Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Footballguys/RotoGrinders' Fantasy Hour, Week 4

It's Wednesday night and the Lee brothers (Austin and John) just finished spending a solid hour with Dan Back at RotoGrinders talking all things NFL, as they relate to daily fantasy.

The guys dive into the most pertinent injury situations and their DFS implications.  They talk about the surprise performances, both good and bad, of Week 3 and how those performances will affect ownership for next week's games.  Fantasy over/unders, WR/CB matchups to exploit and avoid, Thursday night football projections, and bold predictions for the week are all topics of discussion.

And if none of that interests you, watch Dan Back pay up on a lost "dubsmash" lip sync bet at the 6:30 timestamp!  Austin and John make their own dubsmash wager later in the episode...winner to pay up next week--who do you think will be lip-synching next week?!

Trust or Fade: Thursday Slate Injury Expectations

Steve Buzzard and I will be collaborating every Saturday on a feature spotlighting the week’s injury concerns. By Friday, we’ll have a full week of practice participation reports and media interviews to more accurately drill down on whether a player is likely to play, and play effectively, on Sunday.

But that doesn’t help you exploit injury edges in your Thursday-Sunday lineups.

So, I’ll be giving a quick “trust or fade” recommendation on the blog each week after the Wednesday practice participation report is released. It’ll be based on incomplete information, but I’m hoping to keep you from starting a player who is likely to be ineffective or take a smart risk on a player who others may be avoiding unnecessarily.

You’ll also want to check out our full midweek injury feature from Craig Zumsteg when it goes live late Wednesday night on our season-long article page.

Thursday Night Football Expectation

There are no questionable injury plays in tonight's game. Crockett Gilmore is the only skill position player with an injury concern and he's already been declared out. Your decisions on whether to roster or fade a Thursday night player should be entirely based on statistical expectation and salary.

Trust or Fade?

As of Wednesday night, I'd strongly recommend fading Andre Ellington, LeSean McCoy, and Sammy Watkins. Watkins and McCoy are likely out and I think Ellington is unlikely to play. Even if Ellington is active, his workload will be significantly limited.

Andrew Luck 7800  >>>>  (Shoulder | Limited)

In his Wednesday press conference, Chuck Pagano was adamant Luck will play on Sunday, but without knowing the specifics of Luck's shoulder injury, it's difficult to confidently make a recommendation. If you're risk averse, you should probably fade and wait for more information later in the week and hope to find a spot for Luck in your Sunday slate lineups. If you're willing to take on a little risk, Luck will undoubtedly be very low owned after three atypical performances and his appearance on the injury report.

Marshawn Lynch 7200  >>>>  (Hamstring | MNF / Thursday Practice Pending)
Cash: FADE

Don't risk Lynch in your Thursday slate cash lineups. I think there may be something to the argument Lynch was held out as a precaution last week, but we won't know that before Thursday roster lock. Pete Carroll called Lynch 50-50 to play on Wednesday and there are multiple nagging injuries (calf and back with the hamstring concern) capable of holding Lynch back on Monday night. Consider a little exposure in Thursday GPP, but Lynch shouldn't be a core play there either.

Julio Jones 9300  >>>>  (Hamstring/Toe | DNP)

I'm worried we're getting close to a tipping point with the cascade of injuries on Jones. Fighting through a nagging hamstring strain that has now limited him in two games, Jones added a toe injury last week. It's impossible to recommend fading Jones after watching him hobble his way to 25 catches on 35 targets over the past two weeks, and the minor questions around Antonio Brown (no Roethlisberger) and Odell Beckham (facing Stephon Gilmore) make Jones attractive in GPPs despite what's likely to be high ownership.

Arian Foster 7000  >>>>  (Groin | Limited)

These recommendations are likely to change by Sunday as I think Foster will play this week and see 15+ touches. But there's no reason to risk Foster in a Thursday cash lineup before knowing his Friday practice participation. Consider using Foster only if you've got a smart Sunday morning swap in mind should Foster decide to wait until Thursday night to return. Limited exposure in Thursday GPPs is reasonable. In his first game back last year, Foster's huge game propelled those bold enough to roster him to huge weeks in GPPs.

Alshon Jeffery 6600  >>>>  (Hamstring | Limited)
Cash: FADE

When a skill position player has missed multiple weeks of practice with a mid-grade muscle strain, I want to see a few consecutive practices before feeling comfortable using them in a lineup. That's where we are with Jeffery, who's already had one reconditioning injury this year.

Drew Brees 7400  >>>>  (Shoulder | Limited)
Cash: FADE

There's more optimism around Brees this week than last. Vegas making the Saints a sizable favorite is also telling. But until we're certain Brees' practice throwing regimen hasn't caused a recurrence of pain and weakness, he can't be trusted in a lineup.

DeMarco Murray 6500  >>>>  (Hamstring | Limited)
Cash: FADE

Murray may get back to a full practice by the end of the week, but there's a high risk of an aggravation while he reconditions this week and there's no reason to expect anything less than a heavy rotation with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles if Murray is on the active gameday roster.

Check back on Friday for our Injury Spotlight and Lineup Recommendation feature. Until then, follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking analysis on practice participation and media interviews. Finally, on Sunday morning, I’ll be adapting my Injury Expectations column for this blog to help navigate any tricky game time decisions.
Washington - Philadelphia Game to be Rescheduled?

Due to the severe weather expected to hit the Mid-Atlantic this weekend due to Hurricane Joaquin, the NFL may have to reschedule the Philadelphia - Washington game scheduled for 1PM Sunday in DC.  If this happens, the NFL is fortunate that both teams are on a bye in Week 8 and therefore this game would be played then rather than now (Week 4).

The decision is likely to come down sometime Saturday as the Eagles are slated to take the trip down I-95 to Washington on Saturday.

Now, this means you should watch out for any lineups you make this week and be sure to not play any Eagles or Redskins unless the game is certain to be played.  Even if it does kickoff as scheduled, be careful as driving rains and wind will likely impact this contest.

As always, Footballguys has you covered for all the latest things in the NFL.

CFB Week 4 Recap: SEC Conference

Another huge Saturday of College Football is right around the corner. DraftKings has posted their early set of games in the lobby and the slate includes a huge number of games - 19 to be exact. That's a ton of games to research for one slate of games but relax - Footballguys has you covered with all the information you need to build some winning lineups. A good place to start is to review the week that was in College Football. Each week, we go game-by-game for each of the top conferences and let you know the players that should be on your radar for this week and going forward. You can check out this week's recap of the SEC Conference here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New DraftKings Quick Contest Entry Interface

If you have ever wanted to enter more games (usually cash games) faster on DraftKings, you know that every click counts.  That is especially important as kickoff approaches.  DraftKings recognized this problem and did something about it.  Introducing their new quick contest load interface.  Rather than the old way of going with a list of contests, you can now use this new interface.  This prompt will appear after you build a lineup and you want to use it to join one or more contests:

Just click load lineup and up pops this next screen:

Simply continue with the "Enter Now" buttons, or use the bulk enter option (just below the handsome group of players in your lineup, on the right).  The bulk option looks like this:

After picking two or more contests, you will be asked to submit:

And that's it!  Good luck in your contests!

Week 3 Millionaire Maker recap

My weekly in-depth recap of the top lineups and strategies used in the Millionaire Maker tournament was just posted to the site. Here are a few of my main takeaways from Week 3:

1. For the first time this season, you weren't necessarily rewarded for paying up for Julio Jones despite his strong performance (43.4 points). The stronger strategy was a more balanced approach at Wide Receiver that spread cap space out between three or four of the following players: Randall Cobb ($7,300), A.J. Green ($7,200), Steve Smith Sr. ($6,300), Brandon Marshall ($6,200) and Larry Fitzgerald ($5,800). These receivers in the mid-high priced tier all had strong performances and the full PPR scoring and 100-yard bonus on DraftKings makes it very rewarding to hit on three or more receivers who post big reception totals, 100+ yards and one or more touchdowns.

2. Devonta Freeman was absolutely essential to a top-scoring lineup. Freeman outscored the second-highest scoring running back by almost 15 points and 100% of the top finishers owned Freeman. It was just one of those weeks in the large-GPPs where you either picked Freeman or finished behind somebody who did.

3. The stacks are back. Nearly all of the top finishers employed the stacking strategy with Andy Dalton-A.J. Green and Cam Newton-Greg Olsen both proving to be extremely strong combinations. It was a "chalk" week with the top scoring Quarterbacks all leaning heavily on their top targets (Randall Cobb and Aaron Rodgers were also a strong combination).

Looking forward to Week 4, I am intrigued by another QB-TE stack similar to Newton-Olsen with Tyrod Taylor and Charles Clay facing a poor Giants pass defense. Their low prices allow you to roster four top receivers in the mid-high price range with huge upside. T.Y. Hilton ($6,700), Jordan Matthews ($6,600), Larry Fitzgerald ($6,500), Mike Evans ($6,400) and Jeremy Maclin ($5,800) are all in that sweet spot of pricing that led to a lot of success in Week 3. The low-priced QB-TE combination also allows you to add a pair of mid-high priced running backs, with Latavius Murray ($6,300), Mark Ingram ($6,000), Joseph Randle ($5,500) and Devonta Freeman ($5,200) all strong options to fill out a high-upside Millionaire Maker lineup in Week 4.

DraftKings Contest Spotlight

All of the big GPP contests are back at DraftKings this week and highlighted on our Contests Spotlight page for DraftKings over at

This week is led of once again by the $7M Millionaire Maker contest, where someone will turn $20 into $1.2M by Tuesday morning.

One contest actually did change with a bigger prize pool, as the "Play Action" $3 entry contest prize pool went from $1M to $1.5M this week.

Be sure to check out the Contest spotlight page every week for the big GPPs and highlighted contests for DraftKings.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday - Thursday Slate

You will not find much discussions on the Mon - Thurs NFL slates around the Internet, for a number of reasons.  First, picking players from just two games is scary.  The way to take down a GPP on a two game slate is pretty simple - get everything right.  That's hard.  With more games in play, the room for error is much bigger.  Look no further than a DraftKings' weekly perfect lineup and compare it to the top scores on even the biggest GPPs and you will find that the winners were still about 20% or more lower than the perfect score.  On short slates, you need to be as close to perfection, if not 100% perfect, as possible.

Still, these can be some fun games to play, and that's what DFS is supposed to be about, right?  Watch the games with a chance to win some money, and if you don't, just say "Oh well, maybe next time."  That's the attitude you need here.

The other part that makes Monday - Thursday slates so difficult is that these games are three days apart, which feels like a lifetime.  Consider this week where Baltimore goes to Pittsburgh on Thursday.  We know that Michael Vick will be starting, but there are some other guys who are banged up (like Crockett Gillmore) and we are not certain about whether they will play on Thursday.  That highlights a great feature of DraftKings - the ability to make a late swap right up until a player's game kicks off.  You can put Gillmore in, for example, and then decide to use Heath Miller instead on Thursday or even Maxx Williams.  You have that choice.

Now, let's talk about Monday Night Football and Kansas City visiting Green Bay.  The simple recipe for the Chiefs is to run the ball as much as possible with Jamaal Charles ($7,400) (and a little of Knile Davis ($3,000)) and play keep away from Aaron Rodgers.  That might work for a while and keep Kansas City in the game until later in the contest, which is all you want to have Charles be productive and getting 20+ touches in this one.  Travis Kelce  ($5,000) is the the top target for Alex Smith ($6,000), and the big tight end could find the end zone in Lambeau Field.  Jeremy Maclin ($6,000) will have a hard time getting to value unless he gets to 100 yards, and I just do not see that happening.  I like using Kelce and Charles from this group, but Alex Smith and/or Maclin are tournament options.

Green Bay should have Eddie Lacy ($7,200) starting tonight instead of James Starks ($3,000), but I think this game comes down to Aaron Rodgers ($8,000) and his big arm.   Randall Cobb ($7,300) should see a lot of opportunity from the slot and I like him to be the leading receiver tonight, while James Jones ($4,800) has a better chance to score than Davante Adams ($5,000) who is also coming back from injury.  Rodgers and Cobb are my favorite plays, but either wide receiver is a viable tourney option as is TE Richard Rodgers ($2,500).

Now let's talk AFC North.  Baltimore, 0-3 for the first time with Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh, heads to Pittsburgh where the Steelers have to figure out what to do without Ben Roethlisberger on a short week.  Michael Vick ($5,000) will be your starter here, but the value of stud wide reciever Antonio Brown ($9.200) drops significantly, as does home run wideout Derrius Heyward-Bey ($3,600).  Markus Wheaton ($3,500) barely warrants any mention, but two players sure to be in the short passing game this week are running back Le'Veon Bell ($7,700) and TE Heath Miller ($3,700).  Vick will dump the ball into Bell's hands early and often, and Miller should have a good shot at reaching value against Baltimore's soft secondary, something Miller always seems to find a way to exploit in this rivalry.  My top picks for Pittsburgh are Bell and Miller, but if you need cap room, consider Vick, who makes a cheap tournament stack play with Antonio Brown.  I would really not go hard after any other wide reciever aside from Brown, but if you are looking to separate your lineups, Wheaten or Heyward-Bey are you choices.

The Ravens are desperate for a win.  DESPERATE.  Joe Flacco ($6,000) has so few options to move the ball, it is almost ridiculous.  After WR Steve Smith ($6,200), only five targets went to wide receivers last week.  Tight ends Crockett Gillmore ($3,500) and rookie Maxx Williams ($2,500) were featured more all over the field against Cincinnati, and Williams could be the guy if Gillmore is out (he missed all of the second half for reasons unknown).  The run game could be in play, but who do you trust?  Justin Forsett ($6,000) is not looking that great, and Lorenzo Taliaferro ($3,000) is not on the field enough, even if he does get a shot at a touchdown.  Flacco and Smith are the safe options, and then it is anyone's best guess.

As always, take it easy on short slates, but have some fun.  Enjoy the games for what they are - games with some chance at some nice upside.  Good luck.

Enter your Monday-Thursday teams here on DraftKings.

Tasty, cheap QB matchups on the table in Week 4

Something to file away for Week 4 DFS purposes: two low-priced QBs will face defenses that have just hemorrhaged passing yardage. Tyrod Taylor ($5,800) hosts the Giants, who have allowed a league-high 335.7 yards per game. Ryan Mallett, whose Texans lead the league in passing attempts, takes on a Falcons defense that gives up 282.3 yards. It's early yet, and I have yet to finalize my projections and calculate value. But it's an interesting nugget nonetheless.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Morning Switching - Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets

DeMarco Murray is out for Philadelphia.

Darren Sproles @ $3800  and Ryan Mathews @ $3300 become interesting adds this week.

They are playing the tough New York Jets defense, but Sproles and Mathews both catch the ball well out of the backfield, so the check down and dump off passes that both will get this weekend will more than make up for the difference.  Neither will be highly owned, and both have a reasonable chance to reach 3x value.

On the other side of the ball, Eric Decker is out. Chris Owusu is also out.

That makes Brandon Marshall the key to the entire passing offense against the Eagles this week.

Ryan Fitzpatrick @ $5100 and Marshall @6200 make an interesting stack this week for your GPP contests.

Chris Ivory made the active list, but he will probably be limited this week due to a quadriceps injury. Bilal Powell has been getting about 15 touches a game, including 5 receiving targets. At a bargain basement $3000, Powell is a good value pick this week since he won't need much offense to reach 3 or even 4X value.
The Contrarian: DraftKings Week 3 

Looking for that hidden gem that just might set your lineup apart this week? Check out this week's edition of The Contrarian where we go position by position to help you find some under the radar plays. Last week, The Contrarian helped us find a Ryan Fitzpatrick - Brandon Marshall stack that ended up being a good source of points. Who do we have in mind this week? You can check out this week's article here.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Trust or Fade: Sunday Injury Expectations

Earlier in the week, I made a trust or fade recommendation for the injured players at risk at being limited on Sunday for those constructing lineups for the Thursday night DraftKings slate. After Friday's practice participation report, media interviews, and some Saturday updates, those recommendations sometimes change.

Here's the Sunday morning update on which game time decisions are safe to roster on the DraftKings Sunday slate and which situations you should fade.

I'm not going to write up Carlos Hyde, C.J. Anderson, C.J. Spiller, Justin Forsett, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, Todd Gurley, DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans, Randall Cobb, T.Y. Hilton, Brandin Cooks, Delanie Walker and Jason Witten. I think all are healthy enough to remove injury concerns from your deliberations this week. In particular, I don't believe Evans will be on a snap count today and I would project Gurley to get 8-14 touches.

I'm also not going to write up Eric Decker, Demarco Murray, and Jordan Cameron. I doubt Decker will make the Jets' active roster and I wouldn't consider Murray or Cameron in any format.

That leaves a short list, but it includes three critical situations.

MARSHAWN LYNCH | 7400 | Calf Strain | Questionable
Cash: FADE

I had Lynch as a core cash game play for much of this week and I know I wasn't alone. The DNP on Friday was a clear indication the Seahawks felt it was more important for Lynch to recover and rehab than participate in any light workout and walkthrough. The "cautious optimism" reported on Saturday means only that the Seahawks saw enough from Lynch not to rule him out. Were this any player not named Marshawn Lynch facing such a soft matchup, he'd be a clear fade.

I'm not advocating this, but if you decide to risk Lynch in a cash lineup, you'll need to leave room in your flex spot to pivot to Fred Jackson if Lynch's pregame goes poorly. Choose a combination of Lynch and a late flex play you can swap to Jackson and a high floor play, preferably from the KC-GB Monday night game.

EDDIE LACY | 7200 | Ankle Sprain | Questionable
Cash: FADE

As the week progressed, the news grew more positive on Lacy. But that's primarily because the Packers were so pessimistic earlier in the week. I think Lacy has a good chance to be active Monday night but I'm less certain he'll be able to handle more than 10-12 touches. He can't be considered in cash lineups and there's not enough upside to consider him a GPP play either.

I wouldn't put Lacy in a lineup this weekend. But his status affects James Starks. If you roster Starks, be sure you've left yourself some room to get out of his shares if we hear Lacy is healthier than expected and you're not willing to roll with Starks anyway.

CHRIS IVORY | 5000 | Quad Strain | Questionable
Cash: FADE

Ivory is a game time decision and will reportedly have to convince the medical staff and coaches he's healthy enough to play. He's had one less day of recovery and rehab after last week's Monday night game and was still sore midweek. I don't think there's enough evidence to argue he'll be inactive today, but I don't see him getting his usual workload. He's too risky to use in a DFS contest.

DAVANTE ADAMS | 5000 | Ankle Sprain | Questionable 
Cash: FADE

Adams is on the probable side of questionable but too risky to trust in lineups. Aaron Rodgers has enough weapons -- even without Lacy and Jordy Nelson -- to ignore a mostly healthy Adams.

Hope variance shines on you today in your DraftKings contests. Footballguys Insiders can read my full breakdown of today's injury expectations.

Medical Check

The start of the NFL season has been riddled with injuries and this week is no different. How you approach the Jets and Seahawks game on the injury front may be the most important factor in determining your profitability for the week. See how I am approaching them here.
Having trouble deciding who to stack in your DraftKings tournaments tomorrow?  Check out my DraftKings starting stacks article. Hint...Patriots are popular.....

Footballguys Fantasy Hour Hosted by RotoGrinders

If you have not yet watched Austin Lee, Dan Back, and John Lee on the Footballguys Fantasy Hour, why not give it an hour of your time to help prepare for tomorrow's NFL slate?

The boys talk about injury situations, recency bias, our takes on the results from Week #2, projected ownership for the weekend, CB-WR matchups to avoid/exploit, and a few bold projections from each Footballguy.

If audio (podcasting) is more your thing, you can download it from iTunes on the RotoGrinders' Daily Fantasy Fix podcast or click here.

The Fade: DraftKings Week 3 

Each week, there are several situations that look pretty hard to pass up when building our rosters. This week is no different and there are several players that have earned the dreaded must-start label who will find themselves in many DFS lineups this Sunday. These players are perfect candidates to consider fading this week.

Passing on a must-play can be pretty tough as you fear you'll be missing out on a ton of points if you bypass that player. As last week reinforced, there are no sure things and some of the higher-owned players had off weeks. For DFS, the entries that looked the other way on these must-plays had some pretty good weeks.

Each week, The Fade goes through each position to help you find the players you may want to consider taking a pass on. Often these players are among the highest-owned players of the week, sometimes they're simply players whose matchups might not be as good as they appear at first glance. Some pretty tough choices this week, you can check out the article here to see who you might want to leave on the sidelines when setting your lineups.

Tips and Picks, Week #3 Edition

I have spent the past week collecting data, analyzing game film, downloading salaries, generating projections, and subsequently spending the past 12-18 hours putting my thoughts down on paper to share with the subscribers at Footballguys.  This one is a labor of love...I hope you love the labor I put into it each week.

Here is a peek into one of many GPP plays that I think is worth consideration on DraftKings this weekend:

You can find the rest of my thoughts here.

If you have questions, comments, or would like to provide feedback, please find me on Twitter:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Exposed for Week 3

Footballguys' defensive guru Aaron Rudnicki and I took a look at the matchups that we liked this week. We are specifically targeting wide receivers and tight ends and how we think the defenders across the line of scrimmage will handle the task of trying to stop them. We also take into account that some matchups are bad for receivers in other ways, for example a quarterback that will be under duress all day will not likely be able to get the ball on time and accurately to the receiver.

You can read Exposed here to get dialed into some options that might offer more value, giving you the ability to load up elsewhere on your roster.

DraftKings CFB Saturday Sleepers and GPP Plays: Week 4

Week 4 of the College Football season is at hand and we're getting ready for another Saturday of wall-to-wall games. For DFS purposes, we have 26 games to focus on spread across two main slates. College Football DFS gets a little easier to manage as the season moves along, but 26 games is still a huge amount of games to look into.

That's where DraftKings Saturday Sleepers and GPP Plays Week 4 can help. We help you navigate your way through both slates to find the games and matchups to key in on. For both the early and late slates this week there are a few games that shape up to be potential goldmines for fantasy points.

Some of the huge tournaments we're pretty excited for this Saturday include the CFB $100K Redshirt for the early games ($3 entry fee, $10,000 to first place) and the CFB $50K Tailgate for the late slate ($27 entry fee, $10,000 to first).

If you're on the fence about joining these tourneys be sure to make up your mind quickly, both will fill in advance of their respective start times.You can check out the article for some sleepers and GPP plays here and be sure to check out all of our College Football content and tools over at Footballguys.

Footballguys Staff DraftKings Roundtable

What if you could have five Footballguys staffers discussing any topic you wanted related to DraftKings for the coming week? I'm fortunate enough to have that luxury. Our Roundtables consist of me asking a handful of staff members four questions. The guys answer directly, and sometimes we change course into a whole other topic altogether. This week, we discussed the following items:

  • Expanded Roles
  • Beyond the Box Score
  • Small Sample Sizes
  • Cheap Stacks
Phil Alexander, Scott Bischoff, Chris Feery, and John Lee discuss those topics (and more) in detail. Set aside some time, and get ready for some insight!

Is there a Saints receiver who deserves your Week 3 attention?

Drew Brees looks ready to play, and while his outlook isn't great, there's an intriguing target of his way down the DK salary ranks.


Keep scrolling: this guy carries a WR-minimum salary despite an ascending offensive role, plus a red zone touchdown and a 63-yard catch through two games. Who is he, and could he fit as a solid dice roll in one of your GPPs? Head over to the Week 3 Cost Efficiency Report for the details!

And, as always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter below with any fantasy questions eating at the inner you!

Is Tom Brady a surprise Week 3 fade on DraftKings?

Should you fade Tom Brady and his terrific Week 3 projections over game script concerns? In other words, could Brady see enough scoring opportunity even if his Patriots dominate the Jaguars in Foxboro? You'll find the answer, along with TONS of value breakdown, in this week's Cost Efficiency Report.

And, as always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter below with any fantasy questions eating at the inner you!

Projecting Ownership Percentage: Week 3

Ownership percentage -- as it applies to constructing tournament lineups -- is one of the most misunderstood concepts in DFS. Projecting Ownership Percentage will explain the best strategy for factoring ownership percentage into your DFS decision making, and highlight this week's top tournament plays at each ownership tier. 

Here's a small sample of the strategy insight:

“If a guy is 30% owned at $5000 on DraftKings, you have to ask yourself if you think he could get 20 points (4x value for GPP) at least 30% of the time. If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you roster him and forget about the percent owned."

And the player insight:

DeMaryius Thomas - $8,000 @ DET (6%-10% Projected Ownership)
Many entrants will be looking to pay up for Antonio Brown and Julio Jones, or choose from the mid-priced wide receivers coming off big games (Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall, Allen Robinson), leaving Thomas fairly low-owned. Thomas has started a bit slow by his standards, currently ranking as the cumulative WR15 by DraftKings scoring. The problem hasn’t been his involvement -- Thomas has received the fourth most targets in the league. Besides Peyton Manning’s Week 1 struggles, it’s been a curious lack of red zone opportunities holding Thomas back. As I began researching the contrast between Thomas’ 2014 red zone target share and his results thus far this season, I came across a timely tweet from Rotoworld’s Graham Barfield:
As long as Gary Kubiak stops stubbornly trying to force his scheme on Peyton Manning, Graham’s takeaway is spot on - progression towards the norm is coming for Thomas in the red zone. We should see it begin this week against a Detroit defense allowing a league high 6.5 red zone scoring attempts per game. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday Night Spotlight

This week's Thursday night game is a little less exciting than the last two but we still get to see Odell Beckham Jr. which will make the game a bit more exciting by himself. But should you consider Beckham, Manning, Cousins, Garcon, or Reed for your games this week? Find out here.

Trust or Fade: Thursday Injury Expectations

Steve Buzzard and I will be collaborating every Saturday on a feature spotlighting the week’s injury concerns. By Friday, we’ll have a full week of practice participation reports and media interviews to more accurately drill down on whether a player is likely to play, and play effectively, on Sunday.

But that doesn’t help you exploit injury edges in your Thursday-Sunday lineups.

So, I’ll be giving a quick “trust or fade” recommendation on the blog each week after the Wednesday practice participation report is released. It’ll be based on incomplete information, but I’m hoping to keep you from starting a player who is likely to be ineffective or take a smart risk on a player who others may be avoiding unnecessarily.

You’ll also want to check out our full midweek injury feature from Craig Zumsteg when it goes live late Wednesday night on our season-long article page.

Thursday Night Football Expectation

There are no questionable injury plays in tonight's game. DeSean Jackson and Victor Cruz are out. Jordan Reed is off the injury report this week after proving his quad strain was a very low grade situation last week. Your decisions on whether to roster or fade a Thursday night player should be entirely based on statistical expectation and salary.

Trust or Fade?

The Wednesday injury report is ugly. I have 52 offensive skill position players on my midweek tracking list. Many of them will fully practice by Friday and be easy to trust by Sunday morning. I'll update this feature later this afternoon with notes from the Thursday practices.

As of Thursday morning, you can trust Marshawn Lynch (calf, DNP), Matt Forte (knee, limited), C.J. Anderson (toe/ankle, full), A.J. Green (knee, DNP), Julio Jones (hamstring, limited), T.Y. Hilton (not listed), Randall Cobb (shoulder, pending), Matthew Stafford (rib, full), Ryan Tannehill (ankle, full), Tyrod Taylor (chest, full), and Jason Witten (ankle/knee, limited). I think it's highly likely each of them see their usual workloads this week.

As of Thursday morning, you should fade Arian Foster (groin, limited), Jordan Cameron (groin, DNP), Eric Decker (knee, DNP), and Ladarius Green (concussion, DNP). I don't believe any of them have a realistic chance to play this week.

There are a number of other players I'd clearly fade, but they require a bit more discussion below.

Eddie Lacy 7200  >>>>  (Ankle | MNF - Thurs DNP)

The Packers weren't as optimistic as I'd have liked early this week, saying only they need to evaluate Lacy in practice this week. On video, Lacy's injury is a low ankle sprain, but those can still be troublesome. The late swap puts Lacy in play this week, but I'd take the advice of John Lee on the Rotogrinders FBG Hour show this week. Put Lacy in the flex spot and leave at least an extra $100. If there's any concerns with Lacy through Monday night, you'll be able to pivot to Randall Cobb at 7300.

Alshon Jeffery 6900  >>>>  (Hamstring/Calf | DNP)
Cash: FADE

Jeffery still isn't practicing after straining a hamstring last week. Compensation injuries can be difficult to overcome and the latest setback resets the reconditioning process. Jeffery shouldn't be in cash lineups this week and he's a huge risk even in very deep GPP contests.

Mike Evans 6600  >>>>  (Hamstring | Full)

Evans was on a snap count last week and those high leverage snap count situations breed too much variance. Evans made it through last week's game without a setback and fully practiced on Wednesday. You may choose to fade Evans for other reasons, but we're nearly out of the woods on the injury concern now.

Todd Gurley 4700  >>>>  (Knee | Full)

Gurley will play this week. Unfortunately, it's still unclear whether the Rams will trust him with two out of three series or any passing down work. It's difficult to project him for more than 10-12 touches -- the Rams are bringing him along too slowly to believe they'll install him as the lead committee back or more yet. But the potential to break a long run and see the majority of goal line work makes him a consideration in deep GPP contests.

Drew Brees 7500  >>>>  (Shoulder | DNP)
Cash: FADE

There was renewed optimism on Brees on Thursday morning. But Brees has yet to be cleared to throw and there's no guarantee the pain and weakness from the rotator cuff bruise has fully resolved. There's way too much risk to use Brees in a Thursday slate lineup. 

DeMarco Murray 6600  >>>>  (Hamstring | Limited)
Cash: FADE

Midweek muscle strains are very tough to handicap. Sometimes, it's truly more cramp/tightness than strain and the player returns to a full workload. Jordan Reed and LeSean McCoy last week are excellent examples. In this case, the team was worried enough to send Murray for a MRI. That's clearly more than tightness and hydration. Even if you somehow could talk yourself into Murray in the face of messy snap counts, poor production, and a floundering Eagles' offense, the injury situation is too murky to roster him in a Thursday contest.

EDIT: Murray did not practice on Thursday and is considered "iffy" for Sunday. I already have FADE in capital letters above, but for those who are still looking at Murray as an extreme contrarian play, consider this a final warning. Ryan Mathews, however, is looking like a stronger Thursday slate contrarian option.

DeAndre Hopkins 7400  >>>>  (Concussion | DNP)
Cash: FADE

You should generally avoid all players with concussions in Thursday slates. Even if there are signs the player is progressing through the protocol smoothly, the risk of a late week recurrence in symptoms is always there. The late swap potential gives you a little leeway here, however. If you love Hopkins' situation this week, you might consider him in the flex spot, but I don't see the upside here. I'll revisit Hopkins on Sunday morning.

EDIT: Hopkins reported concussion symptoms on Monday morning. Standard protocol is a five day graduated return. Many teams have cleared players in less, but Hopkins had symptoms the day following the game. Bill O'Brien sounds optimistic, but you shouldn't be just yet.

Brandin Cooks 7100  >>>>  (Ankle | DNP)
Cash: FADE

A Thursday report from Nick Underhill suggests Cooks will play this week. However, there are no specifics on the diagnosis yet. With this level of uncertainty and the unknowns surrounding Drew Brees, fade Cooks until more information is available.

LeSean McCoy 6100  >>>>  (Hamstring | DNP)

I was surprised McCoy looked as healthy as he did last week. But the acceleration and willingness to make jump cuts McCoy needs to be successful was evident. However, the missed Wednesday practice (McCoy worked on Wednesday in Week 1 and 2) and a less than optimistic media session after practice raise the risk enough to recommend him as a "lean trust" only for Thursday contests.

EDIT: McCoy fully practiced today. There's always a risk of a late game setback, but McCoy looks safe to roster right now.

Chris Ivory 5000  >>>>  (Quad | DNP)

Watching Ivory hurdle defenders on Monday night was enough for me to feel the groin strain wasn't a major issue. But we're seeing cascade strains already here, with Ivory missing Wednesday with a quad strain. Thursday participation will be key here. The matchup is strong enough to consider Ivory on the Thursday slate, but I'd strongly consider waiting until Sunday if the Thursday participation isn't favorable.

EDIT: Ivory continues to be sore and looks less likely to play than I noted above. I don't know that Bilal Powell has become a strong low-priced option for Thursday slates yet, but I'd now lean away from trusting Ivory.

Lamar Miller 5200  >>>>  (Ankle | DNP)
Cash: FADE

Miller left a close game with an ankle injury and not returned for precautionary reasons, missed the following week of practice, and been active the following week last year. So, the DNP on Wednesday isn't a good indicator of his Sunday status. But he's still not safe to use in Thursday contests.

Tevin Coleman 4500  >>>>  (Rib | DNP)
Cash:  FADE

There is a Thursday report suggesting Coleman could try to play through the pain this Sunday with the aid of pain-killing injections, padding, and cryoanesthesia (freezing the nerve near the injury). That's true, it's possible. But that's going to be the case for the next month. I still think it's a long shot the Falcons push Coleman to play this week. He's a clear fade until he practices with the intent to play rather than just condition.

Check back on Friday for our Injury Spotlight and Lineup Recommendation feature. Until then, follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking analysis on practice participation and media interviews. Finally, on Sunday morning, I’ll be adapting my Injury Expectations column for this blog to help navigate any tricky game time decisions.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

CFB Recap Week 3: SEC Conference

Week 3 in the SEC was highlighted by the thrilling Ole Miss-Alabama game which saw the Rebels earn their first victory at Alabama since 1988. Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly looks like the real deal and leads a prolific offense that will continue to be a great target for DFS.

LSU made quite the statement in dismantling Auburn on Saturday. Running back Leonard Fournette put on a show by rushing for 228 yards and three touchdowns. Pretty safe to expect his salary to stay among the most expensive in DFS from here on out.

Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen and the Aggies lit up another opponent on Saturday, defeating Nevada 44-27 in a game that wasn't as close as the score would indicate. The competition gets tougher for the Aggies for the next few weeks, starting with this week's matchup against Arkansas.

We recap all of the above teams and much more in this week's recap of the SEC Conference, which you can read here. We dig into each game throughout the SEC to find the news you can use for DFS.
Some of the topics we sort through this week include:

  • Several teams are sorting through issues at the quarterback position which can lead to a ton of questions when building your DFS rosters. We've got you covered and help you find the situations to avoid and the ones you may want to look twice at.
  • An offense as prolific as Texas A&M's can be a great source of fantasy points but with a loaded group of wide receivers can be tough to predict. Through Week 3, two of the receivers look to be the most reliable for A&M stacks. 
  • Georgia running back Nick Chubb is a beast but rostering him can be tough due to his expensive salary. What's a lower cost way to gain some exposure to the Georgia running game?   

These are just three of many topics covered in this week's SEC Conference recap. You can check out the article here and be sure to check out Footballguys for all the College Football information you need to build your lineups each week.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Five Under Five: Last Minute GPP Plays

When I checked my player exposure on the Daily Crusher Mobile App this morning, it became obvious I needed to make some changes to my tournament lineups. As I looked over the player pool with a fresh set of eyes, I convinced myself the following players have paths to big games, and should all be under 5% owned. Here's what my inner-dialogue sounded like:

DeAngelo Williams - $5,300 vs. SF
Everyone loves an unquestioned starting running back playing for a heavy home favorite...unless it's DeAngelo Williams. How come no one wants to acknowledge he ran for 127 yards on 21 carries last week - and looked good doing it? Pittsburgh is a six point home favorite this week, with a 26 point team total. They're coming off extended rest while the 49ers are playing on a short week and flying cross country to play in an early game. The setup is there for the San Francisco defense to play much worse than they did last Monday, when they bottled up Adrian Peterson. If things go the way Vegas is predicting, there's going to be a lot of opportunity for Williams today. Even though Will Johnson vultured a touchdown last week, Williams saw three carries from inside the 10-yard line, so he's got touchdown potential as well.

Nelson Agholor - $5,500 vs. DAL
Agholor is going to be largely ignored this week after looking overwhelmed in his NFL debut. The fact is he had a pretty tough draw, lining up opposite Falcons' stud cornerback Desmond Trufant on many of his routes. The downgrade from Trufant to Dallas cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne is significant. Vegas is predicting fireworks in Eagles-Falcons (55 point O/U), so this is a game to target. All the reasons Agholor was a favorite of many fantasy analysts this summer still exist - he's a talented player and Chip Kelly's primary outside receiver (he played 59 snaps last week, trailing only Jordan Matthews' 63).

Eddie Lacy - $7,200 vs. SEA
No one wants anything to do with Lacy in a tough matchup with Seattle, which is precisely what makes him attractive in GPPs. Like DeAngelo, Lacy is the primary runner on a home team favored by more than a field goal, and projected to score 26 points. Would a multi-touchdown game for Eddie Lacy at home really be all that surprising? Eight of his 13 total touchdowns last year came at Lambeau Field.

Rueben Randle - $4,700 vs. ATL
Randle stunk last week, but so did every Giants receiver. Vegas expects New York to get back on track this week (26.5 point team total), which puts Randle in a nice spot. I mentioned Desmond Trufant a moment ago - he'll have his hands full with Odell Beckham and so will the Falcons' safeties. Randle should see soft coverage and with Victor Cruz out again, the targets should be there.

Joseph Randle - $5,600 @ PHI
Randle received 72% of the Cowboys' carries last week. We know Dallas wants to win by controlling the clock. Without Dez Bryant around to help move the chains, the Cowboys will lean more heavily on the run and the short passing game. You can do worse in a GPP than a low-owned lead back in a game with the week's highest over/under. The Eagles front-seven is tough, but Tevin Coleman didn't fair too poorly against them last week.

Trust or Fade: Sunday Morning Injury Expectations

Earlier in the week, I made a trust or fade recommendation for the injured players at risk at being limited on Sunday for those constructing lineups for the Thursday night DraftKings slate. After Friday's practice participation report, media interviews, and some Saturday updates, those recommendations sometimes change.

Here's the Sunday morning update on which injured players are safe to roster on the DraftKings Sunday slate and which situations you should fade.

JULIO JONES | 8900 | Hamstring Strain | Probable

Jones fully practiced on Friday and has been adamant all week that he's good to go today. He may leave the field a little more often today than usual, but he did so in the second half of last week's game and remained productive. There's a lower than usual floor with Jones, but the ceiling remains high.

ALSHON JEFFERY | 7500 | Hamstring strain | Questionable
Cash: FADE

There's only a slim chance Jeffery will dress today. He wasn't at full strength last week and now is dealing with two separate muscle strains. If he somehow makes the active roster, he's not a consideration for your FanDuel lineup.

MIKE EVANS | 7400 | Hamstring Strain | Questionable

Early Sunday morning reports have Evans likely to play. However, he may not be 100%. The full week of limited practices make it unlikely Evans will be used as a decoy, but there's no guarantee Evans is healthy enough to see his usual targets. His talent and matchup are enough to consider him in lineups today, but he's a risky contrarian play until he proves he's able to separate on downfield routes.

T.Y. HILTON | 7200 | Knee contusion | Questionable
Cash: FADE

We won't know Hilton's roster status until tomorrow night, but the news has trended positive all week. However, making the active roster and feeling strong enough to play effectively are two very different things. Hilton needed treatment and couldn't practice until Saturday. He may also see Darrelle Revis is he's active. Running decoy routes to occupy Revis is just as likely as Hilton recovering to close to full strength by Monday. There's a small chance we'll hear even more positive news through the weekend, but I think there's better uses for your flex spot than planning on moving on Hilton tomorrow night.

LESEAN MCCOY | 6600 | Hamstring strain | Questionable
Cash: FADE

McCoy is currently expected to play. But he's clearly less than full strength and at high risk of another setback. I don't believe he'll see more than 8-10 touches and he's unlikely to be effective if he does. He may play just enough to make Karlos Williams a disappointing upside option.

C.J. SPILLER | 5000 | Knee | Questionable
Cash: FADE

Multiple Sunday morning reports have Spiller likely to play today. But it's expected he'll only see time in limited packages and he may not be the primary option even on those passing down plays. I don't see enough upside to use him as a contrarian GPP play and he's a longshot to reach cash game value.


I don't have enough information to make a strong recommendation on Jordan Reed or Todd Gurley. Reed is expected to play, but he has a long history of aggravating muscle strains and is a boom-bust option in both cash and GPP lineups. Gurley is a game time decision but unlikely to see more than 8-10 touches if he goes today.

Best of luck today in your DraftKings contests. Footballguys Insiders can read my full breakdown of today's injury expectations, which includes additional thoughts on lesser players like Chris Ivory, Delanie Walker, and Justin Forsett.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Week 2 Medical Check

There are a lot of injuries going into week 2 of the NFL season. Some big headliners include Alshon Jeffery, Mike Evans, Jordan Reed, and T.Y. Hilton. How should you handle them and their teammates in your lineups this week? Check out what Jene Bramel and I had to say here.
The Contrarian: DraftKings Week 2

When building your lineups for DFS, the temptation to play the chalk plays and players who look like can't-miss targets for the week is strong. A lineup full of these players will usually not get you too far in GPPs as chances are these players will be among the highest-owned players of the week. A little uniqueness is needed to really help set your lineups apart.

That's where a little contrarian thinking comes in handy. A little outside the box thinking can you help you find the hidden gems that may be overlooked. Choosing the right one or two of them can pay some handsome dividends. Last week The Contrarian pointed us to Alex Smith and he went on to score 23.22 points on DraftKings while having an ownership percentage of 0.4% in the $10M Millionaire Maker. Not bad for a salary of $6,200.

Each week, The Contrarian goes position by position to help you dig a little deeper and find the hidden gems that can help set you apart on the leaderboards. You can check out this week's article here.  

Tips and Picks, Week #2 Edition

Every week, I will parse through the data, analyze salaries, and make selections for your cash games and GPP contests on DraftKings and share those thoughts with Footballguys' subscribers in an extensive article available late Friday night or early Saturday morning; the article will be entitled, "Tipandpick's Tips and Picks."  I urge you to check it out, as it represents dozens of hours of research distilled into a comprehensive article to save you time for your own DFS research.

Here is a taste of what you can find in this column each this instance, I detail why Ameer Abdullah is not necessarily a cash game play despite his impressive performance in Week #1:

There are over 30 different DFS plays discussed in this flagship article; head over the Footballguys to check out what I discovered in my research this week:  Tips and Picks, Week #2

Interactive Saturday! Tweet me your DFS questions all day long!

We here at Footballguys are interactive and here for the people! We love to toss DFS wisdom morsels at the feet of the peasants as we drive by. So those with Week 2 DFS questions, send them my way all day Saturday at the Twitter link below (@JustinHoweFF) for direct exposure to the winning touch Footballguys brings to your weekends!

DraftKings CFB Saturday Sleepers and GPP Plays: Week 3 

Another huge Saturday of College Football action is at hand and with that comes a full docket of games and tournaments over on DraftKings. This Saturday is a little more manageable with only two main slates as opposed to last week's three, but still a ton of games to navigate through - 29 total between the early and late slates.

DraftKings CFB Saturday Sleepers and GPP Plays: Week 3 helps you to narrow down your focus and find some matchups and players to keep in mind while building your rosters. There's a couple of tasty looking games on each slate that look to be great sources of fantasy points, players from these games can help build the core of a solid lineup.

You can check out the article here and be sure to visit Footballguys to take advantage of all of our awesome College Football tools and content for Week 3.

Friday, September 18, 2015

DraftKings Week 2 GPP Starting Stacks

Having trouble deciding on a GPP tournament stack for DraftKings this Sunday? I just posted my starting stacks article which reviews the most popular "chalk" stacks and the "under the radar" stacks for Week 2. Check out the article here:

The Fade: DraftKings Week 2 

Time to get our lineups set and also time to start zeroing in who will be the most highly owned players of Week 2. Typically these players will be those that are regarded as the week's can't-miss or must-start plays. Sometimes these picks turn out well, other times they turn out like Greg Olsen last Sunday.

The Fade provides you with additional information to consider while building your rosters and tries to point out plays that might not be all they are cracked up to be. Last week, The Fade pointed out that we might want to take a pass on Andrew Luck as he was going up against a strong defense in front of a rejuvenated fan base. That worked out pretty well. Luck produced 19.72 points on DraftKings - not terrible, but not enough to justify spending $8,300 on his salary.

New week, new set of players to drill into. You can read this week's article here and find some players that may be best left on the sidelines this weekend.

Weekly DraftKings Show on The Audible

Check out the Week 2 FanDuel show on The Audible. Every Friday morning Cecil Lammey, Jeff Pasquino and John "tipandpick" Lee dig into the Vegas lines, cover the key cash game and GPP plays at all the major positions (and defense!) before looking at their punt plays for the week. 

Listen here or subscribe to The Audible on iTunes and never miss an episode.

Follow all your favorites on Twitter as well:

Week 2: Why I love Darren Sproles

As I start to build my Cash and GPP lineups for this weekend, I find that I'm leaning toward Darren Sproles a lot this week.

Here's a couple reasons why you should consider having him in your lineup.

Last Week's Performance. 

Sproles had only 5 rushing attempts, but converted them into 50 yards of rushing, compared with the 14 total yards from DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews combined. Sproles won't get many goal line carries, but he knows how to make the most of his limited touches.

Now add in the seven receptions on nine targets for 76 more yards and you can see he turned in a pretty solid day from a fantasy prospective. That gave him 19.6 points in DraftKings scoring system, for a very affordable $3500.

If you've read our Cracking DraftKings Strategy Guide, you know that to be a good Cash Game player (50/50, double ups), we're targeting a player that can reach 3x their salary in points. For a Tournament, we're looking for 4x or better. At 3500, Sproles only needs 10.5 points to be a 3x player. at 14 he's 4x and at 17.5 he's 5x or more. Last week Sproles didn't reach the end zone, but at 19.6 points, he was almost 6x his salary value.

The Monday Night Salary Exploit

In most cases, DraftKings needs to lock in the stating salary for the following week contests before the Monday Night game is finished. Since Sproles was playing in Monday Night of Week 1, his performance wasn't considered when his salary was set for Week 2. Savvy DraftKings players know this and look for value plays based on the Monday Night game. As expected, Sproles salary for this week is still only $3500 despite his big performance last week against Atlanta.

Week 2: Sproles vs. Dallas Cowboys

 Last week the Cowboys only gave up 99 yards rushing, but Shane Vereen also chipped in four receptions for another 46 yards. The Cowboys also controlled the clock for the game, allowing the Giants less than 23 minutes of offense. Those are similar stats to what the Eagles had against the Falcons, so any improvement on that means more opportunities for Sproles to touch the ball.

Vegas is expecting a high scoring game. The current Over/Under is 55.5 points, with the Eagles a 5 point favorite at home. This means the Eagles are protected to put up about 30 points in this game. The Cowboys are also without Dez Bryant this week, which will make it that much harder for them to move the ball. The more opportunities that the Eagles have to score, the more likely Sproles will be to reach his target value.

Currently, our projections at have Sproles with four receptions and a combined 52 yards rushing and receiving. This puts him very close to 3x value already, not taking into account any potential TD scoring. He could easily exceed these if this turns into a high-scoring game.

Return TD Potential. 

Finally, Sproles is also Philadelphia's punt returner. While DraftKings doesn't award points for return yards, they do give 6 points for any punt return TD. (See Jarvis Landry's stat line from last week).

Sproles only had 2 punt return TDs last season, but that extra scoring opportunity only makes him that much more attractive.

A Note on GPP.

Sproles is no brainer in cash games. In GPP he represents excellent value as well, but he might also be in a lot of other lineups. Typically you target player that are not on a lot of other rosters, so this is something to consider before using Sproles in a tournament lineup. He has an excellent chance to reach the 4x or 5x value that you want, so if you decide to use him, make sure to target lesser owned players with your other roster spots.

Good Luck this weekend!

Week 2 Overlay Check-in

A few Week 2 NFL overlays are sticking out to me. With 50 hours to go, consider taking advantage of one of these contests:

  • Start, of course, with the $10M Millionaire Maker, which remains just 29% full. It's a $20 shot at winning up to $2M with an awesome payout structure along the way. If this overlays, everyone involved is going to get a boost in the biggest NFL contest of the week.
  • I'm also getting into the $500K Slant. For a $9 entry, the top 20% will at least double up, with $40,000 going to 1st. And it's less than a third full right now.
  • There's also a great small-ball overlay sitting there, a $5 Double Up that's just 22% filled. This could turn into a near-50/50 in a massive field of entries.

Projecting Ownership Percentage: Week 2

Ownership percentage -- as it applies to constructing tournament lineups -- is one of the most misunderstood concepts in DFS. Projecting Ownership Percentage will explain the best strategy for factoring ownership percentage into your DFS decision making, and highlight this week's top tournament plays at each ownership tier. 

Here's a small sample of the strategy insight:

“If a guy is 30% owned at $5000 on DraftKings, you have to ask yourself if you think he could get 20 points (4x value for GPP) at least 30% of the time. If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you roster him and forget about the percent owned."

And the player insight:

Jonathan Stewart - $5,500 vs. Houston (Less than 5% Projected Ownership)
Stewart is a great play this week for the same reasons Chris Ivory was last week. Carolina is a home favorite matched up with an opponent their defense should dominate. The game script points to heavy dose of the run, and the crowd should be off Stewart after a ho-hum Week 1 performance (12.1 fantasy points). While Stewart’s stat-line on the road against the Jags left something to be desired, there were also positive signs. He was on the field for 73% of Carolina’s offensive snaps and handled 86% of the team’s carries. Stewart also caught all four of his targets, which is always welcome on DraftKings (full PPR scoring). You’re not going to find many unquestioned feature backs in a better spot this week, and Stewart has flashed immense upside in much tougher match-ups as recently as last year’s playoffs.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Players on the Edge

Let's take a look at potential problem spots for offenses out on the edges of their offensive lines. We are not guaranteeing results here, but we are looking at a potential factors that could hinder a quarterbacks ability to hang in the pocket and get the ball down the field to his star receivers. Here are a few matchups with the ability to alter the course of the game. I will add to this list as the week draws out.

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah vs. Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil

Ansah has had a good amount of success going head-to-head with Kalil over the course of his short career. The Lions are expecting him to step up and blossom into a big-time pass rusher, and Sunday would be a good time to deliver. This matchup is one that could force Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to flee from the pocket early, and he's not nearly as athletic as some think.
The Lions want Ansah and the other defensive ends to squeeze Bridgewater, forcing him to step up into the pocket and into pressure coming from defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and company. Rookie T.J. Clemmings gets the start at right tackle and it looks like a matchup that favors the Lions as well. Defensive ends Jason Jones, Devin Taylor and Darryl Tapp will get moved off the ball in the run game is Clemmings has great power, but they have a decided advantage as pass rushers converting speed to power on the perimeter.

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffin vs. Lions left tackle Riley Reiff

On the other side of the fence, Griffin has a somewhat favorable matchup against Reiff. Reiff is going to have problems dealing with Griffin's explosive first step and power as he doesn't always anchor well. The Lions look to be getting back right tackle LaAdrian Waddle from injury this week, and I would consider the matchup between Waddle and Vikings defensive end Brian Robison a wash.

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants

Atlanta defensive end Vic Beasley vs. Giants left tackle Ereck Flowers

This matchup features two players drafted very early in the 2015 draft by teams wanting them to come in and start immediately. Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley was an absolute terror at Clemson over the past two seasons and anyone watching him in Week 1 can tell you that he gets off the ball like he is riding a a rocket ship. When the Giants drafted Flowers, the plan was to have him working as a starter at the right tackle position in his first year but an injury has forced him over to the left side. Flowers is more than capable of handling anything involving power in this matchup. However, he has mechanical flaws in his footwork in pass protection and can be exposed by an average pass rusher. Beasley is no average pass rusher and I'd expect this matchup to be a very big problem for the Giants this week.

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins

Rams defensive end Joel Long vs. Redskins right tackle Morgan Moses

The Redskins are starting Morgan Moses at the right tackle position this week and he will face off against Rams defensive end Joel Long. This is not a good matchup for Moses, as Long plays lower to the ground and with more power, speed and quickness than Moses. It is going to cause constant chaos at the right side of the Redskins offensive line. The Rams have advantageous matchups elsewhere along this offensive line, and Long will be squeezing Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins up into a pocket where defensive tackles Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers will be waiting, and that doesn't even mention defensive end Robert Quinn. This matchup definitely has the potential to alter the outcome of this game because of the amount of sacks the Rams will generate and turnovers they will force through pressure.

Stay tuned for a few more matchups as we get into the weekend.