With season-long fantasy football officially ending last week, I thought it would be a good time to put out another DFS breakdown. This week’s slate is among the most challenging we’ve had all year due to a couple factors. First off, the pricing is extremely tight. This makes roster construction difficult because we end up playing guys that may or may not be good plays (this makes us less confident in our lineups). There is not much value that allows us to play guys such as Antonio Brown, Leveon Bell, Jimmy Graham, etc. Also, the slate is egregious. With Oakland vs Houston bosting an over/under of 37, 25% of our slate has disappeared because no one wants to expose themselves to such an awful game. I still think there are edges to be had and I’ll try to hit on a few of my favorite plays at each position (no particular order).
QB: Big Ben, Russell Wilson, Matt Moore, Aaron Rodgers
RB: LeVeon Bell, Zach Zenner, Paul Perkins, Lamar Miller, Jay Ajayi
WR: Doug Baldwin, Antonio Brown, Anquan Boldin, Odell, Paul Richardson, Kenny Stills
TE: CJ Fiedorowicz, Jimmy Graham, Jared Cook, Jesse James, Eric Ebron
D/ST: Seahwaks, Texans, Raiders, Packers, Steelers
Like the NBA, to win at NFL we need exposure to the highest totaled games. A few of my favorite games to stack this week include: Denver @ New Orleans, Atlanta @ Philly, Green Bay @ Tennessee, Dallas @ Pittsburgh, and Seattle @ New England. All of these games possess an over/under of at least 50. Here are a few of my favorite plays at each position:
QB: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Phillip Rivers, Marcus Mariota, and Carson Palmer
RB: David Johnson (best play of the week), Zeke Elliott, Melvin Gordon, Darren Sproles, Chris Ivory, Rob Kelley
WR: Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, Alshon Jeffery, Jordy Nelson, Dontrelle Inman, Rishard Matthews, Denver receivers
TE: Gronk, Antonio Gates (if Henry is out), Zach Ertz, Lance Kendricks, Zach Miller
D/ST: Eagles, Redskins, Panthers, Cardinals, Bears
Roster construction is going to be very important this week because of the solid Quarterback options on the board. There are three elite options at three very different price points which will cause you to sacrifice or spend up at other positions. I think the key to winning this week will come down to the running back position again. We’ve got at least 6 intriguing options and its very difficult to decide what to do at that position. Also, deciding which games to target will be important this week. A few of the games that I’m interested in: Car vs Atl, Det vs Chi, New Orleans vs SD, and KC vs Pitt.
Cash Game Considerations (no particular order)
QB: Phillip Rivers, Cam Newton, Brian Hoyer, Kirk Cousins
RB: Dwayne Washington, David Johnson, Jordan Howard, LeVeon Bell, Melvin Gordon, Carlos Hyde
WR: Cole Beasley, Terrelle Pryor, Antonio Brown, Jeremy Maclin, Marvin Jones, Jamison Crowder
TE: Greg Olsen, Travis kelce, Dennis Pitta, Hunter Henry, Zach Miller, Coby Fleener
D/ST: Texans, Patriots, Broncos, Cardinals, Redskins
Matt Stafford/Marvin Jones
Cam Newton/Greg Olsen
Osweiler/DeAndre Hopkins/Will Fuller
Big Ben/Antonio Brown
Week 3 of the NFL season was another good one in terms of predictability. A lot of the guys we targeted finished with really good fantasy outputs. Green Bay vs Detroit and Atlanta vs New Orleans were shootouts like we expected. By targeting high scoring games, we gain access to more fantasy points than our opponents. Week 4 should be pretty good to us because we don’t have many injuries to decipher through. However, there still are a few waiver wire options.
Waiver Wire Options
QB: Dak Prescott, Joe Flacco, Brian Hoyer
RB: Jordan Howard, Cameron Artis Payne, Jerrick Mckinnon
WR: Michael Thomas, Jamison Crowder, Terrelle Pryor
TE: Hunter Henry, Zach Miller, Kyle Rudolph
What Did We Learn?
1. Play everyone against the Saints.
2. The Raiders O-Line is dominant.
3. The Packers are a classic funnel defense. Target them through the air – not on the ground.
4. The Chicago Bears are decimated with injuries. I will be targeting them often this season.
5. The Vikings defense is for real. Might be the best in the league.
Cash Game Review
QB: Ryan Tannehill (24.96)
RB: Melvin Gordon (17.8), Christine Michael (28.1), DeAngelo Williams (8.4)
WR: Travis Benjamin (11.2), Jarvis Landry (29.6), Amari Cooper (10.2)
TE: Dennis Pitta (10.2)
D/ST: Cowboys (5)
At Quarterback, I debated between Tannehill and Stafford throughout the week. I settled on tannehill because I thought his floor was higher due to the matchup. Getting the RB position right was the key to doing well this week. Once I heard the news that Thomas Rawls and CJ Prosise were out, I went all in on Christine Michael in a dream matchup. The last spot in my lineup came down to DeAngelo vs David Johnson. The reverse line movement in the Arizona game got me to move my shares to DeAngelo (obviously a bad mistake on my part). I loved the Oakland passing attack this week, however most of the target volume went to Crabtree. Unforztunately, Carr missed Cooper on a wide open 39 yard TD, which would have really boosted my scores this week. At tight end, Dennis Pitta was just criminally under priced for the expected target marketshare (automatic must play for me last week). Lastly, at defense I wanted the Dolphins, but just could not afford them, so I went down to the Cowboys playing a backup QB. The move didn’t hurt me at all since the Dolphins only scored 2 more points. This past weekend was pretty solid as we turned $35 into $247. I appreciate all of the feedback I’ve received. Hit me up @Whitsett_Justin on twitter if you have any comments or questions.
The key to winning in week 3 will be focusing on which value running backs to target and which ones to avoid. Due to the massive amount of injuries to the RB position in week 2, we can safely project a usage increase for at least 5 RB’s. Trying to figure out which games to target has been difficult, but I’ve spent the majority of my time trying to hit on the correct running back combinations. A few of my favorite games to stack include SD vs Indy, Pitt vs Philly, Detroit vs GB, and Atl vs New Orleans (if your slate involves the Monday game).
Cash Plays (No particular order)
QB: Phillip Rivers (if Vontae Davis is out, Ryan Tannehill, Blake Bortles, and Marcus Mariota
RB: David Johnson, DeAngelo Williams, DeMarco Murray, Melvin Gordon, Charles Sims, Christine Michael, Theo Riddick
WR: Antonio Brown, Amari Cooper, Larry Fitzgerald, Sterling Shephard, Jarvis Landry, Travis Benjamin, Jeremy Maclin
TE: Dwayne Allen, Jordan Reed, Dennis Pitta, Trey Burton, Hunter Henry
D/ST: Cardinals, Dolphins, Cowboys
Matt Stafford/Marvin Jones
Blake Bortles/Allen Robinson
Derek Carr/Amari Cooper
Phillip Rivers/Tyrell Williams
Week 2 of the NFL season was one of the worst I’ve seen in terms of injuries. By default, if you avoided the injury bug, your teams probably did pretty great. Because of the massive amount of injuries, we’ve got a few options to scoop up off the waiver wire.
What Did We Learn?
1. Stefon Diggs is an elite wide receiver.
2. The Eagles’ defense is sneaky good.
3. The Seahawks offense was over rated in the pre season.
4. Aaron Rodgers has been brutal over his last 10 games and doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
5. Matt Ryan leads the league in depth of target (10 yards per attempt).
Waiver Wire Targets
QB: Matt Ryan, Ryan Tannehill, Ryan Fitzpatrick
RB: Jerrick McKinnon, Jay Ajayi, Cameron Artis-Payne
WR: Tyrell Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Victor Cruz
TE: Dennis Pitta, Jesse James
Cash Game Review
QB: Eli Manning (16.32)
RB: Rashad Jennings (6.0) and TJ Yeldon (11.8)
WR: Odell (16.6), Marvin Jones (22.8), and Tyrell Williams (15.1)
TE: Jesse James (11.9)
D/ST: Patriots (8)
Flex: CJ Anderson (18.3)
Total: 126.82 Points.
I had a rough week in cash games. The first mistake I made was not spending the extra $300 in salary to get Cam Newton. He was in the dream spot (at home against a team that over performed last week) and that hurt my chances of winning. The second regret I have is playing Rashad Jennings. He was in a fantastic matchup, but in cash games we need to keep our floor high. By stacking the Giants, my team didn’t have a high floor because there was a possibility that the Giants could under perform. Of course the Giants were terrible this weekend and ruined my chance at winning double ups. We played $36 this week and only won back $8. This past week was brutal, but we’ll learn from our mistakes and move on to next week!
Week two has been extremely challenging to prepare for, however, I think we’re ready to attack the slate. I’m going to be focusing a lot of my lineups on 3 games. I’m eyeing the Saints @ Giants, Falcons @ Raiders, and Jaguars @ Chargers. I think we can officially announce week 2 as Odell week simply based on this matchup. He’s facing off against the worst defense in the league that also just lost its top corner back in Delvin Breaux. We’ve got reverse line movement in favor of the Falcons, which has me liking the Falcons offense even more than I did earlier in the week. Lastly, in the Jax vs SD game, we’re dealing with two key injuries with Chris Ivory and Keenan Allen. Whoever guesses right regarding the Charger’s receivers will likely win a lot of cash this week. So let’s get to our cash plays and tournament stacks.
QB: Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Derek Carr, Josh McCown
RB: David Johnson, Rashad Jennings, TJ Yeldon, Lamar Miller, CJ Anderson, Danny Woodhead
WR: Odell Beckham Jr, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, AJ Green, Willie Snead, Marvin Jones, Tyrell Williams/Travis Benjamin, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Kerley
TE: Delanie Walker, Jesse James, Virgil Green, Antonio Gates, Eric Ebron, Jason Witten
D/ST: Panthers, Seahawks, Patriots, Texans
Eli Manning/Odell/Sterling Shephard
Matthew Stafford/Marvin Jones/Eric Ebron
Derek Carr/Michael Crabtree/Amari Cooper
Matt Ryan/Julio Jones/Mohammad Sanu
Brock Osweiler/DeAndre Hopkins/Will Fuller
Week 1 of the NFL season is always the most difficult week of the year simply because we’re all guessing at what we think will happen. Here are a few things we learned after the first week of the season.
1. A few defenses we’ll want to attack this season are: Browns, Colts, Saints, Falcons, and Chargers.
2. David Johnson is the real deal. He played on 95% of the Cardinals snaps.
3. Marvin Jones is a lock for 8-10 targets per game.
4. The Colts passing attack looked great. Luck, Moncrief, Hilton, and Allen are must starts each week.
5. Spencer Ware is the running back we want until Jamaal Charles is healthy. Had 199 yards and only played 49% of the snaps.
6. Quincy Enunwa will steal some targets from Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall.
7. The Rams are #bad.
Waiver Wire Targets
QB: Brock Osweiler, Alex Smith, Matt Ryan, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Josh McCown (really deep league add)
RB: Tevin Coleman, Theo Riddick
WR: Tajae Sharpe, Quincy Enunwa, Will Fuller, Eli Rogers, Dontrelle Inman, Mohamed Sanu
TE: Vance McDonald, Jesse James
DFS Cash Lineup Review
QB: Dak Prescott (10.28)
RB: Spencer Ware (35.9) and Ryan Mathews (13.7)
WR: DeAndre Hopkins (16.4), Julio Jones (16.6), and Marvin Jones (12.5)
TE: Jared Cook (1.7)
Flex: Donte Moncrief (18.4)
D/ST: Texans (8.0)
Total: 133.48 points
· With the late news that Chris Ivory would be inactive, I almost pivoted to TJ Yeldon over Spencer Ware. However, I thought Ware would get the goal line carries and by default, he had a much higher TD expectation. My only bad mistake of the week was switching from Dwayne Allen to Jared Cook. I was worried that Allen would be asked to block more due to the Colts O-line issues. All in all, it was a pretty solid week as we turned $51 into $83.
On Draftkings and Fanduel, we want to find the best production for the cheapest price. The key to winning at Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is selecting the correct “value” plays. By doing this, we can then fit in the studs that have fantastic matchups. I am primarily a cash player (games that have ~ 50% chance of winning), but I will have a few tournament lineups this week. When constructing cash lineups, we want to target players with solid floors that still possess enough upside to win our contest. Each week, I’ll post a few cash plays at each position that I’m considering. Also, I will highlight a few QB/WR stacks that I think can win people a lot of money each week.
QB: Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Matt Stafford
RB: Spencer Ware, Ryan Mathews, Christine Michael, DeAngelo Williams, Latavius Murray, Lamar Miller
WR: Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Marvin Jones, Donte Moncrief, DeAndre Hopkins, Eric Decker, Michael Crabtree
TE: Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, Jared Cook, Dwayne Allen, Martellus Bennett,
D/ST: Seahawks, Eagles, Texans
Tournament (GPP) Stacks
Tyrod Taylor/Sammy Watkins
Derek Carr/Michael Crabtree/Amari Cooper
Aaron Rodgers/Randall Cobb/Jordy Nelson
Andrew Luck/Donte Moncrief/T.Y. Hilton
Brock Osweiler/Will Fuller/DeAndre Hopkins
Working the waiver wire is the most important part of fantasy football – it’s where the best fantasy players separate themselves. To help you guys out, I’ll have an article posted each Tuesday with a few players to target. Week one is the last chance for us to grab some potential sleepers.
With Jamaal Charles doubtful for week one, Spencer Ware is a must add in all leagues. To add to this, the Chiefs also have a solid matchup against a soft Chargers defense. In my rankings (that will be posted Wednesday) it’s possible that Spencer Ware will make my top 10. I love him this week if Charles is inactive.
Christine Michael has generated a lot of buzz this pre-season. He looked fantastic (6.5 yards per carry) and has taken the starting job away from Thomas Rawls. Head Coach, Pete Carroll has talked about bringing Rawls back “slowly” from his broken ankle. With the Seahawks being 10 point favorites, I expect Christine Michael to get the bulk of the touches and produce in a positive matchup/game flow.
We all know that the Tennessee Titans are looking to run the ball with their “exotic smash mouth” style. However, they will still pass the ball every now and then. Tajae Sharpe has all but solidified his role as the No. 1 wide receiver in Tennessee. Mariota and Sharpe looked great in the pre-season and I fully expect that to roll over into the regular season.