Friday, October 30, 2015

NFL Week 8 Effective Touch Leaders

In this week's effective touch leaders, I'll raise your awareness of several running backs both getting a good amount of opportunity, and making use of that opportunity.  I'm looking at running backs' targets, attempts, catches, and the production from those.  I'm making this list a little long, as I'm including two guys from last night's game, and that won't particularly help your fantasy hopes this weekend.

Dion Lewis, New England Patriots
Lewis leads the pack, primarily due to 7.5 targets per game, that he turns into over 58 yards a game.  He's got 4 receiving touchdowns, and 2 rushing touchdowns as well, for almost 1 per game.  His 7.5 carries a game added in, give him 15 opportunities per game to produce, and he's been doing a lot with those opportunities, averaging 6.32 yards per.  That's pretty impressive.  With Tom Brady throwing the ball, and Draft Kings being PPR leagues, there's no reason to think he won't continue being one of the most valuable backs in the league this year.

Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams
Gurley and his ridiculous 6 yards per rush average this season bring him to second on this list almost on their own without targets.  Which is good, because he's almost completely uninvolved in the passing game, getting just 8 targets (of which he's caught 7) all season.  The only weak part of his game thus far has been the touchdown output, which has been just 2 overall (both rushing) so far.  Look for him to add to that this weekend, against the Browns' defense.

Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins
Prior to last night's debacle against the Patriots, in which he rushed just 9 times, for only 15 yards and a touchdown, I'm sure Miller's numbers were a lot better, but this morning he's bringing an average of 5.5 yards per rush to the table, adding in just over 3 targets per game, and coming in third with an overall of 5.94 yards per opportunity-and he's getting A LOT more opportunities as of late.  Granted, he didn't produce against the Patriots, but that defense is underrated.  Pick him up in future weeks, depending on the matchup.

Karlos Williams, Buffalo Bills
While Williams is currently a bit broken, and the Bills are on a bye week so he won't help you much this week, he still belongs on this list, according to the production he's put up thus far.  He's averaging just over 5.5 yards per opportunity, and getting almost 12 opportunities per game-mostly on the ground.  When he comes back from concussion, he should continue that trend.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The muscle hamster has made a comeback this season, and he's rounding out the 5th place on the effective touch list this week, averaging 5.45 yards per opportunity, and headlining that production with 18 rushes per game for just about 90 yards a game.  He'll be a great play this weekend against a weak Falcons' rush defense.

Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
The real surprise about Freeman's inclusion on this list is his placement outside the top 5, but the numbers don't lie right?  He's currently putting up 5.32 yards per opportunity, and 5.64 yards per touch.  He gets a few more opportunities in the passing game than some of the guys on this list, giving him about 25 opportunities per game.  The combination of workload and capitalization of that opportunity probably makes him the most valuable back on this list, if not the most productive per opportunity, by the numbers.

Chris Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Chris Johnson has shocked the league, making a bit of a stunning comeback at age 30, after disappointing for several years after his 2,000 yard rushing season.  His 5.24 yards per opportunity show that his numbers are legit, and his 22 opportunities per game show the coaches' confidence in him.  Keep him playing, and keep winning that money!

NFL Week 8 High Value Targets

Sorry this week's "High Value Targets" piece is coming out a bit late.  My son had surgery yesterday, so I took the day off and spent a lot of time the day before prepping.  Thanks for your understanding, I hope this information still helps you win in your leagues this weekend!  So without further high value targets for week 8!

WR Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
Stefon Diggs makes a big jump from "high value pick" to leading receiver in my high value picks after just 3 games due to his off the charts production over that time.  Over the course of those 3 games, he's been targeted 27 times, and he's caught 19 of them for a 70.3% catch rate.  He's turned those catches into 324 yards, for an average of 17.1 per catch and a staggering 12 per target, almost a full yard per target ahead of the second receiver on this list.  While he has only managed to convert one of those 19 catches into a touchdown, a .05 TD rate per reception is still higher than guys like Jeremy Maclin or Antonio Brown, and right on par with a guy like Keenan Allen, who has been tearing up fantasy leagues this year.  Look for Diggs to add some more touchdowns as he continues to get settled into the offense in Minnesota this week against Chicago, one of the worst defenses in the league.

WR John Brown, Arizona Cardinals
Over 11 yards per target is what earned John Brown second on this list.  He's being targeted more than 7 times a game, and reeling in at least 5 of them for what amount to over 80 yards per game.  Basically, every time he's being targeted he's earning you 1.8 points.  That's a pretty good floor.  And he's been doing it all season, for 7 games and 5 of them as a listed starter.  While he's listed as questionable this week, he may just be worth the risk to some of you out there due to his production being off the charts.

WR AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals
Green is a name that shouldn't surprise anyone being on this list.  In fact, it surprised me he wasn't on it last week.  He's one of the 5 best receivers in the league in my opinion, and should be a lock for this list every week.  Through 6 games right now, he's being targeted more than 8 times per game, and catching almost 6 of those balls each game, for a 71.4% catch rate.  The 531 yards he's turned all those catches into give him an average of 10.8 yards per target, for third in the league among players being targeted a minimum of 5 times per game.  He's only turned 3 catches into touchdowns so far, but I expect him to add to that total at a slightly faster clip, perhaps 8 touchdowns in the final 10 games.  Use him with confidence each and every week, especially those when he faces an easy match up, like this weekend in Pittsburgh.

WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
"Father Time is undefeated".  You've heard the saying many times.  I'd very much like the person who coined that phrase to explain both Tim Duncan, and Larry Fitzgerald to me.  Maybe Tom Brady also.  These three guys are beating down Father Time.  Fitzgerald here has the best catch rate and touchdown rate of any receiver on this list at 77.9% and 13% respectively.  He's averaging 13.5 yards per reception, for a 10.54 per target average, and pulling in 6.5 catches a game on about 8 and a half targets a game.  On top of that 88 yards per game, he's averaging a touchdown a game.  So basically when you draft Fitzgerald to your DFS team, you're drafting 6 catches, 89 yards, and a touchdown.  That's 21 points.  That's a RIDICULOUS floor.  Draft him with confidence each and every week.

WR Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
Rookie Amari Cooper was projected to hit the ground running in the NFL, and he's done just that, racking up 519 yards through the air in his first 6 games, and doing it against some tough competition at times, most notably Jason Varrett of the Chargers last Sunday.  This week he faces Darrelle Revis, and while I'm not sure I'd bet the house on him putting up a 100 yard game, I'm not sure I'd bet against him either.  He's being targeted more than 8 times a game, and while he has the lowest catch rate of any wideout on this list with just 66%, the catches he's making are going for distance, with an average of 15.7 yards per reception.  He's not yet a match-up proof guy, but he's getting there.

TE Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski-not surprisingly-occupies the top tight end spot on this list, pulling in almost 6 catches a game for a jaw dropping 92 yards per game, a staggering amount for a tight end.  He's averaging a touchdown per game, with 7 in 7 games, and doesn't appear to be slowing up any.  He's nearly an unstoppable force in the league, and playing with perhaps the best quarterback to ever play in the league.  I don't see any reason to not build entire lineups around Gronk every week, he's totally match up proof and should be started with confidence anytime.

RB Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers
As I mentioned in my value plays article this week, Woodhead leads the league in receptions for a running back, so it shouldn't surprise anyone to see his name on this list as the top back.  QB Phillip Rivers is targeting him almost 7 times a game, and he's pulling in more than 5 of those balls, averaging more than 58 yards per game through the air.  That's 11 yards a reception, 8 yards a target, and a 78% catch rate.  Pretty good numbers for a running back priced in the mid 4000's every week, in ppr style (draft king) leagues.  That's 10.8 points you're starting each game with, before you talk about any running he might throw in, any big plays, or any touchdowns.  Not a bad way to live as a fantasy owner.

Daily Fantasy Advisor: NFL DFS Week 8 Value Plays

I took the day off of writing yesterday, as my son had surgery.  I'll make up for it today.  I almost never include Thursday night games in my advice anyway, so it shouldn't affect anything I'd have said yesterday.  Here are your value plays for week 8 in the NFL:

Value Stack
Andy Dalton/Tyler Eifert $11,300 combined price.

Is Eifert "unblockable"? The Steelers
will find out this Sunday.
Somehow, despite being the leading scorer in fantasy for a good chunk of the season, and still being in the top 5 after his bye week, Andy Dalton continues to fly under the DFS radar.  At just $6,000, he's $2,300 cheaper than say...Tom Brady.  And according to his week by week point scores this season, you'll get about the same impact.  Pair him with Eifert.  Eifert has been having a great season, and they're headed to Pittsburgh, who gives up an average of 18.1 ppg in draft kings leagues to the opposing tight end.  They've faced three uber-talented TE's so far this year:
Rob Gronkowski caught 5 passes for 94 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Antonio Gates caught 9 passes for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Travis Kelce caught 5 passes for 73 yards.
Eifert is what some players have been calling "unblockable" as a tight end, and should perform well against the coverage of Ryan Shazier, who just hasn't proven he can cover tight ends, but should pick up the assignment nonetheless.  At $11,300, this stack is a GREAT value.  Compare it to other stacks like Brady/Edelman ($16,400) or Rivers/Allen ($14,300), or Eli and Odell ($15,100) and you can see you're saving a significant amount to spend at other positions.  Despite the toughness of an in division matchup, many are predicting this Cinci-Pitt game to be a high scoring game, look for Dalton to be pushing for a big win, and pushing it down the field whether he's ahead or behind.  This is a statement game for the Bengals, where they have the opportunity to really put their stamp on the AFC North against a fully healthy Steelers team.  I think Dalton and Eifert capitalize.

Value Back
Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers $4,500
Last week, Woodhead put up over 33 points for his owners (probably about 2% of teams) reeling in two touchdowns through the air.  I'm looking for him to put up a comparable performance Sunday, when the Chargers travel to Baltimore.  I think the Chargers will struggle, west coast teams traveling for a 1pm start often do.  However, I think a large part of their game plan will be quick outs to Danny Woodhead, and see what he can turn it into.  Baltimore is 24th in the league in allowing receiving yards to running backs this season.  Meanwhile, Woodhead averages the most (58.1) receiving yards per game among running backs.  Look for him to raise that average a bit this weekend.

Value Receiver
Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings $4,800
Diggs continues to impress in Minnesota.
You're not going to stop hearing Stefon Diggs' name from me or many other fantasy experts and analysts until his price goes up a bit.  He's an incredibly talented receiver currently acting as Teddy Bridgewater's favorite target.  Now, that's not exactly the same value as being the favorite target of a Brady or Rodgers, but it'll get him 8-10 looks a game, and since starting his career in the NFL he's been turning those 8-10 looks into around 100 yards and a touchdown.  Look for him to continue that trend this weekend, The Bears are 27th in the league in giving up fantasy points to WR's, and I don't think they'll be able to change that by stopping Diggs this weekend.  Look for him to score 20+ this weekend.

Value Tight End
Owen Daniels, Broncos, $2,900
I think Daniels could be a sneaky good buy here.  The Packers are 24th in the league against TE's, allowing 14 fantasy points per game to them thus far.  Now, they've played some good tight ends (Antonio Gates, Travis Kelce, Martellus Bennett, and Jimmy Graham among them) but that's still a weakness that Peyton may try to exploit.  The Packers are a better defense than a lot of people realize, and I think they'll be shutting down many of his other options, so Daniels may be the security blanket type of check down look Peyton settles on.  That could very well result in a decent fantasy day for him.  At just $2,900 it might be worth the risk.

Value Defense
Will Greg Hardy be the key to a great Cowboys defensive
performance on Sunday?
Cowboys, $2,700
I think the Cowboys could be a great pick up on defense this weekend.  They face the weakest offensive line in the league, in the Seahawks, who have allowed a league leading 31 sacks of their quarterback.  This, despite less dropbacks than most other teams, as they feature a strong running game with Marshawn Lynch.  Dallas on the other hand, has 13 sacks on the year, with 10 coming in the last three games.  They're averaging 3.5 per game since the return of Greg Hardy, who himself is averaging 1.5 sacks per game since returning.  This should lead to 4-6 Dallas sacks this weekend.  I expect this game to be an ugly defensive, grind it out type contest.  I think ultimately the Seahawks win, but they don't score a lot of points to do so, and give up quite a few sacks and maybe even a pick along the way.  (I'm also playing the Seahawks' defense in several stacks this week, they're just expensive so not a value pick.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Daily Fantasy Advisor: NFL Week 8 DFS So Many Stacks!

Week 8 is the week of stacks in my opinion.  I'll be running stacks around several premier QB/WR combos, all playing in what I consider favorable match ups.  Here are five of them:

Eli Manning/Odell Beckham Jr, NY Giants at New Orleans
Manning and the Giants face off against New Orleans this weekend, ranked 2nd worst in the league when it comes to giving up points to the opposing team's quarterback.  I'm looking for Eli to take full advantage with Odell Beckham Jr reportedly feeling like his hamstring issues are getting much better.  Shane Vereen could very well have a decent game this weekend also, as New Orleans' defense is among the worst in the league against receiving backs.

Matt Ryan/Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs Tampa Bay
The Falcons host the Buccaneers this weekend, and will no doubt be looking to take advantage of a pass defense that gives up the third most points in the league to opposing QB's, and 8th worst in the league to opposing WR's.  This should be a week you stack Ryan and Julio up, and ride to victory.  Tampa's definite weakness on defense is against the pass, as opposed to the run, so Ryan and Julio might just be a better play this weekend than Devonta Freeman.

Alex Smith/Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs vs Detroit
I think Smith and Maclin is a sneaky stack this week, that a lot of folks won't use, so it should play great in GPP's.  Detroit is currently giving up the 10th most points to opposing QB's, at 21.1 per game, and they rank 5th worst against the WR, at 43 points per game, meaning it should be a solid day for Maclin and the other receivers (the Chiefs do have other receivers...right?).  They're also tenth  worst against opposing TE's, so Kelce should be able to pick up some of the receiving load.

Phillip Rivers/Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers at Baltimore
Rivers and Allen will be rolling into Baltimore this weekend looking to throw for as many yards as possible against a defense that has made guys like Josh McCown and Colin Kaepernick look like Joe Montana and Steve Young. (Sorry, couldn't think of a great Browns QB-are there any?).  Baltimore is the second worst team in the league against opposing receivers, surrendering 47.9 points per game to
them.  Look for plenty of those points to go Keenan Allen's way this Sunday.  The Ravens do rank 24th in the league when it comes to receiving yards going to the opposing team's RB, and Woodhead ranks first in the league among RB's with 6.7 targets per game for about 58 yards per game.  Look for the Chargers to capitalize on that weakness in the defense.

Andy Dalton/AJ Green Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh
Dalton and the Bengals are a bit of a tricky pick for me here.  It's an in division game, at their rival's home stadium.  Makes me a bit leery about picking them.  But it's hard to ignore Pittsburgh's poor pass defense, ranking 20th against receivers and 19th against QB's.  The only spot on the field they really shut down is tight end, where they rank 2nd in the league, so maybe leave Green and Gates on the bench this weekend.  Pittsburgh is 24th in the league against receiving backs, so Giovanni Bernard might just be a sneaky play this weekend.  Also, they let up the 4th most points to opposing TE's.  Look for Eifert to have a big weekend.

Daily Fantasy Advisor: NBA DFS Value Plays October 28, 2015

After a great opening night last night, the 2015-2016 NBA season really kicks into full swing tonight, bringing a full slate of games with 28 teams in action.  I'll bring you a guy at each position that looks to be either a great value, a great play, or both.  Here you go:

PG: Ty Lawson, Houston Rockets $6,200
Ty Lawson has the rare honor of opening up the season against the team that traded him for peanuts (four role players and a protected pick) in the off-season.  He'll have the added bonus of facing a brand new rookie, drafted to replace him.  It almost makes me feel bad for Emmanuel Mudiay, who is going to be in for quite an NBA debut.  He'll be coming off a hamstring injury, against one of the quickest guards in the league, who will have a bit of an ax to grind against him, for nothing Mudiay himself did, in the first real NBA action he's ever seen.  I'm just not jealous of Mudiay.  Look for Lawson to make a point of having a great game, and be well worth the price.

SG: Monta Ellis, Indiana Pacers $7,000
Monta isn't a value pick by the sort of "$3,000-$4,000 price tag" definition, but I think this game he comes up big in his first time out as a Pacer.  Last season he faced the Raptors twice, both times Demar DeRozan was playing, and Ellis easily won both matchups.  DeRozan went a combined 21-29 for 18 total points in the two contests.  Monta on the other hand, was 20 of 40 for a total of 50 points on 50% shooting from the field, including 44% shooting from behind the arc.  Monta should come out strong in this game, probably putting up 20-25 points on solid shooting numbers, including a few three pointers.

SF: Marcus Morris, Detroit Pistons $4,500
For the second night in a row, I see Morris as a smart buy, for all the same reasons as yesterday.  A tall 3 who can shoot the 3 is going to stretch the floor and cause all kinds of problems for the defense.  I think he'll put in work against Utah, going double digits in points and grabbing 6-8 rebounds with a few three pointers thrown in as well.  If you ask me, that's enough of a bottom line to justify his price, at just $4,500.

PF: David Lee, Boston Celtics $5,400
I think David Lee is a solid buy Wednesday night, at just $5,400.  He'll be starting in the Celtics' lineup, and despite a deep bench in the front court behind him, I expect he'll be productive.  I think the Celtics' strategy early this season may very well be to let Thomas and Lee ball out, and hope to attract some decent trade offers from teams like the Lakers, stocked with young talent but looking to win now.  That could bode well for dfs owners early on, until Lee's price catches up to his production and minutes.  One way or another, Lee should be adding about 7-10 minutes per game to his last season average, and since his current price is based on those minutes, he's a good value buy.

C: Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors $6,200
Jonas has a great match up here, as Indiana is very poorly staffed at the center position, and in the front court in general.  To the point that they're trying to play a reluctant Paul George at the 4.  Jonas is an athletic center with a solid interior offensive game and he should be able to capitalize on the good matchup here.  DeRozan will spend energy chasing Monta, and Lowry will be looking for someone to score the ball.  Valanciunas just might be the one to answer the call.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

NBA DFS: Daily Fantasy Advisor NBA Value Plays of the Night

The NBA season opens tonight, and so I'll bring you my first value plays column of the season.  Each column, I'll try to give you at least one guy from each position that's a solid value play and why.  Here are a few players that are under priced tonight, and could help you win big:

Nate Robinson, PG, New Orleans Pelicans $3,000
One of the many contrasts between daily fantasy and season long fantasy that I enjoy, is that while in season long fantasy, injuries can be devastating to your season, in dfs injuries can often be used to seal a win.  Nate Robinson is going to be a prime example of that tonight.  He's solidified his role as the primary backup guard for the most part due to injuries to Tyreke Evans and Norris Cole, both of whom won't be available tonight.  With starter Jrue Holiday on a minutes restriction as he returns from an injury, Nate's all but guaranteed 25+ minutes tonight.  This is a guy who could blow up for 30 at any given time.  Give him a run for $3,000 tonight.

Kent Bazemore, SG, Atlanta Hawks $3,000
Kent Bazemore was just announced as the starting 3, having beat out Thabo Sefolosha for the spot.  Last time out against Memphis he put up 18 points with a pair of three pointers, assists, and rebounds, and he's put up double figures in points 3 of the last 5 games out.  At $3,000, he gives you adequate production, and would allow you to spend money elsewhere.

Marcus Morris, SF, Detroit Pistons $4,500
Another guy who recently earned a starting role, Morris put up a double-double last time out (17 and 10) with 3 assists, a block, and a steal added in for good measure.  He'll be getting 25-30 minutes tonight, and that last double-double included 5 of 6 from the three point line, so there's a good chance he adds a few of them in there as well.  He'll be playing the Hawks tonight, who are starting Bazemore at the 3, who Morris has a full 4-5 inches in height on, and Korver at the 2, who isn't really known for his defensive prowess.  This all could lead to some solid production from the 3 spot on the Pistons.  Whether you play Morris or backup Stanley Johnson is up to you, they'll probably get almost about even minutes, but Morris costs $200 less, so that makes him the better value tonight.

Ryan Anderson, PF, New Orleans Pelicans, $5,000
Ryan Anderson is another guy who will benefit from the New Orleans injury bug, as both Omer Asik and Alex Ajinca will be out tonight.  This leaves the center duties to either Anthony Davis or Kendrick Perkins, and the power forward duties primarily to Ryan Anderson.  Anderson can stretch the floor with the three point shot, and grab some rebounds, so he should produce, given the minutes and shot opportunities.  With everyone focused on Davis, he just might get those looks too.  If starting him can mean the ability to line up multiple superstars at other positions, he might be the value you're looking to buy.

Anderson Varejao, C, Cleveland Cavaliers, $3,400
Coming off an injury shortened season that ended almost as soon as it began, Varejao could be a great value buy if he gets the minutes.  As it is, he's the backup to starter Timofey Mozgov, and probably slated for about 20 minutes per game.  He's a high energy guy though, who's never really been limited by the minutes he plays in that regard. He's always got the ability to come off the bench, grab double digits in rebounds, and put up a few points as well as he gets his team headed in the right direction.  Additionally, Mozgov recently reported still being a bit bothered by his surgically repaired right knee, so it's likely Varejao sees an increased role right off the bat.  Especially with Love also returning from injury, and Thompson having just recently signed his new deal, no idea how long it'll take him to get back into the swing of things.  Look for Varejao to play solid minutes tonight in Chicago against the Bulls.

Monday, October 26, 2015

NFL DFS: Daily Fantasy Advisor-Monday/Thursday slate

I'm running a bit late with this one tonight,, ya know.  Anywho, a quick preview of the Monday/Thursday lineups, who's playable, and who you should steer clear from:

People forget the Arizona's passing game isn't their only weapon
Carson Palmer and his receivers, Cardinals
I've called them a trap play this week, but simultaneously they're a no brainer play.  It's because of that, that I think they're a bit of a trap play.  Teams winning by a lot rarely put up big numbers from the QB/WR position.  I'm not sure this is the QB/WR I'D choose to stack in this lineup, but you can if you want to.

Chris Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
This is where I'd go with my pick from this game; CJ2K.  This guy is having a season that may just resurrect his career, and this is the perfect chance to capitalize on that.  A game the team should be winning from early on, you'll also want to be pounding the rock, and that's what CJ2K does.  I'm looking for him to have a solid game tonight.

Cardinals Defense
The Cardinals defense should be a good pick tonight.  The Ravens should be playing catch up, Flacco should be throwing it all over, and Arizona has some great young defensive backs that could easily end up with a pick or two.  I'm not looking for a lot of sacks here though, the Cardinals' defense just doesn't pressure the QB, and Flacco hasn't been sacked much this year.  I'm not sure that changes tonight, just a lot of throwing and opportunities for Patrick Peterson and company.
Can the Cardinals' pass defense continue dominating the competition
on Monday Night Football?

There's really only one player from Baltimore that I think is worth playing, and that's Steve Smith, Sr.  This wily ol' vet was the first on the field tonight practicing, and he's got too much pride to go down without a fight.  He's really Flacco's only target, and he'll be getting double teamed all night, but I just don't think it results in him putting up a stinker.  He's too proud, and too good.  Look for him to go 100+ tonight with a touchdown.  Remember, he won't get penalized for any picks Flacco throws...

Thursday night game Dolphins at Patriots

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins
Lamar Miller is almost an obvious choice, given the way the Dolphins offense has been trending the past few weeks.  Of course, the Patriots are coming off a week where they shut down AFC leading rusher Chris Ivory, so I'm not sure Lamar Miller will have the best game of his life, but he's still a solid play.

Tom Brady and his receivers
I'm going back to Brady and his boys this week against the Dolphins.  A few weeks ago we may have all thought this was a game New England would run away with, but the Dolphins always play them tough, and with their renewed spirit they may just present a bit of a challenge.  I expect this game to remain close for a while, and rely heavily upon Brady's arm throwing against a weak Dolphins secondary.

NBA-Daily Fantasy Advisor: Shooting Guard Ranks

James Harden, Houston Rockets
In stark contrast to the point guard position, where there was very little separation at the top, there's miles of separation at the 2 guard spot, where Harden is the undisputed fantasy king.  His combination of rebounding (over 5 per game), assists (nearly 6 per game), steals (2 per game), and scoring (27 points and 3 three pointers) has him easily leading this category at nearly 50 fantasy points per contest.  While the assists may go down a bit with the acquisition of Ty Lawson by the Rockets, his points will only go up, and he'll get better shots from three, probably making more of them.  This Houston team will be a fast team, scoring a lot of points, and Harden will lead that charge with probably 30 per game at least.

Monta Ellis, Indiana Pacers
Monta Ellis has long been one of the more underrated guards in the league.  He averages about 20 ppg throughout his career, and has a shot.  He's also almost never seen a shot he didn't like, a definite scoring mentality.  Scoring has been one of the things the Pacers have lacked over the years, and they'll look to ease the load from Paul George, as he returns to form from injury.  Look for coach Frank Vogel to give Ellis a pretty constant green light, and Ellis to cash in for both the Pacers and his owners, night to night and throughout the season.

Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
Last year Jimmy Butler made this Bulls team "his" team in the minds of many, and this year he looks to continue making that imprint on the Bulls and the rest of the league as he continues his development.  I'm looking for Butler to average about 20 ppg, and fill up the stat sheet elsewhere, leading to about 35 fantasy points per game.  He'll be a great addition to your lineups most nights.

Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers
As long as he's healthy, Kobe has to remain near the top of this list.  He's still a ball dominant scoring guard who has a light that never changes off green in his mind, and nobody willing to reel him in when he goes volume shooting mode.  This might be his last year in the league-or at least in LA-and I don't think Byron Russell will rock the ship too much.  As long as he's healthy, Kobe's gonna do what Kobe's gonna do, and that usually involves around 20-25 ppg with several threes thrown in.  Works for fantasy owners.  And us daily fantasy owners don't have to worry about season ending injuries until the night they happen, so while he's healthy, cash in if you can.

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Klay lives his NBA career in the shadow of reigning MVP Steph Curry, and it works for him to the tune of about 20 ppg, 3 three pointers per game, and significant contributions all over the stat sheet, crossing almost all categories.  He has a few too many turnovers for a 2 guard, and his assist/turnover ratio needs to be worked on from both ends overall, but he still makes fourth on this list, as a 2 guard on a night to night basis.

Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
I'm looking for Oladipo to take a big jump forward this year.  20-22 ppg, a few threes, and an increased leadership role in the offense and on the team should result in a top 5 fantasy guard this season.  Look for Oladipo's price to start low, and his production to out do it for a good long time on Draft Kings.

DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
DeRozan had a good year last year, save missing some games due to injury, regularly putting up 35, 40, even a few 50 fantasy point nights.  If he stays in good health this year, alongside a rejuvenated Kyle Lowry, I think his growth can continue, and he can perhaps move into the top 5 shooting guards in the league.  Right now, count on him for about 35 fantasy points per night, but don't be surprised if that total moves up some nights.

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Wade is an aging player who knows when he needs to take a step back in the interest of his long term career, and his team's overall success.  Basically, he's the player all Laker fans wish Kobe could be.  He's still going to produce when he's on the court though, and despite limited minutes I'm still expecting fantasy point totals in the low 30's most night.

Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks
Korver's value is high, despite a scoring average in the low teens, due to his three point shooting, which brings value not only in real life, but to fantasy owners.  Line him up if you're looking for a mid range cost guy to guy you something like 20-25 fantasy points in a night.

JJ Reddick, LA Clippers
Reddick is pretty much the same thing as Korver; a three point threat on both the court in real life and lineups in Draft Kings.  He doesn't bring a lot but his range, but that range can be deadly.  Add him into lineups you're looking to add about 20 points a night to.  He's a plug and play guy around building blocks, and perhaps a bit of a match up play also.

NFL DFS: Daily Fantasy Advisor Week 7 Top Performers

So each Monday I'll go through some of the weekend's top performers at each position so far, and later on in the day preview the week's Mon/Thur lineups, who looks good for them, who doesn't, and so forth.  Here are this week's top performers:

Lamar Miller, RB Miami Dolphins
New head coach Dan Campbell has, as I thought he would, changed the offensive philosophy in Miami and really emphasized running the ball, and toughness on the offensive line.  As a result, in the two games since he's taken over Lamar Miller has averaged 144 yards per game, whereas in the 4 games to start the season he'd totaled just 131 total rushing yards.  Yesterday he added a receiving element to his game, and finished with 175 rushing yards on 14 attempts (12.5 average), and 61 receiving yards on 3 catches, with a touchdown receiving and rushing, that left him with a total around 40 fantasy points (depending on ppr vs. standard) for the top fantasy performance of the weekend.

Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams
As I (and pretty much every other fantasy analyst in the country) predicted, Gurley had a big game.  Going up against the porous run defense of the Cleveland Browns, it was bound to happen.  The Browns just can't defend the run, and Gurley is good, and these two things combined to give Gurley 128 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, to go with 4 catches on 5 targets for 35 yards through the air, for a grand total of 35.3 points in Draft Kings leagues.  If you stacked Gurley and the Rams' defense like I told you to, you picked up an additional 25 points, for a grand total of 60 points on a 2 position stack you spent just $7,400 on.  What a value!  That's over 8 points per thousand spent!

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Hilton played in what most previewed to be the all-offense bowl, but what ended up being a rather tame game as far as passing offense goes, with only one QB going over 300 yards, and that one throwing multiple picks in the process.  However, Hilton was on the receiving end of the right 4 of Luck's passes, catching 2 big touchdowns including an 87 yard bomb that began the Colts' comeback attempt.  Ultimately, his two third quarter touchdowns weren't enough, as the Colts didn't quite pull
out the win.  Hilton probably lead (or will lead) a lot of owners to a win yesterday however, with the 34 points his performance earned for them.

Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
I'm a Mike Evans owner in a few of my long term leagues, and I've been shopping him (and Carlos Hyde) HARD this past week.  I bet I'll get some bites over the coming days after this performance.  After 12 targets resulted in 8 catches for 164 yards and a touchdown, Evans reminded owners why he is considered one of the better up and coming receivers in the game.  He was owned in about (or under) 5% of daily fantasy teams this weekend, I'm guessing that number ticks up a bit next weekend after this game.

Nate Washington, WR, Houston
Going into the weekend I told you Hoyer from the Texans and DeAndre Hopkins would have a big day against a lousy Miami pass defense.  Only thing was, it wasn't Hopkins that had the big day.  This time out, it was Nate Washington's turn as he caught 9 of 16 targets for 127 yards and two touchdowns while Hopkins acted as more of a diversion, being targeted 12 times for just 6 catches, 50 yards, and no touchdowns.  A bit of a disappointment for Hopkins owners (about 40% of leagues) but great for Nate Washington owners (pretty much nobody).

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins
How long has it been since two Dolphins have appeared on a list like this?  A while to my memory.  Tannehill beat out the likes of Andrew Luck, Phillip Rivers, and Tom Brady for the top QB to play so far this week, in completing 18 out of 19 passes for 282 yards, 4 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a QB rating of a perfect 158.3!  This guy was just on point, and made no mistakes.  I think the new offense in Miami helps take the pressure off Tannehill, allowing him to play more relaxed.  Wildly long catches where Jarvis Landry makes almost the entire opposing team miss don't hurt, but Tannehill also didn't make any mistakes, and that's really what he needs to keep doing to continue playing effectively in this offense.

Jacksonville Jaguars Defense
The Jaguars defense was on display in the early parts of the Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars game that was aired exclusively on Yahoo sports, online.  The Jags scored not one, but two defensive touchdowns on consecutive plays at one point, before giving up a 27-3 lead.  The offense ultimately won this game for them, but for a long time throughout this one it was hard to imagine the Bills moving the ball at all, let alone scoring the 31 points they did.  This defense wasn't quite as "stackable" as the Rams' defense, mentioned earlier in Todd Gurley's portion of this, but they outscored those Rams by 6 points in fantasy, so owners will take it.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Daily Fantasy Advisor: Strategy Guide GPP vs Head to Head

A lot of daily fantasy owners jump into daily fantasy, picking up players they like, or players that play for "their team" and don't put a lot of strategy behind it, basically throwing their money out there for guys like me to grab up.  Once you understand the strategy behind selecting your players, playing your lineups, and maximizing your dollars, you're in a great position to catch some of the money those folks are throwing away.  I'll continue to help you do just that with this strategy sessions series.
GPP vs Head to Head Roster Building
Playing GPP and playing H2H are two different animals in daily fantasy, and the lineups you build for them should be as well.  If they're not, you're basically playing to lose.  You shouldn't be out there building up lineups, and just throwing them in various GPP's AND H2H's, expecting to win.  Here's what you want to do:

For GPP tournaments, you're playing against massive fields.  The two factors you want to weigh when selecting players are ceiling and ownership percentage.  So you want a "this guy could go off" combined with a "nobody wants to buy him" for whatever reason.  Maybe people don't know about him, maybe he's too cheap or expensive, maybe he's being outshined by a player or two at his position and he flies under the radar.  Whatever the reason, he's YOUR "sleeper" essentially, and that's the guy you want to ride in GPP.  GPP tournaments are lineups you want to run like a Brian Hoyer/Nate Washington stack in, or a Landry Jones/Martavis Bryant stack in.  Sure you're not likely to win, but IF those guys go off, you're raking in cash, because nobody else built around that stack.  You're hoping to put together a lineup that will explode, and put out 250ish points.  That's more than 25 points per player.

For H2H matchups, what you're looking for is high floor players.  You're looking for guys that get a ton of regular use, and nobody will be surprised by their production.  You want safe picks, you also want to plan for about 150-175 points to take the win, more often than not.  That's about 17 points per player, much more reasonable to achieve than the GPP win, and much more common.  H2H's and Double Ups, this is what you want think.

I hope some of this helps people.  Good luck winning money out there!

NFL DFS: Week 7 Last Minute Injury Notes

As with every Sunday, today brings us some impactful last minute injury notes.  Here are a few, I'll update as news rolls in.

Dion Lewis
Dion Lewis won't be playing today.  This bumps up the value of LaGarrette Blount a bit, but I still don't expect a big day out of the running game today in New England.  Well, from the Patriots anyway.

Adrian Peterson
It was announced yesterday that AP's status had been downgraded to questionable due to illness.  I'm a little worried about that, and keeping an eye on him.  I may be pulling him from several lineups I've already got him set into.  I'll keep you all updated as I find out more.

Brandon LaFell
LaFell was reactivated this week from the PUP list, and is eligible to play.  I'm not sure if he will, but it would be very Belichickian of the Patriots to pull out a deep threat card just before the game, and to use him heavily when people might not see him coming.  If you're looking for someone to sprinkle into your lineups in GPP plays a bit, I might think about using LaFell.

Antonio Gates
Gates is a game time decision after not practicing all week with a strained MCL.  I'm looking for him to play however.  Both he and teammate Keenan Allen have injury issues to stay on top of, I'll keep an eye out and let you all know as soon as I do.

John Brown
This morning it's being reported that John Brown is limited today, and will be a game time decision.  This could help the value of both Larry Fitzgerald and Malcom Floyd, as Brown's targets will have to go to someone if he's not playing.  With the Cardinals game being Monday night however, that can be a frustrating thing for owners.  I'd just stay away from Brown this weekend.  No use playing anyone that's not a sure thing in DFS.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

NFL DFS: Week 7 Game Previews: One Player to Sit

As part of my new weekly schedule, I'll be releasing a Saturday feature called "One Player to Play" and "One Player to Sit" in which I'll go through each game in the upcoming weekend and give you a player from each to play, and a player from each to sit.  Here are your players to sit this weekend:

Buffalo at Jacksonville 9:30 a.m. 

Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville
The Bills have been very tough on opposing number one wideouts, holding the likes of Julian Edelman, AJ Green, and Odell Beckham Jr to less than 100 yards.  I expect shutdown corner Stephon Gilmore to do the same this weekend to Robinson.  That probably makes his opposite wideout Allen Hurns a great play, but it makes Robinson a "sit him" for this weekend.

Tampa Bay at Washington 1:00 p.m. 
Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay
I'd actually rule out the whole Bucs' passing game, maybe their whole offense in this game.  The Redskins are stout against the run, and not bad against the pass either, only allowing about 17 fantasy points per game to the QB's of opposing teams.  Winston himself has struggled a bit this season also, averaging about 235 yards passing and with a 1-1 td-int ratio, he's just not a good play against any defense for me, let alone one as good as the Redskins.  Sit Winston, sit Evans, and sit Jackson as well.

Atlanta at Tennessee 1:00 p.m. 
Any player from Tennessee
There just isn't a good play from the Titans this week.  Looking at it at first, you think the Falcons defense is one of the worst in the league against the running back, but with Mariota out you have to think they'll load up the box against the run and try to make Metternberger bet them through the air.  I have no idea if Mettenberger can do that, and I'm not willing to bet on it, which is essentially what you're doing by putting him in your lineup.  Don't do it.

New Orleans at Indianapolis 1:00 p.m. 
Either team's defense.
This game is going to be a shoot out between two talented quarterbacks facing two porous pass defenses.  Don't play either defense in this game, as they'll be giving up points in bunches.  I've got both quarterbacks, and receivers from both teams as good plays for the week, making the defenses bad ones.

Minnesota at Detroit 1:00 p.m. 
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, Detroit
Two weeks ago these two lost a lot of people's confidence against Arizona, including that of their coach, who benched his starting QB in favor of Dan Orlovsky (not a phrase uttered very often by those covering this league) after a 188 yard, 3 interception performance.  Then the next game (last week) they won a lot of those same people back over, with Stafford putting up 405 yards and 166 of that going to Megatron.  I worry too many people will be wooed by that, and want to play these two as a stack, against what some might perceive as a weak Vikings' defense.  But the truth of the Vikings' pass defense is that they're currently 10th and 4th in the league in giving up the least fantasy points to the other team's receiver and quarterback respectively.  I just don't think they have a good day this weekend.  Keep em benched.
Calvin Johnson may be on the downside of his career.

Pittsburgh at Kansas City 1:00 p.m. 
Charcandrick West, RB, Kansas City
Last week a lot of people (myself included to a limited extent I'll admit) talked about playing West as a value play, given the amount of snaps he'd likely see compared to the price Draft Kings was charging.  This week, I'm just not certain he'll get any production at all really.  The Steelers are allowing the 4th least fantasy points per game to running backs, and have faced truly talented starters like Todd Gurley, and Carlos Hyde.  I don't see West putting up any real numbers, in a game I think the Chiefs will be chasing the Steelers futilely, all afternoon.

Cleveland at St. Louis 1:00 p.m. 
Josh McCown, QB, Cleveland
For three games, everyone was really excited about Josh McCown as a starting QB in this league.  Then he played a decent defense, and everyone remembered why he's a backup, as he threw for just 213 yards and 2 picks while getting sacked 4 times by the top defense in the league.  He's coming into this week facing perhaps the toughest defensive line in the game, averaging more than 4 sacks per game this season.  With his own offensive line questionable at best, I just don't see McCown having a good game.  Sit his lead receiver Travis Benjamin as well.

Houston at Miami 1:00 p.m. 
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami
In his first game as head coach, Dan Campbell had the Dolphins run the ball 32 times and throw it just 29.  And Tannehill still managed to throw 2 picks against a middle of the pack pass defense in the Titans, and get sacked twice.  The Texans have a lot more talent on the defensive line, and should pressure Tannehill a bit more, perhaps into worse decisions and more picks.  He, and his lead receiver Jarvis Landry just aren't reliable plays this weekend.

NY Jets at New England 1:00 p.m. 
Tom Brady and Julian Edelman, QB/WR, New England
My fellow Patriot fans will hate me this week, but I just can't get behind playing the Patriots' offense this weekend.  The Jets' defense has been strong, and their strength-the defensive line-matches up against the Patriots' biggest weakness-the offensive line-this week.  I just don't know how it works out for the Pats.  Last weekend, Brady was able to compensate for the poor health of his offensive line by getting rid of the ball incredibly fast, but he wasn't playing against the likes of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie that game, so you have to imagine that game plan will change.  Brady will likely rely on Gronkowski, if anyone, but the Jets rank third in the league in giving up the least fantasy points per game to the tight end, so again, I just can't count on the Patriots in DFS this week.  Sit em.

Oakland at San Diego 4:05 p.m. 
Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland
Fantasy owners and DFS owners this year have begun what is likely to be a long love affair with Amari Cooper this year, but this weekend will be an early tiff in that affair, as Cooper goes up against Jason Varrett, lead cornerback for the Chargers who is playing as well as anyone in the league, shutting down the likes of AJ Green, Calvin Johnson, Antonio Brown, and Randall Cobb so far this season.  I doubt Amari Cooper in the 6th game of his career will be the receiver to figure that shutdown corner out.

Dallas at NY Giants 4:25 p.m. 
Joseph Randle, RB, Cowboys
The talk all week-really for the last two weeks-has been whether or not Randle will lose his job entirely to backup Christine Michael.  It doesn't appear he'll lose all his touches, but Michael WILL start eating into them, taking away from Randle's value.  McFadden will likely get the catches on receiving downs, so there's just not much fantasy value left for Randle there.  Even though the Giants are 8th worst in the league in giving up fantasy points to running backs, when you split those 27 points three ways that's just 9 points per back.  No real point in rostering that guy.

Philadelphia at Carolina 8:30 p.m. 
Like I said in my "one player to play" column earlier today, there's just nobody from this game that's a solid, reliable play.  Put both teams in the "sit em" category this weekend.

The Arizona secondary is poised to eat Joe Flacco's lunch Monday night
Baltimore at Arizona 8:30 p.m. (Monday)
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore
Flacco has been a solid disappointment as one of the league's few hundred million dollar players.  He'll be relied upon to carry his team this week, and he'll likely be playing from behind a lot, throwing the ball a lot...into one of the toughest pass defenses in the league, currently 9th in the league in fantasy points allowed to the opposing team's QB.  They also lead the league in interceptions, with 11.  Considering that Flacco has the Ravens tied for 5th in the league with 7 picks thrown, that's a pretty good recipe for the Cardinals' pass defense to have a great day, and a pretty lousy recipe for Flacco.  Keep him and his receivers benched this week.

NFL DFS: Week 7 Game Previews: One Player to Play

As part of my new weekly schedule, I'll be releasing a Saturday feature called "One Player to Play" and "One Player to Sit" in which I'll go through each game in the upcoming weekend and give you a player from each to play, and a player from each to sit.  Here are your players to play this weekend:

Buffalo at Jacksonville 9:30 a.m. 
LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
The Jaguars are the 5th worst team in the league when it comes to giving up points to opposing running backs, and McCoy ran hard and fast last week, coming off an injury that had held him out a few weeks early this season.  I think he builds off that 90 yard, 1 touchdown performance, runs it about 20 times for 100 yards and a score.

Tampa Bay at Washington 1:00 p.m. 
Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington
Crowder isn't a guy you're going to get a lot of points from, but at $3,700 you're really only looking to get about 12 points.  That translates to 5 catches for 70 yards.  I think that's a completely reasonable expectation for Crowder, and if he throws in a touchdown you're extra happy.  With DeSean Jackson continuing to be sidelined by a nagging hamstring injury, Crowder should get the targets to more than justify his cost.

Atlanta at Tennessee 1:00 p.m. 
Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons
It seems to me that Freeman is flying just a bit under the radar this weekend.  I've heard a few people warn about picking him up vs. a stingy Tennessee run defense, but I think that's misleading.  While the Titans have allowed the third fewest fantasy points per game to running backs thus far, they've faced very few good running teams as well.  When they have, they gave up 86 yards and two touchdowns to an aging Frank Gore, 76 yards on the ground to Tyrod Taylor, and finally 113 yards and a touchdown to Lamar Miller, giving him his first real breakout performance of the year.  If Miller can do it, Freeman definitely can do it.  People who think the Titans defense might stop Freeman, forget his 153 yards against the Redskins, who at the time were the top defense vs. the running back and with that game were knocked out of the top 5.  Ride Freeman to another fantasy win this weekend.

New Orleans at Indianapolis 1:00 p.m. 
Anyone involved in either team's passing game.
The Saints are giving up the second most points to opposing team's QB's while the Colts are giving up the third most points to opposing team's WR's.  This tells us all one thing: it's gonna be a high scoring, lots of passing game.  While the Colts' d-backs are a bit better, as evidenced by their middle of the pack rank in fantasy points vs. the QB (usually a signifier of interceptions, correct signifier here, given that the Colts have 6 of vs. the Saints' 2) both QB's and all three "big name" receivers (Moncrief, Hilton, and Snead) going into this game are solid plays.

Minnesota at Detroit 1:00 p.m. 
Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
The Vikings' defense is a bit underrated.  I expect them to keep the Lions' offense off the field, and the coaching staff to capitalize on that by pounding the ball with Peterson as often as possible.  Peterson already got the Lions for 134 yards earlier in the season.  Look for him to duplicate that performance, and perhaps add a touchdown in this week for more of a 20-25 point fantasy game.

Pittsburgh at Kansas City 1:00 p.m. 
Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh
Bryant is a popular name this week among NFL analysts and fantasy gurus, and with good reason.  After Landry Jones took over the Steelers' offense last week, Bryant appeared to hit a real groove, finishing his first game back with 6 catches on 8 targets for 137 yards and two touchdowns.  Whether it's Jones or Roethlisberger makes an unexpected comeback, look for Bryant to build off that performance against a weak Kansas City pass defense currently giving up the most points per game to opposing wideouts.

Cleveland at St. Louis 1:00 p.m. 
Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis
Gurley, like Bryant before this is a popular name this week, and again it's with good reason.  The Browns have made pretty much every running back they've faced this year look like Jim Brown, giving up yards in bunches and resulting in them being the 4th worst team in the league when it comes to giving up fantasy points in DK leagues to the opposing running back.  Gurley's been averaging about 130 yards per game, while the Browns have been giving up about 130 yards per game.  Those two numbers could very well end in Gurley rushing for 200 yards this game.

Houston at Miami 1:00 p.m. 
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston
Hopkins has been the best receiver in the league this season, and the Dolphins give up the 12th most fantasy points per game to the opposing team's wide receivers this season.  I think Hoyer and Hopkins are a great sneaky stack play this week, and could very well lead the right teams to wins in GPP, so I'm suggesting taking Hopkins.

NY Jets at New England 1:00 p.m. 
Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets
The Patriots come into this game 22nd in the league against the running back, giving up 113 yards per game on the ground despite having faced no real talent at the running back spot, and no real "running teams" this season.  The Jets are a big, strong running team who are going to come into this game looking to physically punish and pound a physically weaker, more stylish/finesse type team in the Patriots.  Ivory should get a ton of touches this week, especially with backup Bilal Powell reportedly out.  Look for him to produce against their division rival, and perhaps lead the Jets to handing the Patriots their first loss of the year.

Oakland at San Diego 4:05 p.m. 
Phillip Rivers, QB, Chargers
The Raiders are the worst team in the league against the opposing team's tight end, and the Chargers might have the best pair of tight ends in the league in terms of physical talent, when it comes to Ladarius Green and Antonio Gates.  There have been a lot of rumors about Gates' MCL, but I just don't buy it.  I think Gates comes into this game raging, putting up big numbers against an old in division foe playing particularly poorly against his position.  I'm not sure he has the two touchdowns he had last week, but I don't think a 90-110 yard performance with 1 touchdown is out of the question.  I don't think a 200 yard, 3 touchdown performance is out of the question either.  High floor, high ceiling here.  Play Gates.

Dallas at NY Giants 4:25 p.m. 
Jason Witten, TE, Dallas
The Giants are 2nd worst in the league in surrendering points to opposing team's tight ends, at 18.9 per game, including a game earlier in the season against the Cowboys themselves in which they gave up 60 yards and 2 touchdowns to Witten himself, good for 26 points.  Witten continues to remain the Cowboys' only real offensive weapon, so look for him to be heavily involved in the passing game this weekend.

Philadelphia at Carolina 8:30 p.m. 
Don't play anyone from this game!
I seriously just can't settle on one single player to play from this game.  A lot of people are saying Cam Newton is a great play here, but I just don't see it.  If you look back to last season, you'll see Chip Kelly had Cam pretty well figured out, with his defense picking Newton off 3 times, and holding him to just 6 yards on the ground.  They throw a spy or two on him, cover the heck out of Olsen, and Cam has very few reasonable options.  I think the same happens here, and this is an ugly game full of turnovers from both teams, with someone grinding out an ugly win.  Don't get involved in this for fantasy purposes though, there's just no solid picks.

Baltimore at Arizona 8:30 p.m. (Monday)
Carson Palmer and his receivers, Arizona
This is such an obvious play, I also picked them as my "trap play of the week" earlier this week.  Still, this is one of those rare instances where the "trap play" is such a good play I can't not suggest playing them as well.  Run em in cash games where you're looking for a high floor, but not in GPP's as everyone will own them and I don't see explosive point totals out of them.

Friday, October 23, 2015

NFL DFS: 5 Players to Avoid in Week 7

Today being Friday, I'll bring you 5 guys from my contrarian lineups, that I absolutely won't count on this week.

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
There's a lot of Patriots on this list this weekend, and it hurts me to do it, as a Pats fan by birth, but I have to.  The Jets' defense is just too good, the Patriots' offensive line has been crumbling due to injury, piece by piece and they matchup vs. the Jets' strength in the d-line.  It's not going to be good.  Last week Brady was able to make up for his line's deficiencies by getting rid of the ball with lightning quickness, but against the cornerbacks of the Jets, and a defense ranked number one vs. the tight end this season, it'll be interesting to see how Tom responds.  While as a fan I hope he figures it out, as an owner I'm just not counting on it.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
The Vikings' pass defense is a bit underrated by fans this season, and I'm not sure people realize how much Stafford was feasting on a poor pass defense vs. the Bears last week.  I think there will be a lot of people buying on Stafford based on last week's performance, and not looking at the match up in front of him where they should be.  Don't be one of them.  He's going to put up less than 15 points this weekend.

Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots
Dion Lewis is another Patriot that I love, and I've ridden to many victories this season, but this weekend I just can't count on him.  The Jets' defense is too tough, and while he's the guy I'd expect Brady to be dumping the ball to, and I'd play him in a season long ppr league, I just can't justify spending the cash on him as a DFS play this weekend, where I NEED guys to produce each week.  Lewis won't be in any of my regular lineups this weekend.

Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
Cooper and the Raiders face the league's number one fantasy defense against WR, primarily due to the play of their number one cornerback, who has been shutting down opposing team's number one wideouts.  If anyone in the Raiders' receiving corps is going to have a decent game this weekend, it'll likely be Crabtree.  Keep Cooper out of your lineups this weekend.

Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
Edelman would have appeared on this list no matter who the Pats were playing, as I owned him last week and watched him fade immediately after breaking his finger.  I've watched Brady for years, and he loses trust QUICK.  I'm not saying he'll lose trust in Edelman overall, but I don't think he's going to rely on the broken finger catching real well, after his drops last week.  I think Brady cools off Edelman's targets for a few weeks while that finger heals up.  Look for his targets to dip down to maybe 8, just not enough to justify rostering him this weekend.