 27/423/2 over his past two games.

7. Minnesota Vikings (Record: 7-3; Last: 7)Not only does Adrian Peterson lead the NFL in rushing, but the Vikings rank third in rushing offense (141.9/G) and second in yards per carry (4.9). In turn, the Vikings have been stingy on defense, allowing the third-fewest points per game (18.4/G).

8. Kansas City Chiefs (Record: 5-5; Last: 16)Not only have the Chiefs won four straight games and by a margin of 130-39, they have a great schedule down the stretch. None of their remaining six games are against teams with a winning record.

9. Green Bay Packers (Record: 7-4; Last: 8)Since starting 6-0, the Packers have lost four of their past five games. In their past five games, Aaron Rodgers and the offense has averaged just 19.6 points per game (compared to 27.3 through their first six games).

10. Seattle Seahawks (Record: 5-5; Last: 9)The trade of Max Unger for Jimmy Graham has not given the Seahawks a dominant presence in the red zone (no TDs for Graham since Week 3) and Russell Wilson has been sacked a league-high 35 times. One positive is that Thomas Rawls has 100-plus yards in three of four games with 15-plus carries, which means there won't be much (or any) downgrade from the injured Marshawn Lynch.

Here are the best of the rest:

11. New York Jets (Record: 5-5; Last: 10)
12. Atlanta Falcons (Record: 6-4; Last: 11)
13. Buffalo Bills (Record: 5-5; Last: 12)
14. Indianapolis Colts (Record: 5-5; Last: 18)
15. New York Giants (Record: 5-5; Last: 13)
16. Oakland Raiders (Record: 4-6; Last: 14)
17. St. Louis Rams (Record: 4-6; Last: 17)
18. Chicago Bears (Record: 5-6; Last: 20)
19. Washington Redskins (Record: 4-6; Last: 19)
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Record: 5-5; Last: 23)
21. New Orleans Saints (Record: 4-6; Last: 21)
22. Detroit Lions (Record: 4-7; Last: 29)
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (Record: 4-6; Last: 24)
24. Miami Dolphins (Record: 4-6; Last: 22)
25. Houston Texans (Record: 5-5; Last: 25)
26. Philadelphia Eagles (Record: 4-7; Last: 15)
27. Baltimore Ravens (Record: 3-7; Last: 27)
28. San Diego Chargers (Record: 2-8; Last: 28)
29. Dallas Cowboys (Record: 3-8; Last: 26)
30. Tennessee Titans (Record: 2-8; Last: 31)
31. Cleveland Browns (Record: 2-8; Last: 30)
32. San Francisco 49ers (Record: 3-7; Last: 32)

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Week 12 Fantasy Football: Updated 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, Brian Hoyer is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 12 with him as my starting quarterback.

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

In other words, if you owned both Carson Palmer and Hoyer, you should start Palmer -- and in turn, bench Hoyer.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 12:

QB - Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (vs. NO)

The last three quarterbacks that have faced the Saints defense have produced the most or second-most fantasy points for that given week. In fact, the Saints have allowed multiple touchdowns in six consecutive games and a minimum of 324 passing yards in five of those six games. A bye week and a new defensive coordinator won't be enough to turnaround the league's most fantasy-friendly defense.

Before leaving the Bengals game early, Hoyer threw multiple touchdown passes in five consecutive games. During that span, Hoyer had scored a minimum of 17 fantasy points in each game with 20-plus three times. In fact, Hoyer finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in four of those five games with a QB15 weekly finish being the lone outlier.

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (at SF)

A model of consistency, Palmer has thrown for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in all 10 games played this season. Even though Palmer had just one top-10 weekly finish in his first six games of the season, he has been a top-10 weekly producer four games in a row.

Drafted as a high-upside QB2 in August, Palmer has become a weekly must-start regardless of matchup. Over his past three games, Palmer has thrown for a minimum of 317 yards and three touchdowns in each game with a couple of difficult matchups (at Seattle and vs. Cincinnati) during that span. The only quarterback to ever have a longer streak of 317/3 games was Rodgers (four, 2012 into 2013 season).

No team is projected to score more points than the Cardinals this week based on Vegas odds. In addition, the 49ers have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season and Palmer has QB1 upside in Week 12.

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

Ending a five-game streak with multiple touchdowns, Bortles threw for 242 yards and a touchdown in a modest Week 11 performance. With the ninth-most fantasy points on the season, Bortles has finished as a weekly top-10 fantasy quarterback in half of his 10 games this season.

Over their past five games, the Chargers have allowed three top-12 weekly producers and a minimum of 17.6 fantasy points in four of those five games. During that five-game span, they have allowed 292.2 passing yards per game with a total of eight touchdowns and only one interception.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 12:

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

Even though Julio Jones is an absolute stud with 89/1,189/6 through 10 games, Ryan has scored only the 15th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks this season. Ryan is averaging nearly 300 yards per game, but he has a 15:10 TD-to-INT ratio this season. And like Romo, Ryan has a challenging matchup against the Vikings, who have limited opposing quarterbacks to the ninth-fewest fantasy points this season.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (at KC)

Taylor had three top-seven weekly finishes in his first five games of the season and he always has some upside due to his dual-threat abilities. Since returning from injury, however, Taylor has finished as the QB17, QB22 and QB24, respectively, and the matchup this week is difficult. Only the 49ers and Rams are projected to score fewer points than Bills.

Not only have the Chiefs allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, they last allowed a top-20 fantasy quarterback in Week 5. Since then, they have intercepted opposing quarterbacks a total of 12 times in five games and no quarterback has scored double-digit fantasy points against them.

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

Historically, Dalton has been fairly inconsistent, but he had finished with at least 18 fantasy points in his first six games this season. Since his Week 7 bye, however, Dalton has not maintained that same level of consistency -- 9.64 (QB21, Week 8), 21.86 (QB7, Week 9), 8.88 (QB24, Week 10) and 22.0 (QB5, Week 11).

With only the Broncos and Jaguars allowing fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Rams, this could be another disappointing week for Dalton and he's just outside my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week.

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November 28, 2015

Week 12 Fantasy Football: Updated 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, Javorius Allen is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 12 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 Adrian Peterson, Mark Ingram and Allen, you should start Peterson and Ingram -- and in turn, bench Allen.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 12:

RB - Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at IND)

Since scoring three touchdowns in Week 5, Martin has not found the end zone, but he is coming off a season-best performance of 235 rushing yards against the Eagles in Week 11. It was the fourth 100-yard game for Martin over the past seven weeks. On the season, only Devonta Freeman and Adrian Peterson have scored more fantasy points than Martin in standard-scoring formats.

Averaging 20.9 touches per game this season, Martin figures to get another heavy workload and this week's matchup is exploitable as well. Through Week 11, the Colts have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

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

Yeldon has 17-plus touches in four consecutive games and has averaged close to 20 touches per game (19.3/G) on the season. Given the favorable matchup and Yeldon's usage rate, he's a top-five running back for me in Week 12.

Only four teams are projected to score more points this week than the Jaguars based on Vegas odds. In addition, no running back has a more favorable matchup than Yeldon as the Chargers have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2015. In fact, the Chargers have allowed a top-10 weekly running back in eight of 10 games this year.

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

Rushing 30 times last week for a career-high 209 yards, Rawls added three catches for 46 yards and scored twice to finish the week as the top-scoring fantasy running back. Rawls has a more difficult matchup this week as the Steelers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but Rawls has been dominant when given a featured role. Rawls has more than 15 carries in four games and he has now exceeded 100 rushing yards in three of those four games. With Marshawn Lynch sidelined for several weeks, start Rawls with confidence.

RB - Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (at CLE)

With Justin Forsett as well as Joe Flacco sustaining season-ending injuries last week, Baltimore's offense will revolve around Buck Allen in Week 12 and down the stretch. Against the Rams last week, Allen had a total of 27 touches -- 22 carries and five receptions -- for 115 yards.

Allen will have a few difficult matchups down the stretch, but his matchup this week is as good as it will get for him the rest of the way. Cleveland has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. In Forsett's first matchup against the Browns (Week 5), he rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown and added four catches for 49 yards.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 12:

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. STL)

Hill has 13-plus carries in four of his past five games and he could see a similar workload this week against the Rams. The good thing about Hill is that he always has multi-touchdown upside, something he has done three times this season, but he has yet to exceed 63 rushing yards in any game this season. On the season, the Rams have limited opposing running backs to 3.69 yards per carry. Hill is a flex for me this week.

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

Since back-to-back games with seven touches, Gordon has averaged 17.67 touches over his past three games. Despite a return to a significant workload, MG3 has now finished outside the top-30 weekly fantasy running backs for eight weeks in a row. While he has yet to score his first NFL touchdown, he has 54 rushing yards or less in every game since Week 3 as well. Gordon is averaging just 3.49 yards per carry this season and the Jags currently allow a league-low 3.4 YPC.

RB - Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (vs. NYG)

In his first three NFL seasons, Morris rushed for more than 4,000 yards and scored 28 touchdowns. This season, Morris is averaging just 40.4 rushing yards per game (compared to 83.8 from 2012-14) and he's yet to score a touchdown. Starting in Week 3 with six carries for 19 yards against the Giants, Morris has six or fewer carries in half of his past eight games. With a modest workload, Morris should remain on your bench; or better yet, on your league's waiver wire.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 12 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 12 of the 2015 NFL season:

Minnesota Vikings +1.5 over Atlanta Falcons (4 units)

Minnesota is coming off a bad performance against the Packers last week, but they are legit. The Falcons, on the other hand, have simply been going downhill, and after a 5-0 start, are likely to miss the playoffs. I expect a bounce-back game from the Vikings and I like them to win outright.

Oakland Raiders -1 over Tennessee Titans (4 units)

Oakland is another team that didn't play well last week, but this is another bounce-back game. Derek Carr has been excellent this year and has a lot of weapons (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Latavius Murray, etc.). Tennessee is still in the mix in the worst division in football, but I don't think they will beat the Raiders, who also need a win to stay in playoff contention. In what is essentially a pick'em game, I like the Raiders here.

Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 over Seattle Seahawks (4 units)

The Steelers have not really been at full strength all year and will be without Le'Veon Bell for the remainder of the year. The rest of the offense is finally in tact, though, and Pittsburgh was able to keep the ship afloat while Ben Roethlisberger was out. Seattle has been mediocre all year and I don't see them turning it around against Pittsburgh. Seattle is a tough place to play, but I think Pitt will at minimum cover the 3.5 here.

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Week 12 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, Martavis Bryant is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 12 with him as one of my starting receivers.

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

In other words, if you owned Julio Jones, A.J. Green and Bryant and start two wide receivers, you should start Hopkins and Robinson -- and in turn, bench Bryant.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 12:

WR - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. SD)

Since Week 2, Robinson has been one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL. The second-year wideout has 49 catches for 844 yards and seven touchdowns in those nine games. Over his past six games, Robinson has either exceeded 100 yards and/or scored a touchdown (or two) in each of those games. With double-digit fantasy points in six consecutive games, Robinson has finished no worse than WR17 during that stretch.

WR - Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (at SEA)

Going into Week 12, the Seahawks have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. That said, they have been much tougher against their opponents' WR1 than WR2, which would make sense now that Richard Sherman has often shadowed their opponent's No. 1 receiver.

More than likely, Sherman will shadow Antonio Brown, who has 27 catches for 423 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games. Based on efficency data from Football Outsiders, the Seahawks rank second vs. No. 1 WRs (and only 18th vs. No. 2 WRs).

Like his rookie season, Bryant's start to the 2015 season was delayed (although for different reasons), but he has immediately dominated in the red zone. With a touchdown in all but one game, Bryant has a total of five touchdowns in his past five games and a minimum of seven targets in each of those games.

WR - Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (at HOU)

After a slow start, Cooks has been one of the better fantasy wide receivers over the past month. Not only does he have a minimum of 71 yards in four consecutive games and in five of his past six, but Cooks has scored in each of his past three games with a total of five touchdowns during that three-game span. In those three games, Cooks has 20.5 (WR4), 13.1 (WR15) and 22.9 (WR3) fantasy points, respectively.

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at TEN)

A top-15 fantasy wide receiver through Week 11, Crabtree has a total of 57 catches for 696 yards and five touchdowns. It was a disappointing week for the Raiders passing offense last week, but Crabtree still had six catches for 50 yards on 11 targets. Crabtree now has 50-plus yards in seven consecutive games and double-digit targets in three of his past four games. Assuming another healthy dose of targets, Crabtree remains a solid WR2 heading into his Week 12 matchup against the Titans.

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

Decker has yet to reach the 100-yard milestone this season, but he has been remarkably consistent. With four catches for 81 yards on 11 targets last week, Decker scored a season-low 8.1 fantasy points. Because of that consistency, Decker has finished no worse than the WR31 in any week that he has played.

Not only has Decker finished with 59-plus yards in six consecutive games, but he has scored a touchdown in seven of nine games. With Brandon Marshall likely to draw a matchup against Brent Grimes, Miami's top corner, it wouldn't surprise me if Decker scored more fantasy points than Marshall. Either way, Decker remains a strong WR2 play.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 12:

WR - Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills (at KC)

Few wide receivers are more boom-or-bust in fantasy football than Watkins, who finished as fantasy's WR3 only three weeks ago and outside the top-50 receivers in each of his past two games. Watkins had 8/168/1 in Week 9, but he has finished with 14 and 39 yards, respectively, in his past two games.

The Chiefs have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, but they have been playing much better pass defense lately. In their first seven games, they allowed five receivers to reach the 100-yard milestone. Since then, however, they have allowed no 100-yard receivers and the best performance against them during that span was a WR29 performance in Week 8.

WR - Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. BUF)

Consistency. That's one way to describe it. After averaging 7.2 catches for 96.6 yards per game through Week 5, Maclin has exactly three receptions in four consecutive games. No more, no less. In addition, he has failed to reach 50 yards in any of those games and is averaging just 32.25 during that span. For now, Maclin is more of a WR3/flex type option than a definite start.

WR - Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (vs. NYG)

The matchup certainly isn't a difficult one, but Garcon continues to post mediocre numbers. Garcon has finished outside the top-36 fantasy wide receivers in six consecutive games. In his past two games, Garcon has been targeted only two and four times, respectively, both of which are the two lowest for Garcon this season. While DeSean Jackson is a boom-or-bust type of receiver, his presence makes Garcon an after-thought in this offense.

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

Moncried was targeted eight times in Week 11, but he finished with just five catches for 41 yards (8.2 Y/A). Moncrief now has 41 yards or less in four consecutive games and he has finished outside of the top-50 fantasy wide receivers in three consecutive weeks. In fact, Moncrief averaged 9.73 fantasy points per game in his first seven games this season. Over his past three games, he has a total of 8.9 points.

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Week 12 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, Jordan Reed is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 12 with him as my starting tight end.

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

In other words, if you owned both Rob Gronkowski and Reed, you should start Gronk -- and in turn, bench Reed.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 12:

TE - Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (vs. OAK)

Walker only has three touchdowns on the season, but he has been consistent at a relatively inconsistent position. With more than 50 yards in six consecutive games, Walker has at least six receptions in five of those games. During that six-game span, Walker has averaged 6.5 catches and 78.3 yards per outing.

The Raiders have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this season, but they have been better as of late. The Raiders allowed a top-four weekly finish in five of their first six games, but no top-12 weekly finishes in their past four games. That said, they haven't faced any elite tight ends during that span either.

Given Walker's volume within Tennessee's passing game, he's never going to hurt your fantasy team. But given the matchup, he has legitimate TE1 overall upside.

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

Speaking of consistency, Barnidge has finished outside of the top-six fantasy tight ends only once in his past eight games. In fact, Barnidge has scored double-digit fantasy points in seven of his past eight games and averaged 12.9/G over that span. Scoring in six of his past eight games, Barnidge has averaged 5.5/76.5/0.9 on 8.5 targets per game since Week 3.

The Ravens have done a great job at defending tight ends, allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position this season. That said, the one tight end that they couldn't contain was Barnidge, who had 8/139/1 against them in Week 5. Barnidge may not post those numbers in his second matchup against them, but he's a strong play once again.

TE - Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (vs. NYG)

Few tight ends have a more favorable matchup than Reed this week. Only the Saints have allowed more fantasy points to the position than the Giants this season. In his first matchup against the Giants this season, Reed had six catches for 96 yards.

On the year, Reed has the seventh-most fantasy points among tight ends and has a stat line of 47 catches for 443 yards and six touchdowns even though he has missed a couple of games. Not only did Reed return to the field with an MCL injury last week, but he's not listed on the injury report, which bodes well for his outlook this week.

TE - Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (at SEA)

Not only are the Seahawks bad, relatively speaking, at defending the tight end, they are stingy to opposing running backs and wide receivers. While they have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, they have allowed the fewest to running backs and fourth-fewest to wide receivers.

With Ben Roethlisberger back under center, Miller's outlook is always better than when Big Ben is sidelined. GIven the matchup(s), Miller could see a slight bump in targets. In his past three games, Miller has 26 targets, 17 catches and 177 yards. Miller is just inside my top-12 fantasy tight ends for Week 12.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 12:

TE - Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints (at HOU)

Over his past five games, Watson has had a couple of massive stat lines -- 10/127/1 in Week 6 and 9/147/1 in Week 8. Aside from those two games, however, Watson has five or fewer targets in every other game this season and he's finished as the TE18 and TE36 in his past two games, respectively. The Texans have allowed the 11th-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season so this could turn out to be another modest performance.

TE - Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (at KC)

Clay was highly productive (21/255/2) in the first four games of the season. Since then, however, Clay has finished outside the top-15 weekly fantasy tight ends in every game. Over his past four games, Clay has a total of 10 catches for 98 yards and he hasn't scored since Week 3.

To make matters worse, no team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Only one tight end (Tyler Eifert, TE10 in Week 4) has more than 32 yards against the Chiefs this season.

TE - Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins (at NYJ)

The good news is that Cameron scored a touchdown last week and that led to a top-10 weekly finish for him. It was his first top-10 performance of the season, but he still finished with only two catches for 21 yards. He now has 30 yards or less in eight consecutive games and two or fewer catches in five straight games.

In addition, the Jets have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Although he has top-10 talent at the position, Cameron should remain on your bench until he becomes more involved in the offensive game plan.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 12

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November 27, 2015

Week 12 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, Martavis Bryant is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 12 with him as one of my starting receivers.

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

In other words, if you owned DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson and Bryant and start two wide receivers, you should start Hopkins and Robinson -- and in turn, bench Bryant.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 12:

WR - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. SD)

Since Week 2, Robinson has been one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL. The second-year wideout has 49 catches for 844 yards and seven touchdowns in those nine games. Over his past six games, Robinson has either exceeded 100 yards and/or scored a touchdown (or two) in each of those games. With double-digit fantasy points in six consecutive games, Robinson has finished no worse than WR17 during that stretch.

WR - Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (at SEA)

Going into Week 12, the Seahawks have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. That said, they have been much tougher against their opponents' WR1 than WR2, which would make sense now that Richard Sherman has often shadowed their opponent's No. 1 receiver.

More than likely, Sherman will shadow Antonio Brown, who has 27 catches for 423 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games. Based on efficency data from Football Outsiders, the Seahawks rank second vs. No. 1 WRs (and only 18th vs. No. 2 WRs).

Like his rookie season, Bryant's start to the 2015 season was delayed (although for different reasons), but he has immediately dominated in the red zone. With a touchdown in all but one game, Bryant has a total of five touchdowns in his past five games and a minimum of seven targets in each of those games.

WR - Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (at HOU)

After a slow start, Cooks has been one of the better fantasy wide receivers over the past month. Not only does he have a minimum of 71 yards in four consecutive games and in five of his past six, but Cooks has scored in each of his past three games with a total of five touchdowns during that three-game span. In those three games, Cooks has 20.5 (WR4), 13.1 (WR15) and 22.9 (WR3) fantasy points, respectively.

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at TEN)

A top-15 fantasy wide receiver through Week 11, Crabtree has a total of 57 catches for 696 yards and five touchdowns. It was a disappointing week for the Raiders passing offense last week, but Crabtree still had six catches for 50 yards on 11 targets. Crabtree now has 50-plus yards in seven consecutive games and double-digit targets in three of his past four games. Assuming another healthy dose of targets, Crabtree remains a solid WR2 heading into his Week 12 matchup against the Titans.

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

Decker has yet to reach the 100-yard milestone this season, but he has been remarkably consistent. With four catches for 81 yards on 11 targets last week, Decker scored a season-low 8.1 fantasy points. Because of that consistency, Decker has finished no worse than the WR31 in any week that he has played.

Not only has Decker finished with 59-plus yards in six consecutive games, but he has scored a touchdown in seven of nine games. With Brandon Marshall likely to draw a matchup against Brent Grimes, Miami's top corner, it wouldn't surprise me if Decker scored more fantasy points than Marshall. Either way, Decker remains a strong WR2 play.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 12:

WR - Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills (at KC)

Few wide receivers are more boom-or-bust in fantasy football than Watkins, who finished as fantasy's WR3 only three weeks ago and outside the top-50 receivers in each of his past two games. Watkins had 8/168/1 in Week 9, but he has finished with 14 and 39 yards, respectively, in his past two games.

The Chiefs have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, but they have been playing much better pass defense lately. In their first seven games, they allowed five receivers to reach the 100-yard milestone. Since then, however, they have allowed no 100-yard receivers and the best performance against them during that span was a WR29 performance in Week 8.

WR - Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. BUF)

Consistency. That's one way to describe it. After averaging 7.2 catches for 96.6 yards per game through Week 5, Maclin has exactly three receptions in four consecutive games. No more, no less. In addition, he has failed to reach 50 yards in any of those games and is averaging just 32.25 during that span. For now, Maclin is more of a WR3/flex type option than a definite start.

WR - Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (vs. NYG)

The matchup certainly isn't a difficult one, but Garcon continues to post mediocre numbers. Garcon has finished outside the top-36 fantasy wide receivers in six consecutive games. In his past two games, Garcon has been targeted only two and four times, respectively, both of which are the two lowest for Garcon this season. While DeSean Jackson is a boom-or-bust type of receiver, his presence makes Garcon an after-thought in this offense.

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

Moncried was targeted eight times in Week 11, but he finished with just five catches for 41 yards (8.2 Y/A). Moncrief now has 41 yards or less in four consecutive games and he has finished outside of the top-50 fantasy wide receivers in three consecutive weeks. In fact, Moncrief averaged 9.73 fantasy points per game in his first seven games this season. Over his past three games, he has a total of 8.9 points.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 12

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November 26, 2015

Week 12 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, Eddie Lacy is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 12 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 Todd Gurley, LeSean McCoy and Lacy, you should start Gurley and McCoy -- and in turn, bench Lacy.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 12:

RB - Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at IND)

Since scoring three touchdowns in Week 5, Martin has not found the end zone, but he is coming off a season-best performance of 235 rushing yards against the Eagles in Week 11. It was the fourth 100-yard game for Martin over the past seven weeks. On the season, only Devonta Freeman and Adrian Peterson have scored more fantasy points than Martin in standard-scoring formats.

Averaging 20.9 touches per game this season, Martin figures to get another heavy workload and this week's matchup is exploitable as well. Through Week 11, the Colts have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

RB - Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (at DAL)

Only two running backs have 20-plus carries in six games this season -- Peterson and Stewart. What's unique about Stewart, however, is that he has had that workload in six consecutive games. During that six-game span, Stewart has 131 carries for 544 yards and four touchdowns. Even though he has only four receptions during that span, one of them went for a touchdown last week.

Not only has Stewart received a consistently heavy workload, he has a favorable matchup this week as well. The Cowboys have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

RB - Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys (vs. CAR)

Speaking of high-volume backs, no running back has more touches than McFadden over the past five weeks. During that span, McFadden has averaged 27.4 touches per week. McFadden has only one touchdown during that span, but with Tony Romo back under center, he should eventually find the end zone more often given his usage rate and a general improvement in the team's offensive efficiency.

That said, McFadden has exceeded 100 rushing yards three times, 100 yards from scrimmage four times and he has averaged 13.28 fantasy points per game over that stretch. The matchup isn't great, but the Panthers have been middle of the pack (15th in NFL) in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. McFadden remains a top-10 fantasy running back in Week 12.

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

Rushing 30 times last week for a career-high 209 yards, Rawls added three catches for 46 yards and scored twice to finish the week as the top-scoring fantasy running back. Rawls has a more difficult matchup this week as the Steelers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but Rawls has been dominant when given a featured role. Rawls has more than 15 carries in four games and he has now exceeded 100 rushing yards in three of those four games. With Marshawn Lynch sidelined for several weeks, start Rawls with confidence.

RB - Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (vs. CHI)

This game has the potential to lead to a huge day for Lacy, or James Starks, as the Packers are favored by nearly double-digit points and only the Cardinals are projected to score more points this week than the Packers based on Vegas odds. After sitting out Week 10, Lacy had his best game of the season on Sunday with 22 carries for 100 yards (4.55 YPC).

Meanwhile, Starks had just eight carries for 14 yards last week. Over his past five games, Starks has carried the ball 38 times for only 104 yards so he hasn't been great since becoming the team's No. 1 back. There is still some risk with Lacy, but I have him ranked as a top-12 fantasy running back for the first time in a long time.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 12:

RB - Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears (at GB)

It's unclear how the workload will be allocated with the return of Matt Forte (MCL) this week. Langford has been highly productive -- 366 YFS, 13 catches and four touchdowns -- in Forte's absence. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bears limit Forte's touches this week, but I have Langford ranked as a flex this week due to the expected reduction in touches.

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. STL)

Hill has 13-plus carries in four of his past five games and he could see a similar workload this week against the Rams. The good thing about Hill is that he always has multi-touchdown upside, something he has done three times this season, but he has yet to exceed 63 rushing yards in any game this season. On the season, the Rams have limited opposing running backs to 3.69 yards per carry. Hill is a flex for me this week.

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

Since back-to-back games with seven touches, Gordon has averaged 17.67 touches over his past three games. Despite a return to a significant workload, MG3 has now finished outside the top-30 weekly fantasy running backs for eight weeks in a row. While he has yet to score his first NFL touchdown, he has 54 rushing yards or less in every game since Week 3 as well. Gordon is averaging just 3.49 yards per carry this season and the Jags currently allow a league-low 3.4 YPC.

RB - James Starks, Green Bay Packers (vs. CHI)

As noted above, Starks has only 104 rushing yards over his past five games and Lacy out-touched Starks by a margin of 22 to nine on Sunday. There is certainly some risk with Lacy, but I expected Lacy to eventually re-emerge as the team's lead back and that appears to have happened already.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 12

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Week 12 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, Brian Hoyer is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 12 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 Hoyer, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Hoyer.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 12:

QB - Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (vs. NO)

The last three quarterbacks that have faced the Saints defense have produced the most or second-most fantasy points for that given week. In fact, the Saints have allowed multiple touchdowns in six consecutive games and a minimum of 324 passing yards in five of those six games. A bye week and a new defensive coordinator won't be enough to turnaround the league's most fantasy-friendly defense.

Before leaving the Bengals game early, Hoyer threw multiple touchdown passes in five consecutive games. During that span, Hoyer had scored a minimum of 17 fantasy points in each game with 20-plus three times. In fact, Hoyer finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in four of those five games with a QB15 weekly finish being the lone outlier.

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

Stafford didn't throw a touchdown last week, but he threw for 282 yards and ran for another 31 yards and a score. With 20.38 fantasy points last week, Stafford now has a minimum of 18 fantasy points in three of his past five games. Not only did Philadelphia allow five passing touchdowns to Jameis Winston last week, but they have allowed 10 passing touchdowns in their past three games combined. With plenty of question marks, the Eagles give Stafford a matchup to exploit on Thanksgiving.

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (at SF)

A model of consistency, Palmer has thrown for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in all 10 games played this season. Even though Palmer had just one top-10 weekly finish in his first six games of the season, he has been a top-10 weekly producer four games in a row.

Drafted as a high-upside QB2 in August, Palmer has become a weekly must-start regardless of matchup. Over his past three games, Palmer has thrown for a minimum of 317 yards and three touchdowns in each game with a couple of difficult matchups (at Seattle and vs. Cincinnati) during that span. The only quarterback to ever have a longer streak of 317/3 games was Rodgers (four, 2012 into 2013 season).

No team is projected to score more points than the Cardinals this week based on Vegas odds. In addition, the 49ers have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season and Palmer has QB1 upside in Week 12.

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

Ending a five-game streak with multiple touchdowns, Bortles threw for 242 yards and a touchdown in a modest Week 11 performance. With the ninth-most fantasy points on the season, Bortles has finished as a weekly top-10 fantasy quarterback in half of his 10 games this season.

Over their past five games, the Chargers have allowed three top-12 weekly producers and a minimum of 17.6 fantasy points in four of those five games. During that five-game span, they have allowed 292.2 passing yards per game with a total of eight touchdowns and only one interception.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 12:

QB - Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (vs. CAR)

As a Cowboys fan, Romo couldn't return soon enough. In his return, Romo threw for 227 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions against the Dolphins and finished as the QB19 in Week 11. With a difficult matchup against the Panthers, who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, it's possible that Romo finishes outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks once again.

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

Even though Julio Jones is an absolute stud with 89/1,189/6 through 10 games, Ryan has scored only the 15th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks this season. Ryan is averaging nearly 300 yards per game, but he has a 15:10 TD-to-INT ratio this season. And like Romo, Ryan has a challenging matchup against the Vikings, who have limited opposing quarterbacks to the ninth-fewest fantasy points this season.

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

Historically, Dalton has been fairly inconsistent, but he had finished with at least 18 fantasy points in his first six games this season. Since his Week 7 bye, however, Dalton has not maintained that same level of consistency -- 9.64 (QB21, Week 8), 21.86 (QB7, Week 9), 8.88 (QB24, Week 10) and 22.0 (QB5, Week 11).

With only the Broncos and Jaguars allowing fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Rams, this could be another disappointing week for Dalton and he's just outside my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week.

QB - Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (at DET)

It's unclear whether it will be Bradford or Mark Sanchez this week, but Bradford has been cleared from his concussion. Either way, this "sit" applies to either Bradford or Sanchez. In his past four games, Bradford has thrown only three touchdowns and has finished as a the QB16 (or worse) each week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 12

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November 25, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 12 to 16


Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 12-16):

1. Houston Texans (Brian Hoyer): 18.59
2. Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford): 18.47
3. Kansas City Chiefs (Alex Smith): 18.31
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 18.24
5. Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill): 17.75

Five least favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 12-16):

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger): 15.67
29. New England Patriots (Tom Brady): 15.57
30. Oakland Raiders (Derek Carr): 15.39
31. San Diego Chargers (Philip Rivers): 14.87
32. Atlanta Falcons (Matt Ryan): 14.74

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

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2015 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 12 to 16

As we head down the final stretch of the 2015 NFL season, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 12-16):

1. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 21.44
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (T.J. Yeldon): 20.77
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Doug Martin, Charles Sims): 20.34
4. Kansas City Chiefs (Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware): 20.25
5. Detroit Lions (Joique Bell, Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick): 19.63

Five least favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 12-16):

T27. Tennessee Titans (Antonio Andrews): 16.74
T27. St. Louis Rams (Todd Gurley): 16.74
29. New England Patriots (LeGarrette Blount): 16.71
30. Seattle Seahawks (Thomas Rawls): 16.62
31. Cleveland Browns (Duke Johnson, Isaiah Crowell): 16.58
32. Atlanta Falcons (Devonta Freeman): 16.28

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

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2015 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 12 to 16

As we head down the final stretch of the 2015 NFL season, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 12-16):

1. Houston Texans (DeAndre Hopkins): 24.91
2. Buffalo Bills (Sammy Watkins): 24.55
3. Miami Dolphins (Jarvis Landry, Rishard Matthews): 24.52
4. Baltimore Ravens (Kamar Aiken): 24.50
5. Kansas City Chiefs (Jeremy Maclin): 24.44

Five least favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 12-16):

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant): 20.72
29. Oakland Raiders (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree): 20.68
30. Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones): 19.95
31. Minnesota Vikings (Stefon Diggs, Mike Wallace): 19.93
32. Carolina Panthers (Ted Ginn, Devin Funchess): 19.79

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2015 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 12 to 16

As we head down the final stretch of the 2015 NFL season, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 12-16):

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (Julius Thomas): 10.16
2. Carolina Panthers (Greg Olsen): 9.94
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Austin Seferian-Jenkins): 9.09
4. Minnesota Vikings (Kyle Rudolph): 8.88
5. Denver Broncos (Vernon Davis, Owen Daniels): 8.83

Five least favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 12-16):

T28. Tennessee Titans (Delanie Walker): 6.87
T28. New York Giants (Larry Donnell): 6.87
30. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski): 6.73
31. Philadelphia Eagles (Zach Ertz, Brent Celek): 6.49
32. Buffalo Bills (Charles Clay): 5.41

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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November 21, 2015

Week 11 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, Frank Gore is listed below as a "start" for Week 11. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 11 with him as one my two starting running backs.

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

In other words, if you owned Devonta Freeman, DeMarco Murray and Gore, you should start Freeman and Murray -- and in turn, bench Gore.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 11:

RB - Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs (at SD)

There is plenty to like about West heading into Week 11. Over his past three games, West has turned significant workloads into strong weekly production.

With a minimum of 20 carries (and 24 touches) in three consecutive games, West has scored a minimum of 18.2 fantasy points in each of those games. In fact, he has finished as the weekly RB7, RB2 and RB2 over his past three games, respectively. During that three-game stretch, West has a total of 412 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns.

The good times should continue to roll for West with a favorable matchup in Week 11. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Chargers this season. In addition, the Chargers have allowed seven top-10 weekly running backs in nine games this season.

RB - Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys (at MIA)

Since becoming the team's workhorse back, McFadden had his first disappointing performance as he gained only 32 yards on 17 carries and finished outside the top-30 fantasy running backs. Another concern going into Week 11 is his appearance on the team's injury report (groin), especially given his durability track record, even though the team has downplayed it.

That said, his volume of work will remain high assuming that he starts and finishes the game in Week 11. Over his past four games, McFadden has a minimum of 20 touches each week and a total of 105 during that span. In those four games, he has a pair of 100-yard rushing games and he has exceeded 100 YFS in three of four.

Not only does he get a favorable matchup against the Dolphins, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs, but the return of Tony Romo from short-term IR should help open up the offense. Even with Dez Bryant back for a few games, the offense has centered around McFadden and opposing defenses have been able to stack the box.

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

On a weekly basis, the Panthers have given Stewart a heavy workload with a minimum of 20 carries in five consecutive games. Not only is that the longest such streak this season, but no other running back has more than three consecutive games with 20-plus carries. The others on that list are the two guys listed above -- West and McFadden -- as well as Adrian Peterson and Le'Veon Bell.

During that five-game span, Stewart has 110 carries for 442 yards and four touchdowns. In addition, Stewart has a minimum of 12 fantasy points in four of those five games. Washington is middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to running backs this season, but they have allowed a 125-yard rusher in four of their past five games.

RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (at ATL)

In his past two games against two of the league's top defenses (Carolina and Denver), Gore has a minimum of 25 touches in each game. In those two games, Gore has a total of 153 rushing yards and a touchdown and four catches for 41 yards. Gore has now finished as the weekly RB18 (or better) in back-to-back games and in four of his past five. With a more favorable matchup in Week 11, Gore has RB1 upside especially with Andrew Luck sidelined as the Colts figure to lean heavily on their ground game.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 11:

RB - C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos (at CHI)

A few weeks ago, Anderson rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown, but that game has been the sole bright spot for him (and his fantasy owners) this season. Last week, CJA had just two carries for nine yards as the Broncos were blown out by the Chiefs. This game should be more competitive and the Broncos should be more committed to the run without Peyton Manning, but it's hard to trust Anderson despite the favorable matchup.

RB - Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (at MIN)

Lacy is expected to play in Week 11 after sitting out last week, but he remains in a secondary role to James Starks. Over his past four games combined, Lacy has a total of only 78 rushing yards on 33 carries -- 2.36 yards per carry. Eventually Lacy will re-emerge as the team's featured back, but I prefer to take a wait-and-see approach especially given the difficult matchup this week. The Vikings have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (at ARI)

Continuing the theme of first-round (fantasy) draft busts, Hill has gone from a workhorse to secondary role. Before last week's 15-yard performance on seven carries, it was a positive that Hill had 15-plus carries in his previous three games. Of the trio along with CJA and Lacy, Hill is the most likely to get a large(r) workload. That said, Hill has finished outside the top-30 fantasy running backs in three consecutive games and in six of his past eight games.

Meanwhile, Hill and Giovani Bernard have a difficult matchup against the Cardinals, who have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Aside from Todd Gurley (146 yards) and Le'Veon Bell (88), no other running back has rushed for more than 61 yards against the Cards this season. On the year, they have allowed RBs to gain 3.70 YPC with only three rushing touchdowns on 166 carries.

RB - Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (at SEA)

Before San Francisco's Week 10 bye, Draughn totalled 20 touches for 96 yards against the Falcons and finished as fantasy's RB22 in Week 9. Even though Carlos Hyde is expected to miss another game and Draughn should lead the team in touches, the 49ers are huge underdogs (-12.5) on the road and projected to score the fewest points this week based on Vegas odds. In addition, only the Steelers have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

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Week 11 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, Danny Amendola is listed below as a "start" for Week 11. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 11 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

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

In other words, if you owned both Dez Bryant, DeAndre Hopkins and Amendola and start just two receivers, you should start Bryant and Hopkins -- and in turn, bench Amendola.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 11:

WR - Danny Amendola, New England Patriots (vs. BUF)

With Julian Edelman injuring his foot last week, Amendola set season highs of 10 receptions on 11 targets. While he has three games with at least seven catches and 79 yards over his past five games, Amendola should produce more consistently for fantasy owners down the stretch with Edelman sidelined.

Only Rob Gronkowski should see a larger share of targets from Tom Brady than Amendola for the rest of the way. In their first matchup against the Bills, Edelman was targeted 19 times and finished with 11/97/2 as Brady threw 59 pass attempts.

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

Since his Week 6 bye, Evans has been targeted a total of 53 times over the past four games. Only Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown (56) has been targeted more over that four-game stretch. While Evans has had his issues with drops, his volume of targets has led to 126-plus yards in three of those four games.

With 12 touchdowns as a rookie, the 6-foot-5 Evans proved to be one of the league's better red-zone weapons. In 2015, however, the second-year receiver has only one score out of his 40 receptions. Assuming that Vincent Jackson misses another game, Evans will be a target monster and it wouldn't surprise me if he found the end zone this weekend. The Eagles have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

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

Decker has been extremely consistent this season. Not only does he have exactly six receptions in four straight games and 59-plus yards in five straight games, Decker has scored a touchdown in seven of eight games played. Even though he has missed a game earlier this season, Decker has the 14th-most fantasy points in standard-scoring formats so far this year. In addition, he has a minimum of 9.4 fantasy points in every game played this season.

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at DET)

Crabtree had a season-low five targets last week, but he extended his streak of games with 50-plus yards to six games. One of the biggest surprises this season, Crabtree is averaging 5.67/71.78/0.56 on 9.44 targets per game through Week 10. With the 16th-most fantasy points this season, Crabtree is ahead of many prominent and disappointing wide receivers -- Calvin Johnson (WR19), Demaryius Thomas (WR23) and Randall Cobb (WR25), to name a few -- in terms of fantasy points scored.

Based on efficiency data from Football Outsiders, the Lions are much better against a team's WR1 (16th) than WR2 (28th). In turn, I have Crabtree ranked one spot ahead of Amari Cooper in my rankings this week.

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

It's been a highly disappointing season for Matthews and those that expected a breakout sophomore campaign. With the exception of a 9/133/1 performance in Week 9, Matthews has finished outside the top-50 fantasy receivers in six of seven weeks. On a positive note, however, Matthews has averaged nearly nine targets per game and he gets a favorable matchup this week against the Bucs. Cautiously optimistic about his Week 11 outlook, Matthews is inside my top-24 fantasy receivers for Week 11.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 11:

WR - James Jones, Green Bay Packers (at MIN)

Jones' return to Green Bay has been highlighted by his red-zone production -- six touchdowns in his first six games back with the Packers. Not only does he have no touchdowns in three consecutive games, but he has a total of only three catches for 59 yards during that span. In fact, Jones has two or fewer catches in five straight games.

Even though Aaron Rodgers threw 61 pass attempts last week, he targeted Jones only twice. Meanwhile, Davante Adams was targeted 21 times. The disparity shouldn't be so large in Week 11, but it's obviously discouraging for Jones to get only two targets in a game with 61 pass attempts.

WR - DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins (at CAR)

Back for two games since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 1, Jackson has posted modest performances against the Patriots (3/15, WR70) and Saints (2/44, WR46). Jackson has always been a boom-or-bust type of receiver, however, and Week 11's difficult matchup against the Panthers sets up for a "bust" type of week.

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

With more than 50 yards in each of his first five games, Maclin averaged 7.2 catches for 96.6 yards over that span. Since then, however, Maclin's production has been modest. Not only does Maclin have three catches in each of his past three games, which has set and tied his season low, he has set a new season low in receiving yards in each of those games with 48, 35 and 17 yards, respectively. Better games are ahead for Maclin, but he's more of a WR3/flex this week.

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

Tate has been a staple on this side of the list and he'll continue to remain here as long as Calvin Johnson is healthy. After last year's breakout season, Tate is on pace for only 763 yards and two touchdowns this season. Tate has been somewhat consistent with four-plus catches in seven of nine games, but his best fantasy performance this season was WR30 (Week 6). Tate is a low-upside WR3 for Week 11.

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Week 11 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, Eric Ebron is listed below as a "start" for Week 11. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 11 with him as my starting tight end.

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

In other words, if you owned both Rob Gronkowski and Ebron, you should start Gronk -- and in turn, bench Ebron.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 11:

TE - Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (vs. OAK)

The Saints are the only team to allow more fantasy points to opposing tight ends than the Raiders this season. With the Saints on bye this week, no tight end has a more favorable matchup this week than Ebron.

Ebron has less than 30 receiving yards in three of four games, but he has a minimum of five targets in all but one game this season. On the year, he is averaging a stat line of 3.85/45.7 per game, which is solid -- if not spectacular -- for tight ends.

With a touchdown in three of his seven games this season, however, it wouldn't surprise me if Ebron found the end zone this week given the matchup and he's definitely on the TE1 radar for Week 11.

TE - Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (at CAR)

Reed had a season-low four targets in Week 10 and has only three catches in back-to-back weeks, but he has now scored a total of five touchdowns in his past three games. On the year, he is averaging 5.9/56.7/0.9 on 8.3 targets per game. In the seven games that Reed has played this season, he has scored a minimum of 7.8 fantasy points and finished as a top-11 fantasy tight end in six weeks.

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

While he has only one touchdown this season, Tamme has double-digit targets in back-to-back games and in three of his past five. Part of that volume is a result of Leonard Hankerson's health, but especially if Hankerson misses another game, Tamme is in the low-end TE1 mix for Week 11. In his games with double-digit targets, Tamme has a minimum of six catches and 61 yards in those three games. Meanwhile, the Colts have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 11:

TE - Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins (vs. DAL)

Cameron has finished as a top-12 weekly tight end in only one game this season and has finished as the TE20 or worse in four consecutive games. And Cameron has 30 yards or less in seven consecutive games with an average of 19.0 yards per game during that stretch.

In fact, his past two games have been his least productive games this season. Cameron had one catch for six yards against the Bills and one catch for five yards against the Eagles in Weeks 9 and 10, respectively. Given that the Cowboys allow the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Cameron should remain on your bench.

TE - Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (at NE)

It's been an up-and-down season for Clay, who has the 14th-most fantasy points among tight ends this season. All three of Clay's top-12 weekly finishes, however, occurred within the team's first four games this season. Over his past five games, Clay has finished as the weekly TE35, TE16, TE23, TE41 and TE19, respectively. While he did finish as a top-12 weekly tight end in his first matchup against the Patriots, he was limited to three catches for 19 yards (and a score) in that game.

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

It's been an impressive two-game stretch for Miller, who was last week's top-scoring fantasy tight end after finishing as the TE9 in Week 9. Miller has a total of seven catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns in his past two games. While the Broncos have been middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends, they rank first in the NFL in passing defense (183 YPG allowed).

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Week 11 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, Tony Romo is listed below as a "start" for Week 11. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 11 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 Romo, you should start Brady -- and in turn, bench Romo.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 11:

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (at DET)

The last time that Carr finished outside the top-10 weekly fantasy quarterbacks was Week 5 when he faced the Broncos, the league's stingiest defense to opposing quarterbacks this season. In a week with Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning all on bye, Carr is among my top-four fantasy quarterbacks for the week given his favorable matchup against the Lions. Only the Saints and Ravens have allowed more fantasy points to the position this season.

Not only has Carr finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in four consecutive games, but he has finished as a top-10 quarterback in six of his past eight games. During that eight-game span, Carr has thrown for 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns in five games including each of his past three games. In addition, he has multiple touchdown passes in seven of his past eight games. Since Week 2, he is averaging 291.88 yards per game with a 21:6 TD-to-INT ratio.

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

With the fourth-most fantasy points this season, Palmer is red-hot as he enters a matchup against the team that drafted him and from whom he "retired." In his past two games, Palmer has thrown for 374 yards and four touchdowns against the Browns and 363 yards and three touchdowns against the Seahawks. The Bengals have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but Palmer and the Cardinals are projected to score more points than every team other than the Patriots according to Vegas odds this week.

Palmer is averaging 305.4 yards and 2.55 touchdowns per game this season. More impressively, he has a minimum of 300 passing yards and/or two touchdowns in all nine games this season. With a minimum of 15.98 fantasy points in every game this season, he has scored 18-plus fantasy points in seven of nine games.

QB - Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (at MIA)

Returning from an eight-week absence, Romo will likely have to shake off some rust, but it's do-or-die time for the Cowboys. Within their past three games, the Dolphins allowed 356 yards and four touchdowns to Brady in Week 8 and the duo of Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez combined for 392 passing yards last week. With Dez Bryant rounding into form from his injury and a plus matchup, Romo should post top-12 numbers in his first game back from injury.

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

It's been a disappointing season for Stafford and the Lions, but Stafford has thrown multiple touchdown passes in three of his past four games. The numbers are skewed a bit by a 405/4 performance against the Bears, but Stafford has averaged 280.0 yards with nine touchdowns over that stretch. With a favorable matchup against the Raiders, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, Stafford has the potential to post top-12 numbers this week.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 11:

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

Tannehill has finished outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in three consecutive games and in six of his past seven games. In his past three games, Tannehill has only two passing touchdowns and he has a total of only 44 rushing yards all season. (Tannehill rushed for 311 yards last season.)

So far this season, the Cowboys have limited opposing quarterbacks to the ninth-fewest fantasy points. Over their past four games combined, they have surrendered only two passing touchdowns. It's much easier to run the ball on the Cowboys and Miami's game plan will likely center around plenty of Lamar Miller (and Jay Ajayi).

QB - Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs. DEN)

Cutler has been outstanding this season with a minimum of 17 fantasy points in six consecutive games. During that span, he has averaged 19.3 fantasy points and he's coming off his best performance (QB3) of the season despite a difficult matchup against the Rams.

Over that six-game span, Cutler has posted an 11:3 TD-to-INT ratio, but he faces the Broncos this week. Not only have the Broncos allowed the fewest fantasy points, but only one quarterback (Andrew Luck, Week 9) has scored more than 15.46 fantasy points against them this season.

QB - Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (vs. STL)

Flacco has been pretty good lately with 300-plus yards and top-eight weekly finishes in back-to-back games. In fact, he has a top-eight weekly finish in four of his past seven games.

Even though they allowed Cutler to finish as last week's third-best fantasy quarterback, the Rams still have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Given the team's lack of (healthy) talented pass-catchers and difficult matchup, it's unlikely that Flacco repeats his recent success.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 11

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November 19, 2015

Week 11 Fantasy Football: 6 Undervalued Players in PPR Leagues

Week 10 Results
QBsRBsWRsTEsTotal
+39.7+12.7-32.8+9.9+29.5
YTD Results
QBsRBsWRsTEsTotal
+87.2+112.2-70.1+1.4+130.7

* Stats are based on players recommended (compared to options listed to start those players over).

[View all of Ryan's Week 10 recommendations here.]

Best of the week -- Kirk Cousins +39.7: Cousins ended the week as the No. 1 QB, at least in most formats, after tearing up the Saints. In fact, Cousins had a perfect QB rating last week – that’s not easy to do. Conversely, the Manning brothers had an interesting week. Eli did better than I expected, but still fell short of Cousins. Peyton pulled off a rarity in fantasy circles – a negative point total.

Runner up -- Ryan Mathews +17.4: Mathews put together a solid outing, thanks in large part to a touchdown run. He did little else with his carries, but posted a few catches to spruce up his point total. But the primary difference here were the two backs I suggested sitting in favor of Mathews – Antonio Andrews and Chris Johnson. Andrews basically did nothing (.8 points) and Johnson was held in check by the Seahawks run D.

Worst of the week -- John Brown -19.4: Well, if I got one thing right, it was that a Cardinals WR would have a good day despite the matchup. I just didn’t figure it to be the two guys facing the ‘Hawks best CBs. What a bust!

Runner up -- Pierre Garcon -13.4: I’m still a little baffled by this. In a dream matchup, and in a game where your QB posts the best outing for his position, how in the world do you manage three lousy points?

Quarterbacks

Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs
FantasyPros ECR – 17

My rankings fall pretty well in line with the ECR this week, at least in the sense that there aren’t many major differences. But I do have Smith ranked higher than most. First, the Chargers rank 21st in FPA to QBs and 27th in defensive pass efficiency, so it’s a good matchup. And while the Chiefs are a run-first team, and the Chargers won’t do much to slow them down on the ground, I have a sneaky feeling this will be a rather high-scoring game. The Chargers are coming off a bye and their only shot at winning resides on the offensive side of the ball – that defense isn’t slowing anyone down. I think that results in more passing attempts for Smith, who should be able to take advantage.

Consider starting him over:
- Matthew Stafford – ECR 12. The Lions have scored more than 20 points in a game twice this season, one of those coming in Week 1. Their offensive line is one of the worst in the league and they have zero run game. Even against the Raiders, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with Stafford in my lineup.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – ECR 16. The Texans defense we all expected before the season began is finally starting to show up and just shut down a very good Bengals offense. This game is shaping up to be a defensive slugfest.

Running Backs

LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots
FantasyPros ECR – 17

With Dion Lewis’ injury, Blount is the primary back in New England and has even gotten involved in the passing game a little. We all know the Patriots game plan every week is focused on exploiting their opponent’s weakness, and while the Bills defense is good, their weakest point is definitely against the run. They are middle of the pack in terms of FPA to RBs, but they are 29th in defensive run efficiency. With Julian Edelman out and a solid opposing secondary, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Blount approach 30 carries this week.

Consider starting him over:
- Jeremy Langford – ECR 14. I don’t know if Matt Forte will be back this week, that would be a quick turnaround for an MCL injury. But even if Langford gets a full workload, I don’t see him continuing his hot streak against the Broncos vaunted run defense.
- James Starks – ECR 15. Eddie Lacy is practicing this week and appears on track to play. I know Starks will be the starter regardless, but Lacy isn't just going to sit on the bench, he will still be involved. And his most likely involvement will be at the goal line, stealing potential TDs from Starks.

LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills
FantasyPros ECR – 11

McCoy is returning to form, evidenced by his manhandling of the Jets No. 1 ranked rush defense. The Patriots are solid against the run, but if McCoy can light up the Jets, he can do it to anyone. I think the Bills will attempt to get him out in space via the pass game as well, where his speed and agility will be a tough match for the Patriots run-oriented LB corps. Perhaps this is a reach, but I just have a feeling we see McCoy continue his upward trend despite the matchup.

Consider starting him over:
- Danny Woodhead – ECR 7. Yes, I said I think this will be a game where more points than expected are scored. But the Chiefs are actually pretty good against RBs as receivers, ranking 9th in efficiency. I have no doubt Woodhead will be involved, I’m not suggesting a bust, just that an ECR of 7 is a little too generous for my taste.
- Darren McFadden – ECR 9. The return of Tony Romo this week will open up some space for McFadden to operate. But at the same time, how effective will Romo be coming off the long absence? I think the Dolphins will focus on stopping the run and bet that Romo will be rusty.

Wide Receivers

Michael Crabtree – Oakland Raiders
FantasyPros ECR – 14

Crabtree has revived his career in Oakland this season and is a favorite target of the pass-happy Derek Carr. The Lions are on deck this week and despite a valiant defensive effort against the Packers, the Lions are one of the worst pass defenses in the league. They are 28th against WR2’s in efficiency, and this was before Rashean Mathis went down for the season. Crabtree is setup to have a big day.

Consider starting him over:
- Allen Robinson – ECR 9. Tennessee has been a solid pass defense this year under Dick LeBeau’s new leadership. Robinson should be a fine WR2 this week, top 10 seems a little high though.
- A.J. Green – ECR 13. Green has been a bit of a disappointment this season and gets a matchup against a top-five secondary.

Jeremy Maclin – Kansas City Chiefs
FantasyPros ECR – 27

As mentioned before, I think the Chiefs passing game will be active this week. Maclin is far and away the favorite target of Smith and has a good matchup, San Diego is 26th against WR1’s in efficiency. Expect Maclin to crack top-20 this week.

Consider starting him over:
- Brandon LaFell – ECR 23. Even with Edelman out, LaFell has a tough matchup and I think the Pats go run-heavy.
- Jordan Matthews – ECR 24. Mark Sanchez … ’nuff said.

Tight End

Richard Rogers – Green Bay Packers
FantasyPros ECR – 15

Rodgers has seen an uptick in production the past few weeks and has an opportunity for that to continue this week against the Vikings. Minnesota is 29th in efficiency against TEs and gives up the 11th most points to TE’s.

Consider starting him over:
- Charles Clay – ECR 13. New England is top 10 against TEs in both efficiency and fantasy points allowed.

Thanks for reading and good luck in Week 11!

Check out my full Weekly Fantasy Football PPR Rankings and follow me on twitter @rw11687.

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November 18, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 11 to 16

Now that the season is more than half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 11-16):

1. Kansas City Chiefs (Alex Smith): 18.53
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 18.43
3. Houston Texans (Brian Hoyer, T.J. Yates): 18.38
4. Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford): 18.15
5. Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill): 17.64

Five least favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 11-16):

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger): 15.76
T29. Atlanta Falcons (Matt Ryan): 15.72
T29. New England Patriots (Tom Brady): 15.72
31. Cincinnati Bengals (Andy Dalton): 15.70
32. San Diego Chargers (Philip Rivers): 15.44

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2015 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 11 to 16

Now that the season is more than half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 11-16):

1. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 21.16
2. Kansas City Chiefs (Charcandrick West): 20.85
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (T.J. Yeldon): 19.62
4. Miami Dolphins (Lamar Miller, Jay Ajayi): 19.37
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Doug Martin, Charles Sims): 19.34

Five least favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 11-16):

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (DeAngelo Williams): 17.03
29. Tennessee Titans (Antonio Andrews): 16.98
30. New England Patriots (LeGarrette Blount): 16.80
31. Cleveland Browns (Duke Johnson, Isaiah Crowell): 16.59
32. St. Louis Rams (Todd Gurley): 16.47

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

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2015 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 11 to 16

Now that the season is more than half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 11-16):

1. Buffalo Bills (Sammy Watkins): 24.96
2. Houston Texans (DeAndre Hopkins): 24.95
3. Philadelphia Eagles (Jordan Matthews): 24.76
4. Cleveland Browns (Travis Benjamin): 24.47
5. Kansas City Chiefs (Jeremy Maclin): 24.31

Five least favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 11-16):

28. Cincinnati Bengals (A.J. Green, Marvin Jones): 21.41
29. Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones): 20.99
30. Carolina Panthers (Ted Ginn, Devin Funchess): 20.83
31. Pittsburgh Steelers (Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant): 20.73
32. Minnesota Vikings (Stefon Diggs, Mike Wallace): 20.56

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

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2015 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 11 to 16

Now that the season is more than half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 11-16):

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (Julius Thomas): 10.47
2. Carolina Panthers (Greg Olsen): 9.25
3. Detroit Lions (Eric Ebron): 9.03
T4. Minnesota Vikings (Kyle Rudolph): 8.62
T4. Kansas City Chiefs (Travis Kelce): 8.62

Five least favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 11-16):

28. Washington Redskins (Jordan Reed): 6.84
29. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski): 6.72
30. Cleveland Browns (Gary Barnidge): 6.71
31. Philadelphia Eagles (Zach Ertz, Brent Celek): 6.60
32. Buffalo Bills (Charles Clay): 5.41

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

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November 14, 2015

Week 10 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, Brandin Cooks is listed below as a "start" for Week 10. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 10 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

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

In other words, if you owned both DeAndre Hopkins, Demaryius Thomas and Cooks, you should start Hopkins and Thomas -- and in turn, bench Cooks.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 10:

WR - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BAL)

Few players have been as consistent as Robinson this season. Since Week 2, Robinson has a minimum of nine targets, four catches and 68 receiving yards in seven consecutive games. No other player has a streak of more than four games with 4/68 this season. During that seven-game span, he is averaging 97.1 yards per game and has scored a total of six touchdowns.

Not only has Robinson scored the sixth-most fantasy points among receivers this season, but he has one of the best matchups of the Week 10 slate. Baltimore has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

WR - Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (at WAS)

Finishing as a top-30 fantasy receiver only once in the first seven weeks of the season, Cooks has finished as the WR4 and WR15 in Weeks 8 and 9, respectively. Not only has he scored in back-to-back games, but he has a minimum of 71 receiving yards in three consecutive games. In what should be one of the highest-scoring games of the week, Cooks is a solid WR2 for Week 10.

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

Crabtree is currently on pace for a 94/1,182/10, all of which would set career highs for the 28-year-old receiver. More impressive than his cumulative stats (or 16-game pace) has been his consistency. With a minimum of six targets in every game and eight-plus targets in seven of eight games, Crabtree has at least four catches in every game this season.

In each of his past two games, Crabtree has been targeted 12 times in each game and finished with 7/102/1 and 7/108/2, respectively. In fact, he has scored in three consecutive games and has finished as a top-16 weekly wide receiver in those three games. Even in an unfavorable matchup, Crabtree's volume of targets and consistent production makes him a high-end WR2 in Week 10.

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

Despite expectations for a huge sophomore leap, it hasn't been a great season for Matthews. He is on pace for 96 catches, but he had finished outside the top-50 fantasy wide receivers for five consecutive weeks before last week's 9/133/1 explosion.

The good news is that Matthews has a minimum of seven targets in all eight games including double-digit targets in two of his past three. In a favorable matchup (Miami has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to receivers), Matthews has an excellent opportunity to build some momentum for his fantasy owners.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 10:

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

In his past three games, Maclin has finished outside the top-25 fantasy receivers. And even though he scored a touchdown in Week 8, he had just three catches for 35 yards on five targets. It was the second consecutive game that he had three receptions and five (or fewer) targets.

Given this week's difficult matchup, it's unlikely that Maclin has a big week and it's possible that he once again finishes outside the top-25 fantasy receivers. Only the Seahawks have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing receivers this season than the Broncos.

WR - Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (at GB)

Against the Bears in Week 6, Tate had his best game of the season and finished as fantasy's WR30. Averaging just 5.39 fantasy points per game, however, Tate has just 377 receiving yards and one touchdown (a controversial one at that) over half of a season. If there is one positive, it's that the Lions are double-digit underdogs so they could be throwing early and often, but it's hard to trust Tate given his 2015 dropoff.

WR - Travis Benjamin, Cleveland Browns (at PIT)

In his first six games of the season, Benjamin had a minimum of 7.9 fantasy points in every game and he averaged 13.47/G over that span. In his past three games, however, Benjamin has scored a total of 7.5 fantasy points and no more than 2.7 in any game.

Benjamin always has the potential to make a big play, but he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3. In addition, he is averaging just 31.7 receiving yards per game from Weeks 7 to 9.

WR - Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (vs. NO)

I love the matchup for Garcon as the Saints have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position this season. That said, the return of DeSean Jackson and good health of Jordan Reed moves Garcon down to the third-best pass-catching option on the team this week. In addition, Jamison Crowder has been productive as well. Garcon has finished as a top-30 fantasy receiver only once this season (Week 4) and Kirk Cousins should spread the ball around enough that Garcon finishes outside the top-24 weekly receivers.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 10

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Week 10 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, James Starks is listed below as a "start" for Week 10. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 10 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 Todd Gurley, DeMarco Murray and Starks, you should start Gurley and Murray -- and in turn, bench Starks.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 10:

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

In the games that Le'Veon Bell has missed due to suspension or injury, Williams has been dominant -- not just an adequate fill-in. In two of those three starts, he has finished as the highest-scoring running back in fantasy for that given week.

Against the Raiders in Week 9, Williams set a career high with 225 yards from scrimmage -- 170 rushing and 55 receiving -- and scored a pair of touchdowns. In his three starts, he has carried the ball 20-plus times each week and has a total of 449 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns.

Week 10 sets up for Williams to have another strong outing. In fact, he sits at second in my weekly rankings against a fantasy-friendly Browns rush defense. No team has allowed more rushing yards per game than the Browns (147.6), who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Since Week 3, the Browns have allowed five 100-yard rushers.

RB - James Starks, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)

Coach McCarthy has confirmed what our eyes -- and the stats -- have told us over the past several games: Starks has moved ahead of Eddie Lacy as the team's No. 1 back. As big of a disappointment as Lacy has been, it allows Starks to seize an opportunity in the team's high-scoring Aaron Rodgers-led offense.

Over the past three games, Starks has exceeded 100 yards from scrimmage and finished as a top-eight weekly running back twice. During that three-game span, Starks has 160 rushing yards, nine catches for 97 yards and three touchdowns.

Starks and the Packers have a favorable matchup against the Lions, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

RB - Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys (at TB)

McFadden has been an absolute workhorse over the past three weeks. In those games, McFadden has 31, 26 and 28 touches, respectively. In fact, McFadden's 85 touches over the past three weeks is 10 more than Adrian Peterson's 75 touches, the second-most over that span.

Despite back-to-back difficult matchups against the Seahawks and Eagles, McFadden has rushed for 100-plus yards in two of three games and has 397 yards from scrimmage over that three-game span. This week's matchup against the Bucs isn't great, but he should once again get a massive workload, which puts him in the RB1 mix.

RB - LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots (at NYG)

With Dion Lewis out for the season, Blount is the team's clear-cut best option in the backfield. Against Washington last week, Blount carried the ball 29 times for 129 yards, both of which were season highs, and a touchdown. Always a threat to score a touchdown (or two or three), Blount and the Patriots are projected to score the most points in Week 10 based on Vegas odds.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 10:

RB - Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)

As noted above, Lacy and the Packers have a favorable matchup against the Lions this week. Also noted above, however, Lacy has been demoted to a secondary role behind Starks.

In his past four games, Lacy has rushed for 78 total yards on 33 carries and even scored negative fantasy points (-1.0) last week due to a lost fumble. Until he re-emerges as the team's lead back, which I expect to happen eventually, Lacy can't be trusted in fantasy.

RB - Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals (at SEA)

The good news is Ellington scored one more fantasy point than Eddie Lacy last week. The bad news is Ellington tied me with zero fantasy points.

Even though he's been back from injury for four games now, Ellington has exceeded three touches in only one of those four games. With Chris Johnson exceeding 100 rushing yards in four of six games, it's unlikely that Ellington's role may never expand large enough for him to produce RB2-type numbers. And given that the Seahawks allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, even Johnson may be a sit this week as well.

RB - Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (vs. KC)

After back-to-back games with 20-plus touches, Hillman had just seven touches against the Colts last week. And while he outscored Lacy and Ellington (and me), he barely did so. Gaining just one yard on his seven carries last week, Hillman scored 0.1 fantasy point.

With the same number of carries, C.J. Anderson (34 rushing yards) was more productive than Hillman last week. As part of a timeshare in a less-than-favorable matchup, Hillman is outside my top-24 fantasy running backs for Week 10.

RB - Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns (at PIT)

With the Browns releasing Robert Turbin this week, it will be Crowell and Duke Johnson that handles virtually all of the team's touches out of the backfield going forward. With Turbin not getting any touches last week, Crowell led the team with 13 touches for 64 YFS last week. That said, the Steelers have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 10

Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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Week 10 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, Blake Bortles is listed below as a "start" for Week 10. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 10 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 Bortles, you should start Brady -- and in turn, bench Bortles.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 10:

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (vs. NO)

In his past five games, Cousins has finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback twice and as a QB24 or worse in his other three games during that span. While his overall level of production has been inconsistent, one thing that has been consistent has been his volume. Cousins has thrown 40-plus pass attempts in three consecutive games and in five of his past six.

This week sets up favorably as a "boom" type of week for Cousins given his matchup. Not only have the Saints allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but they have allowed an average of 31.79 fantasy points per game over their past three. During that three-game span, the Saints have surrendered an average of 351.3 passing yards per game and a total of 13 passing touchdowns.

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BAL)

While Cousins has the best matchup of the weekend, Bortles has the second-best as only the Saints have allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks than the Ravens. Over their past four games, the Ravens have allowed an average of 343.25 passing yards per game and nine touchdowns as each opposing quarterback over that span has finished as a top-10 weekly quarterback.

Bortles has thrown for at least 298 yards and has finished as a top-10 weekly fantasy quarterback in four of his past five games. During that five-game span, he has averaged 299.0 passing yards, 23.6 rushing yards and thrown 12 touchdowns.

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

The Vikings have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but Carr has essentially become matchup-proof. Against the Chargers, Jets and Steelers, Carr has thrown for 307.67 yards per game with 11 touchdowns and only one interception. During that span, he has scored a minimum of 23.86 fantasy points and has finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback in all three games.

QB - Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (vs. KC)

At one point in his career not so long ago, Peyton was a slam-dunk must-start every week. Not any more. Eight games into the 2015 season, Manning has just one top-12 weekly finish (QB12 in Week 3). Since that point, he has five consecutive QB18 (or worse) weekly outings.

While Manning has thrown more interceptions (13) than touchdowns (nine) this season, he has thrown for 281-plus yards in three consecutive games after doing so only once during the first five games of the season. The first time he faced the Chiefs this season, Manning threw for 256 yards and a season-high three touchdowns. Perhaps this is the week that he gets his second top-12 finish.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 10:

QB - Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. ARI)

Wilson has thrown a touchdown in every game this season, but he has thrown more than one only once (Week 2). Not so coincidentally, that was the only week that finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy quarterback. And while he's on pace for 600-plus rushing yards, he has failed to run one in for a score yet this season.

While I expect the second half of the season to go better for Wilson than the first half has, the Cardinals have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2015. Given how well guys like Carr and Bortles have played and the favorable matchup for Cousins, Wilson is once again outside my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at GB)

It's been a disappointing season for Stafford and the Lions in general. Prior to his Week 9 bye, Stafford threw for 217 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions against the Chiefs. It marked the fourth week in eight games that he finished outside the top-20 fantasy quarterbacks. Based on Vegas odds, only the Bears are projected to score fewer points this week.

QB - Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (at STL)

As noted above, Cutler and the Bears are projected to score the fewest points in Week 10. It appears that Alshon Jeffery will play, but he's battling a groin injury and Matt Forte (MCL sprain) is likely to sit out another game. And as consistent as Cutler has been recently, he has a difficult matchup against the Rams, who have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

QB - Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. MIA)

Bradford has thrown as many interceptions (10) as touchdowns (10) and has thrown multiple touchdowns in only two games this season. In fact, he has only two touchdowns in his past three games combined. In those three games, Bradford has finished outside the weekly top-15 fantasy quarterbacks and averaged just 10.63 fantasy points per contest. Once again, he should remain on your bench.

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November 13, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football: Week 10 Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings

Both top-10 scorers among wide receivers, Jacksonville's second-year receivers -- Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns -- are having great seasons.

Few players have been as consistent as Robinson this season.

Since Week 2, Robinson has a minimum of nine targets, four catches and 68 receiving yards in seven consecutive games. That is the longest streak in the NFL for those minimum numbers. In fact, no other player has a streak of more than four games with 4/68 this season.

During that seven-game span, he is averaging 97.1 yards per game and he has scored a total of six touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Hurns has caught a touchdown reception in six consecutive games, which is the longest such streak this season. The only other wide receiver with a streak of at least four consecutive games with a touchdown is New York's Eric Decker.

Earlier in the week, Hurns was in a walking boot and he's listed as questionable on the injury report, but he's expected to play on Sunday against the Ravens.

Baltimore has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

Alshon: 28/414/2 over his past 3G

Chicago Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery has played in only four games this season, but he has made the most of his opportunities.

Targeted a minimum of 11 times in each game, Jeffery has at least eight catches and 116 yards in three consecutive games. In fact, his three consecutive 100-yard games ties a club record.

Jeffery has finished as fantasy's weekly WR4, WR8 and WR9, respectively, with a minimum of 15 fantasy points in all three games. During that three-game span, he has averaged 9.3/138.0 with two scores on 14.0 targets per game.

It appears that Jeffery (groin) will play this week, but he missed Thursday's practice and returned on a limited basis on Friday.

[I hurt my groin] just going real hard in practice, I guess,” Jeffery said (via ESPN's Jeff Dickerson). “But I’m fine. I’ll be alright. It hasn’t restricted my movements too much.”

In addition to dealing with the injury, the matchup for Jeffery and other Bears receivers isn't favorable as the Rams have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position this season.

Given his volume and production, however, Jeffery remains a strong WR1 play provided he's active on Sunday.

Back-to-back 100-yard games for Crabtree

Signing a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders this offseason, Michael Crabtree has made himself a lot of money in his first eight games this year.

Crabtree is currently on pace for a 94/1,182/10, all of which would set career highs for the 28-year-old receiver.

More impressive than his cumulative stats (or 16-game pace), Crabtree has been very consistent this season. With a minimum of six targets in every game and eight-plus targets in seven of eight games, Crabtree has at least four catches in all eight games this season.

In each of his past two games, Crabtree has been targeted 12 times in each game and has finished with 7/102/1 and 7/108/2, respectively. In fact, he has scored in three consecutive games and has finished as a top-16 weekly wide receiver in those three games.

This week's matchup isn't great, however, as the Vikings have surrendered the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing fantasy wide receivers this season.

Below you find my Week 10 Fantasy Football WR Rankings:

1. Odell Beckham, New York Giants (vs. NE)
2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (at CIN)
3. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BAL)
4. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. HOU)
5. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (vs. KC)
6. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)
7. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CLE)
8. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears (at STL)
9. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (at NYG)
10. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. DAL)
11. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (at TB)
12. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (at GB)
13. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (vs. MIN)
14. Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (vs. MIN)
15. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (vs. KC)
16. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (at WAS)
17. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (at SEA)
18. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. MIA)
19. Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (at PHI)
20. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (at OAK)
21. Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BAL)
22. Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CLE)
23. DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins (vs. NO)
24. Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints (at WAS)
25. Brandon LaFell, New England Patriots (at NYG)
26. Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (at DEN)
27. Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams (vs. CHI)
28. John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (at SEA)
29. Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (at GB)
30. Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (at SEA)
31. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (vs. NO)
32. Travis Benjamin, Cleveland Browns (at PIT)
33. Rishard Matthews, Miami Dolphins (at PHI)
34. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)
35. James Jones, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)
36. Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens (vs. JAX)
37. Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. HOU)
38. Nate Washington, Houston Texans (at CIN)
39. Rueben Randle, New York Giants (vs. NE)
40. Dorial Green-Beckham, Tennessee Titans (vs. CAR)
41. Ted Ginn, Carolina Panthers (at TEN)
42. Danny Amendola, New England Patriots (at NYG)
43. Mike Wallace, Minnesota Vikings (at OAK)
44. Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys (at TB)
45. Marquess Wilson, Chicago Bears (at STL)
46. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (at WAS)
47. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (vs. ARI)
48. Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (at TB)
49. Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (vs. NO)
50. Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (at TEN)

More Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 10 DFS Cheat Sheets:

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2015 Fantasy Football: Week 10 Fantasy Running Back Rankings

Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray started the season slowly as he had rushed for only 47 yards on 29 carries through his first three games.

Since then, however, Murray has a minimum of 18 carries per game and he has averaged 24.0 touches during that four-game stretch. With at least 83 rushing yards and a score in three of those four games, Murray finished as a top-six weekly fantasy running back three times.

Over those four games, Murray has rushed for a total of 340 yards and three touchdowns and added 18 receptions for 134 yards.

So far this season, the Dolphins have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

The Dolphins have allowed five 100-yard rushers this season including a pair of them last week against the Bills. The duo of LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams rushed 18 times for 222 yards and three touchdowns last week. And since Week 4, the Dolphins have allowed five weekly top-10 fantasy running backs.

Starks: Now Packers (Official) "No. 1 back"

There have been a number of injuries to top fantasy running backs (Jamaal Charles, LeVeon Bell, etc.) and several others have been big disappointments.

None have been a bigger disappointment than Green Bay's Eddie Lacy, who rushed five times for 10 yards last week. Since he lost a fumble as well, he scored one less fantasy point than I did from my couch.

Through Week 9, Lacy ranks outside the top-40 running backs in terms of fantasy points scored and he's second on his own team to James Starks (RB31).

Over the past three games, Starks has exceeded 100 yards from scrimmage and finished as a top-eight weekly running back twice. During that three-game span, Starks has 160 rushing yards, nine catches for 97 yards and three touchdowns.

Not surprisingly, Lacy has been officially demoted with Starks moving into the lead-back role.

“I would say James is our No. 1 back right now going into Detroit,” [coach Mike] McCarthy said, per Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazzette. “He’s played very well. He’s earned that opportunity. I’ve never been, and we talked about this a number of times in the past, I’m not a big believer in just riding one running back the whole season. We’ll stay with the one-two punch.”

Starks, Lacy and the Packers have a favorable matchup against the Lions, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

I have Starks ranked as a borderline RB1 this week and Lacy ranked outside of my top-24 running backs.

Here are some more fantasy football notes on running backs:

  • Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden has a history of breaking down due to injuries, but he has been an absolute workhorse over the past three weeks. In those games, McFadden has 31, 26 and 28 touches, respectively. Despite back-to-back difficult matchups against the Seahawks and Eagles, McFadden has rushed for 100-plus yards in two of three games and has 397 yards from scrimmage over that three-game span. This week's matchup against the Bucs isn't great, but he should once again get a massive workload, which puts him in the RB1 mix.

  • Arizona's Chris Johnson enters Week 10's matchup against the Seahawks with back-to-back 100-yard games and four of them in his past six games. Even though Johnson's 676 rushing yards rank third in the NFL behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and Atlanta's Devonta Freeman, he has finished as a weekly top-20 fantasy running back only twice this season. Given the matchup against the league's stingiest defense to fantasy running backs, it's possible that he once again fails to produce a top-20 performance.

  • Pittsburgh's DeAngelo Williams racked up a career-high 225 yards from scrimmage in Week 9. In each of his three starts, Williams has a minimum of 20 carries in each game and a total of 454 YFS and five touchdowns. With a favorable matchup against the Browns, who allow the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, Williams is easily a top-three fantasy running back heading into Week 10.

  • Kansas City's Charcandrick West has a minimum of 20 carries, 97 rushing yards and a score in each of his past two games. Coming off his bye, West has a difficult matchup against the Broncos, but his volume and production keeps him in the high-end RB2 mix. West has 251 YFS on 48 touches and two touchdowns in his past two games.

  • Over his past four games, Miami's Lamar Miller has scored each week with a total of six touchdowns. Over that four-game span, he has 347 rushing yards and added 17 catches for 182 yards. Rookie Jay Ajayi was activated from short-term IR and rushed for 41 yards on five carries in his debut. Ajayi should get more touches going forward and the Eagles have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but Miller is still a top-10 fantasy running back for me this week.

Below you find my Week 10 Fantasy Football RB Rankings:

1. Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams (vs. CHI)
2. DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CLE)
3. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (at OAK)
4. DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. MIA)
5. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints (at WAS)
6. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (vs. ARI)
7. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. DAL)
8. Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (at PHI)
9. LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots (at NYG)
10. Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens (vs. JAX)
11. Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys (at TB)
12. James Starks, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)
13. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (at TEN)
14. T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BAL)
15. Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs (at DEN)
16. Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (vs. MIN)
17. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. HOU)
18. Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears (at STL)
19. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. HOU)
20. Chris Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (at SEA)
21. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos (vs. KC)
22. Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans (vs. CAR)
23. Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (vs. KC)
24. Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. MIA)
25. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)
26. Alfred Blue, Houston Texans (at CIN)
27. Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns (at PIT)
28. Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. DAL)
29. Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (vs. NO)
30. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns (at PIT)
31. Shane Vereen, New York Giants (vs. NE)
32. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (vs. NE)
33. Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (at GB)
34. Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (at GB)
35. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (vs. NO)
36. C.J. Spiller, New Orleans Saints (at WAS)
37. Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions (at GB)
38. James White, New England Patriots (at NYG)
39. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals (at SEA)
40. Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (at NYG)

More Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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November 12, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football: Week 10 Fantasy Quarterback Rankings

Not only has he scored the most fantasy points among quarterbacks, by far, but New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been incredibly consistent this season.

Scoring 17.86 fantasy points against Washington last week, it was the first time that Brady scored less than 22 fantasy points in a game this season.

In eight games played this season, Brady has a minimum of 275 passing yards and two touchdowns in all eight games this season. On the year, he has a total of 2,709 passing yards (338.6/G) for a league-high 22 touchdowns and only two interceptions.

At the halfway point of the 2015 season, Brady is on pace to break his career high in passing yards and throw his second-most touchdowns. His passer rating (113.5), completion percentage (68.6) and yards per attempt (8.3) are all the second best of his career.

Through Week 9, the Giants have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Only two weeks ago, the Giants allowed Drew Brees to throw for 511 yards and a record-tying seven touchdowns.

Start your QBs vs. Saints: Cousins up next

Typically inconsistent, Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback twice over his past five games. In the other three games during that span, he finished as the QB24 or worse.

While fantasy owners may not have known what to expect from Cousins in a given week, the one thing they could count on was a high volume of pass attempts.

Cousins has thrown for 40-plus pass attempts in three consecutive games and in five of his past six. In fact, Cousins five 40-attempt games are tied for the league high with Brees, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan.

Despite his boom-or-bust nature, this week sets up as a "boom" week for Cousins given the matchup.

Not only have the Saints allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but they have allowed an average of 31.79 fantasy points per game over their past three. During that three-game span, the Saints have surrendered an average of 351.3 passing yards per game and a total of 13 passing touchdowns.

Here are some more fantasy football notes on quarterbacks:

  • After throwing eight touchdowns in his first six games this season, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has thrown 10 touchdowns in his past two games. In those two games, Brees has finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback. On the season, Brees is averaging 346.13 passing yards per game, which puts him on pace for his fifth 5,000-yard season by a comfortable margin.

  • Jacksonville's Blake Bortles has thrown 10 interceptions in eight games, but he continues to be a fantasy stud. Over his past five games, Bortles has finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback four times and has averaged 299.0 passing yards, 23.6 rushing yards and scored 12 touchdowns over that span. With a favorable matchup against the Ravens, who allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, Bortles is set up nicely for another strong matchup.

  • Over the past three weeks, few quarterbacks have been as good as Oakland's Derek Carr. During that three-game span, Carr has thrown 11 touchdowns and only one interception while finishing as a weekly top-six fantasy quarterback in each of those games.

  • Busting out of a four-game slump, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers threw for 369 yards and four touchdowns against the Panthers last week. Before that, Rodgers averaged 199.25 passing yards in his previous four games, a span during which he finished every game as the weekly QB12 or worse. This week, Rodgers and the Packers host the Lions, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

  • With the exception of his Week 8 matchup against the Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has scored a minimum of 18 fantasy points and finished as the QB11 (or better) every week. Through eight games, Dalton has scored a total of 20 touchdowns -- 18 passing and two rushing -- with only five turnovers -- four interceptions and one fumble lost. Only the Patriots and Packers are projected to score more points than the Bengals this week, based on Vegas odds.

Below you find my Week 10 Fantasy Football QB Rankings:

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (at NYG)
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (at WAS)
4. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (at TEN)
5. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. HOU)
6. Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. NE)
7. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BAL)
8. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (vs. KC)
9. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs. MIN)
10. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (vs. NO)
11. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (at SEA)
12. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (at PHI)
13. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. ARI)
14. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (at NYJ)
15. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at GB)
16. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (vs. JAX)
17. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. DAL)
18. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (vs. BUF)
19. Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (at CIN)
20. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (at STL)
21. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (vs. CAR)
22. Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. MIA)
23. Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns (at PIT)
24. Landry Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CLE)
25. Matt Cassel, Dallas Cowboys (at TB)
26. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (at DEN)
27. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (at OAK)
28. Nick Foles, St. Louis Rams (vs. CHI)

More Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 10

Every week this season, our contributors will give their favorite plays for the week in DraftKings contests.

Q: Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 10?

Sean Beazley - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BAL), $6,700

Before I get to my picks this week, I strongly recommend every DFS player to support FanDuel and DraftKings with their fight to keep DFS legal in NY. I'm not only saying this because I'm a resident of NY, but it's for the overall general good of the industry.

My DFS career is on the line, so why not go all-in on the mighty Jacksonville Jaguars this week! One player I absolutely love this week is receiver Allen Robinson. Robinson has a modest salary at $6,700 and faces the Ravens, who have one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Pairing Robinson with QB Blake Bortles ($5,600) on DK will be one of my favorite GPP stacks of the week. I believe Robinson could be under-owned in tournaments considering all the WRs in that same price tier that are coming off big weeks (Randall Cobb, Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, Alshon Jeffery, etc.).

Bonus Pick: Bears WR Alshon Jeffery was the focal point of my DFS lineups last week, and he will continue to be in my cash lineup until his price hits elite level. There is no reason why he shouldn't be priced in the same range as the elite WRs in the game. At $7,100, he is a must play in your cash lineup.

Brendan Donahue - Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (at NYG), $8,000

With Dion Lewis out for the season, look for Gronkowski to return to the focal point (or even more of the focal point) of the offense again. Lewis missed Week 7 vs. the Jets and Gronkowski had a season-high 16 targets that resulted into 11 catches for 108 yards and a TD. Couple that with the fact that the Giants have given up the third-most points (Draftkings scoring) to tight ends this season and this is shaping up for another monster game for the monster known as Gronk.

Kevin Hanson - Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins (vs. NO), $5,200

While he has been a bit boom or bust, Cousins has finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback twice over his past five games. While his overall level of production has varied, one constant has been passing volume. Cousins has thrown for 40-plus pass attempts in three consecutive games and in five of his past six.

This week sets up as a potential "boom" week for Cousins. Not only have the Saints allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but they have allowed an average of 351.3 passing yards per game and a total of 13 passing touchdowns over their past three games.

At only $5,200 (or just $200 above the position-minimum salary), Cousins has a ton of upside while creating plenty of salary-cap relief to load up elsewhere. He will be a staple in both my cash game and GPP lineups in Week 10.

Dan Yanotchko - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BAL), $6,700

This week, I am going with Allen Robinson of the Jaguars for $6,700, as he has one of the best matchups possible against the Baltimore secondary. Robinson has had an amazing stat split over the last four weeks, having 25 receptions on 41 targets for an average of 93.0 yards per game and four touchdowns. I feel Robinson is primed for a breakout week, and also fellow No. 2 Allen Hurns has already missed Wednesday practice with a sprained foot. Baltimore has been quite rough in the secondary this year, as they have given up 284 yards passing and 16 touchdowns, so I am green lighting Robinson this week.

Ryan Watterson - Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins (), $6,700

Although Landry gets a Philly defense that is giving away a lot of production to WRs, ranking third to last in FPA to that position. In addition, the Eagles are 31st against WR1's in particular. Landry continues to produce on a weekly basis despite some of the Dolphins passing game struggles. I think he blows up for a big week and pushes towards a top-5 finish at his position.

Week 10 DFS cheat sheets:

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November 10, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 10 to 16

Now that the season is more than half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 10 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 10-16):

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (Julius Thomas): 9.42
2. Carolina Panthers (Greg Olsen): 9.19
3. Minnesota Vikings (Kyle Rudolph): 9.17
4. Detroit Lions (Eric Ebron): 8.84
5. Kansas City Chiefs (Travis Kelce): 8.67

Five least favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 10-16):

28. Dallas Cowboys (Jason Witten): 7.17
29. St. Louis Rams (Jared Cook): 6.99
30. New York Giants (Larry Donnell): 6.72
31. Philadelphia Eagles (Zach Ertz): 6.64
32. Buffalo Bills (Charles Clay): 5.72

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2015 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 10 to 16

Now that the season is more than half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 10 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 10-16):

1. Buffalo Bills (Sammy Watkins): 25.39
2. Philadelphia Eagles (Jordan Matthews): 25.01
3. Miami Dolphins (Jarvis Landry): 25.00
4. Houston Texans (DeAndre Hopkins): 24.64
5. Cleveland Browns (Travis Benjamin): 24.51

Five least favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 10-16):

28. Carolina Panthers (Ted Ginn, Devin Funchess): 21.49
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant): 21.23
30. Chicago Bears (Alshon Jeffery): 21.01
31. Minnesota Vikings (Stefon Diggs, Mike Wallace): 20.76
32. Arizona Cardinals (Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown): 20.44

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2015 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 10 to 16

Now that the season is more than half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 10 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 10-16):

1. Kansas City Chiefs (Charcandrick West): 20.68
2. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 20.08
3. New Orleans Saints (Mark Ingram, C.J. Spiller): 20.05
4. Green Bay Packers (James Starks, Eddie Lacy): 19.83
5. New York Jets (Chris Ivory): 19.57

Five least favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 10-16):

28. Buffalo Bills (LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams): 17.16
29. Houston Texans (Alfred Blue): 16.97
30. New England Patriots (LeGarrette Blount): 16.92
31. Arizona Cardinals (Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington): 16.49
32. Cleveland Browns (Duke Johnson, Isaiah Crowell): 16.33

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

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2015 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 10 to 16

Now that the season is more than half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 10 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 10-16):

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 18.76
2. Washington Redskins (Kirk Cousins): 18.04
3. Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford): 17.95
4. Houston Texans (Brian Hoyer): 17.84
5. New Orleans Saints (Drew Brees): 17.72

Five least favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 10-16):

28. New York Giants (Eli Manning): 16.26
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones): 16.21
30. Cincinnati Bengals (Andy Dalton): 15.65
31. Chicago Bears (Jay Cutler): 15.49
32. Arizona Cardinals (Carson Palmer): 15.41

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2015 Fantasy Football: Tight End Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 10

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

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

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 10 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

TE - Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (24 percent)

With a minimum of five targets in five of his six games played, Ebron is averaging 3.8/48.7/0.5 and 7.87 fantasy points per game. Ebron has finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in four of those games and I expect him to finish as a top-10 fantasy tight end the rest of the way provided he stays healthy. In addition, the Lions have a top-four fantasy strength of schedule for the remainder of the season.

TE - Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons (26 percent)

Tamme has double-digit targets in back-to-back games with a total of 16 receptions on 22 targets for 164 yards and a touchdown. In his past five games, Tamme is averaging 6.0 receptions for 65.2 yards on 8.6 targets per game.

While he has a favorable matchup in his next game against his old team (Colts), who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Tamme has a bye in Week 10 first.

TE - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (34 percent)

After missing the previous six games, Week 10 figures to be the week that Seferian-Jenkins returns from his shoulder injury. ASJ started the season with a strong 5/110/2 outing in Week 1 and while those types of outings shouldn't be expected on a weekly basis, he should get a ton of targets once he's back on the field especially given the team's injuries among their pass-catchers.

TE - Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (24 percent)

Catching five of his season-high nine targets from Aaron Rodgers this week, (Richard) Rodgers finished with only 19 yards but he caught two touchdowns to finish as the weekly TE4. With the 13th-most fantasy points among tight ends this season, Rodgers should continue to produce as a low-end TE1 (or high-end TE2) for the remainder of the season. Rodgers has a top-10 fantasy strength of schedule from Weeks 10 to 16.

TE - Crockett Gillmore, Baltimore Ravens (eight percent)

With Steve Smith Sr. (Achilles) sidelined for the rest of the season, the Ravens thin receiving corps became even thinner. As a result, Gillmore should see a more consistent volume of targets in the passing game. Gillmore had a total of 17 targets in his three games before the bye.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 10

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2015 Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 10

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

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

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 10 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

WR - Dorial Green-Beckham, Tennessee Titans (13 percent)

Setting career highs of five catches and 77 yards on Sunday, Green-Beckham was targeted a team-high 10 times against the Saints. While Green-Beckham was forced to sit out the 2014 college season as a transfer student, he has rare size (6-5, 235) that should allow him to have success in the red zone although he hasn't scored since Week 3. Of the receivers on this week's list, DGB has as much upside as any of them although he is likely to be inconsistent from week to week.

WR - Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens (41 percent)

The season-ending Achilles injury to Steve Smith Sr. opens the door for Aiken to lead the receiving corps in targets going forward. Aiken has three games with 60-plus yards in his past five games played.

WR - Rueben Randle, New York Giants (39 percent)

Since Week 3, Randle has a minimum of five targets in every game and he has averaged 4.57 catches for 56.57 yards per game. In addition, he has three touchdowns over that seven-game stretch. More than a touchdown underdog to the Patriots this week, Eli Manning and the Giants could find themselves airing it out often this week, which gives Randle plenty of upside.

WR - Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (15 percent)

By far, Funchess had his best game as a pro in Week 9 as he finished with three catches for 71 yards and a score. It was the first time that he finished with at least 25 yards and his first top-70 performance. Going forward, I'd expect his role to continue to expand as he's the most talented of the team's healthy receivers.

WR - Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals (48 percent)

At best, Jones is third in line for targets behind A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert, but he has five-plus catches and 60-plus yards in three of his past four games. In addition, Jones has 13 touchdowns in his past 24 games played.

WR - Nate Washington, Houston Texans (26 percent)

With the exception of a Week 4 goose egg and injury (hamstring), Washington has been targeted at least eight times in four of his other five games played. In those games, he has reached 63 receiving yards four times and exceeded the 100-yard mark twice. And in his two games before last week's bye, Washington racked up 13 catches for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

WR - Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (seven percent)

Especially in deeper PPR formats, Crowder is worth a look. Since Week 3, Crowder has a minimum of four receptions and 40 yards in every game and he has averaged 6.0/55.8 and 8.0 targets per game over that span. The Saints, Crowder's Week 10 opponent, have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 10

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2015 Fantasy Football: Running Back Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 10

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

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

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 10 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

RB - Karlos Williams, Buffalo Bills (38 percent)

Returning from a multi-game absence, Williams rushed nine times for 110 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins on Sunday. Both Williams and LeSean McCoy eclipsed the 100-yard mark, but McCoy left the game with a shoulder injury. While McCoy says that he could have returned, the Bills have a short turnaround this week as they face the Patriots on Thursday Night Football.

Williams has scored in all five games in which he has appeared this season and finished as a weekly top-20 fantasy running back in all five games. In addition, he has averaged 6.59 yards per carry this season. Williams will have a sizable (flex-type) role in the games that McCoy plays.

RB - James Starks, Green Bay Packers (41 percent)

If you own Eddie Lacy, you have undoubtedly been disappointed by his lack of production. In Week 9, Lacy had five carries for 10 yards and a lost fumble, netting his fantasy owners one fantasy point less than I did from my couch. Over his past four games, Lacy has averaged just 2.36 YPC and 3.8 fantasy points per game.

Meanwhile, Starks had his second big week in three games with 122 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown against the Panthers on Sunday. Starks should get the larger workload in Week 10 as the Packers face the Lions, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

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

With Dion Lewis out for the season, White will have a chance to get the largest share of Lewis-type snaps. That said, Brandon Bolden will get some of those reps as well. In the game that Lewis missed earlier this season, White had two carries for four yards and three receptions for 26 yards.

RB - Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (32 percent)

Sims had eight carries for 78 yards and a reception for four yards on Sunday against the Giants. Sims has a minimum of seven touches in every game and has averaged 10.13 touches per game. The backup to Doug Martin, Sims has a favorable matchup in Week 10 as the Cowboys have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

RB - Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (25 percent)

In his two games before the bye, Bell had three carries for 21 yards and seven carries for 56 yards. While the volume was low, that averages out to 7.7 yards per carry. Bell won't average 7.7 YPC going forward, but I expect his workload to continue to expand.

RB - Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (17 percent)

Riddick is a much better addition for those in PPR formats as he currently has 42 receptions for 348 yards and two touchdowns. In his eight games this season, Riddick has finished as top-24 PPR running back four times and no worse than RB38 in PPR formats this season.

RB - Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (33 percent)

Aside from his 19/123/2 game in Week 2 (and his strong preseason), Jones has posted modest production. Over his past five games, Jones has averaged only 2.55 YPC. That said, he has 12-plus touches in three consecutive games and he gets to face the Saints this week. The Saints have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

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2015 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 10

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

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

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 10 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (51 percent)

Violating my own self-imposed 50-percent cutoff, Bortles is owned in slightly more than half of leagues, but there is a good chance that he may still be available in your league so he's listed here. Against a tough Jets defense last week, Bortles turned the ball over three times, but he also threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns in addition to rushing for 32 yards.

With the 10th-most fantasy points among QBs through Week 9, Bortles has now finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in four of his past five games. During that five-game span, he has averaged 299.0 passing yards and 2.4 touchdowns in addition to 23.6 rushing yards per game.

While Bortles has eight turnovers in his past five games as well, the good times from a fantasy perspective should continue for the second-year signal-caller. No quarterback has a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule from Weeks 10 to 16.

If you need to start someone this week, Bortles and the Jags face the Ravens, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Even better, Bortles gets to face the Saints, who have allowed the most, in Week 16, which is typically championship week in fantasy leagues.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (50 percent)

In his six games this season, Taylor has finished as a top-seven fantasy quarterback three times and a top-20 fantasy quarterback in every game. While Taylor is averaging only 213.0 passing yards per game and has less than 200 in half of his games, his rushing ability provides both a solid floor and high upside on a weekly basis. Taylor has more than 40 rushing yards in four of six games and a couple of rushing scores this season.

QB - Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (35 percent)

Mariota did what opposing quarterbacks do to an atrocious Saints defense as he completed 28-of-39 pass attempts for 371 yards and four touchdowns last week. Each of Mariota's next five opponents rank in the top-half of the league in terms of fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks, however. Even though Mariota has only 11 rush attempts this season, his dual-threat skill set does offer weekly upside.

QB - Sam Bradford, (50 percent)

It's been a disappointing season for Bradford, who has finished outside of the top-15 fantasy quarterbacks in six of eight games this season including each of his past three games. And over that three-game span, Bradford has thrown just two touchdowns to four interceptions.

That said, Bradford's upcoming schedule is favorable with three consecutive plus matchups -- Dolphins (12th-most fantasy points to opposing QBs), Buccaneers (fifth-most) and Lions (third-most).

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (10 percent)

If you lost Ben Roethlisberger to his foot injury or your quarterback is on a bye, Cousins could deliver huge returns for fantasy owners as a one-week rental in Week 10. One positive for Cousins has been the consistent volume. He now has 40-plus pass attempts in three consecutive games and in five of his past six.

In addition, no quarterback has a more favorable matchup this week than Cousins, who faces the league's friendliest fantasy defense to opposing quarterbacks. Over their past three games, the Saints have allowed three top-five weekly outings, 351.3 passing yards per game and 13 passing touchdowns.

QB - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28 percent)

At a minimum, Winston has scored 12-plus fantasy points in every single game this season. And he's been even better in the three games since his bye. Winston has more than 18 fantasy points and has finished as a top-12 weekly quarterback in each of those games. While he's not the most athletic of quarterbacks, he has back-to-back games with a rushing score and he has not thrown an interception in four consecutive games.

QB - Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (44 percent)

Cutler threw for 345 yards and two touchdowns on Monday night and he has now scored a minimum of 17 fantasy points in five cnosecutive games. During that five-game span, Cutler has averaged 288.4 passing yards with nine total touchdowns. As consistent as he's been over the past month-plus, his next two matchups are against the league's two stingiest defenses to fantasy quarterbacks -- Rams and Broncos.

QB - Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (11 percent)

Since taking over (again) as the starter, Hoyer has scored 17-plus fantasy points in five consecutive games and he has finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback in four of those games. In addition, Hoyer has thrown multiple touchdowns in each of those games. His upcoming matchups aren't great -- Bengals and Jets -- but Hoyer and the Texans should find themselves needing to throw for much of those games.

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November 08, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 9 (Hanson)

Last week, I picked just two games against the spread (ATS) and I finished 2-0 ATS. I felt fairly confident about those picks and didn't really like the rest of the slate.

This week, I am picking our self-imposed minimum of two games again, but I'm not crazy about any of the games this week.

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 9 of the 2015 NFL season:

Chargers vs. Bears -- over 49.5 (3 units)

Losers of four consecutive games, offense has not been the problem for the Chargers. The offensive line is an issue, but they have moved the ball in spite of those concerns. While they rank in the middle of the pack in scoring offense (23.9 points per game, 14th), no team averages more yards per game than the Chargers (423.3/G). The season-ending injury to Keenan Allen hurts, but Philip Rivers has thrown for 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns in five consecutive games.

Only four teams have recorded fewer sacks than the Bears defense and only four teams have allowed a higher passer rating to opposing defenses. In other words, it should be another big week for Rivers.

The Bears will be without Matt Forte (MCL), but the Chargers are allowing a league-high 5.0 yards per carry. Not only should Jeremy Langford be able to have success on the ground, but Jay Cutler has yet to turn the ball over more than once in a game this season. In addition, Alshon Jeffery has 18 catches for 263 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games.

This game should feature plenty of offense with little defensive resistance. I could easily see this game reaching the 50's or more.

Pittsburgh Steelers -5 over Oakland Raiders (2 units)

In his return from injury, Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions as the Steelers lost to the Bengals. An even bigger loss, the Steelers lost Le'Veon Bell for the season due to a badly-torn MCL. Fortunately for them, however, DeAngelo Williams has been highly productive when called upon. I expect a much better offensive outing from the Steelers in Week 9 as Big Ben shakes off the rust.

The Raiders have been a pleasant surprise this season and Derek Carr has thrown seven touchdowns and no interceptions over his past two games. While I think he has another strong outing and I have both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree ranked inside my top-12 fantasy receivers for this week, I still expect the Steelers to win by at least a touchdown on Sunday.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 9 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 9 of the 2015 NFL season:

Pittsburgh Steelers -5 over Oakland Raiders (3 units)

I highlighted Antonio Brown in my DFS Roundtable writeup this week. The Raiders give up over 300 yards per game through the air, which should equal a big day for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers receiving targets. (This will be the make-or-break game for me this week in DFS since I am deploying three Steelers in my main cash lineup.)

The Raiders looked fantastic last week, but they have the dreaded west coast team traveling to the east coast for a 1 PM game narrative. I think Derek Carr throws for over 300 yards as well, but I think Big Ben leads the Steelers to six touchdown drives this week. Steelers big, 42-27.

Philadelphia Eagles -3 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

I honestly can't see a way that a rested Eagles team doesn't go into Dallas on Sunday night and stomp the Cowboys. Sam Bradford, as bad as he has been this year, will not be as bad Matt Cassel. The Cowboys will need to control the clock with the running game to have a shot, but the Eagles run defense has been pretty good this season. I have a feeling this is going to be a Darren Sproles type of game. I think he has two scores on Sunday night. Eagles, 23-13.

Denver Broncos -6 over Indianapolis Colts (5 units)

Denver's defense has been fantastic this season. They get to play a banged-up Colts team who will most likely be without T.Y. Hilton for this one. Andrew Luck has looked absolutely horrible this season. He has turned the ball over at least two times in five of six games this season. You can't make those types of mistakes and expect to win games. We also have the Peyton Manning narrative of breaking Brett Favre's all-time passing record. I think Manning and his noodle arm get it done this week.

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Week 9 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

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

As an example, Michael Crabtree is listed below as a "start" for Week 9. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 9 with him as one of my starting receivers.

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

In other words, if you owned both Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffery and Crabtree and only started two receivers, you should start Jones and Jeffery -- and in turn, bench Crabtree.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 9:

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at PIT)

In seven games this season, Crabtree has a minimum of six targets in every game and at least eight targets in six games. In fact, he has more targets (68, 9.71/G) than Amari Cooper (59) this season.

On the season, Crabtree is averaging 5.71 catches for 69.0 yards per game and has scored in back-to-back games. In addition, he has a minimum of 54 receiving yards in five of his past six games. Considering it's easier to throw than run on the Steelers, Crabtree should once again get eight or more targets in Week 9.

WR - Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (vs. STL)

The Rams have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season, but Diggs has been extremely productive in every game he has played. In his four games this season, Diggs has a minimum of six receptions, nine targets and 87 yards in every game. Over those four games, he has racked up 25 catches for 419 yards and two touchdowns and he has finished as a top-16 weekly receiver in three consecutive games. Listed as probable (hamstring), Diggs has become a must-start.

WR - Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. OAK)

Better in standard-scoring formats, Bryant is one of the league's better big-play receivers. Not only did he have the longest reception in 2014 (94 yards), he has the longest reception this season (88 yards). Since returning from his four-game suspension, Bryant has 13 catches for 231 yards and three touchdowns in three games. In addition, Bryant has been targeted a minimum of eight times per game.

WR - Steve Johnson, San Diego Chargers (vs. CHI)

In our DFS Roundtable post of Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 9, Johnson was my selection. No player should benefit more than Johnson from the season-ending kidney injury to Keenan Allen, who entered this week with the third-most targets in the NFL behind DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones. Johnson has not exceeded 50 receiving yards since Week 1 (6/82/1), but I expect him to get eight or more targets in a favorable matchup against the Bears this week.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 9:

WR - T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (vs. DEN)

In his first seven games, Hilton exceeded 60 receiving yards in six games. And although he racked up 224 yards and three touchdowns in Weeks 6 and 7 combined, Hilton had just one catch for 15 yards last week. Dealing with a foot injury, it's unclear whether Hilton will play this week. And if he does, he draws another difficult matchup. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing receivers this season than the Broncos.

WR - James Jones, Green Bay Packers (at CAR)

With Aaron Rodgers held to just 77 yards by the Broncos last week, Jones caught one-of-two targets for just two yards in Week 8. While Jones has scored six touchdowns in seven games this season, he has two or less receptions in three consecutive games. In addition, the Panthers have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

WR - Mike Wallace, Minnesota Vikings (vs. STL)

Wallace failed to catch any of his four targets last week and he has now finished outside the top-50 fantasy wide receivers in three consecutive games and in five of his past six games. Given Minnesota's low volume of pass attempts (30.1/G, tied for 27th), it's difficult for multiple receivers to be viable starts and Diggs has been the clear focal point of the team's passing attack. As noted above, the Rams have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers.

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

Through eight games, Smith has just 16 catches (2.0/G) and 31 targets (3.88/G) and he has 19 receiving yards or less in half of his games. Even with Anquan Boldin listed as doubtful, Smith should remain on your bench this week. A big part of the reason is the fact that the 49ers benched Colin Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert. The answer a team's quarterback problem is never Blaine Gabbert. To make matters worse, the Falcons have limited opposing receivers to the third-fewest fantasy points per game this season.

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November 07, 2015

Week 9 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, Jeremy Langford is listed below as a "start" for Week 9. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 9 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 Todd Gurley, Devonta Freeman and Langford, you should start Gurley and Freeman -- and in turn, bench Langford.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 9:

RB - Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys (vs. PHI)

For the rest of the season, it's natural for fantasy owners to worry about McFadden's durability given his track record. That said, he gets to run behind the league's best offensive line and he has become one of the few/true workhorses in the NFL. Not only does McFadden have 20-plus carries in back-to-back games, but he has a league-high 57 touches in those two games combined.

Granted, his Week 9 matchup is unfavorable as the Eagles have limited opposing running backs to the sixth-fewest fantasy points this season. That said, McFadden finished as a top-12 fantasy running back last week against the Seahawks, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points this season.

McFadden has 216 rushing yards plus eight catches for 59 yards in his past two games. At least due to expected usage, McFadden should extend his streak of games with 100-plus scrimmage yards to three in Week 9.

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

In his past three games, Stewart has a minimum of 20 carries in each game and a total of 68 during that span. In fact, no player has more carries during that three-game span than Stewart (68). Of course, Cam Newton is always a threat to vulture goal-line carries from The Daily Show, but he has three touchdowns over the past three weeks as well.

Although the Broncos limited Aaron Rodgers to 77 passing yards and no touchdowns last week, the Panthers game plan should focus on their ground attack in part to keep Rodgers off the field as much as possible. Assuming Carolina keeps the game close (they are three-point underdogs), Stewart is in line for another 20-carry game.

RB - Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears (at SD)

With Matt Forte (MCL) ruled out for Week 9, Langford is in position to get a heavy workload in a favorable matchup. The Chargers have allowed four 100-yard rushers and a total of 10 touchdowns to running backs this season. The Chargers have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season. One of last week's most popular additions off the waiver wire, Langford should deliver immediate returns to his fantasy owners.

RB - C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos (at IND)

Fantasy football's biggest disappointment through the midway point, Anderson had his best outing of the season in last week's win over the Packers. CJA rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and added a five-yard reception. Before last week, he had no more than 43 rushing yards in any game and had yet to finish as a top-24 fantasy running back.

I'm not sure that he'll have another top-five outing like last week, but Anderson (and Ronnie Hillman) get a favorable matchup against the Colts, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. While Hillman has led the team in touches (20-plus in back-to-back games), CJA has 15-plus touches in consecutive games as well.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 9:

RB - T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (at NYJ)

Based on my rankings, Yeldon is on the start/sit line for folks in 12-team leagues as he's my RB25 for the week. So, in other words, he's a solid flex option, but the matchup is difficult this week. Over his past three games, Yeldon has a pair of 100-yard games and three consecutive top-24 weekly outings. That's the good news.

The bad news is that only the Seahawks have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Jets this season. In addition, the Jags are projected to score the fewest points among the teams yet to play this week based on Vegas odds.

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

This listing applies to all Giants running backs, but I've listed Jennings here. Jennings had a solid outing last week against the Saints with 85 yards from scrimmage on 12 touches, but he finished as fantasy's RB20 even though the Giants scored 49 points. This week's matchup isn't as favorable as the Bucs have allowed the 12th-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs and it's hard to trust any Giant back given their four-man committee.

RB - Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (at NE)

Since Week 1 (RB17), Morris has finished outside the top-24 fantasy running backs in every other week this season. In fact, his average weekly finish over the past five weeks has been RB56 with an average of 2.76 fantasy points per game over that span.

Not only do the Patriots allow the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, but Washington is the biggest underdog this week. That should lead to a high volume of pass attempts and keep Alf off the field more than usual.

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Week 9 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

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

As an example, Derek Carr is listed below as a "start" for Week 9. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 9 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 Carr, you should start Brady -- and in turn, bench Carr.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 9:

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (at PIT)

Against an elite Jets defense, Carr threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns last week. Carr now has four 20-point outings and top-eight weekly performances in his past six games including each of his past two games. In his past two games, he has thrown a total of seven touchdowns with no interceptions.

Over that six-game stretch, the only time Carr hasn't thrown multiple touchdowns was against the Broncos, who currently have the league's stingiest defense. (Denver has allowed only five passing touchdowns in seven games and held Aaron Rodgers to 77 passing yards and no touchdowns last week.)

QB - Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (at SD)

Over the past month, Cutler has been solid, if not spectacular, with weekly finishes of TE12, TE13, TE13 and TE11, respectively. In those four games, he has averaged nearly 275 passing yards per game and accounted for seven touchdowns to only three turnovers. With six quarterbacks on bye this week, Cutler is a solid bye-week replacement for those in need of a starter.

QB - Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. OAK)

Roethlisberger returned from his knee injury last week, but he threw more interceptions (three) than touchdowns (one) against the Bengals. With a game under his belt to shake off some of the rust, Big Ben should post better numbers against a poor Raiders secondary this week.

Oakland allows the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. In addition, they have allowed a top-12 fantasy quarterback in six of seven games this season.

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

Over the past four weeks, Manning has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback twice and outside the top-24 quarterbacks twice. Last week was a boom week as Manning threw for 350 yards and six touchdowns even though his team lost to Drew Brees (511 yards and seven TDs) and the Saints. It's unlikely that Eli throws another six touchdowns this week, but he has a top-three fantasy matchup against the Buccaneers this week so there is plenty of upside.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 9:

QB - Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (vs. DEN)

The good news is that Luck has thrown multiple touchdowns in five of six games. The bad news is that he has thrown multiple interceptions in five of six games. From a fantasy perspective, Luck has been better with two top-five weekly performances in his three games since returning from injury.

That said, he still doesn't look 100 percent and his best receiver, T.Y. Hilton (foot), could miss this week's game. Either way, the matchup is horrible as no team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Broncos this season. As noted above, they held Rodgers to 77 yards and no touchdowns last week.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (at BUF)

Ending a five-game streak with multiple touchdowns, Tannehill threw for 300 yards but no touchdowns in last week's loss to the Patriots. Tannehill did throw two interceptions and has now thrown multiple picks in four of five games.

The first time that he faced the Bills this season, Tannehill threw for 297 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions and finished as Week 3's QB18. Even though there are six teams on bye, Tannehill is ranked outside of my top-12 for the week.

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (at NYJ)

Bortles has been a pleasant surprise this season as he has scored the 10th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks through Week 8. With three top-six outings in his past four games, Bortles has a difficult matchup in Week 9 against the Jets, who have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Despite what Carr did to them last week, Bortles' upside is limited.

QB - Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL)

It's been a disappointing season for Bradford and the Eagles offense this year. Through Week 8, Bradford has scored the 26th-most fantasy points and has thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (nine) on the year. With the Cowboys surrendering the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, Bradford should once again finish outside of the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks this week.

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Week 9 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, Heath Miller is listed below as a "start" for Week 9. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 9 with him as my starting tight end.

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

In other words, if you owned both Rob Gronkowski and Miller, you should start Gronk -- and in turn, bench Miller.

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

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 9:

TE - Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. OAK)

Starting your tight end against the Raiders has been a highly productive strategy this season. Not only have the Raiders allowed the most fantasy points to the position, they have allowed 12 touchdowns to tight ends in seven games this season.

With Ben Roethlisberger back last week, Miller caught 10-of-13 targets for a season-high 105 yards. In fact, Miller has seen double-digit targets in two of the three games that Big Ben has started and finished this season. Roethlisberger and the offense in general struggled last week, but I expect much more production from the unit as a whole in Week 9.

TE - Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (at NO)

Walker hasn't been great this season, but he has been solid and consistent. Walker has at least six catches and 55 yards in three consecutive games and in four of his last five. In his six games this season, Walker has averaged 5.83 catches for 60.17 yards per game.

The Saints have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season and Kendall Wright will miss this week's game, which could lead to a few more targets for Walker. Walker has averaged 8.2 targets over his past five games.

TE - Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints (vs. TEN)

Entering the season as the team's starting tight end, it's not a surprise that Watson has led the team's tight ends in production. It is a surprise, however, that Watson currently ranks sixth among tight ends in fantasy points scored this season.

With more than 125 yards and a touchdown plus double-digit targets in two of his past three games, Watson has a total of 23 catches for 333 yards and two touchdowns in those three games. In fact, he has finished as a top-five weekly fantasy tight end in three of his past four games.

Watson may not finish as a top-five tight end this week, but he's definitely worth a start this week. In addition, only the Patriots are projected to score more points than the Saints this week based on Vegas odds.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 9:

TE - Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jagaurs (at NYJ)

Through three games back from his injury, Thomas has been boom or bust: 2/20 (TE26), 7/78/1 (TE5) and 1/4 (TE42). Given some favorable matchups for other tight ends this week, Thomas has slipped to TE13 for me this week. The Jets rank in the top-10 of stingiest defenses to fantasy tight ends this year and the only tight end to reach 40-plus yards against them was Rob Gronkowski (11/108/1 in Week 7).

TE - Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins (at BUF)

In his past five games this season, Cameron has no more than three catches or 30 yards in any game. While he did score a touchdown in Week 6, he has finished as the TE20 or worse in the other four games during that five-game span.

The Bills are middle of the road in terms of fantasy points allowed to tight ends, but they have held all tight ends not named Gronk to 38 receiving yards or less this season. In fact, Cameron had three catches on eight targets for just 16 yards in their first matchup of the season in Week 3.

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

The good news is that Rudolph has scored a touchdown in three of his past six games. The bad news is that Rudolph has 30 yards or less in all six of those games. So unless he scores, it's unlikely that Rudolph will have a useful week for fantasy purposes. The Rams have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to the position this season.

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Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): Week 9 Values for DraftKings Contests

In a salary-cap format, finding players that give you a bang for the buck is key to constructing a profitable lineup.

With that said, here are some of my favorite value plays for Week 9:

QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (vs. CHI), $6,900

Since Week 4, Rivers has thrown for 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns in five consecutive games. During that five-game span, Rivers has averaged 372.6 passing yards and 2.6 touchdowns per game. In addition, he has finished as a top-nine fantasy quarterback in all five of those games.

The season-ending injury to Keenan Allen hurts Rivers a bit, but he leads the NFL in pass attempts (43.5 per game) this season. So far this season, the Bears currently surrender the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. In a plus matchup for the league's highest-volume passer, Rivers is my second-ranked quarterback for the week yet six other signal-callers have a higher salary for Week 9.

QB - Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. OAK), $6,600

Roethlisberger returned from his knee injury last week, but he threw more interceptions (three) than touchdowns (one) against the Bengals. With a game under his belt to shake off some of the rust, Big Ben should post better numbers against a poor Raiders secondary this week. Oakland allows the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Roethlisberger has the ninth-highest salary this week, but he's my fifth-ranked quarterback for the week.

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (at PIT), $5,500

Against an elite Jets defense and secondary, Carr shredded them for 333 yards and four touchdowns last week. Carr now has four top-eight weekly performances in his past six games including each of his past two games. Over that six-game stretch, the only time he hasn't thrown multiple touchdowns was against the Broncos, who currently have the league's stingiest defense. (Denver has allowed only five passing touchdowns in seven games and held Aaron Rodgers to 77 passing yards last week.)

There are a few other bargain-priced quarterbacks that I like in Carr's price range (e.g., Tyrod Taylor at $5,300 and Jay Cutler at $5,200) as well.

RB - Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (at BUF), $5,000

Miller had a disappointing 15 rushing yards on nine carries in their blowout loss to the Patriots, but Miller did score for a third consecutive week. In his past three games since the coaching change, Miller has racked up 303 rushing yards, 10 receptions for 85 yards and four total touchdowns. In fact, he has finished as a top-11 PPR running back in all three of those games after finishing no better than RB28 in his previous four games. The matchup isn't great, but as long as the game is close, Miller should see roughly 18 touches in this game.

RB - Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys (vs. PHI), $4,300

Not only does McFadden have 20-plus carries in back-to-back games, but he has a total of 17 receptions on 20 targets in his past three games. With 57 touches in past two games combined, few players are guaranteed to get the type of workload that McFadden will get.

His Week 9 matchup may not be great as the Eagles have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but McFadden finished as the RB8 in PPR formats last week against the Seahawks, who have been the stingiest defense to opposing running backs this season.

RB - Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (vs. GB), $4,300

In his past three games, Stewart has a minimum of 20 carries in each game and a total of 68 during that span. No player has more carries during that three-game span than Stewart (68). Of course, Cam Newton is always a threat to vulture goal-line carries from Stewart, but he has three touchdowns during that span as well.

RB - Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears (at SD), $4,000

With Matt Forte (MCL) ruled out for Week 9, Langford is in position to get a heavy workload in a favorable matchup. The Chargers have allowed four 100-yard rushers and a total of 10 touchdowns to running backs this season. Only the Falcons have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season.

WR - Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears (at SD), $6,700

Jeffery has played only three games -- Week 1, Week 6 and Week 8 -- this season, but he has a minimum of 11 targets in every game. Since returning from his injury, Jeffery has eight-plus catches for more than 100 yards and a score finishing as the weekly WR4 in both games. As the WR5 in my Week 9 PPR rankings, Jeffery has a lower salary than 12 other wide receivers this week.

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at PIT), $4,900

In seven games this season, Crabtree has at least eight targets in six games and a minimum of six targets in every game. In fact, he has more targets (68, 9.71/G) than Amari Cooper (59) this season. On the season, Crabtree is averaging 5.71 catches for 69.0 yards per game and has scored in back-to-back games. In addition, he has a minimum of 54 receiving yards in five of his past six games. Considering it's easier to throw than run on the Steelers, Crabtree should once again get eight or more targets in Week 9.

WR - Steve Johnson, San Diego Chargers (vs. CHI), $3,200

In our DFS Roundtable post of Favorite DraftKings Play for Week 9, Johnson was my selection. No player should benefit more than Johnson from the season-ending kidney injury to Keenan Allen, who entered this week with the third-most targets in the NFL behind DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones.

Johnson has not exceeded 50 receiving yards since Week 1 (6/82/1), but I expect him to get eight or more targets in a favorable matchup against the Bears this week. While I have Johnson ranked inside my top-20 fantasy receivers for the week, his salary is only $200 above the position minimum as 59 receivers carry a higher price tag this week.

WR - Brandon LaFell, New England Patriots (vs. WAS), $3,200

Not safe for cash-game lineups, LaFell offers tremendous upside in tournaments at his near-minimum salary. Even though he didn't start last week, LaFell played on 82.0 percent of the team's offensive snaps last week, which second among the team's wide receivers behind Julian Edelman (94.0 percent). The Patriots are projected to score more points (33.0) than any other team this week based on Vegas odds.

TE - Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. OAK), $2,700

Starting tight ends against the Raiders has been a profitable strategy this season. Not only have the Raiders allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position, they have allowed 12 touchdowns to tight ends in seven games this season.

With Roethlisberger back last week, Miller caught 10-of-13 targets for a season-high 105 yards. In fact, Miller has seen double-digit targets in two of the three games that Big Ben has started and finished.

In lineups that I don't start Miller, I'll start Rob Gronkowski. In some lineups, I will use both (as TE and Flex), but nearly 100 percent of my entries thi8s week will feature either Miller and/or Gronk.

- Week 9 DFS DraftKings Cheat Sheet

Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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Week 9 Fantasy Football: 7 Undervalued Players in PPR Leagues

Week 8 Results
QBsRBsWRsTEsTotal
+34.6+12.9+15.5-11.3+51.7
YTD Results
QBsRBsWRsTEsTotal
+56.3+64.7-52.5-8.5+60.0

* Stats are based on players recommended (compared to options listed to start those players over).

Best of the week -- Eli Manning +34.6: Last week, I suggested taking a chance with Manning over Aaron Rodgers. That turned out fairly well.

Runner up -- Charcandrick West +31.9: West was the No. 3 RB in Week 8, while Gio Bernard and Chris Ivory both struggled significantly.

Worst of the week -- Chris Polk -19: Polk played behind Alfred Blue, despite being the primary backup when Foster was active, not to mention he is the more talented back. Although neither did much of anything against a bad Titans defense.

Runner up -- Chris Conley -17.1: Conley surprisingly played behind Albert Wilson, who did almost nothing as well. Despite the Chiefs putting up 45 points, there wasn’t much production from a receiver not named Jeremy Maclin.

Quarterbacks

Derek CarrOakland Raiders
FantasyPros ECR – 10

Carr has been very strong of late, posting two huge games against solid pass defenses. The Steelers are not on the same level as the Jets, who Carr just torched last week (333 yds, 4 TDs). Given the Raiders own struggles against the pass, and the Steelers prominence in that area, this game could be a shootout. And the way Carr is playing, that could mean another big day.

Consider starting him over:
- Cam Newton – ECR 8. Newton has been a solid fantasy QB this season, but the Packers are coming off an embarrassing loss, and it’s not like the Panthers offense are world beaters. Good teams coming off embarrassing losses tend to come and prove a point.


Ryan FitzpatrickNew York Jets
FantasyPros ECR – 18

Fitzpatrick has been cleared to play this week after injuring his non-throwing hand. As long as he can handle the ball, the injury should not have any impact on his capability this week. Once he goes into a throwing motion, that hand isn’t even involved. The good news for Fitzpatrick is that he gets the Jags this week, who are 28th against the pass in efficiency and bottom 10 in FPAs to QBs. Before leaving last week with the aforementioned injury, Fitzpatrick had posted two consecutive big games against solid defenses.

Consider starting him over:
- Jameis Winston – ECR 16. Winston has been playing better of late and the Giants just got torn up by Drew Brees. So consider this more of a “gut call.”
- Andrew Luck – ECR 14. After what they just did to Rodgers, you think Luck is going to do anything?

Running Backs

Jeremy LangfordChicago Bears
FantasyPros ECR – 19

Langford steps into a workhorse role for the Bears with Matt Forte’s injury. As his first game in the spotlight, he really couldn’t ask for a better matchup. The Chargers are 31st against RBs in terms of points allowed, and 32nd against the run in efficiency. The Bears aren’t a great run team, but they are good enough to exploit this matchup.

Consider starting him over:
- Darren McFadden – ECR 12. McFadden is the lead back with the release of Joseph Randle, but the Eagles run defense is good. They rank top 10 in both run efficiency and FPA to RBs. Given the pass game has no real threat until Tony Romo comes back, they can focus in on the run even more.
- Latavius Murray – ECR 15. While this game could be a shootout, it’s going to be through the air. The Steelers are a top-notch run defense and the Raiders could be down early.

Ryan MathewsPhiladelphia Eagles
FantasyPros ECR – 31

Mathews has been effective in limited work recently and should continue to get around 10-12 touches a game. Against a Cowboys team that has been vulnerable to the run (fifth-most FPA to RBs, 20th in efficiency), he has an opportunity to post back-end RB2 numbers in a week with six teams on bye.

Consider starting him over:
- C.J. Spiller – ECR 30. He is touchdown dependent and without the goal-line role, that makes it risky.
- Shane Vereen – ECR 27. Vereen has had two big games and very little outside of that. Like Spiller, he’s too tough to call.

Wide Receivers

Michael CrabtreeOakland Raiders
FantasyPros ECR – 15

Crabtree has been on a roll the past few weeks and actually leads the team in targets on the season, not Amari Cooper. As previously mentioned, the Raiders/Steelers game could turn into a shootout, and while the Steelers are very good against the run, they are less so against the pass. The Raiders are likely to air it out often, and Crabtree is in line for a big game.

Consider starting him over:
- Stefon Diggs – ECR 13. Diggs has been a revelation in Minnesota, but the Rams are seventh against WRs in FPA. Temper expectations this week.
- Jarvis Landry – ECR 12. Landry has a tough matchup, likely to face off with Stephon Gilmore. The Bills rank No. 2 against WR1’s in defensive pass efficiency.

Martavis BryantPittsburgh Steelers
FantasyPros ECR – 19

Sensing a trend here? I am expecting a lot of passes in this game. And surprisingly, the Raiders are pretty solid against WR1’s, leaving a few more looks to go Bryant’s way. With Big Ben hopefully using last week to shake off the rust, he should look to push the ball downfield early and often.

Consider starting him over:
- Dez Bryant – ECR 14. Matt Cassel….’nuff said.
- Randall Cobb – ECR 16. The Panthers are No. 1 against WRs in efficiency. Cobb should still produce, just closer to backend WR2 numbers.

Tight End

Austin Sefarian-Jenkins - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FantasyPros ECR – 17

Obviously, this depends on if he plays. But if he does, ASJ is in a good spot to produce. The Giants rank 23rd in efficiency against TEs and dead last in FPA. The Bucs will have to throw to keep up in this game and I think ASJ is a prime candidate to approach the top 10.

Consider starting him over:
-
Jason Witten – ECR 12. Matt Cassel, again. Not to mention the Eagles are sixth against TEs in efficiency and fourth in FPA.

Thanks for reading and good luck in Week 9!

Check out my full Week 6 Fantasy Football PPR Rankings and follow me on twitter @rw11687.

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November 04, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 9 to 16

Now that the season approximately half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 9 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 9-16):

1. Tennessee Titans (Marcus Mariota): 18.05
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 17.74
3. New York Jets (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith): 17.65
4. St. Louis Rams (Nick Foles): 17.63
5. Houston Texans (Brian Hoyer): 17.62

Five least favorable SOS for QBs (Weeks 9-16):

28. New England Patriots (Tom Brady): 15.81
29. Oakland Raiders (Derek Carr): 15.67
30. Cincinnati Bengals (Andy Dalton): 15.57
31. Chicago Bears (Jay Cutler): 15.47
32. Arizona Cardinals (Carson Palmer): 15.11

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

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2015 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 9 to 16

Now that the season approximately half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 9 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 9-16):

1. Kansas City Chiefs (Charcandrick West): 20.14
2. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 20.07
3. Atlanta Falcons (Devonta Freeman): 19.74
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Doug Martin, Charles Sims): 19.65
5. New York Jets (Chris Ivory): 19.50

Five least favorable SOS for RBs (Weeks 9-16):

28. New England Patriots (Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount): 16.92
29. St. Louis Rams (Todd Gurley): 16.84
30. Cleveland Browns (Duke Johnson, Isaiah Crowell): 16.83
31. New York Giants (Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen): 16.80
32. Arizona Cardinals (Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington): 16.76

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

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2015 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 9 to 16

Now that the season approximately half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 9 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 9-16):

1. Buffalo Bills (Sammy Watkins): 25.10
2. San Diego Chargers (Stevie Johnson, Malcom Floyd): 24.99
3. Houston Texans (DeAndre Hopkins): 24.78
4. Denver Broncos (Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders): 24.70
5. Miami Dolphins (Jarvis Landry): 24.64

Five least favorable SOS for WRs (Weeks 9-16):

28. San Francisco 49ers (Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith): 21.49
29. Carolina Panthers (Ted Ginn): 21.36
30. Chicago Bears (Alshon Jeffery): 20.92
31. Arizona Cardinals (Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown): 20.52
32. Minnesota Vikings (Stefon Diggs, Mike Wallace): 20.27

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

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2015 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 9 to 16

Now that the season approximately half over, we have a better sense of each team's defensive identity.

Before the season began, we created fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) pages for each position based on last year's production. We will continue to make weekly updates of our strength of schedule for the remaining games based on what their upcoming opponents have done so far this season.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook.

But if you're debating a pair of players to pick up off the waiver wire (our Week 9 waiver-wire post) or evaluating a trade proposal, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie in a close decision.

Five most favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 9-16):

1. Minnesota Vikings (Kyle Rudolph): 8.82
2. Carolina Panthers (Greg Olsen): 8.64
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (Heath Miller): 8.42
4. Detroit Lions (Eric Ebron): 8.38
5. Indianapolis Colts (Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener): 8.24

Five least favorable SOS for TEs (Weeks 9-16):

28. Seattle Seahawks (Jimmy Graham): 7.14
29. New York Giants (Larry Donnell): 7.04
30. Dallas Cowboys (Jason Witten): 6.95
31. Philadelphia Eagles (Zach Ertz): 6.91
32. Buffalo Bills (Charles Clay): 6.03

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

Full Strength of Schedules:

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November 03, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 9

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

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

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 9 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

WR - Stevie Johnson, San Diego Chargers (44 percent)

Johnson had two catches for 28 yards in Week 8 and hasn't exceeded 50 receiving yards since Week 1, but his fantasy outlook improved greatly with the season-ending injury to Keenan Allen. With five consecutive 300-yard games, Philip Rivers has a league-high 348 pass attempts and 2,753 passing yards this season. In other words, Johnson could emerge as Rivers' go-to receiver in an offense that throws it as much as anybody.

Only the Bills have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Johnson and the Chargers wide receivers. This week, the Chargers face the Bears, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

WR - Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (50 percent)

Floyd now has three consecutive games with 50-plus yards and a touchdown and has finished as the WR24, WR18 and WR13, respectively, in those three games. The Cardinals have a bye in Week 9, but Floyd has the potential to finish as a top 25-30 fantasy receiver on a per-game basis the rest of the way.

WR - Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers (23 percent)

Through Week 8, Floyd has scored the 32nd-most fantasy points among wide receivers. In addition, he ranked as a top-36 fantasy wide receiver in four of his previous five seasons (the lone exception was his injury-shortened 2013 season). While I expect Johnson to benefit more from Allen's injury, Floyd should see a more consistent amount of targets going forward as well.

WR - Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens (20 percent)

Like with Johnson and Floyd above, Aiken will benefit significantly from the season-ending injury to Steve Smith Sr. Aiken had six catches for 62 yards in Week 8 and now has at least 62 yards four of his past seven games. The Ravens are on bye this week, but Aiken should be in the WR3 mix on a weekly basis for the remainder of the season.

WR - Rueben Randle, New York Giants (43 percent)

Randle had five catches on nine targets for 55 yards in Week 8 against the Saints. Through Week 8, Randle has scored the 38th-most fantasy points among receivers. The Giants face the Saints and Patriots in the next two weeks and they have allowed the fifth- and 10th-most fantasy points, respectively, to opposing wide receivers this season.

WR - Dwayne Harris, New York Giants (six percent)

Over the past five games, Harris has a total of 18 receptions for 221 yards with four touchdowns (three receiving and one return). During that five-game span, Harris has averaged 9.22 fantasy points per game and has finished as a top-24 fantasy receiver in three of those games. As noted above, Giants receivers have favorable matchups in each of their next two games.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 9

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2015 Fantasy Football: Running Back Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 9

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

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

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 9 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

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

RB - DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (25 percent)

With Le'Veon Bell (MCL) lost for the season, Williams once again takes over as the team's lead back. In the three games that Bell either missed or didn't finish, Williams finished as fantasy's weekly RB12, RB1 and RB13, respectively. In those three games, Williams racked up 334 yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns.

RB - Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears (11 percent)

In relief of Matt Forte (MCL) last week, Langford carried the ball 12 times for 46 yards. More than likely, Forte will miss (at least) a couple of games. For owners that need help at running back this week due to byes, Langford is an ideal add due to his matchup with the Chargers, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

RB - Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (38 percent)

Jones has 12 touches in back-to-back games and has finished as fantasy's RB25 and RB34, respectively, in those two weeks. Meanwhile, Alfred Morris has 12 or fewer touches in three consecutive games and in four of his past five. Not only is Alf averaging just 3.3 yards per carry on the season, he has averaged less 2.0 YPC in each of his past three games (25 carries for 41 yards).

RB - Christine Michael, Dallas Cowboys (26 percent)

Earlier today, the Cowboys released ex-starter Joseph Randle. At a minimum, it should open up a larger role for Michael, who is clearly the No. 2 behind Darren McFadden.

Even with Randle sidelined for the majority of the past two games, Michael has just 11 touches compared to 57 for McFadden over the past two weeks. Even though McFadden has finished as a top-12 weekly running back in those two games, Michael is a McFadden injury away from a much more prominent role.

RB - David Cobb, Tennessee Titans (23 percent)

Bishop Sankey has been a non-factor and Antonio Andrews has been solid, but it wouldn't be a surprise if Cobb emerged as the team's lead back in the (near) future. Cobb is eligible to return from short-term IR this week, but he reported a "little heavy" at weigh-in.

RB - Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (35 percent)

Sims had only nine touches for 46 yards last week, but he has finished as a top-40 fantasy running back in five consecutive games, which includes three top-24 finishes. Obviously Doug Martin is the team's featured back, but Sims should get roughly 10 touches or so per game and the Buccaneers running backs have a top-four fantasy strength of schedule.

RB - Pierre Thomas, San Francisco 49ers (two percent)

With the injuries to the team's running backs (Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush, Mike Davis, etc.), the team has signed Thomas and Shaun Draughn and added Jarred Hayne to their practice squad. Especially in deeper PPR formats, Thomas is worth a look. In 27 games over the previous two seasons, Thomas had a total of 132 receptions.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 9

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2015 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 9

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.