Wednesday, September 30, 2015

NFL DFS Strategy Sessions: Basic Stacking

So some of my readers are beginner DFS players, so I'd like to start a series for you, to give you some guidelines by which to build your rosters, and even just to look at players overall, to rate them as far as Draft Kings is concerned primarily, but I expect my guides and ranks to be helpful to fantasy owners in all leagues.  In this edition, we'll tackle basic stacking.

Stacking is a term used in fantasy when you try to double up on points, or piggy back player production off one another.  It's a concept most popularly used in baseball, where you might roster the 2-4 hitters on the roster of a team facing a bad pitcher, figuring that if player 1 hits a single, then player two hits a single, then player two clears the bases you get the RBI's, plus the runs, plus the original hits, etc as opposed to just taking the clean up hitter and only getting the RBI's and one hit.

In NFL, stacking is used more selectively.  You need to find not only good players/parts of the team on the same team, but they also need to be complimentary of one another.  Often just by game flow, one position doesn't always compliment the other.  Like, you typically would not play a QB and RB from the same team together, as there are only so many snaps, and one position having a great game typically takes away from the potential of the other to have a great game.  In my eyes, there are really three combinations that compliment one another well enough to be stacked:
QB and WR
QB and TE
RB and Defense
Now, the first two are obvious to almost everyone: QB's pass to WR's and TE's.  If a QB is having a good day, chances are his favorite target(s) are also.  But the third might not be as obvious to everyone.  If a team is winning, they're more likely to run the ball, to run the clock down.  If they're winning, their defense is probably playing well.  Thus, they're a good combo to stack.  If one is doing well it drives the other to do well, and having two positions on your team having a good or great game can lead you to a win.
Good luck out there folks!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Last Minute Week 3 NFL DFS Advice: Defenses to Look At

Often people underestimate the defense when playing fantasy-daily or otherwise-and I think that's a mistake.  Just look at this year alone so far; the worst defense (Chicago) is averaging -0.5 points per game, while the best (Denver) is averaging 19-almost a 20 point swing.  How many times would 20 points have been the difference in you making or not making money?  Even with a middle of the pack type defense you're getting 7.5 points per game on Draft Kings, you'd be more than doubling that with Denver each week.  Adding 12 points to your total could literally mean the difference between winning hundreds or thousands and not winning at all.  So let's look at some strong defensive options for your Sunday DFS NFL play:

Denver Broncos
I mentioned them in the open, and I'm riding with them this week again.  They'll go to Detroit and face Matthew Stafford and the Lions.  With Stafford at less than 100%, and Denver tied for fourth in the league with 7 sacks through their first two games, as well as holding opposing QB's to a 45 QBR through the first two weeks, that's a pretty good recipe for a good scoring day for the Broncos' defense.

Carolina Panthers
The Panthers were already in my top 3 defenses even when I thought Brees might start.  He probably didn't partly because they have his number and Saints' brass knew his presence wasn't going to lead to a win.  Luke McCown isn't likely to fair much better.  Today should be a pretty one-sided affair in Carolina, in favor of the home team.

Seattle Seahawks
The only reason the Seahawks don't top my list, is because their ownership rate is nearly double that of the Broncos, and four times that of the Panthers.  Still, with superstar safety Kam Chancellor set to make his return to a home game against the Bears without their starting QB or top WR, and whom many think Forte might also take it a bit easier today, the Seahawks are certainly primed to play well today.  Unfortunately, they'll be owned by about 20% of owners, so I'm not sure they're the best play, although they very well may be the highest scoring.

That's what my top defensive picks look like today, in week 3 of the NFL for daily fantasy owners.  Stay tuned all week for insights, stats, breakdowns, and more!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

DFS NFL Week Three Plays

Now that football season is upon us, and I've finally finished my research and statistical measurement program, I'm ready to get fully into this DFS season!

First let me open up by saying that I don't do "stacks" like many DFS advisers.  At least not in the sense of the word like you might with a baseball lineup.  See in baseball, players build off one another.  If one guy hits a double it's just a double, but if the guy before him hit a double as well, then it's a double with an RBI.  If you have both those guys, you've got 2 doubles, a run, and an RBI on those two hits.  "Stacking" can be beneficial in this way.

In football however, players DO NOT build off one another in this way.  While there are certainly some symbiotic relationships (QB to WR) that work well, overall there are a certain amount of plays, and if you're throwing the ball into the end zone, you can't be running it in.  Myself, I look for a QB-WR or QB-TE connection against a poor defense to build off of, then add in running backs facing poor rush defenses, (not from the same team as the QB-Receiver combo), then tend to add a dominant receiver, a few value players, and my defense (not the defense my main QB-receiver combo is facing).

I play primarily on Draft Kings these days, just a personal preference over Fan Duel.  My advice will primarily be geared around DK lineups, scoring, and costs.  At some point I'll go back over to Fan Duel, but not now anyway. I'll be basing my advice around these "building blocks", giving "lock" plays, "value" plays, and a few  guys to sprinkle in around them.  Week 3 in the NFL stacks up like this: So without further ado, here are my picks for week three in the NFL:

Building Blocks
This week in the NFL I think I've got a great QB-WR combo to build around that you can save some money, and fill in some superstars into the empty slots.  Always helps when you're not spending your big money on the two main guys you're building around I find.  Here's my value lineup building blocks:
QB Ryan Tannehill
WR Jarvis Landry
Miami is home to a top ten passing attack this year, built around the connection between 4th year QB Tannehill and Landry, a receiver in his sophomore season, both trying to make their mark on the league, and doing fairly well working together.  Thus far this season, Landry has been targeted 22 times and caught 16 of them.  While he hasn't yet found the end zone, he's pulled in 163 yards, and eclipsed 100 in his second game this season.  Meanwhile, the Bills have given up the second most yards through the air in the league-and that's in two games in windy Buffalo.  This weekend, the Dolphins will face the Bills in Miami, where the weather may be a bit better and the opposing team's QB is sure to be more comfortable on his own home turf.  Look for Tannehill and Landry to put up big numbers this week, especially given their respective costs of 6700 and 6400.
This week's lock for building blocks is easy:
QB Tom Brady             7700
WR Julian Edelman      7000
TE Rob Gronkowski     7400
Now, while the price on these three is up there a bit, and the three alone will eat up more than 40% of your available cap space, it should be well worth it.  Brady has been on a tear in the opening two games, and Jacksonville-while improved-doesn't exactly have an impenetrable, stalwart defense, giving up 260 a game through the air.  Their rushing defense is fairly good however, and so I expect the Patriots to exploit their weaknesses-as is the Patriot way-by attacking them through the air.  I'd also expect Edelman and Gronk to get the bulk of the targets-possibly as many as 35-40 between the two of them.  They should be easy plays this week.

Big Money
RB: Eddie Lacy As for the big money guys this week, I'm going to go with RB Eddie Lacy (presuming he plays) against a KC defense that's ranking near the bottom of the league this year vs. the run.  Lacy will cost you $7,200, but should produce if he's playing.
WR: Antonio Brown I've gotta go with Brown on this one.  He's going up against the Rams, who have let Jermaine Kearse go for 8 catches and 76 yards on them, then Jordan Reed of the Redskins put up 6 for 82 the next week, in a game that saw the running backs of Washington tear into the Rams for 182 and 2 touchdowns on the ground.  I can only imagine the abuse Brown will inflict on them
RB: Devonta Freeman Tevin Coleman went down last week, and Freeman picked up where he left off, carrying the ball 12 times for 25 yards and one touchdown.  Look for Freeman to get the bulk of the carries in Coleman's absence, perhaps all of them really.
WR: Dante Moncrief-Luck and the Colts have started the year poorly, with their offense sputtering behind the young QB, still struggling to take his place amongst the top talents in the league.  In week 3 however, they go to Tennessee, where they'll be facing a team that hasn't beaten them in years.  Weather should be friendly, and Luck should be looking downfield, looking to establish this offense against an old, familiar foe.  Look for Moncrief to benefit a great deal from Luck's throws.